Fuel YOUR Fitness

Do you like lifting heavy things? How about running til your feet hurt? Or how about a spontaneous hike with your friends? All of these wonderful ways of moving your body require something very essential: FUEL.

It isn’t uncommon that I see athletes under-fueling themselves and wondering why they aren’t making the progress they want as fast. That’s because our bodies run primarily on glycogen! And where does that come from exactly? CARBOHYDRATES. And since carbohydrates are the fastest form of energy, they are essential for every living thing. Our brains alone need at LEAST 130g of carbs a day! So can you imagine how much you actually need if you are trying to lift 200 lbs or run to China and back?….A LOT.

When the body doesn’t have enough glycogen stores in the muscles and the liver, the body then turns to fat stores instead.And when there are not enough fat stores, protein from muscles are used as energy which is NOT healthy as it can lead to heart problems and even death. While using up fat stores may seem ideal for an overweight individual to lose weight, I would never recommend a super low-carb diet to anyone. It all comes down to the types of foods you are choosing to fuel your body with. Growing, healthy young adults need not to compare their needs to someone of that context as their needs are going to be different.

For me personally, I like to get my early morning workout in before breakfast or sometime in the morning. I never train fasted because I have found that my energy is way more sustained throughout my workout if I at least have a small snack beforehand.

These are some easy pre-workout snack ideas that I enjoy:

  • 2 rice cake with peanut butter/jelly
  • GoMacro vegan bars, Larabars, RX bars, really any little energy bar 😉
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with nut butter + banana
  • Dates with nut butter (can you see a trend here, haha, i’m nutty)
  • Protein smoothie with frozen banana, scoop of plant-based protein powder, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, maca powder, and sometimes cacao powder!
  • My almond butter chocolate chip energy balls
  • A few slices of cold cinnamon baked sweet potato that I usually bake the night before and stick in the fridge (aka perfection)
  • Coconut water
  • Cereal + fruit+ almond milk + MRM vegan cinnamon bun protein (right now I am loving Kashi cinnamon crumble cereal, Kashi dark chocolate karma wheat biscuits, Peanut butter puffins, and the ever so classic Cheerios!)


Really think about combing a good source of carbohydrates before with a little fat/protein to keep you from having a blood sugar crash mid workout. Having something small like in the list above 30-45 minutes before a workout is just enough time for it to digest a little to power you through!

And of course after, follow the same guidelines of eating a good quality source of carbohydrates with protein for muscle synthesis and a little fat. Personally, I love having a big breakfast to start my day and to keep my energy lasting so I don’t have the “afternoon slump”.

I have learned something about myself over the years of trail and error and that is to not ever compare your needs to someone else’s. Some people can do a fasted workout no problem, however, from what I have researched- the stress hormone, cortisol, is the highest in the morning. Eating in the morning helps lower cortisol levels which can help some who have hormonal imbalances. I strongly believe that healthy hormones play a huge role in the overall well-being of the body and I will do all it takes to keep it that way.

So tell me,

How do YOU fuel your fitness?

I Don’t Need A Label

I’m just going to jump right into this because it’s something I have been wanting to get off my chest. As most of you know I made the change to a completely vegan lifestyle in September 2016. You can read about that here. While I feel like this was exactly what I wanted to do for my body and for animals, I am trying to decide if this is exactly what I need to do right now….

Having recovered from a restrictive eating disorder, I know I am in a place now where I would never put that stress on my body ever again. However, I will admit that sometimes I do still feel restricted from certain things if it’s not 100% vegan. I think back to my life before I went vegan, before my eating disorder, heck even before puberty when I was completely carefree about everything. I want that again. Not saying I have been cutting back on my intake because I actually got myself to gain some weight being vegan, but I did it in ways that was a lot harder to do than if I had eaten some animal products.

I still truly believe a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest ways to live, but I do not want to feel like I have to live up to a certain standard just so I can label myself as “vegan”. Food should not have that much control over anyone…. its just food.

I was nervous about posting this out of fear of judgement from other vegans, but I really don’t care anymore. I do not need a label. I don’t need to live under anyone else’s standards either. If I get judgement from my choice, that doesn’t make you a better person. I just want to be happy. Completely happy. And as a college student it’s sometimes really hard to find a 100% vegan option when out with friends or at a social event. In that case I don’t want to be the only one left hungry and missing out on fun times because I couldn’t eat something that wasn’t completely vegan.

You have to do what is right for you. Doesn’t matter if you choose to be vegan, paleo, gluten free, whatever… we are all still human and food shouldn’t be super stressed out about. I will decide what is right for me. That being said, if something I eat has a little dairy or egg in it, it’s okay. No one should care so much what I choose to do anyways. I still don’t want to eat meat and that’s a personal decision of mine.

Shout out to Jen’s video for inspiring me to speak out ❤ She says it perfectly.

Afterthought, I would one day love to post videos of me talking instead of just blog posts but I find myself so camera awkward that I don’t think I could handle it hahah. But if anyone has any thoughts I am all ears!

Link Love 10/23/16

Hey guys! Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I realize it’s been quite a long time since I did a Link Love so I figures why the hell not?! These are just some articles I have read this week that I hope you all enjoy. ❤

Mental/Physical Health:

We Are Too Hard On Ourselves – The Real Life RD

Robyn is one of my favorite bloggers. So full of life and really makes me think deeply about certain topics.

A Healthy Mindset During A Workout – Blissful Lyss

Alyssa is a great friend of mine who has such powerful insight  

I Stopped Doing Cardio And This Happened – Maddy Moon

All of Maddy’s posts are amazing. She is truly a wise and beautiful woman who has helped so many people. This is a great post for those with cardio addiction.

Noms:

Salted Caramel Coconut Balls – The Almond Eater

I admit to having the biggest sweet tooth so these sound fricken delicious

Leftover Pumpkin Pie Casserole  – Oh She Glows

This is SUCH a good idea! I think I may try it…. if there is any pie left

Turmeric Peanut Butter Chickpea Curry – Vegan Richa

Peanut butter? Count me in.

Fun Reads:

22 Pictures That Will Bring You Back 90’s Nostalgia

Oh man, everything about this takes me back to the simpler times in life ❤

33 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

Can’t decide on a gift? This is for all you crafty people out there 😉

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year again! You know that pumpkin-obsessed-sweater-weather-bake-all-the-things time of year? My favorite! I love all the fall aromas from cinnamon apples to pumpkin pie ❤ 

Fills my heart…. and my stomach 😉

I made this DEE-licious gluten-free, vegan pumpkin bread and my oh my it was fabulous while it lasted! Even my dad was eating a slice every night 🙂

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • half of a small banana, mashed
  • 3 Tbsp agave syrup (can sub maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix ground flaxseed with 4 Tbsp water and let sit 5 minutes to thicken. 

Preheat oven to 375 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 

Add pumpkin, mashed banana, agave, and applesauce to flax mixture and whisk.

Next, add coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk again until combined. Add 1/2 cup water and stir.

In another bowl, combine oats, oat flour, and almond meal. Then add that mixture to the wet and stir. The mixture should be thick and pourable. Add a tiny bit more water if too thick. 

Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Remove and allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting. 

Keep in fridge to last up to a week! I personally loved this bread eaten chilled because it made it even more dense ❤ 


It turns out adding peanut butter or pb2 on top as a “frosting” completes my life. I don’t remember how many peices I had….haha. 

What’s your favorite fall flavor?

FDOE + What I Did Saturday

Hey guys! I have had a few people asking me to do a full day of eating so I thought I would share a day where eats were more exciting and so I could share more of my amazing day with my mom.

It started out with a morning shoulder/ab workout that I will also share!

Shoulders:

  1. Reverse DB flyes 4 sets 12
  2. Seated DB Arnold Press 4 sets 10-12
  3. DB lateral raises 5 sets 10 each arm
  4. Bottoms Up Kettleball Press 4 sets 10 each arm
  5. Front Raises with Plate 4 sets 15

Abs:

  1. Standing Rainbow Crunches holding DB 20 reps
  2. Side Plank Front Crunch 20 reps both sides
  3. Bosu Ball Leg Lifts 30 reps
  4. Russian Twists holding Medicine Ball 25 reps

(repeat ab circuit twice)

This workout I specifically went for volume instead of heavy weight as I have learned its good to do both and change them up. I also don’t focus on abs that much because when I lift I engage my core with a lot of exercises anyways but I do like to do some additional core work twice a week.

After I came home I had an egg white omelette with kale, broccoli & mushrooms with an english muffin and cream cheese. Don’t know why but I have been obsessed with cream cheese lately ❤

ss3I had a lighter breakfast because I knew we would have an earlier lunch and sometimes I’m not super hungry in the mornings… (but sometimes I’m starving!)

Me and my mom went to Opry Mills which is a huge mall 30 minutes from where I live for a girl’s day. We hit one store before the hunger set in so luckily we were close to the food court. We tried this panini/wrap/salad place and both got the same thing: turkey BLTA (bacon,lettuce,tomato,avocado) wrap with a side of sunchips! It’s been quite a while since I had these chips and they are sooo good.

ss1

Surprisingly, after being really full from this lunch I tried on bras + swim suits and felt so confident in my skin. I no longer see bones. I see curves and it makes me smile. I feel like the woman I am and I realize I am so blessed to have a fully functional body that allows me to walk around the mall, exercise, and just live a normal life.

ss6When I came home I had a small peanut butter craving so I topped one of my no-bake bars with some more peanut butter, craisins and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Held me over for a tad bit while I made my dinner 😉

ss4

For dinner I made a spinach salad with bell pepper, mushroom, black beans, a roasted sweet potato (seasoned with paprika and garlic) with cottage cheese because I’m weird AF 😀 HA, no really, cottage cheese is wonderful with everything.

And yes, every night I like to have a snack before bed. 1) Cravings 2) Keeping my intake in check 3) Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night hungry

As I have been transitioning into intuitive eating I still stay logical about knowing what MY body needs. It’s used to calories before bed and it’s used to having more fuel so I give it just that. Here I have a bowl of greek yogurt mixed with oats and topped with purely elizabeth maple pecan granola, fruit, and the last of my glazed donut coconut cashew butter! Perfect for the sweet tooth of mine. And ohh pwease do yourself a favor and try this granola. I think the chocolate sea salt is my absolute favorite right now 🙂

ss2

And I thought I would share this picture of my mom and I because she is prettier than any food picture and she is my best friend ❤ss7Lawl at the lady who photobombed us. She jelly.

So tell me,

Do you have a shopping partner?

Any weird food combos you like that no one understands?

WIAW: Intuitively Planning

Happy Wednesday guys! I’m currently sitting here with a profound headache most likely due to Chem homework plus waking up at 5 am. HAHAHA no. I am taking a break to show you all the full day of eats I had today (Tuesday).

After my morning workout, I was the first one to stop by Einstein’s to get a bagel. I never can decide what I want to get because they have so many options…. I saw the thintastic asparagus mushroom one, ordered it, halfway through eating I realized my order was wrong and they gave me the spinach, mushroom, swiss on a regular bagel. To be honest, I was a little bothered by it and wanted to complain but it ended up being very tasty and satisfying. I also had a spotty banana for extra carbzzzz and potassi-yum 😉

I mentioned before I sometimes eat in my dorm for an easy fix. I have here about 1 cup whole wheat pasta mixed with zoodles tossed in a light coat of olive oil, a crumbled up bison patty from Whole Foods, a touch of basil pesto, and a laughing cow wedge that got all melty when I microwaved it. OH, and BREAD… (more carby fun :D)

Between my 2 long classes, I snacked on a cherry Square bar! If you haven’t had one of these before, they are legit like eating a chocolate bar. No weird proteiny flavor or texture, made with organic brown rice protein with a chocolate coating and around 13g protein for a square! That’s a win in my book. When I got back to the dorm I had some almonds but I didn’t think it was picture worthy.

I knew I was going to have a busy night and just didn’t feel like eating in the dining hall so I go dinner to-go. Some kind of chicken with piccata sauce, brown rice, buttery green beans, and some kale for those micro nutrients! I wished I had gotten a second chicken boob because it tasted like angels made it.

To end the night with a bang, I warmed up a Cinnamon Apple Mighty Muffin for only 27 seconds instead of the recommended 35. Why? Because I have found that it ends up being SO much more moist. I HATE when a good mugcake dries out and you can barely swallow it and choke your brains out. No bueno. This came out perfectly, leaving the center slightly gooey with soft cinnamon apple chunks! I also had a whole apple(no all pictured) with a spoon of Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter! I am so sad I am almost out of this crack 😦

When I say I “intuitively plan”, I mean that I have an idea of what I will eat the next day but I don’t revolve my world around it. It’s good for me to have some idea because it is SO EASY in college to get behind on intake if I’m not careful. If its not classes, its homework. If its not a meeting, its making time to see friends. There is barely any free time until the end of the day but I would much rather not eat a days worth of food all in one sitting. This works for me. I can be flexible and change some things based on what sounds good or if someone wants to go somewhere with me to eat. College should be challenging, not overwhelming.  🙂

Questions for YOU:

Are you an intuitive eater?

How to you cope with change?

Favorite square bar flavor?

WIAW 3/30/16

Thanks for joining me again with another What I Ate Wednesday post! I can see that many people find it helpful when I post these so I am going to try to do them more often 🙂

This particular day I had some homemade frozen protein waffles in my little dorm freezer so I nuked those and topped them with banana and fruity cheerios so I can taste some rainbow and be ever so happy ❤

My 11:10 Psychology class was canceled this entire week so I have been enjoying the fact I have time to make and enjoy a decent lunch. I had a whole wheat bagel (please don’t get me started on bagel thins…. if you are gonna have a bagel, have the real deal) with turkey, garlic herb cheese plus bell pepper & hummus! Very satisfying and a good balance of carbs, proteins, and a lil fat 🙂Not too long after, I had some slices of dried mango because I have a major sweet tooth if you can’t tell! I have a lab from 1:30-4 on Mondays so I make sure I eat enough to keep me going.

 If I go home over the weekend, I sometimes take a home-cooked meal back with me just because the dining hall doesn’t cook like momma does. I had some baked Mahi Mahi with a little over a cup of quinoa & chickpeas, vegetables, and a rice cake smeared with coconut butter.

Verdict: YES. SO GOOD. The best way to describe this is having the same consistency of butter but a little more firm in the jar. It has a much stronger coconutty aroma than coconut oil  because this also contains part of the pulp of the coconut making it super thick too 😀 I love it because it melts in your mouth and is a really simple way to get some healthy fats in. Yes, despite what you hear, coconut is VERY good for you. It’s crazy to think I used to be cautious of it because of the fat content… do your research people. Your body needs a substantial amount of fats in your diet and this is about as pure as it comes.

Ya know me, I’m a bottomless pit ;D Just ask my roommate, she would confirm the fact that I eat like every 2 hours and my snacks be like meals. That’s how I roll and it works for me. I like to wind down by watching a little Netflix if I don’t have to study. I had a bowl of greek yogurt with cinnamon + blueberries with my FAVORITE G2G bar! If you all want to taste the best natural protein bar out there you can order it here: https://good2gobar.com/

You can also use my code: YUMMY for 20% off at checkout! No, I am not making money from this. They wouldn’t make any money giving me a discount to give you all AND to give me a share of it. I’m jus’ being a kind soul and spreading the infinite amount of bliss that comes within this bar. Let me know if you guys try them out 🙂

That about wraps up this full day of eating.

So tell me…

Have you had coconut butter before? Thoughts?

What snack will you never get tired of?

 

 

 

WIAW: More College Eats

Hey guys! Sorry I don’t post as much as I used to. Life gets busy and it just seems as if blogging is the last thing on my mind most of the time. But I do have a pretty steady week with school work so I wanted to share a full day of eating with you all. My schedule can make it very difficult to eat proper meals every single day but I still manage to make time for eating and “me time”.

Brekkie noms:

Posted this the other day on my Instagram and oh my word I will have to share with you all the recipe! These waffles are made with pumpkin and have a hint of peanut butter goodness so I will be working on perfecting the recipe to put on here! No protein powder needed and they don’t even need syrup! 🙂

Lunch: I must admit, I eat sandwiches more often than the average folk. Can’t complain, they the bomb. I picked this up from the school convenience store for an easy lunch along with Enlightened crisps and a cool, refreshing orange!

Snack:

gggIn between classes, if I have enough time I will come back to my dorm to rest and grab a snack. If not, I usually take something with me on the go because forever hungry… It’s been quite sometime that I had a good ole Larabar so I happily noshed on cashew cookie and paired it with a Cocolibre vanilla protein shake. I recommend these drink because they have a shit ton of potassium with other essential vitamins and minerals. Found mine at Kroger 🙂

Dinner: Okay, imma be real. I was in the dining hall and forgot to take a picture because the hunger was real, but I had a nice spinach salad with tuna, hummus, all da veg, and a little of this pasta salad they had. I don’t always gets salads because I’m working on gaining a little more 😉 but a crisp salad honestly sounded amazing and I listened to my body yo 🙂
Snack:

I finished off the rest of my cottage cheese, some pretzels and a Wild Friends vanilla protein peanut butter (Verdict: DELICIOUS). I’m not lactose intolerant I don’t think.. but sometimes too much dairy will upset my stomach and make me a gas attack so I am glad I found this lactose-free cottage cheese plus it’s actually really tasty!
Look, not every day is the same. I am one that LOVES variety so I try different things on the daily. Some days I eat a LOT and other days I have to work with what I got. From a first year college girl, I recommend stocking up on fruit in ya fridge because the dining hall doesn’t always have the best (at least mine doesn’t) I also always have yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, lunch meat, mini bagels and a bunch of other eats for those days I can’t go out to grab something. College doesn’t have to be hard and stressful, focus on YOU and what what you know YOUR body needs.

Nut Butter Nation Peanut Butter Review

nutbutternation

What can I say about peanut butter? Well, you can do pretty much anything your heart desires. From bagels, oatmeal, baked goods, parfaits, or simply just straight out of the jar, peanut butter has made it’s way into my life for good. I recently stumbled across this brand in particular and my jars are literally emptying by the minute. The wonderful flavors I have tried are the Honey Vanilla and Brown Sugar Cinnamon – both of which I have an addiction to.

Honey Vanilla

I had high expectations for this one, and it did not let me down! I first had it on a toasted english muffin and my heart flipped upside down. Not literally but I died and came back it was so good ❤ I HIGHLY recommend this flavor not only for the perfect balance of honey and vanilla but also for it’s extreme smoothness to have the ability to drizzle 🙂 I also had them on pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and it completes everything in that meal.

nut

10/10 for sure

Brown Sugar Cinnamon

Do you like cookies? I’m talking those warm snickerdoodles straight out of the oven. This peanut butter and you are soul mates. If I were to pick a favorite, I would probably say this is the one and that’s why I’m trying so hard not to eat it all too fast. Liquid cookies. Just by opening the jar I could tell how much amazing was inside. I don’t think I have had a peanut butter be so good to be honest. But I am a huge cinnamon lover and have a sweet tooth so this definitely satisfies me. But don’t worry, it’s not OVERLY sweet where it’s sickening. It’s perfection in a jar.

nutbutter

100/10

The other flavors I have not tried yet are the Dark Chocolate and the Traditional peanut butter but I have high hopes for them as well and will get around to them shortly. If you try them, please let me know what you think! 🙂

This brand has NO:

  • GMO’s
  • artificial sweeteners
  • tons of added sugar

But they do have:

  • Amazing taste
  • Natural ingredients
  • Good Source of Protein and Potassi-yum
  • Love ❤

You can order them using this link:

http://nutbutternation.com/emmy

Cinnamon Apple Jelly-filled Muffins

muffin

Recipe:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • apple butter or jelly
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T sugar
  • more cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. First, make sure that the milk is either warm or at room-temp so it doesn’t harden the coconut oil. Combine melted coconut oil and milk and whisk together. Add brown sugar, egg, vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and all spice and stir.

Grease muffin tins and add half mixture into each. Then add about a tablespoon of jelly into the middle and spoon the other half of the mixture on top.

**This is optional but highly recommended!!!! ❤

Melt butter in the microwave. Add 2 T sugar and cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar topping and glazed over the tops of the muffins! You only need a little bit but it goes a long way 😉

Bake for about 15 minutes and walla! These were a hit in my house and taste amazing warmed up or straight out of the fridge.

Don’t forget the love ❤