Christening My D60 & Reading the Fine Print

10 Wed, 2010 § 9 Comments

We couldn’t wait to get out & play with the new camera after the lens finally arrived…

the Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1.8D to be exact

…thing was, I wanted my first shot to be special…

not just any quick shot to start things off.

So it actually took me a whole day after it arrived to finally pop the cherry.

Ok, so technically this isn’t the first photo taken, but the one I liked best from a series of first shots.

[Have I mentioned if you click on most of my photos here it takes you to my — or Dave’s — Flckr page?  Better view sometimes.]

What do you think?  He’s handsome, eh?

The excitement was short-lived as I realized the camera wasn’t auto focusing. ??


After a little research, Dave discovered…

“AF-S & AF-I lenses: all functions fully supported…AF-D & AF-G lenses: all functions fully supported except auto focusing.” 😦

This was an AF-D lens in case you missed it 😉 & it just wasn’t going to cut it.

Fortunately we could exchange it for a different lens & opted for the

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.8G

Now I’m just waiting for its arrival…keeping myself occupied…

making a few sensational protein bars to pass the time. 🙂

That’s right.

Sensational Cranberry-Hemp Bars

Inspired by Averie’s Protein Bars.

  • 1 Banana


  • ½ C cooked Quinoa
  • 1 ½ C 7Grain Rolled Cereal [or oats]
  • 10 scoops [scoop = ~1T] Hemp Protein Powder [You can adjust this to your liking or leave it out completely; I wanted to amp up the protein.]

Combine & mix with mashed banana.

  • 1T Flax, whole
  • 1T Flax, ground
  • 2T Chia seeds
  • 2T Hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp Maca powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

Combine & add to oat-banana mixture.

  • 1 C [apple juice-sweetened] Cranberries [or dried fruit of choice]
  • ¼ C Cacao Nibs [optional — can use chocolate chips]

Add your stir-ins to the mix.

  • ½ C Sunflower seed butter [or nut butter of your choice]

Stir this in as well — it takes a little skilled maneuvering to really mix it in.  😉

  • ½ C Brown Rice Syrup
  • ¼ C Coconut Oil, in liquid state [set jar in a bath of warm water to liquefy]
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Combine wet ingredients & stir into the mixture until well combined.

Now line an 8×8 [or other size] pan with plastic wrap [for ease of clean up] & firmly press mixture into the pan.

Chill in freezer ~2 hours.

Remove.  Lift firmed mixture from pan using the plastic wrap, cut into bars & wrap for individual consumption.

I cut mine into 12 small bars.

I don’t obsess over calorie-counting, etc…so I just roughly tallied the ingredients/nutrients…& roughly estimate my bars to be ~300 calories & ~10g protein each.  There is definitely more fat in these than many store-bought varieties; but it’s “healthy” fats from whole foods, so I’m not worried.  Plus, these are so much tastier.

But now Dave needs some!

Chocolate-Mint Powerhouse Bars

10 powerhouse bars

~350 calories & 12 – 13g protein


  • 1 Banana


  • 2/3 C cooked Quinoa
  • 1 ½ C 7Grain Rolled Cereal [or oats]
  • 5 scoops [scoop = ~¼ C] Chocolate Whey/Soy Protein Powder

[If your protein powder is not chocolate flavored, just add carob or cocoa powder — maybe start with ¼ C ??]

Combine & mix with mashed banana.

  • 1T Flax, whole
  • 1T Flax, ground
  • 2T Chia seeds
  • 2T Hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp Maca powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

Combine & add to oat-banana mixture.

Don’t forget your stir-ins!

  • heaping ½ C [apple juice-sweetened] Cranberries
  • ¼ C Cacao Nibs [optional]
  • ½ C Sunflower seed butter [or nut butter of your choice]

Stir in.

  • ½ C Brown Rice Syrup
  • ¼ C Coconut Oil, in liquid state
  • ½ tsp Mint extract

Combine wet ingredients & stir into the mixture until well combined.

Now repeat the pressing, freezing, cutting process with your chocolatey-minty-yummy bars!

We have been storing ours in the freezer — just pull them out a few minutes early to allow them to thaw a bit before chowing down.

These are G O O O O O D.



What are your protein go-tos?  I’m needing some ideas to switch it up a bit.

Make Your Monsters GREEN

4 Wed, 2010 § 10 Comments

I have had such great responses after sharing one of my favorite cooling, summer delights [VOO Parfaits], I must share another one that is even more nourishing:

Green Monsters

Do not be afraid.  What exactly is a Green Monster?  This is what Angela over at OhSheGlows deemed her green smoothies when she first started making them.  It has caught on, because, well, it is simply fun to refer to that smoothie in your hand as a Monster.  Try it.  “Hey, would you like some of my Green Monster?”  See?  It’s fun.  😉

Are you still scared?  Are you afraid of hearing what makes my monster green?  Again, don’t be. 

While Kale is my green of choice, many people opt for Spinach which has a milder flavor; I have even tried Radish Greens which was surprisingly quite delightful.  Start small by adding just a little green to your smoothies, then gradually increase the amount.  Next thing you know, you will be gulping down full-fledged Green Monsters.  Once you amp up your monster with other flavors, the color will be the only reminder of the green nourishment — oh, & how great you feel!  I like the “green” flavor though, so I keep mine simple.

Once you eliminate a lot of “unclean” foods from your diet & provide your body with nourishing whole foods, you will be amazed at how your tastes adjust to what your body actually needs to thrive.  I crave Kale in the morning! Dave thinks this is nuts, but then again, he has never given it a chance.  His poor body does not even know what it is missing.  😉

I LOVE my Magic Bullet &, because clean up is a breeze, I have been making some form of these regularly since I got it.  Obviously, any blender will do though.

The trick to not “chewing” your smoothie?  First add your washed & torn pieces of Kale to your blender with enough liquid to cover; blend until smooth.  THEN add the rest of your ingredients.  I once read if you freeze the pieces of Kale before pureeing it with liquid, it blends better.  However, this was not the case for me; I get fewer chunks by using fresh, non-frozen greens.

My simple Green Monster:

  • Kale
  • *Coconut Water [Most use almond or rice milk; I prefer electrolyte-rich coconut water as my pre/post activity replenishment.  Use whatever you like best & matches your goals.]

Blend until Smooth, then Add:

  • ½ – 1 Banana  [I love banana with kale — fantastic!]
  • *Hemp Protein Powder
  • *Chia Seeds
  • more liquid if needed

Blend to desired consistency.

I told you mine is simple.  Lately I have been adding a couple fresh strawberries as well or fresh mango & raspberries.  The fruit makes it sweet enough for me.  Nourish your body & eventually you will not want all the fillers, sugar, empty calories, etc.

Now make it yours!

Experiment with other fruit — or even veggies!  I think cucumber would be especially refreshing.  Sometimes it is fun to add nut butter — even tahini is delicious & bumps up calcium content.  What about ice?  Maybe you like yogurt in yours?  Amp it up with cinnamon.  Go crazy!

Have I told you why I love these so much?

  • It provides me with immense increases in energy.
  • It reduces my cravings for sweets.
  • It even nourishes my skin & hair.
  • It is a great way to add more protein in my diet by using the hemp powder.
  • It is refreshing in this summer heat.
  • Just one more serving of vegetables to tack onto my day.

*Are you wondering why I use…

Coconut Water?

This is the clear liquid inside young [green] coconuts; as they mature, this water is replaced by coconut meat & air.  Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics — Dave & I were thrilled to sip it straight from the coconut, fresh from the trees while in Thailand —  it is a natural isotonic beverage, with the same electrolytic balance as our blood. [source]

Chia Seeds?

You mean, like Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!?  Yep, those same little seeds that sprout to cover those crazy Chia Pets are actually chock full of nutritional value.  Packed with calcium, fiber, Omega 3’s & 6’s, the seeds have a neutral taste & are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic [meaning they absorb large amounts of water, making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies].  You can even add a few seeds to your bottled water during workouts.  Thanks for sharing these mom!

Hemp Protein?

Quality — not quantity — is most important when talking protein.  You will actually need to consume less protein if you choose high-quality [whole food] sources.  Complete — containing all 10 essential amino acids — Hemp boosts the immune system, hastens recovery & balances pH with its abundance of chorophyll.  Because hemp foods are raw, they maintain naturally high levels of vitamins, minerals…& enzymes which allow the body to absorb & digest it easily, utilizing its benefits with ease.  Can I tell a difference?  Yes,  & I prefer the sweet, nutty taste to that of isolated [processed] soy & whey.  [This is fairly condensed, but I could write an entire post on why Hemp is a superior protein source nutritionally & concerning its environmental impact if there is any interest ??]

I focus on keeping my Green Monsters simple & nutrient dense, but for those looking for a little more excitement or at least a few more ideas, check these out:

The Green Monster Movement

Smoothie Handbook

I am really excited to try Kathryn’s Breakfast Shake, sans Stevia [I am just not a fan.  Sorry.]


Have you been making Green Monsters & not even realized it?  What are your favorite blends?

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