WIAW: I’m Baaaaack!

When I posted a few weeks back that I was done with WIAWs for awhile, I wasn’t sure how long of a break I’d be taking. Well, it’s only been 2 Wednesdays since then and I’ve caved…but only because I have a lot of food I wanted to share with you guys! I probably won’t be doing WIAW on a weekly basis, as I’m still trying to overcome my orthorexia and I’ve been making strides in eating intuitively, at least amount-wise and not counting calories, but the urges to ‘eat clean’ are still strong and I feel more pressure to eat as cleanly as possible for WIAW posts. So I’m thinking it’s best for me to not do them as often.

Anyways, this week’s WIAW is basically just a bunch of random meals I’ve been eating lately, mostly over this past weekend. I’m sensing a few trends in my recent eats: my salad-a-day goal is still going strong, I love homemade waffles for weekend breakfasts and a few old favorites have made their way back into the rotation. Oh, and an obsession with Instagram and seasonal PicMonkey effects #noshame.

Obviously, still loving the Whole Foods hot/cold bars.

Obviously, still loving the Whole Foods hot/cold bars.

Sorry this is super cheesy, but I had to put a heart around one of my fave meals ever–the WF hot/cold bar! I know I’ve said that the WF up here at school blows, at least as far as their salad bar selection goes. Well, it’s more like hit-or-miss. This box, consumed last Friday, was a hit–tofu ratatouille (a little too salty, but decent), Asian cous-cous, kale topped with maple pecans, grilled asparagus, edamame and my favorite, the in-store made vegan tortilla chips. I also added some homemade guac and it was a delicious box that was totally worth the $7 or whatever it cost. I like never go out to eat, so I think a couple of WF hot/cold bar runs a month is justified 😉

Vanilla blueberry chia pudding made with Sunwarrior protein powder, frozen blueberries, almond milk and shredded coconut.

Vanilla blueberry chia pudding made with Sunwarrior protein powder, frozen blueberries, almond milk and shredded coconut.

This was one of the few successful chia puddings I’ve made–most of them turn out to be runny, no matter how long I let them set. I think this one worked because Sunwarrior is incredibly drying, as in it soaks up liquid easily. Anyways, I love the vanilla+blueberry+coconut combo, so this will be a repeat breakfast/snack.

Southwestern-inspired salad. Spinach, green olives, pinto beans, homemade cashew cilantro dressing, hot sauce.

Southwestern-inspired salad. Spinach, green olives, pinto beans, homemade cashew cilantro dressing, hot sauce.

My salad-a-days have mostly been eaten at lunch, but on my busiest day (Wednesday) I have to eat while typing up a weather forecast in the newsroom–aka, I want something I can eat with one hand, and pack easily into my bag and not have to lug around all day. Salads are semi-portable, but they can get messy, so I usually eat a Larabar with some carrots, and then have my salad-a-day for dinner. Oh, and the salad-a-day goal was just something I decided I’d try out at the beginning of the year, and I think it’s been going strong for a month now. It’s been fun experimenting with different add-ins, greens and dressings but I have a few favorites I like to come back to often.

Return of the snack plate! PB and cacao nib stuffed date (aka best healthy dessert ever), sprouted buckwheat and ancient grains granolas, kale chip crumbs, dried apple slices, salted pistachios, Alter Eco mint dark chocolate and peanut flour paste.

Return of the snack plate! PB and cacao nib stuffed date (aka best healthy dessert ever), sprouted buckwheat and ancient grains granolas, kale chip crumbs, dried apple slices, salted pistachios, Alter Eco mint dark chocolate and peanut flour paste.

Yep, snack plates are back in my life and better than ever. I love having balanced meals (complex carbs/fruit/veggies, protein and healthy fat) so these cover all the bases, and taste delicious. Plus it gives my indecisive tastebuds a lot of different flavors at once…but I’m weird and only eat one part at a time!

Sweet potato chocolate chip buckwheat & almond flour waffle. Topped with chocolate Nuttzo and Sunwarrior 'frosting'.

Sweet potato chocolate chip buckwheat & almond flour waffle. Topped with chocolate Nuttzo and Sunwarrior ‘frosting’.

It’s official–waffles have become my weekend breakfast. I might still have them as an occasional breakfast during the week, but I’m sticking with quicker meals to maximize the time I can spend in bed before getting up 😉 Kidding, it’s really so I have more time to get ready and work out without feeling rushed. But I won’t give up my waffles. I’ve found the best flour combo is an equal ratio of buckwheat to almond, with a little tapioca starch thrown in there to keep them together. They always turn out thick and fluffy!

Nachos for dinner. Raw jalapeno popper on the side. GF multigrain sweet potato chips, sauteed spinach, green olvies, pinto beans, sprouted sunflower seeds, homemade guac and homemade nacho sauce.

Nachos for dinner. Raw jalapeno popper on the side. GF multigrain sweet potato chips, sauteed spinach, green olvies, pinto beans, sprouted sunflower seeds, homemade guac and homemade nacho sauce.

These are basically like my salads, only with less greens. I haven’t had nachos for dinner in awhile, because of my silly fear of grains, but I can’t deny that I love me some Late July multigrain sweet potato chips and honestly, they’re pretty healthy: gluten-free, made with simple ingredients like chia seeds and quinoa and nothing weird in them, and baked. So nachos will be back in the rotation, at least on the nights where I don’t feel like making dinner but have all the ingredients ready to go. I also really want to experiment with Asian and Greek inspired nachos…so stay tuned!

Cinna-mini rolls. Gluten free, vegan, and oh-so-easy.

Cinna-mini rolls. Gluten free, vegan, and oh-so-easy.

I’ve been trying to perfect the cinnamon roll for awhile. For me, it has to be vegan (duh), healthy, gluten free if possible and foolproof. I don’t do well with making my own rolls from scratch, sadly. I’ve made some tasty almond flour based cinnamon ‘rolls’ that, while delicious and simple, were super crumbly and not much like cinnamon rolls at all. Not that that’s bad, but I was still unsatisfied. Until I discovered the perfect gluten free AND vegan frozen pizza dough ball at Whole Foods. Yeah, it’s really rare to find a whole grain based pizza dough that’s GF and vegan so I was thrilled. I’ve made some great cinnamon rolls before using premade pizza dough so I knew this had to work. And luckily for me, it did! I thawed the dough, rolled it out, filled it with just cinnamon, raw honey and chopped dates, rolled it up and cut it into 8 mini rolls and baked it. They turned out a little too chewy, but delicious and pretty darn close to perfect. Finally!

Another salad...yes I'm obsessed with nooch, spinach and olives in my salads.

Another salad…yes I’m obsessed with nooch, spinach and olives in my salads.

And to end on a veggie-filled note (to go with this month’s WIAW theme, of course), yet another salad creation. At this point, I don’t necessarily make my salads based on a theme, like Mexican or Asian or whatever, but I kinda just throw things in a bowl, shake it up and see what works. I generally love a combo of sweet and salty, so I like a lot of olives, dried fruit and something spicy in there.

Do you eat salads a lot? Have you ever tried to perfect a dessert recipe? 

Oh Hey September

Where has the year gone? It feels like just the other day I was ringing in the new year. Gosh, time flies when you’re having fun, huh? Or, I guess, when you’re really busy. I’m starting to miss summer, but I’m also excited for fall. It’s just starting to cool down a little (if you think 80 degrees is cool…) and I’m already thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wow, can you say cray-cray?

Anyways, I kinda just realized that it’s September now, and I’ve been going like a mile a minute since it started. Thursday I had classes all day and I was running around trying to print off assignments and turn in an application for a student editor position at our campus staff newsletter (fingers crossed that I get it!). Then mi madre came to pick me up for a long weekend at home. We were going back and forth between Whole Foods, my room and getting dinner. We didn’t get home until 9 (stupid long commutes!).

Friday I got to chill in the morning, but then we had to go to the bank, pick up my sister from school and then go back home for like an hour before we had to leave again with my daddy in tow for another long drive. 2 hours each way to this teeny tiny town called Westcliffe, where my dad’s play was being put on. It was actually really weird to see, because my sis and I were the lead characters in the play like 5 or 6 years ago when it was first produced. We had to laugh when someone from the town said “Oh yeah, it’s so busy here this weekend.” And literally, none of the stores were open and basically no one was out on the street at 10 pm. Apparently, that’s busy for them 🙄

Saturday was…well, amazing! Okay, besides having to wake up at 7 after going to bed at 1 (yeah, 6 hours of sleep and I DO NOT get along). My mom and sister and I drove another 2 hours or so to Breckenridge, this really cool ski town in the mountains. Of course, we weren’t skiing since it’s September and we can’t ski. At all. There was a duck race happening that we haven’t missed in the 5 years we’ve been going up there and a bunch of other festivities. Unfortch, many of them were adult-related, such as a wine tasting festival. 2 more years and then I can do that too. Erm, but probs not. We ate 3 amazing meals up there, but I was stupid and didn’t take any pictures. So ummmm, yeah, I decided to “borrow” some photos from weheartit. No shame.

I actually got the same thing for lunch and dinner, but at two different places. Fresh spring rolls are just too good to not repeat. Plus they had different veggies in them (including amazing pickled ginger in one).

They have this really good (but reaaaaally popular) crepe cart where they make them by hand. I got a raspberry and marshmallow crepe that was to die for. Melted marshmallow=mmmmmm!

 As per tradition, my sissy and I bought 3 rubber duckies each and also took tons of selfies during down time. No shame in that, either. We had such a fun time giggling at all the cute kids and puppies there and freaking out when some crows almost attacked us.

Our view of the kiddie duck race.

Oh hey, Brooke's arm!

The newest additions to the rubber duck collection.

Thousands of duckies waiting to race.

 

I love the mountains!

Go duckies, go!

 

Awhhhhhh...sister love!

Some random stuffed puppies we saw in a gift shop. I love the patterns on them!

 

I'm so boss 😉

 So that’s been my September so far. No complaints here; I can’t wait to see what fall’s gonna bring!

 

How has September been for you? What do you like about fall?