Shenandoah National Park ~ Vacation Post 2
August 26, 2015
Welcome back to the second portion of my vacation adventures! I’m currently laying in bed with a nasty cold. A cold in the summer, seriously?! Ugh. I haven’t been sick for a very long time so I’m trying to handle this as well as possible. But it’s frustrating! Especially while going through all of my vacation pictures to try to find the best ones to share. Definitely wishing I was back there today!
Anyways, after leaving the beach we went to Luray, Virginia to visit the Shenandoah National Park. I’ve never been there before so I had no idea what to expect. The park is absolutely beautiful. We stayed in a cabin that was really great as well. We only spent two days there and really needed more time for hiking and other adventures like that. But we still got to do two small hikes and see a lot of what we wanted to see! The only downside to the trip for me was the food. Ahhh man. Luray is a small town (from what I saw and experienced) with just a Walmart and another grocery store. No vegan food anywhere! I ate a box of cereal, mangoes, and rice the whole time. I was definitely struggling after being at the beach and experiencing so many amazing options! But the memories that were created were worth sacrificing a few days worth of yummy foods for.
We took a day and drove Skyline Drive. It’s a 105 mile drive throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. They had a bunch of pull offs where you could stop for pictures and park to go hiking.
I was all about that. I would still be there telling my sister to take pictures of me if I had the choice. She got slightly annoyed by it, but I took some of her senior pictures there. So it’s only fair, right?!
There were so many cool rocks to (very carefully) climb on. My mom doesn’t like heights and she was not a fan of my sister and I taking this photo! You know I’ll never pass up a good photo opportunity though!
Shortly after this was taken we went on a short hiking trail and ended up seeing a bear and her cubs. It was a cool experience! I’ve seen bear around home before, actually I saw one on a bike ride last month. But these bear were just hanging out and we stumbled upon them. We snapped a few pictures before turning around and deciding that the hike wasn’t that important.
Our cabin was right beside the Shenandoah River. We only checked it out one time for a few minutes (mainly because we ran out of time) but I wish we would have gotten to experience it a bit more. The water was so warm!
And now comes the yoga pictures. Surprised?! Probably not. And I figured that since I don’t have any food pictures I’m going to share some yoga photos instead. I wish I would have been able to spend more time in the forest taking yoga pictures and maybe even recording a yoga video. That would have been so awesome.
*dreams of someday being able to visit parks all over the US taking yoga photos and videos and being able to support myself financially by doing so*
But for now that’s it! I had a great time vacationing around Virginia this year. I’m grateful for the experience and the memories created! I’m already planning my next adventure which will most likely be to NYC for a weekend trip. Which means that we all need to be prepared for lots of awesome food and yoga once again! Yay for adventures.
Chia Snack Bites – 4 Ingredients
August 23, 2015
Coming at you today with a quick, easy chia snack bite recipe. I’ve been trying to incorporate more chia seeds into my diet for a few reasons. One: I have a large portion of chia seeds in my kitchen. Two: chia seeds are an awesome way to get fiber, protein, and omega-3. And three: they’re fun to add to your foods!
I’ve been working on trying to make some snacks for work each week and these were my goodies from last week. I actually had them finished by Tuesday. But hey, that’s okay! The hardest part about this recipe is cleaning the blender when you’re done. And trying not to eat them all at once either.
Chia Snack Bites
makes 10-12 medium sized bites
2 cup dates
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Blend together dates, buckwheat groats, and maple syrup. Remove from blender and roll into balls. Roll balls in chia seeds. Serve, enjoy!
Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Virginia Beach ~ Vacation Post 1
August 22, 2015
Happy weekend! How was your week? I’m coming at you today with vacation post number one! For this post we’re starting out with Virginia Beach! My mom and I are totally beach people but my dad and sister are totally not beach people. So the past few years we’ve been trying to switch it up by visiting the beach as well as national parks and stuff. I’m totally down for that too! But I am a beach person and living at least 6 hours away from any beach means that I absolutely have to go at least once a year. There’s nothing better to me than the ocean air and sand scattered throughout my life.
Love, love, love.
We visited Virginia Beach from August 9-12. It’s been like 10 years since I’ve been there so I don’t really remember much, being 12 at the time. I was so so impressed and excited by the trip though! I really enjoyed the atmosphere, amount of dogs, and vegan options. There was also this cute little boutique named Lola that I was obsessed with. I swear that I went in there 10 times over the course of like two days. But anyways, I would totally go back to Virginia Beach! Here’s a collection of photos from my trip. I had such a tough time trying to narrow down which photos to use because there are so many good ones! But here we go.
Crab yoga! I made my family take so many pictures on these crabs. Whoops!
Fruitive is a plant based cafe in Virginia Beach. This place saved me so many times. One day I got food here for my whole day. It was so convenient. The servings were great and the food was delicious!
We tried to get a picture with the sunrise!
I happened to be going to the beach on my 2 year vegan anniversary and I wanted to get something special to celebrate. I got dairy free mango froyo topped with a bunch of fruits! I rarely get things like that so this was awesome!
Handstands with the trees! This happened after a nice 3 mile run along the beach with my mom. Great way to start the morning!
We then came across some huge pretty flowers and stopped to take a picture because they were almost as big as our heads!
I got to do yoga on the beach after waking up and I love it so so much. I want to do that every morning. Who wants to come to a sunrise yoga class?!
The Green Cat
The Green Cat was another life saver while at the beach! I loved their smoothie bowls, oh my gosh. I tried all of them within two days and got a smoothie too. Everything was great. They have a cute little dining area outside too filled with tons of plants. My kind of place!
My mom and I found this crab while we were running one morning. He was such a cute little guy!
My whole trip was great and I was so pleasantly surprised that I was easily able to find vegan options so close to me as well. A huge thumbs up for Virginia Beach!
Stay tuned for part two of my vacation; Luray, Virginia!
Vegan Anniversary – Two Years
August 18, 2015
Hello, hello! This post is quite belated but I’d rather share it late than never at all because it’s very important and exciting for me. On August 9th it was my vegan anniversary!! Two years. I left for vacation that day so I couldn’t post and I’m pretty amazing with procrastinating so of course I didn’t write beforehand. But I’m here now and we’re talking about it and that’s what matters.
Two years ago I watched Earthlings whenever I had my wisdom teeth removed. I cut out meat instantly, started cutting out all other animal products, and then became vegan.
Veganism has brought so much positivity and happiness into my life and I am so grateful for it. But I do believe that people see veganism as boring and restrictive whenever that isn’t the case at all. So last year on my vegan anniversary I posted some amazing food that I had in my first year of being vegan and I enjoyed creating that post so much that I decided to do the same thing this year. Yay vegan food!
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Shakes. Oh yesss. Who doesn’t love a good chocolate peanut butter combo?!
Sticking with the chocolate peanut butter combo… Chocolate peanut butter ice cream with coconut date rolls. Can’t get enough!
If you’ve been following me for a while then you know I love oatmeal. I used to eat it at least once a day and often multiple times each day. It’s more of a cold weather thing for me now so I haven’t had it lately but this bowl is making me want to run to the kitchen and make some asap. I love throwing so much fruit and other toppings onto my oats. So fun!
Eden is one of my favorite places to go in Pittsburgh. They change up their menu seasonally and I haven’t experienced a bad meal there yet. This was the Jackfruit Crab Salad Sandwich that I had on my birthday. It was so good! My mom even wondered if it was actually vegan which yes, it was!
Sticking with the Eden theme for one more thing… the Mexico Bowl. I had this earlier this summer and it’s like Chipotle but twenty times better and more flavorful. I loved it so much and plan on bringing it back into my life a few more times before summer ends!
Ahh, Amazing Cafe. Another one of my favorites in Pittsburgh. This is from their previous winter menu; the Chili. Oh my gosh. Eating this actually created a monster out of me and I now have chili more than any normal person should, especially during the summer. I’m definitely hoping that they bring this back this winter too. Mmmm.
This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of banana ice cream. It was so good and so fun to make. Looking at this picture really makes me miss pomegranate!
Cupcakes!! I rarely ever eat cupcakes for two reasons. One: they aren’t very available to me in my area. Two: they don’t make me feel my best. But when I eat them, I go for it. Darrin and I got these and we shared all four in one sitting. Sugar coma big time afterwards but so worth it!
This ice cream honestly deserves a post of its own. So Delicious Snickerdoodle ice cream is EVERYTHING. I’m telling you right now that you must try this. Go to Whole Foods or wherever you can find it and buy this asap. It will change your life.
Remember how I said earlier that I was into chili? Yep. I am. A lot. This is a chili that I made randomly one night and I didn’t write down any recipe or ingredients for it but I really wish I would have. I guess it gives me more opportunities to practice, right?!
Last Pittsburgh restaurant; Lili Cafe. Last month I made it a goal to try a new restaurant and picked Lili Cafe. I don’t really like going to new places because I’m afraid that I won’t like the food and waste an opportunity for a good meal. I can’t be the only one like that, am I?! But anyways, I tried this rice bowl and fell in love with not only it, but also the whole atmosphere of the cafe. It is awesome and I can’t wait to go back time and time again.
And for the finale, more banana ice cream. I love this photo because I just find it so vibrant and beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to eat this?! Eating beautiful fruits every day is something that I love so much and want to show others how awesome it is to do this too. Yum!
Veganism has brought me so much happiness and health benefits. I actually eat vegetables now, before being vegan I wouldn’t eat them at all. Funny how things change! But really, I eat so many foods I never would have before and am never afraid to try new things. It’s all so fun and exciting.
And that’s all for today! What are some of your favorite vegan foods?! Let me know below!
Back From An Unexpected Hiatus
August 17, 2015
It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted on here and that is so crazy to me! I think it’s the longest absence I’ve had. Crazy! I’ve been so busy that there are days that I don’t even open up my computer. If you know me then you understand how bizarre this actually is. I feel like i’ve gotten into a rut with Create N Plate. You all know that I’ve been struggling with it for a while. Well that struggling combined with a crazy busy life resulted in my two week disappearance. Last week I went on vacation in Virginia. I debated on bringing my computer to get a post out while I was away. But I decided against doing so thinking that maybe the extra time away was what I needed. I think that I was right! I got home this past Friday night and all day yesterday I was trying to plot and plan out ideas to create a larger community here on Create N Plate. I’m feeling motivated! It’s exciting. As I type this the words are just flowing so smoothly out onto the screen and it makes me so happy.
So this past week I went on vacation with my family just like I do every year. (Vacation posts coming up soon!) Traveling has a way of teaching you things about yourself that you didn’t even know that you needed to learn. Each time I come back from somewhere I end up writing a big long story about how I am planning to improve myself and my life. When I was gone I realized that I struggle to find a balance in my life when it comes to a lot of things. I posted on Instagram a few days ago saying:
“Time away always inspires me to become a better version of myself. Currently sitting at work motivating myself to work towards greater things; building a larger Create N Plate community online, helping others, and working towards an opportunity to move on from my current job to something that leaves me feeling accomplished and excited each day.
I struggle to find a balance between sharing too much online and not sharing enough. It’s something I’m working on in order to be able to connect with all of you better, to create something special. I believe that if we all ban together and spread positivity, healthy living, and veganism out into the world then we can be the change that we all wish to see and my goal is to not only do that for myself, but for all of you as well.”
And that is so true. I feel this way 100%. I struggle with finding a balance of what to share with you guys and I have for quite a while. Well I’m here to change that. Sharing your personal thoughts and writing online for anyone in the world to see can be scary! It’s like opening yourself up to a ton of strangers, friends, family, and acquaintances. Ahh. But that’s okay. I want that. I want to share who I am with all of you. I want you guys to hear about what’s happening in my life and I want to hear about yours too. In the past I would have typed this up and deleted it. But that’s over now. It’s something I did and learned from. I’m currently focusing on right now and right now I want to share whatever I please on this website. Not strictly recipes, not strictly workouts, not strictly anything. Just everything that I want and feel like doing in the moment. Sort of like a documentation of my life. But instead of just sitting there and reading about what I’m up to, I want you guys to share with me too. You can connect to me in so many ways. Leave a comment, email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc! Becoming a part of an amazing supportive community is so satisfying and I want to create a safe place for all of you to be 100% who you are. Here’s to a new chapter of Create N Plate and a new chapter of connecting and supporting each other. I’m so excited to begin sharing with all of you. xoxo