the good and the bad

Hello Hello luffs.

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So let’s skip the small talk. This post is serving a double purpose.

I of course have to check in for the wonderful Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday, but I also had a recent occurrence that really got me thinking, that I think is also worth sharing.

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Monday was the first day (of my last class!!) and we had two surgeries scheduled right off the bat. To say the least it was a bit hectic.

To set the scene we typically all leave our bags in a separate lab during surgeries. After the second surgery was complete (class was not over, we were still recovering the patient) I left to go to the room to get a drink of my water. In entering the room I noticed my back pack was no longer on the lab table. Everyone elses seemed to be untouched, bags/purses all in the lab where others had left them. Now granted this was April Fool’s Day as well, so I did a quick sweep of the lab to see if someone had just hid my bag. No such luck. I then went back into the surgery room to question everyone if a joke was being played or if my bag was really gone.

Guess what, my bag was really gone. Turns out only one other girls purse was missing (which was soon found outside the women’s bathroom), but all the cash from her wallet was taken. My whole back pack was still missing. Immediately I thought, why mine? Why just mine? And then crap my car keys are in there.

To make a long story short, another student ended up finding my back pack outside her apartment, which was located near the school. I had also had about $100 in my back pack (it was birthday money just stored away, I know stupid of me to have that much money on me) which was taken.

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I bring this up because I was surprisingly calm during the whole situation. And it really showed me how I’ve grown and how I am now able to handle a stressful situation without completely freaking out. A few years ago I probably would have thought my world was over, proclaiming “why me??” “the world is so unfair” “what am I going to do???” But I was so proud of myself for taking the negative situation and finding the positives. It was only material things, some money, but nothing of true value had been taken from me. The biggest part of this was not the money gone, but the violation of the situation, how vulnerable it made me feel, and the fact that I was singled out.

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But I am truly proud of myself for being able to be positive and instead of crying over what was going wrong, I tried to find ways I could fix the situation. (now don’t get me wrong, if I find out who did this, there will be a few words, but for now there is nothing I can do.)

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But now let’s get to the more fun stuff. The food stuff.

What better way to start a day after a horrible day then overnight OIAJ.

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I truly believe oats just taste better when eaten from a jar.

This jar happened to have an insane amount of peanut butter left in it (purposely of course) and it was so so so delish.

I am seriously addicted to my TVP prOATs and this time I added the cookies and cream Plant Fusion and also a little vanilla nut butter extract.

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I of course had to add my typical frozen banana and berries. I swear I can’t have oats without a frozen banana.

I actually recently got asked why it has to be frozen. I honestly just like cold things. Maybe it’s a texture thing, maybe it’s a taste thing. Maybe it’s just a thing. But I love them. I add them to the bottom and the top.

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Just so you get the idea of how much peanut butter and how many times I’ve had TVP/prOATs for breakfast. Here is another delicious jar I recently enjoyed.

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I may or may not be consuming extra peanut butter just so I can have jars. It’s a tough life. I know.

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I finally caved and bought strawberries. They tempt me every time I walk into the store, but when it comes to fruit I always fight with myself because half the time I don’t consume it fast enough before it goes bad (which as I’m sure you know is pretty quickly). Matt always says he will help me and eat it, but never does (he always does this with blueberries. we go to the store. he has to have them. then he doesn’t eat them)

I’m glad I got the strawberries though.

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Sometimes simplicity is the best. A simple Rudi’s Whole Wheat English muffin topped with Click protein frosting and fresh strawberries.

This was such a simple breakfast, but seriously so amazing.

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You know what else is amazing?

Friends. Family. Love. Support.

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Since I didn’t do an Easter re-cap here are a few scenes from my weekend.

It started with a pedicure date with some of the ladies from my class.

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These girls keep me sane. I am so thankful to have them.

Then it was off to Matt’s parents for Easter lunch.

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But not before Delilah and I got our coffee fix.

Then it was a battle for the Easter candy.

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I won.

My prizes.

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I think moments like these make me able to overcome the moments mentioned previously.

Yes we have bad and unfortunate events in our lives, but I truly believe the good moments over come them and create that balance.

There will always be good and bad, but let’s cherish the good and not dwell on the bad.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week, I’m not letting this bump in my road get me down.

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How do you deal with bumps in your road?

marvelous protein power

Hello my loves.

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Another week survived. And another weekend over (way too quick if you ask me)

But even though time flies when you want it to slow down, there is still so much marvelous-ness in it.

Is that even a word? Well it is today, since we are taking the time to be Marvelous In Our Monday’s with the beautiful Katie.

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Because guys you will be so proud of me.

Let’s go back to last week.

This happened Thursday for my quiz.

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Let’s just say there were three very happy girls that day.

And then this happened Friday.

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You had one very happy girl.

That would be me!

Now, I will say this. My teacher. She’s pretty cool. And she prepares us for our tests. No she doesn’t give us the answers, but she does take care of us and makes sure we focus on the right things. But when there are 100+ bacteria thrown at us, that’s very much appreciated. Regardless, I am still very proud of myself, because I did study my little butt off.

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But I’ll get off my marvelous pedestal and instead put others on that pedestal.

Because there are a few as of late that deserve it.

Being a true foodie, I am obsessed with trying new products. I can’t help it, I see something that intrigues me, I have to try it. I am also such a monkey see monkey do. If something sweeps the blog world, more than likely I have to try it. #foodieproblems.

There are a few products that I had seen floating around that caught my eye, so I of course had to try them.

I’m so impressionable it’s ridiculous.

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The first one that I really think I am officially addicted to is Click Espresso Protein Drink.

Seriously. I am in love with this product.

I have seriously put this stuff into everything.

But two that are the most note worthy.

First

Chocolate Mocha Oats

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In the mix:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop Mocha Click Protein Powder

5-7 drops Liquid Stevia

Topped with your favorite oat toppings.

I chose melted coconut butter and peanut butter and a sprinkle of granola love.

This was one bowl of amazing-ness.

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But the most simple amazing delicious use for this product?

Simple Protein Frosting

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All this is, is the protein powder mixed with water.

That’s it.

And you have an amazing mocha protein frosting.

It can simply be put on an english muffin (Rudi’s Multigrain with Flax being my absolute favorite choice)

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Or on top of an oatmeal pancake.

This time I mixed it with some almond milk to make it a bit thicker.

Seriously amazing both ways.

Really any way.

Did I mention I am obsessed with this product?

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 But moving on.

We all know I have a bit of a bar obsession.

So when I had the opportunity to try Promax Fit N Crisp I was a bit excited.

I had heard good things about these bars from other bloggers, so I had pretty high expectations.

After researching a bit more about the product, my expectations rose even higher. The fact that they are vegetarian, gluten free, and does not use any artificial sweetener is a win in my book. Sugars in protein bars is always a big concern with me.

When I got the bars I was intrigued to see they looked more like crispy treats than your typical protein bar. Not a bad thing. Just different.

The first flavor I tried was the Cinnamon Crunch.

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Shocker, I loved it.

No really, I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this bar.

I mean this girl. Cinnamon. Always a win, but it definitely exceeded my expectations in the flavor department.

It tasted more like a treat than a protein bar. Which sometimes can be good and bad, but remember I told you they use no artificial sweeteners and 13g of protein? This bar was awesome. Perfect brain food snack.

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The next flavor was Vanilla Marshmallow.

Protein rice krispy treat anyone?

Again, it didn’t remind me of a typical protein bar.

Again, I loved it.

Overall, I was really impressed with these bars and I wish I had more of them. I will have to try and find them somewhere near me. I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for them too, they are worth a try!

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Well loves, those are just a few of the tasty things I have been munching on lately, and if you get the opportunity I highly recommend both of them.

And if you have a few seconds shop around and see what else Click and Promax have to offer!

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What’s your opinion of protein bars? Favorites?

Do you use protein powder? How?

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(Disclaimer: I was provided samples of these products, but was not compensated for my review. The opinions are my own.)

 

wiaw 39 – let’s get fruity

Hello loves!

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As the title says, let’s get fruity! I am been on such a fresh fruit kick lately, it’s been a bit ridiculous.

Ridiculous in the best way possible of course.

I mean really how can you go wrong with fruit?

Now I still love my veggies, don’t get me wrong, but there is something about summer and warm weather that makes me crave everything fruit.

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So since it is that time of the week. Oh yes, What I Ate Wednesday time, I thought I would show case some of my lovely meals and snacks that include fruit. Because there have been a lot of them.

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I have also oddly enough been on a cereal kick as well.

I took a huge break from it, and I guess my body missed it. Craved it. I gave in to it.

But you can’t just have a plain ole bowl of cereal.

That would be boring. And we don’t like to be boring around here.

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This was a yogurt mess of a cereal bowl. And topped with what? Of yes. Tons of fruit.

There was a Chobani vanilla greek yogurt in there, topped with a mix of cereals, frozen banana, fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. A lovely drizzle of PB2 to top it off.

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Ready for your close up? Super goodness right there.

This bowl was so good, it had to be repeated a few days later.

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This one was pretty tasty as well. Instead of greek yogurt, I made a cottage cheese mess. Topped with of course a mesh of cereals, frozen banana, strawberries, raspberries, and you guessed it, a peanut butter drizzle.

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Close up of goodness right there.

This doesn’t get old.

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More fruity goodness?

Oh yes.

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Rudi’s english muffin topped with vanilla protein frosting, topped with banana and blueberries.

Simple goodness right there. I’m telling you.

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Have you seen enough cereal messes yet?

I didn’t think so.

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I spy cinnamon Puffins! Topped with Chobani raspberry greek yogurt, banana, and a sprinkle of heaven peanut butter and jelly granola.

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Ok enough enough already. I know.

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I hope you enjoyed all my cereal goodness, because I sure have.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

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Do you put anything on top of you cereal or just cereal and milk?

What’s your favorite cereal topper?

What’s your favorite cereal? I obviously can never decide of just one.

a sigh of relief

Hello Loves

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I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  Mine has been extremely great! Good news all around!  One thing I can not make public yet, but as soon as I can I will be sure to fill you in! It is super exciting and I smile just thinking about it!

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But what I can share with you is Matt and I found a new apartment!!

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I know it may not seem like a huge deal, but we have been looking for sometime now and nothing just seemed to fit.  Unfortunately, our budget is way lower than it was, due to me not working and going back to school, and the area we were looking is the “fancier side of town” if you will.  But we are moving in order to be closer to Matt’s work and get me a bit closer to school, because gas prices are just killing us.  It doesn’t help that Matt drives a truck!  So we kind of needed to look in that area.  Well we finally found a great place, tons of space and the price was so much lower than everything else we had been looking at.  Also, one of Matt’s co-workers lives there, and she has been happy with the place, so that is a bit re-assuring as well.

I’m kind of bummed to be going back to the apartment living though.  We definitely got spoiled with our townhouse and our amazing landlords. But again, these times just call for us to do things we don’t really want to do, and it won’t be forever and I think this place will be nice for the time being.  I love moving and making new spaces my own! So I am excited for that at least!

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The day of apartment hunting was a long one! I had to volunteer that morning at the animal clinic and  was going to meet Matt at the apartment right after.

I knew my morning was going to be long, so I did what any normal person does.

Make the most random breakfast ever.

english muffin with the most random combination toppings ever.

I’m not indecisive or anything.  Sometimes when I can’t decide what sounds good, or make up my mind on what I want, it all ends up on my plate.

This started with a Rudi’s english muffin half topped with Trader Joe’s fig butter, topped with Chobani blueberry greek yogurt.

The other half ended up being topped with cranberry/blueberry preserves that my foodie pen pal got me (amazing) topped with my banana bread hummus.

Ok this batch of banana bread hummus was one of the best I have made. I sort of started “winging” it and found a few great combinations.

This batch was:

-1 large ripe banana

-1 – 15oz can chickpeas (rinsed)

- approx 1 tbsp vanilla extract

- approx 1 tsp almond extract

- 1 squirt maple syrup (yes I measure in squirts, totally acceptable)

- sprinkle or two of cinnamon (again, totally acceptable form of measurement)

Blend, blend, blend.

This batch was seriously amazing. The almond really adds to the taste, just have to be careful not to overdo it because it can become over-powering very quickly.

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So after signing the paperwork for our new place (!!!), Matt and I did a quick lunch at Subway. I was going to take a picture, but the guy basically demolish my sub and it was just not as photogenic. But it was tasty. Sometimes Subway just hits the spot for me. Today was one of those days!

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Matt and I then headed to Total Wine and More (may or may not have done some free wine tasting) and picked up a build your own 6-pack for celebration.

So the couch. My love. Some good beer. And relaxation that our house hunt is over is where I’m headed tonight.

Today has been good. Long. But good.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

Relax. Enjoy.

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Do you like house/apartment hunting? Soooo glad it’s over!

Do you like decorating new spaces? Pinterest here I come!!

september round up

Oh my gosh guys can you believe September is already gone? It seriously flew by so quickly.

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So much has happened with me over the last month.  I feel like I have been making so much progress with my eating disorder and am starting to feel so much better!  (Here’s how pathetically excited I get over my progress, Matt and I went to Petsmart the other day to get dog food and I was actually able to carry the 17lb bag!  For me that was a huge accomplishment, because I had gotten so thin and lost so much muscle that I use to have to physically lift my legs to get into a car.  So the fact that I can lift a 17lb bag, and not fall over, was a huge accomplishment.  Matt and I were both pretty excited.) Not that it is desirable to be under weight, but I am kind of dreading when I can’t “eat whatever I want, whenever I want”.  After restricting for about a year you don’t know how nice it is to actually be able to enjoy food again.  However I know some of these eating habits I will have to watch because I do not want a new problem of over eating.

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But on to a lighter note!  I wanted to re-cap on some of my favorite things that I’ve discovered and some things I am looking forward to for October.

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Let’s talk about some recent loves.

yes i know it's just ketchup, but i have been obsessed with oven roasted veggies dipped in this ketchup. i.love.it.

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there have been lots of this action going on lately. i know. way to take something healthy and salt and sugar it up. owell. you win some you lose some and you only live once.

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Another recent love obsession is Cacao Bliss Chocolate Coconut Butter.

oh.my.gosh.

This stuff is seriously amazing and I think for a week I had it everyday.

on top of oats? check.

on top of english muffins? oh yes. (hello ketchup)

I am not even a huge coconut person, but there is just something about this stuff I can’t get enough of!

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And another recent discovery.

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Love them!  I’ve tried the ginger root beer and regular cola and just bought the black cherry.  This is a great alternative for you diet coke addicts!

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And what am I looking forward to in October?

First thing I am so excited about it Halloween! But I think that is a given with a lot of people.

I love fall. I love Halloween. I just love holidays!

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Halloween has always been a favorite though. Something about dressing up is just always fun.  Regardless of how old you are! I guess it gives you an excuse to be a kid again!

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Another thing that happens in October around here?

Tour De Fat

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Matt and I went last year and it was so much fun! So many bikes!

This year we are totally dressing up! And I am totally going to wear a tutu.

Yes sometimes I like to dress like a 5 year old!

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And speaking of bikes, that is another thing I am so excited for October. Our weather is finally cooling down.  Which means I can ride my bike more! (Again another huge accomplishment that I can finally even ride my bike again)

i wish i had a cool basket like this on my bike

I love riding my bike and if I can ride it instead of driving I will.

I don’t however like when cars don’t pay attention and hit me though. Which happens a lot around here. I swear Arizona houses the worst drivers of the world. It is one of the main things I hate about it here, people can not drive. And they don’t care.  People are just kind of overall mean here. One of the reasons I want to move again. Just not my vibe. I really feel like I am too nice to be living here.

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So those are some of my recent favorites. I do however love this time of the year in Arizona.  It  reminds me why we moved here. No snow. 70 degree winters. Can’t beat it.  I’ll need to remember this come next summer when its 115 degrees again.

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What are you looking forward to in October?

Have you already picked out your Halloween costume?

What are you current favorite things?

pumpkin peanut butter

After making Katie’s delicious banana peanut butter, I found myself thinking of other things I could mix in to my beloved nut butters.  Not that nut butters really need anything added to them, their delicious as is.

But of course my mind went straight to pumpkin.  Because let’s be honest, I’ve been a little pumpkin crazy lately.  It has been finding it’s way into quite a few of my meals.  I’m not complaining though.

So I decided to whip up a small little batch of pumpkin peanut butter.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1-2 tbsp your choice of nut butter (I used almond butter)

1 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

I just mixed this with a spoon in a bowl, but if you wanted to throw it in a mini food processor you could probably do that.  You could also add a little maple syrup if you want it more sweet.

creamy goodness

This would be good on toast or bagels, and it may even make an appearance on one of my soy panini’s.  I’ve actually been dipping my dates and random pieces of fruit in it. Delish.

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Another delish moment was this morning with breakfast.

what? another oiaj? peanut butter and jelly oats to be exact. i just can't help it when the opportunity presents itself.

It was national coffee day so of course I had to have my one three cups of coffee.

topped with justin's honey peanut butter, banana slices and a sprinkle of cocoa cherry granola

I know I am suppose to switch my meals up, but I can’t help it. I love oatmeal.  I wish it kept me a bit fuller, but I just can’t help how much I enjoy it.  That and peanut butter.  It really is a shame that you can’t eat endless globs of it.  Well I guess you could, but you know what I mean.

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My lunches are getting more random with each passing day.  I am still finding it so hard to stay full and satisfied which is frustrating me beyond belief.  I am told I am still in a stage where I need to eat “more than normal” I guess, but that doesn’t help with the emotional side of freaking out over the amount of food I am consuming.  Coming from someone who was a habitual calorie counter it is so hard to not look at a meal and think oh.my.gosh. that is so much.  And not that I really want to admit this, but when you use to restrict yourself to 1000 calories/day and then go to eating 1000 by lunch.  Really messes with you.

So look at this place of randomness.

wow look at this random mess. am i pregnant or something? talk about weird combos.

And this made me giggle.

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Tee Hee.  I’m weird. Not that weird.

english muffin half with chocolate coconut butter, half with chocolate peanut butter and TJ's blueberry jam, a carrot, roasted broccoli and cauliflower and of course TJ's ketchup.

I basically was just trying to find things that I thought would tide me over. As weird as this plate looks…it was pretty tasty.  Separately.

Sometimes I think if you have cravings and can’t make up your mind on sweet or savory…why not both?

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Do you ever make random breakfast/lunch/dinner plates?

What were some of your weirdest/random combinations?

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?