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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What I Ate Tuesday and (Almost) Raw Fudgy Bite Cookies

My week started out a little crazy.  We are doing with some re-organizing because our spare bedroom is eventually going to be my new office.  I was hoping to get it set up before the New Year, but with the chance of having to raise our home in front of us right now, those plans are put on hold.  I need to go through boxes and organize some things so if we do have to pack up to move out for 3 to 4 months, I will be prepared.  It's not a fun process, but it has to be done.   I kept my food really simple today because it was hectic, but here's a brief snapshot of what I ate (mostly drank).

For breakfast this week I've been trying a new Raw Protein Shake.  I mixed Garden of Life Protein Powder with 1 spoon of Wilderness Poet's Hempspread.  I also added a little almond milk and dash of stevia.  It tasted ok.


For lunch I had hummus and some veggies.


My friend asked me to go for a coffee and I thought it would be a nice break from all the craziness of my house, so we headed off to Manasquan and found a cute little place called Green Planet Coffee Co. on Main Street..  I was delighted to see they now offer almond milk cappuccino's. 


It's so cold here at the Jersey Shore today, only in the 20's so it was nice to enjoy an almond milk cappuccino and hang out with a friend for a bit.  It's a cute place with a nice ambiance and a perfect place to hang out and stay warm.

There is another one located on Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant and you can see my review here.

I love the decor and it was nice to be a be able to get spend time with a friend.  The place is smaller than the Point Pleasant location, but it's still a charming little place to stop in and relax, especially when it's so cold out!  It's a great time to meet up with my friend Hiedi before all the crazy preparations for Thanksgiving start!  


 Next it was time to take Mandy for a walk around the neighborhood.  She does not like the cold, so it was just a 1 mile walk by the water. 


Inspite of the cold, it was an absolute beautiful day! 

 

After our walk I made these yummy protein fudgy bite cookies (recipe below).  They tasted so good, almost like a brownie.   


For dinner I kept it simple by making another protein shake.  I blended 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of mango/pineapple mix, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of nut butter, stevia, handful of pumpkin seeds and a couple big handfuls of spinach.  


Here's the ingredients I used in my cookie:

Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder


Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter with Sesame Seeds


Wilderness Poet's Hempspread


Artisana Raw Coconut Butter


Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar


Here's the cookie recipe ...


(Almost) Raw Fudgy Bites
Recipe by: Gluten Free Jersey Girl
Gluten free, dairy free, paleo 

Serves 1-2

Ingredients 

1 Tablespoon protein powder
1 Tablespoon chocolate almond butter with sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon coconut butter
1 Tablespoon coconut nectar

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together

Be patient as the batter will be very thick.  If you need too, add a touch of almond milk.  Be sure to stir enough so the batter becomes as smooth as you can get it.
Roll into balls and refrigerate for a half an hour.

Enjoy


Notes:  You can use any protein powder or nut butters that you like.  This recipe works well with peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter.  Makes approximately
5-6 small round cookies.

After dinner Mandy was enjoying lounging with her blanket while I worked on my laptop.




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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Fun Day around the Jersey Shore

I found my happy place!


Fall Sundays at the Jersey Shore are a great time to drive around and see different areas that we have not been to, especially since the summer crowds are gone.  I have been living here for 15 years, but I had no idea this beautiful little jem was this close to me.  I grew in Upper Montclair surrounded by beautiful parks and since moving to Brick, have missed them so much.  Brick is set up more like a city, so there are no parks like this here.  The bay is a half a block from my house and it's absolutely beautiful here, but I miss parks.  After having lunch in Belmar the other day, my friend and I happened upon this beautiful lake.  We didn't have time to stop, so I brought my husband and son and we had the best time walking, taking pictures and of course climbing trees.


It was so much fun watching the ducks swimming in the water and enjoying the serenity and beauty of nature.


My son and I had quite a fun time climbing this awesome shaped tree. 


I almost fell off!  


I did it!  Ok, well it was not that high, but it was fun!



I had to hug the tree!! 


Kevin (almost) hugged a tree!!


It was a cloudy day, but it was still beautiful and I enjoyed every moment ... I found my happy place!
 I find such peace and serenity when I am in nature.  God's beauty is so inspiring and no mater what is going on in life, all I have to is go out in nature, smell flowers, even looking at beautiful pictures can all make me feel so much better.  I am so incredibly Blessed and I try to embrace every moment.  The world around us can be so chaotic and it is so important that we take time for ourselves to simply be still, and enjoy what surrounds us.   I have been trying to do more of that these days.  I am not one to love the winter time, but I am learning to embrace it more every day.  God whispers to us every day, we just need to listen.  


After enjoying the  walk around this beautiful lake, we stopped in Belmar for something to eat. 
We went to Stay Gold Cafe in Belmar and I had my favorite Guido Salad, yum!!  I also had a delicious almond milk cappuccino.  They had a band playing and we definitely had a fun time!  They also have Acai Bowls and an awesome juice bar!!  


Best salad ever!!  


Yummy almond milk cappuccino!


Neat wall decorations!


Don't miss the juice and smoothie bar -  Acai bowls look amazing (next time). 


Next we stopped at Shore Antiques Center in Allenhurst and Kevin and Davey had some fun looking at antiques!  







Then we stopped at our friends house for a cup of tea and finally, home to relax!
That was our fun Sunday at the Jersey Shore!  

Everyone needs one ... find your happy place !!  

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Church Bells

Serenity

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gluten Free Vegan Lunch at Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar, NJ

Gluten Free Food Scoop ...

So here's the scoop ... I found an awesome gluten free, vegan restaurant in Belmar.

I picked up my favorite shopping buddy Hiedi and we were off to do some shopping, but first up, Starbucks, of course.  We had to take a quick selfie ... then it was off to Williams Sonoma in Sea Girt.  I love this store.  I didn't buy anything, but I definitely had fun looking.  I was going to buy Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free flour that Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando talks about all the time in her blog, but I didn't see the dairy free version, maybe next time.  


After shopping at a bunch of stores, we were hungry and decided to take a ride into Belmar.  
We went to Kaya's Kitchen on Main Street and I have been wanting to try this place for awhile, so it was so much fun to finally be able to take the time and enjoy a fabulous gluten free and dairy free meal.  We had a hard time find them because they are not actually on Main Street, but they are on 10th Avenue next to a restaurant called Matisse.


What a cute place and I loved the design on the wall.  The staff was so friendly and very helpful







There is a large menu with a lot of gluten free items.  Everything is vegan.  

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We ordered several items so we could take some home with us.  


First up, Vegan, gluten free French Onion Soup.  This tasted amazing.  It tasted so much like what I remembered.  The gluten free bread tasted really good too.  I loved this dish.

Heidi had the chili which she said was delicous!



Next up, mac and cheese and veggie stacks.  Heidi got a BLT which was not gluten free, but she said it was very good!  

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The macaroni and cheese was very good.  It did not taste at all like what I remembered, but I still liked it.  I felt like it needed steamed veggies mixed in with it or as a side dish.  That's why I had ordered the veggie stacks, but the taste of both didn't really go together.  Now the veggie stacks were absolutely delicous!  I would definitely get these items again, just not together.  I have a lot of left overs ...  


Unfortunately. I was not able to try Hiedi's dish because it had gluten, but she said that she loved it.  She had never eaten vegan bacon before and was amazed that it was not actually bacon.  



I love this place and can't wait to try it for dinner.  The food tastes fresh and the place is really clean and nicely decorated.  The staff is super friendly and very helpful.  The food is plated really nice and they have a of organic ingredients.  The menu selection is quite large, as is the gluten free section.  I love that they indicate gf on the menu for gluten free which makes ordering for this Gluten Free Jersey Girl super easy.  They do offer gluten free deserts which we didn't try, but maybe next time.   They have Papa Ganache cupcakes which are my favorite vegan gluten free cupcakes and is absolutely the best gluten free bakery in New Jersey.

We had a fun day and then drove around Belmar, Spring Lake and Manasquan looking for the next place to get the gluten free scoop!

We saw these adorable little guys sitting so peacefully in a car .. they were so cute that I had to take their picture!


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