Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thoughts & Coconut Cashew Strawberry Swirl Nice Cream

Where did 2014 go?

It went somewhere cold and snowy because now it's 2015 and looking really warm and sunny with dabs of snow on top, like a big vanilla scoop with strawberry swirls and white sprinkles on top. 

Sort of like that. If 2015 really does look like that, then that means that we're in for a treat!! Haha!

Anyway, it's been two weeks of winter break from school and already I've started to get flustered about getting back on top. You know, the books and tests and grades. That's kind of why this nice cream miracle happened. 

Even though it's super chilly outside, nice cream still has its very own warm place in my heart… And stomach!

Of course I adore banana ice cream: it's sweet, plain and simple, which creates the perfect soft-serve image in my head regularly. It's great for a right-out-of-the-blender treat, but not for a real rich and creamy dessert that replicates a the thick scoops you can get by the beaches in Seattle. That place is gorgeous and so are its ice cream shops. 

My nice cream creation is made out of coconut milk and cashews- rich and creamy that perfectly replicates a Seattle scoop! I've never really tried the two together for nice cream, and I admit that the thought of trying something different that didn't entirely include bananas sounded intimidating.

For this recipe, I assure that it's really not! We're still on the blender bandwagon, yea? There isn't an ice-cream maker for this recipe to be seen! (And I don't have one either)

Anyway, I hope you all kick off the new year with fresh spirits and some yummy, creamy, rich and smooth nice cream like this. At least, that' how I am…..

*2 frozen, spotty-dotty bananas, peeled and super ripe as always
*1/4 C of soaked cashews, rinsed
*1/2 C of full-fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
*1/2 C of frozen strawberries- diced 
*1 tsp. each of vanilla extract, honey/agave (or 1-2 drops of pure stevia), and lemon juice
*fresh orange juice from 1 squeeze orange

1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the bananas, cashews, and coconut milk together with the freshly squeezed OJ. 
2. pulse the strawberries and other liquidy things I asked for in next. 
3. pop in the freezer for about 6 hours and stir every half-hour for a creamy consistency

Xxx, Alli <33

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Not Too Sure, Answers to Everything, & the Warmest Cookie Latte for a White Christmas!

Since my last post, I've been thinking about how insightful I've become over the last few months: I'm not really feeling too pressured to be fit the exact measurements I always thought I had to meet. Today I realized that it's okay to not know.

I usually have an answer for everything. For example…..
Why do you feel sad/unhappy today?
~I'm anxious, and I need to remind myself that my size or looks don't define me. Sometimes, I have unhappy days where all I think about is myself, but I'm trying not to think about myself so much.

Why are you angry at other people? What did they do to you?
~I think I'm angry at everyone right now because I'm mostly angry at myself. I feel like all of my faults have been turned onto other people and now it's their fault that I'm mad, but it's really not.

But when asked how I feel about everything in this moment, I don't know.

It's okay that I don't know. I don't have to feel every minute and every answer to my hypothetical questions. I'm not even sure I know what I'm typing.

I know that I feel happy, but then afraid at the same time. I'm afraid of looking back and never moving forward. The past is apart of me. But I am not my past; I am my future. Many months ago I was my past, but that was my future. My future now is ahead of me, somewhere where I'll be wiser and more lively instead of just someone with a past that she'll never let go of.

And so for now, I don't know. I don't know if I'm supposed to feel relieved or frightened; Maybe both. What I've learned over the past few months is that it's okay to no know for sure. Nobody has the exact answers to everything and who really could? Even if I did have an answer now, I bet you all that it would change in my dysmorphed, colorful world of confusion and amazement. You don't have to feel or know in the exact moment to be wise.

It's 60 degrees and the end of December. I've finally accepted that we are not having a white Christmas here in Salt Lake. Oh well, maybe there will be a white Christmas actually. I'm not too positive on that one though. 

Christmas drinks at Starbucks are always so yummy and super festive! They're too overrated for me though. I wanted something eggnogy, fresh, minty, creamy, warm and milky- so I created the perfect Cookie Latte one night a few nights ago whilst sleep-drinking. (I was super tired and practically sleeping) 

The crazy amounts of sugar and odd processed crap the legendary Starbucks drinks has to offer just…. didn't appeal to me. Apparently there's no real pumpkin in their pumpkin spice lattes. How shameful and appalling, really!

My wintery concoction turned out fab I'd say! IT'S ALSO SUPER EASY TO MAKE! It's perfect with the slight buttery taste the pb gives and the vanilla makes a warm drink. At the end, with the dark chocolate 88% chunks, they melt and are irresistibly sweet and yummy in your mouth!! Ahhh….

 *1/2 C of almond milk + 1/4 C of canned full-fat coconut milk (I like to use Trader Joe's or Thai Kitchen)
*1 tsp. of honey, pure bourbon vanilla extract, and coconut sugar each
*1.5 tsp. of creamy natural peanut butter
*1 small square of at least 88% dark chocolate, chopped into tiny pieces. 
I don't recommend using cacao nibs because they don't melt the way that super dark chocolate does

***The best way is to make on the stovetop, I posted the way to do it in the microwave on instagram, but since then, I think that the stovetop way works better to break up peanut butter chunks and to melt everything in***
1. In a small sauce pan, stir the almond and coconut milk and coconut sugar together on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until nice and frothy.
2. add in the honey, vanilla, and melt your peanut butter in the microwave so you can stir it better. Stir until well combined- 3-4 minutes.
3. pour into a white Christmas mug and stir in the dark chocolate chunks! Enjoy!!

Xxx, Alli

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Peace Within, over 1300 Pageviews on VBK, & Christmas Banana "Ice-Cream"!!

The lighting is perfect: it's almost a gloomy day, dark and misty but the air is dry and silvery. Perfect time to post.
I've not had hardly any time at all to post, I just barely had to get a new phone because I dropped my old 5c on my friend's toe and it dropped and the screen literally faded to dark purple. What the heck? This past week was the last week of school before a whole 2 weeks of break! (I just adore Christmas and New Year's break!!) 

Anyway, in this post, I'm going to share my thoughts and feelings on how I've changed over the past couple of months, and how my change has been a good effect on me and my surroundings.

My mental health has improved quite a bit. Even though it may seem so sparkly and like I'm so joyful all the time, I'm not. I'm a real person with real feelings that I don't always brush off. What I've learned over the past couple of months is that my body is often in a war with itself. For now, I'm finding some unity within. 

Most days, my body image is alright. Some days though, I feel lonely and miserable, withdrawn and isolated. With these real feelings, I mask them into a false feeling I like to call 'fat'. I feel fat on those days. Here's something I've learned: you cannot simply feel fat, you must be calling yourself fat because of unwanted feelings you don't feel like coping or coming to terms with. This isn't for everybody, but I hear this a lot. 

I also have anxiety. Anxiety is merciless. My anxiety is not me, but I like to hide behind the shadow it creates. I usually fret over small flaws and details in my everyday life, whether it be me consuming food with a lower nutritional value than I'd like, or not moving around enough. 

Butterflies eat away at my gut. My eyes aren't my eyes anymore- they're some dark, shadow's eyes that have no depth with specks of panic. My hair becomes brittle and thin, and my hands turn eggplant purple; My hands become cold. There's also a constant ring inside my head- I'm not crazy, but guilt likes to bottle up inside my gut and come up to my head to explode. I think the guilt likes to trick me into thinking that I'm worth less than how much I really am.

When I feel like this, I am quick to recognize that I've sank to the bottom of a murky pool with sharp edges and weeds swimming around. Today I swam and pulled myself up to the surface of the pool; I am okay. 

The past few months have been mostly lived in peace. I like the word peace, it reminds me of a beautiful river streaming freely; I'd like to live in that river forever. The plan for the next couple of months is to renew peace within my body for good. Maybe my body and I can be friends. Think of your body as a house: you wouldn't try to burn it down, so why would you try to damage your body in order to even make it look like something unrealistic? 

For today, my body is at peace. It might not be tomorrow or the next day, but for today, that's enough.

On the other (less emotional) hand, VBK had reached over 1300 page views! What a pleasant surprise! Thanks to everyone who has read my blog. I'm blushing right now <3

Today I'm sharing with you guys a new favorite banana "ice-cream" recipe! You all know the drill- freeze some spotty-dotty bananas and whip 'em up to create an ice cream like texture. 

The right blend of citrus and matcha green-tea flavor along with berries really gives a pop-tart taste and smells just like Christmas should. Tip*: if you freeze the bananas and let them thaw for 10-15 minutes, then you'll make the blending process easier on your blender or food processor. 

*2 frozen, spotty dotty ripe bananas, sliced
*1/3 C of any plant-based milk(s) (for this I used half coconut and half almond)
*1 tsp. each of matcha green-tea powder, pure vanilla extract, orange zest, and honey
*1/2 C of frozen mixed berries
*1/3 of a frozen acai berry packet
*2 ice cubes
*sprinkle of excitement for Christmas (coconut sugar)

1. Start whipping up your bananas with the plant-based milk(s), frozen berries and acai packet, and ice cubes. After, you should stir the stuff
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and whip up some more. When you're finished whipping and stirring, then scoop the yumminess into a colorful Christmas bowl and let sit in the freezer for approx. 30 min. to an hour to harden and thicken up for the perfect ice-cream/frozen sorbet like texture. 
3. Sprinkle some coconut sugar on and enjoy by the fireplace! Actually, please don't. The whole thing will melt profusely. Stay cozy though!

***NOTE: Please take into account that I am posting something said very personal. If you are in any way triggered by this, then please notify me. I'm trying to, as I said, find some peace within and this is my journal. Xxx, Alli <3***

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