If you haven’t looked at the title, guess what day it is tomorrow! YES, mark your calendars everyone, cause this girl is turning 18 years-old on December 8th, approximately 8 P.M.! You’ll be getting a very heartfelt and very personal post from me then. The major problem is that it’s on a Tuesday, and I am swamped with exam review. That being said, I’ve scheduled posts to come so that I’m not crazy MIA, plus there’s been a lot that I’ve been wanting to talk about and get out there!
To kick start the week, I had some ah-mazing-mazing food on Saturday the 5th. I really ate only three times that day because my breakfast was GIANT and I had no appetite by dinner. I got a chance to go to the farmers’ market this week and pick up some goodies–by that, I mean two. Sigh, when will farmers’ market prices ever go down??
Anyways, here I made some super delicious but easy kabocha and butternut squash gingerbread spice mash that I also made a video of on my YouTube, so definitely check it out. You literally just mash some butternut squash and kabocha in a bowl, add ginger, cinnamon and some other festive spices to it along with some sweetener to taste, and bam–Christmas mash that will warm your tummy and soul ❤ I was a little fancy and topped it with some of the Kith & Thyme Cherry Lavender granola and the Garden of Life RAW chocolate protein powder that I made into a glaze. So yep–some fun little things to review for you!
First off with the granola. I’ve actually been a HUGE fan of their samples for a while, and by samples, I mean the little teaspoons that you taste in the little paper cups at the booths every farmers market. However, I have tried all of their flavors and they ALL get six out of five stars in my book. I settled with the Cherry Lavender when I had the chance because the vendors recommended it to me, but I would’ve definitely bought some more!
Now, I am very, very pleased with the ingredients as well, because packaged health foods should not be all about taste–what gets put inside the product is just as important, if not more. I can pronounce everything (but black pepper??), all the ingredients are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, wholesome and made from nature. The brown sugar and agave, however, are exceptions. When I opened the package, I was a bit underwhelmed by how much there was, but there is really only one cup or more of granola inside, since you would generally have 1 ounce per serving. I like to have a little less to add more time anyways, but just to put that out there.
Taste-wise, like I said before, it is ADDICTIVE. The sweetness from the cherries, light crunch from the pumpkin seeds, lavender, oats and the agave and the chewiness from the coconut all complement each other like a dream. It’s like a dream wedding dress made from a personal fairy godmother….in your mouth, if that makes sense XD
Okay, on to the Garden of Life RAW protein powder! This is probably by far the most popular brand that I’ve seen for vegan protein powders. I definitely had to go with chocolate from Whole Foods because I hate vanilla protein powders, but I love me some chocolate 🙂 anyways, I opened the packet and was surprised by the fact that it actually looked like maca powder! Weird, right?
For the powder, I basically mixed some water into the bowl until it was thick and creamy: a little more than how I’d make frosting but not too watered down.
Now, to review, the macros and ingredients are hands down, SUPERB–17 grams of protein for only 90 calories, and this is completely made of raw vegan pea protein, sprouted whole grain protein, seed protein and bean protein! I was impressed with everything that was on the label. As for taste, I’m pretty sad to say that I’m not a fan! The protein itself tasted like watered down chocolate milk that was also too grainy and gritty in texture. Do I recommend this protein? It’s not the worst out there, but not really. I’d stick with Vegansmart, Drink Orgain or Champion Naturals. I know that it is probably because of the bean protein, but hey, it is SUPER healthy, so I’ll take it.
Finished product–it tasted incredible!:
To be totally honest, I ate breakfast quite late, so it was more of a brunch. As a late afternoon meal, I really wanted something sweet–again!–hence I made myself something more catered towards my sweet tooth. I stirred in around a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt with Stevia and cacao powder–BEST COMBINATION IN THE WORLD BTW–dolloped some peanut butter on top, and sprinkled on some Erewhon corn flakes, Peace Cereal maple buckwheat hemp flakes, and one of my new favorites: Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Maple flakes! It tastes even better than the vanilla, even though both are absolutely amazing. Will totally have this again in some sweet potato cereal, oatmeal, smoothie bowls and more.
UGH, isn’t this the most absolute FOOD PORN?! I wouldn’t upload it on Instagram of course, but man, it looks and tastes amazing! I want some more right now!
Do you also love having dessert for your meals, because I absolutely LOVE it! Plus it’s my birthday tomorrow, so why the heck NOT. The day itself was quite mellow: homework, errands, college apps, etc., but I finally kickstarted my Snapchat story back up! You’ll see a brief overview of what I got at the local farmers’ market, plus other fun stuff such as me attempting to sing Mariah Carey. Yah. It’s unlisted for a VERY GOOD REASON. >.<
Onto un-birthday numero deux!
My family and I drove up to Sunset Boulevard to eat at this absolutely beautiful, rustic farm-to-table hotspot called Eveleigh. I made a reservation at this restaurant in advance because of its rustic farm-to-table atmosphere, plus the food sounded amazing! Honestly, I don’t understand why this restaurant isn’t more popular. The layout is breathtaking, as if you’re at an outdoor concert or wedding!
The entrance is lusciously green with the perfect amounts of opening for sunshine. I loved the cute little fountain and wooden tables to give a more simple, rustic vibe!
A group photo of my family!
Service was very friendly, the view was gorgeous, water was at a reasonable temperature (sometimes it’s too cold), and just a cool, calm and collected vibe in general. My mother ordered the baby spinach salad that came with feta along with truffle fries to share with everyone else. My father got the fried egg bagel sandwich with ham, dijon mayo, lettuce, and a few other things I forget–all in a poppyseed bagel! My little sister settled with the avocado toast with boiled eggs, my middle sister got the spelt hot cakes with cinnamon, whipped butter and maple syrup, and I ordered the baked eggs with arugula, sausage, tomato, a bit of shredded cheese. It also came with the biggest slice of toast I’ve ever seen!
The truffle fries were the star of the show. I personally didn’t touch them since I don’t like white potatoes, but there never was a time when a hand wasn’t reaching in the bowl! My mother’s dish was praised for tasting super fresh and healthy, even though there could have been much more to spice up the salad. My dad really liked his sandwich as well, even though it was quite messy to eat (runny yolks are the best for dipping bread, however!). My little sister adored her avocado toast and devoured every little bit of it–because hey, avocado is life! My middle sister’s spelt hot cakes would have been perfect had they not been watered down in maple syrup, and I agreed. However, they were delicious otherwise. To recall, she would have ordered maple syrup on the side.
As for my baked eggs: the skillet was so hot that I burnt the roof of my mouth–weird because I was warned in advance and was too excited to dig in! The eggs are perfectly cooked–the bottom whites are crispy, flavorful, and the yolks just flood beautifully. The arugula was fresh and the tomato sauce complemented the eggs, cheese and sausage so, so divinely. I absolutely LOVED this dish and would take baked eggs over any other eggs any day!
Meanwhile, here are some “candid” photos that were taken for the moment. God, for some reason that day we were obsessed with photo ops. I guess we just looked particularly good that day!
A couple of hours after we got home, it was B-Up bar time! When there was an opportunity to get two free B-Up bars on Instagram, I had to take advantage of it. I got the sugar cookie bar and the chocolate chip cookie dough! I already ate and reviewed the sugar cookie bar, so I thought why not review the cookie dough one? I love chocolate chip cookie dough, it’s one of my favorite flavors EVER, and I love B-Up–therefore, I was extremely stoked to try this treat!
Each of these chocolate chip cookie dough delicious babies is 190 calories, 25 grams of carbs, 20 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein–all of this makes it 4 grams of net carbs, but really, carbs digest differently in every body so I don’t go by net carbs. What I LOVE about these bars is that they don’t have any weird ingredients or sweeteners like most conventional protein bars.
The way I prepared my delicious cookie concoction can be done in three easy steps! Heck, you can just follow one of them or none of them if you ever so desire. You can follow none of these steps and just gobble up the bar straight from the wrapper. I just like being spontaneous and adding in some extra flair.
- Microwave your bar for 20-30 seconds, maybe a little less or more depending on how soft you want it.
- Microwave a spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter, unless if your nut butter is already a bit thin to begin with. Drizzle on top of the bar!
- Prepare some other goodies and eat it all up!
This bar is a great way to sneak in more protein, more fiber and calcium while curbing your cookie dough or chocolate cravings! The apples were also delicious with the peanut butter and added a nice crunch to the mix. I could have this ANY DAY if I buy Quest bars or B-Up bars more often! No cons here!
Well, that just wraps up my whole un-birthday schabang! I had so much fun compiling the exciting reviews, photos and recipes of the weekend! If you live in Los Angeles, do give Eveleigh a visit, and try out all of the products I have here and my gingerbread kabocha and butternut squash mash recipe! Can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow for Tuesday Thoughts as a full-blown adult!
KITH & THYME CHERRY LAVENDER GRANOLA: http://www.kithandthyme.com/collections/granola/products/copy-of-cherry-lavender-granola
GARDEN OF LIFE RAW CHOCOLATE PROTEIN POWDER: http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/Foundational-Nutrition/RAW-Protein.aspx
NATURE’S PATH SUNRISE CRUNCHY MAPLE FLAKES: http://us.naturespath.com/product/sunriser-crunchy-maple
B-UP CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH BAR: https://yupbrands.com/shop/b-up-carton/b-12-count-box-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough/