Fab Five Friday 9/30/16

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We made it! It’s finally Friday!

How has your week been? Mine has been a struggle bus, but I made it without dying (barely). I’ve been feeling under the weather since last week Wednesday- I’ve developed a bad cold, just like about half the other students on my campus. I guess Mother Nature decided that once fall started it was time to send in the cold winds and torrential downpours, both of which helped contribute to the spread of the common cold version of the plague on campus.

If you’re feeling sick too, I sincerely hope you feel better and drinks lots of water and tea. Speaking of tea, number one on my fab five list is…

1. Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai tea

A.k.a. the main thing that has been getting me through the week! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve had five to seven cups of tea a day for the past four days. It helps me feel better so I figure I might as well load up on it! TJ’s chai is the best chai tea I’ve ever had (wayyyyy better than Tazo), and this is definitely my new favorite tea. It’s spicy and cinnamony and oh-so-good. My favorite way to enjoy it is in my giant MSU spartan mug with a 1:4 ratio of soy milk and hot water.

Before I came to college, I drank tea, but not that often and only chai. Now I drink it religiously! Green, chai, black, herbal… you name it and I’ll drink it. I like trying all the varieties the dining hall offers.

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2. Pretzel Bark Thins

Thank you to my grandma for introducing me to Bark Thins! They’re dark chocolate slabs mixed in with pretzels– what more could you want in a snack? They have other delightful flavors like chocolate almond, chocolate peanut, and chocolate pumpkin seed. I highly recommend these! You can find them at most grocery stores, as well as at CVS.

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3. Dining Hall Food

The food at my college is actually pretty good! I’ve been enjoying all different types of food in the dining halls, from oatmeal (with peanut butter and banana) to salads to hummus and pita bread with tabbouleh to roasted veggies and rice to soup GALORE. My lunch on Wednesday was especially good- vegan chili with french fries (chili fries!!), hummus, carrots, and steamed broccoli & cauliflower. img_4563

Another day I had a veggie peanut wrap, side salad, and herby potato pancake that was unique but really good.

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4. This Pumpkin Bread

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It’s vegan, gluten free, and looks fantastic. I know it has to be good since my friend Demeter spent six trials perfecting it! I highly recommend checking out this bread and Demeter’s site in general, Beaming Baker. Her recipes are good, her photography is incredible, and the stories she includes in each post are so entertaining. I can’t wait to make this pumpkin bread with my mom when I come home from college for the weekend next week!

5. Acro Yoga

I joined the acro yoga club at my school, and it’s challenging but so fun! For those who don’t know, acro yoga is basically yoga with a partner. You do poses together, most of which involve balancing (here are pictures of me doing it in Guatemala this past spring). The club meets every Sunday outside in a field for two hours to practice, from 2-4 PM.

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Here’s some of the acro yoga squad doing “throne” pose. I’m the third to the right (in the navy tank top), just chilling on my friend’s feet.

That’s what I’ve been loving lately! What about you? Favorite tea lately? Favorite snack? Let me know!

Have a safe and fun weekend! I’ll be back on Sunday with a fall cookie recipe. 🙂

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What I’ve Been Eating in College (Collab)

Happy Monday!

I can’t believe that today marks the beginning of my FOURTH week of college. I’ve been here for almost a month already! How insane is that?! As you can tell, I can’t get over it.

Today I thought it’d be fun to share with you WHAT exactly I’ve been eating since I’ve been in college and am no longer cooking my own mealsdsc_0022

This post is a collaboration with my friend Stephanie of “Petite Pastels,” aka like the cutest lifestyle blog EVER.

Stephanie and I met this spring on Instagram of all places after she commented on one of my posts and we found out that she watched me play against her friends at high school tennis regionals (awkward)!! We also found out that we go to the same college, and we immediately connected over our blogs and our love of food/ tennis/ our college!! It turns out that she also lived in the same dorm freshman year that I’m living in now and we played on rival tennis teams (but possibly played in the same group tennis lessons). WHAT a small world. Anyway, Stephanie and I have been messaging on Instagram since May, and finally earlier this month she suggested we meet up in real life and do a blog post together (to which I said HECK YES!!!).

Stephanie and I met up this past Friday for dinner at the dining hall next to my dorm and had fun taking pictures of and eating dorm food (while people sitting by us hard-core judged us for being basic and taking pictures of our food). It was so fun to talk about blogging and tennis and all things “college” with her.

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For dinner, Stephanie got fries, hummus, tabbouleh, cantaloupe, and cooked broccoli. I got a giant salad (mixed greens, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, cooked beets, & a corn medley) and hummus, tabbouleh, and quinoa. What I like about the cafeteria we went to was that they have a “mediterranean” section every day with pita, hummus, tabbouleh, and quinoa.

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I live next to the “healthiest” cafeteria on campus, so that’s great. I’m not sure it’s the healthiest caf, but it does have a decent amount of salad and fruit. Every dining hall has menus each day that show dietary labels, so I can easily stay vegan as long as I stick to the certified vegan options. I’ve been eating a LOT of salad and fruit, which I like… we’ll see how I feel though once winter comes and all I’ll want will be ALL THE CARBS.

I’ve stayed vegan since I’ve been at college- it’s actually been pretty easy thanks to the dining hall selections! I eat every meal in the dining hall, unless I wake up late and miss part of my class so I have to literally jump out of my (lofted) bed and grab a Lärabar to eat as I bike to class… not that that’s happened or anything. 😉

For breakfast, I eat…

  1. cereal with soy milk or almond milk (right now I’m obsessed with Kashi Go Lean Crunch) and fruit
  2. oatmeal with peanut butter and banana slices mixed into it
  3. Silk nondairy yogurt and MSU baker’s granola (picture #3)

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Typically we eat out of real bowls with real silverware but lately we’ve been using disposable plates and utensils because the caf is understaffed and has no one to do dishes.

For lunch, I eat fruit and…

  1. salad: my go-to is hummus with spinach, carrots, raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, beets, and chickpeas
  2. fries [sometimes]
  3. rice and stir-fried veggies (when it’s served)
  4. quinoa, an apple with peanut butter, and carrots
  5. hummus, tabbouleh, carrots, and pita
  6. the soup of the day if it’s vegan. Today it was a hearty lentil stew that was pretty good (lentils, rice, veggies, and a little bit of broth). I’ve also had tomato wild rice soup and spicy Mexican tortilla soup.img_4332img_4335

Lunch from a few days ago: I got a salad with spinach, hummus, green beans, and carrots + grapes + spicy mexican soup + french fries. My friend Emily got mashed potatoes and gravy, spicy soup, fries, hummus, pita, and tabbouleh. 

I eat basically the same food as lunch for dinner.

A few days ago I had a super good tofu/ snap pea/ mushroom/ soy sauce stir-fry with quinoa and steamed cauliflower though!

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Snack-wise, I eat fruit from the caf or enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up in my room of chai tea and chocolate chips.

There are no vegan dessert options which is TRAGIC but hey, at least I won’t gain the freshman fifteen because of dessert??

However, a few days ago I made cookies in my microwave so I could have dessert (recipe will be on the blog later this week). Plus, some of my friends’ dorms have community kitchens that I can bake in… so I’ll get dessert somehow eventually. As of right now I’ve just been eating chocolate in my room (what’s new).

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So there’s what I’ve been eating! What have YOU been eating (whether you’re in college or not!)? I’m feeling pretty healthy and don’t think I’ve gained any weight because of all the exercise I’m doing, from walking around campus to biking to classes to running with the running club.


I’m so happy I got to collaborate on this post with Stephanie- be SURE to check out what she eats in college!! Her post will be a little different than mine because she lives in a house with a kitchen and can therefore make her own food.

Have a wonderful start to your week!

xx Ellie

Lavender Lemon Bread

lemonlavenderbreadRemember that lavender recipe I promised you last week? Well here it is!

My mom and I purchased some cooking lavender to bake with when we road tripped to a lavender farm earlier this summer.100_8603When we were at the farm, my mom got lemon lavender ice cream. She said it was super refreshing, and that ice cream inspired us to make this similarly flavored bread together. It’s a sweet, refreshing bread that’s perfect for a sugary breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up snack. I hope you love it as much as we did!img_3581

img_3574Lemon Lavender Bread

Makes 3 mini loaves or one large loaf

Inspired by this recipe

For the bread:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 flax egg (3 Tbsp flax seed meal + 1 Tbsp warm water)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from one small lemon)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the flax egg by combining the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl. Mix it together, cover it, and put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes to help it conglomerate.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) to a large bowl.
  4. Add in the milk, oil, and lemon juice to the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Add in the flax egg and whisk until combined.
  6. Mix in the lemon zest and lavender.
  7. Oil the bottom and sides of mini bread pans.
  8. Pour each bread pan 2/3s full with batter.
  9. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets.
  10. Let the bread cool for about an hour after taking it out of the oven before topping it with glaze.
  11. For the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice, water, and lemon zest together in a small bowl until smooth. Then drizzle the glaze over each loaf and ENJOY!img_4251

Enjoy the last week or two of summer (in name only, unfortunately) and enjoy this lemon bread!

xx Ellie