Banana Bread Granola.

It’s no surprise it’s tough eating healthy over the holidays, and that’s totally fine. Splurge! I enjoy the wine and cookies just as much as the next person, but one thing I do always try to do is start with a healthy breakfast. It’s the best way to not only jump-start your day, but help you make healthier decisions all day long. This Banana Bread Granola is a perfect, easy recipe to start your morning off right. Not only does it smell ah-mazing, but it’s delicious! Top your yogurt off with some of this stuff or use it as cereal and add some blueberries on top!

It’s super simple and easy to switch out ingredients as well. Use any nuts you’ve got lying around, or feel free to add chia seeds, flax seeds, dried cranberries or even dark chocolate (yum!). This is a great easy base granola recipe and you can tailor it to whatever you’d like. Find the printable recipe card below!

 

Recipe Granola

 

Good luck, and if you try out the recipe let me know how it goes below!

Certified.

I need to go ahead and write this while it’s still such a thrill! Watch out fitness world, this girl is certified to personally train you! Woo! Six months in the making, and man did I forget what it is like to be in school “study” mode, which is even harder with a full time job and (semi) social life. But I took the exam this morning and passed! Couldn’t be happier.

I passed!

I’ve always enjoyed health and fitness on a personal level. I always played multiple sports in school, became somewhat of a gym rat post-grad, and now have branched into testing out gluten free and paleo recipes weekly. It’s become more than something I just do, and into something I love. I decided to get my certification to be a personal trainer simply to learn more about my own training. There are many different organizations that offer a certification but I chose the National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM-CPT) because it’s one of the most reputable and widely accepted. Being someone who goes to the gym frequently, I thought the course and exam would be easier for me. It’s heavily focused on exercise science, which I have no background in. So honestly, maybe I was more excited than necessary but I nailed a science exam…maybe the first time ever.

Arms day

The best part is I have more updates…

I am officially a Brand Ambassador for Equinox! Equinox is a luxury gym in a few major US cities, one of the locations being conveniently located a block over from my office. I help out the membership team for that location and represent an awesome brand…how lucky is that?!

yogi

Today is a celebration and another step in my fitness journey. Just looking forward to learning more and maybe getting to pick up a client or two🙂

E-mail me at ebaileyfitness@gmail.com for info on how I can help you!

@ebailey_fitness

A HUGE thank you to my family, boyfriend, roommate and wonderful friends up here who have been so supportive and understanding of my study-hibernation status lately…you all are the best!❤

Love,

Erin K. Bailey, CPT😉

Is this what it feels like to be Kendall Jenner?

This isn’t a diary, or even much of a journal. I didn’t create this blog to showcase my weekends or post pictures from dinner last night. I always said my life just wasn’t that interesting…until Tuesday. Tuesday deserves its own post.

Tuesday was special for a few different reasons. One of my best friends here, Tory, is moving to DC this weekend so to continue her farewell tour “Torypalooza” we needed one more night out. Then it was my roommate, Katelyn’s and my one year anniversary🙂 yeah we celebrate things like that. Plus we got an invite [thanks Ryan!] to Boston’s hottest new parking app, Haystack’s launch party at The Liberty Hotel [an old jail converted into this gorgeous hotel]. The app itself is creating quite the buzz…controversial is so chic.

haystack

 

The event was a 7PM – 9PM open bar on the fifth floor which was a wrap around balcony. So we enjoyed drinks, new friends and several pictures…and then we won $500 and our new favorite driver, Jay, for the night. See they were having a social media contest, where guests were to take pictures with their Haystack signs, upload them to Instagram, and the user with the most likes by the end of the night won. Katelyn’s notorious for ridiculous amounts of Instagram likes on her pictures which we’re all [Tory, Lily, myself] usually seriously jealous about…tonight, it was ideal. This baby earned us 130 likes…and a night we’ll never forget.

Insta-jam

Rooftop bar, bottle[sss] of Champagne, sushi boats for days, and [as if it could get better] we were right beside an outdoor Sara Bareilles concert.

Do people really live like this?

group

 

I’m still pinching myself. There were so many memorable parts of the night and not just because we were living the high-life, but because it was absolutely unexpected. A night of highs. A night filled with so many simple moments combined into one that simply felt too good to be true. I woke up the next day still smiling, because how lucky am I? Not just because of the contest, the money, the driver, but because my life is filled with such love. Simple, unexpected moments of pure joy.

So thank you Haystack, for facilitating one of my favorite nights yet.

Happy Tuesday to us…cheers!

Oh and Larry David made an appearance too…

Larry David

 

 

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

You Need theSkimm

Upon jumping into the real world I’ve realized how important it is to be informed. But who has time to read three news outlets every morning to get your different highlights?! I’ve struggled even fitting in one every morning! Twitter is great, but its also become apparent that in order to contribute to current events discussions in the office I need to know more than the six words included in the headline.

About six months ago my roommate introduced me to theSkimm, a work-week daily newsletter on current events. It’s perfect. Do you know what’s going on with the immigration crisis? or the World Cup? or Ryan Gosling? Because I do. Thank you Skimm. “We read. You Skimm.”skimm

I don’t promote many products but this one I found genuinely helpful, specifically for the modern day, professional woman.

Sign up to receive your daily dose of theSkimm here!

skimmm

*photo credit to the lovely Katelyn Milam.

My one complaint….I wish I had thought of it first.

“Welcome to theSkimm Life. Mornings just got better.”

– wannabeskimmbassador

Cookie 5

My modern day chocolate chip cookie

There’s really nothing better than a good chocolate chip cookie. My dad loves to bake and I can guarantee that there is at least one type of homemade cookie dough in the fridge at home right now. I grew up believing cookies were a snack, everyone’s favorite dessert, and when paired with coffee…even a breakfast food. Cookies are a staple at my house.

And then I started to become healthier; let’s not pretend like I didn’t eat an entire chocolate souffle at dinner the other night, but on a normal day I can’t indulge as often as I’d wish. I’ve begun to find and create healthier options to the foods I love, mostly desserts. Today I’m sharing my spin on the chocolate chip cookie…in protein bar form!

Cookie 1

The great thing about this recipe is that you just throw everything in your food processor (or Ninja, thanks Mom and Dad!) and it’s an easily adaptable recipe.

Cookie 2

Maybe chocolate chip cookies aren’t your favorite, throw in some macadamia nuts and white chocolate instead or maybe try a little extra peanut butter!

Cookie 3

It’s what I call a “dump” recipe, this time I added a little extra flax-seed I had as well as some chia seeds and they still taste delicious.

Cookie 4

Let me know how you decide to make them!

Cookie 5

Cookie 6

“This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”                                                                              – Julia Child.

 

 

Me, myself and I.

How many times have you thought about yourself today? About what you want? About what people might think about you? Because I literally can’t count them all. I was at dinner last week and asked my friend Ben what his worst trait was. Almost without missing a beat he stated ‘selfish,’ it quite honestly hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Exactly, of course it is. It’s everyone’s worst trait. But why hadn’t I immediately thought that was my own?”

He said it so casually, and explained that it was something he tried to be more purposeful about, something he was continuously working on.

It was only the first time this theme would smack me in the face this week. A good friend of mine is a teacher for Teach for America in Miami. He and two other teachers brought a group of 12 students to Boston this past weekend to tour colleges and experience the (best) city. The students, all minority, were chosen for one of the following reasons:

  • They had dedicated the allotted time to the 10th grade math club these teachers had created.
  • They were incredibly bright yet didn’t show the motivation or effort needed to go to college.
  • They were incredibly bright and wanted to go to college.

This trip was geared to inspire these students to pursue college. For their last night in town I met them for a comedy show at the famous Boston comedy club, Improv Asylum. The show was hysterical and even included one of the students, Chris, getting pulled up on stage…the kid is a natural. After the show we ventured to Mike’s Pastries (I know, not the best but iconic all the same),  and spent the rest of the night gallivanting around the city on a perfect warm, clear night. I walked away from the evening so impressed by the passion of these kids, the spark that this trip ignited in some of them was simply impressive, all they needed was a little inspiration.

But it got me thinking, how great is my life and what I’ve got going on? What have I done today or this week to help anyone else?

Lately I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the theme of being a “lost twentysomething.” It’s addicting. It’s a common thread I’ve found with many friends and strangers, an easy conversation topic, discussing likes and dislikes, struggles and mini victories. But a little perspective from this weekend made me find fault in these consuming thoughts. Do I focus too much time on myself and not enough on anyone else?

Yes. Absolutely.

Is that bad?

I’m not sure.

Maybe yes and maybe no. We attract what we are. The more we better ourselves the more we surround ourselves with those that are better as well. Like minded even. I’ve struggled with this concept though. Is it OK for me to be focusing this much time and energy on myself and my own life? I walked away from this weekend feeling almost guilty. I grew up in a household that placed a strong importance on community involvement and volunteering. Not only through my parents professions but some of my fondest childhood memories included my dad’s “little brother” as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Volunteering was ingrained in me. So when did I begin to find my own self discovery more important that helping someone else on their journey?

I believe that in these years of being a twentysomething self discovery is more important than ever. It begins with self-awareness, and this is where I struggle. It’s important to reflect on our own lives, and focus on bettering ourselves yet I leave you with this question:

Where is the line drawn between self discovery and selfishness?

“Practice being selfless. You end up getting more than you anticipate when your soul is giving.”

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Secret 14. Don’t go Into the Wild all by yourself.

So I started a book club. It started the way I imagine many others have as well, I met a great group of girls that I wanted to learn more about and thought we could bond over a story and a bottle(s) of wine. The first book I chose was based on an article I found back in September titled 11 Questions Every Twenty-Something Needs To Ask by Paul Angone. The article hit home for me specifically one particular question:

5. Do I love from my insecurities or do I love from my strengths?

I never thought of love as a push and pull but simply an is, you love or you don’t love. But instead this question challenged that same idea, do we love in order to take or do we love in order to give. Do we love in order to simply get love from others? To fill the voids in our lives with the attention and adoration from another? Or do we love in order to share our lives, our stories, to celebrate life together? Do we surround ourselves with those we want to get love from or want to give love to? Or better yet…both?

What’s the difference? Loving from your insecurities demands from others. Loving from your strengths gives to them. Loving out of your insecurities does not want to see people succeed more than yourself. Loving from your strengths hears of other’ s success and is the first to celebrate with them. Loving from insecurities daily demands “what are you going to do for me?” Loving from your strengths asks others, “what can I do for you?” Too many people love from their insecurities, and that’s not love.”

Last night was our first book club meeting as we joined together to discuss 101 Secrets for your Twenties, Paul Angone’s book inspired from the popularity of his original article. We began with the first 25 “secrets” highlighting those that felt the most relatable and flagging several we were sure we’d encounter years down the road. As we discussed these “secrets” common themes quickly became apparent:

  1. No one has it all figured out. While we all thought we’d have our lives planned by the time we hit a certain age that has clearly not been the case. And the plans we made for ourselves in college, none of us have lived out. No one knows what you “should” do, we’re all just blindly trying to find our way.
  2. Girlfriends are essential. Boyfriends come and go, but girlfriends, the ones you just click with, those are invaluable, those make life full.
  3. We aren’t stuck. We aren’t stuck in this city, this job, this relationship. Have the power and the confidence to not only identify what part(s) of your life that is holding you back, but to harness that and change it.

Several months ago when my roommate, Katelyn, and I were moving in together she shared a piece of advice with me that her Mom had given her. Relationships are a two part game, each person having to give 100% to make it work. But some days will be bad, some days your boss will yell at you, or you’ll get in a fight with your boyfriend, or you’ll forget your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm and you’ll only have 30 or 50% to give. Surround yourself with those that are will to make up for you, are will to give you 150 or 170%. Fill your life with those that are willing to give to you, and you are will to give back to. We can’t survive on our own, we can’t be 100% every day.

Last night was one of the first nights Katelyn and I invited “the girls” over to drink wine, hang in our sweats, share stories, give advice, and just laugh, completely comfortable. These girls are those girls. Our people.

We need to know, and to be known. Invite a friend or two over for dinner. Talk, laugh once or twice – even if it’s forced, and before the meal is over you might just notice that your friends are chewing on the same questions you are. And at that moment of honest conversation, you will see light in the dark and dusty corners. – From Secret 14, Paul Angone.

 

end result!

Protein Balls.

I’ve come a long way. The array of vegetables I ate as of five years ago, pretty much consisted of mashed potatoes and raw carrots with ranch dressing. Tomatoes were slimy, cooked broccoli made me want to gag, and I didn’t even know what spinach looked like unless it was frozen out of a bag. I think the day my family finally saw a difference was the day I went to Subway and ordered a veggie sub rather than my usual “Turkey breast on Italian, provolone cheese and mayo…not toasted…yes, that’s it…I’m sure…Thank you.” …Mom still never lets me live that down.

Honestly, studying abroad was a big part of my pallet change. I wanted to eat everything and wasn’t going to let that scary tomato keep me from eating Rome’s best pasta sauce. So I sucked it up and tried any and everything…turns out those veggies aren’t so bad. In fact it was in Africa that I even started to LIKE them…what?! My roommate was vegetarian which was a great influence on me. Plus with our lack of kitchen space and appliances, “one pan” dishes became our specialty and we often cooked together.

So the point is, while many would consider me a “health nut” now…I haven’t always been this way. It was a slow but steady transition. I’m not here to convince you to take the journey I did, but food and eating healthy is such a large part of my life, it’s a part I have had yet to share with you. So while I will not convert this blog to a health and fitness focused blog (it’s been done…and done again), a few of those posts might slide in.

The one thing that’s really holding me back from considering myself to be a health nut is my sweet tooth. Let’s not even pretend I have just one, I should say “sweet TEETH.” I love spinach, and tofu, and qunioa. I meal plan and meal prep for the week, I’ve even started to go to the gym before work but put a pint of ice cream in front of me…game over. Self control? Non-existent. So I’ve had to come up with “healthy” sweet alternatives, because not eating desert is simply not an option. Welcome protein balls…these are so good my roommate even loves them and shes the savory one! They taste like cookie dough. Honest.

It took me a couples week to convince my sister to make them but after the first batch she was hooked! She even shared the recipe with her coworkers, so I figured I’d share mine with you!

Peanut Butter Protein Balls
2 tbsp coconut oil
.5 cup peanut butter (if I have pb2* I do half that and half real pb)
4 tbsp honey
.25 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 scoops protein powder (I use vanilla Whey Factors)
1.5 cups oats
1-2 tbsp almond milk
.25 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Melt the coconut oil then mix in peanut butter, honey, applesauce.
2. Next add your dry ingredients one at a time, protein powder and oats.
3. If your batter turns out dry that’s when you can add a tablespoon of almond milk at a time until it can hold together.
4. So the great thing about this recipe is at this point you can throw in any additions you want: chocolate chips, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cranberries, raisins, clear out your pantry and throw it in!
5. Now take your batter and roll them into quarter sized balls and store them in the fridge. As delicious as the plain batter is, it gets better chilled!

These little guys are perfect for breakfasts on the go or afternoon snacks. I primarily use them as a little pick-me-up before a workout. They give you a boost of energy with the sugar and protein for you to have a more effective workout. Let me know what you guys think! Enjoy!

20140411-153202.jpg

Funemployment

Since joining the working world I’ve realized how important time off is, or better yet how rare it is. No longer do we get spring breaks, or three month long vacations, or (sorry Mom) get to skip that 8am class because you still have three absences to use before the end of the semester. Oh what I would give to have my school schedule back again! And then your new job gives you 12 days off a year which at first doesn’t sound too bad…until you realize 10 of them are dedicated to your family to travel home for the holidays and other family events. So…vacation? What’s that?

I decided to take matters into my own hands and build in a week of planned unemployment in between jobs, a friend coined the term “funemployment” and it totally stuck. No big plans, just days filled with nothing but exactly what I want to do. Didn’t realize how rare that is too!

Kicked off the funemployment with a champagne toast with my roommate and one of my best friends from home before we headed to the celtics game with the rest of the group (we have a group now!).

Don’t ask me who they played…nose bleed seats is generous, we couldn’t see anything.

Then I headed home to see my family for a few days which was fabulous. Filled with running afternoons with dad, too much shopping, and frequent ultimate ice cream visits. It was just nice being able to relax at home, see some of my best friends, and watch Friends with my Ma.

The rest of the week back in Boston just flew by! It’s been gorgeous here, sunny days in the high 50’s meant lots of outdoor runs and laying in the grass with a book. I snuck in several workouts and even lounged on the roof. What a peaceful week it was…I think every other month we should all get a week off. The world would be a much more productive place.

Now come Monday I jump back in the working world. I’m excited to share that I’ve accepted an office management/client relations position at Balter Capital Management. Another field I have little (or no) experience in but I’m always up for a challenge. I’m excited to work in an office and one that I can walk to! How great is that?!

Here’s to my last weekend of funemployment. Wish me luck for next week!

 

Thank you Pure

I can finally announce that today was my last day at Pure Communications. I started almost a year and a half ago as an intern, was quickly offered a full time position upon graduating and then made plans to move to Boston. It’s been nothing short of a wonderful adventure. I was thrown into a life-science and biotech field having no prior knowledge and was forced to learn the new language. It was hard. At times I certainly failed, didn’t ask enough questions, or just didn’t understand. But in the end I look back and can’t believe how far I’ve come. I never thought this Pure team would become such a big part of my life. I met some incredible mentors and leaders. Got to work on projects with all types of companies from launching small biotech companies to leading advertising campaigns for big pharma. It’s been awesome. Pure I can’t thank you enough!

I came across a Kid President video yesterday and it just felt so appropriate for this life transition I’m in the midst of.

“You’re gonna do so much, but it’s not about what you do it’s about who you are. And you, you’re awesome, you’re made that way. You’re made from love, to be loved, to spread love. Love is always louder…so let your life be loud.”

Thanks for the memories Pure. I can’t wait to tell you all what’s next … finance here I come!

 

 

“You’re awake. You’re awesome. Live like it.” – Kid President.