CINNAMON COCONUT OATMEAL

I've been easing oatmeal back into my life. It's time. Summer is coming to a close and I know that it needs to happen or else I'll spend a lot of my time shivering after eating banana ice cream and smoothies all the time. Who wants that?! Certainly not me.

Yeah. Oatmeal. I'm into it. I like how versatile it is. You can make a million different combinations and never have the same taste. Unless the same taste is what you're looking for, then you can do that too! What a beautiful thing.

Today I'm coming at you with a cinnamon coconut oatmeal. Little coconut flakes, sugar, and cinnamon swirling around your oats making life worth living. Mmmm.

CINNAMON COCONUT OATMEAL

serves 1

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup dry oats
1 tablespoon coconut shreds
2 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 peach
Handful of blueberries
Peanut Butter
Buckwheat Groats

In a small saucepan combine milk, oats, coconut, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from heat and top with peach, blueberries, peanut butter, and buckwheat groats or whatever else you desire. Serve, enjoy!

A LITTLE WORKOUT UPDATE

Sunday morning; I wake up naturally, no alarm. The sun is streaming through my windows and I hear birds chirping. I roll over and check the time, 7:41 a.m. Holy man, I never sleep this late. But I have no commitments, so it doesn't matter. I get up and head downstairs where I grab my glass jar, squeeze a lemon into it, and fill it with warm water. Drink up. Get dressed. Running clothes today. Head back into the kitchen for some watermelon. Munch, munch. Refreshing. Start up the Garmin, lace up my shoes, head out the door.

I have a couple of favorite running loops near my house. I absolutely adore them. They're peaceful roads surrounded by trees with just the right amount of hills and little passings of creeks that I always pass while fighting off the strong urges to jump right in.

The one route, 6.5 miles, is something that I haven't done at all this year. Since I just started getting back into running this month I didn't want to go all in and run bigger milage and risk hurting myself. No thanks. Easing into this.

I've been doing 3-4 mile runs 3 times a week along with daily yoga practices and the occasional bike ride. 

Simple. I've been loving this because I can do it all at home. Lace up my shoes, head out the door. Roll out the yoga mat, flow. Hop on the bike, ride. After a year of having to drive to the gym and then back home after being done it's nice to just get back into the easier routine of having my workouts at my fingertips. With lifting I felt as if it wasn't exactly "right" for me in the last month or two. I did my workouts but I didn't love them and therefore, I didn't push myself as hard as I was in the past. I worked through those feelings for a while because I know that I won't feel like doing something 100% of the time and off days or even weeks are completely normal. But it's important to be able to tell the difference between having a tough few weeks in the workout department or simply needing to move on from what you're doing to find something that brings you joy.

Also, I must add, I feel so good. Seriously, I feel amazing. Now, I'm not telling everyone to quit their workout routines, do what I'm doing, and you'll feel amazing too. No, no, no. Don't do that at all. What I'm saying is to do things you love and once you stop loving them then try something new. It can be scary and intimidating but it's so worth it. And if you leave the thing that you once loved it doesn't mean that you can't ever go back to it. You totally can, and I'm sure that someday you probably will. But holding onto a workout routine that you dread doing everyday isn't worth it. 

So anyways, I headed out for that 6.5 mile loop. I was so excited. Favorite route, beautiful morning, fresh watermelon vibes flowing. It was great. I struggled through mile 4 big time because it was the biggest hill and in the blazing sun. But I made it. Finished the run. So good.

I came home, filled up a big glass of water, and went outside to chill out. I reflected back on my run a bit trying to figure out why I love it so much, once more. And I'm not really sure why. I imagine that there's lessons to be learned and experiences to be hard during this running journey, just like with everything else. And all that I have to do is show up each day and let the rest unfold.

I'm just going with the flow of things, letting myself love running right now. Will I love it forever? Maybe, but probably not. I'll probably find something else that takes hold of my interests in due time. And that's okay. Just like the seasons we experience each year with the weather, we experience seasons in other aspects of life. Right now I'm in the season of running. Two months ago I was in the season of biking and lifting. Seasons change and so do we. I'm just working on adapting to the changes and being open to the opportunities that it presents me with. Living, loving, learning. Having fun with it all.

What about you? Have you experienced this as well? What season of workouts are you currently in. Let me know!

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE DOUGH COOKIES

I used to always get yelled at whenever I'd eat the raw cookie dough as a kid. "All of those eggs blended into that little sugary ball of goodness will make you sick!" Well, now I don't have to worry about that because who needs to consume eggs anyways? Not humans, that's for sure.

There's vegan cookie dough options at the store. You can just run and grab a container, come home, turn on Netflix, and eat the night away. Or you can get yourself into the kitchen, whip up some of these little guys while dancing around to songs like this and this, and then proceed have that wild evening with Netflix. Obviously, I'd recommend the second option.

When you make these the dough gets warm from spinning around in the blender and then as you roll the chocolate chunks into the dough the chocolate melts. It's like a warm, gooey ball of heaven. Try it out and see for yourself!

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE DOUGH COOKIES

makes 12-14 cookies

1 cup dates
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cashews
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
Drop of vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chunks (you can use chocolate chips too!)

Blend together all ingredients except the chocolate until dough is formed. Roll into small sized balls and then roll balls into chocolate chunks. Press balls flat to make cookies. Serve, enjoy!

Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Gratitude Project - Week 34

This week was the first week where the humidity left. It's back now. But it was gone for a few days and all that I could think was "holy man, summer's ending so soon." With that in mind, I'm trying to spend as much time fitting in as many adventures, big or small, as possible.

Living life! 

That's been my theme over the past year or so. Getting out in the world and doing things. No excuses. There's always new places to explore regardless of where you're at in the world. You just have to get out there and find it. So, that's what I've been doing and that's what I want to continue to do because we never know what's going to come up and I never want to look back and get sad about all of the things I kept putting off. 

I'm not trying to make this a sad post at all, so I'm going to cut it off here by saying... go do something different today. Explore! Look up, or down, or somewhere you've never looked before. See new things, take them in and understand how amazing it is that you get to have that experience.

Life is cool.

DAY 232

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A hike I've been wanting to do for a while now finally happened today. So excited to cross it off my list!

DAY 233

Today was not a typical Sunday but it was nice. I feel the pressures of summer ending soon and I'm trying to do everything that I want to do outside while I still can without freezing. Oh, and I ate twice my weight in cupcakes and junk food today and it's totally cool other than the fact that I feel quite sluggish from it. No worries though. Living life, eating foods, laughing, sharing, and just being. 

DAY 234

So I meal prepped yesterday. Today I got to work today, heated up my lunch, and took it back to my desk to eat. No, no, no. 0/10. The recipe that I used was not something I was a fan of. It made me feel sick and didn't even taste good to make up for it. So I came home and ditched that for the rest of the week. I had three more bowls of it made up but I wasn't settling for that. Life is too short to settle for gross meals when you only get three ish meals a day. You gotta make them good! I did another meal prep tonight. This time it's much better and I know that because I tried I before I separated it. Lesson learned! And to celebrate I had this Italian ice as a tasty treat.

DAY 235

Make this and thank me later. RECIPE: 3 frozen bananas, 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter, 3/4 cup Nutchello. Blend. Drink. Smile big. // The perfect way to end a busy evening!

DAY 236

8:17 p.m. // I've been catching all of the sunsets for the past few days and loving it.

DAY 237

Today I didn't plan to do any work and just did whatever came my way. It was strange to not have things to do but I'm currently deep into a book that I want to talk about once I finish it (tomorrow probably) and I'm so excited to share!

DAY 238

Spending a lot of time alone lately. It's been interesting; a growth experience. I'm listening to myself, mind and body, more and trying to stay in tune with it. I went for a run/walk today in the woods. I ran for a while and then walked whenever I felt like it. It was nice because usually when I go for a run its straight running until my watch beeps to tell me that I've hit my finish line for the day. But today was different and I had fun, a different kind of fun than usual. Refreshing. Lovely. Something I'm striving to do more of. Listening, paying attention, learning, experimenting. Being okay with how things are right now and knowing that I'm where I need to be. 


That's it for this week! Thanks for joining me. Let me know what little moments of gratitude appeared in your life this week. xx

1000 Steps Trail

I ventured to 1000 Steps this weekend. It's a hiking trail in central Pennsylvania that I have been wanting to check out forever. This weekend it finally happened and I loved it!

Let me start out first by saying that it was tough! A thousand steps up the side of a mountain is no joke. But, I had so much fun doing it!

Darrin and I started out in the afternoon. The middle of the afternoon on a summer day. Yep, sounds like a good time for a hike! Thankfully the sun wasn't out on our way up because that would have been a pretty toasty hike. 

We walked, and walked, and walked. The steps are labeled by the 100's and by the time we reached step 100 we were like "Seriously?!?! We've only done 100 steps?!" and then we kept going because what else are you to do?!

Really though, even if you're slightly to moderately active you can make this hike happen. It's not that gruesome. Promise!

We passed some people who were on their way down and they warned us that coming down is harder than going up. They said that your legs start to get really shaky. I tucked that little comment in to the back of my mind thinking that we'd be fine going down. No biggie!

We made it to the top and had such an awesome view of the town! It was a beautiful, clear day and you could see for miles. We walked back the trails a little ways just to explore and check out the immense amount of rocks. Rocks are so much cooler when you're dating someone who majored in geoscience.  Honestly, I have quite the extensive rock collection of my own because of it. That's a story for another day though.

We came across a cool stone building that I obviously had to take advantage of by snapping a few yoga pictures. Never fails. Anyone who goes anywhere will me can agree with that. Whoops!

But, the history of 1000 steps is that they were built for miners to walk up to the top of the mountain to work each day. That's so crazy. Walking up the steps everyday. In the winter even! Crazy.

Once we had our fill of the top we started to make our way down. Those hikers that stopped us on the way up to tell us that coming down was tough, yeah they were right. My legs were shaking like leaves on a tree enduring a gust of wind. Seriously! Going down was much harder. But it was so much fun and such a way to spend an afternoon. If you're ever close to 1000 Steps, check it out! Definitely recommend it. I love going on hikes and exploring places like this because it gets you out in nature and it's free to do. All that it costs is the gas to get there and the price of a Clif bar if you wish to be extra prepared. Cheap nature things are my jam though. Absolutely love it and recommend that everyone gets outside and takes advantage of their surroundings. So worth it!