Double Chocolate Banana Bread Bars from Ambitious Kitchen

Happy Friday readers! Are you impressed, a blog post every day this week!! (Haha I did a lot of this work over the weekend to prepare!)

I had super ripe banana and my mom had two super ripe bananas, so I did some googling and found this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

I got out all the ingredients (note: I didn’t use vegan chocolate chips, just plain old Toll House :-) )

IMG_8947

 

Started with the dry ingredients:

 

IMG_8948

 

Then the wet ingredients:

IMG_8949

Mixed it all together and added way more chocolate chips than the recipe called for, (because who measures the chocolate chips?):

IMG_8950

 

Spread it in the pan:

IMG_8951

I had to bake for 20 minutes:

image1

There ya go:

image2

Serve warm with some peanut butter spread all over it (I didn’t do the chocolate swirl  on top like the recipe called for):

IMG_8955

A delicious and healthy sweet treat!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Randomness Thursday!

Happy Thursday everyone! I have been on my blog game this week! Hope you are enjoying the different posts! Since WIAW is getting more serious with the moderation and they aren’t happy with me posting about a bunch of food I enjoyed over the week, I decided to share some of my randomness on a Thursday and will try and do a real WIAW post if I can!

Here it goes:

I had this Chia Bar for months (I got it at fitness event) and I never tried it. I was a tiny bit hungry before my 7 miler even after I had a Quest Bar and apple about an hour before, so I decided this would be some good fuel. It was! I need to find these! They had them at the NYC Half Expo and I had a Peanut Butter one, which was delicious!

IMG_8867 IMG_8866

 

Obsessed with this gum:

 

IMG_8863

 

A weekend Lunch: Kale, a Broccoli and Parmesan Omelet and a Sweet Potato with almond butter.

 

image6

 

A pre-yoga snack, A Smart Bar & and Apple:

 

image4 image5

 

This past week all I have wanted is peanut butter and chocolate, so rice cakes with pb and dark chocolate chips has been my go-to, here with a side of mango:

 

image3

 

An Arctic Zero Creation: Coconut, Fresh Strawberries, Dark Chocolate Chips, Love Grown Foods Power O’s, and coconut peanut butter:

 

IMG_8874

 

It was a co-worker’s birthday, soft cookie cake for the win:

 

FullSizeRender

 

I had a huge craving for my fig smoothie, so I made one for breakfast:

 

 

 

 

 

image1

 

On my walk to the subway before my makeup lesson I wanted a snack to hold me over before dinner, so a Mango and Peach smoothie from Cafe Bene in Hoboken did the trick:

 

IMG_8911

 

I got free Quest Peanut Butter Protein Powder with my Quest Bar Package, haven’t tried it yet, not a huge protein powder person. Guess I’ll make a smoothie or something with it.

 

image2

 

And that is my random Thursday things! Of course all about the food!

Tell me something random for your Thursday!

Have you tried the new Quest Protein Powder?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WIAW: Long Run Sunday!

Happy WIAW everyone! Hopefully I am following protocol this week, I documented a whole day of eats! I will be sharing other food I have enjoyed this past week, tomorrow!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Here is all the food I enjoyed on Long Run Sunday!

I got up at around 6:30 am, enjoyed a cup of coffee and did some blog reading.

IMG_8885

Then I enjoyed my pre-workout fuel: a Cookie Dough Quest Bar and an apple.

IMG_8936

During my 12 mile run I sipped on my new Nuun flavor: Kona Pop and had a Gu halfway through the run. This Nuun flavor was so delicious! It has a little caffeine in it, which was so needed since I had gotten to bed kind of late the night before.

image3

After my run I came home and enjoyed Overnight Oats in an empty peanut butter jar with my feet up: one smashed banana, half cup of rolled oats, chia seeds, a Fage Greek yogurt, milk, and some cocoa powder.

IMG_8945

Later on I had a salad for lunch: Kale cooked with raisins & cinnamon, shredded carrots, a can of tuna, half a potato chopped up and Brainna’s blue cheese dressing.

IMG_8946

Later on I tried one of my Double Chocolate Banana Bread Bars warm out of the oven with some peanut butter smeared on it (will post the recipe link and how I did it later this week!).

IMG_8955

Then my family and I decided to go out for dinner because everyone was too tired to cook!

We shared some Nachos for an app:

IMG_8957

I got a Salad with grilled chicken, portobello mushrooms, tomato, roasted peppers, mozzarella, and cucumber with a balsamic dressing:

image1

We then stopped for ice cream on the way home! I got chocolate soft serve with Reese’s peanut butter cup:

image2

That was my day of food on Long Run Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Makeup Lesson + Eataly with my Sister!

Hello Readers! Today I have a different post coming your way!

On Saturday night I ventured into the city to meet up with my sister for a Makeup Lesson! If you remember, for my family I got everyone an “experience” rather than a thing for Christmas. My sister is really into doing makeup so we went for a lesson!

We went to the Dominique Salon in The Pierre Hotel by Central Park in the city.

IMG_8912

It was fun to people watch in the fancy hotel while I waited for my sister!

We then headed into the salon and each worked with our own makeup artist. My makeup artist really took me through the basic steps of skin care, applying face make up and how to do my eyes. She showed me how to do my makeup for day and night. She would do one side of my face and then I would try the other side, so it was a true makeup lesson! I am clueless when it comes to makeup so I really learned a lot.

IMG_8913

My mom had bought this makeup palette for me for Christmas and I had been saving it for this lesson. They gave us a list of directions, so hopefully I will remember how to use it. I really need to invest in more brushes and makeup, if I want to do what she taught me, however bills and groceries come first so I can’t really indulge in anything right now. They had things for sale but I decided to wait. But maybe I can slowly start working on my makeup collection and buy one thing at a time.

IMG_8935

Before and After! I didn’t feel like I had too much makeup on, but just felt refreshed and pretty!

IMG_8924 IMG_8923

Two glammed up girls! ;-) How gorgeous is my sister and she has those legs for days! She is really good at makeup so her lesson sounded much different than mine haha but she said that she still learned some techniques and had fun too!

IMG_8917 IMG_8916

After that we headed down to 23rd Street to Eataly! We had never been so we decided to check it out!

It is SO cool! If you are from this area or visiting NYC, I would say it is a fun place to check out! It’s a giant Italian market, with everything Italian/Food related that you could buy along with several restaurants inside.

IMG_8918 IMG_8930

We decided to put our names down at the Pizza & Pasta restaurant and then headed to the the rooftop Beer Garden while we waited for a table.

IMG_8920

This place would probably be very cool to hang out in during the summer.

Once our table was called we headed back down and decided what to order.

IMG_8927

They gave us some bread and oil to munch on while we waited. The olive oil was rather bitter though, not sure if that is good?

IMG_8926

The Pizza Ovens.

I went for the Pizza and my sister got the pasta. I also ordered a salad to go along with it.

IMG_8928 IMG_8929

It was very tasty but can I say it was the best pizza I have had in my life, eh, no not really. It was all very expensive too. So like I said, it is a very cool place to go to! So much to do, buy and see, so I think everyone should try it. Do I think it is a tourist spot and they hike up the prices but not necessarily the quality? Yes. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy I went and def would like to go back, but I won’t say it was the best Italian food I have had in my life.

IMG_8931 IMG_8932

We then waited on line for Gelato because you know me, I can’t end the night without some dessert! ;-)

IMG_8933

I got the Stratictella and Nocciala (spelling?) (Chocolate Chips and Hazelnut). It was more like ice cream. I lived in Italy for a summer in college and ate gelato if not once a day, twice a day, so I am always disappointed in gelato in America. But it was a great sweet treat to end the night!

I had such a blast hanging out with my sister. We don’t always spend quality time together so it felt great to be able to enjoy a fun night with her! We are going to try and do fun things like this more often!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Workouts: NYC Half Recovery

Hello readers! Hope you all enjoyed some great workouts this week! Here is a recap of my workouts this past week!

Monday

I woke up bright and early for the 5am workout club and sported my NYC Half Shirt. I was pretty sore from the day before so I decided to do only stability/core/recovery work. A lot of work with the Swiss Ball and BOSU Ball and my resistance band. I also did some good static stretching and foam rolling.

IMG_8839

 

Tuesday

IMG_8851 IMG_8859

The Casual Tuesdays met up for a St. Patrick’s Day run! It was windyyy and cold but we got 4 miles of fun in! My friend did it up for us and bought shirts, glow bracelets, boas, and cupcakes for the fun! She is so awesome!! We were all pretty sore from the NYC Half so we took it easy and had fun!

 

 

IMG_8856

 

This pic was from our half way dance break point!

Wednesday

I was sooo tired but hit up the gym anyway and felt so great afterwards. I did supersets for a full body strength workout!

Thursday

image1

 

7 miles with brick legs to get out that lactic acid that was still built up from the NYC Half. It felt good to get a run in during the daylight! I love how the sun is setting so much later now!

Friday

image2

We had an early dismissal due to the snow storm but I really wanted to get to Hoboken so I could make it in the city to my Friday night classes. Luckily, the snow wasn’t so bad when we got out of work so I made it to Hoboken. I always love a sweaty Friday night of pump and spin!

Saturday

I so badly wanted to have my Long Run Saturday. I just love waking up, enjoying some coffee and then heading out for a long run. But Mother Nature had other plans and boy was it icy and slushy. I decided it would be smart to postpone my run for Sunday, so I did some early morning food shopping and then made it to the 10am Hatha Yoga class at the uptown gym. Looking back, my body needed the rest. I didn’t rest at all from the NYC Half and I think my body was thanking me for the yoga.

image3

Sunday

I drove up to my parent’s house after a fun night out in the city Saturday night, so I could wake up and do a long run with my friend. We busted out 12 awesome miles and enjoyed the morning. Running with friends = better than running alone. Haha I remember when I first started running the idea of running with others and running without music was unheard of to me. People change I guess. :-) I love running with my friend from work, we are similar paces and run really well together. Plus we find a million things to talk about and the time flies by!

image4

 

PS Why is it March and I still have to layer up? I want to wear shorts!!!

 

And that is a wrap up of my weekly workouts! Stay tuned for some fun and different posts this week!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meal Prep Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone! I am linking up again with Jill Conyers and Mommy Run Fast for Meal Prep Sunday!

whatsfordinnermenuplanning

IMG_8895 IMG_8899

For some breakfasts this week I made my Spinach and Egg Muffins! Just sautee half an onion and about 3/4 of a bag of spinach together. Then mix some of the mixture with one egg. Spray the tin then pour the mixture in. I like to do one egg at a time rather than a bunch at once!

IMG_8897 IMG_8896

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and roasted broccoli for side dishes this week.

image1

Whenever I meal prep I usually think about the protein I want for the week and then think of good veggies and carbs that go with it. Since my meal prep was on a time crunch I decided that Chicken Sausage would be nice and easy. I buy two of these packs and have two sausage links per meal.

image2

I sauteed the other half of the onion, mushrooms, and fresh spinach all together, then added the chicken sausage links. The nice thing about them is that they are pre-cooked, so when you are cooking them, just cut them up and add to your veggie mixture and you are done.

image3

I served it over Basmati Wild Rice and here is my dinner for the week.

IMG_8898

For lunch this week: White Beans, cucumber, TJs veggie 8 mix, tomatoes, avocado, and TJs pre grilled chicken. I put the chicken in 4 out of the 5 salad containers because the serving size on it is 4. For the 5th day I always do a can of tuna, which I just add in the night before when I am packing up my lunch.

image5

Some potatoes for my carb with my salads.

image6

Some post-workout (strength training) fuel- hard boiled eggs.

image4

For snacks this week: 2 lbs. of fresh strawberries, washed and cut.

Meal prep usually takes me a good 2 hours sometimes a little more, but it is so worth it. With workouts, commuting, and everything else I have going on in my life, coming home to meals that are healthy, delicious, and easy to heat up, save my life. When I first moved out on my own and didn’t meal prep lunch consisted of pita chips and hummus and dinner was frozen chicken nuggets. A. Not enough food. B. Not enough nutrients. I have come a long way and learned a lot about how to fuel my body well and with it I have found a true joy for cooking. I really look forward to meal prepping each week. I can zone out and only think about the cooking not everything else going on.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone! Be sure to check out the other blogs on the link-up for meal prep ideas!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WIAW: A lot of snacks!

Happy WIAW everyone!! Hope you all have been enjoying some tasty eats this week!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Today I will share some of the great food (especially snacks) that I have been enjoying this week. See my Sunday Meal Prep Link Up Post to read all about my food prep this week!

IMG_8840

For Breakfast one morning: the prize of an empty PB jar (that my family saved for me :-) ) Overnight oats with Fage Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup rolled oats, a smashed banana, and chia seeds!

IMG_8846

Another Breakfast: Two spinach and onion egg muffins, a banana with almond butter and Ezekial Bread with jelly.

IMG_8850

For a snack at school: cottage cheese, almonds, raisins and cinnamon.

IMG_8710

 

Another fav snack that has been a go-to lately: Kashi Go Lean Crunch with Raisins. The combination is SO good! I have been having it before my late night (haha I like that 7pm is considered late night to me!!) group runs when I need some fuel because I usually have my after school snack around 3.

IMG_8849

A Quest S’mores bar for an after school snack.

 

 

IMG_8833

For a Night Snack, rice cakes: one with Cookie Butter and one with Nutella- such a delicious combination. 

IMG_8828

The afternoon after my Half Marathon, I was hungry before dinner so I enjoyed this snack Ants on a Log with almond butter along with Greek Yogurt and strawberries.

IMG_8832

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (a few days early) with the family we had Corned Beef & Cabbage (and a side of sauteed kale) for dinner.

IMG_8847

And some Irish Soda Bread that a student brought in for snack on St. Patrick’s Day!

As you can see I have been enjoying a ton of different snacks this week! I usually eat about 3 snacks a day a long with my 3 meals, gotta keep the body fueled with goodness!

What is your favorite go-to healthy snack? Quest Bars!

What is your favorite night snack? Dates with coconut peanut butter!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

United NYC Half Recap! PR!!!

YES! You read that title correct: PR!!

But before I get to that let’s recap the whole race expo to brunch, shall we? :-)

Thursday after work I headed into the city for the expo! They had it “airline” theme because it was the United Airlines Half!

image3

I walked around and met up with a teammate and we also bumped into some girls we knew from Instagram! I love how Instagram has introduced me to so many amazing people!

image7

I then did some more walking around. I bought some Nuun which was a 2 for $10 deal along with a free water bottle. Such a great deal!

I also purchased my first Sparkly Soul headband. I tried it on a loved how it stayed on my head! I got our team colors: blue and orange!

I tried some samples of different foods they had there and even got some free Lara Bar samples (which I tried on the way home that night- OMG so delicious, I totally need to start buying them!)

image5

All my goodies:

image6

My bib and the medal:

image4

After that I headed to meet up with my team in Central Park for a fun 6 Miler!

Saturday Night before the race choices because I just didn’t know what to do with the weather.

IMG_8815

Sunday, race day! I cheerfully woke up on my own at 4:15 (I am a sick woman, as my Dad says when I wake up at ungodly hours to exercise haha). So I got up and did my race morning things. Hopped in the shower, relaxed a little with a cup of coffee and water, ate my Cookies & Cream Quest Bar & Apple and got dressed and braided my hair in pig tails.

I ended up wearing, my orange Nike shorts, NYIR singlet, arm sleeves, and compression socks. I wore throw away gloves, a sweat shirt and pj pants to the start as well.

I got the 6:13 Path Train and followed the herd of runners to Central Park. Upon entering the park we went through metal detectors and then I headed to my corral.

Right before we began I took off my throw aways except for the gloves and ate my 4 Black Cherry Gu Chomps.

Then we were off. I saw the 2:00 pacer and decided to stay right by him for the first mile as I warmed up and got in my groove. We went up Cat Hill right in the beginning and I just repeated my mantra Hills Make Us Stronger. After I started feeling warmed up for about a mile, I tossed my gloves and passed the pacer. I felt strong and just kept going. I had just done the park on Thursday and knew exactly what was coming.

As we were approaching Harlem Hill I thought we would go straight for it, however we ended up running out and back a little on Central Park West then headed back in the park for Harlem Hill. I got up that hill just by repeating my mantra over and over: Hills Make Us Stronger. 

I took my first Gu at Mile 4 and kept on pushing.

After that the rest of the race was pretty flat!

We then ran though Times Square which was the most amazing thing ever! I kinda got overwhelmed with just total happiness and teared up a bit. :-) I just feel so blessed to be able to do incredible things like this!

UnitedAirlinesHalf

Photo Credit: My teammate’s boyfriend, it was SO amazing that he took this!  This was how I felt the whole race, strong and happy! 

After that we headed down 7th Ave and I felt strong! Then we got to the Westside Highway and I just kept on rocking it. My watch had been thrown off about .3 of a mile in Times Square so I decided to just go by how I felt.

In Spin class, Melissa has taught us how to monitor our heart rates on a 1-10 scale and I used that to help me. She also always says things like you have 3 more chances to come here and do what you came here to do, and that is what I told myself at each mile. You have ___ chances (instead of miles) to do what you came here to do!

I just felt so strong the whole time. I paid attention to how my form was, kept my arms down and my core tight. I took another Gu at mile 9 to push me and give me that energy I needed for the end.

The last few miles I just felt great and monitored my heart rate and knew that I was capable of pushing it more. So I did.

FullSizeRender

Photo Credit: My Sister :-) 

Once we got in the tunnel towards the end a man came up to me and said that I had been his pacer for the race! I told him how honored I was and then I pushed it more! I just told myself, you got this, you got this! 

Finish Time: 1:56:27!!!!

IMG_8820

I feel so blessed to have come so far, be part of these experiences and just run. :-)

After the race I found my mom and sister (very easily) took some pics and walked around until we found a cab to the Path.

We got to Hoboken much earlier than I anticipated so we decided to try a brunch place that I have been dying to try that is always so busy, Anthony David’s. 

We only had a 20 minute wait and by the time we sat down we were ravenous!

image1 IMG_8822

I got Chocolate Milk for some good recovery and Banana and Chocolate Coffee- SO good!!

IMG_8823

We all ordered the French Toast Eggs Benedict- OMG SO GOOD! Challah bread French Toast, bacon and then two poached eggs on top, served with hash browns and syrup. Totally needed after an awesome race!

What an incredible day (and days leading up to it)!

I am so, so, so, happy! :-)

image2

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Meal Planning Link-up!

Hello Readers! This is my first time linking up with Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers for their Sunday Meal Prep link-up! Thanks for letting me join in on the fun!

whatsfordinnermenuplanning

 

IMG_8753 IMG_8751 IMG_8756 FullSizeRender

For Dinner this week I prepped a Greek inspired dish! In a large pan I cooked half an onion, ground turkey, one can of artichokes (cut them up), a can of sliced olives and a bag of fresh spinach. I laid it over quinoa and when I heat up my meals this week, I will sprinkle in some crumbled feta cheese after! Mmm, mmm, mmm! I love just walking into Trader Joes and thinking about what veggie, protein and carb that I want to use to make a delicious and nutritious meal!

IMG_8752

Some roasted Brussel sprouts and roasted eggplant for side dishes.

IMG_8750

I also prepped some spinach and onion egg muffins for breakfast a few times this week. All you do is cook spinach & onion in a pan first. Then in a bowl crack an egg, mix in some spinach and onion, then spray the tin and put your mixture in. Each muffin contains one egg so I always have two with some Ezekial Bread and a banana on the side!

IMG_8748

Salads for lunch this week: Red kidney beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, TJs grilled chicken, avocado and TJs Veggie 8 Health mix.

IMG_8749

On the side with the salads some regular and sweet potatoes for a carb!

IMG_8754

Hard boiled eggs for post-workout fuel.

IMG_8757

I also bought a honey dew and sliced it all up to snack on throughout the week!

Meal prep is SO important to help you make nutritious choices throughout the week especially if you have a busy schedule like me! Thanks again for letting me join this fun and inspiring link-up!

Any tips for meal prep?

What did you make this week?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Workouts: Warmer Weather!

Happy Saturday morning readers! I am currently lounging in my bed, eating some overnight oats and getting some things done before I enjoy my “rest day” of heading upstate for a wedding.

So let’s recap my weekly workouts!

Monday

I had a horrendous sleep Sunday night due to the time change and wasn’t sure I would make it for the 5am workout club. But I did and it felt awesome! Full Body Strength Training plus 15 minutes of HIIT on the elliptical.

IMG_8705

 

Does anyone else get that weird forehead vein poppage after a workout? I always do!!

Tuesday

Finally my Hoboken running group was able to meet up! Even though it rained we still got in 4 nice and easy miles.

IMG_8761

Wednesday

I wanted to run SO bad because it was 60 degrees, but with the NYC Half tomorrow, I didn’t want to run back to back days.

So I did some great full body strength training done in supersets!

Thursday

I went to the NYC Half Expo (will recap that hopefully tomorrow!) and since I had a personal day the next day I decided to meet up with my team for their Thursday night run in Central Park. It’s so hard for me to come with work the next day because I get home at 9pm, and that is just SO late to eat dinner and what not. But with the next day off, I figured why not and I had a BLAST!

Me and another girl on the team stayed together and worked those hills of Central Park. We ended up keeping about an average 9:14 pace for the 6 mile loop and even had some sub 9 splits in there!

IMG_8746

I cannot wait to be able to run with them in the summer! Everyone on the team is so motivating and awesome! I love that I found these amazing people!

Friday

Pump + Spin! Always a great workout! ALWAYS!

IMG_8758

Saturday

Rest Day- wedding time!

Sunday

NYC Half!!!! I am SO pumped, the course is freaking amazing!! I am still up in the air about what to wear? Shorts? Pants? I just don’t know!

Have a great weekend! Can’t wait to recap the NYC Half!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment