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How to Stop Spending $4.75 on an Iced Almond Milk Latte:
Make it at home!
I don’t have an espresso machine, but I do have a french press.  Lately, I’ve been determined to make my own iced latte and save my precious $4.75, which is what it costs me to enjoy one at a local organic non-Starbucks coffeehouse in Orange County.
To make espresso at home, you just need to keep in mind that the most significant difference between espresso and coffee is the caffeine content, so changing the coffee grinds to water ratio will allow you to create a latte, albeit the taste will obviously be different, if you’re a fancy shmancy coffee connoisseur.  However, if you’re like me and you just want a tasty latte-like treat, read on!
I basically use the same amount of coffee grinds as I do when I make a regular old cup of coffee—two tablespoons— but I use way less boiled water.  This makes a higher concentrated double shot of coffee, allowing me to add ice and cold almond milk, and there you go… iced almond milk latte.  As usual, sweeten to your taste.  I like to add cinnamon to the press before the coffee steeps.

How to Stop Spending $4.75 on an Iced Almond Milk Latte:

Make it at home!

I don’t have an espresso machine, but I do have a french press.  Lately, I’ve been determined to make my own iced latte and save my precious $4.75, which is what it costs me to enjoy one at a local organic non-Starbucks coffeehouse in Orange County.

To make espresso at home, you just need to keep in mind that the most significant difference between espresso and coffee is the caffeine content, so changing the coffee grinds to water ratio will allow you to create a latte, albeit the taste will obviously be different, if you’re a fancy shmancy coffee connoisseur.  However, if you’re like me and you just want a tasty latte-like treat, read on!

I basically use the same amount of coffee grinds as I do when I make a regular old cup of coffee—two tablespoons— but I use way less boiled water.  This makes a higher concentrated double shot of coffee, allowing me to add ice and cold almond milk, and there you go… iced almond milk latte.  As usual, sweeten to your taste.  I like to add cinnamon to the press before the coffee steeps.

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Pink oatmeal (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries with coconut flakes, pumpkin pie spices, almond butter, almond milk) topped with banana, cinnamon, and this amazing raw honey my boyfriend’s mother gave me for my birthday. Nothing like some good quality sweetness to start the day right!

It’s Monday. Let’s make this a wonderful week.

Pink oatmeal (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries with coconut flakes, pumpkin pie spices, almond butter, almond milk) topped with banana, cinnamon, and this amazing raw honey my boyfriend’s mother gave me for my birthday. Nothing like some good quality sweetness to start the day right!

It’s Monday. Let’s make this a wonderful week.

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My new “thing.”  Filtered refrigerated water with cucumbers, lemons, strawberries, etc. I have Palm Springs to thank for this inspiration.

My new “thing.” Filtered refrigerated water with cucumbers, lemons, strawberries, etc. I have Palm Springs to thank for this inspiration.

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This morning I added a few chocolate chips to my oatmeal…. Heavenly

This morning I added a few chocolate chips to my oatmeal…. Heavenly

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I have strange “comfort food…”

Kidney beans tossed in ketchup, mustard, garlic, and spices with a handful of vegan mozzarella. Toasted bread with eggplant spread and a bit of the same cheese.

Ketchup-Mustard “sauce” is something you can only make fun of AFTER you try it. 

Unnecessary side note: can you tell I need to go to the grocery store?

I have strange “comfort food…”

Kidney beans tossed in ketchup, mustard, garlic, and spices with a handful of vegan mozzarella. Toasted bread with eggplant spread and a bit of the same cheese.

Ketchup-Mustard “sauce” is something you can only make fun of AFTER you try it.

Unnecessary side note: can you tell I need to go to the grocery store?

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Someone told me not too long ago that the battles you face each day don’t change. Only the players change. If this is true, then you may start to recognize patterns not necessarily in your daily life, but mostly in the way you react to it. Patterns in your thinking, patterns in your strengths, but mostly patterns in your weaknesses. Recognizing this idea—that each day presents the same battle with different players offering you the same pattern of challenges you’ve had the opportunity to overcome before—is the first step towards breaking the cycle. It’s the first step towards changing the patterns and creating strength out of an old weakness. 

I’m caught thinking of patterns like this because I recently approached a cliff that I have come across once before in my life. However, I didn’t jump off it this time. No, this time I stepped back and measured its depth and decided I wouldn’t fall into that same abyss again. Now I’m walking along side it, admiring the view and feeling the wind in my hair. 

Take care with your life. Don’t allow yourself to repeat old habits, mistakes, or hiccups. Treat yourself as you would your best friend, your mother, your child, or someone else you love dearly. Keep an eye out for sharp or sudden cliffs.  Take a long, deep breath. Close your eyes. And think: “There, that… That breath was what is important. These lungs. This smile.”  All of them are of utmost importance.

Someone told me not too long ago that the battles you face each day don’t change. Only the players change. If this is true, then you may start to recognize patterns not necessarily in your daily life, but mostly in the way you react to it. Patterns in your thinking, patterns in your strengths, but mostly patterns in your weaknesses. Recognizing this idea—that each day presents the same battle with different players offering you the same pattern of challenges you’ve had the opportunity to overcome before—is the first step towards breaking the cycle. It’s the first step towards changing the patterns and creating strength out of an old weakness.

I’m caught thinking of patterns like this because I recently approached a cliff that I have come across once before in my life. However, I didn’t jump off it this time. No, this time I stepped back and measured its depth and decided I wouldn’t fall into that same abyss again. Now I’m walking along side it, admiring the view and feeling the wind in my hair.

Take care with your life. Don’t allow yourself to repeat old habits, mistakes, or hiccups. Treat yourself as you would your best friend, your mother, your child, or someone else you love dearly. Keep an eye out for sharp or sudden cliffs. Take a long, deep breath. Close your eyes. And think: “There, that… That breath was what is important. These lungs. This smile.” All of them are of utmost importance.

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Simplifying things today. 

Do you have days or weeks where all you want is something bland?

I always try to understand what it means. Because I do think it means something, any cravings we have. 

I learned last night that the best foods for anxiety are peanuts and apples. I immediately thought of a few months ago, I even blogged it when it was happening— all I wanted, breakfast lunch and dinner, was peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices with cinnamon. It was during a time that I couldn’t stop chewing my nails. 

Your body has its own wisdom. The best practice you can do is quiet your mind and listen to your body.

Simplifying things today.

Do you have days or weeks where all you want is something bland?

I always try to understand what it means. Because I do think it means something, any cravings we have.

I learned last night that the best foods for anxiety are peanuts and apples. I immediately thought of a few months ago, I even blogged it when it was happening— all I wanted, breakfast lunch and dinner, was peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices with cinnamon. It was during a time that I couldn’t stop chewing my nails.

Your body has its own wisdom. The best practice you can do is quiet your mind and listen to your body.

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Mahi Mahi with brown rice, tomatoes, pico de gallo, garlic eggplant spread, cilantro, spices, salt and pepper. Music to my ears. Thank you, Mahi Mahi, for your gift of good eats and nutrition. I love you for the way you heal me.

Mahi Mahi with brown rice, tomatoes, pico de gallo, garlic eggplant spread, cilantro, spices, salt and pepper. Music to my ears. Thank you, Mahi Mahi, for your gift of good eats and nutrition. I love you for the way you heal me.

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Kick starting with a solid breakfast of pumpkin pie spiced oatmeal with coconut flakes and a ton of fresh fruit.
Recent goals and challenges in my world have included simply eating 3 meals a day, no snacking. A vital component to this exercise is to create nutritionally powerful meals. It doesn’t allow for “fluff,” which is great for somebody like me, because I tend to mindlessly munch on fluff when I’m carrying on throughout the day. Also, I’ve been working towards becoming more aware of my hunger. Many times I find myself reaching for the fridge door before asking myself, “Am I even hungry?” If the answer is No, I sit down and assess my situation. What is making me want to eat? Common answers in my own experience are -I am anxious about something I have to do later; -I am worried that if I don’t eat more now, I will be hungry during my shift at the restaurant later; -I’m bored.
Trying to quiet emotions with food is a cyclical, never-ending battle that results in nothing but more anxiety and fear. Three meals creates a structure to stand by, and also a solution: I know when I will eat my next meal, I know that it will be hearty enough to carry me to the one after that, and I know that anything I eat in between is simply fluff. As this mentality has started growing on me, I’m finding myself enjoying water and tea a lot more throughout the day. Especially with my job conditions, it is super difficult for me to drink as much water as I need. So there it is: yet another solution!
I’ve realized that this exercise works great for me after analyzing my personal struggles, weaknesses, needs, and daily commitments. For someone with a completely different situation, snacking or “grazing” throughout the day might be what works best. The idea is to accept where you are as where you are meant to be, not fight against your daily schedule, and treat yourself as you’d treat a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member you love deeply. Isn’t it strange how that shift in perspective can change so much about the way you treat, feed, and comfort yourself?

This post was inspired, among many things, by a book that I will never stop recommending: Women Food And God by Geneen Roth. Check it out on Amazon here.

Kick starting with a solid breakfast of pumpkin pie spiced oatmeal with coconut flakes and a ton of fresh fruit.

Recent goals and challenges in my world have included simply eating 3 meals a day, no snacking. A vital component to this exercise is to create nutritionally powerful meals. It doesn’t allow for “fluff,” which is great for somebody like me, because I tend to mindlessly munch on fluff when I’m carrying on throughout the day. Also, I’ve been working towards becoming more aware of my hunger. Many times I find myself reaching for the fridge door before asking myself, “Am I even hungry?” If the answer is No, I sit down and assess my situation. What is making me want to eat? Common answers in my own experience are -I am anxious about something I have to do later; -I am worried that if I don’t eat more now, I will be hungry during my shift at the restaurant later; -I’m bored.

Trying to quiet emotions with food is a cyclical, never-ending battle that results in nothing but more anxiety and fear. Three meals creates a structure to stand by, and also a solution: I know when I will eat my next meal, I know that it will be hearty enough to carry me to the one after that, and I know that anything I eat in between is simply fluff. As this mentality has started growing on me, I’m finding myself enjoying water and tea a lot more throughout the day. Especially with my job conditions, it is super difficult for me to drink as much water as I need. So there it is: yet another solution!

I’ve realized that this exercise works great for me after analyzing my personal struggles, weaknesses, needs, and daily commitments. For someone with a completely different situation, snacking or “grazing” throughout the day might be what works best. The idea is to accept where you are as where you are meant to be, not fight against your daily schedule, and treat yourself as you’d treat a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member you love deeply. Isn’t it strange how that shift in perspective can change so much about the way you treat, feed, and comfort yourself?

This post was inspired, among many things, by a book that I will never stop recommending: Women Food And God by Geneen Roth. Check it out on Amazon here.

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Breakfast today was oatmeal, brown sugar, almond milk, and fruit with a million sprinkles of cinnamon.
Trying to bulk up my breakfasts to help eat less later on in the day. Did you know how much that matters? Trial and error for me, at least. When I skimp on breakfast, I am impossible to tame throughout the rest of the day.

Breakfast today was oatmeal, brown sugar, almond milk, and fruit with a million sprinkles of cinnamon.
Trying to bulk up my breakfasts to help eat less later on in the day. Did you know how much that matters? Trial and error for me, at least. When I skimp on breakfast, I am impossible to tame throughout the rest of the day.

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Lunch lately: mixed greens and baby spinach, chopped raw red bell pepper, basil leaves, cooked brown rice, and a dressing of olive oil, one spoonful of olive and garlic hummus, and one lemon squeezed.

Lunch lately: mixed greens and baby spinach, chopped raw red bell pepper, basil leaves, cooked brown rice, and a dressing of olive oil, one spoonful of olive and garlic hummus, and one lemon squeezed.

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Latest love of my life: Apples with cinnamon and honey.

Latest love of my life: Apples with cinnamon and honey.

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Trying to add some heat to
My salads on these cold nights. 

Rice pasta mixed with hummus and sautéed bell pepper

Mixed greens with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar

Trying to add some heat to
My salads on these cold nights.

Rice pasta mixed with hummus and sautéed bell pepper

Mixed greens with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar

Photoset

So excited to be cooking creations again. These were so good!

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Meet my masterpiece: a lavash wrap with chipotle vegenaise spread, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, and sauerkraut.  Spicy and fantastic.
I finally made some time after work today to fill up my cart with foods that not only don’t contain soy, but aren’t made in a facility that also processes soy protein.  It is obscene to me that I actually am having to read labels this carefully now.  But after months and months of getting hives on my forearms and ankles after eating certain foods, I FINALLY determined the cause.  I pin-pointed what it is that was making me itch like mad.  At first I thought it was gluten because I first noticed that soy sauce was causing a huge reaction.  But after eating wheat bread and not getting the same reaction, I figured that maybe it was something else, like a vitamin deficiency, or a reaction to something in my environment.  But after itching severely after having had only coffee in the morning… it dawned on me.  It was the soy creamer.  It is soy.
Soy has become a sort of hero for me in the past year and a half.  It has been my cop-out, my go-to savior when I’m in a social situation that revolves around consuming food.  When going out to eat, I’d first vehemently vote for Thai food, and once I got my way, order the tofu curry dish and smile from ear to ear the whole time.  Or if I wound up at some burger joint either in town, or on camping trips when roads would go on for miles and miles with only one restaurant to choose from, veggie burgers would be my savior, usually Boca patties.  They are gross and something I have never chosen to stock my freezer with at home, but when you’re super hungry on the go, a boca burger sooo hits the spot.  And they’re convenient, and easy to find.
Just like edamame at sushi restaurants.
And miso soup.
And soy sauce.
And soy milk in coffee at Starbucks/any other chain coffee shop.
And tempeh dishes at my favorite vegan restaurants.
…
Before my trip to Mother’s Market today, I seriously could not stop mourning the loss of my old best friend.
However, I am pretty stoked that I’ve found a way to be inspired by the latest challenge.  Food at home has always been my favorite, because it allows for creativity, optimal health, and it’s the most cost-efficient.  While I’m still nervous about being invited to dinner at someone’s house and having some new food issue to worry about, or going out to restaurants and ordering the less than appealing plain salad with oil and vinegar, I have to say I’m not at all feeling a loss in my fridge at home.  It’s easy to forget that the simpler the diet, the most satisfying.  It’s easy to forget that faux meats and faux dairy products, while they may help you feel like you fit in with whoever you’re eating with, aren’t really something you should eat every day, let alone really even want every day.
So long, soy.

Meet my masterpiece: a lavash wrap with chipotle vegenaise spread, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, and sauerkraut.  Spicy and fantastic.

I finally made some time after work today to fill up my cart with foods that not only don’t contain soy, but aren’t made in a facility that also processes soy protein.  It is obscene to me that I actually am having to read labels this carefully now.  But after months and months of getting hives on my forearms and ankles after eating certain foods, I FINALLY determined the cause.  I pin-pointed what it is that was making me itch like mad.  At first I thought it was gluten because I first noticed that soy sauce was causing a huge reaction.  But after eating wheat bread and not getting the same reaction, I figured that maybe it was something else, like a vitamin deficiency, or a reaction to something in my environment.  But after itching severely after having had only coffee in the morning… it dawned on me.  It was the soy creamer.  It is soy.

Soy has become a sort of hero for me in the past year and a half.  It has been my cop-out, my go-to savior when I’m in a social situation that revolves around consuming food.  When going out to eat, I’d first vehemently vote for Thai food, and once I got my way, order the tofu curry dish and smile from ear to ear the whole time.  Or if I wound up at some burger joint either in town, or on camping trips when roads would go on for miles and miles with only one restaurant to choose from, veggie burgers would be my savior, usually Boca patties.  They are gross and something I have never chosen to stock my freezer with at home, but when you’re super hungry on the go, a boca burger sooo hits the spot.  And they’re convenient, and easy to find.

Just like edamame at sushi restaurants.

And miso soup.

And soy sauce.

And soy milk in coffee at Starbucks/any other chain coffee shop.

And tempeh dishes at my favorite vegan restaurants.

Before my trip to Mother’s Market today, I seriously could not stop mourning the loss of my old best friend.

However, I am pretty stoked that I’ve found a way to be inspired by the latest challenge.  Food at home has always been my favorite, because it allows for creativity, optimal health, and it’s the most cost-efficient.  While I’m still nervous about being invited to dinner at someone’s house and having some new food issue to worry about, or going out to restaurants and ordering the less than appealing plain salad with oil and vinegar, I have to say I’m not at all feeling a loss in my fridge at home.  It’s easy to forget that the simpler the diet, the most satisfying.  It’s easy to forget that faux meats and faux dairy products, while they may help you feel like you fit in with whoever you’re eating with, aren’t really something you should eat every day, let alone really even want every day.

So long, soy.