Thursday, April 30, 2015

Honey Quinoa Shrimp Bowl

I hope you all are having a great Thursday morning. I apologize for the lack of posts lately as I have been swamped at work and often heading to bed soon after dinner which leaves little time for blog posts.  I did take a few minutes yesterday after work to whip up this delicious dinner for Joe and myself. Unfortunately, by the time we sat down we were both starving and did not pause to take pictures! It was devoured quickly. Believe me this recipe will be repeated and photos will be coming soon. Until then I urge to to try out this recipe photos or not!

Ingredients
3 cups Cooked Quinoa (3/4 cup dried)
1 lb Peeled Shrimp
2 cups Snow Peas
1 Red Pepper, julienned
1 cup Bean Sprouts
2 tbsp Raw Honey
2 tbsp Hot Sauce (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
Green Onion, chopped thinly
Sesame Seeds

Instructions
Cook your quinoa based on package directions. Make sure the shrimp is fully thawed and remove all the tails. In a large skillet, add shrimp, snow peas and red pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add bean sprouts and cook for an additional minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, hot sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Add your cooked quinoa into the skillet and toss together with veggies and shrimp. Pour sauce over and mix thoroughly. Before serving, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Notes
This can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. I actually preferred it chilled on the second day.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday. The weather this weekend has been far from optimal with lots of rain and a huge drop in the temperature. It did not bother Joe and me much because we both had to work this weekend. Today I am taking advantage of the gross weather and login on the couch while catching up on my shows and getting everything ready for the week! I'm keeping our meals this week quick and easy. Still loosely following the 21 day fix eating guide so all of these dinners can be made low carb and healthy. 

Sunday: Brinner (breakfast for dinner) Omelettes with whole wheat toast

Monday: Cilantro Lime Mahi Mahi with Side Salads 


Wednesday:  Garlic Shrimp Quinoa Salad 
Sharing the recipe this week!

Thursday: Italian Chicken with Veggies 
This is a repeat from last week. 

Friday- Sunday we will be visiting with friends and family. 



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Healthy On The Go Snacks

The end of the school year from April - June is considered the busy season for my job. That means grabbing a small snack between meetings and assessments and planning a lunch that is simple and can be enjoyed on the go. When work gets busy and stressful it is easy for mt to let my healthy eating slip and instead grab something sweet from the vending machine or a pack of cookies I keep in my office for students. Being prepared with delicious snacks I love is the only way to prevent that! Recently I have found myself in a rotation of a few favorites which I wanted to share with y'all today. 

100 Calorie Pack Almonds- I buy these for pure convenience as I am sure that I could make my own but  honestly don't want to spend the time doing it. My favorite are the sea salt and dark chocolate. 

Chobani Greek Yogurt- I always switch it up depending what brand is on sale but Chobani is my tried and true favorite. 
Dates with Peanut Butter- When I need a little extra fuel for evening workouts or just craving something sweet this treat is amazing. I can't believe I just discovered how good it was until this month! I top two dates with a tablespoon of peanut butter and enjoy. It tastes super sweet almost like a caramel candy. If I am feeling extra indulgent I'll add a few chocolate chips. 


Larabar Uber- These bars skirt the fine line between healthy treat and candy bar. I will enjoy one when am craving something really sweet in the afternoon after hitting that 2-3pm slump.  I'll reach for one of these instead of the M&M's.

What are your favorite on the go snacks? Have you ever tried dates and pb? or do you think it's a crazy combination. 

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thoughts + Giveaway


Currently....dreaming of long summer days spend seaside. 

Now that the dust has settled on the weekend it's finally time to get back to another work week. Yesterday went by quickly due to live streaming of the Boston Marathon while I worked. I may never run another marathon but I truly appreciate the athleticism of the race. Watching all the runners trudge through less than optimal conditions truly motivated me to get my tail out for a run after work. Of course new shoes don't hurt either :) 

Anyone snag any good deals at the Lilly+Target collaboration this weekend? I stayed away from the crowds and shopped online. Surprisingly, I was able to order everything I wanted before the site crashed... around 3am. Nothing has come in yet but I am hoping I got the sizing correct! 

I am sure that most of you have an ongoing wishlist of what you would buy if you had an extra hundred dollars. I would pick up this amazing dress from Anthropolgie that I blogged about yesterday. Well luck for you today is your chance to do just that! I am partnering up with a bunch of beautiful bloggers to giveaway a $125 cash giveaway. 


KARLI | GABRIELLE | MICHELLE | AMY
RACHAEL | MAR | ASHLEY | VICKI
PAIGE | ASHLEY | KARISSA


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Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly Round Up

A favorites round up is actually something I always enjoy reading on other blogs and thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite reads I have stumbled upon this week. It's quite a variety spanning from recipes to workouts and a few shopping favs.


Drool Worthy Recipes

Chicken Avocado Burrito - With a simple swap of greek yogurt for mayo these could make a delicious weeknight dinner!

Cranberry Cherry Chicken Wrap- These remind me of something you would order from your local deli.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes- I can't wait to start baking delicious treats like these.

Healthy Living Tips

How to Burn More Calories on the Treadmill- I am always looking for new ways to switch up my treadmill runs.

Great Self Tanners - I am all about the faux glow over tanning to promote good skin health.

 How You Know When It's Time to Lift Heavier - Great tips to keep in mind. It is about time I buy a heavier set of weights.

Stylish Favorites 

Anthropologie April Lookbook- I'll take one of everything please.

Pineapple Floral Arrangement- This would be perfect for a summer barbecue where you could grill the pineapple and use the rind as a vase.

Tory Burch Chandler Flat Sandals- Discovered these beauties at Nordstrom this weekend and they immediately went on my wish list.

What about you guys? Anything you are loving from the interwebs lately? I would love for you to share in the comments. 

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal planning on Sundays has become almost a ritual. I enjoy taking the time to sit down and scope out the weekly specials then plan out dinners accordingly. I try and plan meals that are healthy and flavorful. Honestly, I could eat barbecue chicken with steamed veggies each night for dinner but I try and mix things up for Joe. When I plan meals for the both of us, I always add in an extra 1/2 serving of protein as well as a carb. As much as I love carbs for dinner I try and enjoy my carbs at lunch and as snacks to help keep my metabolism running. The exception being Friday night pizza which I let myself splurge. Here is a snapshot of this week's meal plan. 

Sunday: Pineapple Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Tomatoes
For this recipe, I'm using canned pineapple and then the juice from the can to make the marinade. 

Monday: Crockpot Chili 
I plan on pairing this with a side salad. I'll add in some homemade bread for Joe. 

Tuesday: Dinner Out at Cowfish

Wednesday: Marinated Chicken Breast 
Adding a side salad for me and roasted potatoes for Joe. 

Thursday: Leftovers or Breakfast for Dinner 

Friday: Pizza Date Night


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Five

Oh happy Friday everyone. This has been a week for the books and I am ready to kick off a great weekend! Here are a few things I am loving this week...

1. Perfect Fuel. It's truly important to provide your body with the right nutrients to get the most out of your workout. I am a huge fan of grabbing a few homemade energy bites for a carb boost on the way out the door before a run. This handy infographic is great if your wondering what to enjoy pre or post workout.


2. Currently Craving. Ever go on a diet and then get on Pinterest and all you see is delicious dessert recipes? These amazing apple pie bars came across my feed this week and I can't stop thinking about them! Maybe I should try these instead as a healthy way to fix my craving :)


3. Kitchen Dreams. In searching for our next home, I have high hopes for out next kitchen. Speficially I am dreaming of tall white cabinets and lots of natural light. While out next home might not have the prefect kitchen when we purhcase I am hoping to find something we can remodel in the future.  


4. Lilly for Target. Anyone else excited for the Lilly/Target collab that launches Sunday? Check out these great tips to help snag yourself some deals.

5. Happy Friday! I just love this print and think it would be perfect in an office nook or styled on a bookshelf.



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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tropical Energy Bites

Morning y'all! Today I have a super simple and delicious recipe to share. On top of that, these bites are healthy and makes the perfect pre-workout snack. These energy bites were inspired by one of my favorite bars- Lara Bars. I love that the recipe only requires three ingredients dates, macadamia nuts and coconut. The combo of fruit and nuts makes great fuel to help provide energy before a workout or as a mid morning snack.
Ingredients
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
-1/4 cup macadamia nuts
-1/4 cup shredded raw coconut

Directions
Pulse together dates and macadamia nuts together in a food processor until combined. Macadamia nuts are very soft and will crush and combine easily with the dates. Once the mixture forms a soft paste, roll the mixture into small bite sized balls. Roll each ball into the shredded coconut. Store in a Tupperware container in the fridge. Bites will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Makes 10-12 bite size balls.

Nutritional Value: Calories- 81, Fat- 4g, Carbs- 12g, Protein- 1g


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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blueberry Macadamia Muffins

Today I have a delicious and healthy recipe to share with y'all, Blueberry Macadamia Muffins. One of my goals for March was to get in the kitchen and try new recipes. I whipped up these muffins with a healthy spin which ended up being perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The macadamias and coconut on top give it a sweet, tropical twist. 

 

I know these look like typical muffins but are packed with nutritional value. Instead of oil the recipe uses banana to keep the batter moist. Also, here is only 1/2 cup sugar in the entire batch! So these babies are not as sweet and sugar laden as store-bought muffins. What truly makes these muffins are the macadamia nuts which add a savory tropical twist. They taste indulgent but are the perfect treat when your craving something sweet. Add a smear of peanut butter or fruit spread for extra deliciousness. 



Ingredients    
1 banana 
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)1 and 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
5 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or cooking spray.
2.  Mash banana and combine with eggs and buttermilk. Set aside.
3. Whisk together brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add vanilla, nuts and blueberries; stir just to combine. 
4. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with coconut and gently press into the batter.
5. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes more before serving.

Tips
Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can combine milk with  1 tablespoon milk and let stand for 10 minutes before using. 
Make Ahead Tip: Store, individually wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. I freeze them and then grab a muffin out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying for breakfast. 

Recipe inspired by Eating Well





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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bikini Ready

The weather is finally warning up and I know spending long days out on the boat will be here before I can blink! That means it is time to get my booty in bikini shape. There are 9 short weeks looming between me and summer break. Tone It Up's bikini series came at just the right time! I'm thrilled to be joining in on this challenge and would love for you to join in as well.


So, what is the bikini series? It’s eight weeks of daily workout challenges & motivation from Tone It Up. The Bikini Series features a new workout video each week. My favorite part is that you can get rewarded for working out! The series features weekly prizes and grand prizes including a trip Playa Del Carmen just for signing up and following along! Also, if you are a member of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan 8 week, meal by meal Bikini Guide to follow during the bikini series.


Here are three things I'm focusing on over the next 8 weeks. I think it is important to make changes that are sustainable, not quick fixes.  

Three Tips for a Bikini Ready 2015
1) Workout daily. Aim to be active every single day, on rest days try to enjoy a long walk or a good stretch session.

2) Nourish your body. Enjoy fresh fruits and veggies as much as you want. Try and aim for an 80/20 ratio of whole foods and to processed/junk foods.

3) Set up for success. Schedule your workouts like an appointment and don't cancel. Prepare and plan  meals ahead of time helps decrease the chance of hungry junk food impulses.



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Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Five


Currently dreaming of an adorable home with a perfect front porch to park bikes on. We are currently in the first phase of house hunting (again) and I can't wait to find our forever home. This week's spring break has been amazing. The break has been just what I needed to recoup and recharge for the next few months. Hope each of you have had a great week as well! Let's get to five things this Friday. 

One. Dinner Prep. I stopped by Trader Joe's this week which is a treat because the closest one is 30+ minutes a way. I never make it to TJ's during the work week. I picked up these Frozen Mashed Potatoes which ended up being a complete score! Because I am not a mashed potatoes fan I rarely make them at home. These little frozen medallions are perfect for single servings at dinner. Just microwave and serve. Also, they are pretty healthy for you with only 90 calories per serving. Highly recommend picking some up next time your at Trader Joe's.


Two. Currently Drinking. Five Ingredient Margarita. Spring is here so you know summer is right around the corner. I'm dreaming of warm days with a skinny margarita. In previous summers, I have always grabbed pre-made drinks for the boat. I think fresh margaritas would be much better! I love that it's all fresh ingredients and I can make it with ingredients I already have in the pantry (I'd sub la croix for seltzer water). 

Three. Beauty Find. I took the time this week to have a makeup tutorial done by one of the specialists at Sephora. It was a great chance to learn more about the basics of makeup and she had great tips on how to make my foundation last all day. She recommend that I try Smashbox CC Cream. It has a great medium coverage and helps improve your skin over time.  My shade was light.



Four. Cute workout apparel. Earlier this week I shared some of my favorite barre gear. Then yesterday I was on Anthropologie's website where I found they are carrying workout gear. They truly have some cute pieces. Just be wary of your wallet.



Five. Beach Weekend. This afternoon, Joe and I are heading home for the weekend. I am looking forward to seeing my family and maybe getting a quick glimpse at the beach while we are there. 

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Goals


Happy April loves! Did anyone get fooled by April fools jokes yesterday? I always forget it's April first so I had a few get past me. No joking here, promise. Today I am sharing my April goals and a quick recap of my March goals. 

I am pretty pleased with my progress on my goals for March. I just finished the Calligraphy class through Scarlet & Gold. Still need tons of practice to become fluent. I truly find spending a bit of time each evening practicing relaxing. This is something I hope to keep up through April. My second goal was to complete the 21 Day Fix. This did not happen. I did start watching what I eat and loosely followed the meal plan. I did not get in as many workouts as I had wanted. I am going to continue this goal into April. My other goals were to bake a new treat and share my meal plan for the week. I tried a few new recipes including white chocolate macadamia cookies which were amazing. I hope to share them with y'all soon. My last goal was to get a massage. I ended up getting a facial instead which was amazing! 

April Goals 

1. Improve my 5k time. My pace has hovered around a 10 minute mile since I stared running 5+ years ago. Over the past year I have been focused more on distance than pace. Once you increase distance (think marathon) your pace time dramatically increases. I really want to consistently be able to run a sub 30 minute 5k (9:40 pace). 

2. Run 3 x week. This goes right along with my first goal. I have been slack on my cardio lately. Since bikini season right around the corner I have got to get my booty in shape! I will be sharing my workout progress with y'all weekly. 

3. Pack breakfast and lunch for work. Pretty self explanatory. I often pack a salad and end up starving and raiding the vending machine. 

4. Only necessary purchases. I find myself grabbing new arrivals and unnecessary items more often than not. Especially when there is a sale. My challenge this month is to say no to sales and shop my closet. I will make one exception for Lilly at Target which I have a set budget to go by. 

5. Be active every day. My goal is to get 10,000 steps in every day. This could be a long walk, Pure Barre, a workout DVD or a run. I just got the Garmin VivoFit to track my steps so I will be using it to  motivate myself to get moving. 

What are your goals for April? I'd love to hear your favorite 5k training plan.


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