Black Bean + Avo Brownies

I rarely post recipes. Mostly because there are already a kazillion recipes on Pinterest, so ya don’t need mine. But I’ve come across one that is too good not to share. There are lots of variations on Pinterest but this one is a winner in my books.

We like to have a little something sweet after supper sometimes and this is quickly becoming my go-to.

May I present … brownies made with black beans and avocado. Sounds weird, but let me tell you they are delish!

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Ingredients:

1/2 avocado [large, ripe]
1 15oz can black beans
1 egg + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut oil
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate chips or chopped chunks of chocolate

Bake 25 – 35 mins at 350ºF.

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The best part is that you just throw everything except the chocolate chunks into a Vitamix [or equivalent] and blend away.

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Then add most of the chocolate chunks and stir in.DSC01589

Sprinkle some on top if you like.DSC01599  DSC01602

Best served with whipped cream (or coconut whip if you’re avoiding dairy) and drizzled with maple syrup.DSC01609

Mmm mmm! Enjoy!

It’s A Good Life

Way back in like, July of last year I got an email from GoodLife Fitness wondering if I’d be interested in participating in their blogger ambassador program. I was like of course! – – – but then I got engaged, married, and so on, and before I knew it, the offer had expired and I hadn’t even taken advantage.

But luckily GoodLife gave me another opportunity to try out their facility, and it works out quite nicely because my married life brought me pretty much right next door to one of their awesome gyms! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every trip, whether 20 minutes or 2 hours, that I’ve made to the gym. Feels so good to get a little more active – it helps me think more clearly.

DSC01478I’m not the best with schedules so I haven’t made it to a ton of the group classes like I hoped, but I did try out their yoga class and RPM spin class. Though the yoga was challenging and lovely, I think I’ll always prefer a yoga studio (particularly hot) over gym yoga. Just a little different environment and mentality around the yoga-dedicated studios.

The spin class, however, was absolutely terrific. I can’t wait to get back for another! There’s nothing like pump up music + someone hollering at you to go hard + everyone around you peddling their butts off to get you motivated.

I’m also a big fan of Woman’s Only area because I feel like I can go harder when big, jacked men aren’t lurking in the shadows. Not that there’s anything wrong with big, jacked men. Just a personal preference.

DSC01481I guess the lingering question here is why in the world would GoodLife even consider me as an ambassador – right? I attempt to stay active and I adore learning about food/nutrition, but I’m certainly not one of those fitness buffs that dedicates her life to being ripped-as. (In fact, I really did not know what sort of photos I would use to accompany with this post. The gym selfies … I’m just not there folks. I opted for a photo of a very exciting wedding gift Dane and I recieved – the Vitamix!! We use it every day. Also shown is one of two amazing paintings we got as a wedding gift. We are fortunate to have very artistic friends.)

DSC01494 DSC01497Anyway back to my point … GoodLife wants to appeal to all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. They strive to create an undiscriminating environment where even the largest of folks can feel 100% comfortable. And trust me, there are some large ones (but good on em for gettin’ to the gym – I love that they are making a change). From what I’ve seen, GoodLife’s vision is very much alive amongst its employees. They make an extra effort to greet each person warmly (more-so than I have seen at other gyms) and the trainers are super motivating.

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Post workout selfie. Whatever.

On another side note, I finally got around to watching the Fed Up documentary. It’s good to remember that even if you are active person, if your diet sucks, your health sucks. I am famous for sneaking chocolates and desserts so sometimes I need a good kick in the butt to remind me to tone it down.

I learned that 4g of sugar is equal to 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp. Check the packaging on the next food item you eat. You might be appalled at just how much sugar is in it. The absolute worst are pasteurized juices that are marketed to be healthy and full of vitamins. The sugar content is insanely high and you miss all the fiber that would normally accompany the fruit. On top of that, the pasteurization process kills the enzymes and the power of the nutrients is weakened.

So yeah. You won’t see me promoting Vitamin Water here (32 grams of sugar – aka 8 tsp – aka so not even remotely worth it). But GoodLife? I think soo!

Foodie Dates

If you know me, you know there are two things (among others, but these two especially) that I absolutely love.
Date nights and [good] food.

Leyda’s never disappoints. I love their healthy, wholesome, flavorful, balanced menu.

DSC01380 DSC01383 DSC01385 No doggie bag needed…DSC01387They also have an unbeatable carrot cake that I still drool over.DSC01389 DSC01391In Edmonton, my husband and I tried out Meat. As the name suggests, their specialty is meat – tender, mouth-watering, smoked meat.DSC01405 DSC01402They also had a series of home-made sauces…DSC01395 DSC01397Mouthwatering salad … DSC01398They aren’t too fussed about presentation. We chose an apple bourbon porkchop (thick n juicy, not the kind you buy for $3 from Walmart) and beef brisket. Tender like you wouldn’t believe. And garlic fries made with real garlic (I’m a big fan of real garlic by the way… unlike the rest of my family… hey I married a Ukrainian so maybe I can blame it on that!). And a huuuge dill pickle.
Meat lovers must try this place.DSC01399 The next day, after a big sleep-in and an extremely leisurely morning/afternoon with our buddies in Edmonton, we went for a little snacky-poo. The place we wanted to hit was actually closed so we settled for a nearby option which proved to be a delight. Dane and I had a smoked salmon/caper/pear pizza. DSC01406DSC01411 DSC01409 The name of the place was Tiramisu, so naturally we had to try out their tiramisu! DSC01414 DSC01415 DSC01417After some shopping at WEM, we settled in for a cozy night of Ticket To Ride, Heads Up, and so on. We seriously were having such a good time playing Heads Up that 2:00am came around and we didn’t even notice. Nerds? I think so. DSC01424We had a quick lunch before saying our goodbyes to this lovely couple, and hittin’ the old dusty trail. IMG_8985 IMG_8986 IMG_8987Sar and I also hit up Ayden one day on our lunch break. We had a decadent potato soup and a salad with ample greens and deep fried onion flakes. Some restaurants just really got it figured out and Ayden is one of them. DSC01430 DSC01432And those are [a few] of my food adventures to date.

Christmas in Kicking Horse

Road trips and Starbucks go hand in hand …IMG_8337 Dane forgot alll his snow gear, so we had to make an unscheduled stop at the Banff thrift shops. He found one steal of a deal. It was actually nasty but it did the jobIMG_8869IMG_8868Loved this cozy spot to read ❤IMG_8881Zara helping in the kitchen ❤IMG_8342Carving the turkey for Christmas dins ❤IMG_8344 IMG_8351 IMG_8355We enjoyed endless amazing spreads like this … so spoiled. IMG_8364 IMG_8365 IMG_8368Make-shift high chair :) IMG_8369 IMG_8371Secret Santa Exchange :) IMG_8372 IMG_8376 IMG_8377 IMG_8378 IMG_8379Quite coy about his new Wyoming sweater from Uncle Trent ❤ IMG_8381An American-wrapped gift! IMG_8383 IMG_8388 IMG_8389 IMG_8392Christmas isn’t complete without shortbread cookies … IMG_8395IMG_8409 IMG_8396 IMG_8399 IMG_8401Our one handed barista! They were still as tasty as ever! IMG_8402 IMG_8407 IMG_8412 IMG_8415 IMG_8416 IMG_8418DSC01292 DSC01294 DSC01295Believe it or not, Zara actually loved being smushed up like a pancake to grandpa’s back – she fell asleep pretty quickly! DSC01296 DSC01298 DSC01302 DSC01303 DSC01306 DSC01308 DSC01312 DSC01316 DSC01321 DSC01328 DSC01331 DSC01343 DSC01344 DSC01350 DSC01363 DSC01364DSC01346 DSC01367 IMG_8421 IMG_8422 IMG_8424 IMG_8425 IMG_8430 IMG_8432 IMG_8436DSC01368 DSC01369 DSC01370 DSC01372 DSC01375 DSC01377 IMG_8893A super relaxing week with lots of sleep-ins, snoozes, hot tubs and a few snowboard attempts. We are spoiled! ❤ ❤

Rockin’ Out With Mobil Grain

The annual Mobil Grain partay is always a thriller. These lovely ladies sure know how to throw it all together. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetDollar Store gift boxes for daaayz. IMG_8818They all fit in the Jetta! Win! IMG_8819Let me back up a bit. This year we planned to have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party and an Employee Talent Show. We had a hunch that not too many would participate, so we decided to involve some of the men in another way :) We found a Bollywood dance on Youtube, which we religiously practiced on our lunch hour …
(blinds down obviously)

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 11.29.43 PMI mean, practiced when we weren’t indulging in croissants and macarons from Little Bird of course.Processed with VSCOcam with x1 presetDSC01259We snuck some photos of a few fellows and turned them into face masks …IMG_8799 IMG_8797Before we knew it, the day had arrived!IMG_8830 IMG_8833 IMG_8836Our event was held at The Berry Barn.DSC01260 DSC01264 DSC01266Christmas Gifts :)DSC01268 DSC01269 DSC01271 DSC01272 DSC01273 DSC01274 DSC01278 DSC01282 DSC01284 DSC01285 DSC01291We didn’t let the strong feelings of being uncoordinated and incredibly white-girlish (this had become very evident during our practices) get in the way of our Men of Mobil performance. Away we went. IMG_8860 IMG_8861 IMG_8862Ah what a hoot.

I also made up a video in an effort to depict how crazy of a year it’s been. I think it’s important to take a step back and reflect on what we’ve overcome and accomplished each year, and nothing says it better than imagery. Take a peek if you’re interested!

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2014 with Mobil has been a slice!