What I Ate Wednesday #4

Well folks, it’s Day 6 of my second round of Whole30! (Technically it is about my fourth attempt at Whole30, I’ve successfully completed one, but once again, I’m going for a successful round two— it’s wedding season, you guys…)

More importantly than that, today was the last day of school! 😀
:::insert cheers and tears:::funny-school-signs Thankfully, this sign is not from our school, but the giggles are wonderful.

The last day, I knew, would consist of extra goodies and treats. I took extra precaution to fill my lunch box with delicious, healthy things to ward off the temptations sure to be lurking.

Breakfast: Running late to work, I quickly threw three eggs in boiling water to prep my Hard-boiled Eggs while I ran around my house trying to get ready. My Green Smoothie was also prepared, but devoured before it was photo time. Oops!eggsThe students got out of school early today, so the teachers were celebrating with an Italian Feast after school. During my break I opted to snack a little bit and wait to bring my Whole30 Italian Lunch to the feast.

Snack: Simple and delicious. An Apple Pie Larabar and 1/2 cup of Strawberries did the trick! Along with copious amounts of water.Larabar & StrawberriesAs I planned, the Italian Feast was overwhelmingly delicious looking AND smelling. And so NOT Whole30! I’m talking bread, cheese, and more bread… and cheese. With this in mind, I intentionally planned my lunch to be “Italian-themed”.

Lunch: Incredible. Say hello to Fresh Zoodles with homemade Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Ground Buffalo Italian Meatballs. Can’t forget the Fresh Basil! Presentation, people.Zoodles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Ground Buffalo MeatballsDinner, on the other hand, was an absolute mess. For starters, there was a piece of fish I was itching to cook, but apparently I waited too long since buying it. I also wanted to make some plantain chips. And you can see how that turned out…Burnt Plantain ChipsDinner: Chipotle saves the day!! Carnitas Salad with TomatoesHot Salsa, and Guacamole! Thank you, thank you, Chipotle!Chipotle Salad Chipotle Salad2And so, we end another scrumptious Whole30 day! Please say a little prayer for me as my roommate sings, “I love feta cheese! It’s delicious! And it’s yummy!” for the rest of the evening. Okay Sarah, I get it, cheese is delicious and not Whole30 approved! 😉

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday #3

Florida was a chilly 48-degrees when I walked out the door this morning. And in the words of one of my Kindergarten students, “Miss Baxter, this is SOOO unusual outside!!” Today was especially delicious due to my meal prep for the night before. Meal prep saves the day! Although, I may or may not have had to eat breakfast in the car due to my lack of desire to pry myself from my warm, toasty bed this morning.

Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs with a side of roasted broccoli and two slices of mouth-watering sugar-free bacon. Not to mention the fresh, tart taste of red raspberries. Mmmm. And it tastes even better in the car… NOT.Egg Breakfast

Tea Time: The chilly weather made me crave some warm Chamomile tea, which tasted lovely. I also paired my hot cup with a festive, Fall-flavored Pumpkin Pie Larabar. This thing is like a Fall party in your mouth people. Get on it!Tea Time Pumpkin Pie Larabar

Lunch: I decided to go Raw today for lunch. I made my own version of Raw Pad Thai filled with Dino kale, broccoli, carrot, green onion, cucumber, red cabbage, and green bell pepper. Plus a Spicy Jalapeño Coconut dressing made from coconut milk, jalapeño, ginger, lime, and green onion, which was all blended to creamy perfection.Raw Pad Thai Raw Pad Thai

A delicious gala apple and GT’s Enlightened Hibiscus Kombucha made this lunch extra special.

Dinner: I actually wasn’t very hungry this evening, so I went really simple. A Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper marinated chicken breast with good ‘ole fresh spinach.Tessamae's Cracked Pepper Chicken


In other news: My roommate and I just signed up for The Color Run – Orlando and we are SUPER excited. We’ll be reppin’ Team DyeHard so the training will be starting ASAP! The Color Run is the self-proclaimed “Happiest 5k On The Planet” and can you see why?!

How AWESOME does THAT look?! Plus, if you’re in the Orlando area and interested in joining our team, let me know! Or if you just want to run the race as an individual, I also would like to let you know that the PROMO CODE: “ORLANDO2” will give you $5-off your race fee! Baller on a budget! 😉

Color Run StrongOh I cannot WAIT for January 31st to arrive! Time to get running!

Packing Heat on a Plane (Okay, they’re really just snacks.)

I’m leaving for the wonderful state of New Jersey in less than 24 hours. I am headed up to visit some family and friends and then be reunited with all my childhood (and teenage/adult-hood) memories at Pine Bush Bible Camp as a camp counselor. Yes, people entrust their sweet children to me for a week. Trust me, everything will be fine. 😉

Camp Life
Camp people understand this type of behavior is not only acceptable, but expected.

All of this got me thinking about traveling and sticking to the Paleo lifestyle. I am trying to be as prepared as possible to stick to it while traveling. There is only so much I can do once arriving at camp, but while boarding planes and road tripping, I’m arming myself with paleo-approved snackage. (Whoa, I just sounded like my father. He loves to add “age” to words for a reason unknown to me. Boilage. Beepage. Snackage. Love that man.)

The trick is to keep things simple, portable, and carry little-to-no liquids, which seem to upset airport security. Let’s get to it:

1. Raw, Mixed Nuts & Seeds: For me, cashews are currently a big hit with my taste buds, but any mix or nuts & seeds will do. Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and will keep your tummy satisfied when paired with a protein source. Try not to overdo it, as it is easy to do when reaching your hand in a large bag of mix. I like to separate mine into single-servings pouches so I’m aware of how much I am eating.This is nuts.

2. Bars: Another perfectly portable snack. My favorite is the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar (shocker), but I like to bring a variety of bars for whatever mood I’m in. Sometimes I’m feeling all Colonial American-like and Apple Pie strikes my fancy. Just make sure whatever bars you bring along have real food in them and none of those crazy artificial & chemical ingredients that you can’t pronounce.Check out those bars

3. Canned Meats: Portable protein for the win! Canned tuna (or salmon or chicken) is a great addition to bring along with you. Some people love to eat it straight from the can, or you can add it to a garden salad you’ve purchased in the terminal. Either way, eating a quality source of protein (check the cans for organic and/or wild caught) will keep you satiated and loving that you didn’t go for that sugary donut instead.Canned Meats

4. Coconut Water: Dehydration can become a bit of a problem due to the low humidity on airplanes. You many not even be aware it’s affecting you, but sometimes air travel can cause dry-skin, itchy eyes, and lethargy. Plain coconut water contains a natural source of electrolytes and is high in potassium, which will aid to ward off dehydration. Try and drink some before or after your flight. Also, drink some good ‘ole H2O while on the plane. Staying hydrated while traveling will keep you feeling energized and refreshed.This water is coconuts

It may be tricky, but it is 100% doable to stick to healthy choices if you come prepared. I hope these are a few things you bring along on your travels so you will feel nourished and energized! Travel well.

Flavors of the Week

I absolutely love trying new things, but with my personality I often get super excited about a few things, then move on to the next group of things I am thrilled about. To me, it keeps life interesting and exhilarating. To others, it becomes just down-right confusing.

Currently, these are a few of my favorite things that I enjoy to stick to a healthy lifestyle (and just for fun).

1. My Crockpot: I’ve made my first batch of homemade chicken stock & vegetable stock. When life give you stock, make soup! The crockpot has been an extraordinary tool to help on busy days when I just want to come home hungry for dinner. There is a healthy dinner waiting to be devoured. Plus, the aromas act as an extraordinary air freshener.

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup, let’s eat!

2. Twice: This website is filled with designer brands at a severe discount. The site allows people to sell their gently used, current, name-brand clothing and then they re-sell the products at dangerously low prices. Dangerous for me, at least. Twice is really great about serving first-time buyers too. When I created an account, I gained a $10 credit. I gained another $10 credit for adding the app. Finally, another $10 credit for referring a friend. On top of all that, first time buyers currently get a 50% off discount. I received $60 of gently used, designer brand clothing for FREE (yes, you read that correctly).

Like Twice

3. Coconut Cream Pie Larabar: EAT ALL THE COCONUT THINGS has been the theme of my life recently, but I have it completely under control. I may need to chill out a bit. Good thing Whole Foods has a coupon for Larabars right now. Also, Target has 5% back on the Cartwheel app. STOCK UP! Every time I am in need of an emergency snack, these are the perfect treat and great to tide me over to the next meal.

Coconut Cream Pie

4. Tennis: Who knew this game could be incredible?! I was a gymnast growing up. I have that whole balance and tumbling thing down pat still, but as far as games that include a ball, I may or may not have a hard time with. Recently, Austin and I have been playing a TON of tennis and I finally have been able to keep a rally and proper swing– so now I enjoy it 😉

5. Iced Coconut Coffee: As you may have guessed, I am Iced Coffee’s Number One Fan. Go Iced Coffee! Win all the taste buds! I have been making these iced coconut coffees every morning lately (and occasionally in the afternoon too). I used to be a dedicated fan of Dunkin Donuts’ Caramel Iced Coffee. Now that there is an absence of sugar and dairy in my life, those are no longer an option. With these Iced Coconut Coffees though, it really no longer matters. Adios Dunkin!

Liquid Gold
Hello, Friend.

What are you currently loving?

Larabar’s [Re]Nola Review

A few weeks ago I received a BOGO coupon for Larabar’s new product: [Re]Nola. I was actually really saddened because I was right in the beginning of my Whole30 and granola sounded like a perfect treat, but as you may have heard, all those gluten & grain items are a no-go 😦 Just as I was about to giveaway my coupons, I checked out the product online: Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, etc.

I realized ALL the ingredients are Paleo. Can you hear the angels singing?! Paleo granola at TARGET! Larabar comes through again… Unless you’re a “paleo-purist” who doesn’t eat tapioca syrup, then this is not for you. #sorrynotsorry

Renola

Currently, [Re]Nola (which means “reinventing granola) comes in three varieties: Cinnamon NutBerry, and Cocoa Coconut. There are also two different sizes: these handy little 1.28oz single serve bags (above) and larger 9oz bags for sharing (below).

Renola bags

At my local Target the larger pouches were not available just yet, but I was told they are on their way. The single serving pouches, however, were jumping off the shelves (they were also on sale for $1.52). People were crowding the free sample table like crazy (obviously I was one of them) and grabbing the pouches off the stand– leaving nothing but 4 Cinnamon Nut and 3 Berry pouches. AND ONE COCOA COCONUT.

And guess who got it? Yep, THIS GIRL.

ReNola Cocoa Coconut

[Re]view Time! (See what I did there? Corny, yes. Moving on…)

Likes:

-Flavors: All of them. They eat held their own distinct flavor profiles well and were well-balanced. There wasn’t one particular flavor that overpower any of the others. Well done, [Re]Nola. My personal favorite: Cocoa Coconut, followed by Berry, then Cinnamon Nut.

-Versatility: While standing around the sample table, a lot of the other customers and I were chatting about what we could use [Re]Nola for (besides just shoveling it straight to our mouths). Parfaits! Salad topping! On top of an Apple Crisp! We could probably have come up with a lot more if we stood there long enough. One of my favorite bloggers, Tina, over at Carrots ‘n’ Cake came up with a few paleo-friendly treats of her own in this post! Check it out!

-Paleo-friendly: The ingredients are all-natural and free of any grains or gluten, but it still tastes and has the texture of regular granola. You won’t even miss the oats, I promise! It is a treat for everyone!

ReNola Berry

Neutral:

-Packaging: I am actually on the fence about this. On one hand, I really enjoy the single serve packaging. My issue with it is that most of the packages seemed to have contents that were smushed and not in tact. Although, this could be due to everyone picking up and checking out the product at the sample table and totally unrelated to how it’s packaged. We’ll see.

Dislikes:

-Price: I was well prepared for this day. I had two BOGO coupons, and another $1-off any 3 coupon. With the sale at Target too, my total came out to $1.50 for all four single serve packages. Now stop making fun of coupon people. Without the coupons and sale, these same four packages would have cost $7.16 + tax. That price is a good argument to go ahead and buy the bigger bag, I believe. Or scan the internet for coupons!


Personally, I think this stuff is fantastic. I really enjoyed sampling all the flavors and was eager to bring some home to add to recipes. If you are interested in trying a new snack, I would go for it! If you have more questions about [Re]Nola, you can find answers here on the Larabar [Re]Nola FAQ page.