Vegan Chocolate Chip – Peanut Butter – Banana Bread

A couple weeks ago, I came home from work craving something sweet, warm, and filling.  I also was in the mood to do some baking, therefore I decided to make one of my favorite things from my childhood: BANANA BREAD!!!

I grew up loving the banana bread my grandmother would make and coming home to a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread my mom would pick up from the Fresh Market.  This time, I wanted to make a banana bread loaf that had a healthy twist and made with ingredients I knew and trusted.  Although I did not have to make the banana bread vegan, that is how it ended up working the best! MB and I try to eat a predominately plant based as much as possible, but we also do eat dairy and eggs sometimes!

With that being said, here is the recipe! It is made completely with a blender therefore clean-up is simple! Tag us on Instagram @gvillefittwins if you make it!

What You Need (Makes One Loaf)

  • 2 really ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of organic creamy peanut butter (I like Justin’s or MaraNatha)
  • 2 teaspoons of organic vanilla
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of rolled oats
    • Then another 1/2 cup of rolled oats is added into the batter later
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips
    • These will be added in the batter later with the 1/2 cup of oats

How You Make It

  • Grease pan (I used olive oil spray) and set oven to 350 degrees
  • Starting with the bananas, put all of the ingredients into the blender (except for the 1/2 cup of oats and the chocolate chips)
  • Blend everything on high for around 10 seconds, do not over-blend! You want a smooth batter, it can have little clumps but you do not want it to be runny
  • After you blender the ingredients, add in the oats and the chocolate chips.  Fold them into the batter with a spoon
  • Pour the batter into the pan
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown!  Make sure the middle is cooked through
  • Remove from the oven and let the bread cool before storing
  • Should be stored in the fridge and is good for up to 4 days!


Happiness Not Perfection: Week One

Hi Friends! I hope each of you have had a week full of productivity and positive thoughts, as those are always two of goals going into a new week.

MB and I just moved up to Washington, D.C. for the summer, therefore I have found myself trying to establish a routine.  I like to have a schedule, specifically one that includes healthy eating, working out (ideally in the morning), and getting a significant amount of work done at my internship. Quickly, I realized that there are only 24 hours in a day and 8 of those I am most likely sleeping.  So I began to realize that I was letting myself down when I wasn’t reaching my goals, especially getting my workout done in the morning and maintaining a “perfect” diet everyday.

Breaking the Cycle

Therefore one of my newest goals is to strive for happiness rather than perfection. How does this look? If I bounce out of bed in the morning to get to a Cyclebar class or go on a run, that’s great and I will be happy about that. But, if I wake up and feel exhausted I will let myself sleep in, and I will be happy about to. Why? Because listening to your body and its ques should make you HAPPY (this is my theme song for happiness)!

This was a delicious cupcake I had from Baked and Wired. It was worth every single bite!!

I believe our society today encourages people to set unrealistic goals, therefore when they are not achieved people are left with the feeling of failure.  Then these thoughts turn into a cycle where you are constantly feeling like everything you do is simply not good enough. Although it is easier said than done, how can we do our part to break the cycle? I challenge you guys to take a step back and listen to what your body is craving, do you need the extra sleep? Do you want a cookie? Or do you need a rest day? Each of these questions are valid and you should never be ashamed of them. Life is made to be fun!

With this being said, pursuing happiness over perfection will be a challenge and there will be ups and downs.  I will share with you guys my ups and downs and hopefully together we can change the way people think about wellness.  Follow along on my journey every week and we can do this thing together!

XO,

Susannah

 


Race Recap: Mountain to Main Street Half Marathon

Half Preparation

On May 19th, Sue and I found ourselves running the Mountains to Main Street Half Marathon that started in Travelers Rest, SC and ended in downtown Greenville, SC. We signed up with about 6 weeks to prepare, which was enough time for both of us since we each have run a few halves before and already had some mileage built up.

Before we started training, I took a few days to make us each running plans, also known as grids, based on our half marathon goals and achievable paces. The grid focused on tempo runs, recovery days/cross training, and mileage. My favorite day of the week for training was Thursday, Mile Repeat Day, where I would run between five and eight miles a little faster than half marathon pace, so around 7:30 mins per mile, and rest for a minute between each mile. These Thursday workouts were super easy to do on the Swamp Rabbit before class and I never missed one of these workouts, unlike the other days.

Sue and I both enjoyed having a written plan that told us what to do every day, but not every workout or day went as planned. Sue got a bad case of bronchitis that set her back a week in April and I got a bad cold that set me back a few days in April followed by tonsillitis that hit a few days before the race. Luckily, we both listened to our bodies and adjusted our training accordingly so the rest of our training wouldn’t suffer. We also had days where we simply couldn’t find the time, especially when we were in the middle of finals week. We were able to not beat ourselves up over missing workouts and focus on the workouts we could dedicate our time and energy towards.

Race Day

As race day approached, Sue and I knew it was going to be a wet one with rain projected IMG_3206
in the forecast. With that, we were able to mentally prepare to run in the rain and put together race day outfits for rain. The weather ended up being better than we imagined with only light rain and mist! My boyfriend, Parker, woke up early to drive Sue and me to the start of the point-to-point race (boyfriend of the year!) with what we thought was plenty of time to warm up and use the bathroom before the start. While we did have enough time to warm up, we definitely didn’t have enough time to go to the bathroom. The race did not have nearly enough port-a-potties and so the line was MASSIVE! Sue and I ended up having to make a run to the woods with five minutes to spare before the start which was stressful but it worked!

When we toed the line for the start, it was raining but we both felt ready and excited to race. The first two miles were in a neighborhood in TR and were a little more uphill than the map or website described. After that it was downhill on the Swamp Rabbit for three miles until we got to Furman University (#godins) where we ran around the lake. This was where I knew the race was going to be longer than 13.1 miles as I am used to running the lake loop and it is around two miles total. After we ran around Furman, we got back on the IMG_7576Swamp Rabbit and ran the rest of the way downtown to finish at the TD Stage.

I felt really good until the last three miles where I really had to focus and keep a positive attitude to maintain my pace. I passed the 1:45 pacer early on in the race and my watch had me going at 7:55 average pace which I thought was great with due to the conditions. When I finally got to the finish, I was disappointed to see my finish time was a 1:46, that my watch said the mileage was 13.51, and that the 1:45 pacer finished a few minutes behind me! Sue’s knee was really bothering her by the time she got to Furman, but she was super tough and stayed strong to the race’s finish! Her watch also had her mileage at 13.67 miles which we were both super upset about!

The race was marked pretty well marked with signs indicating mile numbers and turns but there were not enough volunteers indicating where to go. Some runners I talked to found the loop around Furman needing volunteers to indicate where to go. The race had plenty of aid stations placed at every two miles which was nice and Sue and I both made use of them! I also really liked the awards they gave away. I got third in the 20-24 age group and received some really nice coasters!

Would We Do This Race Again?

We are honestly hesitant to do this race again. Both of us were so discouraged to see the race be around half a mile too long. I was also so frustrated to find the 1:45 pacer to be soIMG_3222 far behind me as it also threw me off when I saw my finishing time. The weather was another factor that made the race hard so we both decided we would rather do a late winter or early spring race. This is also the third year the race has been going and so it is not a wildly popular race in the area. Sue and I both decided a little bit bigger race would be more fun!

Overall, if we could rate this race on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 we will never be doing it again and 10 being we already are signed up for next year) we would give it a 5!

Here is the website for those who are interested in the race!

P.S.- Did anyone else catch our matching shirts and headbands? It wasn’t on purpose!

greenville fit twins logo final-01


The Journey Begins…

Here we go! MB and I finally decided to start a blog! The main purpose of this blog is to connect with you guys and express our love of health and wellness.  We want to share ideas, thoughts, and advice to help you guys with wherever you are on the path of wellness.

So… for us to get started, we wanted to share some fun facts about ourselves!

Sue

This picture was taking in Page, Arizona at the Horse Shoe Bend. We were on our way to Monument Valley which is where my half marathon was!

  1. I am a professional photographer with a love of wildlife and landscape photography
  2. I ran an ultra-half marathon last March in Monument Valley – absolutely one of my favorite races and places I have ever been!
  3. We have two family dogs both of which are the cutest and make for a good excuse to come home! Their names are Cooper and Finn and we love to take them on long walks. Be on the look out for more stories to come about them!
  4. My family has Country Music Saturday’s.  These happen every Saturday MB and I are home and we only listen to country music – gotta love living in the South 🙂
  5. Not so fun – but I have had two knee surgeries to repair a torn ACL, a torn Meniscus, and a torn MCL.  I tore all of these in high school playing both soccer and field hockey.  After my surgeries, I recovered with physical therapy and have gradually began getting stronger. Today – I believe I am the strongest  I have ever been and am so thankful to have healthy joints!

MB

Here is a picture of Parker and I from formal last year!

  1. My favorite color is pink! You can catch me wearing pink or other bright colors (especially Lilly Pulitzer from my favorite store @pinkbeewestend) about 100% of the time.
  2. My best swimming stroke is butterfly! My favorite event is also the 100 meter fly. I got to swim it again for the first time at a college club swim meet in November where I qualified for Nationals!
  3. I have the sweetest boyfriend named is Parker, who is also a junior at Furman. We started dating after we got to know each other through being co-captains of the Furman Club Swim Team and have been dating for almost a year and a half!
  4. One of my favorite ways to see the world is through running! I have been to twenty countries and my favorite one is probably Greece because of the amazing runs I had there. I can not wait to continue to see more of the world through the feet that take me there.
  5. I am a huge fan of dessert with my favorite being ice cream! My favorite flavor is strawberry (because it is pink!) with dark chocolate chips!