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. guess who’s back! .

August 27, 2012

Hey guys! Guess who’s back! 😀

Yesiree! But you’ll find me at a new home, so hop on over to…

… and please update your Reader’s and all that jazz.

See you over there!

. WIAW … last night at home .

September 14, 2011

What. a. day 😯

Tonnes of packing and a trip to the dentist does not a happy ‘Manda make…

… and there’s still more packing to be done. Bah!

It’s honestly hard to believe that tomorrow is the big day. It seems like not even that long ago that I just found my place and put an offer in. Yowza. Time is flying. In any case, the night is slipping away and I’d like to savor my last one at home, so this post is going to be short and sweet.

Now who’s ready to party?

. – . – . – .


Eggy bananafied oats topped with a sliced peach, cinnamon, and coconut butter.

. – . – . – .

Morning snack(s)…


Greek yogurt drizzled with honey, smothering a banana.

Cinnamon raisin bran muffin.

. – . – . – .

Lunch time…

Greek yogurt – blueberries – peach – Puffins – puffed wheat – almond butter – trail mix.

I know, I know. I was supposed to try eating more substantial meals, but a cereal mess was all I wanted, and this managed to hold me over for almost 4 hours. Winnnnn.

. – . – . – .

Afternoon nibbles…


Cookie dough ball – Cottage cheese with protein powder and cocoa, topped with chocolate chips.

Popcorn coated with coconut oil, and drizzled with honey and sea salt.

. – . – . – .


Pumpkin hummus tortilla pizza.

. – . – . – .

Night time snack…

To be decided… but probably something along these lines:

Oat bran – Greek yogurt – ground flax – cinnamon – maple syrup

. – . – . – .

So I guess you could say that I kind of tossed aside my eating experiment today, but I was too busy packing and couldn’t be bothered to stop and think about what I was going to eat…. which I actually consider a kind of success because there was a time in my life where I’d put everything on hold so that I could plan my meals and eat them in peace. Thankfully, I’m no longer that girl… which is good because this girl really needs to finish packing!

I’m really not too sure how posting is going to work for this next little while. I’ll try my best to keep you guys updated, but if I disappear for a few days it’s probably because I’m having Internet issues or unable to find the time/energy to sit down and blog coherently. Hopefully everything goes smoothly.

Wish me luck!

. – . – . – .

What are your favorite toppings for popcorn? I love coconut oil and cinnamon, but have you ever tried adding honey? To die for!

What did you have for lunch today? I love you if it was cereal 😀 And I love you even if it wasn’t.

Any must have essentials that I need to make sure I have for my new place? I keep feeling like I’m forgetting something important…

. eating experiments .

September 13, 2011

Happy Tuesday loves. Hope your week is off to a great start 😀

I abstained from posting yesterday because:

a) I was running around getting all of the last minute legal crap paperwork finished before my big move (2 more days!!), thereby leaving me with little time to come up with a coherent post, and

b) I loved all of the comments you guys left on my last post, and really wanted to think about them some more while I was making a decision on the whole meat thing.

So, did I make a decision? Well, yes and no – there were a lot of  valid points raised for both sides! A lot of people, it seems, have had similar experiences with feeling constantly unsatisfied when following a vegetarian diet; feelings that subsided with the reintroduction of meat. Others argue that a plant based diet can provide the body with everything it needs, as long as proper care and attention is given.

Fair enough. But who’s right?

Both sides are. Herbivore. Omnivore. Carnivore. There is no perfect way to eat, and diets (as in the kind of food you eat) aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Different things work for different people, and the most important thing is doing what works for you as an individual.

So here’s my plan.

A few people suggested that I try increasing my consumption of beans, nuts, fats, and other nutrient dense foods as a first step, as I’ve been eating sweeter, snackier, breakfast-type foods lately, and my body might just be wanting something a bit more substantial.


Alright, I can do that… at least until Saturday.

Why Saturday?

Because Saturday is farmer’s market day, and if I’m going to eat meat, I want to get it from local organic sources where I can actually talk to the farmer to see how the animal was fed/treated. Although perhaps not entirely motivated by ethics, my decision to follow a vegetarian diet was influenced by a love for animals, and I’d like to be as humane as I possibly can.

Sooooo that leaves me with a few days to experiment, and what better time to start than the present…

Instead of having my beloved bowl of eggy bananafied oats with AB and pudding for breakfast, I opted for overnighters made with Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and a banana. Blueberries, almond slivers, and ground flax were added in the morning. Tasty, but I’m still not the biggest fan of overnight oats.

Lunch was also a deviation from the norm…

No cereal messes or protein smoothies. Instead, I threw some rice into a skillet and mixed in a whole egg. When that was done, I added chickpeas and a glob of hummus, and had the whole mess alongside some steamed broccoli. Ketchup was obviously a must as well.

No cereal for lunch meant that I had to satisfy my craving later on in the day…

[Greek yogurt, blueberries, banana, Puffins, Kashi Honey Sunshine, almond butter]

… but not for dinner. Dinner was slightly more “grown up”…

[Pumpkin chili Mexican scramble – salsa – avocado – cottage cheese]

And there we have it. Day 1 done.

Did I notice any differences? Eh. Not really. Granted, it’s only been one day so I’m not going to jump to any conclusions, but I will let you in on a little secret. Whether I see any changes or not, I’m still going to give meat a shot. Why? Because I feel as though it’s important for me to make the decision on whether I want to include meat in my diet or not with a clear head. See, when I originally gave it up, my ED strongly influenced my choice. Now that it’s no longer an issue, and my vegetarian diet is largely habitual, I want to reassess the actual reasons behind my choice.

If I don’t like it, then I don’t have to keep eating it, simple as that. But if I do enjoy it and it does make me feel better, then I’ll be reintroducing it back into my diet. Some people may not agree with my reasoning, and I’m perfectly okay with that – I don’t always agree with everything that everyone else does either. But I do respect their decisions, and all I ask is that the same degree of courtesy be shown to me.

See you guys tomorrow for WIAW! 😀

. – . – . – .

Do you enjoy experimenting with your diet?

Is there anything that you’re currently trying out?

. the great meat debate .

September 11, 2011

Please take a moment to remember all of the lives that were lost on this day ten years ago. What happened on September 11, 2001 forever changed the course our lives would take.

Never forget to remember.

. – . – . – .

So we ended yesterday’s confessional with promises of protein [talk]…

While I wouldn’t say that I follow any sort of high protein diet (I’m a carbs and fats girl at heart), I do try to pay attention to my protein intake, especially on the days that I lift.

Some of my favorite sources?

Protein shakes…


. – . – . – .

Greek yogurt…

. – . – . – .



. – . – . – .

Cottage cheese…

. – . – . – .

Nuts and Seeds…


. – . – . – .


. – . – . – .



. – . – . – .

Whole grains…

. – . – . – .



. – . – . – .

You probably notice the lack of meat/fish, and that’s because… well… I don’t eat them. I was never big on fish(I just can’t get past the smell), and I gave up meat around four years ago, when my eating disorder started getting really bad. Since then I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet which, over time, I’ve become a lot more relaxed about. I hate the prescriptive nature that comes with the vegetarian label, which is why I never call myself one, and also why I told myself that if I ever craved meat, I would allow myself to eat it.

Which brings us to my present conundrum…

See, I don’t crave meat exactly, but I crave something. My snacking has gotten a little out of control lately, and while I thought it was just my appetite going nuts at first, now I’m not so sure. It honestly feels like my constant desire to snack stems from the fact that my body isn’t satisfied with what I’m feeding it, and that it’s not getting something that it needs. Have you ever tried to satisfy a craving for chocolate by eating a bunch of carrot sticks?  If you have, then you probably know what happens when you try to do that. You can eat carrots until you give yourself a stomach ache, yet you’ll still be unsatisfied.

That’s how I’ve been feeling. And, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

Is meat the answer? I don’t know, and I won’t know unless I try it and see what happens. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten meat, that I probably wouldn’t even know a meat craving if I was hit with one. Does the thought skeeve me out? A little bit, yes… but I remember experiencing the same kind of feelings when I gave up veganism, and that’s a decision that I never regret, as I’ve only seen positive improvements to my health as a result.

So there it is. My last confession – I’m thinking about giving up my vegetarian diet. Or, at least, I’m thinking about introducing some chicken/turkey back into my diet for a while and seeing what happens. I’m tired of playing with protein powders (which, in all honesty, do NOT fill me up at all). I’m tired eating different meals than the rest of my family. And I’m tired of feeling constantly munchy.

Maybe meat isn’t the answer, but maybe it is. I’ve voiced my concerns to those close to me, and they’ve all pretty much confirmed my suspicions. They basically told me that they have a much harder time feeling full/satisfied on days where they don’t eat meat… maybe the same is true for me… I don’t know. I do know that I’m tired of wondering. I haven’t done it yet, but it’ll most likely be happening soon. If I don’t like it, I can always go back… nothing is set in stone.

. – . – . – .

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever gone through anything similar? Do you think that protein is protein, no matter what the source? Do you think that anyone can follow a vegetarian diet if they get enough protein from alternative sources?

. saturday confessions .

September 10, 2011

I feel as though I need to get some things off my chest…


Confession: I could probably eat the same breakfast for the rest of my life without complaint.

Eggy oats – Banana – Almond butter – Pudding.

. – . – . – .

Confession: I feel slightly guilty for eating things that are shaped like animals…

… but it’s not enough to stop me from eating them.

. – . – . – .

Confession: I like macaroni and cheese better when it’s cold…

… and alongside a hardboiled egg [and ketchup].

. – . – . – .

Confession: Remember how I said I was going to start packing this weekend?

Yeah. Didn’t happen…

. – . – . – .

Confession: … because I spent most of my free time re-reading this for fun

Feel free to call me crazy.

. – . – . – .

Confession: I’m slightly terrified that I’m going to chip a tooth on this chunky almond butter…

They mean serious business.

. – . – . – .

Confession: I legitimately squeaked out loud when I came across this sight…

… and I may or may not have bought three boxes.

. – . – . – .

Confession: I’ve developed a serious cereal addiction…

Greek yogurt – Blueberries – Puffins – Puffed wheat – Kashi Sunshine.

Greek yogurt – Banana – Puffins – Kashi Sunshine – Trail mix.

. – . – . – .

Confession: … and I had a bowl for dinner again tonight…

Greek yogurt – Blueberries – Banana – Puffins – Kashi Sunshine – Almond butter.

. – . – . – .

Confession: These are my crack…

. – . – . – .

Confession: There’s a certain issue concerning protein sources that’s been nagging me for quite some time now…

… and I could really use some input, so I plan on going into more detail in a separate post.

Happy Saturday loves! 😀

. – . – . – .

Can you relate to any of my confessions?

Anything you need to get off your chest?

. reunited, and it feels so good .

September 9, 2011

Happy Friday, friends! 😀

Who’s glad to see the weekend rolling in? I am! But not so much for the promise of R&R, because I doubt I’ll be getting much of that this weekend (I need to get serious about packing!). No. The real reason that I’m happy to see this week come to a close is that it brings me that much closer to the big move.

Six days and counting 😀 Can.not. wait.

And that’s not the only exciting thing that’s been happening around these parts. See, today I got reunited with a long-lost friend…

Not quite what you were expecting, was it? Allow me to explain.

Me and Mac go way back. If I had to pick one food that reminded me of my younger years (God, do I sound old or what?), Mac&Cheese would be it. When I was first started learning how to cook for myself, macaroni and cheese was basically the only thing that I could make [well], so it basically became the only thing I ate.

And it didn’t hurt that it was deliciously addictive either.

What? Don’t give me that look. Like you’ve never eaten an entire box over the course of one day. You never? Well then. You were either a good cook, a more health-conscious teenager, or lactose intolerant.

None of the above apply to me.

In any case… Mac&Cheese. We were tight. Peas and carrots, if you will. I won’t go over the length and breadth of my addiction to those cheesy noodles, other than to say that I loved them as much as I now love oatmeal…


… and ate them just as often [read: every day, sometimes multiple times]
(Get your minds outta the gutter!) 

Enter ED, stage right (Boo! Hiss!). Hello 4 years of Mac&Cheese sobriety…

… and now, good-bye…

… and good riddance…


Yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon. Okay, maybe not completely off the wagon; I mean, I can actually cook [other things] now, and I doubt that I could go back to eating it as much as I used to, but the waves of nostalgia that hit me at lunch were intoxicating, and Mac&Cheese will definitely be making more regular appearances in the future.

Enjoy the start of your weekend, loves 😀

. – . – . – .

What food(s) bring back memories of your younger self? 

Do you still eat them now? Healthier variations?

. today was a beautiful day .

September 8, 2011

Today was a beautiful day…

The kind of day where having a hot breakfast makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but you do so anyways because… well… that’s just how you like it…

. – . – . – .

The kind of day where working out in a gym would be a crime, so you take your run outside…

… only to almost die on the stairs that were sadistically placed along your route…

. – . – . – .

The kind of day where afternoon eats and treats have to be cool and sweet…

Tofu protein pudding, made with a frozen banana and chia seeds.

Greek yogurt – Frozen chocolate muffin – Banana – Almond butter.

Cool, crisp salad beast.

Vanilla ice cream with a crumbled cone and chocolate sprinkles.

Frozen banana with almond butter and chocolate muffin crumbs.

. – . – . – .

The kind of day where the thought of a savory dinner sends your appetite running for the hills, and the only thing that sounds appealing is a grown-up twist on a childhood favorite…

Greek yogurt (buried) – Blueberries – Cereal – Trail mix.

. – . – . – .

The kind of day where you don’t think about eating too much sugar or not enough protein.

The kind of day where your mind is completely free.

The kind of day that wouldn’t have been possible at this time last year.

Yes, today was a beautiful day 😀

. – . – . – .

Do you struggle with feeling like you have to balance your eats on a daily basis? It’s an issue that’s plagued me for a long time. Make sure to get so much of this, not too much of that… but I’m finally starting to look at the bigger picture instead of analyzing things over a 24-hour time frame.

Are you a fan of cereal for dinner? It’s something that I used to do on a regular basis, and I’m thinking that it’s going to start making an appearance much more often.

. WIAW … it’s good to be home .

September 7, 2011

Hi friends! How the heck are ya?!

And how has it been ages [read: 5 days] since we last talked? I’m thinking it might have something to do with the fact that I just up and vanished without a trace, and I apologize for that.

But it wasn’t my fault! I was kidnapped!

See, I was innocently going about my daily life as usual, when Mother Nature decided to throw some crazily nice weather our way. Long story short, someone [read: my friend T] decided it would be a good idea to take full advantage of the weather and head out of the city for a day [read: one day].

It sounded like a good idea at the time. Sun. Nature. Fresh air.

Okay, I lie. The main reason I went was for the promise of roasted marshmallows. It’s been ages since I had any, and I was not letting another summer go by without a taste of that ooey, gooey goodness.

Being out in nature was just an added bonus. A very pretty one…


In any case, someone also decided that it would be a good idea to turn our day trip into a long weekend trip, so one day became two, two became three, and three ended up as a four day “camping” excursion. I use camping in quotations because we were going through the motions without any of the gear. No tents (we slept in cars). No sleeping bags (thank goodness it was warm). Not much food (mostly  marshmallows and hot dogs).

Not gonna lie, it made me rather uncomfortable and pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Spontaneity has never been my strong suit, especially when I find myself caught in a situation where I don’t know what I’ll be able to eat (due to allergies and ED history).

But I managed! 😀

All I can say is thank goodness I’m crazy smart enough to carry a jar of AB in my purse…

… which sacrificed itself so that I could live. That, along with some fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, milk, and cereal that we were able to find in tiny convenience stores got me through the weekend.

I kid, I kid. It wasn’t that bad. I ended up having a great time, and I’m proud of myself for being able to roll with the punches and adapt to what was thrown my way. Still, I was more than happy to come home to my bed, my shower, and my food. Absence definitely makes the heart grow finder, which is probably why this morning’s breakfast tasted extra delicious…

I missed my oats! After five mornings without them, I was beginning to experience withdrawals. Shakes. Headaches. Cold sweats. I kid. But I was more than happy to see them again.

I was also more than happy to be able to enjoy some of my favorite morning snacks


Fresh summer berries (which I’ll miss like crazy!) – Greek yogurt with honey.

And having access to a blender again meant I was able to whip up my favorite post-workout shake after this morning’s lifting session…

… which gets incredibly thick with the addition of chia seeds.

I have to say, though, that the best part of being able to eat at home again is being able to enjoy actual meals as opposed to constantly snacking on whatever I can throw together in a pinch.

I can’t deny that a few pieces of untoasted bread smothered in nut butter makes for a delicious camp-style lunch, but there’s nothing quite like a good pizza…

… especially when it involves pumpkin and hummus.

And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss my favorite  afternoon snack

Vanilla ice cream – Cone – Chocolate sprinkles.

… or I guess I should say  afternoon snack(s)

Heaven in a bowl

The thing I love most about camping food is that the most basic things can taste absolutely amazing. It’s like the act of being outside in nature amps up the flavor intensity of everything, making the simplest sandwich taste like it came from a 5-star restaurant.

Still, that effect dims with time, and after too many simple sandwiches, nothing sounds better than a slightly more elaborate warm bowl of comfort for dinner

Eggs scrambled with mushrooms and spinach – Broccoli – Avocado – Quinoa with cranberries.

It was good to get away, but it feels good to be home. Even though this won’t be home for much longer. Eight more days until I move… EEEEEeeeeEEEE!!! Hope you guys enjoyed this week’s party 😀

. – . – . – .

Are you a fan of camping? What’s your favorite food to enjoy while you’re roughin’ it?

What do you miss most when you’re away from home for a while?

Do you ever carry strange snacks around in your purse? Fess up!

. she’s alive! .

September 6, 2011

Hey loves!

Just popping in with a quick post tonight to let you know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I’m sorry for disappearing without a word, but it was more or less a spur of the moment kind of thing that took me away from the computer for the past 5 days or so. I’ll go into more detail tomorrow, because for now I need some shut eye.

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments, Tweets, and e-mails. I’m doing just fine, and should be back to posting regularly again 😀

See you guys tomorrow for WIAW!

. winner, winner; soup for dinner! .

September 1, 2011

Holy smokes, it’s September. And two weeks until I move. And I’m kind of freaking out about it 😯 I will start packing eventually, but before I do, I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that Hotmail decided to randomly delete all of the messages in my inbox…

… and it doesn’t look like they’re coming back anytime soon. So, if you sent me an e-mail within the last little while and I didn’t respond, chances are it’s because my inbox ate it. I’m doing my best to try and recall what all was in there, but that’s proving easier said then done.

The good news is that today’s the day where I announce the giveaway winner! 😀

Congrats Brittany! E-mail me ( with your contact info and I’ll be sending out your goodie package ASAP. I honestly wish that everyone could have won, but I had a lot of fun with the giveaway, so there’ll be more chances to win in the future. Just keep an eye out.

For now, though, I have something else to share with you – a recipe for one of my favorite soups.

I know that it’s still technically summer for a few more weeks, but it’s already starting to feel rather Fallish around here, and I’ve really been craving the comfort of a warm bowl of soup as the days become cooler and darker. The combination of warming spices and the seasonal flavors of pumpkin and apple make this soup one of my Fall-time favorites. I hope you enjoy it as well 😀

. – . – . – .

. curried apple pumpkin soup .

Ingredients (serves 1, ~ 2 cups)

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • ½ apple (any variety), thinly sliced
  • ¼ of a white onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • dash of ginger, cloves, nutmeg


1. Begin by heating a small skillet over medium heat. Add coconut oil. When it melts and becomes hot, toss in the onions and cook until they begin to brown; ~ 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the apple slices. Cook until they begin to soften; ~3 minutes.

3. Add your spices, stirring well to ensure everything is evenly coated.

4. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and continue cooking for ~ 5 minutes.

5. In the meantime, combine broth and pumpkin in a small saucepan set over medium heat.

6. When the broth begins to bubble, add the apple/onion mixture and bring the whole thing to a boil.

7. Once it begins to boil, cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. After 20 minutes, remove the saucepan from the stove and allow it to cool slightly. Pour the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. An immersion blender would also work.

9. Empty into a bowl and enjoy!

. – . – . – .

I absolutely adore this soup, especially when it’s paired with eggs and avocados…

… or almond butter and honey…

Sometimes I even like to toss in some extra veggies, beans, and a random grain (rice, quinoa, bulgur) and use it as a base for a thick and hearty stew.

A part of me will miss summer, especially when all of the melons and berries disappear, but I can’t deny that Fall tastes mighty fine too.

Happy September, loves! 😀

. – . – . – .

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin? Breads? Muffins? Cookies? Lattes? Straight up from the can? Any recipes that I need to try out?

What was the best part of your summer? Are you sad to see it go?