Currently: August

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! You really know how to make a girl feel special 😀

I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll get back to a regular posting schedule with a vacation coming up and settling back in at scchool but for now, enjoy this little survey I always enjoy doing.

Current Book: I’m loving my new “Going Raw” cookbook. I like that it’s not just recipes (and delicious-looking ones at that) but it also came with a tutorial DVD and has tips for implementing raw foods into your lifestyle. I basically want to make everything in the book!

That burger on the cover looks unreal.

That burger on the cover looks unreal.

Current Music: I’m loving the new Grouplove song “Ways To Go” and “Hurricane” by MS MR. Alt Nation on Sirius XM is my all-time favorite radio station.

 

Current Guilty Pleasure: Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon. Gah, I need to stop devouring this stuff–I only bought a small bag of it and the stores around me don’t sell it yet! Sooooo addicting, and awesome ingredients list.

Current Nail Color: Mint Sprint by Sally Hansen.

This goes with almost everything.

This goes with almost everything.

Current Drink: Water all day errryday in my VS PINK giant water bottle. It makes drinking water that much easier. Also, coconut water iced coffees.

Current Food: Salads at least 1X per day, protein banana softserve (though not as much anymore), protein fruit ‘cereal’ (Sunwarrior+almond milk+fruit+other toppings in a bowl), Larabars, ice cold watermelon.

These veggies aren't for eating but they sure are cute! An adorable recent IKEA find.

These veggies aren’t for eating but they sure are cute! An adorable recent IKEA find.

Current TV Show: I’m not watching much right now, but I like that new Hollywood Game Night show on NBC. I like seeing celebs in real life!

Current Wishlist: Some clothes I can transition into fall (particularly a hi-lo dress), more cute oxfords (spotted the cutest pair at a little boutique the other day!), a new planner for the school year…and motivation to get through this last semester. Senioritis is hitting me hard!

How cute is this one!

How cute is this one!

Current Needs: The need to pack! Seriously, I actually like packing but I always procrastinate. I can’t even think about packing up stuff again for school in 2 weeks…I just need to pack for vacation first!

Current Triumphs: Finishing up my weather internship with a bang. Last summer’s internship was a bit of a letdown but this summer’s was an amazing learning experience and I got to work in a great environment with awesome people. I’m going to miss that place a lot, but I’m thankful for the experience I got there. Annnnnnd, I may end up posting some of my work from there at some point on here, who knows!

Current Bane of Existence: School coming up. I’m sorta looking forward to it, but after 16 years of school, I am beyond ready to just get my diploma and move on to the real world. I loved college but at this point, I’m so done.

Current Indulgence: The vegan carrot cake ice cream I enjoyed the other day. Totally fine with having ice cream right after a delicious salad, and it was really good ice cream. It was like two of my favorite desserts (carrot cake+vegan ice cream) in one.

Ugh so good.

Ugh so good.

Current Blessing: Being able to see my extended family again. We haven’t been back to see most of the fam in 4 years and it’s good timing now because one of my grandpas is not doing so well. Hopefully our visit can lift his spirits and help him feel better. Not to mention, it’ll be great to get away for a week and enjoy a different state!

Current Outfit: Strapless blue-checked corset-style top from Abercrombie & Fitch, navy blue twill shorts from Hollister, jewelry from American Eagle.

It's getting hot again (wooo!)

It’s getting hot again (wooo!)

Current Excitement: Vacation…and college graduation in T-minus 5 months!

Answer any of the above! 

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Forever 21

Finally 21. I usually don’t feel different on my birthday, but this year I did. I feel more mature, more independent. Not just because I can legally drink but also because I’m just a few months away from graduating college. It almost feels like yesterday that I started college as a scared little freshman, and now I’m about to embark on my adult life. Weird.

21 was a birthday I’ve only really looked forward to in the past year or so. Before that, I vowed I would never drink–because the few sips I sampled of my parents’ drinks tasted gross to me. That’s not to say that now I’m 21 I’m going to become a crazy partier. I have no desire to get drunk or drink cheap alcohol. I would much rather sip a glass of white wine while watching a movie at home, or enjoy a fun cocktail at a fancy restaurant.

I did drink on my 21st, but my birthday was more than just about the alcohol. This birthday marked the last time (most likely) I’ll be living at home to celebrate. It’s bittersweet looking back on the past 21 birthdays (obviously the first few I don’t remember)–going to waterparks on my birthday, spending it by the pool in the mountains, watching the Summer Olympics, always going out to eat with my family/friends. I’m going to miss this part of my life.

As I said, my 21st was a lot more than being able to drink in a restaurant–which I definitely did, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I started the day as usual–waking up, checking my phone, enjoying some sweet potato-Sunwarrior-banana softserve with homemade magic shell (hey, had to make it special for my birthday!) and getting ready. I did wake up still sick, with a still-sore throat and irritated eyes, but I’m sick of letting little things ruin my day, so I’m really glad I didn’t let lingering sick feelings make my birthday less than special. And what made it that much more special was the decorations I found once I got downstairs. My parents have always been great about making our birthdays feel fun, no matter what we end up doing, and I’m really grateful for that!

bday decos

Starbucks and shopping were on the agenda…with none other than my sister! Even though we’re really different, we have a lot of things in common–namely our love for the ‘bucks, shopping for clothes (especially at Forever 21), Whole Foods salad bar and alt rock music. All of which we enjoyed together on my birthday 😀 I’m seriously gonna miss that girl when I graduate and I still can’t believe she’s just a year away from college herself! Anyways, we had the best time drinking iced coffees, yelling at stupid drivers, finding the perfect things to buym laughing at the dumbest things and marveling at the giant Whole Foods we ate lunch at.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

The rest of the afternoon was spent making my own birthday dessert. I’d never done that before, but I really wanted to make something that my family and I could all enjoy together. I went with this raw coffee cheesecake and it.was.delicious. My dad even said it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made, and he’s a total dessert freak! It’s definitely a great dessert to make for raw vegans and non-raw vegans alike, especially if you love coffee. Aaaaaaaand…I got to enjoy a piece for two nights afterwards, so a total winner!

Dinner was what I was looking forward to all day though (other than shopping obviously!) I’d been wanting to go to a tapas place in town since I’d heard they had lot of vegan options, and the fact that they’re 100% gluten free was icing on the cake. I wasn’t sure if my family’d like it, especially my sister who’s pretty picky and likes typical teen food, but they loved it just as much as I did!

Tapas are basically small dishes generally in a Mediterranean or Spanish style that are meant to be shared with others. I’d never had tapas before but since I love eating little bits of a lot of different things (and Mediterranean food!) I knew I’d like it. My family got some dishes with meat or cheese, but I was still able to try a lot of the things we got, like warm olives (love olives!), fresh garlic bread (the best garlic bread I’ve ever had, and GF too!), patatas bravas, artichoke and onion salad and a gazpacho ‘shooter’. Everything was so fresh and tasty–definitely my kinda place. And their sangria was amazing as well. We got two carafes–one was the sangria del dia, which was pineapple orange with white wine and my personal favorite, and the other was a traditional blood orange sangria with white wine. I got carded (of course) but I loved the experience of being able to enjoy a quality drink in a nice atmosphere. And sangria is now my favorite drink!

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

But the best surprise of the night was when our waiter found out it was my birthday and he let me pick out a dessert for free. I had already made a dessert for us at home, but the chocolate tasting plate sounded too good to pass up, so I ended up sharing that with everyone. It was basically 8 small squares of dark chocolate ranging from 65-85% cacao and it was paired with some blueberries and Marcona almonds. It was some good chocolate, and it went really well with the berries and almonds. So glad I went for the dessert instead of opting out just because I had dessert already planned!

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

Back at home, I opened presents and then we had my birthday cake cheesecake. A few of my presents were total surprises, like the denim shirtdress and Zoku pop maker, but everything I got was something I’ve been wanting for awhile. You know you’re a foodie when you get excited for a popsicle maker and vegetable peelers 😉 And the raw ‘cookbook’ has some really delicious looking recipes so hopefully I can share some with you guys soon! The purse and clothes will also get a lot  of use–this girl can never have too many purses or outfits!

My birthday was one of the best birthdays I’ve had, and it wasn’t just because I got presents I loved or because I could finally order a drink in a restaurant. It was more about the memories I made with my family and the happiness I got from being able to enjoy one last birthday with them.

What made your last birthday special? What’s your ultimate birthday dessert? 

Weekend of Family, Food and Fathoming

Again with the alliteration! Sorry guys, just can’t help myself sometimes…even when it is a little cheesy.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I love that it was basically an extended weekend for me–I went to my internship Monday and Tuesday, and I had Wednesday through Sunday off to do as I pleased. Some grocery shopping, workouts and the typical daily stuff happened but it was definitely a weekend to remember!

Family

Fox Run Park was perfect for picnicking on the 4th.

Fox Run Park was perfect for picnicking on the 4th.

My family had originally planned on heading to a nearby town for their annual 4th of July parade. Apparently it’s one of the longest parades in the country (lasting over 2 hours) and we’ve gone a few times in the past and enjoyed it. However, after the nearby fire from earlier in the summer, a lot of people planned to go to this parade to show support for the local firefighters…so basically, parking was nonexistent, and we couldn’t even take the shuttle buses going to the parade because the line waiting for the bus was like a mile long. We ended up driving to the south side of town to see if there was anything going on down there for the 4th (there wasn’t), made a quick stop at home for some picnic supplies, the fam stopped at Subway for sandwiches (I munched on cold watermelon and a whole champagne mango) and then we headed back up to one of our favorite parks. Luckily, not many people were there so we had our pick of tables and after lunch, we played a bunch of outdoor games.

My patriotic outfit.

My patriotic outfit.

I love spending time with my family, and I appreciate it more now that I’m so close to being a real adult (aka out on my own, with a job and without their financial support). Even though things didn’t go as planned (and it rained later when we wanted to eat dinner outside, boo!) we still had a great 4th of July. Oh, and we also didn’t get to see the fireworks because we didn’t feel like braving the crowds downtown at the park, so we tried watching them from the hill near our house but they were blocked by another hill. You win some, you lose some!

I forgot how much I love swings!

I forgot how much I love swings!

My sister and I took the opportunity to play around on the playground like we were 5 again. I’ve been realizing more and more that being spontaneous and just having fun (even if you look silly while doing it) makes life that much more enjoyable.

Speaking of spontaneity...

Speaking of spontaneity…

The whole fam partook in our almost annual water balloon/water gun fights. Filling up and tying those water balloons wasn’t so easy, but getting to enjoy some simple fun with the people I love most was worth it. Unfortunately, no photographic evidence of how soaked we got, but let’s just say we didn’t need to shower the next day 😉

Food

July 4th breakfast: banana softserve blended with frozen cherries and chocolate Sunwarrior. Topped with homemade raw cacao nut clusters and raw brownie bite.

July 4th breakfast: banana softserve blended with frozen cherries and chocolate Sunwarrior. Topped with homemade raw cacao nut clusters and raw brownie bite.

Snackplate. Mostly watermelon and raw zucchini slices topped with garlic gomasio.

Snackplate. Mostly watermelon and raw zucchini slices topped with garlic gomasio.

Friday's lunch. Snackplate of carrots, homemade bean dip, homemade raw 'goat cheese' dip, zuke with garlic gomasio. Side of leftover berries.

Friday’s lunch. Snackplate of carrots, homemade bean dip, homemade raw ‘goat cheese’ dip, zuke with garlic gomasio. Side of leftover berries.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m obsessed with fruit. And raw zucchini slices. And garlic gomasio (basically a seasoning blend of sesame seeds, garlic and sea salt…super addictive). And banana softserve for breakfast, errryday. I’m becoming more of a creature of habit when it comes to my food, and that’s ok. My weekly Whole Foods trips have been looking similar lately: lots of fresh produce, flax crackers, raw chocolate, raw nuts, beans, olives. Makes things easier for sure!

Fathoming

Free stuff is always nice!

Free stuff is always nice!

I’ve been thinking more about budgeting lately, and how I’m going to handle a much stricter budget when I’m on my own. I’ve recognized that I have a love for going shopping, whether it be for food, clothes or beauty stuff. I don’t buy something every time I go, but it’s hard for me to say no when I have the funds necessary. I want to save up for things that really matter, and not go hog wild on little purchases here and there, and I also know that I might not be able to afford only shopping at Whole Foods when I have my first job. I have a few other health food stores I like that are cheaper, I just have to make it more of a habit to shop there instead of always Whole Foods. Gotta say though, getting free stuff from coupons/gift cards (like the Bath & Body Works stuff above) is always a bonus.

I'm kicking myself for not ordering anything from here!

I’m kicking myself for not ordering anything from here!

My mom and I went to VegFest Colorado on Saturday. I love how supportive my mom is, despite her being an omnivore who has no intentions of giving up animal products. I’m glad she went, though, because I hope it opened up her eyes to some of the needless suffering animals go through to be on her plate. She did buy some free range, organic chicken the other day, so that’s a step in the right direction. I hate to get all preachy, because that’s not who I am, but going to VegFest made me realize that I’m vegan not just for the health benefits, but for the animals. It made me realize that I’m very much against animal suffering, and that I need to do something else to show that I am. I already avoid all animal products when it comes to food…why don’t I try to start buying only cruelty-free beauty products? One of the speakers we saw said something that struck me–he said all creatures deserve to feel loved. That is so true. We all seek out love in our lives, why wouldn’t animals do (and deserve) the same? I’m certainly not saying everyone needs to go vegan, but just making small differences in the animal products you choose to buy and consume can show the animals that they are loved.

Other than the amazing message, the food was great too. I got to try several new-to-me products that I loved (namely locally-made raw chocolates and a chocolate coconut hot fudge sauce) and I got to see the Chef AJ do a cooking demo. A lot of what she said struck me as well. She’s really focused on unprocessed foods, which I am all for, but she mentioned that oil, salt and sugar are all unnecessary evils in our lives and we really don’t need them to cook delicious things. I have to say, I feel that’s a little extreme, especially as a recovering anorexic who’s still challenging old food fears, but I get what she’s saying. I try to use the most natural, unprocessed forms of all of those things, like coconut oil, sea salt and maple syrup/raw honey and I feel like that’s a good balance for me. But the desserts she made for us without sugar (a PB Larabar-esque bit, black bean brownies and muesli) were really delicious and inspired me to try to use just dates like she did as a sweetener in my desserts. I do agree that Americans tend to eat way too much sugar, salt and oil especially in their more processed forms, so any step in the direction of eliminating them is a good one.

Her cooking demo obviously got through to me, because when it was time for lunch, I ended up passing on the delicious-looking vegan waffle sandwiches from the Waffleganger food truck and just got a salad from Qdoba on the way home. As much as I’d like to say my eating is way more free now, it isn’t always. I worried about all the gluten and sugar in the waffle sandwich but now I’m mad that I didn’t just jump out of my comfort zone and at least split one with my mom. Luckily, the waffle truck is based in Denver so I’m planning a trip to visit it for brunch on my birthday in 3 weeks!

How was your weekend? How do you feel about cutting out all sugar, oils and salt?

WIAW: Flooding, Fedoras and Fun

Sometimes, you can’t do much better than the classic alliterative title! And with that, here’s another WIAW…

Flash flood aftermath, day 2.

Flash flood aftermath, day 2.

My city is just getting hit hard with natural disasters, after last summer’s fire, this summer’s fire (which hit even closer to home for me and my family) and now flash flooding on the southwest side of town. We all knew it would happen eventually with the burn scar in the foothills meaning no vegetation to slow down rainfall, but no one imagined it would happen after just half an inch of rain fell in half an hour! Luckily, they were able to clean up the streets and businesses that were affected very quickly and by the time I made it over there on Tuesday, it looked normal, aside from tons of mud near the creek. The perks of being in TV news is that you’re always the first to know about things, and you can always get a close look at whatever happened, which is good for a nosy person like me!

I wanna be a localvore!

I wanna be a localvore!

I really love this new campaign Whole Foods has going about focusing on local food. I’ve become passionate about buying local, and even though it’s hard to get really good local produce in CO, Whole Foods does stock local produce when its available and a lot of the products I love to buy, like Larabars and raw kimchi, are produced in my state! Once I move to a better produce state (ahem, CA!) I hope to exclusively buy locally-grown produce.

Ah-mazing stuff.

Ah-mazing stuff.

And speaking of local, I happened across this gem on a random trip to the Whole Foods I rarely frequent. It’s smaller than the one I prefer and farther from where I live but I wanted to see if they had anything different. I’m so glad I did, because I have yet to see this new brand at the WF I usually go to. I spotted the “I’m a local” tag and the awesome flavor combos and was instantly intrigued. I mean, what other brand has cherry vanilla almond butter, or blueberry cinnamon walnut butter? I decided to get the dark chocolate coconut one since I knew I’d like it, but now I wish I’d gotten the espresso hazelnut one too! The best part is, there’s no added sugar aside from dates and the only added oil is organic coconut oil, which is the healthiest kind. I’ve never been a fan of the flavored nut butters that have added sugars and gross oils that some bloggers like, but now that I have a cleaner, more natural flavored nut butter option I don’t have to go without!

A good look for me?

A good look for me?

If you think this hat looks too small for me, that’s because it is. It was technically found in the little boys’ section at Target, but lets be honest, I rock it better than any little boy would 😉 Ok, maybe not, but my sister and I had way too much fun at Target the other night. Insider’s tip: if you ever want to joke around in Target and generally just act immature, the best time to go is after 7 pm. Fewer people are there so you can be obnoxious and take silly photos without anyone caring.

The new Starbucks Refresher!

The new Starbucks Refresher!

I took advantage of the half off Refreshers deal at Starbucks last weekend and tried the new Valencia orange flavor. Not bad, it reminded me of Sunny D actually, but it wasn’t my favorite (I prefer the lime). I’d love to mix this with vodka or something for a citrus-y cocktail though 😀

WF salad bar for the millionth time.

WF salad bar for the millionth time.

After going without it for 3 weeks, I caved and got some Whole Foods salad bar…twice in one weekend. I know I have problems, but I wanted a break from it for awhile to see if they started rotating in new things and they did! I’m now in love with these homemade bread-and-butter pickles they have (they’re obviously fresh!) and their addictive curry roasted nut mix. Obviously, I got some greenage in the form of romaine lettuce, and I got my favorite curried tofu salad because Whole Foods does tofu right and I realized I’ll never be able to make it as good so I gave up on buying it. Oh, and get this: one of the nights I got the salad bar was with my sister (before said Target outing). The weird thing is, she loves the salad bar as much as I do, but for very different reasons–the macaroni and cheese, and the Caesar salad. Sometimes, I think we come from two different families 😉 Just kidding, but we eat completely differently, which is funny that we both have a place we love.

Random taco salad for dinner.

Random taco salad for dinner.

After being busy at my internship, I haven’t felt much like throwing anything together that takes more than 5 minutes. I’ve also been craving salads, because all I have time to scarf at my internship is a Larabar, some berries/grapes and baby carrots. I’ve still been sticking to mostly raw, but I threw in some navy beans mixed with nooch and garlic gomasio (basically garlic, sea salt and sesame seeds–soooooo addictive!) and called it a well-balanced dinner…with some water and watermelon on the side.

My favorite right now. I could eat this. all. day. long.

My favorite right now. I could eat this. all. day. long.

Speaking of watermelon, it’s my favorite fruit at the moment. It’s just the best when it’s straight from the fridge, especially on a hot day. I hope summer never ends, so I can eat watermelon forever.

Silly seesta time at Target.

Silly seesta time at Target.

Sometimes, it’s good to be spontaneous and just enjoy life. I love spending time with my sister because she brings out the best in me. We always have fun together and I’m gonna miss her to pieces when I graduate in the fall. Only we could have fun wearing kids hats and taking embarrassing pics of us wearing bras over our clothes (don’t ask)!

For those of you who live in Canada, I hope you had a nice Canada Day on Monday and for my fellow American readers, I hope you enjoy Independence Day tomorrow! My plans for the day are going to a parade and having water balloon fights with my family…fun stuff!

What have you been up to lately? What have you been eating?

 

Take Me Back

Thank you, so much, for the responses to my last post! I’ve had some honest and heartfelt posts in the past, mainly about my ED, but this post was hard for me to write because it brought up so many memories and feelings about the house I left a year ago, and that may never be the same again. Natural disasters are sadly something that everyone can relate to, but it’s great when communities can come together and rebuild. The best part of this is that the fire is now 55% contained as of Saturday night, and so many homes have been spared, as well as the lives of some animals caught in the fire who were saved by the incredible firefighters.

Today I want to talk about something more fun…namely, the mini-vacation I took last week! I call it a mini-vacation because it was just a trip into the mountains (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) and we were there for only 4 days, but it was a nice escape from real life for a few days and it kinda prepared me for our longer trip to visit the grandparents in August. I’m excited for that vacation, but also nervous. It’s the first time we’ve gone back since I’ve been vegan, and since my grandparents all live in Wisconsin, it’s definitely not the most veg-friendly environment. My mom’s being really accommodating with the trip and is promising a trip to Whole Foods (and possibly my first trip to a Trader Joes!) once we land so I’m hoping I can find plenty of vegan options and not stress out too much about eating and exercise.

Anyways, onto the vacation pics! I’m going to go wordless style on this and take you through the highlights of the trip in order. And…go!

Selfie on the way to Estes Park. Don't worry, I wasn't driving!

Selfie on the way to Estes Park. Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving!

Finally in Estes.

Finally in Estes.

Elk right outside our car! They're pretty normal around those parts.

Elk right outside our car! They’re pretty normal around those parts.

 

View of the mountains from the condo.

View of the mountains from the condo.

 

Excited to go to dinner and a movie (we saw The Internship).

Excited to go to dinner and a movie (we saw The Internship).

Late night Starbies after the movie.

Late night Starbies after the movie.

 

Poooool.

Poooool.

 

I got a little burned...

I got a little burned…

Winery with the parentals. Only a month and 10 days before I can partake ;)

Winery with the parentals. Only a month and 10 days before I can partake 😉

It's not everyday you see llamas on your way to dinner.

It’s not everyday you see llamas on your way to dinner.

Cute swing by Fall River.

Cute swing by Fall River.

View of the condos from below.

View of the condos from below.

Chillin' by Fall River.

Chillin’ by Fall River.

On Fern Lake Trail.

On Fern Lake Trail.

Big rocky cliffs on the Fern Lake trail.

Big rocky cliffs on the Fern Lake trail.

Seestas on the trail.

Seestas on the trail.

 

 

 

Big Thompson river.

Big Thompson river.

Snow on Trail Ridge Road...in June!

Snow on Trail Ridge Road…in June!

Um...wow!

Um…wow!

 

 

Beaver at Trail Ridge Road visitor center...not real!

Beaver at Trail Ridge Road visitor center…not real!

Awkward wolves at a gift shop in town. It's been a running joke in our family for a few years.

Awkward wolves at a gift shop in town. It’s been a running joke in our family for a few years.

Baja blackened tacos at Native FOods in Boulder on our way back home. New favorite vegan restaurant!

Baja blackened tacos at Native Foods in Boulder on our way back home. New favorite vegan restaurant!

Gluten free PB parfait at Native Foods. I was stuffed after eating half of this, and one taco!

Gluten free PB parfait at Native Foods. I was stuffed after eating half of this, and one taco!

 

Besides all that, we packed even more into 4 days, like tennis, bumper boats and mini golf, window shopping in town and making fun of  the local TV station’s funny commercials. My family’s been going to Estes Park every summer since I was 9 or 10 and I love it every time! Even though I might not be living with them next summer, I hope I can still go back…I miss Estes already!

Do you go on vacations to new destinations or old favorites? Any tips for veg-friendly long distance plane and car travel?

ABCs of Raw

Checking in from my vacation with a raw foods survey!

A…preferred way to eat Avocados:  Definitely homemade guac, made with fresh jalapeno, cilantro, a squeeze of lime and sea salt.

B…daily Banana intake:  I’m definitely no 30 bananas a day person. I maybe eat one in a day, but not every day, and usually in frozen or banana softserve form.

C…Cacao or carob:  Cacao! I’ve actually never had carob, and while I know cacao can be controversial in the raw foodist world for its caffeine content, I love the taste and health benefits of cacao too much to care.

D…Durian?:  Never tried it, and I’ve heard it’s quite awful from a guy my dad said tried it.

E…Essential start to the day:  Water, multivitamin (I get the Alive! brand, which has a pretty clean ingredient list and a decent amount of calcium, plus greens) and breakfast. Lately I’ve been eating raw flax pancakes for b-fast (recipe coming soon!) and loving how easy it is to whip together.

raw flax pancakes

F…favorite Fruit:  Gosh, so hard. Right now, I’m loving cold watermelon, and champagne mangoes. Berries are finally tasting amazing again too!

G…Guru you like:  I don’t really know any raw food gurus, but I love Brendan Brazier and his Thrive Forward program. My one wish for Vega products is that they could have a raw protein powder product!

H…Healthy meal: Kelp noodles massaged in raw cashew cilantro dressing, topped with fresh greens, homemade guac and hemp seeds…aka super green kelp bowl!

Mmmm, green!

Mmmm, green!

I…Ice cream base:  Banana, but I really want to try Organic Nectars’ raw cashew gelato!

J…Juice or smoothies: Smoothies for sure, especially green monster ones made with chocolate Sunwarrior and frozen banana.

K…favorite way to eat Kale:  Dehydrated kale chips, homemade or store-bought.

L…# of Lemons in your house now:  1 I think…

M…Muscle testing–hoax or real?:  Never heard of it, but it seems like an interesting (if not totally accurate) way of determining imbalances in the body and food sensitivities.

N…Nut butter–favorite kind:  Cashew or almond, preferably raw.

O…Organic or conventional:  I try to buy organic when I can, especially the dirty dozen, but I usually pass if it’s too expensive and is in the clean fifteen.

P…Pickled veggies–ever made them?:  No, but I want to! The WF salad bar has these awesome clean bread and butter pickles and I want to recreate those.

Q…Questions you get asked about your diet:  Mostly, “What is that?” when someone sees what I’m eating. Plants, people. It’s not that foreign.

R…Recipe you love:  Raw maple cinnamon French toast, where I got the inspiration for my raw French toast!

raw french toast+ raw coconut bacon+raw honey, Sunwarrior chocolate coconut mousse+raspbs

S…Skin brushing?:  Nope, but I’ve heard it has benefits for poor circulation, so I want to try it on my feet.

T…Type of water you drink:  Nothing fancy, from the tap usually. We have really good water in Colorado, so I’m not too concerned that it isn’t filtered or whatever.

U…Unbelievable thing that’s related to eating raw:  I love feeling so light and energized after eating a raw meal!

V…Vegetable you love:  Spinach is my number one love at the moment. I also love carrots (the ‘real’ ones are so much better than baby carrots) and raw purple cauliflower.

W…Why did you start eating raw?:  I wanted to try something new, and I’ve always loved fresh produce.

X…X-rated fruit or vegetable:  Haha, this is super funny and awkward. People always think bananas are sexual, but carrots can be kinda…awkward.

Uh...yeah...

Uh…yeah…

Y…Yummy food you make:  Um, everything? But really, probably most of my raw dessert recipes, especially the classic raw brownie.

Z…favorite use of Zucchinis:  Zucchini noodles…I need a spiralizer, NOW!

Answer any of the above!

WIAW: Best of the Week

I’m finally back, guys! And before I get into today’s WIAW post, I want to express my sorrow for the devastation in Oklahoma. Natural disasters can be incredibly hard to deal with, since they are so random and there’s no one to blame. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of nature (I know I did last summer as my hometown faced the most destructive fire in state history) but I know that the people affected by the tornado appreciate all the support and love we can give them.

I’m finally all moved back home and getting into the swing of summer. Though right now it doesn’t feel quite like summer since I’m in an online geography class that I need in order to graduate early but luckily, after a few more weeks of studying and note-taking, I can say goodbye to school stuff for the rest of the summer. However, I am getting really excited to finally start my weather internship on Monday! Last summer’s internship at a different station wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be (yet still a good experience) but since this summer’s will be in the actual field I want to pursue within broadcast journalism, I’m sure it’ll be even better.

With my busy weekend, I didn’t have much time to snap many pictures but I still wanted to do a WIAW so I’m going to be taking a different approach this week. This week’s WIAW will be focused on the best things I’ve seen/eaten/etc. over the past few days!

Best Summer Fun Under $20

I. Need. This.

I. Need. This.

Kid at heart over here, but I love summer water toys. When I was a lot younger, we had Super Soaker Twister (way better than regular Twister) and a Slip N Slide and I loved those things. I’ve always dreamed of living somewhere that was warm year-round so I could have a real pool in my yard. My sister and I have even tried convincing our parents to get one 0f those huge inflatable water bouncy houses but let’s be real, those things are crazy expensive and way too big for our now-tiny backyard. But this waterslide from Target is $19.99 and would definitely fit behind the house. Plus it’s even better than the regular Slip N Slide because it’s got room for 3 people to slide at once. I may actually just end up buying this soon… #noshame

Best Raw Meal…EVER!

Raw kelp noodle pad Thai from my favorite vegan restaurant.

Raw kelp noodle pad Thai from my favorite vegan restaurant.

One perk of moving out of my apartment over the weekend? Getting to go to my fave restaurant, Tasty Harmony, one last time until the school year starts again. I love this place because it’s mostly vegan (surprisingly rare to find in Colorado…other than Native Foods in Boulder which I have yet to try…) and the menu is seasonal so there’s always something new to try. And I’ve tried something new almost every time I’ve gone, and I’ve loved it all, including the samples I stole off my parents’ and sister’s plates. This time, one of the new dishes was a raw pad Thai, made with my favorite kelp noodles. I couldn’t not get it, so I did and I was pleasantly surprised. The kelp noodles were perfectly crunchy, the veggies were fresh and the sauce was amazing. I wish I could have a bottle of just the sauce to take home and use on my kelp noodle dishes because it was just that good!

Best Splurge (aka Non-Vegan Meal)

After our vegan feast, we decided to hit up a mostly non-vegan (still veg though) favorite, Gelazzi. Gelato has always been my favorite frozen dessert and Gelazzi was my favorite gelato place ever. Sadly, it closed down in the fall and my whole family was upset because it was so good. But this weekend, my dad texted me when he and my mom were out and said he saw the doors were open again. I just had to see it for myself, so we decided to check it out after dinner. I ended up getting an old favorite I hadn’t had in probably 2 years, the birthday cake gelato. Most of their flavors, other than the fruit ones, aren’t vegan as they’re made with milk (but are still a lot healthier than dairy ice cream) but I wasn’t feeling the fruit flavors and decided to go for a small of the birthday cake. OMG, heaven in a cup. It tastes like vanilla frosting and is just ridiculously good. So sorry to let down the vegan police, but I just had to have it again.

Best Weird Target Find

Uhhhhhh...

Uhhhhhh…

This was in the clothes section so I know it’s meant to be a bodysuit, but it looks like the ugliest one piece swimsuit ever! I just had to take a picture because…um…who would buy this thing? Target, I love you but sometimes you have the weirdest clothes.

Best Repeat Meal

Reunited with the (good) Whole Foods salad bar.

Reunited with the (good) Whole Foods salad bar.

You knew this had to happen. I am obsessed with the Whole Foods salad bar and I had to get it again once I got back home to the good salad bar. They had all my favorites (curry tofu, marinated artichoke hearts, sweet potato salad) and I was happy. Expect to see a similar photo many more times this summer.

Best Item for the Baby I Don’t Have

I'm a sucker for cute cartoon animals and patriotic accessories.

I’m a sucker for cute cartoon animals and patriotic accessories.

I’m not exactly sure I even want kids, but if I ever did have one, I’d be obsessed with dressing him/her in cute baby clothes. Like this adorable 4th of July themed hippo bib. Just. So. Cute.

What’s your favorite outdoor summer item? What have you ‘splurged’ on lately (food or otherwise?)