How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

The title totally sounds like a middle school English class essay you had to write after coming back from Thanksgiving break, doesn’t it? Haha guess I just love reliving my younger years ūüėČ

My break isn’t quite over which I am very thankful for–the last three weeks in the semester are always the hardest because you just got a taste of freedom but then you have to go back and get ready for finals and write papers. Not fun. But this is how I’ve been spending the past few days, with a mix of the successes and struggles I’ve had along the way.

Struggles

Still dealing with ‘disordered’ thoughts.¬†

Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for a recovering anorexic. And as a vegan, I’m not that thrilled by the usual selection of holiday foods. So I did struggle a bit on Thanksgiving Day. For one, I didn’t have breakfast. Yep, I wasn’t exactly planning on it (I¬†love¬†breakfast and never miss it!) but I wanted to have a pumpkin waffle with plenty of real maple syrup but my mom ended up using my waffle maker to make waffles for the rest of my family, and I freaked out about the ingredients she used in the waffles and decided not to make a waffle. But I didn’t end up making breakfast at all because I just got stuck in my disordered eating thought patterns and was getting anxious about Thanksgiving. I also didn’t eat lunch, because our family just does a lot of snacks in the afternoon. So I did enjoy some snackage (homemade guac I made myself, rice cake with pumpkin butter/chocolate chips, raw carrots and cauliflower, amazing spicy salsa). I also had a few adult beverages but we’ll save that for the successes part! I think I did an okay job eating once the big meal went around and I even tried some of the vegan stuffing my mom made. But I definitely struggled with feeling okay with being a little full. The feeling of fullness still scares me to death so that was hard to deal with. I also had some issues with exercising. I told myself I’d take a day or two off from working out this week but that hasn’t happened. It’s still too scary for me to take full-blown rest days.

The cute plate I had my snacks on.

Never being able to make a really delicious dessert from scratch.

Lately, I haven’t been able to make a dessert from a recipe that I actually like enough to eat. For some reason, I like it when I’m tasting it in the cooking process but then once it’s made, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. And then it goes in the trash. I can’t keep wasting food, but I can’t figure out why I can’t make an amazing dessert. I guess I should just stick with my simple, throw-it-together desserts like coconut milk ice cream or ‘banana bread’ protein bowls. Those are always satisfying.

A delicious lunch at my favorite restaurant. Falafel, tabbouleh, fresh red cabbage, lettuce and hummus.

Body image issues.

This kinda goes along with the first one, but lately I’ve been really having a hard time accepting what I see in the mirror. I always go through phases where I either like what I see or I’m totally disgusted by it, and right now I’m dealing with the latter. Anyone who’s ever dealt with this knows how much this sucks, but I’m hoping I start moving out of this phase soon.

Going back to classes after break.

Not gonna lie, I’m already burned out by school. The hardest time for me is always the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, especially this year when I’m buried with a million assignments. I’m simultaneously freaking out and feeling passive about finishing up the semester.

These almost look like stars, don’t they?

Successes

Enjoying alcohol without worrying about the calories. 

I’m not quite 21 yet (just 8 months to go!) and I’ve never been one of those people who partied hard in college but lately I’ve been more interested in drinking, at least on special occasions. On Thanksgiving, I tried some cake vodka mixed with a little vanilla almond milk (to die for!) and I also had some green apple liqueur at dinner and I enjoyed them both. I did NOT get drunk or anything but it was nice to be able to sip my drinks and not freak out about drinking OMGsomanycalories.

This was soooooo good!

Getting a lot of assignments done.

I was kind of dreading Thanksgiving break, because I had a lot of schoolwork to do during it. But I’ve been splitting it into manageable chunks and working on a little each day and I’ve definitely been making progress. ¬†I’m still stressing out about some of them, but I’ve got a few more days to finish them up.

I love fall sunsets.

Mixing in fun with the work.

My break hasn’t been all work and no play though. Yesterday we went up to Denver for the day for some window shopping, a cheap lunch at Garbanzo (they were offering a buy one get one deal all day) and checking out a cool German Christmas festival. We also played tourist with my grandparents and went to Garden of the Gods and Old Colorado City the other day. It’s kinda fun to explore the sites in your own city even if you’ve seen them a hundred times.

The weather was gorgeous and so were the views.

What have you been enjoying over the past few days? Do you like to be a tourist in your own city?

A New Decade (Birthday Weekend Recap)

Hi everyone! Did you all have fab weekends? Mine was the best I’ve had probably all summer, and as promised, I’ve got a recap of my birthday weekend for ya! (Warning: Plenty of photos ahead!)

Who doesn’t want their own birthday banner?

I woke up on Friday to this–my mom taped it up there while I was asleep, how sweet is that?! My morning continued with an unpictured homemade chocolate chip oat flour waffle topped with fresh raspberries and chocolate protein frosting.

I love having a summer birthday because I can always wear a cute dress on my big day!

Most of the morning and afternoon were low-key. My mom and I stopped at the store to pick up a few things she needed and then we headed downtown for a special Olympics event they were holding. We got there around 4, which was when it was supposed to start, but not much was going on when we first got there. There were some cool things set up, like a giant trampoline, BMX ramps, a mini tennis court and a synthetic ice rink but no one was really doing anything. We did end up getting on TV though–one of the guys I know from my TV internship saw us and he interviewed my mom! And I also got some free Starbucks (unsweetened iced coffee) so it was worth it.

Whole Foods cold bar dinner: jicama apple quinoa salad, sweet potato/pepper/currant salad, marinated artichokes, zucchini pickles, chipotle orange tofu, curried potatoes and Korean slaw.

For my birthday dinner, I chose the Whole Foods salad bars! I am obsessed with the one near me, they always have the best stuff and they change it a lot so I can always get something new. My mom got some of the Mexican things they had, I got a random mish-mash of cold salads and my dad got a seafood sandwich (my sister was at her rehearsal for the theatre camp she’s at, so she missed out on the WF fun). Oh, and we of course watched the Olympic opening ceremonies! The best part is watching all the countries come in and making fun of their outfits.

My first birthday cake in a couple years! Totally vegan, and totally yummy!

I’m usually not a huge fan of cake. I’ll eat it if it’s a really interesting flavor, but I definitely prefer giant warm cookies or vegan ice cream for desserts. In fact, the last couple of years for my birthday, I’ve requested gelato instead of cake. But this year, I was super excited to try one of Whole Foods’ vegan cakes. I was planning on getting a slice of raw cheesecake but (full disclosure) the fat and calorie content kinda freaked me out. I loved how simple the ingredients were (cashews, coconut oil, raw chocolate) but I ended up with a slice of their vegan chocolate raspberry cake. And I was not disappointed at all! I split this giant square with my dad, who also loved it. With most cakes, I scrape the frosting off immediately because I’ve never been a fan. But this vegan frosting was so rich and delicious that I couldn’t skip it.

My special birthday nails (that match my laptop!)

Saturday wasn’t too exciting. I had work in the afternoon, but after dinner, my dad and I watched The Descendants. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley were perfect in it and it was a really great movie. Funny in some parts, and super sad in others. Plus it made me realize that I need to move to Hawaii!

Ready for a day of shopping!

Sunday was the day I was really looking forward to. I decided to forgo birthday presents in favor of a parent-funded shopping spree in Denver. I live for shopping, seriously! I just love looking through all the stores I love, laughing at some of the weirder items and finding the perfect outfits. We started out at the Pavilions at the 16th Street Mall and hit up H&M and Forever 21. Both of those stores are HUGE at that location so it can be kinda hard to find something you want to buy, but it’s still super fun. And I bought my first-ever item at H&M!

From top to bottom: navy lace tee (Hollister), pink printed tank dress (Forever 21), colorblock skirt (F21), navy bow leather flip-flops (HCo.)

I love long necklaces: pink heart pendant (Forever 21), jeweled parrot pendant (ALDO Accessories).

We also went to my favorite mall on the south side of Denver. My sister and I ventured off on our own and ended up going to a bunch of stores: Hollister, American Eagle, ALDO Accessories, Bath & Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch. It sucked though because it was a Sunday, and we got to the mall around 4:30…and all the stores started closing at 6. We got to Abercrombie as soon as they were closing, so we had to rush around trying to find something to buy and I left the store empty-handed. We’ve never gone up there on a Sunday, so it was weird being kicked out of the stores so early, but we’ll know better next time.

I feel so French in this dress: light pink/black striped T-shirt dress (H&M).

Cute in stripes: orange/navy striped cropped tee (Hollister).

Apparently I love orange: strapless orange dress (Hollister).

Garbanzo is one of my fave places to go! I ordered a plate with falafel, tabbouleh, cilantro sauce, grilled eggplant, lettuce, red cabbage and hummus.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go to the vegetarian restaurant because it was a little pricey but I’m planning a visit to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my college town sometime soon. We did go to Garbanzo, though, which I could eat at every week. They have a lot of vegan options too which I love and everything there is so fresh and pretty cheap. Their tabbouleh and hummus are my favorite of any Mediterranean place I’ve been to!

So that’s pretty much my entire birthday weekend. I had such a fun time, treated myself a few times and did some major shopping. I couldn’t have asked for a better 20th birthday!

What did you do for your last birthday? What do you like for your birthday dessert?

WIAW: Weekend Food and Fitness Thoughts

Hi girlies! Hope you enjoyed your weekend! As I mentioned in my last post (which I loved all the comments on, BTW!) I went home this weekend, actually for the first time since spring break. And I’m headed back home this weekend, because of Easter. I know it seems like I go home for the weekend a lot but I only live about a 2 hour drive away, so it’s not a huge haul plus having no car means my weekends on campus are super-boring (yet really good for getting homework, papers and studying done). Usually I go home every other weekend, and it’s nice to get a little break from college life, and I love my family to death so it’s a win-win. Anyways, I wanted to recap my weekend for this week’s edition of WIAW. Instead of just sharing all my eats (most of which went undocumented, unfortunately), I also wanted to give you all a little insight into what I was thinking regarding food/fitness this weekend. As I’m sure you can guess, I still struggle a lot with disordered thoughts but I think letting them out is a good way to figure out where they’re coming from and how to refocus them.

Oh, and P.S. today (Tuesday) is my daddy’s birthday! I won’t get to be there to celebrate with him but I’ll just have to have a belated party for him this weekend!


Friday

After writing my hand¬†off¬†finishing an essay exam in my only Friday class, I waited around until my mom and sister got here to pick me up. Usually it’s just my mom, since she doesn’t work on Fridays, but it was their spring break this past week, so my sister was able to come up and get me too. We are really close, so I loved seeing her again.

We had plans to go out to lunch, which I was really excited for. My mom let me pick the place, and being indecisive as usual, I had come up with 3 or 4 possible places. We checked out two of them and finally decided on Ingredient, which is a small chain restaurants with locations in Colorado (where we went, obviously), Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. I had looked up the menu ahead of time and I found plenty of things that were Ashley-friendly, aka vegan (or could be modified to be vegan) and ‘safe’, ED-wise. Yes, looking up menus/nutritional facts ahead of time is a habit I’ve clung to, I pretty much do it every time I’m planning on going out to eat, not just to find the lowest calorie item, but also now because I’m eating primarily vegan, and non-vegan things can be hiding in almost anything! I would like to move away from the calorie researching thing, but it’s still a scary thing for me not to know the calories in something.

Anyways, we settled on Ingredient and we enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather outside as we waited for our food. Like I said, the restaurant had a¬†lot¬†of options for me, but I ended up getting something ‘safe’, aka a build-your-own salad. But to be honest, I didn’t order it just because it was safe, but because I really love getting to make creative salads. I ordered napa/bok choy mix topped with fresh jalapenos, artichoke hearts, fresh strawberries, white beans and fat-free raspberry vinaigrette. Random, I know, but it was what was appealing to me at the moment. And I did love the salad, but I mostly just ate the toppings because the lettuce ended up being hearts of romaine, and it wasn’t very tasty. But…I kinda regretted getting it, because I saw that they had other yummy-sounding options, like a falafel sandwich, a veggie burger with whatever toppings you wanted and make-your-own pizza (which I could have gotten without cheese). But I chose the ‘safe’ option, and while it was good, it wasn’t very satisfying.

Saturday

I woke up bright and early (aka like 8 am) because my dad, sister and I had plans to play tennis! We’ve been playing tennis on and off during the spring and summer ever since my sister and I went to a tennis camp 5 years ago and discovered that we really liked it. Now it’s one of my favorite forms of exercise, because it’s challenging mentally and physically, and I can do it with other people, namely my dad and sister. We kinda play doubles, only my dad is on his own ūüėČ We had breakfast and set out for the tennis courts that are about a 10 minute drive from our house–which is HUGE, because almost nothing is within 10 minutes of our house. We live in the middle of nowhere ūüėõ

My tennis 'outfit': navy hoodie (Hollister), white cami (Aeropostale), new royal blue yoga shorts (Hollister).

The weather was gorgeous, even at 10 in the morning. It was the perfect temperature (around 70 degrees) and the sun was out with almost no wind. We played for almost an hour, but I wasn’t even close to being tired. In fact, I felt like we had only been playing for half an hour! The only issue was, I tripped on my way back from class on Friday (klutz status!) and totally tore up both knees, plus a few layers of skin ripped off one of my big toes. TMI, I know! I was wearing band-aids all over, and of course, my right knee was kinda stiff because the skin was trying to grow back and all that jazz that happens after you fall down. It didn’t really impact my playing, just that I wasn’t able to run to get the ball as much as usual. This made my ED voice act up big time. He was basically just telling me that even though we’d been playing for an hour, it was barely a workout, because I didn’t run as much as I usually would and mostly just walked to get the ball when it went out of the court. Okay, the reason I play tennis is not only to burn calories, but also because I truly love it, but it still made me feel ‘bad’ and ‘fat’ that I hadn’t been able to exert myself as much as usual.

Saturday's lunch: frozen pineapple, mixed greens topped with mini sweet peppers (SO GOOD!), edamame and flax tempeh cubes.

Lunch was…lame. Like I do on most weekends at home, I take advantage of the abundant (or sometimes not-so-abundant) selection of produce and made myself a salad. I was going for an Asian-ish twist, so I whipped up some peanut dressing made with peanut flour and sriracha sauce, and topped the greens with a little edamame, a few mini sweet peppers (a new obsession) and cubed tempeh heated up on the stove. I also had some frozen pineapple on the side. Unfortunately, the dressing turned out to be bland and the edamame was freezer-burned so the entire salad was not too tasty. I ate all the pineapple, peppers and most of the tempeh but had to throw the rest out. Better luck next time? And yes, I know this was nowhere near enough food, especially since I had just played tennis, but I was just not feelin’ it. Of course, later on I was starving–duh, I had barely eaten before! I’m still trying to work out my weird hunger cues–I am rarely hungry after working out, but I definitely feel it later on.

After church with my family (a guy from Jews for Jesus came and told us all about the Seder meal for Passover–it was really cool!) we headed home for some dinner. I was very hungry even after having a decent snack a few hours earlier. My mom was going to grill sausages (chicken for my family, veggie for me) and have some salad and fries (aka sweet potato tots for me) on the side. I was excited…until I saw the sausages she bought for me. They were the Field Roast brand, the Mexican chipotle flavor. Um yeah, these sounded totally delicious…but 250 calories for one sausage? That’s about how many calories I’ve been eating for dinner, never mind we were also having stuff on the side! I freaked out, despite the fact that A) they sounded really good, B) they are pretty healthy and non-processed and C) they have 23 grams of protein per sausage (not too shabby!) But the disordered side of me went straight towards the ‘high’ calorie count (which is honestly not that high). I tried to compensate by skipping a bun (I’m not really a fan of them anyway) and only having a half serving of sweet potato tots. This didn’t stop me from mentally beating myself up after dinner, especially when my dad said, “Wow, you must have liked it!” because I ate the whole sausage. Well, yes, I did like it, but I interpreted his comment to mean “Wow, you’re a pig!” Unfortunately, I let his comment get to me and after dinner, I tried to feel better about how much I had eaten (not that much in reality, but more than I’m used to) by doing some cardio circuits for 15 or 20 minutes. I do this sometimes, try to make up for eating what I see as too many calories (aka the number doesn’t fit into my set plan for the day, despite the fact that it might still be not enough) by working out extra. And on top of this, it wasn’t enjoyable because my knee was still hurting and my ankles were sore. That’s been freaking me out–my ankles have ached whenever I’ve been doing cardio since this weekend and I’m not sure why–and I’m scared I’ll have to take a break from daily workouts, which is a big no-no for me.

Saturday's real outfit: new flutter-sleeved royal blue tee (Hollister), navy twill shorts with white belt (Hollister).

Sunday

Sunday was a LOT better for me, thoughts-wise. I had breakfast with my family (BTW, chocolate and peanut butter Puffins taste amazing in unsweetened almond milk, they sweeten it up and make it taste like cookies and cream!), got ready for the day and played a few tricks on my parents. It was April Fool’s Day, after all! They were a little lame, like prank calling them on their cell phones using blocked numbers (they somehow knew it was me and my sister) but the best one was pouring some vinegar and tonic water into my dad’s flavored sparkling water at lunch. He totally spit it out and it was just hilarious! I was considering putting some toothpaste in place of the cream in the Oreos we had in the pantry, but I didn’t want to be too mean ūüėČ

Sunday's lunch: spicy peanut pasta salad, green grapes, garlicky kale.

Speaking of lunch, it was a winner, especially compared to Saturday’s. I whipped up a quick pasta salad using quinoa pasta (love this stuff), chopped baby carrots, edamame and spicy peanut dressing (basically the same as on Saturday, but I got the proportions right this time so it actually tasted like something). I also had some green grapes on the side, as well as garlicky kale, which I sauteed on the stove with some salt and garlic until it was crispy. It was so good, I am definitely making this as much as I can! The best part of lunch, though, was enjoying it out on the deck with my family reading the Sunday paper. I love getting to eat outside and enjoy a leisurely lunch, which I never get to do at school. Only 4 and a half more weeks til I can eat outside every day!

Before my mom and I had to hit the road, my sister and I went for a quick walk on our street. The weather was perfect and it’s hard to believe it was almost 80 degrees when I was home–it’s been cold, cloudy and windy the past two days, plus it snowed…Colorado is bipolar! ūüė¶ It’s supposed to warm up by tomorrow though.

Back in good old FoCo, my mom and I had dinner at Garbanzo, since they were having a buy one get one deal. It was really crowded and busy because of this, but still enjoyable. It’s one of my favorite fast casual places to eat at, since it’s all Mediterranean cuisine, which is one of my faves, and they also have a lot of veg options. I got my usual plate of hummus, cilantro sauce, fresh red cabbage, tabbouleh (they have the best!), lettuce and I tried the portobello mushroom this time. I would probably skip it next time, since it was really watery, but it wasn’t too bad. I ate it all minus most of the mushrooms and loved it. And surprisingly, I didn’t feel too guilty about it, which I usually do after eating out. However, Garbanzo is a really healthy place and I truly just love it.

Monday's quick lunch: fresh kale massaged with peanut flour sauce, Clif Kids s'mores bar, red grapes.

So yes, I realize this was a¬†monstrous post, but it really feels good to get all my thoughts out there and just be honest with myself and all of you. I really love how Tessa does this with her WIAW posts, because I can always relate, and I think it just adds something rather than just sharing what I ate. I think it’s more important to share the thoughts and feelings behind the food, rather than the food itself.

What did you do this weekend? What’s your favorite way to eat kale?

ABCs and Recipes

Last summer, I was completely obsessed with blog surveys. I did one almost every week, usually on Wednesday (for WIAW) and I loved coming up with answers for the questions. I got a little burned out on them after a while, but now that I’ve seen this new survey pop up all over the place, I decided to jump in on it. I’ve also got a couple more recipes for you too!

A is for Age:¬†19, but I’ll be 20 in 4 months!

B is for Breakfast today: Coffee-flavored overnight oats topped with a little peanut flour paste, with a side of veggie bacon (made crispy in the microwave) and some raisins.

C is for Currently Craving: Starbucks unsweetened iced coffee! I had my first one yesterday and it was totally refreshing for a warm spring day. I sweetened it up with a little Truvia and it was perfection.

Enjoying some Starbucks in the sunshine.

D is for Dinner tonight: Hopefully some Mediterranean food at Garbanzo, aka my favorite fast casual restaurant!

E is for favorite type of Exercise:¬†Either biking or tennis. I hope I can do one of those tomorrow, since it’s supposed to be super warm!

F is for irrational Fear:¬†Someone breaking into my house…and squirrels.

G is for Gross food:¬†Any kind of meat (that’s why I’m veg*n), ketchup and eggs. Ick!

H is for Hometown: Phoenix, AZ. Now I live in CO but I want to move back to AZ someday for the warm weather.

I need to live in Phoenix so I can tan outside all the time.

I is for something Important:¬†I couldn’t live without my family, seriously.

J is for current favorite Jam:¬†Music-wise, I’m loving “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. Food-wise, I really like orange ginger marmalade.

K is for Kids:¬†Obviously not right now, but someday I’d love to have twin girls!

L is for current Location: See photo below!

I love being outside!

M is for the most recent way you spent Money: I bought Starbucks drinks for me and my sister.

N is for something you Need:¬†Ummm, how about a car? I’ve loved being able to drive myself around this week and I’m kinda mad that I won’t be able to do that again until summer.

O is for Occupation:¬†Student and blogger right now, future TV anchor hopefully soon ūüėÄ

Outfit of the day: striped crop top (Hollister), navy twill shorts (Hollister), silver bangles (American Eagle).

P is for Pet Peeve: Chipped nail polish. I love having my nails polished, but I have to repaint them almost every day because they constantly chip!

Q is for Quote: 

R is for Random fact about you:¬†I have a tooth that grew in facing backwards! I had to have braces on my lower teeth for over 3 years because of it but it’s still backwards.

S is for favorite healthy Snack:¬†Kale chips. Here’s my latest recipe for them…

Why are kale chips so addicting?

Curried Kale Chips (vegan, gluten-free)

1 bunch kale, washed and dried

curry powder, garam masala, sea salt, cracked black pepper (to taste)

oil spray (I used Pam)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Tear kale into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Spritz lightly with oil spray and sprinkle on spices (add as much or as little as you’d like). Place kale on foil-lined baking trays and put in oven for 20-30 minutes, until crisp.¬†

T is for favorite Treat:¬†Gelato, or almond milk ‘ice cream’. As far as desserts go, cold ones are definitely my favorite, I’m not as huge of a fan of baked goods, but I also love raw desserts.

U is for something that makes you Unique:¬†My eyes used to be blue when I was a baby, but now they’re hazel! As much as I think blue eyes are really pretty, I think hazel ones are really cool.

V is for favorite Vegetable: My favorites at the moment include spinach, baby carrots, edamame, kale, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and asparagus.

A produce-filled lunch: quinoa pasta salad (the colored ones are made of dried spinach and beets) with baby carrots, edamame and vegan Caesar dressing, side of fresh mango.

Super Simple Pasta Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

1/2 cup quinoa pasta

1/4 cup cooked edamame

handful chopped carrots, other veggies

1 tbsp dressing of choice (I used Follow Your Heart’s vegan Caesar)

Make pasta according to package. Mix with edamame and other veggies and place in a bowl in the fridge for a few hours. Once chilled, toss with dressing and other toppings of choice, like nooch, nuts or dried fruit (makes 1 serving).

W is for today’s Workout:¬†I did a quickie cardio circuit, and I’m also going to be spending the day shopping. Shopping is my favorite form of cardio, hands down ūüėČ

X is for X-rays you’ve had:¬†Right ankle, left wrist, teeth and right foot. I also had an MRI done when I fractured my right ankle in fourth grade.

Y is for Yesterday’s highlight:¬†Getting to pick up my sister from school and taking her to Starbucks, having my last orthodontist appointment ever, making dinner for my family. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures but I made orange chicken-style tofu with quinoa. It was decent, but I want to tweak the recipe before I post it.

Z is for your time Zone: Mountain time zone, baby! I love being one of the few bloggers actually in this time zone, haha.

 

Answer any of these for yourself!

WIAW: I Can Almost Taste Thanksgiving!

Purple cauliflower fans unite! Oh, hi guys, sorry I was just excited about all the great responses to my last post! I love seeing that you could relate to my stressage about signing up for classes and all the foodie-type things I included in the post.

Anyways, on with this week’s WIAW. I was lucky enough to get to go home this weekend sorta unexpectedly, because I have a humongo stats test on Friday that I’m pretty sure I’ll¬†fail without getting some help, so I recruited my math-whiz dad. But the weekend wasn’t all studying, because how blah would that be? Basically though, it¬†was just like a mini tease of Thanksgiving break, which is making me really anxious for break to start.¬†Unlike a lot of weekends at home, it was pretty chill, which was exactly¬†what I needed before this crazy week hit. Why do professors/teachers assign so much the week before a break? It makes me nuts! But, let’s just move on to the WIAW¬†and weekend recap and talk about school craziness latah!

Peas and Crayons

Friday¬†afternoon¬†started out with me¬†taking a stats quiz (ick) and then finally¬†getting picked up by my mom and sissy. We headed straight for the campus bookstore, to pick up some Christmas gifts for my g-parents. Since we were already¬†at the student center, my mom suggested we eat at the food court and use my RamCash, which is basically money the school gives you to spend on laundry, food at the food court, etc. I barely use it, besides every once in awhile¬†for laundry, so I have a buttload on my card, since they add more every semester. My mom first¬†told me that only Panda Express was open on Friday evenings, and I wasn’t too excited about that. They apparently have nothing that’s certified vegetarian, since things get mixed around and veggies may touch meat, plus their food is just greasy and ugh. ¬†But luckily, the soup and salad place was still open, so I got a cup of winter squash soup. It was pretty decent, not the best I’ve had from there (their vegetarian chili is BOMB!) but I definitely prefered it to Panda. My mom and sister got it though, and it ended up costing $16! Call me crazy, but that’s a lot for two people’s dinners at a fast food-type place. But we enjoyed our dinners in the awkwardness that was the empty food court. Usually it’s packed with people, but who wants to eat there on a Friday night when almost everything else is closed?

Not soup (obviously) but my hodgepodge dinner from last week: plain Greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon, Pink Lady, chocolate PB2 sauce, baby carrots, pumpkin protein frosting. So weird but really hit the spot.

Back at home, it wasn’t too late so I had dinner part 2, since I didn’t finish the soup and I was starving. I had my first sweet potato in probably 3 weeks (it was a happy reunion, that’s for sure ūüėÄ ) topped with some PB2¬†that I brought home. Okay, is this sad or what–I’ve gone through¬†most of the jar in basically 5 days! 2 tablespoons of it is supposed to be 15 servings, what a lie! I’ve mostly been having 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of it per day, and it’s¬†almost gone! What?

A seasonal variation on the banana whip--banana pumpkin whip. Enjoyed straight outta the blender, how classy am I?

Saturday I could barely make myself sleep in til 8. I think my schedule this semester has¬†been¬†screwing me up, I used to be able to sleep in til 9 easily if I stayed up past 11 or so. Well, I’m not complaining, 8 is fine with me! I hate sleeping in so late that I feel like the day is wasted, so I totally don’t get people that sleep in past noon or whatever. I had a nice breakfast of leftover pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes¬†and my usual veggie sausage, alongside a homemade Starbucks peppermint mocha! I’ve been totally craving Starbucks, and since I rarely go (that’s gonna change in less than a week ūüėČ ) I wanted to make a drink that’s almost as good. My mom got some Silk Mint Chocolate soy milk (best stuff ever!) so I steamed it and added it to some Starbucks VIA.

Almost as good as Starbucks, for way less, and in a cute snowman mug!

For lunch, I ended up burning the last 2 pieces of tempeh bacon (whoops) while I was cooking my second sweet potato in two days. Obviously, they have been very missed. I topped it with more PB2 (addicted much?), and plated it and the burned bacon with some frozen raspberries. Oh so good.

Who can beat a nut butter topped sweet potato? Especially with tempeh bacon and frozen raspberries?

After lunch, my dad and I headed out to the store. Well…stores! I was only planning on getting some apples and grapes to tide me over for the 5 days I’d be on campus before break, but knowing me, I got a lot more. Well, not a lot more, but definitely some. But it was all needed, so it’s justified. I did get the apples and grapes I needed, plus some Silk Pumpkin Spice (haven’t tried it yet), Whole Foods fresh-grind crunchy almond butter, butternut squash cubes, my crack¬†Late July green mojo chips, peanut butter pows¬†cereal (apparently renamed peanut butter balls?), full moon brownie kid Clifs, dates, rolled oats, vegan chorizo taquitos¬†and my personal favorite, Oikos frozen Greek yogurt! I’ve been dying to try it since I saw it on Tara’s¬†blog awhile back. I got it in chocolate, and it is heavenly. Better than their original chocolate froyo, since it’s a little tangy just like Greek yogurt. Plus it’s got a little more protein, which is always a win. I can’t wait to try the blueberry and honey…and I hope they come out with superfruits, because that is my favorite flavor of their yogurt! Whole Foods was pretty lame this time as far as samples go, but I think I found a good vegan alternative to the Thanksgiving turkey–Field Roast Grain Meat loaves. They’re made from vital wheat gluten and veggies and they look pretty decent. I hope I can convince my mom to buy it for me, since my dad seemed to think it looked good.

I dressed up my first bowl of Oikos froyo with frozen raspberries and PB balls cereal. Love the mix of textures and flavors.

Then my wonderful daddy surprised me with some Pinkberry. I was so excited when it first came to my city, and I loved the watermelon froyo¬†I got the first time around, all the way back in June! Unfortunately, I hadn’t been back there since but I got my fix this weekend. If you’ve never been to a Pinkberry, they only have 6 flavors at a time, but they rotate based on season, and their yogurt is better quality than most froyos. I’m such¬†a sucker for all things seasonal, as you probably know by now, and peppermint is by far my favorite seasonal flavor–especially paired with dark chocolate! So when I saw the peppermint froyo on the front door, I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I also decided to branch out (and piss off my ED a bit) and topped it with some peppermint bark, which was the perfect pairing. Usually, I only stick with fruit as a topping, but I have no regrets getting the bark instead. And I don’t care what ED says about it, it was crazy good and I didn’t get fat overnight by eating it. So there!

Perfection in a cup. I love that they swirl it so perfectly, and that it's light pink!

The rest of the night was devoted to church, eating Amy’s cheeseless¬†pizza with a side of Silk Mint Chocolate (can’t get enough of the mint/chocolate combo obvi!), showering, studying up on stats with the padre and watching some SNL. Emma Stone was the host, she’s so funny and I love her voice. It makes me less self-conscious for having a deeper voice than most girls ūüėõ

Sunday's (very orange) lunch of Gardein chickenless nuggets, sweet potato tots (ob-sessed), more raspberries and spicy three pepper mustard. Like fast food but...not!

Sunday was pretty leisurely. Breakfast and lunch were had over the Sunday pap-ah, I went for a nice walk with my dad and sister and then it was sadly time to head back. Most times when I have to go back, I’m a little sad, since I won’t get to see my family for 2 weeks, but this time I wasn’t because I knew I’d be seeing my madre’s¬†lovely face again on Friday–for a whole 9 days, in fact! I was just annoyed with the fact that I had a full 5 days of school to deal with ūüė¶ Before dropping me off, we had a delicious dinner at Garbanzo, my favorite fast-casual place. I think I’ve mentioned it about a bazillion times already, but it’s just that good. Mediterranean food is my all-time fave.

Ninja shot of my dinner. The best falafel ever, red cabbage, vegetable salad, lettuc, grilled eggplant, hummus and tabbouleh, with a side of cilantro and curry sauces. Can I live in the bowl? Kthx.

So there you have it, my weekend-before-Thanksgiving-break in a (big) nutshell. I always make these recap things way too long, guess it shows how excited I am about the weekends I get at home. Now I’ve just gotta focus on studying for my Friday stats test and…PACKING! I love packing, so I can’t wait!

What was the best part of your weekend? Mine was probably Whole Foods shopping, ’cause I’mma nerd like that! What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I luuuuuurrrrrvvvve peppermint, especially paired with dark chocolate and coffee. Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha, here I come!