The Fastest My Heart Has Ever Beat

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

I’m pretty much the textbook runner in a medical sense: low weight, low resting heart rate, low blood pressure, etc. Even when I “run”(more like jog), I’m not pushing it too hard to strain myself. But last night–well, first there was oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Because warm carbs and Mighty Maple are a good way to start any time. So what made my heart beat so fast? Well, if you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure I annoyed you with my constant updating of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. It was a good one. I’ve got it on Tivo and might watch it again. This was pretty much me the entire time:

Nervous

Nervous

And I was SO relieved at the end when they didn’t kill off anyone worth it. In the 2nd half, I’d say I needed this dark chocolate to pull through some of the scary moments.

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

That would be 10 squares Dark Chocolate Mint by Alter Eco, which is amazing, and 8 squares of Trader Joe’s knock-off chocolate which is “meh”. Dear Trader Joe, please stop making borderline infringing products that aren’t even as good. Like your milk chocolate peanut butter eggs that had hardly any peanut butter? Yeah, don’t do that again.

Well I made it through Grey’s, and got to bed eventually(which wasn’t easy). For the record, as ridiculous as I’m sure I appeared to everyone else around here, my dad walked into the room at 9:30, saw one shooting, and said he couldn’t handle it. So at least I watched it.

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

BBQ Popchips

BBQ Popchips

Breakfast was, well, not. Oatmeal and yogurt weren’t on the top of my list so I decided to have “a real meal”. It might have all been an excuse to eat Barbeque popchips. Maybe. And now I feel like I’m missing that sweetness of breakfast. Boo 😦 Breakfast for lunch? That could be on the menu to make up for it.

What television shows do you get invested in? Do we have time to list all of mine? Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Big Brother, just to name a few.

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DIY: Fancy Nut Butters

Posted on May 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good, flavorful nut butter. And I will happily fork up the cash for it(don’t assume I haven’t paid $10+ for a single jar). But that’s not always the most wallet friendly way to eat, even if the cost per serving is relatively low. And sometimes the flavors you want just aren’t out there. Or maybe they haven’t arrived at a store near you(Justin, I’m looking at you here). That’s when you need to know to make your own. With that, I’m happy to announce the newest additions to my recipe page: nut butters.

Chocolate Nut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Vanilla Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons liquid sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

The benefit of all these recipes is that they use pantry-friendly ingredients and require no food processor. Of course, I also have recipes for nut butters that start from scratch. I’ll be sure to add those over the Summer(when my food processor isn’t stashed underneath my bed).

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Otherwise, I’ve been eating chocolate still. Lots and lots of chocolate. Why choose between Green & Black’s ginger and Alter Eco’s dark chocolate mint when you can have both? Beats me.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

And oatmeal with the aforementioned vanilla peanut butter. I don’t actually measure out the ingredients–I eyeball it based on how hungry I am. But I wanted to give those for a good starting point. Feel free to change it up to fit your taste!

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

And 1/2 of an Honest Foods apple ginger bar I found in the fridge when I was feeling snackish. This was SO GOOD heated up in the microwave; it became like the topping to an apple crisp–Yum!

This morning, the plan was to go to the gym first thing. But I wasn’t feeling it. New plan? Make cinnamon raisin almond butter.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

If you haven’t tried siggi’s, well I can only tell you what you’re missing then. It is so smooth and creamy in texture, and the speckles of vanilla bean = pure love. But none of their flavors are sweet enough for me on their own 😦 Which might be OK if they had a little added fat to make them richer but they don’t. Fruit jam to the rescue(and a little almond butter snuck in their as well).

I hope you whip up some nut butter for your Cookie Friday. I’m sure a shmear of cinnamon raisin almond butter on this cookie would be perfect. Now I really must start my day! Lot’s of paper writing to do I’m actually looking forward to. What, what?

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Ice Cream For A Cause

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

Hello, hello! I feel like this weekend totally flew past me between the auction Friday night to Avery’s birthday party to now being back in my dorm room and attending classes again with little to no transition in between. When the flow goes, go with it!

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

We packed up the car last night and made it to the Whole Foods in Providence in record time. Of course, we hit up the salad bar while grabbing groceries. My plate had some avocado-rubbed kale, sweet chili tofu, and pepper strips. The tofu was to die for. I can’t begin to explain how crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside it was. And the sweet and heat balanced perfectly. I would have had more, except that wasn’t really my dinner…

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social

As any Rhode Islander knows, there were massive floodings earlier in the month from a huge rainstorm that hit us. Businesses and houses were destroyed, and Whole Foods was holding an ice cream social to help raise money for those families. I can definitely get into ice cream for dinner for charity.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

I was hoping they’d break out the fun and funky pints for this, but they just had 365 vanilla and chocolate :-/ I got vanilla ice cream with organic chocolate sauce, 365 whipped cream, and a natural maraschino cherry. Sundaes always taste better when someone else makes them for you with a heavy hand. The 365 vanilla is OK, but I’ve definitely branched out from dairy-based ice cream and have had better. Other fun finds(but not purchases) at Whole Foods were the new So Delicious flavors in stock and Daiya vegan cheese!

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

While working on some homework not-so-hard, I had the snack of champions: an apple, mint dark chocolate, and decaf coffee. Could I have had a little more sugar last night? It was all for a good cause–let’s keep that in mind. Last Summer I managed to switch from caffeine to decaf coffee; this year it’s been about weening off the stuff completely from the acidity, but I do have about a cup a day, which is probably an ideal balance of antioxidants and acidity. I don’t think I could/would give it up completely.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

I couldn’t deal with more sugar before bed so I went the spicy route with The Heat Is On peanut butter and a savory Omega-3 egg. It might be hard to believe it through my sweet tooth and all, but I definitely could not go a day without a good deal of savoriness. Sometimes, my garlic tooth is just as big.

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Back to classes and rain meant back to runs first thing, so I woke up at 6:30 to squeeze an 8-miler in before class. Normally, dairy and protein wouldn’t work for me before a run. But it was all I was craving. And since I was going to run anyway, I thought why not have the damn pomegranate Chobani with Alter Eco dark chocolate quinoa.

10 Miles In 86:16

10 Miles In 86:16

Something must have worked, because I extended my run to 10 miles and ran at a 7mph pace. The best part was finding out through the news that the forecast for Sunday’s half-marathon is sunny and warm! Crossing my fingers…

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Finally, for breakfast I was craving craisins. I just wish there was a bar called that so I could have known what to eat so much easier. I mixed Crofter’s Organic Europe jam in a plain chobani and topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dried cranberries–holy yum were these soft and squishy! On the side I had oatmeal with another egg and some Teddie’s pb sweetened up a tad. In class I got bored and calculated that I ate around 50g of protein and all before lunch! Sure, you could just take 2 scoops of a powder and call it at that. But I love getting so much nourishment from real food.

Do you have any cooking goals? 2 of the things this weekend inspired me to do are 1) use my food processor to make more complex and delicious raw foods and 2) learn to fry tofu. An ironic pairing, no? Well, if things go my way today, I’ll be incorporating one of those into dinner… Is there anything you want to learn to do in the kitchen?

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The Earth Will Forgive Me

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

*I don’t think google reader has yet picked up this morning’s post at the time I’m writing this. I’m hoping this was just an individual problem, but if it persists I’ll look into it*

So, if I was supposed to “celebrate” the earth in some way today, the earth is going to have to forgive me. To be honest, I find a lot of the notions put forth about Earth Day a little silly. The whole thing is counterproductive: we build up so much about recycling and being green this 1 time a year that it’s as if to say we aren’t expected to do this all the time. We are.

3 things have really rubbed me the wrong way today

  • Having to go down to the bank this morning to cancel my current card and request a new one to be sent to me in 5-7 business days. Looks like I won’t be purchasing any peanut butter online in that time(but maybe that’s a good thing). Oh, at least while I was down there I bought a gingerade kombucha. No need for the day to totally suck, right?
Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

  • Cookies/Bars that use banana as a binder. Don’t ask me why but I hate these and I’ve been seeing them everywhere recently. If you made them and have been eating them and love them, that’s all that matters. Personally, I’ve never had a baking success with a banana besides banana goodness bread, and even that relies on eggs.
  • The idea that eating vegetarian today at all has to do with “celebrating Earth Day”. I don’t know how to feel about this one other than like it’s a personal attack saying you can’t eat meat and also be green. You can. You can  also be a vegan who litters. Shocker. I happily and greenily ate my naturally-raised, grass-fed burger for lunch today.
Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

(Not so) funny story. When I got to class, my friend Alex knocked this all over the floor :-/ I really didn’t have anything else to eat, so I just ate it anyway, hoping things were clean enough(most actually went onto her purse). Was that green? I don’t know. But at least it still tasted good. I tossed the sweet potatoes in EVOO after they grilled in my pan for added fat and flavor. Delicious. Since I wasn’t even all that hungry to begin with, this held me over well into the afternoon.

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to be green is with our shopping cart and the foods we buy. That’s why so often I look for good companies like Alter Eco who not only make tasty chocolates but use fair-trade, organic ingredients. This particular flavor is not my favorite(I hate crunchies in my chocolate), but I’m still working on project clean out.

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I also snacked on an organic apple. As I’ve said in posts before, I don’t always by local or organic produce, simply because it’s not affordable 100% of the time. If there’s a sale, or it’s a small cost extra or something, I’ll gladly buy organic, even choosing a pink lady over my beloved red delicious. I’ll eat pink to be green.

Dinner was something special tonight. I’m going home for the weekend for an event tomorrow night and then one Friday, so my dad came down to pick me up and start moving things home. On the way, he grabbed take out from Garden Grille that I placed. I tried a new dish: their vegan and gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

How did it taste? Honestly, I just uploaded the picture and need to start packing the car, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow 😉

What’s something you do year round that’s green? Proceeds for my favorite chocolate bar by Endangered Species go towards rain forest preservation. I wonder how many trees the 6 I’ve bought in the past week have saved… But seriously, I do believe my greenest contribution takes place in the market, and I take pride in that. Today, in fact, I signed up for a program next Fall to get fresh produce from local farmers weekly through my college. If that ain’t green, neither is broccoli.

Perhaps more controversially, Do you see eating green and eating vegetarian as one in the same? I can picture an indirect connection being made between the two. But to directly relate one another is, I think, invalid.

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Rough Night And Maple Talk

Posted on April 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ugh, I don’t know where to start. Aren’t Sunday mornings when you’re supposed to wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated and ready to tackle on another day? I definitely was not able to get enough sleep, and my throat’s soar so I’m drinking tea like there were a fire there and I could put it out :-/ On the bright side, my Saturday night started out promising.

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

I sat down with this Walnut Date Boomi Bar to watch Anchorman and get some serious work done. You’d think the two wouldn’t work together, but they did. Every time I see that movie, I like it more(I hated it to begin with so that doesn’t have to be saying much). The bar as also not a disappointment; I loved how it tasted simply of walnuts, dried fruit, and a touch of honey. I think there could have been the raisins left out and honey brushed up a bit, but overall this was fantastic. And hand rolled?! Did I read that right? Amazing.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

I wasn’t hungry for much, so I just finished off the night with the rest of my Alter Eco dark chocolate mint. I can’t believe 2 night-time snacks and this bar is already gone 😦 I’ll have to get another; I love the bits of whole sugar in here! It’s definitely a textural and taste sensation.

I also managed to write and submit a full rough draft of my before going to bed!! That was the one thing I’ve had looming over my head all weekend, and to be honest I thought it would take a lot longer and I might not get it down with all my other work. But now I feel like I won’t be chained to books until Tuesday night, and that’s a very good thing 😀

2 Apples

2 Apples

Around 2:45 was when the trouble began; I woke up to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep 😦 There was a loud party downstairs that kept me up probably until 4:20. I ate an apple around 3 and then another around 4. I get that people want to party, I do. I can’t really blame them. But last night was absurd. At one point, a girl got her feelings hurt apparently and took it upon herself to run around screaming and crying and banging. After some random person wrote on my door, I locked things up.

But the past is the past.I slept in a bit extra, woke up with a sore throat, and finally had an appetite for breakfast. Food tastes so much better when you really, truly want it. And all I wanted was a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

And a big bowl it was. I upped the amount of grains and made a special peanut butter out of Teddie’s, sea salt, brown sugar, and maple butter. I wanted to try and remake Garden Grille’s, but this wasn’t quite that good. On the side, I had a pineapple Chobani, hoping that the probiotics in there will help prevent anything I might be coming down with.

Maple Talk

As if you can’t tell by the maple butter dousing my oatmeal, I’m a maple freak. But it occured to me that not everyone grew up in New England with lumberjack grandparents who feed a maple addiction, so I thought I’d give a little lesson on the different kinds of maple. I’d also like to take now to unveil my review page Justin’s Maple Almond Butter; I’ve had this in my pantry almost a year now and finally got around to writing about it.

Maple Syrup: The most common form of maple available, the sap from the tree is cooked down to a syrup, making for a pure, unrefined sweetener thinner than honey and involving no animal by-product.

Maple Taffy: This is the product of cooking down maple syrup a bit more. More moisture is taken out, leaving a rich, thick taffy. Unsuitable for pouring over breakfast goods, this is reserved mostly for use on ice cream or even snow.

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar: The sugar is the maple with all of its moisture removed. It is solid at room temperature and has a brown, rich flavor to it that regular sugar doesn’t. It can be substituted in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio with regular sugar.

Maple Butter: With a slightly higher moisture content than maple sugar, maple butter has to be kept in the fridge lest it melt into a thick taffy. Maple butter is granulated and perfect for spreading on toast. Note: It involves no real butter and is 100% maple.

Clearly, we New Englanders have a religion around maple products. Don’t try to tell me the “maple flavored syrups” or “sugar free maple syrup” are any kind of real food; they aren’t. You just can’t go wrong with the pure, true stuff itself. But if maple syrup isn’t your thing and chocolate is, check out Avery’s Chocomize giveaway!

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I Can’t Pass Those Bars

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ll never be a lawyer, so I don’t have to worry about passing this bar.

And it will be a while until I can get into this kind of bar. But there’s another kind that if I were a cowboy I’d say I just can’t quit…

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Mint

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Mint

Chocolate bars, of course! This bar from Alter-Eco was another one I the Easter Bunny grabbed or my basket; it was on a recommendation from a friend, and since I hadn’t yet found a dark chocolate mint bar I liked I thought it was worth the shot…

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Bar

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Bar

Good choice, Mr. Bunny! This bar in a matter of minutes became one of my favorites. I don’t know where to start; the flavor was perfectly minty; the raw sugar added an amazing subtle crunch to it. It was just perfection! I had to review this one here, if only to remind myself one day of how much I loved it.

Crofter's Europe Spread And Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter

Crofter's Europe Spread And Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter

I also had(while watching The Biggest Loser, no less), a bowl of oatmeal. Since oats are all about the toppings, I picked out two winners here between Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter and Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Crofter's Europe Spread

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Crofter's Europe Spread

Suuuh-weet. I forgot how good warm jam on oatmeal can be; it doesn’t sound appetizing, but it’s yum! And the sweetness of both of these spreads was unreal. I guess you can never go wrong with 2 good things.

You would think sleeping in would be a good thing, too; but I’ve never felt more behind than this morning 😦 It’s almost 10, and I haven’t run, gotten all the work done for today or tomorrow, and am just now finishing off this breakfast.

Oats With Mighty Maple,Pomegranate Chobani With Ambrosia Granola And Dark Chocolate

Oats With Mighty Maple, Pomegranate Chobani With Ambrosia Granola And Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Ambrosia Granola And Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Ambrosia Granola And Dark Chocolate

On a simple oatmeal/oatbran blend I added a scoop of Mighty Maple. What was much more interesting was the pomegranate yogurt topped with Nuts About Granola‘s Ambrosia granola. The flavors of this unique “granola of the Gods” are pomegranate, mango, and walnut. I loved the flavors from mango and cinnamon, which really made these feel both earthy and godly. It was also great to read how a lot of the ingredients were local to the company; touches like that are so inspiring. You can click on this link to read my review. And again, I couldn’t pass up this bar; I figure if I’m going to be stressed out it might as well be with chocolate in hand…

What time do you wake up? And when do you run? And how does it all fit together? I’m very curious, clearly. There are only so many hours in the day, unfortunately, and today mine will not be spent in the kitchen, but luckily I have enough leftovers/fast foods to make that not an issue

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Chocolate Makes The Meal

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

Believe it or not, I don’t actually ever realize how much chocolate I eat until someone points it out, or that it might not be normal for everyone to have chocolate at every point in there day. I can’t fathom how my 9 year old cousin doesn’t like chocolate(I think there’s genetic testing to done here). It goes without saying that I started last night off with–what else–chocolate.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I broke in to the Righteously Raw chocolate bar I splurged on over the weekend, taking half and save the rest for another time.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I was intrigued to say the least to see how they would work lucuma and dates into a raw caramel. In short: they didn’t :-/ I guess caramel is just something too difficult to make with raw ingredients, because this really didn’t remind me of that. Oh well. Would I pay another 3.50 for the 1/2 a bar I ate? Probably not, but you gotta experience these things one and a while.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Cacao Coconut Butter

A little later and why not more chocolate? This time in the way of my homemade dormmade chocolate coconut butter(recipe to come) along side some butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty. The cacao coconut butter is the perfect consistency at room temp, but melts to water over oatmeal or hardens to chocolate in yogurt. What to do, oh, what to do? I suppose neither are really a “problem” when it tastes that good 😀

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

This morning I actually felt energized when I woke up at 6:15; I was not expecting that. Because I dream of chocolate while others dream of Jeannie, I grabbed 5 squares of my favorite dark chocolate bar made by Endangered Species. There’s no harm in a little chocolate prerun for some quick carbs when it’s organic and saving the rain forest 😉

10 Miles In 89:56

For whatever reason, I have a lot easier time doing long runs if I extend the time from the start rather than at the end; it’s like all those minutes before 7am don’t even count! I totally could have gone longer to watch Kirstie Alley on the Today Show had I not had to get to class. I was just happy to squeeze 10 miles in under 90 minutes so that I could get back, make a breakfast, and get to class.

Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate

Really, chocolate should be at every breakfast table. At least this one from Alter Eco has a complete protein in it in the form of quinoa. Note: Do not leave squares of chocolate next to the heat vent of the computer unattended.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Raw Cashew Butter, Greek Yogurt With Superfruits And Quinoa Dark Chocolate

I love how fast oatmeal cooks! Is that a silly thing to love? Regardless, it’s this college boy’s dream food. I made pumpkin oatmeal and topped it with raw cashew butter from Love Raw Foods and butter toffee peanut butter fromNaturally Nutty. This combo was fantastic. Seriously, both of these nut butters are incredibly rich and the duo had such a Wow! factor to them. They’re also so different–one’s raw whereas the other is sugared and buttered up. You’ve just got to love each for their own right 🙂

Greek Yogurt With Superfruit Spread And Dark Quinoa Chocolate

The yogurt, likewise, was love. I mixed in Europe superfruits spread from Crofters Organic into a 2% plain yogurt and added on some shavings of Alter Eco‘s dark quinoa chocolate. I won’t go into too much detail now because I reposted my review in just a little bit but I loved the crunch of this, and I don’t even normally like “crispy” chocolate! Something about the quinoa, though, was perfectly cacao.

Now, will you get me to admit that I eat too much chocolate? On the contrary, I’d probably tear up the internet looking for all the articles on chocolate’s health benefits than admit to that. And if you asked me what kind of chocolate’s best, I’d point you to companies that hold organic and fair trade ingredients at a premium, like Alter Eco does. This company sent me a few bars to review, and now that I’ve nibbled on both I want to share my thoughts. Universal of all their products is their commitment to equality and the ingredients, which was a philosophy I could not help but admire. Beyond that, their products tasted good, too 😉

Dark Velvet Chocolate

8/10: First to get the elephant out of the room: this is in no way–in my opinion–a dark chocolate bar. Not only does it have dairy solids in it, the flavor of them shines through. That’s really not a bad thing though; on the contrary, I loved the rich, buttery tone to it. It just would have scored higher with me if it didn’t advertise itself as “dark” with a “touch” of milk. I also loved the simple, fair trade, origin ingredients, and that it had no soy or lecithin. This bar was as pure and ethical as they come, and if you want a “feel good” chocolate, it certainly shares that mission.

Dark Quinoa Chocolate

9.5/10: I’ve always thought chocolate with crispies in it to make it “interesting” always turned out bland and airy more than anything else. Alter Eco has made a truly interesting chocolate bar by inserting quinoa–not puffed rice–for a nice and satisfying crunch–not crisp. This seemed to me an ingenious move as a reminder of the Amazonian origins of cacao, as if the fact that they locate their cocoa and sugar to fairly traded farmers in Bolivia wasn’t enough. The company and thus the chocolate bar are entirely ethical and entirely tasty; even the chocolate, while “only” 61% cacao, had a much deeper, darker bitterness to it that I loved. While it may cost a little more because it’s so gourmet and might be hard to find, for a reasonable splurge or chocolate lover’s present this bar is perfect.

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It’s Rough To Rest

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For a non-bachelor watcher, there was nothing on TV last night. Now can we stop hearing about Jake and all the complaints over the fake girls? Please? I really wanted a Pomegranate Chobani but all I had on hand was plain so I whipped one up.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Dark Velvet Chocolate

In the mix went 1oz Pom Wonderful juice and a tablespoon of the Europe superfruit spread from Crofters with some stevia. Together it was all “OK” but not quite up to par with a real pomegranate yogurt; I did not miss the seeds, though. On top, of course, was a little bit of chocolate.

Alter Eco Dark Velvet Chocolate

This new bar from alter eco called Dark Velvet Chocolate. On the one hand, it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs “It’s not dark chocolate if it has milk in it!”. On the other hand, I was too busy savoring it to scream anything. The butterfat and milk in this make it sooo creamy and good. And I like that it had no soy and the ingredients were all fair trade and mentioned the origin. Very eco-aware! It was a fun treat to be working on my paper with. I’m writing about The First Baptist Church, which–in Providence–is the first Baptist Church. The building itself(what I’m concerned with) is only as old as 1775, but then again so is our Nation.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nutritional Yeast

Before bed, I made a snack. How many times can I eat this same combination? Apparently, a lot. It’s a better choice though than whipping out the cheddar popchips and dipping them in PB, and with the same flavor, too! And there was still nothing on TV. I might have been guilty of even submitting and turning on the Bachelor for a time. Maybe.

Munch Bar

Just when I thought I was going to go to bed, something in my stomach was irking me to try out this bar. What the heck?! I had practically just eaten a full meal between the oatmeal and yogurt; but my hunger was just raging. My dad found this at Walgreens and gave it to me. It’s an all-natural, 6-ingredient candy bar whose first ingredients is peanuts and it’s made by the Mars company. Lo and behold, it even has its own website! It was actually really good, too, and reminded me of chunky peanut brittle. I would definitely be happy to find more candy bars like this on store shelves(as opposed to those whose 2nd ingredient is artificial red coloring and 3rd trans fat).

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds, Oatmeal, 2 Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese

This morning felt so uninteresting. I slept in a good 75 minutes, read a bit while watching TV, showered, checked emails, and cooked eggs. I have to wonder how it is I wound up with a life where I cook eggs before class in college; it’s a good thing they take about 2 minutes.

Omelet Oatmeal

Considering the difficulties of perfectly cooking oatmeal, eggs, and melting cheese, this wasn’t bad at all. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave, topped with slightly undercooked scrambled eggs from a pan, and topped that with cheese microwaving a little longer to melt it and covering to let the steam finish it off. It was actually all pretty well incorporated and still warm when I got to class.

Red Delicious Apple

And walking in the door I grabbed this apple to snack on while posting because I was still hungry. There’s something that feels backwards about needing to eat more when you know you’re taking a rest day; at the same time, I know in the back of my mind that if you’re hungry for it, it won’t be bad for you. In general, I have a rough time with rest days; I just want to run! But 20-someodd days of running straight and I was definitely feeling fatigued from overtraining. And for what? A half marathon I know I’ll be able to complete? It’s not worth it to push that hard, at least without sitting down to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a spoon at some point in that time frame. How do you “deal” with rest days? Do you look forward to them, or do they make you cringe? I’m definitely the latter, but I think I have enough going on today that my hands will be too busy to notice. I still have to make beef burgers for lunch!

And check out this awesome chia seed giveaway.

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