Four Questions (& a return to blogging)

Wow, it’s been both a long and short 2 months since I last posted! Life has been truckin’ right along — work has been…well, work…but I’ve  also had some really nice weekends. Since my last post, I’ve been transitioned to working Monday  through Friday so now I get actual weekend days off, which is a blessing and a curse.

Instead of trying to catch y’all up on the past 2 months,  why don’t I just share a fun and easy survey that I’ve seen floating around. At this point, I’m just trying to get through the last 3 days of work this week (no work on Christmas, which is lucky for me) and then flying home Saturday morning. Better late than never, right? So here’s something quick to get me back into blogging!

4 Names People Call Me Other Than My Real Name
1. Ash (a lot of people)
2. Sweet-O’s (my mom)
3. Sissy Fishy (my sister)
4. Ass (my best friend…it’s a long story haha)

4 Jobs I’ve Had
1. Managing editor for monthly newsletter for college faculty
2. Reporter intern at local TV station (unpaid)
3. Weather intern at local TV station (also unpaid, but I loved it)
4. News producer at NBC affiliate station (first ‘real’ job)

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First day on the job back in April (when I was still blonde)

4 Movies I’ve Seen More Than Once
1. Mean Girls (I quote it all the time with my sister)
2. Devil Wears Prada (probably my favorite)
3. A Christmas Story (the BEST Christmas movie)
4. 1776 (my favorite movie-musical…history nerd alert)

4 Books I’d Recommend
1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series
2. A Series of Unfortunate Events series
3. Any Dave Barry books (he’s so funny)
4. Peace, Love & Baby Ducks (reminds me of my relationship with my sis)

4 Places I’ve Lived
1. Phoenix, AZ (where I was born)
2. Colorado Springs, CO (age 2 to 18)
3. Fort Collins, CO (age 18 to 21…aka college)
4. Tulsa, OK (since April of this year)

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I still want to move back to my desert home.

4 Places I’ve Been
1. San Francisco (a mission trip in HS…but now I wanna live there)
2. Salt Lake City (to visit my bestie in October)
3. Galveston, TX (a few times since my aunt and uncle live in Houston)
4. Orlando (Disney World back in 2006)

4 Places I’d Rather Be
1. California
2. The mountains
3. Home in Colorado
4. On vacation anywhere

4 Things I Don’t Eat
1. Meat, dairy, eggs (the obvious)
2. Pears
3. Tomatoes
4. Mushrooms

4 of My Favorite Foods
1. Spinach
2. Banana softserve
3. Vegan protein powder (specifically Sunwarrior and Garden of Life)
4. Cupcakes

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Worth the 2 hour drive to OKC for these vegan babies.

4 TV Shows I Watch
1. New Girl (loveeeee Jess Day, aka Zooey Deschanel)
2. Portlandia (Fred Armisen is the best)
3. Saturday Night Live
4. The Carrie Diaries (why only 2 seasons?)

4 Things I’m Looking Forward to Next Year
1. More outdoor running (I hope to keep doing it through winter)
2. Getting a new job/moving (I currently have a love/hate relationship with my current job and I hope by mid 2015 I will be in one I actually love and living in another state)
3. Possibly taking more trips (having a job=money and I want to spend it on travel)
4. Center of the Universe festival in July (if I’m still in Tulsa)

4 Things I’m Always Saying
1. Really?
2. That’s so cool
3. I can’t wait
4. So weird

What are you looking forward to in 2015?

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Homesick

If you had told me just a year, or even a few months ago, that I would miss Colorado, I would have laughed in your face. I was SO over the April blizzards, the generally bipolar weather, the seemingly-annual summer wildfires and the lack of certain things (ahem, lots of vegan restaurants, and up til recently, Trader Joe’s).

I spent most of my life in the Centennial State. I was born in Arizona, and while it still has part of my heart, all of my memories were made in Colorado. I started (and finished) school there, I made all of my friends there, some of my favorite vacations were spent there and I had the best years of my life there, in a town just a couple hours north of my ‘hometown’.

One of my favorite spots in the world.

One of my favorite spots in the world.

But when I graduated from college in December, I was excited for what the next chapter of my life would bring. I was ready to move up and out. I think I applied to a grand total of 3 jobs in Colorado, and 2 of those were in a town on the opposite side of the state, with a totally different vibe. I kept daydreaming about what my new life in a new state might be like, and I wanted it sooner rather than later.

Well…I got my wish. I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in early April. I’ve been working for just over a month now, and while that has had its ups and downs, I’m growing acclimated to my new city. I can say I actually do like it. The weather has been mostly fantastic — a lot less humid than I was expecting, and a heck of a lot warmer than back home. There are plenty of things here that remind me of home, like Whole Foods/Sprouts, lots of thunderstorms, a pretty active lifestyle.

Still getting used to seeing the waterfront on a daily basis.

Still getting used to seeing the waterfront on a daily basis.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Colorado. I honestly thought once I moved away, I’d never want to move back, but part of me does. I miss the mountains so much, the dry air, the people I’ve left behind, the places I still remember with a little bit of a twinge in my heart. I’ve stumbled across a few blogs written by women living in Colorado, and it reminds me of what I’ve left behind. As much as I cursed every single snow storm and hated feeling like I’d never leave, now that I have left, it’s a little bittersweet.

Part of it is being hundreds of miles away from all my people. Most of my friends are graduating this week, and part of me feels like I should be there with them, celebrating with a fancy cocktail in Old Town, picking up my cap and gown and packing up my apartment to move back home. But I’ve already done that — that chapter of my life is over.

My sister is also graduating from high school next week, and it kills me to not be able to see her walk across the stage and get her diploma. After all, she’s been there with me for most of my life — attending both of my graduations and always having my back. To not be there for my bestie and little sister is hard. And it’s harder knowing that some of my extended family will be there too, people I see at the most once a year. Being so far away from that hurts.

TBT to last summer with my gorg sissy.

TBT to last summer with my gorg sissy.

Most days, I don’t miss Colorado. Not when they’re getting dumped on with snow in May and I’m running the river trail in 90 degree weather. I like Tulsa. It’s got a great big city vibe without being too big. I could see myself living here for the next year (hopefully moving after that for job-related reasons) and being happy most of the time. And I’m also looking to the future, and planning where I’d love to live in the next few years, and hoping that can happen. I’m not someone who can stay in one place for too long without getting restless.

But then I see friends posting that they got jobs in Denver or Boulder or whatever, and I really miss Colorado. Sometimes I even miss my ‘hometown’ (even though the general vibe is opposite of me for the most part). I definitely miss the mountains and my college town.

Miss you, FoCo, and the lovely Horsetooth Reservoir.

Miss you, FoCo, and the lovely Horsetooth Reservoir.

So here’s to the place that will always have part of my heart, no matter where I roam. Your beauty is unmatched, and even though you’re a little bit crazy sometimes, I’ll always miss you a little bit as long as I’m away. And even if I never move back, I want you to know that I’ll always remember you as home.

Do you ever get ‘homesick’ for a certain place? 

Spring/Summer Survey

When this post is published, it’s officially my 7th day in a row of working. Yikes! As this is my first real job, I’ve only worked the traditional 5 day work week, and sometimes that’s exhausting enough. My schedule is being shifted around as the station plans to hire more people, so for now, I’m having to fill in the holes sometimes. Luckily, my ‘weekend’ starts tonight when I get off work at 10:30 and after that, I go back to a more regular 5 day work week. Phew! 

After a week of mostly working, workouts at my apartment’s fitness center and trying to get as much sleep as I can, I think a survey post is necessary! I found this one over on Kaila’s blog, and as a spring/summer lover, I just knew I had to fill it out.

Smoothies vs. juices?

Smoothies! I don’t have a juicer so I can’t make them at home, and the only fresh juices I like are the ones made by Suja…and they’re expensive! Smoothies are easy for me to whip up in my own kitchen and I can include whatever I want in them.

Grilled veggies vs. salads?

Definitely salads. I love giant salads year round, but they’re even more refreshing in the warmer months. Grilled veggies are good too, but I usually only get them when I go out to eat, since I don’t have a grill.

Corn on the cob vs. sweet potato fries?

No question–sweet potato fries! I know they don’t seem seasonally appropriate, but I actually hate corn and never got the appeal of corn on the cob. Sweet potato fries, on the other hand? Pure deliciousness, especially the ones from Native Foods!

Raw sweet potato fries are also delish.

Raw sweet potato fries are also delish.

Burgers or dogs (veggie varieties included)?

I love a good veggie burger, especially homemade and fresh off the grill or stove. I love tossing them on some spinach and adding tons of toppings.

Baseball or soccer?

Baseball is such a summer sport to me, and it’s one of the few sports I actually enjoy watching…at least in real life! I miss going to Rockies games with my family and soaking up the sunshine while enjoying a good game.

Walking or biking?

I love walking, especially hiking, in the summer. Spending time out in nature, especially the mountains, is something I try to do as often as possible when it’s warm, and it’s something I’m going to miss about moving away from Colorado…no more mountain trails!

One of my favorite places in Colorado.

One of my favorite places in Colorado.

Beach or trails?

As much as I love hiking trails, I gotta go with the beach. I’m pretty sure I’m meant to be a California girl (I will be someday!) and I love the relaxing sound of the waves hitting the shore, the soft sand and the cool water.

Ice cream or fresh fruit?

Fresh fruit! I like vegan ice cream (especially the So Delicious no sugar added kind), but fruit is something I enjoy multiple times per day, especially in the summer.

I loooooove berries.

I loooooove berries.

Sun bathing or swimming?

I like soaking up the sun, but I prefer getting in the pool! Especially after laying out in the sun for a bit, and then cooling off with a few laps.

Tulips or daffodils?

I love tulips! Don’t know why, they just remind me of spring.

Farmers markets or garage sales?

Definitely farmers markets! I went to my first real one the other weekend, and I fell in love. It’s nice being able to buy local produce and flowers for a bargain price. I’m definitely planning on hitting up a market every week this summer.

Cherry Street farmers market.

Cherry Street farmers market.

Sneakers or sandals?

Sandals allllllllll the way. I honestly have way too many pairs of sandals but I’ll never have enough. Target, American Eagle and Hollister are my sandal go-to stores.

Flower garden or veggie garden?

As much as I think flowers are pretty and spring-like, I think veggie gardens are more useful. You can plant the veggies you like, and save a bunch of money, not to mention get to enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor! Last summer, my dad and I planted a bunch of veggies/herbs and we had success with parsley, Japanese eggplant, hot peppers and cilantro.

Ice cream or fruit? Sneakers or sandals? Beach or trails?

Perfectly Imperfect

This weekend was one of those weekends that I never wanted to end. Don’t get me wrong–it wasn’t the perfect weekend in every way. But perfection is boring! My weekend was perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I finally got my hair re-done.

It was time for a change and I’m so glad I made one. I got about 5-6 inches off the length (big for me since my hair’s been this long since 9th grade!) and got it colored darker. I’m in love with the results though–but of course, hair is never as amazing as it is right after getting it done.

I'm a brunette again!

I’m a brunette again!

I was a little worried when I went out with my mom later on Friday on a few errands because it was raining & snowing and I didn’t want my new hair getting ruined. Fortunately, it stayed pretty dry and I was able to score a new bikini from Target thanks to my lovely mom. Trying on swimsuits is still an anxiety-provoking thing for me but I was able to get over my body hang-ups and find a cute suit that I love!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

I can't wait to wear this...hopefully soon!

I can’t wait to wear this…hopefully soon!

  • I went hiking with my parents. 

After crappy weather on Friday and some cold (in the 40s) sunshine on Saturday, I was more than ready for some springlike weather like we had on Thursday. Sunday delivered on that, so my parents and I laced up our hiking boots (okay, I just wore some tennis shoes) and hit the trails at a state park in the foothills on the south side of town. The weather was perfect–in the 70s with gorgeous blue skies. I was excited to fit in some exercise out in the fresh air. Everything was great…until we ran into some mud on the trails. And by mud, I mean several inches of sloppy, gooey fresh mud. Not so ideal, especially with the shoes I was wearing but with a little help from my dad, I was able to survive the muddy trails. You never know what’s going to happen when you’re hiking, and that’s what I love. Sure, it wasn’t quite the perfect conditions but we made the best of it and now we have a great story to tell 😉

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar!

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar for an almost-perfect picnic lunch.

Isn't this view just gorgeous? I'm so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

Isn’t this view just gorgeous? I’m so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

A photobombed selfie on the trail.

A photobombed selfie on the trail. I love my mom!

  • I got my grocery shopping done for the week. 

I’m being serious when I say that grocery shopping is one of my highlights of the week. I love browsing the aisles for new products and being able to pick out my produce and other food for the week. I get a little upset, though, when I have to push back my grocery trip because of my mom or dad’s schedule. Mostly because I go through my groceries by the time the weekend rolls around, and being low on my favorite foods is a little annoying. But I’m learning to be patient, and just to appreciate the fact that right now, my parents are paying for my (slightly expensive) groceries.

My dad and I didn’t get to the store until 5 pm on Sunday because of our hiking escapades earlier in the day, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with him at Sprouts and Whole Foods. We ran into my internship supervisor from last summer–he’s always been so nice and funny and supportive, so we talked a little about my possible upcoming job. My dad and I share a love for fruit, so we went a little crazy in the Sprouts produce area. At Whole Foods, I wasn’t able to buy everything I had on my list (no spinach, boo!) because things weren’t stocked or they were a bit too expensive but I’m just so grateful that my dad spent the time and money to take me to my favorite store. And now I’m all stocked up for the week and ready to try out some new recipes!

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

So yeah, my weekend wasn’t perfect. My nail polish chipped right after I painted them, I had some anxieties over my workouts, I ate too many Larabars (I’ve had 1 per day since Thursday even though I meant to save them…oops!), I was disappointed by this week’s SNL, I didn’t drink enough water, I got a not-so-great voice mail from my doctor’s office and I struggled with some lingering cold symptoms. But you know what? My weekend was perfectly imperfect. I enjoyed plenty of family time, I ate some amazing pizza (of the homemade, grain free variety), I helped my sister with a baking project, I slept in and stayed up late and I just lived. Not every weekend or every day will be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, the imperfect days are the best!

What were some highlights of your weekend?

 

What I’m Loving Wednesday: Part 1

Thanks for all the advice, support and helpful words on my last post! I always get a little anxious before posting my more open posts, especially regarding my eating disorder recovery, but then I’m always blown away (in a good way) by the responses I get. So thanks, as always!

Instead of doing WIAW this week (let’s be honest, I forget to take food pics, even though I’m not as busy anymore) I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been loving this week. Maybe this will become a regular kind of post, we’ll see!

Work-appropriate dresses

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I feel like I’ve been shopping sooooo much lately, and I kinda have, just to use up my Christmas/graduation $$$. It’s finally all gone after 4 shopping trips, and my latest one lat weekend gave me 3 new dresses I can add to my work wear. Yeah, so I’m not working just yet, but I want to be ready for when I do get my first job, and all of these dresses will look great on camera and off. Plus each of the dresses (1 from H&M, 2 from Forever 21) were inexpensive YET fairly well-made, so I’m hoping they’ll last a long time. I may not be able to wait til I’m working to wear them…I love them so much I want to wear them NOW!

Starbucks black iced coffee

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I don’t go to Starbucks as regularly as I did my last year and a half of college (2-3 times per month) but sometimes I still want to treat myself to some quality ‘bucks time. Last Friday was warm–60 degrees–and sunny, so it was the perfect time to grab my favorite drink, a black iced coffee. I know it’s so simple, and maybe boring, but it’s got a great flavor that’s even better with just a little stevia added. I love that I could drink an iced drink in January, when most of the country was dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and snow. It was good I got my iced coffee fix when I did, because it finally snowed on Monday…but I’m sure iced coffee weather will be back again in a week!

Someecards

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Someecards are the best, aren’t they? So accurate to life, and better than regular old cards. They just get my sarcastic sense of humor. The one above was taken from a Buzzfeed post my dad shared with me that was supposed to be the different U.S. states summed up in a postcard, and meant to be offensive. Sorry, but the Colorado one is pretty darn accurate but not that offensive. Whole Foods is one of the best stores ever–why wouldn’t a state want to be like Whole Foods? That’s actually something I’ll miss a lot about Colorado if I end up moving elsewhere for my first job–it has so many Whole Foods and health stores (still no Trader Joes til February though!)

Sunwarrior protein powder

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I’ve had Sunwarrior before a few times, but I wasn’t really a fan of how chalky and powdery it was. Until I tried the classic blend. This stuff is way creamier and tastes even better than the warrior blend. The vanilla is so rich and creamy it’s almost hard to believe it’s a raw vegan protein powder. I’ve been loving a scoop of it for breakfast (16 grams of protein!) mixed with unsweetened almond milk and a little coconut flour and topped with fresh fruit.

Plaids+leggings

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I love my dresses and skirts, but sometimes I want to dress a little more casually. Black leggings (from American Eagle in the picture) look sleek and chic while still being comfy and they pair well with buffalo plaid shirts. I wore this on a day I was just hanging around the house doing laundry and such but it would be just as cute for running errands or grabbing some Starbucks paired with black riding boots and an oversize tote bag!

What have you been loving this week?

Confessions

Confession #1: I haven’t posted on here in…ummmm…almost a month. The time has just gotten away from me, between waiting for my computer to get fixed (the one downfall of having a tablet without a bluetooth keyboard is that writing blog posts was torture), getting through the first 3 weeks of my last semester of school and all the craziness that’s ensued since that. But I’ll discuss that below! Point is, I’ve missed blogging regularly BUT I can’t promise I’ll be back to it anytime soon.

Confession #2: I’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping lately. It’s my weakness, but as long as I don’t let it get out of control (and try to keep it to the ‘necessities’) then I don’t see anything wrong with a little retail therapy.

My first order from Nuts.com! They have a lot of awesome raw snacks and superfood-type stuff for cheaper than in stores.

My first order from Nuts.com! They have a lot of awesome raw snacks and superfood-type stuff for cheaper than in stores.

Confession #3: I think I may be (almost) ready for fall weather. Since early last week, it’s been a little cooler and a lot rainier than average for this time of the year, and it’s been nice to not be sweating in my apartment when the A/C hasn’t kicked in yet. I still love summer, but I want to start wearing boots and scarves! The cold weather and snow can stay far away though, I’m happy with sunny skies and 70 degrees.

Confession #4: I feel so so guilty for the floods in my state. If you haven’t heard, Colorado has been dealing with extreme flooding since late last week. It’s hit most of the state, including my hometown and where I’m living for school, but I’m incredibly lucky to not have experienced any loss or damage from the floods. It just makes me so sad to hear about the hundreds of people still unaccounted for, the people who have unfortunately died in the aftermath and the damage caused to some of my favorite places in this beautiful state I call home. I’ve been blessed enough to have escaped three natural disasters in my area in the past 2 years, and seeing all this destruction and loss really hits home for me how precious life is. Please keep Colorado in your thoughts and remember to tell your family and friends how loved they are, because you never know what could happen at a moment’s notice.

One of my favorite vacation spots in CO is under a lot of water.

One of my favorite vacation spots in CO is under a lot of water.

Confession #5: Senioritis has been hitting me HARD. I didn’t really have it much my senior year of high school, but now that I’m on my last semester of school ever, I’m so unmotivated, yet more inspired at the same time. Like I’m getting more frustrated in group projects when people don’t do their part, because I need to graduate in December, yet I really dread doing readings and taking notes. Just 3 more months…I can do this!

Confession #6: I’ve technically been a vegetarian for the past 2 weeks. I announced via Twitter a few weeks back that I wanted to reintroduce eggs into my diet. I’ve never liked eggs, like ever, but I know that they’re basically a nutrient powerhouse, and I was sick of missing out on certain recipes because they contained eggs. However, after these 2 weeks, I think I’ll probably go back to veganism. I’ve tried egg whites in a few recipes that ended up as total flops (coconut flour waffles = epic fail) and even the one that did work tasted really eggy to me. Ehhh, you win some, you lose some. However, I have yet to try eggs straight up, but I plan on buying some local, free range eggs this weekend from Whole Foods and I’ll let you know the verdict! (P.S. Julian Bakery paleo bread will probably be my one exception to the veganism thing–it’s so good, fiber-full and packed with protein and simple ingredients).

See those egg whites hiding in my Whole Foods haul?

See those egg whites hiding in my Whole Foods haul?

Confession #6: I love my hipster glasses. Best $15 investment. Ever.

I'm guilty of the car selfies (not while driving).

I’m guilty of the car selfies (not while driving).

Confession #7: I still haven’t gotten around to transitioning this blog over to my new one. Whoops. I also have several recipes I want to post (and I don’t want to miss out on Vegan MoFo completely) but I’ve just been too busy. I never want to promise posts or recipes because I know I might not deliver on that promise, but I need something to motivate me to actually do it!

What are your confessions?

Weekend of Family, Food and Fathoming

Again with the alliteration! Sorry guys, just can’t help myself sometimes…even when it is a little cheesy.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I love that it was basically an extended weekend for me–I went to my internship Monday and Tuesday, and I had Wednesday through Sunday off to do as I pleased. Some grocery shopping, workouts and the typical daily stuff happened but it was definitely a weekend to remember!

Family

Fox Run Park was perfect for picnicking on the 4th.

Fox Run Park was perfect for picnicking on the 4th.

My family had originally planned on heading to a nearby town for their annual 4th of July parade. Apparently it’s one of the longest parades in the country (lasting over 2 hours) and we’ve gone a few times in the past and enjoyed it. However, after the nearby fire from earlier in the summer, a lot of people planned to go to this parade to show support for the local firefighters…so basically, parking was nonexistent, and we couldn’t even take the shuttle buses going to the parade because the line waiting for the bus was like a mile long. We ended up driving to the south side of town to see if there was anything going on down there for the 4th (there wasn’t), made a quick stop at home for some picnic supplies, the fam stopped at Subway for sandwiches (I munched on cold watermelon and a whole champagne mango) and then we headed back up to one of our favorite parks. Luckily, not many people were there so we had our pick of tables and after lunch, we played a bunch of outdoor games.

My patriotic outfit.

My patriotic outfit.

I love spending time with my family, and I appreciate it more now that I’m so close to being a real adult (aka out on my own, with a job and without their financial support). Even though things didn’t go as planned (and it rained later when we wanted to eat dinner outside, boo!) we still had a great 4th of July. Oh, and we also didn’t get to see the fireworks because we didn’t feel like braving the crowds downtown at the park, so we tried watching them from the hill near our house but they were blocked by another hill. You win some, you lose some!

I forgot how much I love swings!

I forgot how much I love swings!

My sister and I took the opportunity to play around on the playground like we were 5 again. I’ve been realizing more and more that being spontaneous and just having fun (even if you look silly while doing it) makes life that much more enjoyable.

Speaking of spontaneity...

Speaking of spontaneity…

The whole fam partook in our almost annual water balloon/water gun fights. Filling up and tying those water balloons wasn’t so easy, but getting to enjoy some simple fun with the people I love most was worth it. Unfortunately, no photographic evidence of how soaked we got, but let’s just say we didn’t need to shower the next day 😉

Food

July 4th breakfast: banana softserve blended with frozen cherries and chocolate Sunwarrior. Topped with homemade raw cacao nut clusters and raw brownie bite.

July 4th breakfast: banana softserve blended with frozen cherries and chocolate Sunwarrior. Topped with homemade raw cacao nut clusters and raw brownie bite.

Snackplate. Mostly watermelon and raw zucchini slices topped with garlic gomasio.

Snackplate. Mostly watermelon and raw zucchini slices topped with garlic gomasio.

Friday's lunch. Snackplate of carrots, homemade bean dip, homemade raw 'goat cheese' dip, zuke with garlic gomasio. Side of leftover berries.

Friday’s lunch. Snackplate of carrots, homemade bean dip, homemade raw ‘goat cheese’ dip, zuke with garlic gomasio. Side of leftover berries.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with fruit. And raw zucchini slices. And garlic gomasio (basically a seasoning blend of sesame seeds, garlic and sea salt…super addictive). And banana softserve for breakfast, errryday. I’m becoming more of a creature of habit when it comes to my food, and that’s ok. My weekly Whole Foods trips have been looking similar lately: lots of fresh produce, flax crackers, raw chocolate, raw nuts, beans, olives. Makes things easier for sure!

Fathoming

Free stuff is always nice!

Free stuff is always nice!

I’ve been thinking more about budgeting lately, and how I’m going to handle a much stricter budget when I’m on my own. I’ve recognized that I have a love for going shopping, whether it be for food, clothes or beauty stuff. I don’t buy something every time I go, but it’s hard for me to say no when I have the funds necessary. I want to save up for things that really matter, and not go hog wild on little purchases here and there, and I also know that I might not be able to afford only shopping at Whole Foods when I have my first job. I have a few other health food stores I like that are cheaper, I just have to make it more of a habit to shop there instead of always Whole Foods. Gotta say though, getting free stuff from coupons/gift cards (like the Bath & Body Works stuff above) is always a bonus.

I'm kicking myself for not ordering anything from here!

I’m kicking myself for not ordering anything from here!

My mom and I went to VegFest Colorado on Saturday. I love how supportive my mom is, despite her being an omnivore who has no intentions of giving up animal products. I’m glad she went, though, because I hope it opened up her eyes to some of the needless suffering animals go through to be on her plate. She did buy some free range, organic chicken the other day, so that’s a step in the right direction. I hate to get all preachy, because that’s not who I am, but going to VegFest made me realize that I’m vegan not just for the health benefits, but for the animals. It made me realize that I’m very much against animal suffering, and that I need to do something else to show that I am. I already avoid all animal products when it comes to food…why don’t I try to start buying only cruelty-free beauty products? One of the speakers we saw said something that struck me–he said all creatures deserve to feel loved. That is so true. We all seek out love in our lives, why wouldn’t animals do (and deserve) the same? I’m certainly not saying everyone needs to go vegan, but just making small differences in the animal products you choose to buy and consume can show the animals that they are loved.

Other than the amazing message, the food was great too. I got to try several new-to-me products that I loved (namely locally-made raw chocolates and a chocolate coconut hot fudge sauce) and I got to see the Chef AJ do a cooking demo. A lot of what she said struck me as well. She’s really focused on unprocessed foods, which I am all for, but she mentioned that oil, salt and sugar are all unnecessary evils in our lives and we really don’t need them to cook delicious things. I have to say, I feel that’s a little extreme, especially as a recovering anorexic who’s still challenging old food fears, but I get what she’s saying. I try to use the most natural, unprocessed forms of all of those things, like coconut oil, sea salt and maple syrup/raw honey and I feel like that’s a good balance for me. But the desserts she made for us without sugar (a PB Larabar-esque bit, black bean brownies and muesli) were really delicious and inspired me to try to use just dates like she did as a sweetener in my desserts. I do agree that Americans tend to eat way too much sugar, salt and oil especially in their more processed forms, so any step in the direction of eliminating them is a good one.

Her cooking demo obviously got through to me, because when it was time for lunch, I ended up passing on the delicious-looking vegan waffle sandwiches from the Waffleganger food truck and just got a salad from Qdoba on the way home. As much as I’d like to say my eating is way more free now, it isn’t always. I worried about all the gluten and sugar in the waffle sandwich but now I’m mad that I didn’t just jump out of my comfort zone and at least split one with my mom. Luckily, the waffle truck is based in Denver so I’m planning a trip to visit it for brunch on my birthday in 3 weeks!

How was your weekend? How do you feel about cutting out all sugar, oils and salt?