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Hi, it’s me!

December 12, 2012


I have been blogging for a year at my photo blog. And I just got a new camera! A DSLR!! I have been taking so many photos!


Come see what I’ve been up to!

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

June 8, 2011

I’m sorry that it is a Wednesday in June and I am posting another cookie recipe.

I have Christmas on the brain.

Yesterday, you would have found me singing “A Holly Jolly Christmas”.

Today, I made Snickerdoodles.

I think this is evidence that I am more than ready for Christmas In July.

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil (or coconut oil, or butter)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. sugar + 1 tsp. cinnamon, for rolling

Preheat oven to 375°F. With an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, oil, vanilla and egg until smooth. Add the whole wheat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and cinnamon, mixing until well incorporated and dough is formed. Shape dough into balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture before placing on baking sheet. Flatten the cookie dough balls with the palm of your hand to make uniform circle shapes. Sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.

Snickerdoodles are my favorite. Crunchy and cinnamon-sugary on the outside and soft in the middle.

I love how they puff up and get that pillow-y look on the top. No other cookie does that. Amazing.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

June 6, 2011

I have a new way of looking at food.

I’m sick of labeling cookies as “bad” and carrots as “good”. I just want food to be food.

Carrots to be carrots. And cookies to be cookies.

It just makes sense.

Also, I am never going  “sugar-free” again. It just doesn’t work for me. I already eat almost entirely sugar-free and I don’t want to entirely cut out the little sugar I do eat.

The labeling is stopping.

And cookies are coming.

And they are not labeled as anything, they’re just cookies.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar or NuStevia Baking Blend (I do a mix of both)

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup milk

1 t. vanilla

1 square Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, shaved (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, starting with dry then adding wet. Last, add chocolate shavings, if desired.

Drop dough onto cookie sheet. The cookies don’t change much while baking, so flatten them into desired cookie shapes. If you make them thin, you will have wonderful crunchy cookies (like mine) or you can make them a little thicker. Yum.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until bottoms are slightly browned.

Two cookies were devoured as a result of this photo shoot.

Seriously, I come up with the best ideas. Cookies in a jar? Genius.

Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Tree Watching

June 5, 2011

Time for a little tour of my fruit trees!

But first, Chipper says “hi”.

My lime trees are doing well!

Hopefully they will be ready for pickin’ soon! The trees smell so wonderful!

Chipper thinks so, too.

This is my little baby fig tree.

And this here is Ruby Red.

This is my tree-watching dog.

He scares away all the birds and squirrels that want to eat the fruit.

This is my blueberry tree. So beautiful, isn’t it? Last year,  birds ate all the blueberries off of it. I honestly forgot about my blueberry tree and have been neglecting it. I don’t think I’ll get fruit from it this year. So sad.

This isn’t even all the trees we have! These are just the ones I’m most excited about! 🙂

I also just wanted to say thank you for your comments yesterday. Your support and love made me feel so much better and it was nice to hear that I’m not the only one that has bad days like that! Thank you so much, it meant a lot.

Quick! Which do you like better: grapefruit or limes? 


June 4, 2011


Today was one of those days.

One of those days when you eat too many peanut butter filled pretzels. Like about the whole 20-serving package.

One of those days where your only veggie source was the handful of spinach in your breakfast smoothie.

One of those days when you feel fat, ugly and out of shape.

One of those days when you just want to cry because you can’t go running because your knee hurts.

One of those days where you eat until you are so full it hurts and then you feel extremely horrible and guilty after. Like you need to go back on a 900-calorie-a-day diet.

Even though today was not a perfect day, I know that going on a 900-calorie-a-day diet will not fix things, but make them worse. I also know that, despite what is going through my mind today, I am not going to gain 5 pounds because I ate too much today. The only thing I can do is start fresh tomorrow.

I need to start eating salads on a daily basis. I need to stop snacking on pretzels, trail mix and peanut butter throughout the day because they just make me hungrier and I always eat way more than I should.

It’s hard to admit and talk about bad days, but they happen to all of us.

Rollin Oats

June 2, 2011

I haven’t been doing my tri-weekly runs as consistently because I’ve been having knee pain. My left knee hurts after a run, but it never hurts while I’m running, which is weird.

The pain wasn’t so bad yesterday, so I had a cookie dough protein ball a la Amanda,

put on my  knee brace (that I hate using, but it really helps) and went out.

I waited until 8am to go, so it was already really hot and sunny out. Running is even harder when the sun is blaring in your face and it’s 90 degrees out! I’m sorry, Florida, but I don’t appreciate your weather.

I didn’t have a set mileage I wanted to go, I just wanted to do as much as I could – without dying.

I only had 2.16 miles in me. But that’s okay. That’s actually the farthest run I’ve ever done off a treadmill.

I’m really slow, but I have plenty of time to get faster! I’m planning on a 5k soon, in a month or so and I want to do it in less than 40 minutes.


Can we talk about Amanda’s cookie dough balls for a sec?

I am addicted.

I did mine a little different from her recipe. I used chocolate whey protein powder, a mix of almonds, cashews and peanuts, an extra date and bits of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate.

I’ve made a lot of fudge babies and Lara bar-type things, but these are the best yet! Again, I am addicted.


So far today I’ve eaten a cookie dough protein ball,

mint chocolate chip protein icecream,

(1 cup milk, 1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder, spinach, a drop of mint extract, blended together then freeze in ice cube tray, then blend frozen cubes and it tastes just like mint chocolate chip icecream!)

and peanut butter and jelly oatmeal.

I haven’t had good ole oatmeal in a while. This was delicious.

Polaner’s raspberry jelly is so good! And this morning I made an almond, cashew, peanut butter and it is amazing.


May 31, 2011

I feel like I always say this on the last day of the month.

But… is it really May 31st?! Seriously?

This month was a blur. I don’t even remember anything that happened.

Okay, that’s a lie.

But this month did go by extremely too quickly. sigh.

At least tomorrow is June 1st! I always correlate June 1st as the beginning of summer, even though that’s not technically the case.


I hope at least some of you are joining me on Alex’s 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge!

I technically already eat sugar-free except for the occasional honey, agave nectar and the sugar that is found in the bread we buy. Oh and the protein powder I use.

So my goals for the 10 day Sugar Free Challenge are:

– hold off on the protein powder and instead eat  beans, legumes, fish and eggs for protein. I am going to still probably eat protein powder, just because I like it and it IS an important source of protein for me! Plus, I need it for my smoothies!

– hold off on the bread (even though I make homemade bread, we also buy from the store and it has added sugar) and instead eat oatmeal and other whole grains. But mostly oatmeal 😉

– continue to check labels for foods with added sugars. you’d be surprised at the sugar that hides in the food we eat!

I know going sugar-free is not a good idea for people who are trying and need to gain weight or those who don’t want to deprive themselves, but it’s never a bad idea to check the amount of sugar you are eating and read those nutrition labels!

I hope to post a lot of my daily eats the next 10 days so everyone can see how tasty eating sugar-free can be!

What is MSG?

May 29, 2011

A friend of my mom’s was telling me that she cannot eat MSG because it causes her horrible side effects. I really didn’t know what MSG was! Being interested in all things concerning food, nutrition and health, I took the opportunity to enlighten myself.

I really was shocked at what I learned!

What is MSG anyway? Is it in our food? Is it bad?

Simply put, Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer and like salt, it makes food taste better. It is an addictive substance that activates the part of your brain that tells you to eat more! This can cause overeating, binging and obesity!

Over the last 50 years since MSG was introduced, it has been added in larger and larger quantities to the prepackaged meals, soups and snacks that are common in today’s diet! No wonder 2/3 of the U.S population is obese!

However, it’s important to note that MSG is only one of the many contributing factors to our nation’s obesity epidemic. But I won’t get into that right now 😉

Huge food companies and fast food restaurants are not concerned about our health. They know about the addictive effect MSG has on the human body, making us want to eat more and buy more.  Therefore, MSG can be found in almost all packaged and fast foods!

Because MSG is so bad for you and has been linked to causing cancer, endocrine problems and brain damage, food manufacturers disguise MSG on our food labels.  They use many names to identify MSG on the ingredients list.

there is slightly more wheat flour than MSG in these Doritos

Names like Natural Flavors/Flavorings, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Soy Extract and Seasoning almost always are a source of MSG.

What scares me most, is that this generation eats copious amounts of fast food, packaged chips, cookies and candy. My brothers love Doritos, they love fast food burgers! They don’t eat them all the time, but it’s not exactly a rare occurence!

However, Natural Flavors on an ingredient list does not always mean the presence of MSG. For example, I have seen Natural Flavors on the ingredients list on my favorite Luna Bar, but they state on their site that their food does not contain MSG!

Really, the only way to avoid the addictive effects, harmful medical problems and overeating issues linked to MSG is to stop eating these foods! I avoid prepackaged foods anyway (for the most part) but it’s always good to be aware!

Focus on eating whole, real, unprocessed, nonpackaged foods. Our diets should be made up almost entirely of vegetables and healthy proteins like fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, beans, nuts and legumes.

I hope this was a little insightful!

What are your thoughts on this? Anything else about MSG?


May 26, 2011

Life has been just crazy lately! My mom now works full-time and my dad is unemployed, it’s flip-flopped! So crazy. My dad still hasn’t found a job. He’s been looking and searching, and he has a few leads so we are all just hoping one of them works out!

We ran out of batteries for my camera and I keep forgetting to get more at the store! But here are some pictures I got before the batteries died!

I’ve been making lots of bread the last few days! Let’s face it: homemade bread is just better!

I found a new recipe! And it’s even better than my LAST favorite recipe! It’s so soft and light!

100% Whole Wheat Bread (Bread Machine)


1 1/2 cups water + 2 TBSP powdered milk OR 1 1/2 cups milk

2 TBSP canola oil

2 TBSP honey

2 TBSP molasses (I just did more honey)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. yeast

Add all ingredients to bread machine pan in order listed. Set bread machine to Whole Wheat cycle, 2 LB. loaf and press START.

Easy peasy.

Seriously, give it a go if you have a bread machine! I make two at a time since we have two bread machines!

Weird things I eat on a daily basis:

huge, crazy salads with a random assortment of veggies and toppings

cream of wheat (farina) with tahini, carob chips and cinnamon

homemade coconut milk ice cream!! made by blending one can of full-fat coconut milk, 1 1/2 frozen bananas, cocoa powder and a little honey, then freezing it in an ice cube tray until solid then blending again! so delicious.

southwestern omelet. with black beans, onions, salsa and guac and chili powder. after the photo I poured EVEN MORE black beans on top. a delicious massive heap of beans = OBSESSED

Amazing Grass (that Lindsay sent me!) smoothie in a jar. delish.

carrot cake oats with raisins and cinnamon! oh and that’s coconut butter crumbles on top! I hate to call these “carrot cake oats” because, come on, a bowl of oats just DOES NOT taste the same as a freshly baked slice of carrot cake, are you with me?!

Speaking of carrots…

I made my carrot-raisin MUFFINS again! Only this time they were a MILLION times better!! I subbed half of the whole wheat flour for oat flour, used the whole egg (not just whites) and used 3/4 cup agave and even more shredded carrots and raisins! These were SO much better than the last batch I made, so I’ll update the recipe page with these modifications. Seriously GO MAKE THESE.

Hope you all are having a fabulous week! It’s almost SUMMER!

How many days of school left for you?

– I don’t get a summer break from school. I like taking 2-3 classes online year round instead of 5 during the school year like traditional school!

Have you ever made homemade ice cream?

– It’s definitely going to become a regular occurrence here for me! I love how the Vitamix can blend frozen ice cubes into ice cream!

Fool For Cookies

May 24, 2011

Somehow I convinced myself that baking cookies today would be a really good idea.

Despite the fact that I have about a million school-related things to do, I dove right into the cookbook cupboard and immersed myself in Ye Olde Better Homes And Gardens (not-so) New Cook Book.

Circa 1989. Why does that feel like such an eternity ago?

I flipped to my favorite section. Obviously.

Peanut Butter Cookies it is!

Immediately I realized that I just finished off the whole wheat flour for bread, but we had a little bit of all purpose left.

I always group foods into “healthy” or “bad”. But I’m realizing that it’s a nasty habit and needs to stop.

Instead of classifying all-purpose flour as “unhealthy” or “bad”, how about we just say that whole wheat flour would be a “better” choice. So I used the all-purpose, but there wasn’t enough! I still needed more flour.

Oats to the rescue. I blended oats into oat flour and the crisis was averted. I have used oat flour in a lot of things, but never cookies. It was worth a shot.

Peanut Butter Cookies

adapted from an old Better Homes And Gardens Cookbook

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter (I didn’t measure….it was probably more than 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 + 1/4 cup oat flour

3/4 cup agave nectar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla (plus more, because who doesn’t love more vanilla?)

Oven, put it at 375º.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add all-purpose flour, agave, egg, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla. Beat till thoroughly combined. Beat in oat flour.

With spoon, place dallops of dough onto silpat cooking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are just starting to brown.

Um these were surprisingly delicious. I devoured 9.

Clearly, I have issues.

The most important thing to me in a cookie is the texture. They should NOT be cake like, but a little chewy and kind of dense.

Did they pass the texture test?

With flying stars.

To say I am impressed with how these came out would be an understatement. Are they the healthiest cookies? Uh, no. But they sure are delicious! Plus they’re made with oat flour! How many cookies can say that?

What do you look for in a cookie? What’s most important? Texture and taste (obvi) for me!