WIAW: Photo Dump

Wow, it’s been sooooo long since I’ve done a WIAW! I’ve really missed it, but I had to do what was right for me and for a while, I was trying to get away from focusing on food so much. Now that I’ve found a way of eating that’s working for me, I want to start participating in the best party of the week more often.

Basically, I have a LOT of food/random photos to share so let’s get to it!

One of the newest Larabar flavors.

One of the newest Larabar flavors.

I can’t remember where I first saw the latest additions to the Larabar family, but I knew I had to find them. Luckily, Natural Grocers seems to always have bar flavors other stores don’t have, so when I spotted a few of their new Uber varieties, I had to snag one. I got baklava since it sounded the tastiest, and it was pretty good, with the signature spices of baklava. I still like the bananas foster Uber the best out of that line!

Pumpkin chocolate chip buckwheat+almond flour protein pancakes. Topped with coconut butter, homemade apple chia jam, side of local honey.

Pumpkin chocolate chip buckwheat+almond flour protein pancakes. Topped with coconut butter, homemade apple chia jam, side of local honey.

Breakfast for dinner! These pancakes incorporated a few new products, namely stevia-sweetened chocolate chips (um, yes PLEASE!) and sacha inchi powder. The powder has great stats (40 calories and 6 grams protein per tablespoon) but I don’t love the flavor on its own. It worked great in these pancakes with the flavors of pumpkin and buckwheat!

Beautiful pink flowers at the trial gardens on campus.

Beautiful pink flowers at the trial gardens on campus.

Pretty yellow-ish orange flowers.

Pretty yellow-ish orange flowers.

My family visited me a couple of weekends ago and we took a little walk around the trial gardens on a nice, sunny day. Flowers always make me happy and it was great to see them one last time–probably the last time I’ll see them before I graduate!

Lots o' produce!

Lots o’ produce!

I made my weekly grocery trip on Sunday. Unfortunately for my wallet, it was one of those stock-up trips…meaning I spent a lot more than I wanted to. But I got a lot of things I needed, like produce to refill my fridge, coconut oil and protein powder that will both last awhile and some other pantry staples.

Random buys and pantry staples.

Random buys and pantry staples.

That chocolate bar in the front is perfect for true chocolate lovers–it’s literally just made of cacao beans! It’s a bit too bitter for me so I drizzle a little local honey on it and it’s perfection.

In the Forever 21 dressing room.

In the Forever 21 dressing room.

Trying on dress number 2.

Trying on dress number 2.

Aaaand dress 3, the one I bought. It has little colorful triangles all over!

Aaaand dress 3, the one I bought. It has little colorful triangles all over!

My mom and I did a little shopping while I was home this past weekend. I’ve been looking for a professional-looking dress I can wear to school, for doing the weather for the campus TV station and hopefully to wear at my first big girl job. It’s a lot harder than it seems! I can’t buy anything blue or green (because of the green/blue screen I have to stand in front of), I can’t get dresses that are sleeveless unless I want to wear a blazer over them and of course, they have to fit and look right. I can’t even tell you how many stores we went to and left empty-handed. Finally, we went to Forever 21 and hit the jackpot. I only got one of these dresses (the last one pictured) but I actually loved them all. The top one was a bit too big in the chest area (#ACupProblems) and my mom didn’t like the cutouts on the second one but the third one we both agreed was cute and professional. I can’t wait to wear it on TV this week! Oh, and I’m for sure putting the other two dresses on my Christmas wishlist 😉

I love seasonal food items!

I love seasonal food items!

If I had a vice, it would be seasonal food products. Seriously. I have a big problem. I immediately want to buy them, even if I don’t really need them. Luckily, this week I did need to stock up on protein powder (and this one was on a 3 day sale at Whole Foods, score!) and I wanted to buy some sprouted tortilla chips to make nachos. I want to do some kind of review post soon on the products I’ve tried recently but for now, I have to say I love and recommend both of these. The Amazing Meal has the perfect mix of chocolate and peppermint, and I love the vitamins and minerals in all their products. And the chips are a little sweet and a little salty and great for dipping.

Return of the Whole Foods salad bar box.

Return of the Whole Foods salad bar box.

The last thing my wallet needs right now is the Whole Foods salad bar, but I haven’t had it in at least 2 months, so I was desperate for my favorite takeout. I got some usuals and tried a few of their Indian dishes. It was SO much food, but it was worth the price for sure. At least it’s a rare indulgence, amiright?

Local matcha 'frappuccino' from Nourish Organic Juice.

Local matcha ‘frappuccino’ from Nourish Organic Juice.

Noochy kale salad, cashew ranch dressing and grain free PB chocolate chip blondie from Nourish.

Noochy kale salad, cashew ranch dressing and grain free PB chocolate chip blondie from Nourish.

While I was at home, my dad and I saw some short films at a film festival downtown. The movies were fun, but the best part was trying out a newish vegan place nearby for lunch. My dad is definitely NOT a vegan but he’s so accepting of my lifestyle (as is my mom) and he’s always willing to try vegan restaurants and food, plus he’s really into eating foods without artificial ingredients, so that’s a plus. The restaurant we went to is mostly a smoothie and cold-pressed juice place but they had some tasty food options as well. My salad was small but really delicious, especially with their homemade dressing. The frappuccino was perfect–a lot less sweet than frapps from Starbucks, and made with matcha tea, almond milk and a bit of agave. And the PB blondie was incredible–I had it for dessert that night and it was even better warmed in the microwave. I love that they are completely gluten free and vegan (with a lot of grain free options) and that they make all their stuff in-store or buy it locally. Definitely my kind of place!

What have you been eating and doing lately? 

Advertisements

WIAW: On Repeat

I’ve been eating a lot of the same things lately. That’s not to say I haven’t been trying new things/recipes, but I’ve been really feeling a few favorites this week, and I’ve been repeating them…a lot.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Breakfasts have been of the banana softserve variety for…ummmm…2 to 3 weeks now? Yep, this is one of the longer breakfast ruts, and I’m hoping it’ll last awhile. I love having something cold and fruity in the morning, and this fits the bill. Toppings are necessary, at least in my world, and generally homemade protein balls+homemade coconut butter lately.

Snackplates for snacks...and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates for snacks…and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates have just been super easy to throw together, and I’m loving them for lunch now too. Luckily, my snack plates have evolved from a lot of crackers and chips (I thought they were healthy because they were organic/vegan, but not so!) to mostly fresh fruits and veggies with a few ‘fun’ things that still have plenty of nutritional value. Take the flax crackers–packed with omega 3s, raw and made with lots of veggies. And the PB&J bites were a random thing I threw together in the food processor and basically made from dates, raisins and peanut flour. So good…too bad I ran out of peanut flour!

My mom's hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

My mom’s hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

As much as I loved our old house, I like our new yard because we’ve planted so many flowers, veggies and herbs. I love this hibiscus especially because it’s so tropical and smells amazing. And I’m excited because my Japanese eggplant is flowering, and my hot pepper plants are growing baby peppers!

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes...stupid allergies.

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes…stupid allergies.

I’m starting to feel okay with my body, at least some days. Yesterday was a bit hard, because I chose to wear a bodycon-style dress. I love it, and think it looks cute, but I always feel so self-conscious about how my stomach looks in it, especially after meals. I’ve gotta remind myself that everyone’s stomach expands after eating (duh!) and no one else notices or cares but me. Same with my arms. For some reason, they tend to be my most hated body part, and some days I think they look toned and lean, while others they look huge to me. Working through these feelings and telling myself they’re just temporary helps me avoid getting stuck in a bad body image rut.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I'm obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I’m obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack time snack plates are about the same as lunchtime ones, only with different veggies and fruit. I’ve been trying to get in veggies at lunch, snack and dinner and have been going strong with that for a couple of weeks. Gotta love fueling up with produce!

Raw vegan goat 'cheese'.

Raw vegan goat ‘cheese’.

I love making raw vegan cheeses. I was never a huge fan of cheese pre-veganism, but now I love homemade vegan cheeses.

Raw Goat Cheez (vegan, gluten free, raw, grain free)

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1 hour (I recommend longer)

1-4 tbsp water (less for thicker cheez)

1/2 tsp olive oil (optional, adds Mediterranean flavor)

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, blend soaked and drained cashews until they begin to resemble cashew butter. Add in remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon into cheesecloth or coffee filter (this helps thicken and strain the cheez) and place in a small bowl in the fridge. Serve with flax crackers, veggies or on salads. Makes 1/4 cup.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

I’ve been getting my daily dose of greens with dinner, in the form of salads. My greens of choice have been baby spinach and chopped romaine lettuce. I’ve been loving chickpeas on salads, guac and nooch (for taco salads), strawberries and balsamic, my raw goat cheez. Anything goes on my salads…well, almost.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

I’ve either been doing Sunwarrior protein mixed with coconut water as a base for fruit+coconut butter, or mini snack plates with berries, raw cacao powder+coconut oil+a little raw local honey mixed to make a raw chocolate dip, dates and homemade protein bites. Half a Larabar with some fruit has been happening too. I haven’t been 100% raw every day, but I’m trying to stay high raw at every meal, while incorporating some non-raw sources of protein like beans. So far, it’s working for me and I like not having to be so strict with my macros. I feel like I’m eating healthier than ever, and as a result, my mindset around food and my body has been healthier as well.

 

What foods/meals have you been repeating lately?

Almost Wordless Vacation Recap

So I haven’t been on the computer in a week, and it honestly felt so freeing to just forgo technology (well, besides my phone and iPod) and just enjoy a few days of fun with my family. I also had an extra day away because I had to go up to my college town for some job training for my weather anchor position at the school’s TV station. I’m actually starting to get pumped up for school to start in just a week–well, maybe not school but having my own apartment and being on TV.

Anyways, here’s my mostly wordless vacation recap of my trip to Estes Park, CO with some words at the end about my intuitive eating/exercise experiment!

The cheese-free individual-size hummus pizza at Poppy’s…I devoured it all!

The view of Fall River from the condo.

Tanning by the pool.

Noodles in the deep end of the pool.

A mini Stanley Steamer model (steam-powered car) in the EP Museum.

Spicy sweet and sour tofu & veggies at Thai Kitchen…super spicy, but so good!

Sissy time!

The view from our hike around Lily Lake.

Tall iced soy skinny mocha enjoyed by the Big Thompson River.

Some awesomely bright flowers!

First time trying the Coconut Bliss brand of coconut milk ice cream–verdict = so good, even for the insanely high price ($6/pint). I had some chocolate hazelnut ‘ice cream’ topped with fresh raspberries.

The coolest owl cookie jar!

This really cool, super-vintage looking church just outside EP. It was even cooler inside!

The Big Thompson river.

First time trying vegan sushi! I had the sweet potato rolls filled with Japanese sweet potato, avocado and cucumber. And I loved the pickled ginger on the side.

Me and my sister down by the river.

I think I honestly kicked some serious ass on my self-imposed intuitive eating and exercise challenge. I didn’t record any of my meals or exercise in the calorie counting app I have since last Tuesday and I didn’t freak out (too much) about my macro balance. I feel like I ate more than I usually do, which I know is still probably not enough, but it was definitely a start. I feel like my meals out were pretty balanced–the first night, I had a small vegan pizza covered in veggies; the second night I had a Sunshine veggie burger (without the bun) topped with fresh guacamole; the third night I had sweet and sour tofu and veggies with a little brown rice on the side; and the last night I had a strawberry, spinach and walnut salad with balsamic and some vegan sushi. I honestly loved all the dinners that I had and didn’t have too much of a problem finding something healthy and vegan at the restaurants we went to. I challenged myself to try the Coconut Bliss brand of coconut milk ice cream despite it being higher in calories and saturated fat than my tried-and-true brand. I skipped my usual cardio circuits but was not a couch potato–I played tennis with my dad for an hour one day, walked around town a lot, went on a hike and did some swimming in the condo’s pool. I felt a little more comfortable in my skin than I usually do at home, despite wearing just a swimsuit a lot of the time. I tried a lot of new-to-me things, had some old favorites (veggie straws, baby carrots and PB Puffins, say what?!) and didn’t try to think too much about the food. Overall, the 5 days I spent intuitively eating were some of the best days I’ve had in awhile, and I want to try to keep eating the same way. Now that I’m home, I have more access to veggies, protein, etc. but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep eating more adequately and enjoying my food. And while I’m excited to go back to my regular exercise, I realize that a few days with less intense workouts won’t kill me. So I’m going to try to live every day like I did on my vacation–without the pool time, of course 😉

Do you eat intuitively or plan out your meals? Have you ever had vegan or vegetarian sushi?

I’m Outta Here! (at least for a few days)

Thanks for all the loving on my WIAW post! I loved catching up on all your WIAWs, too.

Recently, I’ve been seeing the Amazing Blogger Award on many of my favorite blogs, so I was thrilled to be awarded with it today by the very lovely Carrie of Moves ‘N Munchies! If you’ve never checked out her blog before, doooooooo it. Now. She always has yummy eats and I love her style.

I love surveys/quizzes so this should be mucho fun! (If you want to play along on your own blog, all you have to do is answer the questions and then add your own to the end. Ready…GO!!!!!!)

Favorite Cartoon Character: I used to be OB-SESSED with the show “Arthur” (anyone else????) It was actually really funny for a kids show, so funny that I still watch it today 😀 I loved Muffy, even though she’s a snob, because she’s a fashionista like me!

 

Favorite Thing to Photograph: Does it sound stuck-up if I say myself? Trust me, I’m not one of those girls who is completely self-centered, but I like to take pics of myself with goofy faces because it’s fun. Surprisingly, I don’t like it when other people take pictures of me. I look back at them later and I usually hate how I look in them. When I take pictures of myself, I can delete the ones I like and only end up with the best ones.

I'm obsessed with Instagram, and I really love this photo 🙂

 Favorite Thing to Cook: I actually have gotten into the whole raw food making/no cooking thing and I really love it. Like my obsession with overnight oats. And my recent raw desserts (including some dark chocolate pudding that I just made. It tastes a little too avocado-y for me, though, so I may have to tweak the recipe). But if I have to actually answer the question, I’d say homemade waffles or quinoa bowls. I’m planning on making a Chipotle burrito bowl-inspired one tonight, so we’ll see how that turns out.

Banana Split Overnight Oats

A quinoa bowl without the bowl: quinoa (duh!), leftover shredded sweet potato, crumbled tempeh bacon and fresh edamame guacamole

 Favorite Way to Exercise: This is sooooo hard! I love yoga (I have gotten so much stronger from it, and its calming), biking (it really works your legs and makes me feel like a champ when I make it up a huge hill!) and tennis (fun to play it with my dad and sister). I try to be active everyday, but I NEVER go to the gym. I want my workouts to be fun!!!!!

I also like to hike! One of my favorite hiking spots: Rocky Mountain National Park

Favorite Movie: Hands-down, no question…The Devil Wears Prada! If you know about my love of fashion, then this movie pick seems obvious. But I also love it because a) It has Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep and b) It’s engaging and funny.

Love this movie!

Favorite Clothing: Ughhhhhh, this is really hard since I love me some clothes, but I’d have to say summer dresses! I’ve also recently gotten into shorts (I prefer twill/culotte styles) and rompers. I wish I lived in a warm climate year round so I could wear these things all the time.

My new Hollister romper that I love to death!

 Favorite Flower: I love big daisies, or roses in any color other than red. My mom loves flowers, and she was growing some on our deck, but a lot of them died (sadly) because of our abundance of hail and lack of moisture. We are in a severe drought here, and the July 4th fireworks show is cancelled 😦 Luckily, we won’t be around, so we’re not missing much.

Favorite Breakfast:I used to be a hardcore cereal girl, but that was before I discovered the bliss that is overnight oats! Now I mix it up, with my beloved OOs, cereal (I’m picky, but I love Cascadian Farms kids cereals and some Whole Foods brand varieties), Greek yogurt (partial to Oikos) and occasionally Vitatops. I always gotta have my Morningstar spicy veggie sausages, though!

A typical breakfast: banana nut Vitatop, spicy veggie sausage, fresh mango, homemade waffle half

 Early Riser or Night Owl: Definitely the second one! I absolutely hate waking up early, even though I had to wake up at 5:15 all through high school. My first year of college spoiled me–I got to wake up at 9 every morning 😉 I’m gonna have to get used to getting up earlier next year because I have a 9 am class…yikes! I usually stay up til 11 or 12, so I’m not a super night owl.

If You Could Go Anywhere in the World Right Now, Where Would it Be?: Either Greece or somewhere in the Caribbean. I’m a sucker for pretty water and beaches 😛

Doesn't this look absolutely gorgeous?

(now for my own question addition)

Favorite Musical Artist: Don’t you know this by now? LADY GAGA! No question!

 

Well, everyone, I’m leaving for a few days on a little family vacay! It’s to one of our favorite in-state destinations, and I’m excited for a few days of hiking, swimming, soaking up the sun, shopping and some eating out. I’ll let you all know how it went when I get back, promise!

Answer one of the above survey questions, any that you’d like to!