Finally it’s Saturday morning and I can sit at my dining room table, carelessly enjoying my first homemade pumpkin spice latte of the season. I can write my thoughts out from the past two weeks and get back into the bloggy world. All I’ve been wanting to do lately yet haven’t found a single second to do so. *Insert crying emoji here*. Going almost a full week without blogging really brings me down but when you’re worried about two tests and a speech due the day after considering a post, you’re priorities align a bit differently. #studentproblems
I just recently told my friend Abbie how I’ve been wanting to transition my blog to include more lifestyle posts from what I’ve been up to with my internship or what active apparel I’m dying to have. Sometimes life is more than just food and being a health foodie, I have to take my own wellness into account. Therefore, I’m going to give you some updates along with my favorite foodie items.
Life has been pretty good these past two weeks. Summer finally ended and fall arrived, I have been seeing pumpkins everywhere and eating my fair share of squash. For those of you who haven’t tried it, delicata is by far the best (and it is on sale at Whole Foods so bonus points right there). I’m going to visit my mom in Kansas this upcoming weekend (first of October) which means I will be indulging in 10 different types of squash thanks to her enormous garden plus a plethora of home-cooked meals. The foodie in me is quite ecstatic about that. I will be posting a ton when I’m there due to the limited amount of things to due in her town. To paint you a picture, my mom’s house is the equivalent of The Wizard of Oz. No workout clubs or fancy juice bars like there are in Chicago, yet there are also no ambulances blaring down your street every hour, making it the perfect weekend getaway.
My daily tasks when I’m in Kansas consist of napping, cooking and watching pleeeenty of HGTV with my mom who I get to see about 3-4 times a year. With a side of blogging. Can’t complain.
Before I head off to Kansas to be extremely inactive, I’m sneaking in all of my favorite workouts. This includes a ton of Bar Method classes in my new barre socks that I can’t stop wearing on the daily. BarreSocks was started last October in Los Angeles and since January has featured tons of cute apparel on their site, along with an array of different colored socks. These “nice shaking” socks are not only the coziest but make my workout much more comfortable. To stay hydrated, I bring my bkr water bottle (16oz size in the color ‘pout’) with me wherever I go – especially to class. Not only do bkr bottles come in array of colors but they are glass, BPA-free and easy to carry around! I’m known for always losing my water bottles so hopefully this one stays with me for a while. Fingers crossed!
Another workout you guys know I ADORE is CorePower Yoga. I even did a post about it earlier this summer when I was going quite frequently. Unfortunately, after doing one class at the end of June I injured my feet pretty severely and had to put my membership on freeze. This was an extremely tough decision for me to make and going to yoga for two straight months and stopping was an anxiety attack within itself. I remember calling my mom crying because I was felt like a part of me was missing and I thought I’d never be able to practice again. When I saw a doctor she told me not to do any yoga for 4 weeks. Pretty touch to hear when you’re going 4-5x a week. Yet this past Monday I had the revelation that I would start my membership up again.
Lucky for me, I have a studio right across the street from where I intern so on my lunch break, I headed over and unfroze my membership to start on Wednesday. Up until my 6a.m. C2 class that Wednesday, I was so anxious and ready to finally get back into the swing of things and back on my mat once and for all. My goal is to go every day or at least 6x a week. With having classes, work and interning, it is the one constant I find myself always relying on. Even when I’m tired after a long day or don’t want to wake up early to head out on the train, I know that the end result of walking out of the studio will leave me with an overwhelming sense of gratification.
By starting my membership up again, I’ve been feeling eternally grateful that I am even able to do this and my body is back to normal. Through each practice I’m reminded of how tough the end of the summer was for me and what it feels like to have something you love taken from you. I remind myself how lucky I am that I have the ability to attend CorePower and realize how fortunate I am that my body recovered so quick. My injury gave me the realization to not push myself to the limits and modify, modify, MODIFY! One thing that is extremely important when doing yoga or any form of exercise.
Now of course I can’t talk about my life lately if I didn’t include my favorite foodie trends and bites these past few days. As a girl who used to be afraid of carbs, I have had quite the infatuation with toast for the past year or so. Always trying to aim for sprouted or home-baked fresh bread, I love putting different twists and toppings on my toast and figuring out new ways to eat it so I don’t get bored. On Tuesday I spent my morning doing a little yoga and having a complimentary breakfast with some fellow food blogger and PR friends downtown thanks to Chef Matt Atayla from Cochon Volant.
Hands down I don’t think I’ve loved a piece of avocado toast more than what Chef Matt prepared. A whole chunk of avocado on crunchy sourdough bread with roasted tomatoes and a side salad using OrganicGirl greens. Can’t forget the side bowls of bananas, juice and that devilishly good poached egg.
Even though it was not as fancy as Chef Matt’s preparation, I drizzled some tahini, honey and hempseeds on a piece of sprouted bread from Silver Hills Bakery the following day. Honey makes all the difference on toast my fellow chickpeas. Always gotta add a drizzle of something or other to your toast to make it pop and this sure did the trick.
With running around from yoga to interning to work and back home with barely any time to make dinner, I’ve been relying on sprouted wheat sandwiches and wraps a whooole bunch. Easy to prepare with spreads like avocado, hummus or cashew cheese (when I’m feeling fancy) and globs of veggies. One of my recent favorite lunches was this beet and coconut bacon wrap with arugula and avocado. When I go home to Cleveland, I always make it a point to stop at my favorite juice shop – Beet Jar – on the West Side to pick up their Bravocado sandwich which inspired my wrap.
Completely vegan, it’s covered in coconut chips, avocado and a cashew sauce. I decided to replicate it with a few twists and the results were REALLY freaking good. Coconut bacon is just coconut chips flavored with liquid smoke to give off a bacon-like flavor yet I wouldn’t really say it tastes anything like bacon… Sorry for all ya vegans out there.
Not that I’m mad about it since I don’t even like bacon to begin with BUT it definitely is savory and oh so yummy!
To round out my favorites, I have to tell you about my newest (and only) cookbook I own: Eating Purely by Purely Elizabeth founder, Elizabeth Stein.
When it arrived at my door last week and I flipped through every page, I could not stop oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at each recipe. What I love most about Elizabeth’s recipes is that they contain simple ingredients. She gives readers healthy tips and knowledgeable facts and prepares fresh and flavorful food. Many of the recipes are made with gluten-free flours since her company is gluten-free based which can get a bit complicated if you don’t have them on hand but for the most part, the ingredients are easy to find/purchase at your local grocery store and affordable.
My first recipe out of the book which I am dying to recreate in daylight to photograph is her mushroom and kale tacos. Loaded with pineapple guacamole and sauteed kale, mushrooms and brussels sprouts, these tacos are my favorite home-cooked meal I’ve had in quite some time.
Recipes range from homemade ravioli to poached pears with coconut whipped cream (if you could see my face when I saw those, my jaw for sure dropped), breakfast to dinner and everything in between.
Along with her cookbook, I received some of Purely Elizabeth’s Apple Currant Ancient Grain Muesli. I’ve been using this in replace of oats for overnight oatmeal and it provides a much creamier texture. This morning I paired it with a blended banana+pumpkin mixture, alongside the best yogurt ever… drum roll…. Siggi’s! I strongly recommend combining these products together because it was the most indulgent smoothie+oatmeal+yogurt bowl ever. A pre-yoga breakfast which ya gotta love!
I’d love to know what you’re loving lately, any fun things to do or see in the city and any new products you’ve come across! Pumpkin flavored this or that? Let me know!
Happy Saturday my little chickpeas!
*All opinions are my own and I represent the brands above that I am truly passionate about. I was not compensated for this post.*