Jumping on the Bandwagon

Hi lovelies, how were all your weekends? I am beyond excited that it’s less than a week til Christmas, but I’ll save that excitement for later!

After having read a lot about NaNeFoMo (or National New Food Month) around the bloggy world, I decided to finally join in! Yes, I know it’s kinda late, but I have already made some progress and created a “bucket list” of things I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

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1. Peanut flour. I finally sucked it up and ordered some online a couple of weeks back. This has changed my life, for real! I’ve had it practically on a daily basis since it first arrived in the mail (which is why I just had to order more!) and I’m definitely not sick of it yet. It makes an amazing paste, peanut sauce for stir-frys and salads, as flavoring for Greek yogurt and as a source of protein in smoothies. I even used it in place of flour in my festive garland bars. Definitely a new staple in my pantry!

The perfect topper for banana softserve and Puffins!

2. Chocolate chips. These were (and still are) a fear food of mine, so I thought they’d be perfect to include in my list. I bought some vegan chocolate chips at Whole Foods, used them in a few recipes and now I love them! Yes, they’re still scary, so I only eat maybe a teaspoon or so per day, but I don’t want to deprive myself of dark chocolate ever again!

Chocolate chips make an appearance in nutty cherry chocolate chunk cookies...recipe to come!

3. Making my own nut butter. Being home alone a week ago gave me the perfect opportunity to whip up a batch of homemade nut butter. But what kind to make? I had a bag of chopped pecans, so I mixed those up with some instant coffee powder, a little maple syrup and coffee maple pecan butter was born. You’re welcome ūüėČ

Simple combination, but oh so tasty!

4. Vegan marshmallows. Erm, well, not quite yet! I haven’t been able to find any in stores near me, so I decided to settle for some pescetarian marshmallows. Ummmm, say what? Yeah, marshmallows have gelatin in them, which is made from animals, but I was able to find some kosher ones, which means the gelatin is made from fish. Since I am basically a pescetarian right now, these are fine by me til I can find some truly vegan marshmallows.

5. Kombucha.¬†This one is very scary to me. Not a fear food, in the eating disorder sense, but scary because A) they’re expensive and B) what if they taste horrible? I’ve still yet to take the plunge on this, but I’m hoping maybe I’ll get to sample it at Whole Foods or something and see if it’s worth the price.

6. More raw/vegan desserts.¬†Every one I’ve attempted so far has turned out amazingly well (even if I am the only one who ends up eating them…oh well, more for me!) and I’d love to do more experimenting in the kitchen over the next month. Raw desserts can be kinda “scary” since they include lots of calorically-dense foods such as dates and nuts, but they taste so good and are so healthy for you compared to regular desserts. A few things I have in the works include raw salted caramel sauce, vegan peppermint bark and another variation on my raw brownies with chocolate peppermint avocado “buttercream” frosting. This month sure is looking delicious 8)

One of my favorite desserts ever--raw brownie pie with frozen raspberries and nonfat coffee froyo.

So that’s my bucket list so far–three things down, three to go! I’m proud of myself for conquering one fear food so far and I’m looking forward to trying out new things, especially the recipes. While I like to make “tried and true” type things, it’s always rewarding making something brand new and having it turn out amazing. And if it doesn’t, it’s not a huge deal!

Are you participating in NaNeFoMo? Have you ever made a raw dessert?

Gettin’ My Schweat On!

I. Love. Sweat. Okay, just kidding, I’m usually completely grossed out by it (and no worries, I use deodorant daily!) But if the sweat comes from working out, then I love it. It makes me feel like I’ve been working hard and I’m getting stronger.

Pre-bike ride. Maybe too much navy blue?

One of my favorite ways to “get my schweat on” (and yes, you must say it that way. okay, just kidding, but it sounds a million times better like that) is biking. I’m not quite¬†a hardcore cyclist yet but I love hittin’ the trails for some pedal pushin’. Honestly, I can pronounce my “g’s”, it just sounds cooler without them. But I’ve been kinda slacking on the bike riding this summer. Okay, so I did do a 7-miler bike event at the beginning of June¬†and I also did a 4-miler in the middle of June, but things have been pretty dead as far as biking goes. It’s not like I’ve been lazy all summer–I’ve just been mostly playing tennis, which I’ve been loving, but I missed biking.

My "just did 4 or 5 miles" face. Please ignore the messy hair.

Today, my dad and I hit a new greenway trail.It started out fairly normal, some small hills, but nothing too bad. It was pretty quiet too–not many others were on the trail. Then we got to a major street and had to cross it in order to keep riding. No biggie. So we crossed and then kept riding…until we got to an even more major street. Silly us, we thought it would be the same deal–we’d cross at the nearest stoplight¬†and continue on our way. Wellllllll…that’s not quite how it worked out. The sign directed us up the hill to cross at a different light, because apparently the closer light didn’t have a sidewalk so we couldn’t get to it. So we went up the hill–me pushing my bike because I was freaked out by all the cars whizzing by a couple of feet away. We finally make it up the hill (after passing by some super sketchcar repair shops), wait to cross and then make our way back down the hill on the other side of the street. At the bottom of the hill, we see the trail sign again and try to follow it. Fail. We end up walking behind a creepy closed-down building trying to find where the trail starts up again but there is my trail. Then my genius dad (sense the sarcasm there? sorry, Daddy, you’re usually very smart, but in this case, not so much) takes a closer look at the sign and realizes that the rest of the trail will be built in the future. Yep, we’re so smart for not reading that earlier. So, long story short, we walk back up and down the hill and finally head back to the trailhead.

Oh yeah, and we also went to a local parade this morning, and this is what I wore. Abercrombie Kids plaid tunic top, Hollister navy cami, Hollister navy twill shorts, American Eagle chain-and-diamond necklace. Forever 21 love ring.

Well, I didn’t notice it on the way there, but it was definitely downhill heading out. So what does that mean? Uphill heading back. Awesome. Actually, it wasn’t too bad, but I had blisters on the back of my heels¬†from walking up and down the hill, it was super hot and my head was killing me. But I made it up each and every one of those hills. So proud of myself. Needless to say, I definitely got my schweat¬†on this afternoon. But it was totally worth it to feel amazing and sweaty–not to mention grabbing some froyo afterwards! We checked out yet another¬†brand new frozen yogurt shop and they were offering a 2-for-the-price-of-1 deal today, so it was cheap-o! Unfortch, I didn’t have a camera with me but I got marshmallow and Irish mint froyos topped with kiwi and raspberries. Hit. The. Spot.

Okay, so def not froyo, but I had to get a foodie pic in here somewhere, right? This was an amazing Whole Foods salad I had last weekend when I picnicked and hiked. Baby spinach, red onions, craisins, maple-glazed pecans and mandarin oranges. The dressing was nast so it went uneaten, but the salad was so good, it didn't need it!

How do you like to “get your schweat on”?