Post-Thanksgiving (No) Blues

Do you ever feel let down after a holiday is over? I almost always do, especially after Christmas. It’s always a little sad to have to take everything down, and move on to real life again. I’m usually a little upset after Thanksgiving is over, usually because it means that I have to go back to school in a few days. This year, though, I’m kind of ready for Thanksgiving break to be over. Not that break was bad–I really needed the time off from school–but I’m more than ready for the semester, and my time in college, to be over. Senioritis, much?!

Even though break is almost over, and I’m itching to go back to school and finish up the semester strong (just 8 more days of classes, then finals) I’ve definitely enjoyed Thanksgiving break while it lasted. It was pretty low-key, mostly just plenty of time spent with my parents and sister and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I also had some pretty delicious food (on Thanksgiving Day and otherwise), did some retail therapy pre-Black Friday (it was way less crazy to shop on Wednesday) and even got some school stuff done.

Snow on campus to kick off Thanksgiving break.

Snow on campus to kick off Thanksgiving break.

I love the Mexican-inspired dishes at Native Foods!

I love the Mexican-inspired dishes at Native Foods!

Caught up on a few episodes of my new favorite show--The Newsroom.

Caught up on a few episodes of my new favorite show–The Newsroom.

Native Foods leftovers. Ensalada Azteca salad+sweet potato fries and some black beans, sauerkraut and pomegranate seeds.

Native Foods leftovers. Ensalada Azteca salad+sweet potato fries and some black beans, sauerkraut and pomegranate seeds.

I was feeling the navy blue on Black Friday. Cardigan: American Eagle. Strapless checked peplum top: Abercrombie & Fitch (hand-me-down from my younger sister). Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle. Necklace: American Eagle.

I was feeling the navy blue on Black Friday. Cardigan: American Eagle. Strapless checked peplum top: Abercrombie & Fitch (hand-me-down from my younger sister). Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle. Necklace: American Eagle.

Pumpkin nog banana softserve. Made with pumpkin puree+Califia Farms almond milk nog+frozen bananas and topped with cinnamon and pecans.

Pumpkin nog banana softserve. Made with pumpkin puree+Califia Farms almond milk nog+frozen bananas and topped with cinnamon and pecans.

Desert-like field near my house.

Desert-like field near my house.

Thanksgiving snack plate in lieu of lunch. Date+romaine wraps, sweet potato chips, olives, homemade guac, Skinny Crisps.

Thanksgiving snack plate in lieu of lunch. Date+romaine wraps, sweet potato chips, olives, homemade guac, Skinny Crisps.

The cutest car ever, spotted on a walk through the neighborhood.

The cutest car ever, spotted on a walk through the neighborhood.

Parnsip mash, with olive oil, sea salt and garlic.

Parnsip mash, with olive oil, sea salt and garlic.

Maple orange shredded brussels sprout salad.

Maple orange shredded brussels sprout salad.

Sweet potato fritters coated in pumpkin seeds+pistachios.

Sweet potato fritters coated in pumpkin seeds+pistachios.

Raw caramel pecan pie topped with cacao sauce and more pecans and raisins.

Raw caramel pecan pie topped with cacao sauce and more pecans and raisins.

I have some exciting (well, for me) plans for my time post-Thanksgiving. It might seem a little cliché to be hyperfocused on clean eating after the holidays, but that isn’t what I’m intending my plan to be about. I’m going to be avoiding all added sugars for the next two to three weeks and trying to get back to eating more whole foods. I generally do pretty well with this, but I also sometimes buy some cleaner packaged foods that happen to have added sugars. Things like store-bought buckwheat rawnola or the Larabars with chocolate chips aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but all those added sugars do add up, and I know I feel my best when eating foods without added sugars. So what will I be eating the next few weeks? I’m not going to be drastically changing anything, just focusing more on fruits, veggies, nuts and nut butters (with nothing added), beans and lentils and some raw stevia-sweetened protein powder. I will not be avoiding stevia during this mini-challenge because I feel like it’s a healthier alternative to sugar and I don’t tend to go overboard with it, so it’ll be nice to still allow it in my diet in things like stevia chocolate chips, black coffee and homemade desserts. I don’t think this challenge is coming from a disordered place–I just want to be more mindful of what I’m eating because added sugars are in EVERYTHING, and even the sweeteners I feel comfortable with (maple syrup, coconut sugar and raw honey) are much better in small amounts. So hopefully this challenge will help me realize that I can live without added sugars in my life. And I will definitely keep you all up to date on how this goes for me!

Do you ever feel sad when the holidays are over? How do you feel about post-holiday eating plans?

Friday Faves (August 17)

Wow, where has the week gone? I feel like I’ve been running around like crazy for most of the week and I’m not getting a break anytime soon! I got back from vacation on Sunday, left right away for FoCo for a job training session on Monday morning, came back home and started unpacking stuff from vacation, shopped for school supplies and repacked for college! I’ve just got this weekend before it’s back to the daily grind of school. I can’t believe the summer’s almost over, but I’m pretty pumped for this school year!

Favorite Change: New hair (color & style)

I desperately needed a trim and recoloring!

I think the last time I had anything done with my hair was over spring break…which was almost 6 months ago, yikes! It’s really hard to fit in hair appointments when I’m usually up at school but I’m just glad I got it done before I go back. My bangs really needed to be reshaped and cut and my color needed refreshing. Now I’m all ready for a new school year!

Favorite First Time Breakfast: Tropical French Toast

Alvarado Street California-style sprouted toast topped with fresh pineapple, Bear Naked Fit vanilla almond granola and organic maple syrup (side of frozen mango).

This might sound crazy, but I don’t think I’d ever had French toast before a couple days ago. I know, who am I? Obviously this was a veganized version (meaning no eggs) but I think it turned out delicious, especially for my first time making/eating it. And being the pineapple lover I am, I went for a pineapple upside down inspired version.

Tropical French Toast (vegan, can be gluten-free)

1 or 2 slices sprouted toast or gluten-free toast (like millet or rice bread)

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

cinnamon and ginger, to taste

vanilla stevia drops, to taste

handful small pineapple chunks

In a small pan, heat up some nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, spices and stevia until combined. Dip both sides of the toast in the milk mixture until it soaks in. Place toast on pan and heat on both sides until golden brown and crunchy. Before flipping, add pineapple chunks to top side of toast and then flip to cook. Serve French toast with granola, coconut butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit or whatever you want. Serves 1. 

Favorite Late “Birthday Present”: Alejandro

Meet Alejandro, my ‘new’ baby!

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I didn’t have a car at college the past two years. With the job I have this upcoming semester, along with my off-campus housing, my parents realized that I do need a car. Over the summer, we were considering getting me a newer model used car, then a brand new car, then they finally decided to let me have our red 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. It has a lot of miles on it for its age (because of my mom driving back and forth from home and my college town on weekends) but I really love it because A) it’s red and B) I’ve driven it a lot, especially this summer. I really love the look and feel of the car and I’m already used to it so it’ll be no big deal to take it up to school with me. And because I love him so much, I named him Alejandro (like the Lady Gaga song)!

Favorite Addiction: The Newsroom

I really need to get all caught up on this show!

I am so glad we moved to a new house back in June, because DirecTV gave us three free months of HBO…meaning I get to watch The Newsroom, which has become one of my new fave shows. I just watched the most recent episode and I’m hooked for part 2! I love how crazy and action-packed the show is.

What TV shows are you addicted to? Have you ever had “exotic” French toast (anything out of the ordinary)?