Bed Bugs & Brownies

Hey all,

Monday and Tuesday have already slipped right by it seems!

Here’s a recap and a special recipe I hope you’ll enjoy.

Monday morning was spent in class giving my final Econ presentation. My class was given an open topic essay to write about and were required to present about it, as long as it incorporated a concept we learned this semester (month). Naturally, I choose something that involves my passion– health.

I presented on the opportunity cost of healthy living in America, and my professor ate it right up! Here’s a brief summary:

Americans must forgo–

  • Cheap, convenient, nutritionally empty foods
  • Time spent on leisure, sleep, etc.

*The idea is to spend more time, money and effort on your diet and exercise in order to avoid spending that time and money on medical bills and suffering later

In return, Americans will achieve–

  • A healthier work force (higher quality human capital)
  • Increased global competitiveness
  • Decrease in annual healthcare expenses–> be better off $$$ wise

Sounds pretty good, right? K America, I’m ready when you are.

Here was lunch when I got home. That’s multigrain bread slices w/ garlic hummus spread, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, and more garlic hummus for dipping!

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I relaxed outside for a little bit, then came inside a couple of hours later for a snack. You better believe I grabbed a Larabar, the chocolate coconut chew to be exact. Yep, I approve. I’d been missing my chocolate, and that hit the spot…or so I thought.

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Later on, my dad grilled out for dinner, so I knew what needed to be done! I gathered a large pile of veggies with a sticky note asking him to grill them. Hehe how clever am I? When he was getting ready, I chopped them all up and put them in a plastic zip lock bag for marinating time.

When he brought them back in, they looked like this. Perfection!

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While my brother and dad were having steaks (mom was out teaching fitness), I knew I needed to get my protein fill as well, so I roasted some garbanzo beans and added them to the mix once we all sat down to eat. I added a slice of the multigrain loaf we have too! Hey, gotta eat it while it’s fresh!

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Along with the above pictured veggies, I asked my dad to cook two sweet potatoes, for I had a secret plan up my sleeve.

Immediately after dinner, while the oven was still hot from my beans and the sweet potatoes were still warm from the grill, I decided to get to work on my masterpiece dessert recipe experiment!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and slightly modified it.

Brownies, of the vegan sort, are something I’ve been meaning to try since I’ve began this journey. My review: they were good and chocolately, but not too sweet, and I would like them to be a little fudgier/softer, BUT that’s just my inner chocolate connoisseur kicking in. I think my next brownie recipe will involve an avocado. That should help.

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Sweet Potato Nutty Date Brownies

  • 1 c mashed, cooked sweet potato (about 1 sweet potato)
  • 1/4 c + 2 T carob powder (I used cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 5 T date paste (blend dates in a high speed blender with just enough water to form a thick paste)
  • 1 t flax
  • 2 T nondairy milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 c walnuts toasted and chopped after measuring

Mix the flax with the nondairy milk and let sit to thicken. Place the mashed sweet potato, date paste and vanilla and mix. In a seperate bowl mix the remaining dry ingredients and incorporate it into your “wet” ingredients, along with the flax mixture. The batter should be very thick and rather dry like a yeasted bread dough or fudge. If it is too wet, add more oat flour. Also, taste test your dough and make sure it is sweet enough/caroby enough for you! Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes or until the top of the brownies have cracked all the way to the middle. Let cool and enjoy!

After a nice little treat for my sweet tooth, I headed upstairs to put clean sheets on my bed and to my dismay, found a tiny bug crawling on top of my mattress pad. I freaked. Working as an intern for the training & education department of a residential property leasing and management company, I’ve dealt with my fair share of bed bug materials and am aware that these guys are bad news.

I immediately carried the bug to my sink where I could better examine it and proceeded to have a little photo shoot. I squished it gently so it wouldn’t move and then kept it there while I googled bed bugs to see if the images matched.Image

Soon after, my dad called our family friend who owns a pest control company after I had sent him a picture. He concluded that it was a carpet bettle larvae, and that they aren’t harmful to humans and only feed on organic matter (pet hair, human hair, dust, etc). I was relieved, sort of. A bug is a bug though! I stripped everything from my bed after closely examining every layer and brought it all down to the dryer where I attempted to cook off any possible bugs remaining.

This morning, I finally got back to working out! It felt so good. No more sick Colleen here!

Today’s work out:

  • 3 mile run (steady, 1 30 sec sprint)
  • 250 ab exercises (sets of 25)
  • 50 squats
  • 100 jumping jacks (cheer style, of course!)
  • 1 minute plank

There’s no better feeling.

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Well I’m off to catch up on some Bachelorette drama, my summer guilty pleasure. I hear there’s a lot of it.

Have a good evening, folks! Chow ya later! 😉

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