Archive for February, 2010

12 Pieces Of Wisdom From My Grandmother And Others

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who in their life hasn’t picked up tips and nuggets of wisdom from the people in their lives here and there? Today, I found myself using and acknowledging those little pieces of gold. Read on and you might even learn something new, if not at least see some good eats 😉

The Heat Is On Tofu Salad, Scrambled Eggs, Steamed Broccoli, Kombucha

1. A splash of milk makes scrambled eggs 10 times better. My grandmother was sooo right on this one! Of course, she probably didn’t use almond milk like I did here 😉 But the results were the same: perfectly moist eggs. I feel like there’s no way I couldn’t take advice on eggs from the woman who made them for me almost every day during the Summer. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli, and some “tofu salad” made with 3oz soft tofu and a tablespoon The Heat Is On.

The Heat Is On Peanut Butter

2. Do what you know and love, and 3. follow your dreams. I’d like to think all our parents weren’t blowing hot air here telling us this when we were growing up. For Lee Zalben, it certainly worked out. If you weren’t aware, he started off pretty much knowing one thing: he loved peanut butter. Now he runs a successful NY sandwich shop and produces the beloved and famous PB&Co. Peanut Butters. What I love about this way of thinking is that things “just work out”. I have no clue what I’m going to do with my major or where I’ll be after college but I truly believe that something will “work out”.

Botanic No 9 Kombucha

4. Don’t eat it if it’s still alive. Well, grams can’t be right on everything, right? This flavor was my 4th of Synergy Kombucha and my 3rd for review. It tasted very “blue”(definitely a welcomed change of pace from “green”) and wasn’t nearly as harsh on the vinegar flavor of kombucha as I’ve come to know. Unfortunately, I love that strong vinegar taste! But I’m guessing this would be friendlier to the new palate. Did anybody else not realize that those things floating in the kombucha often is cultures? That was some words of wisdom I didn’t need to read.

Zevia Cola And Kombucha Collection

5. Everything in moderation. These timeless words also sum up nicely all the comments on this post from this morning. What did I end up doing? Grabbing a diet Zevia. While it avoids the aspartame of Coke zero(oh, how I miss thee), it’s also important to remember that 0-cal sweetners, natural or not, should be taken in moderation, and other occasions just call for the sweet white stuff. For reference, I use stevia in coffee, tea, yogurt, and pudding, and will occasionally enjoy an erythritol sweetened soda.  But Chicken Cacciatore over pasta with Splenda? No thank you. Also, this gave me a chance to highlight my kombucha bottle collection; isn’t it purdy 😀

6. If it makes you happy it can’t be that bad. You sing it, Sheryl.

Forming Beef Patties

7. Always have a clean work station laid out and 8. Don’t sh*t where you live. Mom always told me the first one; she’s where I get the “neat-freak” gene. Would she approve of my forming burger patties in the dorm? Good question. If it’s any consolation, I used 1 hand to make the patties and didn’t touch anything else without washing them. And number 8… my dog, Montana, could tell you that. Not like he follows his own advice.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hemp Seeds And Sea Salt

9. Salt makes everything better. Another treasure trove from mom. The sea salt on this made the sweetness of the chocolate and the savory-tone of Bob’s Red Mill‘s hulled hemp seeds explode! We can do this loud and proud, too, because we have low blood pressure(sorry, dad!).

Red Delicious Apple

10. To properly pick an apple, turn it upside down and twist. I didn’t pick this apple, but that’s one piece of knowledge that I learned on a field trip in 1st grade and never forgot. On the contrary, this was from the dining hall. But, amazingly, it was delicious, firm, and ripe!

11.You weren’t the first. You won’t be the last. I don’t know who said that but–damn–were they a downer and spot on! This actually occurred to me when I started thinking “I wonder what blogger started up sweet potato fries” and realized that sweet potato fries predate blogs by a lot. No one “started” them up; they just remembered to do them. I was also reminded of this when I came upon a dirty joke in Petronius’ Satyricon I would have never thought was that old, but there it was! I can’t say it on the blog because… I just can’t.

Grass-Fed Beef 1/4 Pounder, Sweet Potato Oven Fries

12. Let your meat rest 5-10 minutes, knowing it will continue cooking. Another gem from mom, not like she ever follows it herself! Whenever I cook my burgers, chicken, eggs, or really any protein, I keep in mind not to overdo it, and to let it sit. Since I have to photograph it and then clean the dishes, it’s not too much of a problem not diving in immediately. But once I got started at this meal, I couldn’t stop; it was that good! It definitely makes up for last nights pancake disaster.

There you have them. 12 sage pieces of advice. Got any more? I’d love to hear them in the comments, as random as they could be! I’ll add a 13th: Don’t eat yellow snow.

And, while you’re at it, you can check out a Zevia giveaway, a Chobani giveaway, and a Lightlife giveaway!

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When CAN I Have Sugar?

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stand back–I’m going to try being 1/2 serious in this post and somebody might lose an eye.

Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Macaroon, Coconut Oil Chocolate

Last night presented one of the silliest dilemmas yet: I wanted an Emmy’s Organic mint chip macaroon AND I want a coconut oil chocolate bar; which one should I put on top of the chocolate avocado pudding I couldn’t have cared less for? Doy! I nixed the pudding and went ahead and had both. I forgot how quick these bars are to make! Just 3 minutes prep and popped it in the freezer while I washed the dishes and good to go! A little later, another chocolaty snack:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

Hello, sweets! I was wiped out after writing the draft for a paper by 9:50 and needed the agave syrup/cane juice whatever here to stay up a little longer. Ice skating was not helping with that either; is that really a “sport” or more of an “art”? And how disturbing are the relationships of half of those teams? Yuck! That was not what I needed for sweet dreams, but thankfully I was too tired to care mostly.

Jay Robb Fudge Brownie Protein Bar

When I woke up, I was having a major chocolate almond craving. I could have gone for a bowl of oatmeal right then and there, but I wasn’t sure how that’d sit with my stomach running, so I grabbed this Jay Robb chocolate bar with almond butter as the first ingredient.

Ingredients

Overall, I liked this bar, but wouldn’t get it again most likely; I’ve never been one for protein bars to begin with. The flavor was almost more “milk” than “fudge” from all the whey, although the almond chunks were really flavorful. The xylitol had me scratching my head, but I was comforted to read that it’s naturally derived from kosher, non-GMO corn and used here to keep the protein and fats high but the net carbs low.

Running Part 1

Looking at my day, I could tell 2 things: I’m going to be studying a lot of Greek, and it’s going to pour buckets. At that, I knew I wanted to leave everything I had on the gym floor and go for my long run of 11 miles today. I broke my run into 2 halves so that, during the break, I could go to the bathroom, change treadmills, and swap the television channel(I know, I’m a needy person).

Running Part 2

I finished in 98:30 and got a lot of quality television time in. While I was running, I couldn’t help but notice the new Splenda commercial and find myself arguing with it. If you haven’t seen it, the families in the commercial are using Splenda EVERYWHERE. I don’t mean taking a packet and pouring it in their coffee; they take a pound bag and advertise it for use in everything from sweets like cookies, lemonades, and pies to savory things like dip and chicken marinade an. Basically, the message was to put Splenda anywhere and everywhere there would otherwise be sugar–no excuses. And it really didn’t seem like this was being marketed towards diabetics(I don’t even remember if this is mentioned at all) but just the general population.

Of course, after my initial disgust, this got me thinking; I believe my actual thoughts were” Jesus, when can I have sugar?”. What’s ever wrong with something like good ol’ agave nectar in coconut oil chocolate? And then the hypocrisy started to hit me: I put NuNaturals‘ stevia in my coffee that morning, sweetened my soy yogurt with vanilla extract stevia, and the Jay Robb bar had xylitol in it. Naturally sourced or not, this all seemed like quite a contradiction to me, which is the thought I had going in to breakfast…

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter, 2% Yogurt With Banana Rum Jam

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Almond Butter

Finally, some real chocolate almond butter ala Justin’s to hit my sweet tooth along with rich coconut milk. I’ve put the coconut milk in a bag to try to keep odors out but it still doesn’t taste quite as magical as those first few days; is there anyway to keep coconut milk tasting fresh? On the side was some yogurt sweetened with a little stevia and topped with this magical jam. I think rum should be at every breakfast table–just sayin’.

This gave me more time to think and ask myself if my disdain for this particular commercial contradicted the way I life my life? My answer: Yes and no(Ha! Not only am I wholly a contradiction but I’m good at it too ;-)). I get not wanting to drink 40g of sugar, and I get the delicious appeal of a frothy Coke Zero. Trust me–I have those cravings even after giving that stuff up and Zevia can only help so much. And I just don’t think I could have plain greek yogurt if I tried–it’s too tangy for me. But that’s where I draw the line; 99% of the 0-cal sweeteners I use are in beverages or yogurt/pudding, and that’s where I draw my line. Almost any other time I’d rather have agave nectar, maple syrup, or good ol’ sugar. The thought of basting chicken in Splenda or stevia is just a little revolting.

Have you seen this commercial? Do you have any thoughts on Splenda or sweeteners? Did anybody lose an eye from my seriousness? Why did I not crack open my Greek text all weekend?

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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Long, But Not Longer

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning and happy Monday! Are you a Monday lover? Or maybe it’s that dreaded day that sparks the work week for you? I’m a big fan of Monday’s myself; to me, they’re the time when things “normalize”: The gym is open at 6:30 again, the TV shows get better, I do my laundry, etc. It’s just a great day to get back at it! I’ll rave more about Monday when we get to that point. But first, Sunday night I had a lot to look forward to, too.

Trader Joe's Bed Time Tea

I tried this new tea from Trader Joe’s. Of course, since it was TJ’s, it was a cheaper knock-off version of some chain’s flavor. But it was also ridiculously good! It had plenty of chamomile and vanilla going for it, which tasted like a sweet treat with stevia. Mmmm. Beyond that, I opened up a new pint.

Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Soy Milk Ice Cream

Not that kind of pint; this kind! Although to get to this in the common room fridge, I did have to walk past a group of guys playing beer pong in PJ’s. LOL! Some might find that a little awkward but I’m comfortable in my own skin(or pajamas) and will jump through hoops for my ice cream! I love how this had a Gluten-Free seal on it, as if gluten is a creeper that would crawl up the sides and slip on in 🙂

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Yum! So good. I can’t even count how many pints of this flavor I’ve gone through. Incidentally, I’ve also lost a few scoops to stealers in the dorm in the past 😦 That won’t happen again, hopefully.

This also led me to question whether this conflicted with my Lenten give-up of pre-flavored soy products. My answer: No. I really wouldn’t say soy milk or soy ice cream counts very well as “food” to begin with(as opposed to tofu and tempeh). The point of giving up what I did was to take away a convenience food–2 key words there–and not to take myself off of trivial desserts. I don’t think it’s very “Lenten” to banish unhealthy food as if another excuse to diet. That’s my 2 cents; check out this post for what I think sounds like the best and toughest give-up by a blogger.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Blueberry Jam And Mighty Maple

Later on I had some very New England oats while watching Brothers & Sisters. Warm jam? Heck, yes. I’m glad Brothers & Sisters is back. Last night’s episode was incredible and next weeks looks good, too. I just wish it was actually played on Valentines Day, which would have made it more effective. I was not a fan of that crazy ice dancing; seriously, the aborigines?

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

For 3 weeks now, Sunday has been the hardest night for me to get to bed. Maybe this time it had something to do with the people singing Bohemian Rhapsody a few floors down–don’t know. I had to stay up late, watching something about King Tut on the Discovery Channel, and chowing on this Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar I found in my stash. I forgot how good these are! Too bad I don’t think I have more 😦

Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Back to why I love Mondays;. For one, I got to open this new bag of coffee which we bought at Stop & Shop yesterday; it’s one of my favorites! I got up at 6:50 so that I could be at the gym at 7:15, which I find is the perfect time for me to start running. Recently, Mondays have also been my “long run” which has so far been 1 mile longer than the one the week before. That would have put today at 11 miles. Well, my heart was just not that into it today. So I decided I’d still do a “long” run of 10 miles–just not a “longer” run.

10 Miles In 89:49

That took 89:49, in which time I had the good company of The Today Show, Cartoon Network, my gym friend who works for the college, and the local news. Apparently, it’s going to rain Tuesday-Friday straight! If that were snow, I’d be happy as a clam, but rain has me frowning 😦 At least it’s sunny today? Before breakfast, I also squeezed in a trip to a campus store for yogurt, a shower, and stuck my laundry in the machine. Needless to say, I was ready for fuel when I sat down!

Pomegranate Yogurt With Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast

Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

Mmmm, yum yum yum! I would call this a sweet and savory meal. For savory, we have the pumpkin and nutritional yeast combo with Smart Balance Peanut Butter; I swear it tastes like cheddar cheese crackers with peanut butter on them, and it’s a vegan dish! Perfecto! For the sweet, I bought a pomegranate yogurt this morning and topped it with 1 square of the 1.4oz organic dark chocolate bar by endangered species; this is pretty much my favorite dark chocolate–very deep in flavor, hard texture, and entirely organic.

So, have I convinced you of Monday’s greatness or not? Answer quick because my laundry comes out of the dryer in 20. Or, if you want to rant about Monday in the comments, I don’t mind that, either 😀 For my part, I’ll rant that I have a paper due Wednesday for which the writing fellow was no help with and a Greek test on Thursday I feel under-prepared for. To all that, I just have this to say: Que Cera Cera

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“It Has That Green Smell”

Posted on February 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Glad you all liked my Lennon this morning 🙂 Clearly, I was the missing Beatle. Anyway, right after potsage I hopped on out for a long Sunday morning gym extravaganza!

Mint Chocolate Attune

I didn’t have any probiotics(a superfood of mine) at breakfast because I was out of yogurt, so I grabbed this mint chocolate Attune bar on the way to out the door. It was pretty tasty! I like that it tasted like dark chocolate even though it’s milk. I was not a fan of the rice crisps, but I never am. According to the package, this was 5x better than a store brand yogurt would have been! Score! Plenty of probiotics to work my digestion while I ran.

6 Miles in 54:21

I don’t know what it was about today, but time felt like it went at a snail’s pace. I set my treadmill to go 6 miles; when I could have sworn I was getting close, I looked down and saw a disappointing 4 :-/ At that point, I had to put on a movie to finish me through. Afterwards, I was inspired to keep watching the movie and do 20 minutes on the elliptical at resistance 7 and 20 minutes of treadmill walking. Getting back the last thing I wanted to do was shower and make a meal, but that’s what ended up happening somehow.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, New York Pizza Pirates Booty

After a quick one I was downstairs cooking my burger in the dorm kitchen. I might have forgotten a shirt. Oops. The Naked Chef, anyone? I actually overcooked it for the first time! Well that makes up for yesterday when it was undercooked and I ate it anyway; I love my meat red 😀 On the side, I had some new snack’ums.

New York Pizza Pirate's Booty

I thought about giving up chips for Lent; that would have gone horribly horribly wrong. I opened up a bag of New York Pizza Pirate’s Booty I was sent to review. The flavor was not what I was expecting. That being said, I liked that it had flavor. It was very heavy on the paprika with some sharp cheddar to it. It didn’t knock me off my feet but I liked it. Maybe I need to spend more time in NYC?

After that my parents and grandmother took a trip down to see me with mail and such. It was good because I needed supplies like paper towels; I’ve been pressing too much tofu! My mom even vacuumed and in response my grandmother had to say “It smells good in here. You know, it smells clean. It just has that ‘green’ smell, like somebody’s been eaten broccoli and brussels sprouts.” LOL She nailed it on the head. I guess I don’t notice the smell since I’ve lived with it so long?

Zevia Twist

While I had the ride, I took the chance to get a trip out for groceries; how could I deny that? I grabbed a Zevia and we were out the door. First up: Trader Joe’s! I’m actually becoming more apathetic about that store. I feel like the best things from it are the plain stuff that you can get in bulk for cheap. And I’ve already gotten those in bulk! Well, it certainly is a good place for everyone to find something, at least, so while others finished shopping I had a snack:

Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

In the mail I got from home was some Perfect Foods bars. These are made primarily with organic peanuts and raw honey along with all different forms of protein and are meant as a meal replacement, but I’m pretty sure for athletes they’d just qualify as a snackypoo. This flavor was carob chip. I’d actually never had carob before! And I still don’t really feel like I have; this bar was pretty heavy on the peanuts with the carob only coming up in chip form even though carob powder is the 5th ingredient. BUT it was also really tasty so I can’t complain too much. It tasted a lot like peanuts and honey–duh. And it kept me fueled for all the serious grocery shopping, so it was definitely hefty.

Oatbran And Oatmeal

I got 2lb of oatbran from Trader Joe’s and then 2lb of oatmeal from Whole Foods. I’d say I’m pretty well stocked! The oats were on sale 99 cents a pound from the bulk bins(organic), so I had to load up. I also completely lost my shopping list in Whole Foods which freaked me out, but I was able to remember what last scribbles were on it. Seriously though, who would even have picked that up and taken it if they came across it? Weird.

Whole Foods Groceries

I liked using the pound of grass-fed beef I got last weekend so much I decided to do it again! Unfortunately, they didn’t have the fattier cut, which I would have gone for, so this one ended up costing a little more, but it’s still not bad since it will work over 4 meals. And I might have snuck one of my favorite ice creams and favorite chocolate bars into the shopping cart–not going to lie.

Trader Joe's Groceries

At Trader Joe’s, I was all over the proteins and fats. I also had my parents bring me whole eggs, too; the egg whites are more for oats. I feel like I should have gotten another block of tofu now that I think about it :-/ It’s such a perfect protein!

Apple

I grabbed an apple while I was in the dining hall scrapping up veggies for dinner. I really felt like I needed to eat something “clean” for one reason or another. “Clean eating” in my mind is something where each ingredient is a raw ingredient or has only a few components to it. I was planning on a Thai dish with Trader Joe’s coconut milk curry sauce but that long list would not have fit as “clean” :-/ Instead, I went ahead and just used coconut milk and honey.

Tofu And Tempeh In Honey Coconut Milk, California Vegetables, Cayenne Parma

Pretty clean, if I do say so myself. The tofu and tempeh were cooked in coconut milk, watter, and honey, then drained and splashed with coconut milk and honey(it’s a flawed process). On top I sprinkled some cayenne Parma, which, if that’s the most unclean thing I was eating, I was doing damn well. All the flavors fought a bit but it was still very much enjoyable. I just think it needed more cruciferous veggies! OK, I can cross my word of the day off 🙂

Blah, today was fun but I felt like the productivity took a dive. I got about 20 pages of reading done in the car and… yeah. I actually got into my PJ’s before dinner just to be able to cross that off my mental to-do list. Is that crazy? That’s not something I want to hear the answer to. Hopefully, tonight will be better.

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So This Is Sunday

Posted on February 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So this is Sunday,
An what have I done?
Saturday’s over.
But a new day’s begun.
And so this is Sunday
I haven’t done much–
Sleeping in mostly,
Eating and such…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Coconut Oil Topping

I’d say I’m predicatble in a good way when it comes to my eats 😉 I had 1/2 an avocado leftover from another one and could have practically jumped for joy when it was the exact amount needed for pudding(did I just admit that?). Anyway, in went the avocado, almond milk, cocoa powder, and stevia. Then, for a chocolaty topping, I mixed cocoa powder, agave nectar, and Tropical Traditions coconut oil in a 1:1:3 ratio with a little vanilla powder added in–yum! I imagine this is something like raw cacao paste would be if I had some. A bit after this I was still ravenous and dug on in to my next snack:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspire Topping

Hello, probiotics and carbs! I think I would rather have this than a bowl of ice cream most nights; is that wrong? Don’t tell me because then I wouldn’t want to be right. This was a bit off I’ll admit; every once and a while, I get one that’s too runny. I think they forget to add one of the gums or something to stabilize it, so for this one I mixed in a little Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and voila! It was just like the real thing again. Who would have thought such an obscure ingredient would be so handy?

Oatmeal/Oatbran With Honey

Still hungry. More carbs. But this seemed to be settling. I loooove the smell of warmed clover honey; I think that in itself was enough to make me want to go to bed. I saw Apolo win bronze in his race and then was out of here.

Through the night, I had some wacky-wonky dreams. In short, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted cake batter more 8-| I used to eat up cake batter ice cream like crazy(Coldstone’s sinless ftw), but haven’t found a good all-natural one to date. Maybe I could just buy an all-natural cake mix and work from that? It’s worth a shot.

Tweeting

Sleeping in led to the classic decision: Should I go to the gym or put it off? Surprisingly, I never have issues with this during the week; I’m usually raring to run and watch some television. But on the weekends, the gym opens a bit later, the television shows lessen in quality, and my motivation suffers because of all of that. Guess what I decided:

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Blueberries, And Coconut Milk

It was definitely the right decision. Just as I dream of sweet yellow cake(oh, how delicious), I dreamt up this amazing combination of awesomeness. The coconut and the blueberries just sounded so perfect together. On top of that, I love any sort of berry with chocolate. And almond was a nice, subtle bitter tone to finish it all of. Hallelujah! AND I learned from the ever-knowledgeable Joanna in this post that coconut milk makes fat more readily available as a fuel source; look out, gym, here I come!

3 things to check out before I do. First, check out this Chobani giveaway! Next up, Caitlin had an awesome mood-boosting post this morning; go on and try it! And then a giveaway for coconut oil! Something fun for everyone.
So this is Sunday,
What will I do?
Groceries and homework
To name a few…
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The Memory, The Reality

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Memory: 90 degree, sunny days over the Summer with nothing to do but enjoy the outdoors

The Reality: Mid-40’s with low/no Winter breeze, but plenty of work to keep me inside

The memory totally owns here; I spent most of today reading Plutarch’s life of Alexander(should’ve just sucked it up and watched the movie with Colin Farrell) along with other work. BUT in a lot of other ways the reality beat(or at least came close) to some good memories.

Cooking A Grass-Fed Burger

The Memory: I’m 6 years old, my mom’s most probably out of town, and my dad’s idea of a “dinner” is leftover pancakes from McDonalds(to be fair, I probably asked for these) and maple syrup, which we stuck in the microwave with an aluminum tin–mini-fire, anyone?

The Reality: Cooking my own grass-fed beef burger in my own pan in the dorm kitchen.

This one’s pretty clear: reality wins. Getting a full pound of beef at the beginning of the week felt daunting, but I’m loving the meals I can get from it; I hope to pick up a big(cheap) piece of quality meat tomorrow for next week.

Grass-Fed Burger, Steamed Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Root Beer Zevia

The Memory: Spending Summer days at my grandparents’ home for daycare. My grandmother knew how to cook 3 things: eggs, tacos(from a seasoning packet), and hamburgers. A typical meal would probably be a hamburger on white bread and Ore Ida french fries, washed down with a Mountain Dew

The Reality: A grass-fed beef burger with steamed broccoli, a 100-calorie portion of Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, and an all-natural diet root beer ala Zevia.

Again, need it be pointed out? It’d be one thing if the “unhealthy” meal were clearly more tasty, but I would choose today’s meal anytime. I was practically dreaming about a grass-fed burger all of yesterday but I didn’t let Lent get the best of me! Popchips are still my crack but I find this amount is perfect for satisfying my chip tooth.

Chocolate Xagave Frosty With Whole Milk

The Memory; Stopping by Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate frosty and dipping fries into it

The Reality: Making my own “Frosty” using Xagave, Bob’s Red Mill‘s guar gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, cocoa powder, and whole milk

The real Frosty still wins here :-/ But I’m getting closer to making the reality be better! This time, I very clearly added too much ice without noticing(it should not make almost two cups worth). I think the whole milk from cows helped the flavor, too. I had to get it from the dining hall because, well, I really don’t remember the last time I kept milk in the fridge. To be honest, I was a little scared I’d be getting some cheap-o, hormoned up junk. But after I did poking and prying, I found the milk I got was Rhodyfresh, which is from local farms all pledging against the use of hormones–yippee! That put this foodies mind to rest.

Raw Vegan Mint Chip Emmy's Organic Macaroon

The Memory: Big bowls of mint chip ice cream that was an unholy shade of green

The Reality: An all-natural, vegan, raw mint chip macaroon I won from Emmy’s Organics

Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms

The Memory: Junior year of High School in Boston. Nearly every day, we would spend our dining points at the campus store where you could make a bag of mixed candies and pay by the pound. My favorite bag usually had in it Reeses Pieces, Swedish Fish, and Sour Gummy Worms.

The Reality: Organic Vegan Sour Gummy Worms to review from Surf Sweets

Weeeeell the memory still wins, here. But only because of the lack of Reeses Pieces and Swedish Fish(someone needs to get on making these natural, pronto). The sour gummy worms were really quite good and flavorful, and really didn’t feel like a candy that had anything “funny” to it. You could totally pass this off to a 3(or 18)-year old to sneak in some natural sweetness and 100% their DV vitamin C. Kudos to Surf Sweets!

Roasting Sweet Potatoes, Maple Tofu, And Broccoli

The Memory: 1st semester, eating every night at the dining hall. Sometimes there was a lot to choose from, and some nights I was mixing chickpeas from the salad bar with honey and mustard

The Reality: Sticking pressed tofu with maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the dorm oven for 55 minutes at 350 degrees

I’ve really loved the reality of this semester; I’m very inclined to believe food affects mood and by cooking my ‘good mood food” I haven’t had a dull dinner yet. I still take cues from the dining hall(that’s where these sweet potatoes were from because mine grew mold), but I’m certainly not looking back with regrets. Also, does anyone else think if I were a country in the Olympics that tray of veggies could be my flag?

Maple Tofu, Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli

The Memory: My mom’s classic dish was penne with broccoli, garlic, and white-meat chicken

The Reality: My classic dish is roasted broccoli, sweet potato “fries”, and maple tofu

Obviously, if I’m willing to call it my dish, I like it a lot 🙂 No offense to my mom, but I’ve never been a pasta person, and nowadays I’m more inclined to the dark meat if I eat poultry, soooo this was an easy one. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wouldn’t “fry” up here because they were pre-baked. Boo 😦

The Memory: Translating “fun” texts in Latin class in 11th grade like Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura(I must have a very warped sense of “fun”)

The Reality: Translating Horace, Catullus, and Petronius this year, all of whom are very very raunchy

What is it with the authors these professors post classes for? I swear they’re just entertaining themselves. Ah well, Petronius and the Olympics it is.

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Where Has It Been All My Life

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Organic Coconut Milk

Where has coconut milk been all my life? For that matter, where has coconut products been my whole life? I’ve only recently jumped on the coconut train; first I started with So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir, Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil, then Artisana’s cacao bliss(not a winer but at least I tried it), next Bob’s Red Mill’s coconut flour, and now coconut milk. Addicted to coconut? I think so.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Milk

So so good. Since I was out of my coconut milk kefir, I subbed in 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 2 tablespoons water, and then added a tablespoon on top–holy yum! This stuff is sooo rich and delightful. And it’s vegan so I can drink the whole can, right 😉 Next time I might omit a tablespoon of water or something, and up the cocoa a tad with my new cocoa powder. For that matter…

Where has chocolate avocado pudding been all my life? The way I eat it, you might assume I grew up with an avocado tree. Nope. In fact, I rarely eat avocado otherwise. But I discovered this over the Summer from the Runner’s World forums and haven’t looked back.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Where has nutritional yest been all my life? This is another food I only discovered recently from food blogs! And I have to admit I was very scared at first; nutritional yeast? How could that possibly be good? Well it’s fantastic. I get mine from Whole Foods bulk bins and sprinkle it on anything and everything. It’s mostly protein and fiber, and has a pleasantly cheesy flavor; in this combo, I swear it all tastes like cheddar–yum 🙂

Banana Nut Odwalla Bar

This morning the gym wouldn’t be open until 9 so I slept in until 8:30–happy weekend to me! Even better, I found a Banana Nut Odwalla Bar just lying on the ground outside my room. Score! I also found a broken alcohol bottle that I very easily could have stepped on when I woke up to use the bathroom at 5am 😦 I also snuck on my computer before hitting the gym and have to ask…

Where has Google’s gadgets been all my life? Ever since KERF started her nerd series, I’ve learned sooo much. Do you use Google tasks? It’s my new to-do list. I have anything and everything on it right now(I have a lot to do this weekend apparently).

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

I ate a Nature’s Path Peanut Choco’ bar on my run today. The run was a bit boring, but had me realizing this:

Where has The Today show been all my life? More importantly, why isn’t it on on the weekend 😦 I am not a news-type person; I really hate politics and newspapers and the whole shebang. But The Today show I think has the perfect blend of news and entertainment. And it’s the only thing(along with Cartoon Network) that makes long runs on treadmills bearable.

8 Miles In 69:43

This morning wasn’t terribly long–8 miles in 69:43. It still left me wanting more from my workout, but my feet just wouldn’t take it. Instead, I moved on to a different machine.

Where has the elliptical machine been all my life? OK–it’s not that revolutionary. But in terms of cross-training, it’s easily my favorite. It really does a great job of working different parts of the legs in a low impact environment. I did 3995 strides in 30 minutes(I know–I couldn’t squeeze 5 more in? Apparently not).

Greek Yogurt With Cherry Butter And Dried Cherries, Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter

Where have vegan food blogs been all my life? I have a ton of blogs on my reader, and love to go through them all(even if it leaves me not enough time to comment on some of my favorite and can be a little daunting). Recently, I’ve gotten fantastic ideas from vegan blogs to feed my new coconut obsession. Jessie mentioned pouring coconut milk on her oats so I was looking forward to this. It’s a holy yum! Because of the heat, the moisture evaporates a way and what’s left is very concentrated and very coconutty. I think it could be a topping for oats all itself without nut butter! That being said…

Where has Justin’s chocolate flavors been all my life? Between the chocolate peanut butter, chocolate almond butter, and chocolate hazelnut butter, I’m obsessed. If you live in the Colorado area where these are on store shelves, I am very jealous; I ordered these with Christmas money from their website back in January. But I hear they’ll be on the East coast in March! Bring it.

Where has on-TV movies been all my life? I feel weird to admit it, but since being on campus on the weekends having limited channel choices, I’ve actually come to enjoy the made-for-TV movies I can find and actually look them up ahead of time. Craziness. Right now, Robots is on, and soon The Patriot. This is what being cooped up with a lot of work will do for ya.

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Butterfingers

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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I Almost! But Then I Didn’t

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I almost peed myself when Survivor came on last night, but then I used the toilet.

I almost cried when I realized I’ve been watching Survivor for more of my life than I haven’t, but then I held it in.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

I almost made a bowl of chocolate avocado pudding, but then I didn’t. Instead, I thought this coconut oil chocolate bar made with virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions that’s been in the fridge a bit too long would be good enough. It was pretty tasty, though could have been fresher if you know what I mean.

I almost forgot that I promised to put up the Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cup recipe, but now I threw it on the to-do list.

I almost got a chance once to go to a fundraiser where Steve Carell was hosting and the cake was made by Duff, but then I didn’t(mostly because I didn’t know a lot of these important details). Instead, I got to watch it on an episode of Ace Of Cakes. What a slap in my cake.

I almost liked Grey’s Anatomy last night, but then I decided it was just “meh”.

I almost thought of starting homework for the 5 day weekend, but–oh wait. No I didn’t 😀

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

I almost went for savory oats(nutritional yeast and smart balance), but then I went with sweet. You just can’t beat Justin’s chocolate peanut butter for some CPB lovin’ late at night.

I almost wanted to stayed up to watch men’s skating, but when it was starting at 10 and the best people weren’t until the final group, I knew that was code to give up hope. Instead, I caught it all on The Today show this morning. Go USA!

I almost snoozed in a little bit, but then I didn’t. I love running first thing in the morning for a lot of reasons, and not so much for others. In the end, the good outweighs the bad.

8 Miles In 73:07

I almost thought of running further today, but then I didn’t. I had 8 miles planned. They were a bit slow, but overall I felt really fresh.

I almost thought of having the typical oatmeal and greek yogurt for breakfast, but then I didn’t. Sometimes you just need to break out of the norm! And eat some fun and funky foods.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hulled Hemp

I almost thought of doing a vegan Friday as part of Lent…

Soy Yogurt With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

…but then I didn’t(on account of the butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty). I’ve done the vegan-for-a-day thing here and here, and I’ve learned that forcing it for a 24 hour period is not for me. Curiously, there has been random periods of 24 hours straight where I ate completely vegan without trying! I didn’t point these out on the blog, because they weren’t exactly breaking news, but I thought it was interesting that something that can at times feel forced happened so naturally.

I almost forgot to say how amazing the pudding with the Bob’s Red Mill hemp seed and yogurt with the peanut butter tasted, but now I did. And don’t think some peanut butter didn’t hop over from the yogurt to the pudding 🙂

I almost forgot to ask my Lent question, but now I will: Fish on Friday, yes or no? I grew up in a house where fish was OK on Fridays. At the same time, we always say we’re giving up “meat” on Fridays. Well, if I ever went vegetarian, fish would definitely fall under the category of “meat” to me. So what’s the final stance? Is fish good on Fridays or is it just another meat? I’m curious to hear responses(and any authoritative statements you could point me to would be even better!).

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