My 2017 in a Nutshell

This took me wayyy too long to write (It’s already February aha ha ha), but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything! In past years, I always took the time in January to write things I looked forward to in the upcoming new year. I found it to be very helpful in battling depression and sadness. Something to look forward to, you know? But as the years progressed and the lists got longer, it became more beneficial to compile what I did rather than what I expected to do. I love having these memories to keep. The delay was because this year, I actually made a full scrapbook of everything!! What a project that was. But it’s done and so worth it because I have it forever now. <3 It was a good hobby to soothe my churning mind through the winter months.

All the biggest memories of 2017:

  • Tom Segura comedy show
  • Concert – Falling in Reverse, Motionless in White, Issues
  • Ice Skating with Nick
  • So much vegan food!!!
  • Cooking with Nick
  • Improv comedy show
  • Concert – A Perfect Circle
  • Concert – Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold
  • New York City vacation with Nick
  • Cirque du Soleil “Paramour” on Broadway
  • Seeing Leah & my cousin in New York City
  • Georgia Renaissance Festival
  • Nintendo Switch fun – Mario Kart!!
  • Getting my first Pokémon games (Sun, Y, Omega Ruby, Ultra Moon) + animal crossing for Nintendo 3DS
  • Baseball games in the new braves stadium Suntrust Park
  • Moving in with Nick and being the proud mommy of 1 puppy (Pesto) plus 2 step puppies (Leo and Cabri)<3
  • Concert – Chevelle
  • Competing in my first Century Bike ride (96/100 miles completed, middle of July/August with 90%+ humidity. what. a. ride.)
  • I finally dyed my hair blue!!
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta 2017
  • John Mulaney comedy show
  • Haunted House (called Containment – so good)
  • Concert – Motionless in White (Halloween show!)
  • Investing in cryptocurrency!!
  • Nick and I’s first Christmas together & a bigggg Christmas tree
  • Purchasing my first car (2015 Mazda CX-5)
  • Finally getting breast augmentation – best decision ever
  • 10 inches of snow in early December & more in late December!!
  • Securing my job for 2018 & many years after

I cannot wait for 2018 and what it has to offer! I can’t even begin to predict what the year has in store.


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




Peanut Butter Banana Bread (gf, vegan)

I made the yummiest peanut butter banana bread this weekend. This recipe is simple, sugar free, vegan, and can be gluten free! That’s hard to beat when a recipe tastes delicious and is good for you.

There’s something about banana bread that is so irresistible. The sweet taste, the cakey texture, the comfort of it… I used to always keep banana bread around in the fridge, but I guess I got sick of it and didn’t make any for months! That seems crazy. But I’m back on a kick and I’m on my third loaf in less than 2 weeks, ha.

I like playing around with flavors each time, but this peanut butter banana bread recipe, in particular, is a clear winner amongst others. I topped my banana bread with with peanut butter icing & Doughbar Doughnuts new chocolate crisp protein treat for a heavenly sandwich of chewy, crunchy, sweet, smooth goodness. I can hear Xhibit now – “I heard you like peanut butter so I put peanut butter on your peanut butter banana bread so you can peanut butter while you peanut butter.”

Answer me this – Do you have banana bread on hand right now? If not, FIX THAT. Try this out and let me know what you think! It’s great once it cools, but the real secret here is that it’s even more amazing after it’s chilled in the fridge. I don’t know why or how, it just. is.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Serves: 12

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups raw oats
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (or more oats, if gluten free)
  • 1 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia (Optional)
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Grind your oats into a flour, and add to the mashed bananas. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Continue to mix everything until homogenous and no dry lumps remain.
  3. Pour the batter into a bread loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50 mins.
  4. Let cool 10-15 minutes, slice into 12 slices, and enjoy!

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




Raspberry Brownie Bites (vegan)

Yooo these raspberry brownie bites ended up tasting just like Ghirardelli raspberry dark chocolate!! They’re so fudgy and rich, yet only 175 cals each. These raspberry brownie bites even have hidden micronutrients and use no oil, sugar, or dairy!

It’s been a while since I’ve baked for fun rather than for a project/job. Two reasons: 1) I’m just busy and 2) I’ve been addicted to oats, toast, and pb/banana wraps. It’s really all I need to keep me happy, and I haven’t been craving any fancy wild baked goods. It’s weird haha. But I got a new product and the baking itch came to me.

I tried out this new garden power powder, and the berry flavor is just toooo good. Normally..greens powders/spirulina/anything packed with micronutrients just tastes so earthy and is hard to incorporate into foods without it looking like green mush. But this stuff has a great berry flavor to it and it was perfect to bake with. Paired with the cacao powder in this recipe, the flavors are to die for!

I want to bake a full brownie sheet of this one day, but for now, I stuck to individual bites of it. Each one is so satisfying, even without sugar, oils, or animal products. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s directly comparable to the Ghirardelli raspberry dark chocolates. Wowow. Try these out and let me know what you think!! If you double the recipe, it’d be great to bake in a 9×9 dish as brownie squares.

raspberry brownie bites

Raspberry Brownie Bites

Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 cup raw oats
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup baking Stevia
  • 2 scoops of Veggie Mama berry garden powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Grind the oats into a flour. Then mix the oats with the remaining ingredients until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour the batter into 4 cupcake molds and bake at 350 F for 22-25 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




My New Winter Glasses

Ever since I discovered GlassesShop.com, my glasses collection has quickly grown in size! I love glasses for versatility in expression and appearance, but I’ve always been the type of person to have a single pair of glasses and wear them to death for 5+ years since they’re so expensive!!! Discovering these affordable glasses online has been such a blessing!! So many of the glasses frames are $20-40 which is sooo reasonably priced. Not only that, but I notice they have sales all the time to take advantage of.

Although I’ve been given glasses directly from them to review before, I genuinely go back and buy glasses from them on multiple occasions. I really recommend this site for prescription glasses and sunglasses because of the ease of use of the website, the selection, the affordable cost, and the durability of the frames. Check out all the frames I’ve gotten from them! I can’t stop! (The purple frame is called Kimberley. The clear frame is called Alice Oval – Crystal. Bottom frame is called Ada Classic Wayframe – Brown/Golden)

I’ve gotten SO many compliments from strangers on the clear frames, so I definitely recommend them!! They’re very unique yet elegant. They’re probably my favorite, followed by my non-prescription black frames (I use those just for accessory ;p).

This time around, I wanted frames more on the academic side, but still fashionable. I think I found a happy medium between those two wants. They’re more “professional” than I expected, but nothing’s wrong with that!! What do you think? I like that the sheen of them changes in the light so sometimes they look black and sometimes they look copper/metal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish I was exaggerating, but I really love this site. A lot of sites require an up-to-date prescription, but as long as YOU know your prescription, you don’t need a doctor’s order at all. It makes it so easy and doesn’t overly complicate things like a lot of glasses websites do. GlassesShop.com offers the 50% discount code GSHOT50 for 50% off anything (as long as it isn’t on sale discount already), which is kiiiinda incredible if you ask me when they’re already so affordable!


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




This entry was posted in Blog.

Simple Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Hiii. How about this baked vegan cheesecake, huh!? It is so amazingly soft and surprises anyone who tries it that it’s completely dairy free. This recipe is simple, sweet, and versatile since you can add any fun additions to the recipe that you want! Hang in there for the recipe below!

baked vegan cheesecake

Let’s just pretend I wasn’t on a hiatus for…oh I don’t know…TWO MONTHS. Since then, I feel like everything has changed, and yet nothing at all. I’ve been focusing on my happiness and the forms of media I take in, and it’s helped my mindset stay (more or less) out of the negatives. It’s crazy how you mindlessly take in media from Instagram, people you hang around, Youtube, etc… Then before you know it you’re led to think one way or another, view yourself one way, have opinions about the actions of others, and just generally feel negative. I know so many of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling Instagram out of boredom, and all of a sudden you feel like you aren’t fit enough, don’t look good enough, need to do x y and z to be better. It’s just horrid…but often times I just don’t know how to fill my time.

Nick’s been magnificent about helping me find ways to immerse my mind. I get bored so easily so finding something that totally grabs my attention and keeps me busy is difficult. But I’ve been getting into more video games, trying to color more, distracting myself by doing my hair or makeup when I feel sad, etc. I’ve been playing Nintendo Switch games (particularly Splatoon!) and I’ve recently been playing a lot of Pokemon Sun on the 3ds that Nick got me in the Spring. It’s crazy how something viewed as “lazy” is actually the most positive and re-energizing thing for me lately. Video games are so innocent and so uplifting in small doses, and it’s been great.

In the times between, I’ve been staying busy with recipe development work for companies and improving my photography skills. Nick has so much camera knowledge and it’s been fun learning things from him and putting them to the test in my photoshoots. It makes me feel great :) Learning is always fun and I hope that I always have things to learn in my life. I’ve also just been baking for fun because, of course I have. Baking will always and forever be a part of me. I’ve been trying to tackle veganizing recipes that have always scared me since going vegan. One of the biggest on the list for me: cheesecake.

It took me a couple tries, but I finally got it right! I love this recipe and it’s easy to add variations. For example, I made an oreo version by adding oreos to the batter. I also made a caramel version by drizzling a vegan caramel on top. You could swirl cookie dough into the batter, add strawberries on top, swirl peanut butter on top before baking, you name it! I’m so happy I have a go-to up my sleeve now for parties and events. My coworkers and Nick absolutely loved this recipe the times I brought it into work. People weren’t sure how it could possibly be dairy free and vegan. Which is always a good thing if you ask me.

Try this out and let me know what you think!! What variation of cheesecake would you make first!?

Simple Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Serves: 12

Crust

  • Graham pie crust (this one is vegan/no honey)

Filling

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1, 13.5 oz can coconut milk (chilled, top part only)
  • 1 package tofutti vegan cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP flour (Optional)

Before baking, soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Strain before using. Alternatively if you’re in a crunch for time, you can boil the cashews for 15-20 and strain before using.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In a food processor or blender, simply blend all of the filling ingredients. You want to use only the thick, top portion of the coconut cream and dispose of the water layer at the bottom. Chilling in the fridge is what makes this separation occur. Blend for 2-3 minutes until very very thick and creamy.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 325 F for 70-80 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature to cool for at least one hour. Place in the fridge overnight to fully set. Then cut into 12 slices and enjoy!

Variations

For an oreo cheesecake, use this crust and swirl 3 crushed oreos into the cheesecake filling before baking.

For a caramel cheesecake, bake as normal. Then pour a vegan caramel on top while it is sitting at room temperature. To make a simple caramel, melt together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter, and up to 2 TBSP almond milk until the perfect consistency is reached.

 

 


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.




New Glasses and My First Century Ride!

Hiii guys! It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I haven’t gotten much time to myself so finding peace and quiet to write is difficult. I have been trying to video record big events, so this post will be supported a bit by those videos :)

I recently shared my new eyeglasses! I was a little hesitant to try them out, but I’ve really been wanting clear glasses frames so I figured I’d give it a go. I like to get my eyeglasses online from glassesshop.com because they don’t require a prescription to be forwarded to them, as long as you know your prescription. Which I do! I also love this site since they have so many options and they always have some sort of sale going on. I figure – if I don’t like a set, I don’t really lose much and can try again since frames can be as cheap as $13!! They also don’t feel cheap and I haven’t had any break. It’s great. I saw right now they have a BOGO sale with code “BSGOGO” – that’s when I like to get two pairs at once! I’m not sure how long it lasts though. I think they code “GSHOT50” will always give 50% off a pair without the sale ending. I know they also have prescription sunglasses, but I haven’t tried any of them out before.

Take a look at the pair I got on Youtube here :) I feel fanccyyyy. I got the pair called “Alice Oval – Crystal” if you want to get these! I like getting new glasses because I feel like it’s always the start of a new era hahaha. Just me or?

If you watch the second half of that video, I recorded that right before my first century bike ride! 100 miles :o I sit here now, the day after the century, sore all over with a foggy brain. I apologize for any crazy typos or grammar. I’m sure this is riddled with them from my brain fog. I think the weirdest thing I could’ve never even anticipated feeling after the ride is…my esophagus is sore??? Not going to lie, I am mildly concerned about it. It hurts to swallow and kind of feels like something lodged in my airway. But I’ll see what happens with time. I’m assuming its just from exerting energy for 8 hours straight with a minimum heart rate of 160. Check out this video for all my immediate post-ride thoughts. Glorious robe, wet hair, and all.

It feels amazing to set out and do a goal I made a year ago. Ride a 100 mile century bike ride. It was brutal, hot, my whole body was on fire by mile 60, and I felt every.single.mile.after. At 96 miles, a combination of direct sun (I’m dealing with the extreme burn today!) and constant hills cut my ride short; I began to black out. I did everything in my power; I just couldn’t keep my heart rate or body temperature down. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t EVER get my heart rate below 160. Not good at all – the goal was to maintain around 130. Ironic enough I pulled over at a church graveyard hahah. Whether I made the 100 mile marker or not, I was washed over by extreme emotion at the end. I couldn’t hold back tears. I always think back to my younger self, who was embarrassed to run the mile in middle school because she couldn’t make the 16 minute cut off. So unhealthy, self-conscious, and self-defeating. I still can’t believe what I pushed myself to achieve, all while managing my fibromyalgia in recent years. I’m going to try again next year  NOT in the smack dab middle of the Georgia summer and with less hills.

I think this was a great learning experience. You have to start somewhere, right? Considering my longest ride before this day was 55 miles…in shade…less hills…I’m so proud. I never could’ve imagined doing something like this. I feel like challenges like these are mostly mindset, and that, I for sure conquered. The self-defeating second nature I was born with was not going to take over. While that tries to slip up in my day to day, challenges like these remind me that it’s all about what you believe you can do, then doing it. You can do anything. Unless…the sun physically puts you in a dangerous place. But I sure as heck tried. And I did the best I could with the circumstances. I was giggling to myself during the ride because from my 23 and me results, I am scientifically made better for sprints and short bursts of energy as opposed to marathons or long durations of exercise. So I was giggling like…why did I choose to do this ahahah. I’m not MADE for this. But it’s just so fun :p

I’m…going back into recovery mode of just laying around for the rest of the day until work tomorrow. People keep telling me to spin out today and it’ll help the soreness be diminished in the following days but I don’t knowwww.. I’m still having muscle spasms and locking joints, so I just need to return to baseline I think. Here’s a photo drop!

Food that I packed. I thought it would be perfect or one packet too many…but it wasn’t. I found some fruits + pickles for sodium + pretzels at the rest stops I was able to snag (a lot of the supplied foods weren’t vegan :/) but even that extra fruit wasn’t enough. Really awful cramps from lack of electrolytes.

Immediately after stopping at 96 and sitting incase I dropped to the ground unconscious. You can see the dehydration in my face.

After sitting a bit and my mom arriving to rescue me hahaha. I felt happy, sad, loopy, and just overwhelmed by emotions and senses.

My number. I feel like 1s, 3s, and 0s follow me so I thought it was freaky I got 131. The salt crystals on my face are cool. #science

Walking into the post-ride restaurant, the sun burn set in. No wonder I was overheated.


Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.