Mmmm

Hey friends! You like my title for today’s post? ;) It was the only way I could describe this post because as you’ll see I’ve got some great meals planned for today! A late start to work means I have plenty of time to prep my meals to bring with me. I also get to enjoy a nice, leisurely breakfast. These are all great things in my book.

Check out these yummy eats!

I started off my day with my daily serving of GoodBelly. I didn’t take a pic of it because you all know what juice looks like :)

A little while later I enjoyed a serving of delicious, sweet cantaloupe. Good for hydration and digests in only 30 minutes. Normally I’d eat this as a snack but I figured that since it digests so quickly and I needed to rehydrate (you get dehydrated during sleep) so I figured I’d eat it as a pre-breakfast snack ;)

After reading Gabby’s post on hydration today I was reminded that it has been far too long since I’ve had a bowl of oatmeal. I LOVE oatmeal and I can’t believe I have gone this long without making it. I remedied that and made a big filling bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins and banana. So good.

For lunch it’s the return of the Hummus/Dolma plate! Stuffed Grape Leaves, carrot, cucumber, tomato and garlic hummus. Mmm.

For dinner I combined some of my prep food into one yummy meal. More beige than the rest of the food I’ve been eating but still yummy and nutritious (other than the bit of Daiya hiding in the cauliflower mash). This will get mixed up into a creamy, delicious mess. Can’t wait for this meal.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Late night tonight so no gym today but I’m definitely planning on getting more cardio in tomorrow. Hope you are all having a great day!

Living the Stereotype ;)

Hello friends! Two days in a row, look at that! Maybe I’m getting back into the groove? Only time will tell I suppose. I had my dentist appointment this morning and the filling went fine… just a little concerned that a root canal may follow. Apparently a pin point sized exposure of the nerve is there and my dentist tried something that will work some of the time to prevent having to go in for a root canal. I’ll know by the end of the week depending on how I feel so keep your fingers crossed that this worked! Not because I’m afraid of a root canal (I have a pretty high pain tolerance) but mostly because root canals are EXPENSIVE and not really an expense I can take on right now. I have to avoid extremely hot food/liquids and ice cold food/liquids for a few days so my smoothie didn’t happen today.

However, some fun things did happen in the kitchen today. That’s where the title of today’s post comes from. As a true stereotypical vegan, I made some home made granola and cooked up some kale.

Here is a pan of fresh baked Blueberry Almond Granola straight out of the oven. Blueberry Almond is my favorite combination for granola. Whole Foods has a really delicious version of it that I ate all the time before I was vegan… but alas it has honey in it.

I used this recipe by Small Kitchen Chronicles and cut it in half. It still made a TON of granola! I left out the sugar and used a little more maple syrup (than the halved amount). I have a tendency to burn granola but this batch came out perfectly golden brown.

I am not exaggerating when I say this is the best granola I’ve ever eaten. It’s so simple and has great ingredients. I will definitely be eating this for breakfast and I’ll also eat it as a snack. Sooooooo good and it made the whole house smell amazing!

After I finished making the granola I set my sights on a head of Lacinato Kale that I picked up from Whole Foods yesterday. I had never heard of Lacinato kale but noticed it was more tender than the regular curly kale that I get so I decided to give it a try. One of my favorite meals when I go to an Italian restaurant (which is rare since I don’t eat a lot of Italian food to begin with) is escarole sauteed with olive oil, garlic and cannellini beans so I decided to recreate this dish using kale.

I think it came out pretty great! I basically just sauteed some garlic in olive oil then added the kale. I added a little water and covered it to steam for a few minutes. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper and added the cannellini beans. Here is the final result! A big batch of greens and beans for the week :)

That’s what I’ve got for you today. The novacaine wore off finally and so far I’m feeling ok. I’m taking some time to rest before a make up training session (snowy Friday last week). I see some Weather Channel in my future. Have you ever seen the show Storm Stories? Can’t get enough of it :)

Hope you all are having a great Monday!

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!!

Hey everyone!! Happy Valentine’s Day :) I’m not big on Valentine’s day so that’s the only mention you’ll get out of me but I figured I’d wish you all a good one. I figured today would be a great day to share my recipe for my Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies!! I loved these cookies so much and I really hope you’ll try them. Soooooooo good!

I used this as my start point and made a bunch of changes to create this new cookie. Yum!

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup gf oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar*

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, drained on a paper towel

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cups gf rolled oats

3/4 cups sliced almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

*Instead of regular brown sugar I use Alter Eco’s Mascobado sugar that was sent to me to review. This was my secret for this recipe. It added a beautiful hint of caramel that was so perfect. I really love this sugar, you should definitely try it in place of brown sugar if you can get it in your local stores.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Mix the sugars, syrup, applesauce, coconut oil and extracts in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Add oats, almonds and coconut. Stir until combined then let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Drop cookies on baking sheet (I used a small ice cream scoop to portion my cookies… probably about the size of a rounded tsp). Bake cookies 10-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on tray then transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!!

These cookies are seriously amazing. I really love the almond extract in it too. I may add a little almond flour next time too :)

That’s all for me my friends! Hope you all have a great night, whatever your plans may be!! I’ll be spending a quiet night at home. It’s Thursday after all… which means a new episode of Impractical Jokers :) Have a good night!

Kitchen Adventures and Rainy Day Dramz

Hey everyone. Hope you’ve all been well over the past few days. I’m writing this from my bed, barely able to move. I’m so exhausted! And SO SORE! A little from shoveling and a little from wandering around aimlessly for hours. See what happened was I left super early this morning to run errands so I could bake this afternoon and get to the gym. Well. No. Didn’t happen. When I got out of the store and started up my car… my windshield wiper wouldn’t work. The very one I replaced two days ago. Wouldn’t move at all and it was POURING. I was a little panicked because I literally couldn’t see anything while driving but I managed to drive about a half mile or mile down the road to a gas station, where I proceeded to wait for hours for a new part. The gas station was right next to the mall so I climbed over snow mountains in pouring rain then wandered like a teenager cutting school. It was very surreal and by the end of the ordeal I was exhausted.

I don’t know about you guys, but I like to get in the kitchen after having a bad day. Even though I was exhausted, I still managed to make all three recipes I had wanted to make :) Check em out!

 The first recipe I made was Alicia Silverstone’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. I’ve made these before and they always come out great!

It is my friend’s birthday this week and these are his absolutely favorite treat. I first made them for him a few years ago and it has become a tradition. The recipe made 12 large cups and they fit perfectly in two layers in this cute little box.

There are a few other birthdays I’m celebrating in April and decided to gift these friends with some homemade cookies. I’ve been holding on to a recipe I wanted to try for a while and figured this would be the perfect time to test it out. I am so happy with the way these came out and I can’t wait to share the recipe later on this week!

Check out these beauties! They are my Gluten Free Almond Coconut Oatmeal cookies. They are light, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I pulled out a secret weapon for this batch as well. Stay tuned to see what I used!!

The last recipe I tried was Laura’s Raw Snickers!!!! I knew the minute I saw these I HAD to try them before I embark on the Anti Candida Diet. These cuties are the naked candies, pre-chocolate dipped. My caramel was a little chunky since I don’t have an awesome high speed blender but I’m ok with some date chunks in my caramel ;)

The finished product. My bars aren’t as pretty as Laura’s but oh well. Not too bad I guess!

I cut one of the bars in half… you know, so you guys could see the inside ;) I tried a small half and it was so delicious!! They are decadent and definitely worth all of the effort. This treat will be a perfect send off into ACD land.

This will probably be the last sweet I have for a few months as I did a great job using up most of my sweeteners today (maple syrup, agave, dates, etc.). I just have a little bit of fruit to use up then I’m ready to start!! I’m excited about starting and hoping to see some improvement in how I’m feeling. I’m hoping to keep it up through the next couple of months, maybe until the spring? The plan in to be strict for at least three months then start reintroducing fruit slowly in the spring. Hopefully I’ll be able to tolerate fruit by the summer so I can enjoy my watermelon, cherries and berries (in moderation of course;)).

That’s all for today. I’m planning on just crashing the rest of the night and relaxing big time. Hope you all have a great night!

Vegan MoFo Post 14: Carrot Cake Oats

Hey everyone. So this whole ACD thing is already proving to be a huge challenge for me. I’m so used to eating fruit in the morning and I’ve been completely thrown off by not being able to eat it. I do enjoy a tofu scramble for breakfast but those have to be limited a bit on this diet so I’ve been trying to find other savory breakfasts that are ACD approved. It’s also pretty lucky for me that stevia is allowed on the ACD so I’ll be able to use it on occasion to satisfy that sweet tooth that is being severely ignored. And that’s where today’s breakfast came in.

As you may remember, I typically enjoy my oats with banana, raisins, and walnuts but since bananas and raisins are off limits I decided to switch things up. This was my attempt to eat an ACD friendly breakfast with a little bit of sweetness and it worked out pretty well! It was slightly sweetened with stevia and brings together carrots, walnuts and spices to create a bowl of oats reminiscent of a sweet, comforting slice of carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup gluten free steel cut oats

1 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 small carrot, grated

stevia to taste

Directions:

1. Combine water and oats in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer.

2. When water is mostly absorbed, add spices, walnuts, carrot and stevia to the pan. Cook until water is absorbed. Enjoy!

Looks like confetti in the oatmeal! It’s so pretty and pretty yummy too. I’m still missing my fruit but this was definitely a step in the right direction.

So, this has been pretty difficult so far. There are so many rules and restrictions so I’ve been struggling a bit but I’m going to hang in there. My goal is to do this for one month and see how I feel.

I hope you have all had a great day! I did a lot of cooking today and will be heading to my training session later on this evening. Always look forward to that ;)

Have a great day!

Good News and a Discussion About Weight

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great day yesterday! It was my long day so I couldn’t pop in but I’m working a wedding today and had a little time this morning so I figured I’d come say hi :)

First some great news! I finally am getting my money back from that company! I’m still kind of sorting things out but I was notified that I would be refunded :) That takes a huge weight off of my shoulders as I’m sure you could understand.

And now on to a little bit of serious business. I had a comment on my About Me page today and while I was caught a bit off guard when I first read it I’m actually really glad she asked her question because it made me wonder how many other people were wondering the same thing! She asked the question from a good place and I answered it there but I figured I’d take a little time here because I think it is important. So let’s talk about weight.

First, so we are all on the same page, I was asked that given my healthy diet and exercise routine, why I’m still so filled out. First, let me start off by saying my doctor and I wonder the same thing! I’ve posted about weight in the past and I don’t think I’ve kept any secrets about the fact that I’ve had issues with weight my whole life and that I continue to fight this battle every day. I am not a skinny girl and to be honest, I will never be a skinny girl because I have curves. And I love my curves and I’m ok with that. That said, I definitely have weight to lose and I’m working on it (and I’ve already lost quite a bit) but I’ve hit a gnarly plateau and I’ve been trying to break through it for at least a year. I’ve switched up my diet so many times but I’m just working on finding that balance.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect and I don’t eat clean all the time. Everyone slips up, everyone eats things they regret. I choose to move on and try and fix it. I find that when I dwell on it bad thoughts and behaviors follow closely behind and that isn’t healthy. It has been a slow, painstaking process but I know that I will get there one day. I also know that there are days where I just can’t get in enough calories. Whether I’m working a wedding and don’t get enough of a break to eat a good, full meal or don’t have time to snack during the day, it happens. I also sit on my ass at work during the week which doesn’t help either.

With all of this said, I know that I work really hard and I know I am doing the right thing for my body. While I may not have a perfect model body, I am incredibly healthy as shown by my performance in the gym as well as the blood work that I recently had done by my doctor. Aesthetics will follow.

I hope that helps clarify things a bit for people wondering that same question :) This was kind of a tough one to write because weight is always a touchy subject but you guys know that I’m all for full disclosure. Well almost full disclosure. I was asked for my stats and I don’t feel comfortable putting my weight out there. I’m working on it but I’m not at the point where I feel comfortable giving out that info. Sorry!

On that note, let’s check out my breakfast? Ha, I think it’s funny to follow up that convo with a pic of my breakfast but it was so good I have to share it!

I had to take the photo on my phone because my equipment is all packed up for the wedding today so here is an instagram pic of my Banana Coconut Cream Pie Oats! I have been eyeing Gabby’s recipe for weeks now and I finally had the time and ingredients to try it! You guys seriously have to try it, they are so amazing! Definitely a good hearty meal to start a long day.

I’ll have some avocado toast before I head out to the wedding to properly fuel for the first part of my day. I’m also bringing fruit leather, a Larabar and an apple with a pack of Artisana raw nut butter (probably pecan) and hopefully I’ll be able to eat some fresh fruits and veggies later.

I hope that you all have a great day! Please feel free to weigh in (ha! I’m such a nerd) on this topic in my comments, I’d love to hear what you think!

Dinner Party for 3!

Hey everyone! I’m happy to say my dinner party was a success! It was so nice to see my friend and her fiance and it was really fun to cook for everyone! I decided to do a decadent yet still a little healthy lasagna for dinner and a light, raw dessert that still tasted sweet and delicious!

I used gluten free brown rice lasagna noodles, tofutti better than ricotta, Daiya mozzarella, some marinara, spinach, broccoli and zucchini.

I actually thought it looked really pretty before I baked it so I took a few photos of it ;) I hate using foil pans but my bro and sister in law don’t have much in terms of cookware and I already had to transport so much so I just grabbed one down the block from the house.

Check out all of the green in there! It always looks more vibrant before it’s cooked, ha!
I served the lasagna with this beautiful salad. It had greens, strawberries, pecans and cucumber. We topped it with some balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!

My plate. The lasagna fell apart in the oven. It was fine though it still tasted good and everyone seemed to like it. I was impressed by the ricotta, it tasted pretty good! The veggies were really good, still a bit crisp which was nice. I’d say it was pretty successful! The salad was nice and fresh and was a good way to balance out the richness of the lasagna :)
For dessert I made a (Mostly) Raw Cherry Berry Crisp! I just took raw cherries and strawberries and topped it with a mostly raw crisp I made. I used oat flour making it mostly raw since I’m sure they steam the oats before grinding them but I wanted to keep the oat flavor you find in most crumbles. Otherwise, it is completely raw! It went over well!
Raw Cherry Berry Crisp

Ingredients:

2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
For Crisp:
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup agave
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp liquid coconut butter
Directions:

1. Combine ingredients for the crisp and mix until it is a crumbly dough. Put dough into dehydrator and dehydrate at 104 degrees until dry, about 20-24 hours.
2. Mix fruit together and evenly distribute between bowls (I had some fruit leftover which I had for breakfast!).
3. Top with dried crisp topping and enjoy!

We had a great time until Tyler, my brother’s dog, has a bit of a meltdown. He’s incredibly skittish and heard a firework and started trembling and panting and wouldn’t stop. I figured out he wanted to go upstairs and lay in the bed snuggled up with me and wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we called it a night and came upstairs he stopped panting and trembling. It makes me feel horrible that he’ll be home all day while I’m at work :(

This was the beginning before the meltdown when he was sitting in his carrier. He does this often when he misses his mommy and daddy. He’s ok now though, it was just sad to watch!
Other than the puppy meltdown, I’d say the night was a success! It was so nice to see my friends and catch up. Now it’s back to reality and I have to work a wedding in the blazing heat today. Hopefully the day goes quick!
Have a great Sunday everyone! Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Oats in a Glass

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a good Monday :) Mine was pretty good, had a good training session and I’m getting ready to meet up with some friends for a drink (although I don’t plan on actually drinking). I wanted to share a quick recipe with you before I left though. I made it for breakfast this morning and it was SO GOOD.

If you recall, I shared this gorgeous bowl of oats with you a few days ago.

Pretty huh? I’ve been craving it a lot since I ate it but it has gotten pretty warm here in NY so I don’t really want to eat hot oatmeal first thing on a hot morning so I tried to figure out a way to cool it down. There is always overnight oats but it is hard for me to eat it like that. I don’t know why but I really have to be in the mood for it. I think it is a textural thing.
Anyway, I saw this post by Gabby and knew that would be the perfect way to cool off my favorite bowl of oats. 

Check out this beautiful Morning Oats Smoothie! It definitely tasted amazing, I’m glad I decided to try this smoothie. It’ll definitely be a summer staple and I’m sure I’ll start adding some greens to it too.
Morning Oats Smoothie

1/3 cup oats (I used gluten free)
1 cup plant milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Coconut Almond Breeze)
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins
cinnamon
1 small frozen banana
Directions:
The night before, mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight to soften everything. In the morning add your overnight oats with toppings along with your frozen banana to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
So good! Let me know if you try it/like it :) I have to get ready to head out but I’ll catch up on your blogs when I get home. Have a great night!

Hump Day Eats

Hey everyone! It’s another gloomy day here in NY. I think I hear rain which kind of sucks. Can’t bring myself to look out the window yet even though I have to leave in a half hour. Oh well, I guess it’ll be a surprise?

Anyway, I got all of my errands done yesterday. Earrings successfully switched out, lots of fun crafting stuff from Michael’s (the canvases were on sale, I got 4 for $8!) AND I perused a fun health food specialty store. It happens to be next to the tattoo shop I go to and I’ve been in there before so I figured I’d go peruse. Well they have made some major changes and it is awesome! They have tons of cool stuff, lots of gluten free and raw foods AND a cafe attached! Fresh juices and smoothies and organic eats. It’s not strictly veg but it is super vegan friendly. In fact, I grabbed a menu and figured I’d scan it for you just to show you why I’m so stoked :)

If you click on it you should be able to read it! The cafe and store have great stuff but it is a bit pricey so I didn’t really partake in anything just yet, but when I hopefully get a little more work over the summer I’m going to splurge on a few fun treats!
Anyway, lets move on to today’s eats. Today is a really good representation of the pantry challenge because I used a lot of pantry items I’m trying to finish up AND the scraps of my produce. I REALLY need to go grocery shopping, hopefully tomorrow evening. Check it out!
For breakfast I had a bowl of warming oats and added some walnuts, raisins and coconut. Cinnamon too, as always :) It was sooooooo good!
Midmorning snack will be an unpictured orange.
Lunch is a chopped salad. Spinach, cucumber, carrot, half an ear of not so great corn (found out too late), sun dried tomatoes and roasted chickpeas. Mmmm.

Afternoon snack is going to be a Lemon Coconut Hemp Seed Bite and probably some coconut water.
Dinner is going to be some Quinoa Edamame salad and some yummy pickles! Look at the little baby one :) I halved the recipe because I feel like a cup of quinoa is a lot. 
This should definitely keep me going on my long day! I need to write up a grocery list too, I’ll have to sneak that in :) I hope you are all having a good week and Happy Hump Day! It’s easy peasy after today.
I am not sure if I’ll be able to post tomorrow because I’ll be rushed in the morning because of my 7:30 AM MRI appointment but maybe I’ll be able to share a grocery haul if I can get there. If not I’ll see you Friday!

WTF Wednesday

Hey everyone! Today is my 10 hour day so as usual I’m doing an early post with all of my meals. I feel like it took extra long to make everything today, so unfortunately no time for a workout :( Oh well, I’ll make up for it tomorrow!

Check out what I’m eating today!

Breakfast was oatmeal – 1/4 cup oats cooked in 1 1/4 cups water, one packet of stevia, cinnamon, 1 small banana and a tbsp of chopped walnuts.

Midmorning snack will be an orange.

Lunch or third meal will be homemade brown rice tortilla chips (sooooo good! way better than regular tortilla chips), a giant carrot sliced up, and 1/2 avocado mashed with sea salt and black pepper.

Chocolate Brownie Pure Bar for afternoon snack. 
Dinner will be spaghetti squash, spinach, zucchini, sauce and nooch.
I am really running on empty in terms of groceries. Tomorrow is going to be slim pickings, hopefully I can get to the store tomorrow night.
Hope you all have a great day and that mine goes really quick ;) Catch up with you later!