How To Get A Spring Break Body

Spring Break. Those two words alone are great. Juxtaposed together, they create something magical.

My spring break, when I get a week off school (!!!), is two weeks from now. But the party began this past Sunday with the start of Spring Break V!

Spring Break V, created by Aileen from Morsels and Moonshine, is a week long “fun, vegan campaign that highlights fresh recipes, spring break fitness, spring break fashion, and travel.” I’m excited to be a part of it! (Side note: click HERE to see what other cool blogs are participating!)

One of the first things I think about when I think of spring break is the beach. I guess it’s just because that’s where most people go for spring break. Anyway, whether or not you’re going to the beach, it’s (finally!) time to start thinking about summer and swimsuits!

I want to feel confident in my swimsuit (you probably do too!). A great way to feel confident is to feel healthy and strong. I feel healthy when I eat well and exercise! Eating whole, plant-based foods + exercising often = the keys to health, happiness, and AWESOMENESS.

So, my advice to you as you prepare for what will be the best spring break EVER:

1. Throw those potato chips in your lap out the window.

Or in the trash. Or flush them down the toilet. It really doesn’t matter HOW you dispose of them as long as you get rid of them!

kick-junk-food

Literally (or just figuratively) KICK junk / processed food out of your diet. Your body will thank you (after the initial cravings subside)! 

But seriously, cut the processed crap outta your diet. The excess sodium in processed foods, especially chips, causes bloating. And I don’t think you want to look like THIS on Spring Break. Choose yummy and healthy snacks instead of icky junk food that never expires. Great healthy snacks are fruit, veggies and hummus,  homemade trail mix, energy bites, veggie chips, and homemade potato chips like these! Your body will thank you if you swap the junk for whole foods! Cut the crap, and get a six-pack!*

*Well, you need to do ab workouts to get a six-pack, but eating “clean” will definitely help you get a flatter tummy and a six-pack sooner!

Speaking of ab workouts…

2. BUST A MOVE!

Work out to rock out! Exercising releases endorphins, so you always feel better after you exercise. It also leads to a chiseled body.

7ead69f68abc768d94187c5c8ba59aa0 BUT REMEMBER…

7d1448c00f3ee49cb3c5255b524ecac3

Feel motivated? Well, if you’re just not motivated to work out at all, remember…

f037841ec3dc3038d37f5b0b7c6fc0f9

SO put on some workout clothes and then you might feel ready to work it out!

Below are a few ab workouts that I’ve been doing for a month or two. I typically do two or three of these every other day. I’ve noticed drastic results since I started doing the ab workouts from these videos! Now I can see my abs, which I am super happy about!  If you want defined ab muscles, you’ve clicked on the right link! These videos are short and sweet. They range from five minutes to ten minutes long, so they only take up .0069% of your day! They’re fun to do because the trainer, Rebecca Louise from X HIIT, is fun and encouraging. She makes you want to do the workout. She makes you WORK HARD to GET RESULTS. You feel really proud of yourself when you finish the workout, too! So try one or three and see how it goes! Let me know if you try them and if you like them!

And for some extra fun, here are three awesome booty workouts!

Have a great spring break! I hope these workouts help you feel strong and confident for spring break and beyond! Also, check out the rest of the Spring Break V posts to get more cool spring break ideas!

Happy Friday!

XX Ellie

P.S.- Anyone have any fun weekend plans? Our tennis team has our first invitational on Saturday! We are driving an hour tonight to get to it, staying the night in a hotel, and playing tennis all day Saturday! Yay for tennis and team bonding! Have a great weekend!

P.P.S.- The pictures in this post are from Pinterest.

This post is part of Spring Break V, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media at #SpringBreakV. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here.

Advertisements

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate-y.

Chewy.

Rustic.

Sweet.

Is your mouth watering yet? If not, here’s a picture.

P1240939

Still not convinced? What if I told you these cookies were…

Gluten-free.

Sugar-free.

Vegan.

Paleo.

AND had only 3 ingredients!?

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking’ about!

P1240975

P1240941

These cookies are the perfect pick-me-up snack, sweet treat after a meal, and on-the-go breakfast. They’re great for a SPRING BREAK road trip, since they’re easy to make and easily transportable! Make ’em and pop them in the oven while you pack the car. They’ll be done by the time you’re ready to go, so you’ll have warm cookies to eat in the car on the first leg of your road trip!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

makes a dozen

  • 1 banana
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate peanut butter (a tablespoon of cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter would probably work if you don’t have a chocolate peanut butter spread)
  • 1 cup oats
  • chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Process the banana and peanut butter in a food processor. If you don’y have a food processor, you can mash up the banana and peanut butter together. Stir in the oats.  Form into the dough into balls with a cookie scoop. Press down the balls so they are flatter. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are soft and chewy! Let cool, and enjoy!

P1240964

Have a wonderful day!

xx Ellie

This post is part of Spring Break V, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media at #SpringBreakV. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here.

Samoas + My STRANGE Day

Baking soda doesn’t just help baked goods rise. It also neutralizes acid. Want to know how I know this?

It was a typical Tuesday morning (well except for the fact that it was St. Patrick’s day so I was wearing green and orange). I woke up, ate breakfast, and got ready for school like usual. I arrived in first hour with seconds to spare, like usual. In first hour, Chemistry, we did a lab, which is relatively usual.

The lab involved  Hydrochloric acid, and you can watch the first 5 minutes of this video to see what we did if you are really interested in chemistry and FIRE. The purpose of the lab was to combine the acid with zinc to create a reaction. Then we would capture the gas it released and determine its mass. We could light the collected gas on fire if we wanted, which was pretty cool.

However, near the end of the hour I looked down at my pants and noticed grayish colored spots on my bright orange pants. I first thought, “what is that?” Then I realized that I had somehow gotten acid on my pants! I had been measuring acid into a test tube, but I had no idea how it had gotten from the tube onto my pants! I told my teacher, Mr. L, that I got acid on my pants and he immediately got worried. “Do you feel any pain in your legs? Any burning sensations?” He questioned.

“No…” I replied.

“Do you have any extra pants at school!?” he asked.

“Uh… I have gym shorts in my gym locker,” I answered, realizing that he probably wanted me to put them on. Keep in mind, it was 30-something degrees outside, so most sane people weren’t wearing shorts.

“Go as fast as you can and put them on!” He urged. So, I speed-walked to the gym lockers to put on my gym shorts, navigating through a crowd of orchestra students as I made my way. I hadn’t thought that getting acid on my pants would be a big deal, but apparently it was a big enough deal that I had to freeze in gym shorts for the rest of the day! I yanked off my pants and slid on my shorts. I bounced out of the locker room and into the hallway. There were only about 3 minutes left of class, so the hallways were pretty crowded. I had to maneuver around people who started at me and my acid pants to get back to the classroom. When I arrived, everyone was silent as Mr. L instructed me to take off my shoes and socks. “What in the world?” I thought.

Then it dawned on me: I was going to have to be sprayed off with copious amounts of water by the green chem wash station!

Mr. L instructed me to rub baking soda all over my legs. It sounds ridiculous, but the baking soda would neutralize the acid that may or may not have been on my skin. So, I massaged baking soda all over my pale, hairy legs. I couldn’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation! After my legs were covered in baking soda, Mr. L hosed down my legs with copious (Mr. L’s favorite word) amounts of water. Then I wiped myself off with scratchy brown paper towels.

My shorts got a little wet, but it was better than possibly having acid on my legs and getting acid burns (well duh).  Mr. L told me to contact my doctor if I felt any strange burning sensations. I couldn’t believe that a little acid could possibly be so harmful! Good thing it wasn’t! When my teacher finished hosing me down, he put baking soda all over my pants. We decided to leave the pants in his room so they could dry. With any luck, I’d be able to wear them again. The bell had rung a few minutes before (but after I was rinsed down so my whole class got to watch that), so I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the classroom. I thought to myself that it was a good thing I was taking team games, or I’d probably have to get hosed down in my underwear. Or Mr. Larson’s lab coat.

All I can say is, good thing I was wearing pants!

At tennis practice after school, I told my tennis buddies about my adventure to acid land. Now my tennis coach is calling me the acid queen. I brought them treats and he asked if he would hallucinate if he ate one (he didn’t). Haha.

Now I’ll change the subject to food since this is a food blog and stuff. The treats I brought to my teammates were Samoas, and they were DELICIOUS! 7 healthy, wholesome ingredients. They’re also vegan, gluten free, practically raw, and almost sugar-free! Win-win-win! The recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie.com. I used water instead of agave nectar for the recipe because the coconut I used was sweetened. I also made them into bars because that’s a whole lot easier than cutting them into cookie shapes. Dare I say they were better than Girl Scout Cookies? They were!

Here’s a picture of them from my Instagram: 

IMG_0890

So, my St. Patty’s day consisted of acid and Samoas. An interesting mix. It was an interesting and eventful day! I hope yours was too (in a good way)!

xx Ellie

Ps: have you ever been hosed off or had to use the eyewash machine in science class? Or, have you seen someone use it?

Caramel Nice Cream

It’s not a secret: I LOVE banana ice cream. Banana ice cream, nana ice cream, and nice cream all mean the same thing: frozen bananas blended in a blender to create a healthy-yet-delicious treat. Nana ice cream is a miracle. I’ve been eating it every day this past week because I just can’t get enough! It’s okay because it’s a healthy addiction. Riiiight??? Here is the nana ice cream I had this morning. I had to share it because it was just so delicious! Excuse the not-so-great lighting; it’s a miracle I even got pictures before it was in my belly.

IMG_0852 IMG_0853

Caramel Nice Cream

serves 1

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1-2 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons white chocolate peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons caramel (recipe below)
  • a handful of walnuts

Add the bananas, milk, and peanut butter to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend. If using a Vitamix, start at setting 1 and increase until the mixture is blended. Use the tamper to press down and mix the bananas. Add the “nice cream” to a bowl and mix in the caramel with a spoon. Top with a sprinkle of walnuts!

Caramel

  • 17 dates
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend dates in a food processor. When they’re tiny chunks, add the other ingredients. Blend and enjoy! This makes a lot of caramel, and I only used a few tablespoons on the nice cream. You can dip apples and other fruit into the rest of it, or you can make caramel apple pie! IMG_0857

ENJOY the glorious miracle of nana ice cream.If you’ve never made it before, RUN (not walk) to your blender and make it STAT!

xx Ellie

Fab 5 Friday 3/13/14

Happy Friday and happy almost-spring! The snow is finally starting to melt this week and the birds are starting to sing. The days are longer and it gets dark later (thanks to that annoying-when-it-happens-but-nice-now daylight savings!). The start of spring makes me happy, since it means flowers blooming, leaves budding, warmer weather, and spring sports! Tennis tryouts started this week, so I haven’t posted because I have been busy with them. I don’t like tryouts because they’re super nerve-wracking and stressful, but they’re almost over. This means that I get to start practicing with my lovely varsity teammates soon!

Today as a team, we went to the local tennis courts and shoveled the snow off the steps near them and off the edges of the courts. We couldn’t shovel the actual courts (it would damage them), so we did what we could to make the snow melt faster so we can play tennis outside on Monday! Afterwards, a few of us went to the local ice cream parlor, where they now carry 2 flavors of VEGAN ICE CREAM! Yay!

1. This vegan ice cream was yummy, so it for sure goes on the Fab 5 Friday list!

I got chocolate (of course), but they also had strawberry. I’m so excited that veganism has become more “mainstream” in the past few years! It means that more stores are carrying vegan products, like the ice cream parlor near my house carrying vegan ice cream!

Give me ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!!

IMG_0790

picture from my Instagram. Check it out if you want to see more yummy pictures of chocolate!

2. …And ALL THE DONUTS!

drool-worthy picture from food52.com

Another great dessert related thing I stumbled across on the inter web is this article all about donuts! Curious about their history and how they got their name? Want to know the various types of donuts and what they’re called? Look no further! The article also tells you how to make basic donuts. So fun!

3.  This PUNNY FOOD MAP of the USA

I’m on a food kick. Check out the above link for funny punny pictures of states made from foods that sound like the state! Super cool!

4. EXTRA crispy tofu

Put tofu in a waffle maker… and voila! Crispy, crunchy, bite-sized tofu! GENIUS!

5. What Different Tips Look Like When You Frost Cupcakes

This is helpful information to a cupcake lover like me! Now I know what cupcakes will look like when frosted with a certain type of frosting tip.

I hope you enjoyed this FOODIE Fab 5 Friday! Have a fun weekend! Does anyone have any exciting plans? Is anyone else a tennis player?

xx Ellie

EXCITING Fab 5 Friday

Hey everyone! I can’t believe that it is already March and that it’s already Friday! Hooray for the weekend!

This week has been great, even though I had to take the ACT on Tuesday and some other tests at school. Why so great, you may ask? Becaaaauuuuse….

1. VEGGIE CLUB

I started a club at my high school this week: VEGGIE CLUB! We’re going to meet every Thursday after school in one of the teacher’s rooms. In veggie club, members will learn that plant-based eating can be fun and delicious. The club is for anyone who likes food, especially plants! We’ll share food and recipes, we’ll have potlucks, we’ll go on restaurant outings, and we’ll learn more about healthy and plant-based eating. It’s going to be so much fun and I’m so excited!

The first meeting was yesterday and over 30 people showed up!!! It’s so exciting to see that so many people are interested in healthy eating. I made signs and posted on both Facebook and Instagram to let people know about the club. I also made chocolate cupcakes for the first meeting. They were devoured! I’m just so excited (can you tell?) that I get to help spread healthy eating with this club!
IMG_0594

Here is one of the posters I made and hung up around the school! 

2. Chloe Coscarelli (and her fabulous cupcakes)

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 6.30.31 PM

On Wednesday evening, I posted the above picture of the cupcakes I made for veggie club on Instagram and tagged @chefchloe (Chloe Coscarelli = a.k.a. my role model and one of my favorite vegans ever) and guess what!? She FOLLOWED me on Instagram and reposted the picture!!! I’m not kidding when I tell you that I screamed when I found out.

IMG_0603

Nature’s Path Organic also shared one of my Instagram photos which was super awesome! I love Nature’s Path granola!

3. This list of 16 ways to elevate your pb&j from Buzzfeed is great!

I shared it in my peanut butter and jelly french toast post, but it’s so awesome that I wanted to share it with you again. Number 16 makes me laugh. Hopefully the list gives you some fun ideas, or at least makes you smile!

4. These vegan chocolate peanut butter breakfast bars are full of protein and two of my favorite things (chocolate and peanut butter).

They look scrumptious and are definitely going onto my ever-increasing “to make” list!

5. YOUTUBE workout videos

I’m really into doing Youtube workout videos right now. It’s nice to have a personal trainer of sorts (virtually) by your side. They are good encouragement. I am especially loving this workout video (below) from The Balanced Blonde (Jordan Younger). It’s a great 10 minute workout that makes me sweat! It’s nice to have on days when I don’t have time to work out for very long. Another great Youtube workout video is this Blogilates video called — wait for it — “The Bold & the Bootiful.” It is difficult, but it definitely sculpts your booty (lol). My favorite workout channel on Youtube right now is X HIT Daily. They have great ab workout videos. I’m thinking about starting my own fitness section for the blog and making Youtube videos for it. Thoughts?

Question for you: What clubs are/ were you in when you are/ were in high school? Have you ever started a club? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a fun weekend!

xx Ellie

Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

I am so excited to announce that I joined the peanut butter bash!

The peanut butter bash is a group of bloggers who make and post a sweet treat of some kind involving peanut butter and a mystery ingredient on the first Thursday of  each month. Each month, the mystery ingredient is announced on the Facebook group and bloggers from all over make and post a treat involving the peanut butter combo. When I discovered this group from Miranda’s Instagram, I KNEW I had to join. I love peanut butter (as my blog name hints), so I’m always happy to have the chance to share my love of the super spread. This month’s challenge is also just so fitting! Why? Because the ingredient combination is peanut butter and jelly! Peanut Butter & Ellie makes a peanut butter & jelly-inspired treat. P1240873 I sought the internet for something unconventional I could make with peanut butter and jelly. Lo and behold, this Buzzfeed post popped up! It gave me major inspiration on how to elevate the age-old pb&j combo. P1240881 P1240899

Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

inspired by this Buzzfeed post and this recipe

serves 1

  • 2 big slices of yummy bread (such as sourdough)
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons jelly
  • strawberries, to garnish

Whisk the milk, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl. Dip a piece of bread in the mixture and let it soak for a minute or two. Meanwhile, get out a skillet or pan and spray the bottom with cooking spray. Add the soaked bread to the pan and cook for around 2 minutes on medium-high heat, or until the bottom is brownish. Flip, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Slide the toast off the pan and onto a plate. Soak the other piece of bread, re-spray the pan, and repeat. To assemble: spread about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter onto the first piece of toast, then add 2 tablespoons of jelly onto the other piece and smush them together. Top the “sandwich” with more peanut butter, jelly, and freshly cut fruit! Enjoy your unconventional french toast sandwich! P1240893

You can click HERE to view all the other Peanut Butter Bash entries from this month! Check them out! There are fun recipes like peanut butter and jelly fudge and doughnuts! Yum!

Happy Thursday!

xx Ellie