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!

Currently…

Hi guys, long time no see huh? It’s getting to be that time of the year again…back-to-school time! So I’ve been pretty busy the past few days getting everything packed and ready for second semester. I’m actually really excited to go back–my classes seem interesting, I’m ready to do weather anchoring again and I can’t wait to be back in my apartment so I can do whatever the heck I want. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family to pieces, but I need my alone time sometimes and having my own kitchen again will be nice.

Since life’s been cray over here, I’m gonna borrow a little survey I spotted on Amanda’s blog the other day so enjoy…and I’ll be back next week with some updates!

Current Books: Erm…uh…I’m actually not a big book reader (please don’t hate me!). I do have some books I love, like Dave Barry (he is hilarious!) and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, but I haven‘t actually read them in awhile. I am loving Veganomicon though–so many delicious vegan recipes I need to try out.

Current Music: Anything by Foster the People. Love them. I just added their station to Pandora and I’m addicted. Right now I can’t get Houdini out of my head.

Current Guilty Pleasure: Lotions from Bath & Body Works. Seriously, can I just buy them all?! They smell so delicious…

Current Nail Color: OPI’s Giftcards for Everyone. Oh, and Sally Hansen’s Posh Plum on my ring fingers. I got the OPI color as a mini giftset for Christmas and the colors are perfect for winter.

I'm still mastering the art of nail polishing.

I’m still mastering the art of nail polishing.

Current Drink: I can’t go without my (almost) daily ACV morning cocktail. 1 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar, English toffee stevia drops to taste, cinnamon and water to dilute. It tastes like a sour apple pie.

Current Food: I’m loving the sweet potato+sunflower butter+peanut flour paste+raisins+chocolate chips combo, as I mentioned on WIAW. Sounds weird, tastes heavenly and never gets old.

Current Favorite Show:  I heard the new season of WNTW (What Not to Wear) is on so I really need to start watching that again, I really missed my Clinton & Stacy fix. Other than that, I think 1600 Penn is hilarious and I love Chopped on the Food Network.

Current Wishlist: I would love some Starbucks and iTunes gift cards because I’m cheap and don’t want to pay for my own coffee and music #collegeproblems

Current Needs: Not sure if this is more of a need or a want, but dumbbells. I really want more muscle and bodyweight training alone isn’t cutting it. I’m really wanting to start a strength training routine so I’m planning on hitting up Target soon to pick up some cute and colorful weights.

Current Bane of My Existence: The fact that everyone is coming down with the flu, and I reaaaaaaallllly don’t want to get it. No such thing as hand sanitizer overload during flu season.

Current Celebrity Crush: Bradley Cooper. He was amazing in Silver Linings Playbook, and he doesn’t look half bad 😉

Mmmmm, yes...

Mmmmm, yes…

Current Indulgence: My recent trip to Whole Foods. A little over $100…yikes. Yes, it was a restock-my-apartment-because-it’s-foodless trip but still. Hope they’ll last me awhile!

Current Blessing: No snow in the forecast for awhile. I know we could really use the moisture but I’m already sick of winter and snow. Bring on summer!

Current Slang: Whatevs. I know that’s so old and lame but I don’t care, I still use it.

Current Excitement: My family’s spending the day with me tomorrow at my apartment and it’s gonna be fun! We’re going out to eat at my favorite vegan restaurant (which my omni family all love) and my sister and I will probably do some hardcore shopping and jamming out in the car. We’re so cool…

What I got the last time I went to Tasty Harmony...oh sooooo good!

What I got the last time I went to Tasty Harmony…oh sooooo good!

Current Mood: Excited for tomorrow, and nervous for the semester to start.

Current Link: Zite. They have an app and everything, but I love it because you put in your interests and it generates new stories and articles on those and related topics for you to read…and it changes every day!

Answer any of the above!

The Liebs(ter Award)

I’ve been seeing the Liebster Award popping up all over the place lately so I was thrilled when the lovely Lacey over at Life Hands You Limes nominated me for the award. Thanks, girl 😀

liebsteraward

Rules:

  1. Write 11 random facts about yourself
  2. Answer the 11 questions given by the blogger who nominated you
  3. Create 11 new questions
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in the post
  5. Thank the blogger who nominated you and tell the bloggers you nominated

Random Facts About Me

  1. I am a super klutz. Seriously. I haven’t had too many major injuries, other than a fractured ankle in 4th grade, but I’m constantly tripping, randomly injuring myself and spilling all over the place. Yeah, I have issues…
  2. I have a tooth that grew in backwards. Right before I got braces in 9th grade, I had my last baby tooth pulled so I could get braces. The tooth didn’t grow in by itself so when I got my wisdom teeth pulled a year later, they also had to pull my adult tooth out from under the gums. Turns out, it was growing in facing the wrong way! My orthodontist wanted to try to turn it around to face the right way but that would have caused more dental issues so I just decided to leave it in backwards. It’s one of my molars so no one else can tell that it’s facing backwards.

    Brace face ;)

    Brace face 😉

  3. I am totally OCD about some things. Before I go to bed every night and before I leave my apartment, I make sure the stove and oven are off and I check and re-check the lock on my front door to make sure I actually locked it. Hey, you can’t be too careful!
  4. I got my ears pierced when I was 11 but haven’t worn earrings since. About 6 months after I got them pierced, one of them got infected and I had to go to urgent care to get the earring taken out and my ear sterilized. Since then, both me and my sister have had no interest in having pierced ears, it was kind of a gross and traumatic experience!
  5. I am a procrastinator, but also not. I would freak out if I had to pull an all-nighter to finish a 10 page paper or cram for finals, so I’m not that bad of a procrastinator but I definitely don’t usually start assignments right when they’re assigned, especially if I have a month or two to do it because then I figure I have plenty of time!
  6. My voice doesn’t match up with how I look. People always think I’m still in high school because I’m small and sometimes wear kids clothes and my face is really young looking. But my voice is kinda low for a girl–I think it should be higher pitched but whatever!
  7. I love the taste of onions, but I think I’m somewhat allergic to them. I used to only have breath issues after eating really onion-y salsas and stuff but now when I eat dishes with onions in it, they hurt my stomach. Bummer, because so many things have onions in them so I try to just pick around them. Garlic, on the other hand, I love!
  8. I think I’m more sensitive to cold weather because I was born in Arizona…in the middle of summer. I think my mom said the day she had me, it was like 115 degrees or something crazy like that. I’ve been in Colorado since I was 2 though and I live for the winter days that are like 60 degrees. I’m pretty much always freezing inside my house and I love cranking up the heat when I’m in my car. I think snow is pretty but I like warm weather, thank you very much!

    Me as a baby in good old 'Zona.

    Me as a baby in good old ‘Zona.

  9. Caffeine doesn’t really have much of an effect on me, unless I have too much of it. I’ve figured out that I can order a tall at Starbucks and feel just fine (it doesn’t wake me up or energize me though) but anything bigger than that gives me a giant headache and makes me feel nauseous. Oh, and coffee makes my pee smell like coffee (TMI!)
  10. I’ve preferred dark chocolate over milk chocolate since I was a little kid. One year for Christmas, my dad got the family a bunch of fair trade dark chocolate bars from all over the world and I loved even the super dark ones.
  11. I have a problem when it comes to shopping. I get way too excited about new products and new clothes in stores and I just have to have them. I’m a little better with clothes and try to stick to buying the clearance stuff in my favorite stores because the full-priced stuff tends to be expensive (that way I can buy more stuff!) but with food, I usually don’t care how much it costs–if it sounds delicious, I’ll probably buy it. Case in point, I just ordered a few things from iHerb and couldn’t resist buying some raw lemon pie macaroons that were like $7 for a bag of 8. They’re really good though, so I don’t care!
These are delish and well worth the price.

These are delish and well worth the price.

Lacey’s Questions

1. What is your idea of the perfect December night?

Other than summer months, December is my favorite month, it’s just so festive and cozy. My idea of the perfect night would be bundling up and driving around town to look at Christmas lights, grabbing a skinny peppermint mocha from Starbucks, watching Christmas movies and playing board games with my family.

2. What pets do you have?

None at the moment, sadly. My family used to have two hamsters, Peanut and Princess, and a couple hermit crabs a long time ago.

3. What 5 words describe you the best?

Sarcastic, sensitive, independent, fashionable and responsible.

4.What is the one thing you can’t live without?

My family, for sure. I have always been really close with them, especially my younger sister, and they’ve always been there supporting my dreams. Now that I’m in college and live 2 and a half hours away from them most of the year, I really treasure the times I get to spend with them (like right now!)

We've been best friends forever!

We’ve been best friends forever!

5. Why did you start your blog?

I started AlmostVegGirlie in May of 2011 because I was starting to consider veganism at the time and I really wanted to share my recipes and cool food finds with people. Now the name of my blog doesn’t quite fit anymore as I actually am vegan but I still love talking about food, fitness, fashion and life in general.

6. You just win a billion dollars, first dollar goes to???

First of all, this would be amazing! I think my first dollar would go towards paying off my college loans. Totally boring, I know, but I really would love to help my parents pay off the loans so they don’t have to go into debt and if I had a billion dollars I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a great job to pay it off.

7. Chocolate or vanilla?

This is actually a hard question, since I love both. But I’m going to cheat and say I prefer vanilla-flavored things over chocolate-flavored things, but I like actual chocolate in general.

8. What’s your favorite time of the year?

Either right now (Christmastime) because it’s so festive and exciting, or summer because there’s no school and it’s warm and my birthday’s in summer.

9. What is the one thing you wish you could do, but have never done (or tried)?

Snorkeling! I’m scared to death of scuba diving but I think snorkeling would be fun because it requires less equipment and you get to look at all the cool fish and sea life.

10. When was the last time you did something completely on a whim and what did you do?

I bought a pair of sparkly Converse-style shoes on Cyber Monday, just because they were on sale and cute. I normally don’t like tennis shoes, and I don’t buy stuff online a lot (other than stuff from iHerb) but I just couldn’t pass these up.

Aren't these too cute?

Aren’t these too cute?

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A meteorologist (weather anchor) for a TV station in Arizona or California. It’s my dream job (that I’m going to school for) in my dream location!

My 11 Questions

1. What fruit or vegetable best describes your personality?

2. What is your earliest memory?

3. Would you rather live in the mountains, on the beach or in the desert?

4. What is your favorite non-major holiday (like Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, etc.)?

5. What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

6. Salty, sweet or spicy?

7. What are you most proud of and why?

8. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

9. What’s one food you just can’t stand that a lot of people seem to love?

10. What’s your weirdest quirk or habit?

11. If you could change your name to anything, what would you change it to and why?

I’m going to tag anyone who hasn’t already filled this out who wants to do it! Have fun 😀

Do you have any weird dental stories? What’s your favorite time of the year?

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!

Random Ramblings

Hi guys! How was your weekend? As you might be able to tell, I’m a little lacking on blog content lately but I’ve been itching to post something so luckily the lovely Amanda recently posted a fun survey over on her blog and as per usual, I can’t resist taking part in surveys. So here goes!

A is for age: 20, baby! I kinda want to be 21 already though because I’m excited to feel more adult-like. I’m not planning on drinking all the time or anything but it’ll be nice to be able to legally order a nice cocktail in a fancy restaurant 😀

B is for breakfast today: raw chocolate protein powder topped with cacao nibs, cinnamon Puffins and apple slices. I wish I could have had one of my homemade waffles but I was still at home with my fam and my waffle maker was 2 1/2 hours away.

C is for currently craving: A giant healthy vegan cookie and some cute knee-high riding boots. Random, but I am both a foodie and a fashionista!

D is for dinner tonight: I had Panera with my mom, the Thai chopped salad without chicken or wontons, and a side of their black bean soup. That salad is the bomb, I never order anything different!

E is for favorite type of exercise: Either tennis with my dad, or a major shopping spree. I just went on one this weekend and while I didn’t do much damage to my wallet, my feet were killin’ me after a couple hours of walking around malls. It didn’t help that I wore (adorable) wedge ankle booties…

F is for irrational fear: I have a lot, but one of my main ones is dying from a brain aneurysm. I get headaches a lot (once or twice a week, usually) and while they’re never usually big ones, I do get some that don’t go away after taking medicine and it freaks me out.

G is for gross food: I’m a picky eater, but I’ve gotten better about it. Ironically, going vegan has made me more adventurous. But now I just think gross things are anything meat and dairy-related (and I’ve always hated eggs) and all the unnatural ingredients and preservatives in most packaged food. I’m such a label reader, but there are just some things I’d rather not put in my body, vegan or not.

H is for hometown: Reppin’ the Phoenix, AZ area 😉 I only lived there for the first 2 years of my life but when I went back for vacation a few years ago, I fell in love and I want to move back to the land of cactus and 110 degree weather. Some people might call me crazy but living in CO and AZ all my life I couldn’t live anywhere with high humidity. I just love it dry and hot. I’m such a desert rat haha!

I is for something important: My family. I know they would do anything for me, and they already do so much. My mom in particular is extremely supportive–for the past 3 years I’ve been going to college 2 1/2 hours away from home, she’s been willing to drive 5 hours straight 1 or 2 weekends per month to come bring me home for the weekend. She is seriously amazing.

J is for current favorite jam: I like the fruit-sweetened superfruits jam from Crofter. Such a good blend of fruits, and no extra sugar!

K is for kids: Someday, I’d love to have a set of twin girls. I just think it would be so fun to have twins! Actually, I want to be a twin…

L is for current location: The couch in my second-floor apartment, with a zebra-striped blanket on my lap and the TV set to Breaking Amish. Such a great show. (P.S. I wrote this post on Sunday night)

M is for the most recent way you spent money: At Whole Foods, restocking my fridge and cupboards for the week. I spent a lot, but I got a crap ton of produce which is great!

N is for something you need: A break from school. Luckily, Thanksgiving break is in T-minus 15 school days…

O is for occupation: Junior year broadcast journalism student by day, blogger and part-time weather anchor by night. Someday I want to be a full-time weather anchor, preferably at a TV station in CO, AZ or CA.

P is for pet peeve: People on bikes. I’m all for bike riding for recreation or competition or whatever, but when you’re a college student riding a bike like you’re invincible, that’s when I get pissed. When I’m driving, they run through the red lights so I always have to be watching, and they don’t have lights on them at night. Stupid. And when I’m walking, I have to listen to the telltale sign of their chains to make sure I don’t become roadkill. Seriously, they ride all over the streets and sidewalks here. It’s nuts.

Q is for a quote: “She doesn’t even go here!” Mean Girls, anyone? Sorry, I’m hopelessly obsessed with that movie.

R is for a random fact about you: According to my dad, I have weird problems. I get the most random pains and sensations all over my body and when I tell him about it, he always laughs and says that. My latest issue is that the top of my left foot hurts when I point it, and I have to bend it against the floor to make it feel better. So weird!

S is for favorite healthy snack: Dry roasted edamame, flavored dark chocolate squares (give me anything mint flavored and I’m happy), frozen grapes, sweet potatoes with almond butter and protein powder microwave cakes. I try to make all my snacks somewhat healthy though!

T is for favorite treat: Food-wise, I love coconut milk ice cream. It’s ridic expensive, but so worth it for it’s dairy-free creaminess. Fashion-wise, I go for the accessories. I love dressing up my outfits with statement necklaces, random rings, scarves and cute shoes.

U is for something that makes you unique: As a baby, I had blonde hair and blue eyes. As I grew up, my hair darkened to light brown and my eyes changed from brown to hazel. Even though a lot of people think blue eyes are the prettiest, I like my hazel eyes because they make me different!

V is for favorite vegetable: This changes with the season, but right now I’m all about the squash, especially kabocha and acorn, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. And kale, that’s a favorite year round.

W is for today’s workout: I didn’t do as much as I usually do, which gave me some exercise anxiety, but I did some walking in a few stores buying groceries and such and I did a couple short circuit workouts.

X is for x-rays you’ve had: Too many to count! The obligatory dental/orthodontic ones, one on my right ankle, one on my right foot, one on my left wrist and an MRI on my right ankle. I’ve had some strains and sprains and plantar fasciitis  here and there but only one major injury: a fractured ankle.

Y is for yesterday’s highlights: Shopping in Denver with my family, my first vegan ice cream experience in an ice cream place (it was good, but not great) and having dinner in a really cool, veg-friendly restaurant. It was a long, exhausting day but so worth it.

Z is for your time zone: Mountain. I always feel like no one cares about the Mountain Time Zone but it’s awesome.

Answer with any of the letters you want!

The Meal Survey

Happy Labor Day, for those of you who get the day off! Sorry I’ve been pretty MIA since midweek–school was crazy and then I came home for the long weekend. My family and I went to Breckenridge, CO on Saturday for their annual duck race. Sounds silly, but totally fun and a great excuse for a day trip to the mountains. I was really looking forward to it, especially because the weather here has been crazy hot for months and it’s always cooler up there. Well, we got a little more than we bargained for–it was sunny and hot in the morning, storm clouds rolled in and it rained like crazy, then it was cold and windy, then sunny again and finally cold and rainy. Totally bipolar day, but still fun!

Today I’ve just got a fun food-related survey that’s been all around the blog world lately. Enjoy!

Breakfast Questions

1. Favorite cereal as a child?

Tough question, since I was a huge cereal lover as a kid. That was basically my breakfast every morning. I remember really loving Post Blueberry Morning. It was a healthy-ish cereal but plenty sweet and full of berries and almonds!

2. Coffee or tea? With milk or without?

Coffee for sure! I love tea, but really only iced tea. Coffee is great iced and hot. When I get it iced, I go for just straight black coffee sweetened with some Truvia. But I prefer my hot coffee with a little soymilk or almond milk (Starbucks, can you get on the almond milk trend?) and one of their sugar-free syrups. I know artificial sweeteners aren’t the best, but I love their syrups and they’re an occasional indulgence.

First hot coffee drink in months! Tall soy skinny vanilla latte.

3. The one food you eat most often at breakfast?

I go through major breakfast phases. A year ago, I was really into overnight oats. Then I liked hot oats. Then smoothies in a bowl. Then pancakes. Now it’s waffles, and I’m ob-sessed! I always make them with buckwheat flour (I want to experiment with coconut flour though), ground flax, almond milk and then go crazy with mix-ins or toppings. My favorites are dark chocolate chips, real maple syrup, sweet potato, berries and protein frosting.

Lunch Questions

1. Sandwiches are generally considered a “lunch food”. If you had to choose between a grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly, which would you pick?

Hands-down, PB&J! I obviously don’t eat real cheese anymore and I’m not a big fan of the vegan cheeses. I actually never was a big grilled cheese lover, even as a kid. However, I did used to eat just jelly sandwiches on wheat bread because I hated (still do) PB. I was a weird kid 😉 I absolutely love almond butter and jelly sandwiches though. I really want to try a macadamia butter and mango jam sandwich, it just sounds amazing!

2. You can only put four ingredients in your salad (not including greens); what do you throw in the mix? Additionally, which greens and dressing do you pick?

Ooooooh, hard question! I really love complex, random salads so it’s hard for me to pick just four. I guess I’ll go with edamame, peanut sauce, red peppers and chili-flavored cashews (like the Thai salad from Panera!) For greens, I usually go with kale or baby spinach. I hate hate HATE arugula though, so I’ll pick it out if it’s in a spring mix. I’m so high maintenance 😉

Another favorite salad, from Qdoba. Black beans, corn salsa, habanero salsa and tons of guac.

3. One food you can’t live without at lunch?

My lunches are always different, but one thing that stays the same is produce. I always have a fruit and veggie at lunch time and I try to mix it up. I love salads but it isn’t always practical to have one, so sometimes I’ll bring baby carrots or mini sweet peppers to campus and for fruit I try to go with something more portable if I can’t be at my apartment for lunch.

Dinner Questions

1. It’s the end of the day. You’re tired, hungry, and your fridge is empty. If a fast food (from a chain) is your only option, where do you go and what do you order?

I haven’t had legit fast food in years, and I have no desire to do so. Plus most of them aren’t very vegan-friendly. I prefer fast casual chains, like Chipotle, Panera, Noodles, etc. since they have plenty of healthy options. However, my real ‘go-to’ is Whole Foods. Their prepared foods section is amazing and you all know my love for their salad bar! I actually just got some again on Friday and I’m already wanting more #noshame

The latest Whole Foods salad bar box. Marinated artichokes, sweet potato and pepper salad, orange chipotle tofu, Korean veggies, chana masala.

2. TV/computer on or off while you’re eating?

Always on, at least when I’m by myself, otherwise it feels too quiet and weird.

3. The one food you eat most often at dinner?

Sweet potatoes! I don’t know why, but I rarely have them at other meals (besides my sweet potato chocolate chips waffles). They’re my addiction for sure, especially topped with nut butter!

Dessert Questions

1. Choose between these two American desserts: cheesecake or apple pie?

Cheesecake, definitely. Never been an apple pie fan, but cheesecake was one of my faves before becoming vegan. Now I still enjoy it sometimes, when I make raw cheesecake from scratch or buy this amazing raw cheesecake brand from Whole Foods (super expensive, but worth it).

First attempt at raw cheesecake!

2. Choose between these two foreign desserts: tiramisu (Italy) or flan (Spain)?

Never had flan, but it does not look appetizing. Tiramisu, on the other hand, is amazing. I haven’t had it in forever, but I’m working on a raw, vegan version. Stay tuned!

3. Ice cream: cone or cup?

I prefer cups, unless it’s a special-flavored waffle cone like this one place in Estes Park makes. They seriously have flavors like bubblegum and marshmallow!

What nut butter and jelly sandwich combo have you always wanted to try? What’s your favorite American-style dessert?

Raw Survey and Letting Go

Another survey, I know! If this was a tweet, I’d be saying #sorryimnotsorry. So yeah, I like surveys and they’re easy to do. But I’ve also got a more serious discussion in this post too, so look for that! This survey is all about raw foods, because I’m interested in raw foodism and I love experimenting with raw dessert recipes.

Favorite nut?

Oh man, this is a super hard question! I love so many nuts/seeds. But my fave nut at the moment is definitely cashews. I can’t believe I used to hate them, now I eat them in some form almost every day. They make amazing raw dips and spreads (like my spicy nacho cheez and mascarpone ‘cream’) and can be incorporated in all kinds of raw desserts.

Favorite fruit and veggie?

Another hard one. I’ll just go with what I’m loving most right now–mango and kale. I actually dominated an entire mango the other day at one time, no shame. Now I really want to make some kind of raw massaged mango kale salad!

How good does this look?!

What raw food have you never liked?

Sashimi. Um, yuck. I used to like fish before I became vegan, but even then I thought raw fish sounded nasty. I never wanted to risk getting sick, so I never tried it.

Favorite raw dessert?

Either raw brownies or raw cheesecake. Both are really easy and fun to make but I want to try a store-bought or restaurant version some day!

Raw key lime cheezcake, made with cashews.

What raw food do you eat most often?

Definitely fruits and veggies. I actually prefer most veggies in their natural, aka uncooked and raw form, they just taste so much better that way. A lot of people don’t like raw kale, but I’m obsessed with it. Just squirt a little lemon juice on it, sprinkle some nooch on it and you’re good to go!

What raw food do you want to try?

Raw protein powders. I would love to add a protein punch to my raw desserts and I just think the raw powders might taste even better and more real than the vegan powders I currently love.

What is your favorite raw food discovery?

Cacao nibs. I was intrigued by them when I saw them on someone’s blog and then I decided  to order some. They make a great (but less sweet) sub for chocolate chips and they’ve got a cool texture.

An (almost) totally raw breakfast, featuring banana softserve and cacao nibs.

Onto the “letting go” part of my title. As I said in my last post, I’m going on vacation soon. As much as I love getting away from the daily grind, vacations can be so hard, especially for my eating and exercise habits. I’m realizing that I won’t be able to do my daily 45-60 minute workouts for a few days and we’ll be eating out for dinner every night and I’m kinda freaking out. But really, why can’t I enjoy myself for 5 days and balance my normal healthy eating with some meals out (that’ll still be fairly healthy) and just working out by hitting the outdoor pool and walking around the town and hiking in the mountains. I think I’ll live, and probably have more fun. So for at least the days I’m on vacation, I want to skip adding up my meals and workouts in the calorie tracking app I use and not flip out if I can’t be as balanced as I am at home. I think I can still be really healthy–it’s not like I’m going to start eating junk because it doesn’t make me feel good–and the few days I’m away might make all the difference in the changes I’m trying to make to fight my ED. I like knowing the numbers and the macros, but really, they’re not the be-all end-all. I want to try moving towards intuitive eating, instead of restriction and counting.

What raw food do you eat most often? How do you balance vacations and your health?

Saturday Survey

Thanks for all the good thoughts and well wishes on my last post! A quick update on the fire–it’s now 15% contained, which is a lot better than the 5% it’s been since last weekend and some people have been allowed to return home and to work (including my dad–his office was in the evacuation area and he had off of work since Wednesday) but unfortunately, over 300 homes have been destroyed. Keep thinking of us out here and pray for rain!

On another note, sorry there wasn’t a Friday Faves post this week! I was pretty busy this week–I was at my internship on Tuesday between 2 and 10 pm answering phone calls about the fires and running little errands for the anchors, reporters and producers; I went grocery shopping (more on that later!), to the post office, played tennis with my dad (one perk to him having a few days off) and some other stuff and it kinda just slipped my mind. But I didn’t want to forget about posting this weekend altogether so here’s a survey I filled out awhile ago. I found it on a vegan blog, so a lot of the questions are vegan-related but I hope you still enjoy it anyway!

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan but you don’t?

Greek yogurt. My mom was still buying it for me a month or so ago and I just can’t do it anymore, it’s not as appealing to me.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Pretty much most veggies. I liked carrots and lettuce and bell peppers, but that was about it. Now I love a lot of them, like kale, eggplant, portobellos, sweet potatoes and spicy peppers.

Kale is my favorite veggie ever!

What vegan food or dish do you feel like you should like, but don’t?

Almost all tofu. I like it from the Whole Foods hot/cold bars, but that’s about it. It’s also okay if it’s sliced really thin, but otherwise it’s just gross to me. Luckily I like tempeh a lot, so it’s no loss.

Spice/herb you would die without?

Nooch…I put that s**t on everything! When I first bought it (because everyone else was doing it), I thought it was bizarre but now I just can’t get enough.

Seitan, tofu or tempeh?

Tempeh allllllll the way! I can even eat it raw, is that weird? I just love its nutty flavor! Tofu is my second favorite. Generally, it’s a meh for me though. And I’ve only tried seitan once but it was just not my thing at all.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Dried fruit, or just fruit in general. It’s so addicting grabbing a handful of fresh pineapple, or making a Medjool date stuffed with nut butter. I always choose dried fruit without anything added so I know it’s not unhealthy, but sometimes I fill up on fruit before the meal even starts!

The dried pineapple is especially addicting!

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

Desserts. I love healthier prepackaged desserts, but it’s so much more satisfying eating something you made yourself.

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?

Nut butter, maple syrup, flavored dark chocolate, stevia-sweetened soda…yeah, I have expensive tastes 😉

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Kalamata olives are a must, as are artichoke hearts. I love kale, jalapenos and tempeh bacon too. Nooch is almost always dumped on top.

Some of my all-time favorite pizza toppings.

What’s on your grocery list this week?

I just went to the store on Thursday, but this was some of what was on my list: kale (weekly purchase), Medjool dates, oat flour, chia seeds (first time buying them!), maple almonds, protein powder samples, brown rice Pad Thai noodles, vegan curry sauce, Larabars (still can’t find the chocolate chip cookie dough or Jocalat flavors, grrrr…), coconut milk ice cream (another first time purchase) and multigrain pizza dough.

What is the best salad dressing?

The Ginger People hot jalapeno ginger. It’s technically a sauce, but it’s so good.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

Peanut flour with cacao nibs, or mango jam with a crackle of sea salt. Don’t knock it til you try it.

“Dressed up” sprouted toast (topped with mango jam, maple macadamias and sunny “raw”nola).

Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.

Alvarado Street sprouted sourdough (new fave bread), Field Roast Mexican chipotle sausages, NadaMoo! maple pecan coconut milk ice cream.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

I still have yet to have a vegan cupcake, but I so want to. I would love a carrot cake kind with vegan cream cheese frosting, or maybe a s’mores kind.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

Kale and tempeh tacos.

Simple but oh so good.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

Most of my dessert things, surprisingly. My family’s used to super sweet, super rich desserts I guess (and crappy packaged stuff) so more natural, lower sugar stuff isn’t appealing to them. Oh well, more for me!

Favorite vegan chocolate/candy?

I love Chocolove’s dark chocolate in different flavors, especially raspberry, orange and peppermint. The peppermint kind tastes like a peppermint patty!

Most extravagant food item purchased lately?

Coconut milk ice cream from NadaMoo!. It’s like 5 bucks a pint, but totally worth it.

 

 

What’s the most extravagant purchase you’ve made in the last week? Name three items in your freezer!