Category Archives: Vegan

HIIT and Kickboxing and Salad Day

My motivation and inspiration has been rather low lately. I’ve been less consistent with my postings (sorry!) likely because I’ve been stressed and busy, though I know that’s never a good excuse – we’re all stressed and busy. Yesterday I had a particularly awful day with the kids (misbehaving, fighting, yelling, etc) and with other current worries, like job-searching and the feeling of being totally over my current life as an au pair and life abroad, and worries about being pretty much broke, and homesick, and of course I haven’t really had time to exercise as much as I would have liked, so I think the stress and anxiety got the best of me last night and I nearly lost it.

You know that feeling when you just really want to punch the living shit out of something/someone? Well, I was at that point yesterday and that’s when I remembered the beauty of kickboxing! There really is no better feeling than punching or kicking a big heavy bag with all of your power, letting go of all of your frustration and rage and stress in the most cathartic and liberating way. Before moving to Paris, I did kickboxing about 2-3 times a week at a kickboxing gym, fully equipped with bags, dummies, pads, etc and there was nothing better than heading out of work and straight to the gym, wrapping up my hands, slipping them into my red gloves, and beating the shit out of imaginary people. Never have I been stronger, sweatier, or braver than during that year of kickboxing. I am so, so eager to get back into it when I move home.

Today when I finally got my ass up and went out to exercise outside, I tried to let go of everything that was awful about yesterday and start the day in a new way. I ran to my park (about 10 minutes), then followed this HIIT routine. (I don’t remember where I found this because I had it written down on a piece of paper that I found on my desk, so I apologize to whoever I am failing to give credit to for this workout.)

0:30 high knees

1:00 squat jumps

1:00 mountain climbers

1:00 burpees

1:00 jump lunges

Repeat 3x

Then I did about 10 minutes of kickboxing, which entailed shamelessly punching the air (aiming at a nearby tree) while tons of French people (mostly creepy French men) stared at me and judged me, probably.

Then some crunches of all shapes and sizes, side planks, lower back exercises, and then I ran… more like wobbled… back home. A nice long stretch followed, as well as a CLIF builder protein bar (gotta restore those muscle fibers!) and an apple, and I felt so good. Amazing how quickly you forget how great a good workout is.

(If I eat a food bar, I try to find one that is as natural and raw as possible. These are pretty good, though they tend to be too dense and ingredient-rich, but its better than other options out there. My favorites are Lärabars.)

Later, I made a delicious salad (I think I’ve gotten better at salads over the years. I lived a long time thinking a salad had to be nasty iceberg lettuce and croutons) with lots of my favorite ingredients, and a few things I just had on had to make it well-rounded:

photo 1

White beans

Kidney beans

Avocado

Almonds

Red and yellow bell peppers

Golden raisins

Sesame seeds

Spinach

Lemon juice, salt, pepper

 

photo 2

How pretty was this avocado?? Nature is so cool.

 

It’s been a much better day today than yesterday. Exercise always helps more than I realize. I feel strong, sufficiently sore and tired, and well-fed.

Dinner tonight will surely be a challenge, but I’m going to go easy on myself and not feel guilty after eating whatever it is that we’re eating. I can only control so much, right?

Here’s to another good day.

 

Advertisements

Healthy Breakfast Quinoa

This morning I woke up and realized I only had a tiny, tiny amount of oatmeal left. Since I’ve been trying to eat mostly vegan lately, I didn’t want to eat yogurt or eggs for breakfast, so I thought I’d get a little creative and use inspiration from many recipes I’ve seen to create my own breakfast quinoa.

The result was actually amazing! I can’t wait to try this again tomorrow morning.

photo (22)

Since I rarely use real recipes and I just make things up as I go, here I’ll try to describe my process, in case you want to recreate it (which you should, because this was SO good).

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Almond Milk

Raisins

Dried Apricots (or any dried or fresh fruit)

Cinnamon

Honey

Almonds (or walnuts)

I already had quinoa pre-made from last night, but if you don’t, you can start from scratch, which might actually be better. (I’ll be trying that tomorrow.) Mine was a quinoa-bulgur wheat mix, but I recommend just straight quinoa. I had… a normal serving size? About a cup? Not really sure. You can be more precise if you want.

I put it in a little sauce pan, turned the heat on low, and poured in some almond milk (but not too much at first). I tossed in some raisins, and a small amount of honey and cinnamon and some sliced dried apricots (though you can use whatever fresh or dried fruit you desire). I mixed it all together and kept adding almond milk until it was a consistency that looked good to me (I didn’t want it to be too watery but you can make it as watery or dry as you’d like). At the end, I chopped up some almonds (if you have slivered almonds, or shelled walnuts, even better so you don’t have to deal with cutting whole almonds) and tossed them in, and gave it a little taste test to see what I thought. YUM.

Since I had a tiny bit of oatmeal, I cooked that and mixed both together, and the result was a delicious, sweet, healthy, protein-filled, fiber-filled, nutrient-dense breakfast to start my day. Seriously this might be my new favorite thing. Dare I say… better than oatmeal??

TRY IT. I dare you.

Here are some suggestions for things to add, though the beauty of this is that you pretty much can just do whatever you want and it will most likely be amazing.

– Fresh blueberries

– Fresh strawberries

– Almond butter

– Avocados

– Maple syrup

– Peaches

– Mashed banana

– Protein powder

– Chocolate chips

– Greek yogurt

… The list can go on as far as you’d like. Just some ideas to get you started.

Seriously this is my new favorite discovery. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deadly Dairy Diaries

[This post started as a short little post about how dairy gave me a stomach ache, and it turned into something quite a bit longer than that. Get your reading pants on, kids (what??) and EDUCATE YO’ SELF]

I’ve been mostly vegan the past several days, without too much effort as described in this post from last week, and it has felt really great. However, today the girls baked a cake, and since I don’t like chocolate, they baked a little separate one without chocolate for me. I didn’t actually want it, but they were so sweet to make it that I couldn’t turn it down and break their little hearts. So I ate a small piece of cake (and later a bite of one of my cookies from Belgium), and immediately… the intestinal chorus began to sing. I’m sitting here feeling the alarmingly immediate effects of dairy on my body, and I’m reminded once again of that feeling of “liberation” by eating clean, whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. Food should never make you feel sick. Dairy is not natural for us to eat! And anyone who thinks otherwise, let me explain:

(PS: A lot of this information comes from things I’ve read and watched or learned in school, but I haven’t the slightest clue where or how to cite any of my sources. Take it or leave it, or do some research yourself to be further convinced.)

Why Not Dairy?

When you are born, you drink your mothers milk, which has all of the nutrients you need for the first few months/year of your life, and until you are weaned off of your mothers milk, you do not need anything else. Milk is very nutritionally dense for a little baby. In the same way, a kitten is born and drinks her mothers milk until she is grown and is able to fend for herself and eat the things an adult cat eats. Likewise, an elephant calf is born and drinks its mothers milk, and a baby gorilla does the same, and a baby cow does the same. All mammals drink their mothers milk while growing during those formative infant moments (be it days, weeks, months, years…) and once the baby is old enough, it no longer needs any milk, and the mother no longer needs to produce it. So why as a population have we been convinced that we still need to drink milk (or consume dairy of any kind)? For calcium. Strong bones and teeth. Etc etc, right?

Actually, not so.

First, consider this: If we as humans no longer need to drink our own mothers’ milk, from our own species, why should we have to drink the infant growth juice of a mother from an entirely different species? Why cows milk, and not elephant milk or dog milk or gorilla milk? If anything, gorilla or chimpanzee milk would be most appropriate, considering we share over 98% of our DNA with them. Or, why don’t we just continue to drink our own mothers milk well into adulthood? That would actually be most appropriate, considering our options. But who decided cow milk was what humans need? Likely (most certainly) it was the food industry, trying to find new ways to make money. Inventions like frozen food, non-perishable Twinkies, and milk are all products of industrialized “nutrition”.

Second, consider this: The majority of the human population on this earth is lactose intolerant. So yeah, that means probably you too. If you’re at all like me, you’ve grown up your entire life drinking milk (cereal with milk is and has always been my favorite food), eating cheese, ice cream, butter, etc, then you’ve likely gotten used to the grumble in your tummy or the discomfort or even the diarrhea that comes along with eating dairy. Its likely you’ve never noticed it at all. And if you have, you’ve just attributed it to… who knows… “something I ate” or maybe you haven’t attributed it to anything at all, but to the simple, normal reaction that happens after you eat. Truth is, I lived like this my entire life, literally until about a week or two ago, when I slowly started eating less to no dairy, and today, I’m sitting here, after about 3 or 4 bites of a cake that is made entirely of dairy (milk, yogurt, butter, eggs, and some flour… yes I know eggs are not dairy), and my entire digestive system is NOT happy about it. And I’m starting to see the light.

So, if most of the human population is lactose intolerant, why do we keep consuming lactose? Why do we have so many products, like Lactaid, which make dairy easier to consume? Eating should not require a set of pills to make us function properly. Our body is built to process things naturally, and ideally, we should never need Tums or Pepto Bismol or Lactaid to help us eat. Ever heard of pharmaceutical companies? Yeah…

Another highly compelling fact is this: There is a small population of people living in the desert in Africa who have historically, for thousands and thousands of years, been cattle herders. They live in a place where water and food are scarce, but they have co-evolved with the cattle they herd over time in order to be able to survive together. Since humans are naturally intolerant to lactose, we normally become sick, even if just mildly, upon consuming dairy. In some cases, we can have diarrhea from dairy, which for most of us in a privaledged western world may mean we have to run to the bathroom at an inopportune moment, maybe take some Pepto Bismol, and if its really bad, we may have to lay in bed for a while and drink some gatorade or water to feel better. But if you live in the desert in Africa, with little access to food or water, diarrhea can kill you, since it completely dehydrates you from all liquid and nutrients in your system. So, this unique population of cattle herders has co-evolved with cows, developing a distinct and rare genetic mutation that allows them to properly process lactose without becoming sick and thus dying, since more often than not, they rely exclusively on the milk of these cows to survive. So think about that. In order to process milk, they evolved (over centuries) a genetic mutation to be able to drink milk and not die. Most of us do not have this mutation, and thus, if we were stranded in a desert with only milk to drink, we would all probably die.

I’m just saying…

OK, so maybe dairy isn’t exactly normal to drink, but is it actually harmful? Yeah, it is. Much to my sadness and dismay (I love dairy), dairy has high levels of saturated fat (the bad kind of fat) and of bad cholesterol, similar to a piece of red meat.

“Red meat and full-fat dairy products (cheese, milk, ice cream, butter) are among the main sources of saturated fat in our diets.” – Harvard School of Public Health, “The Nutrition Source”

“Trans fats are also naturally found in beef fat and dairy fat, in small amounts.” – Harvard School of Public Health, “The Nutrition Source”

“… Because vegetable fat was not related to risk of breast cancer, these findings suggest that red meat and high-fat dairy products may contain other factors, such as hormones, that increase risk of breast cancer.” – Harvard School of Public Health, “The Nutrition Source”

“It’s worth noting that milk and other dairy products are our biggest source of saturated fat, and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer.” – Dr. Barnard, quoted in this New York Times article by Mark Bittman

Animals and Planet

Another important factor to consider is the effect of dairy production on the environment and on the well-being of the animals being exploited. I think we all like to imagine that all the milk we drink comes from happy cows (from California) who roam around with wide green pastures much like this,

but sadly, this is a reality for very few, if any cows at all. Most of the time, a real dairy farm looks more like this:

or this,

I’ve actually been to a dairy farm, when I was wwoofing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Ireland a few months ago, I was taken by my host to the local dairy farm that provided the milk for some of Irelands most popular dairy products. Ireland and the United States are very different in their production of dairy, but I presume they shared some similarities. Since milk comes from a cow who has recently given birth, naturally that milk should go to the calf, but instead, they are separated immediately (imagine the stress on the mother to have her baby taken from her!) and she is hooked up to an uncomfortable machine which pumps her milk out for hours every day. I actually got to milk a cow with one of those machines, and trust me, the cows did not enjoy it. Though the farm looked like that last photo, the cows in Ireland did get to spend part of their time in a lovely green pasture. But remember, this is Ireland, where leprechauns exist and magic is everywhere. America is not so quaint. Most american dairy and beef cows are fed corn, which their stomachs are not built to digest (they’re meant to eat grass), so when they become sick, they are pumped with antibiotics. More than half of the antibiotics sold in America go to food-animals, not humans. So the happy cow thing is just a big lie so that you can sleep at night and buy milk in the morning… milk from stressed mothers whose children have been taken from them, mothers who are fed unnatural things (imagine if you were fed wood or rocks instead of actual food you could digest?) and pumped with chemicals and antibiotics, living in a metal warehouse filled with feces and all sorts of nasty things… Honestly, just ew. If we are what we eat, and if cows are what they eat, and if we eat cows, then we are what cows eat, and if you knew what it looked (or smelled) like inside a dairy farm, I promise you’d never touch a piece of cheese again. Promise.

Also, that whole thing about cows farting is actually true. The methane gas released from the billions of cows in industrialized farms contributes to more greenhouse gases than all of the gases released from all transportation methods, combined. Global warming is serious business, and a huge part of it comes from cows that are farting from eating corn, much in the same way we’re farting from eating dairy.

“The nearly half a million factory farms in the U.S. produce 130 times more waste than the human population. Cattle produce nearly one billion tons of organic waste each year. The waste from livestock, chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides are a primary source of water pollution in this country. Wastes from dairies, feedlots, and chicken and hog farms enter waterways, damaging aquatic ecosystems and making the water unfit for consumption. Cattle also contribute significantly to global warming because they emit methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, three of the four gases responsible for trapping solar heat.” – Born Free USA, “The Destructive Dairy Industry”

So… if cutting back on dairy for your own health isn’t compelling enough, do it for the earth, man! After all… our body is our one and only vessel, and our planet is too. Once its gone, its gone for good.

[Also I should point out that I highlighted America, but each country has its own industrialized food system and I encourage those of you reading this in other countries to take a look into your countries practices. Its likely that they’re not all that different from those of the grand ol’ U-S-A.]

Ok all of that is sad about the animals and the planet but you’re probably not going to do anything about it because most of us don’t but you’re still thinking about health because a sliver of you is curious about not dying or maybe just not being sick one day, and likely you’ve been wondering this whole time about the “real” question… CALCIUM!

Calcium is needed for strong bones, right? And we get calcium from where? Milk? Research shows that osteoporosis (loss of bone density, bones becoming porous, weaker bones, breaking your hip when you’re old, etc) is most prevalent in the countries with the highest consumption of dairy, like United States, United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden. And that’s not a random coincidence. To quote from the Livestrong website:

“Most know that milk is high in calcium. It may seem counterintuitive that the calcium in dairy can contribute to osteoporosis, which is characterized by a loss of calcium from bones. However, excessive calcium suppresses the activation of vitamin D, argues Walter Willet, M.D. Activated or supercharged D contributes to a wide array of health benefits. According to Campbell, persistently low levels of this activated vitamin create an “inviting environment” for different cancers, autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis. Of note, animal protein also suppresses the production of supercharged D.”

So… Then where else can I get calcium and protein?

If you don’t know where else you could possibly get calcium and protein if not from dairy, there are many natural foods, from the earth, that have as much if not more calcium than dairy, like broccoli, kale, spinach, sesame seeds, nuts, soy, and so much more. Similarly, most of those, plus quinoa, lentils, beans, and other legumes have as much protein as any piece of lean meat. By eating a regular, well-rounded plant-based diet, you can get all the nutrients you need (protein, calcium, etc) without harming your body in the long run. Dairy is not the answer. We’ve just been told it is, and we’ve never questioned it. But becoming informed and educated about what you put into your body, your one and only vessel, is one of the most important things you can do to prolong your life and the quality of your life along the way.

***

[My] Dairy Detox:

Milk

I have always loved dairy. Like I said, cereal with milk has been one of the biggest staples of my diet for most of my life, so I am no stranger to being a part of the dairy myth. I love milk, I love the taste of a sweet glass of 1% milk, I love cold milk and cereal when I’m hungry in the middle of the night, and I often used to say that cereal and milk was “my coffee” (since I don’t like coffee) in the mornings. I am obsessed equally with yogurt, especially greek yogurt, and getting rid of yogurt from my diet has been surprisingly more difficult than milk. I stopped drinking milk a while ago, not all at once, but as I slowly realized there were more options for breakfast than just cereal and milk. I began to enjoy oatmeal or greek yogurt or eggs instead on some mornings, and slowly, without meaning to, I found myself more satisfied by those than by an airy, sugary cereal, so cereal, but more importantly milk, began to take a back seat to my new breakfast discoveries. There are plenty of non-dairy milks, like almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, etc though I’ve only tried almond milk, and I usually only use it in smoothies because I haven’t quite gotten used to the taste on its own (its best to buy unsweetened but the flavor is also stronger), but I’m working on it. Maybe if I’m ever really craving cereal, I’ll give it a shot. But for now, I don’t miss milk or cereal enough to drink almond milk straight, though that could change as I continue to expand my taste buds.

Yogurt

Yogurt is one of my favorite snacks, particularly and nearly exclusively greek yogurt (except here in France where my host family only buys regular or flavored yogurts), so I’m learning to find ways to replace it, most recently by my discovery of soy yogurt. It tastes great, and has the same consistency as any regular yogurt, and honestly you wouldn’t know the difference after eating it a few times. When soy yogurt becomes your new normal, you wont feel deprived in any way. I am learning to expand from my limited understanding of what yogurt is, in order to discover new, more interesting ways of enjoying the foods I’ve always loved.

photo (21)

Cheese

Cheese is another food to consider. I don’t really eat a lot of cheese so this isn’t particularly difficult for me to cut out, but I know I’m probably alone in that. Though I must say, avoiding cheese in France is about as difficult as avoiding water. But I’ve done surprisingly well lately, just by saying “Non, merci.” (No, thank you). And I hear there are plenty of vegan cheeses that taste the same, melt the same, look the same, but they don’t kill you in the same way. Nice! When I get back to California, I’m excited to try these out. I know eating pizza (another one of my favorite things) is going to be a challenge, but perhaps a cheese-less pizza isn’t so bad, right? More room for the sauce, which, lets be honest, is the best part anyway.

Butter

Another important element to consider in the dairy category is… BUTTER. Good lord. I understand why we like it, but I don’t understand why it’s even legal. It is so, SO bad for you! Eating butter is just asking for a heart attack. It’s basically all “bad fats” and cholesterol. And so many of us don’t know what we would do if we cant cook/bake with butter, but trust me, there are so many options! If you love spreading butter on bread like I do, um, basically, just don’t. Sorry. Find something else. Natural fruit preserves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, almond butter, avocados… there are plenty of things that can be put on bread, and butter should not be one of them. As for cooking, you can use olive oil, sesame seed oil, coconut oil… pretty much most natural oils are better. I used to not know how to cook certain things without butter, like eggs for example, but I started using olive oil instead and I don’t miss butter one bit. As for baking (one of my favorite things to do), I hear apple sauce makes a great substitute, as well as avocados (yum) or greek yogurt (yeah I know its dairy, but its a start…) and plenty of other things. Just takes a little research. I’m eager to test some of these substitutions out next time I decide to bake myself a treat.

Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Actually… I don’t. I enjoy it from time to time, but I rarely crave it and whenever I do, all I actually want is a bite or two. Often it is too rich and I get bored quickly. But I know some people die for ice cream, so I suppose I’ll address it here. Ice cream is basically just really cold fat and sugar. If you’re looking for something cold, sweet, and flavorful, you could make yourself a smoothie, or eat an all-natural frozen fruit pop thing (I hate those, but if thats your style, go wild), or a natural frozen yogurt (yes, also dairy but better in general if you just can’t let go), or best of all, just a piece of frozen fruit. That is something I can get sexy on. Frozen strawberries? Mixed with a little balsamic vinegar and some mint leaves? You wouldn’t believe how delicious that is. And if you really want something ice cream-y, you can try soy ice cream. I’ve never tried it but I bet if its anything like soy yogurt, its probably really good.

I realize leaving the dairy world is not easy, and if you read my last post, you’ll know my deep frustration with blog posts and magazines that “give you all the answers” and make it look easy. I know its not. I wasn’t born vegan, and even now, I’ve only really been mostly vegan for about 10 days. I’ve spent the past 25 years of my life eating meat, dairy, eggs, and a plethora of processed foods, sugars, and other nonsense (Um… Lean Cuisine anyone? Don’t judge me, I was in college). I’m not perfect (AS YOU KNOW if you’ve read any of my posts. Good lord I’m so far from where I want to be, and you all know it) and I struggle so much with any change I try to make in my life. But one thing that I suppose I can learn about my relationship with dairy (and thus apply it to all my other desired changes) is that things really happen very, very slowly. This slow process of lessening dairy in my life has been something I have been doing (without even meaning to) over several years. And even still, I do consume cheese and yogurt and butter and ice cream, but I’m trying to consume them less. And eventually, who knows how long it will take, I’d like to be free from them all together. Its a slow process and I realize its not easy at all. Sometimes all you want is a cheesy pizza or some ice cream or cereal with milk. But I’ve started to see that you can still have all of these things, but in new ways. Eating right does not have to mean deprivation! It just means being smarter and more aware of what you are putting in your body.

The saying really is true… You are what you eat.

To learn more, I recommend these videos or any of the links at the bottom.

 

Harvard School of Public Health, “The Nutrition Source”

The New York Times, “Got Milk? You Don’t Need It”

Huffington Post Healthy Living, “Dairy: 6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid it at All Costs[…]”

Born Free USA, “The Destructive Dairy Industry”

ABC News, “Sixty Percent of Adults Can’t Digest Milk”

Livestrong, “Milk Consumption & Osteoporosis”

Food Matters, “The Truth About Calcium and Osteoporosis”

US News, “5 Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium”

Yahoo Voices, “5 Foods With More Calcium Than Milk”

Livestrong, “Healthy Heart Substitute For Butter”

Fitsugar, “Healthy Baking: Surprising Butter Substitutes”

Yahoo Voices, “5 Dairy-Free Cheese Substitutes”

3 Fat Chicks, “7 Healthy Ice Cream Substitutes”

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mid-Day Mind Munchies and Yoga

Sometimes I wonder if I think about food too much. Am I alone here? Or does anyone else ever feel like they just obsess over food all day, every day. I plan my whole day around my food and exercise, and I plan my food and exercise around each other, and its not because I’m some inspiring, intense, die-hard foodie or fitness goddess. I’m not. At all. I’m the laziest sonofabitch you’ll ever meet, and (as you know if you’ve been reading my blog), I seem to love stuffing my face with food until I want to cry. It really should be pathetic.

But, alas, I somehow still get myself to exercise, and since food already takes up 90% of my brain space, I inevitably plan my exercising around my food and my life around my food.

I FUCKING LOVE FOOD. And I think everyone out there does too, but some people like to act like food doesn’t consume their thoughts, because they think it makes them look cool. Or strong. Or healthy. Or who knows. But don’t kid yourself… I can see riiiiight past it. Your brain is salivating.

Anyway… What I meant to say was… Here are some pictures of my food today!

Because, I love food, and I take pictures of food and I don’t care.

photo 1

Lunch salad, which I ate out of a huge bowl, because spinach takes up a lot of space, and its easier/more fun that way if you’re savage and happen to be eating alone like I am. It kind of feels like I’m the guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, eating an entire box of Lucky Charms out of a huge mixing bowl, like a boss:

Anyway… My salad consisted of spinach, chickpeas, corn, carrots, tomatoes, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, and for dressing, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

photo 2

[This part needs to be read in a snobby British accent.] As the second course for todays prix-fixe menu, we have featured our house specialty, the Artesanal Dry-Farmed Herloom Beta-Carotene Puree with an H2O Reduction Sauce.

In other words… microwaved sweet potato.

Literally the most gourmet thing you’ll ever find in nature. It blows my balls off.

Sweet potato is what happened when God had a lot of liberating sex on Saturday night with Mr. God (or Mrs. God, since LadyGod could have very well been a lesbian. Who am I to make that kind of assumption…) and was feeling happy and overly generous to Her children on the 7th day, so She said, here, kids, take all my gold and my money and my secrets and run wild. So they partied hard, got really drunk, and passed out in the dirt and all the gold got stuck somewhere deep in the soil, and months later sweet potatoes popped up. So now you know some agricultural history. You’re welcome.

Later in the afternoon, I was feeling hungry (as if my enormous bath tub of salad wasn’t enough), so I made myself a smoothie much like this one, but with almond butter instead of peanut butter. After it was blended, I added a little more almond butter, and right now, as I’m drinking it, I keep finding little chunks of heaven amidst this delicious smoothie, and I’m patting myself on the back for having such a brilliant idea.

photo (20)

So far, so good. I actually didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast, because my almond butter needed attention (I can already see that my goal to not finish this jar by the end of the week is going to be really difficult), so I ate an open-faced sandwich: whole wheat bread, almond butter, banana. Bomb dot com.

After watching a bunch of TED talks and killing all the ants I found in my room (don’t ask… I’m pissed), I did half an hour of yoga, following a Jillian Michaels’ video:

 

And now at the early hour of 4:49pm, I’m finally getting my day started. Its Sunday, don’t hate. I’m going to the movies, and I’m making my promise ahead of time – I will not eat anything from the concession stand. I’m bringing a bag of almonds and maybe a piece of fruit, if I get hungry (though this smoothie should keep me full for a while), and tonight I’m eating the rest of my salad (yeah… I forgot to mention, I couldn’t finish it) and maybe some plain soy yogurt with honey for dessert.

HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE, okay!?

If all goes well, today will be another successful vegan day. Hooray!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Grocery Shopping

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to two grocery stores yesterday and spent half of my weekly allowance on food that I shouldn’t even need to buy. But, its not likely that my host family will be buying tempeh and almond butter, so I’ve been taking matters into my own hands (aka broke-ass wallet) for the past few months and buying myself things that I want/need.

I went to Monoprix, the big “normal” grocery store, and bought whatever didn’t need to be bought at Naturalia, the organic, healthy store. I came home feeling like Santa, excitedly arranging all of my food on my tiny table in the corner of the room, and proudly taking pictures, just for YOU.

photo (19)

Featured on my list of healthy items:

– Oatmeal

– Quinoa

– Nuts

– Thin Brown Rice Cakes

– Sun Warrior Protein Powder

– Organic Whole Wheat bread

– Fruit (apples, bananas, avocados, tomatoes)

– Vegetables (sweet potatoes, canned chickpeas, spinach)

– Tahini sauce

– Almond butter (I caved in…)

– Tempeh

– Soy Yogurt

– Almond Milk

 

This is a very limited list. But these are my staples, and knowing that I have these in the house, I feel prepared and ready to eat healthy and clean for the rest of the week. Dinner times I know will always be a challenge, but I’m learning slowly that it is okay to make my own dinner and eat that instead. It takes a bit of courage (I’m shy and I feel the need to be respectful) but ultimately, it tends to work out okay when I give it a shot. But at least for the other meals of the day when I’m on my own, I don’t have any excuse now to not eat right. My challenge is to avoid all the other temptations around the house, and trust me, there are plenty.

Oh yeah, also my challenge is to not finish the enormous jar of almond butter by the end of this week. Because my brain does not understand “all things in moderation” or “portion control” or “STOP god damnit!” when almond butter is in front of me. I knew I shouldn’t buy it, but again… brain shut off, hand grabbed jar, wallet paid, and oops now its here.

Im TRYING, okay!?

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

All Or Nothing

I realized as I was leaving the second grocery store this afternoon that I’m starting to fall into my typical all-or-nothing ways. I tend to get really excited about something, then I start researching the shit out of it, and within a few short days, I find myself entirely changing my lifestyle to something new. I may have talked about this before, and how this is likely the reason for my constant up and down success and failure. I never seem to be able to just stick to something because I think I take on too many things all at once, and ultimately, its not sustainable. But honestly, I just get impatient and bored easily, and when I get an idea in my head, I want to run with it and never look back.

Examples… When I became obsessed with locally-grown, organic, seasonal produce (after watching Food Inc). I nearly tossed out everything in my house that didn’t fit this standard, got my mom to sign up for a CSA program (community-supported agriculture, where local farms sell you their produce in a box, etc), refused to shop at a grocery store and only at farmers markets, started planting my own vegetables, etc etc etc. This lasted for a good few weeks, until in one way or another, it was just too much to change all at once, and we slowly slipped back into our old routine. My mom couldn’t keep up with all the produce we were getting and a lot of it would go bad, and we got into a big fight one time when I (being a brat) gave her shit for wanting to eat a banana, from Chile. Needless to say, it ended right where it began. At least I gained lots of knowledge  and I still try to use this information whenever I shop, but not to the same extreme as before.

Or maybe, for example, that time in my life when I determined that I would be the next Jimi Hendrix AND Deadmau5 and convinced my parents to buy me a guitar and turn tables and mixers for Christmas, so that I could finally achieve my musical potential. Note: I HAVE NEVER BEEN MUSICALLY GIFTED EVER. I tried piano and clarinet for years as a kid and failed miserably. So why, then, the sudden obsession with music again? I don’t know. I got it into my head, and couldn’t get it out. Sadly, this equipment is gathering dust in my parents garage.

This same thing happens to me any time I’ve tried to lose weight. Exactly 1 year ago (for my friends wedding, this very weekend last year), I weighed 118 pounds, and I’m 5’4. I had lost probably 10+ pounds in 2 months. I don’t know how I did it, honestly, because I’ve never been that skinny, but just a few weeks later, I gained 5 pounds back, then I had gained 5 more by the end of summer… and now, well I haven’t weighed myself in months, but I know I’ve gained more. I hate admitting it. Getting obsessed with an idea, like losing weight, works temporarily, but in the long term, it might actually be doing me more damage than good. Its a battle with constant success followed by supreme disappointment by what feels like enormous failure. I lose confidence in my ability to truly succeed because up until now, I really haven’t. Not long-term.

How do I deal with my attention-deficit, my impatience, and my constant need for new stimulation, without losing myself along the way? How do I make healthy, long-lasting changes… how do I get them to stick, and stick for good?

I don’t want this new-found veganism to become just another one of my ridiculous failed phases. I honestly think this could work for me, but I’m afraid I might not be going about it in the best way. Today I spent 40 of my measly 80 euros a week on groceries (that I’m not even supposed to buy, since technically my host family should provide for my food. Except I refuse to eat bacon and cheese every day, so I end up having to buy my own food and keep it in my room) at two grocery stores. I stocked up on a few of my usual staples, but I bought a few new “experimental” items, or guilty pleasures, because I was just so overcome with excitement about starting a vegan lifestyle. I don’t want to see this food, or my efforts, go to waste after a while. So how do I make this become a slow and steady life change and NOT just another one of my phases? Tips? Suggestions? I’m all ears. Lord knows I could use a real change.

Tagged , , , ,

Vegan day 2… and Oops, I got Instagram

Another accidental vegan day, and it feels oh so good. I know I had a shitty day yesterday, but I refused to let it haunt me today, so this morning I reminded myself of how crappy it felt to lose myself, and I set my intentions for the day: stronger than yesterday.

I didn’t do much in the way of exercise (I rationalized it as being my rest day before my race tomorrow), but I did stay on track of my food, and it wasn’t even hard and didn’t require too much thought or effort at all! Its amazing how being vegan for a day feels so effortless, and the days when I do consume animal products, at least in this past week, have been the days when I’ve felt most out of control. Not eating animals or animal products and thus having a whole foods, plant-based diet is amazingly liberating. It fits in with this post about being “free” from certain foods/behaviors, or saying “I don’t” instead of “I cant”. Once I tell myself “I’m free from consuming animals” or “I don’t eat dairy”, I don’t feel the same urge to cave in, give up, and eat a piece of ham or a yogurt. Instead I just use what I have and get a little creative, and it ends up tasting SO much more gourmet than a nasty ham sandwich or plain yogurt with sugar.

I didn’t plan on being vegan today. I haven’t really been trying to be vegan at all over the past few days/weeks. But it just ends up happening rather accidentally, because I don’t eat red meat (unless my host mom makes it) and I don’t drink milk (gives me a stomach ache) and rarely eat cheese (amazingly, I’ve never really liked it), and my host family never seems to have chicken or fish stocked up and ready to cook (only pork products, like lardons or ham), so I almost have no choice but to be vegan, or mostly vegan plus the occasional yogurt (which I still love). So really, it hasn’t been all that hard to have entirely vegan days – if I happen to make my own dinner that night, its really quite easy!

And like I said on Wednesday, I feel absolutely liberated by my food. I don’t feel out of control, I feel happy, I feel clean and healthy and light, I have energy, and I feel well fed. I’ve gotten all my nutrients, all of my protein, all of my vitamins and minerals… and no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and no guilt (of any kind). Its kind of amazing. I’m all about this!

Also… Um, yeah, I got Instagram. For this blog. I don’t have a personal one yet and I’ve been resisting for ages (this is a matter of pride, as a photographer)… but I did it. I caved. So, follow me on Instagram… “strongfitswell“. Duh. Also I have no idea how to use it so give me some time before I figure out how to follow you back.

So without further ado…my Instagrammed meals:

photo 2A surprise treat – passion fruit!

photo 1

Lunch was chickpeas, white beans, avocado, tomatoes, pine nuts, sesame seeds, olive oil. So good!

photo 4

Dinner consisted of quinoa with sautéed zucchini and onions, along with,

photo 3

… an open-faced “sandwich” – toasted whole wheat bread, spread avocados, tomatoes.

Breakfast was my usual oatmeal with protein powder, and snacks throughout the day were mixed nuts, prunes, and lots of fruit. I drank a TON of water (to be hydrated for my race tomorrow) and I got plenty of rest last night. I hope tonight I can get some good rest too.

I’m feeling so good right now. I hope tomorrow’s race goes well (though its supposed to rain!) and I hope the rest of this weekend can be somewhat as good as today and wednesday. I feel fabulous.

Oh also, I watched this informational video today (its about an hour long) about eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, and though it was a little cheesy at times, I actually really loved it and gained a lot of useful information and tips about developing a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. You should watch this!

I’m posting part 1 here, but there are 9 parts total, all easily available one after the other on YouTube.

 

I hope everyone has had a great day!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Avoiding Starvation Choices

Last Saturday in Paris after a morning work event, I found myself hungry for lunch and totally unprepared. Normally, because I live in a ridiculous perpetual fear of starvation, I have at least 457 snacks in my huge purse, just in case! Because you never know when you’re going to get lost and somehow find yourself in a forrest or deserted island, starving and ready to eat your own hand in order to stay alive. (Not even kidding, these are the thoughts that go through my head every day before leaving the house. “Is there any chance of starvation today due to fantastical and unprecedented occurrences?” The answer is always yes.) So, you will always find a bag of almonds in my purse, a piece of fruit (or three), and a healthy food bar of some type (generally I prefer ones with minimal, raw ingredients, like KIND Bars orLärabar, because I try to eat as raw and as close to nature as possible. Food bars should all have ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, and you should ideally be able to easily recreate them at home. There are plenty of recipes online for homemade Lärabars). However, this particular Saturday, I left the house in a hurry and forgot to bring any food with me, and of course, it was 2pm and I hadn’t eaten since 8am and I was ravenous and near the point of starvation-panic.

I passed a number of bakeries and my nose turned to mush when the smell of fresh croissants and baguettes trickled its way into my system. Mmm, butter, I thought to myself, and paused a few times, desperate and starving, considering buying myself “just something small”. But I snapped out of it and reminded myself that this was just my actual biological starvation mechanism being activated (everyone just relax, I know what I’m talking about… I took an anthropology class once in college), as my body began to crave the most simple and necessary nutrition for survival: sugar and fat. I was aware of this and I forced myself to use my highly complex brain system to step away from the bakeries

A while passed and I kept walking, indecisive, trying to figure out what to eat. I found a little shop and bought myself a banana to hold me over until I could get a real meal, and that banana saved the day, truly.

I considered going to a restaurant, but again, I’m broke so a grocery store had to be enough. Eventually I stumbled across a Naturalia, pretty much the only healthy, organic store in France, and I was saved!

I bought a lentil and tofu salad, a small whole wheat multigrain bread roll, a few dates, for “dessert”, and I sat myself down by the canal and enjoyed a picnic with me, myself, and I, and all the pigeons that wanted in on this fucking bomb meal of mine.

IMG_2903Chillin.

IMG_2904

Lentils, tofu, red onions, and a little secret ingredient that I no longer remember, but good lord this was so tasty.

IMG_2905

Cheers.

All for around 5 euros. If I tried ordering this at a restaurant, it would likely cost triple. And if I had made it at home, it probably would have cost half. Cheap, easy, so tasty, and so goddamn healthy, it almost hurts.

1 point for me. 0 points for poor health, cholesterol, muffin tops, heart attacks, cancer, and everything else evil in the world.

#winning.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Paleo Carrot Cake Balls

Ok, that title is misleading. They would have been paleo, but I took some liberties with the recipe and added a little bit of oatmeal, so the ones I made are not actually paleo. But if you want to make them yourself and you want them to be paleo, just don’t add the oatmeal. Duh.

(If you don’t know what paleo is, it’s basically eating like hunter-gatherers used to eat, before the advent of agriculture. Essentially, it is meat + fruits/vegetables, no dairy, carbs (like bread, etc), sugars, etc.)

I got the idea to make something carrot-cake-y because there were a ton of shredded carrots in the fridge and I wanted to put them to good use. So I went on my Pinterest and looked at a few carrot recipes and I decided to make paleo carrot cake balls when I examined the ingredients and realized that everything was available in my house and the recipe was simple. That’s how I roll… I ain’t about to make an effort. Shiet.

These make an excellent pre or post workout snack, they provide plenty of healthy fats and protein and all-natural sugars, so when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to completely destroy your diet/body, make these instead. They’re delicious and so healthy.

After dinner, I offered some for dessert to my host family and to my great pleasure, they loved them and they loved that they were a healthier version of dessert. I’m hoping to keep making little things like this that I can share with them so that I can better introduce my need for a healthier diet into our daily lives here. Baby steps. This was a good way to get things going and I feel proud of this small accomplishment. I wonder what I’ll make next??

******

Soooo anyway, I’m going to wing this next part… the recipe.

I loosely based my balls (… pause, reflect on that phrase… and continue… because you are more mature than me…) on this paleo carrot cake balls recipe from Sweet Pea Sylvie but as soon as I realized that measurements don’t really matter and that these are basically just a big mixture of delicious items, I started taking liberties and ended up with my own little version (thats also how I ended up making them not paleo, but you can just ignore that part if you’re super paleo-y). For the sake of showing you how to make them, I’ll try to make a recipe out of what I did, but in all honesty, you can pretty much eyeball everything… you literally cannot fuck these up even if you tried.

photo (9)

MY ABSURD PALEO CARROT CAKE BALL RECIPE (… with commentary)

3/4 cup almond flour (If you want to make this yourself, you can just grind almonds in your food processor until they are powdery. Or so I hear, I’ve never actually tried this.)

6-8 pitted dates, cut into pieces… Recipe calls for 5, but I’m giving you some leeway here because I know you’re going to eat a few of them, obv.

4-6 dried apricots, cut into pieces

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 

A bunch of shredded carrots (Okay, proper measurement says 2 cups, but really, who gives a fuck. They’re your balls and you do what you want to them. Amirite??)

1/2 tbsp cinnamon (Seriously, I have never measured cinnamon in my life and I tend to think people that do measure it are entirely deranged. Its cinnamon, people! The Lord’s gift to us. Get crazy. Take your top off!)

A pinch of ground ginger (I don’t know why I added that, but I did, and you will too if you’re following this ridiculous recipe. This is essentially me playing in the kitchen and trying to act scholarly about it.)

2-4 tbsp coconut milk (oops… I just realized I put way more than that, which is probably why my balls came out really moist. Whatever, they’re delicious!)

A handful of raisins (Again, who ever measures raisins. The more the merrier.)

6-8 almonds, chopped into small pieces

Here’s the non-paleo [optional] part: 1/4 – 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal (I didn’t measure this, but this is another dumb estimate)

Instructions: Put it in a food processor. Thats it.

Okay, really, here’s what I did, kind of…

  • Pit and chop dates and apricots.

photo (3)

  • Mix the dates, apricots, and shredded coconut in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed.
  • Add almond flour, oatmeal, carrots, and spices and mix well.

photo (5)

  • Add coconut milk and blend until desired consistency is reached.

photo (6)

photo (13)

  • Remove and put dough in a separate bowl, and gently fold in raisins and almond pieces.

photo (14)

photo (7)

  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Once cool, form into balls, roll in a bowl of shredded coconut, and store in freezer or refrigerator as desired.

photo (11)

  • Try to not eat them all in one sitting. I dare you. Whoever said “guilt free” was full of shit.

photo (9)

*******

Recipe brought to you by Strong Fits Well. Thats me, bitches. And if you try my recipe and think its shit, then 2 things: 1) you’re full of shit because its delicious, and 2) not my problem.

ENJOY! ❤

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Raspberry Banana Oatmeal Protein Smoothie

No almond butter? No peanut butter? What am I supposed to do with myself for an afternoon snack?!?!

I was hungry and I knew that dinner tonight will be soup, and I know that this soup contains probably very little healthy protein (mostly vegetables and heavy cream), so I wanted to get some protein in before dinner so I wouldn’t feel nutrient-deprived later, so….

I experimented with a few different ingredients to make a Raspberry-Banana-Oatmeal Protein Smoothie, and it was glorious!

The raspberries were a lucky find… I did some digging in the freezer because I knew a while ago my host mom had some frozen raspberries for one of her amazing desserts, and I wondered if there might still be some. To my delight, there were! So I tossed some of those in with half a banana (the bananas were huge), some almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, oatmeal, and cinnamon and blended that shit uppppp.

_DSC0077edit

Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup raspberries

1/2 large banana

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 scoop protein powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk

Sprinkle of cinnamon

** Blend in blender. Drink. Make this face:

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Lunch Time Improv

Most of the time, I’m just working with whatever is available in my house. I don’t have control over groceries so I usually just make whatever is as lean and clean and raw and healthy as possible, using the limited ingredients I have in my host family’s kitchen. The fridge usually is full of all sorts of dairy products (cheese, creme fraiche, sugary yogurts, etc) and red meat (usually different types of pork, like ham or lardons) so that moment when I open the fridge is usually a little disheartening. However, they tend to have carrots and zucchini always on hand, so whether I like it or not, I usually end up eating carrots and zucchini almost every day. As this post and maybe the next few will illustrate, my meals usually revolve around those items, sometimes with a little more variety depending on what I find that day. As for the other parts of my meal, if its available, I will make quinoa (a complete protein) and basically eat that plus veggies nearly every day for lunch. Or, if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll make egg whites with veggies. WATCH OUT.

It’s not exactly an exciting way to eat, but its better than having a heart attack in 30 years, right? And its also better than having pants that don’t fit right now. Anyway, food is fuel and thats it. Plain and simple.

I got lucky the other day and found some lentils, so I ate this lean little meal, packed with protein (from the lentils) and all types of wonderful vitamins and minerals from the veggies. Not to shabby, and a nice way to change up my routine.

IMG_2562

 

Paired it with an apple, and I was full, full, FULL for hours.

IMG_2563

 

Eating clean really isn’t that hard as long as there is something clean to eat. And to be honest, this meal was probably dirt cheap too. Since I didn’t buy the ingredients myself, I can’t give exact numbers, but how much can lentils, carrots, zucchini, and an apple really cost? Yeah, probably nothing. Probably less than anything less healthy, thats for sure. So really, being healthy should save you money, and of course, you know, save your life.

I’m in. Are you?

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Almond Butter

Look, if you haven’t figured out almond butter yet, you really need to get your shit together, because honestly there is no excuse to be living your life without this stuff.

_DSC0989edit

I found almond butter (for 10 euros, eek) at Naturalia, pretty much the only organic/natural food store in Paris/France (that I know of) and I found whole wheat rice cakes (thin ones) too, and I’m basically having a party with myself right now, licking almond butter off of my fingers and trying not to get it all over my pretty little computer. (PS: whole grain/brown rice cakes are a great source of slow digesting complex carbohydrates – aka good carbs – and they are low in calories so they can act as a nice substitute for bread and they are great to eat as a pre-workout snack.)

Almond butter, for those of you that are living in darkness, is like peanut butter, only better. (Check out this little info graphic comparing both nut butters, if you want to know more) (Also, for someone like me with high cholesterol, almond butter has less saturated fat than peanut butter so its better for me lil’ arteries). It has around 100 calories in one tablespoon and around 7 grams of protein, but what its really great for is getting some of your very important healthy fats (i.e. monosaturated fat) and for satisfying every desire your body and mouth could ever crave. Spread it on whole wheat bread, mix it in your oatmeal, in your protein smoothie, make delicious almond butter paleo balls (plenty of recipes online if you’re curious), or spread it on whole grain rice cakes and top it with a banana, like what I’m doing right this second. Its filling, lean, and so good for you! Just remember to stick to the listed serving size (even if you have to measure it out… 1tbsp is deceiving) since nut butters of all kinds are calorically dense, and if you’re trying to watch that pretty little figure of yours, you might want to consider not doing what I did and sticking the spoon straight into the jar and eating like it ain’t no thang.

_DSC0992edit

I’m begging you, try this shit, or get out!

Note: With any nut butter, try to buy organic and raw, since they tend to have less ingredients like salt, sugars, and preservers that alter the flavor and nutrition content of the product. Look for ones with the least amount of ingredients possible, and make sure they are all ingredients you can pronounce! (This goes for all food, pretty much). The one I bought today lists almonds as the only ingredient. Yours should too, or at least come very close.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Holy Oatmeal

This morning, like most mornings, I made myself my favorite breakfast food: oatmeal. Considering that I have high cholesterol, oatmeal is an amazing and delicious breakfast option, as it is filled with soluble fiber which helps absorb the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in your bloodstream. It is also incredibly filling, which is great if you are trying to watch your weight because you wont find yourself starving in an hour like you would with other less nutritious breakfast foods, like sugary cereal or white bread. Oatmeal doesn’t overload you with calories (less than 150 in a serving), it has a good amount of protein in one serving considering its a carbohydrate (about 6-7 grams) and its super versatile so you don’t have to get bored with the same toppings every day.

My usual oatmeal (cooked with water, not milk) consists of a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, ground flax seed, mixed berries, and maybe a few slivered almonds or walnut pieces, but I will make do with whatever is available. Here in France, my host family doesn’t tend to buy berries, flax seed, protein powder, or nuts (much to my disappointment) so I have had to buy some of my own supplies in secret, while expanding my oatmeal horizons by occasionally adding apples or bananas, or, my most recent discovery, peanut butter.

This morning I had already eaten some plain yogurt with preserves (a very French breakfast), which would have been fine but the preserves are very sugary and, well, I love sweet things so I kind of had a lot. So when I went for my second meal (of my 5-6 small daily meals), I wanted it to be a little lighter than normal, so I made oatmeal (measured exactly one serving because my eyes always deceive me when I try to eyeball it) with a scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, and just about 3 walnuts, broken into pieces. It was satisfying, filling, and as delicious as always, and not too high in calories.

Used this handy kitchen scale to get my portion correct

My oatmeal trying to seduce me with its romantic morning glow

Since today is Wednesday (and I’m an au pair), I work all day because French kids don’t have school on Wednesdays (lucky fuckers) so I don’t really get much time to exercise. I know I probably should, you know, wake up at like 6am and work out in my tiny little room or something, but I have totally lost my ability to wake up early for exercise (there was a time when I would wake up at 5am and be done with exercise by 6:30 am. Those days are long gone, but I hope one day I can get them back) so Wednesdays are what I will call my “rest” days, because I flat out don’t do shit. I spend 12 hours with a 6-year-old and I spend most of those 12 hours praying that she will be good to me…

Anyway, since I don’t get any exercise on Wednesdays, I have to be extra careful with what I eat because I won’t really be burning much off. To be perfectly honest, I’m rarely extra careful. I’m at home all day, usually near the kitchen with the kids, and my lack of willpower is on attack mode. I’m hoping that writing about it in this blog will start to help keep me accountable, so for whoever is reading out there, I urge you to hold me to my promises, including my promise to be honest with myself and with you!

Back to oatmeal.

There are tons of healthy oatmeal recipes out there for those of you that might not be entirely convinced about the mothafuckin deliciousness of this kickass healthy food. I use Pinterest to find great recipes, most of which I never try (but sometimes I do, and I’m rarely disappointed), but in case you’re feeling up for it, here are a few links to oatmeal recipes that look amazing, though don’t take my word for it… I’ve never actually tried most of these. (Though maybe now that I’m posting this, I actually will!)

Baked Oatmeal

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

And a Youtube video with a few quick recipe ideas for oatmeal:

Thank you to WebMD for providing me with accurate nutritional information on this holy delicious food.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: