Where do you get your inspiration for meals? I get most of my ideas through friends in the blogworld. Some of my faves include Meals & Moves, Carrots N’ Cake, Iowa Girl Eats, and Healthy Tipping Point. I also LOVE Hungry-Girl recipes, which provide a healthified version of some of my favorites! This site first introduced me to my beloved canned pumpkin, sugar-free syrups, fiber one, broccoli slaw, la tortilla factory wraps, and vitatops! It’s rare that I just “think up” a recipe, as much as I’d love to take the credit!
How tall are you? I’m actually fairly tall for a girl! A little over 5’7.
How do you make your homemade iced coffee? It’s simple! My method isn’t nearly as involved as some. I just brew an entire pot of coffee (my faves are Caftea Birthday Cake & Campfire S’mores!), pour it into a pitcher, and refrigerate! Then, when I’d like a glass, I add some ice & sugar-free flavored syrups!
How many calories do you eat in a day? It varies, based on how active I am in a day and what I feel like my body is telling me. Intuitive eating is not my strongest suit, but I’m much better with it than I used to be. I DO count calories, not because I want to be restrictive, but to make sure my body is getting what it needs. Many of the foods I eat on a daily basis are high in fiber and low in calories, making my body feel full, when sometimes I’m not getting all of the nutrition I need to refuel. I make sure that I never dip below 1200 calories (after calculating in the amount of calories burned through exercise).
Everyone says that when you’re trying to eat healthy, staying away from sauces/condiments is a good idea, but I don’t enjoy foods without flavor. What do you recommend? Some of my favorite things to flavor food are SPICES! They can make any dish more appealing and play up all the flavors in the most bland foods. Try cumin, cinnamon, garlic, minced onion, oregano, and all the Mrs. Dash varieties! Also, you CAN create your own condiments that will put a minimal dent in your calorie budget by using things like sugar-free Log Cabin (20 cals/serving), Sonoma Jacks or Light Laughing Cow cheese wedges (25-35 cals/serving), low sodium soy sauce (10cals/serving), sugar-free Torani syrups (0cals/serving), Oikos greek yogurt (80cals/serving), mustard (0 cals/serving), and reduced sugar ketchup (5 cals/serving). Here are some of my go-to blends:
Homemade honey mustard dressing/dip: 1/8C. sugar-free syrup + mustard + cinnamon to taste
Raspberry vinaigrette: balsamic vinegar + sf raspberry Torani syrup
Alfredo sauce: 1 cheese wedge melted in the microwave + 2 tbsp greek yogurt + garlic salt
The possibilities are endless, really!
6. What’s your favorite exercise? I love to run, but because of my neck & back, I’ve been limited to what I’m allowed to do. The elliptical has taken over my cardio, so I guess I’d go with that. I also love planks!
7. Do you ever get self-conscious about the way you eat because its so different than your family? Does it cause problems? For the most part, my family is really supportive of my healthy habits. They do think it’s really ridiculous at times, that I refuse to eat Pizza Hut or eat white bread from a sub shop, with the midset that “once won’t kill ya”, but I think it’s become a given now, that it’s just not gonna happen. I do get self-conscious, when I go on a date or out with friends, sometimes. Especially if it’s date 1 or 2 and they don’t know about the blog, yet. It gets a little awkward when I whip out my camera to take a shot of my plate 😉
8. Don’t you ever crave something totally unhealthy? Sometimes, when one of my sisters orders something like an ice cream cone, pasta, or pizza at a restaurant, I get a little menu envy going on, but for the most part, I like the way I feel when I’m making nutritious decisions about what goes into my body. I never crave fast food or junk, really, and I think it’s because I HATED the way foods like that used to make my body feel.
9. Where do you buy groceries? Duhhh, at the grocery store! No, just kidding. I do buy groceries at our local Giant, but I try to get a lot of produce from places like the Farmer’s Market to support our locals Not to mention, it’s ususally dirt cheap!
10. What are some ways you can save money at the grocery store? Produce, sugar free, and specialty items can get a bit pricey, but there are ways to save at the store! I always use coupons when I can & look for the items that are on sale, obviously. Most of the generic things I buy are JUST like the name brands, e.g. Fiber Select vs. Fiber One. Another thing I’ve learned to do is purchase frozen veggies and canned as opposed to ALL fresh. They have a much longer shelf life and are considerably cheaper. I think the think I splurge on the most is greek yogurt!
11. Are you a vegetarian/vegan or have you ever been? No. I like meat, but am not in the mood for it very often. I’d much rather get my protein from things like beans, fat free cottage cheese, fish, greek yogurt, and protein powder (as bad as that sounds!). Sure, I get in the mood for some turkey or chicken every now and then, but I rarely eat beef or pork. EW. I really enjoy seafood, too! I look forward to dining on things like crab, shrimp, scallops, and lobster when we go on vacation!
12. What is one of your vices? I’m a sucker for Diet Mountain Dew. It is my biggest downfall! I know all the chemicals, caffeine, and aspartame are terrrrrible, but I have been limiting myself to one (max) a day.