Vacation Sweetness!

Let me just start by saying I’ve been making a lot of progress on my list. I’ve been relaxing. I’ve soaked up some rays. I’ve read Glamour, Marie Clare, and Quirks. And I’ve definitely sipped [more than] my share of drinks…

This has been the landscape

And Eric and I have had some quality time together!

Not bad, right?

What is bad, is the fact that I’ve been eating pretty much nothing but crap for the past three days… chips, pretzels, sandwiches, um… alcohol?

I did manage to scrounge up some lettuce, green peppers, tomatoes, and hummus…

However, this has literally been my only source of vegetables all weekend. I can practically hear my body screaming for some carrots. Or parsnips. Or something.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s vacation, and a few [extra] chocolate chip cookies never killed anyone. But it does make me realize how much I genuinely like eating vegetables. And how much more energy I have when I eat healthy! Which got me thinking about Alex’s Sugar Free Challenge!

Are you taking the challenge? I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it for 10 days (I’m going to Bonnaroo, and I don’t think I’ll be able to pack proper food to continue the challenge…) But I am going to try it for 5 days! Baby steps, right?

So even though I’m already a label checker, I’ve got a new thing to watch out for! No sugar for this girl!

 

Are you taking the sugar free challenge? Do your habits change when you’re on vacation?

 

<3 Liz

Productive Weekend Ahead

Happy Friday, loves! I’m super glad it’s not only Friday, but it’s Friday and a holiday weekend! I’m packing my bags and heading to the beach!

My awesome roommate Katie went to costco and picked up a huge container of Chobani, not to mention a monster bucket of Sabra hummus. And obviously I packed some nut butter. Definitely going to be a good weekend.

I’m also leaving my Vita-Mix at home. So I might experience separation anxiety. But I’ll work through it.

Things I plan on accomplishing this weekend

  • Relaxing on the sand, soaking up some rays
  • Reversing the ghost complexion I’ve got going on
  • Reading girly magazines and maybe a nerd book or two (because I’m cool like that)
  • Sipping on beach drinks and munching on vacation snacks

Good thing Eric will be accompanying me. I’ll definitely need a partner in crime for all the aforementioned activities.

What are you doing for the weekend?

<3 Liz

What I [Bought] Wednesday

I’ve had some awesome grocery store finds recently, so I decided to be awesome and share them with you. So it’s sort of What I Ate Wednesday… but this isn’t all I’m consuming.

PB&Co Peanut Butters, which aren’t particularly new… but I love them. And I’m glad I’ve restocked.

Have you tried any of these flavors? I think Dark Chocolate Dreams is my favorite… but they’re all pretty spectacular!

Check out these awesome Hummus Chips, further confirming that Target sells everything I could possibly ever want.

They’re made with chickpea flour, so they’re packed with protein and fiber! Oh, and they’re also covered in delicious spices.

YUM!

And if you’re a fan of Crystal Light On the Go packs, you have to check out Mio.

It’s little bottle of liquid deliciousness. You just squeeze a few drops into your glass or water bottle, and you’re good to go! No packets, no stirring, no trying to keep the half of a packet that you didn’t use in your purse for later. It’s awesome!

They have tons of flavors. This one is awesome, as is the fruit punch, and the peach mango. Actually, all the flavors I’ve tried have been awesome. I love that you can make a drink as sweet as you want!

So that’s what I’ve been eating this week. What about you? Any new food-finds?

<3 Liz

Take That, Tetanus

Let’s start with the good news. I’m not dying of tetanus.

Despite whacking my leg with a rusty shovel when planting my garden, the tetanus shot that I got a few days later, apparently worked. Except that this morning, I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus.

I don’t get sick very often. (And by that I mean, this was the first day I’d ever called in sick. Ever.) So I was kind of freaking out that this was some how related to the tetanus shot or the cut. But apparently it’s just a viral infection, so now I just have to wait it out. That means rest, water and Tylenol. Boring!

Yesterday, before I started feeling sick, when I had an appetite, I had this delicious dinner:

Super Simple Vegan Stew

  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt to taste

This is my go-to dinner. Just cook your beans and tomatoes in a pot while you saute your peppers and onions in a little coconut oil. The whole process takes literally 15 minutes, and it’s so filling and delicious. Perfect way to stock up on veggies. Sometimes I even add a little nutritional yeast if I’m feeling fancy ;)

And if you’re looking for some crackers to much on with this dinner, may I recommend Crunchmaster crackers?

(source)

They’re gluten free, and they have a good amount of fiber! They’re also some of the crunchiest crackers I’ve ever had. Pretty delicious!

What’s your favorite kind of cracker? Or do you skip crackers all together?

<3 Liz

Weekend Adventures!

What a weekend! I’m a little sad it’s Monday, since the weekend was so much fun. But then again, just because it’s Monday, doesn’t mean I can’t find an adventure for the evening…

Friday, my roommates and I had a housewarming party. Here’s me and my workout buddy, Eric.

Love him! And he’s not only my workout buddy, but also my gardening companion!

Saturday we started planting our garden!!

Wanna know what happens when two enthusiastic yet indecisive people decide to plant a garden?… We planted cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, onions, cilantro, and mint!

Sunday was a random adventure day. I went to the Flavor Beer Wine and Food festival.

I got to try lots of food samples, so that was pretty cool! After a pool party and a graduation party, some of us decided to hit the driving range. Good thing I wore my golfing attire…

I won’t tell you how many “practice swings” I took before actually hitting the ball… but it was fun.

What did you do this weekend? Have you ever planted a garden?

<3 Liz

$2 Challenge- Day 5, wrap up!

It’s the last day of the $2 a day challenge and I’m definitely ready for some variety in my meals!

I won’t bore you with the daily eats because they basically look the same. Although I did switch it up from black beans to pinto beans yesterday

Things I learned during this challenge:

1. Dried beans take freaking forever to soak/cook. This made for a lot of very late dinners.

2. It doesn’t really matter what kind of seasonings you put on them… it’s still just rice and beans. But when you’re hungry, they taste like a gourmet meal.

3. You don’t realize how much and how often you eat, until you can’t/don’t.

4. I’m amazingly fortunate to be able to basically eat whatever I want, whenever I want.

5. I still have no idea what it would be like to actually live a day in poverty.

As interesting as it was to go through the day with a sense of hunger, I still have no idea what it would be like if I couldn’t afford the things I needed. Every single day, 983,000,000 people are going hungry. But all I gave up was some snacks, and square meals. What about all of the other things I have? If someone doesn’t have enough money to eat, they surely don’t have enough money for other daily necessities. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Am I looking forward to filling my cart with fancy greek yogurt, almond butter, and fuji apples? Yes. Will I appreciate those things a tiny bit more? I think so.

What are you appreciating today? Food? Sunshine? Family?

Happy Friday everyone. Thank you all for your wonderful and supportive comments this week. You guys are awesome! Hope you’re all appreciating something fantastic!

<3 Liz

What I Ate [for $2] Wednesday

By now, if you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve heard about the $2 challenge, where I’m eating on $2 per day for $5 days, in order to know what it feels like to not get to eat what and when you want. Then at the end of the week, I’ll donate the money I would have spent on food and groceries, to an organization that helps world hunger.

And since it’s What I Ate Wednesday, let me show you what you can eat on $2…

Breakfast:

  • banana – $.15
  • 1/2 cup almond milk $.20
  • Peanut butter $.25 (can’t resist the pb)

Total: $.60 cents

Lunch

  • Rice $.20
  • Beans $.30

I also added red pepper, salt, garlic, and pepper. Is that cheating?

Total: $.50

Snack

  • 2 Bananas $.15 (on in the morning, one in the evening)

Total: $.30

Dinner… well… this looked exactly like lunch…(See picture above)

  • Rice $.20
  • Beans $.30

Total $.50

Grand total for the day: $1.90

What do I miss the most? Greens! I’m pretty sure my body is craving some leafy-goodness. I’m sure everyone else is dying for some meat or dairy… but I’m craving my vegetables :)

As far as the rumbling in my tummy… that’s kind of the point. And it really does put things into perspective. It’s amazing that for so many of us, the problem is eating too much. It’s interesting to get a sense of what it’s like on the other side of the fence, even if it’s only for a few days.

I loved this quote from Ryan Evans on The Stubborn Servant’s blog:

Maybe me–and you–are called to be a part of this world and not apart from it; to ease the pain of one. To shed light in the darker places; To love one into the presence of a healing and compassionate God; to bring the redeeming news of salvation to one who has not yet heard; to hold one child in need of love; to bring friendship, love, and joy to one; to pray with and encourage one; to meet the physical needs of one

My little $2 a day challenge seems so small when you put it in perspective. But small changes can have a big impact.


What are you eating this Wednesday?

<3 Liz

5 Day Challenge- Day 1 Recap

In case you missed the background, check out the 5 Day Challenge post here.

I’ve got $2 to spend on food each day… which means $10 for the week. So I did some grocery shopping… definitely the most budget-friendly grocery trip I’ve ever taken!

Almond milk for the week! Good thing it was on sale :)

Bananas were only $.51 cents/lb! I got about 6 of them for a little over $1.

Dried beans are so much cheaper than beans in a can!

I also got a bag of brown rice that I forgot to take a picture of. Oops.

All of this totaled up to…

I also bought a jar of peanut butter from a different store for ~$2.00. Gotta get in some healthy fats :)

Total: $9.14

Honestly, I’ve never thought so much about $10 in my life! I’ll post a  breakdown of my eats tomorrow, (on What I Ate Wednesday, of course)  but since pretty much every day will look the same… I think one day is all you’ll need!

Overall, it was an interesting day, because instead of constantly dreaming about what I was going to eat next, I actually thought about the kids, parents, and families that don’t have the pleasure of enjoying food when they need it. Much less just when they’re feeling “snacky.”

What would you miss most if you could only spend $2 per day on food?

<3 Liz

5 Day Challenge- $2 a day

Sometimes I’m embarrassed at how much time I spend each week trying to decide what I’m going to eat. I love cooking, I love trying to make healthy food, I love grocery shopping. But isn’t it crazy that sometimes my “tough decisions” are:

“Do I want peanut butter IN my smoothie? Or on the side?”

“Do I want the TJ’s Red Pepper soup or TJ’s Black Bean soup?” (Because they’re both excellent.)

“Should I make cookies or cupcakes?” “Vegan or regular?”

It’s not that there is anything wrong with those questions. But isn’t it funny that I’m even faced with the decison? And don’t even get me started on my shameful grocery budget. I have no idea how one person can spend that much money on groceries every month. But I do.

Now lets put that in perspective.

Do you realize that many people survive on less than $2 a day? That’s half the price of my favorite Starbucks drink.

And thus begins the 5 day challenge.

Churches around the world (including mine here in Richmond) have encouraged people to take five days to adjust their diet and eat like most of the world–surviving on less than $2/day. At the end of the week, the goal is to “give the gap”–the difference in what I spend for those 5 days ($10) and what I usually spend on groceries, meals out and coffee ($100+).

For more info on the church-wide challenge click here and for a great blog post by Nicole Unice, the stubborn servant,  click here

So what will I be eating for the next 5 days? Mostly bananas, rice, and beans. It should definitely be an interesting WIAW :)

How much money could you save/raise by eating on $2 a day?

<3 Liz

The Beyotch Within. A Public Service Announcement.

Lets clarify. I’m not very confrontational. I say sorry for things when I’m not really sorry. I don’t put up much of a fight. and I generally get along with people. I’m not the girl who’s going to look you in the eye and say I think your idea/opinion/outfit/personality/boyfriend/girlfriend is stupid. Besides, I generally like most people and most things. So it works. But when I read this awesome post from Christie, I realized I do struggle with judgment. Particularly on myself.

Why is it, when it comes to ME, the voice in my head can pretty much run off and say whatever she wants? Why do I think it’s acceptable to tell myself things I’d never dream of saying to anyone else?

“That idea is so stupid. Seriously.”

“Oh my gosh, what is your hair doing?”

“Don’t even think about speaking up. You’ll probably say something dumb.”

I mean come on, I would never dream of saying those things to someone else. So why do I let the beyotch within me unleash it’s wrath? It’s not like I spent my whole day beating myself up over things, but there are definitely moments when I’m doing nothing but tearing myself down.

So screw her. I’ve got positive things to be thinking about. I’m heading home to spend time with these lovely ladies :)

What are you telling yourself today?

<3 Liz