Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Blueberry Cherry Bites for July 4th!

Celebrate the sweet vibes of summer with no harm to your bikini bod by treating yourself to a few of my Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Blueberry Cherry Bites. These bite-sized nuggets are at once yummy and so good-for-you, made with only fruit Greek yogurt – 17 calories and 1 gram of protein each! Frozen Yogurt Blueberry Stuffed Cherries

A healthy little dessert to cool off with while watching July 4th fireworks in the backyard, splashing about at the pool, or just rocking up a storm on the porch. Read on to get all the details and recipe instructions! Continue reading

Get Active Outdoors in Austin #FromHereForHere

 

This post was sponsored by Ozarka Water, however all opinions, recipes, and enthusiasm are my own.Hi How are You Mural from AustinI love living in Austin, Texas and, with the exception of a few boomerang moves, I have called this little place (well, now a BIG place) home my entire life – not many folks can say the same! Sure, the live music scene and hipster vibe has made this town trendy and it’s also the place to be for high tech, politics, and a good food truck fix.   However, the opportunities for being active are what I appreciate most about being right here in the ATX. The weather is wonderfully warm and the sun seems to never stop shining on the abundance of parks, lakes and local events where I stay active. And, there are so many local businesses that make products #FromHereForHere (like Ozarka Water) that keep me hydrated and fueled up for my healthy fitness journey.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  My neighborhood has over 20 miles of hike and bike trails to run and explore . . . 

#FromHereForHEre Trail Run in Austin

My house is sublimely sandwiched between two bodies of water. Three miles one way is Lake Travis, the largest reservoir of the Colorado River and home to swimming, boating, scuba diving, and even legal nude bathing in the Hippie Hollow park area (we all want to #KeepAustinWeird). Another three miles down the road the other way is the return of the Colorado River at Mansfield Damn before it turns into downtown’s Lake Austin (more recently renamed Ladybird Lake).

I like to paddle board toward downtown for miles or until my arms tire out . . .

Paddle Boarding Lake Austin

#FromHereFor Here Jet Ski in Austin

 

Some days I get my motor started by taking the jet ski out . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, sometimes I just relax and sit in a chair while my son enjoys after-dinner fishing while our dog standing on guard . . . 

davis fishing with lucy

And, if the water sports in Austin weren’t enough, there is every type of endurance sporting event imaginable – my favorites are probably the Spartan Race in nearby Burnett at Reveille Ranch and the Fit Foodie Race.

Of course, being so active in Austin requires the proper hydration and snacks! And that’s where I can count on Texas to treat me right again! There are so many beverages and foods #FromHereForHere that make it heaven for the adventurous, healthy foodie like myself.

Ozarka Water  by Lake Austin

jennifer ozarkaWith the heat and amount of physical activity I do in the summer, I always concerned about getting enough water. At the top of my cooler you’ll find Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water, sourced from three nearby springs, this water has a uniquely Texan fresh taste! It’s so easy to stay hydrated with this clean-tasting, crisp water that’s available in convenient single-serve bottles and for Ozarka® water delivery at home.

Gotta have that Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water! I try to drink an ounce per pound of my body weight, even more if I’ve run far or worked out hard!

All these outdoor workouts in in Austin makes a girl hungry So, I came up with a super easy nut recipe using a few local ingredients #FromHereForHere . It’s perfect to pack up in a snack baggie for on-the-go munching at the lake or post run!  My Habanero BBQ Almonds use Yellowbird Sauce (a peppery condiment that puts the whoowhee hot yum on EVERYTHING, Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds from Taste Elevated that add in interesting mustard sweet-heat flavor and BBQ Sauce from Snow’s BBQ Sauce (named best in the state by Texas Monthly staff).

Habanero BBQ Almonds

To make, heat skillet to medium- high over stovetop. add 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds. Toast, stirring constantly for 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, 2 teaspoons habanero sauce, 1 tablespoon moist, jarred mustard seeds (with sauce) and 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Cook over medium-low for an additional 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Makes 1 cup.

JElly Queens Spice Kings Grill OzarkaI also found some new local ingredients for my grilling creations — I can’t wait to try them! The Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce from Jelly Queens  is an umami bomb of flavor! I first learned about black garlic about a year ago as an ingredient, but have never seen it used in a prepared artisan product – this stuff will send your taste buds out of bounds!  They also make a fab-looking Steak Rub that will be so on fleek crusting up my flat iron!

Chips Queso Bean Salad OzarkaWhen I’m packing a picnic lunch for the lake, my recipe for Mom’s Best Black Bean, Avocado & Corn Salad is ALWAYS a winner – in fact, the California Avocado Association even named it the winner in the July 4th All-American Recipe Contest in 2014! But add some local love to this salad, I take along Queso con Salsa Escabeche from CookWell & Company  (built around a blend of blue and cheddar cheeses!) and Paqui’s  Tortilla Chips (“better for you” tortilla chips named after the Aztec word for “to be happy”). The family and I are snacking happy until the sun sets!

What do you love most about your hometown? Do you have any must-try local food products? Do you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

Low-Carb, Bunless Sandwich Salute for July 4th

Looking to keep it light and low-carb this summer? I have four fun “sandwich” ideas that offer a real blast of flavor without any bread or buns that will be a hit at your backyard 4th of July celebration, family picnic in the park or anywhere else you plan to do some outdoor entertaining.

First up is my Watermelon Grilled Chicken Capr-easy Sammie. I’m never run out of ways to eat watermelon (you know how I love #LivingOnTheWedge).

Chicken Watermelon Capr-easy Sandwhich -- A fun, low-carb bunless sammie!

Simply take a juicy, grilled chicken breast, two strips of thick cooked bacon, and a slice of mozzarella or provolone and slide between two ½” planks of watermelon cut right from the sweetest, ripest “heart” of the melon. Top with basil and drizzle with some balsamic syrup if so desired!

Chicken, Bacon and Watermelon Sandwich with Sargento Provolone

I’ve been using Sargento® Ultra Thin® Cheese Slices this summer (the company was kind enough to send me product to try and review). Verdict – I love these paper thin slices of natural cheese that deliver 100% of the flavor I want for only 45 calories per slice (that means I can have a couple slices)! I also like how they are thin enough to roll up, fold up or “ruffle” like I did for a garnish on my sammie!

Do you have a favorite way to eat a sandwich without bread? Cheese or no cheese and why? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Chicken Lentil and Veggie Collard Green Wraps with Sriracha RanchNext up, a Chicken, Lentil and Veggie “Green” Wrap —> Click Here

Creative and Healthier Ways to Serve Hot Dogs

Skip the bun and serve your hot dog in a fire roasted jalapeno pepper!Grilling up a good hot dog is a rite of passage in the summer. I don’t eat franks often, but when I do, I usually end up putting a creative spin on the situation — ya know, something outside the bun!

Skip the bun and serve your net hot dog  in a fire roasted jalapeno! Like these Beef Hot Dogs in a “Jalapeno” Bun — no enriched, white flour bread products, just a spicy flame-kissed pepper instead. It’s not hard to find big jalapenos that will sub in nicely for a bun, and you just split them open to grill — they take just about as long as the dogs do on the grates. Afterward, insert the hot dog (I prefer 100% Beef) and add crumbled queso fresco, Sriracha sauce, cilantro and crunch raw radish slices for garnish.

Or, how about just keeping it super simple and eating them with ketchup, mustard and some classic pickle relish like I did at the Prevention R3 Summit this year (again, you can tell I don’t care for the bun)! Maybe hot dogs sans bread aren’t Paleo diet approved per se, put they are Paleo-ish!

Applegate Hot dog and relsih

Also, you don’t want to miss the creative hot dog topping ideas I did for Litehouse Foods last summer — the versions include  Greek God Hot Dog, Garlic Green Machine,  and Cha-Cha Chipotle Dog and use their low-fat, protein-packed line of OPAdipity Dips made with Greek yogurt!

Creative Hot Dog Toppings

So, how do you take your hot dog? Please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer

 

Colorful Protein Smoothie & Run or Dye 5k

Layered strawberry and blueberry smoothie

With the family vacation to Washington, DC and the recent celebration of Independence Day, I’ve been feeling pretty patriotic.  That’s why I’m still blending up delicious and nutritious Red, White & Blue Smoothies and declaring my independence from sugary soft drinks. This healthy frozen beverage is perfect for a breakfast that won’t have you crashing in an hour or also as a muscle-making post-workout treat.

That time we went to the White House.

That time we went to the White House.

Red, White & Blue Protein Smoothie

  • (11.5 oz.) bottle Vanilla Core Power or milk of choice(divided)
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup of frozen red fruit (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, or mix)
  • Ice, as needed
  • Whipped cream, sprinkles and fresh fruit (optional garnish)
  1. Blend blue layer first. Add 1/3 bottle of Core Power high protein milkshake into the blender along with blueberries. Blend until smooth, adding ice if needed to thicken up. Divide among two 16-ounce glasses.
  2. Rinse out blender before making the white layer. Add 1/3 bottle of Core Power Greek yogurt and small handful of ice. Blend until smooth and pour over blue layers.
  3. Make red layer by adding the remaining 1/3 bottle of Core Power to blender along with red fruit and ice, if needed. Blend until smooth and pour over white layers.
  4. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles and fresh fruit to garnish. Serves 2.

Tip: Place glasses in freezer during the preparation of each layer to prevent melting. However, if the smoothie does melt together (which happens in the hot summer), it still has an awesome tie-died look. 

This yummy layered smoothie isn’t the only colorful thing I have to share today — I’m also pumped for the upcoming Run or Dye 5k race.

Blog_Austin_3

I’ve run a lot of races in my day, but not one that sounds nearly as fun as the Run or Dye –it’s billed as the world’s most colorful 5k. Run with your friends or kids to make vivid memories, everyone will long be swapping stories about the color-blasting on the course!  The Austin, Texas Run or Dye 5k is headed to the Travis County Expo Center on the morning of August 30, 2014 and I have a special discount code for you to use – get $10 off admission with the code BLOGAUSTIN .

If you’re on the fence, don’t be. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and looking forward to getting messy – and I’m inviting my BRF (best running friend) to join me.  In my opinion, finishing a race resembling a rainbow is so much better than having mud in every body crevice –plus, how much fun to be laughing with friends along the way. So, the deal with Run or Dye is that you wear white running gear  (for the best effect, but you can wear whatever you want) and get sprayed with safe, eco-friendly dye every kilometer on the course – the dye is made with cornstarch and washes off in the shower and allegedly out of clothes (but I wouldn’t wear anything new)!

So, doesn’t this look like a big, beautiful blast – a riotous rainbow of fun?  After the run, hang out at the Dye Festival and “tie-dye” the sky in an overhead, over-the-top showering of color.  Join the Run or Dye Facebook page so you don’t miss out on any of the action. And, don’t forget to register for  Austin, Tx Run or Dye race with the code BLOGAUSTIN for $10 off!

So, have you run a Run or Dye or similar race before – what tips do I need to know?! Please share in the comments.