I’ve got another cooking video today! I think Jason and I are slowly getting the hang of making these videos, it’s definitely a new challenge. I’ve been seeing this recipe idea all over Pinterest and thought it was such a fun idea. Hope you enjoy the video!
I’ve missed the last couple “training posts” and there’s a couple reasons behind that. The main one is that I’ve been thinking hard about exactly HOW I want to incorporate fitness tips and encouragement into the blog. In the past I’ve focused on the food and on providing people great recipes and (hopefully) drool worthy pictures during a quick visit to this site (the average visit time is about 1 minute and 20 seconds I believe! y’all are speedy!). And while I still want to focus on the food, because that’s where my heart is, I want this to become a place where I’m more engaged with YOU the readers and we can form a relationship. Which brings me to my big news–I’m now a health and fitness coach with Beachbody!
Yeah that’s me randomly flexing in the kitchen. This is ME we’re talking about…where else would you expect me to flex?? Beachbody is an awesome company that provides a lot of awesome products (ever heard of P90X or Shakeology?) and I’m SO excited to be working with them. Not much on this blog is going to change, the company has nothing to do with this site and is not sponsoring any of my content. The only difference you might notice is me being happier and getting stronger and healthier! And every once in a while I’ll post a referral link when I’m mentioning the things I love or information about challenge groups that I’m running on Facebook to give you all the opportunity to join them if you’d like. I just wrapped up a free 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge (make sure you follow me on Facebook to learn about ALL the challenges I run in the future) and I can’t even tell you how much fun I had! It felt amazing to encourage and motivate other women to strive for their best. Plus it helped me to clean up my diet too!
Now I’m filling up the last couple spots in my next group, which is a full-on 3 week fitness and healthy eating challenge group. If you are looking to really get a jumpstart and see some awesome results, please comment below or email me to let me know! Not only do you get the great workouts, but this group includes a full meal plan that I have developed myself that has recipes which have never been published here on the blog. There’s still a day left to sign up and I’d love to have you and get to know you!
And then of course I’m still training for the half marathon! This is the schedule I made for the upcoming month.
I’ll be honest with you, the extremely gross and cold weather here in the past few weeks has made me skip several runs in favor of doing workouts from the comfort of my apartment. BUT with a new month I’ve got FRESH motivation and I’m ready to kill it with my training in March! Today was a cross train day and I did a Turbo Fire workout, which was so high energy and fun! And then I had a vegan chocolate Shakeology after my workout for recovery–delicious!
The inspiration for this one is a little random! Jason and I ended up being stuck at the airport for a while the last time we flew home from visiting his family in New Jersey. We were in the international terminal, aka the one with the awesome shopping and delicious food. I was thrilled to see a huge variety of vegetarian and vegan options, so many that I could hardly choose what to get! I asked Jason what I should get (he’s always better at picking what I’ll like than I am…#marriage), he said I should go for the noodle salad. Good man.
So I’m that crazy food blogger who tucked the container away in my carryon and then copied the ingredient list down when I got home. And it worked! Delicious tender whole grain noodles coated in a savory peanut sauce and tossed with fresh crispy vegetables. YUM.
8 oz. whole wheat udon noodles (you can use soba noodles instead)
½ c. peanut butter
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. warm water
¼ c. liquid aminos (you can use soy sauce or tamari instead)
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 t. sesame oil
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. ginger powder
½ c. sliced scallions
2 c. diced cucumber
1 c. sliced bell peppers
2 c. thinly shredded cabbage
2 T. sesame seeds
Boil noodles according to directions.
While noodles cook, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, water, liquid aminos, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, and ginger powder until it forms a smooth dressing. It will start out lumpy but just keep whisking, it will come together!
Drain the noodles and rise with cold water.
Toss the noodles with the dressing, scallions, and vegetables. Refrigerate for for at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish if desired.
This the pretty much the best lunch ever. It’s cold so you don’t have to worry about reheating anything, but the noodles really make it stick to your ribs which is perfect for a mid-day meal. Plus the dressing is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I had to stop myself from continuous “taste tests”!
I’m SO excited to share today’s post with you! I’m going to be collaborating with my beautiful friend Val to bring you guys some awesome healthy recipes geared toward little ones. Val is an Army wife and a mom to two adorable little boys, Conner and Jackson. We’ve known each other for years because we’re part of a special group of women (HIII KNOTTIES, I LOVE YOU!!!) who all got married in the same month. She happens to also be a mommy blogger so when she had the idea that we could work together of course I said yes! For our collaborations I’ll be developing the recipes and Val will make sure that they’re kid approved. Without further ado, here’s our first recipe!
Val told me that she likes to make sure her son’s meals are nice and colorful! That’s great because eating the rainbow is one of the best ways to make sure that we’re getting good nutrition in. Since everyone loves fruit salad (right?), it seemed like a great choice for our first recipe. But I wanted to make it a little more fun and interesting for kids, so I thought a dip would be the perfect thing!
This dip is so good that I may or may not have been eating it with a spoon…but it makes the perfect pair with any fresh fruit that your kids love! I thought this would go great with some whole wheat flatbread and a soft-boiled egg for a quick and easy lunch or even dinner! But of course you can serve it with whatever you like.
1 c. sour cream (you can use a low fat or fat free if you prefer)
⅓ c. light brown sugar (can be subbed for honey or agave syrup)
¼ t. orange or lemon extract
½ t. vanilla extract
Stir all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Stir together again to fully incorporate the ingredients.
Serve with mixed berries or any type of fruit that your kid likes! Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Serving size: 2 T. Calories: 92 Fat: 7 Sugar: 5
And that’s it! I was so excited to see how it would go over with Val’s little one.
I started beforehand by prepping our fruit. For our salad, we used fresh kiwi, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and green seedless grapes. I washed them, gently dried them and sliced the fruits up into toddler friendly bite-sized pieces.
Then I brought in my little helper! Conner loved dumping the fruit into a large bowl and mixing them together. He also loved sampling each fruit before he dumped them…
While C Man dumped and mixed the fruit, I prepped the Creamy Dreamy Dip. I absolutely loved this recipe because it was SO easy. In addition to kid meal time and snacks, I would (and will!) totally make this for parties, BBQs, potlucks etc. This dip is definitely a crowd pleaser!
I served up our fruit salad with a dollop of dip on top. How beautiful is this?!
And we have a winner!
Conner ate THREE helpings of this in one day. Three! He loved dipping his fruit pieces in the “cream”. This will be a healthy snack staple for us now! OH. Bonus?! Try a little leftover fruit and Creamy Dreamy Dip on top of a waffle for breakfast. You’ll thank me later
I hope you guys enjoyed it! Keep an eye out for more good stuff coming soon from Kid Kitchen! And don’t forget to check out Val at her blog This Whole Mommy Thing!
This post brought to you by MassMutual. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Dash of Soul.
I am excited to join MassMutual in celebrating Black History Month by sharing my very own #JourneyOfYou story. Black History Month is always a great reminder for me to reflect on where I am today and where those before me came from. As a Black American my family has a such a rich history and I am so glad to have the opportunity to share a glimpse of that with you today. Let’s start from the beginning!
Those are my parents, David and Marlil. They were both raised in California and got married there in the 80′s. Their union brought together two families with very different stories and histories. My dad’s side of the family is very diverse, with roots everywhere from Jamaica to Germany!
Above is a photo of my dad’s family before he met my mom. His entire family is still in California where he was born and raised.
That photo is of my dad’s parents, Irene and Clarence, with my brother and I in 1997. My grandmother Irene was born in Louisiana, and both her parents were a mix of Native American, African, and Caucasian. My grandpa Clarence on the other hand wasn’t born in the States! His parents, who were Jamaica-born, actually moved to Panama where his father worked on the construction of the Panama Canal at the turn of the century. My grandpa was actually born there in Colón, Panama in 1910, but conditions in Panama were rough. After a little internet research I learned that over 5,000 workers died from disease and accidents during the canal’s construction. Even though most of the workers were Blacks, housing wasn’t provided to Black workers and so most of them lived in tents and tenements in the area. To provide a better life for my grandpa and his sister, their mother ended up moving them to California. In California he met my grandmother, whose family had moved there from Louisiana. Which brings me to my mom’s side of the family, who also had Southern roots!
On the left in that photo is my maternal grandmother Dorothy and her mother Mary, whose family was from Alabama. The South didn’t have many opportunities for Black families at that time and so my great-grandmother’s family moved to the Midwest during the Great Migration. If you’re unfamiliar with the Great Migration, it was a period in the early 1900′s during which 6 million Blacks moved from rural areas in the South to more industrial cities in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. My great-grandmother moved to Cleveland, Ohio where my grandmother was then born and raised. Granny moved to California and became a missionary to Haiti, where she met my Haitian grandfather Anthony! And she raised all her kids in California, which is how my mom and dad ended up living in the same city. After I came along in 1988 we stayed in Southern California for a few years.
That’s me with my Granny around 1990! I think they loved California, but my parents wanted a safer and quieter place to raise a family than Los Angeles, so we all (including Granny) moved to Georgia! A few years after moving here they had my brother David, and then several years later came little Ashley.
It’s amazing to me to look back and think about how many journeys my family members took that led to me being were I am today. My grandparents have all passed away now but we will keep their stories alive through our memories and the great photos that we have of them. I’m happy to still call Georgia my home and I can’t wait to teach my children all about their Black heritage and their family history one day! Our history makes us who we are and I feel so grateful for my beautiful family.
I hope you’ll join me and MassMutual in celebrating Black History Month this February. Follow along and share your own story in the comments section below or on Facebook/Twitter with MassMutual using #JourneyOfYou. MassMutual on Facebook MassMutual on Twitter MassMutual
Happy Valentine’s Day! Forget the whole “Hallmark holiday” thing, I’ll take any excuse to celebrate love! This is the 9th year that I have Jason as my valentine! And it also marks 2 years living a lifestyle of compassion and going meat-free! There are SO many great reasons to go vegetarian for love. If not for love of the animals or love of the planet, do it out of love for yourself! You deserve a long and healthy life, and reducing or eliminating your meat intake will help get you there. To honor the holiday of love I’m sharing some of my favorite meatless recipes with you today! Pretty much these ALL belong on your dinner table.
In our house breakfast tends to be the most compromised meal of the day. I’m big on sleep so there’s no way I’m waking up half an hour earlier to cook Jason and I a full breakfast. I love the idea of frozen breakfast sandwiches, but the prepared ones in the store are usually full of junk ingredients and not really geared towards vegetarians. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
This is a very customizable idea so you can really use whatever filling or bread you want! But to keep things as nutritious as possible I used whole wheat english muffins from Sprouts and added spinach into the egg layer of the sandwich. This along with a smoothie or cupful of berries is the PERFECT breakfast to me. And it’s made for people on the go like us! This recipe makes enough delicious sandwiches to last you the whole work week.
Dang, I’m officially ONE MONTH into training for this half marathon! Which means that I’ve been exercising consistently for one month! I went to the doctor this past week (on my birthday actually) to get a clean bill of health and she said I’m good to go! Turns out my doctor is a runner too and we had a nice little chat about training plans and how awesome it feels to cross the finish line. Here’s what was on my schedule since our last chat:
Wed: 3.5 mile run
Thurs: rest day
Friday: 40 minute cycling
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: strength + stretch
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: 2 mile interval run
Today: 4 mile run
Well things got a little crazy (we’re in the process of getting a new car and moving to a new place aahhh stressful) and I had to move some things around so I ended up doing my “long” run on Sunday and taking a rest on Monday and strength training yesterday. I got blessed with a gorgeous sunny day in the 60′s on Sunday and really enjoyed my time in the fresh air.
So today I did a 4 miler outside (another 60 degree day–woop woop!) and then I’ll do another 4 miles tomorrow instead of a rest day and then proceed with the schedule as normal. I ran my usual trail today but noticed a little stream that I never saw before! Nothing beats running outside.
Something I’ve been focusing on that I thought I would talk about today is staying hydrated. It’s something we all know we should be doing and most of us are falling short. I’m that person who will go days and realize I haven’t had any actual water. I know. It’s bad. But I live in the land of sweet tea and lemonade! Water is not a popular drink in the South! I get very bored with water and tend to forget. I joined a hydration challenge a couple weeks ago that my Tone It Up friend Alicia invited me to (I would link to her page but I can’t find one!) and it was such a great way to help me break my bad hydration habits! I tried a lot of fun new things to get myself to drink more!
Being dehydrated is NOT an option when you are training for a race or doing any kind of physical activity. I learned that I need a constant reminder to drink more or else it isn’t going to happen. I really like this iPhone app called Water Alert (no affiliation or sponsorship, I just like the app). You enter what your hydration goal is and it allows you to easily track your ounces throughout the day. So for example, when I drink a jar (my glassware of choice) of water, I tap the 12 oz. icon on the left and it adds it to my total.
I also have the app programmed to remind me to drink at different points during the day, which has really helped me!
To help with staying hydrated during runs, I asked for this awesome hydration belt for my birthday and my sweet in-laws were kind enough to get it for me!
It has 2 9 oz. bottles and a pouch for food or keys or anything like that. It took some getting used to the first time I ran with it, but it’s clearly an extremely useful thing to have. I don’t think I’ll be doing any more outdoor runs without it!
Do you guys have any tips of your own? How do you stay hydrated?
This post brought to you by AllWhites Egg Whites. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Dash of Soul.
I love that green juices and smoothies have become as popular as they are! They’re such an awesome way to pack nutrition into your diet without having to actually eat a pile of greens. This green juice recipe was formulated by the folks over at AllWhites Egg Whites, and when I saw it I knew it would be awesome for a refreshing post-workout drink.
I drank this after my cycling workout today and I really loved the flavor! I’ve never actually tried cucumber or basil in a juice or smoothie before, but I definitely will now! And then the secret ingredient in this drink that adds a lean source of protein is the AllWhites Egg Whites! In case you’re unfamiliar with the product, let me tell you a little bit about them. They are 100% liquid egg whites that you can find in a convenient little carton in the refrigerated dairy section of your grocery store. They are naturally fat-free and cholesterol free, and they can be a great substitute in any recipe that calls for egg. And they’re safe to eat raw in a drink like this (actually safer than traditional eggs) because they are pasteurized!
Many of you probably know that I’m a vegetarian and that when I do consume animal products like dairy or eggs, I want to know that they’re coming from a good source. So I love that the hens used for these products are not raised with any added hormones and that the company follows the United Egg Producers Animal Husbandry Guidelines to raise safe and healthy hens! So be sure to check out AllWhites the next time you’re in the grocery store. I even have a coupon to share with you!
Let me know if any of you try this drink after a workout, I think you’ll really love it!
I was provided free AllWhites Egg Whites products and compensated for my time to write this post. These are my honest opinions on the product and I ONLY post on products that I enjoy and would spend my own money on. Thanks for your support!
It’s my birthday today! And my favorite dessert in the world is tiramisu. Therefore I decided that tiramisu would be my breakfast this morning.
I saw that IHOP was coming out with a tiramisu pancake last year and I immediately thought it sounded incredible. But I don’t really frequent the establishment so I never got to try it. But a birthday is a perfect time to try indulgent things, so I combined my favorite pancake recipe and my favorite tiramisu recipe and WENT FOR IT.
It was love at first bite. Y’all. It tastes SO much like the actual dessert, I couldn’t even believe it! If you’re a sweet breakfast person, or a tiramisu person, or a person with a heartbeat…you must try this.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until incorporated.
Whisk the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla into the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Preheat a griddle to 300 degrees and cook batter in ¼ c. mounds until they are golden brown on each side. Set pancakes aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form.
Gently fold the marscapone into the whipping cream just until it is incorporated.
To assemble the pancakes: briefly dip a pancake into the espresso (it's easiest to do this if you put the espresso in a shallow dish like a pie pan), spread a little of the cream mixture on top, and then sift a thin layer of cocoa powder over the cream. Continue to stack as many pancakes this way as you want! Then enjoy!
The weird thing about these pancakes is that they’re delicious at room temperature (I think they’re actually better that way), so you don’t have to worry about rushing breakfast to the table before it gets cold!