My whole weekend has consisted of studying, eating brain food, and baking a vegan pecan pie. Friday-Monday. Study, study, study.
My test is
Tuesday and I have to pass it in order to be able to graduate. I took a
similar test called the CASHEE when I still lived in California and
passed both the English and Math with flying colors. I actually almost
got a perfect score in Math, which surprised me considering math has
always been my weak subject.
I took the Indiana exit exams a few months ago but I failed my
math.. by only five points! Frustrating. It wasn’t a shocker though, I
didn’t get to study for it like I got to with the CASHEE. They just
randomly gave it to me without warning.
So since I’ve been pushing my brain to remember things, and work a
lil’ harder than normal. I’ve been eating foods that are supposed to
help stimulate the brain.
Coffee: We’ve all been there.. “Don’t talk to me
until I’ve had my coffee.” I know I’ve said those words countless times
without a second thought. When my grandmother, says “Good Morning” to me
when I have just woken up.. I’ve caught myself
responding to her by just saying, “Coffee.” That’s “good morning” in my
language if I haven’t gotten my dose yet. Coffee helps me focus and
gives me that morning boost I need in order to make it through the rest
of the day.
Blueberries: Blueberries improve learning and
motor skills. They are filled with antioxidants and a variety of
essential vitamins for mental health. Blueberries top the brainy fruit
chart and luckily are my favorite fruit! I added some frozen blueberries
to vanilla soy yogurt during a couple study sessions.
Tofu Scramble with Avocado: You non-vegans may be
wondering.. what the heck is Tofu Scramble? Well, it’s actually very
simple. Tofu Scramble is just scrambled up firm tofu that you cook on
the skillet with vegetables of your choice. It’s a favorite of mine,
especially when I have avocado on hand. I love
topping off my scramble with a full avocado. Avocado is full of
monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. “And
healthy blood flow means a healthy brain.” I know people
suggest to only eat 1/4-1/2 of an avocado a day due to the fat content,
but I don’t follow that rule. I love avocados, their my favorite. I
can’t stop at just eating a quarter or half of one. No way. Besides..
the fat in an avocado isn’t the “bad” saturated, trans fat. It’s a
healthy fat that’s beneficial for you. Why not indulge in something
A few other brain-boosting foods include: Sprouted/whole grain,
nuts/seeds, beans, tea, dark chocolate, ginger, vegetables(brussel
sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale)
fruit(watermelon, cantaloupe, apples.)
I also enjoyed a few yummy, healthy meals this weekend. Here's a couple that are worth sharing.
Romaine, Broccoli, Tomato, Cucumber, Mushrooms, Olives, Broccoli, Falafel Patty, Jalapeno Hommus. (This is basically my take on "Greek salad".)
Romaine, Yellow Bell Pepper, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Mushrooms,
1/2 Tomato, California Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fat free Balsamic
Vinaigrette; Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Dried/Sweetened
Cranberries, 1 TBSP Lightly Roasted Almonds.
I love adding quinoa and topping it off with dried cranberries & almonds on a bed of salad. It may sound like a strange combination to some, but trust me, it's amazing!
Homemade Vegan Pecan Pie.
I haven’t had pecan pie in
years. My grandmother was going to make one for the family and I last
weekend but couldn’t follow through because 1). She lost the recipe she
was going to use. 2). The frozen pie crusts she bought had lard in them
and since I can’t have lard she decided to postpone making it.
I went to the grocery store with her Saturday and after looking at
many different brands of frozen pie crusts with no luck of finding one
that wasn’t made with lard.. we finally found one. Marie Calendar’s, I
thank you. My grandmother still hadn’t found the recipe she wanted to
use and after hearing the horror of having to add 3/4c to 1c of corn
syrup, that her cookbooks instructed to add to the filling. I looked
online for a recipe that contained no corn syrup. Luckily, I found one. Bryanna’s Vegan Pecan Pie.
After reading the reviews, a lady suggested to add a little more brown
sugar and vegan margarine to give it a more rich taste since the recipe,
I guess, is too light? I went with her suggestion. (I added 3/4c brown
sugar, and 2 TBSP more of soy-free vegan butter, and reduced the cane
sugar to 1/2c.) Soon after I stuck the pie in the oven. I went on my
online calorie calculator to see how many calories this bad boy would
contain per slice. My jaw dropped and my anxiety rose. At that moment, I
remembered why I haven’t had this type of pie for such a long time. The
last time I had pecan pie was when I was around the age of 10-12.
Before my eating disorder took full effect. My grandmother had warned me
that this pie was going to be very calorific but I wasn’t expecting it
to contain 505 calories, 32g of fat, 53 carbs, and 33g of sugar for only
1 slice or 1/8 of the pie! I suffered an intense panic attack at the
thought of having to eat a slice. First one, in a very long, that has been
food related. Even the thought of only having a bite left me shaking
with fear. So unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the pie. I couldn’t bring
myself out of my fear to do so. I asked the family to try it for me and
give me their opinions.
My grandmother said, “Perfect sweetness, nutty flavor, but lacks that
buttery taste that regular pecan pie has. I’ll give it a 10 for being
vegan but a 7 overall.” My uncle said, “I’ll give it a 7. It has a good
sweetness, good flavor, but lacks consistency. It’s not solid enough,
but I’ll give it props for being vegan and tasting good.” My grandfather
barely has any teeth but I still let him try out the crust and filling
and he gave it a 9 on that alone. (Maybe, later on in the week I'll challenge myself to try at least one bite of the pie. It'll be a good way for me to challenge my eating issue and show it who's boss..)
My grandmother asked me after the sampling if I wanted to go with her
to the grocery store so she could get some chips. I agreed and went
with her after my panic attack had went away. My grandmother must have
felt bad because while we were at the grocery store she told me I could
pick out something for myself to have since "I couldn't let myself try the pie." I went
straight to the nut butter section and found a new peanut butter that
I’ve been looking for!
Anybody who knows me.. knows I love my nut butter. Peanut
Butter,White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter,Dark Chocolate Peanut
Butter, Almond Butter, Maple Almond Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter..
doesn’t matter. Give me a sample or jar of nut butter and I’ll love you
for life. Especially.. if it’s a flavor I’ve never tried before. So you
can probably guess my excitement when I found this Planter’s* Banana
Granola Nut Peanut Butter. Banana.. Granola.. Nut. I like bananas, I
like granola, and I like nuts. This sounded perfect and to add on to my
excitement.. it’s vegan! Without a second thought I proudly placed it in
my cart. Yes, I “proudly” placed it in my cart. Literally. I was
grinning from ear to ear with my head held up high.
Another weekend highlight, I got my elf match for Elf for Heath! I
skipped Round 1 but after seeing how much fun everyone was having on
Instagram, posting their daily challenges. I couldn’t help but
participate for Rounds 2 & 3! Elf for Heath is a program that
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean and Elle have put together. Every two
weeks your matched with a “buddy elf” that you talk to regarding the
challenges and your there to help them whenever they need inspiration
for a certain day’s challenge. Your to take pictures of each challenge
that you do everyday and post them on Instagram with the hashtag
#elf4heath. This gives you the opportunity to be chosen by Lindsey &
Elle for Best Elf and Daily Elf Challenge Winners! Prizes are awarded
to the Best Elf at the end of the two weeks and the challenge winners
get to be in the running for the grand prize at the end of elf4heath
program. This is open to everyone, so if your interested and want to
learn more about the program and how you can join in for round 3, just click here.