Current Favorite Snacks

My eating habits have had such a roller coaster ride over the last few years.

I’m pretty over labels and rules and restrictions and anything else that tells me I can’t have this or need to eat that.  However, I’m still into health and feeling my best. I’ve cut out certain foods off and on for years. Seriously, I’d say almost 15 years.  I was searching for that magic bullet, the mystical diet that would change my digestion, my body, and my life.

I’m here to say that diet does not exist. Maybe paleo works for you right now but it may not in a year. Maybe I feel better eating less sugar this month but by September I might feel just as good having dessert every single night.  Things change, so do I.

I know now that I can have whatever I want (except bananas. I really believe I have an allergy…), in moderation. “Moderation” can be an annoying term but it really means something different to everyone. I just had to figure out my own moderation.

Anyway, I’m talking about my current favorite snacks that make me happy and satisfied. Maybe you’ll find something new!

Epic Bars

I’m a little tired of most snacks, especially bars, being sweet. I’ve always been more of a savory/salty person so these are perfect!  It’s more portable than jerky and has great, clean ingredients.  Fave flavor is the Bison Bacon Cranberry but I’ve tried a bunch and they’re all good.

Siggi’s Simple Sides

So far I liked the Almonds and Dried Cherries flavor the best. I’ve eated these for breakfast along with a muffin or just alone for a snack. I love the crunch that the toppings add because I’ve never been one for the normal texture of plain yogurt. I love that there’s like 16 grams of protein in each one because I notice I feel fuller longer when I have enough.

Happy Yummies Gummy Bears

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I am not super into candies. Normally I’d rather pick chocolate but since I’ve been experimenting with running fuel (which gummies are great for!), I randomly picked these up at Marshalls on clearance the other week.  They really are some of the best gummies!  The bag I bought has 12 flavors, like Pink Grapefruit and  lemon, and they’re the softest, non-sticky gummies I’ve ever had. It’s nice to grab just like five or six of them after lunch for something sweet.

Black Bean Brownie Bites

And my final snack I’ve been having lately is black bean brownie bites! Really, this is such a good version of them. You would never know the beans are in them, but it gives them such a great, dense texture and really compliments the chocolate well. I love the bite size and the chunks of chocolate chips in them. I’ve been having one after dinner and it’s the cutest little dessert to end the night! This recipe made about 20 so I froze them to keep whenever I want a treat.

‘Till next time!

💕Whitney

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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…

Whitney Lately Vol. 1

Listening Lately:

Jess Glynne, Ella Henderson, and Leona Lewis

Those empowering girl singers were my music of choice this week.

I love this song.  It makes me want to smile and dance around in the kitchen.

Watching lately:

Grace & Frankie: Binge-watch an old lady show?  Check.  It’s hilarious and I’m sad I’m all caught up and have to wait months for new eps.

Drinking lately:

Mango LaCroix 

Love love love sparkling water for when I need something other than plain water or coffee. I picked up this flavor at Whole Foods.  It’s now my current fave.

Eating lately:

Gluten free Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

This warm, melty chocolate cake was excellent with the cold ice cream from The Peanut Bar. I’m impressed it was gluten free! It would have been a little too sweet all to myself though. It’s meant to be shared!

Wearing lately:

Leather half gloves

I’m obsessed with keeping my hands soft, especially in the winter, but I hate the fact that gloves are either too big for my child-sized hands or they’re bulky and don’t let me pick up anything.  These are so cute.  (Butttt, not warm. I wore them in NYC in December last year and almost got frost bite. I had to buy thicker gloves in Bryant Park because I literally couldn’t use my fingers at that point. Sorry!  Style over comfort every time. )

Mine were from eBay like five years ago. Here is a similar pair.

Loving lately:

2018 Winter Olympics

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

The Olympics only happen every 2 years and obviously, the Winter is every 4 years, so this is big!  Closely related to my addiction to sports movies, the Olympics are the best of the best for inspo of all kinds.  Endless motivational stories and competitions and history-in-the-making for 2.5 weeks straight! I’ve been watching them for as long as I can remember.  No lie. Like, probably since Keri Strug stuck her landing. I had a kid’s book about Michelle Kwan and I’m still semi-crushing on Apolo Ohno. Ahh, I can’t wait! Whitney heaven.

Have a lovely weekend!  Do something that lights you up.

~Whitney Victoria

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

 

 

Wednesdays are for Wellness Snacks

I decided I needed a break from Sam and Diane and wanted to watch a movie.  Never worry, I’ll be back soon.  I thought I needed How To Be Single (It’s a real movie, not my personal handbook. 😘), but ended up grabbing Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring if you’re into it.).   Apparently I needed some Orlando Bloom in my life.  You know, back when he still did movies and didn’t just half-date Katy Perry? Plus that Shire sure is scenic. #vacaygoals

New Zealand has a lot of sheep, right?  Clearly, that’s the big selling point for me.

Um, yeah.  That happened.

Sharing some of my current healthy foods again, because I know you’re curious.  This time it’s a snack edition. What can I say?  I’m generous when sharing food finds.

Iced Americanos.

My stomach is weirdly sensitive to super hot or super cold drinks.  Drinking these iced lets me get my coffee fix without screwing up my system.  Piping hot acidic water going down first thing in the morning is not a good time!   I’m not about to give anything up when it comes to my love, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a little kinder to myself.

RX bars.

They’re like chewier Larabars and have flavors that are little more classy.  My fave is maple sea salt.  Although, I am obsessed with seasonal flavors so this Pumpkin Spice bar was delightful.  IMG_5491

Larabar Holiday Bars

Speaking of seasonal.  Look who has theirs out to buy!  I love these and ate them well into Spring last year.  There’s also a pumpkin pie one I have never tried!  A bar is my go-to afternoon snack so I really try to have one that’s minimally processed.  If you have never had a Larabar, do it.  They taste like dessert. img_5510.jpg

Mamma Chia.

I don’t think there’s any difference between organic chia seed types but I’m a sucker for great packaging. I’m using this for pumpkin chia pudding among other things like tossing some into oats or on top of a salad. “Seed Your Soul!”  Hello, it’s all about branding these days!IMG_5508

Pur Gum

I’m not usually a gum person but I had Pur gum around and have been chewing a piece after lunch.  I hate how hard it is to find gum or mints without chemicals, artificial dyes, and high fructose corn syrup.  The peppermint doesn’t last forever but it’s refreshing enough!  Sooner or later we’ll all catch on and have this sorta stuff readily available. img_5511.jpgThose are my personal weekly favorites as far as ingestibles go!

I’m honestly having fun with the TIU21 Challenge so far.  It’s been two days of tough workouts and eating on a plan but I feel like I’m on the path to good.

Any good healthy finds you care to share with me? Comment below please!

I love making a commitment to better myself.

~Whitney Victoria