Last Minute (Grocery) Gifts

As both a college student and someone who loves grocery shopping a little too much, I find myself spending A LOT of my money at Whole Foods, my local food co-op and other fun places. So naturally, I’ve found yet another way to give my money to the industry.

01gg

If you–like me–want to get your friends thoughtful gifts that are delicious and high utility, this post is for you.

For the chewer: Simply Gum

03gg

Nothing says holidays than peppermint, cinnamon and ginger. Luckily, these are the flavors that Simply Gum comes in. Not only are they tasty (my fav is the mint, but I’m a mint gum kinda girl) but they’re made with minimal ingredients and processing. Plus the packaging is super pretty.

 

For the hedonist: Fair trade chocolate

04gg

I mean, chocolate is kind of obvious. Duh. But when it comes to the holiday season, give a little extra by choosing fair trade chocolate. They’re not only better quality, but also give back to the farmers involved in the original growing of the cacao. Some brands I like are Theo, Alter Eco, ChocoLove and Eating Evolved, but any good quality fair trade chocolate is sure to make a perfect gift for your chocoholic.

 

For the one who can’t eat anything: Hail Merry

02gg

If you have a friend who seems to have allergies or intolerances to everything, I highly recommend Hail Merry snacks: they’re free of tons of stuff, like gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Oh, and they come in tons of flavors and are delicious. Both the cups and the macaroon-type ones are really good, but keep in mind that they need to be refrigerated up until you gift them; these aren’t that great for under the tree.

 

I hope this post was as helpful for you as it was for me to photograph (and eat). Holiday shopping is hard, but food is delicious. Happy Holidays everyone!

 

 

Hiking Fuel 101

Hey everyone! I just got back from a quick vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park and I thought I would share a quick post on what I eat on hikes; we did four trails in three days. The longer ones mandated that we bring snacks. On Thursday, we climbed Deer Mountain, and on Friday we climbed Flattop Mountain, which is almost 9 miles round trip. I’m not any sort of super-expert, but I’ve done a fair share of hiking in my day, and I would say 9 miles isn’t bad for a girl with an autoimmune issue.

DSC_0054

So what do you want to eat on a hike? I recommend three main things: something salty, something “sugary” and something fatty, especially if you’re going to be hiking for a long time. Confused? Check below what I recommend and why.

Something salty

DSC_0050

When you sweat, you lose not only water but also lots of salt. Keeping electrolytes up is really important, so bringing something salty with you will help keep energy up throughout the hike. I chose these Jackson’s Honest potato chips because they don’t have anything but potatoes, coconut oil and sea salt.

Something “sugary”

DSC_0053

Y’all didn’t think I meant refined sugar, did you? Natural sugar is always the way to go, but things like dates and dried fruit are high glycemic and will convert to usable energy quickly. Things like Lärabars, raisins and banana chips are all good options for either right before or during a hike when you feel your legs getting tired.

Something fatty

DSC_0052

While you need something high glycemic to give quick energy, “slow release” foods are another important thing to eat while exercising. The healthy fats will both keep you full on the trail and release energy over time to keep you going. You can either eat this plain, on some crackers or bread, or by dipping an Rx bar into it (see my insta @sugarandsitups).

I hope you guys found this useful! We still have all of August for vacation, so if you’re going to be out hiking or camping, make sure to grab some of the food I suggested! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Healthy Fats 101

Healthy fats are totally the hype right now, and I decided to make a lil’ post about it to make sure that y’all don’t just think it’s a fad; healthy fats are sooooo good. Take a look at some of the reasons down below:

The word “fat” is negative, but it shouldn’t be

If someone is overweight, they’re fat; if some food has lots of the macronutrient known as lipids, it’s fat. The idea of fat has been so demonized over the last several decades that people didn’t realize that it was sugar that was the real culprit in most weight gain. That’s mostly because of a study where scientists were paid to peg fat as worse than sugar. Humans need lots of healthy fats in our diets to function.

DSC_0004 (1)
Avocados: the good kind of fat

Fat soluble vitamins

The most important thing about eating fats is that there are some vitamins you need that are fat soluble, meaning that only with the help of fat can they be transported through the blood stream. Vitamins A, E, D and K are all fat soluble. If you’re getting those vitamins but not enough fat in your diet, you could be missing out on a lot of the benefits. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but one of vitamin K’s biggest roles is in blood coagulation. Eating leafy greens might get you the vitamin K, but eating healthy fats will make it accessible to your body. Drinking green smoothies with kale and avocado, for instance, is a great way to ensure vitamin K absorption. #dontbleedtodeath

dsc_0014-1
Kale and avocado smoothie (recipe)

Fat + Math = Pass

Fats are also really important for brain function, which would definitely explain why eating a balanced breakfast helps so much with math problems. I don’t remember much from AP Biology, but what I do remember is that myelin sheaths, the things that wrap around your nerve cells, are made of fat. Eating a diet with enough fat leads to better concentration AND better nerve function. Unfortunately for me, my diet high in avocados, almond butter and yogurt didn’t get me an A in calculus, but I’m still hoping it’ll have some effect on my learning ability.

Fuller faster, fuller longer

Fun fact: carbs sometimes get used up really quickly by your body. Now I’m not anti-carb at all, as you can probably tell from all my recipes including oats, sweet potatoes, dates, honey and endless varieties of fruit, but eating foods high in fat is the best way to get and stay full over long periods of time. After years of not eating real breakfasts before school, switching to yogurt or avocado toast in the morning helped me a ton with staying full and concentrated until…well, around second or third hour. But that’s an hour or two longer than just a Fiber One Bar (it was 2010, okay?) was giving me.

DSC_0006
Eating a handful of almonds before leaving for work or school is a great way to ensure that you’ll have energy to use for the rest of the day, not just an hour.

Steady & Stable

Foods high in fat stabilize blood sugar! If you have diabetes running in your family, like I do, this is so important! Nut butters especially, which are high in monounsaturated fat, really help keep blood sugar levels in control. Plus almond butter is delicious.

DSC_0111
Energy packed granola that’ll keep you full and focused for longer! (recipe)

I know this post was kind of long and maybe a little boring for some of you photo centric people, but it’s so important to know WHY you’re following eating instructions from random people on the internet. I’m not a nutritionist, but I do have a high school diploma, which means I must have learned something about credible sources on the internet, right? I hope this post inspires you to stop fearing the fat and start stuffing your faces with avocados and almond butter. Have a wonderful week!