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Friday’s Favorites: Treats and Healthier Eats

Friday’s Favorites: Treats and Healthier Eats

First of all, I want to thank everyone who congratulated me on being accepted into the UF Levin College of Law! I’m truly grateful for everyone’s support.

I’m not sure I’ll be a “double Gator” next fall because I’m still waiting on admissions decisions from schools in D.C. and the surrounding areas. Cost is a huge factor, so there’s a good chance I’ll stay in Gainesville for an additional three years because UF Law is so affordable. However, only time will tell where I end up.

Anyhoo, lots of good things have been happening on the food and fitness fronts lately too. Well, except for the epic wound I’m now sporting after doing box jumps on a plyo box that wasn’t completely level. Luckily, most of the swelling and black and blue color subsided after I put an ice pack on the wound.

#klutzo

Note to self – be sure the plyo box is level before jumping on it!

And just for the record, my socks are pink tie dye. There was no blood around my ankle, but I told my mom it was blood spatter, LMAO. Clearly I’ve been watching too much Dexter.

Now that I’ve shared my battle scars, let’s get to why you stopped by: a round-up of my food and fitness favorites that may be new-to-you. Enjoy! 🙂

Achy Arm Attack Workout

Achy Arm Attack 

I completed this workout in my garage at home during spring break, and it was waaaaayyy more difficult than I thought it would be. Try it if you want a hard upper body sweat session.

Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee

Dunkin' Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee on Hungry Gator Gal

It’s never too early for chocolate. Buy it HERE (affiliate link!).

Graze Box

Graze Box on on Hungry Gator Gal

I ordered a snack box from this company after seeing a Facebook ad that allows you to get your first box for only $1 plus free shipping.

Graze delivers snacks straight to your home or office. Most options are relatively healthy and come perfectly portioned.

Graze Box on Hungry Gator Gal

I’ve tried all four snacks and LOVED them all. I also liked that you can throw the snack into a lunch or backpack if you’re in a hurry.

Visit to the Graze website and use the code “BRIANN7VP” to get a discount on your first box.

Barbecue Sauce – Stubb’s and Carolina Treet

Barbecue Sauce on Hungry Gator Gal

It’s my new favorite condiment. I’ve been using both sauces as salad dressings and on my meatloaf. SO GOOD. 

I buy Stubb’s at Publix but found the Carolina Treet in a Food Lion in North Carolina. My dad and I took a road trip during spring break that involved turkey burgers made in a hotel room. They turned out pretty good! I might recreate the burgers and share the recipe soon.

Hoosier Hill Farm Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Nutritional Yeast Flakes on Hungry Gator Gal

Speaking of toppings, I’ve found the best thing since sliced cheese – nutritional yeast. I put it on everything these days. Eggs, meatloaf, in my dip, on my giant, use-a-mixing-bowl salad . . .

Salad with Nutritional Yeast on Hungry Gator Gal

And yes, it literally tastes “cheezy.” Vegans often use it as a cheese substitute, and it gives foods a cheezy flavor if you’re lactose intolerant. I buy my nutritional yeast on Amazon.

Plant Fusion Protein Powder

Plant Fusion Protein Powder on Hungry Gator Gal

And while we’re on the topic of vegan products, let’s talk about my new favorite protein powder. This stuff is ridiculously addicting. It makes smoothies super thick and doesn’t taste artificial like most whey or casein powders. However, it boasts the same amino acid profile as the animal-based powders.

Plant Fusion Protein Powder on Hungry Gator Gal

This powder also comes in a vanilla flavor and costs a bit more than traditional whey. However, I often find myself eating too much dairy and appreciate that this powder is completely plant-based.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder on Hungry Gator Gal
I try to squeeze in as many veggies and other whole foods into my meals as I can, and this powder helps me do just that. I put a scoop of this stuff into every smoothie I make. You can’t even taste it.

Coconut Butter (otherwise known as coconut manna)

Coconut Manna on Hungry Gator Gal
I’ve been topping smoothies with chunks and swirls of this naturally sweet stuff since summer 2013. However, I hadn’t tried it on top of a baked sweet potato with cinnamon until this week . . .
OMG. My life has changed forever. Do it.

Samoas Girl Scout Cookies

Samoas Girl Scout Cookies on Hungry Gator Gal
It’s that time of year again! I need to go to Publix early one day and buy these cookies and Thin Mints before they’re gone for another year.

Note: I bought each product with my own money and was not compensated for reviewing any items. All opinions are my own.

Questions:

  1. What are some of your favorite food and fitness finds?
  2. What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Related HGG Posts:

Food and Fitness Finds for the New Year

Caffeine, Sweets and Snacks

Paramount Coffee Fall In Love Ground Coffee Caramel Nut Delight 

Healthy Thin Mint Pancakes

Healthy Thin Mint Pancakes

To be honest, I didn’t feel like meal planning this week, especially since I’m trying to scrape by with the food I already have. I’m outta here for some spring break relaxation starting Friday!

However, I didn’t want to leave you high and dry this week, so I cooked up an extra special breakfast to share in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and Girl Scout cookie season.

Hint: I’m sure you guessed from the title, but pancakes, chocolate and the color green are involved.

Watch the magic happen . . .

Greek yogurt pancake batter

The plain batter mixed with “special” wet ingredients

 One pancake in the pan with chocolate chips

Dessert for breakfast!

Yes,  I am aware these pancakes are just about the ugliest flapjacks in the world. However, they taste pretty darn close to a Thin Mint cookie and they’re much healthier, so I suggest you ignore their less-than-photogenic appearance.

Who knew vegetables at breakfast could be so delicious?

Healthy Thin Mint Pancakes

 

 

I cut Julie’s recipe for Greek yogurt pancakes in half and made a few modifications to make these mean and green proteinpacked hotcakes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. Greek yogurt (I used Voskos Honey Greek yogurt)
  • 7 tbsp. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • One cup fresh spinach

Steps:

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium heat.
  2. Scoop the Greek yogurt into a medium-sized bowl. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir together very gently. Stop just before the ingredients are completely combined. Set aside.
  3. Pulse the spinach, egg, vanilla and peppermint in a blender until no leaves remain.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir gently. Do not over mix.
  5. Place 1/4 cup of the batter in the skillet or on the griddle.
  6. Add a few chocolate chips to the pancake.
  7. Cook for about a minute and a half. Then, flip and cook for another minute or so.
  8. Repeat until the batter is gone.
  9. Eat!

Related HGG Posts:

Weekend Breakfast: Cottage Cheese Pancakes

 

The Best Pancakes of My Life

 

Weekend Breakfast: Whole-Wheat Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes 

SAM_2705 

Of Possible Interest:

Homemade Samoas Girl Scout Cookies via Just a Taste

Eat Healthy: Homemade Thin Mints via Handle the Heat

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs via Baking Bites

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? (Mine is definitely Thin Mint! My mom always put them in the freezer, and I can’t eat them any other way.)
  2. Do you “hide your vegetables”?

Monday Meal Planning: February Food Holidays

Monday Meal Planning: February Food Holidays

Did you know February is:

  • Berry Fresh Month
  • Canned Food Month
  • Celebration of Chocolate Month
  • Great American Pies Month
  • National Grapefruit Month
  • National Potato Lover’s Month
  • National Hot Breakfast Month
  • National Snack Food Month
  • Sweet Potato Month
  • AND more!

If that’s not enough, did you know that almost every day in February is designated for a different dish, drink, product or food? Here’s a few listings that made me chuckle:

  • February 5 – World Nutella Day
  • February 9 – Bagel and Lox Day
  • February 11 – Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
  • February 18 – Drink Wine Day
  • February 23 – Dog Biscuit Day
  • February 24 – Tortilla Chip Day

I personally think food holidays are absolutely ridiculous, but it’s still fun to see what people are “celebrating.” As if people need an excuse to devour gobs of nutella, drink wine, or munch on tortilla chips.

Despite the ridiculousness of the whole thing, I thought I’d plan a few meals, snacks and treats around the celebration days occurring this week. I can’t guarantee I’ll make the recipe on the actual “holiday,” but I’ll try my best. 😉

Tuesday, February 19 – Chocolate Mint Day

Homemade Thin Mints via In Katrina’s Kitchen

Homemade Thin Mints Cookie #recipe from @KatrinasKitchen at www.inkatrinaskitchen.com 

 

Photo courtesy of In Katrina’s Kitchen

Does anyone else prefer eating the best Girl Scout cookie in the world straight from the freezer?

Thursday, February 21 – Pancake Day and Sticky Bun Day


Greek Yogurt Pancakes via Peanut Butter Fingers

 

 

This easy recipe for protein-packed pancakes has been sitting on my “Waffles and PancakesPinterest board for 35 weeks! 

 

Shame on me. We’ll fix that this week.

 

Chelsea Buns via Paaka Shaale

 

Photo courtesy of Paaka Shaale

My dad and I made a batch of the canned rolls with the ridiculously sweet glaze almost every weekend when I was growing up. However, I haven’t eaten a sticky bun in ages.

Needless to say, I’ve been itching to make healthier homemade cinnamon rolls for months. This recipe, which uses a honey glaze instead of a powdered sugar version, looks like a good way to satisfy the ever-present craving.

P.S. Once again, I altered last week’s meal plan and didn’t try two of the four recipes. However, the two recipes I did make were winners! 

Find my review of pumpkin amazeballs on Friday’s post, and take a look below for pictures of my Vanilla Blueberry Greek Yogurt Muffins. 

I used Chobani nonfat vanilla instead of the Chobani honey flavor the original recipe called for. I also left out the chocolate chips because chocolate in the morning can be too much at times.

These muffins stayed moist for days. The protein-packed muffins tasted delicious alone . . .

and with more yogurt!

 
 
Those chocolate chips might have been overkill in this cocoa-infused yogurt bowl, but go for it if you can handle that much chocolate in the morning!

Questions: 

 

  1. Do you celebrate food holidays?

  2. If so, what is your favorite food holiday? (It doesn’t have to be in the month of February.)  


Related HGG Posts:

Monday Meal Planning: What Plan?

 

 

Monday Meal Planning # 2 : Scaling Back


Monday Meal Planning