Do You Like That Just Because It’s Healthier?

You might have been asked that question before:

“Do you eat that just because it’s healthier or because you actually think it tastes good?”

I get it. It’s true that the healthier option can leave you longing for the real deal food.

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For example, the following foods are best in their truest, non-“healthified” forms:

  • ice cream and gelato (love you, Arctic Zero, but you’re not ice cream)
  • almost any dessert, for that matter (butter, sugar, flour=♥)
  • cheese (nutritional yeast can never be a creamy brie or sharp cheddar)
  • beef burgers (turkey, chicken, black bean burgers…valiant effort)
  • pasta (spaghetti squash is a vegetable and only a vegetable)
  • peanut butter (PB2 and Better ‘N’ Peanut Butter are travesties)
  • fried fries (baked fries are delicious, but not as delicious. don’t lie.)
  • the whole egg (the chicken gave you the whole egg, let’s be courteous and at least eat a yolk or two)
  • real meat and fish (tempeh, tofu, seitan, beans— eh.)
  • sugar, honey, maple syrup (someone please tell me you sense a weird aftertaste from stevia)
  • milk chocolate (I know a lot of you love dark chocolate, but I gag on that stuff)
  • full fat or 2% yogurt (I don’t want to turn back to sour nonfat)
  • sweetened sunflower seed butter (unsweetened sunflower seed butter is like glue in my mouth)
  • cow’s milk (it’s the cookie’s favorite beverage. almond milk is second place.)

In other words, I do not plan on becoming a vegan any time soon.

But then there some instances in which I genuinely prefer the taste of a healthier food over its less healthy counterpart.

  • natural peanut butter vs. commercial brand
  • whole grain bread vs. white bread (only when it comes to sandwich bread. restaurant bread is a whole ‘nother story!)
  • plain Greek yogurt vs. pre-sweetened yogurt
  • brown rice vs. white rice
  • vegetables vs. other side/snack  (sometimes)

Of course, what I actually eat depends on the day and my mood. But I don’t force feed myself healthy foods just because they’re healthy. I’ve come to trust that my body craves what it needs. If it wants a fresh, crisp salad, I’ll eat it. If it wants a hearty meat dish, I’ll have that.

Sometimes I will be especially mindful of salt and sugar intake if I’ve been eating a lot of either, because too much of those things makes me feel like poop (physically, not so much mentally). In those cases, I might choose the less tasty, healthier versions to bring my blood sugar/sodium levels back to earth.

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I’ll stop talking about food and let you see food!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Yesterday, I ate mostly healthy stuff, because that’s just the way the cookie (Quest bar?) crumbled.

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breakfast peanut butter banana rice pudding with Greek yogurt and chia seeds + strawberries

I was actually craving a smoothie, but I forgot to freeze bananas the night before, so I made this instead. A great choice featuring natural peanut butter and brown rice.

And because this was a pretty sweet breakfast, I wanted mostly savory for snack and lunch.

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mixed nuts — this times ten perhaps

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leftover pulled pork over salad

If I have a salty, saucy meat dish, I love having fresh veggies underneath to soak up the juices and make it taste a little less salty in my mouth.

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For snacks, I like to be satisfied with flavorful things. I chose processed snap pea crisps over the bell pepper strips I was thinking of packing. I also had half a Justin’s vanilla almond butter sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. The hearty, whole grain bread was tasty and kept me full.

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Cheeeeese.

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More salad with brown rice and leftover chicken, because I was lazy. That’s the reason.

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Bell peppers with hummus— now I wanted that crispy freshness to cool down my mouth from the sriracha I put on my salad.

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mint chocolate chip Quest bar (still from Blend swag) with peanut butter

I know. It’s a Quest bar with stevia in it. I still like it, but it will forever only be “dessert”— with quotation marks.

This is real dessert from Monday night:

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vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries and a cinnamon raisin WB Kitchen cookie (which is pretty good, but definitely no oatmeal raisin cookie)

I’m getting some more real ice cream tonight with my friends 🙂

Hope your days are filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice!

So tell me:

Some less healthy foods that cannot be replaced justly.

Some healthy foods that you actually prefer.

What did you have for snacks yesterday? I need some new snack ideas!

Feelin’ Like Wonder Woman

Hello!

I feel so accomplished. I actually buckled down and got some serious work done this weekend, and I’m proud of myself. Now all I have to do is get into the mindset of studying like this every weekend….College is laughing at my face right now.

Even though it was a nicely packed weekend, it was nothing short of marvelous (and full of sunshine)!

MiMM

Katie‘s got the marvelousness all in one spot!

Friday

Once I got home from the gym, I was ready for a hefty snack— one that involved all my favorite things:

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Greek yogurt, apple banana muffin, half a banana, chia, hemp, and peanut butter. Are you tired of seeing this?? I’m not. 😀

Fast forward to 8:30 PM at a restaurant called Bistro Z, for which my mom had a Groupon. Expected. This time, we weren’t just going for our sheer foodie selves! Ben was home for a couple of days, so we wanted to have a farewell dinner with him before he left back to work in Boston for the summer.

Dinner was fantastic and super filling, as all Groupon dinner deals are. I could have been completely content going straight from appetizer to dessert!

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I started with crab cakes because they’re my all time fave. These were awesome!

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I also had a bite of mom’s brie with lingonberry jam on seedy baguette. Fruit and cheese is a match made in heaven.

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For my entree: Griddled polenta tofu cake with black bean ragou and jicama + anaheim chili slaw

When I asked the waiter if he would recommend this, he said: “I’ve never tried it. I only eat real food.” He was half joking, half serious, but I say that this is all “real food”, thankyouverymuch. And it was flippin’ delicious (even though I could only fit a little bit of this in my stomach➔ leftovers for the next day)!

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Apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Just…YES.

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Chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream. Just…meh. Although, chocolate lovers would LOVE this.

Thanks for coming home, Ben. 😉

Saturday

Wake up. Type out to-do list on my Reminders app. GO.

Oh wait, we gotta take a half hour or so for breakfast and Saturday morning Food Network.

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Greek yogurt + hot banana berry oatmeal + a luscious pool of sunflower seed butter

THEN I got started on my homework! I knocked off a bunch of things from my to-do list before noon, which made me feel like Wonder Woman. Is that sad?

Moves: I set my phone alarm to ring every 15-20 minutes so that I could chip away at the 100 challenge (100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups) throughout the day! I also added 10 burpees of different variations every time I took my study break. I love doing this when I have a lot of homework to do because it’s a great way to stay moving (and have an excuse to step away from the work).

After some more AP Calc studying and evening Mass, I came home and had a home-cooked meal thanks to Mom.

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Malaysian chicken, coconut oil sautéed asparagus, and quinoa/wild rice

Mom, can you come to college with me? (<— I might regret that statement later.)

I was thinking of having my usual dried figs with Greek yogurt for dessert, but then my dad pulled out our long lost tub of vanilla bean ice cream from the fridge…

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…and that sounded absolutely fabulous with some fresh fruit. Yumyumyum.

Sunday

This Sunday was my last day of teaching religious education for probably a very long time (since I’m going to college next year). It’s another bittersweet end-of-the-year event for sure. Bitter because I absolutely love sharing my faith with the little munchkins, and sweet because, let’s be honest, third graders wear me out. But it was definitely more of a bitter goodbye with notes like these from my students:

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*sniff* It’s incredibly humbling to get such sweet notes from them because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m also still an inexperienced child learning more and more every day just like them. I give them whatever I have, and I can only pray that they’re walking away with something from the class.

Alright, moving on from the sappy stuff. Let’s take a look at this phantasmagoria of fruit that my mom assembled:

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Yup, I just said phantasmagoria. Look it up and add it to your daily vocabulary to see how many weird looks you get 😉

I had a 3-hour practice AP Calc exam on the agenda yesterday, but I wanted to let out some energy before I sat down for the torture...wait yes, torture.

The weather was gorgeous, so I knew I had to take my moves outdoors! I warmed up with 50 squat jumps, mountain climbers, and side lunge jumps, and then completed this KILLER 18-minute plank workout from Purely Twins. I just don’t get how Lori and Michelle do it with such ease. If you don’t think planks can’t make you huff and puff, I dare you to try this workout. It will actually make you feel like Wonder Woman/Superman.

After getting some exercise and fresh air, I ate lunch, showered, and hit the books. The practice exam was alright I guess. I sorta failed on the short answer part (my utter weakness), but I’m just glad I did it so that I know what to study and how to pace myself for the real exam on WEDNESDAY!!!

And there’s my weekend for ya! If I only I had the willpower and self-discipline to feel like Wonder Woman every weekend. But even superheroes need a break, right?

I hope you all have a marvelous Cinco de Mayo!

So tell me:

Best thing you ate this weekend?

What/Who do you feel like when you accomplish a lot?

Do you use a fancy word in your daily vocabulary? 

WIAW: Friday During Lent

Ciao!

As you are reading this, I am either sleeping in or meandering around Little Italy, hopefully eating some gelato or pasta. My Italian class has a field trip there today, and we don’t have to go into school since we’re just meeting at the train station at 9 AM. Booyahhhh!

Well Lent is coming to a close in a little over a week, but before the Hallelujah’s emerge and the lambs start leaping, there are still a couple of Fridays that involve abstinence from meat. I’ve mentioned this before, but going meatless is not much of a sacrifice for me since I love fish and eggs and Greek yogurt so much (maybe too much). Thus, I’ve made it a personal thing to also give up nut butter on Fridays, because THAT is a sacrifice for me. As you may know. So for this WIAW, I’m showing you all what I ate last Friday!

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Jenn‘s blog is where the party’s at!

Breakfast

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Fantastic green smoothie with milk, ½ frozen banana, ~1 c. frozen tropical fruit, ¼ c. oats, a big handful of spinach, chia seeds, half a scoop of vanilla protein powder, and coconut oil! Greek yogurt for spoon dipping. 

I got the idea of adding coconut oil to my smoothie from Robyn, and I thought it would be a great way to add some healthy fats in place of my usual nut butter. MAN was it delicious. The hint of coconut aroma and added creaminess…Just do it.

Snack

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‘Chios (pistachios).

Kristi and I decided to write messages and draw dinosaurs on the shells because business calc is all about food, right?

Lunch

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Hodgepodge: white cheddar popcorn, soft boiled egg, veggies and hummus

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Cashews a couple hours later

I’m actually a fan of this snacky lunch! A little bit o’ this, a little bit o’ that. Badda bing, badda boom. Fuggedaboudit.

I’m in Little Italy— just let me say that this one time.

Snack

Apparently, I’m not civilized enough to put things into bowls or cups…

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Greek yogurt with pineapple, banana, and cereal

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Pineapple juice. Keepin’ it classy with a straw straight into the container. 😀

Dinner

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Avocado toast with a soft boiled egg, s+p, and sriracha. I had to eat this on the go to pick up my friends for Legally Blonde!

Dessert

dried figs and greek yogurt

You definitely guessed it. 3 dried figs with Greek yogurt. {recycled photo}

And even though I didn’t eat these on Friday, can we just admire the dark, sweet juiciness of these strawberries my mom bought from Sam’s Club a couple days ago?

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Like a jewel. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

What do you eat on meatless days? 

Which food do you usually eat every day without fail?

Have you ever added coconut oil to your smoothies?

What is the best in-season fruit you’ve eaten so far?

 

 

WIAW: School Day Eats

Amidst the hectic world of school, college applications, dance, etcetera, I try to keep my food choices healthy and real. I definitely miss the liberty of preparing meals all day in the kitchen, taking the time to be creative and colorful with my food. I would totally spend my Sunday prepping some homemade energy bars, healthy muffins, or other things filled with superfoods of the world, but that usually can’t happen (or, let’s be real, I’m just not in the mood). Thus, some lots of Wheat Thins and oatmeal bars with long lists of ingredients are eaten more often, but I’m not stressin’ over it. Otherwise….I would be stressed. Duh. I still like to keep my eats as whole as possible, but I’m not completely against convenience foods even if they’re not THE best choices. Being mindful doesn’t have to mean being super strict.

Here are some things that I still do regularly to help myself out:

  • prepare sandwiches for lunch on the weekend + pack lunch/snacks the night before
  • think about what I’m going to have for breakfast (partially because it’s my favorite meal and I get excited for it)
  • have some convenient fruits and vegetables on hand (bananas, apples, carrots, broccoli, etc.)
  • make sure I have enough healthy snacks with me at school or dance so that I don’t reach for a bag of chips or a cookie out of desperation (<–that sounds a lot more serious than it really is…)
  • even if I can’t take my kitchen with me everywhere, it’s nice to have the fridge and pantry stocked with real foods for when I DO have time to prepare meals at home

Of course, I’m still a high school student, and I am grateful that my parents and brother provide much of this for me. We’ll talk about surviving college when we cross that bridge. I am also very fortunate to have a mom that prepares and cooks a bunch of healthy foods that are quick to reheat or grab-and-go. She has helped me make my sandwiches this week, she hard boiled some eggs, and her Korean bbq makes for some delicious leftovers!

With all that being said, here is a look at a typical day of school and after-school eats. You all know I love Jenn’s WIAW parties!

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7:00 Breakfast

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Rice Krispies and PB Puffins + banana with pepita sunseed butter

8:00 School starts. Work work. Scribble scribble. Use the noggin.

10:00 Snack

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Corazonas Blueberry Oatmeal Square

11:50 Lunch

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Tuna sandwich + unpictured Golden Delicious apple

More school. Chorus after school. Homework.

3:50 Snack

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Carrots and Wheat Thins with hummus

Homework.

5:15 Snack

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Finishing a tub of Greek yogurt with some banana slices

6:00-8:00 Ballet. Plie, pirouette, jump, stretch.

8:40 Dinner

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Avocado toast with HB egg + spinach, roasted red pepper, egg salad

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Made possible by our nifty egg slicer!

Homework.

9:20 “Dessert?”

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Figs dipped in Greek yogurt

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I’ve been having this sweet and filling snack almost every night for the past month or two. It’s just SO GOOD. We’re down to the last handful or so of dried figs, and I honestly think I’ve polished off this bag by myself. I have around three every night, and I might just cry when I finish them because we can only find these kind at Costco in Florida! Yes, we have found other brands of dried figs, but these Calimyrna ones are just so perfect and plump even though they’re dried. My mom bought dried apricots but they’re just not the sameeeeee. You are probably snoring at my whining about wrinkly, dry, brown fruits. I’m done.

Actually, I should probably try making these muffins from Amanda soon. They look BOMB.

Happy hump day! (The guys at my school go around yelling this in their obnoxious loud voices. The camel commercial is popular. As if you didn’t know ;))

So tell me: What have you been eating lately? What do you grab to eat on your busy days? Do you love dried figs like me?