Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Foodie Penpals: Spatulas on Parade

It's a very special day today. Not only is it my favorite holiday, Halloween! (Happy Halloween everyone!) But it's also Foodie Pen pal Reveal Day!

  I was matched to send a package to another newbie, Candice Coffey, who is non-blogger. It’s funny, in this swap I always send to non-bloggers. Not that I mind, it’s just ironic to me. Candice even sent me a guest post! Finally, I get my a guest post! Woo! Anyway, I’ll now bring your attention to her.

Not only did Candice give me that guest post, she also mailed me a beautiful thank you card. Thanks Candice! I'm glad you liked everything!

I received my package from Dawn Bedingfield @ Spatulas on Parade from North Carolina! She actually started her blog due to people requesting her to start one up and/or suggesting her to write her own book on her recipes. If that doesn’t tell you she is a master in the kitchen I don’t know what will convince you other than to go check out her blog. She has loads of interesting recipes that I’m sure any of you would love to try out. I’m pleased she started up her blog because if not I probably wouldn’t have gotten to “meet” this lovely woman. She actually hosts a Foodie Friends Friday link party also which I think is cool! So while your scanning through her blog, I’d recommend you to check out her link to that and if interested become a part of it. Dawn and the other hosts of the Foodie Friends Friday have also just recently made their own online magazine! Impressive right? Click here to view it. (Wow, I sound like one of those people on those infomercials who try to get you to buy inexpensive items that don't even work.)

Before I go onto my goodies Dawn sent me I have to address this lovely letter she wrote me. I always read the note/letter/card that my foodies give me first. I just feel it’s the polite thing to do. Anyway, as I was reading it she really gave me some caring, encouraging words that had to with the “Mr. Thunder Thighs” incident that happened a few weeks ago. I really appreciated it a lot. The letter, in itself, made my day. I also enjoyed the cute pumpkin drawing she drew. Now let’s check out the goods!

I wish I could talk about each and every one of these items, but I don’t want this post to be a mile long(though it still may be because I like to talk a lot on reveal day) so I’m going to just high light a few.

Vegetarian/Vegan Sloppy Joe Mix: When I saw this I laughed because I was craving vegan styled sloppy joe’s earlier on in the week. Then ironically enough a few days later I get this. Dawn advised me that if I wasn’t a big bread eater that I could put this over rice, quinoa, pasta, or couscous..but I went the traditional sloppy joe way..on a whole wheat bun with a few tator tots. It was just one of those days.

Nature’s Path* Organic Trail mix Pumpkin Spice Chewy Granola Bars: Pumpkin Seeds+Flax+Oats=Mmm. Says so on the box and I agree. As soon as I got these I ate one everyday as a snack until they ran out.

Alternative Baking Company* Gluten-free Pumpkin Delight Cookie: Oh my dknfksdnfdks! This is literally the best cookie I have ever had since I’ve become a vegan. I ate the whole thing in seconds. I regret nothing and plan to look for more of these cookies at my health food store. I even used the “Hot Tip” on the back of the package and warmed up the cookie for 15 seconds. Nom!

Another great month for me! Thank you so much Dawn! You put together a great package filled with things I've never tried before. Unfortunately the Kind Bars have milk powder in them. Sad face. So I can't enjoy those but no worries I'll find them a home.

FPP post October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Now it's your turn to join in on the fun! Click here to get all the information you need about joining! So far all my experiences have been wonderful. Don’t let the “what if’s” stop you from trying it out at least once!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vegan Foodie Penpals: VeggieGirl

I signed up again to participate in Cat’s Vegan Swap at The Verdant Life. Ever since I discovered the world that is foodie pen pals, I just can’t stay away. I love the whole process of getting matched up randomly to someone to send a package to, and getting randomly matched with someone else who would be sending to me. I literally look forward to it every month. Which is why I’ve signed up for two swaps this month again. (I’ll be posting my reveal day for Lindsay’s swap tomorrow.) Unfortunately, this was the last month you could be a part of Cat’s swap until January of next year-due to the holidays. At the end of this post I’ll still give you a link to all the information your need if your interested in participating next year.

I sent a package to a newbie, Alyssa Guerrero, who doesn’t have a blog. She was such a sweet heart and is from California like I am! She isn’t gluten-free but has been trying to incorporate more gluten-free in her diet. She reassured me that I didn’t have to get her gluten-free items but I wanted to give her what she prefers. I’ve never shopped for gluten free before but I definitely succeeded and found some great items for her! Want proof? Here is part of what she emailed to me after receiving her package.

I received your box! Thanks soooo much. I absolutely love everything you gave me. Either you have real good taste or you just knew what I like. Everything looks good. I'm excited to try everything. I hope your vegan foodie gives you a wonderful box like you gave me:)"

That's right. I have good taste. Speaking of my vegan foodie, let's see if she did in fact send me a wonderful box.

 I received my package from Dianne Wenz @ VeggieGirl. I was very excited when I found out I was receiving my package from her! I’m a big fan of her blog. It’s filled to the gore with delicious looking vegan recipes. Her blog makes me wish I could just reach into the computer screen and take all of her food creations. I’ve gotten so much vegan food inspiration from her blog. (Now I just need to remind myself to start posting my creations to my blog.)

Check out Dianne’s mad crafting skills. I admire those who are artistic. I love everything to do with art-writing, drawing, painting, crafting, editing, music. So the fact that she sent me such a beautifully crafted card really touched my heart.

 Oh. My. God. Look at it! Dianne, definitely sent me a wonderful box full of Trader Joe’s goodies! Filled with things I love and things I’ve never tried before. Let’s talk about a few shall we?

Trader Joe’s* Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix: Dianne wrote me that I could easily turn this mix vegan by replacing the egg with either a banana or flex egg. I opted to use the banana since I never knew you could replace eggs with bananas in baking. So I decided to try it out and it turned out amazing! The texture was perfect. Maybe even a little too perfect considering when I sliced it, some of the slices fell apart on me. Op. Crumbled or not, still tasted great!

Trader Joe’s* Fig Butter: Since I used to shop at Trader Joe’s all the time back in the day. I have came across this Fig Butter but it had never made it into the shopping cart. Probably because I can honestly say I’ve never eaten a fig before in my life. Shocking huh? I shocked myself when I tried this on a slice of Sprouted Ezekiel Bread with some Peanut Butter. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting. Turns out I was worrying for nothing. This spread turned out to be fantastically good! So good that I now claim it to be my favorite fruit "butter".

 Trader Joe’s* Cookie Butter: I had the hugest grin on my face when I saw that Dianne included Cookie Butter in my package. I’ve bought this one other time, months ago, and I absolutely loved it. The side of the jar recommends to try the Cookie Butter on pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, ice cream, pretzels, and celery. Let’s be honest though.. with this all you need is a spoon, and your mouth. Your taste buds will thank you. 

Interested? Well you have plenty of time to decide. Click here for all the information your need on how to get on the list for this swap in January.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vegan Blueberry Muffins!

First off, I want to apologize for not posting very much. I've been incredibly busy the last couple weeks and to be quite honest I'm still learning about the blogging world and what I could really blog about. I hope to eventually get to posting more often.

After Bowen I came home and saw that my grandmother had baked up some blueberry muffins. I came up with this recipe since I know the average muffin contains dairy milk, and eggs so I figured I'd might as well make a vegan version to reawaken my baking skills since I haven't baked in quite sometime. Unfortunately, due to me not baking for awhile I had no unsweetened applesauce to substitute for the oil that I dislike using in recipes altogether. So this time I just had to deal with it and add the oil. If you want to make these muffins.. go right ahead and use unsweetened applesauce for the oil if you don't like to use oil in baking.

  • 1c unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
  • 1/3c oil. (use unsweetened applesauce for a lower in calorie option.)
  • 1/3c cane sugar.
  • 1 1/2tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp warm water.
  • 2c flour.
  • 2 tbsp "flaxseed with blueberries". [optional]
  • 1/2tsp salt.
  • 1c frozen blueberries.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine almond milk, oil(or applesauce), egg replacer.
  3. In a separate bowl shift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Once shifted add in the flax seed, mix well.
  4. Combine both your "wet" and "dry" ingredients together. Then add in the blueberries, mix well.
  5. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and distribute the batter evenly into the tins. (This recipe should make you 12 muffins.)
  6. Cook the muffins for 22 minutes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Red Velvet Cake Smoothie!

* I got this idea from a blog I follow called Kiss My Broccoli. I couldn't follow her recipe exactly because it called for some non-vegan items so I just swapped out those with vegan appropriate ones. This smoothie came out amazing! It tastes like your literally drinking a red velvet piece of cake. Though it does have a "beety" aftertaste. That's just to be expected though since beets are in it but trust doesn't ruin the smoothie at all. I can barely taste the aftertaste. This smoothie is also perfect for  satisfying to your sweet tooth.

Ingredients I used.
  • 1/4 cup grated beets. 
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats. [rolled oats would work as well.]
  • 1/8 cup raw cacao powder. [you could use unsweetened cocoa]
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk/water. 
  • Package of Plant Fusion Chocolate Plant Protein Powder.
  • 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon.
  • 1/8 TSP vanilla extract. [you could use "cake batter" or "butter" extract]
  • 5-6 ice cubes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My dark past with food/"thunder thighs."

This isn’t something that I really wanted to put on this blog because it is a very touchy subject for me. But you know.. it’s my blog and after a horrible day at Bowen I just want to spill my heart out and put myself out there.
I’ll start off with why I had a bad day at Bowen.
I have, or used, to have a “friend” named Ryan. I had just met him through Bowen this year and I thought he was a pretty decent person until today. He made a comment that hit me right where it hurts. A harsh comment that he just kept dragging out. He said I have “thunder thighs.” Now I don’t want you to think I’m a cry baby or I’m over-emotional for taking that seemingly small comment to heart. Because trust me I can take a hit. I’ve done so ALL my life. As a child I was bullied for countless reasons. My weight, my appearance, my lack of talking. I was the outcast basically. I was the girl you could pick on and she wouldn’t say a word back to you. I was the girl who hide so much emotional hurt inside her that I wouldn’t speak very much at all. Basically, I just didn’t want to say something stupid then get more criticism thrown at me. So I remained silent the major of my time as a kid. This is strike one for severe upcoming body issues.

It’s sad to think that this little girl was going to have an eating disorder almost take her life.
The only person I really talked to a lot was my mother. She was my best friend, my idol, but also..just another person who criticized me. My mother would make little comments to me. As little as, “You have a zit” to has big as “You were a mistake!” You see.. I had to grow up young. Very young. My mother was a single parent who used to party almost every single night. While I had to fend for myself, alone, in a big house. My father has never been in my life. He has never seen me and I have never seen him. So it was just my mother and I. My mother used to be an alcoholic and when she drank she wasn’t the nicest person toward me. When she would come home.. I was the parent and she was the child. I had to take care of her, make sure she was okay, make sure she was happy without knowing why she would say such hurtful things to me when I was only trying to help her. Subconsciously I took her words to heart. I’m not trying to make my mother sound like a bad person. She’s not a bad person, she just made a lot of mistakes on how she raised me. I’m only bringing her up because she was another cause for my body issues that were soon to be developed at the age of 14. Did I mention all this was happening when I was just a mere 5-12 years old?  Strike two.

Alternately I turned to food for comfort. But with turning to food comes weight gain. I started dieting when I was just 12 years old. I went from being 125 pounds, at age 12, to 115 pounds at age 13. My confidence grew. I started getting approached more. My life at the time was great until I met my “first love” at age 14. Long story short, this wasn’t a healthy relationship. He controlled my every move basically. He wouldn’t let me express myself the way I do today. He wanted me to look a certain way and I did what he wanted. Big mistake on my part. Strike three. I look back now and I just can’t believe I went out with this kid for a year and half when all he did was put me down. He put me down about the way I look, how I acted, my dreams/goals. I had no control over my life so I started to control the one thing that I could always control. My weight. I literally starved myself for days and would only eat when I was with this asshole of a boyfriend. I would abuse laxatives at home and take more than the recommended dosage of diet pills. I would force myself to exercise in the morning, during the day, and at night before I went to bed. Starving myself, lead me into a very unhealthy mindset. Food was the enemy. Food was the reason I was “fat” and unhappy. Food become an obsession. All I could think about was how I could get out of eating, or what I would allow myself to eat that day. Soon enough though, all food became “unsafe”. So I started experimenting with purging. When I ate, I would purge. My anorexia soon turned into bulimia with restricting tendencies. I would stuff myself full of food until I was so uncomfortable it would just come back up one day. The next day I wouldn’t touch anything but coffee and water. This was a continuous cycle each and every day. I had a strong love/hate relationship with food. It’s no surprise that I later become depressed and suicidal. My weight went from being 115-100 pounds in just about 3 months. My boyfriend noticed. He would say that I look disgusting because my ribcage became visible and my collarbones stuck out far. He would make me eat a ridiculous amount of food in front of me. He didn’t show concern. He just wanted “his girl” to look “normal”. He wanted me to be “normal” but I was too far gone with my depression and eating disorder that I just shut him out and did what I felt I had to do which was practically slowly kill myself. I hated myself. I hated my life. A few months later I attempted suicide at the age of 15. I don’t want to go into further detail with that but after the incident happened. I no longer had a boyfriend. Which caused me to no longer care for life. I quit school because soon after my suicide attempt, my ex-boyfriend got with my now ex-best friend. My heart was broken and I needed to get away from that situation. I moved to California with my mother and didn’t go to school for a whole year due to my eating disorder having full effect on me. I starved myself from roughly 105 pounds to 85 pounds. My mother than become very concerned and with her help and the help of a eating disorder specialist my weight restored back into a healthy range.

A couple years later..I’m now back in Indiana, due to my mother getting help for her issues. I still struggle. I still have those moments where eating is very challenging. Even though I’ve educated myself on nutrition and know how much I need to stay healthy and content. Even though I now have the most amazing boyfriend of a year and half. [Ironic huh?] Who tells me I’m beautiful. Perfection. The love of his life. He knows about my eating issues but still accepts me and tries to talk me out of acting upon them on those days when it gets hard. But I still get triggered by ignorant comments such as the one Ryan made today. People really should just keep there mouth shut and keep harsh comments to themselves. You don’t know what that person has gone through/is going through. That small comment could lead to a person taking their life.
 Here I stand today. At exactly 5 feet and at a healthy 105 pounds. I just have the hugest “thunder thighs” ever riiiiiight? Ya right. I’ll let you be the judge of that. [Sorry about my facial expression. I was being a dork.]