Turkey Spinach Meatballs

In need of something delicious and easy to make for the week? I gotchu covered! These take about 10-25 minutes to prep and only 30 minutes in the oven! 

Recipe:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped 
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese
  • 1/3 cup oat flour or breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Form into about 20 balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. That’s it my friends! Now you have yourself dinner and lunch for the week! My family absolutely loved this recipe and can be used for so many things. I love putting them over pasta or rice with some tomato sauce and more cheese πŸ˜‰ 

Let me know if you try them out! This is probably one of my favorite meatball recipes ❀

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The Problem With Your Fitness Tracker

Chances are if you are reading this, you have a fitness tracker. If not, I’m sure you have your own opinion about them because they seem to be everywhere you look nowadays. However, let me ask you this, how many times have you checked your watch today? Every hour, every five minutes…? After reading Robyn’s article it got me thinking and I wanted to voice my opinion on the topic.

You see, originally these glamorized fitness trackers were made to encourage people to be more active. Majority of Americans spend their entire day at a sedentary desk job and if they are wearing a FitBit they are probably going to feel more entitled to “get in their steps” for the day. But when does something turn from a healthy habit into a compulsive ritual?

Lets take a step back and look at the other majority of people buying them. Runners, athletes, kids as young as 10, and unfortunately people struggling with eating disorders are using these as well. Does that mean someone 20 pounds underweight needs to have the same fitness goals as someone 50 pounds overweight? Absolutely not. These so-called health standards of getting “10 thousand steps a day” to be considered a “healthy” adult is not variable. What if someone didn’t reach that 10K step goal? Does that automatically mean they are worth less…?

I fell into the trap. My boyfriend got me a new FitBit a couple months ago and of course I have felt obligated to wear it. But I started noticing a trend as I religiously put it on my wrist every morning, it started becoming obsessive. If I didn’t wear it, I felt like a part of me was missing. When I didn’t get a certain amount of steps in a day, I felt guilt. GUILT. OVER A NUMBER. A STUPID WATCH. Why should I let some inanimate object place even more stress in my life than I already have to deal with?! Anxiety and guilt should never be associated with exercise or your self-worth. Just because you move more on one day and less the next is totally NORMAL. Yeah, that’s right. It’s actually HEALTHY to not always be go-go-go every day. Not only for your physical health but for your mental health too. I am 100% for living a healthy lifestyle, but do I think a fitness tracker is good for everyone? Absolutely not.

Fitness is not an obligation. It’s not about steps. It’s not about an intense workout every day. It’s about listening to your body and letting that be the determinate of how you choose to move. You don’t need a watch. You don’t need to track. You just need to live.

I challenge whoever feels the need to wear one everyday to take it off. Doesn’t have to be forever, just a day… or two…. a week maybe. See how you feel. Maybe you will have less anxiety. Maybe you will be more in tune with your body. Maybe, just maybe you will be more focused on other things that you actually feel happier. C’mon, you can do it.

 

 

Legendary Foods Nut Butter Review

I recently was so honored to have received some nut butter samples from Legendary Foods to try! If you guys haven’t heard of this brand its because you can’t find it in stores but you can order them off their site! A few things I noticed and liked about this brand is that they use minimal ingredients, use raw almonds, and sweetened with stevia! I am not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners so I was really happy to see they use stevia to add some sweetness. Because they don’t have a bunch of additives or preservatives, you must refrigerate it after opening but the consistency doesn’t harden or change!

The first one I tried was Apple Pie.

 

 

​Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact some smart human out there decided to combine nut butter and apple pie? Like move over Einstein because we have a new genius. Not only did the smell make me weak in the knees, the CREAMINESS when I dug my spoon into the newly opened jar…. speechless. Kind of seems like how apple pie would taste if broken down into a spread, with little pieces of apples mixed in. I definitely gotta say this is my favorite of all the flavors.

Pecan Pie


Is it even legal to sell such amazing tasting nut butter? Because if so, we live in wonderful times. My second favorite of the samples for sure. Just as creamy as the rest with little pecan pieces in a lightly sweetened almond butter. There is just something about pecans that I just love….. ❀

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip


OHHMEERRGERDD. 10/10

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup

It’s as if someone had granted my very wish of combining my favorite flavors into one. So. Much. Yes. Imagine a Reese’s cup in liquid form. Yes, that good. Best paired with banana, on oatmeal, on yo pancake stack, and straight into the mouth πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Cinnamon Bun


This one was a little different than expected… I really thought it would have a sweeter, more cinnamon flavor. This is cashew based and while still super creamy, it just was missing something. I definitely liked it on my oatmeal and it was not bad at all! Just not as delicious as the rest.

 

 

 

Overall, I was very pleased with all the flavors and wish they would keep popping out new flavors because I eat nut butter every day! Ya feel me? I am not affiliated with Legendary Foods but I still highly recommend anyone trying them out if you wanna spice up your life πŸ™‚

Summertime Sleepies: Adrenal Fatigue

Hey fraaands! Okay so I really wanted to do a Vlog updating you all with how things are going for me but I am really not the best with words. Like, I know what I want to say but don’t always know how to paraphrase it. For now, this will have to do (at least until I can get a good camera).

I want to tell you that I have been having an outstanding summer, but that would be just flat out lying. It hasn’t been. I used to be SUCH a morning person: your typical 6 am workout fitness chica before starting my busy day of classes. But now, when I wake up in the mornings, I no longer feel super pumped & enthused for the day ahead…. I feel like I could just go back to bed for the rest of the day. However, I still go on with my day thinking that things will turn around, but they usually don’t (unless I have coffee but i’m trying to back off). I find myself feeling drained before 3:00 and end up doing nothing all afternoon. To be honest I am surprised I am writing this post write now because even that seemed like too much for me to focus on.

I feel broken. Like someone has taken out my batteries and I am left hollow without purpose. I am beginning to think a lot of this is just psychological and my reaction to what I found out a couple weeks ago… but I’m just not sure. I have been reading up on adrenal fatigueΒ (symptoms here) lately and it sounds almost exactly like what I am going through. With my hormones already being way out of whack, there’s no telling what kinds of crazy things my body and mind will do to protect itself.

As for now, I know I need to take it easy. After reading Robyn’s post about “how exercise affects hormones”, I really believe that in this phase of my life, I cannot handle high intense workouts anymore. I am ALL for living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and that is going to look different for each and every person. While some people can handle Crossfit or running 10 miles a day, my body can’t. It would push it deeper and deeper into an already complicated situation and I would be afraid to see the outcome.

Life is going to have so many up’s and down’s. You can’t always be the one to decide when those happen but you CAN do your very best to react accordingly. I can still be thankful that my heart is beating and that I have a roof over my head. I can choose to find things that make me happy that don’t involve stressing my body even more. I can choose to fight instead of letting this break me. I really have no idea how long I will have to give my body rest… 3 months…. 6 months…. a year? Who knows? Things don’t change overnight and because I am kinda sorta an impatient person this is going to be a challenge…. but I am also a very dedicated person.

So that’s basically what’s up been up. I can’t say I have really felt myself or felt like blogging but I do hope that I can start as I will have the extra time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any blog ideas, topics, comments, etc! Getting emails from you guys means so much to me! And if anyone has any advice or has gone through something similar let me know!

Email: emlove814@gmail.com ❀

 

What happens when you don’t take action

Well fuck.
It all started with an innocent visit to the doctors. I had scheduled a bone density scan because after 5 years of no menstrual cycle due to my past of restrictive eating I was curious to see how my bones were doing, but when I heard the words “Em, you have osteoporosis”, my heart sank. She told me a 90 year old woman came in earlier that day and that her bones were stronger than mine.

I cannot even explain what I was feeling because all I could think about was my future. “What could this possibly mean for me now”, “Will I ever truly be able to have kids”, “What if I won’t be able to lift anymore”, “Am I going to be in a wheelchair by age 40”? All of these thoughts rushed to my mind and I felt numb.

Osteoporosis is incurable. While I am only 19 years old, I have some years left to reverse some of it, however, a lot of damage is already done and that is something I can never go back and fix. Bones stop forming when you are 30 years of age. I want to say I’m sorry, sorry for letting you all down, but I shouldn’t have to apologize to anyone. I am actually sorry to myself for not taking my recovery more seriously and not taking action sooner. I had no idea this was going to catch up to me in the short period I had with my eating disorder, but THAT’S ALL IT TAKES.

Disclaimer: I have been nourishing my body well for over 2 years now, but if your body is not at it’s “happy weight”- health problems can most definitely arise even if you do not known about it.

If you are without a period for whatever reason, take this as your warning sign. A wake up call. FIX IT. Don’t wait until next year when you see the doctor to find this out. You NEED your period. Women need that estrogen to build healthy bones, just eating more calcium will not work because not all of that is actually absorbed by the body.

So what am I going to do?

I will gain the weight that should have been gained a long, long time ago(10-15 more lbs at least). At this point I don’t even care if I gain fat or muscle, because you need that fat to get a healthy period anyways. I will no longer be that small, shredded girl I have allowed myself to be and to be completely honest that does scare me a little- but not nearly as much as living with brittle bones my whole life. My body does NOT define who I am as a person. I will continue to weight lift because the doctor recommended that for healthy bones but with some modifications. I am taking this calcium supplement (500mg 2X DAY) plus I am going to go on birth control for a little while to give my body some estrogen until I gain a few more pounds. Note: I am not suggesting to go on the pill to cure your problems, this is temporary until my body is ready to start making its own hormones. If given circumstances weren’t as severe I would not go on birth control. I will be eating a TON more than I already have been.

I plan to distance myself from certain people via social media as it can be very unmotivating to see someone eating like a 5 year old while I am eating a whole pizza myself. I understand some will feel the need to unfollow me, but ask yourself this… what if I’m not the only one? What if that so called “healthy living” blogger you adore has it too but they fail to share. This is not something that is easy to be open about but I see no reason to hide it away.

I am sick & tired of how many people let this be silent and go about their lives like it’s “no big deal”- it’s a HUGE deal. Did you know that not having your period doesn’t just affect your bones? Amenorrhea can increase your risk of endometrial cancer as well as heart disease.

I am taking this as another obstacle that God has thrown my way because He knows I can do it. I CAN overcome this and I will be okay. I am surrendering to Him and trusting this process. You can get anything you want in life if you are willing to make difficult sacrifices and go against the mainstream. I am remaining faithful and I do believe I can fix this the best way I can.

If you read through all of this, thank you. I hope this message gets across to anyone dealing with amenorrhea and that you start getting help now. I am always here to talk as well, just email me at emlove814@gmail.com.

❀ ❀ ❀

9 Things That Have Been Making Me Happy

Lately I have been spending time reflecting on the little things. Those little occurrences that happen in a day end up bringing a whole lot more meaning to my life than big events. I think its important to recognize the things that make you smile, the things that make your heart happy, and the people that bring about all those wonderful feelings. Here are some that have been bringing me happiness:

  1. Brunch dates with my brother

We checked out this place in Nashville called Fido. We decided on breakfast bagel sammies- mine had scrambled eggs, cheese, and veggie sausage! Their iced americano was proabably the strongest coffee I ever did taste.

2. Going to the drive-in

My parents convinced me to go see Wonder Woman, which I was hesitant because action movies aren’t my hype. Glad I went because it turned out being really good! My favorite part was the ride back- my mom and I laid in the back of my dads truck and watched the stars as we drove home.

3. Making someone that I love smile

I surprised my dad with an early Father’s Day gift a couple days beforehand. I got a bunch of his favorite goodies and was just too excited to wait to give it to him. The card I wrote him even got him teary eyed! And yes that is a poblano pepper with lips on a stick…

4. Letters from Cody

Having my boyfriend gone the entire summer at bootcamp is hard. I miss him- but getting cute letters from him really makes my day.

5. Big cereal bowls

Okay, don’t judge but cheerios have been my jam recently. I really love “protein cereal” where you just add some protein powder to your cereal with almond milk, especially chocolate because its like chocolate milk πŸ˜‰ But I also love it with just some sliced nanners up in there!

6. Morning walks

I have always been the person to get up early to get my workout in first thing. But recently I have been enjoying a slower morning, starting with a nice walk in the park or my neighboorhood instead. Not only because it’s before it’s scorching hot but also because it wakes my body up and I love how quiet it is.

7. Binge watching Netflix

It feels like forever since this series was on and I am taking full advantage of summer break to allow myself to binge watch Netflix series. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

8. Recipe testing!

I have totally been slacking on recipe testing and posting on this blog! Something I want to do more of now that I have time. I made these delicious chocolate peanut butter energy balls the other day. Recipe can be found on my Instagram @emmys.yummys!

9. Feeling confident in my skin

It has taken so many years of trying to fully love myself. I still am working on it daily. But to be able to look in a mirror and not pick myself apart is like a dream come true. I feel free. Choosing recovery is the best decision of my life.

And of course these are just some of the great things I have been appreciating lately. Long phone calls with friends, swimming in my pool on 90 degree days, and waking up to my kitty lying on my tummy brings me joy like no other ❀

So tell me, what/who has been making your life happy lately?

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I know, it’s summertime. And I was craving something pumpkiny- sue me. Haha, but in all honesty, can’t a girl get her pumpkin spice on all year round? Throw in some chocolate chips and peanut butter and you got yourself one damn delicious bread.

Recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut protein
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all the dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a large bowl and mix until combined. Then add in the wet ingredients and mix together with a mixing spoon. Add in chocolate chips. The batter should be very thick but you can add more milk to loosen. img_3793

Spray a loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven and how moist you want it. I personally stuck to the lower end of the cooking time because I was afraid it would dry out. However, when you insert a toothpick in the center it should come out clean!

Somehow I managed to have self control and let it cool 1 hour before cutting or removing it from the tray. I recommend sticking it in the fridge in an airtight container to last you up to a week! (Although I highly doubt it will make it that long)

My favorite way to enjoy this bread is sliced thick and covered with peanut butter… but what else is new? πŸ˜‰

Tomato Basil Veggie Burgers

Hey, hi, hello there! Wow, quite sometime since I have posted a recipe! Where has the time flown? Finished up my sophomore year of college which left me completely wiped out and I needed a couple weeks of chilling and slothing to feel like I have recuperated. Luckily, I gained some motivation back in the kitchen and assembled the greatest veggie burgers I have made thus far! I also get so STOKED when I take the first bite of something I made and it turns out PHENOMENAL. I bask in my own self glory for a bit and get even more excited to share the recipe with you all! All you need is an oven, a hungry tummy, and hopefully a ripe avocado to top these bad boys πŸ˜‰

Recipe:

  • 1 15 oz can canellini, black, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  • 1-2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 flax egg (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake pumpkin seeds and oats for about 7-10 minutes until a little toasty.

Make flax egg and set aside.

In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork or potato masher but leave some beans whole for some consistency. Add in all ingredients except for the oats and pumpkin seeds and stir well.

Fold in the oats and pumpkin seeds and mix until everything is combined. If mixture is too pasty, feel free to add a little flour or breadcrumbs to the mix. Tightly pack into 4-6 patties and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the patties and bake for another 20 minutes.

These have sooo much flavor that I have eaten them just plain as a snack… but if you live on the wild side these are amazing with a bun + all the fixins too! Avocado is the perfect topper for this veggie burger, but I am biased because I could eat avocado for every meal πŸ˜‰

I also really like added tzatziki sauce, roasted red peppers, hummus, or feta on top for maxed out flavor ❀

Hope you enjoy!

It’s Okay To Struggle

I want to be as honest as I can – I struggle. More often than I would like to admit sometimes. I don’t know why but when my life isn’t going the way I envision it or I am piled with stress from every direction, I can’t help but feel a fog come over me. As many of you may know that I used to deal with eating issues, I can gladly say I have that under control completely. I never let my negative feelings interfere with how or what I choose to eat. However, I am one to struggle with overwhelming anxiety and sometimes depressing thoughts…

Today I was sitting in my room and really thought to myself, “my life has no purpose”. I started crying after that because the immense feelings of rejection and loneliness hit me like a bag of cats. Emotional much? Yes. Because I am naturally an introvert, it is so easy for me to spend the entire day by myself without a problem. But when it becomes day after day, I can’t help but feel empty. Now, don’t get me wrong- I become a total extrovert when I am finally around my friends or a group of people, but with a lot of emotional self-image issues I have been dealing with lately, I haven’t even had the motivation to reach out to others.

I do see the problem here- I’m too comfortable being alone. And this is something that I have to change. There is nothing wrong with spending some time with yourself, but there comes a point you have to balance it out, let loose, and be around those that bring you joy.

I have made goals for myself to hang out with my friends at least every other day this week and to even talk to random strangers every day. Sometimes even the smallest conversations with others can make the biggest difference in the course of the day.

I wiped my tears. I will stop feeling sorry for myself. I will not let my negative self-image hold me back from being the REAL me. Because I realize that the more I surround myself with genuine people that make me laugh, all the other stuff becomes quiet. And I can breathe again. My life does indeed have purpose. God does have a plan for me even if I cannot see it yet. I will have faith ❀

“Comfort zones are great places to be, but nothing ever grows there.”

Fuel YOUR Fitness

Do you like lifting heavy things? How about running til your feet hurt? Or how about a spontaneous hike with your friends? All of these wonderful ways of moving your body require something very essential: FUEL.

It isn’t uncommon that I see athletes under-fueling themselves and wondering why they aren’t making the progress they want as fast. That’s because our bodies run primarily on glycogen! And where does that come from exactly? CARBOHYDRATES. And since carbohydrates are the fastest form of energy, they are essential for every living thing. Our brains alone need at LEAST 130g of carbs a day! So can you imagine how much you actually need if you are trying to lift 200 lbs or run to China and back?….A LOT.

When the body doesn’t have enough glycogen stores in the muscles and the liver, the body then turns to fat stores instead.And when there are not enough fat stores, protein from muscles are used as energy which is NOT healthy as it can lead to heart problems and even death. While using up fat stores may seem ideal for an overweight individual to lose weight, I would never recommend a super low-carb diet to anyone. It all comes down to the types of foods you are choosing to fuel your body with. Growing, healthy young adults need not to compare their needs to someone of that context as their needs are going to be different.

For me personally, I like to get my early morning workout in before breakfast or sometime in the morning. I never train fasted because I have found that my energy is way more sustained throughout my workout if I at least have a small snack beforehand.

These are some easy pre-workout snack ideas that I enjoy:

  • 2 rice cake with peanut butter/jelly
  • GoMacro vegan bars, Larabars, RX bars, really any little energy bar πŸ˜‰
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with nut butter + banana
  • Dates with nut butter (can you see a trend here, haha, i’m nutty)
  • Protein smoothie with frozen banana, scoop of plant-based protein powder, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, maca powder, and sometimes cacao powder!
  • My almond butter chocolate chip energy balls
  • A few slices of cold cinnamon baked sweet potato that I usually bake the night before and stick in the fridge (aka perfection)
  • Coconut water
  • Cereal + fruit+ almond milk + MRM vegan cinnamon bun protein (right now I am loving Kashi cinnamon crumble cereal, Kashi dark chocolate karma wheat biscuits, Peanut butter puffins, and the ever so classic Cheerios!)


Really think about combing a good source of carbohydrates before with a little fat/protein to keep you from having a blood sugar crash mid workout. Having something small like in the list above 30-45 minutes before a workout is just enough time for it to digest a little to power you through!

And of course after, follow the same guidelines of eating a good quality source of carbohydrates with protein for muscle synthesis and a little fat. Personally, I love having a big breakfast to start my day and to keep my energy lasting so I don’t have the “afternoon slump”.

I have learned something about myself over the years of trail and error and that is to not ever compare your needs to someone else’s. Some people can do a fasted workout no problem, however, from what I have researched- the stress hormone, cortisol, is the highest in the morning. Eating in the morning helps lower cortisol levels which can help some who have hormonal imbalances. I strongly believe that healthy hormones play a huge role in the overall well-being of the body and I will do all it takes to keep it that way.

So tell me,

How do YOU fuel your fitness?