There is literally SO much to this post that I’m going insane trying to remember everything I did, because there is seriously so much that went on last weekend!
FRIDAY (MAKING SNICKERDOODLE SWEET POTATO KABOCHA PUDDING + NEW ARCTIC ZERO)
I was very curious on the Friday morning I had off and decided hey, could I use protein powder in my sweet potato kabocha pudding? After I tried it, the answer is a definite yes.
Two years into my healthy lifestyle transition and after my 30+ pound weight loss, I put so much stress on certain foods. Egg whites, Greek yogurt and Stevia were my saviors. Avocado, red meat and gluten were practically forms of poison. Looking back, even though I do have some days where I feel really uneasy about eating certain foods, I feel so ashamed as to how much time and energy was dissipated into worrying about something that couldn’t physically harm me at all! It’s also the same case with cereal and granola–I used to binge on them so often that I finally sat down and said, “Screw that. I’m avoiding you from now on.” Little did I know that this little vacation would actually help me restore my relationship with cereal and granola where I’ve learned to eat them in the perfect amounts. Now I don’t know what I’d do without at least one box of these cereals and granolas in the house!
I know that I’ve been wanting to make choices that don’t involve any animal products, but I find that saying no to certain things that have been handed to me voluntarily took a toll on my well-being. For example, I was thrilled that I got new protein powder from the mall, plus from the L.A. Fit Expo. But I also felt ashamed for having whey protein in the house, even though I’m not vegan or plant-based ATM. Now, I’m a bit more flexible with what I can have. I still LOVE dairy free protein powders and would have them all the time if I could, but if I’m given any whey or casein-based protein as free samples, then I don’t want them to go to waste. I’m still exploring my options and I have a long way to go until I know what is the best of the best. Plus, I tried the snickerdoodle protein and it tasted JUST as good as I thought it’d be if not better. Thank you again, PEScience!
- 1-1 1/2 cups kabocha
- 1 small/medium or 1/2 large sweet potato
- 1 scoop snickerdoodle or cinnamon roll-flavored protein powder; I used the PEScience snickerdoodle protein sample from the L.A. Fit Expo
- Pinch of Stevia
- 1-2 TBSP water
- Opt: cinnamon, ginger, chocolate chips, peanut butter, PB2, etc.
- Cook your sweet potato and kabocha until soft. Let cool overnight or for at least a few hours.
- When cool, peel your sweet potato and kabocha.
- Blend all the ingredients until everything is creamy and well-combined. If too thick, add more water.
- Reheat the pudding if desired.
- Top with the goodies and enjoy!
If you’re wondering, I topped my super delicious and sweet pudding with blackberries, strawberry slices, Evoke Foods Athletic Fuel muesli, Love Grown Foods Sea Stars cereal, Nature’s Path Leapin’ Lemurs cereal, Kith & Thyme Rosemary Currant granola and Tru-Nut chocolate powdered peanut butter! I will review the new cereals I’ve mentioned VERY soon as well because I’ve been loving them a LOT lately.
I also visited Sprouts and found my new V-Day treats! I ended up buying the Cake Batter pint because it was on sale and it looked so so good! Tried a little bit of it with some cereal and HOT DAMN. I made that same emoji face twice that day.
Oh yeah, and I’m back on Snapchat…….sort of.
I wouldn’t follow if I were you
SATURDAY (MORE INDIAN FOOD BABIES, FARM BOY + TASTE-TESTING THE BIG MAN’S WORLD GOODIES)
For a couple days or so, I actually thought I got sick of Indian food. I know, crazy, right? To me, that’s like being sick of chocolate or peanut butter–it JUST doesn’t happen. Today proved that for me personally, getting sick of Indian food doesn’t happen.
My blogger buddy, Arman of thebigmansworld, met up with me at the Whole Foods Market in Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks (which by the way, don’t go there if you’re expecting a health foods palace, because you ain’t gettin’ it.) for a little meetup! By the way, if you don’t currently follow his blog, then by all means, you have to go do it! Arman is probably one of the most talented bloggers I know and have been following for a while now since I’ve really gotten into the food porn shabang, plus he has such an inspiring story behind what he does. If you’re into healthy cooking, traveling, breakfast porn, and a witty personality, then Thebigmansworld is the perfect blog for you!
Back to Whole Foods–we were quite disappointed with the extremely scarce selection of dishes we could pick from, so instead, we drove to an Indian restaurant called the Taste of India to eat. The atmosphere itself was quite deserted with very dark lighting–which explains the super ugly food photos. The service is a bit remote as well, but the waiters do want to ensure that you’re having a pleasant experience at the same time, if that makes sense. Arman and I came in time for the lunch buffet, which was awesome because I chose to intermittent fast because I knew either way, I was going to let loose for lunch!
Just so you know, we went to TOWN, no question about it. I can pretty much say that we ate probably five rounds of fully loaded plates with salads, chicken, curries and spicy pickled carrots! Like any Indian lunch buffet, there was a narrow selection of dishes, but I was very pleased with the majority of what I ate. Unlike the Royal Delhi Palace, however, none of the dishes are spicy, which is good if you hate spicy food, not-so-good for me, being the spice queen I am, therefore I had to compensate by mixing some pickled carrots into my food.
Arman and I drove to the area around Trader Joe’s and Farm Boy, which we went into first! Farm Boy is basically a cute mini Japanese/Korean market that sells a lot of SUPER cool Asian foods and other products for really good prices! There’s a huge row of beautiful bouquets outside and all the way into the entrance, keeping the vibe fresh and earthy. When you walk inside, you’ll see a huge variety of sections around a grand hall of fresh produce, pre-packaged meals such as bibambap, eggplant parmesan, seaweed salad and more, a condiments section, two sushi booths, a candy shelf, and of course, a healthy “junk food” rack! I absolutely LOVED looking around at the really cool foods that I saw. I ended up getting two Lenny & Larry’s cookies, a sweet potato the size of a boar’s head (Arman joked that it was a kettlebell), vegetarian wild rice sushi and spicy tuna and crab brown rice sushi!
(Let me tell you that I was planning on making a workout with a sweet potato, buuuuuuuut my mother chopped it into little pieces and killed it in a curry. It tasted awesome, but it was kind of depressing knowing that I couldn’t use it as a kettlebell at the same time 😦 )
When I got home, I tried a little bit of each of Arman’s baked treats because I could not skip dessert. Every one of these tasted amazing–bananas, chocolate and a little love in every bite! The brownie happens to be my favorite because it’s super soft, rich and also a little nutty from the almond butter used. Arman, if you’re reading this, you need to open a bakery delivery service. Seriously. 🙂
SUNDAY (CHOCOLATE PURPLE LOVE SWEET POTATO KABOCHA PUDDING + KOREAN FOOD)
I was actually really nervous about how blending a purple sweet potato with kabocha would turn out, possibly because I thought the color would be some gross reddish-brown! However, I was so pleased with the turnout! This was gorgeous and tasted absolutely amazing. I could not have asked for a better Galentine’s Day brunch. So, would I recommend blending kabocha with any sweet potato? Absolutely! Who knows, I might try it with a Japanese yam and see how it turns out!
You can also use any type of flavored protein powder, such as peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla, or even a fruit flavor! I went with chocolate because there was nothing that could’ve been more appropriate for this day!
- 1-1 1/2 cups cooked kabocha
- 1/2 large or 1 small/medium purple sweet potato
- 2-3 TBSP cacao powder or 1/2-1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Orgain chocolate protein)
- 1-2 TBSP Stevia (opt.)
- 3 TBSP water (opt.)
- Toppings: 1/2 serving of Orgain chocolate protein mixed with water to make a frosting, Love Grown Foods Sea Stars cereal, Evoke Foods antioxidant muesli, Nature’s Path chimp puffs, and a 4-Ingredient No Bake Brownie from Arman (which FYI, be careful of this recipe because you’ll end up eating the whole tin of brownies!)
- Opt: dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, fruit, coconut, peanut flour, etc.
- Peel the sweet potato and kabocha completely. Make sure they are cooked and have been cooled overnight!
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender or even food processor until very thick and smooth. If too thick, add more water.
- Reheat the pudding if desired.
- Top with the goods and serve!
My family and I took a trip to The Village at Westfield Topanga where my sister and I split a kryo at Go Greek! She got one side with plain tart and I got vanilla, and after we just went crazy with the fruit and the chocolate!
For my full review of Go Greek Yogurt, click this link right here!
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit iffy with Greek yogurt. Even if I eat a small amount, I start to feel really bloated and way, way too full afterwards–almost clogged up. Therefore, I’ve decided not to make it a diet staple anymore and only have it once in a while if I’m seriously craving it. I’m just listening to my body, and it always knows best.
Dinner ended up being Korean food at Shik Do Rak in Northridge! My father wanted to go here really badly and I was so glad he took us here because it was awesome! I loved absolutely everything I had but the grilled onions were probably my favorite part of the meal along with the soft spicy tofu hot pot!
MONDAY (VEGAN HOT DOGS + SPROUTS GROCERY HAUL)
It was one of those super rare mornings where I was craving something savory. I don’t remember what ignited this but I was seriously yearning for spaghetti squash. Therefore, I listened to what my stomach wanted and microwaved half of it, forked out about two cups worth of squash “noodles” and topped it with chili marinara and basil. I served it with a side of a basil egg white omelet, brown rice crab sushi I got from Farm Boy and chili paste! The spaghetti squash tastes absolutely DIVINE. It’s sweet, soft and has a very distinct flavor of its own. I know some people who hate it, but that’s because it doesn’t compare to actual pasta. Face it–zoodles can’t even compare to it. So, my advice would be to enjoy spaghetti squash or any other vegetable pasta alternative as the vegetable itself, not a pasta substitute. I could definitely have this again!
For lunch, Jessica introduced me to this new funky restaurant called Doghaus, which is actually right across from Westfield Topanga and I never knew. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this place because it didn’t look very healthy or very nice from the start. I wasn’t sure what to expect at all! We basically walked in line with menus, customized what burger or hot dog we wanted and got a table. I was deciding between a turkey sausage and a veggie Italian sausage, but the cashier recommended the veggie sausage because it was said to be more flavorful. Hence, I got that with roasted bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and Sriracha! I asked for no bun, and guess what…..got a bun. It wasn’t a big deal and I didn’t eat it.
You’re probably wondering how the meal actually tasted–I was pleasantly surprised! The sausage is a little spicy, very flavorful from the herbs and seasonings, and it doesn’t taste too much like those soft vegetable patties! In fact, it tasted kind of meaty which is awesome! I was really glad to have tried this place and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good vegan hot dog!
To conclude, I forgot to take a photo of everything I got at Sprouts after lunch, but I ended up getting red yams, bacon-flavored TVP that sounds super interesting, red yams, a pack of shirataki noodles, a bulk bag of cocoa powder, a small spaghetti squash, more kabocha, about a pound of corn meal, and a small packet of Indian saag spice so I can make my own saag curry at home! I’m so excited to try these all!
That is it for the video and for this post! I hope you enjoyed everything I featured because it was really fun to take photos of everything I did! If you did, please give the video a thumbs up, share the video, subscribe, comment, do all that jazz for more, and I will have a new video in a week or so! ❤