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Friday, April 24, 2015

{Friday Favorites} 4/24

I am so thankful Friday is finally here! It has been a loooong week with two exams and not the best weather, so I am looking forward to having a weekend to catch up on sleep and hopefully enjoy some sunshine. I had one exam yesterday and I have my other one in just a few hours. I am really looking forward to getting this one done with and hoping to pull off a good grade so I won't have to take the final exam in the course, which would save me a whole lot of stress! I have a relaxed week next week (the calm before finals week) so I plan on relaxing a lot this weekend and catching up on non-school related things.

But, before I get to any of that, I am sharing this week's favorites! Every week I share a handful of my favorite things from the week, whether it be food, fitness, or anything else, to share with you. As always, share your favorites from the week in the comments below. I always love reading them!
Strawberry Tea
In need of an afternoon pick-me-up on a day I spent a majority of the day studying at my desk while it snowed outside, I tried out a new flavor of tea. I received this tea in my Love with Food snack box and finally gave it a try. It was strawberry flavored and absolutely tasty! I feel like a lot of flavored teas can be pretty hit or miss with me, but this one was definitely a hit! I loved the flavor and it was the perfect drink to warm up to on a rather chilly spring day. 
Astoria Pastry Shop
This past weekend I was in Downtown Detroit celebrating Greek Independence Day and met up with some of my family after and of course we had to make a stop at Astoria. Astoria is a pastry ship in Greektown and has delicious desserts that always have me drooling as I decide what I want. I completely forgot to take a picture of what I got, but I had chocolate dipped baklava which was so good and a black and white shortbread cookie. I ended up eating both throughout the week and it was such a nice treat to have while studying. If you ever are in Greektown, I highly recommend making a dessert stop at Astoria! They also have another location in downtown Royal Oak, for any locals out there.
Trader Joe's Head to Toe Moisturizing Balm
This moisturizing balm made its way into my Easter basket a few weeks ago and it has come in handy so much on my feet. When I first started running I didn't understand why runners complained about their feet not looking so nice. Over the past few months I finally understood what runners meant because my feet are not looking so attractive right now! My heels are so dry, but using this balm has been a lifesaver. It immediately helps with the dryness. It is a total-body balm, so I have also used it on my lips and they feel so soft after!
Boston Marathon
Of course the Boston Marathon had to be included in this week's favorites! It was a favorite of mine all week long not only when I live streamed it, but seeing blogger's recaps, inspiring stories, and this video. Rebekah Gregory lost her leg in the 2013 bombing and this year was able to participate by running the last three miles with her amputated leg. Seeing her cross the finish line at the end of this video brought tears to my eyes. #BostonStrong

The Blogger Project
Two bloggers that I follow - Davida and Lee - launched The Blogger Project this week and it came at the perfect time. I have been working on taking this blog to the next level (more on that soon!) and having this site that is designed to help bloggers grow their blogs and run it as a business is just what I need. Both Lee and Davida created this project to increase transparency and information-sharing in the blogger community. The site is a space for bloggers to grow and learn from each others and gain confidence to blog professionally. I have been on the site every day since it launched reading through everything and I love that they are using a site (SHE Uncovered) they both created as a way to share the process along the way. For any bloggers looking to improve their blog, this it.

Linking up today's favorites with HeatherJill, and Clare!

Well, time to get my day going and head out to take my exam. It will be a huge sigh of relief when I am finally done with it. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend? Let's hear 'em!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Half Marathon Training Link Love

I am making my way through training for my very first half marathon and so far, so good! When I first signed up the thought of 13.1 miles overwhelmed me. At the time I signed up the furthest I had ever ran was about 7.5 miles, but the more I trained, the more confident I have come in my ability to run 13.1 miles. The whole training for a race thing has been completely new to me. The only race (besides middle school track) I have ran was the Color Run back in 2013, which in my opinion isn't really a race, but a fun run. So actually training for a race is all new to me, but having a set plan has really helped me to stay consistent with my workouts and know what to expect next. I don't have any specific time goals or paces for this race- I have my hopes- but I am planning on making my first half marathon an enjoyable experience and to get the feel for what racing long distances is like.

To help put my nerves at ease, I have been checking out a ton of fellow running bloggers and websites and their resources to help train for a half marathon. I know that a lot of my readers are runners or racing hopefuls, so I figured today would be a good day to share the resources I have been using with you. I think the more I read on tips and advice, the better prepared I will feel going into race day in less than a month, so without further ado, here are my favorite half marathon training links!

Beyond finding these resources through the blogs I regularly follow, I find a ton of links on Pinterest and pin them all here for future reference. 
Training Plans
Half Marathon Training Guide- Novice 2 Program | Hal Higdon
9 Week Half Marathon Training Plan (Intermediate Level) | Sweat Stretch Eat
10 Weeks to a Half-Marathon: Training Plan | Women's Health Magazine
1/2 Marathon Training Schedule | The Silver Pen
6 Week Half Marathon Training Plan | Life in Leggings
10- Week Mini Marathon Training Schedule | Marathon Rookie

Defining Runner's Lingo
Different types of runs defined | Hungry Runner Girl

Running Tips
So You Want to Run a Half Marathon | Peanut Butter Fingers
10 Things You Need to Train For a Half Marathon | Life in Leggings
So You Want to Run a Half Marathon | Barefoot Colorado
18 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First Half Marathon | Run to the Finish

Running Injuries/ Injury Prevention
The Most Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them | Greatist
5 Ways to Show Your Running Feet Some Love | POPSUGAR

Pre-Run and Post-Run Meals
Half Marathon Meal Plan | Women's Running

Top Cross-Training Exercises for Runners | The Fit Girl's Kitchen
9 Cross-Training Activities for Runners | SparkPeople
Cross Training for Distance Runners - What's best? | Run to the Finish

Long Run/ Race Fueling
Ultimate Guide to Running Hydration | Run to the Finish
Breaking Down the Running Fuels | Anytime Fitness Blog
Running 101: Hydration During Running | Competitor
Drink This | Runner's World
How to Eat for Running: Top 5 Nutrition Mistakes Made by Runners | Fannetastic Food
How to Fuel for a Half Marathon | Runner's World

Race Day
Race Day Etiquette- Do's and Don'ts | Run to the Finish
Race Day | Jeff Galloway
The Best Half Marathon Race Day Tips | Run, Eat, Repeat

Bib/ Medal Display Ideas
BibFOLIO Race Bib Protector Sheets | Gone for a Run
8 Ways to Display Your Race Medals & Bibs | Women's Running

Of course, there is a wealth of additional information out on the internet and this is just a small sampling of the information available, but these are some of my favorite resources to help prepare me for race day!

What are your resources for race training?

What links would you add to this list?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#RealChampions: My Personal Running Journey

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Champion®. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!
A little over a year ago I shared My Running Story about my journey through running since I was a kid. I'll have to admit that a lot has changed since then. Of course, the story is the same, but over the past year I have grown a lot as a runner. Not just in the distances I have been running, but in the confidence I have gained as a runner. When I first started running in middle school, I did it more for the social aspect. I mean an extra few hours to spend with friends after school was the only excuse I needed to join! I enjoyed the running, but it wasn't something I was passionate about.

Fast forward to college when I decided I needed to be a bit more active and got back into running. I think it was those post-run endorphins that had me coming back day after day to run and after a while I really started to enjoy my runs. I ran in the evenings after class and it was a great way to relieve stress and get in some physical activity before ending the day. As I ran more and more, I increased my distance little by little. I was excited by my first two mile run that I completed without stopping to walk, I was then excited by running 5ks, and the more I increased my distance the more excited I became with running. It became something I looked forward to every day.
When I left off in My Running Story I wrote how my ultimate goal was to one day run a half marathon, though I expected it to be a while until that day came when I would sign up for one. Well, later that year in the fall I took the plunge and signed up for my very first half marathon. It is amazing to me that I can look back to last March and see how scared I was to run that distance, though I really wanted to get to the point where I felt that I could do one. After months of running and continually increasing my distance I finally felt ready to train for one.

This winter was tough since Michigan winters can be difficult to run through, but I did the best I could to run outside and when I had to, I ran on the treadmill to keep my fitness up. I was concerned it would set me back for training, but I think allowing my body a bit of a break from running almost daily and running long distances was a good thing. I looked forward to starting to train for my half and was excited for my long runs on Saturdays. Having a break allowed me to get excited to run again and to also rest and not injure myself by running in the snow and ice.
Now as I train for my first half marathon and am over halfway through the training cycle, I am getting excited to make a dream of mine finally come true. When just a year ago I thought that running a half marathon would be years in the making and here I am today already training for one makes me proud of the work I have put into my journey. It hasn't always been easy to get up at the crack of dawn to run or to have to foam roll after a long run, but it has all made me stronger in the end and has gotten me here. I have grown into the person that I am because of running and it has helped me to be stronger than just in my running ability, but to be a stronger person overall.

 Now I wonder where my personal running journey will take me next! After this half marathon, I hope to run others (I have a growing list of half marathons I want to run!), but I know that another big goal of mine will pop up along the way.
What goals (running or not) are you striving to meet right now?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Running with Pheidippides

I am so inspired after watching the Boston Marathon yesterday. I am happy it came at the perfect time in my half marathon training to give me that push to keep on going. I watched throughout the morning and early afternoon and was so involved with it. It was the first I had ever actually watched and to actually know who was running and to understand the splits and paces was a first. I have to admit I was extremely excited to watch and tried to get some reading  done for class while watching, which didn't work out too well. I loved being able to live stream the whole race and track some bloggers I knew that were running, though I did feel like I was stalking them every time I refreshed my page to see where they were at. But, in the end, I saw so many success stories and so many smiles at the finish line that I left watching the marathon so inspired to train hard for my race.
The race also came at the perfect time that I was reading a book that tells the story of the Boston Marathon, highlighting one important year in particular. I love reading books about running, but have gone through many of the more popular ones (Born to Run, Ultramarathon Man, etc) so I was on the search for another one to read. I was going through lists to see what to read next and stumbled upon Running with Pheidippides: Stylianos Kyriakides, the Miracle Marathoner and was instantly intrigued. I mean, that's a pretty Greek name and me being Greek was interested to learn more. I read a summary online and when I saw it was about a Greek man who ran the Boston Marathon for his country in 1946 I knew I had to read it.

Fast forward to last night and I finally finished reading it. From the first page I was very into the story and knew I would want to share this story with you, especially coming off of the Boston Marathon yesterday.

The story is a true story of Stylianos Kyriakides who, after seeing the devastation that the Nazis were causing on his country and the civil war that followed, entered into the Boston Marathon to show the world what was happening in Greece. Prior to World War II, Kyriakides had been a runner and participated in various events- the Pan-Cyprian games in 1932, 1936 Summer Olympics, and the Boston Marathon in the late 1930s. He had run the Boston Marathon before and had been projected to do fairly well, but his feet were not prepared for the streets of Boston (he had trained in Greece) and injured his feet during the run and had to drop out.

When the German occupation of Greece occurred during World War II, Kyriakides had started to raise his family but, like many others in Greece, had a difficult time just getting food for his family. Luckily, Kyriakides survived the German occupation, only to find himself later involved with the Greek Civil War that broke out. After seeing the devastation that was occurring, he decided to return to Boston to run again. Because of the lack of food, Kyriakides was in poor shape and had not run in years. He was even at one point told by doctors not to run because of his condition. So, he was not projected to do well, but he was determined. Come race day, Kyriakides was ready to win and beg America for help in Greece. Kyriakides came on to defeat the defending champion of the time and set the world record for the marathon in the 1946 race. He ended up staying in America for about a month to gather economic aid for Greece and to share what was happening in Greece with Americans. Kyriakides was hailed a hero in both Greece and America and it still to this day known for saving the country.
As I read this book all I could think about was what the power of running does. One man runs a marathon and draws in support for his country and becomes a hero. It is amazing what runners can do and I am proud to call myself a runner after reading this book. Kyriakides was extremely humble in training for and running a whole marathon not for his only glory, but for the purpose of saving the country he called home.
The book goes into a lot more detail of Kyriakides life before the Boston Marathon that he won including his earlier running career and his family life. The beginning of the book also gives a nice description of the actual Marathon (when a Greek solider Pheidippides ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to share a victory) as well as the history of the Boston Marathon. The book described how the Boston Marathon is based off of the actual Marathon course in Greece with all of the same hills and path, which I found very cool.

So who would I recommend this book for? Well, I would say everyone, but I know that runners would take a particular interest in this book, as well as those interested in Greek history too. Although I am Greek and have been raised in a Greek family, I am not so familiar with Greek history, like the Marathon or German occupation, so this book gave a great look into the time periods.

Who inspires you to run?

Do you have a favorite running book?
I am starting Running with the Kenyans next!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Back to the Beach Half Marathon Training: Week 5

It's Marathon Monday!! No, I am not running the marathon or even at it, but I plan on watching it online in just a few hours. I have been following quite a few bloggers who are running today and am excited to see them show off all of their hard work. I have a fascination with the Boston Marathon and although I have no plans to ever run it, I know that one year I will make it down there to spectate. Boston is my favorite city and to watch a marathon occur there would be pretty awesome. I may be in class when the runners make their way to the finish line, but I think my professor would understand my live streaming of it, right? ;)

Anyway, I may not be running a marathon anytime soon, but my first half marathon (Back to the Beach half marathon) is already less than a month away! It is crazy to think that in just a few weeks I will be at the starting line at the race. Nervous- yes, but extremely excited too. Seeing the excitement for Boston and other poplar races makes me excited to participate in the first of my own!

I have week 5 down of training, so let's take a look!
Half Marathon Training Week 5 (April 13- April 19, 2015)
I started at week 4 of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 training program (so I followed week 8 this week) and will follow it through until race day (May 17th!).

I had the intention to do a yoga flow on Monday evening since I was home for the weekend until Monday morning. By the time I made it back to school, I had a full day of class, followed by a whole lot of reading to get done for the next day so it just did not work out. I did some light stretching and foam rolling before heading to bed which felt really good. I made the mistake of not properly stretching after my long run the Saturday before and I was really sore for a few days. Luckily the light stretching and foam rolling made my legs feel a whole lot better by Monday evening.

I started off my Tuesday morning with a 3 mile run that felt great, though I still regretted not properly stretching my legs after my long run on Saturday. The Tone It Up Bikini Series began on Monday and every Tuesday during the series they post a new workout. I had completely forgotten until I got back from my run and when I saw it was posted, I immediately started it so I wouldn't be late in getting ready for the day. The new Total Body Mermaid workout was awesome and they incorporated quite a bit of kettlebell moves into the workout, which I loved. After a good training run and toning routine, I felt great all day Tuesday!

I was still feeling a bit sore, so in the evening I had some free time and had just received my Tone It Up Beach Babe 3 DVD so I was excited to try it out. I stuck to the Beach Stretch & Release routine which focused on.. you guessed it... stretching! Just what I wanted that evening and it definitely helped on Wednesday morning having my legs stretched and feeling fresh.

Distance: 3.00 miles
Time: 28:10 minutes
Average Pace: 9:24 minutes/ mile
On the plan for Wednesday was 5 race pace miles. I decided to stop thinking about "race pace" while I run these runs since it always ends up being a stress during the run and I end up doing worse than I hope to. When I go into the run and just try to keep a good pace for 5 miles I end up a lot happier. It's not worth stressing over, so I try not to stress over it by ending that mental battle. I ended up right where I wanted to be pace wise. I was happy since I went to class later in the morning, so I was able to wake up a bit later and enjoy a run in the sunlight, which does not happen at all during the week! When I got back I did this runner's stretching routine which I used to do all the time when I got back into running in my freshman year and still love completing it. The stretches are perfect for every part of the body that runners work.

Distance: 5.00 miles
Time: 46:37 minutes
Average Pace: 9:18 minutes/ mile
Usually by Thursday my legs are feeling tired from two training runs before, but this week my legs felt really good and my 3 mile run went awesome. I was able to hold a consistent pace and ended up doing really well! When I got back I cracked open my Beach Babe 3 DVD and did the Coconut Core and Booty routine which left me feeling quite sore! It was a great thigh and booty toning workout and my core was feeling tired by the end. It was a bit of a longer toning workout than I normally do during the week (35 minutes) but I loved the whole routine so it was worth it.

Distance: 3.01 miles
Time: 27:00 minutes
Average Pace: 8:59 minutes/ mile
By the end of the week, I am always looking forward to my rest days on Fridays. I spent the morning in class and the afternoon at my education field observation. The whole time was spent outside and it was so nice out I loved it. Once I got back, I took a walk over to the Red Cedar River and enjoyed a few hours of reading and relaxing by the river. I ended up getting a little bit sunburned, which I was totally not expecting, but to be out in the sun for the first time all year felt absolutely glorious.
My first double digit run ever! I completed 10 miles on Saturday morning and not only was getting into the double digits of half marathon training pretty awesome, but I got to run in shorts. First run in shorts outdoors all year! I put my run off until around 10 in the morning (I usually run a lot earlier than that) so that the weather would be in the low 60s and the sun would be enjoyable. I realized my body has some getting used to with the warmer weather, but overall I think the run went well. This was my first run experimenting with fuel since I want to see how my body reacts to different types of fuel. I know a lot of people's  react differently to different types of fuel and I don't want to have any bad reaction on race day! I took a chocolate GU energy gel around mile 5.5 and I didn't mind the taste  (it tasted like pudding to me) and I felt fine after taking it. I definitely should have brought some water along, but ended up not which I regretted around mile 7 when I was starting to feel the effects of the heat. Next time, I'll just pause and go inside a building (I run on campus mostly) and drink from the water fountain since I really don't want to have to carry water with me. Other than that, my run went great and it taught me a lot for the upcoming race on dealing with hydration, fuel, and running in different weather.

Distance: 10.01 miles
Time: 1:33:50 minutes
Average Pace: 9:23 minutes/ mile
Saturday night I went downtown to Detroit to celebrate Greek Independence Day and Sunday afternoon was the parade that I walked in, so between that and a long to-do list when I got back to my apartment, I decided to switch Sunday's cross training with Monday's rest day. I am getting in a HIIT workout this morning and just took Sunday off. Unless you count walking in a parade as cross-training ;). I like that my training plan is flexible in allowing me to still enjoy my plans without having to stress about getting my training in knowing I will be able to switch my days around and get it all in in the end!

Back to the Beach Half Marathon Training Posts
-Training Plan
-Week 1
-Week 2
-Week 3
-Week 4

Are you watching the Boston Marathon today?

Friday, April 17, 2015

{Friday Favorites} 4/17

Hey there and happy Friday! I am, as usual, excited that the weekend is upon us in just a matter of hours. I am looking forward to a fun weekend ahead before two exams next week. I am heading down to Detroit to celebrate Greek Independence Day and hoping that the rain holds off on Sunday afternoon for the parade. I have a long run planned on Saturday (10 miles!) and so far the weather is looking perfect for it. I am hoping if I go a little bit later in the morning I may actually be able to wear shorts! I am really excited about that possibility- my legs are in need of some sunshine!!

So with a full weekend ahead, I am sharing my {Friday Favorites} before getting started on my day. As always, I am linking up with HeatherJill, and Clare to celebrate the day. Please share your favorites from the week below and have a wonderful and sunny weekend!
Beach Babe 3 DVD
I ordered Tone It Up's new Beach Babe DVD as soon as it was released and it arrived earlier this week. I was way too excited to get it after seeing TIU girls all over Instagram sharing how much they were loving the new workouts. I immediately tried out the Stretch & Release routine as I was feeling rather sore that evening and it felt ah-mazing. Just what I needed. Yesterday, I had some extra time after my morning run before I needed to head off to class, so I tried out the Coconut Core & Booty routine and oh my goodness- it was a struggle walking to class! My thighs were burning after that routine and I can still feel it today. I absolutely love the new DVD and once I get through all the routines I will be sure to share my own thoughts on it like I did with their second DVD. All in all, I am in love and I recommend you purchasing the DVD too!

I recently had the opportunity to try out "Cordskinz" which I have really enjoyed. If you haven't heard of Cordskinz, they are skins for your headphones to prevent your headphones from tangling. My headphones get tangled all the time since I use them for exercising and walking to and from class, so they easily get tangled when I thrown them in my backpack. I hate spending the time untangling them, so trying out Cordskinz has been a time saver. I was expecting it to be difficult to the skin on my headphones, but it ended up being a lot easier than I thought plus they included directions on the package. All you do is place the headphone wire in the Skinner groove pictured above, hold the wire with your thumb and thread the Cordskinz into the cylinder opening. As the Cordskinz catches onto the headphone wire, you continue to pull through to wire your entire headphone. Since headphones vary in size, you can easily trim any excess Cordskinz for a custom fit.

Not only do they prevent my headphones from getting all tangled up, but I love that they offer an abundance of colors. Pictured above are the ice blue, which is perfect since it matches my phone case and pretty much everything else I own (I am obsessed with light blue colors!). Check out the Cordskinz shop here to buy your own pair. They have some awesome deals going on right now, hint hint ;).
Earth Balance Spread
When I went home last weekend to celebrate Easter with my family, my mom bought this Earth Balance buttery spread for my brother and I (he wasn't eating dairy at the time) and after wanting to try it since I went dairy-free, I was excited to give it a try. I enjoyed it throughout the weekend just as I would with butter: on bread and in eggs, and was pleasantly surprised it tasted so much like actual butter, even my brother agreed. My mom had me bring it back to my apartment with me since no one else would be eating it at home and I have been using it all week long. It's funny because I told my family, "There is so much I can use this with! Just think of everything I could cook this with." I haven't used butter in years, so thinking of everything I could cook with using this made me so excited. I made eggs the other day and used the spread to cook them and I even melted a little bit of it and topped my air popped popcorn with it. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed buttery popcorn and it was such a treat. I think I may have to purchase this a bit more!
 Starbucks Cold Brew Iced Coffee
Have any of you tried Starbucks new cold brew coffee yet? I finally did this week and really enjoyed it. I have a serious addiction to iced coffee (no shame) and was looking forward to trying out their cold brew. I ordered it with light ice and soy milk and added a little bit of stevia to it. It was tasty and a bit sweeter than their usual iced coffee. I really hope they keep it on their menu since I love their iced coffee so much. It's pretty much the only thing I order from there.
Fresh Fruit
I love spring for so many reasons, but one major reason is that all of my favorite fruit is coming back into season. I don't buy much fresh fruit besides bananas and apples during the winter since it's just not the same, and use a lot of frozen fruit. But now that the weather is warming up and fruit is making its comeback, I am so excited to start buying fresh again. I bought some strawberries and I forgot how much I love them with a protein pancake. It makes for a delicious breakfast! I can't wait for more of my favorites to come back soon and to hopefully hit up the farmer's markets in the area too!

Oh, and before I go, don't forget to enter my Kushyfoot Spring Essentials Sock giveaway!

Do you have a favorite seasonal fruit?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Macro Nourish Bowl

A Nutrient-packed and filling one-bowl meal that is perfect for lunch, or even dinner! Ready for you to enjoy in under 30 minutes!

This week has been flying by, although that has been the theme over that past few weeks it seems like. I keep thinking we are still a day behind from the day we actually are, but I think that is because I came back to school on Monday morning, rather than Sunday evening, so my days have been a bit off. Though, I think come Friday when I think it is actually Thursday, I'll be one happy camper when I realize the weekend is here once again.

In the meantime, I have one delicious recipe that I have been patiently waiting to finally share with you! I posted it on Instagram 3 weeks ago, but didn't have the time in my blogging calendar to share it with you until today. It is worth the wait, I promise! Instead of making you read anything more and waiting any bit longer, let's get right to it.

I created this Macro Nourish Bowl as a spin-off of one of my all-time favorite recipes I have posted on Lean, Clean, & Brie. To this day, the Black Bean & Quinoa Power Bowl is one I make on the regular. I decided to switch up the power bowl and use what I had on hand to make a spin-off. This Macro Nourish Bowl is packed with color and nutrients, and a spoonful of guacamole too! I love one-bowl meals since I cook for myself and I hate washing dishes, so this is absolutely perfect to whip up and enjoy for either lunch or dinner!

Macro Nourish Bowl
Serves 1 // Dairy Free // Meatless // Protein-Packed

-1/2 cup Brown Rice
-1/2 cup Lettuce
-1/2 cup Black Beans
-1 Garlic Clove
-1 tbsp. Guacamole or Avocado
-1 Large Carrot
-1/2 Sweet Potato
-1/2 tbsp. Coconut Oil
-Lemon Juice, to taste
-Sea Salt, to taste

1. Cook the brown rice according to directions on the package
2. Chop 1/2 of a sweet potato into cubes
3. Sautee sweet potato with 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil
4. Sautee black beans with lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and sea salt
5. Chop lettuce
6. Use a peeler to peel carrot into small strips
7. Once brown rice, sweet potato, and black beans are done on the stove, combine everything into one bowl. Rice on the bottom, topped with lettuce, carrots, black beans, sweet potato, and a tablespoon (or more) of guacamole.
Pretty simple, but packed with flavor! The sweet potatoes sauteed in coconut oil have become one of my favorite additions to a meal. I can't believe I held off cooking with coconut oil for so long! Now I cook with it almost daily.

Oh, and guacamole, you can never go wrong adding some guac to a dish. I love the pre-made guacamole packets that I can store in the freezer and pull out whenever the craving strikes. It's pretty often.

Are you a fan of one bowl meals?
What are your favorites?

Linking up with Tina and Deborah's Meatless Monday, Lean Lena's Tasty TuesdayTasty Tuesday, & Vicky's Tasty Tuesdays, and Real Food Recipe Roundup!