Almond Milk Ice Cubes

Hi Bunnies!
I know it’s been over a week since my last post, YIKES ( I haven’t done that for over a year) but I have had so much going on recently. I am back and ready to kill it this week!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction in which I want my blog to go. I get so many comments on social media asking for more Youtube videos, so I definitely want to start doing some recipe tutorials as well as fun hair tutorials for you guys, but honestly I’ve become so self conscious that it’s holding me back from doing videos. During recovery, I gained weight and I came so insecure about it that I never talked about it on my blog. I actually became quite guarded and quiet about my personal life on my blog and I feel like I haven’t had much of a voice. I used to speak so openly about the ups and downs of weight loss and what it’s like to struggle with losing weight, maintaining weight, and getting myself to the gym, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve done a post like that.

This past weekend my friend Kathy of Healthy Happy Life stayed over for the weekend and we were Expo West buddies. As we we’re driving to the Anaheim convention center together, I was telling her that I was struggling with my voice on my blog. I told her that I felt like it lost what it used to be because I was insecure about where I am in my weight loss journey now, and that I almost wanted to give up blogging. Let me start by saying that Kathy inspires me so much. She has her vegan recipe blog Healthy Happy Life, her yummy drool-worthy site Finding Vegan, and two books 365 Vegan Smoothies, and Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen. She is the definition of #GirlBoss. When I told Kathy I was about to throw in the towel because of my insecurity, she completely shut my idea of giving up down. She reminded me of what my blog is about. It’s not just about the “after” pictures. It’s about my story, my feelings, my accomplishments, my bad days, my recipes, my goals, and my connection with my readers who have been here since the start. I had gotten so in my head and wrapped up into the fact that the majority of my blog readers know me as my before and after photos – a weight loss success story. I’m proud and honored that my weight loss story has inspired and motivated so many people to change their lives, and in the back of my mind, I’ve had a fear that if I gained weight or fell of the wagon that my readers would judge me, but I can’t hide that I’m not that teeny tiny sickly thin person in the old after photos anymore. I am putting my silly insecurity aside and I want to be an example that recovery is possible, that happiness is possible, that life goes on, and that for the most part, these crazy thoughts of insecurity and unworthiness are all in your head. Right now, I am so inspired to do more posts about what I have been going through and thinking about because not only is it therapeutic for me (I completely forgot until just now) but if it helps just one person out there that can relate, it’s 100% worth it.

Cat-and-Matt-Self-Help-FestivalPhoto by: Ashley Osborn
Matt and I on Saturday night at the Self Help Festival

I don’t know how many of you read Andie Mitchell’s blog Can You Stay For Dinner? but this post is a must read, her TEDx Talk is a must watch, and her book “It Was Me All Along” is a YOU NEED TO BUY IT AND READ IT RIGHT NOW. I resonate with her so much. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people do. She’s amazing, and her honesty and bravery also helped me with this post!

I started a public Snapchat (@EatRabbitFood) that shows behind the scenes videos and pictures of me working on my blog, and doing boring silly things that are carefree and fun. I want to show my readers that not everything is as perfectly curated as Instagram and let my personality show. I mean at the end of the day, I am just little old Catherine who writes a blog!

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For the past month I’ve been breaking out in crazy hives all over my forearms, wrists, ankles, and knees and I cannot figure out what is causing them. Food allergies? Thyroid off again? Stress? It’s been super irritating and uncomfortable so I finally made an appointment to see a new allergist with my friend Celina tomorrow. We both have really severe food allergies (in fact that’s how we bonded when we first met), so tomorrow we have back-to-back allergist appointments together. So romantical! Kind of a bummer, but recently I’ve been wondering if I have developed an almond allergy. I use almond milk every morning in my coffee and in tons of my smoothies and recipes (like today’s!) and I would be pretty heart broken if I found out I was allergic, but I’m quite nervous that I could be. Wahhhh. An hour or so after this smoothie I broke out in hives, which was concerning. I also made an iced coffee with the remaining almond milk ice cubes the next day and ended up with hives later in the day. Ugh, since then I’ve tried to avoid almonds and almond milk but I’m still getting hives. So… onto the allergist I go.

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The idea behind almond milk ice cubes is to replace regular ice cubes so that the smoothie doesn’t get watered down. Almond milk ice cubes will add creaminess to any smoothie that normally uses regular ice cubes! Simply put almond milk in an ice tray, and freeze overnight! They can also be used to make iced coffee. Brew coffee an pour over a cup of almond milk ice cubes for a creamy cool caffeinated treat!

I like using Almond Breeze Original because it doesn’t have added sugars!

Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-3 Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-4 Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-5 Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-6 Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-7 Almond-Milk-Ice-Cubes-for-Thick-Smoothie-8Tropical Almond Milk Ice Cube Smoothie
Serves 1

5 almond milk ice cubes
1 handful of spinach
1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana

Pour almond milk in an ice tray and freeze overnight. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

The Scoopie + Giveaway

I am sooooo excited about this post and giveaway! I’ve said this before, but I love when I get to work with brands from the start and watch then grow! This one in particular is another one of my little babies that I feel very close to. Last year at Natural Products Expo West, I met the CEO and co-founder of The Scoopie, Jarred Allen! When I walked up to his booth at Expo, I was obsessed with this product. In fact, I named it one of my “Top Picks from Expo West 2014” out of over 2,000 exhibitors!

Have you ever tried to transfer protein powder or pre-workout to a water bottle using the plastic scoop that comes with the jar? Yaaaaa, I have – and I cannot tell you how many paper funnels I’ve made as well because the scoop is always wayyyyy too big to pour into the tiny opening of a water bottle! Well, ladies and gentlemen, this genius scoop + funnel invention just solved all of your problems! The Scoopie helps to get powder or liquid into a water bottle or container accurately without mess, hassle or spillage. No more paper funnels! The Scoopie can be used with protein powders, dietary supplements, baby formula, or anything pertaining to the dispensing of liquids or powders.

The Scoopie has a universal sized scoop with an added funnel attachment that was perfectly designed to have a spout smaller than the circumference of a water bottles opening. When using this product, you simply scoop a powdered supplement (pre-workout, baby formula, sweetener, etc..), snap on the attached funnel, flip the scoop over, and pour into a water bottle or small spouted container without the mess of the powder spilling on you. So simple! Just scoop, snap, flip & pour… voila – The Scoopie®!

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Since last year, I’ve used my Scoopie more than most kitchen utensils (it lives in my jar of BCAA for muscle repair and recovery from lots of spin classes), and I’ve kept in touch with my Expo West friend Jarred! When I had first met Jarred, The Scoopie only came in one size, which was 12CC supplement size, and I bugged and bugged him asking when The Scoopie would be made in protein powder size! Well, a few weeks ago, Jarred emailed me and said “I remember promising you the protein/larger sizes so here you go” with a bunch of photos. It’s a dream come true,  60CC and 90CC protein powder sized Scoopies!!! I’m so excited for Jarred and his company, It’s been so fun to watch The Scoopie gain more and more popularity and now come in different sizes! I keep telling Jarred, “you have to get on Shark Tank!” I think Mark Cuban would make a deal on this one! I mean, he does own an NBA team who would definitely use Scoopies!

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  • Take your supplements on-the-go without the mess!
  • The new and improved Scoopie comes in a 60CC and 90CC size, perfect for baby formula’s and protein products.
  • Fits on your keychain
  • Simplify your meal prep and everyday routine
  • Pour your pre-workout and proteins while in the car without any spills
  • Scoop, snap, flip & pour – save time eliminate waste
  • Comes with a cap to take The Scoopie on the go
  • Comes with CC/ML and Tbsp measurements to measure your exact product

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Now it’s your chance to win some Scoopies!
Two lucky readers will each win a set of protein sized Scoopies 60CC & 90CC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Must use a valid email address to enter. Must be a US resident to enter. Giveaway ends on Sunday, March 1st at 11:59 PM (PST). 2 winners will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, March 2nd. Colors may vary.

This post has been sponsored by The Scoopie. All opinions are my own.

Quinoa Peanut Butter Crunch Cups

In the recipe, puffed quinoa is coated in a rich mixture of peanut butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. That nutty mixture is then spooned into muffin liners and popped into the freezer to set. After an hour or so, you’ll have crunchy, peanut-buttery, and addictive little cups of goodness. These crave-worthy peanut butter cups are sweet enough for dessert, yet totally pre and post workout snack-approved.

All of my bunnies know that I love making recipes as simple as possible, and simple to me means as few ingredients as possible. This recipe only contains 6 ingredients and I bet you have more than half of them at your house right now!

Quinoa-Peanut-Butter-Crunch-Cups-1 Quinoa-Peanut-Butter-Crunch-Cups-2Now before anyone asks, “do I have to go out and buy coconut butter? Isn’t it the same as coconut oil?” let me give you the 411! At one point, I thought they were the same thing. I thought that when coconut oil was at its solid form it was considered coconut butter and when it was melted and liquid it was considered coconut oil. Well I was wrong! No shame!

Coconut oil is JUST the oil that is extracted from the meat of a coconut. Coconut butter is the whole meat of the coconut pureed into a creamy butter. If you’re curious, coconut meat (by nature) is approximately 65% oil! So there it is folks, coconut butter has the flesh of the coconut in it! Look at the difference in the photo above (coconut butter on the left, and coconut oil on the right).

Quinoa-Peanut-Butter-Crunch-Cups-3*You can purchase puffed quinoa at specialty health food stores but it’s kind of tricky to find and it may be a bit on the pricier side, so in this post I’m showing you how to make your own puffed/popped quinoa! Heat a large stock pot over medium heat (I have an induction stove, and I set my heat to level 6 out of 9). Once the pot is hot, pour a small amount (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan as seen in the photo below) of pre-rinsed and dried quinoa over the bottom of the pan. Gently swirl the quinoa around with a wooden spoon as it pops (this helps prevent burning). You’ll notice that the quinoa has a very quiet little crackle pop, and its popped state is only the tiniest bit larger than its unpopped state (nothing like popcorn!). Once your first round of quinoa has popped (a minute or two), pour it into a bowl and repeat until you have 1½ cups. I like to have a bowl of unpopped quinoa ready to pour into the pot, and then a bowl on the other side for the puffed quinoa to go into when it has finished popping.

1½ cups of unpinned quinoa is pretty darn close to 1½ cups of puffed quinoa in the end since there is barely any difference in size once it has puffed!

Quinoa-Peanut-Butter-Crunch-Cups-4 Quinoa-Peanut-Butter-Crunch-Cups-5 Above is a photo of unpopped quinoa to the left and popped or puffed quinoa on the right. See how there is a very slight difference in size, but the little ring inside has expanded?

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Quinoa Peanut Butter Crunch Cups
By Blissful Basil
Makes 12 crunch cups

1½ cups puffed quinoa*
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp peanut butter
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp coconut butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1½ Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Puff quinoa over a stove as described underneath photos above and set aside.* In a saucepan over low heat, combine the peanut butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Next, turn off the stove and pour the puffed quinoa into the melted peanut butter mixture. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the quinoa mixture into each muffin liner and smooth the tops with a spoon if needed. Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 1 hour to set. Once the cups have set, they can be transferred to the refrigerator to store. Do not leave at room temperature or they will melt!

The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown:
Produce: none
Whole Grain: quinoa
Protein: none
Plant Based Fat: peanut butter, coconut butter, and coconut oil

Rabbit Food Meal Tip: 1 Quinoa Peanut Butter Crunch Cup is 2 tablespoons of plant based fat and a small serving of whole grain. Enjoy this with an apple and glass of soy milk to make it a Rabbit Food Approved meal! Or blend some fruit and soy milk together with some ice as a smoothie.

Health & Happiness
xo-Catherine

P.S. I joined Snapchat!!! Open up Snapchat on your phone and take a photo of the image below to instantly add me to your Snapchat friends! Or add me the old fashioned way :)
I’ll be sharing behind the scenes photos and videos of me cooking, working on my blog, working out, and probably lots of super cute pictures of my corgi, Teddy!
Snapchat: @EatRabbitFood

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Galentine’s Day 2015

On Sunday, my friend Natalie hosted a Galentine’s Day party for our little gal group! We chatted and laughed while we sipped on mimosas, ate cucumber & cream cheese tea sandwiches, and some special Valentine’s sweets alongside Natalie’s homemade flat white coffees! It was so fun to have some girl time while some of our guys are away for work!

Galentines-Day-2015-1Natalie made these adorable Crayon Heart Decorations for her house. She has a full instructional DIY on her blog if you click the link!
Galentines-Day-2015-2 Galentines-Day-2015-3 Galentines-Day-2015-4 Galentines-Day-2015-5 Galentines-Day-2015-6 Galentines-Day-2015-7 Galentines-Day-2015-8 Galentines-Day-2015-9Galentines-Day-2015-23We exchanged handmade valentines with each other, just like when we were younger. My friends are seriously so crafty! Brett handmade these stunning fresh flower crowns for each of us, Amanda hand cut the dancing girl emoji’s out of construction paper and turned them into cards, Natalie hand stitched hearts onto her cards, and Celina handmade mini Narwhals that unfolded into hearts (because we are all obsessed)!

Galentines-Day-2015-10 Galentines-Day-2015-11Laila lusted over the flower crowns!

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Galentines-Day-2015-12Of course our mini gals Ruby and Laila got their own special lovey dovey Valentine’s from “Auntie Amanda!” Minnie Mouse plushie purses and heart shaped sunnies!

Galentines-Day-2015-13I loved Nat’s heart tipped nails! She said they were super simple to do, just two crossed brush strokes!

Galentines-Day-2015-14 Galentines-Day-2015-15After mimosas and lunch, Natalie made us all her famous flat whites. She had been hyping them up to me ever since I tried my very first flat white at Starbucks in Seattle last month. Her husband, Jaxin is from New Zealand (home of the flat white) and she assured me that she had been schooled by Jaxin and all of his Kiwi friends on how to make the absolute perfect flat white. She did not disappoint! Girl’s got it going’ on!

Galentines-Day-2015-16Correction, you’re my cup of coffee!

Galentines-Day-2015-17Since I’ve been spending a lot of time on planes and in green rooms, I’ve been learning how to do all sorts of snazzy braids while I have free time to kill! This is a dutch fishtail crown! Maybe when I finally get brave enough I will do a youtube tutorial!

Galentines-Day-2015-18Gals and the little gals! Brett, me, Celia & Laila, Amanda, Ruby & Natalie!

Galentines-Day-2015-19And just the grownup gals! Amanda, Celina, me, Natalie, and Brett!

Galentines-Day-2015-20Laila LOVES dogs, and she was freaking out when Poppy came out to play! She lovessss Poppy!

Galentines-Day-2015-21Puppy love!

Galentines-Day-2015-22Auntie Amanda reading Ruby a story before all of the gals went home, such a sweet moment.

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I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing and creative gals. I love these girlies to the moon and back!

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s day surrounded by people they love!

Health & Happiness
xo-Catherine

Rosemary Coconut Stove Top Sweet Potatoes

My schedule has been insane recently. I feel like this is the first time in a while that I’ve actually slept in my own bed for more than 3 nights in a row! I feel so lucky that I get to travel for my job, and that my job allows me to travel for leisure as well. Last week I made a very last minute unexpected trip to Chicago to see Matt, and the week before that I was in Seattle with my momma!

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So I originally posted about this recipe back in August when I was in New York – I know, it took me long enough, right? While I was in NY, my friend Dominique and her roommate Kat made me these Sweet Potatoes for dinner and I was obsessed! This was the first time I had seen someone cook sweet potatoes over the stove, and it changed my life! Cooking sweet potatoes over the stove is so easy and pretty much fool proof!

Rosemary-Coconut-Stove-Top-Sweet-Potatoes-1 Rosemary-Coconut-Stove-Top-Sweet-Potatoes-2 Rosemary-Coconut-Stove-Top-Sweet-Potatoes-3 Rosemary-Coconut-Stove-Top-Sweet-Potatoes-4 Rosemary-Coconut-Stove-Top-Sweet-Potatoes-5 I have an induction stove that ranges from heat level 1-9 and I left it on level 5 for the duration of my cooking time. My potatoes cooked perfectly in 13 minutes! Of course the cooking time varies depending on the size of your potato and pan. If you potato is larger, you can add 1 tsp more of coconut oil.

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Rosemary Coconut Stove Top Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2

1 sweet potato
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/8 tsp sea salt

Wash and dry sweet potato. Cube sweet potato into about 1 inch pieces. Place cubed sweet potato, coconut oil, rosemary, crushed garlic, and sea salt into a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sweet potato is evenly coated in the coconut oil and herb mixture. Cover for 12 minutes and stir occasionally (about every 2 minutes). Continue cooking until sweet potato is soft or desired texture is reached (12-15 minutes). Serve immediately.

The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown:
Produce: none
Whole Grain: Sweet potato*
Protein: none
Plant Based Fat: Coconut oil

*So I get asked fairly often if a potato counts as produce under The Rabbit Food Pyramid. While yes, a potato is classified as a vegetable it is also considered a “starchy food.” I know that a potato is not a whole grain, but I would put potatoes in the whole grain category since this is where the starchy foods like breads and rice fit into the puzzle. Basically, if you are trying to lose weight, I would try to avoid creating meals that combine potato as your vegetable serving, and then rice as your whole grain serving since it makes for a starchy, heavy meal. Something more appropriate and balanced would be a green vegetable salad with mushrooms and bell peppers as your vegetable serving and potato as your whole grain or starch serving! Or even red bell peppers as your vegetable serving stuffed with sweet potatoes as your whole grain/starch serving! I hope this helps you to better understand how to create balanced meals with the pyramid, and to see why certain foods are in the categories they are!

Rabbit Food Meal Tip: Complete this meal with a salad of 1.5 cups field greens, 1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms, and 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper as your vegetable serving, and 1/2 cup cooked lentils as your protein serving tossed with balsamic vinegar!

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