Mindful Monday (7/31/17)

This week, Mindful Monday is all about resources (blog posts/podcast episodes/videos) that emphasize self care and body positivity. (plus some fun photos from my week!!)

Recently I’ve been working on learning to tune in, both to my body and my surroundings, and be more comfortable letting go of the routines and (often subconscious) rules that are present in my day to day life. All of these posts have brought me so much joy and comfort, and I hope they do the same for you.

Mindful Monday (7/31/17)

Mindful Monday Links

I recently discovered the Constancely Eating blog and am completely in love with her joyful approach to food. This post about why there is absolutely no need to try to micromanage our diets or “get back on track” after vacation is especially awesome.

I love Kylie’s posts sharing the food she’s been enjoying lately- she’s such a great example of someone who enjoys delicious food without obsessing over it. The meals she shared in this post look especially satisfying.

Yoga with Adriene is just awesome, and I’m especially obsessed with her Yoga for Healing series. So far, my favorites are Yoga for Anxiety and Yoga for When You Are Sick.

I made a new Insta (and soon to be real life!) friend recently, and her food account is gorgeous and so much fun.

The story of Wild Friends nut butters is so fun and inspiring, and I loved listening to Erica (one of the co-founders) talk about the company on the Party in my Plants podcast.

I also love following Lex (@restoring_radiance) on Instagram for fun, positive posts like this one and the occasional amazing insta-story rant about food freedom and living intuitively.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I’d love to continue the conversation here or on Instagram and hear all about what’s helping you feel joyful and mindful. Have a Mindful Monday and a lovely week!

Find my previous mindfulness here

Mindful Monday 7/3/17

It’s time to bring some mindfulness to your Monday! These are some Mindful Monday links that are brightening my day, and I hope they do the same for you.

3 recipes I want to make this week:

Mac-n-cheese. I LOVE mac-n-cheese, but I never make it at home because it seems so complicated. This recipe is the perfect balance between healthy and traditional, and I think even my little siblings will love it.

Mint Chip Popsicles.  I’m completely obsessed with mint chocolate everything, so these popsicles look totally perfect. Plus, they’re a great excuse to buy some more Eating Evolved 🙂

Tamales. I’ve always loved tamales, but never considered making them at home. This recipe sounds like a bit more of a project, but it looks delicious.

3 forms of movement I’m enjoying:

Bodyrok Sculpt Classes. I sign up through ClassPass (use this link for 40$ off the first month of your membership!) and I have so much fun in every single class I attend.

Walking + podcasts. Sometimes I get really into listening to podcasts while running, but right now peaceful, slow walks are what my body is craving.

Yoga sounds really good right now. I haven’t taken any classes yet, but I want to check out The Pad, CorePower, and Karma Yoga soon.

3 podcast episodes I’ve loved recently:

This one about dating in 2017 is so chill and funny, it totally feels like you’re just hanging out with Christina and Addie.

Nut Butter Radio, hosted by Hannah and Holly, became an instant favorite for me. All their episodes are great, but I especially liked hearing their thoughts on sugar detoxes.

I’d forgotten how much I adore The Chasing Joy Podcast, but I recently started re-listening to some old episodes and totally loving it. This episode with Rachel Mansfield is such a fun and inspiring conversation.

3 blog posts I relate to:

Getting real about therapy is so important, and I love how honest Jess is in this post.

Give yourself permission to slow down and let go of the need for constant productivity during the summer. You and I both deserve to relax, but sometimes its hard to let go of the pressure to be busy all the time.

I’m definitely not going to run a marathon anytime soon, but I love the idea of taking life “one mile at a time.”

 

I hope you gained some inspiration from this post, and I’d love to hear about what you’re enjoying this week. Comment here or share your thoughts with me on Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links for ClassPass and Eating Evolved. These are both companies that I truly love and that bring so much joy to my life, so I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.

Where are the Body-Positive Workout Videos?

I’m calling for some body-positive workout videos. If I google “body-positive workout videos” the third result is a “fat blasting” workout. And that’s just not cool.

After long days at school or work, when I don’t get home until its already getting dark, I rarely want to go on a run or head to the gym. I’m craving movement, but I want it on my own terms, in the comfort of my own room. So when I discovered the wealth of workout-class style videos available online, I was thrilled.

But I’ve been noticing a big problem with many of the workout videos I come across: the emphasis on weight loss. I don’t want a workout that “torches calories” or “sizzles fat.” I am so appreciative of the fat that graces my body. It helps keep me warm, produces estrogen, and serves countless other necessary functions. I am in no way a nutrition/exercise expert, but even I know that no part of my body needs to be torched or sizzled. In fact, that sounds downright painful.

I think workout videos are a great way to make boutique-style workout classes accessible to a broader audience, but I’m calling for a change in the language used to promote these videos. Anyone who creates or publishes material that teaches anyone how to do anything- whether its knitting, cooking, or pilates- takes a role as an authority figure. And as such, these fitness instructors have the responsibility to present movement and fitness in a positive, healthy, nurturing manner.

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Instead of promoting workouts by talking about how many calories they burn (which is ridiculous because it varies so much by person) I want these instructors/bloggers/businesses to tell me how their workout will make me FEEL. Is it an energizing pilates class? A relaxing yoga flow? A powerful cross-fit routine? Because that’s whats really important.

I see the wellness world moving towards emphasizing true health- mental health, feeling good, etc.- over how our bodies look, and that makes me incredibly happy. But workout videos are one area that I see room for improvement. So I’m asking everyone who creates and shares this type of content to re-evaluate the language you use.

Playing into a person’s fears and ingrained beliefs about weight-loss, tummy-flattening, or blasting their “problem areas” isn’t good marketing. It’s lazy and cowardly. We, the consumers, as people trying to take care of our bodies and minds, deserve better than that. We deserve to be reminded how beautiful we are, how worthy we are whether we exercise or not, and what a blessing it is to be in the unique, wonderful bodies that we have.

Right now, my go-to body-positive workout videos are those by Yoga with Adriene. Her entire approach to yoga and movement is just so gentle and positive, my body and soul feel amazing every time I use one of her videos to guide my practice.

Do you ever struggle with the lack of body- positivity in some parts of the fitness world? Do you have a favorite body-positive workout video or class? I’d love to get the conversation going, so let me know what you think in the comments here or on Instagram.

Best Wellness Podcasts

“Best Wellness Podcasts” may be a big claim, but when I get into something, I get into it big-time. After discovering podcasts a few months ago, I have completely fallen in love. I like how listening to podcasts can make mundane tasks, such as taking the bus or doing laundry, something to look forwards to.
Best wellness podcasts
Because I listen to podcasts so often- while running, on walks, on the way home from school, while doing chores, etc. – I’ve cultivated a list of the best wellness podcasts to choose from depending on my mood. All of these podcasts, and the people who host them, are truly wonderful, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
In this list, I’ve divided my favorite podcasts up by type, and added the one word I would use to describe their vibe. If you also think these are the best wellness podcasts, want more information on any of them, or have another podcast to recommend, leave a comment here or on Instagram!

San Francisco Wellness Guide

Recently I was hunting online for fun, healthy restaurant recommendations in San Francisco, and I was shocked that there weren’t actually very many resources. So I decided to make a San Francisco Wellness Guide to share all my favorite wellness spots in the city, from cafes to workouts.

  •  Cafes

San Francisco Wellness Guide

  • Jane on Fillmore
    • This is my absolute favorite restaurant/cafe in SF, hands down. I just went for lunch today and, as always, it was bustling, cozy, and delicious beyond words. The first time I ate there I promised myself I would try something different every time I visit because everything on the menu sounds (and in my experience is) absolutely incredible.

  • Blue Danube
    • The vibe here is very different from Jane: slightly cluttered, homey, and laid back. It’s the perfect place to settle in and do homework for an afternoon- with a mint mocha latte in-hand of course.
  • Easy Breezy Frozen Yogurt
    • This place is so cute! They have dairy and dairy free yogurts in tons of creative flavors, so it will absolutely satisfy a variety of eaters.

  • Rainbow grocery (submitted by @youngnhangry)
    • Bulk bin of dreams! It’s like Disneyland for any foodie.
  • BiRite
    •  BiRite is a small grocery store with a big focus on local food, organic produce, and absolutely incredible sandwiches. The Vegan Hippy Sandwich is one of my all time favorite meals. Their ice cream is also delicious, and they always have a couple vegan options too.
  • Haight Street Market
    • This is one of my favorite grocery stores in the city. They have an amazing cafe, tons of gorgeous produce, impressive pre-made food, and all the kombucha a girl could ask for.
  • Restaurants

    • Artesano
      • This Latin American restaurant is a hidden gem in Laurel Village. I haven’t found dishes quite like theirs anywhere else in SF, and I routinely bring family and friends (who always come away raving about the food). I LOVE their salads, and you have to be sure to try the plantain chips.
    • Greens
      • I haven’t had a chance to eat here yet, but it is absolutely on my must visit list. An entire restaurant dedicated to vegetable focused, vegetarian food? With gorgeous views of the bay? Sign me up.
    • Little Gem
      • This is another spot I can’t wait to visit. The entire menu is gluten free, and all the dishes look incredibly original. And it’s located in Hayes Valley, so the ambiance is bound to be amazing, plus you’ll have plenty of options for dessert after.
    • Blue Barn (submitted by @youngnhangry)
      • Their seasonal salads are always on point
    • Gracias Madre (submitted by @youngnhangry)
      • Vegan Mexican food.
    • Seed and Salt (submitted by @youngnhangry)
      • Two words. eggplant. bacon. And their baked goods are delicious.
    • Plant Organic Cafe (submitted by @shakethatmarshmallow)
      • All organic produce + sustainable seafood and meats in downtown SF.
  • Workouts

  • BodyRok
    • I am OBSESSED with BodyRok. I took classes there in December and fell completely in love. They have spin classes, reformer pilates, and some locations even offer yoga. The playlists are amazing, the instructors are friendly, and overall the classes are just so fun. I can’t wait until I have time to go back!
  • Yoga to the People
    • I’ve never been here, but I can’t wait to try it. They offer donation based yoga classes to make it accessible to everyone, and the space looks absolutely gorgeous.

  • Running in Golden Gate Park
    • This is my go-to workout. It’s free and absolutely beautiful. There is no shortage of routes throughout the park, so I never get bored, but one of my favorites is definitely running around Stow Lake.

If you find this San Francisco Wellness Guide useful, I’d love it if you shared with friends, and definitely leave a comment/contact me if you have any additional recommendations!

SoCal Trip Recap

Day One

Around 2 pm on Sunday my dad and I packed up the car and left San Francisco. I brought one bag of clothes and one bag of real essentials. Real essentials = snacks (bare snacks apple chips, kind bars, and homemade trail mix), a full water bottle, my favorite notebook, and wireless headphones.

Since our washing machine was broken, I wasn’t able to pack any underwear (yeah, 3 different snacks, no underwear), so our first stop was Macy’s in South San Francisco. I think that’s a real right of passage- when you don’t have any clean undies so you go buy some instead. After spending way to long trying to figure out the difference between french cut, hipster, and bikini styles- apparently my lack of fashion sense extends to underwear- we were finally on our way.

I listened to the Fed + Fit podcast for a good amount of the drive, and by now I think it’s definitely fair to say I’m a podcast addict. I tend to go through intense phases with stuff like that, so I imagine it will pass eventually, but for right now give me all the podcast recommendations!

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After about 4 hours on the road, we arrived in Santa Maria. The restaurant options seemed to be pretty limited, but luckily the town has a Trader Joes and that’s really all I need in life. We grabbed dinner and stocked up on snacks, then headed over to the hotel to eat and watch NCIS. I had a lentil wrap with tahini sauce for dinner + dark chocolate almonds for dessert and it was AMAZING. To be fair, I was pretty hungry so my judgement may have been impacted. But it was really good.

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My skin has been a bit icky lately, so I put on my favorite clay face mask while we watched NCIS then went to bed.

Day Two

I’d been hoping to sleep in on vacation, but instead I woke up at 5:30 am. I tried to go back to sleep for a while but at 6:30 I finally gave up and watched Netflix on my computer for about an hour. By that time I was pretty hungry, so I just put a jacket on over my PJs and went down to the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Being the indecisive, breakfast loving person that I am, I find breakfast buffets a bit overwhelming. To keep it simple, I have a couple go-to meals such as oatmeal + fruit or eggs + toast. And always coffee, of course. I went with oatmeal (topped with brown sugar and walnuts) and cantaloupe.

After breakfast, we got in the car and drove a couple hours down the coast to Santa Barbara.The views along the highway were incredible and they reminded me how much I love seeing new parts of the world and how lucky I am to get to travel. We arrived with a couple hours to spare before the start of our UC Santa Barbara tour, so we hit the beach! We had a picnic with out Trader Joe’s goods from the night before, then my dad got on a quick conference call and I went for a walk on the beach. By the time we got back in the car to drive to UCSB, my pant cuffs were damp, my feet were sandy, and I was somehow missing a sock. The perfect first impression, right?

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For the next few hours we toured UCSB. I loved how the campus was so integrated with nature, and everyone seemed really happy. After the tour, my dad had a meeting in South Santa Barbara and I had some time to explore. I ended up at a cafe called The French Press. They had the foamiest lattes with gorgeous latte art and I felt very cool sipping my latte and working on this blog post.

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Then we got back in the car and completed the final 2 hours of our drive to LA. We checked in to our hotel in Century City (right by UCLA) then set out in search of dinner. There didn’t seem to be tons of real restaurants in the area (though there was TONS of fast food) so we settled for Cava Grill. I’d never been before, but it turns out it’s basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle. So “fast casual” food with lots of veggies and fresh ingredients. I got a greens & grains bowl with 3 (!!!) kinds of hummus, roasted veggie mix (butternut squash + brussels sprouts), and a beet salsa type thing to top it off. My expectations weren’t all that high, but it was actually really good. The portions are pretty generous, but I loved it so much I managed to eat it all. It’s really a hard life when your delicious veggie bowls are a bit too big.

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As soon as we returned to the hotel I went to bed and fell asleep dreaming of beaches, beautiful colleges, and hummus.

Day Three

I slept in!! It was beautiful. In all honestly I only slept in until 8 am, but considering how conditioned my body is to waking up at 6 am for school, 8 is pretty good. I hit the gym first thing for a quick run on the treadmill. I kinda hate the treadmill and would much rather run outside, but we weren’t in a great neighborhood for running and I wanted to stay on track with my 10k preparation plan because I want to run Bay to Breakers in May! I’m on the 2nd week, so I did a 30 minute combo of running and walking.

We had to be at UCLA for a tour at 10:15 am, so I showered and got dressed then we grabbed breakfast to go at the Starbucks in the hotel. I got oatmeal and a latte then tried to eat and navigate at the same time as we drove to UCLA. After a few wrong turns we finally made it and the tour was lovely. The vibe was a bit more east coast college campus-y (it reminded me of Yale) and I learned they have the one of the best psychology programs in the nation! Now I’m just worried I’ll fall in love with every college I visit, but in the scheme of things that’s a good problem to have.

Once the tour was over we adventured into Beverly Hills to find Mitch and Cam’s house from Modern Family. My parents and I watched the show religiously in 2011/2012 so it was a pretty exciting moment.

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Since we didn’t have anywhere to be for the rest of the day, I convinced my dad to drive to Santa Monica for lunch at True Food Kitchen. I’d heard such great reviews on Instagram, and it did not disappoint! I wanted to try everything on the menu, but I controlled myself and we ended up sharing a kale salad and brussels sprout/wild mushroom pizza. Both were incredibly delicious and I can’t wait to try to recreate them at home. The people were so friendly and the weather was beautiful, so it was a wonderful experience all around. After lunch, we took a quick walk through a nearby park, then got in the car (again) for a 2 hour drive through crazy LA traffic to our hotel in Ontario.

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We decided to stay in Ontario because it’s close to the Claremont colleges, but as far as I can tell there’s not much there. There didn’t even seem to be any grocery stores nearby, so we ended up going to Target and getting sandwich supplies for dinner. To be honest that wasn’t tons of fun because I was hungry and tired and trying to buy dinner at Target, but it worked out and I ended up with a loaf of bread, a squeeze pack of Justin’s almond butter, and an apple. Back at the hotel, I put together a very sophisticated dinner of an almond butter sandwich, an apple, and a few chocolate covered almonds, ate in bed, then went straight to sleep. I’m pretty sure this is what everyone’s talking about when they mention the trendy LA food scene.

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Day Four

I’m writing the majority of this post at 8 am before beginning a day full of college visits and driving back  to SF. I don’t image anything too thrilling will happen, so I’ll spare you all the details, but I had so much fun on this trip and I really appreciate you following along. If you have any recommendations for fun spots/good eats in SoCal let me know because I hope to come back soon!

 

Bye Bye Boring Breakfast

Breakfast brings so much joy to my life. That may sound silly, but it’s true. All my life my family has taken time to eat together before school/work during the week, and on the weekends we enjoy relaxing breakfasts where we take time to talk, read, and eat delicious food.

So many of my best food memories involve breakfast foods, like the time my little sister and I made ourselves pancakes for dinner and threw in every random ingredient that sounded good, or when my siblings and I would try to make special anniversary breakfasts for my parents.

But recently I’ve been eating the same 3 breakfasts (yogurt + granola, eggs + toast, oatmeal + banana) over and over and over. And those are good breakfasts, but a girl’s gotta mix it up sometimes. Plus, my Instagram is starting to get a little repetitive.

So in an effort to have some fun with breakfast, I’m creating the Bye Bye Boring Breakfast challenge. All of these recipes can be prepared in 15 minutes or less and are sure to bring some variety to your routine.

This week, I’ll be making these recipes and sharing them on Instagram each day. I hope you’ll join me in trying some (or all!) of the recipes and banishing your breakfast blues. If you make any of these recipes, be sure to tag me on Insta or let me know in the comments!

Sunday:

Poached Eggs and Avocado Toast by Pinch of Yum

 

Monday:

Pecan Pie Oatmeal

 

Tuesday (Valentine’s Day):

Chunky Monkey Mug Cake

OR

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls (these take longer than 15 minutes, but if you have time they’re really fun)

 

Wednesday:

Breakfast Tacos by Nutrition Stripped

 

Thursday:

Banana Chia Pudding  by Baked Greens

 

Friday:

Matcha Green Smoothie (personally I’ll probably have this with some peanut butter toast)

 

Saturday:

2 Ingredient Pancakes by Gimme Delicious

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 products for a Healthy 2017

As we prepare for a new year, many people take the time to recommit to their wellness goals. As I’ve said on Instagram, I think cleanses and crash diets are total B.S. However, I totally understand the desire to switch up your routine and try something new, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite products that have helped me feel my best this past year.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

10 minutes after I received this book I had already bookmarked at least 15 recipes that I absolutely NEEDED to make immediately. I already knew Dana (Minimalist Baker) is incredibly talented from reading her blog, but this book takes inventive, mouth-watering recipes and amazing photography to a whole new level. At the same time, all the recipes seem completely doable for people like me who maybe don’t have many clean dishes and need to get back to watching Grey’s Anatomy ASAP.



Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer

So I am officially an old woman, considering my favorite Christmas gift this year was a kitchen appliance. But to be fair, I’m pretty sure spiralizers are the sexiest kitchen appliance out there. What could be better than a machine that turns veggies into noodles? Not to mention turning the handle definitely counts as your arm workout for the day. Delicious veggies + a quick workout sounds like the perfect way to kick off the new year.


Rishi Tea Organic Matcha Tea Bags

Ever since I enjoyed my first matcha latte at Peet’s over the summer (while reading a trendy book and feeling very sophisticated) I’ve been searching high and low for an affordable, high quality brand. I finally found Rishi, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve been loving it with lemon and in DIY lattes. Unlike coffee, drinking matcha in the mornings makes me feel refreshed, energized, and calm.


Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

I’m seriously addicted to these bars. It’s hard to believe that three simple ingredients (dates, peanuts, sea salt) can come together to create such a delicious, nutrient packed snack, but Larabar proves it can be done! After spending waayy to much on these bars at the grocery store, I finally started buying them in bulk on Amazon. It’s a great snack AND a great deal, so it pretty much ticks all the boxes.


Swell Insulated Water Bottle

For years I’ve resolved to drink more water, but time and time again I’ve failed. Even  though I knew staying hydrated would improve my skin, reduce headaches, and give me more energy, drinking water was such a chore. In the past, I’d tried apps such as Plant Nanny, but I just forgot to drink water, my plants died, and I felt terrible for killing an imaginary plant. This year, however, thanks to my Swell Water Bottle, I finally met my goal. These water bottles are so pretty, they honestly make drinking water feel incredibly fun and chic.

Lavender Essential Oil

I’m usually so excited (and a little anxious) about my life/school work/projects that I have some trouble falling asleep. Overtime I’ve developed strategies to fall asleep more easily but I’m always looking for new methods, so when I discovered this Lavender Essential Oil I was thrilled! I sprinkled a couple drops on my pillow and was fast asleep within minutes. While some of it may have been a placebo effect, they oil smelled amazing and undoubtedly helped me relax.


AVEDA Rehydrating Lip Glaze Coral Peach

AVEDA is an phenomenal natural beauty brand. I love their commitment to sustainability, good for you ingredients, charity, and animal welfare. I actually bought this gloss as a gift for a friend, so I haven’t tried it, but the staff at my local store was so helpful and brand is wonderful. I’m certainly going to stock up on AVEDA products this year as I focus on clearing the junk out of  my makeup stash and filling it up with quality products.


TRX GO Suspension Training Kit

I’ve been using TRX ropes at the gym for a couple months and they’re so much fun! Using them makes me feel like I’m a little kid at the playground. Unfortunately, it seems many other people feel the same way and the TRX stations at the gym are usually occupied. TRX Go ropes are the perfect solution, as they are unobtrusive and easy to set up at home. You can get in a workout without leaving the house (read: brushing your hair/showering) and you’ll never have to wait in line!


Hoka One One Running Shoes

These are by far the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. I received them nearly a year ago and wear them often, but they are still in perfect condition. I wish it was socially acceptable to wear sneakers everywhere because they really are that comfortable. I do wear them every chance I get, from running to weightlifting to hiking, and the bright colors never fail to improve my mood.


Yoga Mat

Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Yoga with Adrienne. The flows feel amazing and she brings so much joy and positivity to her videos. They’re so easy to do at home and don’t require any fancy equipment, but having a yoga mat really does make the experience so much better. When I started out, my only options were to do yoga on my bed or my hardwood floor- not ideal situations for balance and relaxation. This extra fluffy yoga mat is absolutely wonderful, the only problem is it’s so comfy you may just fall asleep in child’s pose.

I hope these products help you get your new year off to a wonderful start!

10 Cozy Desk Lunches

Recently, my desk lunches have been pretty pathetic. I was going pretty strong with meal prep for most of September and October, but recently my organization hasn’t been so great. The result of my disorganization is cold, lackluster lunches that do nothing to warm my frigid hands, fill me up, or satisfy my cravings for all things warm and cozy.

My desk lunch dilemma has inspired me to collect this list of ten recipes for you (and me) that are delicious, comforting, healthy, and meal-prep friendly.

Healing Bowls by Pinch of Yum

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup by Vegan Blondes

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Vegan “Sausage” by Primarily Plants (me!)

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Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad by Cookie and Kate

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Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Chickpea Glow Bowl by Pinch of Yum

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Super Spinach Quinoa Bowl by Primarily Plants (!!)

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Cheezy Spaghetti Squash by Chickpea in the City

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Eggplant and Almond Butter Tofu Bowl by Minimalist Baker

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Roasted Acorn Squash Bowl by Well and Full

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Happy eating! If you have any other lunch recommendations, let me know.

Healthy Hacks: Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Does any one else have a habit of spending wayyyy too much money on fancy groceries? I often walk into Whole Foods intending to grab some veggies and almond milk and come out with veggies, almond milk, a handful of granola bars, a bottle of kombucha, and something totally random I saw on Instagram and just had to have.

I’m still in high school and living with my family, so I’m very lucky that I don’t have to buy all my own groceries yet. (If I did, I’d be broke in a month.) However, I am the only one that follows a primarily plant (haha) based lifestyle, so there are lots of foods, such as almond milk and tofu, that I have to buy for myself, and therefore I find budgeting very important.

Assuming I’m not the only one who struggles with overspending (if I am don’t tell me), today I’m sharing some of my tips for keeping the nutrition high and the prices low when grocery shopping.

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Top 5 tips for grocery shopping on a budget:

  • Focus on ingredients over brand name. I’m constantly tempted to buy the expensive products I see my favorite bloggers posting about on Instagram, from granola to face wash, but I try to keep in mind that there are alternatives of equal quality for a fraction of the price. Sometimes I will splurge and treat myself to something from a fancy brand, but most of the time I try to find something less expensive with a comparable ingredient list (i.e. few ingredients, real foods, words I’m familiar with).
  • Compare price per ounce. This is a shopping trick my mom taught me when I was still sitting in the baby seat of the shopping cart. Sure, a  $2 carton of almond milk might look like good deal, but if the $3 carton is significantly larger, the $3 milk may actually be the better purchase.
  • Go in with a specific list. This one is pretty simple. If you know what you need and have a clear plan for what you’re going to buy, you will be less likely to find yourself wandering through the store making unnecessary purchases.
  • Never grocery shop in a rush. While making a specific grocery list should speed up the shopping process, it’s also important to give yourself plenty of time to peruse, explore, and find the best deals.
  • Keep a tally of prices as you shop. I find this strategy especially useful when paying for my groceries in cash, as I’m terrified of getting up to the cash register and not having enough money on me to pay for my mountain of food. Even if you’re paying with credit, keeping a list of prices as you shop and adding it all up before you check out saves you from having to nod and smile and pretend you’re not dying inside when the cashier tells you how much money you owe.
  • Sales and coupons are your friends. I bought a pack of Justin’s peanut butter cups the other day that had a coupon inside, so I saved it and redeemed it for a squeeze pack of nut butter.

Using these strategies, I managed to snag all the goods pictured above for just over $30! I’m pretty proud of myself to tell the truth.  I had so much fun practicing mindful shopping, and I discovered some really great brands I’d never tried before. All these great brands, along with what I make with them, will be showing up on my Instagram throughout the week.

If you have any shopping hacks, I’d love to hear about them!

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