Archive for March, 2010

Would You Eat It?

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

*Tonight’s your last chance to enter the wellness giveaway!*

My jaw dropped when this ice cream creation popped up on my Google Reader.

Yes, you see that right: turkey ice cream. They describe it as “super premium chocolate ice cream with morsels of real turkey covered in dark chocolate swirled with sweet potato, chocolate fudge and cranberry sauce“. It’s set to be released in October, and you might not believe my first thought: Awesome! Yes, I was actually excited by this. Letting the shock past, I realized this will probably have a lot of less-than-natural ingredients in it, and the meat will be from questionably treated animals, so I will not be partaking in Turkey Day ice cream when it’s out. That’s not to say I might not try to recreate it in the kitchen with some vegan chocolate ice cream and Tofurkey 😉 It then occurred to me that the reason I wouldn’t eat this might very well be different from a lot of yours. Maybe this doesn’t sound exciting to you. Or maybe you don’t want meat, ethically raised or not. That had me thinking all day what would other people not eat that I am and why?

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Could I interest you in a maplemazing salad? This was something I threw together on a whim and it was so damn good. It was also vegan, sodium-free, and did I mention amazing? The center was a bed of spinach surrounded by maple baked tofu On top, I mixed together 1/2 can chickpeas, carrot shreds, golden raisins, maple syrup, and no-salt indian spice blend(the secret ingredient), and topped it off with Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts. Holy yum! I was worried about the indian spice blend at first but it added just the right level of heat and a twist to keep it interesting. Meanwhile, I think nuts on salads are my new addiction.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For the first time in days the rain stopped; to celebrate I grabbed some So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. This is creeping up to be my favorite chocolate ice cream; there are only a handful of recognizable, non-GMO ingredients and it has a great sweetness for such a low sugar content. This was dreamy to scoop on and enjoy the day.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I might have been a little too excited for my oatmeal this afternoon. This was just a flavor combination I’ve been dieing to try: coconut shreds and chocolate chips This did not disappoint, either. The coconut on its own was nutty enough for the salty oats, and the chips were just bursting with sweetness. I also forgot what a great snack oats can be when you have the time to sit down and enjoy them–so filling!

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

My first dinner back was about as classic as they come a burger with sweet potatoes. To keep things interesting, I tossed the cooked sweet potatoes with mustard and then microwaved them for 3 minutes(they were a little hard). It wasn’t quite as flavorful as I was hoping but it was good for a change of pace. The burger, of course, was cooked to perfection, though now I’m looking forward even more to grilling over the weekend.

So, back to the opening question, would you eat the turkey ice cream? I’d also be very curious to know which dishes from today of mine you’d not eat and why. Call me curious 🙂 On a much different note, I’d gladly eat these snacks or any of this prize giveaway

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Shaking Off The Funk

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

Good morning from Providence! It feels good to be able to say that again. Maybe tomorrow I can blog from Houston? I’ve never been but anywhere it’s not raining sounds good to me!

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Yesterday morning, I was still a little “sugar shocked” from my birthday eats, so I decided to avoid added sugar and sweetness for as long as I could. For breakfast, it really wasn’t that hard; I just swapped out yogurt for scrambled eggs and used plain old 365 peanut butter with sunflower seeds on my oats. That peanut butter is probably my favorite plain, and it’s only $1 with the new Whole Deal coupon! That’s insane!

Baby Carrots

Baby Carrots

Before lunch, I munched on some carrots where I might have coffee. The natural and voluminous sugars were enough to hold me over for a while and still feel fresh. But then it rained. And rained. And rained. So I had tea.

Tazo Rest

Tazo Rest

Since the goal of the day wasn’t to make me miserable, I went ahead and added a little stevia to this. It was just enough to bring out the essence of the Tazo Rest tea, which is amazing.

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Lunch was kept real simple and real fresh I a can of 365 tuna with 2oz plain Chobani and salt; that’s the ingredients for the perfect tuna salad, in my mind. That went atop some simply steamed broccoli with soy sauce and then was sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds; those are the best seeds to add for flavor, crunch, and protein in my book.

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Around 3, I came to the realization that my life is not complete without chocolate; I just can’t fathom otherwise. And I’m OK with that since I always celebrate my chocolate tooth with good quality products. Did you know some Hershey’s products contain 60% vegetable oils and can’t even legally be called “chocolate”? Yuck! Elan’s chocolate frozen yogurt has simple, natural ingredients, probiotics, and a stellar nutrition panel. I say, scoop away!

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Baking this banana goodness bread with hemp seeds instead of flax was such a good idea it makes it a little nuttier and sweeter. I was worried the sugar crust was gone the day after but with some time in the toaster, this was just as crust and nice. Is it just me, or is nothing better on rainy days than sweet breads and coffee? Except this was without the coffee. Boo.

This week was so sporadic; I’d planned to be home for the half-marathon, and my birthday, and then I had no clue what I was doing. I thought I might drop by campus to pick up books and stay home all week. But after 2 days of being trapped home and not having a great time, I realized I was in a funk, and being back in Providence might help me defunk(or at least I’d have work to keep me busy). At that, we packed up yesterday afternoon and drove down to RI.

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Morrocan Chickpea Salad

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Dinner was eaten at Whole Foods; do you know of a better chef? I kind of wish they had gluten-free pizza so I could have partaken in the pizza eating(everyone else had pizza), but I was also happy with what I got. The parmesan cauliflower was insanely good; I wanted so much more! Except it cost an arm and a leg from the salad bar. I think it’s a winner for Easter lunch, though. The Chickpea salad didn’t taste any exotic, but I could eat chickpeas morning, noon, and night on their own.

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

When I was settled in, I made a snack and turned on The Biggest Loser midway through. I didn’t forget my low-sugar challenge; in fact, I just tried to exercise a modest and healthy chocolate tooth, with a special treat I found at Whole Foods.

Coconut Creme Egg

Coconut Creme Egg

If it’s shaped like an egg and made by Lake Champlain, you’ve just got to get it, right? 😉 The “coconut creme” in here didn’t taste particularly exciting that’s coming from someone with about every form of coconut except the actual coconut in his dorm. The yogurt with coconut oil chocolate, however, was great.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Coconut Oil Chocolate

So great, I needed to taste the other half of the bar. At least it has no refined sugars? That’s my excuse. That completely took care of my chocolate tooth, though, and so I went back to my “raw roots” for one last dessert.

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

I forgot I opened and reviewed Better Than Roasted’s sprouted almond butter. It’s good, but I think I prefer their cashew. If you want a really nutritious nut butter, you don’t need to go raw, just look for one with the skin ground in; that’s the best thing you can eat!

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Dare I say, it felt good to get up at 6:45 on break and start running again?! The Today Show, the gym, the endorphins–I just missed it all. I scarfed down my last fruit & nut Perfect Foods Bar and got there surprisingly, I wasn’t the first or only one!

12 Miles In 1:46:11

12 Miles In 1:46:11

I broke my run into two segments of 6 miles, and finished in 1:46:11; thank goodness that’s not my half marathon pace or I’d be so off my goal.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was pretty standard fare between oatmeal with chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter(I got a new jar in my time at home) and chobani sweetened with agave and topped with milk chocolate peanuts. I was watching on The Doctors yesterday(first off, big mistake there) about how peanut particles are easy to get lodged in the lungs and trachea, which is why infants should never eat it. It also can account for a rough cough in adults, which I always have and now I can guess why. Anyone else out there with this? I’m going to be coughing after this meal, that’s for sure. It’s also made me scared to death to feed babies anything other than mushed veggies. I don’t think I was fed peanut butter, but I’ve heard admissions of coffee being slipped into the baby bottle. Any other baby feeding admissions people want to get out there? 😉

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One Quick Thing

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

I don’t think I have enough time tonight to make a post worthy of my day; I’ve been busy moving back into my room and just now have sat down to The Biggest Loser. But I’d be amiss if I didn’t shout out a Happy Birthday to my very best of friends, who turned 12(or 84 depending on how you count) today. Happy birthday to my Montana.

Montana

Montana

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The Birthday Day

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

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Peanut Butter And Black Beans

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , |

Hi, all! Since we’re eating out tonight for my birthday, I knew I wouldn’t be home to post, but still wanted to leave you with something. Well have I got the thing for you. The Peanut Butter Boy announced his new recipe contest today, and this is going to be my entry! It’s also a favorite recipe of mine and something I plan on making for Easter. It’s gluten-free and absolutely delicious(I promise you can’t taste the black beans), so try it out, won’t you?

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies With Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, unsalted, drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free chocolate chip(Trader Joe’s recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons Sunspire all-natural peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup neufchatel cream cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Puree the black beans until they are completely deconstructed(this can also be done with a potato masher if need be). In a bowl, whisk together the butter, softened, eggs, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, sugar, and extract. Add in the black bean puree, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips and fold until all is incorporated. Prepare an 8×8 brownie pan and pour the batter into it. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter and cream cheese. Add in small dollops on top of the brownie batter and swirl decoratively. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is fully set.

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Surprise!

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Surprise! It’s Monday. How much does that suck? Miss the weekend race recap? Read all about it here.

Surprise! Oprah hates surprises; did you know that? She would not like this post.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprise! These were all from 1 sweet potato! Granted, it was a hugh jass one, but I think that’s impressive nonetheless.

Surprise! I stayed home while my parents went to Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure this is theopposite of how things should be, but I was worn out from my race and needed to sit on the couch with my friend, Mr. Computer 😀

Perfect Apple

Perfect Apple

Surprise! This apple actually tasted good!

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Surprise! I still eat the same at home as at school, just with different equipment 😀 I asked for red meat for dinner, so we heated up the grill and made some burgers. Mmmm so much juicier than in a pan! And I love how spicy the chipotle cayenne parma makes sweet potato fries; they’re like a new experience.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Surprise! My parents picked up a chocolate flourless cake at Whole Foods the day before my birthday to celebrate while my grandmother was around! This really was a surprise; I saw the sketchy brown paper bag they hid it in, but could only guess what it was. You have no idea how relieved I was when I realized they understood gluten-free eating and got an appropriate style cake; that’s love for ya 😉

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Surprise! When we got So Delicious cookie dough ice cream, we also got the peanut butter chocolate swirl, which I’m ready to confess is my new favorite frozen dessert. OK, I don’t think there’s actually much surprise here except from my dad when he realized how much ice cream I need to grab for a few days at home.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Surprise! Could you see this one coming? How could I not take the two fattiest pieces of dessert in our kitchen and combine them? 🙂 I was refueling from a half-marathon, after all. Needless to say, this was tasty. But I think my mom and I agreed there are better flourless chocolate cakes out there, hers included.

Surprise! My stomach got me! 30 minutes later I was not feeling so hot :-X It had been so long since I’d eaten something that rich made from dairy, I forget that a lot of milk fat really doesn’t sit well in my stomach. That plus a sugar rush had me wanting to be near a garbage tin for the rest of the night. Could I possibly regret it, though? Not a chance.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Not A Surprise! You didn’t have to be psychic to see a final bowl of oatmeal before bed coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d see this come back up, so I kept it small with just a little butter toffee peanut butter. And before you say “Isn’t that dairy fat, too?”, butter is the 5th or 6th ingredient and 2 tablespoons has just 2g of saturated fat, so I can’t imagine there’s much.

Cards And A Present

Cards And A Present

Surprise! was how I felt when I woke up to cards and my favorite chocolate bar. Awww, what a perfect way to wake up 🙂

Surprise! I’m going to keep the rest of the morning a secret for a good birthday recap tonight or tomorrow morning. What a shame because there’s already been cake mix involved and it’s not even 10am 😉

Surprise! Not even 24 hours after my last half marathon and I’ve signed up for my next! I was actually thinking about this before yesterday. It’s perfect. It’s the Providence Marathon, so let’s just say I know the streets quite well 😉 It’ll hopefully be a nice, warm May day, too. And I might be able to coerce a Brown friend of mine into running, too, which would be great. My only concern are the hills around Providence but I’ll have a while to work with those.

Surprise! You or I could win either Tazo tea, gluten free goodies, or coconut butter in either of these giveaways.

What has been a surprise in your life lately?

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Race For The Border Half Marathon Recap

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

In short, I survived! And with all my toes and fingers, too 😉

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

The night before was filled with carbs, of course. I meant of went a little overboard with the maple-flavored goods, but how could someone not? I love the duo of mighty maple and maple cashew butter with some New Hampshire maple butter. Mmmm. I also had a reunion with the Food Network; after 4 weeks of 20 channels, being at home with my DVR was heavenly until I had to get a good night’s sleep for the race.

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

The run itself started by the New Hampshire/Maine coast border, which was a good 90 minutes away. We left bright and early and I had a breakfast to eat in the car. I mist have been nervous because I didn’t even want oatmeal; I needed something with some crunch! I smothered a Nature’s Path peanut butter energy bar with butter toffee peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Holy peanut power, Batman. That’s fuel! And of course there was plenty of anti-oxidant rich organic dark chocolate on a pomegranate Chobani.

Waiting To Start

Waiting To Start

If there’s one thing you can’t control, it’s the weather in New England. Today, it was below 40 with a strong coastal wind, too. In line for the bathroom, the man behind me said I was “brave” for just having basketball shorts on. I didn’t want to admit it to him but I don’t own running tights and my shoes have been the same pair since July. Whoops!

Organic Jolly Beans

Organic Jolly Beans

My pre-run fuel was some of these runner’s magic bites. I also had about another 1/2 a handful while waiting to start. If you’re going to boredom eat jelly beans, it might as well be right before a big run, right?

Race Recap

So we’re all on the same page, this was my longest outdoor run yet. My previous outdoor distance PR was 11.25. On the treadmill, I’ve ran 17 miles, and had a half-marathon time record of 1:46:28. That was all the past. My goal for this was sub 1:40.

Miles 1-3: I started off with “the runner’s high” and was really enjoying myself, listening to country music and practically dancing along. I passed a lot of people in this time, and it felt great to be going so fast. I also decided not to look at my pace ever; my time goal seemed lofty, and like if I pushed for it I’d burn out.

Miles 3-5: I really enjoyed the scenery. We were on the New Hampshire Hampton coast, so there was plenty to look at. I couldn’t imagine how many millions of dollars those houses were worth. This was also difficult because the entire run practically was against the wind.

Miles 6-9:

Miles 10-11: My left leg first started hurting around here. At 11.5, I could feel soreness in both of my legs. I started to think about it, and it made a lot of sense; why wouldn’t my legs hurt then when it’s the farthest on terrain they’ve ever run?

Miles 12-13.1: I kicked it in gear, gave it what I had left, and pushed for a good time. The endline was confusing, cars were driving in between me and the finish line, and it wasn’t even really made clear where that was :-/ That sour not aside, I tried to finish with a smile.

After The Finish Line

After The Finish Line

Alright, really I was thinking “Can we get in the car and turn on the heat?!” I still haven’t gotten an “official” time, but here’s what my Garmin had:

Garmin Stats

Garmin Stats

Whoopee! It wasn’t the 1:3X I was hoping for, but I couldn’t complain with the winds being what they were. That was still a huge distance and time PR, and in some of the worse conditions. I’m very happy with all of that… for now.

Lemon Pie Larabar

Lemon Pie Larabar

I did make one very big rookie mistake. I overlooked the time when I’d need to refuel. I did not realize that this half-marathon was 90 minutes away in virtually a black hole. The only restaurants we could find clearly did not have ethical meat or even vegetarian options besides pasta, which would not work when avoiding gluten. And so I had a lemon pie Larabar to hold me over until we got back to my hometown. It gave me plenty of time to think about how much better I could be at refueling. We all need to learn our lessons somehow, right?

Chipotle Menu

Chipotle Menu

Near home,w e stopped at Chipotle, which I heard was very eco-friendly after watching the CEO on Oprah. It may be eco-friendly, but I thought the options were really limited. No brown rice? What’s up with that? They didn’t even have fresh tomatoes… I just got what I could and then added more when we got home.

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

On top of lettuce was all the black beans/salsa/peppers from my burrito bowl, 1/2 a sweet potato I microwaved with salsa, and the leftover black beans from last night with a dollop of Chipotle’s guacamole. My mouth was on fire after this! Even if their options aren’t great, at least what Chipotle does have is pretty tasty. And at this point, I think we were all pretty hungry, so there was no judging shoveling Mexican food into our mouths while standing up.

Sweet Potato And Salt

Sweet Potato And Salt

After a much needed hot shower, no one wanted this sweet potato, so I’ll take it! When these are nice and soft, they’re pretty much candy to me. They taste a lot better roasted but who has 90 minutes to think about how their sweet potato will taste?

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

And since I’ve been writing this, I chugged my favorite flavor of Zevia. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier. All in all, my first race was an excellent experience, and there will be more 🙂 I just need time to recoup while the weather realizes how hot it should be in March, almost April.

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Carboloading

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

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Today looked so beautiful out. But would you know it was below freezing with the windchill?! Seriously, March, what did we do to p*ss you off? Even though it was so cold, I wanted to run outside for practice for tomorrow. I know I could have taken a rest day. When I thought about it, however, I realized all the times I’ve set distance PR’s I’ve also ran the day before. I’m not racing this half-marathon for a time; what’s important is that this will be my longest outdoor run by 1.9 miles. And so running as usual seemed the best thing for me to do on the day before this race.

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

I think I was a little faster just because I wanted to get somewhere warm 😉 After the first 3 miles, I couldn’t feel my fingers Note to self: BRING GLOVES tomorrow. After that, I started to get into it; for the first time I realized you can be cold as hell and still enjoy your run. I got into the music, regained circulation, and ran the planned course. I was happy to have thrown lunch in the oven before I went out, too, so that was ready for me.

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Instead of pressing the tofu, I threw it in as was at 300 degrees for 90 minutes with maple syrup on it; it ended up baking perfectly! Low and slow, baby, low and slow 😉 I also threw in some broccoli while I showered. And on the side I had a snack attack of hickory honey barbeque baked kettle chips for some carboloading and deliciousness. Aren’t the chips at the end of the bag just the best?

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Instead of a cup of decaf coffee for dessert, I went straight for the good stuff and made a cup of Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt. It was definitely too cold to enjoy outside so the window shot was all I got. Eating this, my dad arrived and we loaded up the car with stuff to bring home.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

On the way, since I was told we had no groceries back home, we stopped at Whole Foods in Bellingham, where I quickly grabbed an organic apple that was up front. Cortland? Empire? I can’t remember, but it was damn good. I love going to a grocery store you haven’t been at in a while; I feel like there was so much new they now carried!

Groceries

Groceries

We got plenty of groceries including yogurt, produce, and random snackage. My favorite items were the frozen ones, of course.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just had to grab a new coconut milk ice cream flavor of So Delicious: cookie dough. I was thinking about buying this yesterday for a Friday sundae but all I could find was the soy variety 😦 Once you go coconut milk, you can’t go back–it’s that good. And I like that the coconut milk ones have a lot less sugar and taste creamier.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Mmmm. I think the “vanilla” base could have been better. It was very “vanilla” when I was hoping for “vanilla bean”. Other than that, the chocolate speckles were nice and of course the gluten free cookie dough balls were a bit of heaven. When are they not? Here’s a new product suggestion: Just the balls.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

I snacked on another apple while making dinner. It was so awful and mealy :-/ What was with that, Whole Foods? At least it was organic, but can’t doing the right thing also taste good? And I also reunited with my dog in this time 😀 Who couldn’t have been less interested in me. He smelled, anyway.

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

We grabbed USDA approved ground turkey at Whole Foods. In it, I mixed rosemary, salt, and dill, and made it into 4 quarter pounders. On the side, I was craving a good ol’ roasted sweet potato with black beans. Mmmm, this combination is amazing; how come I forget about it so often? And plenty of carboloading in that 🙂

Hmmm, you know what else has carbs? Oats and more ice cream. Sounds like a night! I probably won’t have time to pop in in the morning so hopefully the next post will be a run recap. Until then, don’t forget to enter my giveaway and enjoy the weekend!

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Jars, New Products, And Raw Desserts

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

I hope you’re all liking the wellness giveaway! You have until March 31st to enter.

Tazo Rest

Tazo Rest

One Lucky Duck Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Lucky Duck Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was not terribly hungry for dessert last night while watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Did the chicken scene just make anyone else want to give up on meat? I couldn’t go that far, probably, but it makes me feel good that the meat I choose is wild, natural, or organic and minimally processed.

I must have been affected by a British accent because I snacked on “tea and cookies”, with Tazo Rest and One Lucky Duck‘s chocolate chip raw cookies. This was the last sample from One Lucky Duck I had and it did not disappoint. I liked how–very easily–there was a flavor distinction between the cookie and the chocolate, which isn’t easy to do at all with raw foods. It also didn’t have that raw, fall-apart-in-your-hand texture but wasn’t stale. They’re a bit pricey but a good treat for a raw foodist.

Almost Empty Nut Butter Jars

Almost Empty Nut Butter Jars

I couldn’t help but noticing not one but 2 of my nut butter jars were on their last leg. And since I had just had a chocolate chip cookie made mostly out of cashews, this couldn’t have been a more perfect pairing 🙂

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Raw Cashew Butter

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Raw Cashew Butter

On top was the very last of P.B.Loco’s cookie dough peanut butter and Love Raw Food’s cashew butter. There was definitely more nut butter than oats so this was delicious and rich. And I love just being able to toss the jar out when you’re done 🙂 Is it just me, or is it still impossible to get the jar satisfactory empty no matter how much you work at it?

Chia Moon Drop

Chia Moon Drop

I woke up at 5, and took an awful long time getting back to bed(hence not waking up again until 9, yikes!) :-/ Sometime then, I got snackish and went for Uli Mana‘s chocolate chia moon drop. It was a good choice. I think I got through half of it before even realizing where the chia were; that was a good thing since they still sort of freak me out. It was nice and chocolaty, too. I wish it were richer(maybe add some cacao butter?), but it was still pretty great.

Honest Foods Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Granola Plank

Honest Foods Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Granola Plank

I woke up at 8, put on my glasses, and then woke up again at 9. Oops. Don’t you hate when that happens? After deciding what was for breakfast, I grabbed a new Honest Foods granola plank to try out.

Pineapple Chobani With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Pumpkin Oats With Walnut Butter In A Mighty Maple Jar

Pineapple Chobani With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Pumpkin Oats With Walnut Butter In A Mighty Maple Jar

Pineapple Chobani With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Pumpkin Oats With Walnut Butter In A Mighty Maple Jar

Pineapple Chobani With Pomegranate Walnut Granola, Pumpkin Oats With Walnut Butter In A Mighty Maple Jar

Another almost empty nut butter jar? I spoil myself 🙂 In the Mighty Maple jar went pumpkin oatmeal and a scoop of walnut butter; the pumpkin, peanut, walnut, and maple all work so well together! And I had a pineapple Chobani with about 1/3 of the Honest Foods granola plank. I like the ideas of the grab-n-go granola, but the pomegranate flavor in the pomegranate walnut crisp was just not there. It also wasn’t very crisp? It was much more chewy and soft. All the walnuts and peanuts made me happy, though, so clearly I wasn’t complaining much.

I’m sure you’ve noticed Cancun 2010 is no where in my Spring Break plans, haha. In case you were wondering, today I’m heading home to see my dog for the first time in 4 weeks. It’s felt like forever! Tomorrow, I have my 1/2 marathon to run along the New Hampshire coast–not looking forward to the weather. And then Monday is the day I become one really old teenager. We won’t celebrate until Easter with the relatives, though(OK, there’ll be a little celebrating ;-)).

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Determination And Wellness

Posted on March 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I apologize for the absurd length of this post. If it’s any consolation, I’m the one who actually had to write it 😉 And there’s a giveaway at the end, so hold tight.

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

I was eager to get a run in before lunch today, though apparently running didn’t feel the same way about me 😦 I pushed through 3.33 miles at the gym before just wanting to give up; I felt like I was running on empty. That was one option. The other was to get some quick carbs in me, finish the 10 miles I had planned, and worry about refueling afterwards. I’m stubborn and determined if nothing else. I ran back to my dorm, grabbed a handful of organic jolly beans, and got back on that horse treadmill.

10 Miles In 1:29:04

10 Miles In 1:29:04

I managed to finish the 10 miles in 1:29:04. It was a pretty difficult run as they come in all respects, but I’m just glad I pushed through. I’m trying to adjust to running at different times like mid-morning for my half but clearly my body would prefer I get up and going at 7. If nothing else, I got to see this segment of the Today Show which pretty much sums me up and how I grocery shop. 100% natural on products means nothing, but unless you’re determined to pay for the organic seal then you have to read the ingredients. And organic chicken legs?! What was up with those? After a quick 5-minute shower, I was ready for a lunch meeting.

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

My gym friend, the res life dean, invited me to lunch to get to know each other off the treadmill. I was excited to see the ins and outs of the faculty club, which had an amazing selection including a chicken, maple, and walnut salad that had my mouth drooling. But since it is a Friday in Lent I kept it kosher(so to speak) and went with the chilled citrus salmon salad, which had grapefruit, mandarin orange slices, and a citrus vinagrette. I loved the mandarin orange here; it was so nice and flavorful! It made things seem like Spring, even though it was snowing this morning.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

When I got back to my room, I made a quick dessert of an apple and some Vivani 72% dark chocolate. With just 3 ingredients, this chocolate is a dream and perfectly sweet. It’s even better ingredient-wise than my favorite dark chocolate(Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

An hour later, I was pretty famished. It wasn’t even snackish-hunger, but I was ready for a meal. Since I was going to have chickpeas for dinner, why not 2 and 1/2 hours early? I made a salad of chickpeas with Next Generation Dairy Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese. The spinach I dressed with some Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing, all of which was deliciously sweet. I could definitely be happy eating chickpeas every day if I kept that many cans in stock.

Apple

Apple

In the afternoon, I braved the cold temperatures(seriously, New England, don’t you know it’s almost April?) to get some food from the dining hall and Tedeschi. While I was out, I snacked on an apple, and then forgot to take back more for my dorm. Drats! Good thing I’ll be going home tomorrow.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

2 apples, a crap load of greens, and 3 meals later, I just might be full. I think this day easily makes up for those when all I’ve eaten has been chocolate. I mixed a can of tuna with the remainder of some Voskos plain-non fat yogurt and topped it with chili lime Yumnuts; I think I’ve become officially obsessed with that combination since I ate it last Friday on a picnic with a friend. On some steamed broccoli I added sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey–love that crunch!

Instead of bore you with more food-food and not desserts, I’ll launch my Wellness Giveaway. First, here’s a recap of all the mental health tips from the week.

Me-Time

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not thatmuch “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person.

Declutter

I could not imagine leaving my room with an unmade bed. Hell, I couldn’t imagine being around with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, unorganized pile of papers–you name it. My point is not to make your bed, however; I don’t even do this at home when I spend almost no time in my room. My point is to declutter the area you spend the most time focusing. It’s a fact that if you only look at mess, you’ll only feel like a mess and stress out. Keeping a work area neat and tidy is the most important thing not just for organization but also mental health.

To-Do Lists

I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished.

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

Sometimes, when you’re leading a tough time, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes focused on what’s at the end of the tunnel rather than your present situation. It may sound like it was on a whim, but really I had that trip to Juniper planned all week long. At the very least, it gave me something fun and different to look forward to as a “reward” for a potentially stressful week. It doesn’t have to be food. It doesn’t even have to cost money. But doing something for yourself special or out of the ordinary is a great way to keep your mind in a healthy place.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the Celestial Seasonings Natural Wellness Kit. I got 6 teas to keep me healthy and sane this week, all of which will be given review pages in due time. My favorite so far is actually the honey vanilla, which I wasn’t sent but found in the store and bought myself. I like how most of their teas are caffeine free, because herbal wellness doesn’t have to come with a big dose of caffeine and a crash later on.  The kit itself includes:

  • Four wellness teas to ease  symptoms associated with the cold and flu including Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint
  • Two green teas to support a healthy immune system year round – Authentic Green Tea and Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
  • Mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness” by Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel and Nancy Burke

Do you need some wellness in your life? There are plenty of ways to enter, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each one to make sure it counts. Answer/do any of the following:

  • Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How did you incorporate it into your life this week?
  • Which flavor from the wellness kit or Celestial Seasonings website most appeals to you?
  • Tweet this contest, saying “FoodMakesFunFuel is having a Celestial Tea giveaway http://tinyurl.com/ykub24n @EvanFMFF” and leave your Twitter name.
  • Blog about this contest and leave a link to the post.

That’s 4 possible entries to rack up. The contest will run through the end of March and I’ll announce the winner April 1st. Good luck!

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