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September 2014
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  • A Day's Worth of Honey Roasted Almond Recipes! (honey vanilla granola, berry and chicken salad, veggie snack plate, and honey almond crusted chicken tenders.)

  • Simple Ways To Make Vegetables Taste Better

  • Super soft-baked red velvet chocolate chip cookie recipe made from scratch!

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August 28, 2014

Work Hard For Chocolate

Good morning! Hope the day is treating you well.

Wait a minute… it’s Thursday? Yowza.

The days and weeks are just flying right by this year. You know how I know? I have a half marathon to run in less than seven weeks. I guess that is why you could say I have been bitten by the running bug again, but we will talk more about that next week.

Reebok ZQuick Goddess sneakers

Yesterday I took Roadie out for a quick two miles around the neighborhood in my new Reebok Z Goddess sneakers. I continue to take my ZQuicks on every trip I have been on, and got excited when I received a new fun and bright version to try out. Thanks, Reebok!

Quickly following our short loop outside, I continued my workout with two rounds of a familiar bodyweight circuit indoors.

Deuces Running + Circuit Workout

It got me nice and sweaty in no time, hence earning the right to wear this Lorna Jane tank. (<- sorry, this particular one appears to be discontinued.)

Lorna Jane work hard for chocolate tank

Absolutely accurate.

You should all know where I stand on this subject by now. I am a firm believer in eating whatever your body is craving, even if your goal is to lose or maintain weight, IF you do so in moderation and pair it with a decent amount of exercise.

Polar F60 HR monitor watch after running

While I do enjoy working out at home, I am starting to miss frequenting a gym and taking part in weekly group exercise classes. Who knows, maybe I will break down and get a temporary membership to my old gym until I figure out what is next. There is a Fitness Pilates class going on tonight with my favorite instructor… just sayin’.


This morning started with an 8 a.m. breakfast I am still picking at.

gluten free waffles and fruit

Van’s gluten free waffles topped in strawberry Greek yogurt and berries.

Speaking of working hard for treats, I wasn’t too hungry after the splurge on pizza and cookies for dinner last night. Oh, and don’t forget the skittles.

In my defense, there was also a (tiny) salad and Scott and I both ate at a church function. I’m excited to share more about what we are doing coming up in the fall!

For now, I’ll leave you with a close up of what I should be highlighting.

vans gluten free waffles topped with fruit

I know… I’m dramatic. But it made you want to go find and eat some fruit, right? Even maybe one of you? Shoot. Mission accomplished.

All right, it’s time to get the day going. I’ll be back later today with the next post of notes in my series of IDEA sessions. Stay tuned!

Questions of the Morning

• Do you enjoy working out at home, or does it take going to a gym to get you moving?

• Favorite type of “cheat food” to enjoy after “you’ve earned it”… GO.

August 27, 2014

A Day of Healthy, Honey Roasted Almond Recipes

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own!

I thought it would be interesting to take a whole different spin on What I Ate Wednesday this week.

Over the course of the summer, I have been partnering with my friends at Blue Diamond to create new recipes. This month focused on their new Honey Roasted line using Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle almond flavors.

Let me just preface the recipes by mentioning I could have easily consumed all of the almonds on their own, straight from the jar. In fact, I had to pry one of them away from my husband before he ate too many!

Both flavors came already delicious and rich in flavor, but just for fun I wanted to test them out on a day’s worth of new recipes.

A Day of Recipes Honey Roasted Almonds

Here is a breakdown of what yesterday’s eats looked like!

>> for breakfast: Honey Roasted Vanilla Granola

honey roasted vanilla almond granola

Meant to enjoy on it’s own, topped in fresh fruit, and/or drizzled with milk to make granola cereal.


4 cups rolled oats

1 cup sliced honey roasted vanilla almonds

1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup honey (or agave nectar)

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon


servings: 16 1/2 cup servings

prep + cook time: 35 minutes


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place almonds in a food processor (or blender) and process until finely ground. Add honey, vanilla, and process until mixture is smooth to pour.

3. Place oats in a large mixing bowl. Add sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Pour in almond mixture.

4. Add canola oil and mix well.

5. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes.

vanilla honey almond granola

>> for lunch: Berry Almond Chicken Salad

berry and honey roasted almond salad

A sweet and fruity spin on the regular chicken salad.


organic romaine lettuce

diced chicken



sliced honey roasted vanilla almonds

diced red onions

blue cheese crumbles

balsamic vinegar and oil for dressing

chicken and berry honey roasted almond salad

>> for a snack: Veggie Almond Snack Plate

healthy almond snack

A nutritious snack for after school, work, or while you are preparing dinner.


sliced red peppers

sliced green peppers

baby carrots

honey roasted chipotle almonds


blue diamond almond snack

>> for dinner: Honey Roasted Almond Chicken Fingers (via Eating Well)

honey almond crusted chicken

The healthy alternative to fried chicken! I absolutely loved these.


I altered their ingredient amounts to make more servings.

canola oil cooking spray

3/4 cup sliced honey roasted chipotle almonds

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp. paprika

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 tsp. yellow mustard powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

3/4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

6 egg whites

1.5 lbs. chicken tenders


servings: 4-6

prep + cook time: 40 minutes


1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. (I used a blender.) With the motor running (if using a processor), drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.

3. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray. Turn and spray the other side.

4. Bake the chicken until is golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

honey roasted chipotle almond breaded chicken tenders

After sneaking one in while peeking to make sure they were done, I grabbed two more and completed my dinner plate with a couple of servings of colorful veggies.

honey roasted almond chicken tenders

Hope you enjoy!

Question of the Day

• What is one of your favorite ways to eat or cook with almonds?


• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!

• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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