• Speaking My Mind

    How to Order at Starbucks and Still Be Sugar/Dairy-Free

    Up until a few weeks ago, I was frequenting my local Starbucks daily to get out of the house while I job-hunt and study for the GREs. I didn’t stop visiting Starbucks because of the cost necessarily, although that probably should’ve played a more significant role…

    I stopped going to Starbucks primarily because of my sugar-free diet. Mid-PSL season, I realized that nondairy options are not sugar-free too. This is because all nondairy milk at Starbucks is unfortunately sweetened.

    Due to this realization, I thought that meant I could only consume black coffee, tea, or matcha lattes with hot water instead of almond milk. To my dismay, I now understand why people were disappointed with Starbucks’ matcha powder: the matcha is impure because it’s also sweetened!

    It’s appalling to realize that Starbucks doesn’t go beyond American consumers’ desires, which are unfortunately wedded to sugar and dairy galore. Why they don’t offer organic coffee, serve coffee in ceramic mugs to patrons that are staying in the establishment, and provide unsweetened nondairy milk already is beyond me.

    Until they do so, if you want to be sugar and dairy free and enjoy Starbucks, you can only enjoy black coffee or their variety of teas. Or you can bring your own unsweetened nondairy milk with you. Or better yet, you can stop going to Starbucks altogether and make your organic coffee with unsweetened nondairy milk in a ceramic mug at home. Then you can take your beverage to a local library and be productive there.

    Are you sugar/dairy free? What is your go-to beverage at Starbucks?

    xx Vic

     

    If you enjoy topics about diet and health, please check out my other posts!

    Plant-Based and Sugar-Free Living

    Why I’ve Broken Up with My Birth Control

  • Speaking My Mind,  Yummy Recipes

    Drink Me: London Fog Tea

    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!

    xx Vic

     

     

     

  • Yoga

    What I Eat in a Day: Yogi-in-Training

    While I usually eat pretty well, I’ve refined my diet more to benefit my skin, ovulation cycle, and my body! The meals I’ve been eating have been filling and delicious, so I wanted to share them. I only included breakfast and lunch because my lunch is usually leftovers from dinner.

    6:30am Breakfast:

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    Toast and Berries

    This isn’t just any toast- it’s toast with goat cheese! I don’t regularly eat goat cheese but since I’ve eliminated dairy from my diet to benefit my skit and ovulation, I’ve chosen not to consume cheese from cows. Thus, goat cheese has come into my life and it’s quite good! I purchased a small, spreadable one from the grocery store and it helps keep me satisfied until I finally eat lunch at noon.  Goat cheese and toast was a recommended breakfast in the book I’ve been reading, Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, because goat cheese has some protein and the toast provides carbs. I eat some berries (and take some to go!) to make things a little more tasty.

    By the way: If you don’t already, you should follow me on Goodreads and I’ll follow you back!

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    Chai and Rose Syrup

    I also make some chai in the morning in lieu of coffee so I avoid the caffeine-jitters. The chai I make is from an Indian store and my girlfriend taught me how to make it. It is my absolute favorite morning beverage, aside from coffee, because it is spicy and flavorful. Lately I’ve been adding almond milk to it and a teaspoon of honey. Sometimes I add a teaspoon this rose syrup too, also from an Indian store. It has a flowery taste and it’s quite delicious! I find it important to note that any form of corn syrup is not an ingredient in this syrup, instead, the main ingredient is sugar.

    Lunch at Noon:

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    Lunch!

    Most of this stuff were leftovers from the dinner my mom had made the night before. Not all of my food is visible but inside this container is salmon, cod, fried eggplant, potatoes, arugala salad, green peppers, and tomatoes. It all can be eaten cold, which makes things more convenient.

    To ensure I get sufficient carbs in my diet, I also bring rice that I make.

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    Rice!

    This is the rice that I prepared the night before to bring for lunch. It is a recipe my girlfriend taught me and it is my favorite food. It’s soooo good because it’s so flavorful and satisfying! I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients to make it correctly so I had to improvise a bit, but it is still delicious and easy to make.

    For this version of my girlfriend’s recipe, I sauteed some chopped yellow onions and cumin powder in a pan of hot olive oil. Then I added the soaked and rinsed Basmati rice and water. After that, you just let the rice boil and the water evaporate!

    These meals are satisfying and delicious, which has been great since I’ve been expending a lot of physical energy during my training.

    What do y’all eat when you are working out or you spend a whole day adventuring/traveling?

    xx Vic

  • Yummy Recipes

    Trying New Breakfast Recipes: Golden Milk Smoothie

    My typical breakfast consists of a delicious bowl of Cheerios swimming in milk. I’ve since upgraded to various Cheerio flavors such as the Limited Edition Banana Nut Cheerios (RIP, I hope they revive it!!) and Peach Cheerios. I’ve also upgraded from skim milk to non-dairy options like rice or almond milk because I’ve learned that dairy contributes to many of my acne issues, among other things.

    Anyway…since I’ve moved back to my parents’ house, I haven’t had to cook or prepare meals for myself as much as I was doing in school. The only meal I have to prepare nowadays is breakfast, if I even wake up early enough for it. Well, I’ve finished the cereal at home and I haven’t bought more yet so on Monday I decided to check out my latest favorite recipe website, The Minimalist Baker! I made their golden milk smoothie and I wanted to share how I modified it and the results!

    First though, I just want to say that this is inspired from Golden Milk Tea, also known as “Haldi Doodh” in Hindi which translates to “turmeric milk.” I’ve made turmeric milk before because it is supposed to help with menstrual pain, which I’ve been having quite a bit of since quitting the pill in April. It is quite effective in my experience so if you want to try it yourself, the recipe is very similar, minus a few ingredients that the smoothie calls for.

    The smoothie calls for a frozen banana, coconut/almond milk, ground turmeric, fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, black pepper, and ground nutmeg. It’s optional to add ground clove and cardamom and fresh carrot juice, but I didn’t have any of those. You can also top the smoothie off with hemp seeds, but I didn’t have those either.

    This is what I did have! (Not pictured is the almond milk)

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    I used one banana, although it wasn’t frozen so I added three ice cubes to the blender. Then I eye-balled the rest of the ingredients based on how much I like them. For example, I added about one dash of nutmeg because nutmeg is very strong so I don’t want it to overpower the drink. Conversely, I added three dashes of cinnamon because I love cinnamon. I was also a bit generous with the fresh ginger and black pepper because I love those ingredients!

    The recipe didn’t call for chia seeds but that’s what I had so I blended it in too!

    I made the smoothie again on Tuesday but this time I added fresh mango because I have a lot of it left to eat and I was hoping it would make the smoothie more golden. I feel like I ended up with a grey-ish, green smoothie though…

    It was delicious regardless though! I enjoy this recipe because it can be as sweet or as spicy as you want it, plus it’s a great way to start the day…probably better than Cheerios.

    Please let me know if you try the smoothie or the tea and what you think!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Tea and Weed

    I have a new friend.

    We used to be friends freshman year, but I got in the middle of some dumb, petty drama between her and my former best friend. This year we reconnected, thanks to yearbook class mostly. Also, the nostalgia of our last year of high school.

    So work with her ex boyfriend wasn’t awkard. He seemed fine. Nice and funny as always. I hung out with her after she got off of work, and she seems fine still. She talked about their relationship a bit and I learned a few things about him I wasn’t aware of before. But then again I only talk to him about work stuff…sometimes about college stuff too but there wouldn’t necessarily be a reason for me to know that he was/is a pothead. (Apparently if I was closer to him, he satisfies the stereotype that is associated with potheads).

    I don’t like potheads. Generally, they’re lazy and unmotivated, don’t care for anything, associate with a ton of potheads in their spare time, and they become kinda…well dumb. My personality conflicts with potheads because although I can be very lazy, it doesn’t get to the point where my laziness ruins/controls my life. Most potheads I know have had their lives completely changed because of how pot affected their passion. Granted, the people that I know that smoke pot were always somewhat lazy and passionless…but I believe that if they didn’t smoke, perhaps they would’ve grown up a bit differently.

    Anywho, I still like my pothead coworker. He’s a nice guy and a good coworker. That’s all that matters to me. If he was a friend I hung out with all the time, the pot would matter to me.

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