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 🙂

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?

Snack Bar Cookies

Saturday night my brain was on the verge of implosion after 6 straight hours of homework. Yep, as fun as it sounds. Luckily, baking up these cookies gave me a nice little break from the books, and they make a great study snack too!

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When I set out to make these cookies I was looking for something healthy and packed full of healthy fats to power me through a couple more hours of studying.  Basically, I wanted a snack bar in a fun cookie shape, because cookies make everything better, you know it’s true.

So as a heads up, don’t think of these as a dessert-y cookie, they’re not overly sweet but I ate the entire batch in two days so I can safely say they’re still delicious.

Snack Bar Cookies

(Gluten-Free, Vegan Option)

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (make sure they’re certified GF if that’s an issue for you)
  • 0.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used Blue Diamond’s Unsweetened Almond and Coconut Blend)
  • 0.25 cups peanut butter
  • 0.25 cups pepitas
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used unflavored pea protein)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp honey*
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

*If you have normal taste buds you’ll probably want to increase this to 0.25 cups, I don’t like things very sweet, just a warning. Also, you can sub agave, maple syrup or another liquid sweetener if you want to keep the cookies vegan

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax seed meal and water, let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, in a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients including the flax egg.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
  5. Scoop the batter on to a lightly greased cookie sheet and back for 10-12 minutes, taking the cookies out when they are slightly underdone because they will continue to cook on the pan.
  6. Enjoy as a snack or during an intense study session, and just remember if you eat half the batch in one night it’s okay because they’re healthy 🙂

Makes 24-26 two-inch cookies

I hope you enjoy!

What’s your favorite healthy study/homework/work snack?

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? I don’t think I’ve ever had a cookie, healthy or not, that I didn’t like 🙂

Good Habits & Diet Staples {WIAW}

Where did August go? The fact that it is already September is blowing my mind a little bit. I’m not convinced August even really happened it went by so quickly. I’m excited for fall though, fall is beautiful up here in the mountains and one of my favorite times of year. Plus I’m ready to wear jeans, boots and scarves without sweating to death. And eat pumpkin and apple everything. Obviously.

September’s What I Ate Wednesday theme is about falling into good habits. I’d like to think I eat pretty cleanly (at least relatively speaking, most college students I meet are pretty nutritionally challenged) but I definitely have some bad habits when it comes to food. Ahem, sitting down with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter or getting a little snack happy on gluten-free cookies.

This month, I’m trying to focus on eating less sugar (I’m looking at you gingersnaps) because too much sugar makes me feel like poo and I feel 100x better without it (I even went 60 days without sweets – and felt amazing afterwards). I’ve also been trying to make of point of eating more protein and healthy fats. While carbs are super delicious I never feel satisfied after a carb-filled day and end up eating everything in sight. No bueno. So here’s to building better habits.

So yesterday I pretty much failed at taking pictures of my food, so instead here are some meals/snacks/munchies I’ve been loving lately:

Kale salads! I love them because I can throw one together in the morning before class and it travels really well. This one includes kale (obviously), edamame, some very brown avocado, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Mushrooms, chickpeas, tofu and zucchini are other favorite toppings.

I also love hummus and veggies. I picked up some greek-style Athenos hummus on sale at the grocery story last week and it’s been a great snack, especially on long class days.


Fruit! I am a golden delicious apple freak and go through a 3 lb bag in a week. It’s a problem I don’t mind having. I haven’t met a fruit I don’t like and I can eat a ridiculous amount of it. I’m pretty sure I have a second stomach reserved for fruit, like yesterday when I ate an entire container of strawberries by myself for a snack. Not so economical but whatever.


My cottage cheese combination just got a little weirder. Cottage cheese + peanut butter + flax meal + avocado + cinnamon, I think my roommates were sufficiently grossed out, but the avocado added some delicious healthy fats in there. Avocado doesn’t have a strong flavor and I’m convinced you can put it in almost anything to amp up the creamy-ness/fat factor, you may just get a few strange looks.


My friend studied abroad in Germany this summer and sent me this chocolate bar. It tasted like pure heaven, I have no other words for it. Chocolate and coffee is a match made in food heaven. Speaking of chocolate, I’ve been on a huge chocolate kick lately (hence the Baker’s chocolate) and dark chocolate in moderation can have a lot of health benefits, so I’m going to keep eating it.

Canned coconut milk. I saw Katie’s post about different canned coconut milk brands the other week so I picked up a can at Earthfare last weekend (seeing a trend with all these healthy fats?). It’s absolutely delicious. Creamy and slightly sweet, I hate to admit I’ve only eaten straight from the can so far, I should try to find something to make with it but I doubt it will last that long.


COFFEE. It’s a daily ritual and I could (and do) drink it all day long (um, hence the blog name). I’ve been trying to cut back slightly because I’ve been doing a poor job of keeping up my hydration and excessive coffee consumption isn’t helpful, but I still drink at least a cup or two every day. A hot cup of coffee in the morning just makes my whole day better. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea lately too, which is delicious, but my love for coffee is a little deeper.

The sorry looking coffee picture is thanks to Stick Boy Bread Company‘s (the best bakery ever) Free Cookie & Coffee Day. Every year on their birthday they give away free cookies and coffee all day. I didn’t get a cookie this year because I’m not down for the stomach ache this week, but I was sure to pick up my free cup of coffee (and a cookie for my roommate who had class, because I’m nice). I attempted to get a picture of it while crossing the street, but umm… that didn’t work. Stick Boy’s brews Larry’s Beans which is my my favorite coffee brand (and local!). Larry’s Beans is a little on the expensive side, so I took full advantage of the free cup. The name of the coffee is El Salvador Dali. Love it.

How are you going to fall into good habits this month?

What are some staples (or new favorite foods) in your diet?