Tag: clean food

A Long-Winded Note on –  Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

A Long-Winded Note on – Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

I don’t know about you, but family holidays always seem to spark my anxiety around food, which if you think about it, this seems counterintuitive to the point of Thanksgiving in the first place.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when and where this anxiety around food during the holidays started, but if I had to guess, I’d say back in high school during my, where we were just beginning to be introduced to social media and the “diet culture”.  Leading up to and following the holidays, you’d see “shedding for the holidays”, or “stay skinny this thanksgiving”, or “how to shed 10 pounds before and after the holidays”. It’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid. It’s no wonder high-schoolers’ (and probably even middle schoolers’) get roped into this mindset so early. They’re still young, impressionable, and heavily influenced by social media. I’m sure I’m not alone here, regardless of whether you’ve had an on and off relationship with food. This frame of thinking is basically engraved into everyone at one point or another.

Each year, I make it an effort to enjoy the time with my family and be PRESENT rather than feeling overwhelmed by thoughts around food, working out, looking good in my holiday outfit, and so on. Some years are successful and some years I find myself still consumed by these thoughts. The difference between past years and now is that I’m in a much better place mentally. Being a food blogger, it’s easy to feel consumed by food all the time. Constantly thinking about your next meal whether it’s for lunch that day or what you’ll be eating for breakfast on the weekend. Finding that balance between feeling controlled by food vs. just cooking and photographing out of pure joy/passion can be difficult, but it IS possible. I think the biggest challenge for me was eating to feel satiated. As I’ve discussed in the past, I’ve tried so many different diet and health-food trends, hoping that one would be the right fit for me. Unfortunately, none of them left me feeling satisfied and only had me craving more since I wasn’t getting the RIGHT food and nourishment for what my body needed.

I’d try to mimic the pretty food I saw on Instagram, which sometimes meant giant smoothie bowls loaded with fruit, almond butter, and granola. Sure, this tasted REALLY good and it was super filling at the time (I still think it should be enjoyed every now and then, the difference being that I’m now AWARE of how these ingredients will affect my cravings. I can still make a smoothie bowl, but the ingredients I choose to use may be different than what I would throw in, in the past). But was it really giving me the proper nutrition that I needed? Even after starting my morning with giant smoothie bowls, I couldn’t stop eating at night. None of it made sense to me. It wasn’t until recently where I started to really think about each plate at every meal. Was I getting proper protein, healthy fats, veggies, superfoods, fiber, etc? How much FRUIT (and additional sugar) was I consuming throughout the day? Was I eating enough calories? Did I need to adjust based on my workouts?

What I found was that a) I was running A LOT. Being a runner my whole life, I was used to logging a lot of miles and I “used” to be able to eat a lot of food to replenish. However, just like anything else that you do day in and day out, it can get mundane and your body starts to adapt. And b) though I was running anywhere from 5-8 miles about 4-5 times a week, I wasn’t burning as many calories as I used to. Yet I came home STARVING all the time and would likely overeat because that’s what I thought my hunger signs were telling me.

Fast forward to January 2017, post 200hr yoga teacher training. After 17 intensive days of pure yoga and little to no running, my body changed, but in a good way. I hadn’t seen results like this in SO LONG. I LOVED yoga and sadly, running became something I started to resent because it usually meant me hammering miles (and breaking down my body) to make up for all of the food I would consume. It became a vicious cycle and this small realization opened up a new way of looking at fitness. At the end of the day, I think that running is still a great way of getting some cardio in, but I’m not as tied to it as I used to be. Honestly, I probably run 1x a week now, if that. I’ve finally found a workout routine that makes me feel amazing, challenges my body (and mind), and the best part, I actually LOOK FORWARD to it! I share this bit because I feel for me, my relationship to fitness and food go hand-in-hand. The second I started to embrace working out as something that made me feel good, instead of looking at it as a way to punish my body, more positive thoughts around food started to fall in place.

I started craving foods that would truly nourish my body. I started understanding the science behind food & fitness. I became interested in the research. I invested time into listening to podcasts and reading; anything from body positivity, to spirituality, to nutritionists that covered everything from paleo, to plant-based, to keto, to grain-free / gluten-free, and everything in between. I started looking at everything with an open mind, ditched the “food labels”, and began to understand how different lifestyles worked for different people. I found it significantly helpful to understand the science & research behind all of these “health trends” so that I could pull bits of each to find what works well for me. It’s funny too because I’ve always been into following different health trends out there, but what happened, was that I would get too consumed by that particular one and closed off to the idea that maybe that lifestyle wasn’t the best for ME, even though it appeared that so and so on Instagram seemed to be incredibly happy following that lifestyle. 

My point to all of this is that this whole “wellness” thing is a journey. It’s trial and error. It’s accepting that we’re ALL different and have different needs. It means being open minded and accepting that health trends come and go for a reason. At the end of the day, it always seems to come back to eating wholesome, unprocessed food and finding a healthy, balanced workout routine that makes you feel good from the inside, out. Though I’ve found a more “balanced” way of living, this doesn’t mean that I’m throwing all concepts of healthy eating out the door when it comes to the holidays. If I REALLY want that dessert full of butter, I’ll eat it. BUT, I know that after I go for that, my body feels like shit. And I truly hate feeling like SHIT. This is the same reason why I choose to rarely drink alcohol. It makes me feel awful and for me, it’s not worth getting drunk to feel like crap the entire next day. Personally, it comes down to this: do I REALLY want that dessert or is it knowing that I’m allowing myself the option to grab it, that makes me deny it all together?

Here’s the other thing. I feel JUST as satisfied making my own dessert that I know tastes just as good, if not better, and is full of real ingredients and no refined sugars. Sometimes I get asked the question, “do you REALLY think that healthy dessert of yours tastes just as good as this store-bought cheesecake?” and my answer is always yes. This type of question used to drive me crazy. Why can’t others just accept that I actually enjoy healthy food? At the end of the day, you’re not going to please everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. I still have balance and a healthy relationship with food, even if I still choose to go for my healthier dessert option. The difference in all of this is where my head and mental state is at. I can honestly say I’m truly in a better place. Not every day is perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than where it used to be. It’s all about progress, not perfection!

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

I’m absolutely so grateful for all of you!

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Paleo & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Loaf with Toasted Coconut

Can you believe thanksgiving is ALREADY right around the corner?! I swear one week we were hitting low 70’s in October and the next thing I knew, I’m breaking out the parka jacket and cranking the heat in my car. Instead of complaining about the cold (which I’ve already done a fair share of LOL), I’m doing my best to embrace the “colder” days with open arms. How? BAKING. Now, if you know me, I’m not much of a baker. I hate following meausurements which typically gets me in trouble anytime I try to bake and “eyeball” how much flour or baking soda to add.

However, if you catch me in RARE form, I occasionally get the itch to bake, mostly because I’m craving something sweet, warm, and healthy to have on hand for dessert. Otherwise, I can promise you, I will not be baking just for FUN 🙂  In order to make baking more enjoyable for me, it’s super essential that I always have some staple baking ingredients on hand. Bobs Red Mill has ALWAYS been one of my go-to’s. Thanks to a recent delivery I got from them, I’m now ALL stocked up and ready to take the winter by storm (no pun intended)!

If you dread going outside in the dead of winter, I recommend having a few of the following staples on hand which you can always use interchangeably!

Flours/Powders all from Bob’s Red Mill:

Coconut flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, ground flax meal, carob or cacao powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, gluten-free oats (blend in food processor to make oat flour)

Additional Baking Staples:

Refined sugar-free sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, date nectar, coconut nectar, organic vanilla bean); Coconut oil; Baking Powder; Eggs; Cinnamon; Himalayan Salt; and Almond Butter, Apple Sauce, or Mashed Banana as a thickener

Now to this recipe that I think will please EVERYONE at your thanksgiving gathering!

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Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Carob powder (or can substitute with cacao powder)
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill ground Flax Seed Meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Primal Palate Gingersnap seasoning

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (Whole Foods no salt/sugar added)
  • 1/3 cup d’vash organics date nectar (honey or maple syrup work well too!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup organic apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup mashed banana (~ 1 medium banana)
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (I used frozen cherries and defrosted them in microwave / then drained extra liquid)

Additional/Optional Toppings:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (if you like the taste of toasted coconut, I totally recommend this!)
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Walnuts or Pecans

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Directions:

Set oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat a tin loaf pan with either coconut oil or parchment paper. (I used a 10 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ x 3″ metal loaf pan).

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients will with a fork. Set this aside and grab a separate bowl to mix all of your wet ingredients (EXCEPT FOR THE CHERRIES) together. Blend very well. You can then combine your dry ingredients into your bowl of wet ingredients. Again, blend very well so that everything is evenly dispersed. Finally, fold the cherries (and optional chocolate chips or crushed nuts) into the batter. Mix well.

Pour batter evenly into loaf pan. Sprinkle with shredded coconut (and/or optional crushed nuts). Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes (or longer if necessary). Top should be a little hard when done and you should be able to stick a fork in the center without it coming back all gooey!

Let cool for 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!!

 

This post is not paid for by Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product and that is it. I simply just love their products and would use them in baking regardless!

“the only thing I like better than talking about food, is eating.”

And yet another post on some of the deliciousness from this past week! I’ve included all recipes and pictures as well! Enjoy and let me know what you think! ALSO, if you haven’t already and you are on instagram, start following my account at @Eatrunandallinbetween !! And…if you have an iPhone, but have not installed the instagram app…DO IT, you won’t regret it! That way you’ll get a constant day-to-day update of all my yummy foods! : ) One last thing…keep a look out for my next post on the Valentines Day dish I’ll be cooking for my boyfriend tomorrow night. I would have posted the recipe here…but it’s a surprise!

Here are some nutritious Breakfast options…
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In a bowl, MIX together:
~1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~2 Egg Whites
~1 scoop of 365 Vanilla Whey Protein
~About 1 teaspoon of baking soda
~1 mashed Banana
~Dash of Cinnamon
~Sprinkle Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Blueberries on top!
~Cooked like a normal pancake (I used Coconut Oil to cook it!)
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For the image below…I used the same recipe as above…BUT added in 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and 1/2 tablespoon of some Cocoa! So delish this time and threw in some valentine day spirit ; )

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Made my usual bowl of oatmeal below here…However this time I pulled out some frozen banana I had in the freezer and melted it in the microwave. It ended up being a great thickener in the oatmeal and tasted awesome! I also added some PB2 powder to this bowl as well.
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Just a simple plate of 3 eggs whites with some spinach in the middle! And of course a good old cup of coffee! Hits the spot. IMG_1183
So in the image above, I made a summery tropical flavored smoothie. Made me feel like I was on the islands! I added some frozen mango, strawberries, and peaches. Then I filled half the magic bullet with some Vita Coco (Peach and Mango flavored) Coconut Water, and the rest I filled with water. Finally, topped it off with some chia seeds!

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<–This here is my FAVORITE Lean Green Smoothie Machine. Haha Ok lame. BUT, it's soooo good, I can't stop! I added my usual: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Frozen Spinach, 1 whole banana, 1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein, 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds, 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and Blend it!

And for Lunch….I usually switch it up between the wrap or salad everyday with a snack or two on the side!
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In the above image, I was out of Turkey Meat, So instead I made an Egg White omelette and threw it in the Whole Wheat, Flax Seed wrap from Trader Joe’s. I topped it off with some 3-layer hummus, avocado, feta cheese, and spinach!
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Here I had an early, 8am class, so I prepped my salad the night before! My salad included…
~Spinach
~Almonds
~1/2 Avocado
~Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Meat
~Blueberries
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Chia Seeds
~Apple Cider Vinegar and Fresh Lemon for the dressing

Dinnnnnner TIME…!
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In the above image, I baked tilapia in Sesame Seeds to give it a nice crisp/crunchy flavor! On the side, I sautéed spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, tomatoes in some E.V.O.O & Apple Cider Vinegar. Topped this all off with avocado, feta cheese, and some spices of course!
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Alright, so here I got home pretty late and was STARVING. So I needed something fast and appetizing to full-fill my needs! I quickly sautéed some brussel sprouts (if you couldn’t tell…these are my new FAVE veggies), spinach, onions, garlic, corn, and some egg whites (for PROTEIN)! Mixed a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and some lite soy sauce in it for flavaaa. For the side dish, I made some yummy sweet potato fries!
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Okay. Fine you caught me. I did not make my OWN sushi…sadly ;( BUT, I was having a huge sushi craving all week long, so I had to plan for a sushi date night! The good news is that I still got my carbs, protein, AND, veggies in! They even had BROWN rice sushi! Can’t get much better than that. I ended up having a simple tuna roll and a Cucumber, Avocado, Asparagus roll, and then split some tuna sashimi!
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AH, the best dinner dish for last…my lovely valentine creation and first time cooking shrimp (SECOND time ever eating it in my life…)! So here, I cooked…
~1/4 cup red quinoa
And Sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
~garlic and onion
~cherry tomatoes
~spinach
~1/4 pound of small, already cooked shrimp
Topped this off with…
~Fresh Basil and Oregano
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese

Lastly…we can’t forget Snacks and Desserts…THE BEST PART OF COURSE…

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<– This here was BOMB. I was craving ice cream so I made my own, healthy version! In my magic bullet I blended together…
~1 1/2 frozen bananas
~2 tablespoons of PB2 Powder
~1/4 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Topped it off with dark chocolate bites and cinnamon!
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Above, I finally made some Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding! Here I blended in a small mug…
~1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
~dash of cinnamon
~3 tablespoons of chia seeds
~1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
Put this in the fridge over night, and indulged the next afternoon in it for snack! Check out my blog on chia seeds to learn about the great benefits!
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Here’s a peek into my cart from my recent food shopping trip. Lots of Color! Pretty much got my usual (refer to my food shopping list for an idea of what I shop for)! However, I did get a few new snacks that I am about to RAVE about.
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Alright so above I have regular pretzel crisps (last time I had the cinnamon flavor!), with a side of some spinach & artichoke hummus, as well as my favorite and NEW Chobani Bite! As you already know, I love my hummus and I LOVE this flavor by Sabra. As for the Chobani Bite, I got the coffee flavor with dark chocolate bits. For a little 100 calorie pack these things sure do hit the spot if you have constant sweet cravings like myself! They have other flavors to…try it out and let me know what you think!
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And, FINALLY…my new favorite bar…LARABAR! This one was the cashew cookie flavor but my god these things are GREAT and taste like a dessert! I also bought Chocolate chip cookie and Apple Pie flavor. These bars are super nutritious as they only use unsweetened fruits, nuts, spices, dairy, and soy free chocolate! They also provide a great source of fiber and protein. Lastly, if you look at their ‘cherry pie’ flavor, they only use THREE ingredients: almonds, dates, and unsweetened cherries…you certainly can’t beat that in a bar! Try em out!

Have a fantastic Valentines Day Everyone! <3 <3 <3


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