09/1/17

This is YOUR REMINDER

September 1st marks the beginning of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, followed by October, which we all know is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Have you had your annual well-woman exam this year? 
Are you doing monthly breast self-exams?

If not, THIS IS YOUR REMINDER! I strongly encourage you to make those potentially life-saving appointments this fall! Being proactive is SO important, and none of these screenings are the least bit scary! Not even the BRCAanalysis which I went through 4 years ago so that I would know if I was at a higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer because of a genetic mutation. 

I’ve written ALL about all of these screenings (and the emotions that come along with them after losing a parent to cancer) on the blog and I encourage you to read them, share them, and make those appointments!
Here are the links:

08/26/17

Flourless Cherry Almond Muffins

It’s no secret that I love to cook. But my heart is really attached to all things baking related. 

It’s why I started this blog back in *gasp* 2009. 

The first name of this blog way back in once upon a time-time was “Stretch: Stretch your Budget, not your waistline”. It was a way for me to share the healthy sweet recipes I was creating, and to document my journey as I attempted to start exercising and train for 5k races to lose weight. 

The blog eventually evolved into FakedGoods, which was a play on the words “baked goods.” I was really into baking and creating sugar-free desserts and at the time, I thought Splenda was the future of healthy, low sugar eating. But as I learned more about nutrition, I realized this wasn’t the case. Artificial (fake) sweetener= bad. A reputation of being a faker baker who uses chemicals in her recipes was not something I was looking forward to. So I morphed the blog once again and became KitchenKM (cooking + running, like you know, km=kilometers?). I really, REALLY loved that name and kept it for quite some time. It was cute and clever, and I was able to refer to my main squeeze as Mr. KKM (so cute!) 😉

And then, my mom became ill. 

And I started writing more about more about my journey through the process of having a mother who was slowing leaving us due to stage IV triple negative carcinoma. Over time, and after she passed, I found myself really beginning to use my blog as a platform for talking about grief and documenting stories of my mom as a way to keep her memory alive- all while continuing to post recipes and workout progress. 

Once again, my blog went through a transformation.

Many of you know the reason that orange has become the color that represents our running team (Team Judy) is because my mom’s favorite color was orange. But many don’t know that it’s the reason why the blog is named that as well.

Orangespoken is where I’m Outspoken about life, love, food, and my journey through grief.

Orangespoken is my story. Since losing my mom, I now see the world through orange colored glasses. Seeing the world this way means seeing the brighter side of things. Helping to inspire others to shine and love who they are. Taking those moments to soak up the sunshine. Dedicating time to making memories. Going after goals and living in each moment. Finding ways to live my healthiest, happiest life, and inspiring others to do the same. Because in the end, I want to look back on my life and say “wow, that was amazing!”

Through all of these changes, and using this blog as a road towards healing, I have learned SO much about myself and SO much about nutrition. I have learned from fellow foodie friends, coaches at Orangetheory, and, most of all, from healthy living bloggers that share wholesome and delicious recipes on their sites. Bloggers have been the greatest inspiration and source of education on healthy cooking and eating for me. Because of these influencers, I no longer create recipes that are “faked.” Instead, my recipes use whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible, and my dessert recipes utilize real sugars like honey, coconut sugar, or sugars naturally found in fruit.  

And even though I create a lot of my own original recipes, I’m always on the look-out for what other bloggers are whipping up in regards to wholesome, low-sugar, low-carb recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins because, well, because those things are delicious ya’ll. 😉

The other day I stumbled across this recipe for 5 Ingredient Banana Almond Muffins. When I realized I had the supplies in my pantry to whip up these babies, I decided to give them a whirl.

I teased my Instagram friends a bit when I posted this picture of my Ninja (which by the way- GET ONE! My cousin gifted me this as a bridal shower present and I love, love, love it! I think it works JUST as good as the Vitamix, for a fraction of the cost!). Throwing all of the ingredients (aside from the add-ins) into a blender is such an easy way to ensure everything is properly mixed together and that the batter is smooth. 

I have since made them TWICE! These muffins are out of this world good. They are completely flourless, so they’re naturally gluten-free, and they are also free of any refined or added sugars. With only 5 natural ingredients (not counting the optional add-ins), they’re also super healthy and clean! I was surprised at how fluffy and light they turn out, and have the same consistency of any store-bought muffin you can find. It really is incredible considering what’s IN them. 

They get their sweetness from ripe bananas. Not a banana fan? Don’t worry- you can change up the flavor of these little guys with some simple add-ins like dark chocolate chunks, dried fruit, or coconut flakes! 

The last time I made these, I decided to do add in some dried fruit, nuts, and an extract to really put these little guys over the top! Here’s the recipe: 

Flourless Cherry Almond Muffins
Yields 18
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup almond butter (just almonds in the ingredients)
  2. 2 ripe bananas
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla
  5. 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  6. 1 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. of salt
  8. 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
  9. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  10. optional: if your bananas aren't super ripe (the riper the sweeter, so use those brown spotted ones!), you can add 1/4 cup of honey or coconut sugar to the batter to make it a bit sweeter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Throw all ingredients except for sliced almonds and dried cherries) into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pulse or stir in almond and dried cherries.
  3. Grease mini muffin tin.
  4. Pour batter into muffin tin about 3/4 the way to the top.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, let rest, then enjoy!
Adapted from Today's Mama
Adapted from Today's Mama
http://orangespoken.com/

 

08/23/17

The Grief to Joy Project (& Grief Awareness Week!)

When I first lost my mom  it was difficult to look into the future and envision a normal life. I was 31 going on 32, and could not believe that my time with my mom was over; just like that.

For weeks and months my mind was littered with worry and sadness, and until I learned to cope with it all, it would turn out to be one of the most challenging times of my life. 

If you had asked me about how my mind, my present, and my future would be on afternoon the of April 11, 2012, you would hear words like “hopeless”, “unsure”, “sorrowful”, “lost”, and “anxious” fall lifelessly out of my mouth. I had just said goodbye to my mom after a year long battle with breast cancer, and it truly felt as though my world, and my future, were collapsing around me.  Continue reading

08/21/17

Greek Wedge Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

Two years ago I visited my cousins at the beach house they were renting for summer vacation.

We were having a little lunchtime potluck, and so I decided to whip up a healthy and refreshing Greek quinoa salad since we’d be in the hot sun most of the day.

Well apparently, my cousin Ryan has been thinking about that simple side dish since that day, and so for this year’s beach trip repeat, I made that same salad.  Continue reading

08/16/17

What’s holding you back?

Change is an important part of life.  

My 20th high school reunion just passed a few months ago and that milestone got me thinking about all of those messages high-schoolers write to each other in yearbooks: “Keep in touch!”, “Call me over the summer!” and the probably the most infamous jotting- “Never change!” Continue reading

08/15/17

Healthy cooking for beginners

Out of all the searches that drive readers to my blog, the top search phrase has always been “healthy cooking for beginners”. I get a LOT of questions about how to meal plan, how to shop and how to cook. I’ve had people tell me that their eating habits are horrible because they “can’t cook”, and resort to pre-packaged foods, fast food and dining out. I’ve heard this on the blog, social media and even in person. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that healthy cooking is EASY. No seriously, I promise! Here are my tips for getting started in a healthy meal prep routine… and making a habit of it!  Continue reading

07/20/17

Stretching and Massage with DeepRecovery.com

Disclaimer: I’m not a physical fitness expert, so please consult your doctor prior to starting any form of physical exercise or change to your diet and/or lifestyle. 

Stretching is NOT something I’m good at. 

Let me rephrase- I know how to stretch, but I don’t always dedicate the time and effort to stretch!

Why? Who knows. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I feel like it’s too time consuming. Sometimes I feel like it HURTS and so I avoid it (hello foam rolling and deep tissue massage!). But I NEED to make a better effort to work on flexibility and healing every day.  Continue reading

07/12/17

Am I too fat to workout at a gym?

Lately I’ve had people searching for some interesting things that have led them to my blog:

“Am I too fat to workout at a gym?”
“Too heavy for Orangetheory?”
“Weight limit for rower”
“How to overcome humiliation at a gym.”
“How much should I weigh before I buy a gym membership.” Continue reading

06/26/17

Giving back at Ronald McDonald House Tampa

Started my 38th trip around the sun volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House with this group of amazing people! 

These people are the real deal. Kind, smart, funny, and most of all, selfless. When I started talking about getting a group together to volunteer our time at the Ronald McDonald House here in Tampa as a way to celebrate my birthday, they all said “yes!” without a second thought. And yes… we made cupcakes… and YES I had one, of course. It was my birthday after all! 😉 Continue reading