WIAW: No Filter

No, this title isn’t leading into a post where I just say what I feel without thinking it through. Not that kind of no filter. I’m talking about no Instagram or PicMonkey filter. I’m a sucker for prettying up my photos (which, lets be honest, are 99% of the time taken on my smartphone) but I’m trying to avoid the over-filtering of my photos. So I’m gonna share my original version of photos for this week’s WIAW…well, minus one or two filtered pics that slipped in there!

Breakfast: samoas-inspired chia pudding.

Breakfast: samoas-inspired chia pudding.

Sorry for the chia seed pudding overload lately–I’m not kidding when I say I get into breakfast ruts. First (almost 2 years ago at this point) it was overnight oats, then hot oats, then smoothie bowls, then pancakes, then waffles, now it’s the chia pudding. This version was inspired by the classic Girl Scout cookie (which I don’t think I’ve ever actually had) and made with Sunwarrior vanilla and Vega chocolate protein powders, lucuma powder for a caramel-y accent (my new love!) and topped with coconut, cashew butter (love this stuff) and a crumbled raw chocolate macaroon. This was good stuff.

Friday night sushi with friends. Cucumber maki and sweet potato tempura roll. Demolished.

Friday night sushi with friends. Cucumber maki and sweet potato tempura roll. Demolished.

I actually went out to eat twice this weekend. Both times with friends. This is big for me. I always feel super guilty when I have to eat out twice in a week/weekend, and I still have some anxiety about eating out with friends. But I had so much fun that it was worth it! The food wasn’t too bad either!

Failed recipe: healthy vegan Nutella.

Failed recipe: healthy vegan Nutella.

I’ve honestly never been a fan of Nutella (though Justin’s vegan version is pretty good) but I wanted to try making a healthier, vegan version to see if I’d like it better. It was pretty easy (other than attempting to remove the skins from the hazelnuts, which I eventually gave up on) but didn’t turn out delicious. I blame it on only adding 1 tbsp of coconut sugar. Definitely needed more sweetness.

Lunch: spinach salad with homemade cashew cilantro dressing and avocado verde salsa, dry roasted edamame, eggplant 'bacon' and kalamata olives.

Lunch: spinach salad with homemade cashew cilantro dressing and avocado verde salsa, dry roasted edamame, eggplant ‘bacon’ and kalamata olives.

My salad-a-day is still going strong and I’ve been especially loving my latest dressing combo–homemade cashew cilantro dressing and the Wholly Guacamole brand avocado verde salsa I picked up over the weekend. So good, and better than regular old dressing.

Eggplant 'bacon' wrapped date stuffed with cashew 'cream cheese'.

Eggplant ‘bacon’ wrapped date stuffed with cashew ‘cream cheese’.

Speaking of eggplant bacon, this was one of my successful recipe experiments over the weekend. Seriously, so simple but so damn tasty. I wish I had had more than half an eggplant (I used the other half for something else) so I could make a bigger batch. It was especially delicious wrapped around a Medjool date stuffed with homemade cashew cream cheese. Mmmm, I could eat this all day!

Outfit of the day (March 4): pink cropped cardigan (Abercrombie & Fitch), pink plaid scarf (American Eagle), pink ruffle tank (Abercrombie Kids), burgundy jeggings (Hollister), unpictured brown riding boots (Macy's).

Outfit of the day (March 4): pink cropped cardigan (Abercrombie & Fitch), pink plaid scarf (American Eagle), pink ruffle tank (Abercrombie Kids), burgundy jeggings (Hollister), unpictured brown riding boots (Macy’s).

I felt like a Valentine when I wore this on Monday, but who cares, I love pink! I’m really excited though for when I can finally wear dresses and skirts without tights–hopefully soon! Spring, come sooner.

Dinner: eggplant muffuletta on grain free bread, unsweetened applesauce, cheezy chipotle kale chips.

Dinner: eggplant muffuletta on grain free bread, unsweetened applesauce, cheezy chipotle kale chips.

Ummm…grain free bread? What is this madness? I will admit that, yes, I need to get over my fear of grains other than buckwheat and quinoa, but on the other hand, I can’t deny my love for coconut flour. And surprise, surprise, it actually makes a decent grain free and vegan bread when combined with a few other ingredients. Yes, it actually held together pretty well even when soaked with kalamata olive relish and baked eggplant, and it tasted a lot like naan after sitting for a few days. Look for a super simple recipe soon!

Another dinner: Thai stuffed sweet potato. Half a large sweet potato topped with peanut flour paste and raisins/coconut shreds on one side, coconut cream and raw Thai curry cashews on the other.

Another dinner: Thai stuffed sweet potato. Half a large sweet potato topped with peanut flour paste and raisins/coconut shreds on one side, coconut cream and raw Thai curry cashews on the other.

I’m definitely doing a stuffed sweet potato for dinner more often…thanks for the inspiration, Sara! This one was Thai-like, with a peanutty sauce on one side, and curry+coconut on the other. I think I could do a different combo of this every day.

How do you like your sweet potatoes? Did you have a recipe success or failure over the weekend? 

 

WIAW: “Normal” Eating

This WIAW will be more ED focused than most of them, but I’ve got a few fun things to share so hopefully that’ll make up for the more serious talk!

So remember way back when (aka March) when I talked about how I was fed up with how much I was restricting? And I mentioned in other posts after that one about how I was working on making changes. Well…honestly…that didn’t happen. I didn’t make much of an effort to increase my eats, other than an extra handful of something here and there. I didn’t really make a conscious effort at all until…well, a couple of days ago. Okay, so it really started a few weeks back but lately I’ve been making big strides in eating more. And not only eating more, but feeling okay and ‘safe’ with it. Safe was one of the words my ED used to justify restriction–it felt safe and ‘normal’ to me. But now that I’ve seen the light, and realized I can eat way more and not balloon out of control well…I’m kinda saying goodbye to ED.

I know I still need to increase more. 2000+ calories seems to be the magic number for a lot of people. I’m fairly active, between walking to classes and doing daily full body workouts. But I’m also a small girl and I’m thinking I probably need fewer calories than somebody taller or wither a bigger build. But I know that what I’m eating now, even though it’s more than I was eating for too many months, still isn’t quite enough.

Anyways, enough of the chit chat. Let’s see how I’ve been normalizing my eating, and what better time to do it than WIAW?

Just as good as it looks, and so easy to make!

Yes, I made this. And yes, I also have been eating it. What exactly is it? It’s coconut whipped ‘cream’, completely vegan and totally yum. I followed Angela’s method, using a little bit of maple syrup and peppermint extract to sweeten it up. While mine didn’t turn out as fluffy as hers (maybe my canned coconut milk had a defect?) it is still delicious, creamy and crave-worthy. I’ve been enjoying a spoonful here and there and enjoying my new found love of coconut.

Another Whole Foods salad bar box? #sorryimnotsorry

This isn’t anything new…oh, wait, actually it kinda is! It was my first time trying beets (they had them in raw form at the salad bar) and I’m officially a fan. I’m also apparently a fan of veggies dipped in a big dollop of fresh guac and dumping tons of pumpkin seeds on my salad. Embrace the fats, people. So good.

Tall iced Americano. With 2 pumps pumpkin spice syrup and a splash of u/s vanilla almond milk. Welcome, fall.

It sure didn’t feel fall-like on Monday when I stopped into Starbucks for this new-to-me drink. But it totally got me in the mood for it. I finally gave in and tried the pumpkin spice syrup that everyone raves about. I took home my pumpkin-spiked Americano and added in some vanilla almond milk (seriously, Sbux, why don’t you have this?) It was good, but not amazing. I guess I’m more of a peppermint mocha kinda girl.

Disclaimer: not taken while actually driving.

Guys, I’m sorry. But I’m officially addicted to the ‘driving selfie’. Except I always take them in the parking lot, or mayyyyyybe at a stop light if I’m feeling rebellious 😉 I just like making goofy faces and seeing the reaction of my fellow drivers.

This meal made me a tofu lover. Mixed greens/broc slaw with raspberry acai vinaigrette. Curry spiked ketchup. Tofu “fingers”. Alexia chipotle sweet potato fries.

I was never a big fan of tofu. Yes, I know I’m a crazy vegan, but it’s true. I would eat it sometimes, but never loved it. All that changed when I made Angela’s tofu nuggets over the weekend. They were crazy good on their own. But they were even better dipped in ketchup. Oh yeah, now I also like ketchup too. I found an organic brand with only 2 grams of sugar, and it’s pretty good.

This truly was a bowl of decadence, and I enjoyed every bite.

My nightly snacks are taking on a different look lately. I don’t go for cereal much anymore. Instead, I like a bunch of different flavors and textures in one bowl. Enter, this bowl of healthy vegan decadence. Healthy, because the base was a protein microwave cake, made with a plant-based protein powder, some flax and almond milk. Decadent, because it was topped with a spoonful of Whole Foods vegan chocolate mousse (just a few healthful ingredients, but tastes so rich), Nada Moo coconut milk ice cream, semisweet chocolate chips and a little of the mint coconut whipped ‘cream’. Yeah, this was just as good as it sounds and looks. I think I’ll be repeating this soon.

So close to 90,000 miles! Alejandro and I will have to throw a party when that happens.

Contrary to what Alejandro’s odometer says, he’s only 4 years old. That’s kind of a lot of miles for that few years, but a lot of long distance driving was done in Alejandro before my parents let me have him. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, Alejandro’s my car, a super hot red Hyundai Santa Fe. I’m not totally crazy, promise.

Leftover tofu fingers with ketchup. Kale massaged with nooch and lemon juice. Fresh figs. Almond peanut cashew butter mixed with maple syrup and chocolate chips.

This was a lunch, but it’s a lot like my typical snackplates. What can I say, I love variety! My lunches lately have been more substantial, incorporating veggies, protein (usually edamame or my favorite protein powder) and fat (usually nut butter).

Breakfast is getting more delicious! Chocolate mint kale protein smoothie topped with mint coconut whipped ‘cream’ and chocolate chips.

Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast? Okay, this wasn’t quite dessert, since it incorporated greens and protein (but I don’t exactly shy away from those things in my desserts) but the addition of the whipped ‘cream’ definitely took it over the top. And this pudding like breakfast packed 20 grams of protein, plus kale! Who wouldn’t go for that?

Sweet and salty kale salad–kale massaged with lemon juice and nooch, kalamata olives, strawberries, figs and dry-roasted edamame. Half sweet potato topped with maple-infused almond peanut cashew butter. Pumpkin spice iced Americano.

Coffee at lunch…why not? But let’s talk about this salad for a second–so good. I always love sweet and salty combos, and this was just amazing for a random mix. The sweet potato was great too. But that’s a given.

Do you like sweet and salty salad combos? Did you try anything new (food related or not) over the weekend?