Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

These nut butter-stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates are like a 14/10 on the amazing scale. 5 Ingredients. No fancy equipment or oven required. Insanely delicious sweet treat.

Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate

All you gotta do is crack open some dates, de-pit them, slather their insides with nut butter, squash a whole nut in there (optional, but recommended), dip in some melted chocolate, and finish with sea salt.

Chocolate-Dipped Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates

A short chill sesh in the freezer later, you have a treat that’s chewy, crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and chocolatey. It hits every desirable snack element in one swoop.

Scruptious Stuffed Dates with Chocolate and Nut Butter

Honestly, the result is far better than it has any right to be. It tastes like a snickers but without any artificialness or sugar overload. They’re actually kind of like a lazy version of my favorite-ever Sunbutter Caramel Date Truffles with Sea Salt.

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Hunger vs Appetite, and Fullness vs Satisfaction

Hunger vs Appetite, and Fullness vs Satisfaction

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Gosh darn it, when did eating get so complicated?” Because it really shouldn’t be. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and it’s if you’re feeling any confusion, it’s certainly not your fault.

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We live in a food and weight loss-obsessed culture. Without even trying, we’re exposed to numerous food and fitness ads, ideas, and theories on a daily basis. They’re everywhere: the internet, social media feeds, TV commercials, even tabloids in the aisle at the grocery store.

All of these tidbits of information can be overwhelming. And oftentimes, to confuse things further, we hear opposing “facts” about the same topics. This encourages us to disengage with our natural eating instincts, and ignore our internal cues regarding hunger and fullness.

Today, I wanted to address a few words/concepts that may help you get back in touch with how to eat like an actual instinctual human rather than a confused oversaturated-with-misinformation human. Let’s go.

Hunger vs Appetite:

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

These words are often used interchangeably, but actually have different meanings in the nutrition science world. Physical hunger is defined by the physiological need for food. This may manifest itself as a rumbly tummy, empty-feeling stomach, low energy, and/or inability to concentrate. I know for me personally, I feel light-headed when I need to eat. But everyone is different.

Physical hunger is a result of blood glucose dropping in your body. When this happens, and your stomach is empty, a hormone called ghrenlin is released by your GI tract, sending a signal to your brain to increase gastric (stomach) acid and let your brain know “Hey! You up there! I need food!”

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Ghrenlin stops being released when food enters the stomach, letting your brain know that the need for food has been taken care of.

Appetite, on the other hand, is a desire to eat, less from a physical need, and more as a result of physical or environmental cues, such as the smell of freshly baking cookies, routines, and/or the desire to eat the doughnuts in front of you at a meeting even though you may be physically full.

If you eat in a very rigid, routine-style fashion, you may develop appetite to eat out of habit, kind of like a dog (#relatable).

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Easy Pesto Hummus Pasta

Easy Pesto Hummus Pasta

Meet your new favorite quick and super satisfying meal: easy Pesto Hummus Pasta! And guess what? If you’re a hummus lover, it’s probable you have everything you need to make it right now!

Vegan and Gluten Free Hummus Pesto Pasta

This recipe has a multitude of admirable qualities: 1) It comes together very quickly. 2) It’s one of the easiest “home cooked” meals you can make. 3) It’s super customizable based on what’s already in your kitchen. 4) It’s delicious and satisfying!

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What I’ve Been Eating Lately (Vegan)

What I’ve Been Eating Lately (Vegan)

Hey hey it’s time for another recent eats roundup. Here are some yummy recent vegan things I’ve been munchin’ on. I hope it inspires some yumminess in your life!

Bananas + Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

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After eyeing up Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter for a long time, I finally snatched it when it was on sale at Whole Foods for $7.99. Yes, still a splurge. But I have been itchin’ to try for so long!

It did NOT disappoint. It’s so good on bananas. Actually it’s pretty much good on everything (I’ve tried ice cream, toast, and apples too), but especially bananas. Obsessed. A worthy splurge IMO!

BANACHOS.

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You know it. Recipe here, video here.

Butter Lettuce Salads

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Every since I was little, I’ve loved butter lettuce. I can eat a whole head or bag of it in one sitting, easy. Goes down like nothin’.

I love the delicate yet crunchy and refreshing leaves. Have really been loving salads with Bibb or butter lettuce, nuts, and fresh peaches. Lately I’ve been rotating between Trader Joe’s Green Goddess and Panera Poppyseed dressing. And sometimes, I mix them. YOLO.

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What are Macros? And Should You Count Them?

What are Macros? And Should You Count Them?

Macros! Such a trendy health buzzword these days. But what are macros? And should you count them? In today’s post I want to address everything you need to know about macros, and my thoughts on counting them from a physical and mental health prospective.

Macros, Explained:

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“Macro” is short for “macronutrient.” Macronutrient is defined as a component of the diet that provides energy, and includes protein, fats, and carbohydrates. The USDA also considers alcohol a macronutrient, which I agree with because alcohol provides calories, but also don’t really think of when I hear “macros” because I mainly think of the other 3 essential groups (fat, carbs, and protein).

Basically, macronutrients are sources of calories, which your body uses for fuel. This is different from micronutrients (also known as vitamins and minerals) which are also essential for maintaining healthy body function, but don’t provide energy (calories) to your diet.

Macronutrients provide your body with the following amounts of energy:

  • Protein: 4 calories/gram

  • Carbohydrates: 4 calories/gram

  • Fat: 9 calories/gram

  • Alcohol: 7 calories/gram

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Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

You know what I adore? Fruit. And sweet graham cracker munchies. Like Teddie Grahams or Trader Joe’s Cinnamon School Book Cookies. Yum. Give me all the sweet (but not too sweet) carbs. And what better to dip all of these carbs in than Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff? Nada, that’s what.

Eeasy, delicious Vegan peanut butter fluff dip

This super easy Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff dip was inspired by fluffy fruit dips from my childhood. I remember raging on fruit and graham crackers with this mysterious white sweet fluffy dip and wondering what the heck it was.

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I’m not who you think I am: 10 confessions of a food and health blogger

I’m not who you think I am: 10 confessions of a food and health blogger

Between my blog, Instastories, Twitter, and Facebook and freelance work, I share a lot of my life and myself on the internet.

And while generally speaking I consider myself an open book, there are a lot of things you may not know about me, and a lot I don’t share with anyone, a few close friends and fam aside.

While there are certainly some things I will forever keep closed off from social, I decided to make some confessions about myself, my Internet persona, and my life in general. Not only to help you get to know me better, but also so if you’re struggling with some of the stuff I struggle with and think you’re the only one, perhaps you can find comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Sso here we go: 10 confessions from me to you:

1. On a daily basis, I eat boring and unbeautiful food.

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As a food/health blogger and writer, I post pictures of my dinner plates on Insta or glamorshots of cookies for recipe posts. But IRL on the daily, I typically subside off of fruit, nut butter, bread, veggies, hummus and potatoes. Oh, and a crap load of chocolate.

I could eat a peanut butter sammy on wheat bread with fruit for lunch every day of the week and not get sick of it. I don’t eat this every day, but it happens a lot during the school year and I don’t mind my boring foods at all.

Not every dinner I eat is nicely plated and aesthetically pleasing. More typically I’m grazing on veggies and hummus and probably a granola bar while waiting for my sweet potatoes to finish microwaving so I can eat them with my fingers and oodles of salt because I live alone and have no need for proper manners.

Then maybe I’ll round out my meal with some microwaved Ikea veggie balls or plain cubed tofu dipped in hot sauce and/or ketchup (again with my finger), and follow that with a bowl of cereal with almond milk and vegan ice cream straight from the carton. All eaten standing at my countertop while wearing my sittin’ pants & probably watching something on Bravo. Instagram is a highlights reel for everyone (myself included) and don’t chu forget that!

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Recent (Vegan) Eats

Recent (Vegan) Eats

Hey hey! I want to make my recent vegan eats roundups more regular. I love reading about other people’s random daily eats for inspiration for new snacks and meals, and I strive to write a blog I would want to read, so here we are.

Without further audieu, here’s a peak into what I’ve been nommin’ on lately. Hope you enjoy! Drop a comment below if you like these kinds of posts, or if you don’t!

Pesto Meatball Sub and air-baked sweet potato fries with ALL the beet ketchup and chipotle aioli from byChloe

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Last Saturday I met up with my NYU friend (and future MD!) Nina and her awesome vegan mom. We had a yummy dinner at byChloe, complete with all the condiments (really what’s best about byChloe), and dessert (a vegan/gluten-free cupcake + a cookie, split three ways).

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It was so nice to meet Dr. Chris IRL! I feel like we’ve been internet friends for a long time. After we all went to Trader Joe’s…aka a perfect Saturday night!

For more on what I like at byChloe, check out my NYC Vegan Eats Roundup!

Snap Peas with Hummus:

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YUM. Snap pea season! I got some yummy ones from the farmer’s market near by apartment and raged on them with hummus. Yummus.

Cherries

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Again, tis the season! I love love love cherries, and they have such a short season, so when I saw a big bag for $1.88/pound, I had to get some. So sweet and refreshing.

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Vegan Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar

Vegan Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar

Every time I see Lofthouse Cookies in the store, I have a weird momentary urge to buy them. They look so sugary, colorful, fluffy and delightful and remind me of my childhood, since I feel like they were one of those treats that were regularly offered at kid events and birthday celebrations.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes Delicious

I usually don’t buy Lofthouse Cookies, because I know deep down that inevitably I’ll buy them, eat maybe one, realize they taste not as great as they look, and wonder why I bought them. I tend to get bored of plain sugar cookies most of the time, and Lofthouse Cookies are filled with artificial stuff that I also don’t find to be so tasty, so these factors weigh in on my decision, as well. Oh, and on top of that – they’re not vegan. Boo.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes with Sprinkles _ pink and white

So, I decided to make my very own Vegan Lofthouse Style Cookies – fluffy chewy sugar cookies on the bottom, and scrumptious frosting on the top – all free from dairy, eggs, and artificial colors/flavors/and dyes.

Vegan Lofthouse-style cookes

This was on my baking list for a long time. Does that happen to anyone else? You think about making something for months or even years, and it just itches at you until ya do it? It’s something that happens to me, and it makes it oh-so-satisfying to bake things off the bucket list.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes with Sprinkles

Over spring break, I finally did the damn thing and made these cookies. It was a perfect relaxing project while recovering from my concussion.

Vegan Lofthouse style cookes

To color the frosting, I used raspberry juice that I made from mashing a few thawing frozen berries in a bowl. Feel free to do this with any vegetable/fruit you’d like that will give you a color you desire (beets, cherries, and blueberries could all be fun). You could also puree a few pieces of freeze-dried fruit and mix in the coloring produce as a powder instead. Or, you can always use a food coloring or food dye. You do you!

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Everything You Need to Know about Cancer and French Fries

Everything You Need to Know about Cancer and French Fries

By now, you’ve probably come across an article on your social feed about how French fries or fried potatoes in general are causing cancer. If not, congrats. The blissfully ignorant state of not knowing about the potential harm of over consuming fried potatoes means your life is probably less anxiety-ridden than my own (oh, and sorry for bursting that bubble of cozy comfort with this post. Feel free to stop reading right now if you’d like).

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Anyways, I’ve gotten a lot of Qs about this topic, so I thought I’d address it here. As a potato-finatic and food tox and food safety enthusiast, this issue hits close to home and is one I wanted to examine for myself. This topic actually came up in food tox before I saw it trending all over social media, so I was happy to have a solid grip on the science before all the media hype surrounding it.

So, let’s dive into the nitty starchy gritty: potatoes, French fries, and acrylamide: what you need to know about the risks, and how to minimize your own.

Ps: I had been pausing blogging, not by choice, but out of circumstance, as when I tried to transfer hosting sites, my site was kind of MIA from the internet for over a week…talk about anxiety-inducing. Oy.

Anyways, now that I’ve got my site back, I’m going to work with a different company on transferring the site (because I’ve got bigger and better things planned) and in the meantime keep chugging along here.

So what’s the risk? Are my potatoes and grains giving me cancer?

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Acrylamide does not appear to be of concern in raw foods themselves; it seems to be formed when certain starchy foods are cooked at high temps.

So the risk does not lie necessarily in the potatoes or grains per se, so don’t think you have to instantly ban potatoes from your household. The risk is actually from the acrylamide that develops upon high heat cooking of the potatoes (usually above 250°F).

What is acrylamide?

Easy Baked Cripsy Sweet Potato Wedges with Almond Butter

Acrylamide is a chemical compound found in a lot of industrial production. It’s also found in cigarette smoke. It’s also in many foods, including canned black olives, potato chips, French fries, dark browned toast, coffee, prune juice, and some breakfast cereals.

Acrylamide can also form in some foods as a result of the amino acid asparagine being heated to high temperatures in the presence of certain sugars. This is what happens when potatoes are fried in hot oil. Potatoes happen to have high levels of asparagine, hence the recent concern about french fries, acrylamide and cancer.

Baking and roasting can also lead to acrylamide formation. Generally speaking, the longer and hotter the cooking method, the more acrylamide is likely to form. Boiling and steaming do not typically lead to acrylamide formation.

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