Pocket Change

Several different times I’ve tried to “reinvent” myself and come up with a new blog. I’m 21, young, and still molding into the woman that I want to be. Cut me some slack here, but I don’t always enjoy kale smoothies and vegan brownies. Sometimes I like a barbarian pretzel and a beer sampler. Other times I order crudités and ranch (my freshman year of college I called them “crew-dites”…I didn’t know veggies could be fancy). I used to hate kale salads, and now there is one in particular I would gladly eat every day for the rest of my life. Once upon a time I was a soda feign. Coke, sprite, and dr. pepper were three men I loved to take to bed and enjoy while watching TV. Now I can’t stand soda, even with alcohol!

Speaking of alcohol, I don’t believe I would ever give it up cold turkey just to lose weight. I enjoy my whiskey and bourbon in a fancy glass with my favorite people. Margaritas are for vacations, sweet tea vodkas for Sunday Funday, and the occasional beer or glass of wine is for a loving dinner. However I used to drink whatever was cheapest, but now I will check out the brand and make sure it is vegan before consuming. Not that I’m vegan – but I’ve read too many studies for my own good.

Regardless of spirits and carbs in moderation, I’ve given up packaged foods, junk food, and most meat. Not because I’ve decided to go vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, nomnomnomivore, idontcarian…but because I am determined to get healthy. Since switching to this new way of life I’ve dropped 12 pounds. My ultimate goal is not a number, but rather to fit back into my old “skinny” jeans. I’ll tell ya, I think I am halfway there. Here’s an example of my weekly regime cut into a few days of last week’s meals:

Sunday

Breakfast-Toast with avocado, tomatoes, sprouts, a fried egg, hot sauce, and mustard

Lunch-A bowl of hearty vegetable soup with extra beans and hot sauce

Snack of quinoa chips + salsa

Dinner-Quorn Gruyere chicken patty and a big spring balsamic salad on the side

Dessert – a square or two of Salted Dark Chocolate

Monday

Breakfast – A spinach, banana, hemp seed, chia seed, flax seed, goji berry, and green juice smoothie topped with Whole Foods superfood granola.

Snack – Soy latte with a dab of pumpkin syrup or white chocolate syrup

Lunch – A frozen Paneer Tikka Masala from Trader Joe’s

Dinner – Kale Caesar salad from Chop Shop

Tuesday

Breakfast- Toast with avocado, tomato, sprouts and mustard

Snack – 16oz Green juice (kale, spinach, parsley, apple, celery, and cucumber)

Lunch – Vegetable soup (I make a huge batch every other week)

Dinner - 3 16oz beers and a big soft pretzel dunked in cheese sauce (all house made at Four Peaks Brewery)

*Note : I usually don’t drink during the week, but it was our only night free for date night…and my first experience at the Brewery.

This was my work out schedule:

Sunday: Sat on the cycle with no resistance for 30 minutes while watching American Dad. I couldn’t find the plug attachment for the bike and the batteries were dead.

Last Sunday: Run for 30 minutes, 1 hour Barre3 Class

Monday: 200 squats at work (totally embarrassing, but I work with my friends).

Tuesday: Nothing, but normally I go to hot yoga

Wednesday: Barre 3 online class

Thursday: Nothing (Thanksgiving)

Friday: Nothing

Saturday: 200 squats

Sunday[planned]: Yoga

There you have it! I like football, booze, shopping, yoga pants, sitting on my butt watching tv, cycling watching tv, and anything but a sedentary work day.

A Nut Sack Kind of Morning

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Last night my neighbor threw a raging party complete with cars parked bumper to bumper and a live band singing brown eyed girl until two a.m. He’s sixty-five. Good for him, however, not good for my beauty sleep. My bay window blocks outside noises as well as clear plastic wrap camouflages its contents.

Although I expected to sleep in after being kept up all night, I woke up at the crack of dawn. I could have and should have gussied myself up and went to church, but I was having an awful amount of back pain (it’s a girl thing ;p). After an epsom salt soak and the hottest bath possible, I started my to-do list.

#1 on the to-do list was my change 2 of 365. It involved caressing a nut sack.

Literally a nut sack.

Almond, that is ;)

The other day at work I watched My New Root’s Ted Talks to Amsterdam women. Sarah Britton fuels my desire to one day become a holistic nutritionist. Halfway through her speech, she made nut milk with sprouted almonds. She made it look easy, but don’t those expos always make difficult tasks seem effortless? I was instantly intrigued and determined to make almond milk myself. The first step of the process was to soak the almonds in water for 8 hours. About 4 hours in I went through them all and removed their skins. It was hard not to eat the almonds last night as they deliciously sat on the counter, waiting to be fondled.

This morning I went out to buy a cute jar for the almond milk (ok, it was an excuse to also look for some fall dresses) and my groceries. When I came home, I thought this was going to be a daunting task so I finished the rest of my to-do list.

I couldn’t have been more over-prepared for this task.

It was as easy as getting a dog to wag their tail while giving them a bone.

I put the cup of sprouted nuts in a blender with four cups of water and pulsed on high for  30 seconds. Keep in mind I don’t own any fancy sort of blender. It was $10 on amazon.

Almost instantly it looked like milk. For the life of me I couldn’t find a nut milk bag at the store today that was under $7. Instead I used an old pair of tights that had just recently gone through the washer but had an awful snag. It worked perfectly! I wrapped it around the lid of a pitcher and poured the milk into the panty hose. After each drop had been transferred, I squeezed that nut sack to get every last drop out of it.

Expecting a funky taste, I took a swig with discretion. I was pleasantly surprised! Tasted just like skim milk.

My healthy change will definitely be a new staple. No more GMO Soymilk or even Organic soymilk in this girl’s body. The levels of estrogen and isoflavones is unhealthy for the amount that I’ve been consuming since transitioning back to being a vegetarian. Thank goodness I finally found an alternative for my lattes! Can’t wait to try this in the morning in a white chocolate latte.

For a helpful video, check out My New Root’s nut milk tutorial. I’m definitely trying cashews next week!

Superfood Smile

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Good Morning, Beautiful.

Starting your day off with a superfood breakfast and a brisk jog can bring the rosy to your cheeks and the sun to your skin.

Sip on warm honey lemon ginger green tea. Start off with a local honey, as this is a form of immunotherapy-exposing your body gradually to allergens that are located in the minuscule pollen cells. By using local honey, the bees are pollinating on flora that is common to your everyday exposure, thus increasing your chances of being acquainted with everyday allergens. Plus, something about honey just makes me want to wrap myself up in a cozy sweater and turn on the Golden Girls the News.

Ginger used to make me want to run in the other direction. When I first started using it, I was extremely skeptical. Frankly, I was worried I would begin sweating the smell of ginger.  I can’t remember what lead me to putting it in a cup of honey and lemon, but it happened. About 1/2 of an inch knob adds just the perfect spice to the tea. I don’t peel it, grate it, etc. I simply chop off the skin and dump into the cup before I pour lava hot water on it.

The benefits of ginger are endless. It fights cancer, alzheimer’s, stimulates weight loss, soothes nausea (something I used to chronically deal with pre-healthy days), and those are just the ones that I can think of!

Lastly, add as much lemon as you desire. I typically like 2 tsp honey and 1 tbsp of lemon per 8oz of water. I’m an acid junky though(ha, ha, get it?).

Warm lemon water is the absolute greatest thing that you can start your day off with (besides waking up to your boyfriend coming back home with your favorite overpriced latte, of course). Starting your day off with warm water soothes your stomach, preparing it for your breakfast to be more digestible as opposed to slugging back a cold glass of water that makes your body work harder to level the temperature of the water. The lemon alkalizes your body and cleanses your liver. Why not add a squeeze of lemon to you next morning cup of tea? Steal it from your neighbor’s tree when they’re not looking ;)

Follow up your routine with a breakfast like a smoothie bowl pictured above(1 cup kale or spinach, 1/8 cup acai juice, 1/8 cup carrot juice, 1/8 cup orange juice, 1 tbsp chlorophyll, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 banana and enough ice to make it thick and barely soupy). Top it with something like Whole Food’s Superfood Granola, Chia seeds, fresh fruit, and Goji berries.

or

A rice cake with 1 tbsp peanut butter, goji berries, chia seeds, and honey on a rice cake.

I found that one busy morning I attempted to have all of these in one sitting and couldn’t manage to finish the rice cake. The subsequent morning I had the leftover rice cake and was full until lunch with the addition of a glass of beet/carrot/ginger juice. I know what you’re thinking-that’s not enough food! But something about peanut butter always gets me.

Lemon Honey Ginger Tea

1 cup steeping hot water

1/2 inch knob of ginger

1 tbsp lemon

2 tsp local honey

optional: a green tea bag, if you’re not ready to omit the caffeine in your morning routine

Yours until the Butter Flies,

Morgan