august ’17 / goals


July is well over and it’s time to set up some new goals for this month!

vegan diet

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yep I’m doing this again for the second time. A big influence for me was watching “What the Health” on Netflix. I highly suggest this documentary, vegan or not-it’s an eye-opening film that basically tells you everything you don’t want to hear about what we are eating. It was a significant reminder for me and definitely gave me the push to try the vegan diet again. The main reason why I was unsuccessful the first time was because I was actually gaining quite a bit of weight-I’ve definitely figured out why this time around and plan on taking the healthy vegan route this time!

hiking

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I invested in some nice hiking shoes and I am determined to make use of them this month! We are already planning on doing a few hikes for this month so I’m pretty excited. Since I despise exercising, I thought a great way for me to get some good cardio is by hiking: beautiful scenery and good company all in one. And by hiking, I mean legitimate hikes. I used to think hiking was just walking along a dirt trail but my friends and I have some intense hikes planned this month-wish me luck!

planning our birthday trip

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Every year, Sean and I plan a joint birthday trip and this  year we are FINALLY visiting Seattle, Washington. We will be going towards the end of September so this month will be dedicated to fully booking everything and planning the whole trip. If ya know me, I love to plan things (maybe a little too much) and can’t wait to share my trip with you guys!

a smoothie a day

This goes with my vegan diet goal as well but the best way for me to get greens into my body is through a smoothie or juice. Honestly, I just don’t like kale. Haha. I think it’s only edible when it’s cooked a certain way and at this point, I have not figured out how to make it myself enough to enjoy it. Adding greens to my fruit smoothies is really the only way I can eat them raw so a smoothie a day will ensure that I am getting those healthy bits into my body.

consistency

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For people who actually follow my blog and read my posts, I go through phases where I go silent for a few weeks and then come back. It’s something I am currently trying to work on and I find it difficult to balance my work, personal, and extracurricular life with blogging. I want to be consistent. This month is dedicated to my blog. I want to post at least twice a week-which is doable for me as I used to post 3-4 times a week for quite some time. I would appreciate any tips from fellow bloggers on how to keep up with timely posts. I sometimes get into a creative rut or I simply don’t make the time out of the day to take pictures, edit, or write.

trying new things

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I think this was in my last month’s goal post but it’s something that I think I will be working on for a looong time. I am a person of routine and familiarity. I don’t do well with spontaneous activities and tend to get anxious and panicky if things don’t go to plan. It sucks. But it’s something I want to gradually get better at. I am proud to say that last month, I did so many things out of my comfort zone: I took a kickboxing class, I hiked for 4+ hours in an insect-infested, rocky off-trail, and I managed to make new friends. I hope to continue this in August (my birthday month!).

Do you have any goals this month?

 

paige xx

 

 

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Plant-Based Diet: Benefits, Cravings, Meal Plans, etc…


Friends!

I have had a love-hate relationship with the way I have been eating for the past 24 (almost 25!) years of my life. I knew what I was putting into my body but I honestly didn’t care, even though the consequences were quite clear. Before jumping into this, let’s address something.

I am not forcing anyone to change their diet.

What you choose to put in your body is your decision only. This post is simply for sharing purposes and to help/educate anyone who is considering a plant-based diet.

Here are some of the benefits I experienced when I switched to a plant-based diet:

Weight Loss 

I lost a noticeable amount of weight since switching to this diet. I also incorporated interval-training exercise every other day.

More Energy

This is something I was not too sure of. I didn’t think I would feel more energetic but that heavy, sleepy feeling I usually got after lunch basically disappeared.

Decrease in Period Symptoms

Noticeable decrease in bloating/swelling around the stomach area and my cramps were very minimal.

Better Mood

Another aspect I didn’t think would happen to me. I don’t feel as grumpy or moody as I used to, especially after eating a heavy meal. It’s true what they say: you are what you eat. 🙂

There are two types of vegans: 1. the healthy ones 2. the unhealthy ones. You can be a vegan and still munch on potato chips, fries, Oreos (yes, they are vegan), etc…If you are considering this diet, educating yourself and making sure you receive all the nutrients your body wants is very important. I highly recommend this book: How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Extremely informative and it is all based on evidence/facts/research. No bias for the poor animals being slaughtered (although it’s an amazing benefit), just factual evidence that a plant-based diet is indeed a healthy, wholesome diet.

How to Begin

Like I said, research. Read about it first! You’ll be amazed on how much you can learn about how the body works. I borrowed books from the library, followed/read blogs, perused through articles online, etc… Some people choose the vegan diet for medical purposes, physical purposes, or even mental purposes. Whatever your purpose may be, make sure to take the healthy route. You’re body will thank you.

Get Rid of Temptations

I highly recommend doing a good kitchen fridge/cabinet cleaning when starting. Toss out anything that basically has animal by-products. In doing this, you are forcing your body to eat alternative (more healthy) foods when you do get hungry. Go the extra mile and get rid of foods that may not have animals by-products, but are still not good for you like chips, candy, etc…

Be Aware-Be Positive

Be aware that you will be cooking a lot more and differently in the kitchen. Obviously you can still go out to eat; there are many restaurants that can give you vegan options or have an entire menu revolved around plants. Although they are healthier than McDonald’s, even these types of restaurants still add a crazy amount of sugar and sodium into your so-called “healthy” vegan meals. I have looked at the nutrition facts for Urban Plates, Lyfe Kitchen, Veggie Grill, etc.. and it really is shocking. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid eating out altogether; just laying out all the facts haha 🙂

Be positive. Understand that you will have mad cravings for some crispy bacon or that juicy hamburger from In N’ Out. It won’t be easy that’s why I suggest easing your way into it. Revolve a plant-based diet for only three days a week, then transition slowly to four days, five, and so on. Most people fail after trying to get into it cold turkey. That’s actually what I did but I was already so prepared and I was not consuming much animal by-products to begin with.

Cravings-Alternative Snacking

This one was the hardest.

For savory snacking alternatives, try:

plantain chips/veggie root chips/roasted chickpeas/flaxseed chips/assortment of nuts/popcorn (without butter obv.)

For sweet snacking alternatives, try:

dates/fruits (berries, grapes, bananas)/dark chocolate (check ingredients first)

For snacks-that-fill-you-up, try:

Almond or peanut butter with fruits or veggies/hummus dip/all-natural bars/oatmeal loaded with fruits, nuts, spices

BIG TIP: not having any accessible junk food/animal-based food in the house in general, forces  you to snack on other things. Just don’t buy it and you won’t eat it.

I can go on and on and on…but that is for you to discover 🙂

Meal Plans: What I Eat in a Day

Breakfast

Option 1: Toast with avocado spread, sprinkled with garlic salt&pepper/side of oatmeal loaded with blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, and honey.

Option 2: All natural granola with almond milk/side of mixed berries (or smoothie)

Snack

Any type of fruit/veggie with hummus dip

Lunch

Option 1: Brown/wild rice, black beans, sweet potato with onion, seasoned kale and broccoli/side of sliced avocado.

Option 2: Quinoa, fried/baked tofu, side of mixed veggies (bokchoy, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, green beans).

Snack

Healthy chips/nuts/popcorn/fruit

Dinner

Option 1: Tofu scramble: firm tofu, soy sauce, variety of veg, nutritional yeast/side of steamed carrots/cabbage

Option 2: Vegan tacos: wheat tortilla, seasoned tofu, lettuce, pico de gallo, onions, cilantro, beans, corn, etc…(One of my favs!)

Snack

A green smoothie/fruits

Obviously, I change up what I eat quite often. These are only two or three days worth of meals in a week. I also tend to snack a lot more than three times throughout the day. I eat almost every 2 hours, but everyone is different when it comes to metabolism.

Consistency

Once you start getting into the routine of cooking, packing, learning, and trying new foods, you will start to notice how great you feel. Everyone has to go through those difficult first few weeks. The key is to stay consistent. Don’t slow down! Once you feel comfortable, start exploring new types of grains, vegetables, fruits, etc…I’m definitely in that stage at the moment. It can get boring eating quinoa and brown rice all the time; try spelt, buckwheat, wild rice, etc..

I am already a very skeptical person. I knew eating well was good for your body but I didn’t think that this diet would have such a positive impact in my life. Many people associate “vegans” as preachy, know-it-alls, annoying. Not all of them are, and they shouldn’t be. Who are you to tell someone what to eat and how to eat it? Respect each other.

For anyone who is curious about a plant-based diet, I hope this post was just the beginning of your journey. I guarantee that your body will thank you in ways that you never knew. Good luck friends.

xx | paige

Coffee and Jjajangmyeon


hiyaaaa!

So my boyfriend and I went to two, no THREE, bomb places to get coffee/eat today and I couldn’t wait to share our new places to eat to all the Orange County/LA people in SoCal! I’ve been wanting to get good coffee from a little cafe called “The Coffee Tale” in Huntington Beach so we decided to go after seeing almost 300, five star reviews on Yelp. Everyone is raving about this place so I had to go!

The Coffee Tale is located in a quaint nook near a Costco called The Old World Village. You feel like you’re stepping into a different country haha; it’s small but pleasant to walk around on a sunny weekend afternoon.

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I got the house coffee and Sean got a pour over. We got them to-go so we can walk around a little but next time, I might actually go for their mocha (and face the after-effects of lactose intolerance) because everyone was getting them. They also make pretty little designs that are so instagram worthy.

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I was tempted to go for their baklava but I was like, “Be good, Paige. Save your appetite.” because we were going to hit up a hole-in-the-wall Chinese/Korean restaurant called “Beijing Wok and Grill” that served amazing jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and legendary steamed dumplings. Luckily, it was a short 8 minute drive to Fountain Valley where it is located.

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The food was so AMAZING. You can see how the dumplings are not in the picture above because those were devoured by two very ravenous people in a span of like a minute. Not joking lol. This place is owned by a cute little couple who are very sincere and nice. The food was fresh, delicious, and it made me wanting more. I really wish we got one of their chicken or pork dishes but we were saving some room for dessert….

Only three doors down to Beijing Wok and Grill was a nut, dairy, and gluten free bakery. How convenient. Sean and I peeked in and came out with some goodies. The bakery is adorably named “Sensitive Sweets” and is supposedly owned by a mother with a child who has very intense food allergies. Kudos to her. Cookies, brownies, bread, cake pops, donuts, etc…and all dairy free!

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Reasonably priced vegan baked good are always a win. Plus, it tasted so delicious, especially the mini-chocolate chip cookies. This is a heaven for people who really want a good brownie without feeling bloated/gassy after.

Overall, I feel like we found three great spots that we will be visiting again. I only eat out during the weekends so I really try to visit places I’ve never been before. Today was successful indeed! If there are any people who are from the SoCal area or are planning on visiting, try out these three places! I have a yelp account which I will link and you can see other peoples thoughts on these lovely places:

http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=EMaKlqBU3R04Licmj5YJYA

See ya’ll tomorrow for a lil Valentines day post ❤

 

xx,

paige