homemade almond milk and creamsicle cubes

I’ve been completely obsessed with Almond Milk lately – going through it at a rapid speed with all the fun milkshake and smoothies I’ve been making. So instead of dropping $$$ on a carton every few days I thought it’d be fun to make my own! Plus, I’ve been having so much fun experimenting in the kitchen lately that it only seemed right to give this a shot.

The 1st step was soaking 1 cup of raw almonds overnight

I should have done a side by side because it’s crazy how alive the almonds look after soaking in comparison to out of the bag.

I soaked the almonds throughout the night and throughout the whole day while I was at work. When I was ready to make the milk I drained them from the water they were soaking In and put the almonds in a blender with 4 cups of filtered water. Then, all you do is blend.

Ok, there’s more too it but seriously how cool is that? It’s milk!

Once you blend it for a good 2-3 minutes and it’s completely smooth you’ll need to strain the milk so you can catch all of the almond pieces. We used a cheesecloth and it worked pretty well. A little messy but I’ll just prepare better next time!

And there you have it – homemade almond milk.

You can obviously spruce it up if you’d like and add some sweetness to it – Agave, maple syrup maybe, whatever your little heart desires….

We decided to bottle up some of the plain almond milk and then do something fun with the other half. We blended a handful of frozen blueberries and 1 ounce of agave to make a beautiful light purple colored milk – this picture doesn’t even do it justice, this color was amazing.

We poured the milk in giant ice cube trays to make popsicles which is funny since we obviously don’t have any sticks in there. Oh well, we’ll call these….creamsicle cubes! Sounds like something you’d eat with your hands. Right? We also stuck some whole blueberries in which you can see surfacing. Ugh, so beautiful!

Well we let those sit overnight so I’m still not sure how it’s come out. Can’t wait to go home and eat!

just do it

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was so extremely relaxing, I really really really didn’t want it to end.

It was a busy one though, clearly –

I’m obsessed with my fitbit. You can see it was a productive day over here. Florida had a guys night/weekend and I was in our place by myself Friday night with lots of energy to burn, so I decided to clean the house from top to bottom. His BFF was coming by the next morning, so obviously I wanted it to be super clean for him and I’m not going to lie – I love to clean! So although I wasn’t out and about, I would hardly call it a lame Friday night. I had such a good time running around our place, watching fun shows…doing all those things you can’t do around boys…

Then Saturday morning came and I was NOT super stoked about my workout, so I may or may not have had 2 3 cups of coffee and a Monster to get me going

For the most part I wake up every day and jump out of bed with excitement to workout. I know, I’m a weirdo – I just love it! However; I am human and there are just simply days when I’m less than thrilled about it and would much rather curl up and watch Netflix, or get an extra hour or 2 of sleep before work. But here’s the deal – I made a commitment to myself and I’m finally starting to see the progress and let me tell you, there’s nothing better than feeling like you’re strong enough to reach the goals that you set for yourself. So although I was feeling so incredibly NOT excited about working out that I had to take a selfie to prove it

I went out and got it done. Seriously, sometimes the hardest part is just getting to the gym or wherever you’re going. Once you’re there you’re almost guaranteed to start getting pumped up for it. And if not, there’s always Monster….

compromising with my inner workout freak

Listening to your body is essential to a healthy, fit and active life. As much I want to go go go there are days when my body pushes back and tells me to take it easy. Years ago I would never have listened – I’d tell myself to suck it up and think I was that much better by pushing through pain, fatigue, and injuries. I’d like to think I’m in a different mindset now and that I’m strong enough to tell that inner workout freak to shut up and rest – but we all know it’s not always that easy, especially when you have goals.

TBT to me – sad and injured after way too much running when my body was clearly telling me to back off. I spent 2 months rolling out my IT band with a tennis ball and trying to ease the tension around my knee

So this morning there was a compromise between that inner workout freak and my ever evolving self…the legs were a bit sore from my lower body workout on Tuesday and as I was walking up the stairs to enter the gym I felt a nagging pain in my foot along the side of my heel. Nothing that worried me too much, just something that made me think I needed a low impact day. So instead of running on the stairs and cooling off on the treadmill I decided to ride the bike for 45 minutes and actually gave myself quite the little spin workout while also giving my feet a  break from the pounding. It’s so easy to forget how good it feels to change things up every once and a while.

Once I was done with cardio I had just enough time to get in the back and arm workout I had planned. Question for all the women out there who love to work arms and build strong biceps….How do guys feel about your muscles? Do they think it’s sexy? Are they scared you’ll get too big?

I’ve had many conversations with Florida about his and my thoughts on what kind of body we find attractive. For myself, I love muscle and looking tight and toned – I’m fascinated by the science and hard work that it takes to build the body you want. I know there are women out there who are afraid to lift because they don’t want to get “bulky” but I feel like there are equally as many men who will agree!

I’ll never get big and buff because it’s simply not my goal; however, I do love a good pump.

So Florida will have to deal. :P

But I digress,

Breakfast this morning was 3 egg whites and a few strawberries to add some fruit in my life. Followed by a boring bowl of oatmeal that I didn’t snap a picture of.

Mahi Mahi for lunch and I already can’t wait!

Have a great day!

Balance

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was nice. Filled with lots of relaxation which always feels good after my weeks and early mornings. We did a lot of cooking, TV and movie watching, more cooking and I got a workout and hike in. Not too bad!

We’ve been eating a lot of chicken lately. It’s so affordable at our local grocery store, which is a plus, and Nick always cooks it just right. Seriously perfect. Chicken can be hard but his is so moist and not well-done at all – I just love it. So he made the chicken and I was in charge of the Brussels sprouts. So good!

Cooked in a little coconut oil, chopped jalapeno and topped with some sugar free syrup. Mmmmm These were fantastic!

Saturday we lounged around in the morning. Drank coffee, read the news and then walked to Southport to grab a doughnut from this rad food truck that drives around the city selling doughnuts.

Doughnut Vault is aaaamazing and I’m not even a huge doughnut fan but these, they’re on another level. Nick and I always hope the Vault Van will be lingering in our hood and lucky us –

It was!

I’m working on this thing called balance lately ;) And it’s really working for me. For so long I’ve been an all or nothing kinda gal. Either deprivation or Can’t. Stop. Eating. So. Good. Can’t. Stop. It’s truly been a battle, especially living with a man and feeling like you can keep up with everything they east as well. But I’m finally feeling like I’ve found my healthy balance. I’m not going to say no to a delicious doughnut because in the end that just creates bad habits and it’s a downward spiral from there – a spiral I’ve been down before. Balance. Balance. Balance is my new motto.

We concluded the weekend with a drive out to Palos Hills, a suburb of Chicago, to see where Nicky Boy grew up and take a hike in the forest preserves. It was a bit chilly but so beautiful and just so nice to get out of the city and into nature with my love.

Pre-Workout

Pre- workouts, pre-workouts…I love pre-workouts! I may still be a little amped up from it this morning. LOTS of energy over here.

I love it! Like I’ve mentioned. I get up really early every morning to work out before work and as much as I love it there are some days that I question my sanity. On those days a pre-workout comes in quite handy. In fact, it’s essential.

I may or may not have felt a bit zombie-like today, so I was super pumped when I realized I had this sample in my purse –

I had been waiting for the right day to take it. It’s actually a fat burner that can be taken as a pre-workout due to the fact that it has the caffeine equivalent of 3 cups of coffee. That really isn’t tooooo much for me, so I also had a little monster as well. DON’T try this at home please. ;) My body can handle a lot of caffeine because I’m used to it (not necessarily a good thing) but I know how much I can take and the mix for ME was perfect.

I felt really energized and strong once I got the gym. I did a lot more on the stairs – in fact, I hit a personal record of flights within a certain amount of time. Yessss! So I did about 30 minutes there and ran for 15 – even my run was faster and stronger!

Now I’m anxious to get my hands on other pre-workouts. Does anyone have any recommendations? I’d love to hear about them!

Back to work for me and so excited it’s already Thursday. It’s still a bit chilly here in Chi and really wishing I was in Siesta Key right now, sipping on a fun drink and relaxing in the sun….