Sunday, January 15, 2017

Protein Almond Butter Energy Bites

Happy Sunday! I love to use my Sunday to make some snacks and food prep for the week. One of our new favorite snacks are these Protein Almond Butter Energy Bites. They are perfect in the afternoon to help tide you over until dinner and beat the afternoon crash! :) 

Ingredients: 

1/2 Cup Almond Butter
1/4 Cup Honey 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Protein Powder of Choice (I use 
Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate)
1/3 Cup Flaxseed Meal
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats 

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together almond butter, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. I like to put the mixture into the microwave for about 20-30 seconds to make it easier to mix.

Add in protein powder, coconut, flaxseed meal, and oats. Mix until well combined. 

I usually have to use my hands to mix and work with the dough. At this point you should be able to form balls that stick together. If not add a bit more almond butter or honey.

Form into 12 balls and place in an airtight container. 

Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Books Without Borders Brainstorm

Hi Friends! I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday season. I apologize for being MIA. I went on vacation to Key West, Florida for the holidays and got very ill. When we got home I was sick for two more weeks. Happy to say that I am feeling better now and I am excited to get started with my 2017! 

This year I would love to get more people involved with Books Without Boards. I am going to share this post with you all on Social Media in a hope to get your ideas and learn what books you would like to see in the 2017 line up!

This year I am going to be choosing between 12-15 books for our book club. Your book ideas can be old, new or upcoming titles. I will be releasing the official list at the end of January and we will be starting the book club then.

I am so excited for this years book club and I cannot wait to see what you guys are wanting to read this year with Books Without Borders! 

Leave your ideas either on Social Media or add a comment below this post. :) 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Finishing Up The Fault in Our Stars & 2016 Books Without Borders Wrap Up

Oh my gosh, this was our last book of 2016 Books Without Borders. The reason I started this book club was to read more books in 2016. I went above and beyond my goal and completed 45 books in 2016. :) 

I would love to hear what you all thought of the book club and any suggestions you might have for next years books for Books Without Borders. And thank you all for following along with my journey

Now let me tell you what I thought about The Fault in Our Stars. I love this book!! It is such a sweet story that is sad but by the end you do not feel sad. It ends leaving you feeling happy and hopeful and remembered that no matter what there is always something good to look for and hold on to. 

What did you think about The Fault in Our Stars? Here are a couple questions about the book. Let me know what you thought!

1. John Green derives his book's title from a famous line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." (I,ii,139-140). What does the line mean—and why would Green have used it for his title? Even more important, why would he have altered it to read, "The fault in our stars" rather than ourselves? How does Green's meaning differ from Shakespeare's?

2. How would you describe the two main characters, Hazel and Gus? Do either of them conform, in behavior or thinking, to what we normally associate with young cancer patients? How do the two differ from one another...and how do their personality traits and interests complement each other?

3. How do Hazel and Gus each relate to their cancer? Do they define themselves by it? Do they ignore it? Do they rage at life's unfairness? Most importantly, how do the two confront the big questions of life and death?

4. Do you find some of the descriptions of pain, the medical realities that accompany cancer, or the discussion of bodily fluids too graphic?

Happy Holidays! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Our Favorite Gifts To Buy The Health And Fitness Lover In Your Life

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It can be hard knowing what to get the health and fitness lover in your life but we are here to help!! We have both tried a huge range of health and fitness products but we are both going to bring you our top three favorite health and fitness products of 2016.
Brianna’s Top Three Picks
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My first favorite health and fitness products of 2016 is the Fitbit Charge 2. I absolutely adore this product. I use it every single day to track my sleep, exercise and nutrition. One of my favorite things about the Fitbit is that it helps to hold me accountable by sending me reminders. It is also nice that you get to compete with your friends who also have a Fitbit and send them friendly reminders and even give them a little push. The Fitbit really is a great support system to get you moving, sleeping and eating right. The Fitbit app is also very simple to use and lets you track food, water, sleep, and movement. I love my Fitbit and would not be as active without it.
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My second favorite health and fitness products of 2016 is the Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat. The main reason I love this yoga mat is because it is extra thick and it is also longer and wider than a traditional yoga mat. I use it for every single one of my workouts. This would be a great addition to any home or classroom.
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My third favorite health and fitness products of 2016 is BigOven.  BigOven is an app that allows you to get food ideas, create menu plans, make grocery lists and add of your favorite recipes. This app is a lifesaver for keeping my nutrition on track. Each week I sit down and create my menu for the week with new and old recipes that I add into my account. I then create a grocery list that is laid out into categories so shopping is easy and I never forget anything. This app is perfect for anyone who is busy but wants to stay on track with their nutrition.
Julia’s Top Three Picks
My favorites are things I can’t live without now. First is my pre workout my favorite is called Energize. Now pre workout is something I didn’t think I needed 2 years ago. I tried many before and I hated that feeling like my face was on fire and my body was tingly. This brand was different. Energize by Beachbody is something that I use everyday now, I call it my liquid energy. Even the days I feel good enough to push play or to get up and do that workout I still take it. It helps me get my mindset right and it actually does push me to give more in my workouts. Sometimes I even take a scoop mid afternoon if I just really need to focus on something and I don’t want to have a second scoop of coffee. Best part it is lemon flavor and it is all natural.
My second favorite must have and makes a great gift for that fitness lover in your life is a S’well Bottle. Now these are a pricier water bottle and a glorified one at that. I will say though it is my favorite water bottle and I guard with my life. All the cool kids are drinking their water with these you might say and for me it helps motivate me to actually get my oz in. The idea around this water bottle is the design and the fact that it can keep your water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. The creator of these bottles designed them to get rid of plastic water bottles and now they partner with charities all over the world to help the environment. Another perk of this fashionable and trendy bottle you will be giving back too!
My third must have is a shaker cup that is on my wish list as well. Every fitness lover needs a good shaker cup for their post, or pre, or even during workout. My biggest annoyance with shaker cups though is I always forget or lose the ball. Most of the time I just go without and my protein doesn’t get shaken well enough. This Beachbody Performance Hybrid Shaker Cup by Beachbody is perfect because the ball comes with the cup and it attached to the straw. Making it easy to use and forget proof. ;)

Those are our top three favorite health and fitness products of 2016. Enjoy! And let us know if you try any of the products and what you thought.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Finishing Up Sarah's Key & Starting The Fault in Our Stars

I remember reading Sarah's Key in the past but I have to say now that I read it when I was older I was amazed by this book. I could not put it down! It took me less than two days to read and I was so sad when it was over. I also rented to movie and watched it with a glass of wine. Such an amazing book!!

What did you think about Sarah's Key? Here are a couple questions about the book. Let me know what you thought!

1. What did you know about France’s role in World War II --- and the Vél d’Hiv round-up in particular --- before reading Sarah’s Key? How did this book teach you about, or change your impression of, this important chapter in French history?

2. Sarah’s Key is composed of two interweaving story lines: Sarah’s, in the past, and Julia’s quest in the present day. Discuss the structure and prose-style of each narrative. Did you enjoy the alternating stories and time-frames? What are the strengths or drawbacks of this format?

3. Per above: Which “voice” did you prefer: Sarah’s or Julia’s? Why? Is one more or less authentic than the other? If you could meet either of the two characters, which one would you choose?

4. How does the apartment on la rue de Saintonge unite the past and present action --- and all the characters --- in Sarah’s Key? In what ways is the apartment a character all its own in?

Out next book is The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenWe will be starting it today Sunday December 11th and ending on Sunday December 18th.

Synopsis From Goodreads: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


Lets Get Reading! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Black Bean Brownie For One

I have been experimenting with black beans over the past couple months and I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you all! 

This is my new go to recipe for when I am craving something sweet or want a little treat. This recipe has around 215 calories and 10 grams of protein! 

Let me know what you think and remember you can always find healthy alternatives to things your want to eat. :) 

Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Black Beans
1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg White
Pinch Of Baking Powder
1/2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Blend black beans in a food processor.

Add flour, cocoa powder, honey, milk, vanilla, and egg white.
Blend again until smooth.
Place mixture into a greased microwave safe mugs.

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes. I microwaved mine for 2 minutes and 15 seconds on the medium power and it turned out perfect. 

Let cool for a minute. 

Enjoy! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

3 Ways To Keep Your Students Active This Winter!

From The Healthy Tip Corner With Jules4Life and Living Light and Breezy!

Everyone knows that it can be hard to stay active during the winter months. Keeping your students active over the cold months will help to keep your students motivated, focused and happy.

Today, we are bringing you three awesome tips on how to keep your students active this winter.
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The first tip is to introduce GoNoodle into your classroom.

GoNoodle is an amazing free tool that has helped more than 10 million kids get active each month. GoNoodle has helped kids to become their strongest, smartest, bravest, bestest selves. The thing we love about GoNoodle is that it makes movement fun. GoNoodle turns movement into games that allow kids to be silly, playful and energetic. GoNoodle is also very simple to use! All you have to do is press play on one of hundreds of custom videos that will get kids running, jumping, dancing and stretching.
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The second tip is to get moving and dancing to Cantata Learning music.

We love Cantata Learning because they combined music with teaching fundamental skills. Songs can help to strengthen language skills like pronunciation, grammatical structure, and vocabulary.

We love the new series Me, My Friends, My Community: Songs about Emotions! We feel this series can help kids this winter to stay positive and get the wiggles out while still learning some very valuable skills.

The third tip is to do a HIIT workout or find a short workout you can do that is fun for your kids.

We have two suggestions for you.

The first workout you can do with your students is what we call a HIIT workout or a High Intensity Interval Training. Now this doesn’t have to be super intense or long but the idea is to really get your blood flowing and to get something in that is quick and easy for your students to do. This article shows how beneficial HIIT workouts can be even for younger students and how it can help with the ever increasing obesity level. HIIT workouts can range from 3-5 minutes long. No equipment needed, not a lot of space, and they can be really fun. Here are a few examples of HIITs for your classroom.

HIIT Options:

The second option is to find something fun like Zumba, Yoga, or a fun easy to do workout to do.

We find Youtube is a quick and easy way to find fun and short workouts that are also free. These again don’t have to be long but can be just a quick 5 minute get up and move time with your kids so they can take a break from learning so they can come back re focused and energized. We picked a few of our favorite Youtube channels.



Have fun keeping your students active this winter and don't forget to share these tips with your families and friends too!  

You will find this post and all of ours on The Healthy Tip Corner page here.

Brianna and Julia