Monday Musts and Minute to Minute WOD

It’s Monday, I am allowed to use an excessive amount of alliteration, right? Good!

But really, Monday’s Musts are pretty important. Stick with me here.

This Monday is Veterans Day in the U.S. I’d say thanking and acknowledging those veterans are a MUST! After staying at West Point last weekend, I’m definitely appreciating those who did and are protecting our country—> DOUBLE MUST!

View from West Point Campus

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A Monday Must—> BOLD Coffee & good FUEL. 2 cups of coffee (a must) and a hot breakfast. I mean, it is 65F here today, that’s cold for us Texans! Haha. Love Grown Foods hot Oats with kiwi and Nuttzo did the trick.

love and nuttzo

A Monday Must—> Wear something that makes you feel stylish. I rarely wear jewelry unless it’s the kind that goes with everything and makes me feel fashionable without trying. Well, Jasmine from Bamy_r made me a customized necklace that is simple, yet stylish. I adore it!

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You can check out her shop here and find her on instagram under @bama_ry. You MUST read her story as well! Oh and you MUST take advantage of the 20% discount she is giving for you all to use. COTTERCRUNCH on bamary.etsy.com to get 20% off the entire purchase.

A Monday Must—> Try this Minute to Minute workout. I actually did this workout last week with my strength class. We partnered up and would switch each minute. Great sweat fest!

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A Monday Must—> check out all the recipes from last week’s MMAZ and all the Marvelous things happening on MMIM!

Meatless Mondays from A-Z: Nuts

thehealthydiva

A Monday Must KNOW—> I became certified smart… wait. Let me explain that one. I mean, I am now a certified Smart person with Zevia! YEP, I feel smarter already. Winking smile

nuttzo and zevia

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We love Zevia are happy to be Ambassadors for them! Plus now the kiwi cotter can get his Cola fix without all the junk!

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What’s one of your Monday Musts?

Cheers,

LC (aka Crazy Cotter)

p.s.

A MUST read—> here, plus a slowdown encouragement quote below

“you don’t go to find meaning in life, you bring meaning to your life. Meaning isn’t something out there waiting for you to discover. The meaning of your life is what you infuse it with…”

Monday Moments

Ever so often my dear friend (blend) Katie writes a post of beautiful life moments captured at each hour of the day. I absolutely adore these posts. You see, we tend to say a lot with our words, but how often do let pictures say a lot about the details of our lives? For us, each day is different (schedule wise) but always includes eating, training, working, enjoying, and —> LIVING.

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Today is a Marvelous Moment Post, by the hour.  Thank Katie U. and Katie G for the inspiration.

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5am

devo

6am

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7am

paleo waffle

9am

trails

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11am –Sherpa wife Duties

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12pm

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1pm- Healthy Bites shop and kitchen time

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PB and jelly Bites 1

4pm –break and late tea

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6pm

wine

porch

7pm

sweet potato

9pm

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10pm

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What marvelous moment are you capturing this hour?

Cheers,

LC

p.s.

Slowdown inspiration for the week. Read here.

 the journey is not external. It’s internal. No matter how far you travel, you’re still left with yourself. At 2am, you’re still alone with you. For me, finding God is really about loving the people right in front of me.”

Monday Muses: Fitness, Food, and Life

I recently was asked where I find my inspiration, in life, recipes, blogging, fitness, etc. In all honesty, it’s not sitting right in front me. I have to OPEN my EYES to see it, to grab hold of it. And it certainty doesn’t happen without the help of so called “muses.”

A muse is someone (or something) that gives you inspiration. Ok technically a muse is a person, but I like to bend the rules and tweak definitions.

My Fitness Muse:

My husband (aka kiwi cotter). He inspires me to do whatever I love (fitness wise). To train smart and recover smarter. I have never felt the need to be at his level or compare myself to anyone else’s goals or training. Why? Simply because there is no JOY that comes from that. When you have a passion for a sport/fitness, you learn to thrive off it.. in YOUR own unique way.

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My Food Muse:

I wish I could say that I get my inspiration from cookbooks or the FOOD channel. But, I don’t. I’d say my inspiration (most of the time) comes from being on budget. Learning to be resourceful with what I have or what I’ve been given.  Browsing the local craft and kitchen store can also help. Smile

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homemade kombucha with raspberry, lime, and maple syrup.

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What was left in our fridge on Saturday night. Placed Udis GF tortilla in a large silicon cup, cracked an egg on top. Baked for 10 minutes then topped with peach salsa. Instant GOODNES!

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My last bit of Pillsbury gluten free pastry dough was put to good use with these ingredients, then shared with my family. Shall I share the recipe this week?

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Ok and I can’t forget these food muses—> check out weekly link ups from Heather’s MMAZ and Laura’s Strange but GOOD.

Life Muses:

Hands down my morning devotional, time with God, reading HIS word. This is a MAJOR muse for me. It keeps me focused on the QUALITY of life. HIS plan for our GOD sized dreams.

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Business and DREAM BIG Muses:

Being around friends and family give me GREAT inspiration to DREAM big! I truly feel like I was called to be a Sherpa wife. I love doing it and will work HARD to be there for my husband, family, etc. It brings me great joy. Which is why I have not been doing healthy bites this month. I needed to focus on family and being a wife. That being said, my DREAM for Healthy Bites is still there, just slowing down for the time being. And if Healthy bites doesn’t ever take off, it’s okay. I think the success of a business comes from sharing and doing what you love in the first place.

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Take a look around you. What do you see? I bet something is there. A muse of some sort. We just need to know how to open our EYES bigger to seem them all.

Pretty Marvelous, right?!

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Name one Muse in your life.

Cheers!

LC

p.s.

I just had to post this blurb from an article from nutrition magazine. It has everything to do with what I said in THIS post.

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An apple a day the FRS way

Well, I just wrote a very detailed post about about why we use and LOVE FRS and now it’s gone. My computer decided it was not ready for Monday and just shut down. Gotta love those moments.

Let’s start over, shall we? I’ll do my best to remember my train of thought.. ha.

So, FRS –> We are hooked.

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But let me tell you why.

First off this stuff is packed with my favorite flavonoid, Quercetin. Quercetin is an amazing anti-oxidant that does wonders, especially for the immunity and the energy producing mitochondria in the body. Apples have great source of Quercetin. Hmm.. maybe that’s why they say an APPLE A DAY….(you know the rest).

But get this…..A serving of FRS contains a healthy amount of quercetin, but to get the equivalent you’d have to be willing – and able – to eat 40 apples in a sitting!

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The FRS ENERGY drink was actually originally developed by health scientists to provide sustained energy for chemotherapy patients. Pretty smart, eh?

Impressive, right? I think so.

You see, I have not had an apple in probably 18 months. I developed a slight fructose malabsorption while we were living in New Zealand and eating apples/pears made me my stomach, well.. NOT HAPPY. My stomach is SO MUCH BETTER now due to natural supplements and treatment, but I’m still a little hesitant to consume raw apples (mental block here).

This is why I am loving FRS. No stomach issues here, phew!

As a Fitfluential Ambassador, I was able to try out more of the FRS Healthy Energy line. I was PUMPED! I knew I liked the original but had yet to try the other flavors of the Energy drink and chews.

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The Healthy ENERGY drink was comes in original (our favorite) and low-cal, and  lots of different delicious flavors. Same nutrient profile, different amount of calories/sugars (obviously). The low-cal ingredients includes sucralose, an artificial sweetener. It’s really a matter of preference here. Both taste great! I am not trying to lose weight, so we often opt for the original. Plus my husband could use the extra calories when training. Ya know?

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Anyway, both are great tasting and full of antioxidants. I like to snag an FRS energy can before teaching spin or a strength and conditioning class. They contain a small amount of caffeine, so perfect for a mid morning boost!

(original on the right, low cal berry on the left)

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The chews were also tasty. I say were because of course they are gone. I used a packet of chews before a short trail run and loved them. 2 chews are around 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar, and PACKED with nutrients.

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The travel packs also come in handy for the gym and traveling. We’ve definitely added both the cans and the travel packs (powder) to our road trip food stash. They’ve become a necessity for those long drives or airport dashes, haha.

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See, no apples here. Just Oranges, bananas, and FRS as my apple (or 40) a day!  Winking smile

I know a lot of you have tried FRS before. Did you love it?

And if you haven’t tried it, you should. Give QUERCETIN a shot. I know my local grocer carries them and so does Target. Just FYI.

Disclaimer: Thanks to FRS for sending me a great variety pack of products to try. I was compensated for this review but thoughts and opinions and entirely my own. ALWAYS my OWN!

Cheers,

LC

P.S

Speaking of Healthy, I am finally starting a monthly shipment system for Healthy Bites. I’ll be sending out Newsletters about updates, flavors, etc. Feel free to sign up below if you want more info.

MIMM: Giving in

If my (our) life could talk right now it’d say….

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Whoa..

Every day I wake up thinking “let’s do this.” And every night I ask myself, “how can I do better?”

Give up? No. Give in? maybe sometimes. Give it all you got? Most of the time.

This past weekend I gave in a little, because I am human, because I needed to remember that giving it your all doesn’t mean doing it all. Am I right?

YOU

I gave in to this face, which led to another walk but one happy pup.

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I gave in to working most of the weekend. But it was for good reason, and I loved being able take care of some of my favorite marathoners.

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Okay and I might have given into a little small business splurge too.

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I gave in to all things cheese this weekend, and no it doesn’t even out when you put it on a salad. This wasn’t even the good kind. Yep, it was processed (gasp!). But it melted great! LOL!  And to top it off, I gave in to a new bottle of wine. Heck, when do I not do that?

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I gave in to publically displaying my chest on instagram in order to show off my new Ellie top. I also gave in to some GOOD humor right when it was needed.

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I gave in to my alarm and slept an extra half hour. Actually I didn’t mean to do that and in fact I ran late to teach spin. So let’s just say I gave in to the grab and go quick energy breakfast. Saved by FRS!

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But one thing I DID not GIVE UP ON… running. Fast, slow, trails, road, solo, together, etc. It’s all about giving ALL to IT!

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In fact, I made my strength class run a DEDICATION mile before we started. They ran, walked, jogged, whatever. We all did it, together, then we tackled this workout. I’m still sore.

WOD

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Not gonna lie, giving in can be quite Marvelous.

Do you Agree?

Cheers,

LC

p.s.

I realize i have a grammar issues.. into vs. in to? Ugh, i can’t think. Grammar natzi’s , feel free to correct.

Wiggle Room

There is a reason I am not a doctor or any other profession that makes you preform well under pressure. I just don’t handle it well. In fact, it makes me anxious just thinking about it. But I do think that a lot of people handle pressure well and thrive off it, like my husband. They don’t call him Last Minute Cotter for a reason ya know? Winking smile

Anyway, I do have a point here. Let me get to it.

Pressure points, or lack there of. During the week I usually have a few deadlines, classes to teach, Healthy bites to make, recipes to share, clients to train, etc. Yes, it’s a semi structured agenda, but always has wiggle room.

I thrive for that wiggle room. It means less pressure to fit it all in. It means I can change my mind without changing my purpose or my plan. It means that even though I have priorities, sometimes ditching those “to-do”  priorities are a life priority. Ya know? A weight is lifted. And you know what? A sense of clarity fills the air. In fact, sometimes that clarity allows me to get the most done or do my best work.

This weekend was full of wiggle room.

Since changing plans for the ZOOMA RACE, the pressure for a weekend run was off. But in fact, I did run and what was meant to be a short run for fresh air turned into a long(ish) leisurely run on the trails. Nope, not saying how far I went or calories burned. I didn’t count those, just ran for time.

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The weekends are also my class free days. The days where I don’t have to teach. But I had a little wiggle room on Sunday and decided to come up with my own workout at the gym anyway. My muscles were wiggling from all the Kettle bell work!

KB

Dinner was a good pantry cleanse since we were leaving to house sit soon. No pressure to fix something intricate, lots of wiggle room to work with here. So I got creative… kinda.

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Steamed potatoes, sautéed green beans, herbs, and canned salmon mixed in a balsamic cream (cream cheese, garlic,and balsamic glaze mixed) with a little chili sauce on top. Oh and a romaine salad.

Not too bad for a pantry cleanse.

Healthy Bites. Lots of wiggle room this weekend. In fact, I didn’t plan on working on so many orders but I was on a roll and due to some wiggle room in our schedule, I got lots done. Oh and I was also able to make a few surprise custom flavor orders. Those are my favorite!

Chocolate Almond Banana Protein and Cranberry vanilla Rum Pecan

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But I have to say, all that pressure I sometimes put on myself during the week, it means nothing. The truth is I am made for wiggle room, perfectly imperfect, always room for INTERNAL improvement (if I want it).

I have a husband who loves me for who I am, not what I do. Which makes me want to do more for him! And which makes me love and respect him more.

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I have my faith, and though at times it feels so heavy, I know God’s strength can lift ANYTHING.

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I know, pressure can be a good thing. It can break us out of our comfort zones, it can mold our character. I get that. I believe that.

I also believe that we’re human. Just a little bit of wiggle room can help take the pressure off to be someone we’re not and instead embrace who we really are.

Perfectly imperfect.

Do you thrive under pressure or are do you like the wiggle room?

Cheers,

LC

Since I didn’t announce the March flavor Healthy Bites, I’m thinking I’d like to do a giveaway for them. Yay or nay? I know, tough question. Winking smile

We’re Nuts. We know.

People often look at our lives and call us nuts. Why’s that?

We are nomads. We are moving once again.

We are pursuing our passions/dreams, hoping one or all will come to fruition.

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We are living paycheck to paycheck.

We are thirty years old have yet to make plans for kids, even though we want them. No 5 year plan, no 2 car garage, no nest egg.

We sweat for a living (triathlete and fitness instructor). Do this workout, it’s especially Sweaty and NUTTY!

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We like to drink our greens and blend up other crazy concoctions. This one is Arugula, Chocolate Stevia, Almond Milk, protein, Banana, and Coconut Kefir.

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We work too much at times (okay a lot of times) and play too hard at times.

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We have faith.

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People think I’m nuts for wanting to be a future SAHM (stay at home mom). For not wanting to be the “bread winner.” For wanting to be a SHERPA wife and supporting my husband’s career.

I know I am nuts, we know we’re nuts. But to us, we wouldn’t have it any other way. When chasing a dream, you need a purpose, and our purpose is to BE nuts over life with EACH other (the ups and the downs).

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Maybe that’s why we adore NUTTZO. Over the past years, Nuttzo has FUELED James and his triathlon career. He’s been a NUTTZO athlete and proud of it too. Yes, it’s an amazing product, but their story is where we are inspired the most.

A few words of Danielle (the founder) and why she started Nuttzo.

Fitness and nutrition have always been an integral part of my life. After adopting two boys from the Ukraine who were vitamin deficient, I became even more focused on preparing creative, flavorful, super-nutritious foods. NuttZo is an Omega-3 powerhouse of nutrition blended into a delectable butter. I’m honored to share it with you and your family.

Adoption was a life changing event for my husband and me. After meeting so many of the beautiful orphaned children while adopting our two sons, we founded Project Left Behind, a 501c3 non-profit organization focused on providing education and living essential to orphans.   I am so pleased to announce that NuttZo is a proud supporter of Project Left Behind.

You see, this company has our heart and WE’RE NUTTZO over it. For the love they share, for the non profit focus, for their PURPOSE, and well.. for their DELICIOUS and REAL INGREDIENT product.

 No added sugars, 100% organic, Healthy Omegas, Peanut Free option, created with a mother’s love. Winking smile

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Disclaimer: Although this is a product review, the opinions are ALL my OWN and you better believe they’re TRUE! Winking smile

This February (the LOVE month), we’re getting even more NUTZ and sharing the LOVE of HEALTH with NUTTZO. I’m planning on creating a few different NUTTZO recipes and heck, maybe I’ll even come up with a NUTTZO healthy bites flavor. Whatcha think?

Are you NUTS like us? Have you tried NUTTZO? Do you support products with a purpose? I hope the answers here are all YES!

Cheers,

LC

Smart Snickers

Well, I’ve been a bit of a tease the past few day. Not on purpose, okay maybe a little. You see, this weekend I posted the two pictures below on my social media accounts. The first one is of the Gingerbread Healthy Bites (December Flavor) and the second picture is of my Grain Free Coconut Snickerdoodle cookies. But I think I confused everyone and now people are wanting Snickerdoodle Healthy Bites. Ha, I love it! And yes, you can order a custom flavor snickerdoodle if you’d like. Winking smile

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These cookies do look like Healthy Bites, but the texture chewiness are definitely COOKIE! I need to share this recipe in order to make up for my lack of DOUGH differentiation.

Well it just so happens that I was selected to participate in a FitFluential campaign this month and had the opportunity to try out my Healthy Holiday baking skills with  using Smart Balance products, including the peanut butter, which was hard to save. In fact, I only managed to save 2 tbsp for the cookie recipe. The rest was devoured!

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See, only a little left. Can you tell I am bit dramatic here? Winking smile

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Okay, onto the recipe. I knew I wanted more bang for your buck so I used both the peanut butter and the blended butter. Both products contain real ingredients as well as blend of omegas to boost the nutrient intake.

The butter is made with a naturally sourced ingredient1 that helps block the cholesterol in the butter. It’s also an excellent source of Omega-3s EPA/DHA & ALA  (32mg EPA/DHA, 20% of 160mg daily value, 500mg ALA, 30% of 1600mg daily value).

The peanut butter contains the same omegas from a flaxseed oil blended in, naturally sweetened, and it’s has ZERO hydrogenated oils. Oh and they are all gluten free of course. YEA!

I found both products easy to mix and bake with. Very pleased with my out come of taste and nutrition stats as well. I think Santa might be able to loosen a belt buckle with these.

coconut snickerdoodle

5.0 from 1 reviews
Smart Coconut Snickers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Blanched Almond meal
  • ½ cup vanilla whey protein ( I used egg white protein)
  • ¼ cup NuNaturals Baking Stevia (or other sugar of choice)
  • 3 TBS Smart butter Blend, softened
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 oz. almond milk or other milk of choice
  • PB Cinnamon FILLING:
  • 3 tbsp balance butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp NuNaturals Baking Stevia
  • 2 tbsp Smart Balance Roasted Peanut Butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Mix your almond meal, coconut flour, whey, natural sweetener, and baking powder. Make sure they are sifted together well. Then add in your softened butter and egg.
  2. Mix well and add the extra almond milk if needed. Make sure you get smooth until dough. Roll the dough out onto some parchment paper.
  3. Now add your mixed filling on top. Spread evenly over the dough. Roll up dough using the parchment paper. Flattened the roll a little then cut into ½ inch pieces. Roll them again into balls and then place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
  4. Serve with milk, coffee, or tea!

115 calories per cookie, 2 grams saturated fat, 5 carbs, 1 gram of sugar, and 4.2 grams protein

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Do you tweak ingredients to get more bang for you buck?

Most of the time I do, but I think I do it more for the challenge. Ha!

Check out Smart Balance’s website for more fun recipes and health tips. I think I might make the peanut butter dip next.

Disclosure: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

Cheers,

LC

I Had Plans

This was my dog yesterday. Plans to lounge and rest. She’s smart!

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This was me.

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Don’t mind the shirt. I actually love it but disagree with it. I do need an off season. It makes me stronger in the end. Yesterday was an off day. I needed a rest day physically. Today my body is feeling so much better for it.  But my brain is still a bit tired. So today I am taking another day off, a mental rest day. Therefore, I’ll have to change some plans.

I had plans to post a recipe for Heather’s amazing MMAZ.

MMAZ-August

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Yes, there are pistachios in there. It’s what I like to call a “sweet hummus.” But the recipe will have to wait to share. Maybe Wednesday? Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait for other recipes, just go check out Heather’s site for more!

I had plans to celebrate MMIM with Katie. While today is marvelous, I’ll have to wait to share some other marvelous news later. I need to let it soak in, I need to just be in the moment. But don’t miss out on other people’s Marvelous. So many to read about HERE!

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I had NO plans this morning. All I knew was that I wanted to make my husband breakfast for when he returned home from swimming. I like those plans. Pretty Simple.

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I had plans to go to Yoga. But then I had the urge to lift and sweat a little. So I did. Actually, I sweated a lot.

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I had plans this afternoon to clean house, to do laundry, to get back in the kitchen to fill more Healthy Bite orders. But instead, I’m focusing on doing just one of those tasks, and giving it 100%! I think I hear the kitchen calling me now.

What’s NOT on your plan today? Enjoy.

Cheers!

LC

Nutmeg is the Spice of Life & Pay it forward Giveaway.

Okay, I’m doing things a little differently today. I don’t think Heather will mind, but I guess I’ll find out.

MMAZ-August

Instead of doing a recipe for this weeks MMAZ, I’m going to talk about the benefits of the ingredient (Nutmeg) and ways to use it! So Martha of me, right? But read all the way to the end, cause you’re gonna want to enter the giveaway. And if you care less about the benefits of nutmeg, then skip to the end. Cliffnote Blog reading is allowed today. Winking smile

Let’s talk Nutmeg. It’s a spice. Yes, obviously. And did you know that it has some pretty amazing benefits? All spices do in fact. But I bet you didn’t know that Nutmeg is the new oyster. What do I mean by that? Supposedly is the new aphrodisiac, ha! And it’s used as a sleep aid. So I am not sure how those two go together, but somehow they do. Ponder hat!

Jokes aside, here are some other benefits of nutmeg.

  • Combined with other spices it can help calm or reduce stress.
  • Used as a digestive tonic
  • Can help reduce asthma
  • Fights depression and anxiety
  • It has anti-inflammatory effect which can help clear up skin.

Not too shabby, eh?

Oh Nutmeg.. love the smell but for the longest time I wasn’t a fan of the taste alone. It wasn’t until I started combining it with certain foods that I began to like this spice. Yes, we use it all the time in baking and in beverages, but that’s usually when you combine it with cinnamon, clove, etc. I’m talking about ways to use it ALONE!

Here are my favorite ways to use Nutmeg:

  • Use it as a rub on lamb, chicken, steak, or pork. Mix it with black pepper, sea salt, oil, chili pepper, and a little honey or maple syrup. Rub on meat then roast in oven. It’s delicious. If you’re really adventurous add it to a coffee rub. And if you’re meatless, try it on roasted Eggplant, squash, or even Roasted Tofu!

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Cornmeal Crusted Tofu with Chili pepper and Nutmeg. Original Recipe here.

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  • Roast cashews with it. Cashews have a buttery flavor, so they are perfect for this spice. Combine oil, sea salt, and nutmeg to raw cashews. Roasted evenly at 450-10 minutes or so. Shake or turn once.
  • Make hummus or tahini. I like to use nutmeg and dried apple with chickpea and tahini. Blend into a sweet hummus!

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  • Sprinkle of top of Fruit. My favorite combos are nutmeg and grilled peaches with a little ricotta and honey. Or I sprinkle nutmeg on top of grapefruit in the morning. Really helps with the bitterness sometimes.
  • And last but not least, use it as a yogurt or ice cream topping. Duh, you know that was coming, right? In fact, I ate it for breakfast the other day. Oikos frozen peach mango yogurt, a little love grown granola, and plenty of nutmeg on top. Amazing! I am in love with this frozen yogurt. Same stats as regular greek yogurt but it tastes like peaches and cream ice cream. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

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Speaking of Oikos Frozen yogurt….

Let’s talk giveaway! As I mentioned in this last post, Oikos has graciously offered free frozen yogurt coupons and $25 Whole Foods Market giftcard to a Cotter Crunch Reader. I would love for one of you to not only win this giveaway, but also do something with it. Like pay it forward. Again, these are just my thoughts, but had to put it out there.

To win Free Oikos Frozen Greek Yogurt Coupons and a $25 giftcard to Wholefoods, do one or more of the following”:

  • Tell me how you would pay it forward if you did win. Would you? Maybe use part of the giftcard to buy someone a meal, a canned good, etc..
  • Check out the other flavors of Oikos Greek Frozen Yogurt. What sounds good to you?
  • Tweet about it and make sure to include @stonyfield and @LCCotter in your tweet.
  • Tell me one way you use Nutmeg, if you like Nutmeg.
  • Go check out all the amazing MMAZ Nutmeg recipes at BetterwithVeggies.com

Open to US and CANADA residents. I’ll pick a winner by Friday the 16th.

Do you have a pay it forward story? Hope so!

Cheers,

LC