Five Things Friday: Energy Edition

January 31, 2014

Hey y’all. Phew, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I had to come to terms with reality and accept that school is in full swing, and therefore I actually have to do some work. Sleep has been limited at best, and I’ve been more grateful than ever to be on my 80/10/10 experiment, as I’ve had a LOT more energy than usual. Even still, I had to have coffee twice this week – still better than a daily habit. Honestly, it is what it is. I’m happy to say that I’m no longer addicted to coffee in the sense that I need it to feel like myself, but I really enjoy drinking it and love the boost of energy it gives on days when I really need it.

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I’ve got a smattering of things to share with you guys, so I thought I’d throw together a Five Things Friday post, per the inspiration of Fitting It All In.

1. Continuation of 80/10/10 eats

I’ve been starting pretty much every day with a banana date smoothie with approximately 5 bananas, 8 medjool dates, and +/- a liter of water.

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Lunch has typically been another smoothie or a HUGE ASS salad. When I have to pack my salad to take to school I usually take it in too large separate tupperwares #fitproblems

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Dinner has been steamed potatoes and veggies or lots and lots of rice in lettuce wraps with a side of avocado.

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I’m proud to say that, as of this morning, I’m down 5 lbs after 4 weeks on 80/10/10. I still don’t know if this is a long term sustainable way of living for me, but as long as I can sustain it, I will. My body feels great, my digestion is significantly improved, and I feel lean and strong! I can’t say this enough – if what you’re doing isn’t working (and you’ve really actually stuck to a plan), then do something different! Every single person’s body is different. Find something that works for you.

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2. Coconut sugar

I’m obsessed. There are differing views on this when eating an 80/10/10 macro breakdown, especially if you’re trying to eat Raw Til 4(pm) like I am. A lot of people emphasize the lack of nutrients in refined sugar, as well as the blood sugar spike that results. I’ve been adding coconut sugar to some of my smoothies to make them taste sweeter and more caramely, and it’s frankly DELICIOUS. My approach to it is that 80/10/10 is working for me, and if I didn’t add some of this sugar (which has a low glycemic index and some surprising nutrient density), I would be far less likely to succeed on this lifestyle.

At the end of the day, if adding some coconut sugar to your smoothies is going to be the thing that makes you look forward to eating your fruit, especially when you don’t have access to fresh ripe fruit year round (like here in cold New England), then eat some! It’s not ideal, as the best option is always to get all your calories and nutrients from Whole Foods, but to help me get through the winter, I’ve been loving it.

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3. Hubby’s bike training continues.

Things have gotten serious around here, folks. Our entire apartment is 650 sq. feet, and his trainer takes up our entire living room. He’s often up riding until midnight getting those miles in #dedication

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4. It’s so cold in the morning that my preworkout freezes.

Now that’s dedication.

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5. BBQ Tempeh Recipe

Made this for hubby for dinner a couple weeks back, and it will definitely be making a return this summer!

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5 articles or videos that stuck with me:

Food Combining Chart (for those of you who, like me, struggle endlessly with proper digestion and are determined to fix it!)

Top 20 Workout Songs

Beyonce and Jay Z’s Vegan Diet Weight Loss

Texas Mayor Promotes Vegan Eating

Confessions of a Part Time Vegan <– Love this post – it’s not about a title or a club – it’s about doing the best you can – every meal counts

5 recipes I plan to make:

Vegan Superbowl Snacks

Vegan Recipes for Chinese New Year

3 Fully Raw Smoothie Recipes

Caramelized Onion Hummus

Breakfast Burgers

5 favorite memes of the week:

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Cheers to Friday!

Avocado Athlete

New {Plant-Based} Product Finds 3

Time for another round of new {plant-based} product finds.

One of the coolest things about eating a plant-based diet right now is that the market is exploding with new products. As I’ve said in previous posts, there is rarely a week I go to the grocery store that I don’t see a new product or brand offering a new meatless dairyless option. Keep in mind that just because these are vegan doesn’t mean they’re healthy. I mean, come on people. Vegan cookie dough is still cookie dough, but if you like having a vegan diet with some junk food balance, then even some of the less healthy options will be right up your alley and certainly superior to their animal product counterparts.

Keep in mind that not all of these are mock meat and dairy. Many of these products are just new things that have hit the market that are easy to make meals that just happen to be vegetarian or vegan. I get even more excited to see those things because I know they target a much larger market. If we can get people eating organic quinoa that microwaves in 3 minutes rather than chinese takeout, that’ll be six steps in the right direction.

If you’re curious about other new products, check out my previous 2 posts: New {Plant-Based} Product Finds and New {Plant-Based} Product Finds 2.

1. Trader Joes Meatless Pizza

Although this one is NOT vegan (it’s made with real mozzarella), I was surprised to see Trader Joes carrying a pizza with a meat substitute on it. It’s made with soy crumbles rather than sausage.

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2. Daiya Flavored Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is one of the things I miss most from being a dairy eater, but it’s also one of the vegan products that mimics its animal counterpart nearly perfectly. I haven’t had a chance to try these yet, but they’ve gotten rave reviews. They come in plainstrawberry, and chive & onion flavors. I heard rumors of a maple or cinnamon flavor as well, but haven’t seen anything.

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3. Amy’s Dairy Free Ice Cream

Is this new to anyone else? I’ve seen plenty of non-dairy ice creams, but had no idea that Amy’s made any! Their California veggie burger is, in my opinion, the best veggie burger on the market, so I’m curious to try to ice cream.

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4. Nutty Peanut Butter Cookie Dough – gluten free & vegan!

Caught this one in the freezer section at a local coop. Baller.

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5. Nana’s Cookies – gluten free & vegan! 20140123-200301.jpg

6. Chocolate Coconut Milk Yogurt

Trying to give the other yogurt brands a run for their money. Chocolate has got to be a winner.

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7. Vegan Egg Rolls and Chicken Free Nuggets from Health is Wealth

I never heard of this brand before a few weeks ago, but they had a substantial offering in the coop freezer section. Good to see some little guys finally competing with Boca!

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8. Trader Joes Frozen Organic Quinoa

They’ve offered brown rice for a long time now, and that is a staple in our house. I was surprised to see them offering some additional basic frozen carbs now! I love quinoa for it’s higher protein content and rich texture and flavor. I’ll definitely be trying this one soon!

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9. Trader Joes Confetti Rice

Hubby was NOT a fan of this one. He said it tasted like lemonade rice. Once he said that, I had to agree, but personally I thought it was a nice change.

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10. Trader Joes Kimchi Fried Rice

If you’ve been watching my 80/10/10 experiment at all, you know this is a staple in my diet right now. It’s not crazy high in sodium and is packed with flavor and spice. I love mixing this with brown rice half and half to stuff into lettuce wraps with some avocado. YUMMO. I HIGHLY recommend this stuff. I may or may not have bought 3 bags last time I was at TJs…

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11. Engine 2 Veggie Burgers

I love Engine 2 Diet tortillas, so I was pumped to see some unique flavors of veggie burgers in the freezer section at Whole Foods: Curried Lentil, Poblano Black Bean, and Thai Basil Edamame.

Overall, the flavor combinations are good and definitely unique, but the texture of the burgers is rather dry. I, however, appreciate that they are low fat and don’t have lots of added oil or salt. I’d much prefer them a bit dry, but healthy, so I can do with them what I want. If I’m in the mood for something fattier, I’ll just throw on my old standby. Ye ole avocado :)

Although they didn’t blow me away, they were 3 boxes for $5, so I couldn’t pass it up. Check them out!

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12. Good Belly Probiotics

I haven’t delved into the world of probiotics yet, but was intrigued to see these bad boys next to the juice at Whole Foods. Good Belly is now making juice as well as yogurt shots that contain probiotics from natural fermentation. They even have fermented coconut water. I wasn’t quite brave enough to try them this last time, but plan to in the future.

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13. Kabocha Squash Soup

Sooooo….ALL THE GROCERY STORE IN BOSTON STOPPED CARRYING KABOCHA SQUASH LAST MONTH. Just kill me now. This stuff might have to get me through the winter. Nice change from butternut! (said no meat eater ever).

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14. Trader Joes Vegetable Bird’s Nests

Hubby loved these for a quick dinner. A bit fatty and salty, but if you’re in the mood for Chinese or some delicious late night appetizers, give these a go.

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15. Eat Well Enjoy Life Black Bean Hummus

I’m telling you guys – this is the best hummus I’ve ever had. Although there are times I want just a plain traditional hummus, I’ve been shocked at the versatility of this one. Tortilla chips, sweet potatoes, baby carrots, rice & beans, squash soup, you name it – this sweet and spicy deliciousness kicks it up a notch for realzies.

Check out your local BJ’s or Harvest Coop if you’re in the Boston area.

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16. Chocolove Dark Chocolate

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that dark chocolate is (was…before my 80/10/10 experiment started) a dessert staple in my house. Plop me down with a hot cup of tea and some dark chocolate at the end of a long day, and I’m happy as a pig in shit. Yep, that’s right. Stole that one from a friend and plan to keep on using it. Isn’t it such a great visual?!

I was pumped to see some additional flavors of Chocolove at the local coop – Peppermint and Currants & Almonds. Honestly, the currants and almonds one didn’t blow me away. I’d much prefer blueberry, raspberry, or orange – heck, even raisins – as the currants had hardly any flavor. I wasn’t really sure why they were there other than to look fancy. The peppermint, on the other hand, blew me away. TO DIE FOR. GO BUY NOW.

This brand is hands down the creamiest vegan dark chocolate on the market.

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What better place to end than with dark chocolate? That’s a wrap, folks.

Find any new plant-based products lately? Have a favorite vegan junk food? Share it below!

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete