WIAW and New Series

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

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

WIAW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

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

Adventures in Raw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Break

The title totally sounds like a middle school English class essay you had to write after coming back from Thanksgiving break, doesn’t it? Haha guess I just love reliving my younger years 😉

My break isn’t quite over which I am very thankful for–the last three weeks in the semester are always the hardest because you just got a taste of freedom but then you have to go back and get ready for finals and write papers. Not fun. But this is how I’ve been spending the past few days, with a mix of the successes and struggles I’ve had along the way.

Struggles

Still dealing with ‘disordered’ thoughts. 

Thanksgiving is a tough holiday for a recovering anorexic. And as a vegan, I’m not that thrilled by the usual selection of holiday foods. So I did struggle a bit on Thanksgiving Day. For one, I didn’t have breakfast. Yep, I wasn’t exactly planning on it (I love breakfast and never miss it!) but I wanted to have a pumpkin waffle with plenty of real maple syrup but my mom ended up using my waffle maker to make waffles for the rest of my family, and I freaked out about the ingredients she used in the waffles and decided not to make a waffle. But I didn’t end up making breakfast at all because I just got stuck in my disordered eating thought patterns and was getting anxious about Thanksgiving. I also didn’t eat lunch, because our family just does a lot of snacks in the afternoon. So I did enjoy some snackage (homemade guac I made myself, rice cake with pumpkin butter/chocolate chips, raw carrots and cauliflower, amazing spicy salsa). I also had a few adult beverages but we’ll save that for the successes part! I think I did an okay job eating once the big meal went around and I even tried some of the vegan stuffing my mom made. But I definitely struggled with feeling okay with being a little full. The feeling of fullness still scares me to death so that was hard to deal with. I also had some issues with exercising. I told myself I’d take a day or two off from working out this week but that hasn’t happened. It’s still too scary for me to take full-blown rest days.

The cute plate I had my snacks on.

Never being able to make a really delicious dessert from scratch.

Lately, I haven’t been able to make a dessert from a recipe that I actually like enough to eat. For some reason, I like it when I’m tasting it in the cooking process but then once it’s made, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. And then it goes in the trash. I can’t keep wasting food, but I can’t figure out why I can’t make an amazing dessert. I guess I should just stick with my simple, throw-it-together desserts like coconut milk ice cream or ‘banana bread’ protein bowls. Those are always satisfying.

A delicious lunch at my favorite restaurant. Falafel, tabbouleh, fresh red cabbage, lettuce and hummus.

Body image issues.

This kinda goes along with the first one, but lately I’ve been really having a hard time accepting what I see in the mirror. I always go through phases where I either like what I see or I’m totally disgusted by it, and right now I’m dealing with the latter. Anyone who’s ever dealt with this knows how much this sucks, but I’m hoping I start moving out of this phase soon.

Going back to classes after break.

Not gonna lie, I’m already burned out by school. The hardest time for me is always the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, especially this year when I’m buried with a million assignments. I’m simultaneously freaking out and feeling passive about finishing up the semester.

These almost look like stars, don’t they?

Successes

Enjoying alcohol without worrying about the calories. 

I’m not quite 21 yet (just 8 months to go!) and I’ve never been one of those people who partied hard in college but lately I’ve been more interested in drinking, at least on special occasions. On Thanksgiving, I tried some cake vodka mixed with a little vanilla almond milk (to die for!) and I also had some green apple liqueur at dinner and I enjoyed them both. I did NOT get drunk or anything but it was nice to be able to sip my drinks and not freak out about drinking OMGsomanycalories.

This was soooooo good!

Getting a lot of assignments done.

I was kind of dreading Thanksgiving break, because I had a lot of schoolwork to do during it. But I’ve been splitting it into manageable chunks and working on a little each day and I’ve definitely been making progress.  I’m still stressing out about some of them, but I’ve got a few more days to finish them up.

I love fall sunsets.

Mixing in fun with the work.

My break hasn’t been all work and no play though. Yesterday we went up to Denver for the day for some window shopping, a cheap lunch at Garbanzo (they were offering a buy one get one deal all day) and checking out a cool German Christmas festival. We also played tourist with my grandparents and went to Garden of the Gods and Old Colorado City the other day. It’s kinda fun to explore the sites in your own city even if you’ve seen them a hundred times.

The weather was gorgeous and so were the views.

What have you been enjoying over the past few days? Do you like to be a tourist in your own city?