I’m Back! With a 10 Day Sugar Detox

Something has to change, guys.

A few people asked me why I hadn’t posted in over a month (and I love them for noticing/caring). The reason why? I had nothing to say. I would have felt like a phony writing about health when the reality is me eating, drinking, and skipping workouts.

I’m probably exaggerating. Over the past few weeks, I’ve still cooked healthy meals for myself. I’ve exercised 5-6 days a week. I’m conscious of every decision I make, good and bad.

healthy foods while i've been gone

I’ve written before about finding a balance between being healthy and enjoying life, especially in a young, hip city like Austin. So much revolves around eating and drinking.

I can’t feel guilty for enjoying myself. But I still feel like crap. My body needs … something. A reset. A detox. Maybe just a slap in the face. 😉

Which brings me to this: My 10 Day Sugar Detox.

10 day sugar detox

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Becoming Friends With the Voices in Your Head

“You can skip your workout today. Just sleep in! Your bed is sooo comfortable. Plus, you’re still a little sore/tired/hungover/sniffly/[insert excuse here].”

Do the voices inside your head sound a lot like mine?

Like me, maybe you lie in bed some mornings, debating whether to work out or sleep in. We’re only human! Yes, sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack. But most days, I depend on myself as my main source of motivation.

My advice? Don’t treat the voices in your head as enemies. Let them be your friends! They can be sources of positivity rather than negativity.

Here’s another example. When training for my half marathon, I was intimidated by the long runs on my training plan. Every long run became a new personal record, and I was never sure if I could do it. Doubt was a huge factor.

But I turned the mentality of “can’t” into “can.” Here’s the secret: Even if you’re not sure if you can accomplish something, tell yourself that you can.

Not sure if you can (or should) wake up and run those 8 miles in the summer sun? I bet you can! Heck, you can at least try.

That’s my speech for the day. =) Let me know what you think!

  • How do you turn the voices in your head from negative to positive?

See It to Believe It: Best Deals Ever

One of the first places I like to go when I’m home in Pennsylvania is our local discount grocery store. I always get phenomenal deals on healthy hidden gems!

There’s plenty of non-healthy items too, which sometimes make their way into my cart as well. What can I say?

Many of the items are so cheap because they are near their expiration date. Some are actually past their ‘best by’ date. But I’m always shocked at the amazing deals I can get. The dates don’t usually bother me.

Here’s a recap of some of this week’s finds. You have to see it to believe it!

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MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter, $3.99. Typically $6-8.


IMG_6325Vita Coco coconut water latte drink, $0.59. Typically $2-3.


square bar vegan protein bar

Squarebar organic vegan protein bar, $0.99. Typically $2.50.


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Wild Friends organic chocolate sunflower butter, $3.99. Typically, $8-9.


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Purely Elizabeth blueberry hemp granola, $1.79. Typically, $6.99.


Puffins peanut butter chocolate cereal

Puffins peanut butter and chocolate cereal (like adult Reese’s Puffs!) for $1.29. Typically $3-4.


And perhaps the biggest surprise of all…

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Freaking Oatmega Bars!! This is the company I work part-time for in Austin. I could NOT believe I found them up north in Pennsylvania — in such a random place, nonetheless. I texted my manager immediately. $0.99 for these babies… typically closer to $2 each. What a steal!


Sweets and Beets

I had the most amazing long weekend at home. Seeing my friends and family truly made my birthday/Memorial Day weekend one of the best yet. I’ll be posting a full recap soon!

But for now, tell me:

  • What’s the best deal you’ve gotten lately on a health food item?
  • Would you eat something past its expiration date?

The Verdict on Vegan

Can you believe it’s already almost Easter? For those who celebrate, that means Lent is almost over. This year, I decided to try a Vegan Challenge for Lent.

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For the first few weeks, I ate a vegan diet about 95% of the time. I allowed myself 1 day a week to consume foods that may have been made with dairy or eggs. I cooked entirely vegan.

With about two weeks left in Lent, I decided to make a change. I re-introduced yogurt, whey and eggs because I felt I wasn’t getting enough lean protein. I have remained meat & fish-free all Lent long.

Was it hard? Surprisingly, no! Going vegan was definitely not without its challenges, but I was surprised at how easy it was for me. I’ve highlighted some more details below.

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The board at Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio. Who knew?!

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Treating + Retreating

This weekend, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed to take a break, slow down, and do what felt best for me. As much as I love going out on the weekends, I also love waking up Saturday morning not hungover. So that’s what I did.

Therefore, the theme of this weekend was treating and retreating (and eating! haha).

cenote omelette

Sunday Brunch at Cenote. An omelette with arugala, goat cheese, sprouts, pesto, capers and mango pico de gallo. Cucumber, kale & mint juice on the side.

By the way – guess who’s off vegan! More on that later.

I took a break from going out, and made lunch dates with friends instead. Rather than sleeping in, I woke up early and tackled some workouts. It felt good! It’s all about balance, right?

Friday started out with some FABULOUSLY repurposed Chipotle leftovers.

Chipotle leftovers repurposed

So good. And so vegan.

I stopped by a nearby co op grocery store and grabbed their Chipotle Potato Salad (to diiiee for), and a cup of Kosmic Kombucha on tap (!!). I put my Chipotle sofritas burrito bowl leftovers over a bed of spinach, and added the potato salad & sliced avocado. Ridiculously good.

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I’m Going to Process Evvvverything

So, I finally invested in a food processor. And it’s a game changer.

Homemade hummus, black bean protein brownies & energy bites for lunch

Homemade hummus, black bean protein brownies & energy bites

After a bit of shopping around, I ordered this Black and Decker 8-cup food processor for $26 via Amazon Prime. Can’t beat that deal!

Before, I had been using a Magic Bullet to make smoothies and things. While it served its purpose for a lot of things, I never had much luck using it as thoroughly as the commercials claimed. And after seeing tons of recipes that called for a good old fashioned food processor, I knew it was time.

In the span of 24-hours, I’ve already made:

Vegan pizza with cauliflower/chia crust, kale, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and soy cheese.

Vegan pizza with cauliflower/chia crust, kale, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and soy cheese.

Next up on my list is Liz (I Heart Vegetables)’s vegan Nut Meatballs and Zucchini Noodles. Anything that’s vegan and incorporates both of my current favorite kitchen gadgets is bound to make its way into my kitchen.

Speaking of which, my other must-have kitchen gadgets include:

    • Spiralizer – because, hellooooo, zoodles!
    • George Forman grill – because everything is better in panini form.
    • Small plates and bowls – because you feel like you’re getting more food when you use a smaller plate. It works!
    • Ramekins – because baked oatmeal.
    • Toaster oven – because when you’re a) single, and b) living in 105 degree temperatures, you don’t always want to turn the oven on.

… Guys, I’m on a roll. I’m going to process everything. Then when I’m done, I’m going to bake it, spiralize it, press it into a panini, and eat it off a small plate. And I’m going to be the happiest girl in the world! ; )

Sweets and Beets

Your Turn-

  • What’s your favorite food processor recipe?
  • Other favorite kitchen gadgets?

Gluten Free Expo + Sweet Deals

This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Gluten Free Food Allergy Expo at the Austin Convention Center, representing Oatmega.

Austin Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest 2015

I personally am not gluten free, but it was interesting to chat with people about their gluten free lifestyles. I’ve known people who have eliminated gluten for various reasons. But I’m always so amazed when people tell me they need two sets of everything in the refrigerator, etc. (I thought of you, Emily!)

I enjoy working grocery store demos for Oatmega, but I really love going to events like this because I get to meet other vendors & like-minded consumers in the nutrition world. I could talk about it for hours — which is a good thing, because that’s what I have to do. : )

Oatmega bars are gluten freeAnother perk of working events like this is the freebies. I came home with 3 mini packs of Barney’s Cocoa Coconut Almond Butter (amaaaazing), Rhythm Foods kale chips, Enjoy Life sunflower butter granola bars, and a few other goodies.

This stuff was so good, I think a jar is calling my name.

Speaking of freebies & gluten free goodies, I received some exciting mail after returning home from the Expo on Saturday. Coupons!

Purely Elizabeth coupons

A few weeks ago, I filled out an online survey from Purely Elizabeth, and received these free product coupons in return. I’d say that my 15 minutes was well worth it!

I’ve already spent the coupons on my favorite granola (Cranberry Pecan <3) and the new-to-me Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Ancient Grains oatmeal. Can’t wait to try!

Another sweet deal I enjoyed yesterday was an amaaaazing acai bowl at Blenders and Bowls in Austin. They were doing a promotion for get a large bowl for the price of a small, and I couldn’t pass it up.

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I opted for the “Green Bowl” with acai, spinach, avocado, strawberry, banana, apple juice, cucumber, hemp granola and sliced almonds. So delicious – but just a treat. These babies are pricy!

Though it wasn’t exactly acai weather outside, it was a glorious Monday treat. It’s the little things!

Sweets and Beets

 Your Turn-

  • What’s your favorite Purely Elizabeth or Barney Butter product?
  • Have you ever had an acai bowl?

Reflecting on Running – Then vs Now

My relationship with the Timehop app? It’s complicated.

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You see, like a significant other, Timehop can be fun to have around — making you laugh and remember the good times. Or it can bring up emotions you weren’t expecting.

More often than not, I find myself laughing at the things I said in the past. I still agree with so many of my candid, sassy tweets (pretty typical of me). I groan at the things I posted as a freshman (so young & dumb, ha). I like to see what’s the same and what’s different.

According to the app, here’s what I did a year ago today.

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An 8 mile run followed by some super victorious pancakes.

So, why is that weird?

Last year at this time, my half marathon training was picking up. I had hit the point where each of my long runs was my longest ever. I had never run more than 7 miles, but my training plan began to call for 8. Next week, it would be 9. Then 10. Was I crazy?!

I still remember the feeling of nerves when it would come time to break a distance record. I’d think to myself – could I do it? After all, I wasn’t a real runner. But guess what? I did each one.

When I saw this post today, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty. Instead of running 8 miles before 10 AM, I had woken up at 8:30 and watched an episode of Gilmore Girls from my bed. I laid around until I gathered up the energy to wander into the kitchen for coffee and, ironically, pancakes.

Looking back, I miss the feeling of accomplishment every time I’d smash a PR. I miss having goals & milestones – pushing myself to meet each one. I miss the sense of pride that I felt each time I did something that I wasn’t sure I could.

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My running career has changed dramatically in that it kind of doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t have the desire, let alone the time, to train for a race. Now, I run 3-4 miles once or twice a week. Unlike during training, the when & where are on my terms, which I appreciate.

So today, Timehop got me reflecting. On any given day, Timehop Me is not necessarily better than Today Me. Circumstances change. Priorities shift. Life happens.

I don’t want to use this app as a yardstick to compare my accomplishments. Last year was for fitness accomplishments. This year was for career accomplishments. Both have had their ups and downs, but have shaped me into who I am.

I told you it’s complicated.

Sweets and Beets

Throwback Thursday – Cooking Style

I remember when it hit me that I needed to learn how to cook. Fall semester of my junior year, I spent a semester in Los Angeles, studying & interning in the entertainment industry (so much fun!). It was my first time living in an apartment with no access to a dining hall.

The day I moved in, all I ate was a granola bar. Um, hellooo, I was in LOS ANGELES! There was so much to do and see, plus I didn’t have a car. Grocery shopping? That could wait, right?

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.. My pounding headache soon told me — nope.

I walked into the store completely overwhelmed. Of course I had gone grocery shopping with my Mom before, but I never had to shop from scratch, for myself. I threw frozen pizza, Yoplait yogurt, cereal, peanut butter, and fruit into the cart. Frozen chicken, pasta, and frozen vegetables were about as explorative as I could be. I figured I’d address all that later.

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Healthy Treats That Do + Don’t Hit the Spot

Committing to a healthy lifestyle means making some sacrifices.

When my inner fat kid — it’s true — wants ice cream, tacos, baked goods & pizza, I depend on my willpower to moderate my intake. I was never the type of girl who could eat whatever she wanted, which I’m still pissed about. ; )

Now, of course you have to treat yourself from time to time … life would be no fun if you didn’t. But for times when you’re not able to go for the real thing — I look for healthy substitutes hit the spot.

I’ve gotten used to my treats coming in “healthier” form, and I can make a mug cake like a boss. But honestly, healthy treats don’t always do the trick.

Today I’m highlighting a few different treats I’ve had recently, and talking about how well they do or don’t curb my cravings.

Mug Cakes – 4/5 stars

mug cake

Yeeeeesssss, I love mug cakes. The one I made on Friday was on a whole ‘nother LEVEL. I had a busy/crazy week at work, and all I wanted was a giant chocolate/peanut butter cupcake from Central Market. But I held out, and it was so worth it.

This was a variation of @pbeechie’s 1-Minute Mug Cake, subbing 1 Tbsp cocoa powder for 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour. I topped it with a cocoa powder/Greek yogurt/almond milk frosting, natural peanut butter drizzle, dark chocolate chips, sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut. I want this all day, every day.


Arctic Zero – 2/5 stars

After every spoonful of Arctic Zero I put into my mouth, I think to myself, “Wow, you’re still not ice cream.” I rarely buy it because it doesn’t truly satisfy what I was craving. I’d rather have a little real ice cream than a lot of fake ice cream. That’s just me.

However, I’m a fan of the new packagaing and am curious to try their new flavors.


Whole Wheat/Vegan Blueberry Muffin – 4/5 stars

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I discovered a new place by me. It’s called Mr. Natural, and they sell the previous day’s vegan muffins/cookies/cupcakes for like 4 for $2. I’m screwed.

I stopped in on Saturday and grabbed a whole wheat vegan blueberry muffin. It was made with natural ingredients and no refined sugar, which I love. It didn’t taste as indulgent as a “real” muffin, but it hit the spot. I’ll definitely be back!


Homemade Smoothie Bowls – 3/5 stars

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I know I’m weird, but I’m just not a big smoothie girl. On Sunday before the Super Bowl, I tried making a mock acai bowl with frozen banana, spinach, almond milk, cocoa powder and blueberries. It tasted pretty meh, but was still a good pre-game snack.

Granted, my Magic Bullet isn’t the most sophisticated blender in the world, but I rarely make a smoothie I really really love. I need to get on my friend Georgie‘s level.


The Perfect Cookie – 4/5 stars

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A few weeks ago, I talked about Oatmega protein bars. They are also the maker of The Perfect Cookie, a gluten-free high protein (10g), lower sugar (9g) cookie, rich with Omega-3s from chia seeds. While it’s not exaaactly like a real cookie, The Perfect Cookie is my go-to when I want to be bad, but know I need to be good. : )


Kombucha BBQ Chicken from MyFitFoods – 1/5 stars

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I’ve mentioned my love for MyFitFoods before, and I was excited to stop in again on Saturday. Keeping with my theme of trying something I never would make for myself, I decided to pick up the Kombucha BBQ chicken. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great. I’ve been too spoiled with real Texas BBQ.


While healthy treats like this sometimes get the job done, they can’t really replace the real thing for me. But by making the decision to be healthy 85% of the time, I honestly enjoy the 15% of the time when I do treat myself.

I think that making healthy swaps can be a tough habit for people to get into. I’m lucky that I enjoy experimenting with healthier versions of things. It keeps it interesting! : )

Your Turn-

  • Which healthy treats curb your cravings? Which ones don’t?
  • Thoughts on Arctic Zero?