healthy recipes

A Benner Fit Success Story!

A Benner Fit Success Story!

Healthy Snacks For a Road Trip!

Healthy Snacks For a Road Trip!

Road Trip Snack Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

USANA 5day Cleanse Overview

I did it folks! 5 whole days of cleansing! I can't believe I actually made it through. I've got discipline but I didn't think I had 5 days of it!

I posted about my day one experience and I was pleasantly surprised. I usually go into new things with an open mind, but I must say the thought of cleansing for 5 whole days seemed slightly daunting.

Usana and April Norris (USANA Independent Associate) kept me in check through this entire journey. I would receive daily emails filled with inspiration which were very beneficial during this cleansing process. Lets face it there is food temptation everywhere! What I LOVED most about this cleanse is that you are literally eating or drinking every two hours. That is way more then I do currently. Eating this often speeds up your metabolism and gets that body back in check.

I can honestly say, I feel better! My personal goal was just to see if I could actually make it through five whole days of cleansing. April was very kind in letting me know that I could eat as many fruits and veggies as I needed. I am very active so I have to be aware of my caloric in take.

Moral of my cleanse story is that the USANA 5day RESET Cleanse is pretty darn wonderful! I really want to stress to all my Bennerfitters out there if you have wanted to cleanse, this is the one to do because it's totally doable! You don't feel hungry all the time since you are constantly eating or drinking. All of the smoothies taste delightful, the chocolate was my personal favorite! The Usana protein bars were both filling and delicious. And I love my fruits and veggies so the fact that I could eat them whole without putting them down a juicer was a big bonus!

If you are interested in this cleanse, the wonderful April Norris is your gal to contact, optimalvitality.usana@yahoo.com

Have a beautiful Tuesday! I'm feeling so energized I'm heading to the hills for a hike, thanks USANA and April! This cleanse rocks!

I'll leave you with Usana's motto...

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins Are Yum In My Tum!

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins! SCRUMTIOUS!

DC Part 2!

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Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

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 (www.andinarestaurant.com) 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 (www.yogapearl.com). 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 Portland...so as I was saying, as I was walking...in 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 (www.saucebox.com). 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 (www.bodylanguagesportswear.com) 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...

 

 

 

Stuffed Strawberry Banana Creams Make Me Beam!

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This past weekend I hosted two of my dear college friends for a girls weekend. We all had the best time hanging out on the couch, catching up, going to the movies, and eating delicious food. We indulged in one too many treats and loved every minute of it! I was looking forward to cooking up a belated birthday dinner one of my best friends, Megan on Saturday night. Since I was hosting the whole weekend I knew I would have limited time to cook up lots of food. So when searching for menu ideas I knew I had to keep it simple. One of my favorite appetizers I made was actually just about the easiest of them all. STUFFED STRAWBERRY BANANA CREAMS (thank you fitsugar.com for the inspiration)

Anything with the word strawberries always catches my attention. Strawberries can stand alone or bring a lot of flavor to a recipe. These stuffed strawberries only require a total of four ingredients and the fourth being the strawberries themselves.

 

All you need are:

1) Bananas (half of one)

2) Vanilla Greek Yogurt (2 oz)

3) Sliced Almonds (you choose how much you want to put it)

And..

4) STRAWBERRIES (8 of them)

Directions:

Wash the strawberries and dry them. Then use a melon scooper if you have one, or a knife if not, to cut out the middle of the strawberry.

 

Cut the banana in half and mash it up with a fork.

 

Add in the Greek yogurt with the mashed banana.

 

Add in the almonds to the banana and yogurt mix.

 

Time to scoop the banana, yogurt, and almond mix into the hollow strawberries.

 

And just like that you have decadent and healthy stuffed strawberry banana creams. They look fabulous on an appetizer or dessert table and I guarantee you your guests will eat them up in a jiffy! We certainly did last weekend!