Monday, June 30, 2014

Recipe: Matcha Green Tea Latte

I am a green tea fanatic but one thing I can't make easily at home is hot green tea lattes that taste good and aren't watered down. Luckily, Kiss Me Organics sent me some Matcha green tea powder along with a recipe book where the first recipe is, of course, a green tea latte! Here's my adaptation.

Organic Matcha is only available on Amazon (and and is even better for you than brewed green tea because you ingest all of the leaf. It has more antioxidants and provide all day energy. The taste is bland and I've used it in my morning smoothie. To make drinks by itself, you need some sort of sweetener because it is bitter otherwise.

Pure Via stevia sweetener, to taste

Heat the almond milk to almost a boil. Add matcha and stevia and mix well. You can also add to a  blender to make frothy.


Win a package of your very own Matcha tea just by commenting on this blog telling me how you currently drink your tea. Then, fill out the rafflecopter app below, let me know in the comments if it doesn't work and I'll add you manually. (Comment is required for entry and I do check!!) You can also get extra entries by tweeting and following me on social media.

Contest ends at midnight on Thursday, July 17. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Kiss Me Organics provided me with a complimentary package of Organic Matcha in exchange for posting this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Favorites from Los Angeles

After my trip to Reno last week, I headed straight for another conference at UCLA for the Forte Foundation, from which I received a fellowship to attend INSEAD. As you can see, the campus is gorgeous (why did I do undergrad in the midwest?) and I even got to go to the beach on Sunday.

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash

You know when you forget to make a grocery list and get a bunch of random things at the store and then end up with an obscure assortment of food in your fridge at the end of the week? Well, that was last weekend for me. I was hungry after paddle boarding and wanted a satisfying but healthy breakfast. So, I got out all of my leftover veggies, found a sweet potato in the cupboard, cracked some eggs, and this is what I came up with! Some of those impromptu meals made out of extras can really turn out to be delicious.

Ingredients (1-2 servings)…add list to Instacart!

1/2 sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic
4-5 stalks asparagus
1/4 red pepper
1 sprig fresh sage
1 green onion
2 organic eggs
salt and pepper to taste
add cayenne pepper for some heat!

1. Chop veggies in to small bite-size pieces. Take leaves off of sage, no need to chop.
2. Add sweet potato, salt, and water to large pan and heat on high. Once boiling, reduce to low heat.
3. Once almost all of the water is evaporated and the sweet potatoes are soft, add the rest of the veggies, including sage leaves, and the olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes, until veggies are soft.
4. Crack open eggs in a bowl and mix to combine yolks and whites. Add eggs to pan and mix thoroughly. Saute for just a couple of minutes until eggs are cooked.
5. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional) to taste and serve!

What's your go-to meal when fridge is scarce and you have to get creative?

Don't forget to enter my Pure Via stevia GIVEAWAY!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favorites from Reno and Lake Tahoe

If you've never seen the sunset from South Lake Tahoe, book your flight right now. Seriously.

What were your favorites this week?

Don't forget to enter my Pure Via stevia GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pure Via Summer Fit Kit GIVEAWAY

Summer is here which means that I general switch from hot to colder beverages, especially with tea. I like to brew fresh tea and let it cool in the fridge and then drink it on my porch. Of course, iced tea tastes much better when it's sweetened and I'm always looking for healthy alternatives to processed sugar. So, I was excited when Pure Via sent me some of their stevia products to try along with Lipton iced tea powder. I never make teas from powder but I will say it is much easier and this Lipton powder dissolves well in cold water.

Pure Via makes a liquid and a powder stevia sweetener. There are some differences between the two but they are both all-natural made from the stevia plant. The liquid is easy to take on the go and one squeeze is as sweet as a teaspoon of sugar. I really liked it in the Lipton tea and also tried it in green tea. The taste is good and I like that there is no after taste. The powder can also be used in liquids and in any recipes calling for sugar.

Lucky for you, Pure Via is providing one HFG reader with a Pure Via Summer Fit Kit giveaway including the following:
  • Box of Pure Via® non-GMO packets
  • Bottle of Pure Via® stevia liquid
  • Bottle of Pure Via® vanilla stevia liquid
  • Container of instant iced tea
  • Pure Via mason jar & straw
  • Pure Via pedometer
  • Pure Via SPF 15 lip balm
All you have to do to enter to win is comment on this post telling me what you would sweeten with your Pure Via. Then, just fill out the rafflecopter app below so I can keep track of entries. If the app isn't working for you, tell me in your comment and I will be sure to enter you manually. You can also follow me and Pure Via on social media for extra entries.

Contest closes on Thursday, June 26, 2014 and is open to U.S. residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Pure Via provided me with the summer fit kit in exchange for this review post and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Favorites

The Color Run in Chicago

Stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Michigan

WOD at Cheetah CrossFit

Walking around Lincoln Park Zoo

Denim day for kickball

What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CTF Paddle Boarding with Chicago SUP

It's official, my new favorite sport/outdoor activity is stand up paddle boarding! Betina at CrossTown Fitness invited me to check out her paddle boarding class and of course I had to do it. I'm enjoying every bit of the warm weather and #summertimechi before I move to France.

CTF's paddle boarding class is every Saturday this summer at 8 am at Chicago SUP on North Ave. beach. Included for CTF members as a regular class, which is normally $25 per class or less with packages. There are also great specials for new clients, like $30 for 3 classes or only $80 for the whole first month. You can purchase classes and sign up here.

We had a pretty big group show up on the beautiful Saturday morning. We got our paddles and life vests and then headed to the water to pick up our boards. After a short lesson, we were ushered to the water and on our way out to sea! I mean, the lake. I've never paddle boarded before so I really didn't know what to expect and was sure that I would fall in the water immediately when I tried to stand on my board. I hesitated at first, but once I got up, I was really surprised at how easy it was to keep my balance. However, I could definitely feel my core working not only to stay upright but also to paddle.

We were on the water for about an hour. We paddled north along the beach and then back. It was work, but fun work and just felt like a stroll along the water. My arms were definitely sore the next day! My favorite part was how peaceful it was out on the water and the incredible views of the city. The pictures really speak for themselves.

You can wear a bathing suit or workout clothes while paddle boarding but it's better to wear something you can get wet in case you accidentally or purposefully fall in. I'm wearing my new Mika Yoga Wear in the picture, more on that later! Also, don't bring your phone on the board (I had my waterproof camera strapped to my vest).

Stand up paddle boarding is so fun and a great way to kick off your Saturday morning. Sign up on CTF's website and check out Chicago SUP to learn more about other paddle boarding programs.

Are you trying any new outdoor activities this summer?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Favorites from St. Louis and CrossFit Nucleus

Happy Friday! Last weekend, Grace and I drove down to St. Louis to celebrate our friend Jill getting married. With lots of food and drinks at the wedding shower and bachelorette party, we of course wanted to start the weekend off healthy. When searching for crossfit boxes in the area, I found one called CrossFit Nucleus and it was just down the street from our hotel in Belleville, IL! I'm a nuclear engineer so of course we had to check this box out. The head trainer, Mike, was kind enough to let us WOD with them on Saturday morning, and we had a great (hot and sweaty) time. It is way warmer and more humid down south! The workout included med ball runs, push-ups, V-ups, broad jumps, and KB swings. The atmosphere was great and everyone was welcoming. If you're ever in the St. Louis area, be sure to head across the river from downtown and check out CrossFit Nucleus!

Coming into STL!

Grace and I pre-WOD.

What a great outdoor area!

The crew after working out.

Purdue friends at Jill's wedding shower.

Checking out the Cardinals game from Ballpark Village.

Bachelorette Party!!

Selfie with Jill after a long night of bachelorette fun.

What were your favorites this week?

What's your favorite bachelorette/bachelor party destination?