weekend adventures + the meals of the day.

Summer is definitely here in South Carolina 85+ every day, with a proper dose of rain. Just your typical southern summer! yesterday I got stranded for about 10 minutes in a torrential downpour. Being a northerner, I am not a  fan of driving haphazardly through the rain, so I opted to pull over and let the worst part pass. It goes from downpour to sprinkling rain in a matter of 10 minutes here, so waiting it out really isn’t too bad! Plus as I pulled in at home, I saw a double rainbow, just the joyful moment I needed!

IMG_1372

 

food of the day:

breakfast: a mess of eggs, zucchini, eggplant, and salsa + avocado on top. easy & delicious.

IMG_1379_2

lunch: eggplant, salmon, zucchini and olive oil. eaten barely warmed, because when it’s 90 out, I really don’t want to cook.

IMG_1376

 

dinner: spaghetti squash, brussels, ground beef (the BEST) and tomato sauce. another simple meal for a busy day!

IMG_1371

and another adventure from this weekend:

hiking which ended with sliding down rocks into the river. nothing better than nature :)

 

IMG_1361

 

Question of the day:

How do you dal with cooking in the summer? Avoid it, or just turn up the AC?

where am I, and looking ahead.

Nearly two months of a blogging break. I had no idea that 1 week would turn into one month, which turned into two. But honestly, it was a much needed break. I have had a long few months since I last blogged, and I needed time to deal with my life, without constantly trying to share it on here.

What all has been going on? Well without getting into too much personal detail (this is available for the world wide web after all) a truly difficult breakup, the stress of finishing up my senior year, the process of making post-grad plans (hello, big decisions!), and the whirlwind weeks of crying, smiling, hugging, and reminiscing before I graduated from college this past Saturday.

I don’t know if you all can tell from that list but… I have been processing a lot. I am so thankful for family (my mom is my rock), friends (seriously, girl friends are the best) and all the others who have supported and loved me these past months. Most of all, I am so thankful to have my faith. This time has been so crucial for me, and without God to trust in, I honestly don’t know how I would have waded through all of this.

At the beginning of this past school year, I chose a word to focus on. My word was trust. As a type A, organizer, planner, and all around high stress person, trusting in the God’s plan and ways has always been a considerable challenge for me.

well that word has come into clear focus the past few months. my journey this year brought me to somewhere entirely different than my “plan” had me headed. If you had asked me 3, 2, or 1 month ago where I would be headed after graduation– you would have received a different answer every time. I’m sure you all know this, but I just need to say– it is incredibly difficult to keep steadfast trust in the Lord when it feels like His plan is changing every 5 days, or throwing you out into situations you have no idea what to do with.

but through all this tumult and change (and growth) that I have been experiencing, something really special has been happening in my life. God has been so present to me in my anxiety, my worries, my fearful moments wondering what the future holds. I have felt His tangible comfort in these moments, and I have felt Him walking with my through days.

this has all really helped me to start rethinking how I can trust in God as I move forward. yes, I will continue to trust that He has a truly amazing plan for me, and that someday I will understand it. But more importantly, I am truly trusting His presence and love in my life. God is here for me, and I am appreciating that in a way that I never have before. And if I have His love and comfort, what more do I need?

//                        //                       //                      //                      //                         //                   //                           //

if you’re still reading you might be wondering– so what does all of this mean health-wise, and for the future of the blog?

health wise I went through an iffy place for a while. the combination of stress and starting a new waitressing job I wasn’t working out very much and lost a good amount of weight (especially considering I wasn’t trying to lose any). But after a few weeks, I was able to get back to the basics– I packed my diet full of nutrient dense foods (avocado + ground beef? yes please) and starting lifting more weights again (cardio is just ew right now. no need to burn extra calories when you’re waitressing 30 hours a week).

For the blog– I am going to continue from here with posts on fitness, food, and maybe some more faith, seeing as that is such an essential part of my journey.  I feel like this blog is such a special opportunity, and if my faith/fitness/food story can help even one person, it’s worth sharing! I may even have a new site soon, to help me move to the next phase of my story, so keep your ears open. And of course, let me know if there is anything you’d life to hear more of on here!

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around, I hope you’ll stay as I continue my journey!

WIAW: “clean” eating?

what is clean eating? so many different meaning that can come from this phrase. for me, clean eating means eating the way that makes me physically and mentally feel my best. between school, life, and spring break the past few weeks I haven’t been sticking to as ‘clean’ of a diet as I usually do. this means more sweets sneaking in, less nutrient dense foods, and more snacks/smaller meals. Nothing that will kill me, but not optimal nutrition.

So, I’m focusing back on the basics: no grains, gluten, sugar, legumes, or processed foods. plus a little raw dairy. aka the diet I have found to make me feel and perform my best! this doesn’t mean that my choices are right for everyone, but they certainly work for me.

also today: linking up to Jenn @ Peas And Crayons to share a day of my eats!

IMG_0454_2

a morning walk is most definitely my favorite way to start the day. activity, thought time, podcast time. Plus, daylight savings time means I get to see more of these beautiful sunrises during my usual walk time!

IMG_0457_2

probiotics + sauerkraut. two supplements that help keep my digestion on track and my tummy happy.

IMG_0459_2

breakfast: eggs, asparagus, and spinach//cooked in ghee. my favorite cooking fat for flavor!

IMG_0463

it’s been 75+ here the past two days. I know I live in the South but still.. 80 in March?! Not complaining. *it is supposed to go down a lot the next few days, boo!*

IMG_0467

lunch a la Dining Hall. a huge salad with red wine vinegar and feta cheese on top.

IMG_0471

afternoon snack: I didn’t know what to eat, so I just had a spoonful of this. hit the spot!

 IMG_0468

for my workout, I did a 5 minute warmup on the Arc trainer before completing this awesome barbell workout (2x) from Gina at The Fitnessista

IMG_0472

dinner: taco salad paleo style. chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, onions, salsa, and some mashed avocado. topped with salt + lime juice

IMG_0473

after some homework, chores, etcetera, I needed a little snack. green apple + Happy Cow grass-fed raw milk cheese. #dontmindifido

Question of the day:

What does clean eating mean for you?

spring break 2015: the highlights.

IMG_0239

 ^^nothing like these two friends for an 8 hour car ride. snacks, music, and entertainment included.^^

IMG_0240

^^a quick stop at Subway, which meant a chopped salad for me. not too shabby for a ‘fast’ food establishment.^^

IMG_0265

^^by the time we arrived around 6 (shaved an hour “off” our time thanks to the change from Eastern to Central time. for an easy/fun first night, we decided to walk down the street and see what we found. we ended up at a little restaurant, and they had karaoke! we didn’t really participate, but one friend got pulled into singing when she was too enthusiastic about a song coming on!^^

Sunday through Wednesday we were superbly lucky, and we were able to hang out on the beach all day!

IMG_0309

^^I started every morning with a 60-80 minute walk. I wanted to ‘rest’ from hard workouts, but I just love being active and a morning walk really puts me in a great mood!^^

IMG_0303

^^the beach was pretty sweet.^^

IMG_0319

^another thing I started most mornings with: some sauerkraut (and unpictured probiotics). being on vacation/out of my normal eating routine can throw digestion our of whack. a little fermented food and some probiotics helps me keep my tummy happy!^

IMG_0324

IMG_0290

^^beach adventures^^

IMG_0358

IMG_0380

^^I threw together a lot of salads this week. They’re quick, easy, and cold after sitting in the sun. the bacon I had lying around took my salads to the next level.^^

IMG_0312

IMG_0325

^^eggs and veggies, perfect before a morning on the beach.^^

IMG_0350

 

^^sand art. he was the artist, my relaxing legs became the unwitting canvas!^^

IMG_0327

^^sand castle adventures. to be honest, digging the “moat” was my favorite part. back, legs, and arms were definitely sore the next day!^^

IMG_0315

^^isn’t it kind of required to eat ice cream at the beach? there was a homemade ice cream shop (Blue Mountain creamery) just one block off the beach which = dangerous/delicious. I honestly don’t remember what I had, but the chocolate chunks in it were amazing!^^

IMG_0288

^^a simple, throw together dinner. I cooked a bunch of veggies + chicken the first night we were there, and then I didn’t have to spend an hour on dinner every night^^

IMG_0384

^^we walked lots every day, which I loved. between that and my morning walk I was getting 30,000+ steps every day (#Fitbitnerd) which, in normal people terms is about 10-15 miles of walking every day. that being said, I really didn’t feel the need or want to workout every day. I enjoyed relaxing with my friends while still getting lots of movement throughout the day. The one day I did workout, was a more rainy day when we couldn’t get out to the beach. I did a 40 minute HIIT workout. 1.5 miles out, then I ran halfway back to a good hill. I did hill repeats for about 10 minutes, and then headed home.^^

IMG_0364

^^another day, another ice cream. personally, I think it’s amazing that I only ate ice cream twice. I normally like a 1 to 1 ratio of days at the beach/ice cream consumed ;)^^

IMG_0400_2

^^my best friend//sometimes we match {by accident}^^

IMG_0407

^^our big night out. the restaurant ended up being a disaster– pre cooked/cold food, unwilling to split our check, extra items on our bill, etcetera– but the company and laughter was great^^

Questions of the day:

Do you have a “spring break” this year?

Would you choose to travel to the beach or the mountains for vacation?

a day of food.. and chocolate.

Morning! How are you all doing? I am having just the most excellent Wednesday. Yesterday afternoon, right as I was finishing up my HIIT session, my dearest, beloved Mom walked into the gym, to my complete surprise! Yay! So my next few days will be full of love and fun! I am a total mama’s girl//my mom is my best friend… if you couldn’t tell.

So without further ado (I’m actually off to walk with mom herself as I finish up this post), here’s a recap of my eats in a day (Tuesday as it happens.)

check out Jenn’s website for some more WIAW inspiration!

Tuesday: My morning started off with a little sip of coffee before I headed out for a 50 minute walk. It was misting the whole time but luckily the rain held off until a little after I arrived back home.
IMG_0199

I started my morning off with my “hydration station”. 1/2 the coffee was drank before my morning walk. After the walk I had the rest of my coffee, a little apple cider vinegar + water, and a giant glass of water with lemon.

IMG_0204

Breakfast followed: sauerkraut, 2 scrambled eggs,with broccoli, peppers, and cauliflower.

IMG_0205

Thirty minute later, I realized breakfast wasn’t going to last me all morning, so I sliced up an organic gala apple and enjoyed it with some almond butter.

Breakfast held me through my classes (even if the classes made me sleepy…) and I finally arrived at lunch for a satisfying meal.

IMG_0208

A jumbo salad with 2 grilled chicken strips hidden underneath, and topped with some red wine vinegar.

IMG_0210

Afternoon snack (to fuel the studying!): 86% dark chocolate. snap, crackle, give me that chocolate! I think I’m an addict. I might be ok with it ;)

IMG_0107_2

My workout for the day was a 30 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill. 30 seconds sprint, 1 minute walk. Repeat. Feel like a (sweaty) beast.

IMG_0212

After my workout I still had over an hour until dinner and I needed a little refuel: chocolate chips (Enjoy Life dairy + soy free) with some raw almonds. More chocolate.. what can I say!

IMG_0213_2

Dinner enjoyed with my mom and a club meeting: salad with all the veggies, topped with salmon that I brought from home (because I am a nutrition nerd.)

And there you have it– my eats for a typical day! Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always chocolate. It’s the best.

Questions of the day:

What is one food you eat (almost) every day?

Chocolate: dark, milk, or white?

Do I talk about chocolate too much? ;)

snow day eats: bacon and chocolate.

Monday night into Tuesday, we had a sleet/ice/rain storm. the streets were sheets of ice, all the cars were covered, and woo classes were cancelled!

My Tuesday started off a little tumultuously. Long story short, the boyfriend came down (quickly) with a nasty stomach bug//food poisoning of some sort. He started to get really dehydrated in a scary way (fingers/legs cramping up), and despite the icy roads, another friend and I decided to head to the ER with him. I am so glad that we did, and he is doing okay now, but it was  scary/long night. We didn’t arrive back until 3 am, and the driving was extremely slow to stay safe (no complaints here).

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.40.34 PM

^^a snow covered campus yesterday morning. well, more sheet-of-ice covered than snow.^^

Despite getting back so late, I woke up around 8 and could not get back to sleep. {It might have had to do with sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag to make sure the boy didn’t need to go back to the hospital}.

I watched the highlights of the Bachelor, did some reading, and mostly relaxed because my brain was not fully functioning. I finally got around to eating breakfast around 10:40, which is unheard of for me!

IMG_9940

^^canned wild salmon, roasted brussels and kale, + a paleo banana muffin with Kerrygold butter.^^

^^not pictured: the almond butter + dates I snacked on after this^^

Mid-morning to mid-afternoon was spent getting intermittent work done but mostly caring for my sick boy. When the roads seemed clear enough, we ventured out to get the usual stomach bug supplies and the prescriptions that we received at the hospital last night. It was slow going, but no problem to drive the ~1.5 miles to the store and back.

IMG_9942

^^before my workout I cooked up my last two pieces of bacon for a treat//to calm my grumbling tummy.^^

IMG_9944

IMG_9946

^^a little later, I headed to the gym. I was tired of being inside all day. the 1 mile walk to the gym + a HIIT workout on the treadmill + arc trainer certainly did the trick.^^

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.40.23 PM

^^scenes from Furman yesterday. this is not common for my little Southern school.^^

Another hour of trying to get work done… it was a struggle! Between the snow day mentality and the tired brain, it just wasn’t going.

IMG_9947_2

^^a sweet potato snack, picture taken after most of it had already been eaten. delicious, simple real food.^^

IMG_9948

^^dinner in two parts: apple salad. this was basically eaten for the sole purpose of getting that delicious Honeycrisp into my dinner! apple, cucumber, lettuce, and a drizzle of Apple Cider Vinegar.^^

IMG_9949_2

^^dinner part two: salmon, butternut squash, onions, spaghetti squash, and tomato sauce + herbs.^^

after dinner I also enjoyed a square of 85% dark chocolate, it hit the spot! It’s amazing how 85% chocolate used to be way too bitter for me, but now it has the perfect amount of sweetness!

Question of the day:

What type//percent chocolate do you enjoy the most?

a valentine’s day full of joy.

Valentine’s Day. It can be such a cliché, but I don’t care! It’s such a fun day, whether you’re celebrating with your girls or your significant other– live it up :)

My valentine’s day started early with a walk around campus, having some ‘me’ time.
IMG_9830_2

 

After the boy finally woke up and meandered over, I threw together a quick breakfast from random stuff I had in the fridge. Eggs + bacon for him. Bacon, chicken + salad for her.

IMG_9845_2

The morning/afternoon were spent doing homework, getting a workout in, and running to the grocery store for Valentine’s Day supplies!

After some failed appetizers– apparently I do not know how to hard boil eggs– we headed out around campus to snap some photos. We have had this activity on our bucket list for a while, and considering we’re seniors, it was about time! We stopped by the lake, the chapel, the library, and the bell tower, and had a blast!

IMG_9871_2

IMG_9864

IMG_9875_2

IMG_9891_2

IMG_9890

^^I really do go to a beautiful school^^

Then it was time for the main course! First up: the boy came up with this delicious idea: some frozen berries pureed + champagne = bubbly heaven.

IMG_9897

IMG_9902_2

For our main course: chicken and vegetable red curry. We actually took on the challenge and made the sauce ourselves (well we used a paste, but it’s still more steps than buying the sauce in a bottle) with coconut milk, and it was yum. I’m lucky my best friend is willing to try new recipes for me! He’s clearly the more domestic one ;)

IMG_9892

IMG_9901

^^chicken, curry sauce, peppers, zucchini. delicious.^^

After dinner, we took a break from eating and built a fort. We used sheets, blankets, candles, and sleeping bags for the full fort effect :)

Next up: dessert time! Another recipe my boyfriend was willing to try for his weird ‘healthy’ girlfriend. Paleo molten lava cakes for two from Taylor Made it Paleo. Topped with a little salted caramel ice cream, this was divine.

IMG_9908_2

 

^^chocolate, will you be my Valentine?^^

10954476_10155278483390604_9023949808440778833_n

Hope y’all had a great Valentine’s/Galentine’s/Bro-entine’s day too!

Question of the day:

Chocolate or caramel?

paleo crock pot chicken//the genius of a crock pot.

Hey guys! It’s Wednesday– you’re almost there! Wednesday is my longest day of class (till 5 pm :/) and I always feel like Wednesday night is the turning point of my week– when the work starts to be more manageable, and I can see the ‘finish line’ (before the next week’s work starts up again..). Needless to say, I am fueling up for today. I already worked out this morning and I have a healthy eggs/veggie/coconut oil breakfast cooking to power me through :)

Anyway, I wanted to stop by and share the eats of a Tuesday in my college life!
IMG_9788

 

^^crock pot dinners are SO easy! would you all want a recipe for this? I threw a bunch of ingredients + ghee and some chicken in the crock pot yesterday morning, and by the time I got back from class/meetings/working out dinner was ready. the chicken was almost falling apart it was so soft/moist. The garlic cloves I threw in there were roasted and amazing!^^

after the crock pot was set, I went on a 40 minute walk, then came back to start my day!

 

IMG_9791

^^eggs, kale (cooked in coconut oil), and red+green peppers. I promise they’re hidden under all the kale!^^

IMG_9793

^^breakfast part 2: banana and almond butter. I have a very sophisticated palate.^^

 IMG_9794_2

^^coffee first, not pictured. a little later I had some blueberry tea, the perfect hot decaf drink!^^

IMG_9796

IMG_9799

^^sunny walks to class, that are deceptively cold.^^

IMG_9800

IMG_9802

^^lunch, Dining Hall style. Not my first choice, but it’s required to have a meal plan, and it does the trick for lunch. salad (lettuce, all the veggies, apple slices, feta, and red wine vinegar) and grilled chicken, fine by me!^^

IMG_9803

^^snack time– paleo zucchini bread— frozen, and still delicious.^^

IMG_9805

^^dinner: the crock pot marvel. grabbed in between working out (sprints yesterday) , and heading out to another meeting. chicken, zucchini, onions, and garlic from the crock pot. lettuce and brussels sprouts from meal prep this weekend.^^

IMG_9806

 

^^finished off the night with some homemade trail mix: raw cashews, raw almonds, and EnjoyLife soy/dairy free chocolate chips. Yum!^^

check out WIAW for more healthy eats, and fun friends!

Questions of the day:

Do you have/use a crock pot or slow cooker?

What recipes would you guys like to see up here?

5 favorite foods this week.

college life. it’s busy, it’s fun, it’s exhausting, all in all- I’m pretty blessed to be where I am.

IMG_9669

 ^^morning walks this week. I’ve been able to go on a 30 minute – 1 hour walk every morning, and it is glorious. i love the movement first thing, and i love listening to a good podcast in the morning. especially some Christian wisdom.^^

favorite #1: eggs. 

let’s be real– this is a favorite pretty much every week. eggs with veggies, eggs with salsa, eggs all DAY.

IMG_9672

IMG_9684

IMG_9736

favorite #2: paleo banana bread. 

i made another batch of paleo banana bread. soooooo good. please enjoy with butter, you won’t be sorry :)

IMG_9722

IMG_9730

favorite #3: salads on salads.

I mean… this is pretty much an

IMG_9661

IMG_9689_2

IMG_9664

favorite #4: grass-fed meat sauce.

grass fed beef, onions, tomato puree and spices. this was amazing.

IMG_9720

IMG_9727

IMG_9677

favorite #5: alllllll the almond butter.

especially when complemented by chocolate.

IMG_9626

IMG_9691_2

IMG_9633

IMG_9592

 

have a great week!

What foods are you enjoying?!

WIAW: almond butter lover.

hey guys! wednesday already? where does the time go- am I right? my monday-tuesday-wednesdays are always very busy and homework filled, so I am very thankful by the time I make it to thursday!

I am keeping my eats this week simple, satisfying, and scrumptious (iI love alliteration!).

IMG_9698_2

^^breakfast: eggs, butternut squash, spinach, and cauliflower. side of chamomile tea.^^

IMG_9682

^^I don’t have class till 11:30, which means I don’t eat lunch till almost 2 pm. morning snack required: a few dates with almond butter. the perfect combination^^

after getting a walk in bright and early, I spent my morning doing homework blah. then I headed off to class. after class, it was the dining hall for an attempt at lunch. #collegelife

IMG_9704

^^make it work: grilled chicken (which for some reason they only have on tuesdays), salad, salsa to top it off.^^

IMG_9705_2

^^because there is no way that salad would hold me all the way till dinner: a little scoop of scrambled eggs, some cooked greens, and a little tomato sauce on top.^^

after lunch, I headed back to my apartment for some reading, cleaning, and more homework.

IMG_9706_2

^^afternoon snack– one square of 85% dark chocolate with a swoosh of almond butter^^

mid-afternoon I went to the first meeting of a girl’s fellowship group I am joining this semester. we’re reading Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans. You should check out her blog if you’re at all interested in strong women, Christianity, challenging your faith, or just hearing a new perspective.

^^unpictured: 1 small starbucks coffee consumed during our meeting. not a good idea, caffeine mid-afternoon is not my jam!^^

IMG_9711

after a lovely meet & greet & chat with some girls, I headed over to the gym for a 30 minute sprint workout on the treadmill. 30 seconds sprint, 1 minute rest. repeat.

I rushed home after the gym to change for dinner and a meeting afterwards.

IMG_9713_2

^^salad form the ‘pden’ aka our food court. lettuce, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, pineapple, and walnuts plus oil and vinegar. I brought some Applegate Farms pepperoni with my (yep I’m one of those weird people who brings their own food to dinner) to top my salad, because 1. I need protein and 2. I don’t typically trust meat from the dining hall/food court.^^

IMG_9715_2

^^after a meeting and before hitting the books again, I absolutely had to have a little something to eat– dinner was not successful in holding me over at al :(! study snack: a little pumpkin puree, natural applesauce, cinnamon, and some crushed pecans. side of tea, a nighttime favorite^^

It’s WIAW check out Peas and Crayons for some more great food inspiration!

Questions of the day:

What are you eating this week?

Where is it the hardest for you to eat healthy?

    For me, it is the dining hall because of the sheer lack of options, especially clean meat options!