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WIAW #14

Hellooo! It’s What I Ate Wednesday! Let’s get to it ūüôā Also a big thanks to Jen for hosting the partayyy over at peasandcrayons.com every week!

breakfast: a tone it up protein pancake with blueberry green tea slim life yogi tea on the side

Recipe found here ūüėČ

This recipe is from Toneitup.com, my most recent obsession. It is a fitness/food blog by two friends, Karena and Katrina, both certified Personal Trainers and have designed their own¬†nutrition plan and workout videos (a lot are free on their youtube channel). I absolutely love them! I heard about them in a Self magazine a few months ago and just recently started checking out their blog. They are such an inspiration (check out Katrina’s body transformation), are so genuine and have really helped motivate me to work for that beach bod I’ve always wanted. You should check out their blog if you haven’t already! They post free workout videos, recipes, motivational quotes, weekly check-ins, etc. They also have a store where they sell cute tank tops, lunch boxes, stickers…andddd they just launched their line of Beach Babe bathing suits¬†(SOO cute! Right now they don’t sell sizes separately, so when they do, I will be ordering one…or two!)

crazy cute

or this one! and they’re reversible!

lunch: a yummy salad from Pluto’s with spinach, garbonzos, kidney beans, cukes, broccoli, mango, strawberries and almonds. with whole wheat bread!

A day full of shopping ensued…

kristin and i decided to go out on a limb and try on lipstick at the MAC counter (i never wear lipstick!). i am wearing their matte lipstick called “ruby woo” and she is wearing “creme de nude.” i ended up buying the red!! i can see a makeup tutorial in the near future..

After shopping (I bought the red lipstick and some cute jean shorts from Urban Outfitters), Kristin and I rushed home because we wanted to make it to a workout class at our gym called Chizzled. I snacked on a few grapes before dashing out the door.

Chizzled was a great workout! We did lots of squats and pushups. I’m feelin in already and I love it! We both ran 1 mile on the treadmill afterwards but were too tired to do any more :p.

dinner: ezekiel wrap with hummus, half a homemade black bean burger (recipe being perfected!), cukes, home grown sprouts, red bell peps, avocado, spinach, and baby kale. with a pink lady apple on the side and lots of H2O!!

After din, I hung out with two friends from high school, Alexis and Sheeva but we were too busy catching up on each other’s lives that we didn’t end up following through with our plans of watching Project X and eating popcorn with chocolate chips (our faveee). Oh well! Missin the rest of the fab five though, Hannah and Jordan who need to come home!!!

Questions of the day:

What’s your favorite red lipstick? Or nude? I would love to try out some cheap drugstore brands too!

What was the best thing you ate today?

xoxo,

Kara

p.s. I also noticed that I ate vegan today completely unintentionally! Maybe I am a true vegan at heart…

WIAW #13

Happy first Wednesday of May! I can’t believe it’s already that time…I’m almost finished with my second year of college! This ¬†cannot be real life. May is going to be an eventful month: Pi Social (Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy event where we get pied in the face to raise money for literacy haha!), Cinco de Mayooo, Whole Earth Festival (if you enjoy hippies, henna and delicious vegan food, you’d love this), Houseboats on Lake Shasta, midterms and lots of schoolwork (but that’s a given!).

pi social last year!

after being whip cream pied in the face..

hola amigos!

whole earth festival 2011

HB2K11. so. much. fun.

I’m so happy its MAY!!!!!!

Let’s move on to what I ate on the very first Wednesday of the month!

Breakfast:

smoothie in a bowl: huge handful of spinach, 1 c frozen bluebs, 1 scoop vega vanilla protein powder, cinnamon topped with ezekiel golden flax cereal and bee pollen (i’ve been feeling a little sick lately and am not sure if it’s allergies so i picked up some of this at the co op to see if it makes a difference! look out for it on an upcoming freaky food friday..)

After an intense spin class and some weight lifting, (I focused on arms and butt today. Try doing arm circles with 2 lb weights for a minute or two and your arms will be BURNING!) I was so ready for lunch!

Lunch:

salad with chopped apple, cukes, carrot, blue cheese, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and balsamic dressing & a dr. praegers veggie burger with spicy brown mustard on the side!

Dinner: 

another smoothie with spinach…seriously cannot get enough of smoothies these days. they are so quick, filling and easy when you’re in a pinch for time (which i have been!). this one was soooo good. spinach, frozen banana, vega vanilla protein powder, psyllium, cinnamon, spoonful of pb topped with cacao nibs! it tasted like a peanut butter cup!

Snack: 

museli (oats, dried blueberries, raisins, pecans, pistachios) + ezekiel golden flax cereal + homemade almond milk (!!!!) + strawberries. perfect study snack!

I also tried one of these delicious cornmeal pancakes my roomsicle Amy made. Find the recipe here..SO GOOD!

Thanks to Jenn for hosting again this week! Check out all the other bloggers yummy eats at her blog.

Questions of the day:

What was the best thing you ate today?

Have you ever tried a green smoothie/added spinach to a smoothie? What did you think?

What are looking forward to in May?

xoxoxox lotsa love,

Kara

WIAW #12

Hi loves!

Happy hump day! It’s almost Friday! This week just flew by dontcha think?!

I haven’t done this in a while but today is WIAW, and I am taking part in the delicious food-fest over at Jenn’s adorable blog, Pea’s and Crayons! Thanks for hosting Jenn :)!

<center><a href=”http://www.peasandcrayons.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qddsgy21QHs/T3ZiNc9sjwI/AAAAAAAAFwk/AhxNjWpB4Y0/s1600/wiaw+serve+up+an+extra+cup+button.jpg&#8221; /></a></center>

For breakfast I felt like trying something new so I made (never home) maker’s hearty pecan chip micro muffin! But instead of pecans I used dried cranberries and instead of whole wheat flour I made it gluten free and used brown rice flour and gluten free oats (I’m not gluten free but my roommate/bff is and I wanted her to be able to try it out too!).

my very first micro muffin!

It was delicious, but I made the mistake of adding too much stevia to the peanut sauce so it was like sweetness overload and for some reason I just can’t handle overly sweet things in the morning. I think next time I’ll make the muffin with pecans and dried cranberries or add less chocolate chips!

In between classes, I snacked on a pink lady apple but forgot to take a picture. You guys are really missing out..what an interesting picture that would have been ūüėČ but it was crunchy and delish!

After a cardio chisel and spin class today I was starvinnn! Don’t get in between me and the refrigerator…you’ll get hurt hehe.

wrap time!

I sauteed some mushrooms in coconut oil, added 3 scrambled egg whites and some herbs de provence! I laid that mixture on a bed of spinach on top of a La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious tortilla and chopped up red bell pepper, a low sodium slice of turkey from TJ’s and feta. Loooooved it.

new favorite bars!!!

Snack time. These are literally too good to be true. I am obsessed. I want to try out every flavor! Or find out a way to make my own because there’s no way I can afford having one a day haha! #poorcollegehealthnutproblems

vegetarian lettuce wraps!

My roommate, Elana’s mom signed us up to get a box of all organic veggies from local farms delivered to our doorstep. The goods showed up this week! But unfortunately I was too excited I forgot to snap a picture! A big thank you to Nina for getting this for us!!!! ūüôā The lettuce, onion and red bell pepper in the lettuce wraps were from the box. If you’re interested in participating in this and supporting your local farmers visit the website itsorganicdelivery.com for more info!! A couple strange looking radish/parsnip looking things were in the box as well as a vegetable called Kohlrabi. We’re not sure what to do with that yet!

To make the lettuce wraps we sauteed half a white onion with two cloves of garlic in about one tablespoon sesame oil. Then we added in chopped bell pepper (about a half of one), one grated carrot, celery, and one package & a half of TJ’s baked tofu. Bragg’s liquid aminos was used to give it some more flava! I whipped up some dipping sauce with one heaping tablespoon of raw almond butter, about 2 tablespoons liquid aminos, the juice of half a lime, one tablespoon agave, and a little bit of ground chia seeds to thicken it out.

topped with some peanuts for crunch and a squeeze of lime!

This dinner was sooo easy and delicious. Plus it’s pretty low calorie, gluten free and is filling! Elana and I were proud of ourselves and we even made enough for leftovers :).

I needed a little something sweet to end the day off right so I made some hot chocolate!

would you like some almond milk with that cocoa powder?!

Although, I accidentally dumped too much cocoa powder into my mug so it was more like clumps of cocoa powder floating in almond milk. Yuck. I had to doctor it up a bit, add some water to thin it out and stir it a ton for it to finally be drinkable! I didn’t take a picture of the final product though…ugh! I added a few drops of liquid stevia and cinnamon and it was delicious end to my night of studying!

Hope you guys had a fabulous day! I hope it’s sunny tomorrow here so I can go for a nice run outside!!

missin this face.

I get to see Lily again this weekend! Soo excited.

xoxo,

Kara

cinnamon & spice pancakes

Hey guys!

I’m here with a recipe!

These are seriously my favorite pancakes I’ve made so far. AND they’re vegan!

cinnamon & spice pancakes with coconut banana butter and banana-blueberry "fro-yo"

Cinnamon & Spice Pancakes

adapted from Angela’s Spiced Up and Stacked Pumpkin Butter Pancakes¬†and Katie’s Blueberry Pie Pancakes

serves 1, makes 3 small – medium sized pancakes

Ingredients:

1/3 c flour (ww pastry, spelt, gluten-free, etc.)

2 T rolled oats

2/3 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 T sugar or 1 packet stevia

1/3 c non-dairy milk

1 T oil (I used coconut)

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1/8 t ginger

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix well. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.

sooo pwettyy.

You could drizzle these in maple syrup, chopped fruit and yogurt or you could make a cute little pancake parfait like I did! Alternating each pancake with a generous spread of Katie’s Coconut Banana Butter¬†and then banana-blueberry “fro-yo” (1/2 frozen banana, a handful of frozen blubes, and a splash of almond milk whipped up in a food processor or vitamix). Topped off with a sprinkle of cinnamon, coconut flakes and fresh blueberries. Seriously SO GOOOOOD. Stop drooling and make this now ;). I promise you you won’t regret it!

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #11

Hiii loves!

Okay so I’ve literally been the worst blogger ever. I’ve missed you guys! How are ya?!

I am proud to announce, I survived the two weeks of being vegan! Sorry for the lack of posts of what I ate, I have one coming up! Since then, I’ve been still eating vegan at home, although I went out to eat a couple days ago and I ordered chicken. I also made catfish for the boyf the other night (it was delish, recipe to come). The hardest thing to live without has definitely been cheese, and vegan cheese really doesn’t compare unfortunately.

After being vegan for 2+ weeks, I didn’t feel much different (I think it’s because I didn’t eat that much meat and dairy to begin with) and I’ve maintained the same weight. As of right now, I’ve decided that I will eat mostly vegan, but occasionally have some cheese, chicken or fish if I want when I eat out or am¬†really craving it.

Today, I ate vegan!

Let’s see what it was….

pre-cooked quinoa (instead of oats! highly recommend!!) with half a banana, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and topped with banana walnut brulee (recipe to follow).

Banana Walnut Brulee

serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts

1 T agave (can also use honey or maple syrup)

1/4 t cinnamon

tiny dash vanilla extract

1/2 banana, chopped

dash of cayenne

cooking spray

Directions:

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and set it to medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add to skillet and let it saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and add to whatever you like!

On Wednesday’s I have five classes, including a 3 hour biology lab, so I don’t have much time to eat! I practically swallowed a whole smoothie in one gulp as I ran after the bus on the way to my next class…..

green smoothie with spinach, spirulina powder, half a frozen banana, frozen mango topped with homemade granola. sorry for the awful photo, again, i was in a rush!

I came home ravishing (remind me to pack a snack next Wednesday gahhhhhh!) and fixed that with this:

mary's crackers, tj's hummus and bolani pesto while making dinner

some nasty looking black bean soup (my recipe with added carrots and onions) and angela @ ohsheglows dinosaur dill crunch salad (made with curly kale instead of dinosaur kale) - pretty good! i think i needed to let the kale marinate in the dressing a little longer, it was a hard to chew and i'm not used to eating it raw.

And of course……

best. dessert. ever. almond breeze vanilla ice cream with blueberries and homemade chocolate sauce (cocoa powder, agave, and a little splash of almond milk!). sweet tooth satisfied.

Yum!!!!

Okay off to do some Stats homework and read pages and pages in my Biology book! Soooo freakin excited.

LOVEEEEEESYAA

Kara

vegan eats

Hi babydolls!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for quite a while…the quarter just started Monday so I’ve been figuring out my classes and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a whole month!

My vegan diet has been going well so far, I have completed a week plus two days now! Surprisingly finding things to eat has been easy, although I’ve had to get a little more creative and do some planning ahead of time.

When I was at home, my sister and mom had some delicious looking (and smelling!) cheesy pesto bread with their dinner and I would have loved a big bite of it, but I told myself that I couldn’t give in quite yet. I do reallllly really miss cheese and eggs, but I’ve had no cravings for meat so far!

As of now, my thoughts about this whole vegan ordeal is that I do not want to deprive my body of anything it craves. If after 2 weeks I’m craving cheese or eggs, I will allow my body some cheese and eggs! There’s no sense in torturing and depriving myself.

Now I’ll let ya guys in on what I’ve been eating lately ;).

sprouted whole wheat toast with ab & pb and fresh berries. my mouth is watering just looking at those berries right now! get in mah belly.

i tried an amy's indian spinach tofu wrap. it was perfect for a quick and delicious small meal!

portobello mushroom burger/sandwich with all the fixins and sauteed green beans with hazelnuts.

crocodile crunch from alicia silverstone's "the kind diet." 1 t spirulina, ~3/4 T almond milk, ~3/4 T orange juice, ~3/4 T maple syrup, 1 t almond butter. mix sauce and pour over fresh fruit and coconut. top with kamut puffs, granola or whatever cereal you like! beware: this looks gross (I mean it issss green) but it's actually DELICIOUS and may turn your teeth temporarily green hehe.

sauteed vegetables, tempeh, and lentil & bean mix.

butternut squash and vegetable curry over brown rice and topped with coconut and roasted almonds & cashews (in bragg liquid aminos)

the. best. pancakes. EVER. (recipe coming soon!)

quinoa bowl with veggies, salsa and cilantro jalapeno hummus (found at TJs).

kale, tempeh and wild rice!

green beans and asparagus over brown rice with Mama Pea's "mmm" sauce drizzled on top!

snacky dinner! butternut squash soup, veggies & crackers (Marys crackers and Flackers) to dip in hummus and salsa. and a sliced apple!

So there ya have it! Not exactly everything I’ve been eating lately, but a summary! Today, I had a delicious falafel pita sandwich with cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, hummus and tahini sauce from a¬†Mediterranean cafe. I’m determined to recreate it. And tonight I think I’ll make some overnight oats for tomorrow’s breakfast! Mmmm.

Hope you all had a fabulous week!

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #10 and day one of being a vegan!

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

After watching the nutrition documentary,¬†Forks Over Knives last night, the above quote stuck with me. In the movie, (which you should watch if you haven’t!) two doctors show patients who are suffering from conditions like heart disease and diabetes how diet is the best medicine. These two admirable doctors both found that these types of diseases and some forms of cancer can be prevented, and sometimes reversed, by adopting a “whole-foods, plant-based diet.” What I found most astonishing was a study with rats. They fed the rats a diet of 20% casein (the main protein found in dairy products), then 5% casein, switching off between the two levels of protein for a period of time and observing the effects of this dietary change on the rat’s cancer cells. There was a dramatic drop in cancerous growths in the rats that were fed a diet of 5% casein rather than 20%.

I’ve always thought about going vegan but never actually went through with it. I was vegetarian for about a year, but then felt like I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet and went back to eating meat. Forks Over Knives¬†completely shocked me, I had no idea animal products can actually induce cancer cells! I still want to do some more research before fully committing to veganism, though. I realize that eventually I am going to die someday (sorry to be so blunt) whether that be old age, cancer, or disease…and in recent research it seems like everything causes cancer – parabens found in lotion, hair dyes, chemicals in makeup, sodium lauryl sulfate found in shampoos and toothpaste, aluminum based deodorants, non- organic fruits and vegetables, plastic water bottles, microwaves….I could go on and on. I think that if we live our lives fearing everything that causes cancer in the world, we will end up becoming complete crazies hiding from life.

Okay, but now I am going to contradict myself because even though I can’t prevent cancer entirely, it’s worth a shot. Plus, I’ve always been intrigued by the vegan diet so I figured why not try it if it won’t hurtcha?!

My goal is to try being vegan for 2 weeks and see if there are any changes in how I feel. In the movie, the real life patients boasted feeling more energetic and had no need for medications. (My dream!! A world of barely any prescription drugs..which only cure the symptoms not the actual disease or sickness itself, and more homeopathic remedies! But maybe I am crazy.) In the vegan cookbook called¬†The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstein (who’s prego if you didn’t know!!) also expressed feeling more energetic on the vegan diet as well as having her acne clear up. I wouldn’t mind feeling more energetic and having completely clear skin, but those are not my main reasons for trying veganism, I simply want to try it to see how it affects me. Who knows, in two weeks I may feel no different and be back to eating how I was, or I may continue down the road of being a vegan. Thanks to Forks Over Knives¬†my life could be entirely changed after this.

I do have a few concerns:

1) The Forks Over Knives diet rules out most fats (even the healthy ones like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds!). I CANNOT DO WITHOUT FAT. Soo I will be eating plenty of that in my new vegan diet.

2) I’ve gotten over the stage of caring what people think of me, but being the odd one out is never fun. Thank goodness my friend Cat (also a Nutrition Science major and the one who told me about this movie!!) agreed to try veganism with me. It is definitely going to be hard ordering at restaurants, eating with friends and attending family events. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of weird looks and questions like “so why exactly are you vegan?” or ¬†“you’re one of those animal rights activists aren’t you?” or ¬†“you don’t eat any cheese or meat?!” or “how do you live?!”

3) My last concern is gaining weight. I love peanut butter as you all know, nuts, seeds, avocado…which are all fat and high in calories. Good fat, but must be eaten in moderation. I’m worried that I might overdo it on those (I loooove trail mix and can eat a whole bag easily) out of boredom of the other foods I’m eating and end up actually gaining weight rather than losing pounds or maintaining my weight.

But I’m going to try not to worry about all that and enjoy my 2 (or more) weeks of being vegan!!

So here goes my first WIAW as a vegan.

Breakfast…

oatmeal made with oats, banana, cinnamon, and chia seeds topped with almond milk, strawberries and almonds

and a cup of the best tea ever.

Lunch…

black bean soup and sauteed green beans & spinach

Black Bean Soup

serves 3

Ingredients:

2 cans black beans, drained

1 c salsa

1 t cumin

1 1/2 c low sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

Put first three ingredients in food processor until you get your desired constituency (chunky or smooth). Then heat in a saucepan and mix in the vegetable broth. Top with green onion, avocado, salsa, etc!

yummmmy, quick and so easy!

cuddle time with my babyy

Snack…

apple cupcakes...sort of!

I used this recipe for high protein chocolate pudding on the left apple, but used cocoa powder instead of carob, and used cocoa liquid stevia instead of maple syrup.

high protein chocolate pudding on the left topped with dried cranberries and pepitas, the right topped with peanut butter and cacao nibs!

Dinner…

nutty israeli couscous!

Nutty Israeli Couscous with Arugula, Butternut Squash and Sage

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/3 c Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous)

1 3/4 c water

1 T EVOO + more for sauteeing and drizzling

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 a butternut squash

1/4 c pecans

2 handfuls of arugula (or any other leafy green you like)

Balsamic vinegar

s & p

Directions:

Pierce butternut squash with a fork or knife a couple times so that air can escape while in the microwave. Nuke for 10 minutes, cut in half and let cool. Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan, saute 1 1/3 c couscous with 1 T EVOO over medium heat until the couscous is lightly browned. This takes about 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 3/4 c water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove the rind of the butternut squash (I found it easiest to cut off the rind with a knife, but maybe you could try using a peeler?) and cut it into cubes. In a large frying pan set to medium heat drizzle some EVOO and add the chopped shallot, minced garlic and chopped sage leaves. Saute until the shallot is almost transparent. Mix in the pecans and saute some more, but make sure to not burn the nuts. By now the couscous should be finishing up, so turn off the heat, add a generous drizzle of EVOO and s & p. Then, add the butternut squash to the frying pan and cover. After about 3 minutes the butternut squash should be tender and aromatic. Now add the 2 handfuls of arugula, mix until wilted. Turn off the heat. Fold the butternut squash mixture into the saucepan with the couscous. Drizzle some balsamic, taste it and adjust how much s & p you would like. Enjoy!

filling and delicious!

Wahoo I survived my first day as a vegan! And it wasn’t as hard as I thought :)!

xoxo

Kara