Finding time to blog is hard. If it weren’t, I promise a month wouldn’t go by with no sight of my latest bites. Finding time to eat isn’t hard – we all gotta do that, but coming across a free minute to get to the store for those particular ingredients that make that picture perfect recipe is where it gets hard. Leisure time isn’t easy to find when you work and rarely get to play.

I’ve begun to learn that in order to keep our brains sane, we need an outlet. This outlet is where we’re no longer buried under our brain’s never ending, abandoned thoughts, but we’re instead being led by our heart’s passions. Before we know it, we’re happily lost. This happens when I visit takegoodbites, and I wonder how I let a month go by without allowing my heart to get lost again.

This visit didn’t involve baking or cooking, but just a few stirs and one pour. This made for the easiest chocolatey treat ever!

My ingredients:

– 1 cup of healthy fat from coconut oil

– 1/2 cup of peanut butter

– 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa

– 1 cup of maple syrup

– 2 cups of oats

-1/2 cup of quinoa

-1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped pecans

The oil, peanut butter, syrup and cocoa were melted then poured to be mixed with the rest of the goodies. After a couple dozen spoonfuls were place on some foil, they were cooled and enjoyed with a cold glass of almond milk.

You bet the moment I forecast another gap in life’s hectic routines, I’ll be thinking about takegoodbites. Every heart deserves to get lost every once in a while.

Snacks are important. Without them your 3 o’clock work hour may become the hour of heavy eyelids and shuffling feet. This is a no-no for the working girl. When you’re on the clock, it’s time to work – get things done – be productive – be smart – be motivated – ya know, work! These things happen when we’re supplied with the right kind of nutrients. We want to snack on the things that are going to give our brains and bodies a moderate yet sustainable amount of sugar, and avoid the foods that will spike us one minute and crash us the next.

The good bites you’ll find in my snack drawer:

Fruit – This weeks it’s apples. Last week is was cuties.

Justin’s nut butter. I love their perfect little snack packs. It’s a great day of snacking when I have an apple to pair it with.

Bear Naked Fit granola. You might eat a handful too much of this stuff. Beware.

Banana chips. Another favorite addition to Justin’s nut butter.

We all could use more veggies in our lives. You’re only human to want to somehow disguise the taste of greens, but I’ve found that carrots and their sweetness are yummy alone. I hear when you learn to like em’ your eyes might begin to sparkle.

Water. Lots and lots of water.

Take good bites and your drive to be a successful working girl will last long through that 3 o’clock hour.

Let me tell you about my relationship with coffee – because you can have relationships with things other than people, you know.  Coffee has been there for me when my afternoon’s supply of energy is crashing and also when I’ve desired a sweet treat to drink. I love it – but hate that I can never make a cup like Starbucks does. This Starbucks obsession may have had something to do with my empty pantry… but that was last month because it was just a week ago that I discovered Teeccino caffeine-free herbal coffee. Before I begin to tell you the ways in which Teeccino has changed my life, I must first explain what led me to find an alternative.

Since starting my new job, I strangely adapted the habit of making a cup of coffee every morning for my ride to work. I wish I could explain where this came from. I’ve never been a morning coffee drinker! But it happened and I wasn’t pleased with how my body was responding to it. I’d begin the day’s work and noticed my thoughts becoming foggy and farty. This was from just one cup! I did some research and discovered that caffeine limits the amount of oxygen that is able to get through to your brain (you’ll never see my vocabulary get any more scientific than that). I had to find an alternative.

Teeccino!!

This particular drink happened to be made into an iced cup, but I prefer it freshly brewed. I can’t even begin to explain how much more I prefer this over regular coffee. Not even the best, most famous Starbucks barista could brew what my coffee maker does with Teeccino.

With coffee, I’m having to add some sort of sweetener due to its unavoidable bitterness. Not with Teeccino! If anything is added, it’s a hint of almond milk, but just a hint because too much can overpower the sweetness that already exists.

Make a trip to your nearest natural grocery store, give it a try , and be thankful that coffee doesn’t have feelings.

I’m not lying when I say that this is the first time in the last 3 weeks I’ve been able to lazy down on my couch with my lappy and let my brain think of things other than”be professional”.  I desperately need an extra day in the week to grocery shop, cook, capture, write & VEG. Come on, Thanksgiving!

I’m pictureless this post. You devoted readers deserve so much more than just a grey and white page – but isn’t there a saying about good things coming to those who are patient? If not, then you should know that this IS true for the readers of take good bites. You just wait. I’ll learn time management.

I’m still alive and I just wanted you to know.

I put much thought into birthday gifts.  Which is good – to an extent.  But when the contemplation results in the birthday recipient receiving a late birthday gift, you’ve gone overboard.  Birthday gifts should be thoughtful and all, but they should also be on time.  My Colt’s came late this year, which must now mean the hunt needs to begin one two months in advance. I’m aware that this puts me in the gift shopper extremist category.

One of my favorite resources for gift shopping is gifts.com. They provide a bunch of fun ideas I could never come up with myself. It’s perfect for the online shopper that is constantly on the hunt for convenience, unbeatable prices, and crowdless spaces.
This guy was perfect for my Colt. A re-purposed wine bottle that has been turned into a home for basil!

Colt eats pizza like he invented it – so when I spotted this, I knew there couldn’t be anything better.  It was the perfect addition to the pizza stone he got last year. Theme is key when finding your gift soul mate.

I knew he loved it the moment I got the first update on the status of his baby basil sprouts. He loves it!

I can remember the days when time allowed a moment to actually get my cutting board messy in the kitchen.  Lately, it’s been a good one if I even step foot in a kitchen. The new job is forcing new eating routines. I’m learning to adapt to this challenge. No longer can I run to my kitchen for lunch and easily prepare a vegetarian meal based on the abundant veggie options that are kept readily available. Instead, I’m forced to put all insecurities aside and embrace my vegetarian lifestyle in situations that may not support it. Life is happening and it’s encouraging growth.

Growth is good.

Sometimes I’ll make food based on its expiration date. The spinach in my fridge was on its last whim, so I respected it by eating it.

This was a 50/50 salad. 50% fresh, 50% frozen and perfect for the hard working, wanna-be-good-to-your-body eaters out there. There was that one time I made fresh cut sweet potato fries, but let me remind you that this was when time ticked in my favor. The fries for this salad however, came from the second 50. The freezer. As did that pretty, fake grill-marked veggie patty.

salad podge:

spinach. red onion. bell pepper. tomato. sweet potato fries. veggie burger. balsamic vinaigrette.

I can’t decide if I loved this salad for the flavor or for the convenience. You decide.

I’m here!

Life has been bringing some unexpected surprises – some happy, some sad, but all good.

I like to trust that all things turn to good.

Funny how life works. Just when new and exciting things happen, walls come crashing – or so it seems. So what do you do? Forget about all that once sparkled and shined? I choose not! Right as I began to, I took my camera to the kitchen.

There’s something about being creative in a kitchen that puts my heart in a place of contentment.  Seeing that I could let life’s surprises push me away from that, leaves me regretful. Sorry, pride.

Sure, this road has made a slight change in direction, but I won’t let it rob me of what brings joy. You think I’m silly, but I really do care about take good bites!

About the new job. I’m really excited about it! I just got back from training at Sona’s corporate office in North Carolina. I spoke to the top dogs and got to wear heels everyday! The most exciting thing was learning exactly what my job entails. My role as the Lifestyle Educator is to keep clients on track through their weight loss journey from beginning to end. If you’re a woman, you know that losing weight comes with challenges. Sona recognizes these challenges by providing encouragement along with their program. That’s me. If I perform as I was trained to, the success rate will be higher and pant sizes will be smaller. I’m ready!

Want to see some food? Because I actually made some today. It’s called falafel and prepackaged.

I get excited about adding new things to my grocery buggy.

I’ll be hopeless if flat out wraps ever go out of style.

flat out. falafel. hummus. mustard. tomato. onion. spinach. salt. pepper.

I baked one too many falafels. It was eaten with a hint of mustard. Mustard is a MUST with falafel. I imagine blandness without it.

What I did:

baked falafel. spread hummus. swirled mustard. placed tomato, onion and spinach. sliced falafel. rolled flat out.

Is it even necessary to include such simple instructions? It’s time to advance my recipes, like making my own falafels. take good bites is worthier than prepackaged, eh?

I want to believe I have people that take interest in take good bites. Somewhere along this blogging journey, I hope there’s a reader that falls upon my blog and finds the same contentment I do through accidentally smudging mustard on my camera.

Time to clean up…

I know my last post just briefly touched on the reasons for my absence, but now I can get serious with y’all. Details? Well, the past two weeks have consisted of a couple interviews and one deserving, yet rewarding Sprinkles cupcake.

{I like to justify my decision of eating sugary goods}

Yesterday there was the cupcake because I felt as if I dominated my second interview. Or maybe it was the anxiety that lead to the cupcake. Either way, it was too good and worth every flake of sugary coconut.   Then, today there was my all time favorite Braums-single-dipped-cappuccino-chocolate-chunk-frozen-yogurt. Instead of heading for the sugar due to an anxiety overload, these bites of delights were made in celebration of the news I received today. Two intense interviews and one cupcake later – I got the job! I am oh so happy. I’ve really enjoyed the last 8 months I’ve spent as a personal trainer. In fact, if it weren’t for the great women that came to me in the hopes that I could help them reach their dreams of gaining a new life, then I wouldn’t have known how to find mine.

More deets? I’ll be working for Sona MedSpa as a Lifestyle Educator. It’s practically what I’ve done at the gym minus exercise programs and tennis shoes. I’m so glad this isn’t a dream.

I’m not real sure what this means for takegoodbites. I want to continue my new found fun hobby, but from what I hear, big girl jobs pay the bills. Hobbies don’t. Honestly though, who knows! I could become a Lifestyle Educator that works in an office and online, but never again in tennis shoes.

I’ve been away from takegoodbites for a day too long. My fridge doesn’t happen to be empty, nor is there much free space on my camera’s memory card.  My yummy favorites are still made, but sometimes the only free breathes I’m able to take are those that happen when I’m getting some shut eye. Ya follow?

I really love the flavors of Mexican food. I’m grateful for this, considering the number of vegetarian friendly options the cuisine offers. Mexican food makes being a vegetarian simple. People don’t ask question when a cheese quesadilla is ordered – simple!

No mexican flavored meal is complete without guacamole.

{avocado, cilantro, onion, and salt}

My Colt got all fancy and bought organic cilantro. What a guy!

An apron should actually be worn during the making of guacamole.

I like to leave some texture in my guacamole, so I go easy on the smashing. Some like theirs creamy, while others like theirs limy. Spice can be added by slicing some jalapenos. Different days bring different moods from the taste buds – therefore; tomorrow might come with a few more smashes.

One thing that doesn’t change with my guacamole are my chips. If baked is an option, I grab em’. If you want to take good bites, you will too!

Guacamole alone isn’t sufficient in nutrients to complete a meal. Although hunger could be surpassed with a bowl of healthy fatty quac, you don’t want to overdose. Can’t let the “healthy” overpower the “fatty.”

A variety of vitamins were added after sauteing some veggies.

 You betcha I went back for seconds.

It’s been 5 hours since breakfast, and I feel as though I could go another 5 – although it’s against my metabolism’s religion to go more than 2.  This 2 hour regimen may partially have to do with the fact that my job requires me to lift, move, and hand my LOA friends dumbbells all morning long. One client in, and my blood has used up all the sugar from my peanut butter covered banana breakfast. When I know my morning calls for lots of work and little break time, I prepare a breakfast that will keep me far from famished.

{transform a mini breakfast into a lasting one}

{you’re not the only one that thinks I eat bird food}

1/2 banana. 1/2 apple – team granny smith fuji! dollop plain greek yogurt. dollop peanut butter. 1/2 cup oats. chia seeds.

{the messier you make it, the tastier. trust}

It’s all in the oats. I don’t know how those guys do it, but they keep hunger away longer than I’ve pleaded all other breakfasts to – and without making me feel all icky. They’re comfy oats. In fact, Oh She Glows can tell you all you need to know about oats. She’s the oats expert that finds ways to change her oats to fit her seasons. Amazing! Her Fall spice oatmeal recipe is first on my list to try come Friday.

because

Friday is the first day of Fall, yall!

Next time you see this breakfast, pumpkin will have replaced the banana. Every banana!

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