My Foodie Staples

Aren’t there a few many things you can’t live without? I’m sure we all have them, I know I do! They tend to change every once in a while, but I definitely have some items I’d prefer to not go without. With that being said, here’s my current list of foodie staples!

Cereal: Right now, I’m loving on the PB Puffins (hope I never get sick of those!), Kashi Honey Sunshine, 365 Organic Honey Crunch & Oats and Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch. I also really like Bear Naked Fit granola (especially triple berry crunch–what’s with all these cereals and having crunch in their name?) and Udi’s cranberry granola. I generally don’t have cereal at breakfast (I used to everyday, though) but it makes an amazing snack…or small dinner?

PB & Chocolate Puffins, Bear Naked Fit granola

Fruit: Gosh, no way could I ever live without this! I love almost all fruits I’ve tried, except for plums and pears. In my dorm, it’s hard to have some of my favorite fruits, like pineapple and berries, so I’m sticking with some tried-and-true varieties, like bananas, black grapes and apples. They’re all pretty versatile and easy to take with me to classes.

Red grapes, giant Honeycrisp apple, bunch 'o bananas

Veggies: I also love veggies, but I don’t really have a way to cook it, so raw it is. Luckily, I love raw cauliflower, and it’s pretty easy to eat. I also discovered butternut squash, which is amazing and simple to heat up in the micro. Plus it comes pre-cut (thanks, Whole Foods!) so it’s perfect for someone without a sharp knife handy. Baby carrots are also a good option.

Cubed b-nut squash, baby carrots, cauliflower

Dried fruit: Mmmmmm, yes! Dried fruit is the bomb.com and even less of a hassle to bring to classes. I love Medjool dates, raisins (golden and regular), dried pineapple, freeze-dried fruit…the list goes on and on. I just look for dried fruit without any added sugar or chemicals and I’m good to go!

Organic Medjool dates, raisins, organic dried pineapple

Mini frozen burritos: I have 2 small fridges with tiny freezer compartments, so I need all the space I can get. EVOL makes mini burritos, which are perfect as a snack or part of dinner/lunch. I love the veggie fajita kind, since it’s vegan and yummy. Score!

2 mini EVOL veggie fajita frozen burritos

Sweet potatoes: I’ve been missing these guys like crazy lately, but luckily, they’re back in my life again. They heat up quick in the micro and taste so so good topped with almost anything–nut butter, trail mix, honey, guacamole, chili powder…

Cinnamon and almond butter topped sweet potato

Spices: Speaking of chili powder, girl’s gotta have her spices. All I got right now is curry powder, ground cinnamon and hot Mexican chili pepper, but it’s good enough for me! Those are probably my 3 fave, and they can ‘spice’ up anything from coffee (the cinnamon, of course) to veggies.

Ground cinnamon and hot Mexican-style chili powder

Truvia: I like things sweet, but I don’t want to add real sugar to some things, ya know? That’s where Truvia packets come in. They’re easy to carry around in case I get an unsweetened iced tea on-the-go and I always add a packet to my oats to sweeten them up. I love that they’re a natural sub for fake sugar.

Big box o' Truvia packets

Almond/nut butter: Where would we be without nut butter? As I’ve said several times before, PB is not my fave (sorry!). But I absolutely adore almond, and lately, almond peanut cashew. Nut butters are soooooo good on sweet taters, as an oats topper, on wraps/sandwiches, with fruit (especially dates) or even off your finger 😉

Archer Farms almond peanut cashew butter

Morningstar spicy veggie sausages: I have one of these almost every morning, and have for probably the last year. Somehow, I’m not getting bored of them. I’m definitely not a savory person, especially at breakfast, but they’re a great source of vegetarian protein, they’re easy to make (except when your micro burns them…) and they taste so darn good. I like anything spicy, like I’ve said millions of times before.

Spicy veggie breakfast sausage, fudgie-topped millet bread

Organic jelly: It’s kinda upsetting how many jellies have high fructose corn syrup in them. I mean, come on, why can’t they just have simple, natural ingredients? When I found Smucker’s Organic line of jellies, I fell in love. Sure, there’s still sugar in them, but it’s real sugar, and it’s natural and organic. There aren’t any weird ingredients in it either. Is it weird that I like it with nut butter and crackers????? It’s also delish as an oats topper.

Smucker's Organic concord grape jelly

Starbucks VIA instant coffee: I can’t live without my ‘bucks fix every once in awhile. But when you’re a college student with no car, it’s kinda hard to get. Lucky for me, they came out with instant coffee packs that are almost as good as their brewed stuff. Not only do I love it in homemade skinny lattes, but it’s amazing mixed in with overnight oats. Talk about an energizing breakfast 😛

Date with almond butter, homemade Starbucks VIA latte, Greek yogurt with raw organic honey

Protein bars: I’m no athlete, but I still eat these like it’s my job. Kidding, but I do love ’em. I don’t get the huge ones, like regular Clifs (I usually cut them in half to have as a snack), I prefer the Mojo kind which are like trail mix bars, and Pure and Halo bars. They make a perfect on-the-go lunch alongside some fruit and they come in so many varieties. My faves at the moment are Mojo white chocolate macadamia and mountain mix, Pure chocolate brownie and Halo s’mores and nutty marshmallow. I try to get bars that have at least 6 grams of protein (the Halo ones don’t, but they’re good for a snack) and only natural sugar.

Clif Mojo Mountain Mix & White Chocolate Macadamia, Clif Z-Bar Chocolate Chip and Full Moon Brownie, Pure Cherry Cashew and Chocolate Brownie, Halo Nutty Marshmallow and Clif C Blueberry

Almond milk: I switched to soy last May, and I liked it for a while, but now I prefer almond. I still have soy milk every so often (the Silk seasonal kinds are SO good) but now I’m trying to buy almond more often. I really love the Pacific Naturals unsweetened vanilla, but the plain Whole Foods brand is also good. It lasts longer in the fridge than soy and has a nice, light nutty taste.

Pacific Naturals organic unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Rolled oats: Of course I have these! I probably have oats in some form every single day…well actually, I pretty much just eat them in overnight oats 😀 Unlike a lot of people, I prefer overnighters to cooked oats. But anyways, oats are incredibly versatile, easy to prepare and so healthy. I don’t even want to start to explain my overnight oats, so just check out my page devoted to them!

Carrot cake overnight oats

 Greek yogurt: Another “duh” if you read my bloggy regularly! Oikos is my one true Greek yo’ love, but sometimes I go off and have an affair with Fage mango guanabana or blueberry acai. Shhhhhh, don’t tell 😉

Oikos organic plain, Fage Total 0% blueberry acai, Oikos organic caramel

 Of course, there are many many more products I’ve (sadly) had to leave out ’cause I didn’t wanna bore y’all with it, but these are what I have most often and love the most!

What are your foodie staples?

WIAW: Randomness

Some weeks, I just don’t get around to taking pictures of all my meals for WIAW. Blame it on laziness busyness. I was running around like a crazy person this last weekend and I kinda forgot to snap some pics of all my food. Most of it was pretty boring (aka using up whatever I could find at home since there wasn’t much Ashley-friendly food) but with the stuff that was good, well…I was too busy having fun to really remember to get pictures.

So for this week’s WIAW, it’s pretty much some random food pics that I managed to take within the past couple of days, plus some non-food stuff (aka outfits and such). Oh, and a random survey. Just the way I roll. Random is good, peeps.

Peas and Crayons

Early morning breakfast (hence why the lighting sucks). Coffee overnighters topped with PB Puffins. Probably my favorite overnight oats combo right now.

What was the last thing you bought? The necklace in the picture below. Not even kidding. I’ve been dying to buy the owl necklace since I first saw it and I finally had to cave and buy it online, since I never saw it once in any American Eagle store. Stupid shipping & handling, but it’s well worth it for this beauty.

This picture looks reallllllllly awkward. I was wearing a grey lace-front shirt so it's kinda see-through. But the owl really pops!

What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever asked you? If I’ve skipped a grade. IDK where that came from, especially since I didn’t know the person who said it. I guess I am small for my age, though. Someone thought I was a HS freshman when I was a senior. Ugh.

A GIANT date! Okay, so it doesn't look so big, but trust me, it was like almost the size of my palm!

A typical yogurt mess: plain Greek yogurt mixed with blueberry protein powder, topped with Bear Naked Fit triple berry granola. It's even better in a pink bowl.

Best Halloween costume? Oh gosh, I loved so many of them. I was a blue M&M once (funny story: a few years after I wore this costume, a guy in my class said he was going to be Eminem for Halloween, and I was so naïve that I said “What color?” since I thought he was talking about M&Ms. Silly child!), bride of Frankenstein and a pirate. Uh, yeah, I think that was my favorite, since I wore obnoxious boot covers with jangly coins on them. I like being loud.

Amazing froyo (when is it ever NOT amazing)? Irish mint swirled with Oreo froyos, topped with raspberries and strawberries. Bliss in a cup.

What are you wearing right now? Look at the picture below. That’s exactly it. A light yellow hoodless sweatshirt from Hollister (hand-me-down from the lil sis. Anyone find that weird?), khaki twill shorts from Hollister and got-wet-in-the-random-rainstorm tan mocs from American Eagle. This is what I consider casual.

I used to be scared to wear yellow. Silly me.I'm really into playing around with the color and saturation of photos. It's kinda an obsession now.

 

What is your favorite food that your mom makes? Definitely this really really good chile lime pasta (usually with shrimp). She totally came up with the recipe on her own, and it’s super simple but delish. It has roasted bell peppers, Williams Sonoma chile lime seasoning and it’s just downright amazing.

Green goodness: Late July green mojo chips (aka crack chips), spicy guac/Greek yogurt dip. It's easy being green.

Best concert? The best one I’ve actually been to would have to be Relient K. But my dream concert is Lady Gaga. Shocker, right? But I’m dying to dress up in one of her bizarre outfits without getting looked at like I’m cray cray.

Poor mocs. All wet from the freak rainstorm on my way back from classes.

Things you do for fun? Shopping. Tennis. Mountain biking. Modeling photo shoots. Texting (well, I mostly do this when I’m bored). Fashion magazine-reading. Blog-surfin’ on my iPod touch. All the stuff cool kids do, obvs.

My second-ever Halo bar! I liked this one almost as much as the S'mores kind. I think I love vegan marshmallows more than regular ones, especially when they're combined with peanuts and flax seeds...

 

Answer one (or many!) of the questions above!

WIAW: It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Summer

It’s my favorite day of the week…What I Ate Wednesday Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, just kidding, not my favorite day but I do like it a lot. It’s so much fun to post my eats and see what everyone else has been chowing down on.

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast was up first (well, duh!) I had a banana nut Vitatop muffin (I love these things, but I still can’t figure out what flavor is my favorite), 1/2 of a homemade berry Belgian waffle, Morningstar spicy veggie sausage and some pineapple/mango chunks. I wish I lived on a tropical island so I could get amazing fresh pineapple and mango every day!

I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (so fun!), got dressed, did a little yoga and 10 minutes of a cardio circuit before it was time for lunch. Oh yeah, and a little blog stalking was involved 😉 Don’t judge!

Lunch was good but a little time-consuming. I made some Gardein chik’n nuggets (18 grams of all-vegetarian protein in 4 nuggets–whoooooo!) that took 20 minutes in the oven to get nice and crispy. I had some strawbs on the side, some broccoli slaw mixed with mustard, Crystal Light strawberry mixed with water and an Ezekiel tortilla spread with a fudgie and half a sliced banana. Oh, and some spicy pepper mustard for nugget dippage.

I spent the next half an hour cleaning our 4 bathrooms (oooh, even more fun 😉 ) and then convinced my sissy to go on a walk with me. We live on a dirt road in a forested area, so it seems kinda like an actual hiking trail but much wider and with more houses. I was surprised by how hot it was. It’s nearly 80 degrees and it’s only the first day of June! I’m not complaining, though, I’m ready for some hot weather! I wish I had been wearing something different, though, because I was sweating in my cropped jeans. When my sister went back inside, I ran about 1/4 mile from our driveway to the mailbox and back. I haven’t done any running (besides in my daily cardio circuits) in about a week, my right foot is still bothering me and I wasn’t really dressed right for the weather, but I did okay. I also realized that today is National Running Day so I’m glad I did it 😛

Snack time is my favorite time of day to eat! I’m always really hungry, so I don’t feel like I’m making myself eat. My stomach can’t hold much food, so I prefer snack-size meals. Today I had a new snackie: apple slices topped with cinnamon (don’t ask why I’ve never had this before!), a slice of millet bread topped with 1 tsp crunchy almond butter (I always get the bulk kind from Whole Foods that is just almonds and nothing else) and a small Medjool date. This was really yummy! In fact, I’m planning on having the millet bread/AB/date combo as part of my breakfast tomorrow. I bought the bread because I’d heard other bloggers say it tastes like pound cake and while it doesn’t to me, it works well with savory and sweet things.

After some more cardio (I always split my workouts up into several parts because I get bored easily) and yoga, I watched “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera) with my mom and sis until my dad got home for dinner which was…

…Oriental chicken salad! I love having huge salads for dinner because they’re satisfying without being filling and they have sooooo many fresh, crunchy veggies. Mine had grilled chicken, green onions, mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, Archer Farms lemon sesame dressing (I love Target!) and mixed salad greens. I also had a chocolate banana protein smoothie on the side.

After a shower (I always usually shower at night so I can wake up with wavy hair) and some hanging out I had my nighttime snack of Stonyfield nonfat Gotta Have Java froyo topped with some Cascadian Farms Chocolate O’s cereal. The combo of coffee and chocolate is one of my favorites, it never gets old!

Phew, I feel like I gave you wayyyyy too much information about my day! I guess I like to ramble 😉 Don’t worry, my life isn’t always this boring, sometimes I actually go out and do stuff but it can be nice to spend the day at home.

Q: What was the best thing you ate on Wednesday?

Carrot Cake…Oats, That Is!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a big fan of cake. I usually love dry foods, but cake seems too dry and tasteless. However, I have always loved carrot cake. Carrots are my favorite veggie and I think it’s so interesting that they’re featured in a popular dessert. I doubt there’s a such thing as a tomato ice cream sundae or a cucumber parfait! I never really liked the icing (or the coconut…I know, I know, I’m weird, most people love coconut but I’ve never loved the taste or the texture) but the rest was soooooo good!

I love me some overnight oats (check out my Ode to Overnight Oats page if you don’t believe me) any time of the day, and I’m always on the lookout for some interesting variations. So far, I’ve done a LOT of cocoa powder-based ones, a few berry ones and a very delicious tropical one. Suddenly, it hit me–a lot of bloggers are really into carrot cake flavored things so why not do carrot cake overnight oats? I know I’m not the first one to do this, but I wanted to come up with my own recipe that would really shine, so here it is:

Carrot cake in a bowl...mmm!

 I started out with my usual base of thick rolled oats. Back when I first started making OO’s, I used quick oats or the instant Kashi GoLean packets. Now I love the doughy texture of the thick rolled oats. I used 1/3 cup of oats mixed with water (not sure how much, just enough so oats aren’t dry anymore, but not too much), added a dash of vanilla extract, sprinkled in some a lot of cinnamon and finely grated baby carrots. It would probably be easier if you bought carrots that were already grated, or used full-size carrots to grate because the baby ones kept slipping out of my hand! I let that sit in the fridge for a few hours (not overnight this time, I wanted them for an afternoon snackie, you can definitely do yours overnight or even 2-4 hours works nicely). When it was snack time, I scooped it into my bowl, mixed in a chopped Medjool date (you can use raisins if you like, I prefer dates because they’re so soft) and topped it with a couple chopped almonds.

It was the perfect snack: it was yummy and filled me up. The only tweak I would make next time is mixing in some Truvia with the water and oats because the oats were a bit bland. But I def loved this combo and will be doing it again in the near future!

Q’s: Do you like overnight oats? What is your favorite flavor combo ever?

My First WIAW!

Happy Thursday! It’s almost the weekend…YAY! And for those of you that work or are still in school it’s a long weekend 😀 Since I’m off of school for the summer, weekends usually don’t feel much different to me, except that my dad is home all day!

Anywhooo, this is my first ever WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday). I actually have done it over on my ED recovery blog, but this is my first week blogging on here, so I thought I’d start with a WIAW to kick things off!

For breakfast, I enjoyed an Oikos chocolate Greek yogurt cup (my favorite brand and flavor of Greek yogurt!), a Morningstar hot & spicy vegetarian sasuage patty (I pretty much have this every day since it’s so yummy and has 8 grams of protein!), a chocolate Van’s waffle stick and a creamy banana smoothie (1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 ripe banana, 1 packet Truvia). I just discovered this smoothie combo and it is delish and as creamy as a milkshake but way healthier.

I had to have lunch a little early since my mom and I were going to go see the Thunderbirds fly over the Air Force Academy stadium for their graduation. I wasn’t too hungry so I had a small lunch: my leftover homemade Mex-Asian vegan pizza (light Flat Out wrap topped with edamame guacamole *recipe to come!*, black beans, cilantro and cheddar soy cheese), baby carrots, fresh watermelon and a chocolate brownie Pure bar.

I forgot to take a picture of my snack! But I had a bowl of Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch cereal (I love the Cascadian Farms kids cereals, since they aren’t too sugary and have fiber) and a side of black grapes. I only like red and black grapes, green ones gross me out!

My family had turkey tacos for dinner last night. I don’t eat beef and my fam usually doesn’t either so we usually have turkey tacos instead. I served mine on a small Ezekiel tortilla (love these things!) with more black beans, more edamame guacamole and more soy cheese. Seriously, my dinner was almost a repeat of lunch, except I had a salad on the side with Annie’s mango dressing and a peach Green Monster: 1 chopped up peach, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, handful spinach and 1 packet Truvia. I’ve only just started making GMs and this was my first one that was actually green!

No day would be complete without a nighttime snackie! I tried a Van’s blueberry Muffin Crown (almost as good as Vitatops, but they are impossible to toast) topped with a bit of almond butter, a date stuffed with crunchy AB and blueberries on the side.

Q: What was the best thing you ate on Wednesday???????