WIAW: New and Old

I’ve said it before, but I love trying new things. Sometimes too much, to the point that I shell out plenty of money for an interesting looking product, and while it usually turns out at least somewhat decent, sometimes it’s just too bad to eat. Like Incan berries, way too sour and bitter and hard…never again. But usually, trying new combinations turns out to be a successful experiment, and sometimes I even find new favorites. But you can’t deny the appeal of old favorites–they almost never disappoint!

Smoothie in a bowl for lunch. Spinach+peanut flour+chocolate Sunwarrior+1/4 avocado+shredded coconut+cacao nibs.

Smoothie in a bowl for lunch. Spinach+peanut flour+chocolate Sunwarrior+banana+1/4 avocado+shredded coconut+cacao nibs.

I’ve had green smoothies before, but never with avocado. I’ve heard how creamy smoothies get with added avocado so I figured I’d give it a try. I only used a little bit to make sure it didn’t taste too avocado-y and it was a great addition.

Grande unsweetened passion iced tea.

Grande unsweetened passion iced tea.

One of my favorite summer Starbucks ordered. My only complaint is that Starbucks doesn’t have stevia, but I usually just remember to bring my own.

Dinner: socca topped with homemade spicy guacamole and raw kimchi and southwestern kale chips, side of watermelon

Dinner: socca topped with homemade spicy guacamole and raw kimchi and southwestern kale chips, side of watermelon

Socca is a staple of mine, but I’ve usually eaten it in pizza or ‘omelette’ form. One night I was wanting guac but I didn’t have any corn tortillas so I decided to use socca as a protein-packed tortilla sub, and topped it with kimchi and kale chips too. Really random, but it was good enough to repeat a few days later.

Summery outfit. Dark grey crop top: American Eagle. Coral shorts: Hollister.

Summery outfit. Dark grey crop top: American Eagle. Coral shorts: Hollister.

It’s definitely been shorts weather around here. We don’t have A/C so my room is unbearable most days (it doesn’t help that it’s south-facing and upstairs) so even this outfit felt way too hot. But it’s perfect sunbathing weather.

New find in the frozen section at Whole Foods! GF and vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

New find in the frozen section at Whole Foods! GF and vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

I used to get the bakery-made vegan cookies from Whole Foods sometimes, but they were wheat-based and often gave me stomach issues. I was thrilled to find an option that was both gluten free AND vegan (harder to find than you’d think) and that is fairly clean and tastes delicious. The addition of almond extract really takes it over the top, and the texture is fantastic for being almond flour based.

Raw powerbowl. Chocolate sunwarrior 'pudding' topped with homemade cinnamon buckwheat rawnola, strawberries, cacao nibs, 1/2 banana bread Uber Larabar, coconut butter.

Raw powerbowl. Chocolate sunwarrior ‘pudding’ topped with homemade cinnamon buckwheat rawnola, strawberries, cacao nibs, 1/2 banana bread Uber Larabar, coconut butter.

I’ve been loving meals in a bowl lately. This was a mostly raw dessert-like snack that I threw together from the few things I have for snacks. I really need to make a Whole Foods trip ASAP to stock up on raw stuff!

Whole Foods salad bar box. Again. Never gets old.

Whole Foods salad bar box. Again. Never gets old.

‘nough said, but really, this never gets old. Oh, and I really don’t get these that much (maybe once every other week or once a week) but I feel the need to post them every time because I love the Whole Foods salad bar a LOT.

A vegan and GF take on the BLT. Buckwheat & almond flour pancake 'bread', spinach, tofu 'bacon' and raw Caesar dressing.

A vegan and GF take on the BLT. Buckwheat & almond flour pancake ‘bread’, spinach, tofu ‘bacon’ and raw Caesar dressing.

This was a totally random, this-sounds-good-I’ll-just-throw-it-together kind of dinner, but it was a real winner. I marinated the tofu in coconut aminos+liquid smoke+a little maple syrup and quickly pan fried it in coconut oil. I mixed together buckwheat and almond flours with flax and salt and water to make quick pancake ‘bread’ slices and whipped together a raw Caesar-like dressing from soaked cashews, half a nori sheet, nooch and spices. It came together pretty quickly and was repeat worthy.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave muffin topped with Justin's vanilla AB, raspberries and 1/3 GF vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave muffin topped with Justin’s vanilla AB, raspberries and 1/3 GF vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

Another meal in a bowl. Having fresh raspberries again makes everything so much better. And splurging on Justin’s vanilla almond butter (sooooo good!) is making me want to put it on everything. Kind of a problem when it costs $8, but I’m going to try to make it last longer than 2 weeks.

What are some of your new and old favorites?

Things I Love

My lovely mom is in town for the weekend, so I’m gonna make this post short and sweet in order to spend the most time I can with her. So let’s get to it!

I’m basically just filling out the Lovely 14–Things I Love survey that I’ve seen floating around. It still counts if it’s right after Valentines Day, right? 😛

1. Valentines Candy I Love: 

Gotta be honest with you, not a big fan of candy. The closest I get is fair trade, vegan dark chocolate made with natural ingredients. #sorryimnotsorry But really, I love Theo and Alter Eco’s chocolate, particularly their mint varieties.

2. Current Workout Jam I Love:

Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj, I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor by the Arctic Monkeys and Houdini by Foster the People. Yes, all completely random but they really pump me up to pump some iron or blast out some ab exercises.

3. Article of Clothing I Love:

The boyfriend-fit chambray shirt my mom got me for Valentines Day from American Eagle. We actually just stopped by there today and I love literally almost everything in the store right now. Not an issue at all…nope, except for my wallet!

4. Something Red I Love:

Microwaved raspberries on my waffles

This was my very appropriate V-Day waffle.

This was my very appropriate V-Day waffle.

And my mommy (she’s a red-head, it totally counts!)

5. Month I Love:

July because it’s my birthday month, the height of summer (my fave season) and I love Independence Day! Oh, and I also like May because it kinda marks the beginning of summer for me, what with getting out of school, Memorial Day weekend and the weather warming up. Can you tell I like summer…and much warmer weather than we’ve been having?!

6. Piece of Advice I Love: 

Just do you. I have a bad habit of falling into comparison traps all.the.time so reminding myself that I need to do what works for me and not worry about anyone else is vital.

7. New (or Old) Blog I Love:

Amanda’s blog is pretty much bangin’–love her more personal posts as well as her fun thoughtful ones. And Alex’s blog always keeps me second-guessing myself and my recovery in a really good and helpful way.

8. Current Reading Material I Love:

I honestly like never read books other than required readings for classes (school has ruined me haha) so I’m actually kinda liking my advertising textbooks. Nerd alert! But actually, they have really cool ad examples from a long time ago and even recently so it’s an entertaining read.

9. A Memory I Love:

The summer between my junior and senior years of HS when I went on a church mission trip to San Francisco. Not only was the work we did really humbling and eye-opening, but the city itself is really cool and I’m itching to go back.

A gorgeous city, even from afar!

A gorgeous city, even from afar!

10. “Chick Flick” I Love:

I’m not sure if this counts as a chick flick, but I love love LOVE The Devil Wears Prada. Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep are amazing (when are they ever not?) and the fashion story behind it is totally my thing.

11. A Special Place in the World I Love:

My hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. I was born there and lived there for the first 2 years of my life, and have only been back once for a spring break trip, so I don’t know all its ins and outs but I do know that I have a special connection to it, it’s really beautiful (I love deserts) and I want to go back someday (hopefully immediately post-college) to live and work. I know the summers are brutal (hey, I was born there in the middle of summer!) but I think it would be worth putting up with to live there amongst the cacti.

You can't tell me this doesn't look beautiful.

You can’t tell me this doesn’t look beautiful.

12. Beauty Product I Love:

Bath and Body Works white citrus scented body lotion. The smell reminds me of summer, just what this summer-lovin’ girl needs right about now!

13. Nifty Website I Love:

Not exactly a site, but these hilarious and so-true Shit Vegans Say videos were found on the SFWeekly website…another reason to love San Fran!

14. A Beautiful Blog Post I Love:

Gah so many! Really, I just love all your blogs #cheesybuttrue

Answer any of the above…and enjoy your weekend!

WIAW (on Sunday)

So I haven’t done a legit WIAW (aka, posting all my meals from one day) in a really long time…why not do one now? I managed to take Instagram pics of basically everything I ate on Sunday so here it is!

Breakfast

Homemade oat flour waffle with semisweet chocolate chips and frozen raspberries, topped with chocolate protein ‘frosting’ and fresh raspberries.

It’s obvious that I’m obsessed with waffles for breakfast. But I haven’t spent a dime on frozen waffles in probably 2 years. Why not make your own, with all the things you want and nothing you don’t? My waffle maker is getting so much use by me that my mom said I could take it with me to my apartment! My basic recipe always includes oat flour, baking powder, Truvia, unsweetened almond milk and chia gel. But I always include add-ins. And you can’t forget the protein frosting, that’s the icing on the cake waffle.

Lunch

Steamed edamame topped with nooch, baby carrots, mini raw carrot cake bite topped with pineapple cashew cream frosting, fresh pineapple and blueberries.

I love having edamame at lunch! Lately, I’ve been increasing my protein and it keeps me so satisfied. I’m not straying from veganism for the sake of protein though–there are plenty of plant based proteins that I’m obsessed with. Edamame is definitely one of them, it’s just so good and easy to make. And it tastes awesome with nooch–sounds weird, but it does.

Snack

Simply sprouted sweet potato chips, wasabi rice crackers, kettle corn, dried edamame, maple cashews, Medjool date, Alter Eco dark mint chocolate square.

I don’t think it’s possible for me to get sick of snack plates–there’s just so many combos! I always have a good mix of carbs (sprouted chips, rice crackers and organic kettle corn), protein (edamame), fat (cashews) and fun (chocolate and date). I just love the mix of flavors and textures, plus it lets me be indecisive 😉

Tennis

It’s a Christmas court!

I’ve been trying to play tennis with my dad every weekend this summer. It hasn’t always happened, but we’ve been playing a lot and it’s always a fun break from the norm. On Sunday we only played for half an hour since we started out late (around 5:50 pm) and the clouds were rolling in but we were running around the court more than usual.

Dinner

Spinach and mixed greens topped with falafel and homemade vegan tzatziki, veggie straws (unpictured chocolate banana protein smoothie).

I was feeling lazy and uninspired when dinner rolled around but I decided to make use of some falafel balls taking up space in the fridge. I whipped up a vegan tzatziki sauce made from some coconut milk yogurt I just bought, topped some greens with the baked falafels and sauce and had some veggie straws and a protein smoothie on the side. It was actually a great dinner, especially for being on the fly!

Coconut Tzatziki (vegan, gluten-free)

1 container So Delicious plain coconut milk yogurt (can use Greek-style or regular)

1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped

mint leaves, to taste

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

Scoop yogurt into a bowl. Add in cucumber, mint leaves, garlic and lemon juice. Stir until combined, and add in salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to let flavors mix. Makes 4-5 small servings.

Dessert

Half of a WF vegan chocolate chip cookie, fresh raspberries, mint chip coconut milk ice cream.

I know I post a picture of a vegan cookie and ice cream all the time, but I don’t have it every night! The cookie I buy maybe once every two weeks when I hit up Whole Foods, and I split it in half to make it last two nights. And I have a small bowl of vegan ice cream a few nights a week, it’s just too good not to enjoy often! But it’s expensive so I try to make it last!

I just noticed that I was obsessed with chocolate and berries on Sunday–not bad obsessions at all 😛 Actually, I’ve been loving both a lot lately, along with pineapple, mango, quinoa and sunflower seed butter. Hey, food ruts aren’t all bad!

Have you been in any ‘food ruts’ lately? Do you like eating salads for dinner?

Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #42

Friday Faves (June 22)

Before I get into the post, I’ve gotta thank everyone for your wonderful and encouraging comments on my last post! I love having the support and also knowing that some of you out there are in a similar boat as me and want to stop letting your lives be dictated by ED. It’s only been a couple of days since I decided to actually buckle down and start eating more and while it is hard to change that mindset, I’m already feeling stronger and happier.

Favorite Bath & Body Works Scent: Signature Vanillas Lemon 

Can you tell I’m obsessed?

Since this scent first came out (either last summer or the one before), I’ve been in love with it. It seriously smells like a lemon poppyseed muffin with a hint of vanilla. It’s my daily go-to lotion and when I was at the mall the other day, I spotted the matching shower gel for only $2! If you love BBW and haven’t checked out their semi-annual sale yet, doooooo it! They’re having the best deals right now. Oh, and as if having the lotion and shower gel weren’t enough, I also have the lip gloss in this scent. Yeah, I’m kinda obsessed…

Favorite Dessert-like Breakfast

Are you sure this isn’t actually a decadent dessert?

It’s no secret that I have a major sweet tooth. I am NOT a savory breakfast kind of girl at all, but sometimes I even take my breakfasts to the extreme. Okay, not really, but this particular breakfast was pretty dessert-like. I made peanut flour flax pudding (peanut flour, ground flax and almond milk mixed together and set in the fridge overnight to thicken), added in a spoonful of dark cocoa powder and topped with fresh raspberries, chopped almonds and semisweet chocolate chips. Ummm, yeah, I could eat this every day! What other dessert boasts 10 grams of protein and flax seeds? Probably not many.

Favorite (Actual) Dessert I Want to Make: Vegan S’mores Hot Fudge Sundae

Who wouldn’t want some of this deliciousness? (photo courtesy of Healthy Happy Life)

It’s been years since I’ve had an ice cream sundae, and sometimes a girl just has to treat herself to one (especially if she’s trying to eat more/gain weight). S’mores (and ice cream sundaes in general) aren’t usually vegan-friendly but this one is, thanks to the use of nondairy ice cream, ricemellow creme and soy whipped cream. Once I can track down some of the ingredients, I will for sure be trying this out…and reporting back, so you guys can try it too if you want!

Favorite Activity of the Week: Selfies

Trust me, this isn’t the only one I’ve taken this week!

Okay, actually this isn’t true. I’ve done a lot more exciting things this week but I don’t have photographic evidence of those things (such as messing around with the mannequins at Dillard’s with my sister…) so this is what I went with. Some days I just get bored, whip out my phone, pull up the Instagram app and go to town. It’s kinda fun making different faces and playing with the different effects.

What’s your favorite lotion scent? Do you have a dessert-like thing you like to eat for breakfast that’s actually healthy?

WIAW: A Day of Red & Pink

Hey everyone! I hope you all had fabulous weekends! Mine was really good, since I spent it at home, and actually a little longer than usual, because of a snowstorm that kept me here for another day. But I’m not complaining 😉

Anyways, I really wanted to thank every single one of you who commented on my last post. I loved that you guys spoke your mind in a very respectful way and I really liked the conversation that the post sparked. I really do believe that every person is totally different and as such, they have completely different nutritional needs and we should all be respectful and understanding of that, which you all did. So thanks again!

Peas and Crayons

Moving on to WIAW for this week! I decided to do mine a little early, since I wanted to do a special Valentine’s Day edition and V-Day is today! Basically, my meals were pretty pink and red (and chocolate-y) today in honor of the holiday. I’m not a huge fan of V-Day, but I also don’t hate it. I mean, my parents are basically the best Valentines ever, since they got me the sweetest card, a pink carnation plant and a cute American Eagle scarf. And after all, the day’s a good excuse to wear pink which is exactly I did. But more on that later!

Breakfast: raspberry mocha smoothie in a bowl topped with Kashi GoLean, peanut flour paste, gummy vitamins and a couple vegan chocolate chips.

This was my first attempt at a smoothie in a bowl and while it was super tasty, it wasn’t thick. At all. More like cold soup, which is alright but I want a super thick smoothie. Looks like I have to invest in some xanthan gum…Anyways, the smoothie was just a mix of some frozen raspberries, cocoa powder, u/s vanilla almond milk (my personal fave brand is Pacific Naturals) and a little Starbucks instant coffee powder. I love the little caffeine burst+coffee flava in the morning without shelling out $4 for some ‘bucks. Speaking of which…

Tall skinny soy caramel macchiato (love!) in a special Starbucks Valentine's cup.

My dad and I hit up the ‘bucks on Sunday for some afternoon coffee and I was soooooo excited, because I’d heard about the special V-Day cups. I am such a sucker for all things seasonal so this did not disappoint. I also tried out a new-to-me drink, the skinny caramel macchiato with soy and it was delicious and caramel-y without being too rich. Definitely a repeat order.

Outfit of the day: hot pink cropped cardi (A&F), pink ruffled tank (A&F Kids), tan corduroy jeggings (Hollister), pink plaid scarf (American Eagle), pink polka dot headband (American Eagle).

I was honestly surprised by how few people were wearing red or pink on campus. I guess I just like to be festive 😉 The pants look like a nasty color in the photo, but trust me, they’re actually a caramel color, not a gross mustard yellow. The lighting in my dorm is pretty pathetic!

Lunch: butternut squash cubes with cinnamon, chocolate brownie Pure bar, raisins.

Who says you can’t eat a brownie for lunch? It is Valentine’s Day, after all! And of course, the chocolate brownie Pure bar is super-healthy, so it’s alright. I enjoyed this lunch on-the-go between classes as per usual.

Snack: raspberry zinger tea, superfruits Oikos.

My favorite Oikos flavor, hands down, would have to be the superfruits. It’s an amazing mix of pomegranate, raspberry and acai and I just love it. I haven’t had it in literally months, though, because the stores me never seem to stock it. When my lovely mom picked up groceries for me last week, she found it and knowing how much I love it, got it for me. Now I get to enjoy it three more times!

Dinner: dark chocolate raspberry "cheesecake" oats, smart bacon.

I love love LOVE having oats for dinner…with some protein and a fruit or veggie to balance it out, of course. Tonight I went for a really sweet oats combo of dark cocoa powder and frozen raspberries with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt stirred in. The yogurt made the oats really creamy and reminded me a little bit of cheesecake. A healthy cheesecake, of course!

Snack: bunny pretzels, organic strawberry jam, almond peanut cashew butter, peanut flour paste.

Of course I had to use my heart-shaped bowl at least once today. I’m not really sure how this snack is related to Valentine’s Day, except that it’s in the bowl and it has strawberry jam. It’s just one of my favorite snack combos at the moment!

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite berry?

WIAW: Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve

Hey friends, what is up? Can you believe that we’re just 4 days away from Christmas (hence my title)? It’s total craziness if you ask me, but I’m definitely looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for several reasons. One being I love the church service my family goes to every Christmas Eve, and I also can’t wait to watch the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story on TBS! That is my favorite Christmas movie, so hilarious and such a classic.

But enough about Christmas, let’s get on with this week’s WIAW! Is it lame that I’m always super excited for it? Nah, I don’t care if it seems dumb, it’s such a fun foodie party that I can’t not participate in it week after week. This week’s edition includes some random eats I’ve been loving lately, as well as a couple of recipes too–BONUS 😀 And apparently this week I was obsessed with Instagram…

Peas and Crayons

Hot caramel apple pie volume oats--I know you've gotta be drooling by now!

As I mentioned in my NaNeFoMo bucket list post, I said I was planning on making some raw treats. Well, the first thing on my mind was raw salted caramel apple dip. I bookmarked this recipe a few weeks back and was just itching to test it out for myself. I made a few tweaks to it, though, but it still turned out yummy. Next time, I think I’d add a bit more salt, though, because it didn’t have quite the hint of saltiness I thought it would.

Raw Salted Caramel Apple Dip (vegan, no cook)

1/2 cup dates (the original called for Medjool, I used California pitted), about 12 dates

1 T raw nut butter (I used Artisana’s walnut)

squeeze fresh lemon juice

sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

Soak dates in water for at least four hours (I did overnight) and cover. Drain dates and reserve soaking liquid. Blend dates and rest of ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add in soaking liquid one spoonful at a time until it’s the right consistency for you. Use as a topping for oats, as a spread on fruit or bread or as an apple dipper, of course! Makes about 3/4 cup.

The salad kick continues with a homemade salad of spinach, crispy tempeh bacon slices and Whole Foods' carrot ginger dressing.

The dressing can really make or break a salad, but luckily, this one was a winner! I found it in the produce section when I hit up WF the other day, and it’s got a nice tanginess to it.

The perfect sides for a salad--a ripe Satsuma tangerine and some peanut butter balls cereal.

Hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) and frozen raspberries make a yummy snack.

I’ve been craving hot cocoa lately, so I decided to whip up an easy mug of it. I just heated up some unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the micro, mixed it with some Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder and a packet of stevia, and topped it with a few pescetarian marshmallows. It was the best hot cocoa I’ve had in quite a while (I actually rarely drink hot cocoa), so I’m thinking almond milk is what made it amazing. But then again, what isn’t amazing about almond milk?

A throwback to an old favorite--"taco salad" with black beans, spinach, plain Oikos and crushed mild green mojo multigrain chips on top.

So remember me talking about how I’ve been obsessed with salads lately? Ummmm, well, that obsession’s gotten a little bit stronger since then. Since I got home, I’ve had a different salad for lunch every single day and it’s been glorious. Having fresh spinach leaves really takes them over the top. A good obsession to have, am I right?

Simple ingredients make for the most delicious cookies!

Nutty Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies (vegan)

1/4 c almond butter

1/3 c maple syrup

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 c pumpkin puree (I used butternut squash, since it was on hand)

1/2 c oat flour

1/4 t salt

1/4 t baking soda

1/4 c vegan chocolate chips

1/4 c unsweetened dried cherries

1/4 c chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine almond butter and maple syrup together until mixed; add in pumpkin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda and then add in to wet mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, cherries and pecans until combined. Cover and chill batter for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Scoop chilled batter with a melon baller onto baking sheet, spacing dough 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown and just slightly soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside on baking rack to cool. Makes 12.

I loosely based this recipe off one from the Whole Foods website, but I made it vegan by subbing almond butter for dairy butter, maple syrup for white sugar and pumpkin puree for eggs. They turned out pretty good, a little small, but nice and “rugged” I guess. I like cookies that aren’t delicate–I definitely prefer ones like these that have chunks of good stuff in them! These cookies are pretty low-cal (about 120 per cookie) and you can feel good about eating them because they’ve got healthy ingredients like nuts and oats in them. But mostly you’ll just like them ’cause they taste good 😉

A 'classic' dinner with a twist--homemade black bean burger, sweet potato tots (best little things ever!), peanut flour sauce.

I made an attempt at making my own veggie burger last night, and it actually turned out decent, except it was too crumbly. I basically just mashed drained black beans and rolled oats together with a little chili powder and cooked it up in the skillet. It was a simple and delicious dinner alongside my favorite sweet potato tater tots and some peanut flour sauce for dippage. My kind of “burger and fries”.

What better way to start out the morning than with peanutty raspberry chocolate volume oats?

I have so much fun creating new oats combos. This one, like most of them, was a total winner, but then again when isn’t the combo of raspberry, peanut and chocolate delicious? Unfortunately, my supply of peanut flour is running dangerously low (no worries, another bag is on the way) so it turned out kinda runny but it still mixed well with organic jam and a few dark chocolate chips.

 

What is something you’ve tried again recently for the first time in a while? What is your favorite part of Christmas (if you celebrate it)?