July 27, 2015

Panther Coffee, Wynwood

by jmichael614

If you haven’t yet been to Wynwood in downtown Miami, you’re becoming one of the few.  It’s host to art shows and an unending stream of tourists coming to take pictures of random art all over the sidewalks and graffiti’d walls.

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I have driven through it and kept making a mental note to go but hadn’t made the time till this past weekend when my sister-in-law suggested we check out “Panther Coffee”.  It’s very hipster and packed full of people on a Saturday morning.  In fact, I waited over 5 minutes for a coffee but it’s worth it for the people-watching.

Their outside tables are quite large and even a middle table that resembles a “family eating” style as everyone is at one very large u-shaped table.  Definitely a must if you are in Wynwood and you have to try the Bunnie Cakes mini cupcakes- super cute and gluten/dairy free!

Prices: Think “Starbucks and a little bit more”.

http://www.panthercoffee.com/  https://www.facebook.com/panther.coffee?fref=ts

July 20, 2015

Arabian Knife Food Truck, South Miami/Sweetwater

by jmichael614

I like the “dive-y” feel of food trucks, it doesn’t matter how clean or presentable they look, it just reminds me of cookouts and family time.  Some people are over the whole trend but I think they are still relevant.  Especially when you stop at the restaurant you looked up online (Spice ‘N Curry Indian Restaurant), wake your toddler up from the back seat and carry him in, only to realize that the restaurant part of the store closes at 4pm.  4pm?  On a Friday?  What restaurant closes that early?

Needless to say, I was starving, I had a cranky toddler in the back and I was an hour and a half into a trip that should have taken 30 minutes in light traffic.

Just passing FIU, going south on 107th, I saw a food truck out of the corner of my eye.  Thank goodness!  It was middle-eastern and my taste buds were screaming.

I can always find vegetarian options at middle eastern/Arabic restaurants because there are so many choices like Tabbouleh or Babaghanoush or hummus, falafel, etc.  I ordered the usual falafel wrap and waited about 10 minutes (there was no line in front of me) so I was little apprehensive about how it would taste.  I also asked for baklava so the cookie would be satisfied till I got him some nuggets because they didn’t have anything for him- the menu is a little short as most food trucks are.

One falafel wrap and two small bakalava’s was about $11. It was worth it though, that pita had tons of little falafel balls, a nice lemony taste, pickles (I love pickles on my falafel wraps) and just the right amount of dressing.  The cookie even had a few bites of the falafel and asked for more – he never tries anything new.

If you live near FIU or find yourself wandering the back streets of west Miami, check them out: Arabian Knife Facebook

July 7, 2015

Quickie Post: Tempeh Balls in Red Sauce

by jmichael614

Just wanted to share a quick picture of the amazing Tempeh Balls in Red Sauce I made last night.  It is a recipe out of the Emily Skye F.I.T. plan and it’s delicious!  So simple and I never even thought of grinding up tempeh and making it into “meat” balls.

Thanks to Emily for helping me to fall in love with healthy eating again!

July 6, 2015

Emily Skye F.I.T. Program Vegan/Vegetarian Version

by jmichael614

I’ve been stalking Emily Skye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a while now and finally hit the “purchase” button this past week.  She had a 50% off special and it was only $35 for an entire month of food lists (weekly) as well as a menu and a workout plan. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try it for a month.

I don’t know about you but I need to be constantly on top of my fitness goals or I let go and it becomes a nightmare trying to undo the damage of unhealthy eating.  What I love about this plan is that everything is extremely healthy- I am reminded of how I was eating when I first became a vegetarian; clean, whole eating.

There is a wide variety of breakfast options including pancakes, quinoa cereal, chia pudding- which can be made the night before to save time. Lunches are tempeh stir fries, chickpea cakes; snacks are protein shakes (I use my favorite Garden of Life protein shakes in Chocolate or Marley Coffee) and protein balls or FIT protein muffins.  She uses tons of veggies, nuts, seeds, raw foods.  It’s clean eating- no milks except for the occasional unsweetened yogurt with berries and stevia.

The best part of the plan is that you will never be hungry, there is so much protein and whole foods that it filled me up.  I was actually wondering how I could fit it all in.  Her plan has it all set up so you literally do not have to figure it out on your own.  The recipes are tasty and simple so you won’t be overwhelmed with thousands of ingredients.
And lest you think that you’re spending a whole lot on just yourself, most of the recipes feed more than 1 person so you can either put it in the freezer and eat later, or feed the rest of your family!

I’m not 100% yet, I’m going into this gradually or I won’t stick to it.  My snack today was the pumpkin protein balls which literally have no sugar in them except a little bit of dates.  However, I only had four dates left so I subbed with bananas and it didn’t work out so well.  The dates are what sticks it together, the bananas just made it mushier.  Regardless, three of them make a great snack and I’m stuffed till lunch time.  Note to self- don’t sub!

Her 28 day Phase I plan also comes with a workout routine that I’ll be starting tonight.  You do need at least dumbbells at home if you’re not going to the gym, so be prepared if you decide to check her out.  Even if you don’t check her out today, this Aussie is an incredible role model and worth following on social media.  She’s all about positive energy and building others up.  .

Have you tried any great fitness plans lately?  Have you tried Emily Skye’s plan?  Let us know how you’re doing!!

For more information on Emily Skye, go to: Emily Skye Website or on Facebook.

June 26, 2015

Not Another Overnight Oats Post!

by jmichael614

My new friend, Kara Kerr (at Kara Kerr Fitness Facebook Page) posted an almond joy oats post a week or two ago and I had to try it.  Honestly, the whole overnight oats craze has kind of passed me by because I can’t stand the weird consistency of cold smooshy oats.  But mostly, I’m just addicted to my awful, disgusting for me, can’t let go of, Cuban Toast.

I’m trying to mature, change my fitness habits and eat a little better.  I’m sure you have that thing, that one thing that you can’t give up no matter how hard you try.  Mine is Cuban Toast and Cafe con Leche (don’t even try to talk me out of my coffee).  So, instead of giving it up, I’m replacing it here and there with something a little healthier.  I don’t overeat it so if I make a decision to eat at home, before I get to work, I am able to eat right and stick to the plan.  If I run out of the house in the morning, crazy, without a plan, I eat crap.

What I loved:  The chocolate chips and coconut.

What I hated: The smooshy oatmeal and unsweetened taste

Calories: 310- 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened, 17 large semi-sweet chips, 1 tbsp sweetened coconut

Next time I have some overnight oats I’ll try a tablespoon of honey, some almond slices and raspberries but my adjustment for this mornings cup would have been to add in a little baked or sauteed banana.  It just needs something a little sweeter because the chocolate chips run out too quick.  I’ll definitely get smaller chips next time too because the jumbo chips run out too fast and I’m left with nothing in the last few bites.  I need to trick my mind into thinking it’s indulgent or I won’t stick to it.

What OO recipes have you tried and loved (or hated?).  I’m going to keep striving for a better one but it’s a start!

June 23, 2015

  Black Bean Burger & Sweet Potato Fries at Smashburger

by jmichael614

Some days you see your friends struggling and unhappy and you just want to fix it for them but it’s impossible because it’s not your life, not your choices, not your battle.

Those are the days only a burger and fries will do.  That’s when Smashburger comes in- their black bean burger and sweet potato fries provide a healthier alternative to the trash offered at most fast-food restaurants.  Not that this is the most healthy and perfect meal, but it beats the greasy hamburger and white potato fries.  Plus, if you’re already feeling defeated, why add guilt to the equation?

There aren’t many fast food places that offer good meat-alternatives.  However, the Huffington Post just announced yesterday that Amy’s, the wonderful frozen food gurus that bring us veggie samosa wraps and cheese enchiladas, will be opening a fast-food joint in, where else, California.

In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the Black Bean Smashburger and stuff down the Burger King Veggie Burger till we have another option.

June 15, 2015

Farmer’s Table, Boca

by jmichael614

To end my girl’s weekend a little early, we headed over to Farmer’s Table in Boca for lunch with the birthday girl.  I can’t explain how amazing this place is so I’ll show you with an overwhelming number of pictures:

I actually found this place online a few months back and have been itching to check it out.  What a great place for Vegans and Vegetarians ALIKE.  Your omnivore friends will also be happy with their cage free and grass fed options (I won’t mention the actual animals here).

Farmer’s Table sources from local farms, they don’t cook in butter and their staff is incredibly friendly.  Just be warned ahead of time if you come in a big group BRING CASH!!!  They only let you split the check 4 ways per table so some people will be left paying more if you’re not careful.

The birthday girl ordered some hummus for the table and it was a very tasty garlicky option for hors devours.  My other friend, who is a vegetarian, decided she wanted breakfast so she opted for the pancakes:

Sadly, I was still a little full from breakfast and couldn’t eat much of my out-of-this-world, vegetarian, Reuben but my husband made sure to polish it off when I brought the other half home.  When I asked the waiter what he recommended, he mentioned the vegetarian/vegan lasagna (to make it vegetarian, just add the mozzarella for $2 extra).  It’s made up of layers and layers of vegetables and he said it was divine.  I was feeling like I needed something a little less veggie-intensive so I opted for the Vegetarian Reuben.  I am so happy I did because I’ve never had a Reuben sandwich and it will forever stay in my brain as the best Reuben I’ve ever had. Full of sauerkraut and mushrooms on whole grain bread it was just the right amount of saucy and meaty (the mushrooms were the perfect combo for the sauerkraut).

Our table was this huge rustic wooden number that would have fit 16 people comfortably.  I am so in love with this place, I can’t say enough good things. What a perfect weekend, don’t you just love that quality time you can spend with your friends?

And…. the birthday girl (who, by the way, writes a honest and touching “mom” blog called “Just Another Day With Kids” http://www.justanotherdaywithkids.com/)

To visit them or learn more, go to: http://www.farmerstableboca.com/

June 15, 2015

Cafe Bleu, Delray Beach

by jmichael614

Girls Weekend 019

Saturday morning, after a blissful 10 hours of sleep on our “girls weekend”, we stepped out for breakfast.  Just a short walk from Sundy House are some great breakfast places including: Cafe Bleu.

This is a breakfast spot you’d expect to be in a place like Aspen, it’s warm and inviting with a hip feel to it.  I can imagine coming in here after a long day on the slopes. We ordered our fare, their sandwiches are customizable so I had the egg with spinach on a croissant with Gruyere cheese.  The taste was divine, the Gruyere was a perfect combo and I now have to buy some to make at home because Feta just doesn’t do it for me anymore.  This place has ruined it for me.  The croissant was just a tiny bit more crispy than I would have liked but I can see how many people would enjoy a few burnt edges.

It was also one of the best latte’s I’ve had in a long time.  Mild and frothy with a pretty little design on top.  I don’t know about you but I love a great presentation and this place did it for me.

To visit Cafe Bleu: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Bleu-Delray-Beach/1491648234417041

June 15, 2015

Park Tavern, Delray

by jmichael614

This weekend was one of those weekends that you want to just sit in, soak it up and enjoy the moment.  Friday night and much of Saturday, I spent with a couple of great friends, just being a girl.  Not a mom, not a wife, not an employee.  Just being a girl.  I think we all need those moments that remind us of the no-obligation side of life, the one that we have stuffed down so that we can meet our day-to-day goals of surviving and thriving.

Sundy House, a beautiful Inn in the heart of Delray Beach, was the setting for most of the weekend.  We came in on Friday night and had dinner in the hopping restaurant row.  I honestly can’t believe that there were so many 30-somethings there, I’m so used to the youth on South Beach that kind of intimidates me.  However, don’t let that fool you, these 30 & 40-somethings are fit and dress their bodies accordingly.  If you’re single and over 30, I think you want to check out Delray.

Dinner at Park Tavern was about a 30 minute wait but worth it.  The veggie burger was crispy and so big I could barely fit it in my mouth.  We had corn raviolis and hot pretzels with Red Dragon Fondue (OMG good).  The service was a little slow at first because the place was so packed but our waitress was super adorable and accommodating so it made for a great night.  And of course, no girls night is complete without one shot to celebrate!

Park Tavern has a very big bar scene as well so if you’re not into having dinner, stop by to have a drink if you can find a space!  http://parktaverndelray.com/

June 4, 2015

Last Day of School! SUMMER!!!

by jmichael614

Just wanted to share these adorable baskets that I made up last night for my little cookie’s teachers.  He has a ton of teachers so giving a gift card is out of the question.  I was desperately looking through pinterest for ideas and found this one:

http://www.lemonademakinmama.com/2012/06/teacher-appreciation-gift-idea.html

Is that not the cutest thing in the world?  I didn’t have everything available so I did the Starbucks drinks, bagels and cream cheese, a beautiful little note with a heart on it and the flowers.

I was able to find almost everything at Target and spent a little less than $50 on it all (the best part of these baskets is that you can change it up and make it your own according to your budget).  I bought 8 of everything and it worked out perfectly.  I could have added some little pieces to make it extra special but my husband would have killed me for going over budget.

Just wanted to share!! I love being creative.  Tell us about your teacher appreciation gifts or the best home-made gift you’ve ever received!! We want to know.

Baskets @ Target $2/each in the summer/outdoor isles (8)
Starbucks lattes @ Target $5.49/4pack (2)
Flowers @Grocery Store $4 a bundle (2)
Bagels @Grocery Store $3.50 (2/basket) (16)
Cream Cheese singles @Grocery store $3.50 (8)
Note cards @Target $3.50 (10)
Basket Liners @Target $1 in $1 bins (15)
Brown Bags @Grocery Store $1.50 (100)

Happy Summer!

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