What I Made in 2013

I know this is a couple days late, but I’m never one to turn down the opportunity to do a recipe round-up. In fact, if I could get by with making my whole blog a recipe round-up I would be one happy gal. The only problem is that I like making the recipes themselves way too much so you get both!

Here are 15 recipes that I posted on my blog in 2013. They aren’t necessarily the top 15 viewed, just my favorites of the top ones.

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What I made in 2013 (aka… a year-long version of WIAW):

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Breakfast

My favorite meal of the day, so I have a lot of breakfast recipes on here.

1. Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

2. Pan Perfect Pancakes

3. Paleo French Toast Sticks

Bread

Making grain-free breads taste good is quite a challenge, so when I come up with a good one, I make sure to share.

4. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

5. Banana Bread Bake

6. Grain-Free Cinnamon Roll Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

Can you tell that I like quick and easy recipes? Especially cute, hold-able ones like cinnamon rolls.

7. Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

8. Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls

9. Microwave Cinnamon Rolls

Dessert

My desserts actually resemble all of my other recipes with the same clean ingredients.

10. Apple/Pear Crisp

11. Paleo Tagalongs

12. Pumpkin Pie Bars

Savory

I have a disproportionate amount of sweet to savory recipes on this blog. I don’t believe that is a bad thing. 

13. Grain-Free Pumpkin Calzones

14. Chili, Chips and Cheeze

15. Paleo Moussaka

Along with my top recipes, here is also my annual 2013 report for Eating 4 Balance. It gives all of the statistical details like page views, top commenters, referring sites, etc.

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Looking over all that I did on this blog in 2013, I can’t help but be proud. Still, I know there is a lot of room for improvement. A couple of my goals for Eating 4 Balance in 2014 include:

  • Creating a posting schedule/plan.
  • Improving my photography/photo editing.
  • Commenting on more blogs.
  • Responding to more comments.
  • Going self-hosted.
  • Organizing my recipes.
  • Writing more personal/non-food posts.

Thank you for reading Eating 4 Balance and I hope you enjoy what is to come in the next year!

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Questions for you:

  • What is your favorite recipe/post on your blog in 2013?
  • Do you have more savory or sweet recipes on your blog?
  • What blog goals do you have for 2014?
  • Is there anything that you would like to see on Eating 4 Balance?

Buzzing Around the Web

So I just woke up to 8 texts from my mom. She was at a business conference with my dad and getting bored so she decided to textbomb my phone… The first text that I missed was before 9:00PM. I’m pretty sure I feel asleep on my bed about 30 minutes before that though. The first thought that I had when I woke up was, “What happened?” Let me tell you what my conclusion is- Life happened.

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This is a real freaking job people. With real ups and downs. Real long hours. Real customers who are sometimes happy, and sometimes not. And those not-so-happy customers will make you want to quit and just cry, but you have to keep on swimming.

When I woke up tonight after my unexpected nap at around 11:00PM I promptly texted my mom back so that she would know I wasn’t a. ignoring her or b. dead (although let’s face it- all mothers automatically assume the worst and always go with b). Then I washed my face and brushed my teeth and hopped back in bed. Yep, no need to put on pajamas because my sweat pants and volleyball shirt came on as soon as I got back from work.

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It’s now 6 minutes til 12:00AM so I am going to wrap this post up fast with a simple round-up of links that I found particularly interesting this week. You should check some of them out because I think you’ll like them too!

First category- food for obvious reasons. Here are some mouth-watering-good recipes that I stumbled upon this week in WIAW blogs as well as Pinterest and other random places:

Grain-Free, Egg-Free Pancakes from Purely Twins

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies from Peachy Palate

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Vegan Caprese Baked Pasta from Edible Perspective

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups– Inside Out! from Chocolate-Covered Katie

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Five Minute Vegan Alfredo Sauce from The Fitchen

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Second category- food for thought posts. These are the posts from bloggers that really made me think, which in my eyes is always a major accomplishment.

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Taylor Made It Paleo wrote a post this week with a new recipe for a Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. In itself the recipe looks great, but not particuarly earth-shattering. What I found interesting though was her introduction where she confesses that she had a number people rudely point out to her that her macaroon picture had a blonde hair in it…. Really? Is that what people do now? Have they moved on from body shaming to food shaming now? Let’s spend our time more wisely people– like perhaps making Taylor’s macaroon recipe. It sounds like you had a bad day and good use some dessert to cheer you up.

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Running With Spoon’s The Stigma of Healthy Living. I really like this post from Amanda because she points out the judgmental tendencies of bloggers and the effects that they can have on fellow bloggers- like feeling the need to not share everything we really ate for fear of being ridiculed or picked apart. Again, that’s not what this community is for! What I really appreciate is that Amanda pointed out these things without being judgmental herself. I feel like so many people have written posts on similar topics in the past few weeks, but have been quite hypocritical in the sense that while calling others out on being judgey, they too have been putting others down.

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Third category- pinterest pins. Here are just a few pins from my boards this week that I thought were worth sharing.

Last but not least are some buzzfeed articles that I believe are either hilarious or thought-provoking. Most likely both. I swear, buzzfeed is one of my favorite websites these days. I can get lost for hours just browsing through their articles.

8 Foods We Eat in the U.S. That Are Banned in Other Countries– There really are some frightening ingredients in our food.

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11 Mouth-Watering Pokemon Cupcakes– Who wouldn’t want to eat an adorable Jiggly Puff pastry?

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16 Most Outrageous Things that Betty White Said– Oh man is she funny!

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What’s It Like Playing Candy Crush– Although I’ve never played this, I know many of you do!

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17 Delicious Ways to Use Up Old Bananas– I know you foodies will appreciate all of the ideas!

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Now I’m off to bed for real this time! Tomorrow is Friday and this weekend I’m heading home to celebrate a few family birthdays (Happy Birthday Mom!). I’ll be sure to share lots of pictures of the festivities on the blog next week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Share your favorite Recipe, Food for Thought post, Pinterest Pins, or Buzzfeed Articles from this week. Spread the love and put the links in the comments!

“Watch Out! It’s a Trap!” (Special WIAW Edition)

“Watch out! It’s a trap!”

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The famous last words of every major detective (or Star Wars alien) before they fall through a trap door into a dark and gloomy dungeon. Or a pool of sharks. Ya. Let’s go with the sharks.

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How about that just for today, we all pretend to be detectives.

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Detectives?! Please, just bear with me…

How about we change that to internet detectives?

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Getting warmer…

How about we further still change it to internet detectives of the health living trap?

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Ah, now I have your attention.

Today I want to talk about how we all need to be our own personal detectives when navigating the “healthy living” community of the blog world. This same community has been cause for so much reformation that it’s really astounding. I’ve read literally hundreds of stories of women (and men) who have found healthy living blogs and improved their lives dramatically. These stories range from simple adjustments to life-changing results. From weight loss to weight gain, from managing chronic disease to discovering an entirely new passion.

I, and probably many of you, fall into that latter category: Passion.

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Ever since I found this amazing community of blogs, I have developed an eye-opening passion for healthfulness, something that my former eighth-grade, oreo-binging self would never have even guessed at. And I am eternally grateful.

But…

There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?

That does not mean that I haven’t also made some mistakes when trying to follow the ideas of some of these same “healthy” blogs. I won’t go into much detail now, but I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of yo-yo-ing between restriction, over-consumption, etc.

Do I blame these things on my beloved healthy living blogs? Certainly not. But that doesn’t mean that they are entirely blameless. They are meant to provide tips, examples, and interesting information. However, they are not meant to be copied or taken as fact.

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Also, while I do truly believe that many of these popular bloggers have found a healthy balance in their lives, both with self and spirit, that doesn’t mean that all of the blogs that you encounter in this community will be healthy. Some will be quite the opposite, and many (actually quite a few in this category), will be the complete opposite.

Here’s where the detective work needs to come in. The job of a detective is to conduct investigations to identify “criminal activity.” Some such activities includes extreme calorie consumption (either on the low or high end according to accepted guidelines), distorted body image, exercising more than the recommended amount (professional athletes not included), engaging in obsessive/dangerous behavior (obsessive calorie counting, exercising, spending, caffeine addiction, compulsive tendencies, etc.), and making medical diagnoses or recommendations for themselves and others without the proper education and training.

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Now, these are just some of the things that I have identified as “criminal activities,” but I’m positive that there are many more, some I’m sure that have not been identified yet,  and a great number that can very easily slip under our detective radars.

My point in writing this post is to encourage all of you to investigate everything you read. Take nothing as fact or “healthy” until you do thorough research on your own and/or run it by a trusted professional.

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This may seem like a somewhat depressing post to use for this week’s WIAW party, but it’s one that I have been wanting to write for awhile.

I feel like What I Ate Wednesday is the perfect place to share my thoughts on this topic because it is very easy to fall into the comparison trap when reading food journals. WIAW is such a wonderful thing, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it… As long as we keep our magnifying glasses up and ready.

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Remember as the ever-so-smart Jenn from Peas and Crayons says:

—-What WIAW isn’t about—-

Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt

—-What WIAW is about—-

Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!

WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so. much. more. ❤

Celebrate Food.  Celebrate blogging.  Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]

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Two additional thoughts before I wrap up this post for the day:

1. I am not saying that those who have different diets than what we consider “the norm” are restrictive or unhealthy. Sometimes there are perfectly legitimate reasons for eliminating certain food groups (take those with food allergies for instance– like me!), or having to watch specific macronutrients (like carbohydrates for diabetics). When looking at my meals (mostly soup right now), you may think that I am being restrictive, but I am eating for my health, and that is all. Hence the name of my blog: Eating 4 Balance. Right now I am trying to heal my gut, and ultimately find what works for me. Do I miss the other foods that I used to eat? Heck yes! But I feel much better without them. Also, now that I’ve eliminated most of my trouble foods I am actually able to eat more calories and fat than before (and perfectly within the “safe” range), without feeling completely terrible. If you ever have doubts about me, or another blog though, just ask!

2. You didn’t think that I could do an entire post without pictures of food, did you? I know I promised on Monday that I would be posting some awesome recipes, but I feel like this post takes priority. So, you’ll just have to wait. I promise it won’t be too long. Until then, a few pictures to hold you over:

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Have you ever fallen into the “healthy living” trap?

Are there blogs that you used to read that you don’t anymore, because they portray disordered habits?

What have you found effective when trying to figure out whether or not a blog is “healthy”?

On the topic of food… What is your favorite thing that you ate so far this week?

Seriously Strong

Most of the time my blog is all about me, which kind of makes sense because it is mine. Every once in a while though, I like to share some of the super awesome posts that I have read during the week.

Today I am going to feature seven bloggers whose posts really made me stop and think. All of them have in some shape or another shared some very personal thoughts and put it all out there. I want to showcase them today with the hopes that you will find them just as inspiring as I have!

So, without further ado, here are the blog posts that I think are…

Seriously Strong

Peace Love and Oats’ How Blogging Influences my Life

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Katie opened up a great discussion on her blog on how blogs influence our lives, both positively and negatively. She talks about how they can sometimes make us feel insufficient or cause us to judge ourselves against other bloggers, something that we should never ever do! Katie also makes a good point about making decisions based on what we feel is right, and not letting the fact that others are reading about our lives change what we know is right for us personally.

The Run Within’s Reflection Throwback

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Alex wrote an awesome #frEDdom post earlier this week and showed how far she has come by reflecting on one of posts that she wrote when she first began blogging. Even when she was just starting Alex was so in tune with herself. Her post really made me think about what beliefs that I have that are holding me back.

STUFT Mama’s “Expecting?” Reaction

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Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to share on your blog, but Kristin decided to brave it all and recap an encounter she had with some not-so-pleasant gym goers. Most people would have gotten mad, but not this lady! STUFT Mama is my favorite fitness blog and one of the fittest people that I know, which just goes to show you how off-base some people can bef.

Picky Runner’s Boston Blogger Brunch

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Sarah went to her first official blog meet up and shared the details on her last What I Ate Wednesday. I know I personally get really anxious when meeting new people, and she admitted on her blog that she got nervous and almost backed out. Sarah was really open with all of the thoughts she had during the meet-up, and shared a lot of the food fears she faced. Going out of your comfort zone is what it’s all about and in the end it was all worth it.

A Dash of Meg’s Weight Gain Afterthoughts

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In response to a reader’s comment, Meg spoke about negative thoughts that can sometimes arise when dealing with weight gain. She is currently lifting weights and doing a great job at fueling her body, and has gained 4.5 pounds so far! I almost feel like it may be easier to talk about weight loss on a blog because a lot more people are doing that these days, which makes weight gaining a lot less heard of and understood. Meg provided really good insight into what she did to prepare for gaining weight, and showed a lot of courage in her journey so far.

A Tablespoon of Liz’s Guess What!

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I’ll admit that I haven’t followed Liz that faithfully in the past, but I always check in every once in a while to see what’s new. Liz just posted yesterday about her struggle with digestive issues (something that I can totally relate with), and more recently a new diagnosis that basically changes everything. She’s being so open about it on her blog though, and I can’t wait to read more about how she’s overcoming Ulcerative Colitis.

Running with Spoons’ “You could be skinnier if..”

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Rude encounters have been happening all over the blog world apparently, and Amanda was cool enough to share hers. Some strangers really don’t know the effect that they have on people, especially regarding body image and weight. Amanda handled it beautifully though, and received some amazing comments. She even was brave enough to go in and speak to the manager so that what happened to her wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

And I just realized that this is kind of like my own version of Meg’s High Five Friday, so I’m definitely linking up this week!

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And that’s all for now folks! Hope you have some amazing weekends like always, and I look forward to reading your posts next week!

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Have you read any of the posts that I mentioned above?

What posts have you read this week (or anytime really) that have made you stop and think?