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WIAW #27: The One that Wasn’t

So… do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news? Well, the good news is that it’s What I Ate Wednesday and it’s still February so we are celebrating our infinite love for veggies. The bad news? This WIAW post is going to be lacking in food photos. You see, a funny thing happened today (Tuesday). I forgot to photograph just about every meal. I blame it on this winter storm Rocky we have rolling through these parts…

However, I am hoping to make all of this up to you by offering up some veggie love straight from my favorite FLOTUS, Mrs. Obama.

American GrownI started reading this book at the beginning of the week and am already about half way through it. If you are looking for useful information on how to start a garden, the story of the White House garden or how gardens impact our communities and our health, look no further than American Grown. You might even be inspired to try a new veggie or two. Plus, it’s the perfect time to learn about what to plant in your own garden with spring quickly approaching.

This week’s (somewhat) nonexistant eats:

Okay – so here are the two things I managed to actually take pictures of on Tuesday.

WIAW #27Yep. That’s a well-balanced diet of trail mix and bread, both served as snacks. Here’s what else you missed behind the lens.

Breakfast – Oats (of course)

Lunch – Mixed greens salad with avocado, pomegranate seeds & blue cheese, sweet potato fries, clementine

Dinner – Potato soup and a glass of red wine

What were your eats for this week? Do you grow your own vegetables? Are you good at remembering to take pictures?

Mat Reflections: What is Saucha?

If you think there is anything better than a morning yoga class, I refuse to believe it.

NamasteFrom the first child’s pose to the last breath in savasana, right there on my mat is the only place I want to be. Saturday I was grateful to start my day with a challenging, but thought-provoking yoga session.

For those who don’t practice yoga, let me explain that every class (or practice) can have an intention. The intention can be for yourself, for something you seek, or dedicated to another person or idea. Saturday’s teacher introduced the idea of Saucha, one of the yoga Niyamas (read more here), which means purity or cleanliness as the intention for that class.

He opened with a small discussion of what it means to be of clean mind and clean body. Clean minds erase negative thoughts and only focus on the ones  which help them grow. Clean bodies are fueled with healthy, unprocessed foods.

Admittedly, this was a lot to take in on a sleepy Saturday morning, but the more I thought about it, the more I loved this new (to me) idea. It reinforced that living healthy isn’t only about one element, but rather a sum of parts.

We need to strive for balance from all areas of our lives, not just one to live fully and well. Running a marathon makes no difference if you’re fueled with Big Macs; A week’s worth of lunch salads don’t make up for countless hours spent in front of the TV.

I was happy to be reminded of all of this, so I thought I’d share. My hope is you’ll take even a little piece of saucha and carry it with you throughout your day, week, month and year.

Namaste, y’all. (p.s. – I’m dying for one of these shirts!)

Sweat. Everyday.

Have you ever read Lululemon’s manifesto? Go ahead. Take a peek. It’s well worth it.

Sweat EverydayAs you might’ve guessed from the picture above, one of my personal favorite elements of the manifesto “sweat everyday.” Exercise isn’t just important for our physical health – it’s good for our mental clarity too. A good sweat can lift our mood, boost our confidence and build strength and character.

After a weekend sometimes it’s hard to get back  in the swing of things, so here’s to lifting our spirits in the simplest way, through physical activity. Sweat today, sweat everyday.

Curl Up and Read Link Love

Does anyone remember SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) from middle school? Or something like it?

Winter Reading Scene

I’m probably among the few who actually enjoyed having time during the school day to read a book of my choosing. Let’s be honest though, only half of the time was spent actually reading. The other half was spent trying not to burst into giggles with my best friend (oh sixth grade, you were good to us).

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is this post is my version of  online SSR. A good chunk of the country is getting hit with snowstorms as we speak, so why not spend this weekend curled up at home, cozily reading articles and testing new recipes. Quite frankly, I just described my ideal weekend, but I think you’ll like it too.

Here’s the latest collection of web finds inhabiting my bookmarks bar.

Oscar Night Champagne Cocktails: Perfect for this Sunday’s award show or for anytime really…

Thoughtful piece on antibiotic resistance. This is such a fascinating issue.

I’m drooling over these... just drooling.

It’s no wonder it’s hard to put those chips down. Junk food can be addictive.

This is one of my new favorite blogs for candid insights on life (and quality writing) including a recent post on change.

What are you reading lately? Leave your favorite links in the comments!

Photo credit

Sugar & Brews: Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

I have a confession. I don’t love chocolate. I never have.

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

Hopefully you’re still with me and haven’t fallen to the ground, panic-stricken with shock. The confession is true though, and I only thought it fair to be up front and honest prior to writing a post with the words “triple chocolate” in the title.

While my love doesn’t run as deep as many when it comes to the desire to eat every piece of chocolate in sight, I do appreciate a tasty bit of cocoa when I see one. In this case, in the form of a brownie.

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

This sweet treat’s bold chocolate flavors come from three different types of freshly-melted Ghirardelli chips and Oscar’s Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Sand Creek Brewing Company. The consistency is dense, but not too dense and fills you up enough to make a meal of it because everyone should eat a brownie for a meal and one time or another.

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

Makes about 24 brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes

8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

10 oz Oscar’s Chocolate Oatmeal Stout* (room temperature)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour and cocoa powder; set aside. Melt butter, dark bittersweet chocolate and white chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly until completely melted. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate mixture and beat until combine. Then add the flour mixture. Fold in the stout slowly, whisk to finish mixing. Drop semi-sweet chocolate chips evenly on the top of the batter.

Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top once cool.

*Do not include foam in the stout measurement. Either spoon off the foam or let it rest until the foam subsides.

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies

Additional suggested beers:

Guinness 

New Holland Dragon’s Milk

Southern Tier Chokolat