Spill It Sundays

Spill It Sundays: All About Birthdays

I’m linking up with Arman today for a special edition of his Spill It Sundays series – the birthday edition – dedicated to the best twerker I know, the big man himself. Happy Birthday Arman! I hope that you get down to some Juicy J and eat only sugar all day. But now let’s focus on me. 😉


1. When is your birthday
I was born on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a pretty sweet ass day to be born, if you ask me. I talk about my most recent birthday celebrations here and here.

2. What would your ideal birthday ‘day’ look like?
Hmmm well ideally I’d want to eat a whole chocolate cake with vanilla frosting on it. That would probably make me sick, though, so I guess my perfect birthday would look something like: hot yoga class in the morning, chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, cake and baby carrots for lunch, a nice dinner out (at some trendy restaurant because I’m sooooo hip) and then out to a bar for like, one glass of good wine because my next birthday is 23 and that requires more class. If I met a Pittsburgh Penguin and he fell in love with me that day too, I wouldn’t mind. 


3. When was your most memorable birthday?
My parents threw some awesome birthdays for me. The best one was when the coordinated two of our relatives to dress up as Belle and the Beast and act like they came out of the woods across the street from their castle. I flipped out. I think I mentioned that + other cool birthday parties in this post.

4. When was your worst birthday?
Honestly? I don’t remember ever having a really terrible birthday. I’m sure I had a bad one in there somewhere, probably in high school and something stupid and dramatic happened.

5. What is the best birthday present you’ve received?
My car! My aunt is so generous and wonderful. I wouldn’t have my 1989 Toyota Camry (named Norm) without her. He’s lasted more than five years, but I’ll have to be retiring him soon. I’ll try to get a pic of him up here sometime.

6. What is the worst birthday present you’ve ever received?
I truly do appreciate every thought and gift I’ve gotten throughout my life – I’m a lucky girl. But my pet peeve for presents, I must admit, is when people buy me clothes that either 1) are completely not my style or 2) don’t fit AT ALL. I’d rather get a gift card. The thought is still behind it, in my opinion.

7. What is a health related gift on your wish list?
Bah! I don’t even know. Maybe just like a kettlebell? And a few sets of free weights. It’d make home workouts more effective.

8. What is a food related gift on your wishlist?
Mom and Dad (and Adam!) have been killin’ it with food presents as of late (see Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2013), but next on my list is a juicer (I think). I want to be able to make my own in the mornings!


9. What is your birthday cake of choice?
Chocolate with vanilla frosting!

Question of the Day:
>> Answer one of the ?s above!


Carbs, Carbs, Carbs [Spill It Sundays #12]

Heyyyy Sunday! How ya doin’? Today we’re talking carbs for Arman’s Spill It Sunday link-up. Let’s get to it!


What’s your all-time favorite carb-based dish?
Hmmmm I’m going to be boing and say spaghetti. It’s what I’ve been craving lately every time I go to an Italian restaurant!


What is your favorite fruit?
Strawberries! Although it could be a toss up between that and watermelon. I had a serious watermelon moment last summer that will probably resurface in a few months.


What is your favorite grain?
Rolled oats!

What is your favorite starchy vegetable?
Pumpkin! I LOVE pumpkin. Typical.

Which carb receives unfair flack? Which carb is overrated?
Lately I’ve been seeing people hate on spaghetti squash, which is totally unfair. Personally, it does satisfy my my need for pasta when I don’t want real noodles – and I just told you spaghetti was my fave carb-based dish. So there hataaaas. We’re all diff!

Okay and not that I don’t love kabocha – because I do – but what I think is overrated about it is that you have to search for it like it’s the magical leprechaun stash or something, which is so annoying. I mean it’s good, but jeez.


What is your perception of this macronutrient?
So, if I’m going to be honest, I’m still working on and evolving my perception of carbs. I was one of the people who fell into the “low-carb everything carbs are bad and the devil and they will kill you” trend. I’ve said that before, and I’ve said that I know better now. Carbs don’t just equal bread, etc., but it’s still hard for me to sometimes tell myself that I need these denser carbs to survive. I’m just being honest, here. If I feel bloated or crappy I automatically assume it’s the carbs, when in reality it probably is not. But that’s just a by product of stupid media assumptions. And I shouldn’t worry if I want pancakes. Those aren’t the devil, either.


I have to also say that it really irks me when I hear people say, “I’m cutting out carbs.” Uhhhh okay. Vegetables are carbs. And you’re about to go down a salad. Full of carbs. So no, you’re not cutting them out, you never will completely. I wish I could just shout it to the world so that not everyone makes the same mistake as I did.

What benefits do carbs play in your personal eating habits?
I do eat carbs – every day. Veggies, fruit, grains, all of that. I’ve been trying to work on making sure to have one dense carb at every meal. However, I am still kind of picky when it comes to what grains I will eat. I have a terrible stigma against white rice, and I limit my white potato consumption. It’s dumb, I know. I have no reason to fear the white potato. I’m trying to get over it. Frankly, with the rice thing, I just like brown better.

Also, I’ve been using pasta made from brown rice and quinoa instead of wheat for the past few months. I like the way it makes me feel better than wheat pasta. And Ezekiel bread is another carby food that is having a major moment for me now. YUM.


And that’s a… wrap (hehe carb puns). I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

Questions of the Day:
>> What is your perception of carbs?
>> Favorite carb-based meal?

Fats Nourish The Body [Spill It Sundays #11]

I’ve been dropping the ball on these Spill It Sundays posts. I’m sorry Arman. Don’t hate me.

The Big Man's World

I really love the topic we’re covering today – fats! Can you believe I used to think fats were bad? Can you believe that a good portion of people still think fats are bad? I’ll be the first to say that I got caught up in the low-fat diet fads of years past. Was I crazy? No, I just was listening to information without doing my own research. Now, I know that fats won’t make you fat. You kind of need fat to survive. There are countless resources that will tell you that high-fat diets are actually beneficial. Since I’m no dietician, I needed to figure that out on my own. Of course, everyone is different and ultimately, you have to discover what works for you. Just because I eat a higher-fat diet doesn’t mean you have to, but I would encourage you to look into it. You have to eat in a way that works for you, not what works for someone else.

I can identify with Arman because he is working figuring out what works for his own diet right now; I think this is always a changing, evolving process, but currently, I am totally on board with his philosophy, which is “WholeArman” (a play on words for Whole30). The brainiac thing is, no one else can do  WholeArman because it is specific to what works for him. One thing he’s focusing on is fat intake and its sources, so I’m going to share some of my favorite ways to include fat in my diet. It wouldn’t be called Nutty for Life if I didn’t eat fats, right?

What is your favorite fat source?
Lately, I’ve really been loving almonds as a fat source. They’re my favorite nut to snack on. I like to add them as a side to meals a lot or top my oats or yogurt with them. I like to make my own almond butter, too! I’ve been obsessed with making breakfast bowls that include greek yogurt, almond meal, chia seeds, almonds, cinnamon, and crumbled homemade muffins. They’re really yummy. And almond butter is divine, too. Can’t forget that!


What is your favorite nut butter?
Okay, I know peanuts are technically legumes, but I consider them nuts. PeaNUT butter is my favorite nut butter. I just think they have the word ‘nut’ in them for a reason, and that reason is so that I could worship peanut butter as if it is its own food group. I mean, I even dedicated a month to four different peanut butter recipes. You can bet that’s happening again this year, too. Long story short: I’m nutty for peanut butter.


What fat receives unfair flack? What fat is overrated?
Saturated fat from the right sources gets unfair flack, in my opinion. Like I said, I’m not a dietician, and I can’t explain to you in correct scientific terms why some saturated fats are good for you. So, I’m going to send you over to Robyn’s post about coconut oil. Coconut products are my favorite form of saturated fat: I put coconut milk in my coffee, cook with coconut oil, I make coconut butter, and I even put coconut oil on my face and body.


As for an overrated fat… personally, I don’t think there is one. Some people might say coconut oil, and I guess I could say that because it’s gotten so much attention recently. I won’t though, because I’ve found that it has both excellent internal and external benefits. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my robe because I made my own coconut oil scrub in the shower and then followed up with more coconut oil to moisturize, and it’s soaking in! If we say a fat is overrated, we give negative connotations to the word ‘fat’ in general, and I’m sick of seeing that sh*t in the media. Fat isn’t overrated – it’s a necessary nutrient.

What is your perception of this macronutrient?
My own perception of fat has changed over the last few years drastically. As I mentioned above, I was queen of the low-fat this and low-fat that diet. It was, for a lack of a better word, gross. I would be hesitant of putting olive oil on my salads or cooking meals in any type of oil that didn’t spray out of a can. I didn’t know all of the benefits that fat can provide us, specifically in the brain (<– This article talks a lot about the Paleo diet, which I don’t 100% agree with, but I do find the explanation of why fats are good for the brain helpful). Now, my perception of fats has done a complete 180. I like whole fat foods. I like to add oil to my dishes. I like to eat the egg yolks! It makes them taste better! Plus, I don’t have to worry about added sugar to make up for that lack of flavor.


What benefits do fats play in your personal eating habits?
I’ve found that fat is extremely crucial to my satiety. The 21 Day Sugar Detox helped me a lot in that discovery. Now, I make sure there is some sort of fat included in every single meal and at every snack, as best I can. Fats are not the enemy anymore. Fats nourish the body.

Basically, fats are good for you. You can find the research to prove it if you look, just like I did. There’s nothing more powerful than knowledge, especially when it comes to finding out what works for our bodies. And that’s the WholeAngela perspective.

Questions of the Day:
>> What is your perception of fats?
>> What is your favorite nut or nut butter?