more challenges ahead

Hello my loves.

I hope everyone is having a good week. I really feel like time has been flying lately!

I however am very excited for this weekend as we are going to Payson to help Matt’s parents move.  Matt’s parents moved to Arizona from Indiana shortly after we did.  Matt’s mom had gotten a job out here and even though they were still 4 hours away it was soooo much better than 2000 miles away!  But now they are moving to Payson for a new job which is actually only about a little over a hour away from us so now they will be even closer!! And the town is just gorgeous and actually gets 4 seasons!  Lucky them!

Source

But going on a trip also means I have to fight my ED and the fact that I may need to go out to eat and eat foods outside of my comfort zone.  I’ve been kind of getting use to eating only my safe foods at home, so I thought this would actually be really good for me.  My nutritionist is really pushing me to fight back because I think she noticed my trend as well.  I am still gaining which is good, but either not as fast as she wants or not by the foods she wants.  Just the whole gaining weight has really been doing a number on me emotionally.  I’m just not comfortable in my body right now.

But I try to stay positive and know that this is all for the best, and my health is the most important thing.  I just want to get to that mentally healthy part too.

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On to some eats.  I always get excited when I get to have one of these.

oiaj! oh yes. with my second jar of nuttzo peanut butter.

I can not get enough of my little spoon either! I seriously love eating with it!

topped with banana slices, maple crunch cereal and a dab of justin's honey peanut butter. who says you can't combine two brands!

I seriously have a problem with how much I love peanut butter. whyyy peanut butter are you so tasty!

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Lunch was a bit of the norm.

panini, oven roasted veggies and a side of tomato soup and ketchup for dippings!

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And on to the new challenges.  I kind of got in trouble for not eating enough fats.  My nutritionist basically told me I was eating too healthy and eating “eating disordered food”.  That’s one hard thing about my recovery is, I am a healthy eater, but now it’s viewed as “eating disordered” because I am eating too healthy.  Well if that is the case a lot of people have eating disorders.  Granted, and especially after joining the food blog community, I do think a lot of people hide some of their eating habits behind the excuse of leading a “clean healthy life” when I really think weight loss and control is part of a deeper picture.  But that’s a can of worms I really don’t want to open.

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But I decided to challenge myself on eating more fats and scaring my ED.  Matt and I use to frequent Jimmy Johns often, on the vegetarian sub comes mayo and avocado spread.  Now during my ED days, well earlier ones, if I even let myself go to Jimmy Johns, I would get my sandwich as a lettuce wrap, no mayo and light on the avocado spread.  Seriously?  Why even get the sandwich.  So today, I told myself I was getting my normal order. Bread, mayo, avocado spread. And you know what? It was delicious.

Cheers to a great lunch date!

yea matt and i like to cheers with our sandwiches, but we were trying to make this as fun as possible for me.

I felt pretty accomplished because I ate the whole sandwich! But I’m not going to lie, I kind of had a freak out afterwards.  I just felt so bloated and let myself think about what I just ate.  I had a good cry, but thankfully I had this guy there to talk some sense into me.

thank god for matt sometimes. he's been a real trooper in letting me vent/cry/yell. and he's always there when i need a hug.

So today I feel like was a accomplishment for me.  Although I did have an episode after lunch the fact that I made the effort to scare my ED and to take a step getting back to a normal eating experience.  I’m beginning to learn these experiences aren’t about the actual food, it’s about scaring and challenging my ED.  And trust me, he was talking loud today.  We’ll see how talkative he is this weekend.  I have a feeling he is going to be very chatty.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend

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No questions I hope everyone just has a great weekend and I want to thank everyone for listening to my rants and raves and all the support you have given me.

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color

The last time I went to my nutritionist she informed me I was doing boredom eating.

Not something someone with an ED wants to hear.  My fear has always been that I am eating too much, hungry too much, and eating the wrong things.

In the beginning when I was extremely under weight, it almost didn’t matter because I was so malnourished that I basically could not eat too much food.  But now that I have gained a significant amount of weight and re-fed my body, this is really not the case anymore.  My new fear is I will get use to these habits of being able to eat “whatever I want, whenever I want”  Which I think had happened.  My metabolism is not working over time anymore.

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With me not able to work yet, I am finding it harder and harder to occupy my time, which had resulted in boredom eating.  When all you think about is food, and have all the time in the world to think about food, well, you think about food, and you get hungry.  My nutritionist also told me that these food ruts I was getting in was hurting me too. I was eating the same bland foods. I needed to add color and variety.  So I’ve actually been working very hard to go against my natural urge to eat my familiar foods. (I haven’t had a soy chocolate panini in a week, can you believe it!!)

not gonna lie. kind of miss this guy.

But for now he has been replaced. With new, out of my comfort zone meals.  I had been getting kind of lazy, so it has actually been a little fun experimenting again in the kitchen.

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Let’s begin with the new breakfast.

Now I in no way think my oatmeal is bland and boring.

cake batter oats. how colorful can you get with all those sprinkles.

bright fresh fruit and so pretty to look at.

But alas, I needed to switch my breakfast up. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not taking oats out of my breakfast regime, but I’m just trying to shake things up once in awhile.

enter tofu scramble with a bright red fresh farmers market tomato. seriously best tomato i have ever had. on the side fresh farmers market peach and strawberries.

This was actually pretty tasty. I let the tofu marinate in some salsa while I took my morning walk and cooked it when I came back and added a bit more to the skillet. I also love how easy tofu scrambles are to make.  Just throw everything in the skillet! Scramble, scramble, scramble. Plop on bagel.

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Ok so since we know I’m not eating my normal soy chocolate panini for lunch, what did I have?

ok so not as much color here but the roasted red pepper and tomato soup added some pop. and yes. it's in a coffee mug.

Boca vegan burger topped with the delicious Trader Joe’s bean dip that I can’t get enough of.

Ok so lunch was a little blah.

Dinner I think made up for it.

I had another buffalo “chicken” salad.  I’m telling you. I love buffalo.

bright salad with lots of bright veggies. sprinkled with some nutritional yeast and dulse.

add on the spicy goodness.

Slowly, but surely I am trying to mix up my meals. I have to tell myself not to go back to what’s safe for me. Am I cooking extravagant 5 course meals? No, not yet, maybe soon though, but for now I am trying to switch it up.  Because really, everyone does need some variety in their life and in their diet.

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How do you get yourself out of your food ruts?

Do you try to add color to all of your meals?

Have you tried the soy chocolate panini yet? Seriously. Make it.

WIAW #7 – fun with new finds

Yay another Wednesday and we all know what that means.

It’s par-tay time.

So let’s all head over to PeasandCrayons and thank the beautiful Jenn for hosting this wonderful thing we call What I Ate Wednesday.

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I had gotten quite a few goodies over the past week, so I have been having a fun time trying to get the new products into my meals.

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Let’s begin with breakfast.

Because I found a new crack oatmeal topping.

i totally forgot how good plain oats are. Typically I add a bunch of ingredients to the mix (ie. cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, unsweetened cocoa, etc.) while they are cooking to try and give them a lot of flavor. today i just added a little sprinkle of a new rice protein i was sent free samples of. it was un-flavored, but added just enough to make the oats amazing. now i didn't skimp on the toppings. that would just be crazy.

Insert my new oatmeal topping crack.  I had purchased Kath’s granola deal on OpenSky because I always see her topping her oatmeal and smoothies with their Cville Clusters. omg. Now I know why she uses it so much. it.is.amazing.  I am actually not a huge granola person, but this stuff… I can’t even put into words. And since they are bigger clusters they don’t get lost in the oatmeal as I feel other granola and sometimes my crumbled cereal does.

banana slices, banana peanut butter, Cville clusters and a sprinkle of cinnamon love

Oh and that delicious banana peanut butter I speak of.  The lovely Katie posted this simple yet amazing recipe for making banana peanut butter. Not going to lie, it’s pretty tasty.

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Next up is lunch.

If you read my Sunday Funday post you would know that we made a lovely discovery at Trader Joe’s.  Well Matt did.  The most amazing bean dip ever. It definitely made an appearance on my lunch.

panini with soy pepper-jack cheese, fresh farmers market tomato, and trader joe's spicy bean dip.

The dip seriously made the sandwich.  That and the melty cheese. yum-tastic.

served with a bowl of Pacific's organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup

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I also snacked on this.

don't judge. i dip my broccoli in ketchup. trader joe's has the beeesssttt organic ketchup. but basically everything from trader joe's is amazing

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I actually kept it quite simple for dinner.

black bean "quesadilla" although there is no cheese. so black bean tortilla folded like a quesadilla. sure. that will work.

Served with one of the best salsa’s I’ve had in awhile. And no it’s actually not from Trader Joe’s. It’s from Whole Foods.

they kind of look like mini black bean pies?

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And I just have to post a picture of this.  I had a  night snack of some yogurt and just had to use the cutest bowl and spoon set that the lovely Sam had sent me. I mean how cute is this thing?

so cute! love it.

I still have a few more goodies on their way to me that I am super excited about. New jams and Barney Butter! yay! Two of my favorite things.

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Have you gotten any new products lately?

What’s your favorite oatmeal topping?

goodies galore

Happy Friday my loves ♥

Oh my what a week.  I feel like it flew by.

Despite having to conquer my fear foods, I’ve been feeling a lot better about my food choices and the fact that I eat so much right now.  The more I talk to my nutritionist the more I realize that what I’m going through is normal.  The weight gain is starting to…let’s just say mentally challenge me.  The thoughts of going back to my old body, the body I hated, is a huge fear.  But I am so focused on being healthy and being done with the negative thoughts, I tell myself the extra weight is worth it. And normal and healthy.

It’ll sink in one of these days. I have faith.

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But on to happier things. I got some packages! Yay!

I seriously stalked the FedEx guy.  No really, not only did I track these bad boys and checked their status, oh every half hour, but as soon as I heard that truck noise I was at my door waiting for him! Why so anxious you ask?

dun dun dunnnnn and what's inside this lovely package?

nut butter!!! there was an amazing deal on open sky for this 3 pack. i think i only paid like $8 you really can't beat that. only wish it included the chocolate hazelnut because that stuff is to DIE for.

Andddd I got a bit carried away and was a bit excited over getting these bad boys.

yea. i make nut butter pyramids.

You can bet this made an appearance on my nightly snack.

By the way this now makes me have a total of 8 nut butters in my cupboard.

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And how ironic.  I had actually finished a jar and had OIAJ for breakfast.

if you have never heard or tried nuttzo peanut butter, you need to. its amazing. and what makes it even more amazing? hot chocolate steel cut oats with banana and raspberries mixed in. too good for words.

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Next package I got. My NuNaturals that I won from Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food’s giveaway. So excited!

I got a bunch of information with the package, so excited to use all of these!

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Lunch was a simple turkey and bbq sauce panini.  I thought when I ate meat again it would be one of those “omg I missed this so much” moments.  But that hasn’t happened yet.  I think I am going to finish off what I have a be done with it.  It’s just not as good as I remember. BBQ sauce however is always amazing!

served with a side of oven roasted broccoli and some organic creamy roasted tomato soup.

I’m not typically a soup person, unless I make it myself, but these were on sale at Whole Foods so I thought I would try them.  It was actually pretty good.

almost made this with tempeh. should have went with that. meh. there is always next time! because let's be real, i never get sick of bbq sauce!

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Another OpenSky package!

and what is in this one you ask?

granola from Kath! yay! i always see her munching on this on her blog and when I saw the OpenSky deal I just had to get my hands on some.

(did anyone notice the creepy eye staring at you.)

and get my hands on it i did. right away.

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I almost went against my original dinner plans.  I’ve been trying to do more savory items hoping they will keep me more full, but sometimes I find myself slipping back into the quick easy meals.  Which honestly have been cereal and panini’s lately.  But I decided to keep my original plan and I am glad I did.

Buffalo “Chicken” Salad

I used a Quorn chicken patty and topped it with Tabasco’s buffalo hot sauce.  Seriously this stuff is amazing and I’ve talked about it before.  Not only does it give me that buffalo flavor that I love, but it’s not thick like the other typical wing sauces.  A win in my book.

Romaine topped with carrots, zuchinni, yellow bell pepper and tomato. topped with vegan ranch and the buffalo chicken patty. this salad was pretty delish.

I love buffalo sauce so this meal was pretty much a win to start with.  I also love that the Quorn chicken patties are soy free.  I try not to eat too many of the fake meats made from processed soy, which is also why I learn more towards tempeh as well.

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Well loves another end to another week. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

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Have you bought anything online recently?

Have you used NuStevia? What do you use it in?

Do you ever change your dinner plans at the last minute?

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(Note: Don’t forget to check out iHerb.com  Seriously so much cheaper than the stores and they have great deals! Also use this code to get $5 off your first order! YAL235  Seriously if you have not shopped there you need to. <3 )

fear foods

I think everyone has their comfort foods.  Foods they know they can always go to, and foods they know are “safe”.  But what makes a specific food item safe?  Some people will cook with butter, but won’t go near ice cream.  Will eat sandwiches, cereal, and muffins, but won’t eat pasta.  I see people obsess over calories and fat grams, but don’t pay attention to their sugar intake or how highly processed the item is.  What makes one more important than the other? The point is everyone also has their fear foods.  Most are the foods that are high in fat and calories.  But the fact is, in moderation of any food should be able to be consumed.

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Especially after being diagnosed with my ED and reading and sharing my experiences with others, I’ve come to realize everyone has their comfort foods and everyone has their fear foods.  Whether the fear be the typical chips, candy bars, ice cream, pasta, and other common “fatty, unhealthy foods” or maybe its vegetables, beans, or dairy.

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I know looking back and looking at my current situation, I definitely have my comfort foods.  I absolutely have to have yogurt, nut butters, cereal, cottage cheese, oatmeal and my Ezekial sprouted grain bread in the house at all times.  As soon as one of these gets even halfway gone, I run to the store to get a back up.  They are my comfort foods, foods I know I like and I know will satisfy me.  There are also foods that I still fear.  Pasta, greasy pizza, real cheese, full fat dairy and dining in restaurants.  The list really goes on.  And last week at my nutritionist appointment, what did she tell me I need to do?  Eat my fear foods.  I need to realize that one meal of mac and cheese, two or even three pieces of pizza will not make me gain 10 pounds overnight.  My body will balance it out.  If we eat too much one day, our bodies will naturally tell us how much we need the next. Our body’s are so much smarter than we give it credit for. We need to stop focusing on one day and realize we have 365 days to even out, and we will.  Now if you indulge every single day, then that is a different story, but most of us do not.

So I was given a list.  A list of fear foods.  And the scary part.  I was required to eat them all. So I wanted to share with you some of the foods my nutritionist wanted me to eat, and how I felt after I ate them.

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The first on my list was sweet potatoes.  Now these were put on my list mainly because I thought I might have an allergy to them, and I had been avoiding potatoes in general.  My nutritionist wanted me to give them another shot.

i decided only to have half the potato just in case i was going to get sick. i didn't yay! i've never really had a fear of sweet potatoes as their nutrients are better than regular potatoes. so maybe my fear food really should have been a white potato. but baby steps for now.

i had the potato plain, the last few times i had beans along with it, and i'm thinking the combination might have been the problem. my body is still playing catch up, so it might not have been able to handle all that fiber. silly fiber.

 Fear food number one. Conquered.

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Next on my list. Mac and Cheese

matt really wanted me to eat his velveeta mac and cheese with him, but i'm sorry, i still try to avoid the highly processed foods, so he was kind enough to get me my favorite. baby steps.

This one was hard. Now it’s not really the whole pasta fear, although pasta was one thing I did avoid, but I have to document everything I eat and when I ask my nutritionist how I count it on my daily goals, it’s a bit scary to see how much “it takes up”  Also since nothing really seems to keep me full, I still have those thoughts “I’m eating all these calories/carbs and what if I need to eat more an hour later?” I know this is my ED talking, but knowing that does not make the thoughts go away.  That’s the thing I always hated about boxed meals. You can see the calories, and there’s a serving size, so do I only eat 1 cup? But I’m not full, should I go back for seconds?

yes. i ate it out of a coffee mug.

I’ve never been a huge mac and cheese person, so I can’t say this will make a repeating appearance on my menu, but I definitely feel accomplished for eating it, because like I said, there was a lot of anxiety. I suppose that is the whole point of this, to over come fears/anxiety and know that one serving (or two) is not going to alter my body overnight.

Oh to be a kid again when mac and cheese was looked at as just mac and cheese and not looked at as 200 calories/per serving.

Fear food number 2. Conquered. (kind of)

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Next fear food. Mashed Potatoes.

I feel like I kind of cheated on this one.  We had an old box of instant mashed potatoes so I just used those.

My nutritionist said I could use instant, so I guess it’s ok, but I feel like the instant are a bit safer considering I didn’t use butter.

i should have probably indulged and got the pre-made Betty Crocker ones (those use to be a favorite) but again baby steps.

Let’s just say I failed miserably at making instant mashed potatoes.  I guess I put too much liquid in, they were kind of soupy.  So I ended making an upside down vegetarian shepherd’s pie out of it.  It was still pretty tasty, despite the liquid pool at the bottom!

soupy mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, topped with soy crumbles

I added some vegan gravy post-pictures and that made a big difference. I love gravy. Not going to lie.

it actually turned out quite tasty, but again since i really didn't use a fatty mashed potato i feel like i kind of cheated on this one.

That is one thing I’ve noticed myself doing through out my recovery.  Yes I have accepted that I need to eat more, and I do, I listen to my body and every time I feel that twinge of hunger, I will eat, but I feel like I am not committing 100% to the type of foods I need to eat.  I will eat more, but I still keep most of my foods “safe”.  I’m getting almost all my protein and fats from nut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese with the occasional tempeh, tofu or soy product.  Especially lately with all my ruts, it’s gotten a bit worse.  I wonder why I snack so much when my protein for the day came from greek yogurt.

I really really long for the day when these thoughts are gone.  When eating will just be eating. When I can go grocery shopping and not compare calories with 5 of the same products and choose the one that has 10 less per serving.  Because 10 calories really matters. Seriously?

It’s real easy to type all that out, but acting on it is a different story.

Fear food #3. Conquered. (again kind of)

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And last but not least, my last fear food on my list was lasagna, ravioli or tortellini.  Now I knew there were plenty of lasagna recipes out there, ones I could modify to make as healthy and as little calories as I wanted, even noodle less recipes, but I actually wanted to indulge in this one. I choose tortellini.  An old favorite that Matt and I use to frequently have. Why not right? That is the point of this exercise.

i was actually kind of excited to get to eat these. i say get to eat these like i wasn't allowed to before, but that's the way i thought. again the whole packaged food deal just really bothered me, but i am slowly learning to get over that and just to enjoy my food.

Since I felt like I cheated on some of my other fear foods I indulged in this one.  Which I had mixed emotions about.  While I was eating, I was happy. Like I said, we use to eat these all the time and I really enjoyed them, but after I was done eating, the thoughts of  “did I eat too much” “what if I’m hungry in an hour” kicked in. I am really really looking forward to when these thoughts are gone.

served with a side of oven roasted veggies in a tomato basil pasta sauce.

I enjoyed every single bite of this meal.

Fear food #4 conquered. This one for real!

So that was my list and I am actually very proud of myself for doing them all.  Oh how eager I am to please my nutritionist.  Now we just have to wait and see if these foods will make re-occurring appearances on my menu.

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What are you comfort foods?

What are your fear foods?

Have you overcome any of them?

savory girl

I consider myself a really sweet girl. I know I know, thank you thank you.

Well yes, I think I am pretty nice, but what I mean is I prefer sweet over savory.  Which may explain why I could literally have breakfast for all of my meals.  Starting my recovery and having a nutritionist has really changed my eating habits.  Not only do I eat ALL the time now (ugh when will this never ending hunger part be over?), but I also had to expand the foods I was eating.  Which was very hard for me.  Thankfully my nutritionist works with me and my vegetarianism, but I was still forced to focus on making real meals.  Something for the past 9 months I had not been doing.  But the truth of the matter is I’m a snacker, and I like to snack.  But having to get a certain amount of protein, fats and carbs, I now need to make sure that my meals are more balanced.  Which if you don’t have to pay attention to it, it’s quite a task.  I also find that I have to eat foods that I don’t necessary have a taste for, but it’s the “right” thing to eat.  I HATE this.  I feel food is all about enjoyment, enjoying what you put in your mouth and eat what you have a taste for.  So what if you have cereal for dinner, it’s what you had a taste for, it filled you, and you’re satisfied.

this sweet oat bowl of goodness was actually a dinner, but i was in the mood for oats and fruit, my body didn't care what time the clock said, it gave me a craving, and i fulfilled it. but this isn't a "real" dinner. well, my stomach was pretty happy with it.

Now I am in no way shape or form saying I’ll just eat whatever I want and not meet my nutrition goals, because let’s be honest, my main concern and goal is to get healthy again and with that I need to have a balanced diet.  What I am saying is if I want a sweet dinner, and I’ve met my goals, I’m going to have a sweet dinner, that and I can always make up for it in sides and make sure I am getting everything I need into my day.

this was a pretty sweet dinner. but i have all my components. even though this is a soy chocolate pudding panini, i have a banana bread hummus on it for my fat, yogurt on the side for my protein, carbs of course bread, and ok the baby cheese puffs are just for fun.

With all that being said, my main point really is, I can make real meals too. Real to me anyways. This girl can be savory too!  It’s hard to say no to my sweet tooth sometimes, but I have made some pretty tasty savory meals.

yum-tastic lunch and of course random. vegan burger topped with soy pepper-jack cheese and hummus, soy chocolate pudding, veggies with of course ketchup for dipping. yes i like ketchup with my veggies. don't judge.

Ok so that was was sweet and savory.

whole wheat tortilla pizza. layer of pumpkin, hummus, baby spinach, tomato, red/yellow bell pepper, zuchinni and leftover roasted bbq chickpeas. savory heaven.

quinoa stir fry with buffalo chickpeas. i'm obsessed with buffalo and it didn't really "go" with the dish, but it was amazing. i have weird tastes. i know. you should know by now too.

Then there was today. I was totally craving cereal, but the days right after I see my nutritionist (when I seem to have the most sense still in me) I decided against it and made a more savory lunch. It was good, trust me, but it just didn’t quite “hit the spot”.

tofu noodle stir fry with left over chickpeas. simple. savory.

now as tasty as this was, and it was, you can bet your bottom dollar I still had to have a sweet snack when i was done.

Wow I swear I actually don’t eat chickpeas that often, but it looks like I eat them with every meal! I’ve been making a lot of home made hummus which leaves me with only a handful of left over chick peas, which is why I just like to randomly throw them into my meals.  For some reason I have a weird obsession and hate tupperware containers taking up space in my fridge.  That thing is so organized it’s kinda pathetic!

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I can’t help the ruts I get in, and right now it’s a sweet one. But I am truly one of those eaters that can eat the same thing over and over and over. Then I will probably never eat it again. And I really believe that if you don’t satisfy your cravings you will just end up eating more, because even if I eat the “right” things, get my protein, fats, and carbs in, if I’m not satisfied, I’m going to be hungry again.

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Do you make sure you always have a balanced meal?

Do give in to your cravings?

 

 

WIAW #5 – why i ate them

Before we get started make sure to head over to PeasandCrayons and thank the lovely Jenn for making all this possible.

Thanks Jenn! ♥

For this weeks WIAW I decided not to do a complete day of eats, but what some of my favorite meals have been and some of the products that are the reasons why they are so tasty. Because let’s be honest, without amazing products we can not make the amazing meals we eat.

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We have to start the day off healthy.  Gotta take my candy. Then the meals can begin.

everyone needs their vitamins, and the fact that it tastes likes candy make it that much easier to take. love them ♥

And just in case you are interested in what I take, it’s really only the basics.

girls gotta stay healthy.

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Breakfast:

This looks like a simple bowl of cereal with an english muffin on the side. Well I mean it is a bowl of cereal with an english muffin on the side, but there are a few things that make this breakfast extra tasty and worth repeating. No, it's not the cute little monkey plate. I mean, he is super cute and all. All peeking through saying hello.

First off Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise is a great cereal.  Not only does it use natural ingredients, the touch of maple is just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth without being super sugary. And let’s not pretend that I just use regular milk in this cereal. Oh no.  It’s a mix of Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Kefir and Silk Dark Chocolate Almond milk.  I can’t tell you how amazing it makes just a ‘plain ole bowl of cereal’.

The english muffin is Rudi’s – Harvested Seed, these muffins are amazing.  I’ve had a few english muffins in my days and especially being gluten free these really hit the spot.  But the star of the show? Artisana Organic Cacao Bliss.  This stuff is absolutely amazing and I put it on almost everything now. It’s basically chocolate coconut butter. I have never been a huge coconut fan, but I honestly am obsessed with this stuff.  Maybe because it’s chocolate?  I mean, I have always been a fan of chocolate. On the other half,  this jam in blueberry.  It is fabulous.  I’ve tried some of the other flavors, but blueberry by far tops them all.

so what, i like to play with my food ok? I made my english muffin halves face off!

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Lunch:

I can’t take credit for the original concept of this lunch, Tori was my true inspiration.

This lunch is not for the faint of (sweet)hearts. I add so much sweetness (yea I’m pretty sweet) to this meal that it makes me write horrible puns.  But this lunch was so good, it was repeated at least 3 times. Each time improving on the last. And the last, oh the last one is worth writing home about. (I don’t really know that my mom would care about my lunch, so I’ll just write on here about it, I know you care)

Load it up. Soy chocolate pudding, cream cheese, banana bread hummus, half an apple, dash-o-cinnamon. sides? yes please. cottage cheese topped with blueberry jam, rest of soy chocolate pudding, other half of apple for dippins'.

Take a look at that setup.  And what did I use to make this sandwich happen and special.  It might be the soy chocolate pudding by ZenSoy. It’s pretty fantastic.  And I’m not gonna lie; Kalona Super Natural organic cottage cheese, is seriously probably by far the best cottage cheese I’ve had.  I know not everyone is cottage cheese crazy like me, but I love the stuff, and this stuff tops the cottage cheese charts. And what made this particular sandwich better than the rest?  The addition of the banana bread hummus. This sandwich will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Guaranteed.

ooey gooey chocolate goodness. in my mouth. should be in yours too. go make one. don't be shy. it will be messy, you will enjoy it.

I seriously can’t get enough of this sandwich and you can add anything you want to it, add some soy pepper-jack cheese like I did when I made it earlier in the week, you can add banana, chocolate chips, nut butter, jam, go crazy.  That’s the amazing thing about sandwiches and panini’s you can put whatever your little heart desires on them. I won’t judge you.

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Dinner:

I think we have all figured out that I like to throw random things together and call it a meal.

Some on my tastiest meals are made that way and there are a few things I always have on hand that make it possible for me to make these random concoctions.  Whole wheat tortilla pizza’s are one of my favorite things to experiment with and they are so easy to make. The tortilla is like a blank canvas just waiting to be drawn on.

(wow nice metaphor right?)

whole wheat tortilla, layer of pumpkin, layer of garlic hummus, topped with some baby spinach, yellow bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, tomato, soy crumbles and a sprinkle of basil love.

And of course there were some staple go to products that made this delicious pizza possible.

First is the pumpkin. I use Farmer’s Market organic pumpkin, it’s pretty tasty. We all know I ordered a whole case of it. The garlic hummus is from whole foods, now when I make my pizza’s I usually just use whatever hummus I have available, but for this specific pizza I used Cedar’s. I’ve tried multiple flavors and they are all pretty tasty.

pretty nom-tastic if i do say so myself.

The tortilla is actually a local tortilla that I get at my supermarket and I will say the tortilla matters so much in the overall taste of the pizza.  Not sure if it’s available to everyone, but the brand I use is Alejandro’s, they are made in a mexican restaurant in Tucson, AZ. But seriously, they are amazing.

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And last but not least we simply can not forget about all the snackage. Because let’s be real, there’s a lot of it.

one of my prettiest yogurt messes, although this one wasn't much of a mess, but it was one of the best snacks i've had. love me some plain greek yogurt with a mess of toppings. cereal crunch and berry sweetness.

But there are plenty more snacks that make repeating appearances.  What can I say when I find something I like, I eat it until I don’t like it anymore.  I know everyone needs a little variety in their life, but why mess with a good thing?

so much goody snacky yummy in my tummy snacks. sometimes i just snack all day.

Yogurt obsessed? Maybe, I buy a different kind each time I go to the store. Gotta find my favorites, and there have been a few duds (goats milk yogurt? not a win in my book. bleh. but i just had to try it).  But I can always count on my greek yogurt.  Chobani  and Fage plain greek yogurt are my main go to yogurts. They never let me down.  Add a side of Barabara’s Snackimals and you have the best late night snack ever. What add some blueberries? Ok. A little PB&J sushi? Looks cute, tastes better. Thank Jenn at Peas and Crayons for that one. English muffin halves, can’t make up my mind. Synergy get’s me going, love probiotics.  Cottage cheese and jam on a kamut puff cake? Good morning OR good night. You decide.

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So there we have it.  Some of my favorite meals and some of my favorite products.

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What are some of your favorite products?

Is there something you always have to have on hand?

inspirations

August was a rough month. As much as I am a firm believer that all things happen for a reason and things will work out as they are suppose to, it was a hard month to stay positive.  I quit my job and shortly after was diagnosed with an eating disorder.  Although these seem like two very negative things (in reality they are), leaving my job when I did was probably one of the best things I could have done for my recovery.  And Matt making me seek professional help when he did and finally being diagnosed with the eating disorder was probably life saving.  If things did not happen when they happened, I not only wouldn’t have a job, but I probably wouldn’t be alive.  I have grown so much over this last month and have made many positive changes for my life, my health, and my spirit.

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I have also met some amazing people and have made some amazing food.  I want to re-cap my month by acknowledging all the wonderful people and wonderful food that have truly helped me through this recovery process.  The fact that I get to find and share amazing new recipes everyday has given me the opportunity and more desire to want to get healthy again.  I really believe if I did not emerge myself into this community and was stuck eating the same foods I was, I wouldn’t be having the same recovery experience as I am now.  I actually enjoy my food now. Listen to my body. And I don’t count calories.  I think if I stayed in my old routine, with my old foods, I would be way more resistant to following my recovery plan. There are so many great stories out there, some similar to mine, all unique in their own ways, but I feel there is such a positive support system here, that really helps in the recovery process.  At least it has for me.

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So let’s take a look at some of the amazing things that have entered my mouth this month.

(Can you believe it’s only been a month since I started blogging? It seems like it’s been waaayyy longer.)

I bet you guys think I’m going to start with oats. But I’m not! Ha!

First is Nicky at kabochafashionista’s banana bread hummus.

This stuff is amazing. And so is Nicky. She is truly a God sent angel. She has been incredibly supportive and has not only introduced me to amazing new tastes, but insight on my disease as well. Love ya girl!

all i can say is yum. and this doesn't last long in my house.

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It took two attempts, but I also finally mastered Ashley at the edible perspective’s cake batter cashew butter.

Super creamy/sweet/savory delicious.

And cute to look at!

first attempt as cute as those rainbow dinosaurs may look this batch came out pretty thick. my fault for not letting it process long enough. still tasted amazing.

second attempt. oh hello creamy goodness. success!

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I also recently tried…let’s just say a bizarre combination.  But I trust the creator and she typically knows what she’s talking about.  Of course I am talking about the wonderful Miss Tori at FreshFruition. She posted about this and I just had to try it. And you know what. I’m glad I did. Tori, you didn’t give it a name, so I’m just going to call it randomly delicious soy chocolate pudding panini.

soy chocolate pudding, cream cheese, soy pepper-jack cheese. on the side a mini yogurt mess and baby cheesy puffs.

So good I made it again.

soy chocolate pudding, cream cheese, soy pepper-jack cheese and this time i added half an apple with cinnamon. yum. on the side was trader joes greek yogurt topped with fresh strawberries and kiwi.

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Averie at love veggies and yoga introduced me to microwave banana oats.

this little baked goodie is a perfect snack, and i love that i can just stick it in the microwave!

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I also baked muffins! Which is a feat on it’s own because I am NOT a baker. I’ve had way too many muffin disasters in my time, but I had company and baking was requested. To the rescue was Cait at Beyond Bananas with her Very Berry Almond Muffins. This was a muffin success!

these were a huge hit. they were gone in two days.

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And there are plenty more people and recipes.

But the fact is I love this blogging community. I love the openness, the generosity, and the overall sense of welcome and comfort I have received from it. It truly has been a tremendous help in my recovery and my path to being healthy again.

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So has August been a rough month. Yea, maybe.  But I am still a firm believer everything happens for a reason and everything will work out as it should.  If I don’t have that positive attitude and faith, I have nothing and I can’t expect to get healthy.  So September. Bring it on. Because I am a fighter.

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Did you have  a good or bad August?

What are your goals for September?

Has anyone in the blogging world inspired or helped you?