Best Discoveries This Year

Before I start this post, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the tragic shooting that occurred just a few days ago in Aurora, CO. It’s always hard to hear and read about these horribly sad events, but even more so when they happen in your own state, only about an hour’s drive away from where I live. Please keep all the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers!

Now onto something lighter! Yes, I realize it’s not the end of the year yet–but it will be soon if the year keeps flying by like it has–but since my birthday is just around the corner, it kinda feels like a new year for me.

Anyways, I’ve made a lot of new purchases and discoveries since last July 27th so here are some of the best! They’re not all food related but knowing me, most of them are 😉

Whole Foods Hot/Cold Bars

The most recent edition, and one of my favorites so far!

Honestly, if I could, I would eat at Whole Foods once a week, it’s just that good! But $7 salad boxes just aren’t in my budget so I’ve only had them about 5 times over the past year. But each one is amazingly delicious, and I can always find something new. Oh, and I never stick with the boring spinach leaves and black olives…no, I load my boxes up with flavored tofu (they have the best stuff), cold veggie salads, fresh fruit and yummy grains. They never disappoint!

LabelBox (and Phonto)

I love all the colors!

Move over, Instagram, you’re old news! LabelBox and Phonto are the perfect way to jazz up your Instagram’d photos and if you’re as much of a font nerd as I am, you won’t be able to live without them. Plus they’re free, and who doesn’t like free?

Veganism

Who says vegan foods have to be boring and tasteless?

My decision to go vegan a little less than a year ago has been seriously life-changing. During my eating disordered days, I relied on low-cal, low-fat things too much because I thought they were ‘healthy’. Now as a vegan I’m eating mostly whole foods and minimally processed foods, with plenty of nuts, grains like quinoa and oats and tempeh, all things I never would have touched a few years ago. I feel healthier, happier and more vibrant. I feel okay treating myself to things like coconut milk ice cream and tons of guacamole because they have health benefits and make my life better. Not to mention, I’ve become more creative in the kitchen and ordering things at non-vegan restaurants. I am not 100% vegan, as I do enjoy gelato or froyo and honey on occasion, but I know I’m doing a good thing for the animals, the environment and myself and that’s why I continue to do it.

Pinterest

I still want this for my apartment!

I don’t go on this as much as I should (or could?) but I still love how inspirational it is. I pin a lot of fashion and decor stuff and when I’m done, I get some closet and apartment inspiration. Sure, some of it is unrealistic but it’s so fun!

Kale

Kale: a nutritious part of this complete dinner!

How did I not discover what’s become my favorite veggie until February? I first tried this superfood in kale chip form and was hooked. I didn’t love it raw at first but when I figured out you have to massage a dressing or sauce into it, I fell in love. It’s also really great crisped up in a dry skillet with salt, pepper and garlic. Basically it’s awesome no matter how you use it, and I love that I feel like a superhero when I eat it!

Zevia

My second-fave flavor so far. This root beer’s got a bite!

I’ve never been a big soda drinker, but I would always always always stick to diet versions. But all that fake sweetener isn’t the best and it gives me headaches. So I went soda-less for awhile, until I stumbled upon Zevia. I love stevia as a sweetener and thought why not. Yeah, $5 or 6 is kinda a lot for a 6-pack, but it’s worth it for a 0 calorie natural soda. The cream soda is the bomb, and I also love the cola and root beer. Still have yet to find the lime cola and strawberry but I’m on the hunt!

Bold Shorts

Dark grey and hot pink make a perfect outfit!

I’ve never been one to shy away from bright colors, but I wasn’t so sure about the neon shorts trend. Luckily I got over that quickly because I love my hot pink shorts! They’re fun and different while still being polished and pretty. I’m planning on investing in a few more pairs of bright shorts (and some bright jeggings) before the summer’s over!

Sweet Quinoa

I need to have this deliciousness from breakfast again soon!

Who knew quinoa could be tasty for dinner and breakfast? I was skeptical at first but after seeing some mouthwatering breakfast quinoa pictures on Instagram, I knew I needed to try it for myself. And now I’ve got a new breakfast obsession, along with fluffy homemade waffles and overnight oats. Give them a try if you haven’t already, they’re worth the weird stares you might get from people 😛

What’s one of your best discoveries from the past year? What’s your favorite veggie?

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My Week Through Phonto

No WIAW this week–I know, how lame! Kidding, but my eats have been kinda lacking lately. Think homemade waffles with protein frosting for breakfast, steamed edamame with fresh fruit for lunch, DIY trail mix for snacks (I’ve been loving on the dry roasted edamame, raisin, pistachio and mini chocolate chip combo!), chilled stirfrys for dinner and healthy homemade baked goods for dessert. Okay, maybe not so boring since I love all of it (especially the protein powder-packed version of my mocha chip banana bread!) but you’ve all seen a million photos of these things already. So I thought this week I’d switch things up and share my favorite things from the week–in Phonto form!

Probably a pathetic little bicep, but I’m proud of it!

I professed my love for planks in last week’s Friday Faves–and this is why! My arms and core have been getting so strong because of them, which is awesome. I love body weight workouts because they make me feel badass–like I’m building strength all on my own, without any equipment!

One of my new fave Sbux drinks–berry hibiscus Refresher.

I love love love Starbucks, especially their iced drinks. I could probably just live on their plain iced coffee sweetened with stevia or their light soy Frappuccinos. Or maybe even their unsweetened passion iced tea. But these new Refreshers are definitely delicious, and totally live up to their name. When they were offering them free, my mom and I each got one. I loved the berry one most but the limeade one was decent. I’m excited to try their VIA packets though!

This sight isn’t very common here in CO, so I had to snap a shot!

Rain looks so pretty, especially with a rainbow, but it sure isn’t pretty to drive in! I got caught in it on my way home from my internship and the worst part was the crazy wind. I made a quick stop at Whole Foods and almost blew away on my way out! But when I got home, I spotted this rainbow and had to take a picture because it looked gorgeous.

Still rockin’ the color blocking nail!

I am obsessed with the party or color blocking nail trend. Basically you paint glitter over one of your nails or paint one of them a different color. So fun, and a little more grown up than painting every nail a different color! My favorite shades at the moment are coral and lavender. Who says they don’t go together? I make them work 😀

‘Nuff said 😉

I’ve mentioned it no less than a million times but I’ll say it again–I lurve me some spicy foods! I’m not one of those wimps who thinks jalapenos are too hot…nope, I take my spicy stuff seriously. So these new pickles are right up my alley. They’re perfectly spicy and really crisp and fresh. I only eat Claussen pickles because they’re always kept refrigerated so they taste better. If you like spicy things like I do, please look for these. You won’t regret it…well, maybe your tastebuds will a little bit!

Striped tee: Hollister. White woven belt: Abercrombie & Fitch. Navy twill shorts: Hollister.

I used to hate stripes with a passion, dunno why. Now I’m totally embracing them, especially this particular shirt. It’s just so simple yet cute, slightly cropped and kinda loose fitting, just the way I like my tees in the summer.

A snackplate for dessert: kettle corn, WF vegan chocolate chip cookie pieces, NadaMoo! java crunch coconut milk ice cream, side of fresh pineapple,

I’m so indecisive that it’s no wonder I turn to snackplates almost every day. I’d rather have little bits of a lot of stuff than make a commitment to one big thing most of the time and this dessert was no different. I only had a few pieces of a cookie left so I paired it with some vegan coffee ice cream, my favorite kettle corn and some super juicy pineapple. I did eat them all separately though, otherwise that would just be weird and gross!

What have you been up to this week? Do you like pickles?

Friday Faves (July 13)

Well it’s Friday the 13th…anyone experiencing any bad luck today? I’m really not a superstitious person so I think bad things (and good things too) can happen any time regardless of the day on the calendar. Plus I’m feeling pretty darn lucky today anyway–my birthday’s in exactly two weeks and I went to the dentist yesterday and came back with no cavities. Yay!

(Soon to be) Favorite Starbucks Drink: Refreshers

It’s like a limeade with a caffeine boost!

It’s no secret that I love Starbucks, but sadly I haven’t been in a couple of weeks, even though we just moved within a 5 minute driving distance of one. But now I have an even better reason to go–their new Refreshers drinks! P.S. They’re giving them away free today between noon and 3 pm so get one now. They have different versions of the drinks–two iced ones in their stores, three sparkling water kinds and instant VIA packets at grocery stores. I’ll be keeping my eye out for those the next time I go shopping and I’m hoping I enjoy my free one!

Favorite App: Phonto

Just in case you didn’t know, this was a lunch. Steamed edamame, squirt of sriracha, baby carrots, blueberries, sprouted toast topped with blueberry chia jam and cashew cream cheese.

I can’t say enough good things about the LabelBox app, but now there’s another photo editing app I love–Phonto. As a self-professed font nerd, I like being able to add a caption directly to my photos in a million different fonts and colors. From now on, if my photos aren’t LabelBox’d, they’ll be Phonto’d. Just warning you 😉

Favorite Fitness Move: Planks

Not this kind of planking, but isn’t this adorable?

Until maybe a year ago, I had no idea what planks were. And now, I’m hooked. I do them a couple of times per day in addition to my other fitness routines and I’ve been working on holding them for a long time. Right now I can only do them for 2 minutes straight, but I want to get up to 5 minutes soon! They’re such a good fitness move since they pretty much work everything–arms, core and even legs.

Favorite Day I’m Looking Forward To: July 27th

From my birthday last year…apparently I was proud of this tiny strawberry I grew on my strawberry plant!

I’ve tried not to talk about it too much on the blog, since people don’t really care too much about other people’s birthdays, but I’m definitely excited to turn 20 in exactly two weeks! It’ll probably feel really weird to finally be out of my teenage years but I’m ready to be one year closer to legal drinking age 😉 Actually, I’m just more excited about the plans I have for my birthday this year. On the actual day, I’m gonna get Whole Foods salad bar for dinner (and hopefully some bakery-made vegan dessert) and watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and who knows what else. And over the weekend, I’m planning on going up to Denver for a day of shopping and going out to eat at (hopefully) a completely vegetarian or vegan restaurant for the first time ever. Possibly even Native Foods Cafe, which just opened in Boulder! Shopping, good eats and the Olympics–doesn’t get much better than that for me!

What do you like to do for your birthday? What’s your favorite fitness move?