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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…

freaky {food} friday: psyllium seed husks

Helloooo there! I am so happy that…

thank god!

this cat = me

And today I wanted to do a fun little Freaky Food Friday since I haven’t done one in so long! This Friday’s freaky food is psyllium seed husks!

What is psyllium seed husks?

Ever heard of Metamucil? It’s made of psyllium seed husks!

Plantago psyllium is a plant native to Iran and India. The stalks of the plant contain tiny seeds covered in husks, which is the psyllium seed husks we can eat! It has a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicines, and is quickly becoming popular for use in weight control and intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber (soluble fiber) that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. If you are following a low carb diet, chances are you aren’t getting enough fiber – psyllium can provide that fiber you need! Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber. Only recently have scientists learned that soluble fiber has unique effects on metabolism. The herb also provides a feeling of fullness that is helpful before meals. Psyllium is one of the simplest, healthiest and most effective herbs for weight control.

Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so it has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber. Adding water to dry psyllium causes it to swell to up to ten times its original volume Рthe reason why it helps with satiety. For many years products containing psyllium (aka Metamucil) have been used to increase fecal bulk and loosen stools, as ways of treating constipation. It also has the advantage over other sources of fiber for reducing flatulence and bloating. It may be recommended by a physician to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.

Psyllium husks are great to use in gluten free baking. It can be used as a replacement for xanthan gum and pectin (which helps bind and thicken substances).

What does it taste like?

It has a earthy, wheaty taste. It reminds me of this cereal!

Why should you eat it?

Well, for one, it gets things movin down there if ya know what I mean! If you’re constipated, psyllium husk should be your go-to!

But it also keeps you full, is tasteless (so it can be added to anything), has been proven to lower cholesterol, and is an excellent herb to promote overall health and wellness! I would recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your smoothies (it will also make them thicker) at first every day and then you can gradually go up to adding a tablespoon!

What are its nutrition facts?

2 tablespoons are 35 calories with 9 g of fiber and 10 g of carbohydrate. I usually only use about a tablespoon or less.

Where can I find psyllium?

I found my psyllium at Trader Joe’s, although I don’t think they sell it anymore. It can be found online at amazon.com or at your local health food store. Sometimes it’s even in the bulk bins! Be sure to look for “whole psyllium husks.”

thank you trader darwins!

Recipes!

Healthy cookies with flax and psyllium? These are a must try!

Dr. Oz’s Magical Breakfast Blaster smoothie calls for psyllium (he says psyllium is an essential ingredient for every smoothie)!

Gluten free flatbread recipe using psyllium here!

Raw strawberry pie. I need to make this ASAP!

My overall score:

Psyllium is awesome. I love adding it to my smoothies because it really makes them thicker and I can’t even taste or tell a difference in texture. After a few days of unhealthy eating, I always turn to psyllium to help detoxify my body. My favorite way to add it in my diet is to make the recipe below! It gets an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Vanilla-y Cinnamon Fiber Pudding

serves 1 (a great low-cal snack in between meals that keeps you full!!)

Ingredients:

1 T psyllium seed husks

couple shakes cinnamon

half a packet of stevia (I use NuNaturals stevia) or the full packet if you want it more sweet – you could also use agave, honey, real sugar, nothing…

1/3 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use plain and add a little vanilla extract) + a little more for mixing in afterwards

Directions:

Mix the first three ingredients in a cup.

up close to the psyllium!

dry ingredients

Add 1/3 c almond milk and stir.

VAM added

Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (the longer you wait, the thicker it will get). I personally don’t like it super thick (sometimes I just drink it right after so it’s more like cereal and milk) so I wait for about 5 minutes and then add a splash more of almond milk!

looks nast but i swear it’s good!

And that’s it! So quick and easy. You could also mix in some oats, fruit, nuts, coconut, nut butter, etc and add more almond milk for a filling breakfast porridge! Yum ūüôā

Have a happy Friday friends!! Don’t forget to write “psyllium seed husks” on your next grocery list!

xoxox

Kara

zing bar review!

After a long day of classes I came home to find this box of goodies waiting for me…

the gems

Zing Bars!!!! I have been dyin to try these babies so I was stoked to see a box with my name on it. I had to hold myself back from breaking into it and devouring them all on the spot.

I received a bar of each of their 6 flavors: Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Almond Blueberry, Cranberry Orange, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. Half of their flavors are vegan (made with brown rice protein), and the other half are not (made with whey protein).

And this is what I thought of them!

Chocolate Coconut – vegan, chocolate coated, literally tasted like a Mounds candy bar. My favorite flavor!

Chocolate Peanut Butter – not vegan, chocolate covered, not overly sweet. Def another favorite!

Almond Blueberry – not vegan, very moist (I hate that word haha, does anyone else agree with me?!) and a little sticky, tasted a little like marzipan. Second favorite!!

Cranberry Orange – vegan, the citrus flavor from the orange made it taste very refreshing unlike some of the others, soft and dough-like consistency. Good, but not my favorite!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – vegan, reminded me of cookie dough but healthy, and with peanut butter! Another favorite!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip – not vegan, tasted just like an oatmeal raisin cookie but with chocolate chips in it. Yum!

These absolutely delicious bars are created by nutritionists, are gluten, soy, corn & wheat free, won’t spike blood sugar and are my new favorite bars! They are a little on the pricey side, so unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to eat them on a regular basis, but I encourage you all to try them out! For more information and nutrition facts check out their website here.

taken from the Zing bar website

Let me know if you guys have ever tried these!

Questions of the Day:

Are there any words that you don’t like using or just sound weird to you?¬†For me, it’s “moist.” And the word “chunk” has always kind of weirded me out…I think it was because an elementary school teacher would use it to describe a stack of paper. “Everyone grab a chunk of paper!” Huh?!

If you’ve tried the Zing Bars what is your favorite flavor?

Well, hope everyone’s having a happy Thursday!!

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