Serafina’s flawless skin care regimen

As per usual, I bring you this blog post while procrastinating on a paper that’s due at midnight tonight (protip: it doesn’t count as procrastination if you never start the paper).

Something’s been bugging me lately, and it’s about Mary Ellen. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be coming here to talk shit. But I am, so you can all just deal with it. My problem is that she knows so much about being a girl. So much. She’s always posting things like weird creepy face masks, and I don’t understand it at all. What do the face masks do? Why does she look so scary? How did she trick her husband Annie into also wearing a face mask? Do they put face masks on her baby and dogs? This is just a list of the first few questions I have. Instead of seeking answers to any of my questions, I’m going to assume I’m an expert*** and walk you all through my own “minimalist” skin care regimen.

Step one: Shower every couple of days. More frequently if your armpits smell. But, we’re not focusing on armpit skin care, we’re focusing on face skin care which I think I implied above but didn’t really make it clear until now.

Step two: Once in the shower, ensure that you have some water on your skin. This will be important later

Step three: Wash everything with Dr. Bronner’s. I mean, everything. Face, armpits, hair, butt, feet. You know, everything. Shit, I said I was going to just stick with face skin care and then I went and told you all the other stuff. Oh, well. Now you know the rest of my skin care.

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Also, Dr. Bronner’s provides good reading material if you forgot to bring your phone in the bathroom to take a poop

Step four: if you live in a very dry climate, put some lotion on your skin. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but I hear that movie comes out in favor of moisturizing.

That’s it! Feel free to ditch all your other skin care stuff, because I don’t know what it is for.

All one!

Serafina

 

***Legal disclaimer: the above advice is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any ailments. Serafina Bearafina’s expertise in skin care is merely self proclaimed and she does not actually understand how any skin care products work. She’s not really sure if you should even use soap, TBH. The above advice neither guarantees nor implies that the condition of your skin will improve. Serafina isn’t sure what good skin is, but she probably doesn’t have it. Serafina recently had an infected ingrown hair, and after refusing to seek medical attention, she asked someone to explain exfoliation to her, only to promptly ignore all advice that was given to her.

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Homemade vegan lip balm

Have I mentioned that I get a little ridiculously picky about some things? I probably haven’t. But last year I discovered my favorite lip balm had changed their formulation and it was suddenly disgusting and unusable. I found the lot numbers of the old lip balm recipe and I bought a year’s worth, stashing it in my fridge. Everything was wonderful until I only had about 2 left and I started panicking. I bought one of every lip balm and Whole Foods and they were all terrible. I was beside myself and fell into a deeper depression than the time my chicken was eating all of her eggs (that’s still happening, by the way, I just try not to care about it too much)

Anyway, I decided I needed to make my own lip balm and after extensive research, I have two recipes for you. One of the lip balm recipes sucks and the other is amazing and I love it.

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I know what you’re thinking, why bother sharing the shitty lip balm recipe? I don’t really have a great answer for that. I mostly just want credit for all the work I did. And if anyone is wondering if this was an attempt to make Mary Ellen feel bad about herself for not doing things like making lasagna and DIYing lip balm, it is. I’m amazing. I definitely didn’t almost fail out of grad school to bring you this lip balm recipe. And that was definitely the kind of high caliber sentence a graduate student should be writing.

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That’s a bunched up Christmas towel in the background. Everyone uses Christmas towels year-round, right?

Recipe 1: Shitty Lip Balm

Makes about 8 tubes of lip balm

1 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp shea butter

¼ tsp vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

 

Recipe 2: Amazing Lip Balm

Makes about 12 tubes of lip balm

2 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

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Jars are the best makeshift double broilers because you can just throw them in the dishwasher and then your pot doesn’t smell like candelilla and lavender when you want to make pasta

The instructions are the same for both recipes

Melt candelilla wax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (I just put a jar in a pot of simmering water)

Once melted, add vitamin E and essential oils and stir

Pour mixture into empty lip balm tubes or whatever canister you want to use. I used a pipette to transfer the mixture into the tubes. Let set for at least a few hours until room temperature, they will be fully hardened after sitting overnight. They turn off-white once hardened.

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You’d think with a pipette I wouldn’t get drips everywhere, but my hands were super shaky because I had too much caffeine that morning

May your lips be moisturized but not sticky and gross

Serafina

Buttercup Burritos

Today I want to emotionally open up to all of our millions of readers.  Sometimes it’s hard to bear your soul to those closest to you, which is why I only share my private thoughts on Twitter, as well as subtweet all of my dirty laundry with every relationship in my life, real and fictional.   

 

Lately I’ve been having an existential crisis.  It’s basically consumed me, to the point I hardly even drink anymore (don’t worry, I’m drinking now, like I do when I write all my posts).  At least half of it is Serafina’s fault, because she puts together extremely elaborate lasagnas AND EVEN BOILS THE NOODLES??!! and she even has a boyfriend.  She has basically kept this blog alive single-handedly and pays both of our bills, as well as this guy we met online three years ago named Ayden. Also, I know for a fact she has six pack abs and reads to blind parrots in her spare time. Her personal Instagram has been featured in 70 different lifestyle magazines, 37 made the cover.  Like, how does one even fucking keep up with that shit? What do I have to show for myself? I still listen to CDs on a Sony Walkman.

 

Have I already peaked?  Have all my culinary masterpieces already been made?  Is this all there is? I don’t even get a gold watch?

 

Oh wait.  *record screeches to a halt*

 

Now… before I share this recipe with you, I just want you all to know how much you mean to me.  I mean, I’m sharing LITERAL SECRET RECIPES. I was planning on only passing these down to my daughter, but then I had a son, because it’s what my husband wanted.  We stay in our gender lanes in this family.

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all political and shit.  That’s not what this is about. This is about:

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I feel like the chocolate chips are a little pushy but whatever.

What to eat for lunch when you forgot to eat lunch but now you’re hangry and you have like 3 minutes to make something you can eat while following your child around and throw play doh balls all over the place.

 

I call it: Buttercup burritos.

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Don’t worry, I know this recipe is complicated but that’s why I took 500 pictures.

You take a whole wheat tortilla, because remember, we want to nourish our bodies in addition to our minds, and you lightly warm it.  Spread your nut butter of choice on it. Mine is almond. Sprinkle with a modest amount of chocolate chips. I used an allergy friendly one, not because I have allergies, but because I’m better than most people.

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Shit.  This looks more like a crepe.  But I already committed to the burrito theme and I really don’t want to have to go back and edit this…

Roll your burrito.

Roll your play doh.

 

Eat and try not to choke on it while running around.

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If I were to make this again, I would add melted butter and omit the almond butter and the chocolate chips.

 

“Buttercups are actually quite filling.” – The Foundations

 

Mary Ellen

 

Hiding Vegetables in your Boyfriend’s Food (Vegetable Lasagna)

As you all know, my boyfriend and I don’t eat any of the same foods. It’d be a source of contention, but usually I just ignore his desires because he has the palate of a young child. During my recent break from school, I had an extremely ambitious day in which I decided to make lasagna. This was a few days after I tried to make pad thai and failed miserably because I didn’t use a recipe. I also burned a batch of granola in the same week. Things are going just great in my kitchen.

Anyway, before reverting to ordering take out for a week straight, I made this lasagna and it was lovely. I was originally planning on making the whole thing with various hidden vegetables, but then my boyfriend came home early and asked me what the fuck I was putting in his food. So I had to go back to the store to get more ingredients to make half of the lasagna with only spinach and cheese. God, he’s spoiled.

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A few notes about the recipe: I do my tomato sauce on the side when I make lasagna because I can’t seem to wrap my head around how much sauce to use if I put it in the lasagna with everything else. And you’ll see that my pictures have shredded carrots in them. Don’t put carrots in your lasagna, it’s a stupid idea and you’ll be disappointed. It may even be one of the factors that leads to you getting pressured into admitting that your boyfriend’s half of the lasagna turned out better than yours (I also put too much nutmeg in my half, which is why you should measure your spices).

Vegetarian lasagna

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Ingredients

16 oz lasagna noodles

15 oz container cottage cheese (or ricotta)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 egg

½ cup shredded parmesan

2 cups spinach

1-2 cups other veggies, shredded if you don’t want your boyfriend to know what vegetables you ended up using. I recommend zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli

About ½-1 tsp herbs de Provence

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce:

1 can pureed tomato sauce

Olive oil, some herbs de Provence, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°

Boil noodles per package. Keep them al dente otherwise they’ll be too soggy.

Mix the cottage cheese with an egg, all the spices, and all of the veggies.

Put down a layer of noodles, then spread a layer of cottage cheese/veggie mixture, then sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella. Repeat until all ingredients are gone, and then top with noodles. You’ll want to reserve a little shredded mozzarella for the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the insides are looking bubbly and done. Cover with foil about 30 minutes in once the cheese on top is looking perfectly browned and delicious.

While the lasagna is baking, make the tomato sauce. Saute the spices in olive oil briefly and then add in the pureed tomatoes. Keep at a low simmer until the lasagna is ready.

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This was my second helping of lasagna, but the picture turned out better than my first attempt because I’m a better photographer when I’m not as hungry.

-Serafina

Letting the pros do it

Hello, Eggpiers.  I apologize for my absence last week.  I honestly have no excuses.  No Drake cult, nothing.  I was just clueless as to what to post about.  I’m still a little clueless.  I have a lot of things I’m doing and things coming up, but most of them involve my budding hip hop/EDM/jazz career, so I just feel like it doesn’t really fit here.

 

I’ve maybe added too many things to my plate.  Not as many as Serafina, since she lives on a farm or whatever.  Also, even though this blog is TOTALLY SERIOUS AND HONEST ABOUT EVERYTHING AND NOT A SATIRICAL THING EVER ABOUT IT, I’ve become bothered at the lack of organization with recipe pages (as in absolutely none), so that might change.

 

But for today, I wanted to try something new.  Something fun.  And something that can help me out for when I feel lazy.

 

I’m going to share a couple of the recipes I’m currently trying and give you a run down with how they went for me.  I didn’t take any pictures this time, though.  Sorry.  I came up with this idea this morning.  You’ll forgive me, right?  I’ll be making these things again soon so maybe I’ll update with pictures, but probably not. (Also I’m not good at MS Paint)

 

Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (Oh She Glows)

Both recipes are going to be vegan breakfasts.  I’ve been eating a lot of vegan foods lately, though I’m most definitely not a vegan.  I’ve just been cutting down on meat, and having to greatly limit to the point of almost eliminate dairy from my diet.  It makes my skin… lets just say it’s gross.

 

My husband loves this recipe.  I also love it because it’s not too sweet, although in the mornings I still would rather not have oatmeal.  Oh well.  This has carrots in it, so you can get veggies in for the sweet lovers.

 

Vegan Breakfast Burrito Recipe (Build Your Bite)

This recipe is amazing.  Like, I’m fucking serious.  I want to eat this forever.  But too many potatoes aren’t good for you, I heard, since they make you fat?  I think those are lies.  It does not taste vegan.  I’m pretty sure all the seasonings and oil and potatoes make that a reality.  I think I over scrambled the tofu, which was fine, because then the tofu mixture for me was like a creamy sauce.

 

What else have I been doing with my time?  Cooking for my dogs.  Because I needed more to do.  They make up for the lack of meat I’ve been eating and also I still get to boil whole chickens all the time.  Serafina, just let me know if that chicken is too much trouble.

 

Chickens are a marked species at my house.

 

-Mary Ellen

Q & A with Master Gardener: Serafina Berafina

Well, you guys asked for it, and we’re finally able to deliver. These are all questions you have sent in for Serafina, world-renowned gardening expert.

Q: What soil amendments do you use?

A: Well, normally I only use compost, but this year I used a little fertilizer as well. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘what about the soil microbiome???’ Yeah, I read The Soil and Health too (no I didn’t, it was way too boring) In my defense, I only used a little bit of fertilizer and I used compost as well. Most importantly, I found a cruelty free fertilizer.

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Vegan fertilizer: for when your vegetables don’t taste self-righteous enough

Follow up question: Can’t you just make your own fertilizer by growing soybeans?

Follow up answer: Oh, shit, I didn’t realize you guys got the internet out in Iowa. Um… Yeah, you could probably do something like that. You should just ride your tractor down the road a bit and ask your neighbor though.

Q: That was kind mean. I almost don’t want to look you up on FarmersOnly anymore.

A: That wasn’t really a question, but feel free to look me up on FarmersOnly. I’m ToplessMotherOfChickens.

Q: Ugh, fine! How are you handling the stress of chicken motherhood?

A: OMG, reader, OMG. Amelia, my golden chicken, eats all of her own eggs. Every damn one of them. I’ve tried everything. We talked about why she is acting out and whether the other girls are picking on her. My boyfriend made roll-away nesting boxes. I looked into putting up privacy curtains in front of the nesting boxes so she doesn’t feel so anxious. Nothing is helping. I don’t know what to do. I’ve started drinking heavily to cope with the lack of eggs. Everyone I talk to recommends that we slaughter my baby chicken and eat her, like you would any human child that stopped laying eggs. It’s just all too much for me right now.

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Q: Wow, that got a little intense. Maybe we should get to something lighter? Um, what are you growing this year?

A: Great question. I’m a little behind in my planting what with all of the woman problems Mary Ellen told you about last week. So far I have tomatoes, jalapeño, spinach, radishes, lettuce, arugula, carrots, and snap peas. Corn, squash, beans, cucumbers will be planted later this week. Also some flowers or whatever.

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Q: Do you have any gardening bras that you can recommend?

A: No, my boob kept popping out of my bra the whole time I was planting today. It was exceedingly bothersome until I just took off my bra and top (but then I had to apply sunscreen).

Q: Who submitted all of these questions? Some of them seem suspiciously intimate…

A: How dare you imply that I wrote my own questions and answers, don’t make me come over to whatever area of the internet you’re from and make an in-person frowny face at you!

Well, internet friends, there you have it. All you wanted to know about Serafina’s gardening (and more!)

XOXO

Serafina

Smoothie Recipe For the Days You Just Can’t

Hello, dear Eggpiers (that’s our fandom name now, just FYI).  Serafina is busy binge watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman so I pulled myself away from my own binging to post in her stead this week.  It was really hard.  I was actually still watching stuff, and I finally decided I better do it now.  If there’s a lot of typos and nonsense sentences, it’s because the show I’m watching is more important than writing this (I’m just watching Kpop videos right now and trying to dance).   I do not read what I’ve written that’s not what real artists do.

 

Now that warm weather is here, I really hate turning on the oven, the stove, or my husband because I will burst into literal flames from getting overheated.  Breakfast smoothies are always a nice way to start your day.  But what if you haven’t gone to the store in a while?  What if you have no greens or fruit or whatever the hell people put in those things to make them healthy and a complete “meal?”  Well, I’ve got you covered.

 

You do need to have this stuff on hand, but they won’t go bad in thirty minutes in your humid as hell house.  It tastes fine.  Remember this is just to get out the door and on with your life.

 

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I used the chocolate meal powder, but I hate it, it tastes weird.  Just get vanilla and put cocoa powder in it instead and then it’ll actually taste like real fucking chocolate.

 

Mary Ellen’s I Can’t Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 scoop meal replacement powder (see pic above)
  • 1 TBSP almond butter

 

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I was impressed with this blind banana shot so you have to look at it.  Look at my photography skillz!

 

Directions:

Blend all this shit together until smooth.

 

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It’s about time I used a different placemat I guess.  But this one is my favorite.

 

Alright guys I need to go focus on these dances or I’ll never be able to challenge one of these boy bands to a dance off. I read somewhere that dancing is 75% confidence, 20% cute outfits, and 5% abs.

 

Maybe I have the abs and confidence mixed up.

 

Mary Ellen

 

 

Cinnamon Rolls

Remember how I said I was worried my boyfriend was going gluten free? Well don’t worry, I decided to disregard his dietary restrictions and make these cinnamon rolls. And now he’s no longer interested in being GF. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a good person. It’s not like he has Celiac’s or anything (probably).

Anyway, my new goal in life is to stop eating vegetables and eat only sugar. My biggest hurdle so far is the horrific GI distress that ensues after eating all the pastries and then I turn back to my horrible, disgusting salad eating habit. I know, I know. I’m working on it. I’m kidding of course about the all-sugar diet. This weekend I ate a strict diet of Chipotle and frozen food from Costco. I’m the picture of health.

Anyway, to work on my #healthfoodgoals I used half whole wheat flour here. All whole wheat is too much, but you can get away with half without worrying that you accidentally had some fiber with your breakfast.

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You’re going to wonder if that is enough butter and sugar on top of the dough. There’s never really enough, but this amount is good enough

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

¾ whole wheat flour

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2/3 c unsweetened almond milk (or, like, regular milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp melted butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze

About 2 tbsp each: melted butter, brown sugar, and unsweetened almond milk

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You don’t have to pull out a ruler to cut your cinnamon rolls unless you are really unable to tolerate the inevitable height disparity

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

Spray a muffin pan with oil

Combine the flour, white sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk, vinegar, and 4 tbsp butter.

Add the milk mixture to the flower mixture

Roll out with a lot of flour on the counter (seriously, use a shitload of flour or you’ll cry when your dough is stuck to the counter).

Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and then smear all over the dough.

Roll it up, then cut into 8 or 9 even pieces. Place each piece in a muffin slot. Honestly, this would probably work with just a regular cookie sheet, but give them a little room to expand.

Bake for about 15 minutes

Make glaze by melting together more butter, brown sugar, and almond milk. Glaze cinnamon rolls.

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The glaze is mostly clear, but it’s still necessary. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not contributing.

Try not to eat too many salads in between your cinnamon rolls

-Serafina

Vegan Chili and Love

Winter is throwing its last tantrum before it will suddenly become spring and we will no longer talk about how much winter has been a bitch where I live.  I can’t always just get drunk to drown my sorrows, so I made chili.

 

I’m just kidding, of course I got drunk too.

 

This week has been incredibly hectic because, after 20 years, I finally finished that k-drama I started.  It was horrible. I lost so many hours to those beautiful men, wasted away my youth, and literally nothing in the show up until the end mattered.  Nothing.  It was just a bunch of random stuff and then they realized they should probably just end it and then they did.  It was beautiful.

 

Sorry, I’m still drunk.

 

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An actual picture of me feeling tied to this show and not knowing how the hell I will get out of it but being inappropriately well dressed for the occasion. 

 

To say that I phoned it in with this week’s blog would be an understatement.  I had been planning this recipe for about a month.  I took one picture.  Here it is:

 

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It’s not even a good one.  I took it with my phone because I was tired and didn’t want to walk into the next room to get my camera, which was fully charged and ready.

 

Anyway, I adapted a Betty Crocker slow cooker chili recipe to be vegan.  It retains all the flavor of the meat infused one, but is a lot healthier in the sense that I didn’t have to go out and buy extra cans of chili beans because I didn’t want to go shopping.  I also just cooked it on the stove top, but I would recommend putting it in a slow cooker for 8 hours to really get the recipe correct.

 

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili to Replace your Housemate on a Cold Night (adapted from Betty Crocker)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (or use onion powder like I did because you don’t have an onion)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (again… powder works too)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 smaller cans)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed (use whatever you have on hand because that’s what I did)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups frozen and cubed butternut squash (I used a small baby bag from a giant mommy bag from Costco)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

If you’re using real onion and garlic, sauté those in a pan with a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes until translucent.  Otherwise, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, and set to cook on low for 8 hours.  Eat with crackers and Beano.

 

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I finished off with vegan cupcakes and canned wine, because I’m classy and better than Martha Stewart.

 

There was no love in this post so I guess the title was a lie.  But now you can make lazy chili.

 

Everyone was related in the show,

Mary Ellen

 

Meal prepping like you have your life together

My dear readers, last night, as I finished a paper several hours ahead of schedule, I was feeling incredibly impressed with myself. After contemplating what I would be able to do for the rest of the evening, it dawned on me that the next day was my day to post and I had nothing prepared. You see, Mary Ellen and I have shown you all that we are “with it” ladies of the go-go 90’s, and you know we wouldn’t misrepresent ourselves. We have published volumes on time management and avoiding the perils of procrastination. And yet, there I was with nothing for you fine readers.

PSYCHE! I have an obscene amount of posts that I prepared at various times when I was avoiding writing papers, just in case there was ever a day when I wrote my papers over my blog posts. While I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that day finally came, I am grateful for my past self who had her priorities in line. I promise I’ll get my shit together soon and take more pictures of gummy bears to inspire your healthy eating habits!

Let’s get to talking about meal prep. Now, I’ve read a lot about meal prep on other blogs. All the internet bitches are super into it (I’m using “bitches” in a gender-neutral sense here, so it’s not a hate crime). They say all this shit about how it’s “cheaper” and “healthier” than whatever the alternative is, but it’s really just a way to justify buying tons of glass containers off Amazon. Well, it’s time I joined them. And since we’re being thoughtful about our meals for the rest of the week, we want to make sure we are nourishing our minds, bodies, souls, and also being stewards to the planet. Let’s make a frozen pizza!

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Make sure you pick up some bulk Lactaid while you’re stocking up on pizza, you’re going to need it.

So you can see here that I have purchased this frozen cheese pizza from Costco. I used to buy the organic frozen pizzas from Costco, but since becoming an impoverished professional student, I switched to the normal, more economical convenience foods. The good news is that what this pizza lacks in fanciness and flavor, it makes up in calorie density!

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In order to ensure that this sumptuous feast will feed me for days of school and work, I have purchased some completely unnecessary glass containers and placed pizza in each container. I’m sure this would not have worked if I used the tupperware I already owned.

I know what you’re thinking: what the fuck was that first picture with the green rice and chickpeas? Well, it was a legitimately good meal that took fucking forever to cook, so I don’t plan on making it again anytime soon. But it was really good so I’ll link it for you out of the kindness of my heart. Read that recipe and then go stock up on frozen pizza.

In health and wellness,

-Serafina