I’ve changed my diet a bit more since my last post, so I thought it was about time to update y’all! I have now excluded all sugar from my diet, including honey. I’ve also been eating plant-based as much as possible, with the goal of one plant-based meal per day. Usually, I eat some sort of animal protein for dinner.
Cutting out sugar has been harder than reducing my meat intake. Sugar is addictive, so the difficulty can probably be attributed mostly to that, although I do love sweets in general. Now, when I crave chocolate (yes, I’ve even reduced my chocolate intake. When I do eat chocolate, I eat 85% cacao because there is less sugar), I opt for fruit. My go-to fruits lately have been apples and grapes. I like to pair my apples with grocery store-made almond butter. They make the almond butter there for you and it’s delicious!
Overall, I enjoy eating a more plant-based diet. It feels better in my body and I get to support local farmers because I buy most of my produce from them! I’ve been using Sahara Rose’s new Ayurvedic cookbook to make plant-based meals, and they’ve been so tasty. I can talk about recipes I’ve been trying from her book another time, but I highly recommend you check out her book.
One day, I would like to be vegetarian, but I’m hesitant to do so now because over the summer I lost a couple of pounds…which isn’t bad necessarily, my weight does fluctuate a little bit, but I’m afraid I’d lose more weight by becoming vegetarian. I’m also afraid of having vitamin deficiencies. Plus I don’t want to have such a prohibitive diet because cutting out dairy and sugar are difficult enough…to exclude animal protein would be even harder. So for now, I’m just doing the best that I can to eat lots of veggies and plant-protein while avoiding sugar and dairy.
This past week has been hectic because of my temporary full-time job, so I apologize for my absence. Whenever I return home from work, I want to numb my mind by watching TV, but I’ve been too tired to even do that.
Anyway…I wanted to chat about my personal life because it has undergone a serious transformation. Namely, my relationship with my family has changed. This has been an ongoing transformation since I moved back home, I just hadn’t thought about writing about it because…I’ve had so many other things I wanted to say I suppose. Plus, sometimes I focus on negative things when I write rather than positive things, and what I want to talk about is extremely positive. It’s still a little surreal to me because I would have never thought, four years ago, that I’d be where I am now.
One of the first great things that have been going on with me is that I haven’t been fighting with my mom at all. Both she and I have grown so much and we handle our volatile emotions so much better. We both utilize different methods to control our emotions such as a spiritual practice, writing, and Yoga. My mom and I actually share Yoga together now because she attends the class I teach on Friday mornings. It’s a really nice way to spend a little time together because, during the week, both her and I work a lot, so we don’t get to talk much. Yoga on Friday mornings is a beautiful way to check in with each other as well as start our day on the right foot. It’s really sweet we practice together too because she was the first one to suggest I do yoga teacher training, and here I am, now certified and teaching a class that she can attend. It’s so lovely.
My girlfriend has been coming by the house weekly since September or so, which has been great. Aside from being able to see my girlfriend, my parents are able to see her and get to know her, which is helpful to make them feel more comfortable with my sexuality. My mom really likes her (she told me!) and we all chitchat and drink wine together. It’s so much fun! I never thought that’d happen!
My aunt invited my girlfriend to Thanksgiving, so my girlfriend is coming. My aunt most likely knows my girlfriend is my girlfriend due to my social media, but the rest of my family probably doesn’t. My girlfriend will be introduced as my friend just to avoid drama at my aunt’s house. My relatives that know me will know though, which is all that matters to me.
I’ll have to update y’all after Thanksgiving to share how it all went down. In the meantime, I will be trying to enjoy any bits of Halloween that I can! I haven’t watched any Halloween movies yet, which is tragic because there are only 13 days left. I probably will be watching Halloween movies until after Thanksgiving.
I have become quite the smoothie queen lately, especially when it comes to breakfast. I love breakfast, but my relationship with it has become a little strained since I quit eating my trusty Limited Edition Cheerio varieties (the banana nut flavor is by far the best).
Over the summer I mostly ate toast with goat cheese and fruit, but after eating it nearly daily for two months, I needed to switch it up. That’s when YouTube saved the day!
A former lesbian couple I follow on YouTube makes videos and books of raw vegan recipes. Through their videos, I went down the rabbit hole of raw vegan life and raw vegans seem to enjoy their smoothies quite a bit. So, I got some of the ingredients that they like to use in their smoothies, and now I start my day off with the comforting sound of the blender.
Pumpkin Chai Smoothie
1 large banana or two baby bananas
2-3 generous tablespoons of pumpkin puree
1/4 hemp protein powder (or one serving size of another protein powder)
1 tbs of chia seeds
1-2 tbs of flax seeds (serving size is 2tbs but I add one)
about thumb-size of fresh ginger, peeled
a bunch of ground cinnamon
a dash or two of ground nutmeg
some dashes of black pepper
some dashes of ground turmeric
pumpkin seeds to top
enough non-dairy milk/water/a combo of both to get the consistency you want
All you have to do is throw it all (minus the pumpkin seeds) in the blender, pour into a glass, top with pumpkin seeds, and you’re good to go! You can mess around the quantity of each ingredient to suit your palate.
If you make this, let me know your thoughts in the comments! What do you usually eat for breakfast?
It is time for another favorites post! Today I am sharing my top five favorite items from the last two months!
1. Autumn-scented candle
This candle smells so delightful! It perfectly welcomes the autumn season and it has a great, festive color scheme too!
2. Roasted Red Okra
I bought this at the farmer’s market because it looked unusual yet festive for the season. I, unfortunately, forgot to take a photo of its beautiful hue before I put them in the oven, but you can get an idea of what it looks like by clicking here! Anyway, they tasted exactly like regular okra, they just looked extra cool with their red/green gradient, similar to how the leaves slowly begin to change from green to red as the days become brisker!
I seasoned them with ground cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Then I ate them with my hands! It’s a super delicious and easy recipe.
3. I learned how to cut an avocado!
Yes, as a college graduate, I finally learned how to cut an avocado! In the past, I have squished avocados and I have gotten the meat all over my hands trying to get the pit out, but now I’m less of an amateur.
The trick is to cut the avocado in half, all the way around. Then, before pulling the halves apart, Turn the avocado so the cuts you just made are on the sides, then cut the avocado in half again. This way, when you pull it apart, you have four quarters as pictured above! It makes serving the avocado easier as well as removing the pit.
4. Sweet Loren’s Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cookies
These cookies are insane! I’m a chocoholic and my preferred baked dessert is brownies, but not just any brownies. I need to have my Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownies with chocolate chips. They are seriously heaven! These cookies are real competition for the brownies.
The cookies from Sweet Loren’s are relatively new and my sister bought them to try. We are a big fan of this brand because their cookies are organic, often gluten and dairy free, and the woman behind the business is a survivor of cancer. Our favorite cookie from this brand is the chocolate chunk ones, and this brownie cookie places a close second.
These cookies are essentially brownie bites, especially when warm! They are rich, moist, and super chocolate-y. They are a healthier version of the Ghiradelli brownies, and I’m all for it!
5. Toothpaste and Tongue Scraper
I picked this upwhen I was with my girlfriend in the Indian store we frequent. It came with a free, stainless steel tongue scraper, which was cool because I had been wanting to integrate that into my daily routine.
Initially, I did not like this toothpaste because I found it to be foamier than the toothpaste I usually use (Arm & Hammer’s Advanced White Toothpaste), but I’ve grown to really enjoy this brand.
It has a more…earthy flavor and it’s a brown color that foams white. A little goes a long way because it gets extra foamy. The tongue cleaner is super nice and I’ve been using it daily.
Those are all my favorites for these last two months! Was there anything you tried recently that is currently your favorite thing? If you try any of my favorites, let me know what you think!
water acts like glue
to the wet leaves
stuck to the ground
stuck to the windshields
after they’ve fallen from the trees
amber, ruby, and gold
all will rust to brown
with the harmony of the whistling wind
rustling the naked branches
shaking with the chill
the rain pours on
absorbed by the thirsty browning grass
droplets of the icy knives
onto the sidewalk
shading everything a darker color
and washing away
preparing for winter
My favorite season is now in full swing, as evident by the plethora of Halloween and autumn decorations in stores as well as on people’s lawns. Although I’ve been rocking Halloween/autumn-esque attire since August, I got a little extra in the spirit by using my Bath and Body Work’s Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte lotion and body spray. I smell like a sweet cinnamon pumpkin, and I love it!
Another thing that I’ve been loving lately is the beverage I’ve been starting my mornings with: London Fog Tea!
I have become obsessed with making myself London Fog Teas. I was inspired to make it when I was looking at the ingredients in different Starbucks beverages, and I saw that they offered this unique tea. I had heard of it before, probably from an English YouTuber, so I was intrigued to see what was in it. I was surprised to realize that I had all of the ingredients: Earl Grey tea, lavender, vanilla, milk, and sugar. Thus, I made it immediately and I’ve been making it daily since.
Here’s how I make it:
In a small pot, I boil water for a minute. Then I add a generous teaspoon of loose Earl Grey tea I got during my first trip to London, hence why the tea is inside a London bus container as pictured above. I add about a teaspoon of dried lavender that I got from a farmer’s market last November (you have to get dried lavender if you don’t have it!! It’s so delicious!). Then I add almond milk and let it boil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Afterward, I turn off the stove and remove the pot from the hot burner to allow it to cool a little bit. Finally, I pour the delicious beverage through a tea strainer and into my beautiful Alice in Wonderland teacup mug! It’s very fitting for this English beverage.
Since I am sensitive to sugar, I omit it. I also have not made it with vanilla yet, but I would add less than a teaspoon of that.
Cheers to fancy teas! Let me know if you try it and what you think about it in the comments below!