Getting it Together on the Road: San Juan Del Sur

san juan del sur nicaragua | almost getting it together

Confession: I am a former geography bee champion. I competed in the National Geographic Geography Bee in 6th grade, was on my high school Geography Bee team and took an AP class AFTER-SCHOOL in high school for Human Geography and scored a 5. Bet you didn’t think I was that smart, did you? Concord University in West Virginia actually wanted me to come study geography and run cross-country (not a big deal – their team is all walk-ons for the most part, I think). So basically, somehow my brain is wired to love cultures and traveling and maps and things like that.

I read about Chicabrava in a Refinery29 article about best places for a solo trip. I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to take a trip somewhere by myself. I went surfing in Hawaii, was decent enough to get up on my first couple of tries, so I decided – sure, let’s go to Nicaragua. Funny enough, I didn’t know where Nicaragua was on a map. Don’t blame me, we all know we don’t learn enough about Central & South America in American schools. (Heck, we don’t learn enough about Canada. Or really anything for that matter.)

San Juan Del Sur is on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Managua, the capital and home of the major international airport in the country. The drive is kind of cool, you pass Lake Nicaragua and the two big volcanos. It’s definitely a surf town and it’s one of those little places that make you forget you’re not in the US. The expat influence is pretty huge and you’re definitely not the only gringo or gringa around.

lake nicaragua | almost getting it together

This is what the tail end of 14 hours of traveling looks like. Oh, and Lake Nicaragua and a volcano.

Shop
There’s a lot of shopping, mostly touristy-places or shops filled with weird stuff that’s either outcasts from major clothing factories (saw lots of counterfeit Hollister, actually) or Central American stuff that isn’t really my style of effortless cool. (Am I a jerk for saying that’s my style?)

I did stumble on a super-cute store called Auric. Auric sells a lot of their own designs and it is very Brandy Melville-esque – most stuff is one size fits most. They have a lot of handmade cheap jewelry that doesn’t look cheap, denim shorties, tanks for guys and girls and fun leggings.

auric san juan del sur nicaragua clothing | almost getting it together

Auric in San Juan del Sur.

If you forgot your rash guard or want a new swim suit, check out the Chicabrava shop. They carry a lot of prouducts from Billabong and Roxy, as well as some of their own designs.

Eat
A week or so before I arrived, SJDS opened its first raw-foods café, Buddha’s Garden. They have a lot of great salads, raw pizza, “zoodle” dishes and a multitude of smoothies and fresh juices. Buddha’s Garden also has raw treats like a Chakara-inspired layered cheese cake and a TiRAWmasu.

Nicaragua is known for their amazing coffee. Stop by El Gato Negro for a coffee, latte or tea and grab a breakfast sandwich or lunch while you’re there. If you plan on getting your coffee to go, be sure to take your own cup because they don’t do takeaway service as to protect the environment.

If you’re in the mood for tacos, try Bad Ass Eats like I mentioned in an earlier post. Most beaches also have their own taco stands. If you want traditional Nicaraguan food (read: rice and beans), there is a market in town you can wander through with lots of open seating and open kitchens where you can get some Central American staples.

There are a lot of street snacks too, but for the most part, they are gone by the end of the day. Look around for a guy selling coconuts for a dollar a piece (Emily, remember that time we paid like $7 for a coconut in Miami?) There’s also a woman who sells fresh mangos with the option to get this spicy sauce and salt in the bag as well. I tried a bite of a sauced-up mango and it was pretty delicious but I was also in salt-overload from the ocean so I stuck to the classic.

On one of the side streets, there is a woman who posts up every night to sell barbecued chicken. Apparently it’s really famous and delicious so if you have a chance, try it.

Play
If you’re in SDJS, you’re likely there to surf or go to the beach, and if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong. (Kidding, kind of. Who doesn’t love the beach?)

san juan del sur nicargua | almost getting it together

Playa Madreas.

If you need surfing lessons, stop by Chicabrava. They do private lessons and I promise you’ll get up on a wave by the end of the day. My fifty-something year old father could get up on a wave on his first day (albeit in Hawaii, where the waves are a little gentler) and these girls are all amazing instructors.

Survivor: Nicaragua was filmed in San Juan Del Sur. This luckily brought a lot of infrastructure to the town and the nearby beaches. Playa Remanso, Playa Hermosa and Playa Maderas are all popular beaches with good surfing. Just don’t take anything valuable – theft is not an uncommon occurrence.

san juan del sur nicaraguasurvivor nicaragua | almost getting it together

Me beside a Chicabrava truck that was used in Survivor: Nicaragua.

If you want your hangover to get started around 7 p.m., head out on a catamaran tour. You can book one at most any tourist-y place in town and they offer an open bar (beer and rum drinks – and the rum in Nicaragua is both very good and very cheap). They take you out on a 3-4 hour tour and you anchor at a private beach where you can swim to shore. Make sure you take a friend who is a strong enough swimmer to lug a bag of beers to the beach. I also had the most epic ceviche of my life on said catamaran tour.

catamaran tour san juan del sur nicaragua

Catamaran chillin’.

Drink
Recently, a Canadian-theme bar opened in town, The Loose Moose. You can get a Molson and then make bad judgment calls after a few too many of their huge sangrias that are $5 and very strong and order a poutine. I also can get behind drinking at any bar with lots of hockey jerseys and we know my love of Canadians. If you want to interact with the locals, this probably isn’t the place to go though.

If you’re in the mood for live music, try the Black Whale. They have a stage in their outdoor area and a pretty diverse crowd. A drink will only set you back a few dollars.

Want an epic sunset with your mojito? Try El Timon for happy hour which has both seating in the sand and under a roof if you’ve had a little too much time in the sun.

san juan del sur sunset nicaragua | almost getting it together

San Juan del Sur sunset.

Tips

  • If you’re a snacker like myself (or anyone super-active), pack your own snacks. I suggest always traveling with nuts and protein powder, along with granola/energy bars and apple sauce packs if you think you need the extra fruit/fiber/natural sugar. All of those things are difficult to find there.
  • Most places take American currency; so just stop by the ATM before you leave home.
  • Pack sunscreen and deep woods bug repellent – the bugs get really bad in the summer and rainy season.
  • If you’re looking to find a business online, check Facebook – many of the local businesses use Facebook rather than a dedicated .com address.

PS: Did you win my NuttZo giveaway?

Chat with me:
Have you ever been to Nicaragua? Do you want to go? What subject were you best in at school?

What I Ate Wednesday: Blogger Recipe Round-Up

what i ate wednesday blogger recipe round-up | almost getting it together

I decided last weekend that I was actually going to make some of the recipes that I had been pinning. I’m really great at pinning every recipe from every blog ever (not really exaggerating) and never making them because I eat the same exact things – oatmeal with nut butter, fruit & yogurt, salad with some sort of protein, then probably a turkey sandwich on a brown rice wrap for dinner, or whatever random things I throw in a bowl. This isn’t what I ate on a particular day, but a mixture of things I ate last week. Also I’m terrible at taking pictures of my meals, so please enjoy the good food photography bloggers hopefully don’t mind me borrowing. The only photos that are mine are the terrible iPhone photos. Balsamic Chicken Salad with Figs, Portobellos & Candied Pecans by The Healthy Maven

Balsamic Chicken Salad by The Healthy Maven | almost getting it together

Picture from thehealthymaven.com.

Confession: I was too lazy to make candied pecans, so I just used raw pecans. I’m sorry, Davida. I know it would be so much more with the pecs. I also couldn’t find fresh figs in Pittsburgh, so I used a dried fig. This salad was amazing, though. I definitely could not wait for lunch on Monday morning! Foil-Pouch Sweet Potato Noodle Fajitas by Inspiralized

Foil-Pouch Sweet Potato Noodle Fajitas by Inspiralized | almost getting it together

Photo from Inspiralized.com

I went on an intense spiralizing kick last Sunday. More or less, if something stood still and was able to be spiralized, it was spiralized. I had been craving fajitas but also I’m not into corn tortillas unless fish tacos are involved and obviously can’t have flour tortillas. These were so simple to make and SO tasty. The sweet potato was really unexpected. It was great to come home, throw some in a bowl, top with a little avocado and have dinner. Smashed White Bean and Kale Quesadillas with Creamy BBQ Dip by Running to the Kitchen

Smashed White Bean and Kale Quesadillas with Creamy BBQ Dip by Running to the Kitchen | almost getting it together

This photo does not do it justice.

I had no idea that BBQ sauce was involved in this recipe, so as I actually read it to make it, it was a pleasant surprise. This also came together in 15 minutes, which made it a perfect weeknight dinner since I typically have the three main ingredients (kale/spinach, white beans, cheese) on hand. Chocolate Almond Fig Bites by The Almond Eater

Chocolate Almond Fig Bite by The Almond Eater | almost getting it together

A pre-yoga Chocolate Almond Fig Bite while checking out the redesign of my blog. Please excuse my chipped nail.

I had wanted to make these since Erin posted them on Valentine’s Day. On Friday evening, I realized I didn’t have any energy bites or Larabars for my long run. I luckily had dried figs thanks to Davida’s salad, so I quickly whipped these up (sans M&Ms) and had to stop myself from eating them straight from the food processor.

Also, don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a jar of NuttZo! Entries accepted until Thursday at midnight!

Chat with me:
Do you pin recipes and never make them? What blogger recipes have you made and loved lately?

Fit Tip Tuesday: Puma Faas 300 v3 Review

Puma Faas 300 v3 | almost getting it together

If I haven’t said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – I’m a creature of habit. Once I find something that works, be it food or workout or running shoe, I don’t change it. I crave routine. It’s actually probably slightly OCD or neurotic or whatever. Also for someone who craves routine in her personal life, I also hate it after a while, which is why I feel the need to travel to ridiculous places.

Anyway, last month recently Puma reached out to see if I was interested in testing their new running shoe, the lightweight Faas 300 v3. I’m currently running in an Asics shoe that I’m not crazy about (the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10, the update to my beloved Wave Inspire 9, left a lot to be desired when I took it for a test run). When I thought about cheating on the Wave Inspire 9, the sales guy at Gingerbread Man Running (truly my favorite running shoe store, but it’s also an hour away whereas True Runner is just across town), actually had me test run in a Puma.

Puma Faas 300 v3 | almost getting it together

This is often how I can be spotted in my natural habitat. Oh, and on the weekends because I don’t care how I look.

I know what you’re asking – does Puma make running shoes? My friend Jessi recently asked the same question. I asked the same question. The answer is yes. Remember just a few short years ago when Mizuno wasn’t known for their running shoes? My running shoe guy told me Puma has really been making a push to better their running shoe assortment and that they were some of his best selling shoe. I was definitely interested in seeing what Pumas could do for a longer distance then around the block and back.

I took them for a 7 mile run. I had worked out in them a little bit before – mainly just my morning strength workout – so they weren’t totally un-broken in. They were definitely light – I felt a lot faster in them. They are not necessarily made for longer distances – I would like to try racing a 5K in them soon to see how they are in a short, fast run.

I have been cross-training in the Faas 300 v3, which I enjoy because they are so light. I don’t even need my orthopedics (long story, if you’re ever bored I’ll tell you my whole injury story sometime) to feel supported in them when I’m doing strength training (note: my strength training is Nike Training Club workouts. I’m not doing Crossfit or anything crazy.) They are also definitely cute.

If you are a shorter distance runner or are looking for a cross-training shoe, I suggest giving them a try. Plus, it’s always good to get yourself out of your routine a little, right?

Plus, don’t forget about my NuttZo giveaway – you can enter through midnight on Thursday!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post, but Puma did provide me the Puma Faas 300 v3 to review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Chat with me:
Are you a person who is addicted to their routine? If you’re a runner… what shoe do you run in?

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Chip NuttZo Blondies (and a Giveaway!)

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

My name is Cassie and I’m addicted to nut butter. Nuttzo, almond butter, peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter… you name it, it’s probably in my pantry and I’ve probably eaten a spoonful of it already today. I went so far as to buy mini-packets of Justin’s Almond Butter and Wildfriends Chocolate Sunflower Butter to take with me to Nicaragua so I wouldn’t have a day without nut butter. (Plus I needed the healthy fats and protein for a long day of surfing, right?)

Speaking of NuttZo… My friends at NuttZo are giving away a jar to a lucky American (sorry guys!) resident. Enter now through Thursday, April 17th at midnight. I’ll announce the winner on here Friday. C’mon, go use my Rafflecopter now that I can embed it.

Anyway, I had been craving blondies and the one time I made black bean brownies (if only I had written down the recipe!), they were the ultimate hit so I decided I could definitely create a blondie recipe with chickpeas. And what is better than a blondie? A blondie with nut butter and chocolate chips of course.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

Can you believe these beauties are gluten free AND vegan?

The best part of baking with chickpeas is that you don’t need eggs to hold anything together, so they are great for gluten free and vegan baking. If you’re hesitant of a bean-based baked good – don’t be. You’ll have no idea they are fudge-y bars of protein and fiber.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

No one will ever know your secret legume ingredient…

On another note, I’m going to attribute these to my hairstylist telling me my hair was the healthiest it’s been in four years, due to all the healthy fats and protein.

gluten free vegan chocolate chip nuttzo blondies | almost getting it together

Chocolate chip goodness.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten Free & Vegan Nuttzo Blondies (and a Giveaway!)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 banana
  • ⅓ cup almond meal
  • 3 tbsp Nuttzo
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put chickpeas and banana in food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add almond meal, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder and continue blending.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into greased pan.
  6. Lightly pour Nuttzo onto batter. Use a knife to swirl into blondies.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until tops begin to brown and a fork inserted comes out clean.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 blondie Calories: 143 Fat: 5.3 Saturated fat: .8 Carbohydrates: 19.3 Sugar: 4.4 Sodium: 21 Fiber: 6.4 Protein: 5.5

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chat with me:
What’s your all-time favorite nut butter?

Now Trending

cassandra pisone | almost getting it together

So, if you’re a loyal reader of AGiT (all three of you) you may have noticed things have been a little quiet over here… it’s because my little babe was getting a make-over. I have been working on taking better photos, creating more recipes and coming up with more content since I’ve had to go dark for the past week. I hope you’re as excited as I am for the re-design. And for the fact I can do cool stuff now like have plug-ins.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a quality “Now Trending” post. It seemed like between all my traveling and recovering from traveling, I haven’t had a chance to catch up on blogs or reading in general. Here are a few things that have either inspired me or got my mind working this week. Warning: most of them are about lunch.

Life
Fashion blogger ManRepeller wrote an amazing post about why she doesn’t wear make-up. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t wear make-up, except for super special occasions like a date or I’m going out somewhere super cool. She doesn’t wear make-up for the same reason that I don’t – I’m lazy. I had a great chat with my friend Jamie, who happens to be a beauty blogger, about why she doesn’t wear make-up either. The above photo shows me without make-up, not caring how I look.

Wall Street Journal had an article based on research by Harvard that challenged the way we think about dress codes… basically, me wearing my yoga/running clothes everywhere on the weekend will make store associates think I’m so confident and/or famous that I’m powerful.

Found my next surf trip – Bali. Who’s going with me?

Food
BonAppetit had an amazing feature on how to upgrade lunch at your desk. Plus the “what’s your lunch bowl” quiz is fun.

Lindsay at Cotter Crunch rounded up a bunch of great training food for endurance athletes that are gluten free, just in time for marathon season. Did you know eating grain-free helps you absorb more nutrients and causes less inflammation?

This is kind of old, but I love Alexis at Hummusapien’s round-up of lunch ideas and how to pack the perfect lunch.

Listen
I may be a little late on this… but Paris by Magic Man is my new jam. Definitely a great song to blast on an early spring morning.

Chat with me:
What do you think of the new blog redesign? Did you miss me? Girls – do you wear make-up?

Getting it Together on the Road: Savannah

tybee island savannah ga | almost getting it together

The Southern US often gives me anxiety. Do you know it’s absolutely impossible in 2014 to find a coconut water in southern Virginia? That’s not the kind of place I want to call home. Savannah, however, is different.

I’ve been going to Savannah on a semi-regular basis since I was a little girl. One branch of my family had the wits to get out of the north so I have traveled to the Paris of the South for weddings, races, vacations and of course – time spent visiting my family. Savannah has all the charm of the south while still being a part of the 21st century.

Below are some of my highlights of Savannah.  If you ever need more suggestions, feel free to e-mail me, tweet me, send me a note via carrier pigeon.

Shop
Savannah actually has a great shopping scene. When I get married, I’m going to decorate my entire house with stuff from Paris Market. Paris Market is filled with finds from flea markets and estate sales from – you guessed it – Paris, as well as the rest of the world with different cities and countries being represented at any given time. Currently the store is filled with finds from Egypt and India.

paris market savannah | almost getting it together

Upstairs at Paris Market

paris market savannah | almost getting it together

Downstairs at Paris Market.

paris market savannah | almost getting it together

Dying for this to be what my house looks like.

Besides Paris Market, Broughton Street also has Anthropologie, Kate Spade and Marc by Marc Jacobs outposts, just to name a few. If you want to find something a little more local with a smaller price tag, stop by Red Clover, whose offerings channel Francesca’s Collections, albeit with an even smaller price tag.

Eat
Savannah has options for just about every appetite. Go for complete gluttony at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House, where you wait in line for a lunch of meatloaf or fried chicken, plus over twenty different side dishes and desserts, all eaten family style. I’ve done it once, many years ago, which was enough.

If you want to have a cute and quirky brunch with your girlfriends, I suggest Soho South Cafe. They have all the American-bistro classics from salads to sandwiches to quiche, with mismatched tables to boot. If you have to wait for a table, their bar area is super cute, too.

soho south cafe savannah ga | almost getting it together

The bar at Soho South Cafe.

soho south cafe savannah ga | almost getting it together

House Mixed Salad at Soho South Cafe, complete with added chicken and avocado (of course).

I’m also obsessed with Your Pie, the Chipotle of the pizza world. Read more about my obsession with Your Pie.

If you’re still hungry, I also suggest getting the falafel at Zunzis or grabbing a coffee at Gallery Espresso, conveniently a block from Red Clover.

Play
Obviously, being a beach babe, my seriously favorite thing to do in Savannah is go to Tybee Island. The drive is beautiful, the beach is clean, and there are a ton of cool shops and restaurants on Tybee.

tybee island savannah ga | almost getting it together

Beach is better.

There’s always a race going on in Savannah –  or go for a loop around Isle of Hope for some stunning views, old plantation houses and an abundance of Spanish moss. Frosythe Park is also a mile around, so you can do loops around there and it affords some great people-watching. On Saturdays there is a Farmers’ Market there as well.

Drink
The Bohemian Hotel has a cool roof-top bar. The crowd is kind of older, but if you’re a girl, that means someone will probably buy you a drink.

Bohemian Hotel Savannah Ga | almost getting it together

With my cousin Jaime at the Bohemian Hotel in Savannah. Champs on champs.

I’m also a fan of Abe’s on Lincoln, mainly because there are Lincoln Logs. It’s super dive-y but also super fun.

abe's on lincoln savannah ga | almost getting it together

Clearly not the most flattering photo of me ever, but I should have been an architect.

Chat with me:
What’s one of your favorite cities to visit? When you’re traveling, which do you love most – shop, eat, play or drink?

What I Ate Wednesday: Nicaraguan Eats [2]

bad ass eats san juan del sur Nicaragua | almost getting it together

I’m a terrible blogger. I never remember to photograph my food. I think it’s a muscle memory you have to train. Or it’s because I’m lackadaisical in most things I do. I wish I could be a more serious person. Did you know the Spanish word for “almost” is “Casi”? I think this blog name was meant to be.

I’m writing this at 6:30 a.m. since I woke up for a run and it’s pouring the rain. I wanted to share a few more of the things I ate while in Nicaragua. I still am having a little white rice PTSD – I saw a container in the fridge at work yesterday and almost had a panic attack, but other than that, I’m already ready to be back there, waking up early to surf, not waking up early to push back a run because I’m being a baby and don’t feel like running in the rain.

This isn’t a whole day of eats – just random things I photographed that you’ll probably see again if I ever bother to do a recap. (I will, I promise – getting serious over here).

Smoothie Bowl from Buddha’s Garden

buddhas garden san juan del sur | almost getting it together

Smoothie Bowl at Buddha’s Garden.

I was Skyping with my #WCW, Davida, last night and told her about the smoothie bowl I ate at the new raw foods cafe in San Juan Del Sur, Buddha’s Garden. Her reply? “Of course you would find the only raw foods bar in Nicaragua.” This smoothie bowl was made with a papaya base, then topped with mango, banana, watermelon, chia seeds and raw granola. I love how not-sweet the raw granola was. Do I now need a dehydrator? The answer is no.

Fish Taco from Bad Ass Eats

bad ass eats san juan del sur Nicaragua | almost getting it together

Fish taco from Bad Ass Eats.

You can’t go to a beach town without a fish taco, even if fish tacos aren’t really native to Nicaragua (still Mexican, but readily available at every beach stand and just about every place in town). This was super messy. It’s crazy windy in San Juan Del Sur (offshore winds from Lake Nicaragua, hence why the surfing is so good) and whatever creama sauce was on it was everywhere. Then I also felt the need to dump a random hot sauce on the counter into it. The tortilla was a  homemade corn tortilla and was so good. BUT – the fish tacos my dad and I made from “It’s All Good” still are the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Is that blasphemy?

Lobster from Cloud Farm

lobster cloud farm |  almost getting it together

Lobster… with the dreaded white rice.

As I said before, my meals were included in my lodging. The next to last night included lobster. I don’t even know where you find lobsters in Nicaragua, aren’t they a cold water creature crustacean? It was delicious and was in some red veggie sauce. The green thing is some sort of squash (though I wish it were kabocha squash) and the thing that isn’t rice is mashed potatoes. I’m just not into mashed potatoes/white potatoes in general… They’re both just bland to me. I was kind of hungry after I ate this since it was a few slices of squash and one lobster tail so I ended up making a salad with a random cucumber and tomato I found with balsamic vinegar and this delicious smoked cheese.

Steak and Chicken Kebobs from El Colibri

el calibri san juan del sur Nicaragua | almost getting it together

Beef and chicken kebabs at El Colibri.

I had spoke with a few people who had visited San Juan Del Sur, including Abby from All Dolled Up, who told me about the sangria at local Mediterranean restaurant, El Colibri. We went on their second to last night – their lease was up and the owners of the building wanted to start their own restaurant there. Since Nicaragua’s only food to speak of is rice, beans and plantains, I felt zero guilt about eating a cuisine I could get at home. Everything looked amazing – they had Spanish meatballs, steak with vodka bacon sauce, gnocchi (how I miss you, gnocchi) – but I went with chicken and steak kabobs (I love all things grilled, especially grilled veggies) and they were nice enough to swap polenta (weird polenta craving) for the potatoes.

Although I love eating while traveling, I’m also a creature of habit and truly love making my own meals because I love cooking, so coming home is always a little bit of a relief for me – I no longer have to forage for food out in the world and instead can throw random stuff in a bowl and eat it. I’ve also been eating mustard on everything since I didn’t have mustard for a week and I’m currently OBSESSED.

I’m linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

Chat with me: What food/condiment are you currently obsessed with? Do you like eating out/eating at home more? What’s the best thing you’ve ever ate traveling?

Superfood Smoothie Bowl

Superfood Smoothie Bowl | almost getting it together

Did you ever notice how every food is now a “superfood”? Also most foods are now also detox foods. People need to slow their roll with putting food into categories.

Anyway, I know I owe you about a million two travel recaps along with a ton of other stuff I want to share, but I haven’t had the chance to create a recipe for a couple weeks and this takes a lot less brain effort to write then something I have to go fact-check.

Nicaragua was amazing. I’ll recap fully soon, I promise. Of course the first place I made my dad stop after he picked me up from the airport (at 11 p.m.) was the grocery store to buy spinach. I had been feeling pretty gross my whole trip and couldn’t wait to start eating super clean again.

I just felt like I ate so much when I really didn’t. I was just eating differently than normal (trying to eat for energy – surfing is hard work!) and I start to feel weird when I’m not eating a ton of veggies and protein. After Tuesday, I made the exec decision I was no longer going to eat white rice… I don’t love it, my body doesn’t love it, I might as well spend the calories somewhere else and eat something satisfying.

Sunday morning, I woke up pretty hungry from not eating anything substantial on Saturday (the Managua and Houston airports both lack healthy options and plane food is probably just injected with sodium). I also knew I needed vegetables stat. I had a smoothie bowl at this cool raw foods cafe in San Juan del Sur and decided to just Cassie-fy it. I was a little cold after breakfast but I suddenly had a ton of energy and felt like myself again. Oh, and did I mention it was delicious?

Superfood Smoothie Bowl

5.0 from 1 reviews
Superfood Smoothie Bowl
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 huge handfuls spinach
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ cup raw rolled oats
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 tbsp Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Hemp Granola
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Put spinach, frozen strawberries, ice, coconut water, protein powder and oats. into your blender and blend until smooth. It should be a little thicker than a normal smoothie and not flow out of the container - you should have to use a spatula to get it all out.
  2. Put smoothie into a bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients as toppings and try not to get a brain freeze as you dig in (this is coming from experience).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 498 Fat: 20.3 Saturated fat: 5.5 Carbohydrates: 58.1 Sugar: 21.7 Sodium: 119 Fiber: 22.1 Protein: 25.5

 

Superfood Smoothie Bowl | almost getting it together

Look at that green goodness.

Superfood Smoothie Bowl | almost getting it together

Smoothie bowl is ready for its close-up.

Superfood Smoothie Bowl Nutrition Facts

Chat with me:
What do you eat when you need to get back on track? Are you as obsessed with vegetables as I am?

What I Ate Wednesday: Nicaraguan Eats

Incase you missed it, I’m currently at surf camp with Chicabrava in Nicaragua (as part of my “actually achieve something as a 25 year old plan“). As part of the camp, they provide all of your meals, which is super cool because I’m staying on a farm and 90% of the food they make is from the farm (there’s nothing like fresh eggs). I thought I would share a little bit of what I’m eating, but I’m a terrible blogger so I always forget to take photos.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos (per usual) and being totally unedited – WiFi here is a bad sitch.

Nicaraguan Breakfast: Plantains, Rice and Beans + Eggs

Nicaraguan breakfast plantains rice and beans eggs | almost getting it together

Also un-pictured was fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple) and coffee.

I honestly hope I never see rice again after this week and it’s only the end of day 3, but I always forget how delicious plantains are. I ended up adding a little Wild Friends chocolate sunflower almond butter to the plantains for some healthy fats.

Nicaraguan Lunch: Huge Salad

Nicaraguan Lunch: Huge Salad | almost getting it together

These veggies and eggs all came from the farm.

This salad was a Godsend – I seriously always miss eating a ton of veggies when I’m traveling. The hardboiled eggs were so good because they were from the farm. Also look how crazy that avocado is. On the side I had a little rice with pesto sauce.

Nicaraguan Snacks: Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and Seviche

San Juan Del Sur Catamaran Snacks | almost getting it together

This seviche may have changed my life.

We took a super awesome catamaran tour that involved snacks – homemade pico de gallo, gauc and seviche. I literally will never have pico and seviche that delicious again in my life – mainly because that fish was probably swimming this morning. I would do bad things for that seviche recipe.

Also snacked on but unpictured have been a Quest bar, almonds, a Kind granola bar and a half (chocolate chip and maple pumpkin seed), a melted Kind bar and these Peter Rabbits Organics fruit and vegetable squeezes. Surfing seriously makes you hungry.

I also bought these protein bars from a local company, Grace and Honey. I have chocolate berry chia seed and they were AMAZING.

Nicaraguan dinner: Chicken Curry | almost getting it together

Curry in a hurry.

I seriously had been craving curry so this was amazing – lots of veggies and chicken. I of course also had some rice (ugh but whatever).

I’m linking up with Jen from Peas and Crayons for today’s post. Thanks for hosting!

Chat with me:
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week? What food are you so over right now?

Getting it Together Thursdays: Collect Moments, Not Things

stonehenge england | almost getting it together

What do you remember more – that amazing Spring Break trip you took with your girlfriends in college or the sweater you bought last week? If you’re anything like me, you don’t realize you own two-thirds of the things in your wardrobe, so it’s probably the trip.

I love to travel. I was bitten by the travel bug at an early age. I am very lucky and blessed that my family puts importance on spending time together doing things rather than buying things – while most people asked for a new MacBook for high school graduation, I schlepped my two-year old laptop to college and instead, asked for a trip to Europe. The laptop I eventually did have to purchase a week into school now lays forgotten and unused in my basement, but I still fondly remember visiting Versailles with my grandmother just about every day.

My friends often ask how I have money to travel so much – the simple answer is that I am really cautious about where my money goes: I pack my lunch everyday for work rather than buying it, I make my coffee instead of stopping at Starbucks for a latte every morning, I live at home (I know, this isn’t something to necessarily be proud of at 25, but I save so much money) and delete those sales e-mails. Think before you buy – do you really love it? If not, don’t buy it. That money could go to something more meaningful.

Maybe you don’t have the travel bug – you can still collect moments with your friends and family. Each birthday and holiday, I try to buy my friends and family something that requires us to spend time together. I bought my grandmother a spa package this Christmas, took Friend Emily (who seriously I have to have guest post about her Green Trekker) out to brunch and a mani/pedi for her birthday and bought tickets to a concert for Angela for all her hard work over the summer.

In college, I drove a beat-up Ford Taurus (because I was a terrible driver, it was purchased for me in perfect condition) and all I wanted was a new car. After a summer trip to Italy, my dad told me “I was going to buy you a new car this summer, but I decided the memories you would make in Italy would be worth more”. Think about that next time before you spend money – will you remember what you buy or will you remember that trip or event you are saving money for?

Chat with me:
Do you collect moments or things? (It’s okay to collect both :))