ChocoCoco SPLOsion NanaBread

ChocoCoco SPLOsion NanaBread [Paleo & Vegetarian]

The name for this creation is absolutely loco and that is because I am in an extremely good mood! Why? Well, why not? It’s Easter Sunday (for those who celebrate), it’s sunny out, I’ve managed to clean, do laundry, AND bake, and now I am heading off to frolic in the Berlin sun with friends, followed up by an Easter dinner with other friends! Again, I am in an extremely good mood! As I foresee late night drinking & conversation with two of my favorite Berlin men tonight, I went ahead and baked for my boxes’ Easter Monday challenge tomorrow. Yep! One of the my trainers has organized an Easter challenge for Spree CrossFit tomorrow afternoon! If any of my Berlin friends are reading this, then come on out & see what CrossFit is all about! The event begins at 12.00 with a challenge that is open to all – including friends & family members. This will be followed by a challenge for elite/pro athletes only aka members of our box (LOL I can’t even keep a straight face when referring to myself as an elite/pro athlete) – again, come and see what all of us obsess over and do for fun almost four-five days of every week. Afterward there will be food & drinks. I’m assuming there will be a price to pay unless my lovely trainer was simply bitten by the holiday spirit and wanted to cook for all of Berlin. I guess anything is possible, right? Regardless, my ChocoCoco SPLOsion NanaBread will be there!


Going to keep this blog post short & sweet and go ahead and give you the recipe. I adapted my recipe using this blog post as a base.

– 2 Ripe Bananas
– 4 Medium Eggs
– 2 TBS Honey
– 1 TBS Agave Syrup
– 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
– 3/4 Baking Soda
– 1/2 Baking Powder
– 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
– 1 cup Coconut Flour
– 1/2 Coconut Milk
– 1/4 Almond Milk
– 1/2 Hazelnut Shavings
– 1/2 Almond Shavings
– 1 or 2 TBS pure sugar free Cocoa Powder

For the bananas, I simply mash them up using a fork until they are completely soggy & then toss them into my mixing bowl. As always, go ahead and throw errrrrrrything else in at the same time or in whatever damn order you feel. Like I’ve mentioned before, Coconut Flour takes getting used to. There will come a point when you just know you have to add a splash of Milk here or another 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour there – follow your gut & do it! Once your mixture is ready, dump it into a bread pan and then pop that sucker into the oven (which should be pre-heated – the Teufel was set on 6…do I even have to tell you anymore?). This recipe should again take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to be completed. From the 30 minute mark on, just keep checking it every 5 minutes. Once you can stick a toothpick into the center and have it come out clean – it’s done!

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Since it went well with my Crunchy Coconut Bread, I went ahead and put Coconut Sprinkles on the top of this bread too. I will post more pictures tomorrow from this lovely ChocoCoco SPLOsion NanaBread, as well as a review of how it actually tasted! You can expect pictures from the SPREE CrossFit event and my Easter activities as well. Enjoy!


I leave you with this ridiculously sexy song. I mean, come on. If you have this turned all the way up, I don’t see how you could possibly deny it’s sexiness. Easter appropriate? Perhaps not. Still, its just TOO damn good not to share. Wishing you all an incredible end to the weekend!

Crunchy Coconut Bread

Crunchy Coconut Bread [Paleo & Vegetarian]

Yesterday I woke up in cold sweats, hit full force by a flu. I would usually throw back some ibuprofen throughout the day to help get through the body & head aches, however, because I’ve recently had rhabdomyolysis I have been told to steer clear of pain killers. Great. Grrrrrreat. Thankfully today was much better. I was actually capable of moving around which meant I could head to the supermarket to buy some citrus. Oranges & lemons = life savers! After getting some food in my system, and sick of being stuck in my apartment, I went to meet a friend for a chat in a nearby park. (I told you once the sun is out it’s pretty much all I do…)

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This park was beautiful! So spacious & green! Also, I will never agree to meet friends somewhere in the park because holy shit moly it is gigantic. While walking to find a spot to sit, we came upon a mini petting zoo! There were horses, a donkey, and huge buffalo!

“Whoa! How cool are they?!?”
“Yes. They make the best burgers.”

-_____- I can’t take my friends anywhere.

Eventually we found a spot to kick back and relax (amidst wandering drug dealers….ahh yes, Berlin, such a diverse city). While chatting about the present, the near future, and well, life in general (I know, we’re real deep) my friend mentioned he had picked up a copy of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. *ahem* I was the one who suggested it as uplifting reading. *enter smug face here* If you haven’t heard of Meditations, let alone Marcus Aurelius then I suggest you check it out. It’s a collection of his thoughts that have the power to change your outlook on life and current situations you may be dealing with. His words have certainly helped me keep my head up throughout my battle with rhabdomyolysis.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …” – Marcus Aurelius

See? Simple. To the point. Strong.


Now for my new recipe! I can only bake successfully once I’m in a good mood. After being out in the fresh air with a friend, I was definitely up for trying a new recipe. It turned out to be delicious! I made a Crunchy Coconut Bread which I adapted from the following blog post.

– 3/4 cup Coconut Flour
– 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
– 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
– 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
– 5 Medium Eggs
– 1/2 cup Almond Milk
– 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
– 1/2 cup Hazelnut Shavings
– Handful of Coconut Sprinkles
– 1 TBsp Honey
– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

As I am lazy as shit crap when it comes to combining ingredients, I simply throw everything into one bowl at the same time. LOLZ. Whatever, it seems to work just fine. So yes, combine everything within a big bowl aside from the sprinkles. Save those for last! Make sure your oven is pre-heated – as always, the Teufel was set to 6. Once your mixture is ready to go, dump it into a bread pan, sprinkle the coconut over the top, and stick it in the oven! This bread should take anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Around the 30 minute mark, keep a close eye on it! It is done when you’re able to stick a long toothpick right into the center and it comes out clean.

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Since I was feeling good & craving something sweet I thought screw it. I’m going to toast a slice and slather on some Nutella. YOLO.

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Yes. It was as delicious as it looks. So once you’re done drooling I suggest you go out, buy the necessary ingredients, and make your own loaf of Crunchy Coconut Bread!


Tonight’s song choice? One inspired by two friends who have shown me support, and more importantly an incredible time, during my new life here in Berlin. Sit back, turn up the bass, and enjoy.

Choco Coco Cookies

Choco Coco Cookies [Vegetarian]

There’s been a slight delay since my last blog post. Yet again, I apologize. My life has consisted of work, CrossFit, eat, play, REPEAT. The sun has also decided to finally make some appearances in Berlin, and when that happens I find myself heading to a park, sitting in the grass, and doing a whole lot of nothing. Try it some time – it feels damn good. Lucky for me, a slight country girl at heart, there are plenty of green places in Berlin. I usually head to T-Feld, which get this, is an abandoned airfield. Yes. You read that right. It is as magical as it sounds. Great for cloud watching, flying kites, and running into the sunrise before work. I may or may not pretend I am an airplane while running down the center of the airstrips. This past hungover Sunday was spent at Mauerpark with a friend. We went with the intention of finding bikes, however, were quickly swept up in the massive streams of people, the contagious celebration over sunshine in Germany, and instead ended up eating food from every stand (oh wait, that was just me) and watching karaoke-in-the-park.

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Am I the only one who considers all of the junk at flea markets to be magical treasures? I mean seriously. I want it all. All of it. What do you mean I shouldn’t buy this wallet made from a milk carton? It is totally practical…

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That’s right. There was swinging involved. Guess what? Swinging is a workout. This is coming from someone who enjoys throwing weights around in the Box. So worth it though. Next time you see a swing set fuck forget being worried about other people think, jump on & have the time of your life!


Okay, so back to the point of today’s blog post. Choco Coco Cookies. After visiting my parents in mid-March I came back with 8 (yes, 8) bags of coconut flour. I have been trying out ridiculous coconut flour recipes ever since. The Choco Coco Cookies are a definite winner. Posted them to my Instagram (I know, food post on Instagram – so original) and a friend of mine asked for the recipe. She went ahead and made them & they were a success! Makes me so happy to have people trying my recipes out! Needless to say, she was my inspiration to post a blog about this specific recipe. Her Halloween Spirit is quite catching. Only she will understand that last statement. Without further ado – the recipe! I adapted mine from this incredible blog post!

 – 2/3 cup Coconut Flour
 – 1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
 – 1/4 cup Agave Syrup
 – 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
 – 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
 – 2 Large Eggs
 – 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips
– 3/4 cup Almond Milk
– 1/4 cup Coconut Shavings
– 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
– 1/4 tsp Baking Powder

I set the Teufel to 6 (it’s become the standard for me when baking). Go ahead and add everything to a giant bowl, with the exception of the Chocolate Chips. If you haven’t used Coconut Flour before, let me tell you now, it is a tricky little bitch ingredient. The only advice I can give is to go with your gut. You will eventually get the feel for Coconut Flour. It sucks the water out of the surrounding air. If you have mixed everything in the bowl and its still way too powdery, add some additional Almond Milk or Coconut Oil. Likewise, if your mixture is way too runny, add a pinch of Coconut Flour – keep doing so until its at the consistency you want. The consistency should be a bit more on the dry side, but you don’t want your mixture cracking when you roll out the individual cookies. Once your mixture is set, go ahead and add the Chocolate chips. Then roll little cookies, place on the baking sheet, and pop in the oven. As always, I never time this stuff. I just check in on my baking every 5-10 minutes (depending on what I’m making) and then take the item out once it feels right. I think these took about 20-30 minutes.

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So delicious! They came out super soft! Maximum noms. I still had extra mixture left over, so I went ahead and got creative with my second batch. I added the following:

 – Handful of Hazelnut Shavings
– Handful of Almond Pieces
– Middle layer of SunButter

Yup. I made tiny cookies. Slapped on some Sunbutter & then put another tiny cookie on top of it. The result? Magic.

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So delicious. I would suggest you make these ASAP if you are having a sweets craving. They are super quick & easy to make. Get creative and some of your own ingredients! Leave a comment below (or on my Facebook page) and let me know how it went! 🙂


 Now for my song of the day. As I am currently spending all day in bed, sick with what I can only presume to be a flu, I have been listening to the soothing sounds of Herr Redding. I give you my favorite track from him…so many feels. If this song doesn’t get your blood flowing, then you may be an automaton. Happy Easter weekend to all of you!

Dark Nutty Delights

Dark Nutty Delights [Paleo & Vegetarian]

This post is going to be short and sweet (super sweet)! Again, I made some last minute cookies and holy *&$^#*@#*&$&@*# they turned out to be the bomb diggity. Like, the bomb dot freaking com. So let’s get to it – the ingredients:

– 1/2 Cup Hazelnut Grounds
– 1 Cup Almond Grounds
– 1/4 Cup Almond Slivers
– 1/4 Cup Hazelnut Chopped
– 1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes (not shavings!)
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
– 1/8 Cup Almond Milk
– 1 Egg
– Dash of Sea Salt
– 1/8 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1/8 Tsp Baking Powder
– 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Flavoring
– 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
– 2 Blocks of Dark Chocolate (85%)
– Honey
– Coconut Shavings
– 1/2 TBS Cinnamon

At this point I have to thank Bugs (my friend who sent me a fabulous package that inspired me to keep blogging) for the journal she sent. After mixing up the above ingredients I (thankfully) remembered to jot everything down – and what do you know? I had my journal and my trusty wand nearby!

ImageThis is what happens when you give me toys. I am forever picking up my “wand” and waving it around casting spells.

“Oh what? You don’t want to open for me, door? ALOHOMORA, sucka!”

Yes. This is my life…

Back to the recipe. Stick all of the ingredients, aside from the Coconut Shavings, the Honey, and the Dark Chocolate, into a big bowl. Mix. Now make little cookies, place them on wax paper, sprinkle them with the Coconut Shavings, and put them in the oven. Again, I had The Teufel set to 6. After about 10 minutes take your cookies out and drizzle them with honey. Now stick them back in for an additional 5 minutes. Once they’re done take them out and let them cool for a bit. As they do, put your Dark Chocolate into a cup and melt it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Mmmmmmmmm. Now take that melted chocolate and pour it over the tops of your cookies. GO CRAY. Once that’s done, pop your cookies into the fridge to let the chocolate cool and harden for about 10 minutes. Finally…alles ist fertig. Now you may feast.

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*sigh* Since I’m a nice person, I took the majority of the cookies to work, and to CrossFit to share with my friends. Yes. They should consider themselves extremely lucky (and loved). If you have the time, give these cookies a try. You will not be disappointed. They are heavenly. Dare I say my baking skills are getting better? Better not jinx it. Especially since this week I’m attending a Paleo Dinner with friends from the Box. I plan on bringing these cookies, only I’ve decided…

…wait for it…

to add bacon. Yes. You read that right. Fingers crossed it tastes as good as I’m imagining it will. Right. Bed time! Again I leave you with another tune. From one of the baddest chicks. Enjoy!

Coconut Honey Crumbles

Coconut Honey Crumbles [Paleo]

…plus Berlinale and CrossFit road-trip adventures! After work today I found I had a serious craving for something sweet (what else is new, right?) which I blame on the insanity currently taking place at work (again, what else is new?). Inspired by Paleo coconut cookies a friend of mine brought along on our road trip this weekend, I whipped up some Coconut Honey Crumbles. Why did I name them that? Umm, because coconut and honey are in the ingredients and they look crumbly. I know. I am so fucking creative it even blows my mind at times. I posted a picture on my Facebook page & received some requests for the “recipe”. I quote “recipe” because I honestly just grabbed things from my shelf, mixed them up in a bowl, and stuck them in the oven. I ain’t lyin’. Luckily, the result turned out to be yummy (in my tummy) and so I will oblige and post this last-minute-omg-i-want-something-sweet-in-my-mouth-asap “recipe”.

Coconut Honey Crumbles
– 1 Cup Almond Grounds
– 2 TBS Hazelnut Grounds
– 2 TBS SunButter (You could substitute any kind in here!)
– 2 Squares broken Dark Chocolate (99%)
– 1/4 Cup of Dried Cranberries
– 1/4 Cup of Coconut Milk
– 1/4 Cup of Coconut Shavings
– As much Cinnamon as you desire.
– Honey

Possibly one of the best things about this “recipe”? It takes 5 minutes to prepare. Dump all of the ingredients listed above, aside from 1/8 of the Coconut Shavings and the Honey, into a giant bowl and whisk that scheisse up! Now attempt to make small balls (stop giggling) and roll them around in your remaining Coconut Shavings. Place them in the oven (I had The Teufel set on 6) for 10 minutes and they’re done! Almost. HAH. Fooled you. What actually happened was I took them out after 10 minutes, tried one and thought to myself oh hell naw – these are not sweet enough. So I drizzled honey over the tops of them and stuck them back in the oven (the oven wasn’t turned on, but it was still hot enough to let these Crumbles bake for an extra 2-3 minutes). NOW they’re done!

ImageSo delicious! Be sure to give them a try! I mean come on, they take a total of 15 minutes…

Berlinale

Basically, I love Berlin. Even more than my last blog post. Even more than yesterday. It’s true, earlier this week I was asking friends where I could go hiking nearby because I was having a crazy home-sickness for the countryside…but then Berlinale happened. Y’all, my small town German countryside roots definitely came out for all of Berlin to witness. Berlin is currently packed with film celebrities and OMG I AM FREAKING OUT. I went to the premier of Wes Anderson’s  The Grand Budapest Hotel with a friend (who is also from the German countryside), to watch the stars walk the Red Carpet. Needless to say we absolutely lost our shit control when we found ourselves within five feet (FIVE FEET) of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Edward Norton, Bill Murray (he exited his car holding a full Martini, which he prost-ed to the crowd before chugging in one gulp), Tilda fuckinggoddessofawoman Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Wes Anderson and many more. When all of the celebrities had entered the showing of the film, my friend and I went to a bar where we kept switching back and forth from a dazed silence to shouts of “OMG WE WERE RIGHT NEXT TO HIM/HER!”

ImageAvada Kedavra y’all, Avada Kedavra.

Road Trip to Bratislava!

One last thing I need to mention in tonight’s blog (because who knows when I will write again) is the road trip I went on with friends from CrossFit Spree. One of the members at our box works for BoxRox and was heading to the Central Europe Throwdown in Bratislava, Slovakia for the weekend. Lucky for me, he extended the invitation to anyone who was interested. Let’s see, road trip to a country I have yet to visit to see sexy men with glistening muscles workout? SIGN ME UP. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to travel with! Thanks to a last minute (and brilliant) suggestion, we decided to make a pit-stop in Prague on the way to Bratislava. Excellent decision. Turned into about a 2 hour detour as we stuffed our faces with yummy food, and walked around the city basking in the blue skies and sunshine.

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We eventually got back on the road to Bratislava and ended up at our hotel around 20:00. As soon as we were checked-in, we left to check out CrossFit Pressburg who’s team was helping to host the Central Europe Throwdown. Oh, and of course we managed to squeeze a (ridiculously intense) WOD in as well.

ImageAwwwwww yeah! Next morning we went straight to the event to see the first WOD. Originally, some of the girls and I had planned on leaving the event halfway through to see some of the sights in Bratislava – HAH, that definitely didn’t happen. I have never been in such an incredibly uplifting atmosphere. People all around were cheering on every single athlete who had qualified and dared to compete for the event. Onlookers urged the competitors on as they completed snatches, cleans, handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, wall balls, and many more challenges to fight their way into the Top 10.

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ImageIf you ever need to be inspired to workout, come to one of these events. It has definitely motivated me to push myself for the next year and a half in order to come back as a competitor rather than just a spectator. Mark my words. The world needs more Elisabeth Akinwales – such a beast!

Right. It’s time for me to head to bed. So I bid you goodnight and leave you with this sweet, sweet tune.  May it brighten your day and boost you with a bit of confidence while you’re getting ready in the mornings. “The mirror be like…”

Muffin-Tastic-SPLOSION

Muffin-Tastic-SPLOSION [Paleo]

Y’all. Like seriously, y’all. This was the BEST outcome I have had so far with Paleo baked goods. I owe it all to my lovely friends at CrossFit Spree who helped me hunt down Almond Grounds & Coconut Milk (still on the look out for Coconut Flour, Almond Flour & pure Almond Milk – help me out if you’re in Berlin). These muffins are fantastic. I can not stress it enough. If you try no other recipe on my page, TRY THESE. Added bonus? They’re Paleo Friendly.

Before we jump into the recipes though, I want to send a love filled shout out to my old roommate from my days in graduate school at University of Amsterdam. I was surprised by this perfect card in my mailbox earlier today.

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To quote her, the only way the card could have been more perfect is if it had pictured an Owl (me) & a Frog (her) – to keep a long (strange) story short, those are our spirit animals. The card was filled with a list of memories we shared in Amsterdam & it made me remember that the good should always outshine the bad (I’ve mentioned previously that my stay in Amsterdam wasn’t the best health wise)! I miss my old roommate but I am hoping to see her SOON!

Right. First muffin recipe I have for you is for Blueberry Almond Muffins sprinkled with Coconut. Y’ALL. SO GOOD. OMG. To begin, preheat your oven to 6.5 – please remember the POS I am working with. The dreaded Teufel. I think for y’all the oven should be around 300 degrees F. Here are the ingredients I began the evening with – by the end I had decided to make a second batch (didn’t take a picture of the different ingredients used) & was randomly mixing things together. As always.

Blueberry Almond Muffins sprinkled w/ Coconut:
– 1 & 1/2 Cups Almond Grounds
– 1 TBS Hazelnut Grounds
– 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
– 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Flavor
– 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
– 1/4 Cup Honey
– 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
– 2 Eggs
– 1/2 Cup Blueberries
– Handful of Coconut Shavings

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Basically mix everything into a big bowl. I added all the dry ingredients first & then the wet ingredients one by one while constantly using my whisk in between. I melted my Coconut Oil before adding it to the mix. That is it. Now pour that delicious mix into cupcake holders. From my experience with Paleo cooking – more is definitely better. Since Paleo ingredients can sometimes have trouble rising, do not stop at halfway when filling your cupcake holders – fill those bad boys nearly to the top! Then sprinkle them generously with some Coconut Shavings. YUM.

ImageNext, stick them in the oven & leave them there for 20-25 minutes. While these were cooking I decided to make another batch of muffins. I was listening to good music & sipping on red wine – I guess I was simply in the mood to bake! This second batch was inspired by my sexy beast of a WOD partner who brought Paleo Brownies (THAT HAD BACON IN THEM) to the gym last week. It had never occurred to me to mix chocolate & bacon before – sorry but we don’t have insane state fairs filled with foods that induce heart attacks over here (OMG I miss all the heart attack inducing food at the Raleigh NC Fairs – deep fried Snickers bars? Yes please.) so I missed the “chocolate is amaze-balls when combined with bacon” memo. Well, after some mixing & matching I came up with…

Dark Chocolate & Bacon Banana Almond Muffins sprinkled w/ Cinnamon & Red Chili:
– 2 & 1/2 Cups Almond Grounds
– 1 TBS Hazelnut Grounds
– 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
– 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Flavor
– 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
– 1/4 Cup Honey
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
– 2 Eggs
– 1/2 Bar of Dark Chocolate (I usually use 90-99%)
– 7 Strips of Bacon
– 1 Ripe Banana
– Chili Powder
– Cinnamon

Go ahead and mix all the dry ingredients, followed by adding the wet ingredients, as described for the previous muffins. When that’s done fry your bacon so it’s nice and crunchy (one of my trainers insisted crunchy bacon would be the bomb-diggity in baked goods – he was right).

ImageIt’s okay. I know you just drooled. I did as I was frying the bacon. Perfectly natural. Once it’s crunchy rip it up (or cut it up if you’re more civilized) into little bits. Throw it into your mix. Now break apart your dark chocolate and throw that into the mix as well. I decided to add a banana last minute (simply because it was totally brown). All I did was mash it up with a fork and whisk it in with the rest of my mixture. Walaaa. Fill up your cupcake holders (this will make 12 muffins) to the top and then sprinkle them with Cinnamon & Red Chili powder. SO GOOD. Again, stick these in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

The end result?

ImageOMG. Like OMG. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. So good it hurts. Except in a really really good way. You know? Like OMG. That’s basically all I can say at this point.

Blueberry Almond Muffins sprinkled w/ Coconut…

ImageDark Chocolate & Bacon Banana Almond Muffins sprinkled w/ Cinnamon & Red Chili…

Image*sigh* I will be bringing the majority of these with me to the Saturday Morning WOD tomorrow. Promises to be kept. Damnit. Have no doubt, I will be making these again. And again. And again.

In addition to these mind blowing muffins I wanted to give you a quick & easy Paleo Hot Cocoa recipe. Delicious & perfect for the cold weather!

Paleo Hot Cocoa:
– 1 Square of Dark Chocolate
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
– 1/2 Cup Water
– 1 Scoop pure Cocoa Powder
– 1 TBS Honey
– Cinnamon

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Mmmmmmmmmm. Break the Dark Chocolate up into bits & melt in your cup for about 20-30 seconds. Then add your Coconut Milk & Water and microwave for about 2-3 minutes (or until it reaches the temperature you want). Last, add the Honey, the Cocoa Powder, and sprinkle some Cinnamon in. Mix it all up and ENJOY!

My song this week is one you can turn up while sipping on your Paleo Hot Cocoa, eating one of your Paleo Muffins, and enjoying a good book in the candle-light. At least, that’s what I plan on doing…

2014

I know. It’s been a while. Es tut mir leid.

I think the best way to sum up why I’ve been M.I.A. (in regards to my blog) is with one of my favorite quotes, as well as one of my favorite poems, by Thoreau:

“How vain it is to sit down to write, when you have not stood up to live.”

“My life has been the poem
I would have writ,
But I could not both live
And utter it.”

In other words, I feel like I’m finally “living” again. Falling into a routine. Getting comfortable in this crazy, wonderful city. This blog began as an outlet for me – a way to prevent myself from losing my mind as I struggled with the reality of recent events. I was lost. I was scared (I still am at times, as hard as it is to admit). I wasn’t able to spend as much time doing the things I love (mainly working out) as often as I liked, thus, I had plenty of spare time to hang out at home and blog.

Lucky for me, 2014 is already promising to be so much better than last year. Let’s hope it fucking stays that way.

ImageProst to 2014!!!

New and incredible people have become a part of my life. I’ve continued to explore, and dare I say it, fall more and more in love with this breathtaking city. Most importantly, I’m back in the gym! *Insert a ton of obnoxious smiley emoticons.* 

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Incase you can’t read what’s written on the board, it says “pain, sweat, & tears motherf*ckers”.

So yes, I’ve finally fallen back into a routine. Work, CrossFit, sleep, repeat. Whenever I can, I squeeze in reading, sightseeing, nights out & (soon) traveling. As a result, I’ve just been way too damn tired (okay, maybe lazy) and busy to keep up with my blog. Both a good & bad thing. Good because it means I have a life again (not that all you amazing bloggers out their don’t have lives – this got awkward fast) but bad because I haven’t been able to keep up with something I truly do enjoy.

Well, the little push I needed to get me back into blogging showed up by surprise during the week. I received a package from a friend I’ve had since the ripe old age of 7. One of the many amazing things in the package was a journal she said was to “help with my blogging”. I mean, COME ON. I felt like straight up shit poo for not having kept up with my blog after reading that. I also felt so overwhelmingly loved knowing I had an old friend almost halfway across the world from me, who was reading my blog & cared enough to show her support.

ImageI LOVE YOU BUGS!

No more excuses. I will attempt to keep up with this blog much better than I have been for the beginning of 2014 (hey, at least it’s still January). Will it be daily posts? Hell to the no. However, they won’t be monthly posts either.

At the request of another good friend who got me through the end of 2013, I will be posting a tune at the end of every blog. Today I leave you with one called “Breathe”. To all of you who were just as ready as I was for 2013 to be over, WE MADE IT. It’s a new year. Take it day by day, enjoy the little things, and just breathe.

P.S. – Herzlichen Gluckwunsch zum 81 Geburtstag Opa! ❤
opa

P.P.S. – No this isn’t a calm omglifeissobeautifulbutterfliesandpuppies song. This song should inspire you to get up and MOVE. Be it dancing or working out. Enjoy.

Cocoa Banana Pancakes

Cocoa Banana Pancakes [Paleo & Vegetarian]

Remember I wrote you can easily spruce up my quick Banana Pancake recipe? Well that’s exactly what I did this morning! Needed all the energy I could muster to help Spree CrossFit move to its new location! For these Cocoa Banana Pancakes I used:

– 2 Bananas (I was hungry)
– 1 egg
– Olive Oil
– Cashew Butter
– Sun Butter
– Cinnamon
– Sugar Free Cocoa Powder (not pictured!)

ImageIt was only right before blending that I had the brilliant idea to add some of the new sugar free cocoa powder I purchased for a recipe I want to try tomorrow. AND OMG TALK ABOUT A STROKE OF GENIUS.

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ImagePretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I am a chocolate fiend – it is definitely the hardest thing for me to give up for Paleo. However, there are ways to satisfy my craving. This is one of them.

ImageAgain, this entire recipe takes about 10 minutes in total to prepare & cook. Once my mini pancakes were done I slathered cashew butter between some and sun butter (which I just received in the mail from my beautiful Mutti!) between others. The end result was this.

ImageMy breakfast was divine. Had more than enough energy to help with the move this afternoon. It was a success! The new location is great!

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I’ve blogged previously about a CrossYoga session Spree Crossfit hosted. Well, good news for any of you living in Berlin – it’s becoming a permanent thing! Yay for Yoga Sundays! If you’re new to Berlin and in the search for a new gym & new friends definitely come check Spree CrossFit out!

Life in Berlin!

Coconut Oil Hair Mask, Ambassador’s Dinner & Secret Venues!

See? Told you I would have to stray from strict posts about food at some point. Well here’s the first one. I feel I owe this one in explanation for why I’ve been awful at keeping my blog updated throughout this past week. So here goes!

First up, Sunday night I decided to finally try out a Coconut Oil Hair Mask. I’d been reading up on hair treatments online for a while because as you know from my first blog post – my hair has taken quite the beating recently. Since I’d just purchased some fantastic organic coconut oil I figured I’d give this a shot. I used this great blog post to help me through the process!

ImageOMG ya’ll. OH. MY. GOD. My hair hasn’t been this soft since Summer 2012 when I was nice and healthy. Like, OMG. Added plus? (I know, like you even need one.) IT SMELLED SO DELICIOUS. I left my mask on for two hours while I was doing things around the house. I’ve read on other blogs that you can even leave the mask on overnight – that would probably be best for any of you with long luscious locks. As I’ve recently chopped most of my hair off (plus my hair is naturally thin) two hours was all I needed. Seriously though, if you’re in cold weather (like me) and you need an extra kick for your hair – DO THIS. Men and women!

Next up, the Ambassador’s Dinner. One of our students happens to be the son of the Ambassador of Kenya to the Federal Republic of Germany and extended an invitation for the dinner to the director of our school, some of the administration and some faculty members. The dinner was in celebration of Kenya’s 50th Independence Day. Such a beautiful occasion! We entered a super ritzy hotel, had our coats checked,  were greeted by the Ambassador, had our picture taken, and were handed glasses of wine (needless to say, I felt like a star). After some time, however, I realized everyone at this fancy dinner held their glasses daintily by the stem, meanwhile there I was gripping mine like a university student in a cheap bar on a Thursday night (I guess old habits die hard). I kept squealing in delight as all of the politicians wives entered in beautiful traditional Kenyan dresses. GORGEOUS.

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(Ambassador being presented with a cake from the German Embassy!)

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(WE SAT AT A TABLE WITH PETER EIGEN OMG)

The entire event was fantastic! The Ambassador gave a moving speech, there was a live band, the food was UNREAL, and then everyone got up to dance! Oh and as you can see Peter freaking Eigen sat at our table. I shook his hand. Be jealous.

I left the event after a couple of hours to meet up with a friend and set out on another adventure for the night – searching for the secret venue of a mutual friend’s performance. That’s right. Secret venue. The Carmen Sandiego in me did a little dance when presented with this task. We were given the address the night before the performance, however, when we arrived, we were on a tiny street filled with abandoned buildings. Great. After poking around and trying various door handles, we finally got a huge iron gate to open. After a bit of walking we discovered candles lit along the path and knew we were headed in the right direction. Entered a side door and discovered this extremely magical place:

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(Magical room! With free champagne!)

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(Incredible venue! There are the band members below – banjo, cello & guitar!)

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(I fell in love with the disco “ball”.)

Seriously? I love Berlin. Like, love it. The band was incredible as well, its just a shame that this particular venue was more about the food than the music. Can’t wait to see Hungerhoff & The Wild Roots perform properly!

Eggplant Baba Ganoush

Eggplant Baba Ganoush, Cauliflower & Brats! [Paleo & Vegetarian]

Wow. Time seriously flies by when you’re having fun! It’s been way too long since my last blog and for those of you out there actually reading it – I apologize! As I stated in my previous post, so many things were happening this week that any time I had in between was used to catch up on SLEEP. I’ve just gotten a call from a friend I attended grad school with in Amsterdam who’s in town for the weekend, so I’ll be heading out with her tonight. However, I decided I WILL get all my posts on here beforehand because if I procrastinate any longer I’ll be way too far behind. So without further ado, I present to you a meal I prepared Monday night for a couple days of lunch at work – delicious Eggplant Baba Ganoush, Roasted Cauliflower and Mini Brats. The cauliflower and brats are nothing special, but I needed something to go along with the yummy Paleo baba ganoush I wanted to try making. The ingredients you’ll need are:

Eggplant Baba Ganoush
– 1 Eggplant
– 1 TBSP Tahin Butter
– 1 or 2 TBSP Olive Oil
– Lemon
– Spices (I went with Garlic, Chili Powder, Ginger, & Cinnamon)

Cauliflower & Mini Brats
– 1 Cauliflower
– Pack of Mini Brats

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To prepare your eggplant, simply slice it horizontally (I sliced mine into 4 pieces), drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with all your spices and then stick them into the oven and roast until golden and crispy. For my entire meal I had The Teufel set to 5.

ImageMmmmm. Once they were done I removed all the skin and cut them up into small pieces (as small as I could get them). Threw them into the blender along with my tahin butter, a bit more olive oil ,and lemon juice. Blend. Wala – yummy Eggplant Baba Ganoush.

Image(Sorry this isn’t in some fancy bowl like you would see in most food blogs. A.) I’m 26, fresh out of grad school, & finally have an income again. B.) This is my “work lunch” container. C.) Who gives a shit crap about what your food is on as long as the food is delicious.)

For the cauliflower, simply prepare it: peel all the leaves off, cut the core out, break into the individual florets & wash (I did this before making my baba ganoush so that the florets could soak in some hot water and get nice and clean). Throw various spices on them (seriously, throw it on – have some fun in the kitchen!) and stick them in the oven to roast for 10-15 minutes.

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After the cauliflower, throw your brats in next. Let them roast for 10-15 minutes as well. ALL DONE!

ImageIf you’re like me, you looked at this photo and instantly thought – what’s missing? GREENS. That’s right. I honestly feel that if you can, you should have greens with every lunch and dinner. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it’s NUTRITIOUS & DELICIOUS. So I whipped up a ridiculously simple salad because ALL SALADS SHOULD BE SIMPLE. I’m sorry but if it takes 15 steps to make a “salad” it’s not a flippin’ salad.

ImageAll I did was dump some greens onto a giant plate and topped it with sunflower seeds. Done. (I didn’t have the taste for dressing that day.) Simple meal that lasted for two days!