Brought to You by Orange

First of all, I apologize (again) for all the blog craziness that started yesterday.  As I mentioned in the previous dummy-post, I finally decided to move all of my content over to a private hosting account – that I’ve owned for a while now.

Unfortunately, none of the parties involved make it easy for you.  And as (I like to think) I’m  pretty good with tech & web stuff, there was no way I was going to pay over 100 dollars to get someone else to do the transfer for me.  It took a while, but I’m pretty sure everything is up and running by now – necessary plugins and all.  Nothing got lost, and everything is backed up.

On another note, I had hardly any work to do this weekend since I just finished the bulk of my midterms.  So I had a little bit of time to de-stress, which was quite nice.

Halloweekend, in pictures! [note numerous occurrences of the color orange…]

Starting the morning with green juice! and snow…

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It seems that now is the season for orange! Now starting with a now-to-me fruit: persimmons.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried a persimmon before, but they are easily a new favorite of mine.  I even tried both of the common varieties.  First up, the fuyu. Sliced up in a big bowl of oat groats.

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Next up, the hachiya.  Be careful if you buy these. They cannot be eaten when the are still hard – the astringency will dry out your mouth and make you feel sick, not fun.

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Instead, you have to wait until they are mushy, what would normally be considered over-ripe.  Then you can eat the flesh, but it’s impossible to cut up or bite into.  It comes out something like this:

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There were slices of failed (but tasty) kabocha pie.

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Snacks for solo adventure part 2! (click to see part one, the high line)

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Delicious flavor – I wish they made seasonal flavors all year round!

Dressed up and ready for this un-seasonally cold October.

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Destination…

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I walked around, and admired all the delicious food and pretty things.  I didn’t go to buy or eat anything, I just needed an excuse to get out of the room after the crazy snowstorm.

There was orange aplenty!

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And, I got a hot chocolate on the way out, to help with the cold weather.

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And, what would a free weekend be without some baking?

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Chocolate cupcakes, slightly modified from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, spiced buttercream from OhSheGlows.com.

And instead of buying halloween candy (avoiding crazy addicting processed sugars), I had a few bites of nature’s candy! And maybe a cupcake. Or two.

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Dates = natures candy. Natural sugar for the win.

How was your halloweekend? Was it full of orange?

For self-hosted bloggers – any advice/suggestions for a smooth-running site?

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Blog Lovin’

So I have had this long list of possible blog topics staring at me since Saturday.  Reviews, issues to discuss, recipes, recaps, etc.  But for some reason I have not been able to bring myself to write anything.  Even if I have a crazy amount of work to do or am really busy, I use blogging as my break as a quick chance to get away.  I use the blog as motivation to keep my eats pretty and interesting, that hasn’t happened lately either.  I’m even running low on my fresh vegetable stock!

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the last of my squash stash all cooked up 😦

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breakfast creativity - banana breakfast 'sushi' from Gena @ choosingraw.com

Lately I have not been feeling it, and it seems that I’m not alone.  For some reason, it seems that others (not only bloggers!) are going through a bit of a ‘funk’ right now.  Why? Who knows.  Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to share some blog-lovin’. I’m creating – my blogroll!

I have a long list of probably 80-100ish(?) blogs that I read regularly, and I will be adding those to the list.  So there will be some blogs on there who do not even know that my site exists, but I’m more than okay with that.  I want those who do read my blog to know who inspires me, what my interests are and whose writing I love to read.

For those of you who are reading this now and have a blog of your own: if you would like to be added to the blogroll, just leave a comment on this post and you I will add your site.  I’ll make the page live on Friday Oct. 21, but I’ll leave comments open after that.

If you have a blogroll of your own, I would love for you to add me as well – but don’t feel obligated.  Let’s spread some love!

Now I have a little question for you. Since I can’t seem to decide what to post about lately, I thought why not ask readers what you want to see in the near future.  Some choices include (but are not limited to!):

  • recipes – I have 2 dessert ones in the queue, but ideas are always welcome
  • food tutorials – possible: nut milk, oatmeal, eggs/omelets, roasting…
  • health topics – cosmetics, sleep, anxiety…
  • book reviews – fitness/health books
  • workouts & stretch routines
  • anything else?

Oh, the little things…

…are what keeps a girl going sometimes.  This week was not the smoothest, but hey, not all of them are. And now it’s time for the weekend – well, until I finish my assignment that’s due before the grader wakes up tomorrow. Ah well, anyways, there were some little things from my week:

1. M2M, the asian convenience store (now on campus!) sells single serve mochi ice cream.

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packaged, not organic or super clean ingredients, but delicious once in a while.

2. Roasted kabocha with a dab of almond butter and tahini.

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this is SO filling. and amazing - especially served warm so the nut butter melts

3. I need new workout headphones!

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goodbye, my dear skullcandies 😦

This isn’t really a discover.  Or little thing – but it’s important to me!  This is the first time I’ve had a pair of headphones die on me in the middle of a treadmill run.  The right ear just went silent, and made me sad.  These were my favorite headphones ever, amazing sound quality and never fell out of my ears during a workout.  But here’s the good part – I get to find new ones!  Gadget-geek Rachel loves this stuff 😛

4. New (to me) Larabar Jocolat flavor.

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I'm not a huge regular larabar fan - they don't really satisfy me. but these guys, so good.

5. New color = happy Rachel.

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in the past 2 years, this little streak has gone from black, to red, purple, blue, and now this! feeling fun.

What are some of the little things that keep you going during the week?

Not Going Anywhere

As you may have noticed, I have not been posting as often lately. What happened?? School happened.  I’m in classes most of the day (with a workout in there somewhere), then I come home and either have homework, or just want to chill.  This is not to say that I am giving up the blog – I could not bring myself to do that.  Writing here is a release, and it makes me happy.  So I’m not gone, and I am definitely keeping up with reading blogs and commenting as much as I can.  But I probably won’t be posting two days in a row – unless I have something really pressing to share.

I wish I had more time to bring blogging into my everyday life, but I can’t let this take over and get in the way of getting my school work done.  So expect posts about every other day, and almost always on Wednesdays (WIAW) and Fridays (discoveries/favorites).

Until then, this week’s discoveries (basically my version of friday favorites)!

1. Carrot Cake Oatmeal! [[inspired by Angela’s recipe]]

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carrot, coconut cream, spices & sweetener cooked in, raisins and AB on top!

2. They sell Pulsin’ (UK) products at my whole foods!

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I was so excited I had to buy all 4 flavors to try!

I’ve tried them all except the brownie – so tasty, and filling too.  My favorite is the bliss bar, it’s got a super-rich bitter chocolate taste.  The maple peanut one is my second have, but it’s borderline addicting – probably a little too sweet.  The goji-raspberry bar is really good as well, but the whole goji berries in there throw me a bit.  Can’t wait to try the brownie!

3. The greenest smoothie ever!

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in the mix: rice milk, frozen figs, spirulina, sun warrior, chia seeds, maca

I got my hands on some spirulina powder for the first time (thanks, Nicky!) and decided to use it for a little greens boost in my after-workout smoothie.  I love it! I only used about 1 tsp, and the sweetness of the fruit masked the flavor pretty well.  Also, I like the grassy ‘green’ taste, so I didn’t really care about flavor cover that much.

4. The best way to speed up banana-ripening

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In a paper bag, sealed, with an apple.  I took this picture yesterday – banana bread will be made tonight.

5. The protein muffin/mini cake. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

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rich but light and fluffy! straight out of the microwave.

I based my measurements off of three different bloggers’ recipes: Deb, Michelle & Lori, and Alex.

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I made mine a cocoa-carob-mint, with a glob of drippy sunflower butter on top

Makes one protein-packed, huge serving.

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check out my hand in there for size comparison. note, I have really big hands.

Giant (Gluten-free) Protein Cake

As this recipe is based on several different ones, here is a template for the basic protein cake. (serves 1-2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2-3 T pumpkin
  • 1T peanut flour
  • 2T carob powder
  • 1T cocoa powder
  • heaping 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint (or vanilla) extract
  • sweetener – I used 1 stevia packet

Directions:

Lightly spray a ceramic bowl or muffin pan with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray) Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.  Then, you have two options: 1. Microwave for 3-4 mins or 2. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

[[substitution notes: feel free to use whole eggs, but you may want to adjust the flour portions. You can use any starchy purée for the pumpkin (mashed banana, applesauce, sweet potato).  Coconut or rice flour will work well for the peanut flour, but I would not recommend oat or wheat or spelt – too thick.  Feel free to play around with the flour/powder combos – even replace the cocoa or carob completely with flour.  Use any flavored extract you like, I was craving a chocolate-mint type thing. And of course, sweeten to your liking 🙂 ]]

I was really hungry, so I stuck mine in the microwave for 4 minutes – college dorm, the nuke machine is not very powerful.

5. Burt’s bees makes all natural (read: icky chemical free) throat drops.

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keeping me semi-normal for the past few days

Yes, I did say I was feeling better, which was not a lie – but I now have no voice.  It’s quite pathetic-sounding.

6. Trader Joe’s makes non-dairy cheese sub?

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they have other 'flavors' too

I didn’t buy it this time, but if I’m in need of a high-protein, non-dairy cheese alternative, I will definitely keep this in mind.

7. The cutest tea ever.

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the tea bag is actually shaped like this. and the little stem and leaf has a wire that hooks over the side of the cup!

Given to me by a lovely friend.  I get all her flavored teas the she doesn’t drink 🙂

8. Light reading.

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blowing my mind. to pieces.

And thus begins the junior year of the physics major. Yup, that is what I have planned for the weekend.  School is definitely back in full force, and not going anywhere anytime soon.

Spirulina in smoothies, yay or nay?

Have you ever tried the protein cake or something similar?  Thoughts?

Are you back in the swing of things at school/work after summer? Updates!

Welcome, Old Loves

Happy Friday!  My week has been rather uneventful – neither here nor there.  I’m still not into the routine here, so it’s been a bit rough.  But of course there are little things keeping me sane here.  Weekly discoveries? I think so.

1. I can make nut butter in my mini-prep!

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tiny batch of spiced pumpkin cashew butter - made an appearance in this week's WIAW

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it really is tiny. holds maybe 1 or 2 cups total?

2. An old favorite grab-and-go sandwich, made by a local NY company

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yummy, vegan, filling mini-meal!

3. Afternoon pick-me-up coffee alternative – Yerba Maté

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I wish the camera could capture how good this smells.

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with a side of puffins for munching

4. Must take advantage of summer’s last days, by wearing flowers of course!

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my messy bed in the background. and backlit.

5. Old snack loves brought back 🙂

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rice cake + sunflower butter + cinnamon. satisfied.

6.  OpenSky is the greatest ever.  [[It’s so worth it to join, you get awesome deals from celebrity foodies and such. click this link to join!]]

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ooh, what's in the box?

7.  Kath really isn’t kidding about how good the cville cluster granola is.

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it's granola from Great Harvest CVille! from Kath's opensky promo.

8.  Healthy light dinner, college style!

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horribly spiralized zucchini (I'm working on my technique) + mashed ginger sweet potato yogurt sauce + nooch

9.  I’m a nerd, and I love it!

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this is what I do with my Friday nights. How fun am I?

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love.

Have you recently re-discovered any old favorites? Loves and comforts?