Legendary Foods Nut Butter Review

I recently was so honored to have received some nut butter samples from Legendary Foods to try! If you guys haven’t heard of this brand its because you can’t find it in stores but you can order them off their site! A few things I noticed and liked about this brand is that they use minimal ingredients, use raw almonds, and sweetened with stevia! I am not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners so I was really happy to see they use stevia to add some sweetness. Because they don’t have a bunch of additives or preservatives, you must refrigerate it after opening but the consistency doesn’t harden or change!

The first one I tried was Apple Pie.

 

 

​Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact some smart human out there decided to combine nut butter and apple pie? Like move over Einstein because we have a new genius. Not only did the smell make me weak in the knees, the CREAMINESS when I dug my spoon into the newly opened jar…. speechless. Kind of seems like how apple pie would taste if broken down into a spread, with little pieces of apples mixed in. I definitely gotta say this is my favorite of all the flavors.

Pecan Pie


Is it even legal to sell such amazing tasting nut butter? Because if so, we live in wonderful times. My second favorite of the samples for sure. Just as creamy as the rest with little pecan pieces in a lightly sweetened almond butter. There is just something about pecans that I just love….. ❀

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip


OHHMEERRGERDD. 10/10

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup

It’s as if someone had granted my very wish of combining my favorite flavors into one. So. Much. Yes. Imagine a Reese’s cup in liquid form. Yes, that good. Best paired with banana, on oatmeal, on yo pancake stack, and straight into the mouth πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Cinnamon Bun


This one was a little different than expected… I really thought it would have a sweeter, more cinnamon flavor. This is cashew based and while still super creamy, it just was missing something. I definitely liked it on my oatmeal and it was not bad at all! Just not as delicious as the rest.

 

 

 

Overall, I was very pleased with all the flavors and wish they would keep popping out new flavors because I eat nut butter every day! Ya feel me? I am not affiliated with Legendary Foods but I still highly recommend anyone trying them out if you wanna spice up your life πŸ™‚

Summertime Sleepies: Adrenal Fatigue

Hey fraaands! Okay so I really wanted to do a Vlog updating you all with how things are going for me but I am really not the best with words. Like, I know what I want to say but don’t always know how to paraphrase it. For now, this will have to do (at least until I can get a good camera).

I want to tell you that I have been having an outstanding summer, but that would be just flat out lying. It hasn’t been. I used to be SUCH a morning person: your typical 6 am workout fitness chica before starting my busy day of classes. But now, when I wake up in the mornings, I no longer feel super pumped & enthused for the day ahead…. I feel like I could just go back to bed for the rest of the day. However, I still go on with my day thinking that things will turn around, but they usually don’t (unless I have coffee but i’m trying to back off). I find myself feeling drained before 3:00 and end up doing nothing all afternoon. To be honest I am surprised I am writing this post write now because even that seemed like too much for me to focus on.

I feel broken. Like someone has taken out my batteries and I am left hollow without purpose. I am beginning to think a lot of this is just psychological and my reaction to what I found out a couple weeks ago… but I’m just not sure. I have been reading up on adrenal fatigueΒ (symptoms here) lately and it sounds almost exactly like what I am going through. With my hormones already being way out of whack, there’s no telling what kinds of crazy things my body and mind will do to protect itself.

As for now, I know I need to take it easy. After reading Robyn’s post about “how exercise affects hormones”, I really believe that in this phase of my life, I cannot handle high intense workouts anymore. I am ALL for living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and that is going to look different for each and every person. While some people can handle Crossfit or running 10 miles a day, my body can’t. It would push it deeper and deeper into an already complicated situation and I would be afraid to see the outcome.

Life is going to have so many up’s and down’s. You can’t always be the one to decide when those happen but you CAN do your very best to react accordingly. I can still be thankful that my heart is beating and that I have a roof over my head. I can choose to find things that make me happy that don’t involve stressing my body even more. I can choose to fight instead of letting this break me. I really have no idea how long I will have to give my body rest… 3 months…. 6 months…. a year? Who knows? Things don’t change overnight and because I am kinda sorta an impatient person this is going to be a challenge…. but I am also a very dedicated person.

So that’s basically what’s up been up. I can’t say I have really felt myself or felt like blogging but I do hope that I can start as I will have the extra time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any blog ideas, topics, comments, etc! Getting emails from you guys means so much to me! And if anyone has any advice or has gone through something similar let me know!

Email: emlove814@gmail.com ❀

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I know, it’s summertime. And I was craving something pumpkiny- sue me. Haha, but in all honesty, can’t a girl get her pumpkin spice on all year round? Throw in some chocolate chips and peanut butter and you got yourself one damn delicious bread.

Recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut protein
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all the dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a large bowl and mix until combined. Then add in the wet ingredients and mix together with a mixing spoon. Add in chocolate chips. The batter should be very thick but you can add more milk to loosen. img_3793

Spray a loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven and how moist you want it. I personally stuck to the lower end of the cooking time because I was afraid it would dry out. However, when you insert a toothpick in the center it should come out clean!

Somehow I managed to have self control and let it cool 1 hour before cutting or removing it from the tray. I recommend sticking it in the fridge in an airtight container to last you up to a week! (Although I highly doubt it will make it that long)

My favorite way to enjoy this bread is sliced thick and covered with peanut butter… but what else is new? πŸ˜‰

Tomato Basil Veggie Burgers

Hey, hi, hello there! Wow, quite sometime since I have posted a recipe! Where has the time flown? Finished up my sophomore year of college which left me completely wiped out and I needed a couple weeks of chilling and slothing to feel like I have recuperated. Luckily, I gained some motivation back in the kitchen and assembled the greatest veggie burgers I have made thus far! I also get so STOKED when I take the first bite of something I made and it turns out PHENOMENAL. I bask in my own self glory for a bit and get even more excited to share the recipe with you all! All you need is an oven, a hungry tummy, and hopefully a ripe avocado to top these bad boys πŸ˜‰

Recipe:

  • 1 15 oz can canellini, black, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  • 1-2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 flax egg (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake pumpkin seeds and oats for about 7-10 minutes until a little toasty.

Make flax egg and set aside.

In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork or potato masher but leave some beans whole for some consistency. Add in all ingredients except for the oats and pumpkin seeds and stir well.

Fold in the oats and pumpkin seeds and mix until everything is combined. If mixture is too pasty, feel free to add a little flour or breadcrumbs to the mix. Tightly pack into 4-6 patties and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the patties and bake for another 20 minutes.

These have sooo much flavor that I have eaten them just plain as a snack… but if you live on the wild side these are amazing with a bun + all the fixins too! Avocado is the perfect topper for this veggie burger, but I am biased because I could eat avocado for every meal πŸ˜‰

I also really like added tzatziki sauce, roasted red peppers, hummus, or feta on top for maxed out flavor ❀

Hope you enjoy!

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 πŸ˜‰
  • 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?

Vegan Banana Date Bread

The last time I made my vegan pumpkin bread, I received a suggestion from my dad. He thought it would be yummy to add some chopped dates to the bread for extra sweetness. So I found myself bored out of my mind the other day as the weather was gloomy and cold. No motivation to study Chem anymore so naturally I started procrastibaking. But this series of procrastibaking turned into something very productive because this recipe rocked my fuzzy socks off!

I was originally planning to bake the same pumpkin bread as last time but we had a lot of ripe bananas that had to be used so I tried modifying the recipe. Instread of using pumpkin, I subbed extra banana for extra natural sweetness. Keeping my dad’s request in mind, threw in those dates πŸ™‚

Recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 T. ground flaxseed
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T. agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground ginger
  • about 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

First, mix ground flax into a large bowl and add 4 Tbsp. water and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add mashed banana, applesauce, agave and whisk.

Next, add baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and 1/2 cup water and whisk again.

In another bowl, combine the oat flour, oats and almond meal. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully combined. Then throw in the chopped dates and stir.

Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge!

This bread is lightly sweetened because it contains no refined sugar, if you like things really sweet you can try adding any sweetener you would like but I don’t think it needed it!

As you can see, anything can be topped with peanut butter for good measure πŸ˜‰

 

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Mugcake

Before becoming vegan, I used to eat a lot of those protein packed mugcakes for snacks. But I thought, how could I still make a satisfying mugcake without the whey protein and egg? Actually a lot simpler than you think! I don’t even remember how I came up with this delicious treat but it sure did come out perfectly!

mugcake

You don’t need eggs to make a fluffy mugcake. All you need is a moist substance like mashed banana, ground flaxseed, pumpkin… in this case I used applesauce! Made this mugcake really soft and added a little sweetness too ❀

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup (50g) oat flour + 2 Tbsp. oats
  • 3 oz. unsweetened applesauce
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • enough almond milk to make a batter (about 3 oz.)
  • *optional: sweetener of choice (I used english toffee liquid stevia)

First, mix together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Then stir in the wet and mix until well combined. Microwave about one minute until cooked through. Microwave times will vary depending on the size of the bowl. Sometimes, I have to cook a little longer but I actually don’t mind a little mushiness in the middle (preference). Make sure you don’t cook for too long or else it could dry out and you’ll just be sad. I love to top with some kind of nut butter and fruit! You could also add in dates, ground flaxseed, or other mix-ins to the batter and it would still come out nice.

Delicious little snack to have before bed or for a small breakfast! Like eating a pancake in a bowl πŸ˜‰

If you give it a try, lemme know what you think!

(sorry not sorry for the picture quality, the only one I have haha)

Lentil Bolognese + Zucchini Pasta

Think eating vegan is boring or tasteless? HA. Think again my friend. Eating whole, plant-based foods has made me feel so much more energized and gives me all the nutrients my body needs to thrive!

So, I wanted to get creative in the kitchen and modify an old classic: spaghetti. Now, obviously zucchini noodles aren’t the same (and I still eat real pasta too) but we got a Vegetti and I had to try it out! ;D I want my family to eat more vegan dinners when I visit to show them how simple and satisfying it is.

A perk about this recipe is that the sauce literally takes about 20 minutes or less to prepare!

  • 144g dry lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced carrots
  • 4 oz chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • dash of cumin
  • 1/2 cup water (will be adding more)
  • 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized (or your favorite pasta!)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic and sautΓ© for about 3 minutes. Then add the carrots and mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Now add the can of diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, cumin, water and lentils. Bring mixture to a simmer by increasing heat just a tad. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover until lentils are cooked (about 15-20 minutes).

Keep checking on it as it loses water fast and keep adding so it doesn’t dry out (lentils tend to absorb a lot of the water). The mixture shouldn’t be soupy, more of how chili would be.

Once the lentils are cooked, you can add more spices if needed. 

The fun part is spiralizing the zucchini to make zoodles!!! I had a fun time at least. πŸ˜‰ Seriously if you don’t have a Veggeti, go get one right now and spiralize everything.

I ended up topping mine with some nutritional yeast for a little cheesy flavor but it honestly didn’t even need it! Serves 2-3 people depending on your appetite.

Store leftovers in fridge up to 3 days πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

  • 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?

Why I Chose Vegan

I am exposing what I have been hiding for quite sometime. I don’t really know why I was hesitant to tell most people this… judgement? rejection? But I am going to be totally transparent and share what I believe in and why veganism is what I have chosen for myself.

I want to stroke you ^^

Let’s get into the background information as to what lead me to this…

I initially became interested in a plant-based diet ever since I stumbled across the book “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger M.D. also founder of http://nutritionfacts.org/.Β  Because I am going to school for dietetics, it’s not surprise that I am a total ‘nutrition nerd’ and probably could use a shirt saying so, haha. I am currently still working on finishing itΒ  but after the first few chapters, it opened my eyes. I could not believe some of the things the meat and dairy industry do to animals and to the food they make from them. Along with reading this book I have searched through several articles and scholarly journals, watched a few documentaries, and sought advice from some of my vegan friends.

The answer could not have been more clear to me that this was the lifestyle I wanted to begin.

For the as long as I can remember, dairy has not cooperated with my body. Whenever I would use to eat it, my stomach would bloat the size of a watermelon and I would get really gassy, sometimes causing stomach pain. And I can’t just blame greek yogurt (the worst offender) but all the foods that contain animal products: eggs, cheese, protein bars and powders, some breads, packaged food items, dressings, crackers, you name it.

When I went to the doctors a few months ago I had a high amount of protein in my blood (see post) and I knew something had to change. I first stopped eating protein bars and whey protein powders but I still didn’t always feel too great.Β  Super full and bloated all the time, low energy, constipation, and I am going to be quite honest that I was eating protein bars just because I thought they were healthy and were doing my body good as to “make muscle gains”…. but little did I know they were not doing me any good. What my body was truly asking for was for REAL FOOD.

I remember having chicken for dinner one day and while I was eating it I realized I actually had no appetite for it. I was just eating it because it was there but so many other things could have been more satisfying for me. The next day I decided to try a vegan diet to test how hard it would be. To my surprise, it was actually super easy.Therefore, I tried it for a week. Let me tell you that by the end of that week I was feeling on top of the world. Could not believe all the energy I had all day and I literally think I pooped 3 times one day… TMI I don’t care, I share πŸ˜‰ I already loved plant-based foods so making this change was not hard at all.

While some of you reading might have your own strong opinion on this topic, your feelings are 100% valid, but let me explain to you further. Yes, I USED to have eating issues. Yes, there are days that I admit are not perfect, I’m human. No, I am not using this to relapse into restrictive behaviors. That is not what a vegan diet is about. It’s about how it makes you feel. Compassion for animals. Doing what I feel is right in my heart. Unless you are going vegan in means to lose weight or avoid foods, a vegan diet is not restrictive. In today’s age, there are sooo many alternatives out there. Vegan ice cream, mac and cheese, pizza, burritos, chocolate, tempeh bacon,Β  ANYTHING can be made vegan. You can eat an abundance of plant-based foods with this lifestyle. In regards to all the stereotypes, a vegan diet is not eating lettuce all day.

And guess what? I have not lost weight since beginning this. What has happened:

  • increased energy levels
  • more “regularity”
  • doubling/tripling my carbohydrate intake
  • fear of carbs/sugars has diminished
  • my mind is free from obsessing about macros/calories
  • i feel happy and less stressed out
  • discovered my love of dates and bananas (erry day)
  • sleeping much better
  • less bloating/constipation

Do I recommend this for someone recovering from an eating disorder? It’s all in context. Ask yourself WHY you are truly doing this. Everyone is different. Different needs, bodies, mentalities, values, desires… so just because I am choosing this, doesn’t mean you have to. If you ever consider a change like this I highly recommend you a ton of research before even thinking about it. There are a lot of factors to consider and things you must know so you can ensure you are keeping your health in check.

I was thinking about doing a Q&A in the next week or so for people with any questions or concerns about veganism in general. You can literally ask anything you want to. Comment belowΒ  or shoot me an email at emlove814@gmail.com. These will be anonymous so I won’t put your name in the Q&A.