Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bars

I like to individually wrap my bars in parchment paper and keep them in the freezer. Then I take them everywhere with me to avoid ‘hanger’ and for some energy on the go!
xxx
GFK

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Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE ūüôā

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

BITE SIZED TWINKIE & COOKING CLEAN

It’s Wednesday – BUT instead of feeling like ‘uh it’s half way there.’ Let’s mix it up a bit and get excited about our health instead! My dear friend just started a blog with the most adorable name ever. Bite Sized Twinkie. It’s in the foundational/beginning stages so stay tuned for big great fun things from her!

Also I recently became an admin for a wonderful paleo-inspired facebook page called Cooking Clean. There are four of us gals who contribute with mostly paleo recipes, workout tips, and motivation to eat, live, and love clean.

click on the pic to visit the facebook page!
click on the pic to visit the facebook page!

Since I technically am still doing the February Health Challenge, it is super important to remember that clean eating is key in any healthy lifestyle. We tend as a society to get hung up on calories, but really the most important idea should be quality of nutrients not quantity. No better example of this serves than diet soda vs. all organic fruit smoothie. Believe it or not a low-cal (i.e. not processed) fruit smoothie is easier and better for your body to digest than that evil zero calorie diet soda that actually tricks your body and causes huge disasters in blood sugar levels. (diet soda rant*)

i know a 'paleo' diet of an absolute minimum 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.
i know a ‘paleo’ diet of at least 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.

Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and eating styles that makes them feel best. For me, staying away from anything processed and limiting starches/complex carbohydrates is how I stay lean as well as prevent lethargy, bloating (cute!), and mood fluctuation. That means that overall, I do in fact eat a Paleo diet. I really enjoy almond milk as a substitute for traditional milk, and I find myself trying alternative flours all the time in baking. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still sample traditional candies and sweets, but it’s not at the levels/rates I used to. My mind and body mean way too much to me to ruin with overly-processed and refined ‘nutrients.’ It took a long time for me to accept that what I eat really does affect me mentally. Not in a ‘control’ way but in a basic chemical reaction – I still find new things that work and don’t everyday.

my 'shamrock shake' with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.
my ‘shamrock shake’ with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.

One way to get into the habit of food nutrient monitoring is by keeping a good old diary! There are tons of apps that make it easy to count/review nutrients/compositions/calories.

But remember! Quality of nutrients over quantity of calories is ALWAYS BEST.

xxx
GFK

Simplicity

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

An acronym and phrase to live by. I know with health it can get pretty complicated very quickly. It starts out you’re looking for a multi-vitamin and the next thing you know you have whey protein powder shakes and a $50/month gym subscription. But health doesn’t have to be so ‘involved.’ Seriously, the little things add up to make HUGE results, whether good or bad. We have all heard those little helpful tips in the magazines and on TV telling us to ‘skip the elevator and take the stairs’ – well stuff like that does matter.

Before I lost this weight I struggled with trying to instantly change everything about my eating/exercise/regime and every time I was unsuccessful. You have to keep it simple. It’s the only way you’ll stick to the changes or habits you want to see. Here’s the few K.I.S.S. guidelines I follow.

1. Eat simple. Remember plan over-easy eggs? They are awesome! As meals, salad toppers (yolk as dressing?!), snacks. Not to mention plain yogurts are natural probiotics, cabbage is awesome cooked/raw, and a crockpot of chicken breasts will feed you for a week.
2. Back away from the 7/11. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for 7/11 and it’s candy/beverage combos. Not only is the cost not good, but all those sugars and chemicals. I’ll just stick with another apple.
3. Calories in vs. Calories out. I think George Lopez described it best as what goes in has to be smaller than what comes out. I’ve always remembered that and it’s a credo to live by.

But the most important in my opinion is ….. Be Kind to Yourself. No matter what your health goals, if you are not kind and loving to yourself, it will be pointless. Stress/anxiety/low self-esteem will ruin any health goal you set for yourself. Be kind in the way you fuel, exercise, and love your self both mentally and physically.

I deserve a frozen yogurt for this post. See I’m being kind to myself…. Just kidding, but it is national frozen yogurt day!

i SIMPLY wish it was warm out.
i SIMPLY wish it was warm out.

XXX
GFK

Andy and Iris Food Tour of Chicago Part 2

After our Russian Tea Time food comas wore off we decided to go to a Chicago landmark – SuperDawg. It’s a really cute drive-in northwest in Chicago that is just adorable. I always bring peeps here from out of town and it’s always a hit.

This time I got the SuperSteak - it was awesome.
This time I got the SuperSteak – it was awesome.

Since it was almost midnight we basically went home and crashed. I tried to stay awake for Monsters University, but I just couldn’t make it. All the food got to me. Rest was necessary.

Sunday morning we went down to Chinatown. I had driven through it on Archer Ave, but never stopped. I had heard great things about Minghin Dim Sum and it was AMAZING. I ate like ten pork/shrimp dumplings. The short ribs were really really good too. I think Iris was bummed she was there with the ‘white kids’ but she was able to use her Catonese speaking wizardry to order for us the most delectable dim sum. Now I want another dumpling.

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My partners in crime.
My partners in crime.
TRINKETS.
TRINKETS.
the rabbits.
the rabbits.
I found the candy store of course.
I found the candy store of course.
Snack for Thor 2!
Snack for Thor 2!
One more cute one of them in the Loop.
One more cute one of them in the Loop.

Basically it was a BLAST weekend. I had a great time showing them around. The moral of this tale my friends is that I want you to come visit and when you do we will have a super awesome fun time.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

xxx
GFK

It’s on.

The time has come – I need to start caring about my body’s well-being.¬† Since the move and especially during my thesis process I have allowed myself to eat, drink, and be merry oh and a couch potato.¬† Eating Subway for breakfast and lunch is kind of embarrassing – the cleaning people at work probably wonder who eats all this processed food in just one day.¬† Well I’m changing that.¬† So many of my friends and favorite blogs show me amazingly healthy alternatives and recipes and I’ve got to ‘give a damn’ again.¬† I am also posting about this so that I am accountable i.e. next time you see me scarfing down a Kuma’s burger please remind me of this post okay?¬†¬†

Now I’m not going to say ‘oh I NEED to lose weight’ because honestly yeah that would be great, but I’m not setting myself up for a ‘failure’ if I succeed in eating well but not losing weight.¬† I’m sure my weight will reflect a healthy diet so I’ll just wait and see what my body thinks.¬† I recently bought ‘the most hated celebrity”s new cookbook – Gwenyth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” and I really love the recipes in it. It basically spans from a very clean method that could be considered ‘cleanse-like’ to just healthy satisfying options.¬† I’m just trying to get the processed out of my life, because it really doesn’t make me or my wallet feel good.¬†¬†

Also I’m going to start riding my bike to the train and then from the train to the gym after work.¬† I need to get moving and I am not a morning person!¬†¬† It’s also time to dust off the old Yogaglo account and start practicing with Kathryn Budding again.¬† I love her she’s so nice and comforting.¬†¬†

So with that I ate my last ‘ramen’ bowl for lunch and had McDonalds for breakfast (be jealous I got the burritos and it was AWESOME).¬† I’m going to Trader Joe’s tonight and thus the new adventure of clean eating will commence.¬† Oh also for motivation – I’m going to a wedding in July – no one wants to look bad for those photos.¬† It’s on.