Good Friday, CPA Exam, Easter & Lactation Cookies

Three-layers-wall

After a few months of studying and way too many trips to Starbucks (embarrassed to admit how many grandes), I finally took the BEC section of the CPA exam on Good Friday.  It was by far, hands down, without a doubt, the hardest exam I have ever taken.  In.My.Life.Ever.  I felt the Audit section was a little easier, but everyone is different.  Now is the fun part… the waiting game.

Paleo-pancakes-berriesWhile I wait the 2-3 weeks for my results, I am taking a break from the CPA all together. (hallelujah!!) This way, I can catch up with life a little, hang out with friends and make some yummy meals!  This weekend was no exception!

Friday: Paleo Pancakes!  I added a berry mixture and this gave the pancakes a sweet kick that was so delicious!  I posted my recipe for paleo pancakes a few days ago, but it’s simple – eggs, bananas, cinnamon.  Done!

Saturday Work0ut: Tested out the new running swag!  I bought the Yurbuds Inspire Talk for Women and tested them out this week.  The problem with me and earphones is the same problem everyone has… they don’t fit right.  The ones that come with iPhones hurt my ears really bad and I’m sure the amount of sweat that gets in them and my ears when I workout isn’t good.  So I decided to give the Yurbuds a try and guess what, I LOVE LOVE them!!  They aren’t too big, fit perfectly and “lock” in place.  Also, I can hear my music but also hear outside sound too, which is helpful when I’m running outside.  The turquoise/light blue color is fun too!

Running-swag

After that early morning workout, I went to an Easter Egg Hunt with my friend and her awesome 20 month old… so much fun watching the little ones gather eggs!

Egg-hunt

Emmie had fun Saturday afternoon!  She got to play with her friend, Boomer, and run around (off-leash!!) until she couldn’t run anymore.  She slept the whole way home and was perfect the rest of the day (<— yeah, she’s not always perfect!)  I am so thankful for friends with dogs and backyards!

Puppy-play-date

Saturday night, I went to my church’s Easter Service.  The series we are in is called “The Way” and it’s a look back into the life, the land and the way Jesus took.  We got to see video footage from when my Pastor went to Israel and it was really awesome!

Three-layersSaturday later night, I went with some great friends to Three Layers, a coffee house, wine bar, hole-in-the-wall-middle-of-nowhere gem!  This place was really cool and had live music.  The best part was the venue for sure.  You could relax of a sofa and chairs, sit at high tops, play board games, watch tv, sit at the wine bar or even sit outside in the zen café!  We checked out all the areas (ok it’s small but they make great use of the space) and ended outside where we met a real Easter bunny!

Sunday morning came very early and I went to the 6am sunrise service at the beach.  There is nothing more amazing than watching the sunrise over the ocean while worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Resurrection Sunday!  Unfortunately, the weather was too yucky so they cancelled service.  Fortunately, Moosehaven had a 7am sunrise on the river, so over the bridge I went! (after stopping at Dunkin Donuts for more coffee!)  Here’s a picture I took from the service!

Sunday-service-on-river

The last part of my weekend I am very excited about was making Nutella Milkies!!  Milkies are my version of lactation cookies.  Before you get all weirded out, these cookies are just full of yummy goodness that helps lactating women produce more milk!  I’m visiting a friend tomorrow who is nursing her newborn and I’m so excited to introduce her to these.  A blog post to come soon about the cookies 🙂

Nutella-Milkies-cover

That about wrap it up for me.  What was the best part of your weekend?  What Easter traditions do you have?

 

 

3 Ingredients to Paleo Pancakes

Paleo-pancake-porch

Friday morning I woke up at 5am.  Typically, I would take the dog out and then go back to bed.  But yesterday I was feeling well rested and decided getting up 1.5 hours early was a good idea. <— it was!  I cleaned, took Emmie on a long walk and made breakfast! I love breakfast but I don’t take the time to sit down and enjoy it in the morning.  Usually I eat it on the way to work.  (it being cereal – from a plastic cup) But not this morning!   This morning I decided to enjoy breakfast on the porch.  In a “get-up-early-be-productive-and-do-something-good-for-myself” mood I was in, paleo pancakes were a must!

The Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet.  Essentially, what cavepeople ate, is Paleo approved.  The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List is a great source for the dos and don’t of Paleo.  I made a very yummy Thai Red curry Spaghetti Squash with Chicken dish that was specifically Paleo friendly.

For breakfast I mixed 3 ingredients and made a very delicious “pancake.”  Paleo-pancake-ingredients

  • Eggs – packed with protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin!  <— ok, I didn’t go with cage-free organic eggs, but eggs > no eggs, right?
  • Bananas – hello potassium!
  • Cinnamon – The smell boosts brain functioning… CPA is 6 days away!

 

The ratio should be 1:1 but if you have a big banana (like I did), I just used 1 banana and 2 eggs.  The banana makes the batter thicker so play it by ear…

Paleo-pancake-cinnamon

I love cooking with coconut oil!  I lightly coated the pan with coconut oil to give the pancake a crispier outside.

Paleo-pancake-coconut-oil

Cook the pancakes in the frying pan and wah-la!  Breakfast served!

Paleo-pancake-cook

For dinner, I made grilled steak kabobs and used the Weber Grill Chicago Steak Seasoning.  Oh my goodness… so delicious!  I visited the Weber Grill in Chicago (which was A-MAZING) so when I saw this seasoning in Publix, I was sold!  I coated the petite tender medallions beef shoulder pieces with olive oil and the seasoning.  I must say, that was a great decision!

Weber-grill-spice

What’s better than grilled steak?  Grilled steak AND grilled veggies!

Veggies-kabobs

What did you eat healthy this weekend?

 

Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast-prunes

What are you doing this weekend?  How does this sound…..Detox.  Rejuvenate.  Heal.  That’s exactly what I did 2 weekends ago when I completed Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse.  What started out as a skeptical very skeptical project, turned into a great journey with surprisingly, pretty good recipes! <— (I’m serious!  I’m still drinking the detoxing fruit drink today!)

When I read the recipe for breakfast – quinoa with chopped prunes, I thought… ok, ok, I love quinoa. But the prunes?! Let’s just say this skeptic is now a prune lover!  In fact, oatmeal raisin cookies will never be the same again!

Dr. Oz’s 48-hour cleanse is summed up perfectly on his website.  To avoid that thing called copyright infringement and save me some time, just go to that site for all the details and benefits of detox as well as the recipes.  I’ll share with you some pictures of the yummy recipes and my progress here instead!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast-prunes-quinoaWhy should you try the 48-hour cleanse?

1 – It’s only 48 hours.  Do the math – 48 hours, minus sleep leaves you only 32 hours to follow some very simple recipes. You can do it!

2 – You may try a new ingredient, or two.  for me this was the fennel!  Not bad – tastes like black licorice before it’s cooked!

3- You may like the new ingredients!  for me this was prunes!  I feel old to say I like prunes but the truth is, these sweet, sticky gems are packed with antioxidants and a low glycemic index according to The World’s Healthiest Foods.

4 – Why not?  You have 363 other days in the year to eat whatever you want.  Why not test yourself with something new in 2014!?

BREAKFAST – Breakfast for both days was a quinoa dish with chopped prunes, ginger, nutmeg, milk and oil.  Think of this as oatmeal with warm fruit!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast

DETOX DRINK– This was a blast of fruit – 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 squeezed lemon and 3 cups water… Add some vodka and enjoy!  Ok, so no vodka – this is a detox weekend, remember!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-drink-pom

LUNCH – Lunch was a smoothie.  Contents: almond milk, blueberries, flaxseed and banana.  <— see I told you it is easy!

SNACKS– I just love snacks.  Especially when followed with “You can consume as many of these snacks as you’d like throughout the day.”  Dr. Oz says eat, eat, eat!  There are many veggies on Dr. Oz’s list.  I had cucumber, celery and radishes (<— NOT a fan of those red crunchy things!) tossed in a lemon, olive oil and spice dressing.  Very Tasty!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-snacks

DINNER – Up to this point in the day I was actually happy with Dr. Oz.  I didn’t think the recipes would be so easy AND good!  When I saw the grocery list for the dinner: vegetable broth soup, my skeptism grew.  Cabbage, a lot of cabbage and fennel.  Two things I #1 have never cooked with and #2 have rarely eaten (if ever!).

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-dinner-ingredients

So the chopping began.  All the veggies got chopped up and put in a large pot.  I never knew how long it would take to chop veggies!  After about 30 minutes of simmering, my tummy started to rumble and I was ready to eat!  It smelled amazing!!! But I had to wait… so I drank more of the detox drink! 🙂

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-dinner-soup

When dinner was ready, I had a very tasty (and healthy!) vegetable broth.  Think about the veggie broths you buy in the store.  They are packed with sodium and “extra stuff.”  This is the real deal.  Homemade vegetable broth!

Potato-broccoli-soup-broth

One thing to note about the soup is that one recipe of it makes enough soup for BOTH days.  I assumed it made enough for 1 like the rest of the recipes so I bought 2 of everything.  Luckily I LOVED the soup so much I made it again with the leftovers!

At the end of the 48 hours I can say I did feel better.  I’ve had the sniffles on and off with this weather and felt refreshed.  I didn’t feel tired but pumped for the week (ok maybe the “pumped” was for other foods!).  I think this detox is super easy and doable.  No crazy ingredients you won’t ever use again.  I will definitely do the Dr. Oz 48-hour weekend cleanse again this year as a way to reset and refocus.  Oh I also took advantage of my Groupon for hot yoga at Birkram and felt even better!

So if you don’t already have plans this weekend, consider doing this cleanse.  If you can’t this weekend, schedule it soon!  Your body and mind will thank you.