March To The Beat Of Your Own Drum

Posted on May 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s one of the simplest things to say, but the hardest to do. And yet, if we can do it in the little places in life, can’t we master it when it matters, too?

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Hazelnut Agave

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Hazelnut Agave

Madhava Hazelnut Agave

Madhava Hazelnut Agave

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Ice Cream

We define “serving sizes” all the time. Don’t tell me to eat 10 pieces of ginger Vivani chocolate when they’re made 4 blocks to a row. I know math and that just doesn’t work out unless I’m willing to put a little effort into it. Likewise, there’s no such thing as a tablespoon of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter or Madhava’s hazelnut agave. There’s a scoop and a squirt and how much that is is how much that is. And ice cream? A serving’s what I left in the pint after the last time I at some. I don’t need a measuring cup, and I don’t even need a cup–just hand me the spoon.

But what if I told you to get to that snickerdoodle So Delicious soy ice cream I had to walk through a room of people drinking and playing beer pong in front of the fridge? And that I was in my pajamas? And that I really didn’t want to be doing that? Fact. Fact. And you bet your booty. It was one hell of an awkward minute I felt like a fish out of water. But what would have been the argument against getting the ice cream? There wasn’t really one, so in the end I knew what was “right”. Besides, the joke should be on them: It was Cinco de Mayo and I saw no margaritas. Really, guys, really?

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Pineapple Chobani With Maple Glazed Cashews

Pineapple Chobani With Maple Glazed Cashews

So where does that leave me, on this most Holy of days, Seis de Mayo. Well, I know a few things. I know I was hungry way before class today and ate my breakfast of Mighty Maple oatmeal and a pineapple Chobani with cashews early. I know I’ll watch Bear Grylls in just about anything and everything he wants to do in his career(see Worst Case Scenario). And I know that I should throw away fears and do what I really want to do more often, because at the end of the tunnel there just might be a pint of ice cream. Now, if I may quote different strokes

Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum.
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
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Candy Bar Oatmeal

Posted on April 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Shall we start with the obvious? I eat a lot of of candy bars, particularly chocolate bars.

Vivani And Endangered Species 70% Dark Chocolate

Vivani And Endangered Species 70% Dark Chocolate

I’m not complaining. Remember when I said here that I want to aim for at least 1oz of dark chocolate a day? I wasn’t kidding. That would be a “tasting plate” of the last of my Vivani 72% dark chocolate and some Endangered Species organic 70% dark chocolate. This boy knows what he likes. Of course, we can’t eat candy bars all the time.

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

That’s when we make oatmeal taste like candy. Almond Joy, anyone? After reading this post on Heather’s blog, I was reminded how amazing coconut milk and grains are together. I don’t have a rice cooker, so oats will have to do. The richness of organic coconut milk pairs so well with Justin’s chocolate almond butter; it’s beyond words.

Who needs and Almond Joy? I have oatmeal.

Chococonut Nature's Path Bar

Chococonut Nature's Path Bar

I woke up bright and early for a run, because I have so much to get done today I wanted for running to be out of the way. This Nature’s Path Organic bar definitely tastes more like a candy than granola bar. I still don’t get much of a coconut flavor out of it :-/

11.5 Miles In 1:39:18

11.5 Miles In 1:39:18

I think the dark chocolate must have worked, because I pushed through 11.5 miles on the tready at a 7.0 pace, which is faster than I was doing before. While I know it’s the running outside that’s boosting my speed, I’d like to think it’s dark chocolate. I can hope, right?

Madhava Vanilla Agave Nectar

Madhava Vanilla Agave Nectar

Madhava recently sent me a box of their agave nectars which I was super excited to try and review. Agave, as you probably know, is an unrefined, vegan sweetener noticeably sweeter than sugar. There’s plenty of scandal around its actual properties I could get into but won’t now. The bottom line for me is that it is just a form of sugar in the end, but one of the ones I’d rather eat than refined white sugar. And when they’re doctored up with flavors like this vanilla, what’s not to love?

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

I sweetened plain yogurt with the vanilla agave, and made my own peanut butter with 365 brand smooth and a squirt of vanilla agave. If you like a soft, mellow vanilla tone to flavors, this is perfect for you. It wasn’t as intense as a vanilla bean, but definitely added intrinsic flavor. The peanut butter I’ll tell you tasted just like what you get in a Reese’s cup; the Scharffen Berger milk chocolate and sea salt on top totally enhanced the experience. Let’s compare:

Vs.

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter

I’ll take my oatmeal, thank you.

What was/is your favorite candy? Growing up, I was always a Reese’s and milk chocolate peanut butter supporter. My all-time favorite had to be the Reese’s Fast Break. A bag of the “minis” would not last long around me. My lifestyle transition to an all-natural diet has been made simpler by Newman’s Own Organics’ milk chocolate peanut butter cups and Sunspire’s milk chocolate coated peanuts. But I still have secret hopes that someday someone will make an all-natural Fast Break, and a few recipes I have yet to try to mimic this.

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Like 26 Little Kisses

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Monday! It’s cold and raining and the sun hasn’t came out in 4 days, but I’m still very excited because it’s a holiday! The Ides of March–something only a Classics major could get excited for 🙂 Just think that 2054 years ago today, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death. Isn’t that pleasant? Thankfully, our Senate is a little more subdued nowadays. But be sure to celebrate somehow!

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Seed Cookie

Cookie Close-Up

Last night I couldn’t help but to break in to the second 1/2 of my cookie from Garden Grille Cafe; you’ve just got to eat it while it’s fresh, ya know? 😉 This was so soft and chewy, I have to imagine they used loads of Earth Balance and sugar–no complaints here! I finished this off and fast while also trying to wrap up a paper for one of my classes. That alone calls for a cookie.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

A little later on I went for a BIG bowl of completely raw chocolate avocado pudding(made mousse style ala Averie): 16g raw cacao powder, 5oz organic avocado, 27ish grams raw agave nectar. If that doesn’t fill you up and make you feel good, I don’t know what will! But of course, I needed to top that with 6 milk chocolate peanut sunspires(working from memory, I wasn’t actually counting these).

Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Because with these lil’ buggers a few is never enough, I added a handful(which apparently is 9 in my hands) before hitting the sack. Is it wrong to love a candy? Not when it’s organic! I also tried watching Celebrity Apprentice and Brothers & Sisters, but I must have been tired because I don’t even remember the end of the latter.

12 Miles In 1:47:48

All that fueling made me feel great for a long run this morning! Seriously–had I not felt 120% I probably would have grabbed anything as an excuse to stay in bed and play video games today. But that was not in the cards and I went to the gym for a 10 mile run that turned into 12 because I had the time to spare and energy to burn. There were also some really good segments on The Today Show today, including one showing Al Roker’s morning routine. Could you imagine getting up for work at 3?! I though 6:15 to run was bad; I guess being such an “early bird” in college is the least I can do if I want to steal Matt Lauer’s seat on the couch(and I do).

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter, Agave Sweetened Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Agave Sweetened Chobani With Milk Chocolate Sunspire

What would be for breakfast other than more milk chocolate peanut Sunspires? It’s a good thing I can get these at the bulk bins so I don’t go broke on the individual packets. This time 11 topped my vanilla agave sweetened Chobani for a good dash of protein post-workout, making for 26 little milk chocolate peanut kisses throughout. And I had a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to lay off the kisses while I do my laundry and have a tweeting war with Justin’s about when their chocolate will hit my Whole Foods.

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Balance And Contradiction

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes two things balance each other out; sometimes they’re downright contradictions. C’est la vie.

Root Beer Zevia

I used to think natural diet soda was a contradiction before Zevia. Sure–I still think there’s a contradiction when popping one of these back while enjoying a greasy, fattening burger. But contradictions make the world more tasty. Milk chocolate on soy yogurt, anyone?

High Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

There’s nothing wrong with the balance in Chocolate avocado pudding when it’s made completely raw utilizing 3 ingredients: avocado, Xagave, and Navitas Naturals‘ raw cacao powder. There might, however, be a contradiction in eating it next to these…

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

So maybe Fudge Mint Back To Nature cookies aren’t the most raw thing around. Sue me. And let’s gloss over the contradiction of having a gluten intolerance and eating wheat cookies; I pay for that one enough as is. So what was in balance? Well, chocolate always goes good with more chocolate. Duh 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Sea Salt

This was basically one big bowl of balance. Where can you go wrong with oats and peanut butter? Or maple with pumpkin? Or the sweet taste of Mighty Maple with some coarse sea salt for contrast? Yes, yes, and yes.

Raw Mint Chip Macaroon With English Breakfast Tea

Later last night ended up being full of contradictions and out-of-balance experiences. I think the jury is pretty much out on the contradiction of drinking decaf English breakfast tea when you can’t sleep on a Saturday night 😦 The Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroon? A perfect balance of mint and chocolate, and all deliciously raw 🙂 Oh, and me and college living and anything besides a nursing home are 100% out of balance. Call me a grandpa if you will but I do not want to hear “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” at 12:30. I want it to have been a good night and have gone to bed by 11. The fact that I was having insomnia on the 1 night a year we lose an hour’s time: What was up with that?

11 Miles In 1:36:46

Waking up after a mish-moshy 6 hours of sleep, part of my body felt like running, and the other part wanted to laugh. Really? Guess which part one. I did reach a good balance between training and rest by taking a rest day yesterday, if you didn’t notice. Apparently, all it takes to keep me from running is 50mph winds, a museum tour, and more work than I know what to do with. That left my legs well rested for 11 miles in 1:36:46.

To balance out the boredom, I listened to a monster long playlist while watching a Tom & Jerry 90 minute movie on Cartoon Network(yes, they have one of those). This is a pair who really balances each other out, don’t you think? I couldn’t help but notice the contradiction in describing sounds in the closed captioning(presumably mostly for deaf viewers) with other sounds; if I were deaf, how would I have known that Tom & Jerry bouncing around sound like a pinball machine?

Peanut Butter Perfect Foods Bar, Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

Breakfast is always my most mentally balancing meal of the day. What goes better together than honey and peanut butter in the Peanut Butter flavor of the Perfect Foods Bar? Or the flavors of cocoa butter and peanut butter in White Chocolate Wonderful, which truly is, as my European hopping hip blogger would say, wundebar! Or just the flavors of peanut butter and more peanut butter? I know PB&Co. would agree with me on that one.

What about you? Are you feeling balanced or a little contradictory this morning? Either can be good(and tasty) as I think I’ve shown. Or, any excited Sunday plans? It’s still raining 😦 But I have le familia scheduled to arrive soon now to taxi me to Bellingham to pick-up something I preordered I’m excited for, the ever-exclusive store Target for a new oats bowl(!!), and then the usual goodies and groceries with maybe a meal in between. Sounds like a plan to me! And you can also check out this Pirate’s Booty giveaway. Or even a giveaway for Blackwell’s gelato from 100 Cafe Street!

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Friday Fish And Chips

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

Happy Lenten Friday, everybody! OK, that has an awful and fake sound to it. The Church needs to come up with something catchy. But while they do, I’ll catch you up on what we decided. Last Friday I posed the question yay or nay on fish if I consider them a “meat” in terms of vegetarianism. A lot of you raised compelling arguments and the clear answer was that fish was cheap at the time of Aquinus which is why Catholics can still eat fish during Lent, but it’s “in the spirit” to have only the lesser-quality fish(aka no sashimi :-(). Of course, I also consulted my mom who’s the real my-word-goes-if-you-know-what’s-good-for-you and she agreed that fish was OK. Why am I saying this when fish wasn’t even on the menu for lunch?

Asian Tofu And Egg Stir-Fry With Honey Ginger Veggies And Hemp Flax Crackers

In my way overworked pan, I browned the last of a block of tofu(1.5 servings maybe) in soy sauce. Then I added these honey ginger vegetables I picked up at the dining hall until they were heated. Lastly, I cracked in an egg and cooked through–delicious! I’m not sure what was on the veggies; I don’t want to know. But this tasted perfectly greasy like real Chinese food. Over the top, I sprinkled some Omega-3’s ala seed crackers:

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers

Foods Alive Hemp Flax Crackers to be exact. These were so deliciously herby! Rosemary is towards the bottom of the ingredient list but the flavor was LOUD and proud, and good, too! I actually opened this thinking it was “herb” instead of “hemp”; perhaps it should have been.

Apple With Coconut Oil Agave Dipping Spread

While watching America completely own Finland, I had an ingenous and delicious snack. I sliced up a red delicious apple and spread on it Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil mixed with Xagave–sweet fats, this was good! I could have just eaten the coconut oil with a spoon; OK, I might have done that a little, too 😉 Anything to distract me from work! But then I got hungry again, which meant early dessert apparently:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I was on such a good vegan streak until the egg, and then milk chocolate. Oh well, if my milk and meat teeth want to return, fine by me. While majorly enjoying this, I stuck a sweet potato in the oven, but it didn’t cook in time for dinner 😦 I had all the time in the world; I should have put it in early. I’ve since stuck it in the fridge for another meal. Here’s where the fish comes in:

Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Salmon

Ain’t she a beauty? Straight from a can. It kind of made me think I was eating cat food(like, a lot). I guess that’s the spirit of Lent! 🙂 To flavor it, I added some maple syrup and maple butter. And because my sweet potato didn’t turn out, I had a very different form of potatoes…

Maple Butter Alaskan Salmon, Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips

Is it wrong that I probably liked the Sour Cream & Onion popchips more than I’d have liked the sweet potato? Yeah, no shame. The salmon was pretty decent for being from a can; they didn’t keep much fat in it, though, which is where all the Omega-3’s would be 😦 Good enough, I suppose? I’d actually been thinking about finding a good DHA supplement this year, but my final verdict is the same: I don’t really believe in supplements(fortified foods I’m a bit more tolerant of). I’m much more apt to want to get the nutrients from the foods themselves. And it’s especially hard for me to justify that I would need fish oil when there are so many healthy vegans and vegetarians. So no supplements for me! And I probably saved some good money with that decision, too 😉

Looking back over this week, I learned 1 block of tofu is not enough for this soy lover, and 4 soy yogurts barely got me through. Add those to the shopping list! And looking ahead, I’d really love to go home and bake a cake for no reason, but I don’t see that happening 😦 Visions of sugar cakes baking in my sleep? I’m guessing…

I hate to barrage you with contests but there are a lot out there right now and since I recently won I figure I’d keep the luck going and maybe get some scratch tickets later, too! Avery is having a peanut butter giveaway, here’s a chia seed giveaway, a popchip giveaway(which I obviously need to feed my addiction), a giveaway for shredded coconut from Trop Traditions, an ice cream machine giveaway, and lastly one for chia goodness oatmeal.

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3 Days, A Lot Of Numbers, And Nutritional Yeast Facts

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t really believe in “food ruts”; if you want to eat the same thing a lot in a short amount of time, be my guest. In fact, sometimes it’s less wasteful to be that way. That being said, I’ve been surprising even myself with the repetitiveness of my eats.

Red Delicious Apple

This as the 4th of 5th apples I’ve eaten since Tuesday. Me. And they were all from the dining hall and tasted amazing. Go figure. I swear–I’ve eaten less than 5 apples in a month before; I’m really on a kick for them I guess. Should I just make this apple crisp and eat 1/2 the pan?… again? Of course, you can eat as much as you want whenever it’s vegan, right? O:-)

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Home Fries Over Spinach

Lunch time rolled around(to be eaten in Greek History class) and what did I have on hand? Beef and sweet potatoes, of course! I really couldn’t care less that I also ate this for Tuesday and Wednesday dinner seeing as how I can’t eat meat on Fridays. To make it a little different, I microwaved the cubed tomatoes and then finished them off in the rendered beef fat, and served it over spinach(which makes the whole dish healthy). For those of you keeping track, that would be 12oz grass-fed beef and 2 medium-large sweet potatoes in 72 hours. I don’t think I’ve gotten this much beta-carotene since I drank carrot juice every morning or ate this much meat since… ever.

Missing Water Bottle

Genius here forgot his water bottle in Greek History class and didn’t realize it until being in Latin class. I would have thought I’d have gone parched and been ripping through my snack stash during that class but the lunch held me over really well. And when I walked back to my previous class(in the rain), someone had moved the water bottle front and center. Perfect.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

You know it’s love when the first thing you do when you walk in the door is break out a food scale and some coconut oil to make coconut oil chocolate so it has enough time to set before you eat it. Or is that addiction/obsession? What do I care–Hollywood hasn’t known the difference in 50 years. Another ingredient: Cocoa powder.

53 grams of cocoa powder is how much I’ve used in since Tuesday. Not how much I’ve eaten, because there’s been more in the form of nut butters and store bought chocolate, but just the amount I’ve personally used in making things. Chocolate has antioxidants, right? How ironic that I’ve always looked at the pound bag of cocoa powders and thought “Gosh, it must take someone a long time to go through those!”

Red Delicious Apple

I told you that was the 4th of 5 apples I ate this morning. This was the 5th. It was between this or a 100-cal pack of cookies. I think I made the nutritious choice, don’t you? Apples seem to be my go-to when there’s a meal right around the corner. And what a meal it was…

Stir-Fried Tempeh With Vanilla Agave And Toasted Coconut Over Steamed Broccoli

Something new! If you’d have asked me at 2pm what was for dinner, I would have smacked you because I had no clue. Then I remembered I has a log of tempeh to use up. I really hate hate hate plain tempeh in comparison to tofu, so I’m not sure why I bought this. At the same time, this dish worked perfectly. I loved the nuttiness of tempeh with the nuttiness of the the toasted coconut. And the agave was a perfect “dressing” but I added sea salt because I’m so not used to sweet dinners. I think what surprised me the most was how much sesame oil the tempeh absorbed so quickly 8-| Ignorance is the best way to enjoy Asian foods 😉

I was surprised(but happy) to hear that there were so many questions surround nutritional yeast after my breakfast post. I answered in the comments there but I thought I’d readress it here for anyone wondering. Gina also blogged about it here.

What is it? Inactive, fortified yeast. Per 2 tablespoons(14g), it has 8g of protein and 6g of fiber. It’s a complete protein and loaded with the B vitamins, as well as being a 1-ingredient vegan food

How does it taste? It’s very savory and has a cheesy mouth-feel. Similarly, it’s very salty and briny, especially with a little salt added. It’s very much like a more savory parmigiana.

Where do you get it? I get all of mine from bulk bins, which is often cheaper but also let’s you get just how much you want, so you can just get a little to see if you like it or not.

How would I use it? You can use it anywhere you might otherwise want something “cheesy”. It’s often put on top of spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce. You might have seen me eat it on pumpkin oatmeal with smart balance peanut butter, but that’s a little “out there” admittedly and something only I do(that I know of). It reminds me of Lance peanut butter filled cheddar crackers 🙂

Which foods have you been all over as of late, Have you tried nutritional yeast, and Heroes or Villains? You can ask me anymore questions you’d like, but don’t expect a response while Survivor’s on 🙂

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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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Sweets And Cheese

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I had to summarize in two words what I ate today, it would be “Cheese” and “Sweet”. I’m pretty sure those are the only two tooths I have in my mouth(and I embrace that).

Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar

The first culprit was this bag of Pirate’s Booty. I was sent a ton of flavors to review; none were particularly “sweet” so I went for the cheesiest mother of them all. At the same time, I had the oven going and baked some maple tofu.

Aged White Cheddar Pirate's Booty, Maple Tofu, Steamed Broccoli

Maple Baked Tofu

Maple baked tofu–simple, sweet, and so(y) delicious. The tofu came out particularly good because I had it pressing all morning and changed the towel thrice; when you get a ton of water out, you really notice the difference. These corn puffs were good, but didn’t really blow me away; I liked the flavor but the texture was just OK and overall they were “meh”. Maybe one of the other flavors will impress me more.

While I was watching this I got around to watching my DVRed Oprah with Michael Pollon. I know–I’m so behind! But I really liked this episode and was able to connect with it a lot. The part with Alicia Silverstone and Oprah talking about their business had me rolling on the floor! I do get what they’re saying, though. I also found it funny that Alicia “slips up” on cheese sometimes. It gets the best of us 😀

Count-To-10 Workout Sheet

In the afternoon I did my Count-To-10 workout. This’ll be perfect for any readers lamenting being stuck in doors for the storm! In case you forgot, it’s super simple:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 push-ups(15 for me)
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 sit-ups(20 for me)
  • Repeat 10 times.

Obviously, I use a checklist just to keep track. While I was doing this, the mail came, and I got a “sweet” surprise.

Uli Mana's Raw Desserts

Uli Mana sent me a sampler of some of their sweet and raw treats. The seal on them was broken, but since these came straight from a closed USPS box, I assumed they were untampered and safe.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Raw Chocolate Sauce, Raw Hemp Brownie

Umm, sweetest post-workout recovery meal ever? I think so. Where to start? This brownie was simply amazing. I’ll count it as my “Cookie Friday” treat(like I don’t have one of these every day). This was the 3rd bought raw brownie I tried, along with the 2 that I’ve made, and it was by far my favorite; it tasted sooo fudgy! I think the secret must have been in the cacao butter. I need to find me some. Any good brand suggestions? Or even just brands? The pudding was delicious and antioxidant rich with Navitas Naturals goji berries, but I added a little something to sweeten it up even more…

Xagave Raw Agave Nectar

Xagave sent me some of their agave nectar to bake and experiment with. Again, where to start? Simply put, from the 1 time I’ve used this so far, I’d highly recommend it. I mentioned on Monday(and even got some agreeance from readers!) that the agave nectar I used just didn’t taste sweet at all. Well, that was “Trader Joe’s raw agave nectar” for anyone curious. This, on the other hand, tasted sweet. It tasted really sweet, like I’ve been told agave nectar should. I can’t wait to bake more with it! Since I don’t prefer sweets for dinner, it was back to eating cheesy.

Next Generation Organic Dairy Raw Probiotic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Sticks

Yet another flavor of Next Generation Organic Dairy cheese to review. I knew this’d make a great addition to dinner not only because it’s no-carb, and high-protein and fat, but because of the added probiotics.

Lemon Cauliflower, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Stick, Grass Fed Beef Medallion

Dinner was also particularly good since we found out that Whole Foods(at least the one in Providence) sells grass-fed beef; sooo much cheaper than from a restaurant! And perfectly cooked so long as you know what you’re doing 😀 It tastes fantastic and I had my whole medallion. I was a bit underwhelmed though with this cheese stick; it tasted cheesy for sure, but the complexity somewhat stopped there. I suppose if it were too garlicy, that also would have been a problem, so I’m not sure where the perfect balance would have been. I do just love that they even make these in stick form; perfect for probiotics on the go!

And now, I’m thinking more sweet than cheesy for dessert. Wouldn’t you agree 🙂 For some interesting reading, here’s an article on the benefits of goat’s milk yogurt!  That’s a bandwagon I can get on. And here’s a jam giveaway and a granola giveaway

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Built In Dessert

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Routine, routine, routine! I feel like I’m settling in to my new weekday routine pretty well, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be packed. I guess that’s a price I’m more than willing to pay, though. No complaints here 😀 Excuse me if I’m short on words because I’m short on time. Some things don’t need words, like how amazing this combo is:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Gah! I’m drooling thinking about it. I’ll admit: Like a vegetarian who misses meat, I’m an all-natural eater who misses some of the “silly things”, like colored M&M’s and Swedish Fish(*drool*). Sunspires mend my heart a bit, though they need to come in more colors! Still, I do get a kick about mixing them all in…

Yogurt Mixed Up

Pretty!…ish? If it were frozen, it would remind me of a McFlurry 🙂 Ahhh, I remember having way too many of those one vacation in Florida as a kid; that’s what vacations are for, right? Note to self: Bananawhip + Sunspires = McFlurry? It’s a possibility and something to try…

Heroes has me so lost at this point, I’d think I’m watching Lost! Claire’s father had another family? How old is he? Mostly I just waded through some homework while I was trying to figure that one out. I also realized I was putting off a chapter of a book that was only about 7 pages. I think I could deal with 7 pages 🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chunky PB, Agave Nectar, Sea Salt, And Nutritional Yeast

I didn’t want to have the “same ol’, same ol'” pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and Smart Balance agave peanut butter oatmeal before bed. Instead, I started with oatmeal and then added pumpkin. To top it, I threw on some Crazy Richard’s chunky peanut butter(which was basically a clump of whole peanuts–yum!) and squirted on some agave nectar. Then I added a little nutritional yeast and sea salt at the end. So… I ended up with the same ol’ same ol’ anyway, haha. I think you just can’t ignore perfection. Does anybody else though find agave nectar not that sweet? It’s supposed to be 1.7 times sweeter than sugar but I can hardly taste it 😦

This morning I was pumped to be up at 6:15!… Not really, but I was up at least. I hopped out of the room and into the gym. I’m surprised I was only the 2nd one there; someone really wanted to get their elliptical in I guess. I, of course, grabbed my treadmill and got going for 5 miles. I love that I’m building speed again! This way I’m not falling too behind in my morning rush 😉 I finished in a sweaty 44:54 and got right back into the dorms to throw together a breakfast and check emails.

Egg White Oats With Honey Maple Peanut Butter And Cinnamon

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Holy protein, Batman! That’s what I was thinking over my oats. After cooking them, I beat in 2 servings of cage-free egg whites(from a carton), and cooked it until puffy. Then I topped it with high protein honey-maple peanut butter. Yum! It needed something, though, so I threw in some cinnamon. For something that has no sugar, does anybody else find egg whites surprisingly sweet? And not agave nectar? Maybe my taste buds are just all crossed. Breakfast had a built in dessert with the chocolate bar–I think I need to make this an every meal thing 😉 Actually, I packed it for Greek class, and by the time I got to it the agave nectar had seperated a lot from the cocoa powder and coconut oil. It still tasted good; I just needed to mix it up and eat it with a spoon. Now I see why every chocolate bar has soy lecithin(except Vivani)!

That was speedy. On the list: Make a replacement chocolate bar, Greek History reading, make lunch, Greek History, no Latin today because it was cancelled(sweeet), meeting with peer advisor, and then I’m free for the day! It’s going to be a long run one. Gooo!

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The Seeds Make It Crunchy

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

Well I completely caved on that whole “rest day” thing after breakfast. I think all I needed was a little fuel in the tummy for some energy because I was raring to go right afterwards. I did my core(which you can just search and find for in some older posts if you’re interested) and 200 flights. I must say, highlights include(and are pretty much limited to) the “dance” action I was doing to Tik-Tok and contorting my neck to try to see what the mailperson was bringing through a window. Good news: It was a package from Crofter’s Organic! Bad news:

Broken Asia Superfood Spread

Not everything survived 😦 When I reached in and felt something gooey, I knew that couldn’t be good. Thankfully, I had some senses and realized to feel around too much and cut myself. The other 3 superfruit flavors arrived in good condition and I look forward to reviewing them. And lucky me won some of these jams from another giveaway so hopefully those will all arrive in one piece and I can review Asia, too 🙂

As for something I did review today…

Hickory Honey Barbeque Baked Kettle Chips

These weren’t from the company or anything; these are just chips I like a lot and have featured quite a bit, so I thought I’d write up my love for them here. Of course, they made an appearance at lunch…

Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Lightlife Beef In Tomato Sauce, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips

With some more “healthy” stuff. Boo 😛 I squirted some lemon on the brussels sprouts just to give them a little kick of flavor, and added dehydrated onion to the beef and sauce just to make my breath smell awful. This didn’t really taste like “beef” but it was decent enough for a protein; I think it would have been a lot better if I were using a real sauce I was into but alas that was just tomato sauce from a can. But really–what can’t you do with a can of tomato sauce? I needed it this afternoon to make up a vegan meatloaf.

Vegan Meatloaf

I’ll admit I had little-to-no interest in cooking anything for dinner, and that my mind was on some juicy, red grass-fed beef from Tomasso’s. This was a far cry from red meat but I had mouths to feed and I figure what goes around comes around(so here’s crossing my fingers for that beef sometime soon :-)).

Orange Steaz Sparkling Green Tea

While I was cooking I was sipping on this flavor Steaz. It really needed a bit of a kick so I added some stevia to each tiny glass I poured. Things are just more fun when you pour them into other glasses; now why the hell didn’t I use a wine glass? Man, that would have been better in hindsight.

Since it was Friday, I decided to let my sweet-tooth run ramped. Instead of cookies, however, I was thinking of brownies. And instead of baking, I was thinking of keeping them raw 😀

Ingredients

After trying this brownie from The Raw Bakery, I wanted to try to make my own. To put a fun spin on things, I used raspberry agave syrup. I loooove raspberry jam in brownies and this was essentially the same thing. And it was all organic! Except the dates, which we’ve already established were cheap and yummy 🙂

Raw Vegan Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (160 grams) dates
  • 5 tablespoons (105 grams) agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds, ground

Make sure the flax seeds are ground. If they are not, add them to the food processor first and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended, or about a minute. Scrape into a square container and refrigerate for 10 minutes or so until cutting into.

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownies

I made one mistake here, which I tried to make clear in my directions not to do just in case anybody tries these: I mixed the flax seeds in with the other ingredients whole. As a consequence, the batter got really thick before they had a chance to break up. Oh well. If you like “crunchy” brownies then these would have been perfect for you 🙂 I didn’t mind a little extra chew. For my afternoon snack, I made a tray of brownie and goat milk yogurt.

Goat Milk Yogurt, Raw Vegan Brownie Clump

Raw Vegan Raspberry Brownie

They don’t really hold together very well, either, but there flavor is superb! Maybe the just need a chance to sit out so some of the water from the syrup comes off. No lie, though, this was some of the tastiest chocolate I’ve had; I think the raspberry worked perfect with the dates for a fruitiness to it all. And it complimented the creamy, slightly fatty goat milk yogurt well. There’s something about raw food where I can eat less and feel more energized and more satisfied, even if all that is is pudding and brownies. Dinner, however, was not raw; dinner was actually cooked by 4 and then just reheated for supper time.

Vegan Mealtoaf With Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli Fries With Vinegar Ketchup

I really need to get to Dedham Whole Foods again to buy a pound of nutritional yeast; sprinkle that on a led pipe and it’d be delicious, I tell ya. This was not juicy red meat. But it was pretty good. There’s about 4 servings left and as we all know this is MUCH better after a few days of sitting so I’m pretty excited for some leftover action 😀 And now… I could use coffee(and chocolate). Maybe that Steaz has caffeine in it? Because I feel like I’m dragging. That’s the beauty of a single-cup coffee maker, my friends. Happy cookie Friday night!

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