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! 🙂


Carrot, Apple & Ginger

Oh, the vibrancy of fresh orange carrots.
The crispness of gala and granny smith apples.
And the spicy-sweet punch from a thumb of ginger.Carrot Apple GingerPut them all together and you get juice and muffins!
Hello there, magical two-in-one recipe.

I’ve been on a juice kick recently. I can’t seem to get enough. And since the delicious bottles of organic, cold-pressed Suja juices I love are currently not on sale, I needed to take matters into my own hands. Luckily for me, I have an amazing sister who owns a juicer and lives in the same house as me. Win-win! After a trip to the market and getting a bounty of produce, some refreshing, bright-orange juice was in order!

Sunrise in a Bottle? Yes.
Sunrise in a Bottle? Yes.

Carrot-Apple-Ginger Juice (makes 16oz)
1 medium gala apple
1 medium granny smith apple
3 large carrots
1 thumb of ginger

1. Chop into “juicer-appropriate” size pieces and following juicing directions/speeds for ingredients.
2. Pour into glass and serve immediately, or pour into a mason jar and let refrigerate overnight for a breakfast sunrise-in-a-glass!

Mmm, Lovely.Now, one thing that drives me bananas, or in this case carrots, about juicing is when all that beautiful pulp is tossed after juicing. STOP THE MADNESS!! That is incredibly nutritious, fibrous pulp you have there! Not the mention you spent money on it… so USE IT! Now, moving onto the next phase… Paleo Carrot-Apple-Ginger Muffins!

Perfect Picnic PairCarrot-Apple-Ginger Muffins (makes 4 muffins)
Leftover pulp from Carrot-Apple-Ginger juice
2 eggs
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp coconut oil + extra for greasing
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of fine sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease 4 muffin wells with extra coconut oil.
2. Mash banana in large mixing bowl until smooth.
2. Add in leftover pulp, eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract; stir until combined and smooth.
3. Add baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and coconut flour; stir until combined and smooth.
4. Evenly distribute batter into 4 muffin wells; add a tbsp of water to empty wells for even cooking.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tops of muffins turn a golden brown. Enjoy!Orangy GoodnessHow gorgeous are those shades of orange? The color of both muffin and juice is certainly a beautiful sight!

Carrot Apple Ginger Muffins & Juice

And in case you’re interested in other parts of my life… There’s a new addition to my desk at work. Special thanks to Austin’s brilliant mind for the idea. Now I am super productive or at least that’s what I tell myself.Coffee BarStraight after work I went for a run. I crushed my normal pace. I am 100% positive it’s due to my changes in diet after my Whole30 experience. Not only have I lost some weight, so it’s easier to cart my body around, but the food that is fueling my body has changed.

This is that new kind of running where you lie down...
This is that new kind of running where you lie down…

Look out! Here comes a workout tip! If you’re like me and have a small issue to use the jaws of life to get out of your warm, cozy bed (the struggle is real, people), then working out right after work can help. And I mean as soon as you get home put on those gym clothes and sneakers and GET TO WORK. Don’t touch your email. Don’t check your phone. Don’t sit down just to “rest your legs”. You all know (myself, included) the second you start off on something else, you’ll be done for the night. Down for the count. Adios workout dreams. So, I have my wardrobe sitting out on my bed and my sneakers pre-unlaced, ready for action for when I arrive home. TRY IT! 🙂

Dinner this evening were these amazingly scrumptious plantain chips (shout out to the genius at Fed & Fit) with a Spicy Lime Taco Salad.
Step aside, Taco Bell. You’ve lost. Taco SaladNow, if you’ll excuse me, my roommate, Sarah and I are off to watch only one episode of Once Upon a Time. Only one… seriously. Okay, maybe two. Or four… #judgementfreezone

Iced Coffee & Perfect Timing

This morning started off great. Special shout out to my Iced Coconut Coffee for helping out with that! I love these things hot or iced; they never cease to get me going in the morning.

Liquid Gold

Here’s my concoction because I know you’re all wondering:
And to give credit where credit is due, I took this recipe and just manipulated it a bit to suit my tastes. 

Iced Coconut Coffee (serves 1)

8oz cold coffee (Mine is usually a generous 8oz)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
4 ice cubes (I usually make coffee ice cubes and use those)

1. Place coffee, coconut milk, and ice in blender
2. Blend together until smooth
3. Pour into glass and top with cinnamon!

*Today I was a bit adventurous and added a banana. It was delicious. I highly recommend it for added sweetness, nutrition, and a way to get rid of that banana on your counter that’s on its way out. 😉

So this afternoon was supposed to go like this:

11:30am – leave house

1:50pm – arrive in Tampa for audition

2:15pm – finish audition and enjoy the evening with Austin at Busch Gardens

That is not what happened.

Instead, my car broke down in the middle of the highway, then started up again, but broke down a second time on the off ramp. The tow truck wasn’t going to arrive for 2 hours, so I had to call the agency to tell them I would miss the audition, but they said they would send someone to pick me up. The tow truck came and a man named Brad picked up Austin and I. I was 2 hours late for my audition and after much resistance, they decided to let me audition. Then we were dropped off at the mall where my roommate Sarah drove out to pick us up. And then we ended up at Universal for dinner. Whoa. [Insert deep breath here]

Random Universal Trip
Did I mention how much I love these people?

Now let me say this… please, do not mistake that long monologue for complaining. I’m sharing because, as a believer in God, I love to find ways He is working. For a situation that could be perceived as bad, I look for His perfect plan. I always end up smiling when I realize how a situation like this turned out the best possible way it could have. Here’s how:

1. The obvious: My car turned off in the middle of the highway and we had to drift over some lanes to get to a safe(ish) place and we weren’t hit.

2. The location: the tow driver is free under 100 miles from your home. The location we were headed to was over 100 miles, but where we broke down was just under 100.

3. The help: my agency could have easily said “Sorry, I hope it all works out for you”, but they went above and beyond and found someone to come pick us up. That man, Brad, was late for his own audition to go out of his way for me and he was gracious and kind about the whole process. Also, my roommate, Sarah, just so happened to not have any work scheduled for the afternoon, so she was able to leave and make the trek to us at a moment’s notice. (THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!)

4. The timing: We weren’t sure what we were going to do if the tow truck arrived before Brad (then we were stranded) or if Brad arrived before the tow truck (then Austin would have stayed with the car and been stranded for a bit). But of course, the tow truck arrived and just as he was finishing loading up the car, Brad called. He was parked on the other side of the street waving at us. 🙂

5. The company: Austin never comes with me to auditions, it just so happened to be in Tampa, and we thought it would be fun to make a day of it. He was patient and kind to me throughout the whole process. And if he wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have had the option of leaving my car if Brad arrived before the tow truck. (THANK YOU!)

All in all, whether I get the part or not, I am just so floored at God’s hand. He truly does take care of us. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing your perspective and seeing it.

Too many times we choose to look at the negative. I invite you to do the opposite.