Peanut Butter Runner http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com by jen decurtins Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:29:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=193 Sullie and Zoey’s First BarkBox http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/sullie-and-zoeys-first-barkbox/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/sullie-and-zoeys-first-barkbox/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:12:48 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17681 This post is sponsored by BarkBox. July brings Sullie’s 9th birthday and Zoey’s 9 month birthday. They may be eight years apart in age but they both light up when it comes to new toys and treats. I have to say, I don’t know how you moms do it. I get so much enjoyment out […]

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This post is sponsored by BarkBox.

July brings Sullie’s 9th birthday and Zoey’s 9 month birthday. They may be eight years apart in age but they both light up when it comes to new toys and treats. I have to say, I don’t know how you moms do it. I get so much enjoyment out of giving the girls new treats and toys that I find myself frequently buying them surprises. I love their pure joy and excitement over it. I can’t imagine what it must be like with kids!

This is why I was over the moon happy when BarkBox reached out to me about sampling their service. What a perfect surprise to celebrate “9 and 9!”

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BarkBox is a monthly box of treats and toys that are delivered right to your doorstep. Each box contains 4-6 full sized treats and/or toys that are customized to your dogs size and weight. The toys are almost always sourced from American vendors.

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I was pleased to learn that BarkBox strives to provide organic products whenever they can and any edible products do not contain formaldehyde. In addition, they contain no glycerin whenever possible and are free of wheat, gluten, soy, corn and fillers whenever possible. What’s more is that you can even email them for an allergy-friendly box if your pup is allergic to beef, chicken, turkey, gluten, wheat, soy or corn. How awesome is that? As I’ve written about before, I really care about what I feed my pets. (Read all about it in this post.) The food I feed Sullie freed her from chronic ear infections. I think it’s important not to feed them junk food, just like it is for humans.

Enough about the technical details, let’s see what the girls thought about their boxes. I made videos! :)

Here’s Zoey’s reaction to her first BarkBox.

It never ceases to amaze me how different their little personalities are. Zoey is SO food motivated so she was all about the treats.

And here’s Sullie’s reaction.

More squeaker please! :)

Want to spoil your pups too? I have a super sweet deal for you thanks to BarkBox. If you sign up for any subscription package, they will add on a free month! So sign up for three months, get four or sign up for six and get seven. The plans start at as little as $19/mo which is awesome when you consider that it includes 6 full sized items and shipping. I don’t know about you but I regularly spend $7-9 on one bag of treats.

Use the code PEANUTBUTTERRUNNER for a free month added onto your plan! Click here to purchase. Happy puppy spoiling! :)

This post is sponsored by BarkBox but the opinions (including Sullie’s and Zoey’s!) are our own.


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Honey Almond & Coconut Granola http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/honey-almond-coconut-granola/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/honey-almond-coconut-granola/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:10:06 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17787 For the last year I have been so hooked on granola! I love it for snacking and for topping my smoothies. The granola gives my smoothies serious staying power and keeps me full considerably longer than when I leave it off. After trying just about every granola brand and variety offered at Whole Foods (and […]

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For the last year I have been so hooked on granola! I love it for snacking and for topping my smoothies. The granola gives my smoothies serious staying power and keeps me full considerably longer than when I leave it off. After trying just about every granola brand and variety offered at Whole Foods (and spending a small fortune on granola), I decided to start experimenting with making my own a few months ago. First I developed this Peanut Butter Chia Seed Granola that I made non-stop for about a month. While I still love that granola recipe, I wanted to develop a new recipe that was almond-based and had less nut butter in it.

Honey Almond Granola

May I present to you Honey Almond & Coconut Granola. It took three tries to perfect the recipe but it’s ready to share!

Honey Almond Granola Ingredients

I like to keep my granola ingredients simple. The cost (and the calories!) can really add up if you start including a lot of dried fruits, nuts and other specialty ingredients. I usually challenge myself to make do with what I have on hand because I figure it I have it in my pantry, there’s a good chance you do too!

This recipe includes a mixture of oats, honey, coconut oil, almond butter, dried coconut and sliced almonds. The three flavors I wanted to highlight were honey, almond and coconut. The recipe includes a good bit of honey, which gives it an awesome flavor and sticky/chewy texture. I doubled up on the almonds with almond butter and sliced almonds and also doubled up on the coconut with coconut oil and coconut flakes.

Honey Almond Granola

While I don’t mind crunchy granola, I like to soft bake mine so it’s a little chewy in the center. This is a great recipe for that!

Honey Almond Granola Recipe

You can make this granola in time. I can have it assembled in 5 minutes and it only bakes for about 15 minutes. After a short cooling time, it’s ready to break into clusters and enjoy! This granola is a great snack and also good on yogurt, with milk or on top of smoothies. It also makes a great gift in jars!

Honey Almond & Coconut Granola
(Recipe developed by Jen DeCurtins)

Ingredients:

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats, organic if possible
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup unsalted roasted sliced almonds

Directions:

Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir well to completely coat oats and combine.

Spread granola on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are just starting to get golden brown. The granola will still seem pretty soft when you take it out but it will firm up as it cools. Allow granola to cool on pan before breaking it into clusters. Store in an airtight container.


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Weekend: A Quiet Fourth http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/weekend-a-quiet-fourth/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/weekend-a-quiet-fourth/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:15:29 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17768 I wish I could tell you that I had a super exciting July Fourth weekend…but I didn’t! It was a really quiet and low-key weekend. It felt like the city of Charlotte was a ghost town this weekend. Restaurants were empty, there was no traffic and classes at the studio were pretty slow. We usually […]

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I wish I could tell you that I had a super exciting July Fourth weekend…but I didn’t! It was a really quiet and low-key weekend. It felt like the city of Charlotte was a ghost town this weekend. Restaurants were empty, there was no traffic and classes at the studio were pretty slow. We usually have pretty high numbers on holidays…even Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think almost everyone was at the beach or the lake!

Of course social media doesn’t help that feeling of “wow, I kind of feel like a loser for not even having cookout plans” when it seems like everyone you know is hashtagging #merica (a trend I refuse to get on) and throwing back beers or posting family beach pictures…but then I decided that I actually appreciated a quiet weekend with no partying and just having some space to go at a slower pace. From the time I was young, my mom always reinforced in me that you don’t always have to be entertained. Sometimes finding yourself in the middle of nothing is exactly where you need to be.

So here are some pictures from my non-exciting July Fourth weekend! :)

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Rainbow at the end of the Firecracker 5K on Friday night. Our evening ended on the couch with two episodes of Damages. (so.addicted.)

7.4peaches

A really lovely Saturday morning that started with naturally waking up at 7, smoothie, granola baking (third time to ensure new recipe ready to share…and it is!), farmers market and yoga class.

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Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. I’m so glad they’re back.

7.4donuts

My first Your Mom’s Donuts experience at the studio before teaching my 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Life changed. I will be driving to Matthews on Sunday mornings for these things.

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Watermelon and a few hours poolside with two girlfriends and a cute 9 month old baby. It was a really cloudy and stormy weekend in Charlotte but it magically cleared up for the time we were lounging. It was nice to see blue sky after a few days of gray.

7.4planets

Saturday night patio dinner at Vivace. I thought these two bright dots in the sky were planes or helicopters hovering before the fireworks but then I found out that it was actually Venus and Jupiter. Apparently they are very close to us this week. Pretty cool to see.

7.4uptown

We thought we would be able to see the fireworks Uptown from Midtown and stood around for 30 minutes after dinner waiting for them to start. When they finally started just after 10, all we could see were some lights in the sky and reflections off of buildings…womp, womp. Back home to watch Damages!

7.5hs

I subbed a yoga class on Sunday morning. Since so many people were traveling, we had an insane amount of sub requests for classes. It was a lovely way to start the day…but I’m still happy with my decision to take back Sunday mornings!

7.5wrap

I had a serious craving for breakfast burritos after class so that’s what I whipped up for lunch. Scrambled eggs, avocado, black beans, spinach and shredded white cheddar. I pressed them in a FlatOut wrap and then served them with a dipping sauce of plain 2% greek yogurt and salsa mixed together.

7.5plants

I got kind of domestic on Sunday afternoon. I trekked to Home Depot to get some potting soil for my basil plant and came back with a few more herbs and a tomato plant. I wasn’t going to attempt tomatoes this year (I’ve yet to be really successful with them) but then I saw this “patio plant” that was already established and growing tomatoes so I decided my margin of error was a lot smaller and bought it. I placed my herbs and tomato plant on the front porch this year in hopes that a) Zoey won’t dig them up and b) I’ll remember to water them daily since I’ll walk past them so often. My parents did not pass down their gardening gene to me.

7.5baking

Although I am grateful that my dad passed down his cooking and baking gene because that’s how I spent the rest of the afternoon. I love playing in the kitchen when I’m not in a rush. I baked a simple lemon blackberry cake.

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And roasted a chicken alongside some herbs and veggies. The house smelled amazing.

7.5zoey

While the chicken was baking I took Zoey for a really long walk. I decided to forgo a formal workout in favor of a walk. It was a nice way to wrap up the weekend.

I’ll give you one guess how I ended Sunday night? Damages may or may not have been involved! ;) (And there was cake and salted caramel ice cream!)

Did you stay home or travel for the Fourth? What was the best thing you ate over the holiday weekend?

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Best Workout Week: Boot Camp, Circuit Classes, Yoga and a 5K! http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/best-workout-week-boot-camp-circuit-classes-yoga-and-a-5k/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/best-workout-week-boot-camp-circuit-classes-yoga-and-a-5k/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:03:55 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17757 I’m super pumped to share this week’s workout recap with you because for the entire week I felt motivated and challenged. I got out of my rut this week and actually attended a boot camp, participated in some circuit training classes at the gym and ran a 5K race. I’ve said this so many times […]

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I’m super pumped to share this week’s workout recap with you because for the entire week I felt motivated and challenged. I got out of my rut this week and actually attended a boot camp, participated in some circuit training classes at the gym and ran a 5K race. I’ve said this so many times before but although I’m completely capable of programming my own workouts and workout out on my own, sometimes it’s just really nice to have someone else do it for you and to have other people to workout with!

Monday

Boot camp

I went to a boot camp hosted by local CrossFit star Emily Breeze Ross Watson. She’s going to the CrossFit Games for the second year in a row for the team competition. She’s a complete badass and let’s just say that I felt a little like I was training for the CrossFit games during this workout.

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I love Emily because she trains hard but also enjoys her life. Follow her on Instagram for fitness inspiration and healthy balance…donuts after a workout? Perfect. ;)

We met at CrossFit Dilworth and then were instructed to grab a partner and a wall ball and head out to some nearby sports fields. By the time my partner and I got over to the wall balls there were only 20 pound men’s balls left. We put our game faces and grabbed one. Let me just state for the record that there is no way to get comfortable while jogging with a 20 pound wall ball. I felt like I’d gotten my workout in by the time we got the thing to the fields!

The next hour passed in a blur of sprinting (so much sprinting), lunges (so many walking lunges), backwards running (so freaking hard) and jumping. We jogged back to CrossFit Dilworth and did some abs at the end.

I am so happy I finally tried this boot camp. There were over 50 people there and it was such a fun, motivating environment. I work so much harder in a class/group setting and this was just what I needed to bust out of my training rut! I’ll definitely be back again. Plus…it was only $5 which is the deal of the century when it comes to fitness classes in Charlotte. If you live in Charlotte, come check it out. The boot camp meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at CrossFit Dilworth.

Circuit Training Workout

Tuesday

Circuit Training + 30 minute walk

I rode the momentum from Monday night’s workout and decided to jump into the circuit training class at Metro Fitness on Tuesday evening. I enjoyed the 20-minute AMRAP workout we did and finished 7 rounds minus the last run in 20 minutes.

Wednesday

Hot Yoga

I was pretty sore from Monday and Tuesday so I needed to stretch it out!

Circuit Training AMRAP Workout

Thursday

30 minute walk + Circuit Training

Another great circuit training class at Metro. The interval portion of this workout was only 15 minutes long but it was really tough. Great workout and an easy one to try at home. If you don’t have a kettlebell you could sub jumping jacks, jump rope or a dumbbell swing.

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Friday

Hot Yoga + Firecracker 5K

I did a hot yoga class around 3 p.m. to warm up for an evening 5K. I didn’t really have a lot of expectations going into the 5K since I haven’t really been focusing on my running much lately. Luckily, all of the high intensity training, intervals and CrossFit that I do translate well to 5Ks so I did better than expected. I finished in 22:28 which was not a PR but did make me the fourth place female finisher and second in my age group. Over 500 people ran this race so I was pretty happy with my performance.

5kraceresults

While we’re talking about the Firecracker 5K, I have to share that it was one of the best organized races that I have run. It was managed by Start2Finish Events and I was so impressed. We did walk up registration and it was all done on laptop computers. The timing chips were built into the race bibs. The finish area was super snazzy and there was a tent where you could enter your bib number and get a receipt with your results immediately after you finished…before the race was even over! There was also a tent with a giant iMac screen where you could search for pictures of yourself and order…immediately after you finished!

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Saturday

Hot Yoga + 45 minute walk

I couldn’t believe how much that 5K took out of me. I woke up Saturday morning feeling stiff and sore so I had a very gentle yoga practice (in which I used many, many blocks) and took Zoey for a long walk later in the day to stretch out my legs.

Sunday

TBD…I always wait to see how the spirit moves me on Sundays. Haha. I’ll definitely walk Zoey and maybe do a short run.

Do you prefer to workout solo, in a class or with a workout partner? I like a mix but I definitely workout harder with others!

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Discovering Acai + Recent Eats http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/discovering-acai-recent-eats/ http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/discovering-acai-recent-eats/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:56:53 +0000 http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/?p=17742 Hello and happy holiday weekend Friday! I hope many of you have the day off and if not, I hope you have super fun plans for the 4th. Sadly, I do not have either. I am working today and have no plans for the weekend other than subbing classes because everyone else is out of […]

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Hello and happy holiday weekend Friday! I hope many of you have the day off and if not, I hope you have super fun plans for the 4th. Sadly, I do not have either. I am working today and have no plans for the weekend other than subbing classes because everyone else is out of town! We were hoping to get to a pool but the weather is supposed to be pretty blah so we’ll see. I am running a “Firecracker 5K” tonight at 7 p.m. I’ve never run an evening race so I’m super interested to see the difference in my body. I much prefer to work out later in the day.

I have something new to share in this week’s round up of the recent eats.

I have been seeing Acai Bowls blowing up my Instagram feed and all over blogs from my friends who live out in California and other places more trendy than North Carolina. ;) I found these Acai Berry Superfruit Packs at Whole Foods and decided to pick some up to play around with.

acaiberryWe’re offering really amazing smoothies at the yoga studio in our new cafe and I decided I wanted to do some research on these Acai Bowls to see if it’s something we might want to add to the menu. They are South American berries that the latest new “superfruit.” They’re high in antioxidants and some believe they promote weight loss.

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The bowls I’ve seen online have featured a base of acai with various toppings like granola, almond butter, coconut flakes, etc. I’ve played around with the texture doing everything from more of a smoothie bowl to a thicker soft serve texture.

7.3smoothiebowl

My initial verdict is that I love it! The only downside is that the puree is pretty expensive so I’m going to have to do some research on sourcing it wholesale for the studio. I’m sure I can figure something out. I want to add these bowls to the menu along with an option to add homemade granola to any smoothie for $1. Sounds just like me, right?

7.3salad2

Lunches have been salads and snack plates. This was a grab and go salad from the studio with arugula, beet greens, beets, hardboiled egg, avocado, feta, quinoa, walnuts and a tahini balsamic dressing.

7.3salad

Salad with arugula, spinach, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries, deli turkey, beets and feta.

7.3lunch2

Snack plate with avocado rolled in turkey, gouda, crackers and grapes…with a side of skim milk. I started drinking milk when I was home visiting my parents and then picked up some from a local dairy at Whole Foods. I’ve been drinking it on the regular. No idea why it’s tasting so good lately but it is!

7.3lunch1

I made homemade tuna salad yesterday and served it with saltines, cheese and grapes. It reminded me so much of lunches with my grandmother…and made me miss her so much! I am going to try to get down there in the next couple of weeks.

7.3islandporktenderloin

I’ve been cooking up a storm over here this week! We’ve also been eating at the table, which I love. This was Island Pork Tenderloin with sauteed baby zucchini and mashed cauliflower. The cauliflower is yellow because it was an orange variety.

7.3salmon

Baked panko and parmesan wild Alaskan salmon, tomato and mozzarella salad and toasted sourdough.

7.3chickenparm

Chicken parmesan over zoodles. I need to do a chicken parmesan tutorial on the blog. I’ve been making this recipe for like 10 years now!

7.3burger

Last night’s dinner was summer on a plate. I made burgers using local beef from my favorite farmer at Windy Hill and topped them with aged cheddar and sauteed mushrooms. Tomato mozzarella salad on the side with an ear of corn. We “mmmm’d” our way all the way through this dinner.

Time to teach yoga! Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. And remember how lucky we are to be free. So many around the world don’t know what that feels like.

What are your July 4th plans?

Have you tried Acai?


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