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)?

Friday Faves (June 15th)

Moving in the summer is no joke! It’s been at least 85 degrees here the past three days we’ve been moving stuff back and forth between our old house and our new one but it’s felt more like a million degrees in the house, especially carrying boxes and moving furniture around. I’m just glad I don’t live somewhere humid, so it’s sticky on top of being hot! I’m also glad we got our internet hooked up on our first full day of being moved in. It kinda sucks having to live without internet at your own house!

Favorite Workout: Walking to Starbucks with my sister

Tall coffee light Frappuccino with soy…worth the $4!

Like I mentioned in my WIAW post, we moved closer into town so now we’re nearby all the good things a city has to offer–like movie theatres, grocery stores, gas stations and…Starbucks! In fact, our new house is within walking distance of the ‘bucks! Okay, well if you consider walking distance a 20-25 minute walk in the blazing hot sun. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad though and going with my sister made it even more fun. And the drink was even more worth it since we had to work for it–win win! I love this Frapp flavor because it’s got a hint of caramely-ness (not a word but whatevs) that makes it perfect, and since it’s a light version with soy, it’s not a calorie bomb and I feel a little bit better about enjoying it!

Favorite Discovery: I love to drive…by myself

I have a liiiiiiiiittle bit too much fun while driving (no worries, this was taken in a parking lot!)

I don’t have a car of my own (yet…) but I’ve been doing a lot of solo driving lately and I’m loving it. It feels so freeing to sing at the top of my lungs to “Call Me Maybe”, go where I want when I want and cuss out other drivers for being stupid. Hey, it happens sometimes, and as long as I’m not actually engaging in road rage, I think a few choice words here and there are okay 😉 Anyways, it’s been a lot of fun realizing the independence that comes from having a car.

Favorite Thing That Cost Me $7: Whole Foods salad bar stuff

No boring salad bar for this girl! It was totally worth the money!

I always get super jealous when I see people’s pics of Whole Foods salad bar boxes on their blogs. The last time I went (before Tuesday and Wednesday) was February. Lame! So I used the opportunity of us moving and being too busy and tired to cook to pick up some of their salad bar goodies. Both days, I got basically the same things because I loved them all–chipotle orange tofu, chilled sweet potato chunks with currants and some yummy sweet dressing, salted pistachios, acai kale salad, Mediterranean crunch salad and California quinoa salad. Ah-mazing to all of the above, especially the sweet potatoes and quinoa salad. I also picked myself up a dessert on the side both days, one time it was a giant vegan chocolate chip cookie that I split up for two nights and the other time it was a vegan chocolate donut that I split with my sister. Actually, she ate most of it and loved it, which was fine by me. She’s usually wary of vegan items but she’s been loving the vegan desserts I’ve been giving to her lately! To anybody who thinks vegan means boring, it most certainly does not, as evidenced by this salad bar box and every vegan dessert I’ve ever tried 😀

Favorite Thing to Eat When I’m Not Feeling So Hot: Whole Foods Caribbean popsicles

Not quite the same, but you get the idea!

I generally don’t eat popsicles–like smoothies, they don’t usually do much for my hunger because I can eat them so quickly. But sometimes, you just gotta have a naturally-sweetened, giant popsicle. Yesterday, I was getting over some nasty stomach issue that left me leaving kinda queasy all day plus it was hot and I was moving stuff around. So a popsicle from Whole Foods was in order! I liked it a lot because it was pretty big so it took me longer to eat, it was tropical-flavored which is always my favorite and it only had a couple ingredients besides the fruit in it. It quenched my thirst, cooled me down and left my stomach feeling a little better.

What’s something you’re willing to spend a (relatively) large amount on? What do you eat or drink when you’re not feeling so great?

My Week Through Instagram

Happy Saturday errrrybody! Saturdays just aren’t as special to me during the summer, since every day is basically the weekend. Except this summer, Saturdays are going to feel even less like the weekend because they’re one of two days of each week that I have to intern at the TV station. I start on Tuesday, and I’m pumped!

I’ve been obsessed with Instagram lately, in case you haven’t noticed from my latest WIAW posts. I got the app on my iPod Touch a year ago, and then about a month ago I realized they introduced it for Android phones, so I got the app for my phone too. I realize using my phone or iPod to take pictures is lazy, but the Instagram app is just so cool and vintage-y that I can’t stop using it. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I love the way the light reflects through the umbrella.

Homemade blueberry pancakes topped with fresh blueberry juice.

Model status…JK!

Asian-inspired massaged kale salad with Ginger People peanut sauce, shredded carrots and edamame.

My feeeeeeeeet.

Tropical overnight oats topped with fresh pineapple, frozen mango and maple macadamia nuts.

White boyfriend blouse (Wet Seal), floral bandeau (Hollister), coral culotte shorts (Abercrombie & Fitch).

Do you use Instagram? What have you been up to this week?

Yum vs. Yuck

Everyone has them. A ‘yum’ and a ‘yuck’ list. Maybe they’re not actually written-down lists, but you know what foods you can’t live without and those that you wish would just disappear.

Here’s a few things I want to share from my own lists. Some of them have changed over the years, while some have stayed the same. Of course, it’s great to work on incorporating a lot of variety into our eats, but it’s okay to admit that there are some foods we just can’t stand.

Yuck!

  • Cottage cheese. I haven’t tried it recently, or very often, but the texture is just too sketchy for me. I much prefer Greek yogurt, thank you very much! Plus, now that I’m mostly vegan, I see no need to include it in my diet.
  • Green beans. It’s one of my mom’s favorite veggies, so I’ve been forced to have it throughout the years and it’s just never good. The only way I can stand them even a little bit is with tons of mustard!
  • Ketchup. I think I might have liked it as a kid, but now it’s just so gross to me! I mean, who wants a sweet condiment? Plus, I hate tomatoes (except in salsa) so it kind of explains my disdain for ketchup.
  • White potatoes. Give me a sweet potato any day and I’ll happily devour it. But a white potato–no thanks! They just make me really thirsty for some reason, and I really can’t stand them roasted.
  • Eggs. This one’s been on my list since I first tried them. Ick, ick ick! I think it’s the whole texture thing. I know they have a ton of protein, nutrients, blah blah blah but…just no.
  • Cheese. Used to like it as a kid, was scared to death of it during the worst of my ED, now I just think it’s disgusting. Soy and almond cheese, however, are sometimes part of my diet since they’re vegan-friendly and yummier than dairy cheese.

I prefer my pizzas with tons of veggies and NO cheese!

  • Coconut. Not quite sure how I feel about this one. Part of it is because it’s a “fear food” for me (because of the high sat fat content) but part of it is that it just weirds me out, especially in shredded form.
  • Pears/cherries/canteloupe. These are the only fruits that I’ve tried (and can think of) that I just don’t like. Cherries are too sour, but I’m okay with dried cherries, pears are just too squishy and canteloupe is bleh, not to mention that whole scare that happened over the fall with them–the farm traced to it is only 2 hours away from me 😯

The only way I'll eat cherries is in overnight oats.

  • Cashews. I like a lot of nuts, from almonds to walnuts to pecans to pistachios but there’s just something off with cashews for me. I do want to try them in a raw cashew cheezecake, though!

Yum!

  • Medjool dates. Actually, I had never tried these until about a year ago, and I fell in love. They’re so sweet, with an almost caramel taste and an amazing soft texture. Now I love them stuffed with almond butter, dark chocolate or used in raw desserts.
  • Unsweetened almond milk. The blog world helped me discover this, and I’m forever thankful. It’s so deliciously creamy and makes the perfect base for smoothies. I looooooove the vanilla kind, but I want to try Almond Breeze’s unsweetened chocolate kind.
  • Rolled oats. Another blog world find. I never used to like oatmeal as a kid, since it was too mushy, but once I figured out how to make it overnight (and voluminous) style, I was hooked. Now I get a perfect, chewy bowl of oats practically every day. And the topping/flavor combos are almost endless.

Carrot cake oats are one of my current fave combos!

  • Brussels sprouts. I grew up thinking they were beyond nasty, even though I’d never had them before, because they just had a negative connotation. I tried them for the first time this fall, and they are so good grilled or roasted with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper.
  • Cilantro. I know some people can’t stand the taste of it, but it’s my favorite herb!
  • Almond butter. This one is a pre-blog discovery, and it’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve never been a fan of peanut butter, even as a kid (I would always eat jelly-only sandwiches–yeah, I was weird) but almond butter is a whole different story. Now I also love walnut butter, pecan butter and almond peanut cashew butter.
  • Tropical fruits. I love practically all fruits, but this is probably my favorite group. Pineapples, bananas, mangos, kiwi, limequat, pomegranate, tangerine, watermelon…I love all the kinds I’ve tried and I still want to try even more!
  • Quinoa. I had this for the first time several years ago, when my cousins introduced it to us. They lived in South Africa for a year and quinoa’s really popular there and as soon as I tried it, I was hooked on the fluffy texture and nutty flavor. I also love that it’s so versatile and is a complete vegan protein source.
  • Edamame. I know some people say soy is unhealthy, but I just can’t get enough of edamame! It’s so good in stirfrys and I love getting it in the pod at Asian restaurants. And it has tons of healthy plant protein!

Edamame guacamole, ready to be mixed.

What’s one thing on your yum or yuck list? Have you tried anything lately that moved from one list to the other?

WIAW: It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Summer

It’s my favorite day of the week…What I Ate Wednesday Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, just kidding, not my favorite day but I do like it a lot. It’s so much fun to post my eats and see what everyone else has been chowing down on.

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast was up first (well, duh!) I had a banana nut Vitatop muffin (I love these things, but I still can’t figure out what flavor is my favorite), 1/2 of a homemade berry Belgian waffle, Morningstar spicy veggie sausage and some pineapple/mango chunks. I wish I lived on a tropical island so I could get amazing fresh pineapple and mango every day!

I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher (so fun!), got dressed, did a little yoga and 10 minutes of a cardio circuit before it was time for lunch. Oh yeah, and a little blog stalking was involved 😉 Don’t judge!

Lunch was good but a little time-consuming. I made some Gardein chik’n nuggets (18 grams of all-vegetarian protein in 4 nuggets–whoooooo!) that took 20 minutes in the oven to get nice and crispy. I had some strawbs on the side, some broccoli slaw mixed with mustard, Crystal Light strawberry mixed with water and an Ezekiel tortilla spread with a fudgie and half a sliced banana. Oh, and some spicy pepper mustard for nugget dippage.

I spent the next half an hour cleaning our 4 bathrooms (oooh, even more fun 😉 ) and then convinced my sissy to go on a walk with me. We live on a dirt road in a forested area, so it seems kinda like an actual hiking trail but much wider and with more houses. I was surprised by how hot it was. It’s nearly 80 degrees and it’s only the first day of June! I’m not complaining, though, I’m ready for some hot weather! I wish I had been wearing something different, though, because I was sweating in my cropped jeans. When my sister went back inside, I ran about 1/4 mile from our driveway to the mailbox and back. I haven’t done any running (besides in my daily cardio circuits) in about a week, my right foot is still bothering me and I wasn’t really dressed right for the weather, but I did okay. I also realized that today is National Running Day so I’m glad I did it 😛

Snack time is my favorite time of day to eat! I’m always really hungry, so I don’t feel like I’m making myself eat. My stomach can’t hold much food, so I prefer snack-size meals. Today I had a new snackie: apple slices topped with cinnamon (don’t ask why I’ve never had this before!), a slice of millet bread topped with 1 tsp crunchy almond butter (I always get the bulk kind from Whole Foods that is just almonds and nothing else) and a small Medjool date. This was really yummy! In fact, I’m planning on having the millet bread/AB/date combo as part of my breakfast tomorrow. I bought the bread because I’d heard other bloggers say it tastes like pound cake and while it doesn’t to me, it works well with savory and sweet things.

After some more cardio (I always split my workouts up into several parts because I get bored easily) and yoga, I watched “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera) with my mom and sis until my dad got home for dinner which was…

…Oriental chicken salad! I love having huge salads for dinner because they’re satisfying without being filling and they have sooooo many fresh, crunchy veggies. Mine had grilled chicken, green onions, mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, Archer Farms lemon sesame dressing (I love Target!) and mixed salad greens. I also had a chocolate banana protein smoothie on the side.

After a shower (I always usually shower at night so I can wake up with wavy hair) and some hanging out I had my nighttime snack of Stonyfield nonfat Gotta Have Java froyo topped with some Cascadian Farms Chocolate O’s cereal. The combo of coffee and chocolate is one of my favorites, it never gets old!

Phew, I feel like I gave you wayyyyy too much information about my day! I guess I like to ramble 😉 Don’t worry, my life isn’t always this boring, sometimes I actually go out and do stuff but it can be nice to spend the day at home.

Q: What was the best thing you ate on Wednesday?