Exhausting Friday

Posted on March 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello! How was your Friday? In a word, mine was exhausting. Funny when you have no class on that day. I guess I just forgot how rough 13.1 miles make the rest of your time! After this post this morning, I had a meeting to catch at Au Bon Pain. When that was done I was wiped out and wanted to fall back on my bed. I was also staahhhving, so “lunch” was a quick and voluminous bowl of oats.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

I don’t even normally like oats for meals other than breakfast, but this was so necessary at the time. A filling bowl that’s healthy and not something I needed to cook? Yes, please. I got to open a new bowl of pumpkin, mixed 1/2 a cup with 40g cooked grains, and added a big spoonful of Butter Toffee Peanut Butter from Naturally Nutty and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. The sweet and savory seeds definitely made this meal–yum! After lunch I got to “work”.

Making Raw Cacao Coconut Butter

I only wish I were talking about real work; instead I made up a recipe that’s been on my mind for a while. I tried making my own raw cacao coconut butter, using products from Tropical Traditions like their coconut creme concentrate and Coconut Oil, and raw cacao powder and butter I bought from Navitas Naturals all sweetened with agave nectar. If it works out, I’ll be happy to share the recipe when I talk more about the coconut creme concentrate(the main ingredient).

Red Delicious Apple

While I waited for that to sit and harden(hopefully), I snacked on an apple–never filling. Ideally, the butter would be the consistancy of peanut butter or cacao bliss. The grinding process warms the oil and shreds the cacao butter so that it’s a smooth sauce right after grinding. Since I obviously have no attention span, I started using it while it was still soft.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Cacao Shell Sauce

This was one of those “Oh no I didn’t” “Oh yes I did” kind of snacks. I made chocolate avocado pudding and topped it with the sauce, which immediately cooled and hardened when it touched the cold pudding; magic shell sauce anyone? It was all very tasty and gone far too fast. I only hope it hardens at room temp, and if not it will make some good refrigerated chocolate. If you want to read more on the Coconut Creme Concentrate, you can click on that link, or wait until I figure out more to say on it.

18 Rabbits Nibble A Sultana

Right after that, I broke in to my bar stash and grabbed an 18 Rabbits Nibble A Sultana granola bar. I love how this had only 9g of sugar! But the flavor was a bit flat–fruity but flat. The pumpkin seeds at least were nice and savory. I definitely need a good meal in the afternoon to get me through to dinner. After that I had to step out to meander Thayer Street. When I was finished, I realized it was almost dinner and I did not feel like cooking after all this exhaustion. I grabbed something for dinner(and something for dessert) and rushed home hoping to use up what’s left of the day.

Red Bean Chili And Soy Tofu Over Broccoli

From the dining hall, I grabbed precooked broccoli(as in, yes, I usually cook my own but why bother tonight?) and some vegetarian chili, and supplemented more protein with tofu tossed in soy sauce and microwaved for 5 minutes. Since the chili is vegetarian I don’t have to worry about ethical meat, and since there’s no soy I don’t have to think about my Lenten give-up. I couldn’t imagine them using any artificial ingredient. And, if there’s gluten–well–I haven’t been too good on that one as of late anyway, so I’m assuming it was fine–not the tastiest but I’m not energized enough to be picky.

Like I mentioned, I did pick up a little dessert while I was out, so that’s definitely pushing me through. I should probably deal with everything I threw on the bed though first, huh? Before I sign off for that, I’ll mention you can go to www.tazo.com/zero to enter a contest for Tazo’s new line of stevia sweetened products! I’m glad to see stevia is hitting main stream companies. You can also enter this giveaway for a chance to win Zevia.

I guess this prompts the question, how do you feel about the mainstream adoption of stevia sweetened foods? Honestly, I love it. When I gave up artificial sweeteners, I thought I’d go nuts without Diet Mountain Dew or Coke Zero; Zevoa has made the transition so much simpler. Obviously, I don’t think the stuff should be knocked back like bottles of water. But if we’re talking swapping stevia for sucralose or aspartame in the American diet, sign me up. Since I’m an open and honest blogger, I’ll mention my intake of stevia today has been in my coffee at 6:50am, chocolate avocado pudding at 3:30pm,  and a decaf English breakfast tea at 4:30pm.

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I Need A Dentist

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I need a dentist because my sweet tooth has been out of control recently! Now, you might say, “But Evan, that would mean that it was once in control, and you can’t honestly expect that, can you?” Well, I would say that on the whole it pretty much is; if anything, I overdo it with the salt in food. I love my oats salty! But recently, it’s been all about the sugar. For example:

Agave Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

It shouldn’t be a shocker that I enjoy something chocolate every night after dinner. Last night my thought process was along these lines: “I think I want dark chocolate. Yeah, dark chocolate. That’s nice and full of antioxidants. And it’s vegan. I’ll have vegan dark chocolate, and a vegan yogurt. I’ll have soy yogurt. But if I’m having soy yogurt I’ll need… milk chocolate!!” And that’s how we arrived here.

Bleeding Colors

That amuses me oh so much. This snack had plenty of sugar between the agave in the yogurt and the chocolate. At least there were peanuts in there, too? Those made them healthy. These are actually one of the few “candies” I eat, so if they’re my biggest vice, c’est la vie. I ate this while trying to get in to the Olympics, but pair skating is just not my sport 😦 Bring back the speed skating! Not an hour later, my sweet tooth struck again.

Cherry Coconut Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Coconut Butter

I usually like salty oats; last night was a huge exception. I made oatmeal with 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, a spoonful of cherry butter, and vanilla stevia, and then topped them with coconut butter from Artisana and Justin’s chocolate peanut butter. Notice how there’s a big plop of the sweet nut butter and a little bit of the fiberous one? Yeah, me neither. Well I had that and then got to bed nice and early(10:30!) for some sweet dreams and 8 hours of sweet sleep.

18 Rabbits Cheeky Cherry Chocolate Granola Bar

This morning I woke up half-hungry? It just feels like my hunger’s going to be off today, but I’d hate to think pessimistically like that. Anyway, I ate about 2/3rds of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar from 18 Rabbits on my run. Overall, the most satisfying thing here was the chocolate(of course). Otherwise, thought that the cherries and cacao nibs were bit slacking. The coconut in the granola was a nice subtle flavor, too. Still, it was pretty sweet and almost like a dessert with the chocolate.

8 Miles In 68:57

The “plan” for my run was 5 miles. I started out going faster than I would have thought: 7mph. That was my treadmill pace last semester but has been elusive so far. Today, however, I had no trouble with it, and I felt like I could just keep going, so I did! The way my (lack of) training plan works is that I’d rather run “how I’m feeling” today than plan too far ahead. I ended up doing a speedy 8 miles, which was fun but put the rest of my morning in a rush.

Banana Oats With Barney Butter, Cherry 2% Greek Yogurt

Banana Oats With Barney Butter

FINALLY I had a thought to try and cap the sugars. I was at least somewhat successful? I still needed to sweeten my oats and yogurt, and topped both with spreads that have sugar in them :-/ But cherry butter and Barney Butter are definitely some of the lesser evils that I could have gone for. Maybe I need a sugar challenge like this daring blogger and Ellen?

Vanilla Decaf Coffee

And now I’m enjoying my favorite new tradition of Tuesday/Thursday: a warm cup of coffee with stevia after class. And I feel thrifty because I brew it myself instead of going to a campus coffee stop 🙂 I also polished off the remaining 1/3 of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar while writing this. And you can damn well bet I savored and enjoyed the chocolate chips 😉 But now I’m just hoping a straight and proper lunch will smack things back to “normal” again. And… I’m off!

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Go On And Live Your Life

Posted on February 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you entered my yogurt contest yet? Or maybe my coconut oil giveaway? Both are still active!

Let’s just pretend that “funked-out” guy from this morning never happened 😀 The stress was good in that it motivated me to go 3 extra miles on the treadmill. But after thinking about it and realizing it’s one of those things that’s just out of my control at the moment, I realized it’s nothing worth fretting over. In the immortal words of Rhianna, “Go on and live your life”. OK–“immortals” an overstatement. But it’s a good song to run to 😀 I was certainly living my cravings at lunch!

Mexican Bowl

I needed something from South of the border in my life. I filled a bowl with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, raw onions, and sprouts from the dining hall(underneath). On top I added cooked broccoli(I cannot do raw here), 1/2 a can of black beans, a little avocado mashed up, and TJ’s salsa. Muy bueno! I don’t remember the last time I ate Mexican, authentic or otherwise. Did you know Chipotle is a very eco-friendly chain? I’ve never eaten from there, but after seeing them on Oprah I want to now. Along with this, I had some raw goodies.

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

Kath wrote a good post a few days ago on getting nutritional bang for you buck; I think both of these products fit that bill! I loved this flavor of Next Generation Dairy‘s cheese; even though I don’t normally like cilantro, it really worked here. And would you believe this was my first Synergy Kombucha ever? The company sent me coupons to try and review their raw & probiotic beverages. Well where I bought this(a local cafe) couldn’t take the coupon, but I decided to pay for it anyway since I psyched myself up for it hoping I’d like it. Like it? I loved it! This was so deliciously ginger; and the fermented flavor was oddly nice! I loved the little “warning”.

Kombucha Warning Label

Perfect–I was drinking alcohol in class. That’s nothing that hasn’t happened at Brown 😉 I did almost fall asleep at one point during this Greek History class, though. Oops. It’s not that bad though, I swear! After that, the classes just kept coming, as did my hunger.

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

Taking pictures in class? Do I get the good blogger award for that? This bar from 18 Rabbits had such an enticing description–“banana foster” with “caramelized banana”. Yes, please! Unfortunately, the flavor was very heavily like banana chips. This wasn’t a bad thing, per say; on the contrary, I really liked the flavor! It just needs to not set up itself for such high expectations with a name like that.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

When I finally got back to my room for the evening, I whipped up some chocolate avocado pudding to relax a bit. My afternoon might have looked something like this: The Office, 30 Rock, 5-page paper on food processors. Yes, you read that last one right. Why? I have no idea; we need to have a rough draft on an object in our lives we can look at from an objective perspective by tomorrow at 3pm and it was what popped into my mind. Thankfully, it’s not really due to be graded for 2 weeks, so I can surely change the subject if nothing pops(or processes as the case would be).

Along with my “meal planning initiative”, I had a brilliant idea for dinner: Breakfast! It’s true that I most always have oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. On the one hand, they’re cheap and tasty. But part of that is also because post-run it’s easy to whip together. Instead, I decided to make something with a little more complexity…

Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes With NH Maple Syrup And Grass-Fed Butter

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

Gluten-free, coconut flour oatmeal pancakes! Yum! It’s been far too long since I’ve had pancakes, and when I got this coconut flour from Bob’s Red Mill I knew this was one way I wanted to experiment with it. In the bowl went 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup almond milk, stevia, and salt. I cooked them in a bit of coconut oil and topped them with pasture butter and local maple syrup. Can you say heaven? My favorite fat blogger(that would be, one who blogs about fat ;-)) has a longstanding tradition of pancake eating; I think I need to follow suit here, too, because I’ve been missing out! On the yogurt, I made some raw sauce with Xagave and added Navitas NaturalsMulberries; they may be a superfood but I was not that into them :-/ I’d rather have something like dried raspberries. Maybe they’ll give me superpowers? Here’s hoping 🙂

Go on, live your life, and enter this giveaway from a loyal reader for peanut butter!

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Trying New Things

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

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

Q.bel Mint Wafers

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

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

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

Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

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

Oatmeal With Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

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

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

18 Rabbits Funky Figs And Cherries Granola Bar

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

New Bike Machine

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

Uncomfortable Seat

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

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

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

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

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

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