Why I gave up gluten (and no it’s not because I’m a white girl)

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s one of the only times out of there where my entire family on my Mom’s side gets together. My parents and I have spent Thanksgiving in the Mainland for the past six years ever since my sister went away to college, and this year everyone met in LA. To say my weekend was perfect is an understatement; I’ve been in a post-holiday comma for the past three days and it’s starting to take a tole on my homework load. And that’s not a good combo right before finals season, let me tell you. But in honor of the holiday season and the encroaching temptations to binge on seasonal treats, I’ve decided to finally share why I’ve changed to a completely gluten-free lifestyle. I get so much flack from this new diet style of mine but before my friends and family can judge me any further during the holiday season, as promised, here’s my explanation as to why I made this change.

Now I know what you’re already thinking- another walking cliche living in SoCal who doesn’t eat gluten. What. A. Sell-out. Just please promise to hear me out on this, ok?

What is gluten and why is everyone so damn afraid of it now? I’d like to attribute this trend to the growing “health consciousness” sweeping the nation. I mean even Costco has gone all organic and everything, I did not see that one coming. All you see now is “gluten free” this and “grain free” that, but what does it all mean? Well, before you push me aside and loop me with the rest of the white girls hopping on the band wagon please hear me out. You should know me by now that I never support theories I haven’t done researched on! If I let you down at the end of this post, you can dub me a cookie-cutter want-to-be blonde Cali girl (but please don’t tell me to my face).

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Why berries need to be in your life right now

 

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I’ve been an avid fruit lover since the beginning of time. My parents always made sure to incorporated some kind of fruit or vegetable with every meal while my sister and I were growing up but- plot twist! We actually loved every bite of our 4-6 daily servings. (You’re welcome, Mom and Dad) Now that I’ve turned into my crazy health freak self I’ve began to take my fruit fetish to the next level by diving into what fruits do what and which are really the best for you. Especially since I started the macro diet and realized that 80% of my diet consists of fruits… maybe not the best thing ever haha. Yes, yes fruits are great for you and all fruits bring something amazing to the table, but which ones really give you the biggest bang for your buck? My findings so far show that berries are pretty DAMN awesome and if you don’t eat a lot of them you should definitely start like, right now. Here’s the gist:

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Vegan Superfood Peppermint Hot Cacao


Whelp, ’tis the season to be FREEZING my butt off because I’m still not used to cold weather! (Says the Hawai‘i girl living in SoCal…) Haha I know, I know- I have no reason to complain about cold weather what-so-ever because I really don’t know what it’s like to live in a frigid winter wonderland. But still! I don’t think I could ever get used to the cold no matter how small a change it may be; I’m just a sunshine girl to the bone. The good news is this drop in temperature has got me in the warm-beverage drinking spirit more than usual. I have been clutching my hot lemon water-filled thermos this week like there’s no tomorrow scurrying to class, but tonight I was in need of something a little more sweet and spirited.

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Eating by Your Macros & My New Workout Plan


My sister so lovingly pointed out yesterday that I go through blog spurs, where I write and post a bunch and suddenly fall off the face of the planet for weeks on end. Yea, I know she’s right as much as it pains me to admit it. It’s pretty dang hard being a full-time college student and working three jobs ok?? STOP RUBBING IT IN! Haha just joking, but the reason why I haven’t been writing so much, aside from the fact that I’ve been so busy, is because I’ve been digging a lot into a different kind of diet/lifestyle that kind of contradicts some of the previous practices and posts I’ve shared. BE PREPARED: this post will be an essay.

I’m officially now seven weeks into a three-month workout series entitled the Bikini Body Workout that I started NOT to get a bikini body but to build lean muscle and strength endurance before I begin track next spring. The Bikini Body Workout consists of targeted and full body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts that require a lot more muscle work than my normal average run. Because of this workout change, I began to to dive deeper into diet-workout relationships and what it really takes to build the look and feel of lean muscle mass. Thus, resulting in my new craze: eating by your macros.

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Pumpkin Protein Balls


Like I mentioned yesterday in my Pumpkin Spice Sunflower Seed Waffles post, this Pumpkin Week idea of mine was a little more of a commitment than I had originally anticipated. But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Blogging is a huge passion of mine and I love being able to share my thoughts and recipes with others interesting in bettering or expanding their knowledge on health and cooking wholesome, good-for-you foods. I hope you’ve enjoyed this past week of pumpkin overload as much as I have enjoyed sharing my various recipes with you. I also hope that I’ve changed some of your possible previous perspectives that pumpkin is only good for lattes and pies. This ingredient really is a force to be reckoned with, both in heath and cost, and I encourage you to further entice your imagination and try using it in everything. I’ve made pumpkin pasta, flatbread, pancakes and nana ice cream soft serve (just to name a few others) and would suggest you take advantage of this fall season staple by creating other recipes of your own!

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Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa


There really isn’t anything like a warm bowl of hot cereal in the morning. Warm breakfasts help to kick start your digestion and brain function, especially when paired with a cup of hot lemon water or tea. This recipe is perfect for a quick and hearty warm breakfast you can take on the go, and you never want to skip the most important meal of the day!

Now let’s talk a little about quinoa. Quinoa is considered a superfood and packs a large punch in its health benefits. It is a  grain by most (others consider it a seed), therefore it’s not a component of the Paleo diet. However it is gluten-free and should not be a carb you wave out of your diet easily. Quinoa is filled with protein, anti-inflammatory components, lots fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and so much more. Brown rice does put up a good fight against this amazing grain, but I personally like Quinoa’s crunchy texture and higher fiber benefits. If you’d like to read more about the amazing benefits of quinoa, check out this article. But unfortunately, it isn’t the cheapest ingredient out there. Costco sells a large 3 lb bag of Ancient Grain Mix that goes on sale for $9.99 from time to time, but Trader Joe’s Tri-Colored Quinoa will suffice if you’re cooking for one like me.

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