Good Morning, crew!
How was everyone's weekend?! Mine was pretty spectacular actually and it's because it was just so simple. Sometimes the simpler, the better, ya know?
This weekend, I did something drastic. I took not one, but TWO rest days.
Is that crazy or what?! I'm actually feeling super good about it! I've been training really hard lately, so my body definitely needed the break. I caught up on sleep (slept in till 7:30/8:00 am both Saturday and Sunday), made banana pancakes for my boyfriend and myself, lounge around, and explored the city! It was a beautiful, quiet, simple weekend. And I loved every minute of it!
Banana cinnamon walnut pancakes for him and straight up banana pancakes with Greek yogurt for moi! :) After chowing down Saturday morning, we walked the High Line. If you're ever in NYC, this is a must-do! It stretches from midtown all the way to downtown and is filled with patches of beautiful botanical gardens, sculptures, and views along the way. You sort of feel like you're in another city; like you're above all of the commotion that is New York, completely removed from the din below.
Not too bad, ya? ;) Sunday was spent catching up on the little to-dos, such as laundry, cleaning, and meal prep. Sunday evening, I travelled home and had dinner with the family and some family friends at the beach. Nothing beats a view like this :)
We got home pretty late, but I was still hungry, so I helped myself to some yummy Halo top ice cream! The Birthday cake flavor is incredible! I love it because usually, heavy dairy upsets my stomach, but this is not too hard! That being said, I do love my weekly Van Leewuen's ice cream- nothing beats a cup of the Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirl mixed with hot fudge and sprinkles. Oh yeah. I go all out, I promise ;)
And now on to the week! I had a beautiful run this morning, followed by some strength training, so I was in desperate need of a hearty recovery smoothie. Fun fact: Not all smoothies have to be green! I know a lot of bloggers will put in a lot of veggies (I do love to do that too), but some times I don't want a smoothie to be green! I want it to be purple, red, vanilla, or maybe pink! Embracing the colors of the rainbow over here. Let's do it!
This smoothie is full of the perfect recovery fuel after a long workout. With a banana base, I add in some maca powder, plant-based protein, a spoonful of almond butter, and some cinnamon. It's incredible, creamy, and oh-so satisfying. Check it out!
Maca Almond Recovery Smoothie
That's it for now! Hope you guys enjoy :) Let me know how your weekend was in the comments below! Have a beautiful Monday!
Guess what!? It's hump day.
I don't know about you, but as August is coming to a close, I know that I'll switching gears from all things summer to full-out FALL: my favorite season, and not just because my birthday is coming up. But before I go on a tangential rant about how much I love fall (I'll save that for next month, don't you worry!), I wanted to satisfy my intense craving for bananas this past week.
Yes, like the name of my blog suggests, you will find lots of bananas here. Banana bread, banana muffins, banana cream pie, banana oatmeal, bananas with almond butter and chocolate chips, banana-based smoothies, banana ice cream...I could go on! There's just something so comforting about the taste of bananas that always puts a smile on my face.
Aside from being a sweet and yummy treat, they're also full of potassium and magnesium- essential for the recovery of muscles in order to build lean muscle mass (Eat This, Not That!). Bananas also contain folate (Vitamin B9), a vitamin that may help fight depression (maybe that's why I smile a lot when I eat bananas!) (ibid). Not bad, huh?
So I did some exploring, and I visited one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate Covered Katie, to find the perfect gluten-free banana muffin/cookie recipe. Now, when I say these are the best banana muffins I have had, I mean it. Forget that they're gluten (and refined-sugar) free, they could be entered into a competition against any other regular banana muffin, and I can guarantee you that these would beat out every single muffin. Don't believe me? Try them out for yourself!
Made with bananas, white beans, GF oats, and almond butter, these cookie-muffins are such a simple recipe and are the perfect afternoon snack. I love to spread a little almond butter on them, or I break them up and mix them into a bit of Greek yogurt with some chocolate chips. YUM!
Flourless Banana Cookies (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
I don't think anyone can love breakfast as much as I do.
Literally impossible. Breakfast is my hands-down favorite meal of the day. Despite my Italian heritage, I love breakfast. In fact, breakfast is usually the one thing on my mind when I go to sleep each night. What am I going to eat? The options are endless. Yes, even for the glutenoids like myself (I see you out there).
One of my all-time favorite and go-to recipes is overnight oats. A brilliant mixture of oats, greek yogurt (if you're vegan, try mixing almond milk and your favorite plant-based protein powder together!), almond milk, and toppings-galore. So yummy. So filling. So delicious. I typically top mine with fresh fruit, chia seeds, nuts, nut butter, or chocolate chips- mix and match your favorites!
The oats are...
Easy to make...
Made with ingredients you can feel good about!!
Below is my standard recipe for overnight oats. This is a make ahead recipe, so you can make this right before you go to sleep the night before. When you wake up, you'll have a bowl full of yummy yoats! As my blog grows, be on the lookout for more variations, as I plan on sharing with you my versions of brownie batter oats, cookie dough oats, banana cream pie oats, golden milk oats, and more! Just you wait!
Nutrition Facts (without toppings and using Stevia): Calories: 250, Fat: 4.4 g, Sodium: 140 mg, Potassium: 500 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 32.7 g, Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 17.9 g
How is your Monday treating you? Mine started off with a nice run through Union Square and down by the Piers. I absolutely love that run. You'd be surprised how many people are up at my ungodly hour as well (5:00 a.m. to be precise). I probably pass 30-40 runners every morning (both those of whom are running the opposite direction me and those of whom I have mentally declared I'm racing, though they may not know it).
Makes about 2 cups of almond butter
2. Once the almonds are roasted, pour them into the food processor.
3. Grind them until smooth. At first it will look like dust, then it will clump, and finally, it will. turn into a smooth and creamy.
4. Once smooth, pour into a jar and enjoy! I like to store mine in the fridge so that it lasts longer, but you can also let it sit for a while. It should make about 2 cups, and a serving is about 1 tbsp (or if you're like me, a serving may be by the spoonfuls. Everyone is different).
And there you have it! A super simple, super easy, and healthy way to make almond butter! It also ends up being more cost-effective as well, especially when you buy the almonds in bulk. A normal jar of almond butter that most likely has oils, sugar, and salt added to it, will cost between $8-$10. If you buy your almonds in bulk, it can be as cheap at $6 per jar! Not bad at all.
Hope you enjoy, and let me know how you like it! See you guys next time!
Hey there and welcome! I'm a 20-something-year-old running, painting, and eating my way through NYC. Hope to see you along the way!