Archive for January, 2010

Grocery Shopping RI

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Grammy’s are starting soon, and I’m not sure if I want to watch them, so I’ll just type super fast just in case. Speaking of grammies, I saw mine today. But first, lunch.

Jalapeno Al Fresco Chicken Sausage, Broccoli With Soy Sauce

I just could not get in to the idea of “brunch” so I had a late breakfast and a small lunch. I wasn’t that hungry but I had an odd craving for broccoli and soy sauce(how good does that sound?) so I threw on one of these sausages and called it a meal. Voila! Plenty of sodium for one day. At the end of this, my dad arrived and brought a few goodies from home, mostly being things I forgot. Are chopsticks essentials? No, but they’re fun 😀 My mom and grandmother(who came along “for the ride”) were waiting in the car and they took me to Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe Groceries

Would you believe there’s just 1 Trader Joe’s in all of Rhode Island? The next closest one is the one in Framingham I go to when I’m home. I don’t know how you Trader Joe-less folks do it. Actually, I do know: You go to Whole Foods and pay a little more. Sorry 😦 I just wanted to get every simmer sauce and curry I could find for meals! But realizing that wasn’t practical in my dorm fridge I just got mostly plain things like tofu, tempeh, salmon, pilaf, and the rest of what you see. Clearly there’ll be more pudding with all them avocadoes 😉

Libby's Pumpkin

After that, I made us take quick detour to McDonalds for coffee(which I defend by pointing out that everyone else in the car got coffee driving down and didn’t bring me one), and then we went to Stop & Shop for some pumpkin; I knew if I went in it would take 10 minutes and I’d come out with 5 extra things, so this time my dad just did the shopping. He still took 10 minutes, but got the 1 thing on the list.

Whole Foods Groceries

Whole Foods Groceries

And then, of course, it wouldn’t have been a trip without going to Whole Foods. I was actually a little disappointed with this sales period; there was soooo much I picked up and wanted to try but couldn’t really “justify” getting. Instead, I kept it simple again. I guess the two “treats” I got were the dark chocolate coconut candy bar(umm, yum!) and some dark meat turkey for dinner. The Crofter’s Organic Europe Superfruit spread I had a coupon for because, if you remember, I got a bunch of their jams to review for the blog but that one unfortunately broke during shipping. One “fun” thing I almost bought was vanilla goat milk frozen yogurt with brownie pieces in it coming off sale Tuesday. It took a lot of restraint from buying that, restraint and the promise of this:

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter Chocolate Black Bean Brownie And Chocolate Peanut Butter

I defrosted one of the peanut butter gluten free brownies I made for New Years and crumbled it warm into a yogurt. Then I melted a little of the Justin’s chocolate peanut butter in the microwave to drizzle over. Holy yum! Vanilla brownie ice cream who? This completely had my attention while I was catching up on emails/putting groceries away. Unfortunately, I still felt like I could chew my arm off, so I had another snack while waiting for dinner.

Apple

A little mealy but not bad for free from the dining hall. Dinner was a sweet potato I threw in the oven at 5 and the dark meat turkey I bought. I really didn’t know how to make it so I called home. No answer. I then called my mom. No answer. Finally, my dad picked up his cell phone. Why was no one answering? Because they stopped at a casino on the way home. I’m glad nothings changed in my absence.

Cooking Dark Meat Turkey

Since I couldn’t get in touch with my mom, I went ahead and guessed that the turkey would be fine in a pan on its own since it should have enough fat in it already to cook. That was pretty much right. I cooked the meat through and then let it rest for 5-10 minutes while I worked with the sweet potato and such.

Turkey Burger With Ketchup, Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

Ah, this came out wicked good*said in a Bauston accent*. I don’t think there is any real “trick” to meat; I think there are just old rules which people either follow or ignore. Don’t work with it too much. Let it sit. And, if you really want flavor, use a fatty cut. It’s that simple to get something juicy and delicious. The sweet potato was perfect and practically fell apart after roasting for 90 minutes. I was craving cinnamon on a sweet potato and that hit the spot. I think I will watch the Grammy’s soon; I hear Elton John and Lady Gaga are performing together and how could I miss that?

Tomorrow’s the first day of February, and let’s just say there’s a bit of a special surprise in store for the morning post. I also have my “long run” of 8 miles first thing. Ahhh I need to start stockpiling fuel via chocolate!

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Excuse Me, Your Head Is Blocking The Fridge

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7:53: Get into some comfy pajamas. It’s going to be a good night

8:23: Find Disturbia on TV; decide to watch even though I’m a scaredy cat for movies like this.

Burnt Sugar Crumbly Chocolate Fudge

8:30: Think fudge would be a good thing for dessert, even though I can’t remember the last time fudge did anything for anyone’s hunger

8:40: This fudge is really weird and hard–not really like church fair fudge but it’s sweet and that’s nice

9:12: Realize while doing Greek homework that Plato was soooo much dirtier than people give him credit for. Why don’t I remember things like this from 9th grade?

9:23: Why am I watching Disturbia?!?!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Butter

9:30: Start the process of making chocolate avocado pudding, mashing avocado, cocoa powder, and coconut milk kefir in a bowl

9:40: Start cleaning the mess I’m making, throwing out bits of avocado, and cleaning the bowl.

9:43: Coconut oil? Coconut Butter? Cacao Bliss? Why can’t I decide?

Artisana Coconut Butter

9:47: Coconut Butter

9:52: Still cleaning; still hungry

9:53-9:57: Photographing the chocolate pudding

9:58: Screw it–I’m hungry and need to eat something now and no longer even want this damn pudding.

Cheesy Pumpkin Oats With Banana Peanut Butter

10:02: Shove the pudding in the fridge and make oats with pumpkin and nutritional yeast, topped with banana peanut butter.

10:12-10:23: Simultaneously admire and devour the oatmeal while burning my tongue because it’s so hot.

10:25: Need something sweet; feeling self-destructive.

Ginger Ale Zevia

10:32: There are worse ales I could have reached for.

10:52: Learn through Mythbusters that if I hold a gun the wrong way, my thumb will be cut off. Great.

11:02: Sleep. Glorious sleep.

3:17: Wake up, and now having trouble falling back asleep.

3:25: Roommate and 2 people I don’t know(maybe?) come in a little giddy. They whisper a lot and fall asleep on the floor.

3:27: Amazed at how the drunk people can fall asleep faster than I can and WOW DOES ONE OF THEM SNORE LOUD.

3:34: Ok, I’m hungry and not sleeping. What do I want?

3:35: I want that damn pudding but one of their heads is blocking the fridge. Would it be rude to wake whoever that is up?

3:37: Pry the door open, grab the pudding, head downstairs to the dorm kitchen.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Butter

3:40: Heat it up and start digging in. As I walk back to my bed to finish it

3:45: All gone. I like fat. I really like fat. Why do I eat protein and carbs?

4:02: Finally back to some shut-eye

7:07: Wake up and th 2 people on the floor are gone. Ugh, why is the gym not open until 9 on the weekend?! Would it be bad to watch Cartoon Network until then? I’ll just go back to sleep.

8:41: Wake up after a dream nightmare about never being able to find sour cream & onion popchips. If that’s the world I have to live in, I don’t want to live. On the bright side, I can get ready to go to the gym.

8:58: Chugging some decaf hazelnut coffee and out the door.

Running Stats

9:03: Starting my 5-miler after stretching the left calve which was acting up

9:08: Getting way too in to “Single Ladies”; resisting the urge to put my hands up and regretting that I didn’t put a ring on it

9:22: I’ve got Cartoon Network on TV, my iPod blasting, I can do this!

9:49: That felt great. Maybe could have done more? Tomorrow’s my long run so I wasn’t going to push it.

Walking Stats

9:50-10:25: Cool down with a two mile walk followed by stretching.

10:12: What time am I going to finish? When will I get back? Will it be breakfast or lunch?

10:33: Back in the dorm, roommate’s still sleeping, should I be shocked by this? Not at all.

10:46: Hop out of the shower and run back to the room.

1047-10:48: Have a fight with the scale to get it to turn on and stay on. It does, which is a sign that I should eat a “breakfast”.

10:55: Oops, people are starting to get up. Perhaps I should put on pants?

Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal With Walnut Butter, Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

11:02-12:02: Oats come out of the microwave and I start eating. Write a “cutesy” blog post, Twitter a bit, talk to a friend on the phone, e-mail my dad, and finish breakfast saving a huge bite of walnut butter for the last bite.

12:04: Publish.

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I’ve Never Been So Excited About Meals

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

OK. That’s a TOTAL lie. I mean, look at what I was eating last Saturday. BUT I was very excited for everything I ate today. And it didn’t cost nearly as much as–not even going there 😉 But first, I took a trip to the gym for an a.m. workout. I was worried the place would be PACKED; it was busy, but I was able to grab machines. First, I ran 2 miles in 18:03. Then I did some weird peddling machine where you sit down and hold bars to your side for 30 minutes; this wasn’t really ideal and I couldn’t get my heart rate even over 105 for much but I wanted to break up the running. Then I went back for another 3 miles in 27:43. The speed is so not where I want it to be, but I need to focus on getting endurance back up after my break first; I’m not running my half to win it, just to cross the line.

Lemon Bot Beverage

When I got back to my room, I wanted to get on the refueling pronto. I grabbed this Lemon Bot Beverage I was sent to review. I’m not at all one for sugary recovery drinks but that’s what’s great about Bot: They’re pretty low sugar but still good on the electrolytes. And this flavor was yummy! It wasn’t sour like a lemon straight-up but not like sweetened southern lemonade, either. It was just the right sweet and tartness. I sipped on this while I was down in the kitchen cooking something wonderful up.

Veggie Burger Caveman Style, Sugar Snap Peas

Lightlife Gimme Lean Soy Meat Burger Caveman Style

I wish I could take some credit for the peas, which were delicious, but I can’t; they were totally taken from the dining hall last night and reheated. But I forgot how fun they were to pop into! The burger I can take credit for. I took 4oz of the Lightlife gimme lean meat, formed it into a patty, and cooked it in a pan in EVOO; I like to think this is a step above getting premade veggie burgers but that’s probably not the case. Equally, I’d like to say that I ate this caveman style because it’s a smart way to avoid over-processed carbs, but really I just don’t have any bread/suspect I have a slight gluten intolerance and caveman made sense. Did I mention this burger had a secret?

Inside Out Veggie Cheeseburger

That’s really why I was excited to eat this! I actually formed 2 2oz patties, tore up a square of American cheddar cheese, stuffed it in the middle and enclosed the sides together. The cheese was so perfectly melted when I bit in–yum! That definitely made this better than regular veggieburgers.

Thayer Street

After lunch, I decided to brave the cold. At below freezing with wind, I wasn’t up to walking to Whole Foods. But CVS up the street I could do for the battery I needed. The only problem was CVS didn’t have the battery I needed >:-(. Sure, a CR2032 isn’t super common like a AA, but they should have kept more in stock. The closest store that would sell that would have been a mile away, so I gave up and headed back to my room.

Assembly Station

If you don’t already think I’m nuts(which you should, because I sure as hell do), then maybe now I can convince you. I got my scale working temporarily on a low battery, so I started making a little bit of whatever I might want until I get a new battery: oatmeal, raw vegan chocolate, chocolate avocado pudding, 2% yogurt. As I’ve mentioned, I’m much more a baker than a cook. A cook approximates and does things to taste where a baker is precise and measuring. That’d be great if I kept measuring cups and tablespooons around, but I’m so cocky with my scale I completely forgot that stuff at home. Now can I be crazy? K, thanks.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Chocolate

After everything was put away, I broke in to some of what I made. I made a bowl of chocolate avocado pudding and then did the recipe for 1/2 a raw, vegan coconut oil chocolate bar and just plopped it on top. I thought my lunch was a little light on fats; I guess this made up for it! This was soooo good. Chocolate and coconut together are becoming my new obsession. I couldn’t help but be excited about this combination! I think Grezzo really needs to add this to their menu.

Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t think anything is more exciting than roasting veggies; it’s even converting veggie haters. I was so excited for this, not just for the outcome but because it was the first time using our dorm oven. I was a little nervous: Would it work? Would it explode? I just tossed the fries from 1 potato in some EVOO, seasoned with salt, and let them do their thing for 50 minutes.

Vegan Meatloaf With Sea Salt And Cayenne Parma, Sweet Potato Fries

Once again–Very excited! Not so much for the meatloaf; after 8 days, that just needed to be eaten. But the sweet potato fries were everything and more. I think they needed another 10 minutes to crisp up, but I couldn’t wait. I can never wait long enough for roasted vegetables. The Cayenne flavored Parma added a really great kick to everything. Surprisingly, this didn’t fill me up as much as I was expecting. Maybe it needed a big dose of green veggies? Oh well, that just leaves more space for dessert 😀

Race Update

So, I really don’t have a training plan, nor do I plan to get one(hehe). The run is 8 weeks from tomorrow, and I think if I get into my good groove I’ll be able to build back up in no time. While I don’t have anything laid out, I do keep an idea of what I want to do in my head. Tomorrow, I’m aiming for 5 consecutive miles, and a 2 mile walk(either to Whole Foods and back or on the treadmill). Monday will be my first “long run” of 8 miles! I think/hope I’ll be ready for that one.

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Get Those Oats On A Scale!

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Morning! I feel like everybody was working for the weekend this week, so if you were, it’s finally here! I hope you kicked it off well. The start to mine was a little bland admittedly; I read this book for my object history course: Stuff. It’s all about the big efforts that go in to making something as simple as a french fry or soda can. I try to live as green as possible and it had me feeling like a total tax on the environment. Yikes! At least the closing thoughts were “Focus on what you can and do do and not on the things that are so much bigger than you”. That, I can do. Meanwhile, I tried to make a greenish snack.

Dried Raspberries, Raw Vegan Brownie

This was a fun snack, especially since I’ve started thinking of these dried raspberries as “nature’s Swedish fish”. And some of the brownie was organic, so I wasn’t killing too much earth. But it wasn’t doing it for me, so I got a little creative.

Rolling Up Dried Raspberries

Raw Chocolate Covered Dried Raspberries

These were 10 times more creative and tastier. You could probably make the brownies by substituting other dried fruits for half of the dates. Some Latin homework also got done(much lighter than Stuff surprisingly) as I realized Friday night television has gone to hell; didn’t there used to be great shows on then like 1 vs. 100? What happened to those? Later on, I got hungry, which leads to a confession…

Rapunzel's Organic Hazelnut Butter

I’ve made my opinion on Nutella very clear. And Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter is an excellent hazelnut butter. But–let’s face it–when you’re craving Nutella you actually want milk chocolate and not hazelnut. So I do have a milk chocolate spread on hand, which looks about as bad as Nutella.

Rapunzel's Organic Hazelnut Butter

It still is more of a “Palm Oil Butter” than a “hazelnut Butter”–don’t know how I feel about that. But, on the bright side, it has 1/2 the sugar of Nutella so I can eat twice as much and is organic.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Oh. And did I mention it’s downright delicious? That, too. Right after having my dose of palm oil from the butter, I got a nasty craving for some coconut oil(very different, the two). Thankfully, I now keep a bar of coconut oil chocolate already made waiting in the fridge for just an occasion.

1/2 Raw Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Bar

Since it was right before bed I kept it to half. This one I made with raspberry flavored agave syrup, but to be honest the flavor wasn’t that much different, which was a little surprising. Raspberries and chocolate go so well together; I don’t understand how chocolate covered strawberries are the more popular dessert. Maybe it’s because they’re larger and you get more chocolate?

Pondering that thought, I slept 9 1/2 hours and oh boy do I feel rested. I actually woke up at 6:45 naturally but the gym doesn’t even open until 9 so I forced myself back to sleep for a few hours. I wanted to get to the gym when it opened, but after waking up it made more sense to eat breakfast, workout, then have lunch rather than have breakfast at some ungodly time(and I just can’t skip breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day).

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

So Delicious Soy Yogurt Plain With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspire Drops

This was all pretty much dessert for breakfast–it tasted that good. But I’m hoping the simple sugars will be better pre-workout than anything else. And it was all organic! Except for the oatbran in my oatmeal, but it’s all about focusing on what you do do.

In making this, my kitchen scale’s batteries started to die. It wouldn’t even turn on for a while! I would be so lost without this thing; I don’t even own measuring cups for my oats or water because I have the scale to be more perfect. When I got it working again, I just threw them on as fast as I could! Everything worked out, but I definitely need to buy more batteries at CVS. And, to top it all off, those oats I was throwing on I’m running out of. And yet, walking 1+ mile to Whole Foods in sub-freezing temperatures does not sound fun. Screw saving the environment–I need a ride!

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Too Cold For Anything Else

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has just been too cold for anything other than what I did and was done. My hands are recirculating, and my jeans have been long swapped for PJ’s by now. I suppose that when they announce an “Extreme Cold Advisory” on the news, they mean business. Backing up, I had some weird cravings for lunch. It was just too cold to want something real or excited. I managed to reign back my cravings a bit and make a semi-normal lunch.

Root Beer Zevia, Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Did maple peanut butter jump out of the jar onto my turkey? It just might of… with a little help. I prefer dark meat, so if I’m going to have white meat turkey I better stick some fat in there somehow; the sweet maple was pure craving, but at least it worked well with these chips.

To-Do List

I probably should have heeded the weather warning and stayed indoors just because I could but I had a bit of a list to work on. At least while I was out I managed to get it all done. I’m officially on a lower meal plan, trading 110 meals and 125 flex points for about $240 dollars;It’d definitely be a “better bargain” to have stayed on but what’s the use if it goes to wast? Nada.

Books And Notebooks

I ended up returning 2 of my books and buying them new; I try to buy used when possible but these were a little too used and they’re books I’ll be looking at for a while so I figured the extra money was worth it. The final total for the semester was around $350–not bad considering the majority of the books are in my concentration and I’ll need beyond this semester.

Tazo Calm Tea

It was too cold not to get tea while I was near a campus convenience store. I threw everything on the bed and considered making a snack, but wanted to get to a dining hall right at 4 to grab things for dinner and get in for the night before it got colder. Or so I thought. I got there at 4:10. They opened at 4:30. But unless I wanted to go back into the cold(absolutely not), I would just have to wait there. So I did. I didn’t end up getting back to my room until 4:45.

Cooked Vegetables, Raw Broccoli, Sandwich Lettuce, Apples

At least it was a productive shopping trip. I don’t know if you’re supposed to load up two large take out containers with vegetables, but no one particularly stops you if you do. You might get odd looks, but no words. I was starving and just threw together the best thing I could think of.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

It was too cold not to eat pumpkin oats with maple peanut butter. Nothing would have made this better, unless it were made in the jar; I think that’s a principal of life. Instead of eating more after this, which definitely would have spoiled my appetite for dinner, I just decided to invest a little time and “make something” that’d be nice. Since I was craving Indian, I mixed 2/3 a can of chickpeas, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons indian spice, and enough watter to thin it. Normally I’d prefer a tomato based sauce but it was too cold not to utilize pumpkin(and that’s all I had on hand). That made about 3 servings, so I took 1 and saved 2.

Vegetable Melange, Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas, Raw Vegan Brownie

Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas Wit Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

This was pretty darn good. The chickpeas came out nice and spicy, with the pumpkin to add some savor factor. A dollop of full fat yogurt, though, really made the whole thing come alive; the dish needed fat and depth. Speaking of fat, the raw vegan brownies are still just as delicious. It was too cold not to have something sweet to finish of dinner. Do other people eat the best part of their meal at the end, too? I always did this as a kid, but people would confuse this for me not liking something and picking it off my plate before I would get to it. Not cool. No one got my brownie.

Don’t think having chocolate with dinner meant there won’t be some for dessert; it would just be too cold to ignore chocolate like that. I do feel somewhat bad on skipping out on a friend’s birthday party tonight. But if I went–and in this cold–I wouldn’t be enjoying myself, and I’m not convinced she’d notice me there amongst the other 100 facebook friends attending. So after all I don’t feel bad about ditching it for some light and humorous reads.

Homework

Wow are there a lot of giveaways going on now. Here’s one for a bread machine. Here’s another for coconut oil! Here’s one for some delicious bars. And here’s one for iHerb shopping spree! Here’s one for chocolate. And how about one last one for chocolate, here!

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Trying New Things

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As much as I love my routine, I also love trying new things(so long as they fit in, somehow). Well, I’ve just tried 4 new things and 3 of them were a hit! Would you be surprised if I told you the 3 were food and the 1 was not? 🙂 Didn’t think so. Last night it seemed like everything was a repeat on television; what was with that? I ended up watching an old Grey’s and having a sweet snack.

Q.bel Mint Wafers

Q.bel came out with 2 new flavors this year and I got both of them in the prize pack I won from Facebook! One of those flavors is mint, which seemed like a nice palate cleansing dessert. I looved this, and reviewed it here. It was kind of like a peppermint patty but with a little wafer in there, too. I’m confused why they used milk fat in the dark chocolate; that makes it milk in my book, but it’s still really deep in flavor. These Q.bel bars are really dense in calories for something so light, but Twitter friends assured me it’s all good:

TryingToHeal @EvanFMFF Um, yes. All chocolate should be devoid of calories anyhow.

The judge has spoken. After that I tried another new thing with my bowl of oatmeal.

Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

I ordered a few favorites from Naturally Nutty with my Christmas money. When I opened up the box, I was surprised to find this little gift Katie snuck in: a new flavor! It’s so new, it doesn’t have it’s own label yet. But when it comes out in Spring it will be Organic Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter. Yes please!

Oatmeal With Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

This was delicious! I had a feeling I’d like it, since I looove the vanilla almond butter for it’s clean, crisp taste. The vanilla cinnamon almond butter had that same cleanness to it, but with an added depth from the cinnamon. I was impressed how it’s spiced so that the cinnamon doesn’t detract from the other spices–definitely on to keep an eye out for on their website.

This morning I “slept in” and felt raring to go to the gym.. And when I say slept in, I mean 7am; I just couldn’t not be an early bird. I grabbed a bar–a new one–and was off.

18 Rabbits Funky Figs And Cherries Granola Bar

I’ll share the disappointing part first: This bar didn’t really taste like figs or cherries 😦 It definitely had those in there, but they tasted more generic like raisins in raisin bran. Overall, though, this was another story; I loved how the texture was chewy and crunchy, and this was packed with seeds and nuts. The strongest flavors were hazelnuts and cacao nibs, which were perfect. And this has so little sugar, it really makes me happy. The quaker oats man needs to take a lesson from 18 Rabbits!

New Bike Machine

As for the workout, I started by running an awesome 7 miles. I had to slow the pace a lot lower than I’d like. But that let me go further than I expected I could at this point at the game, and I’m all for rebuilding that endurance. After 7 miles, which took a little more than an hour, I decided to try this bike machine for another 30 minutes of The Today Show at resistance level 3. Confession: I’ve never really used a bike machine before, so this was totally new.

Uncomfortable Seat

It felt like an OK workout–not quite like running in my opinion 😉 My only question has to be what is with that seat?! I would think if you’re going to be rigorously active somewhere for extended periods of time, you’d want that place to be comfortable. A pillow, maybe? Not something with a rigid figure that probably was too loose. Another thing: I wouldn’t mind a virtual reality helmet so I feel like I’m biking through a sunny neighborhood or something–just saying.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

French Toast Oatmeal With 2 Cage Free Eggs, Maple Syrup, And Cinnamon

Breakfast was not at all new and that I did not mind. I could just never get enough of yogurt with raspberry jam. And no fancy shmancy jam here; 365 brand is a great and tasty bang for your buck. I picked up a french toast craving somewhere along the way and made my oatmeal with 2 Eggland’s Best cage free eggs and topped it with New Hampshire maple syrup and Trader Joe’s cinnamon–perfect. It felt so “homey”. And maple syrup season is only 2 months away! So I better eat up all that “old” stuff, haha.

I’m so glad it’s really the weekend already; I love having most of my morning to spend working out, but if I were expected to do anything after that I’d feel so behind and lost. I have a short and simple to-do list to tackle, and plenty of time to get on that. Happy Friday!

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My 25 Hour Week

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It feels a little surreal, but 25 hours after my first school week of the semester began, it ended. It hasn’t even hit me really that today is my “Friday” and tomorrow’s the weekend. I could get use to this.

Because I had a little extra time before my 2nd class of the day, I decided to make lunch in the kitchen again! This time, I cooked a “burger”.

Lightlife Gimme Lean Beef Soy Meat Burger

Yeah, I wish 😛 What this actually was was 4oz Lightlife‘s  Gimme Lean Beef shaped into a patty with some black pepper and cooked in a pan with EVOO.

Lightlife Burger With Ketchup, Green Beans, Smashed Banumpkin With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

But holy yum was that a good burger! I’ve had this beef before heated up in the microwave and it didn’t do it for me, so I wasn’t looking forward to this in all honesty. But yum! Cooked in a pan with fat it tasted like a real burger(albeit an overcooked burger since I like my meat practically mooing). I think I made up a side at this meal; I had an intense banana craving and wanted to get a little funky, so I mashed 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 small-medium banana and seasoned with sea salt and cinnamon. This was sooooo good–try it! It’s similar to a sweet potato, but the sugars in the banana make the cinnamon POP!

I loooved my next two classes. The first had a hilarious professor who’s very much in the old style of teaching. My only problem with it was the class was PACKED. I have a feeling it’s a class a lot of kids are taking for fun or to slack off in, but I need it for a Classics concentration so I ain’t going anywhere. My next class was OK, but a little duller in comparison and a lot smaller. At least I know 2 of them from last semesters’ classes. Midway through, I could feel hanger coming on.

Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate

I broke this out midway through. I’m becoming so obsessed! Now, instead of making one when I feel like it, I always have one made already for me chilling in the fridge. When class got over, one of the people I knew asked me where I got this and said it smelled excellent; when I told her I made it, she called that “brilliant”, haha. No arguments there!

I walked ran to my dorm to watch Oprah’s interview with Jay Leno. I have to say–I’m liking him less and less through this whole process. I know it’s not his fault so much as NBC but… And I think Oprah was a lot easier on him than she could have been; where were the hard hitting questions, Oprah? While I was watching this I did two things: I made another organic raw vegan chocolate bar for my next craving and made a snack for then.

Creamy Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

Greek yogurt is the perfect snack; it’s a complete protein so you really feel like you’re getting something out of it, too. For my taste and my wallet, lately I’ve been mixing 3 parts Trader Joe’s 0% with 1 part Trader Joe’s full fat, and sweetening with vanilla NuNaturals stevia. I’m running out of that last ingredient and can’t help but question to stick with it or try Sweetleaf or Whole Foods brand. Any recommendation? Dinner tonight hit just about every spot:

Chickpeas With Pasture Butter And Sea Salt

Broccoli With Pizza Cheeze Sauce

I’ve had MAJOR chickpea cravings all week, but didn’t want to open up a can with so much other food to eat. Tonight was the night, and with pasture butter it tasted very much like soft popcorn–yum! For my broccoli, I made Meagan’s cheeze sauce, but added ketchup to it–another winner. The only slightly disgusting thing was thinking at the end that sliding the pool of melted butter/leftover sauce/sea salt into my mouth would be a good call; that was a bit too much sodium, even for me. Coffee will dilute that, right? I think so.

Here’s another contest to win coconut oil of your very own.

And here’s an absolutely awesome article on nut butters with all my favorite brands interviewed–you must read this!

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Show The People What They Want

Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For the past two days, my most viewed page(besides the Home page) hasn’t been my In Defence Of Saturated Fats, my rant on Nutella, or even My Superfoods. Nope. I’m not even sure you’re reading this; the way things have been, you might just be looking at my Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe. Is anybody out there? Helloooo. Aww, hell. I’ll just give you what you want to see.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding

There? Happy? Because I definitely was eating this. I think the fact that I can make this in my dorm room goes to show just how easy it is. For some reason, though, I could not get this to be sweet enough. I practically saturated it with stevia; I think my sweet tooth is officially retiring and moved to Boca Riton. He’s lived a rough life. He had to listen to some God awful auditioners on American Idol like there were last night. He didn’t have to eat half the things Bear Grylls did on Man Vs. Wild, which I watched while the president spoke. Did anybody know that Bear is a vegetarian? Well, when he’s not eating a fish eyeball for water, that is. But apparently so–go figure.

I wanted to be able to show guys oats in a jar…

Agave Sweetened Smart Balance Peanut Butter

But something tells me this one was just a bit too full. Just a bit. Maybe? You’re going to have to settler for in a bowl:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast

Yum! I don’t think I could ever get over this combination; the pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and sea salt make for a sort of sharp cheddar–it’s divine. Why did I never know about this stuff before learning more about veganism? Nutritional yeast is something that should be in every household, meat-eaters or not. It’s so versatile! Speaking of veganism, I realized after yesterday that I “accidentally” ate vegan all day except for a milk chocolate peanut butter cup with breakfast; how random is that?

This morning, I set my alarm for 6:15. Besides the fact that the volume was WAY too loud, I just kind of stood there wondering “why?”. Well, I knew why: I wanted to run before class, but this year it’s going to be a little more difficult. I considered going back to bed and trying to squeeze a run in sometime later(even though this isn’t really practical either), but in the end I just went with my first thought and hit the gym.

Treadmill Stats

Once again: This was hard! How was I running like I was before break? I didn’t realize walking stairs and running would be so different but apparently so. I probably need to figure out how to cut it back/do cross training to “fill time” I would otherwise be running, but I just don’t know; this half-marathon is feeling a lot harder now :-/ I didn’t have much time to shower/make breakfast/prepare for class, but I squeezed it all in.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pistachio Butter, Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pistachio Butter

All nice and portable to-go. I bought a pomegranate Chobani yesterday knowing I’d need somethign I could grab. The pistachio butter made with Tierra Farm‘s pistachios goes so well with pumpkin: It’s orange, green, salty, smooth, delicious, and–best of all–alliterated! I tried thinking bout how the dark chocolate chips would fit in a p, but no luck. Oh well. They perfectly hit the spot.  I ate most of this in my 9am Greek class. It looks like a non-intimidating work-load. And the grad student teaching it is very nice. He has a severe stutter and talks a little(OK, a lot) like Steven Hawkins to eliminate it but he seems like the nicest and most supportive teacher anyone could hope for. When I got back to my dorm, I brewed something up to get typing.

Decaf Hazelnut Coffee

Now that I’m lowering the meal plan, it makes much more economical sense just to brew my own coffee. Cheaper, fresher, tastier–works for me 🙂 Two more classes for today! I don’t expect it to add up to much “excitement”. Anything fun on your end? Tune in to Oprah at 4 to see Jay speak on NBC!

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20 Blessings To Count

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

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The Big Fat Post

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Before I go into too much, I want to stress that everything hear is based on my own opinion. I’m not a certified nutrition anything, and these are personal thoughts reached through researched. I also recognize that I change my mind like crazy, so let the record show it is 1/27/20092010*

You’re all invited to my big fat Italian-Polish-French-Welsh-Canadian wedding after you read my big fat post. Really, I should call this my big post about fat, because that’s the topic on today’s agenda. I don’t think anyone would deny that fat’s an important part of your daily intake. And I really don’t think anyone would deny that it’s usually pretty delicious(Helloooo, peanut butter?). At the same time, there are several different types of fats stemming from countless sources. After taking advice and literature from 3 intelligent bloggers, I’ve decided to incorporate saturated fat from 2 new sources into my diet.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Common literature would tell you that saturated fats are awful and should be limited. That same literature, however, once toted trans-fatty margarine over all-natural butter. Things an opinions change. These 2 pieces of literature(#1 and #2) combined with other effects and observation led me to this decision. The fats themselves, as you’ll read, are quite nutritious in themselves. Unlike commercial butter, grass-fed butter hosts a range of nutrients and a higher omega-3 content; this was also the butter that our great-great grandparents were living and thriving off of–not margarine. You can read all about Pasture Butter here. Coconut oil hosts a bound of benefits of saturated fats without a speck of cholesterol. It also hosts a wide and unique array of beneficial components, including lauric acid, the same food infants thrive off of from milk.

The other half of this shift will be limiting the amounts of canola, safflower, soy, and other refined liquid oils. The reasoning for this is two-fold: Firstly, they aren’t nearly as “natural” as some of their counterparts like Rachael Ray’s favorite, EVOO. Secondly, introducing new fats into my diet means I should probably take some of the old ones out, and these ones serve little purpose on their own. Of course I’ll still be getting a strong flow of fats from nuts and, on occasion, animal sources. But I did want to put this out there, so that there’s no surprise that I might be featuring food like this a lot:

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

And why wouldn’t I when it’s this yummy? That would be my 3rd ever homemade raw vegan chocolate, made with 13g gold label virgin coconut oil, 19g agave nectar, and 12g cocoa powder. I really liked this blend. And, yes, when it comes to these raw chocolate bars it’s grams–not even teaspoons–that change the flavor completely! I’m loving playing around with the flavor with my minute changes and I think this one came out best of all so far. I’m going to pass over the irony of eating coconut oil and a chocolate bar while watching The Biggest Loser 😀

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, I am totally infuriated with the red team. I really hate it when anyone “plays the game” instead of just losing weight. As much as I love Alison Sweeney, I really miss the days when Caroline Rhea hosted and the contestants entered not knowing what they were doing but solely devoted to getting healthy. Meanwhile, teams like the grey team keep me thinking there are still those like that out there and have hope. I needed oatmeal to distract me from being angry.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If I’m working grass-fed butter into my diet, I should work more maple butter in too, right?(For those who don’t know, maple butter is simply granulated maple syrup and, in fact, not at all butter). I think I need to add less salt to my oats because even with all this mapleness nothing tasted sweet. I might have had to have an extra spoonful of maple butter from the jar. Oops.

This did not help my first night of sleep back in the dorm. I don’t know why, but I think it took a good 60 minutes of nothingness to fall asleep. My mind was just racing with thoughts about the new day and everything. The thing I was most anxious about was running again. To top it all off, I forgot to set my alarm! I managed to wake up naturally at 7:20, though, so only slept in 20 minutes. I guzzled down a cup of coffee from a fresh canister, and hit the gym.

365 Decaf Hazelnut

It’s so hard to find coffee that’s flavored and decaf; and this really tastes like hazelnut! Love it. What I didn’t love so much was reuniting with the treadmill. The run was so tough. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy after 5 weeks but I couldn’t believe after 2 miles it was becoming a battle, even though I had The Today Show to entertain me. My goal was 7 miles and I pushed to that in 59:59; I don’t know how I’m going to build back up for my half in time. When I got back to my dorm, I was ready to refuel!

Bananamon Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Newman's Cup

This hit the spot. I needed to go to the dining hall to get bananas and I grabbed 5 while I was in there 😀 I’ll be set for a bit I think. I love the cinnamon raisin peanut butter but I almost feel like it was too much raisins! Good thing I had soy yogurt with peanut flour to help satisfy my peanut tooth. The trick to good peanut flour yogurt: salt. It makes it that much more authentic.

Today’s the first day of classes! Already so much has happened I want to share and I’ve gotten a ton of good news, but I think after covering 1 big fat topic, that’ll be enough for this post. Instead, I’ll leave you with some giveaways.

Enter here for a goji gourmet giveaway(it’s one of my superfoods!)

Here is 1 iHerb giveaway and here is another! You could get a lot of herbage with that, lol.

And an Oikos giveaway!

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