WIAW: Award Season

Can you believe it’s already the second WIAW party of the year? Um, nope, neither can I! If the year’s already going by this fast, that’s a good sign. The first few months of the year always tend to drag on, which isn’t fun. I already can’t wait for summer break, which is pretty pathetic ūüėõ

Peas and Crayons

Anyways, the very sweet and beautiful Kat just tagged me in the Lactose Free Lizzie Food Award. It is award season, after all, with the Golden Globes and SAG Awards and the Oscars all coming up within the next month or so!

‚ÄúThe blogger that is tagged must host an award thing-ama-gig about FOOD. Yes, food (it‚Äôs the food awards). Anything related to it. A food blogger, a company, a favorite meal, or even whatever you like to sprinkle on your popcorn. After you are finished you tag 3 other bloggers to host a Food¬† Award ceremony (aka a post). But remember, you may only focus on the positive aspects of what you are awarding. No negativity is tolerated, especially if it will hurt someone‚Äôs feelings). Also, you are ALL winners in my book, even if you are not mentioned¬†¬† xoxo Lizzie‚ÄĚ

Nominees for Best Greek Yogurt Flavor

  • Oikos superfruits
  • Siggis orange & ginger
  • Fage mango guanabana

Winner–Oikos! I’ll admit that I’m a diehard Oikos fan (the original Stonyfield organic kind, not the new Dannon variety), so all of their flavors are winners in my book, but the superfruits takes the cake!

Breakfast: turtle sundae voluminous overnight oats (topped with banana soft serve, small Medjool date, chopped pecans), unpictured spicy veggie sausage

Nominees for Best Veggie Burger

  • Sunshine falafel burger
  • Gardein ultimate beefless burger
  • Amy’s low sodium California burger

Winner–Gardein! I actually love all these veggie burgers, but the Gardein has the most protein, 17 grams in one burger. Not too shabby!

Lunch: random snack plate of steamed edamame (with mustard for dipping), the thickest peanut flour paste I've ever made, fresh pineapple

Nominees for Best Nut Butter

  • MaraNatha natural honey almond butter
  • Whole Foods bulk crunchy almond butter
  • Archer Farms almond peanut cashew butter

Winner–Archer Farms almond peanut cashew butter! Obviously, almond butter is my hands-down favorite nut butter, but this one has the creamiest texture and a great mixed nuts taste.

Afternoon snack: peanut flour paste, fresh pineapple, frozen black grapes, teaspoon of homemade cookie butter

Nominees for Best Use of Sweet Potatoes

  • Alexia sweet potato tater tots
  • topped with nut butter and cinnamon
  • the base of a baked good

Winner–Alexia sweet potato tots! I love these crunchy little nuggets of sweet potato goodness. They’re much healthier than typical tater tots, because they’re baked not fried and cooked in just a little olive oil. Definitely my favorite way to enjoy my favorite veggie!

Dinner: homemade vegetarian spicy chili, iced unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze (first time trying this brand of AM and I'm hooked!)

Nominees for Most Versatile Product

  • Medjool dates
  • Oats
  • Peanut flour

Winner–peanut flour! All three of these are staples in my daily eats, but I can’t deny the amazing-ness of peanut flour. It’s a great sub for flour, is delicious as a protein powder, works well in microwave mug cakes and (my personal favorite) is beyond yummy mixed into a paste with water! It’s like a higher protein version of nut butter!

Dessert: Raw carrot cake bite with peanut flour 'frosting'

I’m passing the award onto… Aja @ Writing and Recovering, Chloe¬†@ LightOnMyFeet¬†and Lena¬†@ Fit on the Rocks!

What’s your nominee for most versatile product? What is one food you’ve been obsessed with lately?

Too Much Fruit?

Can I just tell you how excited I am for Thanksgiving break? I know, I know, I’ve pretty much mentioned it in at least my last¬†5 posts probably, but it’s really exciting. 9 days away from school–woooo! Now, I do love having a room all to myself, but as I’m one of the only sophomores in my hall, let’s just say that I’m getting really sick of all the immature freshman being loud at the worst possible hours. Like last week, they all decided to chat out in the hall right by my room…at 3 AM! Okay, I know I’m a granny when it comes to bedtime, but staying up til 3 is ridiculous, especially on a school night. Can’t wait for them to grow up and stop screaming and giggling constantly. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the relative peace and quiet of home, seeing my family for¬†over a week,¬†as well as unlimited access to the kitchen. That is for sure the best part!

Anyways, today I have sort of a rant for you guys, so if you’d rather not read, I understand. But honestly, it’s not really that negative, just something that’s really bothered me lately. And it’s about fruit, my favorite food group.

I love fruit on its own...

Who doesn’t love fruit? I’ve loved it my entire life–I was never one of those kids who had no idea what a fresh apple looked like or whatever. We always had fruit around my house, and I’d probably have it at least once or twice a day. Today, I’m such a fruit freak it’s not even funny. I probably have it¬†4 times a day, at almost every meal or snack. Seriously, I love it that much! I always have to have grapes, bananas, apples, various dried fruits and sometimes even frozen fruit in my dorm because I can’t go a day without it. And you know what, I always thought it was really healthy. I mean, we’re supposed to get like¬†3¬†to 5 servings each of fruits and veggies a day, and while I’m sometimes slacking on the veggies, I never neglect my beloved fruit. But now with all this talk about diabetes and obesity, a lot of people are encouraging cutting down on fruit.

...in salsas and gazpachos...

Say what? Fruit is nature’s candy–it’s naturally¬†sweet, with plenty of vitamins and antioxidants and fiber. Most are low in calories and fat, so how can it be that bad? Well, apparently, all the sugar in them. I just recently started using this¬†MyFitnessPal¬†app to track my food (just as an experiment to see how much I’m really eating/burning, NOT to restrict) and I’ve been shocked at how high my sugar intake has been.It’s usually around 60 grams, and they recommend only 25 in a day. I freaked out, but then decided to really look at the numbers. I realized that most of it was coming from fruit. I usually have an apple per day–there goes 10 grams of sugar! Half a banana has basically the same amount, and dried fruit has a TON. But really, it’s not like I’m overdosing on the fruit or anything. I loved dried fruit, but I usually even eat less than the serving size. Having a serving of fruit 4 times a day isn’t really that bad, is it? Well according to this app, I’m probably going to become a diabetic soon.

...as my topping of choice for frozen yogurt...

Honestly, I think it’s completely ridiculous. They should have a disclaimer or something saying that the 25 grams is added sugars only, not the natural ones found in fruit and some veggies. Otherwise, some people might start cutting fruit out of their diets, which isn’t good. Fruit is so healthy for you, in moderation, and some people still don’t even eat the recommended amount. With all this hype about sugar being so bad for you, everyone’s going to start shunning fruit!

...and in overnight oats!

When I subtract the sugars I’m getting from the fruit I eat, I actually end up around their recommended 25 grams. And I love my fruit, so I’m not going to give it up. I don’t care what all these ‘so-called’ experts say–if I want to enjoy an apple with my lunch, or some berries with breakfast, I will! Recovering from an ED, I have enough fear foods as it is without adding fruits to my list. That’s just ridiculous. #rantover

Cat Nap Time

Okay, this is random, but isn't this like the cutest thing ever? I found this website called cutestpaw.com and it has the most adorable animals on it!

Do you love fruit? What do you think about all this hype about too much sugar and fruit?

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėõ

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 ūüėÄ 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 ūüėČ

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: The Bucket List

Let’s start with a shout-out to all my new (and old!) readers and commenters! You ladies rock my world¬†ūüôā

A lot of my WIAW¬†posts include a survey, or random facts about me. Here’s another one: I can’t do a WIAW straight-up. Okay, I can, I just don’t want to. It’s more fun this way, right? Right ūüėÄ

Peas and Crayons

This week, I decided to share my “bucket list in progress” with you all. A lot of these I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but they slipped my mind and I just thought of them again, and decided to create a bucket list. Some of these are more realistic than others (and are more likely to happen in the nearish future) but I think it’s just a fun way to share my dream goals!

Attend a New York Fashion Week. If you know how obsessed I am with fashion, ’nuff said. Plus I’ve never been to NY, which is just pathetic.

You can never have too many versions of PB&J Remix oats. This one included organic grape jelly (my new love!), fresh red grapes and PB Puffins. So. Good.

Adopt a child from a third-world country. I would love to someday adopt a little girl from Asia or Eastern Europe. I know the process must be ridiculous, but I’d really love to do it…when I’m married, of course!

Own a greyhound. Gosh, these are my favorite doggies ever and I’ve wanted one for a few years. As soon as I move into a pet-friendly apartment, I’m getting one! Plus¬†it might motivate me to start running more often¬†ūüėõ

Lunch on-the-go = story of my life this year. Today's was my first Cripps Pink apple of the season (second fave kind after Pink Lady) and a Clif Mojo Mountain Mix bar. I'm dying to find the White Chocolate Macadamia Mojo bar though...

Visit every U.S. state. This one, I’m not sure how specific I’ll be with it. I’ve driven through a lot of states, but I’m not sure if it counts as visiting it. I think it does, considering how many hours I spent in the car, and¬†it’s not like I just flew over in a plane.¬†So far I’ve been to Colorado (duh, I live here), California (3 times I think), Arizona (first two years of my life, and then again for spring break last year), New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin (several times since my grandparents live there), Florida and Illinois. So that’s 10 down, 40 to go…

Eat at a vegan restaurant. This one is def realistic and I hope it happens very soon! I’m jealous of all the bloggers who regularly dine at these kinds of places because the food looks so darn good.

I'm rediscovering my love for cereal, and it's loving me back, clearly. Kashi Honey Sunshine and PB Puffins (can I go a day without these? I think not.) topped with freeze-dried cinnamon apples. Bring on the fall.

Have a beach wedding. I could go shoe-less ūüėČ Oh, and preferably a beach in Cali or Hawaii.

Meet a U.S. president. How cool would this be, especially if they were an awesome prez?

A cozy, almost-fall outfit of the day: burgundy cardi (Hollister), grey lace tee (Hollister), owl pendant (American Eagle), burgundy floral skirt (Hollister), sparkly blue tights (American Eagle). I'm a bit obsessed with the tights and sweater combo, can ya tell? ūüėČ

Go to a Lady Gaga concert and meet her. I think I’d die right on the spot if this happened ūüėČ

Appear in a movie. Of course, I’d love to star in a movie, but getting any kind of part where my name would be in the credits would be le-git.

Dinner and the Denver Post food section? Yes please! Mini EVOL veggie fajita burrito (vegan!), leftover salad greens with guacamole, red grapes. I love salads, but this one was unfortunately lame since it's been in the fridge since Sunday. I hate when salad greens get slimy.

Go snorkeling. I’m scared to go scuba diving, but snorkeling just seems so relaxing and fun.

Be in a flash mob. Come on, I’m not the only one who wants to, right?

Me + dried fruit = BFFs. Raisins and freeze-dried cinnamon apples. Love in a (tiny) bowl.

What’s one thing on your bucket list (if you have one)? What’s your favorite apple variety (mine is Pink Lady!)?

WIAW: Colorado Myths & Carrot Cake Hummus

Do you ever hear people talking about the place where you live (city, state, country, whatever) and they’ve got it totally wrong? And you just want to tell them “No, that’s not what it’s like at all!”¬†or “It’s so much better than you say it is!” or whatever? If you ever live somewhere long enough, you’ll probably get to know it pretty well–and you might even know all the myths and misconceptions about it.
 
I’m a proud¬†[semi-native] Coloradan and since I’ve been living here since I was¬†a little toddler, I know a lot about the state but I’ve also heard a lot of things about it that aren’t necessarily true. So without further ado, I give¬†you Colorado Myths and Facts. Oh, and WIAW, of course! I couldn’t forget that ūüėȬ†
Peas and Crayons
 

I finally caved and tried banana soft serve. Verdict: um, I really made this? It tastes like banana froyo! Dark chocolate protein overnighters topped with soft serve and melted almond butter. Perfection in a bowl.

 Myth #1: Everyone in Colorado is either a cowboy or a hippie.

Ummmmmm, yeah, so not true! Personally, I don’t know anyone remotely like a cowboy, but I guess it’s because of all those Old West stories and stuff. There are definitely some hippies here (namely in Boulder) but I don’t have anything against hippies. In fact, I probably am kinda one, considering I love yoga and Whole Foods. Oh yeah, and I’m vegetarian/vegan. But really, most Coloradans are normal people, with lots of different interests. I’m sure there are some cowboys out there, too.

I was indecisive at lunch (when am I not?) so I went for a hodgepodge of flavors and textures. Strawberries, blueberries, iced tea. Sweet potato, half topped with Greek yogurt/spicy guac dip, half topped with agave/almond butter dip. Carrot cake hummus (new, amazing creation of mine) topped with cinnamon bunny grahams. Sweet, spicy, warm, cold, crunchy and soft.

 Myth #2: Colorado is bipolar.

Sadly, this is very true. I mean bipolar in the sense of the weather. It can go from sunny to cloudy in seconds (let’s not forget liquid sunshine–that’s when it rains when the sun is shining), it can thunder during a snowstorm…yeah, crazy stuff. It keeps us on our toes, for sure. There are a few things you can count on though: 300+ days of sunshine, winter temperatures rarely go below 30* F and summer temperatures rarely go above 95* F, it’s usually pretty dry and snow doesn’t stick around for many days. Apparently in other places, when it snows, that snow doesn’t melt for weeks!

Another random assortment at snacktime. Peach mango Greek yogurt topped with Kashi Strawberry Fields and PB Puffins. Date, raisins, freeze-dried strawbs. Fresh pineapple.

¬†Myth # 3: Everyone loves the “great outdoors”.

True for me, but not for everyone. For the most part, we love being outside and being active, in all seasons. For me personally, I love for being outside in summer, early fall and late spring. Once it gets cold, no thanks. I’d like to stay warm, if at all possible.

Outfit of the day: brown/orange striped scarf, orange babydoll tank (Hollister), brown woven leather belt (A&F), khaki shorts (Hollister)

Myth # 4: Everyone is a profesh skier.

Hahaha, if this were true, then why have I never been in the Olympics? True story, I have never been on skis in my life. I know I’m really unusual for a semi-native, but my whole family has never been into skiing/snowboarding. I honestly prefer going to all the famous ski resorts in the summer. It’s a lot cheaper, and I’ve never been a big fan of winter.

This was dinner a few nights ago. Roasted veggie vegan pizza, Greek yo/guac dipping sauce, watermelon, raisin-topped salad and carrot cake smoothie. I think I've started to OD on carrot cake.

Myth # 5: Colorado is reaaaaaaally high.

Okay, so I’m gonna ignore any drug-related references in that ( “Rocky Mountain High”¬†anyone?) but elevation-wise, yes, we are high. Apparently, we have 75% of U.S. land over 10,000 feet in our lil’ state! The only problem with living at such a high altitude (my house is at about 8000 feet above sea level, and no, I don’t live in the mountains) is that with baking and cooking, everything has to be adjusted accordingly. So it can be a pain to find a high-altitude friendly baking recipe.

Whole Foods duplex cookies, ring of frozen mango and pineapple chunks. I freaking love these cookies, they're like a yummier and healthier version of Oreos.

I know you’ve all been drooling over that carrot cake hummus (no? It’s just me then?) so I’ll give you the recipe right now!

Carrot Cake Hummus (makes 3 big or 6 small servings)

1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla soy milk)

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Soytein)

2 handfuls shredded carrots

handful raisins

generous sprinkling cinnamon

sweetener, to taste (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients together in a food processor until mostly combined. Add 1/4 cup water if needed to make smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed well.

Enjoy with cinnamon bunny grahams, as a toast or waffle topper or with carrots. It tastes slightly beany, but I kinda like that flavor.

 

What is one myth or misconception about the place you live? What is the weirdest hummus flavor you’ve ever tried?I’m really getting into dessert-y hummuses. What can I say, I have a major sweet tooth!