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18/ 02/ 17

favorite low carb snack ideas

Snack attacks are a real thing. And they are NO thing to underestimate. Seriously! If you’ve ever experienced that sudden, unwavering need for something to munch on while you’re working or find yourself so hangry in between meals you can’t even think, you definitely understand where I’m coming from. The problems I’ve found with snacking though is 1) portion control and 2) snacking on the right things that will keep me full. Usually, the last problem was because I would almost always use carbs like fruit as my snack attack go-to & fruit isn’t something that is going to tide you over until your next meal. While I’m still on my health & wellness journey, I do think I’ve finally figured out this whole snacking thing. What I’ve realized is that the absolute key to snacking is to stick to smaller portions with higher amounts of healthy fats. I’m sure if you read my blog or keep up with my Instagram, you’ve heard me talk about the importance and role healthy fats play in your diet, but if you haven’t, let me just reiterate a bit! When healthy fats enter your body, they get digested at a much slower rate, which in turn increases fullness and decreases your appetite. So, it makes sense to incorporate good healthy fats into your next snack to ensure you feel satisfied & don’t end up raiding the entire fridge before you’ve even had dinner. Anyone else been there? Lol. If you’re looking for some low-carb, higher fat snack ideas, just keep reading below!

Jerky

If you eat meat, jerky is such a great option! Since meat is high in protein as well as fat, satiety won’t be something to worry about after eating it. Make sure if you’re snacking on store-bought jerky to be careful about which type you’re buying. Always buy grass-fed or uncured meat. Always check the ingredients section, as some companies like to sneak unnecessary sugar in their product which is no bueno. My personal favorite brand is Epic. Go check out their site because they have so many other products rather than just jerky AND they’re mostly all gluten free.

Veggie Plate

I think nowadays with all the social media, the incredibly talented food bloggers, & the mouth-watering photos of yummy food slathered all over our Instagram feeds, we forget about simplicity when it comes to meals and snacks. Now trust me, I get a lot of my meal inspiration from Instagram/food bloggers, but I’m not eating these intricate, beautifully presented meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I may eat a really lovely breakfast, but then have an avocado & veggies for lunch. If you get too caught up in the complexity of your meals, you’re going to start losing the nutrients that come with simple whole foods. One of my favorite snacks is the simplest & quickest thing to whip up (which is part of the reason it’s my favorite): a veggie plate! Since I live in a dorm, I buy pre-cooked veggie medley’s from the whole foods store near me. My snack plate will usually consist of bell peppers, celery, flax-seed crackers (try flackers crackers, so yummy & crunchy), and jerky! But the wonderful thing about a snack plate is that you can totally cater it to you and the veggie’s you love! Now a snack plate isn’t anything without something to dip the veggie’s in though. You can make some homemade guacamole or even use a cheese dip! If you eat a dairy free diet, try kite-hill‘s almond milk “cream cheese”. It is TOO DIE FOR.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Smoothie

So for some reason, this has been my favorite go-to recently. I’ve been doing this smoothie/drink aside a small lunch, as a snack, or as a lunch by itself, so it really just depends on however much of it you make! Basically there’s two main ingredients you need to achieve this snack: coconut milk + cacao powder. Once you have those, you can really add in whatever else you want! My favorite way to make this snack is to combine full fat coconut milk, cacao powder, cinnamon, chia seeds, collagen peptide protein, & some salt. You can even add in some almond butter to give it a creamier texture! What’s fun about this idea is that you can make it either a cold smoothie or a hot beverage that’s sort of like a hot chocolate. I love enjoying this as a hot beverage, so after I add my ingredients into the blender, I pour in however much hot water I want & blend it all up!

Avocado

Going back to what I said about simplicity, I love to keep things real simple with a good ole’ avocado. Avocado’s are my favorite because they just give you that creamy consistency, almost like a spread or a sauce, when you’re lacking it in a meal. Although I do enjoy avocados in meals, they tend to be more of a go-to snack for me because they’re quick and easy to prepare. All I do is sprinkle on top some himalayan pink salt, black pepper, & if I want more crunch, I’ll throw on some hemp hearts! You can also eat it with some shredded veggies on top. I’ve realized whenever people “snack” on avocados or even put them in their meals they only eat half because avocados are pretty high in calories. But I honestly eat one whole avocado a day, lol. And I don’t eat half for one meal and save the rest for a later meal, I eat it all at one time! Maybe this is because I don’t ever really eat “big” lunches and I always “snack” around lunch time. I don’t know. I don’t think it really matters whether you choose to eat half or the whole thing as long as you’re listening to your body. If you want the whole avocado, eat the whole avocado, lol.

Chia Seed Pudding

Lastly, but certainly not least, chia seed pudding! This is a great option if you’re craving something like oatmeal or yogurt & granola and are dairy-free or low carb. I actually created a blog post on my chia seed pudding recipe, so if you want that click here! But honestly, whenever I’m craving a dessert-like snack or something that reminds me of oatmeal, this is always my go-to and it always satisfies those cravings. There’s also a ton of different things you can add to it to make it your own, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with what you have around the kitchen! My favorite toppings to add onto chia seed pudding are things like cacao nibs, shredded coconut, nut butter, & cinnamon!

If you give any of these a try, definitely send a message my way & tell me how you liked it! Happy weekend everyone. GO OUTSIDE. The weather has been too wonderful lately not to…

-Amanda



13/ 02/ 17

last minute v-day gift ideas!

Valentines day is TOMORROW??? I seriously don’t know how it’s already february 13th, I feel like this month has been flying by & I’m not sure if I’m okay with that. I also think it’s just cruel to have valentines day on a week day when school, projects, LIFE prohibits some of us from celebrating & being with our sig other. This will be the first v-day in 2 years that I spend alone. Sigh. Thank goodness for FaceTime, though! Anyways, I wanted to make a Valentine’s day post a lot earlier, but like I said, the 14th snuck up on me, so here I am posting one the day before. BUT IT’S OKAY. Because if you’re like me and didn’t realize valentines day is happening, like tomorrow, this post is for you because I’m sharing a few adorable ideas for last minute v-day gifts. All of these ideas are super affordable, accessible, & for the most part, simple! The key to a good gift is making the receiver feel like you really know them & understand who they are/what they like. For example, I’d much rather receive a box of healthy, nutritious dark chocolate & a snuggly stuffed animal over a materialistic item that doesn’t bring me joy or resonate with me. So, when buying a v-day gift, think about the person, keep it personal, thoughtful, & playful (bc valentines day is all about cheesy romantic shizniz).

THE CUTEST, SIMPLEST, EASIEST, LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS:

FOR HIM:

favorite candy package: run up to walmart, grab your mans fav candies, put it in a cutely decorated gift box, & BAM. He’ll be one satisfied boy. And you can share all the candy, too. It’s a win-win.

love letter: it really can be as simple as that. This goes for both a guy and a girl. You’ll be surprised at how much a handwritten letter about how much you love someone can mean to that person. Everyone likes knowing they’re loved.

favorite underwear: for some reason it’s always about the girl’s undies?? But don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about your undie-needs. What guy wouldn’t love a bunch of new, comfy underwear?? Plus, guys look cute in undies, hehe.

sweats: again, mainly because your man will look sexy af wearing them. But just like us girls love our loungewear, so do our men! (this or this)

wallet: so he doesn’t lose the money he’s paying for dinner with 🙂 lol. But seriously. (this or this)

sexy photos//scrapbook of photos: treat your dude to some print out photos of yo sexy self!! I mean this is Valentines Day… plus, taking them will make you feel good about yourself. Body posi yo.

food: do I even have to explain why. Cook your love some dinner, take him out to his favorite restaurant, anything involving food will make him a happy camper.

FOR HER:

cute fuzzy socks/slippers: If your girl is always putting her feet on you to keep them warm (lucas knows this all too well), then this is your solution to ending that right now!! Besides, no girl will turn down fuzzy socks or slippers. And if your girl does, theres something wrong with her…… no, seriously, there’s something wrong with a girl that doesn’t appreciate fun socks/slippers. My picks: 1, 2, 3 (so cute omg)!

undies/bralette set: omit the lingerie and buy us a matching bralette & underwear set. Lingerie is only fun to wear on occasion, but a bralette & undie set we will practically live in. We’ll actually love you forever. My picks: 1, 2, 3, 4!

flowers: because they’re pretty & smell nice & we like things that are pretty & smell nice. Pair with her favorite chocolate and your golden.

favorite coffee/tea: if you show your girl you know her favorite kind of coffee/tea, that’s a huge score for you. Trust me, it’ll mean so much to her. Plus, coffee makes your girl happy in the morning and not grumpy and I promise you want that.

bubble bath set: a scented bath paired with strawberries & tea (or wine if it’s one of those kinda nights) is the perfect formula for unwinding. It’s also pretty neat cus your girl could enjoy a bubble bath alone or you can join in ;). My picks: 12, 3!

comfy sweater: we love to lounge in comfy shit, that’s why we take all of your clothes. So just buy us comfy shit & we won’t have to steal from you, ok!!!! My picks: 1, 2, 3, 4!

good book: go on the bestsellers list and pick out a book you know she hasn’t read. If she loves to read, this is such a thoughtful & more of a hey-I-know-you-like-this-stuff kind of gift which is always the best. Example

cute stationary//pencils: I’m not sure if other girls would get as excited about receiving pencils with the cutest cheesiest sayings and quotes on them, but I’d eat that shit up. Or little notepads with adorable designs and pretty colors. See, we are not THAT hard to please. My picks: 1, 2, 3, 4!

I hope all of you have a lovely valentines day filled with chocolate, flowers, movies, laughter, comfy clothes, & surrounded by the person (or people) you love! And remember, if you’re single this valentines day, treat yourself. Make this day about loving & celebrating you. You deserve it.

-Amanda

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03/ 02/ 17

Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte

Goodmornin’ folks! It is one lovely morning here in good ole’, sunny florida so I think I’m going to take a trip up to the beach! Beach in January = one out of many reasons florida rocks. But anyways, this post isn’t so I can just rave about florida, lol! If you’ve read any of my latest health posts, you know I’ve been experimenting with my diet & figuring out what my body does and doesn’t respond well to. One of the things I’m deciding to limit myself with is coffee. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, Well Mands, not only will you suffer, but so will your instagram feed since its like 99.9% of coffee photos. Yes, you’re right. But not to worry!! Because I’m putting coffee on the back burner for now, I’m going to be starting my mornings off with more herbal teas! I feel like between coffee & tea, tea definitely has more health benefits, so it only makes sense to give my body something that’ll help it, not harm the digestive tract.

Because I like to get most of my energy from healthy fats, I decided to create a twist on Healthful Pursuit’s infamous Rocket Fuel Latte (fat-packed morning beverage). So, without further ado, introducing the Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte. This vibrant, warm, & tasty drink is going to give you all of the energy you need for the day because you’re getting the energizing effects from the matcha powder & also being fueled by the added healthy fats! If you’re not afraid of a power green drink, check out the recipe below. Only 3 main ingredients and super easy to whip up. I’m telling you, this’ll be your new morning fix!

Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte

Matcha green tea powder

Coconut oil (or mct oil)

Almond milk or Coconut Milk

Optional add ins:

Kerrygold Irish Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (dairy-eaters)

Cacao butter (non-dairy eaters)

Directions

All you have to do is grab your blender, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, a half cup or so of your preferred milk, teaspoon of preferred butter or ghee if you chose to include those (these will just give it a richer, creamier taste!), & matcha green tea powder! Once all the ingredients are in the blender, pour in a mug full of hot water & blend it all up! Enjoy as is, or top with some chia seeds or hemp hearts!

Let me know what you think of this Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte if you give it a try. Remember to find me on my Instagram or Facebook so you never miss a post!

-Amanda



02/ 02/ 17

my top health tips!

Greetings pretty people! Before we get into the topic of todays post, I wanted to say that I cannot express how lucky I feel to have family, friends, and a boyfriend who are so down right rad. This past weekend I celebrated my 19th birthday and all of the people that I love got to come up to Savannah and celebrate it with me. Surrounding myself with good, genuine people is very important to me and I feel insanely blessed that those people not only are a part of my life, but pressed the pause button on theirs to be with me this past weekend. Like I said, my people are rad. But enough about me!

I wanted to pop in and talk about my top health & wellness tips. After a weekend like this past one filled with lots of food (that I shouldn’t eat, but of course I did…), drinking, and not working out, I feel like I need to take my own advice and listen to these tips to get back on track, lol! I know a lot of you are still carrying out your fitness goals from the new year or getting ready to kick it into spring break bod mode, so I figured it’s the perfect time to share some healthy habits with y’all! Before we get into the tips though, I want to really stress to you guys that getting healthy starts from within. You must must must heal your body and get it right internally to see any external results. Whether its getting your mind in a good place or tweaking your diet a bit, I promise it’s vital to start from the inside.

tip #1: hydrate

More specifically, REhydrate. You’d be surprised at how dehydrated all of our bodies are. The most important thing I can stress to people trying to get more fit and healthy is to drink more water. This’ll just help get your body right internally, flush out the toxins, and stop your body from craving things it doesn’t really want. I know for some people, remembering to drink water is a struggle. I suggest carrying around a good-sized, good quality (and cute) water bottle, so that 1) you can save money & plastic by refilling it throughout the day & 2) so water is literally in front of your face at all times, basically forcing you to remember to drink it. The first thing I do in the morning is go straight for the fridge and pour myself a glass of water. Doing that will help to rehydrate your body and kick start your digestion for the day.

tip #2: low glycemic veggies

If you have a troubled digestive system (feeling bloated, gassy, irregular bowel movements), try sticking to low glycemic vegetables. These types of veggies are easiest for your body to digest & because they digest slower, they keep you fuller for longer. Some examples of these include spinach, kale, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, onions, brussels sprouts, etc. This isn’t too hard for me because those are basically every veggie that I love, but if you aren’t a big fan of any of these, I still suggest giving them a try anyways to see how you feel after eating them. If they leave you full without being uncomfortably bloated, they’re probably a good choice for you. Try sautéing them and throwing in some spices for taste.

tip #3: eat more fat

I know, did I just tell you to eat MORE fats even though you’re trying to LOSE fat? Yes. And here’s why. Fat keeps you satiated. Meaning that the more fat you eat, the longer you’ll stay full. Now when I say this, I don’t mean to go eat fried chicken from KFC or hit up Wendys for a cheeseburger dinner, I mean to start incorporating healthy fats into your everyday diet. Staying away from fast food places like the ones I mentioned above is paramount because fats from those places are most likely highly processed, which is no bueno. Some of my favorite healthy fats include coconut oil, almonds & seeds, avocados, bacon, raw cacao butter, fish, eggs, & other grass-fed meats! The key is healthy fats. Again: be careful of highly processed oils your food is cooked with because thats where you can slip up and consume fats that aren’t so good for you.

tip #4: snacking with nuts

There is no shame in being a snacker. Whether we’re on long drives, sitting through boring classes, studying for tests or doing homework, we tend to need snacks to keep us focused and motivated (and sane). The only reason snacking gets a bad rep is because it’s really easy to overeat the thing we’re snacking on. It’s also easy to eat when we’re bored, so make sure before you do you ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry? Do I actually need this snack? Or am I just bored?” Instead of snacking on sugary foods (even natural sugars like fruit), try switching to nuts. Almonds, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews- whichever is your preference! Like I said before, nuts will keep you fuller longer than fruit will because they’re healthy fats and not sugar. They should tide you over until you eat your next meal. But hey, if fruit suits you, stick with fruit! Remember, everything I’m saying is just a suggestion.

tip #5: stay active

I’m not going to tell you to go get a gym membership and get yourself to workout 5 times a week. If you already do that, great! If you want to do that, go for it! However, I know not everyone has the drive or passion for working out and that’s okay. As long as you’re walking your dog every morning, biking to the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, moving your body throughout the dayyour body will benefit. Now don’t expect to start taking the stairs and feel lighter and healthier if you’re eating a crap diet. It all starts with the diet (abs are made in the kitchen not the gym), but getting out and being active on top of a healthy diet will help maintain your body and help you feel better internally as well.

tip #6: listen to your body

If you’re craving fruit, eat fruit. If you’re craving oatmeal, eat the oatmeal. Your body knows what it needs and if you really focus on listening to it, you can nourish and satisfy it without getting frustrated or angry with yourself. I know you’re thinking: well if I listen to my cravings I’ll eat all of the cookies in the pantry and dip them in nutella, as well. I promise, you won’t. The only reason you’re binging on junk food or treats is because you’re most likely restricting yourself. You might be craving pancakes, but instead eat eggs because you want to be healthy. And then you eat the eggs and are still craving the pancakes so you end up making them as well. If you try and curb your craving with other foods, you’re just going to end up eating both of the foods. Just give your body the thing it’s craving and move on. Also, another reason you’re “craving” foods that are bad for you could be because you’re letting your mind think for your stomach. Again, your tummy knows what it wants, don’t think for it.

tip #7: mindset

Going off of the last tip, one meal will not ruin your progress. If you have pancakes for breakfast one morning, but eat a salad for lunch and some veggies and fish for dinner, you will not gain weight from those two pancakes you ate earlier. Wake up the next morning, be active, and eat right. You do not gain weight from one meal. I promise. It’s okay to allow yourself a meal or treat, the only time you fall into a bad habit is if you’re allowing yourself those things all day everyday. Stay positive, be kind to your body, and give it a break here and there. You will never accomplish your goals if you’re overworking your body in the gym or getting it stressed over the bowl of granola you ate last night. Be kind to it and it will respond. 

I hope you were able to take something away from these tips whether it’s something small or big! If you crave a healthier, happier lifestyle, it all starts with you. Do some research, figure out what works for you, and kill it girl. AND REMEMBER. I am not a nutritionist, so please if you’re looking for more of a solution rather than just tips, go talk to a doctor/naturopath/dietician!

-Amanda



24/ 01/ 17

Grain-free Overnight “Oats”

Hello beautiful people. I’m actually amazed I found the time to get a blog post written and posted this week. I have copious amounts of homework/projects to complete by Thursday and other little errands to run before my birthday on Saturday. OH YEAH MY BIRTHDAY IS SATURDAY! While birthday’s are fun and all, I’m mostly just excited because my whole fam, plus Lucas, will be here to see me and we’re gonna have lots of fun and eat bunches of yummy food. Being in college really makes you appreciate the little things like quality breakfast, lunches, & dinners you don’t have to pay for, lol.

Anyways, I recently made a slight change in my diet, so I’ve been experimenting with foods & drinks to get a little creative with what I’m eating and keep it exciting! I’m not going to go too in depth with the changes I’ve made because it’s a fairly new switch (& I’ll tell more when I’m well into it), however, I will say that I’ve cut out carbs/sugars almost completely. The reason this is a “slight” change for me is because I almost always avoided grains, breads, pastas, & other carbohydrates that contained lots of gluten and sugars, as they never sat well with me & left me very bloated. The only carbs I did eat came from veggies & fruit, with the occasional rice and oatmeal. Which is why you can understand the need for a grain-free oatmeal recipe in my life, lol!

The way I make my overnight “oats” is grain-free and, depending on what you choose to include or not, dairy-free. So, it’s basically chia seed pudding; however, I add nuts & seeds, like I would do to my oatmeal, which is why I’m calling it overnight “oats.” Just go with it. This breakfast is seriously the most comforting, buttery, smooth, and delicious thing I have ever tasted & the best part is that it’s so simple. Also, you have total control over whatever toppings you want or don’t want to add, don’t feel like just because I added it you have to! So, if you love quick, healthy, & easy breakfasts, this ones for you!

ingredients

-chia seeds (you can opt for hemp hearts OR BOTH!)

-coconut milk (or almond milk)

-coconut oil or MCT oil

-ghee

toppings

-cinnamon

-berries

-preferred nuts

-preferred seeds

-hemp hearts

steps

With ghee, coconut oil, and/or MCT oil:

Pour about a cup (I’m so bad with measurements I usually just eyeball it) of coconut milk into a blender. Add in a tablespoon of ghee & a half tablespoon of coconut or MCT oil. Blend until the milk, ghee, and oils are completely combined and pour mixture into a bowl or mason jar. Next, pour about half a cup of chia seeds into the mixture and stir. Once the chia seeds have been mixed in, cover, and store in the fridge overnight.

Without ghee or oils:

Pour about a cup of coconut milk into a bowl or mason jar. Then, pour about half a cup of chia seeds into the milk & stir. Once the chia seeds have been mixed in, cover, and store in the fridge overnight.

In the morning:

When it’s time to eat breakfast the next morning, all you gotta do is take it out of the fridge, stir it up, pour into a bowl, and add your favorite toppings & spices! My favorites are cinnamon, shaved almonds, & sunflower seeds!

This breakfast is super nourishing because it’s loaded with healthy fats that will keep you full & boost your brain power/energy for the day. Leave a comment down below or on any of my socials if you give this a try! Also, if you get creative and make your own version of this recipe, definitely share it with me! Have a wonderful rest of your week & hopefully I’ll back soon with an outfit post!

-Amanda