Beachin’ it

Hello darlings!
I hope everyone is enjoying (or has enjoyed/is going to enjoy) a delightful Spring Break.
We’re in my favorite place in the world, the beach! {side note: this is equal to NYC and Disney World in my little heart, if anyone was wondering where they should
take me} ;)
This week couldn’t be any better. The wonderful company, fantastically fluctuating weather, the food, the perfectly perfect running routes {side note # 2- does anyone else ever feel like they’re being chased when they run? Sometimes I think “what am I doing?! Especially when I’m alone ..} , and who can forget the lovely beach/pool!
I can’t even explain how much I enjoy enjoyment. Loving a run, loving your family, loving the atmosphere around you; and this place does it for me!
This [school] year has been/is rough for me and the moments in life that I genuinely appreciate and enjoy, are to be cherished.
We’ve had some scrumptious eates while we’ve been here, and it’s only Tuesday! *dreaming*
Arugula and roasted tomato pizza, spinach and egg soft tortilla wraps, fish tacos, loaded veggie burger salad bowls, crunchy egg-free choco chip cookies, best gf grilled cheese, ~my all time fave~ blackened mahi mahi salad …hehe I regret not taking more pictures!
My new favorite bars are Pamela’s Whenever Bars, they are loaded with healthy ingredients and crazy yummy!
{side note # 813: anyone else LOVE burned popcorn?!}
Oh and I headed over to SunDog books and (finally) purchased The Fault in Our Stars. Very excited to get into it! Anyone read it?
Thus far, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing on the beach and sitting by the/swimming in the pool, running running running, hot coffee in the morning, riding bikes every where we go, and really just taking in the time we have on a BREAK. (Hey, 9th grade is tough guys) ;) just a thought but, I’ve realized that an extra push of friendliness / kindness greatly impacts me. Happy, confident people make me want to become more like that so that I can encourage others. I really want to get to the point where I am confident in my own skin, a big struggle of mine!
Okay well, I might just babble on for the next few years… I want to keep up with my life more, so I’ll be sure to post post post!
*sorry for the long, rambling post. I have no WiFi and no camera, so this post is coming to ya from my phone (after it was deleted once already) at 11:52 at night.. Yikes!*
Thanks SO MUCH for reading, X x o o X
(Big hug, little hug, little kiss, little kiss, big hug) ;)
)

20140325-235023.jpg

20140325-235051.jpg

20140325-235100.jpg

20140325-235109.jpg

20140325-235145.jpg

20140325-235151.jpg

20140325-235158.jpg

20140325-235204.jpg

20140325-235212.jpg

20140325-235223.jpg

Update / Vegan Venture

Hello everyone!
It seems I’ve been quite out of the loop lately. I haven’t posted in forever, and I do not like it!
Where have I been lately? The track season has begun and it is in full swing! We have 2 meets almost every week, for the next few months. I’m a distance runner and track is intense, so I don’t end up arriving at home until 6 or later.
I always say this, but I really do have loads of ideas and passionately want to improve my blog. I think about my posts too much, so I want to be more laid back and post about everyday life. Bear with me and be ready for some posts! I am so inspired by countless blogs and want to make my blog great.

Right now, The Blonde Vegan is the biggest inspiration for me. She basically has the life I dream of! A successful writer/blogger/runner/yoga aficionado who lives in NYC? Sign me up! The lifestyle she carries, the way her post are written, and the relatable quality of her story is amazing! ;-)

I’ve been easing into being vegan lately, as I’ve been having some stomach issues lately, and I haven’t been feeling fantastic physically or mentally.
Today is the first day (for me) of her Plant-Based Vegan Cleanse!

The program includes a 56 page ebook (PDF) that is SUPER detailed, organized, and has the cleanest recipes you can find! It has all of the meals (1 smoothie, 2 juices, and 2 full meals for lunch and dinner) for 5 days. The recipes are simple and loaded with goodness! Can’t wait to see where this 5 day adventure takes me!
This morning was a green smoothie and so far I’m feeling pretty good! The plan also eliminates coffee, so I’m feeling a little tired, especially with the time change!

I constantly drank water, and made sure to listen to my body. I’ve been feeling great today, super refreshed and clean! After a hard workout today, I was exhausted, hot, and tired; I made sure to fuel back up!

Hope you stay tuned; thanks for reading this long, rambling, post!

20140310-205939.jpg

20140310-205932.jpg

Here is a quote that I have been focusing on lately, it has been a happy reminder during my long days!
Comparison is the thief of JOY.

20140310-210435.jpg

Delicious Dinner and a Drink

hello blog lovies!

IMG_6605IMG_6607IMG_6610

I am very excited to share this recipe with you. The PERFECT (every time!) rice, I don’t know about you, but I can ruin rice/quinoa. Too dry, burned, undercooked; this recipe couldn’t be easier and it always produces the fluffiest/yummiest rice!

Best Ever Rice Bake

  • 1 3/4 cups of Rice (I use Brown Rice. Also, I have never tried this with quinoa and am interested to see what would happen!)
  • 2 cups of Hot Water
  • 1 tablespoon of Oil (I have used Extra Virgin Olive and Safflower.)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of Salt (add more/less to taste.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour the rice into a large baking dish. In a small bowl, stir the water and oil together, and add to the rice. Now add salt (or even experiment with different spices such as, (about 2 teaspoons) taco seasoning or garlic!)

Bake for 25 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed.

For a new and delicious dinner: I sautéed a TON of spinach/Kale blend in the cast iron skillet with a little bit of oil drizzled in and salt. When the rice was finished, I added it to the skillet along with sliced roasted avocado

IMG_6621IMG_6617IMG_6615(Bake next to the rice, sliced in half, until slightly crispy.) For a protein boost, I added one egg. We filled our bowls up and really enjoyed this easy dinner. I have been VERY into variations of “Rice Bowls” lately!

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11778899/?claim=ybj4qssgw3j”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Alrighty, if you haven’t headed over to Sally’s Baking Addiction, I thoroughly suggest you do. She has GORGEOUS pictures, amazingly creative recipes, and is a blogging inspiration!

She created this “Beat Bloat” drink and I just had to try it. I had everything on hand and was surprised by how refreshing it is!

  • 1 quart of Water
  • 2 fresh squeezed Lemons 
  • 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Ginger 
  • Stevia to taste (I used Liquid.) 

Combine everything in a large pitcher and add lots of ice. Drink throughout the day!

Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think and what you would like to see on the blog. :-)

 

Healthy Energy Bites and A Challenge!

Hello readers!

I apologize for waiting so long to post again, but here I am!

The greatest event happened at school today at approximately 9:00 am … we got

OUT of school, for a SNOW DAY … in ALABAMA! (and tomorrow too! **insert streamers, balloons,and party music** )

I couldn’t be happier. My mom and I are both in a very “let’s get cooking/baking” mood,

IMG_6533
IMG_6534
IMG_6530

I decided (in an attempt to find a way to use the lonely dried apricots in my fridge) to make healthy energy bites!

These ‘munchkins’ are refined sugar and stevia free, paleo, gluten free, and vegan ..whew! But do not be alarmed, they are quite delicious! 

“Healthy-Fruity-Chrunchy” Energy Bites: 

  • 3/4 cup of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes 
  • 2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil 
  • 4 pited Dates or 2 tablespoons of Honey 
  • 1/2 cup of Almonds (I used Slivered because that is all we had.)
  • 1/2 cup of Dried Apricots (mine are soft; you could also try dried cranberries or apples!) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla & a shake of salt 

Place all ingredients into a food processor or high power blender, pulse until justttttttt combined and still crunchy. 

Wet your hands just a little, shape into bite-size balls or press into flat bars, in a pyrex dish! 

Refridgerate if needed. Makes about 12 bites. 

Okay, here’s the super fun (at least for me) challange!

Last week ,after realizing that I have 8.8k pins scattered onto my Pinterest boards, decided that I should using them!

Every night, I picked one SALAD recipe to go along with our dinner. It forced me to pick a yummy recipe that I had forgottten about or find a fresh new one. It changed up our usual salad routine and let us try out scrumptious new ones!

My challange for you is to pick a category from Pinterest (or the world wide web) and try something new every day/night. Whether it be: salad, side dishes, a craft, an outfit, or a workout, try it out and change it up! 

IMG_1443 IMG_5503 

IMG_5499

As always, thanks so much for reading, love y’all to death!  Oh, I never said anything about my half-marathon, but it is coming! Isabel :-) 

‘Feel Good’ Green Smoothie

It’s getting colder and colder over here,  I was hoping/
praying for no school tomorrow in these “dangerously cold” conditions.

20140106-131554.jpg

Unfortunately my wonderful winter break will come to a close tomorrow.  

Looks miserable doesn’t it? Okay, maybe not… just really cold!

20140106-135335.jpg

(But I think only having 3 three days of school, and running a half marathon on Saturday in Disney World makes up for it!)

Despite the cold, for lunch today I whipped up an easy and refreshing-

‘Feel Good’ Green Smoothie

20140106-131912.jpg

20140106-131135.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apples, a little avocado for creaminess, greens, chia, and dates .. sound good yet? maybe. ;)

Grab your blender, wash the avocado/apples, chop, and throw everything in the blender… oh, and STAY INSIDE. (remember it’s winter).

  • 2 apples (I used Granny Smith) washed + roughly chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 3-4 dates/You could also try honey, agave, or pure maple syrup.
  • 1 packet of stevia (if needed)
  • half a scoop of Plant-Based Protein Powder 
  • Milk of Choice (to cover ingredients, add when needed. I used Light Original Almond Milk)
  • (up to) 2 cups of washed Spinach or Kale
  • 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds
  • 1 small banana (works well when cold or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (for a little extra tang)
  • 2 cups of ice (depends on the desired thickness, add when needed.)

Place all ingredients in blender. (You can add half the ingredients – blend – then add the other half of ingredients if you need to). When smooth and well combined, pour into a glass and enjoy. (serves 3-4 or 2 large) 

20140106-131947.jpg

Clean-Eating Lunch

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little too “sugared up” and not very confident, so I decided (being inspired by one of my favorite blogs, The Blonde Vegan) I should take on a ‘Fruit and Plant Based Eating style’. 20140105-094359.jpg

Not vegan, for a few reasons. My marathon next week, my young age, and the basic fact that I need some fish and eggs sometimes! I do enjoy the clean-simple-feel good aspect of eating like this. (We are already really healthy, but because of Winter Break, I was just feeling like I needed a small step up.)

For lunch, we whipped up a fun and easy meal. (I would like to be a little more strictly plant and fruit based, but this was just a yummy, clean meal!)

Greek Salad Wraps and Butternut Kale Quinoa. 

For the wrap:

We took our favorite, Food for Life, Brown Rice wraps and stuffed them with a leftover Zoe’s Greek Salad. We seasoned them with salt, pepper, and spicy mustard. We warmed the tortillas up on the skillet (to soften them), loaded them with salad, and then wrapped them up and put them back on the skillet to get crispy.  

20140105-094144.jpg20140105-094137.jpg

For the Quinoa: 

I cooked 1 cup of Quinoa, in 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of Organic Butternut Squash soup base on high. I added about 1/2 cup of chopped Kale leaves, 2-3 teaspoons of Red Pepper Flakes, and salt. (it would also be really yummy with chopped/slivered almond or Feta cheese!) Cook quinoa according to package, or until the water is absorbed. 20140105-094419.jpg20140105-094413.jpg20140105-094407.jpg
Please let me know what you think, I’d love to hear! Thank you :-)

2014

A quote I have just stumbled upon is simply this, “Life is too short and unpredictable to not live it exactly as you please.” This may seem unrealistic, but whatever aspect of your life that you don’t enjoy, the answer is to …. Change it!
20131229-115239.jpg
For example, let’s say you don’t like where you live, most of us cannot just pick up our stuff and move. You CAN find a way to make where you’re living better and make yourself happier! (Through simple changes!) If you don’t like where you go to school, focus on taking it one day at a time. Even if you cannot switch schools, find away to switch your attitude towards your school. Sit with new people, be YOURSELF and be confident. Even if you face a challenge, there’s no reason to run away from it. Enjoy today!

Another way I would like to challenge myself this year is by helping and loving others, always! Don’t forget to “put on love” everyday. Remind yourself during the day to not just focus on yourself. Small acts of kindness can truly improve the day, mood, and life of others. (even if you don’t realize it!) It’s easy to go through the day without doing this, don’t make it a chore. Just remember that you can never be fully satisfied only serving yourself. 20131231-093632.jpg

“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.”

 I truly love reading and writing. I’d really like to focus more on taking time to do things that I enjoy. Even if others could judge you or may not love “reading and writing”, (I mean, I am a 14 year old girl and almost no one even knows about my little blog. I carry journals in my backpack, just in case inspiration strikes! Whether it be for my blog or just a thought I want to remember.) 20131229-115244.jpg
Take a moment to breathe and do something that brings you TRUE joy. Make a list of things you enjoy, (i.e. running, cooking, health, writing family …) and don’t let them pass you by this year!
Now here is one last quote,

“Don’t wait until you have free time. You many NEVER have any free time.”

20131229-115235.jpg

Here are a few small goals I have made for this week!

20131231-094157.jpg

Thank you for taking the time to read a few of my thoughts, I really appreciate it! Hope your year starts off well and stay tuned for tomorrow’s new recipe post!

Link of the day: http://smilebakers.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/shh-its-healthy-single-serving-cheesecake/

Question of the Day: Do you have a resolution from last year that you carried out all year? 

Paleo Turtle Candies

Hello everyone! Christmas is over … What?! That was too fast, come back!!! To keep the holiday spirit alive maybe you should make these Paleo Turtle Candies! Also, I will be listening to Christmas music as long as possible.

We’ve been in Colorado for almost a week now, being from Alabama the snow was quite a treat! I am so incredibly blessed this holiday season and am looking forward to the new year! (Half marathon in t minus 13 days …uhhhh.) How did you spend your holidays?

Recipe:
Approx. 20 pitted whole dates
Honey for drizzling
1 cup of almond/pecans/walnuts
Melted Chocolate OR- 1 part melted coconut oil, one part cocoa powder, sweetener (such as stevia, honey, or maple syrup) to taste

Okay , back to the candies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Start by lining a baking sheet with about 20 pitted dates . Drizzle the dates with honey and stick in your oven until caramelized ! (About 5-10 minutes, ovens vary. The honey should be bubbling a little)

Take out of the oven (carefully!) and grab your melted chocolate or homemade chocolate sauce that you concocted while the dates were baking. For the homemade sauce, melt the coconut oil in a small bowl, then add in cocoa powder and sweetener; mix well! Oh and don’t forget your almonds, pecans, or walnuts!

Place one nut in the middle or top of the date and/or four nuts on each edge of the date.
(slivered almonds work really well for the edges of the turtle ~his legs~ with a regular almond on the top for the head!) Drizzle your with chocolate, our drizzles were more like pools of chocolate, get creative!
Place in the fridge until hardened and give out to your neighbors … Or eat them ….that’s what we did oppsieee … ;)

Also, my stocking this year was filled with Quest bars (I had been dying to get my hands on some!) and I am now obsessed! :)

20131229-094738.jpg

20131229-094746.jpg

20131229-094751.jpg

20131229-100459.jpg

Gluten Free Apple Pie Fries!

Apple Pie Fries… from the moment I saw them on Pinterest (follow me @IsabelBarganier!) I knew I had to make them gluten free!

They are super easy to make thanks to the new Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust! (Just bought it at Earthfare, this is not a sponsored post!)

You can enjoy these for breakfast (who doesn’t love apple pie for bfast, miniature pop tarts anyone?) , a fun snack, or dessert. These cute, little fries are lightly sweet and packed with flavor. The filling is simply cooked apples, cinnamon, and optional sweetener! Dip in caramel sauce or on top of vanilla ice cream (paleo banana ice cream!)  for an extra kick of yumminess!

20131211-125920.jpg

RECIPE

-2 cups of Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix (I used half of the bag of pie crust and replaced half of the butter with coconut oil. If you do not want to use the pie crust I used, a simple recipe for pie crust is: 1 1/2 cups of gf all-purpose flour, 4 tablespoons of cold water or milk; Fold in the butter/oil with two forks or a pastry cutter until well combined. Then, lightly stir in the water and follow my recipe!)

-2 medium apples (I used Granny Smith)

-3 tablespoons of Cinnamon

-optional: 1 teaspoon of honey or brown sugar

-1 egg (for egg wash)

Start by following the directions for your pie crust. Once it is all mixed up divide into 2 equal balls of dough and refrigerate while you cook the apples.

Chop your apples roughly and place in a small sauce pan with the cinnamon and 1/4 cup of water. Cook on medium, until the apples are soft. Transfer apples to a food processor, and pulse until they are still thick and still have texture, but almosttt look like apple sauce. (set aside)

Take out your dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roll out both balls into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the apples on one ‘rectangle’ of dough and carefully place the other ‘rectangle’ on top of it. Beat one egg and lightly brush the top of the dough with it. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon..or a lotta more ;)

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into fry shapes. With a fork, make a crust on the edges with the tip of the fork or make small holes from top to bottom. Separate the fries and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (Until golden brown on top!)

20131211-125933.jpg

20131211-125944.jpg

20131211-125949.jpg

20131211-125956.jpg

20131211-130003.jpg

20131211-130008.jpg

20131211-130013.jpg

20131211-130019.jpg

Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to email me at Smilebakers@gmail.com or leave questions, comments, and suggestions below! :-) So sorry if anyone got an unfinished blog post email, I think I accidentally published it at first.

Half Marathon and Holiday House Scent!

I haven’t posted anything on the blog in a while, but I wanted to try a more “lifestyle” post instead of just a recipe!

The weather is so nice and fall-y (while I was drinking my delicious Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee)

IMG_1229
IMG_1238IMG_1240

I created a “Crockpot: Holiday House Scent”. It was so easy and is making the whole house smell like the Holidays. (which I love!!!) IMG_1230

  • 1 1/2 cups of Water
  • 1 cup of whole cranberries
  • 1 orange (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • a couple shakes of Nutmeg
  • optional: Cloves IMG_1234

Put everything in a crockpot (I used our small crockpot, you can double the recipe if you use a regular crockpot) Put on high and simmer, and then turn to low for as long as you like! Stir occasionally if necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been half marathon training for 1 week now and it has been going great. My plan is challenging, but very effective. I am keeping a notebook for my training which really helps me.IMG_1235IMG_1237

I taped my printed out training plan to the first page and everyday I write down how that run/day went. I also write down notes, changes, and feelings! I absolutely love journals as well as writing, so this is a great way for me to organize my training! ;)