food staples

Vegan Cheese Recipe by April Norris

Vegan Cheese Recipe by April Norris

Looking to make the most delicious non-dairy cheese?! You've found it right here in BennerFit with guest blogger April Norris.

Healthy Snacks For a Road Trip!

Healthy Snacks For a Road Trip!

Road Trip Snack Ideas!

Tales of Portlandia...

Portland hmmm bizarre? Indeed! But I suppose that's what makes Portland well...Portland. I must say I did eat my way through the city and I'm here to share a story or two with you. So in my Friday Faves last week I talked about a restaurant called Andina ( which to me just means perfection. It's Peruvian cuisine and the flavors in every bite make me melt, and to top it off they have both a gluten free and vegetarian menus. My boyfriend and I dined with our friends and laughed over silly stories for over two hours! I admit I am a sucker for a great dining experience and I could have probably stayed at that table for two more hours if I didn't have to go to work in the morning.

These are my friends Sara and Kris. They are hilarious and such a joy to be around!

The following morning I got up to work off my dinner at a local yoga studio called Yoga Pearl ( It was 8:00 am Saturday morning and as I was walking waiting for the sun to come up...oops..wait...I forgot I'm in as I was saying, as I was the cold dreary rain to get to class I turned the corner and like a star in the sky Yoga Pearl appeared. It was still a bit dark outside and they has precious white lights hanging in front of their studio that shined bright. I walked in to see a huge space. To my left was an Eco friendly yoga boutique and to my right was a raw cafe. I couldn't believe I was still in Portland, it was a magical space in the midst of a rugged and very eclectic city.


That evening we had the pleasure of dining with some friends of ours who just recently moved to Oregon at a place called Saucebox ( Conversation was entertaining and the food was magnificent. It's a fusion of pan-asain and pacific island cuisine and has many vegetarian options, woohoo! Picture this tofu, kale, white bean miso soup, sweet potato spring rolls, a red curry plate, and brussel sprouts cooked to perfection. We ate it all. There was not a bite to spare. I can't forget to mention my lavender margarita...unbelievable!


Obviously we had to get dessert...

So we went to Oprah's favorite ice cream shop! Salt and Straw! Scrumdidlyumtious! The flavor combinations are out there BUT at 10:30 pm in freezing weather there is a line out the door if that tells you anything!


Oh Portlandia, I am so thankful for your food. You may be one of the most bizarre cities I have ever been to but I am grateful for the experience and my full belly which is still full a week later...time to go workout!


Sydney's Friday Faves!

1) On Wednesday evening I flew to Portland, Oregon for work. I must say, every experience I have had in Portland has been straight out of the show "Portlandia." I'm not sure if any of you have had the pleasure of watching this absurdist gem, but I suggest you watch an episode or two because what you see IS what Portland is. But through the dreary rains, the mustache obsessions, and the 90's style, you find little pockets of charm and some extremely delicious food. Last year my boyfriend, Ian, and I were here for work and we had some free time one evening so we decided to venture out and see if we could find some scrumptious vegetarian cuisine. We stumbled upon a restaurant called "Andina" which is a Peruvian tapas restaurant that, hands down, was one of the best dining experiences of my life to date. Clearly we had to go back this time around! We indulged and had cheesey delicious appetizers that were so worth it! Remember Brooke and I love the motto, "Treat yo' self!" and that is exactly what we did last night. We dined with friends, laughed, and ate food that made my taste buds sing!


2) While journeying through northwest Portland - which I have found to be my favorite part - we headed to a little local tea shop called Tea Chai Té, that had literally hundreds of teas that all looked and smelled dreamy. It took me about fifteen minutes to finally decide on a black and lavender boba tea, that I sipped over lovely conversation with my boyfriend and his best friend, Travis, who is now a new transplant to the Portland area.


3) I adore Body Language Sportswear ( that is based in Los Angeles and all the products are made in the USA (yay)! I just got a wild and funky pair of purple snakeskin spandex pants that I'm obsessed with. I wore them to teach one day this week and I'm excited to wear them with an oversized knit sweater and some killer boots.


4) This quote makes me happy and speaks truth...


5) And this one...




Food vs. Comfort: Foods to Keep in Stock for a Guaranteed Meal

Here's my scenario last night: I had just put on my PJs after doing a Benner Fit circuit and taking a long hot shower. I'd worked up quite an appetite. I was hungry. Super hungry. But very comfy.

And everyone knows comfy trumps hungry any day.

Comfort causes meals of desperation. When I'm comfy - granola with a side of turkey meatball sounds like a great idea. (P.S. NOT a great idea.)

But when I paid my kitchen cabinets a visit it turned out the magical food restocking elf hadn't replenished my supplies. (I'm going to have a talk with him. He's been seriously slacking.) And I couldn't even conjure up a meal of desperation.

But have I mentioned how comfortable I was in my PJs? I mean, they are ridiculously soft.

So there was not a combination of items in the midst of the kitchen madness that made any sense. Nothing that I could possibly have thrown together as one that would make some sort of semblence of a real meal. I found myself longing to have a backup plan that could actually allow me to be a grown up and have real meals on a nightly my pajamas in front of the TV, just like real grown ups do.

I decided to let food win the battle over comfort last night - but only to guarantee comfort would win the war. I, along with Sydney, came up with a list of handy standards to consistently keep in stock that would guarantee real (and quick) meals even when the kitchen seems void of the good stuff. (OCD Brooke has visions of laminating this list, keeping check marks next to the items in stock and wiping them off when needed, so whenever I go to the store I just grab my list and refill - but that's an aside...)

Here's the list Syd and I came up with after a texting brainstorming session:

For the cabinets: Olive oil Coconut oil Spices: (my favorites: salt, pepper, bail, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme, cinnamon) Honey Oats Whole wheat pasta Brown rice/ quinoa Soup Black beans/lentils Dried fruit


For the Freezer: Frozen chicken and/or veggie patties Frozen fruits Frozen veggies

For the fridge: Greek yogurt Eggs Milk (Almond, Skim... whatever your calcium fueled fancy is)

With these items, you should be able to conjure up some sort of tasty meal! The list keeps growing...comment us here with your favorite standbys.