Hello and welcome to part 3 of my Q&A! I hope you guys aren’t getting bored of this already because I still have a ton of questions to answer and stitches in my foot that are preventing me from cooking and photographing!

Foot Update: “Rabbit Foot for My Bunny Feet” ha.
I made it out of the house to dinner at Veggie Grill and Trader Joe’s with my mom last night. Needless to say, I got my cardio in, and my right quad is looking mighty fine. I have also passed my best time going up the stairs with crutches and set a new PR to just over 1 minute. I cut my previous 3 minute 17 second record down by more than half, go team! I’m really over the crutches & record high temperatures. It’s not a pretty combination. Stitches removal countdown: 9 more days… I’m still awaiting biopsy results and am hoping for the best. I’ll keep you guys posted, sorry my updates aren’t very exciting! Now for some more fun questions and answers!

How do you store kale chips? How long do they last?
I would like to know the same thing! My kale chips are usually gone by the end of the day since my friends and family love them, but when I do have leftovers they don’t store very well. I am still searching for the miracle solution to store home make kale chips, so any tips would be appreciated! I have tried different airtight containers and Ziploc bags, but once I open them up the next day, the humidity has already gotten the best of them and they are soggy. I have heard that storing them in a paper bag helps to keep the crunch, so that is next on my list to try. You could also pop them in the oven at 350 for 3-5 minutes to make them crispy again the next day.

Where does dairy fit into the Rabbit Food Pyramid?
Dairy products are considered protein. Nonfat/educed fat cheese, nonfat yogurt, and nonfat milk would all be part of the protein group.

What kind of blender do you have?
I have a Vitamix 5200, and I am beyond obsessed with it! Hands down, my favorite kitchen appliance that I own, thank you so much Grammy & Grandpa! It has so much power that it can blend an entire bunch of kale in seconds with no problem! Vitamix blenders are a bit pricey (around $450), but keep your eyes peeled at Costco, Amazon.com, and on QVC! I have seen them at Costco for $350, and when QVC has Vitamix blenders available, they usually offer payment plans that can be very helpful. I also have a Magic Bullet that I got my freshman year of college when I was in student housing! I still use it all the time for simple single serving fruit smoothies and protein shakes. It gets the job done and it’s super affordable. Check Target, Amazon.com, and Bed Bath & Beyond for competitive prices.

What kind of juicer do you have?
I have a Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus – 850-Watt Juicing Machine. I bought a certified refurbished juicer on Amazon.com from the official Breville store for only $99 (Usually $149) and it works wonders! The pulp comes out dry which makes me happy that I am getting the maximum amount of juice as possible from my produce. I used a friend’s $50 juicer before and we had to run the pulp through twice to actually get all of the juice, which was very time consuming. Investing in a high quality juicer is key to saving money on produce in the long run.

Do you have the calories or nutrition stats for your meals?
My blog is 100% calorie counting free. No counting calories, carbs, or points here, only measuring proper servings and portion sizes. During my weight loss journey I became obsessed with counting calories, which led to restrictive disordered eating. Now, I like to focus on the type of calories that I consume, not the amount. There is a huge difference between eating a 100 calorie snack pack versus 100 calories of fresh berries. I don’t think that calories should be disregarded altogether, but I don’t obsess over them anymore. I have found a better approach to losing weight and managing my intake, which is The Rabbit Food Pyramid. Each of my Rabbit Food meals total anywhere from about 300-400 calories, which adds up to a healthy amount for my frame, so I know that if I am following my portion guidelines, I don’t need to worry! This is based on my personal experience and research and I am aware that everyone is different and not everybody eats the same way that I do. The purpose of my blog is to show you what worked for me, and to inspire others to make healthy choices. All types of foodies are welcome here whether you eat meat, count calories, or are on a completely different diet plan! I love when I get a comment from a reader “This is only 2 WW points!” because it makes me so happy to see that my recipes can be used and altered to fit specific dietary needs. That makes my day!

What are you kitchen staples?
A few things that you can ALWAYS find in my kitchen are quinoa, almond butter, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, fresh greens, Greek yogurt, apple slices, frozen fruit, almond milk, Larabars, whole-grain crackers, whole-wheat flour, stevia, vanilla, and seasonings. These are my most used ingredients that I like to have on hand at all times. When I have these, I know that I can put together a quick meal in a jiffy! Of course I always stock up on different fresh fruits and veggies, but my selection varies per week!

Your recipes have so many different spices and seasonings, what ones should I get?
I LOVE seasonings, especially when they’re salt free. Mrs. Dash makes a great line of salt-free seasoning blends that are available in most grocery stores. Seasonings are an easy way to add flavor or spice to a dish without unnecessary calories, fat, etc. My most used spices and seasonings are probably cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, salt-free Italian herb, and black pepper. Seasonings can really add up when each jar is around $3-5, so instead of loading up on 10 spices and blowing your grocery budget all at once, I have a little tip on how to expand your spice cabinet. Every time you go to the grocery store, make it a goal to purchase 1 spice. Before you know it, you will have a collection of delicious spices to compliment your meals!

Since you only use ¼ an avocado as a serving, how do you keep the rest of your avocado from spoiling?
If I open an avocado, I usually get creative and try to use it within the next day or two in smoothies, smeared on toast, or cubed in salads. When I store my extra avocado in the fridge, I leave the pit and shell intact and keep it in a Ziploc bag (air removed) or saran wrap. By leaving the pit, it will help to keep the avocado from browning as quickly. An opened avocado should still remain fresh after one day in the fridge. If it does turn a bit brown, just remove the thin top layer that has browned due to oxidization. This is also a great tip to keep guacamole from turning brown at a party, just place the pit in the guac and you’re good to go!

Do you have any suggestions on what to bring to school or work that doesn’t need refrigeration?
Not everyone has a refrigerator available for home made meals during school or work hours, but I do have a few ideas for you. I wrote a post of my favorite travel snacks that include some shelf stable, preservative free foods such as Justin’s Nut Butter packets, whole-grain crackers, almonds, dried veggies, and Larabars. The key to eating healthy is being prepared. Portion and store healthy snacks like whole-grain crackers, trail mix, and nuts in Ziploc bags or reusable airtight containers at the beginning of the week so they are ready to go. You can make your own RFFMBT on the go lunch with these ideas:

Produce: Kale chips, sun dried tomatoes, apples, oranges, grapefruit, banana, dates, raisins, prunes, no sugar added dried fruit
Protein: Dried edamame, dried green peas, protein mocha: chocolate protein powder + coffee, Protein Latte: vanilla protein powder + coffee
Plant Based Fat: Mixed nuts, assorted nuts, seeds, trail mix, Justin’s Nut Butter packets
Whole-Grains: Whole-grain crackers, slice of whole-grain bread, brown rice rice cakes, air popped popcorn, whole corn tortillas, whole-grain tortilla, bran cereal

Natural Bars: Larabars, That’s It Bars, Pure Bars, Barre Bars

Examples of how to put together grab and go RFFMBT meal kits:
Example 1:
 Larabar (plant based fat & produce/fruit) with a side of whole-grain crackers (whole grain), and protein mocha: chocolate protein powder + coffee (protein) mixed in a Blender Bottle.
Example 2: 1 Packet of Justin’s Nut Butter (plant based fat) spread on one serving of brown rice rice cakes (whole-grain), with banana (produce/fruit), and side of freeze dried green peas (protein).
Example 3: 1 serving of mixed nuts (plant based fat) combined with dried peas or edamame (protein), with a side of kale chips (produce/veggies) and  whole-grain crackers, or air popped popcorn with salt-free seasonings (whole-grain).
Example 4: Almond butter (plant based fat), and a banana (produce/fruit) rolled into 2 soft taco sized whole corn tortillas (whole-grain), with a a protein latte: vanilla protein powder + coffee (Protein).

It can be tricky to find healthy shelf stable meal options, but it can be done! Larabars are one of my favorite go to items.

Brace yourself… Part 4 tomorrow! Contain your enthusiasm, bunnies! xo 

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18 Responses so far.

  1. If you do not count calories, why then choose lowfat/nonfat dairy products. They have added sugars and are over processed to make them edible. Natural, full fat dairy keeps you fuller longer and are delicious in comparison.

    Response from Lily
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    • Hi Lily! I grew up on skim milk and non fat dairy products, so it is more of a personal preference for me. I like to get healthy unsaturated fats from plants such as nuts and seeds! Health & Happiness xo

      Response from Catherine
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  2. I absolutely love the on the go guide…I’m going to have to use those combos on my next flight to LA from DC. These are all great, TSA friendly, and not a bother to pack!

    Response from MacKenzie
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    • Aww that’s great MacKenzie! I’m glad that little guide was useful :) xo

      Response from Catherine
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  3. I loving these Q and A’s…. Not boring at all!!! Glad you get some bed rest to be able to do this!

    Response from Megan
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    • Haha thank you Megan, I’m happy you are enjoying the endless Q&As! xo

      Response from Catherine
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  4. I’m so looking forward o your Q&A tommorow!! I now have two items I can ask for at x-mas time!!!! I love that you don’t count calories!! Makes it feel more like natural eating and not obsessive eating. Oh!, and I uploaded ” the end of overeating” to my iPad! I can’t put the book down!! Everything stated is so true!!!

    Thank You!

    Response from Nely Barger
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    • Thank you Nely! You are so sweet, I can totally feel how excited you are through your comment :) I’m so happy that you are enjoying “The End of Overeating,” so many things just clicked when I read it! xo

      Response from Catherine
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  5. Hi, Catherine – I LOVE your blog, and love this Q&A series, do don’t worry that we’re getting bored! Thanks to you, chia seeds are a new part of my smoothie routine, and I ditched that horrifying diet shake powder that I realized was giving me far less protein than SUGAR, which was the first ingredient! Anywho, writing to tell you a tip I read re: keeping kale chips fresh. It’s a little chemicalish, but someone said putting them in an airtight container with two of those little silica packets that sometimes come in vitamins keeps them from getting moist and chewy. Take it or leave it, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Thanks for all the inspiration – you help more than you know. Best of luck with your foot!

    Response from Nina B.
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  6. Question for you – have you ever tried / eaten kind bars? If so, what do you think of them? I got turned off by larabars because they sold their company a few years back (not to get all political on you) and switched to kind bars….i loved lara but am curious what you think of kind.

    Response from ellen
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  7. This was a really helpful post. I teach and need snack ideas. You gave 4 great ones. Thanks! BTW, one teenage son likes the Campfire Kisses too! I’m slowly introducing healthier options to junk-loving sons. Get well soon!

    Response from Cheryl
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  8. Tip for the avocado: sprinkle some lemon juice (doesn’t have to be freshly squeezed) over it before storing & your avocado can last for 2 days before turning brown. Best thing? It hardly affects the avocado’s taste :)
    (BTW, this works for any type of fruit/veg that oxidizes quickly.)

    Response from Roxy
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    • Thank you so much for that tip Roxy!!! Definitely trying this next time :)

      Response from Catherine
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  9. I know I’m way late on this post but… the storage option I’ve found works best for my kale chips is to put a papertowel in the bottom of the airtight container. Lasts over a week and my husband and I live in a basement so we do not have a shortage of humidity.
    P. S. I’m loving the ideas an inspiration for a lifestyle hange that I am in dire need of.

    Response from Rachel
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  10. Hi Catherine! I read your story and would really like to know (since I am also 5’4) how much you weigh now? I saw that you got down to 111 lbs, and then decided to gain some weight so I just wondered what you weigh now! Also, how easy is it for you to maintain your weight? Thank you! -Briet :)

    Response from Briet
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  11. Hi Catherine,
    You said when you where first losing all your weight you did count your calories, but now you do not. Would you recommend to continue counting your calories if you are initially trying to lose that big lump sum of weight in the beginning. You see I have 20-30 pounds to go to reach my healthy weight range, but have been in a plateau for about a month. I actually am starting your pyramid this week to see how it does for me. Just didn’t know if I should also watch my calories while trying out your pyramid.Any advice would be amazing :)

    Response from Beverly
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  12. just came across your blog today and will be a new follower for sure! i have loved reading through it so far and appreciate the tips and feel it will help keep me motivated in my new journey. what type of crackers do you eat and what is your favorite almond butter?

    Response from {amy k.}
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  13. Hi :)

    I might be blind or just an idiot, but where can I find your mail adresse to send you some questions for your Q & A?! :D

    Greetings rom Germany!
    Cathy

    Response from Cathy
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