Why I Eat Gluten Free

Why do I eat gluten free? Should you?

Of course it seems super trendy, and I’ll be the first to admit I jumped on that bandwagon a few years ago.  It promised less inflammation, probably weight loss (less carbs!), and an overall high vibe wellness-y life!  Seemingly so at least.  To be clear, when I “went gluten free” back then, it was with little purpose other than testing it out, hoping it would be the golden ticket to perfect health and my perfect body. I never actually was very strict about it.  I would pretty much get a packaged product and think, “ooo, it’s gluten free!  It must be healthy!”  And, if there was something amazing like say, fried pickles or a delectable cookie, I’d eat it, guiltily. Needless to say, I never noticed a difference.

I was feeling pretty lackluster and very low on important vitamin levels for a few months despite eating very cleanly and (what I thought was) super healthy. I finally got a food sensitivity test done when all my other tests came back negative (thankful) for other major issues.  To the best of my knowledge, I do not have Celiac Disease or an allergy to wheat or gluten.  However, I have a severe sensitivity to gluten, wheat, rye, and soy.  This is actually a lesser-known issue they call Non-Celian Gluten Sensitivity. I truly can tell when I’ve been “glutened.” This is a personal choice of mine to stay away from it as much as possible.  I am far from perfect and thankfully a little bit here and there or cross-contamination will not cause lasting physical effects that I feel.  But I do know, when I knowingly have something with those ingredients in it, I feel tired, sometimes get stomach pains, my throat will hurt, and my eyes feel dry.

It’s really important to keep in mind just how different we all are.  This might not do anything for you!  Or maybe you have it worse than me and have a true allergy or Celiac’ s and need to avoid it completed.

There might not be any reason to avoid gluten/wheat, and you don’t have to!, but if you do want to give it a try it might help if you have an autoimmune disease to lower inflammation, lift brain fog, and help with digestion issues, among other things. Remember, just because something is gluten free does not mean it’s better!  Still focus on whole foods when you can.

Right now I do not worry too much about cross-contamination if I would really like to try something. That might change or it might not.  Plus, I will have something like a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery if I’m in NYC.  I just will try my best the rest of the day to be completely G-free so I don’t end up feeling totally wiped.  Another thing I do is pay close attention to how I feel after eating something new. Sometimes I might eat something with oats (usually have cross-contamination), and will feel some negative effects.  If that happens I probably won’t buy that brand/item again.

*Hot tip: This is controversial but I can tell a big difference taking an activated charcoal pill after I’ve been glutened.  Just don’t rely on it!

This is just one tiny piece of the puzzle when it comes to health and wellness so take it with a grain of salt.  I’ve been testing things out for YEARS and finally feel like I’m more in tune with what makes me feel best.

Something different works for all of us.  Wellness is not one size fits all. I don’t eat like this for any other reason other than I feel my best without these ingredients.

Leave a comment and tell me why or why not you eat gluten free!  Or if you have any questions, I’d love to see if I can answer them.

~Whitney

 

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Fall Fabulous

I always can feel the seasons changing.  Even when I was little. It would be steamy August and summer and I’d get (more) freckles each week, and then all of a sudden I would wake up one day and feel the morning air was the slightest bit brisk. Even if the summer sun would burn it off quite quickly, I just knew that that was Fall, hinting at its impending entrance.

This is my ode to Autumn. It’s a little bit funny that Fall has almost become a total basic girl cliché.   I realized this today while daydreaming about pumpkin spice flavors, plaid scarves, and apple orchards, even though it’s currently about 78 degrees.  Speaking of which, apparently it’s PSL day since Starbucks launches all the pumpkin drinks today.  I’m usually underwhelmed by the actual pumpkin spice latte but their new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew sounds like something I might need to try once.

I don’t really care that’s it’s so popular now because I’ve always been into flannel shirts and ankle boots and wandering through leaf-lined paths. Maybe it’s just social media that’s shed the light on the fact that just about every other person loves it too.

That crispness in the air? Pumpkins out front at the grocery store? The Halloween stores opening up? Pinecones, chrysanthemums, leaves of every color? Hiking without the gnats and ticks?

I’m here for it all.

The hot coffee, the beautiful sunsets, the leather jackets, the comfort food. The tights!  Haha, a pale girl like me loves tight season.

I think Fall is a favorite for many people because it’s not as harsh as summer or winter. It’s leading into the time when we normally get cozy and slow down a little.  School starts, and no matter how long I’ve been out, I get a little wistful for bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

I also start to feel more like myself again when the air gets cooler. I’ve often wondered why. Is it because I was born in winter? I feel at home there? There’s just a little extra something in my aura this time of year. As much as a I try to explain it and list the wonderful attributes of the season, I can never put my finger on it. I don’t really want to.  If you know me, you know I love a little magic in my life and that’s what the unexplainable is. Magic.

~Whitney

P.S. What’s your favorite thing about Autumn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughing’s My Favorite

It’s soooo easy to get stuck in a solemn mood. Maybe it’s because I’m focused on a goal or possibly because I’m determined to craft a new plan of attack for whatever strikes my fancy lately. It’s not always because I’m sad or discouraged about something.  These are the times when I stay in a mood. It’s that dull, lackluster, monotonous feeling where things seem to just be rolling along with the clock, no big changes or manifestations.

Ew to that. I like the sparkle and the joy.

It’s like when I want to be dancing around the kitchen, music blaring (Well, not blaring;  I don’t like super loud things in my house. I have sensitive ears, okay?), making scrambled eggs or something.  You know the feeling, when I don’t have a time schedule and just act a little weird and silly like no one’s watching, even if someone is. It’s freedom to let go of control and literally let loose.

I got to thinking this more and more recently. As adults it’s almost an unlearning of sorts.  We’re taught to button up and save the wild times for very specific moments when they’re deemed acceptable.

Hello!  There is no scheduling fun when you’re a kid. We can be silly!  We can have fun! This doesn’t make us any less responsible or respected as grown ups. In fact, I believe it sends out the message to the universe that we’re having a great time here on Earth and we’re open to more enjoyable moments.  So yes, it’s not a perfect world where we never lose our sense of fun for fun’s sake, but this just means we have to be a tad more conscious about it.

I’m trying to make time for the silliness.

  • Watch a funny movie/TV show I know gets me laughing or smiling or just feelin’ good.
  • Daydream.
  • Sing out loud to my favorite songs.
  • Color.
  • Play dress up.

None of this is relegated to kids; we just seem to forget these are options.

Last night my mom and I went to see I Love Lucy in the movie theaters for Lucille Ball’s birthday and it was so fun. They showed a couple episodes in color and even though I’ve seen them all (many times) before I still laugh so hard!  It was worth the staying up a little later. If you know me, you know I’m in bed by 8:30pm on a weekday…

This was the reminder I needed that I can laugh and have a great time any moment of any day. A “normal” schedule doesn’t allow time for that. It doesn’t always come naturally but it always boosts my mood for a long time after. It’s something I’m working on and I think it will keep getting easier to do without thinking.

So for now, I’m just over here connecting with my inner child, people!

~Whitney

Sugar Detox: Why It’s Necessary

Yeah, I know.  You might not want to actually quit sugar.  You might love it.  I totally do but it is one of those things that really hurts in the long run, no matter how good it seems in the moment.

I fully intend to have Lindt Lindor truffles on a semi-regular basis.  Because they’re amazing.  Because one makes me happy and satisfied.  No, they are not the healthiest chocolate in the world. They do have some questionable ingredients, but they are some of the best I’ve ever had.  Seriously, buy my favorite flavor right //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=whitneyvictor-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B002RNYDBU&asins=B002RNYDBU&linkId=c721a00dfc767e41e57020bca4c6fd57&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>here. The extra dark are to die for.   Well, every flavor really is, except the orange.  That one just shouldn’t exist in my opinion.

Anyway, sorry for the chocolate rant.  I just love it.  That proves my point that I will still have a Carvel ice cream cake on my birthday every year.  I just don’t want to NEED it.  I don’t want to crave sugar to the point where I feel powerless in it’s grasp.

In one sitting, I’ve eating an entire bag of those exact truffles I mentioned at on point probably a year ago.  Sugar is that thing that makes your brain think you need it to be happy and satisfied.  The first, oh maybe 3 chocolates were amazing and I loved every bite, and then my brain kept telling me “More is better.”  12 empty wrappers and one almost stomachache later, I knew that wasn’t true.

What do we do about the sugar addiction?

I go cold turkey with the hard stuff.  By this I mean the chemically engineered, fully processed versions of sugar like high fructose corn syrup and anything like Splenda or aspartame.

Then I start with replacing those sugars with naturally-derived sweeteners like raw stevia.  I will only use //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=whitneyvictor-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00CQ7YSW6&asins=B00CQ7YSW6&linkId=d9b24b6dc9f8de599a82580af56164c9&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Stevia in the Raw packets or this //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=whitneyvictor-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01B048808&asins=B01B048808&linkId=7cd9d157d83feabff1e74535624af3ba&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“> liquid stevia (it comes in caramel and other great flavors!).  I also use limited coconut sugar and unsweetened applesauce for baking. My snacks will include some whole fruits and I’ll still allow some clean snack bars. More on this in my next post.

The next week or so, I’ll try to limit adding stevia to my oatmeal and cut back on bars.

After that, I only eat fruit once a day, preferably in the mornings, and don’t add any sweetener to my dishes.

Then I stay in that phase for at least another week to the point that I don’t crave something sweet after lunch and supper.

That’s always my goal.  I want to kill the cravings.

Is craving something bad?

Well, it is when it’s sugar.  See, sugar is in so much conventionally-made food these days that you might not even realize it unless you’re constantly reading nutrition labels like I do.

When you give up sugar, you gain a LOT.

Some benefits:

  1. Clearer, brighter skin
  2. Less noticeable cellulite (yeah, it’s true.  I’ve seen it happen)
  3. You’re less hungry for junk food
  4. Lose belly fat
    1. and overall weight loss, for that matter
  5. Drastically lower risk for diabetes
  6. Energy increases

Check out the following sources: Here, here, and here.

Now.  What does sugar actually do to you body?

Side Effects of Eating too Much Sugar:

  1. Weight gain
    1. “Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating (4). In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.”  source
  2. Increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  3. Increases risk of depression
  4. Accelerates skin aging
    1. Yes, I’m vain enough to admit this is a factor in my detox
  5. Potential liver damage

And, those are just a some of the reasons it’s necessary to quit the habits.

Now, who’s with me?

~Whitney VictoriaIMG_1934

P.S. Bonus shot of me holding an ice cream cone called The Salty Pimp.  The shop is fun and bright and offers treats like the “Dorothy” and the “Rocky Roadhouse.” Any ice cream place that joins rainbow sprinkles with the Golden Girls is okay by me.  Just not every day…

Sugar Detoxing: Easing into It

I’m early into it, very early, like 2 full days into my self-imposed sugar detox.  I’m always one for challenges and pushing myself but this decision seemed extra necessary this time of year.

I love ice cream and chocolate, obviously.  Who doesn’t? I’m good at making healthier desserts but the problem is that if those options aren’t there, what am I going to want?  The traditional cake, with gluten white sugar, and lord knows what else.

Those cravings were just getting out of control.  Sure, I could kid myself and act like I’d only eat some super clean blueberry muffins that I whipped up, but then slowly I’d “allow” myself candy or Halo Top or something once week, which would become twice a week.  Every savory meal left me wishing I had a sweet bit to finish it off. Sometimes I’d just have a piece of hard candy but other days that just set me off to wanting even more.

I just got tired of having a craving at all.  I believe a craving means you don’t have control over wanting something.   I don’t like feeling powerless, especially over something as small, and meaningless as sugar.  I kept pushing it off and saying I’d stop eating “next week” or after the weekend, etc.

After July 4th, I knew I had to kick the habit.  I had a “goodbye” bowl of ice cream and felt terrible after eating it.  When I go for awhile eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and overall clean food, a big serving of sugar affects me like crazy.

I swear my heard beat a little faster and I felt soooo sluggish.  I even woke up with what felt like a sugar hangover.  I had no energy!  It just reinforced exactly what I already knew.

Sugar was harming me.  It felt for about 5 minutes and then it went bad. IT really is an addiction.

So. Yesterday I decided to go cold turkey.

I made up my own challenge because I wasn’t finding any program I really cared to follow.

My  3 simple rules:

  • No added sugar
    • read this article for all the sneaky names of sugar!
  • Only 1 serving of fruit/day
    • before lunch
  • Follow for at least 30 days
    • preferably until the cravings are gone

I’ve done this type of sugar detoxing before and have pretty many tips and coping mechanisms.  It’s never easy but I know it will be worth it.

I’m going to share just how to get through those cravings this week and how to still have fun eating! Stay tuned!

~Whitney Victoria

No sugar spelled in magnetic letters

 

Joy & Muffins

I decided to bake last night.  I usually don’t bake during the week.  I think I always feel like it will be an all-consuming 4 hour process or something so I push it off until I have “adequate” time on the weekends.  Baking gives me a little jolt of accomplishment so I really need to stop assuming my other to-dos are more important and I don’t have time.  You know what they say when your assume.  The best part is that I had plenty of time to whip up muffins, pack some lunch for tomorrow, and do lift a few weight. Oh, and most importantly, I had time to watch Young and the Restless  #priorities

My point is this: Don’t Postpone Joy.  Chase it now.

Happiness Is Not Something You Postpone For The Future, It Is Something You Design for the Present (by Jim Rohn). -- Do your very best for today but never lose joy over it.

So, what did I bake, you ask?  In my head, you’re asking, ready for the recipe.

I always have criteria for my recipes.  Usually I need to have everything on hand and easily accessible.  No surprise that I couldn’t find something suitable from a quick Pinterest search, so I made up my own recipe.

Enter my Cinnamon Sugar Snacking Muffins.

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They’re semi-healthy.  Recipes like this I consider sorta like half-caff coffee.  You’re still eating a little sugar and gluten but not near as much as in traditional recipes.  The taste is still there and you most likely won’t miss the extra calories.  It’s good when you want to bake something for a person who eschew healthy food.  Most of the time I just can’t bring myself to not do some clean eating swaps.

This muffins are moist and have a cinnamony bite to them.  They  go well with tea as a snack.  Since the batter doesn’t have as much sugar as most muffins, the topping adds a welcome sweet crunch.

Next time I plan on making them in my mini muffin tin.  Like muffin poppers!  Is that a thing?

Cinnamon Sugar Snacking Muffins

makes: 12 standard muffins or 18 mini muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour (can use Bob’s Red Mill GF too!)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
pinch Himalayan salt
1/3 cup milk
1 flax egg (can sub for 1 egg)
Topping:
1/4 cup white sugar mixed
1 tbs cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Whisk all liquids together.  Slowly incorporate liquids into dry ingredient bowl, until just mixed.

Mix topping together.

Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray.  (I love this!) Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.  Sprinkle topping onto each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. They should be golden brown with a slightly crisp top.  Don’t over bake!

Tip: You can fill just 8 muffin tins to the top for bakery-style muffins.

Let me know if you whip these up!  I think adding apples would be great.  : )

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Whitney Lately Vol. 2

Admiring lately:IMG_8663

Lower Manhattan

This is from a recent Uber ride from Brooklyn to MSG to eat gluten free pizza and have have macaroons from the bus station. This view will be a part of my daily life.  It’s always been in me.

Crushing lately:

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Tone It Up Bikini Series 

“Crushing” might be a little strong but I’m officially on the last day of the TIU Bikini Series.  I gotta say, it’s 8 weeks, but those weeks really did fly by.  There’s an app that has free daily moves every day.  Each day is dedicated to a certain body part you’re working.  You swipe through the moves and then the last screen is this one.  A little encouragement is always welcome.

Seriously check it out.  I’m a TIU girl now for the long run.

Sipping lately:

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Knoebel’s Cookie Nook

All the iced coffee  

I’m loving my coffee cold even more so than usual.  It just tastes sooo good to me this time of year.  Who am I kidding?  It tastes good any time of the year but in winter my hands start to freeze if I don’t get hot drinks.  But then again, that’s what I have gloves for.

Researching lately:

photo cred 

Summer Events

On July 18 I am going to an event for the Almost 30 podcast  in NYC and I cannot wait.  I took the day off  and the next day just because I’ll get back late on a “school night.”  Even though the event only starts at 6:30 pm, I’m planning on taking some time in the city before it starts.  Right now, my schedule is wide open.  I’m a planner but I’m working on being more flexible with my schedule.  It’s actually way tougher than I thought it would be when I started to work on this trait a few months ago.  I actually feel stress when I have something “fun” planned but I don’t have an entire, completed, highly-detailed itinerary in my possession.  Anyway…I am slowly getting there and am allowing myself to enjoy some true free time.  So, for this day trip I had to at least have some things in mind.  As we speak I have a few options:

  • Catch a matinee show on Broadway (This most def. revolves around finding a good price.)
    • Currently cruising this site right here for tips and tricks – Last Minute Broadway Tickets
    • I’m dying to see Anastasia and Dear Evan Hansen (amazing music that I only know because of my Greatest Showman Pandora station)
  • Find a new cafe and people watch while I enjoy a great coffee and pastry
  • Eat at a top chef restaurant for lunch and take my time enjoying the meal
  • FINAAAALLLY go to a Soul Cycle class
    • I so want to do this eventually but my main reason for most likely striking this one from the docket is that I won’t look super cute for the Almost 30 shindig a few hours later
  • Possibly find a semi-affordable hotel for the night so I can leisurely enjoy myself without rushing home at 9pm

Watching Lately:

Imposters TV show on Bravo: ratings (cancel or season 2?)
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Imposters

This was just recommended to me by a friend and I’m hooked.  A Bravo show that follows a team of con artists and the jilted marks who are trying to catch them.  I”m currently catching up on the first season on Netflix and will probably finish it in a few days.

Tonight I’m heading to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and can’t wait.  I haven’t looked at a single review because I want to just go enjoy Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, and some Velociraptors.

 

Mocha Protein Muffins – Gluten Free & Vegan

Sometimes I want to eat cake for breakfast…but when I actually do that I end up on a downward spiral for the rest of the day, craving more sugar, more carbs, more unhealthy anything.  These muffins can be a great option for those days when I really want the cake without the crap.  IMG_7395

This is the nice middle ground between a muffin and a brownie.  I tweaked a recipe from Tone It Up. These aren’t dry like some gluten free recipes and they have a rich chocolate flavor because of the coffee.  Coffee brings out I learned that from Ina.

So easy. Tasty as a snack or dessert.

Mocha Protein Muffins

makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 oat flour

3/4 cup vegan chocolate protein powder (using this kind at the moment)

1/4 cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/4 cup raw honey

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup coffee

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax dissolved in 2 tbsp water)

Instructions:

Mix dry ingredients together. Add all wet ingredients. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.  (I prefer coconut oil spray) Pour batter evenly Bake 24-28 minutes until just firm.

Let me know what you think!

~Whitney Victoria

 

Food In Review

First off, let me just say I’m pretty happy the Eagles finally did it again. I heard fireworks and people hooting and hollering in the neighborhood! But….. that doesn’t mean I watched any of it. I was refreshing the score a tad obsessively near the end though…Wait, I lie!  I watched this Chris Pratt commercial…twice, and I’m not apologizing.  He makes me happy.  Just following my bliss…hah.

It’s not news that I’m obsessed with grocery shopping.  The food, the endless new products, the coffee bars, , the mini carts with cupholders to carry the coffee I just bought…The only thing I don’t love is the freezing temperature that somehow is not just in the frozen aisles.  Another recent trip to Whole Foods was as delightful to be expected.

Also unsurprisingly, I love trying new healthy products and want to share whatever I learn.  As much fun as it is to do some testing, it’s not great fun to spend my hard-earned money on something I don’t like and end up ditching.  Thus, I’m a nerd who reads food reviews.  Here are some of my own!  Most of my new purchases are snacks.  You know snacks are the best.

Ripple Half and Half

I’m usually into black coffee but lately I’ve been wanting just little bit of milk to smooth it out.  If I ever add something to my coffee, I prefer real half and half for the richness it adds without the sweetness.  There are a lot non-dairy creamers out there and I am underwhelmed by most of them.  I recently discovered Califia Farms line and enjoy it but I’m not settled enough to stop trying new ones.  I’ve seen Ripple milk for awhile but never saw the half and half until this weekend.  Pleased to say it’s great for a creamy touch with only 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon and clean, pea protein.

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Verdict: Great as a non-dairy sub for half and half. Not so great if you’re into sugary creamers.

Whole Foods Americano 

IMG_7474Wow, I can’t believe I waited this long to get an Americano from the WF coffee bar.  It was delicious just straight up, no cream. I’m still finishing it up cold because I’m weird and drink coffee any way I can get it.

Verdict: Bold.  Yes, please.  Trading it in for the Costa Rican blend I usually go for.

Black Sesame Rice Snaps039631000462-1_1_

I love salt.  I used to be a cracker addict.  I could finish half a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting.  The problem with that is it’s all chemicals, gluten, and artificial dyes. These rice snaps are not low sodium but they are gluten-free, crispy, and richly flavorful.  The first word that comes to mind when I try to describe the taste is umami. According to Urban Dictionary, it’s definition is the pretentious way of saying the 5th human taste (salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and savory, aka “umami”) Sorry, I watch a lot of Top Chef…

Verdict: Satisfying as lunch topped with tuna and good with hummus or avocado as a snack.

Hail Merry Sea Salt Caramel Bites

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I am doing a gluten detox for at least three months to get it out of my system and I really wanted something cake-like yesterday.  It’s not that easy to find, even at a Whole Foods.  No, this wasn’t the heavenly WF carrot cake that I was craving but these little, refrigerated cookies were good.  Butttt, these were an impulse buy, fueled by hunger so I didn’t realize they were coconut macaroons.  I was hoping for more of a crumbly/pastry-type cookie.

Verdict: I’d buy them again if I’m looking for a coconut taste and texture.  The sweet caramel flavor was nice and I only needed one to feel like I had dessert.

P.S. This Cookie Dough Is Good Ror You

It’s edible, protein-packed, chickpea-based cookie dough.  Um, duh.  And, it’s in a nice little container for 190 calories.  This is nice because I’ll admit I’ve bought those terrible, break-off pre-made cookie dough packs and popped them like candy…like you haven’t.  I’m glad this is one serving.  No need to have an endless supply of dough in my fridge.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH

Verdict: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor was pretty amazing. If I didn’t know it was chickpeas, I don’t think I would have guessed it was conventional cookie dough.

Anyone buy any random new foods lately?  Obviously, I’m always open to suggestions!

~Whitney Victoria Eating well is a form of self respect - AZENDA.com

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Changes Afoot

With the new year comes new moments, new goals, new lives.  Changes can happen any time of the year but something is different when the calendar starts over.

I can feel it this year way more than others.  I remember last year trying so hard to make 2017 begin with some kind of magic that just wasn’t there.  I guess you just can’t force the magical moments.  You gotta just let it flow.

I’ve been on a tiny health kick since January 1 and it feels good.  It was not a big plan I set out to do but it’s been nice eating my vegetables again and not being so quick to add in junk.  (I say this after eating 4 pieces of chocolate but still, that’s better than last week!  Eeeesh!) Basically the whole month of December I had dessert every night, dairy in my coffee, sugar at evvvvery meal in some shape or form.  There was less sleep, more drinks.  Less meditating, more late nights.

Pic from my (free) Shady Maple birthday breakfast.  It was heaven.  Let’s not talk about how many plates I packed away…IMG_7237

It was fun in small doses but I’ve never been one for that lifestyle.  I’ve been going to bed by 9pm for as long as I can remember.  Seriously, my friends made fun of me in high school.  I never cared because sleep makes me feel amazing.

Finally, I feel the tides turning back to my norm.

Along with the healthier meals, I’ve always been reading before bed.  (Real live books!) I’ve missed that and even in just a few days I notice the calmness I feel when falling asleep.

I am completed excited and ready to manifest my goals but I’m only sharing a few here.  No shame whatsoever but I’m still working through the specific on some steps and I’d like to keep ’em close to the chest for now.

A smattering of 2018 #goalsss:

  • Read at least 25 books – self-development, fiction, whatever!
    • So satisfying and I learn massive amounts of great things from reading, no matter the genre.
  • Build my blog – I know it seems simple but I love it.
    • It’s good challenging and I have hundreds of ideas of what I’d like it to become.
  • Meditate and/or journal daily – no matter how little it is.
    • I love a good ritual.
    • I’m allowing even just one sentence jotted down or like 8 minutes of mediation if that’s all that happens one day!
  • Kick-box (and train hard again)
    • I’ve been talking about kickboxing for YEARS and never tried it.  No idea why but it’s time.  I see myself loving it and it fits in with my slightly obsessed Rocky, triumphant underdog fantasies.
    • I also need to get my semi-abs back and stronger than ever.
  • Speak up.  Put my true self out there.  Stand up and be confident.
    • It’s so easy when I stop “trying.” Trying to be perfect, trying to make someone else happy, trying to take care of things.
  • Be debt-free
    • One of those things I took for granted until I realized it was an issue.  I’m ready for financial freedom.  I 100% believe it’s possible because I’ve seen it.
  • Follow a mostly clean diet with indulgences I truly enjoy.
    • How I feel the best.  No time for eating junk that doesn’t thrill me anymore. You know you’ve eaten a cupcake purely because it was there?  It was dry, the icing was too sweet, and all of a sudden you feel gross.  Yeah, not happening.
    • One, amazing slice of peanut butter pie? Baby, it’s worth it.

A super flattering picture of me cradling my new matcha set!  I’m really excited to get into and even, dare I say it, drink a little, tiny bit less coffee this year. img_7249.jpg

  • Do a monthly check-in with myself
    • I’m using my beautiful Desire Map Planner that I highly recommend.  Check it out right here!  (I’m gong to do a detailed post about tit.  It’s not too late to get one for the year!
      • My planner actually has a check-in prompt at the beginning of every month so it makes it super easy for me. I’ve done the overall 2018 pages and obviously the January one.

And a snap of my planner and breakfast (real muffin pieces in this bar, people)!  Weird color, trust me, the actually shades are much prettier and ocean-esque.IMG_7320

Those are the “big goals.”  I have a few random to-dos like go to another Broadway show and learn to roller blade (I know, I’m 29.  I should already know how or I shouldn’t bother.  hah! A girl can dream…and boy, do I. Always have, always will. )

Think big or stay small.

Please share any goal you want to achieve this year with me!  I’m so curious how everyone is feeling about their clean slates, excited, anxious or anywhere in between.

Much love! You deserve it.

~Whitney Victoria