Thursday, August 18, 2016

Healthy eating bits & bobs

A couple of months ago I posted about two vegan recipes that I tried and really liked. I also briefly talked about my beginnings to becoming a more plant-based eater and a vegan. I resist saying that word (vegan) because of the stigmas that surround it. It's a personal choice and I will never give someone a hard time for what they decide to eat (except of course for urging my loved ones to *perhaps* eat a little healthier...I want them to be around for a while! :)

Since that post, I have very much enjoyed trying new foods and recipes. Below are a couple of my grocery 'hauls' from Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck because let's be honest, I spend way too much money on food sometimes!). I tend to spend most of my time in the produce department of Whole Foods and find some yummy fruits and veggies to eat throughout the week. Keep in mind these pictures below only include bits & bobs that I didn't already have stocked in the kitchen.

Also in this post are some recipes that i have tried (some multiple times) and have enjoyed throughout the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy this little look into my meals and find something that you might like to try yourself! :)


Mixed greens with blueberries and strawberries - I prepped these to take to work for 2 lunches, and I brought some balsamic vinaigrette as a dressing for when I was ready to eat these.

One of my new favorite things to make/eat - Thai green curry. Recipe here! I added zucchini to the recipe.

This is stuffed eggplant, I got the recipe from Kayla Itsines' BBG app on my phone (review/progress post here). Delish!

Apples with vegan butter sprinkled with cinnamon (microwaved for about 1 minute) - one of my favorite treats.
Portabella mushroom pizza - recipe here! I just made these for the first time today, they super good and definitely something i'd make again. They are super easy to make, and i like anything I can just toss all the extra veggies that are in the crisper drawer in my fridge into!

I recently bought a food processor and have put it to good use, especially for these "nice" creams. The one on top was made from 2 frozen bananas, oreos (I love that these are vegan), and peanut butter. The second one was made from 2 frozen bananas, dark cocoa powder, and peanut butter. Addicted to these!

My boyfriend surprised me with this water bottle after I had to throw out my Camelbak when going into a football stadium, and I actually love this more than my Camelbak. It is an infuser and I have tried putting lemons and also berries in here. So good!

Reviewing this post over, I am so happy looking at how colorful all of these foods and meals are. I can genuinely tell a difference in my body when I eat healthily. My tummy is happy with me! I notice I have less energy crashes throughout the day and more stable mood swings/energy levels overall. I have been so happy with how i've been eating lately and i can tell my body is too! I am always updating my Instagram with what I'm eating so feel free to follow me there @lauraw0lf :)

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Monday, August 15, 2016

10 things I've learned in 22 years

This blog post is inspired by Jenna Marble's 29 Life Lessons I Learned in 29 Years video. I limited this list to 10 things - 10 things that came to my mind first. Of course I've learned more than 10 life lessons in 22 years, but I could probably talk forever if no one stopped me! I will probably kick myself later for neglecting to add something or stating something oddly, but I will leave this list as is. Feel free to agree or disagree with anything on this list, or comment with your own life lessons or input. I'd love to hear it.
So here's ten things I have learned so far in my 22 years of life:

Taking care of yourself is important. I think your early twenties are a really important time to break bad habits and replace them with good or better ones. I like to believe your twenties are a time to have fun, but also be responsible enough to think long-term. I quit smoking, started exercising regularly, and developed healthy eating habits.

Your parents are human too. When I was a kid, I looked up to my parents very much and thought they could do no wrong. When I started really thinking for myself, I realized how toxic some of the thinking and interactions within my immediate family are. Emotional and verbal abuse are not normal. I strongly believe family is important, but if a relationship is only toxic to you and your life, then some space or distance can be a good thing. 

You might think you know what you want, but that can (and will probably) change. When I was 18-19 years old I thought I knew everything, including how I wanted my life to go. Yes, this was only 3-4 years ago but a lot has changed in just a few years time. I am wise enough now to know that life can change in an instant and that it's important to be flexible in your plans, and I also realize I have a lot left to learn.

Others will not always have your best interest in mind. People can be selfish. Oftentimes other people will do things and make decisions that will hurt you. And I guess that's the way the world works sometimes, sometimes you have to do things that make YOU happy. It becomes a problem when you are intentionally doing things to hurt other people. At the end of the day, you have to be an advocate for yourself.

Knowledge is power. I feel like a lot of people view college/university in a bad light nowadays. It is an investment of time and money, and no one is guaranteed a job after he/she graduates. I highly value my education and what I have learned so far. I strongly believe that continually learning and growing (no matter how you do this, it doesn't have to necessarily be a formal education) is important to becoming the best human you can be.

Change is uncomfortable, but necessary. I think this can apply to a lot of things. "Change is the only constant," is a saying that I try to keep in mind whenever I am going through a major change in my life (like changing jobs, ending relationships, etc). Change can be very scary, even if you know that it is a change that will be good for you in the long run. I just try to remember that the process is temporary and that I will eventually become accustomed to whatever change is happening, that that will become the new "normal" eventually, and that I will become a stronger and better person because of it.

It's important to be able to laugh at yourself. I think a sense of humor is a very valuable tool. Life is too short and goes by too quickly to take yourself seriously. I remember reading somewhere that a person is perceived by others as more friendly if he/she is able to admit when he/she is embarrassed and laugh about it (I'm paraphrasing here!)

No one really knows what they're doing, but most people are really good at pretending. Life is a crazy, scary, and beautiful experience. I think the sooner people realize this, and realize that we are all in this together, the kinder people will act towards each other. I've realized that all you can do is do the best you can with what you have. You don't have to be rich or famous to have an impact on people, but you can have a positive influence on people in your immediate environment - your neighbors, co-workers, clients, friends...

You will encounter people who have starkly opposing beliefs and opinions from you, and that's okay. If everyone thought, believed, and did the same things, the world would be boring. Not only that, but I think balance is essential (in politics, work/life, nature, everything!). Without balance, we would be going from one extreme to another. You don't have to agree with what someone else thinks or believes, but empathy and genuine understanding of another person's lifestyle is powerful.

There is still a lot left to experience and to learn. I feel I have already learned and experienced a lot as a 22 year old, but I have a lot of life left to live and I am looking forward to continuing to learn and to grow!

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