It’s Okay…

Hey guys! I want to take a little bit of a different approach with this post, so I hope you enjoy (and relate)!

It’s okay…that I prefer almond butter to peanut butter–hands down!

Sorry, PB, you aren’t it for this girl!

 It’s okay…that I like to mostly eat healthy foods, even supposedly disordered “diet food” like veggies and nonfat yogurt. Just because I’m in recovery doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these things.

I love salads (even without dressing)…no shame!

It’s okay…to eat a mostly-vegan diet but still have Greek yogurt (a lot!) and froyo/gelato every so often.

You can’t say that doesn’t look delicious…

 It’s okay…that I can’t live without Whole Foods. I’d probably be broke if I was spending my own money 😉

I love the salad bars especially! This delicious mess was Asian kale salad, curried tofu, roasted sweet potato and curried quinoa pilaf.

It’s okay…that I’ve never made oats on the stove. Overnight oats are where it’s at for me!

One of my favorite overnighters combos to date: PB&J remix oats, topped with black grapes and PB Puffins.

It’s okay…that I LOVE carbs!

Nothing beats cereal and dried fruit!

It’s okay…that this is my lunch when I’m on-the-go–and I love it!

Quick, easy & good: Pink Lady and Clif Mojo bar!

 

It’s okay…to sometimes have breakfast for dinner–with some squash on the side.

I love breakfast so much…so why not?

 

It’s okay…that I’ve never had a Lara bar. Because I love Pure bars instead!

They’re almost as simple as Lara bars, but they’ve got way more protein!

 

It’s okay…that I can take way better pictures at home than I can at school.

This is one of my favorite pics ever, I actually got a pretty good closeup of this salad. Compare this to my lame photos now with crap lighting.

 

Answer your own “It’s okay…” question!

WIAW: A Day in the Life

Have you ever wanted to see what someone else does in a day? I mean, WIAW is one thing (a good thing) but have you ever been curious about what a blogger does besides eating? Are you kidding me–all we do is eat 😉 Just kidding!

You asked for it (not really!) and here it is…a typical day in my life (inspired by Tara’s post last week)! Plus the usual WIAW eats in the appropriate spots throughout the day!

DISCLAIMER: My life is really not all that exciting so be warned 😉 Oh, and this is what a typical Tuesday/Thursday looks like (since it’s my busier day)…Monday/Wednesday/Friday and weekends are totally different.

7:00 a.m. Wake up. Get mad at my iPod alarm (just kidding!). Do my biz-nass (aka bathroom) and probably crawl back in bed for like 5 minutes.

7:20 ish to 8:15. Make and devour breakfast. Have the Today Show on tv but don’t really watch it (yeah, idk why I do this, but it feels better than just getting ready in silence). Brush teeth, makeup, hair, get dressed. I usually plan my outfits a week in advance ’cause I’m cool like that!

A day without overnight oats at least once...does not happen for me! Dark chocolate overnighters topped with half a Kashi cherry vanilla cereal bar. The toppings are always the best part!

8:15 to 8:35. Catch up on blog reading. Pack up all my school stuff. Check, recheck and recheck again that I have my keys (don’t wanna risk getting locked out!). Walk down 3 flights of stairs and head out to my first class.

9 to 9:50. Stats class. Ugh, can I just say how much I wish I was done with math already? I thought the basic math class I took last year was it, but nooooooo! I’m almost 99% positive this will be my last math class, though.

Yes, I'm totally rolling my eyes at stats class. Ugh, get me outta there 😦

10 to 11. Turn in stats recitation work. I never go to recitation (’cause it’s so lame and not required) so I always have to turn in the homework on Tuesday. Then I walk around campus until my next class, or end up stuck in the library printing something off for another class. I’m pretty much printing something every other day. I need to get a life printer.

11 to 12:15. American West Since 1900 class. So far, I’m liking this class. I love U.S. history, and Western history is even more exciting for me. Unfortch, we have a hugh jass paper due the week before Thanksgiving, but otherwise it’s okay.

12:15 to 12:50. Read blogs and eat lunch. I always go over to the building next door because it’s close and it has a bunch of awesome comfy seating. The internet kinda sucks in there, but oh well. I always have to eat on-the-go on Tuesday and Thursday since it doesn’t pay to walk all the way back to my room for like 10 minutes and then have to walk back. I usually pack a bar of some sort (my faves are Clif Mojo Mountain Mix and Pure Chocolate Brownie bars) since they’re not messy and some fruit and carrots. I’m so glad it’s apple season because apples are totally portable.

I love random lunch combos. Lately I've been feeling the AB&J vibe, so I paired Archer Farms almond butter with organic grape jelly, Kashi crackers and frozen nanner slices. All eaten on my colorful bed.

1 to 2:50. Newswriting class. If you think this class sounds really long, you’re right. It’s because it includes a “lab” component, which is not really a lab in our case, but more like newswriting assignments and practice. I actually love the class, because it’s for my major. Plus we do fun things like go on “field trips” and my professor is so chill. Love it!

2:50 to 3:05. Head back to my room. My walks have sucked a little bit lately, because of my foot pain. It’s gotten a little better, so I hope it’s healing and not a serious injury.

3:10 to 3:45. Snack time. I also squeeze a “cardio blast” circuit workout in there, and some minutes of yoga.

I just realized that they make the superfruits Oikos flavor in a 4 pack so I had to get it. It's my current fave flavor of Greek yogurt.

3:45 to 6. Homework. Well, in an ideal world this is what I’d be doing. In the real world, however, I usually end up looking up random things on the internet, like recipes or clothes, and then realize how much time has passed. Then I actually start doing homework.

6:30 ish to 7. Dinner time. It really depends on when I’m feeling hungry, but 6:30 is usually it. Now I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal without rushing. Of course, I can’t really cook (besides in the micro which doesn’t count) but at least it’s something. Oh, and btw, I almost always make my own dinner vs. going to the dining hall. I tried it a lot last year and I didn’t love it. When I do go, I usually end up grabbing something from the express area which is like a healthier convenience store or just get a salad from the salad bar.

If you think this dinner is bizarre and random, you are obviously not me! Raw broccoli and cauliflower (only way I will eat them is raw..try em dipped in salsa!), a few green mojo multigrain chips, AB&J overnight oats, with a side of People StyleWatch, aka my favorite fashion/celeb mag.

7:30 to 8. Shower. I’m one of those weirdos who showers at night. I’d rather not have to wake up any earlier than I already do to wait for my hair to dry, blah blah blah.

8 to 9. Blog reading and maybe watch TV. I just tend to put the TV on and not actually watch it–I like it for the background noise–but I will sometimes watch if it’s a show I love, like The Office or What Not to Wear.

9 to 9:15. Night time snack. I love having cereal, or maybe a Vitatop. Just something sweet and small to end my night.

Awh, my cereal ❤ s me! Well, I ❤ you too! Bear Naked Fit (triple berry) with frozen bananas. Can you tell I'm lovin' on the frozen bananas? Best. Fruit. Ever!

9:15 to 9:30. Get ready for bed. Brush teeth, PJs, all that.

9:30 to 11. Text my mommy. We text each other every night for like an hour and a half. It’s the highlight of my day.

Outfit of the day: lime green/white striped boat neck tee (American Eagle), slouchy skinny jeans (American Eagle). I love baggy jeans, y'all!

11 p.m. Go to bed (hopefully). I like to get 9 hours of sleep, so an early-ish bedtime is a must. Plus I get tired around this time anyway. Good night!

What is your favorite brand of Greek yogurt (I am a tried-and-true, hardcore Oikos fan! I also like Fage mango guanabana)?

What kind of jeans do you rock (I’m partial to slouchy and boy fit jeans but I’d love to try some skinnies–any tips on how to rock them? I’m still kinda scared to wear them.)?

What’s one part of your day that’s always the same?

Saturday Seven

Hey hey hey! Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my bucket list/WIAW post! I always love seeing new faces around here, so stick around if you like what you see 😀

I’ve been seeing a lot of Friday Five type posts lately (well, duh, it was just Friday!) so I wanted to do my own version of that: Saturday Seven! Basically it’s the same as the Friday Five, except it’s Saturday and there’s two more things–bonus!

1. Rekindling my love for yoga

I love my purple yoga mat--plus it matches my room!

 I love yoga, and I do it on a daily basis, but lately I haven’t been really into it. I pretty much forgot about my yoga mat since it’s been in my closet, so some of the poses haven’t been as comfortable, but with my mat back in action, I should be ready to get my yoga on!

2. Obsessing over new foodie products

This list will be added to, for sure!

 Not sure if you can read that list (my camera is sometimes weird with taking pics) but I’m currently on the lookout for Oikos frozen yogurt, Clif Peppermint Stick (new seasonal flavor–heck to the YES!) and White Chocolate Macadamia Mojo bars and Silk Mint Chocolate and Nog soy milks. I know that those last 2 exist, but it’s not quite time for them to reappear in stores–why can’t it be November already? The other things I have yet to see and they need to be in my life ASAP!

3. Resting my foot

Feet look really weird in pictures...

 The foot pain on my sole has yet to disappear, but since it’s the weekend and I have no classes to be at, I decided to take a break from walking on it and see if it speeds up the healing process. I’m also planning on icing it. I’m still really hoping it’s not a stress fracture…

4. Finishing off my almond butter

It's not quite ready for OIAJ, but almost!

 For once, I actually have a jar of almond butter. I usually get my AB from the grinders at Whole Foods, so it just comes in a little flimsy plastic container. This time, I got some AB from Super Target so it came in a jar…and it’s almost out! OIAJ time later this week 😀 I’d love to try the Almond Cashew Peanut butter next time–have any of you tried it yet?

5. Plowing through my to-do list

Augh, I'm buried in homework 😦

 I just get done with 2 tests in one day and now I’ve got another test on Tuesday, a bunch of homework and a paper due in 2 weeks? Yay school 😦 I’ve got most of the take home exam done, plus I organized my closet, vacuumed my room and did my online homework. All that’s left to do today is watch the new SNL 😉

6. Rockin’ my real glasses

You know you're jealous of me...

 While I wish my “nerdy” 3D glasses were my real glasses, they don’t have any lenses. And I actually need glasses. Usually I wear contacts but I was feeling kinda lazy and kinda smart today, so I decided to wear my glasses. I think they’re flippin’ awesome!

7. Organizing my closet

...and this is only part of it!

 Yes, I’m one of those obsessive, anal people who needs to have their closet organized by color. When I first unloaded all my crap stuff into my room at the beginning of the school year, I just hung things up based on category (like tanks, sweaters, shorts, etc.). But I was getting annoyed with that, so I organized it by color, just like it was at home. Now I feel so much better 😉

What have you been up to this weekend? Any new foodie products you really want to try but haven’t been able to find (another one of mine is peanut flour!)?

WIAW+Facts of Life

Hey lovelies! I loved all your responses to my weekend update post. I honestly had no idea that everyone would be so in love with my glasses! I think they’ll be making a more regular appearance around here 😉

It’s that time again–WIAW! I can always gauge how quickly a week is going by if I find myself scrambling to gather pics for WIAW. That’s a good thing, though; I hate when school weeks drag on forever. Especially when I have something to look forward to on the weekend. Oh well, that’s life. This week has been going by decently fast, which is great, because I can’t wait for this weekend–or more specifically, Saturday. I’ll get to that soon! For now, just enjoy some foodie pics and a little blogger questionnaire that I found on Alexis’ blog.

Peas and Crayons

How could I start a morning without overnight oats? I couldn't, of course, you know me. Today's lovely creation was dark chocolate oats topped with a spoonful of Whole Foods chocolate apple crunch trail mix. Alongside a spicy veggie sausage and gummy vitamins. A heart bowl makes it that much better. And cuter.

 Fact 1) I have never been to the East Coast, except for Florida. Yes, I realize that’s pretty crazy, especially to all you (many many) East Coast-based bloggies out there. But hey, I’m a Western girl at heart. Born and raised out here, baby. And I don’t plan on ever moving out of this region. I ideally want to move to California (either San Diego or San Fran, but I’m not too picky), Phoenix (my birth cit-ay) or Denver. In that order.

Quickie lunch between classes is always fun. Strawberry Oikos Greek yo' cup, all mixed up with Bear Naked Fit triple berry crunch granola. So good for a super-fast lunchie.

 Fact 2) I go to the school that had the major pool party over the weekend that’s all over the news and YouTube. I mean, really, guys, The Huffington Post covered it. Way to take away CU’s party school status, CSU. Go Rams?????

Ahoy matey! Okay, I'll stop trying to be cool. Outfit of the day, inspired by all things nautical (and nerdy): royal blue striped tee (Hollister), navy culotte shorts (Abercrombie & Fitch), ultra cool nerd glasses.

 Fact 3) I collect rubber ducks. Oh yeah, you know you wanna be friends with me now. Seriously, though, I’ve gotten 2-3 every year of the past 5 years or so (from an annual Labor Day rubber duckie race in a ski town near me) and I’ve got quite the collection now, from a cheerleader duck to a Mardi Gras one.

Snackplate time! Literally, on a plate. Kashi TLC crackers, agave/almond butter dip, frozen banana slices. Sweet, salty and cold all in one. But mostly just yum.

 Fact 4) Lady Gaga is my favorite. Despite her weirdness at the VMAs the other night (what were you thinking dressing like a dude, LG?), I will forever be a fan of her music. She is just so chill and I love that she isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself with her outfit choices. Most of them I approve of (but Sunday night’s choice? Not so much.)

More outfit footage. These glasses are becoming a go-to for me. I blame you guys for your love of them 😉

 Fact 5) I really LOVE spicy foods! Seriously, give me spicy over salty any day, I can take it. Some of my favorite spicy foods include: Indian curries, fresh jalapeno peppers (especially on veggie burgers), really hot salsas, chile powder and the spicy veggie sausages I have every day for breakfast.

Overnight oats making their first (hopefully not last) appearance at dinner time! These were my PB&J Remix oats: 1/3 c. thick rolled oats, mixed with raisins and topped with PB Puffins and fresh black grapes. Heaven in a bowl, I tell ya!

Fact 6) Yearbook nerd alert! Yes, I was on my school’s YBK for 3 years in high school. I was a section editor, went to yearbook camp twice and even traveled three hours three different times to go to a yearbook conference at the school I’m going to now. Yeah, I was a hardcore yearbooker.

I like to make a mess when I eat. Plain 0% Fage mixed with chocolate whey protein powder and 2 duplex cookies. Who said yogurt messes couldn't include cookies?

Fact 7) I love Mediterranean/Greek cuisine. Falafel, hummus, tabouleh, vegan gyros, pita, baba ganoush, olives–it’s my favorite cuisine, hands-down. I think I could totally live in that area and be completely happy.

Tell me one fun fact about you! Oh, P.S., I changed my blog design once again. What can I say, I’m kinda obsessed with changing it every time there’s a new layout that looks cool. Change is good, right?

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 😉 
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!

Foodie Newbie

I love love love trying out new products! I’m the girl who sees the label New! on a product and instantly drops said product into the cart. I’m such a sucker for anything I’ve never tried before. I usually have high expectations for the item, and sometimes they are met, other times not so much. But I rarely regret trying something new. It’s just…exciting!

I’ve gotten a lot of new-to-me products lately, and I wanted to share my (unbiased) reviews of them here. I was not given these products to try by the companies themselves (I wish they would have, though!)–I bought them all myself my parents bought them for me.

Kaia Foods Sprouted Sunflower Seeds (Cocoa Molé)

I’m not a huge fan of sunflower seeds, but when I saw these on a random solo trip to Whole Foods, I decided to try them. The flavor combo really grabbed me, and the nutritional stats weren’t too shabby (7 grams of healthy fat, 80 calories per serving, some Vitamin E). I was a little thrown off by the soft texture, but these were pretty decent. Not quite cocoa-y or spicy enough (one of the ingredients is organic cayenne pepper) but not bad at all. I would probably try a different flavor (like sweet curry or teriyaki) in the future.

I'm really getting into raw foods like these!

Oikos 0% Peach Mango and Honey Fig Greek Yogurts

Oikos is my Greek yogurt brand of choice, and these new flavors did not disappoint! The peach mango was reaaaaaaally sweet, but definitely tasted like peach and mango. There were even real chunks of fruit in the bottom 😀  The honey fig is super-creamy and not watered down at all by the real organic honey and fig juice (the fig juice is actually the 3rd ingredient!) I love that this brand is always organic, and in general, I love Greek yogurt for its creaminess and amazing protein stats.

I'm always drawn to colorful packaging

 

PB Puffins+new Oikos flavor? Yes please!

Whole Foods Hot/Cold Bars

My fam went on an impromptu picnic this weekend, and we stopped at (where else?) Whole Foods to grab lunch. I’ve always wanted to try the hot and cold food bars they have there and I’ve gotta say, I can see why so many bloggers love to eat there. They have such a good selection of stuff, and it’s so. good. I got curried tofu salad, curried quinoa salad (lots of curry-lovin’ for this girl), Asian kale salad and roasted sweet tater chunks. Even though it all ended up mixing together in the box, it was all still amazing! Definitely gonna go back ASAP!

I definitely got my "rainbow of produce" in with this lunch!

Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins

After seeing this pop up on so many blogs, I decided to hop on the bandwagon. Best decision ever! I’m not the biggest PB fan, but I love the slightly soft, slightly crunchy texture of these babies, and their strong peanut taste. I love them as an overnighters topper (coffee maple oats topped with these are my new go-to combo) and in Greek yogurt. Mmmmmm…

There's so many ways to eat Puffins, but this is my favorite--as an overnight oats topper! Crunchy and creamy...

Whole Foods 365 Individual Vegan Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

I miss their larger onion-sauce based vegan pizza, but this is also good. It’s topped with tons of roasted veggies, and the sauce is very flavorful. It’s tiny, but I don’t have a big appetite anyway 😛

Tons of veggies and NO cheese make for one happy Ashley 🙂

Late July Mild Green Mojo Multigrain Chips

On my recent vacay, I brought along a new-to-me product, Late July Sea Salt by the Seashore Multigrain chips, and I loved their simple salty flava. I liked them better than regular tortilla chips. Then I saw this flavor, and I just knew I had to get them. However–I didn’t realize until I brought them home that they had cheese as an ingredient. Yikes! I was a tad upset, but I decided to try them anyway and…well, they were so so good! They honestly don’t taste cheesy to me at all (more like these ranch-flavored soy crisps I’ve had before) and have a little bit of kick to them. I tried them as a crunchy topper on a black bean salad and lets just say that I’m gonna be having this salad for lunch for awhile 😉

 

It's easy being green if you're also super-delish!

 

What is the best new thing you’ve tried lately?