Final Exams + WIAW + My Favorite Christmas Movies

Two classes down. Three more to go!

I finished my Business Class last week with a presentation on Accounting. My last Critical Thinking class was today, and I received my final grade. All A’s so far!

On Wednesday I don’t have any classes or commitments, so it will be full of me studying, studying, studying. And oh, okay, maybe a few snacks and Netflix indulgences sprinkled in here and there.

On Thursday I have my two final exams in Ethnic Studies and Microeconomics. Spaced only 30 minutes apart… Ugh! Then right after my Microeconomics exam is scheduled to be over, I have to make a dash to the English building to pick up my graded Writing Portfolio.

Then right after that I have to get ready to head out to The Hobbit midnight premiere. I’m starting to have doubts about going though. It’s just so late, I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. Plus, Thursday is my last day of exams, so I could actually go home that night!

As you may remember, watching The Hobbit midnight premiere was on my 13 Things to Do in the 13 Days Before the World Ends Bucket List. If I do end up skipping it though, I’ve already made plans to watch it with my friend from home on the following Saturday. We’ll see what happens!

Enough school talk. You probably don’t like reading about exams any more than I like taking them! Instead, let’s talk a little bit about food, and also I’ll share a (long) list of my favorite Christmas Movies.

Disclaimer: These posts do not reflect everything that I eat during a day. There are a lot of unpictured snacks like fruit and vegetables, as well as undocumented nibbles as I’m making my meals.

Breakfast

On the drive up to school last week with my parents, we stopped at our mall’s GNC to buy some probiotics because I was almost out. While there, my mom happened to notice that they sold my favorite brown rice protein powder, so of course I had to pick up some of that as well! A one pound jug on Amazon can sell for as much as $20.00, but GNC had them priced much lower, and one of the two jugs that we bought was actually 50% off!

My breakfast for most of the days last week was my banana protein bread of course! One day all my dining hall had was teeny tiny bananas, so I bought two instead of a large one like I usually do. One banana went into the bread, and the other one I sliced up on top.

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Lunch

The all-you-care-to-eat dining halls actually post their menus on Monday for the entire week, so I can always plan out when to go. For this lunch I took advantage of the fact that they already had some plain grilled chicken on the menu, so I didn’t have to special order it. On the side I had a salad of lettuce, carrots and cucumbers. I also sprinkled the chicken with just a little salt because my body just seemed to be craving the sodium!

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Snack #1

I love rice. I really really do.

That’s why I was so excited to see a box of Minute White rice on the shelf at one of my college’s convenience stores. I have over $170.00 left for this semester and only three more days to use it (the money does roll over, but being realistic, if I have money left over this semester, then I’m probably going to have money leftover next semester as well).

So I bought the super-overpriced box of rice and have since used it all up! I’ll be buying another box tomorrow for sure.

I’ve been eating it plain and also mixed with chicken. I also like to mash the rice and add a little extra water to make it into a porridge. Fruit seems to be another great addition to rice, and for my snacks on Monday and Tuesday I cooked up a cup of rice and topped it with a large sliced banana. Full of carbohydrates and the perfect energizing snack.

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Dinner

Nights lately have been getting so cold. Some it has even dropped as far as the low 30’s. This weather makes me hesitant to leave the nice, warm comfort of my room, so I’ve been finding myself going out for lunch, but staying in for supper.

This was one of those nights where I just heated up a few servings of chicken with a can of unsalted green beans.

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Snack #2

These pictures will be the last that you see for a while of my protein powder adventures (probably). I’m going to be visiting a new holistic practioner who can hopefully give me some aid in figuring out new things to try for my digestion, and I’m pretty positive that cutting out grains is going to be a big part of it. From my stint with Paleo I know that quinoa does not bode well with me. I also know that rice both in its “pure state” as well as in its protein powder, while not as bad as quinoa, isn’t too good for me.

So, enjoy this last recipe!

It’s pretty similar to my Microwave Protein Crisp, but in a much larger and more delicious form!

Apple Banana Microwave Protein Crumble

High protein, high fiber, no sugar added, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free

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Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4-1/3 cup brown rice protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • splash of water
  • stevia (optional, but I didn’t use)
  • 1 apple, sliced

Directions:

  1. Slice the apple (peeled or unpeeled) and layer into a small microwaveable container.
  2. Mash the banana in a separate bowl. Add the protein powder and combine.
  3. Sprinkle the baking powder on top. Then, quickly pour a little water directly onto the baking powder until it starts to fizz.
  4. Stir it up fast as the baking powder will cause the mixture to expand. Take advantage of that volume and carefully pour the banana bread mixture over the apple slices and put the container in the microwave.
  5. Cook the crumble for 4-6 minutes until no longer gooey. Time will depend on size of banana, amount of water/protein powder used, and the strength of the microwave.
  6. Enjoy!

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So last week I posted my favorite Christmas music, but this week I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Christmas movies.

I know that Elf and The Grinch are common “favorites,” but I honestly don’t like them all that much… But here are the ones that I grew up watching, and also some recent additions!

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Not Your Typical Christmas Movies: Die Hard 1 and 2, Batman Returns

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TV Specials: Snowglobe, A Golden Christmas: The Second Tail, Christmas Cupid, Desperately Seeking Santa, Santa Baby, Christmas Caper

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Cartoons: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, The Polar Express, Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Scooby Doo’s A Nutcracker Scoob

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Live Action: Home Alone 3, Santa Clause 2, To Grandmother’s House We Go, Twas the Night, The Ultimate Christmas Present, The Family StoneThe Nutcracker, Scrooged, The Holiday, Four Christmases

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I may not post again this week because of my exams, but I wish you all the best of luck on your challenges this week, whether it be in or out of the classroom.

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Do you like tests? I may be in the minority here, but I actually kind of like them!

What is one food that you’d hate to give up? Protein powder for me.

What Christmas movies would you have on your list? I’m probably forgetting some… Always do!

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Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout

Good morning! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. If you missed my last post, check out Sunshine in My Fridays for a fun survey and another Friday Food Finds!

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I don’t have time today for a very long post, but I did want to share this new workout I created for the upcoming holiday season. As you may or may not know, I very much dislike exercising. To encourage me to get in exercise, I made this fun little workout. It involves TURKEYS of course for Thanksgiving and shakes things up a bit and comes at a perfect time because today is October 22 which means we are exactly one month away from Thanksgiving!

You can incorporate this workout however you want into your daily routine. My plan is to do this once a day, increasing my time intervals slowly- Don’t want to get worn out too quickly! This would be a great addition to your morning routine as well as a fun stop in between your miles of biking or running. I did the 30 second intervals just to test it out and my heart already started pumping at the end of four minutes!! And for those of you in college… this is super simple to do in your dorm room! You don’t need a weights and there isn’t much space required.

Each move is pretty self-explanatory and is open for any interpretation that you see fit. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoy it!

*Note: I am not a licensed or certified trainer. This workout is just for fun and I am in no way telling you what is right for you.
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What is your favorite way to make exercising fun?

Do you like these quick workout ideas that you can find on pinterest? What’s your favorite?

Would you be interested in Holiday Hustle workouts for all of the major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc?

Weekend WIAW (With 3 Recipes)

It’s yet another Wednesday, and time for yet another WIAW! If you missed my other posts from last week, here they are: What I Ate/Watched Wednesday, Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread, and Things I’ll Never Know I’ll Never Know (And Another FFF!).

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So…. Notice anything different about Eating 4 Balance?

I’ve changed the header! Fall is all around and I wanted to make the blog’s header and background fit the season appropriately.

It is slowly but surely getting colder, and I am loving every second of it. Long jeans, boots, sweatshirts and fuzzy socks. I love it all!

Especially the food that comes with the cold weather. Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas cookies… My favorite part of the year!

Speaking of Fall… Halloween is coming up soon, which brings us to WIAW, themed appropriately with Spooky Snacks and Healthy Treats!

Thanks Peas and Crayons!
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

This WIAW is going to be a summary of the food I made over the weekend, inspired in part by my last Friday Food Finds #4.

First up, microwave brownies!

Microwave Brownies

Serving size: 2 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp brown rice protein powder (8 grams)*
  • 2 tbsp carob powder (10 grams)*
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (sodium and corn-free)
  • 1 packet stevia (if desired)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 g)*
  • Water, if needed to thin out

Directions: Combine all ingredients and spread in a microwaveable container. Microwave for 1:30 to 2:30 minutes until cooked to desired texture.

Substitution Notes: You can replace the protein powder with regular flour, the carob powder with cocoa powder, and the pumpkin puree with any other kind of fruit puree.

The next recipe that I have for you is inspired by Chockohlawtay’s healthy cookie dough recipes.

Pumpkin Banana Bread Batter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (120 grams)
  • 1 banana, mashed (100 grams)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes or oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder (16 grams)
  • 2 packets stevia

Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate or freeze until thickened. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Oh man is this good! After taking a few bites I had a moment of inspiration and remembered one of my Friday Food Find recipes: zucchini muffins!

So… I just add some shredded zucchini- Instant zucchini bread batter! Shredded carrots would be great too.

Then, I had another idea. Why not add some baking powder and microwave this batter to make REAL zucchini bread muffins?

It was okay, but the batter was much better. Actually, isn’t that always the case? I remember when I younger that I would beg my mom to make chocolate chip cookies just so I could eat the dough. The cookies themselves? I usually only ate one or two. Ha!

And I saved my best recipe for last. Well,  actually it is more of a How-To.

Before my mom drove up on Friday to take me back for the weekend, she texted me and asked if there was anything I needed. One of the things I asked for was acorn squash! When I was still home my mom taught me her trick  for making it in the microwave. And I’m going to share it here so that you can make squash super quick too!

How To Cook Acorn Squash in the Microwave

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe acorn squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place both halves on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 8-10 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

Other than food this weekend, I also visited my grandmother’s for my environmental allergy shot. Ugh.

Here’s a picture of the damage. It really doesn’t do my arm justice at all. After an allergy shot it gets really swollen and hot. Sometimes it even turns into a huge goose egg. Next time. Next time!

In more exciting news, I went to see Pitch Perfect this weekend:

The beginning was a little slow to start, but when you have Fat Amy making cracks every few seconds the film just flew by! I loved all of the songs that they sang and was amazed at how well the actors did with the acapella.

If you haven’t already seen it, YOU NEED TO.

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Do you like the batter/dough of recipes or the finished product better?

Have you ever tried making squash in the microwave?

What exciting things did you do this weekend?

What I Ate/Watched Wednesday

I’m back from Fall Break!

First, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who commented on last week’s WIAW in Stratford, Canada. That post is officially most commented page to date. And that’s all because of you!!

Now, as you may remember, I was pretty excited to go home this weekend because my Fall Break lasted a total of four, long blissful days.

To recap, I spent a majority of that time lounging around and relaxing, but I also did some productive things. On Friday night I went to my old high school’s Homecoming football game. We ended up losing, but I mostly went to catch up with my friends anyways!

Over the weekend my family also rented The Avengers from Redbox. What did you think of the movie? Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how long and boring it was. There were definitely some cool parts, but overall I was left feeling underwhelmed, especially when some people were proclaiming it to be “The Best Movie of the Year!”

During my brother’s homecoming dance my mom and I watched The Five-Year Engagement. Overall better than The Avengers, but not much of a comparison because they are two completely different genres. It was pretty funny, but the middle dragged and was a tad depressing.

 

One movie I can’t wait to see though is Pitch Perfect. I watched “Fat Amy” on Ellen DeGeneres the other day and she was so HILARIOUS!

*I apologize for the language. Just. Too. Funny. To. Pass. Up.
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Let’s get to the real reason why you all are reading, shall we?

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW!

Thanks Peas and Crayons.

Breakfast:

Another banana protein bread made in the microwave.

Made with the last of my brown rice protein powder…

Thankfully I got some more in the mail today though!

Love you amazon and your amazing 2-day shipping!!

Unfortunately, the boxes are not that easy to open.

Stupid tape.

Lunch:

A salad of cucumber slices, lettuce and red grapes.

And blueberry banana bread cake made with my brand new protein powder!

Basically, you just make my microwave banana bread and push some blueberries into the top before cooking. When done, you have a sweet, berry syrup on top and moist bread underneath!

Snack:

Carrots. Deformed and lovely as ever.

Dinner:

A humongous plate of four grilled chicken pieces and steamed zucchini and yellow squash. (Unpictured plates of lettuce, grapes and shredded carrots).

Snack:

Quinoa porridge.

Remember how I told you in this post that I would explain how to make it? Well, I forgot. But I am going to explain the directions now:

How to Make Quinoa Porridge (Breakfast Cereal)

Step 1: Place uncooked quinoa flakes in large bowl (I use about 1/4-1/3 cup).

Step 2: Fill the bowl with double the water (compared to flakes).

Step 3: Microwave quinoa flakes for 2-3 minutes until thick.

Step 4: Add more water as necessary and microwave until desired consistency.

Step 5: Pour a packet of stevia over top. Before mixing, drizzle a little water over the granules of sweetener to prevent clumping.

ENJOY!

I also had a lot of pumpkin protein concoctions.

Including a mash-up of pumpkin puree, protein powder and frozen blueberries.

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So, continuing with all of my healthy snacks for the day, I also have a sneak peak of a recipe that I will be posting soon:

A much better version of Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread!

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What did you do this weekend?

Have you seen The Avengers, The Five-Year Engagement or Pitch Perfect?

Have you watched OSU’s viral half-time video yet? Proud to say that I watched this video before it went viral and its views were still in the thousands!!