What I've Been Loving Lately....

Aloha friends!!! Long time, no blog. 

Photo taken while stuck in road construction on my way to Central Oregon for my sister's wedding weekend.

Photo taken while stuck in road construction on my way to Central Oregon for my sister's wedding weekend.

There has been a lot of transition in my life lately and now that I'm settled in, I wanted to check in. Blogging always seems rather daunting to me. You have to type a post, insert photos, spell check said post for grammar, publish post, and then share your post on social media. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Haha! I have been utilizing other forms of social media lately for quick, fun updates. Did you know that I'm a social media maven who has YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat (username: kileedanielle), and Facebook?!? That's a lot of social media to keep up with!!! In another few years, we will probably all be on 20+ social media platforms and spending so much time posting to all of them that we barely have time to live our lives. 

This is why I try to strike a balance between posting on social media and disconnecting from it to simply live my life. Before I head out for my Sunday hike, I want to share some of my favorites as of late.

What I'm Listening To:

ZAYN | Mind of Mine | How had a never heard of ZAYN until hearing "Pillowtalk" on the radio? ZAYN has (dare I say it) replaced Justin Bieber as my top teen-pop lover. ZAYN you can serenade me any day! I'll pretend that you're at least my age, or even better, 40.

Drake | Views | This is my favorite Drake album thus far. It has a much more laid-back vibe than his previous hits. It's perfect for after work strolls through the park. My favorite tracks are With YouOne Dance, and Fire & Desire. His lyrics are the best!

What I'm Eating

As you might already know, I love to eat. Not only do I love to eat, I love to cook. This proves to be an excellent combination because I get to enjoy the cooking process as well as the dining process. Winning!

Egg, Avocado, Gluten-Free Toast | breakfast winner

Thai Shrimp Curry Noodles | I ate all the shrimp the first night I had this. The next day, I grilled up some chicken breast and threw that in as i reheated the leftover noodles.

Cobb Salad Impersonator | I rarely have everything on hand to make a cobb salad, so I use whatever "cobb salad type" ingredients I have on hand. This one had salad greens, tomato, avocado, cucumber, blue cheese, sunflower seeds, cilantro, and garlic salad dressing.

Roses 4-Everrrrrr

I have a deep appreciation for beauty and flowers. I go out for a morning walk almost daily and alway stop to snap at least a pic or two of the gorgeous flowers that are in bloom. The last photo is extra special because it was my bouquet from my sister's wedding last weekend.

And with that, I'm out! Time to do my hike and stock up on groceries at Trader Joe's for the week. My weekly shopping list is almost this list to the tee.

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Paleo Banana Bread Recipe

paleo-banana-bread

Happy Almost Valentine's Day!

I baked a new grain free, gluten free, paleo banana bread recipe the other day. It was quick, easy, and sweet. (Kinda like me - haha!) I don't necessarily do a ton of paleo or grain free baking, but after baking with a new gluten-free flour blend that I wasn't too impressed with last week, I decided to try a banana bread sans flour.

You can choose to include the chocolate chips or leave them out. I have a few bags of Lily's Chocolate Chips leftover from when they were on sale at Whole Foods over the holidays. Because this recipe is not too sweet, I think the chocolate chips as a nice touch.

I didn't want to make a huge loaf, so this one is actually half size. Feel free to double the recipe and adjust the cooking time to cook for closer to 45-50 minutes. You could also bake it in a mini loaf pan instead of the usual 8" or 9" loaf pan.

Also, it's worth noting that I purchased all of these ingredients at Trader Joe's. I love that store! I get everything from avocados to my face lotion to flowers there. 

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Paleo Banana Bread Recipe

Makes one small loaf

  • 2 rotten bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon basking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon basking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Lily's Chocolate Chips (or your favorite brand of mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 ripe banana, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 350f degrees.
  2. In a blend, blend together the rotten bananas, and oil. Once combined add the coconut sugar and vanilla.
  3. In a medium size bowl, stir together the coconut flour, almond flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl. Stir until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Grease the baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Top with sliced banana.
  6. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in pan for about an hour. Slice and enjoy!

Please let me know if you try out the banana bread. Enjoy!

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Thai Basil Beef With Coconut Rice Recipe

There are few things that bring me as much joy as cooking a meal at home that tastes as good as, if not better than a meal from a restaurant. This was the case with last night's dinner. I felt like Thai food and decided on Thai Basil Beef served over Coconut Rice. There is a wonderful Thai restaurant in Bend, Oregon called, Noi, that serves delicious Coconut Rice. I am not claiming that my rice turned out Noi-worthy, but it was close! Feel free to ditch the Thai takeout and try your hand at a home cooked version. I purchased all of my ingredients at Trader Joes, so you should be able to do the same and not run around town picking up ingredients all over the place.

Thai Basil Beef With Coconut Rice Recipe

THAI BASIL BEEF

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetite.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1" fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 eggplant, cut into 1/2" squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in 1/3" strips
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, torn in half and divided (Thai basil is best if you can get your hands on it)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoon agave
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup basil, cilantro, and shredded carrots. Toss with the juice of half a lime. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lime juice, tamari, fish sauce, and agave. Wisk and set aside.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown, until cooked through and nicely crisped in spots, 8–10 minutes. Remove beef from pan and set aside.

  4. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet over high heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium-high heat. After the onion starts to brown, add the red pepper. Cook for about two minutes. Add the broccoli and eggplant. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and once the vegetables are almost fully cooked, add the beef back to the skillet.

  5. Add the beef broth and 2 cups basil and cook, stirring, until basil is wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pout the fish sauce mixture over the skillet and toss to combine.

  6. Serve beef mixture over coconut rice and top with fresh carrot mixture. Feel free to spice it up with some Sriracha!

Coconut Rice

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen.

  • 1 cup Jasmine rice, well rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  1. Heat coconut oil in a medium sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat.

  2. When oil is melted, add brown sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Turn heat to high, add rice and stir until all grains coated evenly.

  3. Add coconut milk and water. Stir. When boiling, immediately cover with tight fitting lid, turn heat to low and simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes.

  4. Remove pot from heat but do not open lid. Let sit for 10 minutes.

  5. While rice is cooking, toast coconut flakes on a dry skillet over low heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning, remove from pan as soon as coconut is golden brown, about 4 minutes.

  6. Once rice has sat for 10 minutes, stir the toasted coconut into the fluffy rice.

  7. Try not to eat the entire pot of rice in one sitting.

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Taking the Middle Path

Hello my beautiful friends! Wow! What a great start to 2016. I have a good feeling about this year. It seemed like 2015 brought on a slew of highs, lows, and learning lessons for all. As I look back over the past year, I feel like I continued to grow on a personal level. I'm grateful that life has unfolded as it has. My journey has lead me to Portland, Oregon for a fresh, new start.

I thought about doing a "Things I learned in 2015" type post, but it just feels too personal to share right now. My online filter has gone up and down over the years and I tend to just share whatever feels right at the moment. What I would like to share with you today is a way of living that I have adopted over this past year. One of my good friends shared this with me awhile back and my quality of life has increased since I began practicing it.

My friends and family might already know that I have a very large personal drive. With this drive came a bit of a black/white mentality. There is nothing "wrong" with keeping this mentality, but I started to recognize a pattern within myself where I would push myself very hard in one direction and then swing back or relapse in the opposite direction. This can get somewhat exhausting and the negative self-talk that goes along with it, was crumbling my spirits. My friend kept encouraging me to "take the middle path." At first, I didn't even want to consider it. 

"I'm an overachiever. I won't settle for anything other than the best. If I'm not doing something 110%, why bother? "

These were all thoughts that I had until I agreed to just try it out. What does it mean to take the middle path? To me it means taking a moderate approach. For example, I spent a few years doing these crazy, restrictive cleanses to try to heal my digestive issues. Then, because I dearly missed my red wine, dark chocolate, coconut milk ice cream and goat cheese so much, I would overindulge in these treats and then feel guilty about it. This was doing my physical, mental and emotional health no good! So, over the past year, I have grown to adopt an "everything in moderation" approach to my diet. I pay attention to meals and snacks that feel good to my body. I also take note of when I eat things that don't settle well with my body and try to avoid these foods in the future. I have a piece of dark chocolate after most dinners and enjoy wine while I cook in the kitchen a few nights a week. There are many times when I crave a green smoothie in the morning and respect my body's wishes by fueling up with that. There are also nights where I choose to snack on rice crackers, goat cheese, and salami. What has shifted for me is that I am not "trying" to eat a perfectly clean diet. With that shift, I have released any judgements that I have towards myself about what I choose to eat.  The amount of stressed that has been lifted from my mind is substantial. It has been a very positive, beneficial experiment.

Another way in which I have taken the middle path is my approach to work. There are days that I feel like I need to play catch up on my SEO or digital marketing skills. This crazy online world changes rapidly and I want to stay up on all the latest trends. Instead of over working myself into the late evening hours, I dedicate 30-60 minutes of educational time a few days a week. I then accept that time as long enough. It is so easy to get lost down the Google-rabbit hole for hours at a time. After my 30-60 minutes, I step away from the computer and enjoy some real life experiences like going for a walk by the river or calling an old friend to catch up.

My goal is to now balance my screen time with my physical time. My belief is that life is meant to be lived away from staring at a computer, tablet or iPhone. Sure, for many of us, our income is made by working in front of computer screens, but we can all benefit from taking more time away from screens and devices. I encourage you to try swapping some of your free that that you spend on a device with going for a walk outside. After a week or two, notice if you feel more relaxed.

One of my favorite ways in which I started to take the middle path this year was my approach to exercise. I hired an amazing, professional personal trainer and followed his training protocol. In the past, I have pushed my body too hard with 6 x/week type training programs and often felt guilty or bad about myself if I could not keep up with them. He helped me see that lifting heavy weights 1x/week along with a weekly Barre3 or yoga class, a long hike on the weekend, and daily morning walks were enough to help my body stay active, lean, and healthy. His advice was to not overtrain and give my body the restorative rest time that it craved. I'm very happy to let me body be both active and restful by taking the middle path with my exercise routine.

This lesson of taking the middle path can be applied to all areas in life. Finances, relationships, relaxation, etc. I do not think that I have it all figured out by any means. However, my life feels a bit more comfortable now that I have been practicing taking the middle path. Have you experienced this within your life? I'm curious for you to share your experience with take the middle path or your resistance to it.

Till next time,

Kilee

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Breitenbush Retreat Fall 2015

Hello my beautiful friends! I wanted to share some photos with you from my recent Ashtanga yoga workshop and retreat at one of my favorite places for rejuvenation, Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat & Conference Center

This past November I attended an Ashtanga yoga workshop with Kathy Cooper and Jacob Handwerker. We spent our mornings doing Mysore-style yoga before sunrise followed by a long, restorative shavasana. After morning practice, we dined on the vegetarian fare provided by Breitenbush's talented kitchen staff. All of the food there is vegetarian with gluten-free/dairy-free options. I am happy to report that I did not miss any of my usual animal protein fare.

The rest of the day was filled with soaking in the magical hot springs, napping, hiking, reading and attending workshops. The workshops ranged from teaching us more about the postures to meditation to acro yoga and Thai massage. I was delighted to try hanging upside down from someone else's feet during the acro yoga session. We sang together during evening kirtan, mesmerized by the beautiful live music and healing vibrations.

I am so thankful to have a full week to spend in the forest, making new friends and deepening my Ashtanga practice. If you ever have a chance to visit Breitenbush Hot Springs or attend a workshop with Kathy, I highly encourage you to go for it!

I leave you with some photos from my stay there. Much love!

Namaste,

Kilee

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Welcome to the new blog!

summer-hike

Hi everyone! I took my website down for most of 2015. Well, I'm back and ready to share more goodness. It will take a bit of time, but I will start posting on here again. Look forward to recipes, products I love, nature pics and more!

Move love,

Kilee

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