What Other People Ate #2 (WIAW)

Just for the record, I have held off on doing a sequel to the original What Other People Ate that I posted in May. The main reason being that I was worried everyone would think I was being lazy and using other people’s gorgeous photography. Maybe I am being lazy. But I truly do just like sharing the love and linking to the often downright inspiring recipes of some of my fellow bloggers.

Today just feels like the right time for a second edition. As I shared in my post this past Friday, my life has been a little less than perfect lately with my never-ending stomach problems (I’m finding out the results hopefully tomorrow… although my mom and I have agreed that they will most likely come back normal). In addition my grandma’s recent surgery which you all so sweetly prayed for on Friday, as well as another tragedy this past weekend when my Great Uncle died.

I didn’t know him very well. Actually, to be honest, because he didn’t live extremely close, I don’t actually ever remember meeting him (although I’m sure I did when I was much younger). Still, a loss is a loss and I have been hearing from my mom all of the wonderful things that he did in life. He held a host of interesting jobs including being a well-recognized costume make-up artist and also an expert gardener who crossbred flowers to make up his own original species. I have thought of him more than once over the past few days and how admirable he was for following his passions and living life to the fullest.

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Enough sappy talk for now though- it’s time for another mash-up of Jessie’s Together Tuesdays and Jenn’s WIAW. Once again making the impossible possible as Tuesdays and Wednesdays collide!

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I present…

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ATE (and what I not so secretly

wish I could be eating right now too) PART TWO:

Breakfast

Paleo Cookie Crisp Cereal from Real Sustenance

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Who else loved having an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast when they were younger?

Snack

Homemade Nut Cheese from The Fitnessista

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This recipe sounds like it would be absolutely perfect paired with some crispy crackers. This recipe is made even better by the fact that it’s dairy-free and vegan!

Lunch

Vegan Carrot “Hot Dogs” from Clean Eating Veggie Girl

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Seriously? How real do these “hot dogs” look? Amazing.

Snack

Basic Acai Bowl Blueprint from Bittersweet Blog

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Acai bowls are always just so pretty and I love the idea of having a basic blueprint recipe to be able to customize to your liking.

Dinner

Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs from Skinny Taste

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Skinny Taste always has such simple and tasty recipes. This one is no different with a delicious and easy to make pesto sauce marinade.

Dessert

Almond Butter Banana Cookies from Civilized Caveman Cooking

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Another super simple recipe, these cake-like cookies are free of refined sugar and packed full of delicious, whole ingredients.

My last What Other People Ate post ended with me commenting that my eyes were drifting closed… Sadly not much has changed because before adding in the images tonight I took a short and unplanned 15 minute cat nap.

Whoops.

Hope you all have a great and productive Wednesday!

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Questions for you:

What recipes have you been eyeing this week?

Have you had any family members die that you weren’t very close to? How did you react?

Do you ever feel lazy when it comes to blogging?

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What Other People Ate (WIAW)

Well, it’s official guys- I’m moved into my new apartment for the summer! I started my job on Monday and now I’m two days down.

Right now I’m just mentally drained though and it’s kind of hard to put coherent lines of thought together much less actually stay awake past 9:00 PM (I’ve already dosed off twice tonight. Bedtime is just around the corner…).

It has already been far too long since I posted something on here though (four or five days I think? The horror! 😉 ).

I figured what could be easier than some good old fashioned link-ups with two of my favorite bloggers? That’s right: another two for one special with Peas and Crayons and Jessie Bear What Will You Wear. A mash-up of WIAW and Together Tuesdays (because it is completely possible for Tuesdays and Wednesdays to occur on the same day in the blog world).

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I give to you:

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ATE (and what I not so secretly wish I could be eating right now too):

Breakfast

Kabocha Squash Pancake from Hungry Healthy Girl

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Because both Jessies also included it in their Together Tuesdays for this week… and because Kabocha is the bomb.

Snack

Sooth Ginger Mango Dream Smoothie from Peachy Palate

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Great for digestion and full of fresh seasonal ingredients!

Lunch

Coconut Chicken Nuggets from Taylor Made it Paleo

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Super simple and grain-free, these chicken nuggets would pair great with my homemade ranch dressing as a dip!

Snack

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Butter from The Smart Kitchen

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Sea salt and chocolate lovers unite with the nut butter world. Holy moly.

Dinner

Old Bay Crab Cakes from Freckled Nettles

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I would beg to guess that even seafood haters would love Brittany’s beginner-friendly crab cake recipe.

Dessert

Vegan Lemonade Ice Cream from Healthful Pursuit

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You’ll never guess the ingredients until you click the recipe.

Like I said… Eyes currently drifting close. Time for me to publish, shut down and hit the hay.

This Friday you can count on a post. Not sure what (hopefully a recipe AND review?). Either way, hope to see in the comment sections across the blog world tomorrow. Happy Wednesday!
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Questions for you:

Are you tired right now?
Where is the strangest place that you have fallen asleep?
Any amazing recipe finds to share from this week?

What I Made (And Did Not Eat) Wednesday

Catchy title, right?

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from my update on Friday (by the way- thanks so much for all of your amazing comments and support!) that I will not be eating anything blog-worthy for quite a long time. No matter though, because thankfully my family doesn’t have the same food restrictions as me and are very willing for me to make all of their meals when I’m home 🙂

Today I’m going to share some pictures of what I cooked up this past weekend, and let me know which recipe you’d like to see first!

It just so happens too that I have food for every major meal of the day. Perfect.

Breakfast: Oatless Oatmeal

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If you would believe it, my dad doesn’t really miss the bread on his hamburgers or the chips for his salsa since going GAPS. No, he misses the quick and easy… oatmeal. It’s okay. Laugh a little. I sure did when I came home to find two full canisters of oatmeal sitting on our island. It turns out my dad just couldn’t take it anymore and was planning on throwing them out (he just hadn’t gotten to the “throwing them out” step yet as our trash was full 😉 ). When I reminded him that my brother makes himself No-Bake cookies practically every few weeks though, the oatmeal went back into the cupboard. A spark had been lit in my head though and I vowed to make him a bowl of GAPS-approved oatmeal that same weekend.

You may remember if you’ve been reading awhile that I made some allergy-free oatless oats for a snack last summer. This recipe is still grain-free, dairy-free and can be nut/peanut-free as well, but sadly not egg-free. For all of those of you who can eat eggs though (which is probably most of you), you will love the new recipe. Still, I gotta support my allergic peeps here (yes, I really did just call you “peeps”) and say that I’ve read that you can replace the eggs in the recipe with flax egg or tofu, but I of course I can’t guarantee the results!

Lunch: Homemade Ranch Dressing

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My mom has been complaining (okay, not really complaining but “mentioning”) for quite a while that her salads just aren’t as enjoyable anymore without a good dressing and all of the homemade recipes that she has tried were less than stellar. When I got home this weekend I made it my mission to change all of that. I did a little research online and got a good idea of some of the ingredients that others put in their ranch dressing recipes. Then I pulled out a whole bunch of stuff from my pantry and got to work. Five minutes later I had something that looked and smelled like ranch dressing. The ultimate test though would be if it actually tasted like ranch dressing. This picture shows a salad that I whipped up for my dad (romaine lettuce mix, diced onion and pepper, sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped grass-fed beef burger) with organic green beans on the side. Of course there was the ranch dressing too.

Thankfully it was a success and my dad was genuinely surprised that it tasted so close to the real thing. I have to admit that I was a little surprised (and relieved) too. It’s so hard to make something and not be able to test it beforehand.

When my mom got home from work later that day she heard of the infamous ranch dressing and asked if there was any left. Um… Whoops. But within a couple of minutes there sure was. Let’s just say that my mom was even more thrilled than my dad and asked for the recipe. Again… Whoops. It turns out my hands have a pretty good memory though and with each dash of “such and such” and spoonful of “this and that” that I threw into the mix we measured out the ingredients and had a solid recipe.

This ranch dressing can also be made allergy-free with one simple substitution, so I’ll make sure to include that in the notes when I eventually post it on this blog.

Supper: Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This will be more of a simple How-To. In fact, just from the picture you can probably already guess what the main ingredients will be comprised of. 🙂

Snack: Oh-So-Secret Snack Bars 😉

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My mom tried Larabars for the first time on Saturday upon my recommendation and really liked them. Of course the price and size probably would have made my dad’s eye twitch, but the ingredients are so wholesome and clean it would be a shame to pass them up! Once again inspired though, on Monday before I left for school I whipped up some homemade bars with an ingredient that you’ll never guess (Hint: It involves recycling). These will be similar to the Acorn Squash recipe in that it will be more of a How-To with some measurement suggestions, but I’ll be making them again and can probably get a more accurate recipe for you all next week.

That about wraps up WIAW for today. Jenn is so awesome for hosting this shin-dig so go over to her blog and leave a comment thanking her for putting up with all of us every week 😉

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I’m hoping to get up at least one of these recipes on Friday, but if I’m absent, just know it’s because I have been swallowed by the vortex that is Spring Semester Final Exams. I have one on Thursday and one on Friday so Wednesday will be jam-packed with studying and trying ever so hard to not get on Pinterest/Hulu/Facebook/Netflix. But we all know that’s not going to be possible. 

Still, I am going to be quite busy this week in preparing for these end-of-year tests, packing up my dorm room, getting ready for my internship and moving (just under 3 weeks!) and taking care of some Financial aid stuff at school. Of course I’ll still be blogging, but if I’m late in responding or commenting, you’ll know why. 🙂

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Did you make (and not eat) anything for someone this week?

Which recipe would you all like to see first?

What have you been busy with lately? Exams? Spring Cleaning? Getting ready for summer? Busy at work? Share!

My 5 Days of Paleo – WIAW Halloween Edition

Thanks for all of your comments on my Accent Vlog. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you must! It is so much fun that you’ll want to make one too.

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Now, onto my post’s title today: Five Days of Paleo. What?! Paleo? Is she crazy? Doesn’t she have enough restrictions without giving up grains too?

Hold your horses there my fellow bloggers. These five days of Paleo were not intentional. It just so happens that I ran out of both my quinoa flakes and my brown rice protein powder on Sunday… And I’m not going home til Friday night. Hence, a week of “forced” Paleo.

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But don’t get me wrong, I’m actually quite excited. While I do love my protein breads and quinoa porridge, I don’t think my stomach always does. I’ve been noticing lately that after eating quinoa flakes my stomach gets particularly bubbly, and sometimes even bloated.

Of course, we don’t want that! So a few weeks ago I looked up some different reasons why I may now be reacting poorly to quinoa flakes. What I came up with was a description off of the Whole9 Approach’s website about what grains do to our bodies:

Many with gluten sensitivities report similar reactions when consuming non-gluten grains, leading us to believe that there are bigger problems with “grains” (including non-grains like quinoa) than gluten. These other grains are still calorie-dense and carbohydrate-dense, promoting an unhealthy hormonal response when consumed in a “normal” serving size.

But where will I get my carbohydrates from? There is nothing – not vitamins, minerals, fiber or phytonutrients – found in grains that you can’t find in copious amounts in fresh vegetables or fruits.

Taken from Gluten-Free Part 1 and Gluten-Free Part 2 on the Whole9Life website.

More on what I’ve been eating later on though… It’s time for WIAW!
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Thank you Peas and Crayons for this awesome Halloween Extravaganza. It’s been a lot of fun!!

However, I haven’t exactly been following this month’s theme for the past few weeks– No spooky snacks or Halloween-themed treats. So today I wanted to make it up to you all and share with my top five “scary” Halloween movies:

*the quotation marks are my acknowledgement that these movies aren’t “scary” to most people… most likely just to me*

5. Get a Clue

This movie is based off of The Westing Game, a great children’s chapter book about a rich millionaire whose ghost is suspected of coming back to haunt his heirs. It’s just one big mystery, and is full of puzzles (which I love!).

4. Halloweentown High

One of the first Halloween movies that I ever remember watching. Sure, it’s a little kiddish, but really, does Disney ever get old? Plus, who hasn’t ever wanted to be a witch?

3. Hocus Pocus

Okay, I take back what I said about wanting to be a witch. I would never want to be these witches! I still to this day close my eyes when Bett Midler’s red-headed witch is revived. Creepy!

2. Casper Meets Wendy

Alright. I just can’t make up my mind today! If I had to be a witch, I’d definitely want to be like Hilary Duff in Casper Meets Wendy. She is just so cute, plus she gets to hang out with the coolest and friendliest ghost around! I’d love to have a friend who could walk through walls and turn invisible. Pshhh. I’d love to be able to turn invisible.

1. Scooby Doo on Zombie Island

This is probably one of the scariest Scooby Doo movies that I have seen to date, and trust me, I’ve seen a lot. I’m like a Scooby Doo fiend! What I like about this one is that it is so different than previous Scooby Doo shows, mainly because this time the monsters are actually real!

Alright, enough Halloween chit-chat. Time for some food.

Here is my last banana protein bread on Sunday before I emptied my protein powder jug:

Yes, just looking at this picture makes me want to shed a tear.

Now that I can’t eat my usual protein powder or quinoa flakes, you may ask yourself: What do I plan on eating for the next five days?

Well, since I can’t have eggs or any nuts/coconuts/avocados (which are all MAJOR Paleo sources of fat and protein) I’m going to have to increase my macronutrients elsewhere with meat, which will be fine, but nothing compared to my breads, pancakes and porridge

Breakfast

On day one I had a banana and some chicken. It wasn’t awful by any means, but let’s just say that my stomach is not fit to handle meat in the morning. Instead, today I just had two bananas. Not ideal, but much better than yesterday!

Lunch

For lunch I did a little experimenting and whipped up a very simple recipe:

Squash, Chicken and Green Bean Soup

2 servings or 1 large serving

Inspired by KathEats

Ingredients:

  • 2 servings (or 1 cup cooked) chicken
  • 1 can unsalted green beans, drained
  • 1/4 cooked butternut squash, cubed

Directions: Combine all ingredients, heat and enjoy!

Leftovers are also great because it lets all the flavors meld together. In Kath’s original recipe she includes chopped apples, which I think would make a wonderful addition. This time though I just wanted to keep it simple.

Snack

I ate these grapes while walking between classes. It was so cold and rainy today! My face was permanently red and frozen.

Dinner

For dinner I had the same thing both yesterday and today, although today I had substantially less chicken, which was way easier on my stomach. Yesterday I felt like I had swallowed a brick for the rest of the night!

A salad with a lettuce mix, shredded carrots, cucumber slices and grapes.

And grilled chicken. I also had more unpictured grapes later on.

Snack

And what do you know? More bananas. To even out the sugar I also had some cucumber slices. Got to get my vegetables in!

Here are how my first two days went so far:

Day One:

It wasn’t even remotely hard because I have zero temptation. Haha. Seriously, without the protein powder and quinoa flakes in my room to taunt me, eating paleo was a breeze. Basically every non-paleo food at my school I am allergic to!

Stomach wise, it was so-so. My body just can’t handles that much meat at once I think. Even though I have been taking some digestive enzymes that are supposed to be helping with all of that, I was definitely on overload by the end of the day. Weirdly enough though, I felt “heavy” but I was actually hungry constantly. Maybe it was all of the fruit and simple sugars?

Day Two:

Today my stomach felt much better and less weighed down. I also ate a lot less meat, which I think contributed to the improvement. Right now I feel kind of stuffed, even though I didn’t eat an outrageous amount of food for my snack tonight. Hopefully this feeling wears off soon.

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I’m hoping that my remaining three days of my mini-Paleo challenge continue to get better. Come Friday night when I get home (or Saturday morning) I will most likely indulge in some protein power and quinoa. However, if by Friday I feel like a million bucks, I won’t be one to deny what’s right for my body.

Proponents of the Paleo lifestyle, particularly those who follow the Whole30 approach, say that going Paleo was the best decision that they ever made. There are dozens of testimonials on the Whole9Life website that support this idea.

Some of the testimonials that were of particular interest to me were: Acid reflux, acne, allergies (food and seasonal), candida, circulation, cravings, eating disorders, GERD, IBS, reactive hypoglycemia, and weight loss, things that have all crossed my mind or have affected me in one way or another.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

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Have you tried the Paleo diet before? How did you feel? Do any of these testimonials resonate with you?

Do you have a hard time digesting a lot of meat? If so, what do you do?

What is your favorite “scary” movie?

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

*Edited to add a video of this man who goes OMG when trees start falling during Hurricane Sandy. Hilarious!