Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Balls

Cravings, Wellness

I’m so over smoothies for breakfast, especially with colder weather coming. And for whatever reason, eggs just aren’t floating my boat. I found this protein ball recipe on cottercrunch.com. A few of these with some hot tea made for a good breakfast. Per the website, each protein ball has approx. 78 calories.

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey if you are not vegan.·
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • 3/4 cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

 

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. YOu can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together. • Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands. •
  3. You might need to add more honey or nut butter if batter gets to dry. See notes.
  4. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  5. Let them freeze for 20-30 minutes then transfer into a Ziploc bag.
  6. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  7. keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks.

 

Pet Travel Troubles

Miscellaneous

Yesterday I flew from California to Mexico and things could not have been worse. Let me set the stage. I had two check on bags, a tote that felt like it weighed 20lbs and my furry baby Sam pictured above.

The first leg: I am blessed to have a friend I’ve nicknamed Florence *&^  Nightengale. She’s Johnny on the spot for friends in need. She took me to the airport and helped me to check in my luggage. We both realized quickly this would not be an easy trip for me having a flight layover, customs, immigration….egads. Sam and I go through security and as I unleashed her, she made a run for it. Luckily, there weren’t many people and I was able to catch her quickly. Security done, now we wait. The waiting went well with the exception of Sam being a child magnet and she can be snippy. So it’s a lot of “no, no, no” on my part. “No touching”. She succumbed to her carrier pretty easily and we boarded the plane. It was a tight squeeze under the seat, but I smooshed her in. And then realized the seat in front was broke and was at a permanent extended lounge position. Sam freaked as it smooshed her more. I tried to calm her, but the back of the chair was about 5 inches from my face. I could not reach her without leaning into the chair (and passenger) next to me to try to console her. She finally calmed down and then the babies started crying and screaming. This too set her off. Again I was unable to console her, but did my best. Thank goodness the passenger next to me was very sympathetic. Thank you passenger! The plane was completely full so trying to change seats would have been an even bigger challenge. So we had to suck it up. Then we sat for an hour before the plane even left! I was aware of every minute.

We make it off the plane, Sam a bit frantic. Next was immigration which we made it through easily. I then get my bags to go through customs. It was a bit stressful as I have to leave her on the floor in her carrier trying to find and grab my bags. One eye on the conveyer belt and one eye on her. I get a cart, load it up and proceed to the line. After waiting in the line for approximately 30 minutes, we reach the agent. She tells me I need to clear Sam in a different area. Ok, fine. I go to the “dog clearing” area. I’ve travelled with Sam a few times now and have never had an issue. Well, there’s always a first time. They would not clear her because the certification did not show she had been treated for fleas. What!!! I just Frontlined her two weeks ago, but this time they wanted to see it on the certification. The true panic sets in, not to mention the language barrier. I’m not a beginner Spanish speaker,  but in times of stress a lot of my knowledge goes out the window. I’m a mess now thinking my dog is getting quarantined. What about my next flight… am I going to have to stay in Guadalajara??? After about 30 more minutes, a man tells me there is a vet that will come and take care of this and gave me his card. I contact the vet who will come….another 30 minutes. We go into a room, he does a ridiculous exam of 10 seconds and sprays her with what must have been a flea spray, fills out the paperwork, and we give it to the agent. She then approves Sam and send me back to the customs line. The vet is with me so I can pay him. We go through customs and of course, we get pulled to the side so they can go through my bags. At this point, a man tells us I will not make my connecting flight. I’m disappointed, but it’s one less stress I guess.

After customs, the vet and I go to the check in counter of the airline to recheck my bags. She tells me I can make my flight, but I need to go quickly and directly to the gate as they are boarding now. The vet concedes his pay, but on the way we see an ATM and we bolt toward it. I get the vet paid, and Sam and I sprint to the gate making the flight. Me sweating with stress and Sam clearly traumatized from being bounced around in a carrier for hours.

In the end, we made it home. Me with the knowledge that I will NEVER travel with Sam internationally if connecting flights are happening. And I will ALWAYS be sure the American vet includes flea info on the certification. As for Sam, I’m pretty sure she needs therapy now.

Scary Movie Picks

Culture, Miscellaneous

How about watching some scary movies for Halloween. Below are a few decent, lesser known creepy movies you might not have heard of.

 

Hush. Solitary house, deaf woman, psychotic stranger. Need I say more.

The Invitation. A dinner party invitation from an ex. Just say no!

Babadook. A child and a creepy book character had me jumping in my chair.

Starry Eyes. An OCD wannabe actress who makes a deal with a perverted evil producer.

Contracted. A 20 something has a one night stand and gets way more than an STD.

Raw. A vegetarian college student tries meat for the first time and then needs more…and more…and more. (French film)

 

 

October Awesomeness

Miscellaneous

                              Autumn is my favorite season.

Here in California, the leaves are starting to change colors with crisp mornings and chilly evenings. Now I’m enjoying burying myself in blankets to sleep (even if I have to keep the window open to do it), longer walks with my 4 legged bestie, red wine, and in honor of October: scary movies.

However, in one week I will be back (thankfully) in Mexico. So, I’m enjoying what little bit of Autumn I have left.

 

 

Current Reads x2

Culture

Persepolis is the true story of a girl growing up in Iran during the early 1980’s. What’s awesome about this book is it’s in comic book format. It made for easy understanding of the government’s transition of power and how life was during that time  (seen through the eyes of a 12+ year old). I read this in a few hours and went to the bookstore for Persepolis II.

 

If you want to read a book that will pull at your heart strings, this is it. I was crying by page 8, underlining passages, giggling through parts and then crying some more. This story is told from the dogs viewpoint which is funny, sweet, and full of wisdom.

How I Became Motivated to Exercise

Wellness

I hate the thought of exercising and then I do it and feel great. So, why do I dread it? For me, it’s the starting that’s difficult. It’s putting on the yoga tape, getting in the car to go to the gym, stepping out the door to walk.

Now, I do yoga and exercises on the regular. What changed? I took the pressure off of myself. I didn’t say, “Tomorrow Im going to start an exercise routine… Tomorrow, I’m running 5k… This week I’m going to the gym 3x”. I just woke up one morning and did 3 poses of yoga. Why? Because I read about these poses and wanted to try them. And then the next morning, I did it again (just because). Before I knew it, it started feeling good to begin my day this way. My body started feeling stronger and I started feeling more positive. I slowly added more poses until I was doing a 20 minute yoga sequence. Now, I’ve added 5 exercises to that.

Sometimes, I skip sequences and sometimes I skip exercises, and sometimes I skip days, and honestly I’ve even skipped weeks.  It’s all okay. I don’t beat myself up. It’s not a “routine” that I have to do. I’m not letting myself down by not doing it. It’s something I do because I enjoy it and I want to. No pressure is the key for me.

So my advice is tomorrow do a stretch, any stretch. And if you feel like it do another. And if you don’t, that’s okay. Maybe the day after tomorrow…if you feel like it.

After a Summer of Caregiving…

Miscellaneous

Thank You To:

The nurses who were all so kind to my dad.

Edward who unselfishly offered love and support throughout.

My sister who helped shoulder the caregiving responsibility and also brought gifts for me!

My best friend who got me out of my head and out of the house.

My teacher and brother in law who texted me throughout the summer wishing my father and I thoughts and prayers

The neighbor who offered their help and rides to church.

My dog that makes me smile everyday and kisses my tears away.

And a special thanks to the woman in the cancer care who touched my arm and gave me a warm smile when I didn’t even realize how desperately I needed it.

xoxo