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Back To School Round-up

Back to School Fever has struck! If you’re like me, the fast-approaching school year has you anxiously making lists, weeding out the closet and spending way too much time in the accessories section at Target.

Back to school fever: the unavoidable desire to buy all new clothes, shoes and school supplies to go with the start of a new school year. Symptoms include drastic hair change, makeover, newly-bronzed skin and compulsory purchases of way too many post-its and puppy folders.

This Back to School Round-up includes past (and perhaps forgotten) blog posts of recipes, workouts and college tips that you might find useful as you prep for school!

1.) Homemade Granola Bars:

Make these for you and your roommates….instant friends :) Or send this recipe to your Mom for a future *hint hint* care-package idea.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Granola Bars:

Butterscotch Pumpkin Granola Bars from stronglikemycoffee.com

If you’re a fan of Nature Valley granola bars, you’ll adore these homemade version that take the processed out of the breakfast or snack. Pumpkin + Butterscotch = magic. We made them for a hiking trip to The Bridge to Nowhere but agreed they are best with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast or dessert :)

2.) Healthy Alternatives to Favorite Snacks:

When you’re stocking your fridge, look out for healthy swaps around the grocery store. Lots of your favorites like trail mix, peanut butter and chips can be replaced with something just as yummy but with at least half the sodium/trans-fat/sugar/calories.

Healthy Grocery Swaps: Healthy Grocery Swaps - mac n cheese vs string cheese (stronglikemycoffee.com)

No rule says that just because you’re in college you must sacrifice good food for Top Ramen ;) And if you’re going to be shopping for food & snacks to keep in your dorm/apartment, you might want to check out the College Girls’ Grocery Guides:

College Girl Grocery Guide (the original)

College Girl Grocery Guide 2.0 – Apartment Edition

College Girls Grocery Guide 2.0 (stronglikemycoffee.com) you'll be thankful you pinned this 2 weeks in to campus dining!

3. Stress Busters

When classes start you might feel a little stressed out. Not sure what to expect if it’s your first year on campus; not ready to go back if it’s your third or fourth. Stress is the ultimate compromiser of your health; it has all kinds of icky side effects. I let stress get to me more often then I should, and have to remind myself to RELAX!

De-stressing tips:

Calming Care package

4. Study Snacks

And as any good student, you should be doing lots of STUDYING! I love when studying turns social and groups of friends organize a study group either in the library, the union, or their dorm. Sometimes our schedules are so busy that we don’t get to hang out every day, so combining studying & friends = best of both worlds (as long as you can stay out of Pinterest and Snap Chat!). But with social studying there are usually two things: Coffee & Snacks.

Here’s the Healthy Study Snack List!

Healthy Study Snack List from stronglikemycoffee.com

A new school year, a new start – you want to look your best & feel your best. I personally am stoked for this school year! So many great things to look forward to. :)

College Life Round 2 Begins

I am once again back to living dorm-style, which means dorm room workouts and recipes are coming! Yesterday my parents drove me and all my belongings one state over to my new home sweet home for the next 9 months. It was quite a workout hauling heavy bins up stairs, but unpacking and decorating was actually fun and my new room is ready for the year! My roommate and I have a little “Kitchen-area” complete with a coffee pot and baking goods…Pictures to come : )

Until then, I will share a fun, healthy, summery dessert I made my last night at home: Peach n’ Pecan Greek Frozen Yogurt!

I was inspired by the recipe from Chocolate & Carrots, because I love frozen yogurt and it sounded too yummy to pass up.

(It does require an ice cream maker!)

I made this on my last night at home before leaving for school. I knew it was my last day in my (read: my parents) kitchen with all the ingredients at my disposal. Plus I wanted to make something extra special for my parents before they sent me to college! I think this was a hit, they are both peach fans and this was such a good summer treat without the fat and calories of ice cream.

The only fat in this dessert comes from the Pecans which combined with the greek yogurt makes this quite a protein-packed dessert! (Good, we would need our muscles for lifting my heavy boxes the next day!)

Ingredients:

Pecan & Cinnamon mixture

2 Cups non-fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt

5 ripe peaches, peeled and diced

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar or sugar-substitute

1 cup Pecans

1 Tbs Cinnamon

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 Tbs Agave Nectar

1. Start my cooking the diced peaches and water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until they are cooked and soft, about 8 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; add sugar and stir. Allow to cool in the freezer.

3. Once peaches are cool, combine the peach mixture and greek yogurt in the ice cream maker and set to mix for 25 minutes.

4. While the yogurt is mixing, blend the pecans and cinnamon in a food processor until crumby. Add in the vanilla and agave nectar until a doughy-ball forms. Then, shape the pecan mixture into mini-sized dough balls. Once the yogurt is done blending in the ice cream maker, turn off and add in the pecan bites. Stir in gently with a spatula, cover the ice cream maker bowl and freeze until ready to eat!

*I recommend removing the bowl from the freezer about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve to allow it to thaw a little bit, making it easier to scoop out.

The pecan bites are like a nutty cookie dough and the cinnamon combined with the peach flavor is so yummy!

Pin this Here!

Girls Shopping Day + A Cooler Lunch

Officially 2 weeks from the first day of sophomore year, which means Back to School Sales are in full-bloom and I have last semester’s paychecks still burning a hole in my pocket.  My mom and I always have fun shopping and usually devote a whole day to store-hop to our hearts’ content.

The food courts or restaurants don’t really appeal to us. We don’t eat greasy heavy food at home, so why would we when we are out?  We packed our own lunch and snacks in a cooler to enjoy in between stores! We left the house at 9, taking a mug of coffee. But it warmed up well in to the 100s and we were thankful for a cold lunch and ice cold drinks.

The “To-Go” Menu

Travel food! On the menu: We shared a turkey and spinach sandwich on Orowheat bread with mustard, a bag of apple slices, and bell pepper slices. For a crunchy snack, rice crisps (BBQ flavor) and later we split a Lemon Zest Luna Bar (we love our luna bars!).

It was a good amount of food to have throughout the day & we definitely didn’t have the urge to splurge on any fat, I mean fast, food.

HYDRATION: It was a scorcher and we needed to stay hydrated to stay energized so we filled a giant cooler jug with iced Tazo passion tea & another tumbler with water.

I’m ready to SHOP!

Not only did we save a ton of calories, we saved money as well! (More to spend on a new pair of sunglasses right?!) Besides, who wants the bloated feeling after eating a burger and fries when going shopping and trying on new pairs of jeans and dresses?

It was a successful outing and I can’t wait to start wearing some of my new finds in a couple of weeks!

A sample of my purchases during back to college shopping :) I couldn’t resist the owl mug!

Have a happy healthy Monday!

GOOD NEWS: I will be dropping some “baggage” & changing the URL of my site to stronglikemycoffee.com starting Thursday! (No more stronglikemycoffee.wordpress.com after Thursday!)

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