Author Archives: Sweet and Savvy

Vegan Recipe Round Up

Although I am not vegan, or even vegetarian, I eat a lot of foods that are prevalent in a plant based diet.

In honor of today being National Vegan Day, I thought I would share some of my concoctions that are suitable for vegan diets.

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Gluten Free, Vegetarian(Vegan Option), Meaty, Cheesy Pasta

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The Best No Bake Cookies

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Sweet Potato Fry Casserole

 

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Neapolitan Cupcakes

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Mexican Salad Monster

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Cake Batter Blondies

Today’s Questions?

1) Are you vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater?

2) If you aren’t vegan, what would be the hardest thing to give up if you decided to be vegan?

3) What are your favorite vegan recipes or products?

 

 

 

Of Interest

I do not know about you, but one of my favorite things to do on the weekend when I actually slow down is read up on random articles online. I also love browsing Pinterest, reading blogs, and looking up recipes, but they’re all related. I love surfing the Internet to relax. Most of the things I enjoy reading are related to health.

 

My weekend was filled with a lot of fun away from the “real world” that consists of deadlines and essay writing. My weekend was also spent away from the blog world. Luckily, that is where the wonderful Pamela stepped in with her awesome guest post! In between family time, an anniversary [three year] dinner date, some errands, a haunted house with a couple thirteen year olds, lots of baking, eating, and some quality time with Christopher, I did find some interesting things online.

 

Here are a few articles and things that stuck out…

 

Dr. Jambolis answers the question, “Does diet really make a difference in breast cancer?” Really interesting information that stresses the importance of eating healthy to prevent ALL types of cancer.

The Truth About Weight and Health

Good news! Just because someone may be lighter than you, this does NOT mean that he or she is healthier than you! This article explains that weight is not everything, and fluctuations are normal! Read the entire article from Shape here.

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This picture on Pinterest. Amazing. Please read the caption below.

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“This picture is from an article called “The Rescuing Hug”. The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Each were in their respective incubators and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two, threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby’s heart stabilized and temperature rose to normal.”

Do Not Fall For These Workout Mistakes

It does not help to work out on an empty stomach, and you cannot magically convert fat to muscle. Read more common mistakes and the reason behind them here.

Gluten Free Candy!

Are you avoiding gluten but still want to indulge a little this Halloween season? FitSugar lists the gluten free candies you can enjoy!

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Food is REALLY addictive. It is scientifically proven and all.

The scientific qualifications for an addictive substance are:

1. Persistence of use despite problems related to the use of the substance
2. Compulsive and repetitive use
3. Craving
4. Withdrawal

Food meets all of these requirements the same as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. This is one of the most interesting articles I have read in a long time. This definitely explains a large portion of my obsession with food the obesity epidemic in America.

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I’m off to watch some more Halloweentown on Disney and hopefully get a work out in!

Today’s Questions:

1) What great internet articles have you found lately?

2) How did you spend your weekend?

3) Do you believe that food is addictive?

Celiac Sprue and Going G-Free – Pamcakes Post

Hi my awesome readers that are still actually taking the time to read my blog even though I have neglected the blogosphere! J

School and life are running rampant… what can I say? Since I have been really busy, I have a really interesting guest post from Pamela. She has a lot of awesome and interesting information on a gluten free diet, so that is the topic of her guest post today! You should definitely head on over to her blog sometime because of all the great posts she pumps out! This woman knows her stuff and has an amazing personality! She also has some great recipes for everything from chocolate chip cookies to pineapple casserole!

Enjoy, and THANK YOU SO MUCH, Pam!!

Celiac Sprue and Going G-Free

Hey Sweet and Savvy readers! I’m Pamela, and I blog over at Pamcakes and Coffee. I am a physician assistant student with a huge interest in health, nutrition, and coffee!

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I have enjoyed following Savannah’s blog and gluten-free recipes, and I am very excited to be writing a guest post for her. Over the past year, I have been researching Celiac Disease (Sprue) due to a personal interest in going “gluten-free”. My goal is to share some useful information concerning a g-free diet. You can view my graduate project on Celiac Disease as it pertains to pregnancy here.

I dealt with stomach pains on almost a daily basis for many years. For a while, I blamed stress and anxiety from school, but decided to finally see a doctor the beginning of the year. The first step in diagnosing Celiac, which is an autoimmune digestive disorder affecting women more than men, is blood work to test for specific autoantibodies. My blood work suggested Celiac, so I scheduled an endoscopy for an intestinal biopsy. An endoscopy is an outpatient, same day procedure, and I was out within a few hours. My biopsy came back negative, but I have remained interested in this topic, even though I still eat gluten-containing foods. To make a long story short, the culprit seems to be dairy!

The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet. The first step in making this transition is to recognize the products which contain gluten (wheat, rye, barley) and those which are gluten-free. Below are a few examples.

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Gluten-Containing Products: Breads, bagels, pasta, pizza, pretzels, crackers, cookies, cakes, wheat germ. It is important to note that some of these foods can be found gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Products: Fresh fruits, vegetables, 100% meat, eggs, legumes, peanut butter, butter, margarine, herbs, sweet potatoes, jelly, jam, honey, Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, cornstarch, guar gum, quinoa, rice, xanthan gum.

For baking and cooking, g-free flour includes: Almond meal flour, coconut flour, pea flour, potato flour, sorghum flour, soy flour, white rice flour.

There are many gluten-free products available in grocery stores now. You can view a complete list of g-free products that you can buy on the web here. One of the more popular brands is Bob’s Red Mill, which sells g-free oats, pancakes, chia seeds, baking flour, and cookies/cake mix. Betty Crocker also carries a line of g-free baking mixes. Many popular brands come in a gluten-free option!

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Some restaurants also offer a gluten-free menu, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Outback Steakhouse, Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday, and the Melting Pot. You can view the gluten-free menu for these restaurants on their website. I love my Melting Pot!

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I hope that you found some of the information on Celiac Disease and going gluten-free helpful! You can read more about Celiac Disease on the NDDIC website, and in the book, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide, by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. I would love to hear your feedback! You can find me at my site here.

What are some of your favorite gluten-free products?

Sweet and Savory (WIAW)

What I Ate Wednesday Time! I have a lot on my plate for the evening, so this will be a quick one! Props to Jenn for giving me an easy blog day! ;)

Meals:

imageEggs with swiss + vanilla greek yogurt with 1 TBSP chocolate pudding mix
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Salad beast + Cheese Quesadilla

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Green beans, carrots, and zucchini seasoned with minced onions, oregano, and black pepper.

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Sweet potatoes with cinnamon and stevia + chicken baked with honey and ginger

Snacks (out of order) :

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Lentil crackers and laughing cow + a few with unpictured PB

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protein smoothie with chocolate milk, chocolate protein powder, ice, cocoa powder, and frozen strawberries

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annndd lots of unpictured fruit!

Today’s Questions:

1) Do you mix up savory and sweet tastes in your meals, or stick to a current theme?

2) What have you eaten today?

3) How do you get your protein?

Making Changes and Getting Strong

Hey there!

I feel like I have not blogged in forever, even though I just shared these amazing, easy, ten minute, gluten free, and low calorie cookies with you on Sunday.

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Over the weekend, I did a lot of thinking about how healthy of a lifestyle I actually have. I value eating healthy, nutritious foods. I feel good about myself that I eat well most of the time, but sometimes I am too strict with the amounts of food I let myself consume.

One of my biggest excuses I use for not always letting myself eat a lot is, “Well I don’t work out as much as other people.” This is a horrible though, and I am going to rid my mind of this thought.

Thank you

My relationship with exercise is a love-hate relationship, similar to most people. My exercising habits are also sporadic, inconsistent, and intermediate. This is what I want to change.

For a little background on me, I was actively involved on sporting teams from the time I was in kindergarten until tenth grade. From fourth grade on, I participated in multiple sports a year, and was always running from one activity to the next. Because of this, I was always involved in exercising, and relied on it to maintain my weight. Because I was active and a healthy weight, I never put any thought into the quantity or quality of food I ate. In the past year and a half or so, this has completely changed. I no longer participate in sports, and I am extremely interested in food and nutrition.

Since I always relied on practice and game schedules to define my workouts, I have struggled to get into a good exercise routine. I might work out six days a week for two weeks, then one day a week the next, and three days the following week without a real focus.

I am not an intense exercise lover. I admit it, and I don’t want to try and be one. At this point in my life, I do not see myself becoming a marathon runner or someone who spends two hours a day in a gym. I would like to find a better working routine to be more fit.

I have started this working out this week, with a specific focus on strength training and building muscle. I believe this is what is best for my body. I believe strength training will be the best for my body because it will a) increase my metabolism b) improve my moods c) allow me to put on a few pounds of muscle, and d) be a cathartic and relaxing routine.

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Though I want to be more consistent with my exercising habits, I do not want to keep a specific exercise log, specifically on my blog. The reason for this is, frankly, I want to do what is best for my body, not what I believe others will be impressed by, what others will think of my work outs, or stand as a comparison. I would be lying if I said I have never looked at a work out online or in a magazine and thought, “Wow, I could never do that. They are so much better than me.”

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I may post a little bit about my work outs, simply because getting into more consistent exercise habits will make me proud of myself, and I like to post the positive things in my life. I would also love to share any information that I would find potentially beneficial to my readers.

So this leads me to Today’s Questions:

1) What are your exercising habits? Do you have trouble getting into a routine?

2)  What are your tips for building muscle and strength training? I would love your advice!

3) Do you ever find yourself comparing workouts to someone else’s workouts?

Quick Chocolate Cookies (Gluten Free)

It has been another beautiful day!

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I have had an overall nice weekend. Nothing too over the top, but I have enjoyed every second, nonetheless.

Okay, the ACT’s yesterday morning were not too enjoyable at all, but we’re just going to pretend those did not happen. ;)

After the ACT’s though, I went to watch my cousin play soccer. It was sectional championships, so it was a pretty intense game. Shawna plays goalie, so my family is always a little uptight during her games. Knowing the goalie is so nerve wrecking! We aren’t even the ones playing, I have no idea how she does it. I played soccer for ten years, and I never had the guts or talent to be a goalie. I did get stuck in the goal during a couple indoor tournaments for a few minutes, and that was enough for me.

imageToday my dad and I did some grocery shopping. I am proud to report that this family is ready for this peanut butter shortage.

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Yep, that is the huge jar of peanut butter. We picked up that plus three more! So if prices get jacked up insanely, or if, goodness forbid, peanut butter is nowhere to be found, we will be prepared.

There is the slight chance that we all may decide that since we have so much peanut butter, we should start eating it like crazy and all of these jars of goodness will be gone in a week…

I had another great find earlier today, before grocery shopping!

Gluten Free Pantry Decadent Chocolate Cake Mix!!

I had forgotten this was in the cupboard, so I was pumped to find it. I had just read Lindsay’s post about her amazing Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies, and I wondered if I could replicate this recipe, gluten free style. Lindsay used Cool Whip in her cookies, so I immediately began frantically searching my freezer for Cool Whip. I got so excited when I saw the container! But then I opened it. It was only half full. I almost gave up here, but I decided, eh. I’ll give it a shot, and add something else if it needs it.

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This lucky girl had quite the success!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-12 minutes

Inspired by: Lindsay @ In Sweetness and in Health

Yields: 36 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1/2 Container of Cool Whip (I used Lite, whatever you have will work)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or water, milk, any liquid)

Directions:

  1. Thaw your Cool Whip so that it is not frozen.
  2. Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer.
  3. Drop cookies by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8-12 minutes, or until desired crispiness. :)

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These are sure to make all of my evening’s homework so much better!

Today’s Questions

  1. What did you do this weekend?
  2. Have you ever thought a recipe was going to be a failure, but ended up being pleasantly surprised?
  3. What about the opposite? Last baking failure? I have tons of these!

Hope your Monday goes well! <3

Vacancy.com Apartments for Rent

Happy Saturday guys! Hope the weekend is going well! Smile I have been pretty busy. I had a great time reading all of your input about whether or not you eat dairy from my last post! Feel free to drop by with your opinion still!

So, this morning I took the ACT’s. That was some fun stuff, let me tell you. It is one of the painful right of passages into becoming a college kid. How exciting.

Something that IS actually a more fun right of passage, is finding a place to live while in college. One of the great sites that shows apartments for rent all around the country is Vacancy.com. On this site, I can see my dreams coming true through every page! Smile 

Vacancy.com also graciously offers up scholarship money to college age bloggers, like myself. This post is an entry for their blog scholarship!

I don’t know about you, but when I think of college housing, “luxury” is not the first word that comes to mind.

I think of small, cramped rooms, dirty floors, and sharing a bathroom with who knows how many girls. Some call this the college experience, but to me, I am a little wary.

One of the biggest things that worries me about going away to college is not having access to the kitchen amenities I have built my {mostly} healthy lifestyle around. After browsing around for some apartments on Vacancy.com, I found an apartment that would offer me all of these conveniences and so much more.

The Lincoln Pointe apartments in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania would be the the apartment of my college dream.

First reason this apartment is the apartment of my dreams?

Um, look at it!

 

Obviously, I would love my college living experience to parallel that of luxurious, epicurean, amazing resort stay.

Another reason why vacancy.com has offered up an awesome apartment to rent? The Pittsburgh area is awesome for college age students like me!

There are various colleges offering a myriad of program types in the greater Pittsburgh area. Some that I would consider include:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Robert Morris University
  • Carlow College
  • Chatham College
  • Point Park University

At establishments of higher education such as these, a student can receive degrees in everything from the fine arts, to Biomedical Engineering. This vacancy website offers so many different living options for college students can make their dreams come true!

The location of the apartments at Lincoln Park are impeccable. The South Halls shopping mall is three minutes away. Three minutes! For a girl whose favorite type of cardio is shopping, this location could be nicknamed heaven.

This location also provides access to some AWESOME food options. Which for a food loving chick like me, that is really important.

So if you are needing to rent out a place for college, definitely head on over to Vacancy.com to get the best out of your higher education experience!

Today’s Questions:

1) What was your college experience like?

2) Did/do you live in an apartment or dorm?

Do you do Dairy? [and a healthy Strawberry Shake!]

So I realize that the above question about dairy may spring about some serious controversy, but, personally, I love hearing about people’s contrasting points of view, whether I share them or not.

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Before we get down to the dairy question, I have a pretty awesome smoothie recipe. It is actually what made me think of this little debate, seeing as this smoothie is basically loaded with dairy. Despite the cold this morning, it made one awesome breakfast.

Healthy Strawberry Protein Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Water or Milk of Choice
  • 1/4 Cup Cottage Cheese (I use 2% fat, low sodium)
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1-2 TBSP Strawberry Cream Cheese (I used nonfat)
  • 3 frozen strawberries
  • roughly 3/4 cup ice, depending on desired thickness
  • toppings of choice

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Let your chia seeds soak in the water for at least 15 minutes, then throw all ingredients in a blender, and enjoy! I topped mine with Attune’s Rice Twice cereal. Smile Yummm! It really tastes like a strawberry milkshake, but is really healthy and loaded with protein!

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While I was eating this, I realized that basically every ingredient is a milk product. While I have always been a huge dairy person, I know a lot of people do not eat dairy for many discrepant reasons.

Lactose intolerance is an extremely prevalent condition that people have. I definitely do not have the strongest stomach in the world, and have had my fair share of GI issues, but dairy has never seemed to have been a problem for me, ironically.

My stomach issues do not seem to depend at all on how much dairy I eat, unless of course I eat ice cream every day for a few days straight… not that I would do such a thing. But something there is telling me that it may not be the dairy causing the stomach issues there.

Other people choose to avoid dairy for moral, ethical, and health related reasons. Here are some of the reasons that I have heard about:

  • animal cruelty
  • dairy contains cholesterol
  • dairy contains a substantial amount of fat
  • humans are the only animals who consume milk into their adult life
  • a few studies have shown too much dairy being linked to ovarian issues in women
  • milk is fortified with many of the vitamins it contains

Personally, I eat dairy products for the following reasons

  • I have grown up drinking milk, and eating cheese. It is part of my life.
  • Milk products are extremely high in protein, and relatively low in calories
  • calcium builds strong bones and teeth!
  • people who eat dairy are known to have low BMI’s (I realize, vegans do too)
  • it contains potassium, which helps your body in a lot of regulatory functions, such as handling sodium
  • milk has been attributed to reducing diabetes risks
  • I love yogurt, cheese, and ice cream!

Now the questions are for you!

1) Do you eat dairy? Why or why not?

2) What is your favorite dairy product?

3) If you do not eat dairy, what are your favorite substitutes?

I’d love to hear the imput!

Time for WIAW, but Not Cooking

It is Par-tay time with What I Ate Wednesday again! Woop!

I am so glad Jenn hosts this every week! It makes Wednesday one of my favorite blog reading days! Everyone else’s What I Ate Wednesdays make me want to be a little more creative and less redundant in my meals!

I do not even remember the last time I really cooked a meal… oh well. I have been preoccupied and busy.

These are some random meals from the last few days… enjoy!


Breakfast!

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GF Chocolate Protein Cake ! Smile AKA – my new obsession! This one was almost overflowing in my teacup. It amused me. I also had a side of yogurt with this breakfast.

Lunch!

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Random sautéed veggies

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And a microwaved black bean bowl like this.

Dinner!

This is a dinner from Sunday night I do believe.

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My momma made cheeseburgers made from extra lean ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper, smothered in a laughing cow wedge with roasted veggies.

Don’t worry, this is not all I have eaten in a day! I eat TONS of snacks, including fruit, yogurt, crackers, popcorn, etc. I just have been a bad blogger and have not taken pictures or documented them. Smile 

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Today’s Questions:

1) Best eats of the day?

2) Do you ever get in ruts where your meals are thrown together randomly at the last minute?

***Awesome news! There is potentially a new malaria vaccine for children! This cause is really important to me, so I am really excited that there could now be a vaccine that saves so many innocent lives! You can check out the article containing this information here.***

Time Flies When You’re… Having Fun?

Hi, there bloggies! Guess who is back!

That’s right. It is Savannah here to actually right a post! I bet you never thought the day would come. Winking smile  I cannot believe I have not posted since last Friday! Slow down, life!

I hope you enjoyed the awesome guest post from yesterday a la Brittany! Brittany blogs over at Spoonful of PB, and she is one of my favorite bloggers! She is hilarious, but still manages to pump out some amazing posts! The post she generously wrote for me yesterday was all about staying healthy in college. Since I am headed off to college next year, these were great tips for me personally to hear. I would still love to hear all of your input if you have not already! Smile

I guess yesterday was the day of guest posts, since a guest post of mine also went up!

Kalie from Kalie’s thoughts

was kind enough to feature me on her blog while she is vacationing in Disney! How awesome does that sound?

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Kalie recently was told by a doctor to begin eating a gluten and dairy free diet to alleviate stomach issues, so I decided to write a guest post for her highlighting my own gluten free journey with some recipes featured. Head on over and check it out! Smile

So you may be wondering where I have been the last few days since it obviously has not been in the blog world!

To be honest, I wish I had some exciting weekend stories to tell you, but I do not. Saturday featured some great times with loved ones, but the rest of the time, I have not been busy doing anything exciting at all.

Lucky me has been spending a lot of time with lovely pieces of literature…

Fun times, right?

For some other fun things, I have been doing a lot of scholarship searching and am beginning to write up a lot of applications so that hopefully I can come up with some moolah for next year.

I have also already applied to two universities (I have been accepted into one already), and am working diligently running in circles with a third and looking to decide if I am going to apply anywhere else.

In between all of this, I did get to watch my little brother’s last middle school cross country race! Sad smile I cannot believe he is growing up so quickly, but I am so proud of his great season!

To keep myself from going totally insane, I have been eating a lot of these.

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Some of this…

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And lots of these.

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Super Fast, Gluten Free, Vegan Option, Chocolate, Protein Cakes!

And fresh green beans have finally made another appearance in my life!

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I do not know why I ever stopped eating these things!

Today’s Questions:

1) Have you seen any particularly great guest posts lately?

2) How do you keep yourself focus and on task when completing “not so fun” tasks?

3) Have you eaten foods for the first time in a long time recently that you used to love?

 

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