SoCal Inspired Surfer Style

SoCal Inspired Surfer Style

Another swim look inspired by surfer girls everywhere. I'm supposed to moving sometime this summer to Orange County, California and I cannot wait to try surfing for the first time. This look has a nice mix of both boyish and cute, girly elements to it. I'm not crazy about the Birkenstock trend, but these sandals from Jeffrey Campbell mix up the look of a traditional Birkenstock-style sandal. If you guys know any good places to live closer to San Clemente let me know!


Recipe Makeover: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Over the weekend I got to do some hiking at the Indiana Dunes. Climbing sand dunes and the view of the beach made for not only a challenging, but an uplifting workout. It inspired me to spend more time outdoors, do more hiking this summer, and to be more active on the weekends.

For this week's recipe makeover I took the inspiration from hiking and being outdoors and tried to come up with a better version of a granola bar. Granola bars are great in that they are incredibly convenient and usually taste great. Unfortunately, most granola bars are calorically equivalent to a candy bar. Bummer, I know.

Starting with this recipe from Food Network, I tried to find ways to cut the sugar and boost the fiber content while still maintaining a delicious taste and chewy texture.


1/4 cup Krema creamy peanut butter (any peanut butter could be swapped here)
1/4 locally sourced honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4/ coconut oil
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
cinnamon to taste
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/3 whole bran
2 tbsp flax seed meal
2 individual unsweetened applesauce cups or about 1 cup 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix oats, coconut, cinnamon, chocolate chips, almonds, bran, and flax seed meal together and stir.

On the stove, heat peanut butter, vanilla, coconut oil, and honey at low heat in a sauce pan until ingredients are completed liquified. Pour over dry ingredients, and completed coat dry ingredients with liquid mixture. Pack into a greased square baking pan (mine is 8 x 8) and spread apple sauce on top. Bake 10-15 minutes and cool in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.

Cut into bars and serve. I cut mine into 16. They really are great, I'm going to have to exercise a lot of portion control when I have these in the fridge.

Or, crumble and enjoy as granola in a breakfast parfait!

Approximate Macros per bar (assuming 16 bars)
Calories: 210
Carbohydrates: 23.4 g
Fat: 11.8 g
Protein: 3.9 g

These could also be made lower in saturated fat by using 80% or higher dark chocolate or less chocolate chips altogether (but who wants that?) I might try adding chia seeds to bump up the fiber even more and boost the omega-3s. Either way, these are delicious and really hit the spot. Since they still have sugar from honey and applesauce, I wouldn't eat too many of them. Enjoy!


Swim: Casual Chic

Swim: Casual Chic

This is a casual, yet girly swim look I put together on polyvore. Pineapple print seems to be eveywhere lately, and I'm really digging it. I'm planning to put together some more swim looks along with some other content later this week. 

I've stepped up my social media games, so now you guys can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Polyvore. See the contact info for details.



Swim: Athletic Sexy

Swim: Athletic Sexy

This a swim look I put together on polyvore a few days ago. I love anything that is a little menswear inspired with atheltic details. The sexiness of the bikini balances out nicely the rest of the look (aka the lack of sex appeal in a birkenstock type sandal). I plan to put together a few more swim looks since summer is in full swing as of this weekend.

Hope you all have a great Memorial day weekend.



Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread (with protein!)

Last week I mentioned my hobby of trying to bake yummy desserts that still fit into a health-conscious lifestyle. In the last year I've switched my focus from hitting a certain number of calories each day to instead caring less about calories and focusing on eating lots of protein and nutrient rich foods. This has given me substantial results not only in building muscle and general energy levels but also in mental sanity since scientists suggest not all calories are created equal. There were so many times when I would find myself counting calories, adding up every last cup of chopped vegetables, and finding myself hungry, cranky, and tired. Shifting my focus to eating LOTS of protein (right now I shoot for 1.6 g per pound body weight), healthy fats, and whole grain and minimally processed carbohydrates is much, much more satisfying for me.

So along with this change in my behavior, creative cooking has been huge in helping me minimize cravings or falling off the wagon, which is almost a non-issue now. This recipe for a dark chocolate zucchini bread recipe was loosely based off this Paula Deen concoction. The original contains over 3 cups of sugar, or 576 grams! My version contains no added sugar and no flour, making it also essentially gluten-free for any of you with allergies. It has a rich dark chocolate flavor, with a little less sweetness than a traditional dessert. The amount of stevia you can add is optional, so feel free to add a little more or less depending on your tasets. See below for instructions...

1 cup + 2 tbsp Cellucor Molten Chocolate Whey Protein (or your chocolate protein powder of choice, look for minimal sugar for serving)

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
3 tbsp water
1 large zucchini
4 tsp stevia (optional)

Mix protein powder, cocoa, spices, stevia, and baking soda. Grate zucchini and add to dry ingredients. Incorporate eggs and water to batter. Heat coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave or in a saucepan and add to batter.

Pour batter in a greased bread loaf pan (approx. 4" x 9" ) and bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes. enjoy!

Servings: About 8 slices
Approximate macros: (Per slice)
170 calories
4.8 g Carbs
12.7 g Fat
12.3 g Protein


Swim: High Waisted & Glam

Swim: High Waisted & Glam

Since Memorial Day means the official start of summer, I wanted to share a variety of swim looks for a variety of tastes. This look is glamorous in an old school hollywood kind of way. I'm loving high-waisted swim suits, not only for their retro appeal, but also because the are almost universally flattering. This one from Dolce & Gabbana is a quite pricey, but even trendy retailers like Asos have a plethora of options. More looks coming soon.



Memorial Day in the Sun

Memorial Day in the Sun

Do you guys have any big plans for Memorial Day weekend? Memorial Day to me (beyond just being a long weekend) means the official start of summer, and the freedom to wear all white everything if I so choose. I put together a look that is perfect for a cookout or outdoor party. This weekend is going to be low key for me, I'm still mentally preparing for the cross-country move ahead of me. Other than time with family and some workouts I plan to smash I'm hoping to get some time by the pool. 

Hope you guys are having a great week, look for changes coming soon to the blog, and follow me on Twitter at @chicinsneakers !


Driver, Roll Up the Partition Please

Here is a one hour playlist with the first track, "Partition", as the warm up. "Glory and Gore" and "I won" at the end are great for a cool down and stretching. This is a high energy playlist that is great for cardio or lifting. Enjoy, gym bunnies!


Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite hobbies since graduate school has become cooking up delicious, healthy protein powder-based treats. I have mentioned before that I am obsessed with the webpage Protein Pow and I often try to duplicate the amazing treats that Anna Sward posts on her website. Lately though, I've been trying to be more creative and come up with my own recipes for protein packed meals and desserts.

Based on this Food Network chocolate chip cookie recipe, I created my own gluten-free, low carb, and no sugar added protein chocolate chip cookie recipe. These cookies are less in-your-face-sweet than a traditional cookie, and they are not low calorie (like regular cookies), but they are sure to satisfy.

You will need:

1 1/4 cup almond meal/almonds flour (or coconut flour if you choose)
1 cup Beverly International UMP Cookies & Cream Protein Powder 
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.75 oz or about 1/2 of a dark chocolate bar (80% cocoa or higher)
stevia to taste

First of all, UMP is the most delicious tasting protein powder. I first tried it the day I got my Indo-Row certification, and I was shocked how good it tasted, just the right amount of sweet and vanilla, it was like drinking a McDonalds milkshake. Though, in fairness, that could have been because of the eight hours of rowing I had just done that day...

1 tbsp of almond butter is an optional add in.

Combine the almond meal, protein powder, and baking powder in a bowl.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract. I also added 1 tsp of Truvia brand Stevia for sweetness here. This is optional, but I think it helps balance the bitterness of the dark chocolate. Then, I would recommend heating the coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave to liquefy it. Add the coconut oil and stir quickly, to prevent cooking the eggs.

Coarsely chop the chocolate, you can use more or less depending on your tastes. One half of a bar is usually plenty unless you want to double the recipe Combine the chocolate into the dough and shape into 12-16 golf ball sized cookies. I flattened them before I baked them, just because I wasn't sure if the dough would act the same as a normal cookie dough.

Bake 8-12 minutes at 350 F (~175 C)

Let cool about 5 mins and enjoy! 

Approximate macros (16 cookies per batch):
Calories: 153
Carbs: 3.6 gram
Fat: 14.1 gram
Protein: 5.7 gram

Keep in mind the fat comes from almonds and coconut oil, which are healthier alternatives to all-purpose flour and butter. As I mentioned before, these are not low calorie, but they are nutrient rich, and are a much better alternative to a traditional dessert when your sweet tooth hits.


Workout Playlist 6.9.13

Hey gym rats, I just wanted to share one of my old playlists from my indoor cycling classes. This one is about a year old, and these are meant to be 45 minute HIIT style workouts. I want to start sharing more playlists, recipes, and (when I get farther along in studying for my NASM-CPT) workouts! I received my at home study materials and have been going crazy reading in my free time. Hope you all have an amazing weekend, and keep up with me on instagram @chic_in_sneakers or pinterest @chicinsneakers! 


Booty & Body Image

Hey gym bunnies, I hope you have been having an amazing week so far. I have been quite lucky to still be in California (Santa Barbara this week) for work. I'm keeping busy with morning workouts, and have been sticking to a lower-carb, high protein eating plan. One thing that has been on my mind lately though, is many of these insta-famous women I follow on instagram. I find myself looking at their pictures, and as much as I hate to admit it, I get the strong suspicion that many of these women have had some type of work done.

It's not that I don't believe that eating well and exercising can deliver amazing results; it can, and has for many people. I've watched my own pancake bum grow over the last couple of years after much time and effort spent squatting, deadlifting, and box jump-ing. However, there is still the boundary of what is real and what is fake. I do hate to admit this, but even if I can recognize that a girls physique is not 100% natty, I'm finding there is still a small part of me wishing I looked like that, or that I could produce these unnatural results through sheer effort and force of will.

What do you guys think? I feel like there may be a number of women posting pictures claiming one thing and doing another. Either way, I'm a firm believer in healthy eating, exercise, knowledge, and self-love, above all.


Workout Track/Video of the Moment

The track is good, the video is over the top. Definitely worth a listen (and watch) if only for the swimsuit body inspiration.


Workout Track of the Moment

Every so often I get hooked on tracks I used to love, but forgot about. This is one of my favorites from Skrillex, and I have been listening to it non-stop lately for motivation. Absolutely amaze.


Sunny Days

Sunny Days

Zara top

Zara trousers

Rebecca Minkoff flat pumps

Sophie Hulme hard clutch

Chloé gold tone jewelry

Prada tortoiseshell sunglasses

I spent the day driving from Monterey to Orange County, CA and have been so inspired by this heat wave. I'm wanting some with a palm print to add into this mix this summer, and these Zara pants seemed like the perfect lightweight, on-trend option. Wide leg pants are everywhere lately, and are perfect with a flat sandal for a comfy weekend look. Enjoy!

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