Let’s Go Swimming and Vegetarian Paleo, Say What? {WIAW}

I hope you guys are having a dry Wednesday night because it’s POURING over here.

Seriously, it’s so bad that they shut down the university, crazy stuff.

Here’s Durham Park, a cute little grassy area on campus on a normal day:

appalachian state university durham park

This is what Durham Park looks like today:

appalachian state university campus flooded

So since this girl can’t swim, I’m going to stick to my cozy little apartment on top of a hill. Stay safe Boone-ites!

Now let’s talk about drier things, like food. Yeah, clever segues are not my thing.

(Thanks Jenn for hosting!)

Head’s up about this week’s food, it’s going to be a little different.

I mentioned last week that I’m making some temporary changes to my diet. My stomach has been upset a lot lately and I can’t deal with any more stomach aches. To try to help the situation I’m following a Paleo-ish diet.

Yes, vegetarian Paleo. Contradictory? Absolutely. But I wanted to give my digestive system a break and focus on easy to digest foods – fruits, veggies, healthy fats, nuts and eggs, because girl’s gotta have some protein. No dairy, grains, legumes or (too much) added sugar. Sound a little crazy? Maybe, but it actually has been going really well. I thought I’d share some of my typical meals and my thoughts this week.

Meals

sweet potatoes and coconut oil

My new staple breakfast, baked sweet potatoes with coconut oil, cinnamon and a small sprinkle of salt. So. Dang. Good. I don’t even miss my oatmeal. Shocking.

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Lots of fruit and an equal amount of un-pictured veggies. I’ve been eating more produce that I have in a long time which is really delicious but requires lots of extra trips to the grocery store. I’m pretty okay with that.

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Eggs, fried with slight gooey yolks. Since figuring out technique it is the only way I eat eggs. Variety is overrated.

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I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I polished off 90% of this jar in two days. But I’ve slowed down and I’m savoring the last 10% because I realized going through a $5 jar of sunflower seed butter in two days is not very cost efficient. Sorry wallet.

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My new favorite “adlkfjasldfkj I’m hungry and I want chocolate” go-to snack. Please tell me I’m not the only one with that problem. Anyway, coconut milk (take canned coconut refrigerate upside down and scoop out the the thick stuff at the top) thinned with a little almond milk and mixed with cocoa powder and cinnamon.

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Larabars! Dates are nature’s candy after all.

I don’t know why I feel the need to put Buddha in every food picture, but he is on the side table near the window where I take my pictures so he sneaks his way in ūüôā

Thoughts

Keep in mind this is¬†temporary¬†I don’t plan to live a life with peanut butter or oatmeal. That doesn’t sound like a fun life. That being said, I’m really enjoying eating like this. I’m surprised because when you cut out dairy, grains, legumes, and meat it doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of options but I haven’t felt like I’m missing out. If I felt too restricted and miserable I would quit it but I don’t. I feel 100% satisfied and look forward to every meal.

Most of all I have SO MUCH energy. Crazy right? I figured that getting so little protein (I’m averaging 30-40 grams a day) would make me so tired, and while a low-protein slump could still hit, I actually feel great.

My fat intake has increased a lot (yeahhhh avocados and coconut!) and I think that has really helped me feel more satisfied. I don’t get the whole bottomless-pit-for-a-stomach feeling I used to have. And basically I feel really awesome. This kind of diet might not be right for everyone, but I think it’s really working for me right now.

I want to try to add other foods back in and see how my body reacts in a little bit and see what exactly it is my body is hating, but I want to continue focusing on more fruits/veggies and healthy fats even as I add things back in.

How’s the weather where you are?

What are your thoughts on the Paleo diet?

What are your favorite healthy fats?

Scenes from the Farmers Market {8/11}

I’m going to miss farmer’s market trips when school starts.

Ants on a Log (WIAW)

Where did the week go? I feel like it’s still Monday. But I’m not complaining because I am so ready for the weekend.

Breakfast: My typical bowl of peanut butter oatmeal. Creature of habit. In fact, I’m eating the same bowl right now. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it. I also had a microwaved egg and a pluot because I was a hungry beast yesterday morning! I was really excited to find pluots in the grocery store the other day. I love them but they are really hard to find, and seem to disappear after a week. Boo.

Morning Snack: Yogi green tea for the ride to work, and baby carrots with peanut butter at my desk at work. I love Yogi tea, it never disappoints. And I like have a little inspiration with my tea.

Lunch: A tofu scramble with frozen stir fry vegetables, tofu (duh), kale, eggplant ¬†and teriyaki sauce. Frozen vegetables make like 1000x easier, but I have to admit they’re not as tasty as fresh.

Afternoon Snack: The tiniest sweet potato ever with peanut butter and cinnamon, sounds weird but it’s so good. That potato looks normal sized but it fit in to the palm of my hand. Mini foods are so cute.

Dinner: My first successful omelet with diced onions and asparagus. My omelet attempts usually turn into scrambled eggs, and even though I didn’t get the second fold I’m proud it came out in one piece. It’s the little things. I made a salad on the side (is it still a side salad when it’s bigger than the entree?) with lettuce, broccoli slaw, beets, and a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Pre-Dance Snack: Ants on a log! Minus the ants. Raisins are completely necessary for this snack, it was disappointing without them.

Late Snack: Not pictured but I had a plum and a smaller version of my breakfast oatmeal.

My ants on a log snack brought reminded me of ¬†all the snacks I used to eat as a kid. It’s funny how much my eating habits have changed since I was younger. Some of my favorite snacks were:

Cheez Its:

I could put away some Cheez It’s as a kid. I’m talking a box a week.

Pudding! I used to eat this all the time when I got home from school. Jell-o makes the best pudding, Snack Pack has nothing them.

Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. The Nutty Bars and Oatmeal Creme Pies were on regular rotation in my lunch box too. Not so healthy, but delicious. I feel a little like I’m going to get diabetes just looking at the box.

Fun fact: the marketing professor I had last semester did some marketing work for Little Debbie. He even got to meet Debbie, who is apparently not so little anymore because she’s old enough to be my mom.

And the one of my favorite snacks that hasn’t changed:

Fruit! I was a little fruit monster as a kid and I still am today. I think I could eat my weight in fruit.

Looking back at those snacks, I don’t know how I wasn’t in a carb-y/trans-fat-y coma 24/7. I’m glad I learned some nutrition along the way. Whole foods are better, and tastier. It’s funny that I would totally pick brussel sprouts over Cheez Its now.

What were your favorite childhood snacks?

Have your eating habits changed since you were a kid?¬†I used to be the pickiest kid ever, now I’ll try anything once. I also used to hate all vegetables. It makes me sad to think about it, luckily my current veggie obsession is more than making up for it.

Waverly Place Farmer’s Market 6/23

Let’s Talk About Snacks (WIAW).

It’s that time again!

I love collages.

Breakfast: Nothing new here. It was 90 degrees yesterday and  still ate hot oatmeal for breakfast. There might be something wrong with me. Also add in a scrambled egg, the extra protein helps hold me over until my morning snack and keeps the morning hunger beast at bay.

Morning Snack: I had some edamame at work and a mini Luna bar at my internship. Despite the decent-sized breakfast I had, the hunger beast was out in full force the morning. Does anyone else get super hungry in the mornings? It tends to die down after lunch but I am a ravenous beast in the mornings.

Lunch: Lunch was a little weird, I went to gym directly after work so I would have time to fit it in, so I stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way there for an apple. Yes, I stopped by the store for one apple. This happens more than I care to admit. I also paid the $0.70 total with my debit card because I couldn’t find enough change. This also happens more than I care to admit

The post-gym portion of lunch was very delicious. Tofu with broccoli slaw, recipe coming at you tomorrow.

Afternoon Snack: I made a peanut butter and banana smoothie it was super delicious but I was hungry approximately 10 seconds later. I love smoothies but they just don’t keep me full. Any advice?

Dinner: A tofu scramble with tomatoes, tri-color peppers, onions and fresh basil off my mom’s basil plant(!). I usually like to mix up my protein options a little more, but I’m pretty low on groceries at the moment so I don’t have many options.

Dear grocery fairy, please pay a visit to my house.

Evening Snack: I signed up for summer dance classes and my first class was yesterday. It feels so good to be in the studio again! I had a peach and lots of dips in the peanut butter jar before leaving and a mini version of my breakfast and a second peach after I got home.

Let’s talk about snacks.

I love snacks, they are essential to my sanity and I’ve learned a lot about healthy snacking over the past couple of years. I eat at least two snacks a day and I could not get through the day with out them. I’ve found that snacking can set me up for a successful, healthy day.

Some benefits of snacking? For me, snacking is great because I don’t like eating big meals. I can’t eat enough calories in one sitting to keep me satiated for more than 3 hours. I also don’t like the heavy feeling you get after a large meal, so snacking allows me to stretch out those calories over a longer time period. Nutritious, low-sugar snacks can also be a great way pull yourself out of the afternoon energy slump, I know I get cranky without my afternoon snack. Snacks are also great for bridging the gap between meals ¬†and can help keep that metabolism revving. Plus snack food is the most delicious food.

But there are some snacking drawbacks. It can be easy to get a little snack-happy. I think snack food is really delicious and I’ve been guilty of snacking when I’m not actually hungry. it’s really easy to grab a couple of snacks in the afternoon when you’re bored and eating to entertain yourself rather than in response to a grumbling tummy. I’ve definitely been guilty of this, but taking a moment to drink a glass of water, or waiting 15 minutes to see if that snack still sounds good. Also unhealthy snacks really do you no favors. Sugary/processed snacks can leave you feeling gross and set you up for a serious energy crash later in the day. Snack healthy guys.

Being the snack-oholic that I am, I’ve definitely got some consistent go-to snacks that are healthy, easy, and can be easily shoved in a purse. Some of my favorite snacks include:

  • A piece of fruit, very healthy and great for satisfying a sweet craving. I almost always carry apples around with me because they’re easy and have a lot of fiber to keep me satiated ¬†longer. Berries, bananas and grapes can be great options too. Actually, you can’t really go wrong with any fruit.
  • Raw veggies, I know not everyone is as keen on raw veggies as I am, but a baggy full of baby carrots or broccoli can really help tame the hunger beast and get in some extra nutrients. Healthy vegetable dips (greek yogurt, hummus, guacamole) can be make raw vegetables more palatable if they’re typically not your thing. Non-raw veggies are great too, recently I’ve been digging brussel sprouts for an afternoon snack, not very portable but great for an at-home snack
  • Edamame, this is a big one for me. As a vegetarian there aren’t many high-protein options that don’t involve some sort of protein powder (expensive) or dairy (not so portable). The protein in edamame keeps me very satisfied and gives me plenty of energy without the crash you get with some sugary snacks. They are also relatively high in fiber, another bonus.
  • Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, are other great protein-filled options. Though some brands of flavored greek yogurt can be high in sugar, which is something to be mindful of.
  • Protein bars, these are great because they are super portable and have a long shelf life so you can keep and emergency bar stashed in your purse/car/desk at all times if the hunger beast starts calling. You do have to be careful because some protein bars are just glorified candy bars. But a natural snack bar can be a great afternoon pick me up. I love Luna bars (the mini ones are especially great for a small snack that won’t hurt your waistline), Clif bars (these are pretty calorically dense, but they’re great when you have a large gap between meals), Clif Z bars, Larabars, Pure bars, Odwalla bars and ThinkThink bars.

What are some of your favorite snacks?

Scenes From the Farmer’s Market 6/2