Food & Fitness Friday

Well, apparently I’m a sucker for alliteration. And themed posts. Hey, whatever works right? And it’s Friday, by this point in the week I’m just happy it’s the weekend and I’m looking forward to my 3 day break from thinking. Joking, of course, because I still (always) have homework to do but it’s still nice to have a few days off from classes and the daily grind.

I hate when I get excited about a new food find…and it’s disappointing

All the way from the U.K. and not even that great.

All the way from the U.K. and not even that great.

I’ve seen these bars on several, mostly U.K.-based blogs and totally drooled over it. What’s not to love about a vegan, gluten free, no added sugar, maple peanut protein bar? Apparently, a lot. First of all, it’s a light grey-colored bar. Totally unappetizing, but I took a bite anyway. Aaaaand…not the best bar I’ve ever had. It didn’t really taste like maple or peanut, more just sweet and it had a texture different than the Larabars I’m used to. The only thing great about it was the 12 grams of protein. Not a repeat purchase for me. (P.S. I did love the raw chocolate brownie Pulsin’ bar I bought though…)

I took my first “progress” pics…and I’m actually posting them!

Definitely not where I want to be, but hopefully I'll make some gains soon!

Definitely not where I want to be, but hopefully I’ll make some gains soon!

I started lifting at the beginning of February (light weights, nothing too crazy at first) and I wanted to take some progress pics to establish a baseline. I have noticed a few changes, mostly that my biceps are a bit more defined than they were, and my triceps are tighter when I flex. I really want to start seeing some changes in my stomach (I have a few ab like lines when I flex but they’re not as defined as I’d like) and my legs are still one of the spots I don’t like on my body. I always feel like they’re huge, flabby, etc. even though I know they’re muscular and (hopefully) not huge. I just need to start accepting my thighs for what they are!

I’m having sushi twice in one week #getatme

I love having leftover sushi as a salad topper.

I love having leftover sushi as a salad topper.

After coming back up to campus on Monday evening and having to make a grocery run, I decided to just do a lazy dinner and get some veggie brown rice sushi from Whole Foods. I split the box into two servings, and enjoyed one of them the other day for dinner on top of a peanut flour and coconut aminos-massaged kale salad. And tonight, I’m planning on getting sushi from an actual sushi place with a friend. Nothing beats a Friday night sushi date!

I just can’t get enough…of chia puddings for breakfast!

A tiramisu inspired pudding. Made with Sunwarrior vanilla, ground coffee, chia seeds and topped with  1/4 raw chocolate brownie Pulsin' bar and the last of the coconut whipped 'cream'.

A tiramisu inspired pudding. Made with Sunwarrior vanilla, ground coffee, chia seeds and topped with 1/4 raw chocolate brownie Pulsin’ bar and the last of the coconut whipped ‘cream’.

These are becoming my new breakfast obsession. Actually, I could eat these for any and all meals, they’re just that good. The version I had yesterday morning was one of my favorites, nothing beats the coffee/chocolate/coconut combo.

Tiramisu Chia Pudding (vegan, gluten free, grain free)

1 scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend vanilla protein powder (or other vanilla protein powder)

1-2 tsp chia seeds

1 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tbsp ground coffee (I used Archer Farms candy cane blend)

1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, to mix

In a small bowl, mix together protein powder, chia seeds, coconut flour and ground coffee. Add enough almond milk to make a creamy and thick consistency with no dry spots. Add a little extra if you want your chia pudding to be more liquid-y. Refrigerate overnight and serve in the morning topped with coconut whipped cream (just the thickened part of a can of coconut milk that’s been  refrigerated overnight or a few days), more ground coffee and a chocolate Larabar-type bar. Makes 1 serving. 

iHerb is my addiction #sorryimnotsorry

The latest iHerb order...including new-to-me lucuma powder and a free watermelon lollipop!

The latest iHerb order…including new-to-me lucuma powder and a free watermelon lollipop!

So I should have known when I first ordered from iHerb (November 2011…wow how time flies!) that I’d become addicted! I only buy from them once a month, mostly for my peanut flour fix, but they have great selection, decent prices and they always ship out pretty quickly. My latest order shipped out on Monday and I got it Thursday morning…free shipping rocks! I got my beloved peanut flour, my favorite chocolate brand in the two flavors I can never find (and love the most), a big thing of coconut sugar, my favorite Larabar flavor in a 5 pack and new-to-me lucuma powder that I’m already loving! If you’ve never shopped on iHerb…do it now! Oh, and use my code NOQ779 for $5 off orders under $40 and $10 off orders over $40!

What’s going on in your world food and fitness wise this Friday? What hashtag sums up your life right now?

Recipe submitted for Healthy Vegan Friday #32

18 thoughts on “Food & Fitness Friday

  1. Aja says:

    Girl, you already got some good muscle going on! That’s awesome. I have never heard of iHerb and I feel like maybe I should stay away from it because I might go crazy. Thigh acceptance is hard for everyone, but you just started so you’ll see some changes soon!

  2. P says:

    You are so brave to post your progress pics! I’m personally proud of my upper arm accomplishments, since I can now see my triceps/biceps in a more defined way when they’re flexed :P. I feel the same way about my thighs, but I just have to remember to put things in perspective—thighs are obviously going to be huge since they’re one of the most powerful muscles in our body 😛

  3. It’s too bad that those bars were disappointing–it’s never fun when you look forward to trying a new food product and it turns out to be not as delicious as you hoped. But I suppose it is only food; nothing worth getting upset about;) It must have taken a lot of courage to post those progress pictures; I doubt I could ever do something like that, the modest person that I am!! But I want to assure you that your thighs are anything BUT huge; please don’t fall into that trap of thinking your body is anything but fantastic! What’s important is that you continue to fuel it with the proper amount of food, and not worry about constantly scrutinizing your body’s physical appearance. I love iHerb, especially the fact that they have fairly cheap shipping and a good selection of vegan products for a decent price.

    • Thank you girl! It is a trap I wish I could stop falling into so often but I think working on my strength gains will help me refocus on how much my body can do, without worrying so much about how it looks.

  4. sarah says:

    I understand you didn’t exactly ask for recipe suggestions…anyhoo, it’s just, I recently got Lucuma as well & I’ve been making these SERIOUSLY awesome truffles. I think you’d like them too?!?
    Mix and put into cupcake cases: 2Tbsp cocoa+1Tbsp Lucuma+1Tbsp honey/maple syrup+1Tbsp coconut oil+1Tbsp goji berries= UTTER DELICIOUSNESS. I swear :).
    I sometimes sprinkle cocoa nibs or sea salt on top of them , and keep them in the fridge or freezer.

    Mmm tirimasu chia pudding, must.make. Do you have any measurements/quantities/liquids you used to create that yummy looking bowl?

    • Okay, those truffles sound totally amazing! And I have everything but the goji berries, so these will be made ASAP!

      For the tiramisu, basically I took about 1-2 tsp chia seeds mixed with 1 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior (or any protein powder), added in a spoonful of ground coffee and coconut flour, and added just enough almond milk to mix. Then I topped it with more ground coffee and coconut whipped cream in the morning!

  5. I completely agree with you about those bars! I’ve seen quite a few people rave over them so I was expecting something delicious…not so. ):
    I’m proud of you for beginning to lift weights and for taking progress pictures along the way! That’s awesome! I’ve been working on gaining and lifting more recently as well. Combining that with upping my calories has made such a big difference! I can’t wait to see and hear more about your progress as you go. (:

  6. Ashley,
    I don’t mean to discourage you saying this,to the opposite – I want to ENcourage you,but even if it’s great you want to gain muscle and all… This can’t happen without you eating more. It can’t. Your teeny tiny snack plates,salads and 300 calorie-meals won’t help you here.
    You might not like the thiught,but building muscle means gaining weight. And you cannot gain weight without giving your body the necessary calories.
    I also started to lift weights some time ago,and you know what? I didn’t make much progress until I upped my calories to 2000+. It seems a lot,I am well aware of that,but it’s necessary. It’s what you need.
    And THEN,finally,I was able to recognize some progress. And the process was a quick one,if you wanna know that – only because of fueling my body.

    • This is something I really want to address in a future post, because I have fallen into thinking that I can just lift lift lift without increasing cals and still gain muscle–but I need to eat more to gain weight and muscle! Fueling myself properly is still a scary thing, but like you said, if I want to see real progress I’ve gotta do that!

  7. I have to say, I completely agree with Kat on this one. I’ve been doing strength-type workouts for years (not real heavy-lifting, but still strength-training) and nothing happened until I started eating more calories. I know how hard it is to accept this, I still struggle with it everyday. But strength-training can be so beneficial overall and feeling strong really is a great thing. 🙂 I love WF’s sushi! I rarely buy it, but it’s so good!

    • I’ve been trying to deny that eating more will actually help me progress with lifting, so I really appreciate seeing the other side, where you actually took the plunge and ate more and saw some gains! It is scary, but I think that’s the direction I want to go in.

  8. Wow you’re so brave posting your photos but you look amazing! You have really inspired me! I’m currently pregnant so not focusing on my body but afterwards I want to do a lot more exercise. Us women are never happy with our bodies though are we no matter what other people tell us! Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back on Friday to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again this week. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:

    • Aww your comment means so much to me, thanks! I love participating in Healthy Vegan Friday, it’s such a fun way to connect with other vegan and plant based bloggers and get recipe inspiration!

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