Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Panini

I had an absolutely amazing Saturday. First of all, it was beautiful outside, and for the first time I wasn’t stuck behind a desk all day wishing I was out enjoying the weather!

This morning I woke up at 8, and as weird as this sounds, I love waking up before 9 on weekends because I feel like I actually have time to accomplish things. At ten, something awful happened. Let’s just say I had to go through a really painful experience in the name of beauty. Awful.

But afterward, I went shopping downtown! I bought a raincoat for London (apparently it rain’s a lot there 😉 ) and two new dresses! I was supposed to have a hair appointment at 3 but I called and cancelled it, which was very gutsy and spontaneous for me. 😉

I walked around for 2 hours and then, instead of taking the subway home, I walked home. The sky was free of clouds and when not in the shade, it was pretty warm!

Turns out painful experiences in the name of beauty make you exhausted. I got home and curled up in bed, setting my alarm for half an hour later. Four hours later I woke up, starving.

I am at the point now where I have almost no food that makes a decent meal when put together. Potatos with olives, squash, and hummus? No thank you. So I turned to some pantry staples.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Panini

makes one sandwich


2 Slices of Whole Grain Bread

1 Tbsp Earth Balance

1 Tbsp Peanut Buttter

1 Tbsp Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

1/2 a banana, thinly sliced

Cover one side of each of your pieces of bread with a layer of Earth Balance.

On the opposite side, spread the peanut butter on one slice and the chocolate hazelnut spread on the other.

Place your sliced banana onto one of the slices and top with the other slice.

Cook on medium-low heat on each side for 2-3 minutes, until bread is toasted and slightly browned.

OH MY GOODNESS, this sandwich is so good.

And, if you have a chocolate hazelnut spread that’s low in sugar, it’s not half bad for you either. 🙂


time for a hill

Today was really stressful. Not for any particular reason; I don’t have anything huge going on at work, I have an exam tomorrow but I’m not really worried about it. I just woke up with this gut-wrenching anxiety. I hoped that maybe once I got to work and was distracted it would go away, but it hung over my head all day. I just felt this extreme anxiety about nothing. I came home and went to spinning, where I got to thinking about how life is a lot like spinning. After each hill, or sprint, or painful endless flat, you hope that you’re done. You hope that you can take a five minute break, even. But the break never comes. You have to push up that fourth hill of the night harder than you pushed up the first hill, but when you’re done it is all worth it. And that’s kind of how I’m feeling about this whole “alone-in-the-world” anxiety I’m having. It’s painful, and it’s hard. But I know it won’t kill me. I know that I will get through it. And I know that when I do, it will make “normal” life all the better.

I’m also upset about this anxiety because I was really looking forward to seeing how I felt after the meals I had today. I think today was the most fruit-and-vegetable-centric food day I’ve had in a while. I started my day with juice from half a lemon in 8 ounces of water. I’m trying to form a habit of doing this, as it alkalizes your body and acts almost as a mini cleanse to get your digestive system off on the right track for the day. After my lemon water, I had a green monster smoothie that had frozen mango chunks, a banana, 1/2 a cup of flax milk, 1/2 an avocado, and 1 cup of raw spinach.

I put it in my recently purchased blender bottle… I am in love. Even though the blender ball in it only works to smoothly blend protein powder or really-easy-to-blend things, I pour my pre-blended smoothie in them at night and let it sit in the fridge so I can just grab it in the morning. I shake up my blender bottle and it’s ready to drink! It keeps it from separating. I also love it when I just want a simple protein shake, because it gets out all the clumps and does away with that sand-like texture that a spoon just can’t compete with. Oh, and did I mention it was only six dollars?!

For lunch, I had a big salad with romaine, red onion, avocado, ground flaxseed, chickpeas, and marinated portobellos, along with some plain soy yogurt with raspberries mixed in.

After work, I was dying of hunger (I think I need to get some more protein in my breakfasts), so I made a quick protein shake with a cup of flax milk and a scoop of my Amazing Grass Amazing Meal chocolate protein powder. I (of course) used my blender bottle and it was quick and super easy. It gave me enough to energy to tide me over through spinning. After kicking some serious butt at spinning, I made an italian veggie sandwich and some chickpeas on the side.

Italian Veggie Sandwich


2 Slices of Sandwich Bread (I used a hunk of a baguette)
3 1/4 inch slices of eggplant
1 Cup raw spinach
1 roasted red pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips

Cut the slices of eggplant in half and sautee them on low heat in olive oil with a little balsamic. Sprinkle on some garlic powder too. Once done (5 to 10 minutes), remove from heat and sautee spinach in oil for about 1 minute, until just cooked. Don’t over cook! The more you cook spinach, the less nutrients are available to you! Once done, stack your eggplant and spinach onto your bread. Add your sliced roasted pepper, and enjoy!

This sandwich would also be really delicious with broccoli raab in place of spinach, or portobellos in place of eggplant. Of course, you could always pile them on in addition to everything else, too.

Hope you had a great last day of January!