A 5'3 Perspective


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Clean Apple Spice Muffins [and the CIBC Run For The Cure]

Lately Pumpkin everything has been the go to flavour for Fall, but what about Apple?! For me, Fall is about layers, crisp air, and apple picking. As a kid I remember heading out to the orchard at least once a year to bring home bags full of delicious local apples. As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away – so why not eat your apples baked inside a delicious and healthy muffin? Apple Spice MuffinsIngredients

2 cups oats
1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
2 droppers of liquid stevia
2 tbsp softened coconut oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 apple (finely chopped)

Optional: 1/3 cups nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients (except for the chopped apple and nuts) in a large mixing bowl. Once the batter is well uniform, fold in apples and nuts. Spoon the mixture evenly into a muffin pan (silicon or lined) and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

On an unrelated note, nest weekend I will be participating in the Ottawa CIBC Run For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. As many of you know, this is a cause that is near an dear to my heart. If you are able to, please visit my fundraising page and donate to this worthy cause – anything and everything helps. I would really appreciate if you could share this link with your friends and family to help raise as much money as possible to further cancer research and bring us closer to finding a cure.

If you are in town on the 6th of October and would like to join Team Esther, please let me know, I would be happy to have you!

Have a wonderful day friends!

xo Lauren


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Overnight Pr-Oatmeal

We’ve all heard it a million times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But preparing a nutritious and delicious meal before the sun comes up can be an absolute pain. This overnight “pr-oatmeal” recipe is something you can throw together minutes before hitting the pillow and it will be ready to eat when you wake up.

Overnight Pr-oatmealIngredients

1/3 cup dry oats
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup pecan pieces (or other nut of choice)
1 scoop of protein powder – I use Optimum Nutrition Cookies and Cream
1/2 and apple chopped into very small pieces
1 cup almond coconut milk (or milk of choice)
cinnamon

Directions

In a container, combine all ingredients and stir well. Place in the fridge overnight. Enjoy cold or heat in the microwave if desired in the morning.

This is a breakfast that will keep you going right through to lunch. And the best part, it tastes like dessert. Now that is a breakfast I can stand behind!

For more recipes and WIAW posts, visit Peas and Crayons.

xo Lauren


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Coconut, Chia Seed Banana Bread

Instead of posting a typical picture food diary for this What I Ate Wednesday – I’m going to share a new recipe.

Banana bread is one of my guilty pleasures – before gluten became an issue for my body i would make this loaf religious for Neil and myself. While he still loves it, I have been testing out healthier and gluten free options to replace my old sugar heavy bread. If you’re a lover of bakery style banana bread – this recipe may need some added sweetness, but otherwise, it is delicious.

Coconut, Chia Seed Banana BreadCoconut Chia Banana BreadIngredients

3 ripe mashed bananas, the more ripe – the better
4 eggs
1/4 cup greek (or goat) yogurt
1 dropper of liquid stevia (or 2 if you like sweet banana bread)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: Add pecan pieces or walnuts for texture. Use about 1/4 cup of add ins.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 340 F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until uniform. Using extra coconut oil, grease a loaf pan. Pour/scoop the mixture into the pan and bake for 55 minutes. Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Happy Wednesday friends!

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday, Plus A Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe

By the time you read this I will be driving the highways of Ontario with my man to visit friends and family in my favourite Canadian city – Toronto! Just because I’m on vacation, doesn’t mean I’m leaving you high and dry – I’m just shifting things a little, instead of sharing what I ate Wednesday, I’m showing Tuesday’s eats! No big deal right? Didn’t think so, but if it does bother you, scroll down, I have an awesome peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough energy bite recipe to share to make up for it! You’re welcome ;).WIAW

Breakfast – This is my favourite meal ever. Yes, ever. Egg white omelette with spinach and goat cheese, topped with homemade guacamole [avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper], with a side of sweet potato pieces. In the background you can see Neil’s french toast and cherries! Oh and don’t forget the Second Cup French Vanilla flavoured coffee!
Snack – A juicy Ontario peach.
Lunch – Not the best looking meal, but it sure tasted great! Salmon, broccoli and sweet potato [yes I am on a yam bender today].
Snack – Typical veggies in a Zip-lock baggy.
Dinner – A salad beast! Lettuce, fresh blueberries, grilled chicken, goat cheese and candied walnuts [walnuts tossed in maple syrup and heated on the stove], topped with Cranberry – Pear White Balsamic from The Unrefined Olive in Ottawa. If you love olive oils and balsamic vinegars, this spot is a must visit!
Dessert – PEANUT BUTTER, CHOCOLATE CHIP, COOKIE DOUGH balls! Yes I have been on a “bite” creating bender – this recipe is the easiest one yet.

Here is what you need: 
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp softened coconut oil
splash of vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips. Once the mixture is uniform, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll into approximately 10 balls and place on wax or parchment paper. Place in the freezer for at least half an hour to harden.

You can serve these delicious bites straight from the freezer. Otherwise – store them in the fridge, they will not keep if they are left out. Keep that in mind if you are bringing them to work for lunch…. or maybe just don’t bring them – I learned the hard way.

Happy hump day friends!

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A Recipe]

Remember when I promised to share the recipe for those coconut lemon balls I raved about? Well I’ve tweaked them just a tiny bit over the week and decided that they are ready to be revealed, but first, let’s take a sneak peek into my photo food diary. WIAW

Breakfast – Green [Brown] Smoothie. During the summer months I always crave something cold and refreshing for breakfast. To make this beast of a smoothie I used about a cup of frozen berries, a huge handful of spinach, a scoop of protein powder and water.
Snack – Goat Yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Lunch – Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce.
Snack – A big bag of veggies. This is my go to afternoon snack, usually consisting of carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Dinner – Steak, a couple pieces of chicken, roasted asparagus and zucchini, and homemade sweet potato fries.
Dessert – Coconut Lemon Goji Balls!! As promised – head over to I’m Fit Possible, where Tara was lovely enough to host me as a guest, to see my recipe.

Have a lovely day friends!

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A New Breakfast Recipe]

Lately it feels as though I have been going grocery shopping on a daily basis but rarely have any meals to make. Over the past week I have been using the clean out the fridge mentality. For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I unintentionally went with a meatless theme as well – which is very atypical for me. I also came up with a delicious and simple new breakfast recipe – banana, egg white and oat pancakes – the name says it all but I’ll share the specifics at the end of this post! WIAW

Breakfast – Healthy Pancakes [scroll down for the recipe] topped with fresh blueberries.
Snack – A handful of almonds.
Lunch – Homemade bento box of cucumber, hard boiled eggs, lactose free cheese, yellow pepper and hummus.
Pre-workout Snack – Goat yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Dinner – Grain free, vegetarian enchiladas

Recipe: Veggie Filled, Meatless, Grain-Free Enchiladas

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Dessert – Lemon Coconut Balls – I’ll share the recipe for these soon, I promise!

On weekdays, my go to breakfast consists of either egg whites and spinach, or goat yogurt and berries – but lately I have been feeling so uninspired by the choices. Last week I came up with a new and extremely simple pancake recipe that I have been cooking non stop – it even gets the boyfriend seal of approval!

Banana, Egg White, Oat Pancakes

Ingedients
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup egg whites
cinnamon [use as much or as little as you like]
dash of vanilla

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Cook on a skillet/pan as you would a typical pancake. For me it takes approximately 2 minutes per side, sometimes less.

What was the best thing you made or ate this past week? Did you try any new recipes?

xo Lauren


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Raw, Vegan, Maple-Coconut Balls

Since my last energy ball recipe was such a hit, I decided to try my luck a creating out a new flavour. A friend of my raves about these delicious treats that she buys at a health food store in Ottawa – so I took it upon myself to create my own version.Maple Coconut BallsIngredients

2 cups raw cashews
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 dropper of liquid stevia (or more maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix all ingredients together using a food processor until a crumbly dough is formed. Roll into approximately 14 balls. Refrigerate for about half an hour before serving.

The store bought version uses raw almonds but I prefer the taste of cashews. I am a firm believer in using ingredients that I already have in my pantry. You could definitely try substituting to almonds [or even another type of nut] and get similar results.

Stores these delicious treats in the fridge – although I doubt they will last long in any household!

xo Lauren