Keep It Simple

I feel like I haven’t posted a recipe on here forever! I could blame it on my crazy work schedule (which is true), or the hot temperatures which have kept me far from the oven, but really, it’s just because I’ve been embracing simple foods lately.

My work meals are easy to throw together — Sunwarrior chia puddings+toppings (raisins, stevia chocolate chips, raw nuts), Kit’s Organic bars, fresh fruit, flax crackers, carrots+homemade hummus. Basically anything I can eat at my desk while writing stories for 8 hours. When I get home, I get my workout in and then throw something together for ‘dinner’ (if you can count a meal eaten at 4 pm as dinner…that’s life when you work early mornings). No more elaborate recipes requiring special ingredients. It’s all about things I can make from my pantry staples and put together in 10 minutes or less.

Keepin' it simple at the farmer's market. Locally-grown mini zucchinis and local-made smoked hummus.

Keepin’ it simple at the farmer’s market. Locally-grown mini zucchinis and local-made smoked hummus.

So what have I been eating?

Sweet potato hash.

Sweet potato hash.

Sweet potato hash. Aka heaven in a bowl. Basically I take a sweet potato, peel it, and then chop it up into fine chunks in my Ninja, and blend it with spices (pink salt, nooch, garlic, cayenne). And then I dump it into a pan heated up with a a little coconut oil, add in some spinach and hemp ‘tofu’ when I have it and let it cook up til it’s crispy. And then I top with hummus (either local from the farmer’s market or homemade) and raw nuts and seeds.

Pan-roasted cole slaw (cabbage and carrots) with kelp noodles, spices, hemp seeds and smoked hummus.

Pan-roasted cole slaw (cabbage and carrots) with kelp noodles, spices, hemp seeds and smoked hummus.

Pan-roasted veggies. The spices are really what makes these so craveable. I’ve done it with both cauliflower and cabbage, and both are really good. My go-to spices are pink sea salt, garlic granules, cayenne powder and nutritional yeast. And I just cook the crap out of the veggies over a pan on the stove, because ovens are overrated and I love having a gas range that heats up in seconds.

It's gotta be greeeeeeen.

It’s gotta be greeeeeeen.

Banana softserve. Some days, I really wanted a cold dinner that was more on the sweet side. Enter banana softserve. I think you all know how this works, but I blend a frozen banana with greens (spinach or romaine), some Sunwarrior protein powder and a little almond milk. And then I serve with raw nuts and dried fruit on the side.

Snack plates. When all else fails, and I’m feeling like eating a bunch of random stuff, I go for the snack plates. While my combinations vary, I always include…A) a veggie (usually romaine hearts drizzled with spicy mustard or carrots), B) fruit (berries or watermelon), C) hummus or salsa, D) raw nuts or seeds, E) dried fruit/stevia chocolate chips.

I used to be so concerned about getting tons of variety in my diet, but now I honestly just go with the flow and eat what I crave. It’s so freeing, and it makes for easier grocery shopping trips. I literally buy about 20 or so of the same things every single week, with a few changes here and there. And of course, I still get plenty of variety in the produce I eat…and I’ve been a produce monster this summer so far! I spend about half of my grocery budget on fruits and veggies and I can’t get enough.

Giant produce haul (mostly organic) from Whole Foods.

Giant produce haul (mostly organic) from Whole Foods.

What have you been eating lately?

Liebster.

Happy Friday! I honestly feel obligated to start out a post like that, but let’s be real — I now hate it when people get all hyped up about Friday. Because Friday isn’t my Friday. It’s generally my Wednesday, so nothing to get too excited about! But I realize most people have a normal work/school schedule, so happy Friday to all of you 🙂

liebster

What is happy about today is that I was nominated by the lovely Kaila from Healthy Helper to fill out the Liebster survey. You know I love surveys, so I’m alllllll over this. Thanks Kaila!

The Rules

1) You must link back to the person who nominated you

2) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you

3) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)

4) You must create 10 questions for your nominees

5) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

Kaila’s Questions

1. What was your favorite show as a middle schooler?

Is it totally embarrassing that I still watched Arthur at that age? It was a really good show though…and in my defense, my little sister was still 7 or 8 at the time, so completely acceptable 😉

2. What season were you born in?

Summer! I’m absolutely obsessed with my birthday. I’ve never had to go to school (or work now) on my birthday and I’ve spent many birthdays at a waterpark or on vacation. Summer has always been my favorite season, and it’s partly because it’s my birthday season. Just a month and two weeks until the big day!

I just love summer!

I just love summer!

3. What Disney princess did you want to be when you were little?

I always identified with Belle, because I used to love reading (I was always in advanced reading classes as a kid and got to read all the exciting books) and I have long brown hair.

4. If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in another language, which would you choose?

Spanish. I know that sounds boring, but I took Spanish classes from second grade through my senior year of high school, and still didn’t pick up much of the language. I also want to live somewhere in the southwestern U.S., where Spanish really comes in handy!

5. If you could wear only one color or pattern for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Can you tell I love pink?

Can you tell I love pink?

Color: pink! Pattern: floral.

6. What’s your least favorite fictional couple? 

This is hard — I can’t even really think of any off hand! I guess I’ll say Chandler and Janice from Friends (still love that show!). Even though they didn’t end up together, they were totally not meant to be.

7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

This is going to sound weird, but I’ve had a few people tell me I have a really good voice. Not singing-wise, but for talking. It makes me feel good, since I’m still chasing after my goal of becoming a TV anchor someday and having a good speaking voice is key!

8. What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten?

A raw enchilada at my favorite vegan spot. I don’t even know how to describe it — it was different than a regular enchi, but sooooooo much better. And the side of ‘rawfried’ beans was spot on like refried beans, but made with nuts and zucchini!

Not my picture, but they looked a lot like these!

Not my picture, but they looked a lot like these!

9. If you had to choose to lose one of the five senses, which would you choose and why?

would choose smell, but since smell and taste are connected (and I don’t wanna lose my sense of taste), I’m going to go with touch. Yeah, it’d be a little weird not to feel things, and I’d have to be careful not to get burned, but it would probably be the easiest to go without.

10. Name 3 blogs you read on a daily basis.

Hungry Hungry Hippie (even though she’s not vegan anymore, her food always looks so good and her little guy is so cute), Happy.Healthy.Life. (the most drool-worthy vegan food ever), Extra Petite (not necessarily on a daily basis, but I love getting fashion inspiration from a fellow petite lady).

Since I don’t know 10 people to tag who haven’t done this yet, I’m going to cheat and tag anyone who wants to do this…and you can just answer the same 10 questions I did!

Answer any of the above!

Currently: June

Haven’t done one of these in awhile but I thought I’d give a little insight into my life at the moment!

Current Book: Wintergirls. It’s a fictional book about eating disorders, but it feels so real to me. Too real. I devoured the book on my tablet in one day. I feel like I have to read it again just to totally pick up everything that’s going on. Definitely a chilling and potentially triggering read, but really good.

Current Music: I love The Black Keys’ new album and also Foster the People’s new one. “Best Friend” is a really fun pump-up song I plan on adding to my running playlist soon!

Current Guilty Pleasure: The new ALDO purse I bought on Memorial Day. Okay, it was on sale, but it’s still a splurge for this girl.

Current Nail Color: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Hot Tamale.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Current Needs: More money (sigh), new glasses (I really want to order some totally hipster ones), face time with my family, a bang trim.

Current Foods: Homemade sweet potato hash, romaine hearts + spicy mustard, Sunwarrior protein chia pudding, flax crackers, berries.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Current Drink: ice cold water. It’s been HOT here. Not complaining!

Current Triumphs: trying to be smart with my money (I get paid every other Friday, and at the beginning of the month it’s hard to stretch the paycheck after paying for rent), getting back into running after hurting my Achilles’ tendon. I actually just started running a few weeks ago, and for now it’s more a mix of walking and running, but I really love it. Like a lot more than I thought I would. It helps that I have a gorgeous riverside trail just across the street from my apartment.

Current Bane of Existence: Humidity. I’m a total baby when it comes to this. I was born in Arizona and grew up in Colorado, aka both basically deserts. I know Oklahoma is nothing compared to Texas/Florida/etc. for humidity, but I just can’t take it. Give me dry heat any day!

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Current Indulgence: Recent mini shopping trips on my days off. I am giving myself a clothing budget each month, but of course it’s a new month now — I can totally buy a few new things again 😉

Current Blessing: Being able to start working a different position at work. I’m still an associate producer, but I’ve been producing the midday newscast a couple of days per week and while it’s totally scary, it’s also fun learning how to do. And it beats the assignment desk any day! I could bitch go on and on about how much I hate the fact that the station I work at hasn’t hired a PT desk person yet so I can stop filling in for a position I wasn’t hired for.

Current Outfit: My new jumpsuit. I feel totally fierce in it and now I want more jumpsuits!

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours.

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours on a Saturday morning.

Current Excitement: My birthday in less than 2 months! Any guesses as to how old I’ll be turning? Hint: think an overplayed Taylor Swift song!

Current Link: 35 Things Only People Who Work Weird Hours Will Understand. Buzzfeed just gets me. These are some of the annoyances I have with having a weird schedule. It’s not all bad but let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not into the whole nightlife scene anyway. Basically my days consist of work, sleep, working out, laying by the pool and eating. Such is life!

What are some of your ‘currentlies’? 

 

Runner’s High

So…I’m becoming a runner. And I love it. My obsession with running is a fairly new thing, but it’s one of the best things that’s come out of my move.

Before I got my job, I was living at home. It was great to have a rent-free place to live, and have nothing to do but look for jobs, but I was getting antsy. All winter long I was stuck doing the same circuit-style workouts in my tiny bedroom and it got so boring. I also was dealing with some bad body image at the time, so life was just rough. Yeah, it was great to be free but I needed a change.

Once I moved to Tulsa and got all settled in, I was hitting up my complex’s fitness center every other day or so (alternating with circuit-style workouts in my apartment). It was great to have all that equipment so close and for free. And then when it started getting warm, I ventured to the riverside trail literally across the street from my apartment. First I was just walking, but at the beginning of last month, I started running on a whim. I was doing a mix of running and walking, with a lot more walking while I built up my endurance.

Even on a rainy day, I'm not sick of this view.

Even on a rainy day, I’m not sick of this view.

I used to hate running, because I felt like I could never catch my breath. It felt a lot more exhausting to me than biking, or playing tennis. But I always dreamed in the back of my head that I could someday become a runner.

And while I’m still quite a newbie, I’m proud to call myself a runner. I finally have running shoes instead of trying to run in Converse (bad idea — I hurt my Achilles’ doing that!), and I’m consistently going for runs outside 3 or 4 times per week. Having incredible weather helps — it’s been so warm that I can barely motivate myself to go to the fitness center to cross-train. And having my weird schedule means I can go for a run right after I get off work and I get the best weather of the day and fewer people are out.

The face of a proud runner.

The face of a proud runner.

The best part is, I can really see myself making strides. Yesterday, I ran my first 5K — the entire 3.1 mile distance — without a walking break (I stopped at a park at the halfway mark to shake out my legs for a couple minutes, but then I ran all the way there and back without breaking). It felt incredible to be out there, in the rain, just me and my music and the trees flying by. I still have to work on my breathing — I do feel out of breath sometimes so I need to find a better pattern that feels more natural — but my endurance has really improved. And running is really giving me a high! I truly look forward to my runs, and they’re the highlight of my days.

I might not be the fastest runner, and I may not be running that far, but progress is what it’s all about for me and the fact that I have a new-found love fills me with such joy. I finally understand why people love running so much! And I hope my love for running continues to grow with each and every run.

What’s something you never thought you’d love but now you do?

Why I Like Not Working the 9 to 5

I haven’t talked a lot about my job on here, but I’ve mentioned once or twice that I basically work a non-traditional schedule. Forget the 9 to 5, I’m working a 3:30-11:30 am shift, including the normal weekend days.

Does it suck being at work when most people are still tucked into bed? How do I deal with having my days off on Mondays and Tuesdays when everyone else has normal weekends?

My "I hate being up hours before dawn" look. This didn't last too long, fortunately.

My “I hate being up hours before dawn” look. This didn’t last too long, fortunately.

No, it honestly doesn’t suck working weird hours and days! It did at first, but that’s because I was coming from the opposite shift (working 1:30-10:30 pm) and I had to get used to going to bed at 6 pm and getting ready for work before 3 am. I really thought I’d be chronically sleep-deprived because I felt zonked by the end of my shift every day. But trust me, your body adapts. And mine did after about a week or two.

And after that transition period, I began to see the perks of working a weird schedule. First of all, there’s no traffic when I leave for work. There are some random cars out on the streets (which creeps me out just a bit haha) but obviously no traffic jams and I pretty much always get the green light at all three traffic lights on my drive.

And it feels great to get home after work before noon and realize I have the rest of the afternoon to do whatever. Sure, I have to start getting ready for bed around 5, but I have those precious afternoon hours. And I definitely use them to my advantage. I hit the running trail across the street and have it mostly to myself (that might change with kids/teachers being out of school now). I can lay out by the pool on a random weekday afternoon and get the best sunlight hours and heat of the day.

Love having this view (almost) all to myself on my midday runs.

Love having this view (almost) all to myself on my midday runs.

As far as working on Saturday and Sunday, I actually love it. The morning show team I work with is great — they always make me laugh and we get along really well. And it’s a lot less stressful than during the week. Without any managers around, we can do a lot more without feeling scrutinized. And I still technically can enjoy the weekend — I get off work at 10 or 11 and then usually run errands, fit in a run or a gym session and pool time.

And working those weekends mean my days off are during the traditional work week, which is also great. While everyone else is working, I can go to the mall, or do some meal prep at home or basically whatever other people do during the weekend, but I get more satisfaction knowing that those days are my weekend. Of course, it’s also a lot better for scheduling appointments. I shouldn’t have to take time off work to see the doctor or take my car in for an oil change because I have two weekdays off to do that kind of stuff.

Or I can go to a juice bar on a random Monday afternoon on my way to do some window shopping.

Or I can go to a juice bar on a random Monday afternoon on my way to do some window shopping.

It’s crazy what a little shift in perspective will do. I remember when my supervisor called me to say that my schedule was changing (and originally it was only supposed to be for the month of May) to early mornings. I called my mom immediately and started crying about how much life sucked. Well, work still isn’t ideal for other reasons, but I’m learning to love my crazy schedule. I’m getting used to my ‘grandma’ bedtime and eating my breakfast at 4 am. I’m looking forward to my days off and secretly laughing at everyone who hates Mondays, because they’re my Saturdays. There’s always something positive to be found in every situation, and I’m so glad I was able to do just that!

Have you ever worked a non-traditional schedule? 

Week through my iPhone

Ever notice how everyone always apologizes for ‘crappy’ iPhone photos? Ummmmm, crappy? Maybe it’s just because I came from an Android with a lame camera, but I love the iPhone 5 camera. Sure, it’s not like a DSLR but it takes gorgeous photos for a smartphone and who wants to drag around a huge camera everywhere? I know I take a lot more photos now that I have a nice phone.

So here’s some highlights of my past week, as seen through my iPhone lens.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

I’m getting back into taking outfit selfies when I’m wearing something I feel cute in. This was my work outfit on Saturday and I only regretted it when I stopped by the farmer’s market after work and it started pouring. Sheer shirts+rain don’t exactly mix.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

I don’t have time for elaborate meals anymore, so my “dinners” are usually thrown together things like snackplates or this sweet potato hash. This tastes incredible, but is really simple. I take a sweet potato, remove the skin, chop it up small in a food processor and blend it with sea salt, garlic powder, nooch and cayenne pepper. Then I throw it in a pan with coconut oil, spinach and hemp ‘tofu’. Then I toss it in a bowl and serve it with raw seeds and local hummus. I don’t even know how it’s so good, but it is.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

I haven’t talked about it much yet, but I’ve started running in the past month. I just love living so close to an awesome running trail right by the river. I’ve been doing a walk-run approach because I’m still working up to running consistently, but I love it. My Achilles’ was also injured for about a week but buying actual running shoes has helped. I ran my first unofficial 5K on Monday and I’m so excited for my running future. I can finally run about 10-12 minutes at a time with no walking breaks!

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

In the summer I spend SO much on produce. Like, this was literally half of what I spent at Whole Foods this weekend. I’m basically obsessed with watermelon, fresh berries, lettuce and cauliflower at the moment. All devoured straight from the fridge. That yellow ball up front is a new melon I spotted called a Fonzy melon. It’s really soft and sweet, like a subtle cross between honey and vanilla.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I’m getting more adventurous with my fashion choices and I don’t hate it. I never thought I could pull off a jumpsuit, but it helps that I found one that doesn’t drown me and has some cute ruffly details to add some interest. The fact that this was $13 at American Eagle is even better. Now I want #allthejumpsuits.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

I stopped at a cute little juice bar near the outdoor shopping center where I got my jumpsuit. I’ve been dying for some fresh juice/smoothies since it’s been so hot and humid here. I got the “Summer Love”, which has blueberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, dates, vanilla, chia seeds and coconut water. Basically all of my favorite things. It was kind of a cross between a fresh-pressed juice and a smoothie with a thicker texture and I loved it. I can see myself making more stops here in the future. The fact that it’s less than a 10 minute drive from work sweetens the deal.

What’s been going on in your life lately?

Hippie Hipster

If I had just two words to define myself, it would be hippie hipster. These two terms seem worlds apart in some ways but I assure you they’re not that different. And I think they both sum up my life pretty well!

Hippie

Maxi skirts and fringed crop tops are pretty damn hippie.

Maxi skirts and fringed crop tops are pretty damn hippie.

Vegan // likes natural products (like cleaning solutions, toiletries, etc.) // loves being outside in nature // liberal-minded // prefer wearing my hair wavy (naturally) and long // can totally picture myself living in San Francisco 

I live for being outside in the summer.

I live for being outside in the summer.

Hipster

Can't live without my Starbucks.

Can’t live without my Starbucks.

Starbucks junkie // alt rock music is my favorite // loves giant glasses // liberal-minded (kinda fits with both) // skinny jeans are my jam // also could picture myself living in Seattle or Portland

Rockin' the (fake) hipster glasses.

Rockin’ the (fake) hipster glasses.

How would you define yourself? 

 

Fashion Friday: Lace+Stripes

My favorite neutral is probably grey. To me, it’s a little happier than black but still goes with just about anything. I love dark greys, but certain shades of light grey are really pretty too.

When I got this scarf at ALDO over the weekend (hail yes to Memorial Day sales!), I was already planning on what I’d wear it with. I love scarves, but I don’t have nearly enough (I think I have 6 now). And they’re certainly not a fall/winter staple only. Oh no. I love lightweight scarves in summer too. What I love about this one is it’s infinity (my favorite kind) AND it’s got three different striped patterns, making it totally versatile. And it’s grey/white too, so it basically works with anything.

Scarf love.

Scarf love.

Grey cropped lace-trimmed sweater (Hollister), multi-striped infinity scarf (ALDO), burgundy twill shorts (Abercrombie).

Grey cropped lace-trimmed sweater (Hollister), multi-striped infinity scarf (ALDO), burgundy twill shorts (Abercrombie).

I decided to pair it with more grey, and offset it with one of my favorite pairs of colored shorts. I have a serious addiction to colored twill shorts. I own way too many to count (most from Hollister/Abercrombie) and I will never have enough. And they’re totally work-appropriate…well, at least in my workplace. Believe it or not, I’m one of the dressiest people there, aside from the anchors/reporters who HAVE to dress business casual when they’re on-air. For me, I could roll in wearing running shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball hat, especially since I work mornings, but I don’t. The outfit above is more my style. And the shorts are a little short, but since they’re looser-fitting and a dark color, they look pulled together.

Grey-sequined Sperry's knockoffs (Payless Shoe Source).

Grey-sequined Sperry’s knockoffs (Payless Shoe Source).

Snake ring and banded ring (American Eagle).

Snake ring and banded ring (American Eagle).

I pulled the look together with my signature rings, and my knockoff Sperry’s (scored for under $20 at Payless!) instead of my usual fancy sandals. Perfect for a (casual) work environment or a day spent shopping at the mall. Totally up to you. But if I were you, I’d so choose shopping over work 😉

Side note: anyone guess what time these photos were taken? 3 AM on Wednesday morning. My great bathroom lighting fooled ya! Also, promise I’m not a freak who wakes up at 3 to take outfit pics. I’m just a freak who works from 3:30-11:30 AM! 

What kind of clothes do you wear to work?