New in Review: Nails & Noshes

Hey look, I didn’t totally give up on my new series! I’m going to try to get these up every other week so I hope y’all like them as much as I do!

This week features a couple nail-related beauty products as well as plenty of food items…

  • Veggie-Go’s (sweet potato pie)

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I’ve actually had these before but I never did a formal review on them. They’re anything but your basic fruit strip, because they include veggies (!) and have no added sugar. This flavor in particular tastes like a dessert, but it’s only got 2 grams of sugar, from the sweet potatoes and apples. They’re just fruit, veggies and spices — perfect if you’re like me and prefer your food to be as simple as possible.

Pros: extremely tasty, perfect for a quick 1/2 serving each of fruit & veggies

Cons: a little expensive for the size (~$1.25 per strip)

Where to buy: Whole Foods, their site

  • Sally Hansen Kwik Off Moisturizing Nail Polish Remover

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Has anyone else ever been intrigued by those little containers you dip your fingers in to get nail polish off? My friend had one and it worked magic, so I thought I’d buy one instead of the usual messy nail polish remover liquid. This stuff works like a charm, and it doesn’t smell all chemical-y or get all over the place. I will never buy acetone remover again!

Pros: inexpensive, easy to use, no lingering smell

Cons: honestly, none!

Where to Buy: Target, Sephora, drug stores (CVS and Walgreens probably have them)

  • Dr. in the Kitchen Flackers raw flax crackers

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Another cheat (I first started buying them like 2 years ago), but I started recently buying them more often now that the Whole Foods nearest me carries them. I’ve tried the dill, rosemary, sun dried tomato & basil and cinnamon & currants flavors (basically all of them but the savory flavor) and I love them all except the cinnamon and currants. That one gets a bit too chewy from the currants and the flavor is weirdly sour. But all the others are tasty, not too salty and have stellar nutritionals. 6-7 grams of fiber, raw, gluten free and 4-5 grams of protein per serving. Freakin’ delicious on a snack plate with some olives or raw cashew cheez.

Pros: really healthy, good flavors

Cons: a bit expensive, hard to find

Where to Buy: Whole Foods (not all carry them), natural foods stores, Amazon

  • Honest Fizz (root beer)

Y’all know Zevia has my heart. I mean, sure it costs a lot more than your typical diet soda but it’s so much better for you. If you drink soda, you really need to switch to Zevia.

But Honest Fizz is another great alternative that is a little cheaper. Currently, they only have 4 flavors but I’m hoping they’re successful so maybe they’ll add more. Fingers crossed they (or Zevia) make a watermelon soda. Obsessed. Anyways, the root beer is pretty spot on. I actually prefer the Zevia root beer only because it has a kick from the ginger, but the Honest Fizz was less filling (I don’t drink Zevias too often because I hate being filled up with soda, even if it’s zero calorie) which I like. And I think it would make a pretty good healthy root beer float!

Pros: cheaper than Zevia, less filling

Cons: not many flavor options

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, possibly Sprouts

  •  Broadway Nails imPress press-on manicure

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I’ve gotten into the habit of constantly having my nails painted. The problem is I hate constantly touching up and redoing my nails every few days after they inevitably chip. Enter the fake nails! This is my first time using them, and I can honestly say I am imPressed 😉

These go on really quickly and easily. You press them down for a few minutes and after an hour they’re completely good to go. My nails were fairly short at the time I applied these, so even the ‘short’ length had to be trimmed down a bit, but they look natural. Best of all, no chipping!

Pros: easier than nail polish, look natural

Cons: more expensive per use than nail polish, only get 1-2 uses out of each pack

Where to Buy: Target, CVS, Walgreens

  • Living Intentions superfood cereal (hemp & greens)

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I first discovered this granola at the Whole Foods in my college town. They started stocking it in the bulk bins last spring and once I saw it, I had to give it a try. Of course, being a sprouted, superfood-y type thing, it’s expensive. About $12 per pound! But if you only get a little bit at a time like I do, it’s a lot less expensive. Some stores only sell it prepackaged so you can’t buy only what you need, but if your Whole Foods sells it in the bulk area, BUY IT!

I’ve tried a few of the flavors, but my favorite by far is the hemp & greens. This one isn’t sweetened with agave like some of the others, which I like. It’s got a bit of a ‘green’ flavor from the added spirulina, chlorella, spinach, alfalfa and dandelion — what other cereal can boast those ingredients? It’s grain free (made from buckwheat), low sugar, high protein…basically the healthiest granola ever. It’s perfectly crunchy and just a bit sweet and pairs well with almond milk. I also love it as a topping for my protein puddings.

Pros: one of the healthiest cereals ever, great ingredients

Cons: expensive, I love it so much I keep buying it 😉

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Nuts.com

What new products have you tried lately? 

From Texas to Tulsa

Thursday is the big day. AKA I pack up my life in Colorado and move 600+ miles away to Tulsa, OK. I also start my first real girl job in less than a week, so all that adds up to one stressed chica. I’m just trying to take things one day and one box at a time and enjoy the time I have left as an unemployed Colorado girl 😉

But enough moving and life change talk, let’s talk about spring break instead. Specifically my spring break. I spent most of it in Houston, TX at my aunt and uncle’s house and then a couple days at their lake house a few hours away (along with a side trip to Tulsa the weekend before to find me an apartment and furniture). This was possibly my last family vacation ever and even though it wasn’t always perfect, I tried to soak up every minute (even our way-too-long 18 hour drive home on Saturday) of the trip.

car snacks

Prepping road trip snacks.

Lunch at Whole Foods after a morning of apartment hunting in Tulsa. This WFM was huge, had a great salad bar selection and is a 7 minute drive from my new place!

Lunch at Whole Foods after a morning of apartment hunting in Tulsa. This WFM was huge, had a great salad bar selection and is a 7 minute drive from my new place!

lizard

A cute li’l lizard I found (you can barely see it, but it’s in the middle, on the fence) when I was laying out by the pool.

I could get used to this #poollyfe

I could get used to this #poollyfe

Galveston day trip.

Galveston day trip.

I love my sissy!

I love my sissy!

They had the most colorful parrots at the Moody Gardens rainforest.

They had the most colorful parrots at the Moody Gardens rainforest.

I dressed up for a day that was mostly spent driving to the lake house.

I dressed up for a day that was mostly spent driving to the lake house.

Rain on the window.

Rain on the window.

Doesn't this look so real? It was actual a fake turtle in an exhibit at a national park visitor center.

Doesn’t this look so real? It was actually a fake turtle in an exhibit at a national park visitor center.

Easy and healthy road trip snacks in the car on the way back home. Grapes, carrots and one-ingredient PB.

Easy and healthy road trip snacks in the car on the way back home. Grapes, carrots and one-ingredient PB.

I didn't know the TX panhandle had so many mesas! I absolutely love desert-like terrain.

I didn’t know the TX panhandle had so many mesas! I absolutely love desert-like terrain.

I love vacations, but it feels great to be back in my own bed!

I love vacations, but it feels great to be back in my own bed!

This vacation really challenged me A LOT! I had to deal with 4 really long drives (CO to Tulsa, Tulsa to Houston, Houston to the lake house, the lake house to home) where I was eating on the road (either Chipotle salads or healthy road trip snacks like Larabars and kale chips and carrots) and not getting much movement (I HATE sitting for long periods of time), as well as eating meals at weird times (my aunt and uncle love eating dinner late, so every night we ate after 8:30 pm!) and sometimes skipping meals because I wasn’t hungry, and also not getting any real exercise other than some walking. There were times on the trip I was miserable, because the humidity was messing with my hair and skin and I felt downright ugly and fat. But honestly, it was a nice trip, even though it wasn’t necessarily very relaxing. And when I got home, I was surprised to notice that my body didn’t really change at all during a week of no formal exercise and mostly eating snacks and not a ton of veggies. Of course, it felt great to get back into my daily workout routine and eating normal meals/snacks at regular times but this vacation taught me that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Flexibility is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, a part I’ve been mostly neglecting. Yes, regular exercise and balanced eating are incredibly good for you, but eating at Chipotle twice in one week or taking a break from working out on vacation is normal sometimes, and there’s no reason to beat ourselves up about it. This is hopefully something I can carry into my new life, because there may not always be time for 2 workouts a day or homemade salads for lunch, but I can still be healthy, and that’s what matters.

Do you prefer road trips or flying? How do you fit flexibility into a healthy lifestyle? 

Life Lately+Big Decisions

Hey guys! I’m back a little sooner than I expected…mostly because I just found out the other day that school actually starts a week later than I thought it did. Best surprise ever, right? Apparently I had a bit of a blonde moment thinking school started this coming Monday but luckily I checked my university’s website and confirmed that I actually start on the 26th. Yay to having an extra week of summer break though!

Anyways, my vacation went well and I want to share a few recap photos but I mostly want to talk about some big decisions I’ve been making lately–some about the blog.

So I’m starting my senior year–make that senior semester–on the 26th and I’m taking 17 credits, which is more than I’ve taken in my entire time in college. I’m basically taking on a full course load, along with returning to my position as weather anchor at the campus TV station. Add to that some job hunting and you’ve got one stressed chica. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited for this upcoming semester and even more so for graduation and getting my first job out of college, but I also have a lot on my plate. I need to buckle down and really focus on making my last semester the best ever, which also includes being more social/spontaneous, so blogging will definitely be taking a backseat.

Not only that, but I feel like I need to move on from this blog. I’ve been keeping it up for 2+ years and while it’s been great, I want to take a different focus for my blog. That being said, I’ve started blogging over at a new blog, Real.Food.Girl. and while I’ll generally be talking about similar topics, I’d like to focus more on healthy recipes, and the quirky parts of my life as a twenty-something starting my adult life on my own. I want this new blog to be more fun, more honest but less about the hangups I still have about food, fitness and my body. I’m moving further and further away from my struggles with those things so I think starting a new blog will be kind of a clean slate for me in that aspect. I hope you continue to follow me over at my new blog and I will definitely be keeping up with reading all of your posts because I love that part of blogging! I may not post as often (I’ll be trying for once or twice per week) but I hope the posts will be more meaningful.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part–the vacation recap. I don’t want to bore y’all with the details of the 8 day trip but I do want to share some photos with you guys. This vacation was unexpectedly amazing, yet sad at the same time. I visited extended family out in Wisconsin, and though in some ways it was similar to previous visits, it was quite different as well. For one thing, it was the first time we went back in 4 years, and a lot has changed since then. Mostly that my grandpa on my dad’s side is not doing well at all, and had just moved into assisted living before we got there. It was really hard to see him so frail and unable to walk on his own. Even though staying at his cottage wasn’t the same without him there, he really enjoyed our daily visits and hopefully they improved his spirits. Other than that, the trip was fun and it was great to catch up with extended family we hadn’t seen in a few years. We spent half the time with one set of grandparents at their house and camper and the other half at my grandpa’s lake cottage in the Northwoods. I’ve always enjoyed the time I’ve spent on the lake and I hope I can return again next summer because I really missed it.

Gotta love Sky Mall's silly products.

Gotta love Sky Mall’s silly products.

On the 'ducks' on the Wisconsin River.

On the ‘ducks’ on the Wisconsin River.

The fun lake at the campground.

The fun lake at the campground.

Qdoba salad on the road.

Qdoba salad on the road.

Heading up north!

Heading up north!

Snacks in the car.

Snacks in the car.

Lake Pokegama at sunset.

Lake Pokegama at sunset.

The pontoon boat.

The pontoon boat.

Lake view. Gorgeous.

Lake view.

Sissy on the pier.

Sissy on the pier.

Looking off the pier.

Looking off the pier.

I love the lake!

I love the lake!

Stairs of doom...just kidding! Super steep though.

Stairs of doom…just kidding! Super steep though.

Me on the paddle boat. My workout of choice while at the lake.

Me on the paddle boat. My workout of choice while at the lake.

Me and my sissy.

Me and my sissy.

Flying back home on Southwest Airlines.

Flying back home on Southwest Airlines.

I came back with TONS of pictures (80+!), more mosquito bites than I’d like and lots of memories. I really miss being there, but I’m glad to be back so I could get back into my normal routine–I didn’t get in any formal workouts while in WI other than paddleboating and walking around, my acne really flared up in the humidity and I missed having a Whole Foods 10 minutes away (though my parents were great and stopped at the WF in Milwaukee after landing to stock up on groceries for the week). I don’t always love where I live, but this trip made me thankful for some things I take for granted being here, and it made it a little easier to get back to my normal life. But nothing beats vacation time! I especially liked that we flew out instead of driving–I love airports and flying, and I haven’t flown in 3 years so I really missed it. Call me weird, but I just love to fly.

What was your most recent vacation destination? Do you like to fly?

WIAW and New Series

It feels like forever since I’ve done a WIAW (okay, so it’s only been 2 weeks) so I’m back again with some random things I’ve been eating throughout the past few days. And…I’ve been wanting to start another post series like my grocery budgeting one and with my new found interest in raw foodism, I figured, why not do posts on my adventures in going raw?

I’ll start off with a few non-raw pics for WIAW, and then move into the first Adventures in Raw topic, which will be obsessiveness. I know a lot of non-raw-foodies think that a raw food diet, whether LFRV (aka the 80-10-10 fruitarian diet) or HFRV (including some higher fat raw foods) or somewhere in between, can become obsessive and restrictive, but so far, I’ve found that to be the opposite. More on that below!

WIAW

A non-raw breakfast for once: GF buckwheat+coconut flour based pancakes, topped with vanilla Sunwarrior 'frosting', Justin's vanilla almond butter, blueberries and coconut flakes.

A non-raw breakfast for once: GF buckwheat+coconut flour based pancakes, topped with vanilla Sunwarrior ‘frosting’, Justin’s vanilla almond butter, blueberries and coconut flakes.

Besides when I was on vacation, and even then I was still trying to eat somewhat raw when I could, I’ve been eating at least one raw meal a day, and it’s usually been breakfast. But one day I was craving a cooked breakfast so I opted for some quick GF pancakes made from a mix of coconut and buckwheat flours. They turned out fine, but I realized while eating them that I missed my raw breakfasts. Nothing like prepping raw flax pancakes or chia puddings the night before and just having to plate and top them in the morning!

Dinner from the grill: portobello mushroom (marinated in coconut aminos, liquid smoke and a little maple syrup) topped with fresh-made guac, side of grilled sweet potato fries.

Dinner from the grill: portobello mushroom (marinated in coconut aminos, liquid smoke and a little maple syrup) topped with fresh-made guac, side of grilled sweet potato fries.

If I haven’t been eating mostly raw at dinner, I’ve been wanting things grilled. Grilled veggies, grilled fruit, grilled tempeh. I finally decided to grill a portobello for the first time. It was good, but it could have been grilled a little longer–I like my foods dry! The sweet potato fries were pretty good though. I thought you had to always precook sweet potatoes before you grill, but I just sliced up this one, spiced it with Old Bay and almond oil, and tossed it in a grill basket. Some pieces were too firm, and some too burned, but they were tasty!

Work snacks: half a Vega One double chocolate bar (the cleanest and tastiest protein bar out there!), organic blueberries, leftover grilled sp fries, date.

Work snacks: half a Vega One double chocolate bar (the cleanest and tastiest protein bar out there!), organic blueberries, leftover grilled sp fries, date.

On Mondays and Thursdays I work a 5 hour shift from 2 to 7 pm at my weather internship. That’s basically my ideal snack time, and I want to make sure I’m not too starving to make the half hour drive home from work unbearable (or make my wallet unhappy by stopping at Whole Foods every time) so I pack a lot of little snacks that I eat whenever I get the time. My favorite combo is half of a Vega or Larabar, with fresh veggies and fruit.

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

Now that I’m legal almost 21 (in just a month and 8 days!), and it’s summer, I’ve been in the mood to sometimes (read: once or twice a month) enjoy a little adult drink. And by little, I really mean little, because my body does NOT have a high tolerance for alcohol. I can’t even handle one drink without feeling a little weird. Guess that means I’ll be a cheap date in the future 😉 However, I was able to handle this watermelon frosty because it was just 1 shot of vodka and basically, it was like a watermelon in frozen form! My mom added some lime juice and a bit of honey with the watermelon, along with the vodka and a little water to the blender and it was the perfect summertime drink. It would be awesome too in nonalcoholic form, and made more raw-friendly with raw honey instead of regular.

Adventures in Raw

Now, onto what I was saying about raw foodism and obsessiveness. I know it can seem, and can actually become, overwhelming to eat all raw, all the time. Right now, I’m not at that point. I still eat cooked foods once or twice a day, and some things I eat aren’t strictly raw, but I keep it clean and healthy within the limits I’ve given. Going out to eat while raw can be hard, unless the restaurant you go to has some raw options, so that’s why I’m keeping my diet mostly raw at home, and just healthy and vegan if I’m out (unless there is a raw option, then I’ll probably go for it!)

Anyways, my point is that raw foodism doesn’t seem obsessive to me. In my experiments with it so far, it’s made me less obsessed over macros especially. When I was still tracking my calories, and even after I stopped, I was so focused on my macro balance. Earlier this year, I think I was striving for a 50-20-30 balance (carbs/protein/fat) and it wasn’t just a loose goal–I tried to get that everyday, and if I didn’t, I was disappointed and beat myself up. With eating raw, I just focus on nutrients and getting in enough calories because you have to eat a LOT more when you’re raw. It’s helped me challenge my old bad habit of wanting to restrict and seeing raw foodies’ Instagrams inspires me to eat a lot more than I’m used to. I just don’t worry about getting the perfect balance of macros anymore. I’m not sure I believe that the 80-10-10 balance is the way to go, because I feel great with more fats, but I think I’m probably hitting more of a 60-15-25 balance right now, and it’s great. I don’t stress about getting enough protein or too many carbs like I used to, but I also don’t worry about getting too much fat from healthy sources like raw nuts, seeds and coconut.

Raw banana 'ice cream' mixed with a little chocolate Sunwarrior and a Medjool date, topped with raw pumpkin seeds and a raw chocolate bar. This meal had protein, carbs and fat but I wasn't stressing if I got enough or too much of any macro.

Raw banana ‘ice cream’ mixed with a little chocolate Sunwarrior and a Medjool date, topped with raw pumpkin seeds and a raw chocolate bar. This meal had protein, carbs and fat but I wasn’t stressing if I got enough or too much of any macro.

Raw foodism has also made meal prep a breeze. Like I mentioned above with the pancakes, I’m getting used to making meals that take almost no prep time, or can be made ahead of time. Even complicated raw desserts or sauces just need a few minutes in the food processor and they’re ready to be served. And making things in the dehydrator is actually less time-consuming, because I’m not constantly checking on the food and I can just let it run overnight. And if I’m starving and want to eat NOW, I can just throw veggies, spices and a fat together in a bowl and call it a meal.

Green goddess bowl--an easy raw dinner. Base of kelp noodles mixed with coconut aminos and lime juice, topped with spinach, mashed avocado mixed with sea salt and lime juice and raw pumpkin seeds.

Green goddess bowl–an easy raw dinner. Base of kelp noodles mixed with coconut aminos and lime juice, topped with spinach, mashed avocado mixed with sea salt and lime juice and raw pumpkin seeds.

And with raw foods, I don’t have to worry so much about the ingredient list. Looking at ingredients became such a compulsive and unhealthy thing for me. Whenever I wanted to buy a new food, I always had to check out the ingredients list in the store or research it online before to see if the ingredients were acceptable. With raw foods, pretty much all the ingredients have to be clean and vegan anyway, so I’m not so stressed out about buying new products.

I'm even trying out new-to-me fruits, like this canary melon. Kinda tastes like a sweeter honeydew.

I’m even trying out new-to-me fruits, like this canary melon. Kinda tastes like a sweeter honeydew.

Do you prefer quick and easy meals, or ones that require a lot of prep work? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Recipe Redux: (Raw) Vegan Jalapeno Poppers

So I’m bringing back an old old favorite of mine, just in time for Superbowl Sunday. To be honest, I don’t really care that much about the game, especially since the Broncos aren’t in it (they were so close…) but I’ll probably be rooting for the 49ers since I’ve actually been to San Fran and am definitely considering moving to the area at some point. Anyways, the Superbowl is all about the snacks anyway for us foodies–but what if you want healthier options than the typical chips and dip or buffalo wings? Being vegan also takes many of those traditional snacks out of the equation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t remake them to enjoy a healthy, plant-based option.

I used to love jalapeno poppers as a kid. I’ve been a huge fan of spicy foods for most of my life and the combo of a jalapeno and (fake) cheese was perfect for my picky tastebuds. I haven’t had them in years for obvious reasons but I still have a love for fresh jalapenos and have been wanting to remake them into a vegan version. I’m definitely not the first to think of this as there are plenty of other vegan poppers out there but I really wanted a whole foods-based option so I made my own…and they just so happen to be raw!

'Nuff said!

‘Nuff said!

Vegan Jalapeno Poppers (vegan, gluten free, grain free, can be raw)

4-5 large jalapeno peppers

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours

raw apple cider vinegar, to taste (adds tangy, cream cheese-like flavor)

sea salt, to taste

1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1-2 tbsp almond meal or flour

Rinse off jalapenos and slice in half. You can reserve some of the seeds if you want the poppers to be hotter; if not, just discard the seeds. Remove the ribs from the peppers. In a food processor, blend cashews, ACV, salt and nutritional yeast. Add more nooch and ACV to taste, and add enough water to blend (but make sure it’s thick, like cream cheese). Spoon cashew cheese mixture into each jalapeno half, and top with enough almond flour to cover. 

Raw Version: place jalapeno halves right side up in a dehydrator and dehydrate for 1-2 hours or until warm. 

Baked Version: heat oven to lowest setting, place jalapeno halves on foil-lined baking sheet and cook until warmed and browned (keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn).

What’s your favorite game day snack? Do you like things spicy? 

Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #29

20 Questions, Health Style

It’s that time of year again for all us college kids–finals! I actually only have a few finals this semester but a lot of other crap to do before Christmas break like writing papers and such so saying that I’m stressed is definitely an understatement. So this is where fun little surveys come in! Plus I always love talking about food and health so here we go…

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Today I had a super-unconventional breakfast, at least for me. I had a rice cake (new obsession) topped with raw vanilla chai protein frosting and raisins, with a side of candy cane coffee (courtesy of Target–so good!) and some sauteed cinnamon kale. I usually go for breakfasts on the sweet side and this was, but definitely not my norm, especially with the addition of the kale.

2. How much water do you drink a day?

Not enough! I get headaches a lot (like at least once a week) and I think it may have to do with being a little dehydrated. I live in a really dry state so that doesn’t help but I really need to start drinking more. Water is really the only thing I drink during the day but I don’t get in a lot.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Any of the workouts in this workout app I have on my iPod Touch. I really love the ab-focused ones, I always feel the burn!

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I honestly don’t want to get into this. Yes, I count calories religiously (unfortunately…) but I really really want to stop. I’d rather focus on the nutrients and ingredients in my food rather than calories so I’m working towards that. The calories thing still bugs me though because I know I’m probably slightly restricting but I have no idea how many calories I really need to function at my best. Which is why I want to stop counting calories.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Fruit, dried and fresh and frozen. Rice cakes topped with pumpkin butter. Peanut flour paste. Almond butter mixed with maple syrup. Kale chips. Raw cauliflower dipped in salsa. Roasted squash dipped in nut butter. Dark chocolate…what? Who said it isn’t healthy?!

Pom seeds = totally delicious.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

I try to get in a big bowl of kale in some form, or some veggie. Other than that, I don’t really have anything I eat a lot with lunch. I like to mix it up!

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

I don’t do typical strength-training–I don’t lift weights or anything but I like bodyweight exercises. But I like to train my abs and arms, that’s where I feel the most progress and burn.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Legs. I don’t feel like it does as much as arms or abs.

9. What are your ‘bad’ food cravings?

I don’t really crave unhealthy foods, but since I have a sweet tooth, some days I go a little crazy with the dark chocolate, maple syrup and dried fruit. All healthy things, but not as nutritionally amazing as veggies  obviously!

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I finally found a gummy vitamin without gelatin and I love it! It’s also supplemented with a variety of veggies and fruits which is great for those days that I can’t get in as much produce as I’d like.

11. How often do you eat out?

A few times per month, mostly when my mom picks me up for the weekend and we have to swing by Panera or Chipotle or whatever for a quick lunch or dinner. We don’t go out to real restaurants a lot, mostly because they don’t have tons of vegan options, but Tasty Harmony is my favorite sit-down place because it’s all plant-based and made from scratch. Plus the Whole Foods salad bars are always amazing!

Love the Whole Foods salad bars!

12. Do you eat fast food?

Unless you count places like Chipotle, then never. I haven’t in many years and I don’t really want to. I like fast casual places because they have lots of healthy, vegan options but fast food places do not appeal to me at all.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My family, for sure! My mom has been driving 200 miles a couple of times per month throughout my college career to bring me home on some weekends and always has great advice. I can talk to my dad about anything and he has supported my dreams and expensive tastes. My sister is my best friend and fashion consultant (I’m hers too!). I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Love this girl!

14. Do you have a gym membership?

No, but I’ve always wanted to. I actually think some of those gym machines look really fun!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I always aim for at least 8 and I usually get that…and more! I’m lucky to be such a great sleeper and getting 9 or 10 hours of sleep feels great.

16. Do you have a ‘cheat’ day?

Nope. I have enough disordered thoughts in my life without thinking I need to ‘cheat’ and eat ‘badly’ on a certain day. For the most part, I eat what I like (which is mostly healthy anyways), try to get a good balance of macros and vitamins and that’s that. I try not to overthink indulgences and stuff like that.

Was this healthy? Not really (it was vegan and from Whole Foods though so not totally bad) but it was my birthday and I wanted cake!

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Not regularly, as I’m not quite legal, but I did enjoy a few cocktails on Thanksgiving and I think I’ll have to do the same over Christmas break!

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Not really, but my dad and I play tennis together sometimes which is so fun.  We haven’t played in awhile so that needs to change!

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I started eating healthier around 14 but then I fell into an eating disorder and now I’m coming out on the other side as a vegan and healthier than ever. I think I’ve started to discover balance–balancing healthy eating with exercise, sleep, work and fun. It’s not always easy, but getting that balance is key to being happy.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

Put on a sweatshirt because I was cold. That sounds totally silly, but it’s no fun to sit around freezing and it feels good to respect my body by not ignoring its cries for warmth 😉

Answer any of the questions above!

WIAW: Still Summer

I know people think fall started on September 1st, or that Labor Day weekend marked the end of summer, but not in my world! Or, technically, in the real world either, since fall actually starts in a couple weeks. And here, there aren’t many signs of fall coming–it’s still hella hot and sunny every day, but I’m not complaining. I don’t want my favorite season to go away, ever.

This week’s WIAW is pretty random (aka not all from one day) but is pretty representative of what I’ve been eating lately. And in trying to keep with this month’s theme, I have one goal I want to work on for this month. Now that I’m in my own apartment, with an actual kitchen, I want to make one new-to-me recipe per week. Sure, some of my week days are busy busy busy but I have some downtime on the weekends and on some evenings and I want to use them wisely. I might not post any of the recipes, especially if they’re basically the same as the one I was inspired by, but look for updates on how I enjoyed the new meals. And keep an eye out for more college budgeting posts–I’m so glad you guys like them!

Protein micro muffin. Peanut flour. Buckwheat flour. Ground flax. Raisins, cacao nibs and almond peanut cashew butter.

I’m still loving the protein muffins. They’re such a great way to get in protein and healthy fats, plus they’re an easy breakfast or lunch for busy days. Since I bought coconut flour a couple weeks ago, I’ve been putting that in my muffins along with the protein powder and it adds a great, fluffy texture.

I love my snacks! Cashew ginger & spice KIND bar. Fresh mango. Edamame. Mini sweet peppers. Homemade trail mix. Sprouted toast with peanut flour paste.

This assortment of snacks/mini meals was from last Tuesday when I was covering the Obama visit. I had a couple other unpictured things but luckily, this was all able to keep me satisfied for the 9 hours I was on campus.

Maggie Pond in Breckenridge before the big race.

As I said in my last post, I was up in the mountains on Saturday for Breck’s annual rubber duck race. Yeah, I’m a 5-year-old, but it’s always so exciting to watch the thousands of ducks race down the river. This year, it wasn’t as sunny and hot as it usually is, but it was a good break from the heat we’ve been having back home. And isn’t the town gorgeous? I would so live here, if it wasn’t so snowy most of the year. Guess that’s why it’s a big ski town!

Selfie #noshame. Dress from Forever 21.

The mirror in my apartment bathroom is perfect for selfies. I promise I’m not that self-centered. It’s just fun to take outfit shots and make funny faces. I also promise I have a life 😉

Another Whole Foods salad bar. Can’t even remember everything in it.

I got Whole Foods salad bar twice over the weekend! Yes, I am super lucky. This pic above is from Friday, but I also got a delicious assortment on Monday night. The blackened tofu with pineapple salsa and raw kale salad with cranberries and almond slivers were the highlight of that box. Would you roll your eyes at me if I told you I plan on getting another salad box this weekend?

Snackplate…for lunch. Almond peanut cashew butter with chocolate chips. Kale massaged with creamy garlic dressing. Grapes. Salted edamame. Dark mint chocolate square. Sweet potato multigrain chips.

If I’m not having snackplates for a snack, I’m having them for lunch. They’re great for those times when I’m indecisive and have to leave for class in half an hour. I tried to get a good mix of nutrients with this one–greens, protein, healthy fats (nut butter and dressing), whole grains (chips), fruit and some fun with the chocolate.

The best veggie burger ever. Udi’s g-free bun. Handmade three bean patty. Fresh avocado. Grilled pineapple ring. Harissa ketchup.

Saturday was my first experience with a food truck and it was also a very memorable experience. The one I went to was focused on sandwiches and burgers but they had plenty of veg options. I ordered this one sans cheese and when they accidentally put it on (and my dad and I had to make the trek back across town to get it fixed) they were super nice and apologetic about it. I didn’t mind having to speed walk back once I tasted this bad boy. It was the best veggie burger I’ve ever had, period. And it made me a ketchup and avocado lover. I want this again.

What’s the most fun thing you did over the weekend? Have you ever had a life-changing veggie burger?