Today Was A Fairytale

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

I’ve had that Taylor Swift song stuc in my head for the longest time now. At least today it was pretty applicable! I was in such a bad mood this morning, but once the day got going things turned for the better. I even got to visit 3 of my favorite places 😀 Any guesses where those might be?

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

This mornings breakfast was not enough to make me happy; I followed up a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut btuter with a slightly smaller bowl of oats with peanut butter. At least I know what I like? The nut butter was 365 creamy mixed with Madhava’s vanilla agave; I swear this made it taste like Reese’s PB! Sooooo good.

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

As if the morning weren’t off enough, I decided to drink a root beer Zevia at 11am before running. Who am I?! I didn’t feel like running; but I didn’t feel like not running. At that, I went to the gym where I could take it easy on the treadmill watching Mr. Deeds.

8 Treadmill Miles In 69:54

8 Treadmill Miles In 69:54

I did 8 miles, and they didn’t go slow or fast; they just sort of “went” and I was tuned out, listening to my iPod. At some point, I had a grand idea on how to change the day around. After I finished running 8 miles in 69:54, I ran another 3.27 miles outside in around 27 minutes and ended at one of my favorite places.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

Love Garden Grille! Especially their brunch menu, which is only available on Sundays. Therefore, I’d have been a fool not to go. Also, my dad was driving down to Providence for the afternoon, and he was easy to persuade to eat here, too; we all just love their food!

Home Fries

Home Fries

Home Fries, Homemade Tofu Bacon, Peanut Butter

Home Fries, Homemade Tofu Bacon, Peanut Butter

I also love how flexible they let me be ordering. My favorite thing by far of theirs is the home fries, which comes as a side to every dish. And while–to their credit–all their dishes sound really good, I’m a man of simple tastes; I’m plenty happy with just their home fries, so I ordered a side of them and a side of their homemade tofu bacon and asked for a little dish of peanut butter.

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

Holy yum! This is an amazing flavor combination with the rich flavors of peanut butter and hash fat. It’s an odd combination, but I get it every time. How many more do you think before I get a menu item named after me? The Evan Hash.

J.P. Licks

J.P. Licks

After that amazing lunch, we decided to do something a little more fun for the day. I’ve had a hankering for a J.P. Licks ice cream all week! J.P. Licks is a local ice creamery that prides itself in wholesome, quality ingredients and fun flavors. The closest one to Brown is in Dedham(not close at all), so I was happy for the ride.

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

This was so well worth the wait. I ordered a medium mint chip frozen yogurt with fresh whipped cream. I can pass up the canned stuff no problem, but if you tell me your cream is homespun, I need to take a taste 😀 The ice cream was so delicious! I love how J.P. Licks keeps the crap ingredients out: no fake green dye here. And lucky for us, in that same strip mall is New England’s largest Whole Foods! That’s my third favorite place from today.

Meat Counter

Meat Counter

Can I tell you I was a little in heaven at this Whole Foods? They didn’t just have the 85/15 grass-fed beef I was looking for, they had 85/15 local beef(from Maine) and 85/15 bison! I’ve never had so many choices when getting ethical meat before. I stuck with the grass-fed, but the local meat was duly noted for the Summer grilling season.

KIND Nut Delight

KIND Nut Delight

When we stopped at Eastside Marketplace on the way back to get some cheaper groceries, I snacked on a KIND bar. The ice cream was delicious but that low-fat yogurt is like a drink so some nuts were a good change of pace.

Groceries

Groceries

For the week, I grabbed

  • Grass-Fed beef
  • Chickpeas
  • Tuna
  • Organic Oatmeal
  • 365 Peanut Butter
  • Kombuchas
  • Organic Coconut Milk
  • Wildwood Veggie Burgers
  • Tofu
  • Divine Chocolate Bars
  • Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Tumeric
  • Organic Sweet Potatoes

I love a good grocery shop to prepare me for the week! And between sales and coupons, we saved $15 easy on all of that.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup

Strawberry Coconut Avocado Salad

Strawberry Coconut Avocado Salad

This dinner was the perfect ending for today. The fresh meat made for an amazingly juicy, delicious burger. Instead of sweet potato fries, I wanted to get some greens in me for today. I made a salad with cut strawberries, avocado, and coconut milk. The flavor pairing was unreal here and it tasted just like I hoped it would. I just love the soft, rich avocado on salad.

Where’s one favorite place you wish you could be right now? I could definitely go for an after dinner dessert at J.P. Licks 😉 Or I’d love to watch Date Night at a little 3-screen movie theater in my hometown they tore down around 7 years ago.

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Makes Me Want To Shout

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

Today has made me want to shout! Not like, “Hey, you kids. Get off my lawn!” kind of shout, but as in you make me want to shout, throw my hands up and shout, throw my hands up and shout. It’s been that good! It’s reminded me of how weekends should be: filled with friends, family, and fun, and not responsibilities.

1/2 A Munch Bar

After this morning, my parents and grandmother drove down to Providence. We quickly swung by the Brown gymnasium so I could shout at a high school friend who was visiting for a fencing tournament and say hi. After that we drove to Bellingham to pick some things up, and back to Providence for a late brunch. Since I knew we weren’t eating until 2:30, I broke off 1/2 a Munch bar to munch on.

Garden Grille Cafe

My dad and I liked Garden Grille Cafe so much Wednesday night, we thought it’d be great to bring my mom and grandmother. This time, of course, it was light out 🙂 Their brunch menu is full of good things. Everyone else seemed to want French toast but they were out of the batter 😦 That ended up being fine because no one had complaints with what we did get.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes With BBQ Sauce

For the table, we ordered a side of grilled sweet potatoes with BBQ sauce. Where else could you get a plate of sweet potatoes for $6? Love it. And so did everyone else! There were only about 3 wedges left after everything which we boxed up.

Homemade Tofu Bacon

When I saw “homemade tofu bacon” as a side, I knew we had to order some; I just wanted to shout it at the waitress. Since this was homemade from regular tofu and not made in a factory, it didn’t have to count for Lent as “prepared soy”. It wasn’t as crispy as regular bacon, but had good flavor. My grandmother even ate it and loved it! I don’t think, however, she realized this wasn’t made from real pig. She also loved her vegan blueberry pancakes, but was ready to shout when she didn’t get real heavy cream at first for her coffee(maybe that was a good thing).

Garden Tofu Scramble With Hash, Grilled Sweet Potato With BBQ Sauce, 2 Tofu Slices

For my plate, I ordered the garden tofu scramble “with grilled seasonal vegetables, served with home fries and toast”. I gave away the toast(not gluten-free) and also took a wedge of sweet potato and 2 strips of bacon.

Empty Plate

Obviously, I hated it and wanted to shout out my frustration 🙂 This was amazing and I need to go here more often(it’s only about 2.5 miles down the road–an easy run). It was all a little heavily oiled, but isn’t that how brunches are supposed to be? The hash was easily the best part; next time I come, I’m just going to order that as my main because anything else was just filler. Likewise, the sweet potato seemed a little bland compared to the hash with regular and sweet potatoes in it. Have I shouted enough about the hash?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

On the way out, I picked up one of their vegan chocolate chip hemp cookies. This was shouting my name, even though it wasn’t gluten-free. I just love over-sized and soft cookies 🙂 Everybody loved the restaurant; my grandmother who couldn’t even tell you what a vegan meal would look like wants to go back for dinner some time! Hehe, too bad it’s so far from home(but not from me :-)).

New Bowl

We went grocery shopping and wound up at Targe where I was able to get a new bowl! Isn’t this so radically different from my last one 😉 What can I say? I know what I like. This really is what reminded me of a good ol’ care-free weekend, because I was able to enjoy just riding around and going places without thinking “Oh shoot, I have to write that paper!” I still do have to write that paper; I just wasn’t thinking about it.

Whole Foods Groceries

All the groceries were more-or-less the standards: copious amount of yogurt and soy yogurt, some grass-fed beef(on sale this week!), tofu, chickpeas(why don’t I keep a few cans of this around more often?), and agave nectar(been going through this a bit too fast lately…).

Eastside Market Groceries

At Eastside Market, I grabbed 2 gingerade kombucha(still on sale, woohoo!), nutritional yeast, sweet potato, avocado, and pumpkin. Again–it’s not like I’m radically changing my diet this week.

Jokerz And Raw Caramel Chocolate

I did “treat” myself to 2 “fun purchases”: another Jokerz bar and a new raw chocolate. Normally, dropping $10 for so little chocolate would make me want to shout(I mean, I better be buying a cacao tree for that price). But since I won that prize for my Greek exam and then another $583 for tieing for 1st in the Latin exam(did I forget to mention this?), I thought a little self-indulgence was due. I can’t wait to see if they were worth it!

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

As if I needed any more self-indulgence, I broke in to my cookie. I cut half and ate it from my new bowl just because I could. This reeaaallly made me want to shout!  It was so soft and chewy–absolutely perfect for how I like my cookies. It wasn’t at all filling, probably not whole-grain, and sugary/butter as all hell; it was the perfect over-sized cookie 🙂 I like how the sweetness of the chocolate contrasted with slightly-savory hemp, too; I never would have thought to do that flavor combo. All that cookie adoration/putting away of groceries made dinner a real quickie:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Nutritional Yeast, And Sea Salt, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

I was going to make a burger with sweet potatoes, but since I had so much potato at lunch and didn’t get the ball going on cooking them, I just shouted out a c’est la vie and went with a breakfast-for-dinner motif. I love how savory this meal turned out; the nutritional yeast on pumpkin with saltiness tastes just like a vegan cheddar cheese, and the soy/hulled hemp seed combo was more savory, protein goodness. Not going to lie: I also love savory meals because they give me a sweet tooth for dessert 🙂 Until tomorrow!

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“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning marked a glorious return to outside running. I’m a bit of a nit-pick when it comes to the weather; I like it hot and sunny, 80’s please. But with my race coming up in 3 weekends, I thought it would be good to do some outdoor running while the weather was so gorgeous today. 50! It felt like springtime. So I laced up, booted up the Garmin, and hit the streets of Providence down the Eastside path. I’m not the biggest fan or run reports, but since this was my first time outside in nearly 4 months, I think it’s worth one 😉

Through The Window

Mile 1: All I could think was how much I wanted to grill, drink a blueberry smoothie, and eat a peach! Memories of Summer came flooding back and I felt incredible. Everything felt alive again.

Mile 2-3: It started to hit me: These weren’t treadmill miles I was running. In my mind, miles on the ‘mill are as good as the road; my legs, however, disagree, and it didn’t help that at times the path was not paved and still soaked from snow a few days ago. I really didn’t know how long I could go.

Mile 4: I just tried to keep my mind off of things, and even worked on a smoothie recipe(to follow).

Mile 5: Should I stick with my intentions for 9 miles or cut back to 6? No, I can do this!I’ve done it once and I can do it again, literally(the run I was on had me repeat a 3-mile path route.

Mile 6-7: I really soaked up the sun, enjoyed the company of fellow runners and dogs. Getting out of my mind was the key.

Mile 8-9.5: I had a great time and a great run. I even ran into Whole Foods to grab a blueberry Chobani and tried not to dilly-dally looking at groceries too much(though I easily could have).

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

Will I hit the streets again sometime soon? You betcha! Probably even tomorrow. During the week, I really like running 1st thing, so that time will probably be at the gym. But the weekends can be another story. I was also ready to refuel(food does make fun fuel, after all), and whipped together that smoothie I mentioned.

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

  • 1 blueberry Chobani
  • 1/4 unsweetened Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 5 ice cubes

This was the perfect smoothie considering what I had on hand. It’s full of quick carbs, complete protein, and a little fat to help with the fat-soluble nutrients. Not only is a smoothie a great way to cool down, it also let me not worry about making a full lunch fast so that I could shower, rest up, and put together a good meal.

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

You would not believe how soft a sweet potato is after 4 1/2 hours in the oven; it’s hardly a solid at that point. I put it in at 9:30 when I anticipated getting back from my run late. I turned off the oven at 10:30 but let it continue cooking in there in the foil. By the time the burger was done at 2, the sweet potato could have fallen apart in my hand. So as to not waste the beef fat, I sliced it in half and charred it in my pan–easy clean up, too! It all tasted soft and delicious(even the meat, which was–admittedly–undercooked). My only complaint would be that sweet potatoes hardly feel filling after all that.

After almost 10 miles outside, sitting in, doing work, and watching a movie sounded like a goodthing to me. 95% of the movies I watch are on TV, so I was pretty excited to stumble on The Da Vinci Code not 5 minutes in. I also was really craving a brownie, but wasn’t about to walk the mile to Whole Foods to get one. What to do?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

The freezer to the rescue! I found the last two-bite bits of these brownies I made for New Years Eve with peanut butter chips. Holy yum! They were still as good after dethawing. The trick to a good brownie is good chocolate chips in them.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

A little later and I was feeling a bit… gluttenous? I don’t think Lent is healthy for me; it gives me the oddest meat cravings to repress on Friday only to erupt Saturday. This time, I thought I would try the chocolate bacon peanut brittle from Sir Francis Bacon.

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

Over soy yogurt, of course, because I eat up that irony! Wow–the brittle was an experience like no other. I recapped them both at the end, but I think the chocolate version was such an improvement over the original. You can really taste the milkfat in the chocolate and that’s pretty key.

Apple

Before dinner I snacked on this apple and plenty of coffee while reading all about the slave and sugar trade for class. All day I felt like I was either eating or thinking of what to eat next, which makes me wonder if outdoor miles really could be different from treadmill miles and require more food. Clearly, I was happy to oblige. But for dinner I really just wanted to sit down and eat a meal that would make me feel full.

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbreads

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

I also wanted picnic food! Today’s good weather had me thinking a tuna salad–as simple as they are–sounded perfect. When I was in pre-K, I remember getting served tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and making them scrape off the tuna and mayo; I was not a fan :-/ Now I make them with 365 brand wild caught tuna fish in spring water and greek yogurt(2% here) and love ’em! The broccoli felt fresh, and what could say picnic better than Dr. Krackerssunflower cheddar flatbread? It’s not a gluten-free food by any means. But I love the cheddar with the chewy sunflower seeds and any discomfort will be well worth it.

First of all, there’s this giveaway for Honest Foods bars to tell you about. Next up I have to ask how do you feel about movies on TV? Like I mentioned, they’re about all the movies I see. I’m looking through the TV Guide right now and it looks like not much other than Forest Gump will be on here. Humph. Lastly, let me review some bacon peanut brittle for you.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

8.5/10: No, your eyes do not deceive you. Sir Francis Bacon does indeed make a brittle composed of peanuts and bacon. A lot went through my mind in trying this. The first things I noticed were the instant aroma of smoked bacon opening the package and the abundance of ingredients in this brittle–perfect. I’ll admit that I was nervous–to say the least–that this would taste like a 7-Eleven reject. And it very well might have if the company didn’t put such tremendous care in making a smoky, robust brittle with a subtle sweetness to liven it all up. Thankfully, this tasted delicious and just as I described. I would not recommend this to anyone unsure about the idea of bacon and dessert; the flavor really is potent. But if you’re wacky for eccentric foods, this just might be worth tracking down and paying the rough-but-fair price tag.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

9/10: I don’t know what to say about the combination of peanuts, bacon, and milk chocolate other than–wow! This really was an improvement on the original bacon peanut brittle; not only are the pieces perfectly pre-proportioned because of the chocolate covering but the chocolate itself has the perfect milkfat content to be rich and powerful against the smokiness of the bacon. Similar to their other product, this is definitely something you need to be interested in before going whole hog and trying it. But if you know the flavors are for you, be a pig and dig in to the box of chocolates.

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Surprise Guest

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I mentioned I was in a rush this morning, but I never really made clear why on a day I had no class.

Truth was I had company to attend to! My friend, Eury, decided to take the train down from Boston for the day before she goes to England for a month(lucky duck!). I’ve known Eury litrally since day 1 of high school; for freshmen and sophomore year we had all the same classes and were in the same circle of friends. More recently, I met her in Boston to eat at Grezzo‘s here. While I was finishing up eating breakfast, Eury was understandably hungry from the train and walking. I whipped up something I know pretty well:

Who doesn’t love tofu, broccoli, and soy sauce? It was fun to catch up and have my mind off work while we chatted. One thing we had “planned” to do was bake cookies, which was a lot easier to manage in high school with visits at home than to dorms. Still, we had all the ingredients on hand for a certain recipe.

Eury brought 3/4 cup Florida sun crystals sugar, which was the perfect amount for 5-ingredient peanut butter cookies. I don’t keep much for baking around, but peanut butter and an egg I could certainly manage. I love this recipe because it’s so simple; it was gluten-free before I knew I needed that!

Even though we were dealing with a finicky oven, they came out great for the most part. For the peanut butter, we used 365 brand creamy. Not only is it so delicious, but there’s a coupon in the new Whole Deal flyer letting you get a jar for just $1! For peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt, that’s a bargain. After a bit more time, Eury needed to catch one of the trains heading out of Providence so we said our goodbyes. I gave her a coconut oil chocolate; I’m still waiting for the review 😉

After she left, I was definitely hungry for lunch. What I really wanted was a nice, juicy burger. Since it’s a Friday during Lent, that was not an option. And–to be honest–I was actually feeling resentful. I could tell that wasn’t right, but rather than sulk and force myself to eat something “real” while resenting it, I decided to go for an out-of-the-norm lunch that would just keep me happy. Last weekend, I picked up this raw cacao at the natural food store and decided to make really raw pudding.

I’ve had a lot of chocolate avocado pudding, but would you believe I’ve never had it 100% raw before? Well, now I have. In the bowl went avocado, coconut milk, raw cacao, and raw agave. To balance out the chocolate, I had one of our peanut butter cookies. The pudding didn’t taste ground breakingly different, but it did have a bit more of a bitter taste and was a unique experience. And, sure, I’d make it like that again. When this didn’t quite fill me up, I went for dessert.

It couldn’t have been wrong to go for another; the first one was part of lunch and this was a wholly different snack 😉 And who can turn down the smell of fresh cookies? With enough peanut butter and sugar in my system, I was able to get to the computer for the first time and get to work. Somewhere along the line, I had the nerve to try something I’d been thinking about for a few days now. It’s no secret I love my fakin’ tempeh bacon, but that’s off limit for Lent, too, so why not make my own?

Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a block of tempeh

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic or onion(optional)

Cut the block of tempeh vertically into thin strips with a sharp knife. Lay these out carefully in a deep dish with a flat bottom or in a sealed plastic bag. In a small cup, mix together the wet ingredients and spices if using. Pour the marinade over the tempeh bacon, and toss and turn until well coated. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes. Before preparing, pat dry with a paper towel. Cook either heated in a pan with a teaspoon of oil or in the microwave on a paper towel.

After this plop of Mighty Maple, I had easily eaten 1/4 cup nut butter through my day so far. Fantastic. Besides that, it was pretty delicious; the tempeh bacon didn’t taste quite as good as Lightlife’s, but it’ll get me through the Lenten season. I love the maple/smoky/salty flavor to it all. This filled me up a lot, too, and was probably more protein than I had gotten all day, haha. After that, though, I had no real appetite for hunger. I wasn’t craving much beyond veggies and tofu, so that’s what I whipped up.

You definitely can’t say I feed my guests things I wouldn’t eat; I just heated up tofu in a pan with some soy sauce, steamed broccoli in the microwave and then finished that off in the pan, too. I threw in some sour cream & onion popchips to round it out, even though I wasn’t particularly in the mood for them; the dish just felt empty otherwise. My mind keeps going back to last Friday night, when I felt so overwhelmed and needed the promise of ice cream and a trip home the next day to push through. I’m definitely far from there tonight, but I’ll take the ice cream 😉

Check out this giveaway for some  Sahale nuts or this giveaway for chocolate milk–both good choices!

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Shedding Vegan Guilt And Others

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Guilt” is a really nasty word in my book and something no one should ever have to go through. And yet, at times, I feel like I put some pressures on myself that make my feel guilty for really stupid reasons. I write this post in earnest in hopes that, by getting them out there, I’ll be able to squash these feelings from ever returning.

Burnt Peanut Butter

Last night started off on a much lighter note: I managed to burn peanut butter. Is that even possible? Apparently. I was trying to get the last bit of this butter toffee peanut butter to soften but after 40 seconds it started smoking and the bottom was like pumice! Such a major bummer that this happened to my favorite Naturally Nutty peanut butter but thankfully there wasn’t much left and I had a full 16oz jar to replace this 8oz one.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

This combination of chocolate avocado pudding with sweet butter toffee peanut butter was absolutely heavenly, just what I wanted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it did have me face 1 common guilt I have: vegan guilt. On several occasions, I’ve caught myself thinking “Why do you have to eat that. Why not something similar but vegan?” It mostly ever occurs with things that might otherwise be vegan but aren’t due to added ingredients, like an energy bar or peanut butter. That’s when I lay down the line and remind myself I’m not vegan, raw, vegetarian, or any label like that, nor do I have plans to be. It’s so easy to get caught up and think about participating in some vegan for a day challenge; the fact is that I’ve done that, hated it, and moved on. I’ve also had days when I unintentionally ate completely vegan and been 100% satisfied. So from here on, I’m shedding the vegan guilt, knowing I do well for my part.

Red Delicious Apple

After that, I snacked on an apple while doing work. Sometimes I wonder what must it look like that I eat a good deal after dinner? I’ll shed that guilt before it starts by saying it’s just how my body works that it gets more hungry at night, I have no clue how much I eat after dinner or through the day for that matter, and it fuels me well for an a.m. run. Last night in particular I was fueling for a long run, so these extra carbs were more than welcomed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

To cap off the carb loving, I had a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and a few milk chocolate peanut sunspire candies. Ya’ll(OK, seriously, where did that come from), I can not tell you how bad my pictures get me down sometimes. But I think by typing it out I’ll feel a lot better: I’m working with crappy lighting in a dorm room at night. We’ll all just have to deal. Phew. Now I can talk about how good Brothers & Sisters was, as well as the closing ceremonies. I thought the latter were so much more fun than the opening ceremonies; I loved all the celebs and the hockey game at the end. Russia, though, seemed like downers on the whole party. Brothers & Sisters is definitely getting funnier, too. I just hope they crank up the drama to finish the season.

13 Miles In 1:54:55

Like I said, I was fueling for a long run in the morning. And that worked really well. I ended up running 13 miles. This also gave me time to think about my guilts, brainstorm this entrie blog posts, and discovered some running related ones: marathoner’s guilt and treadmill guilt. As you all probably know, I’m running a 1/2 marathon in 27 days, and that’s what I’m training for. After thinking about it, I realized I really like to run 8-10 miles and have no desire for much else usually. It’s great to be inspired by so many marathon running bloggers but that just ain’t for me. Besides that, I loved the treadmill. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating; I love having a TV and a nice warm, bright climate. Will I run outside again? Sure. But I like it hot(60’s at least) and sunny(we haven’t seen this in New England for about a week now). So there’s where I stand on running.

Soy Yogurt With Bacon Peanut Brittle, Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I big time got over my vegan guilt for breakfast; case in point: My yogurt isn’t even vegetarian. I added a plank of Sir Francis Bacon‘s Bacon Peanut Brittle and some vanilla stevia and sea salt. God was that good. It’s helping to settle my cravings for Fakin’ Tempeh Bacon(how much longer is Lent?). In the oats went an egg and on top more butter toffee peanut butter. And right now the only shred of guilt I have left is because I’m drinking a really good new tea I’m not sharing yet, but I have to save something for future posts, right 😉 Any guilts you need to shed? Let ’em out! I assure you, it feels 10 times better afterwards.

Here’s a giveaway for some good gluten-free granola–yum! Perfect for me 🙂 And here’s another for come cho-cho-bani!

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The Downside To Christmas

Posted on February 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For Catholics, the time has come to pay up. Remember getting goodies from under the tree almost 2 full months ago? Yes, that last part depresses me, too. I feel like the Christmas season of family time, holidays from work, and gift giving are far enough back to be “gone” but way too far off to be considered “coming up”. Any, now we’ve came to “the downside of Christmas” otherwise known as lent. On the one hand, you have the feeling of I can eat cookies and cake and candies so long as they’re all shaped like a tree or an ornament. And now we’ve come to Lent where, not only should we work off those cookies and cakes, but we should give something up, too. Well that’s just a kick in the shins. I thought about it long and hard, and the answer became clear soon enough…

Just kidding! But really…

Preflavored soy! It took a lot of thinking to come to this one, but I feel really good about it all around. Even though one of my money-saving tips is always buying the “raw” material, I have to admit I go against that from time to time. Especially with soy, it’s so easy to pick up a log of “meat”, a veggie burger, or marinated tempeh. My fave fave favorites have been fakin’ bacon tempeh, Lightlife’s buffalo wings and soy sausage, and a whole tofurkey loaf at Thanksgiving! And on days that I have no time, these have been quite useful. But now I’m saying no to them for Lent. I’m a little wary that I might get home at 7pm one night and just start eating raw tempeh, but if that’s the case I’ll deal; and it’s only about a month, right? Anyway, on to the eats.

Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cup Over Oikos

I hate to tease with these amazing coconut cups before I’ve put up a recipe page but… I will. Oh my God are they good. And they have a name! Vegan sweet cherry coconut cups. I’ll clue you in that the inside is a blend of cherry butter, unsweetened coconut, coconut oil, and agave nectar–yum! It was perfect with some yogurt for protein while flipping back and forth between Idol and the Olympics. Last night, I wasn’t a huge fan of either, though, honestly. Idol’s kind of at that boring stage where no one’s bad but no one’s great, and men’s figure skating just isn’t my sport to watch. A little bored, I made a not-so-boring bowl of oats.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Coconut, And Dried Blueberries

I was thinking for some reason this might look more “American” than it did: orange, white and blue. I guess I’m supporting Holland these Olympics? Haha, those uniforms are styling. Not styling were. Shredded coconut, even unsweetened, is definitely growing on me as a dry and fiberous fat. And Bob’s Red Mill‘s dried blueberries are sooo delicious! They reminded me of wild Maine blueberry pie. I stayed up long enough to see the Canadian skater and then hit the hay; I felt bad that he didn’t do “perfect”, but he still did well and especially for still being a teenager! And I thought I had pressure on me…

10 Miles In 88:14

This morning, I had 10 miles planned again–yikes! I woke up feeling good, but I just couldn’t tell how good. I got to the gym and started running. After a while I wanted to get off, more from boredom than anything else. For a long time, I debated stopping at 8 miles. And then I looked down and realized I had gone through 9 1/2. 1/2 a mile more? Yeah, I could do that. And it was faster than Monday’s pace! That’s the part that made me happy.

Green Chocolate Dreams Superfood Snacks

Green Chocolate Dream Superfood Snack

Back at the dorm and I felt like a mad man trying to refuel! First I took a superfast shower. It’s a good thing I was so quick because someone was waiting behind me. Then I started tearing at things trying to figure out what’s for breakfast. I’m very noisy making breakfast; it’s something that annoys even me. But I have oatmeal flying here and there and a microwave beeping at me and dealing with underbed storage–it’s kind of a mess. Needless to say, these raw balls from Superfood Snacks worked their way in there.

Breakfast

I think you’re supposed to fast on Ash Wednesday? Whoops. Well, I really needed to eatsomething a lot. And, yes, I’ve already eaten fake meat, but I’ll justify it in a bit. I was dying for chocolate avocado pudding since I didn’t have any yesterday. It tasted sooo good; absence really does make the heart grow fonder. The green chocolate dream balls were… “interesting”. I don’t mean that to sound like how your high school art teacher described your painting; after all, I did give them an 8/10 in my review. They just needed a touch of fat to taste richer. I am glad to have gotten so many green in at breakfast, though.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful And Tempeh Bacon

This is not an Erkel “Did I do thaaat?” moment. I decided I was giving up prepared meat for lent last night at around 10:30pm, still havings 4 strips of tempeh bacon in the fridge. It is not the point of Lent, in my mind,  to be wasteful; I’m pretty sure even the opposite is true. So I used 2 strips at breakfast and will work in the other 2 at some point just to “use them up”. After that, any tempeh bacon I want I’ll have to cure myself–simple enough.

And so that is my kick-off to Lent. I still need to figure out how/when/if I’ll be able to get ashes today. And I have 3 1/2 straight hours of class now that history discussions are running. Whoopdie doo. Here’s a contest for some booty(of the pirate kind). Happy hump day!

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Bacon And Soy

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

33% of the work week: Done. That feels good. Now it’s just the other 66% to get through, and that last bit of Latin translation :-\ For the 2nd semester in a row, I chanced into the class which is translating one of the raunchiest texts possible. This semester it’s Petronius’ Satyricon. I’ll let you in on any of the gems of entertainment that come up in class; so far I’ve heard my professor say the word “grind” well more than I ever wanted to hear. Enough said!

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

Lunch was a lot of protein, fats, and broccoli–a perfect makeup for a meal in my opinion. First, I simply scrambled 2 eggs. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve enjoyed these on a regular basis; eating them reminds me of meals at my grandmother’s house. I’m determined to become “the perfect egg-cooker” even if I have to go through a few dozen–hens beware! I also used up the last of a block of tofu(about 1.5 servings) by simply shredding it with a fork and adding 1 tablespoon The Heat Is On pb & co. peanut butter; if you like pad thai, this could well be up your alley. And it’s so simple, you can make it in seconds!

Multi-Green Kombucha

On the side I had more greens, via Kombucha! The multi-green was the first flavor I tried for review for the company(the gingerades I’ve drunk have been with my own money). Again, wow! I 1/2 expected not to like this, but was pleasantly surprised that I did. The bitterness of the greens actually complimented the vinegar of the kombucha. And, yes! Kombucha should absolutely taste vinegary! I got a commenter that sounded concerned that hers did at first taste, but that’s actually the natural fermented flavor. And it’s completely understandable that for some people it wouldn’t be seen as “pleasant”, haha 😉 And if you thought a green, fermented beverage would be the oddest thing I’d eat…

Sir Francis Bacon's Bacon Peanut Brittle

…think again. I first heard about the Sir Francis Bacon company through The National Peanut Board. Really, how could I not be intrigued. I’ve actually made yogurt and oatmeal messes with peanut butter and tempeh bacon in the past, so the flavor combo wasn’t all too random for me. This was, though:

Agave Soy Yogurt With Bacon Peanut Brittle

That would be certified vegan soy yogurt topped with bacon peanut brittle. And you know what? Holy yum! The brittle had a great hickory smoked aroma to it, which made the bacon and peanuts only that much more appetizing. And it was choc-full of them, too! With the sweet soy yogurt, it all just “worked” even though it sounds like I’ve just made the founder of PETA roll over in his/her grave(or bed if they’re still alive). If you’re not a fan of savory peanuts, this probably won’t convert you. But if you are(or just a bit wacky in life), this should definitely be a something-to-try 🙂

Compared to that, my afternoon has been a) unexciting and b) busy. If it were one or the other, that might be nice. But nope. Both. Among heavy blogreading, I came across this map of interest. I live in a light green area; what about you? I would have thought Florida would be darker. I remember getting sooo many McFlurries on vacation there as a kid. Anyway, for dinner I had planned to have a burger. Something about the bacon in the peanut brittle–as much as I enjoyed it–turned me off meat for the night. If you’re an occassional meat eater, you probably know what I mean. That left dinner wide open.

Baked And Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Maple Baked Tofu With Sea Salt

Here comes the sun, doo do do doo. Of course, I went for instant comfort foods of mine: maple baked tofu and sweet potato fries. Well, sort of. The sweet potatoes under my bed grew mold over the weekend, so these were baked at the dining hall, and then I tried roasting them in EVOO for a bit to crisp up but they didn’t take. And because I was pressed on time figuratively, the tofu was never literally pressed, which would have helped them roast better and lose moisture while retaining maple-flavor. I just added a spike of maple syrup at the end and voila!

For some reason, I’ve been thinking it’s Thursday all day. Wishful thinking, right? That means no Survivor 😦 But there should be American Idol and The Olympics! Gotta look at the bright side(or the sun! ^)

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“Life” Is A Funny Thing

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

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A Little Something For Everyone

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love hearing that a lot of you have seen the Emmy’s Organics macaroons but just haven’t picked them up yet! Well, I don’t like that last part, but I will say you’re lucky in that I’d never seen these before they showed up at my door and do suggest you give them a shot(Better yet–get a different flavor and tell me how that one is!).

For lunch I “planned” for a fly-by sort of meal where I would just go with whatever’s quick and simple. Who “plans” for grabby meals like that? Apparently, me 🙂 I ended up with a plate that had a little something  for everyone on it(but all for me really).

2 Eggs, Feta & Spinach Chicken Sausage, Tempeh Bacon, Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie

The Wow Baking Company Gluten Free Cookie

This was a lot of fat, a lot of protein, and a little bit of carbs, and it totally worked for me! At least at this meal it did. I thought the idea of having (vegan) bacon and eggs was cute, as was the idea of having eggs and chicken (sausage). Sooo why not have it all? And with a gluten free cookie on the side? Perfect! A little something for whatever your eating habits may be. 🙂 This sausage was a new one to me; I loved how delicious salty it was! It wasn’t very feta in flavor, but it certainly had flavor and would be a perfect basic sausage.

The Wow Baking Company Oregon Oatmeal Cookies

The Oregon Oatmeal cookie was part of the pack from The Wow Baking Company. It smelt sooo good! Like fresh cinnamon–yum! I loved the base of the cookie, with rich tones of butter and thick, hearty oats. But the fruit I thought was a little bland and lacking. And this was a LOT of sugar. I mean, what can you expect from a cookie overall? Definitely something fun to eat, but it didn’t really WOW me.

Thumb Cut

I actually was a supreme clutz today. I managed to burn my bicep(yes, my bicep) with the pan I was cooking eggs with. Can’t figure out how one does that? It’s very complicated, and I’m clutzy enough. Later on I got a package from the mail room and managed to slice my hand open with my room key trying to open it. Not a big cut but I did manage to finish off a roll of paper towels throughout the afternoon stopping the bleeding–joy. It was worth it though because the package had goodies from Honest Foods such as this bar I snacked on:

Honest Foods Almond Trail Mix Granola Bar

First off, this bar was another product where the smell was just amazing. This time, I swore I was sniffing an open bottle of amaretto 😀 Holy sweetness. But the flavor was underwhelmingly almondy after all that; it was good but had a lot going on with other seeds and fruits. I loved the nutrition, though! Not many bars have a healthy fat source higher than sugar on the ingredient list; that’s rocking! Keeping up with the almond theme, I tried a new butter.

Trader Joe's Almond Butter With Roasted Flaxseeds

Monica convinced me I needed this in my life, so that last time I was at Trader Joe’s I grabbed it off the shelf. As if it weren’t enough of a fat source, I thought I’d throw it over some pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Trader Joe Almond Butter

Chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk, to be exact. The combination of almond and chocolate wasn’t so perfect here–not sure why not 😦 TJ’s almond butter was awesome and so well salted. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the flax seeds. Too sweet, maybe? And I don’t like having to chew them to get the nutrition from them :-/ What can I say? I’m lazy.

For dinner, I had planned to meet up with some friends in one of the dining halls. At this dining hall, you don’t have to use any meal credits to get in and only pay or what you pick off the line, so I was able to bring my whole meal without using my meal plan. Beforehand, I made some of my favorite foods in the oven in my dorm, wrapped them in foil, and was good to go!

Maple Baked Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Broccoli, Orange Zevia

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries

Better than cafeteria food? I think so. No matter how many times I roast sweet potatoes, they never cease to impress me. I think maple baking tofu is the simplest way to add flavor, but I’m definitely on the lookout for new recipes to switch it up. It was great to catch up with things from the past week in some case and the whole of winter breaks in another; one of my friends is a fellow runner and might have another half marathon to turn me on to! I’ll have to see. The only downside was getting into my dorm at 8:30 and thinking “Gosh I’m home late”. And when exactly do I get my senior citizen discount? In my defense, I have my alarm set for a 6:15 run!

Did this post provoke you to think of new things to try? I’ve found plenty of recipes for almond milk, and it’s much simpler than I would have imagined! I have yet to track down some Jungle Peanuts, but rest assured I will 😉 In the meantime, here’s an appliance giveaway, a coconut oil giveaway, a chocolate giveaway, an iherb giveaway, and another coconut oil giveaway.

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Meals And Moving

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Woo, I am beat. So much for a somple Sunday. Can I fall asleep now? Maybe a post(and dessert) first. For lunch we ewre roasting half of an all-natural turkey, which raised a little dilemma in my head. I knew I didn’t want meat, but I hated the idea of not eating good meat when it was cooked. In the end, I decided I knew what I knew and I should make my own meat-free lunch if that’s the way it should be.

Fakin' Bacon Marinated Tempeh Cubes

I did some research and found the generic ingredients for something bacon-like in flavor. After toying around I came up with this combo:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

This was much more marinade than I needed for 1 serving of tempeh, but the flavor came out great–very bacon-like! I’ll make an actual recipe page for this soon enough. I ended up skewering and grilling the tempeh, which also really helped out the flavor.

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Like I said, the tempeh came out delicious. My grandmother made me give her a piece even though she had no clue what it was, and approved of it highly. Well that should be all the convincing you need 😉 Apparently the “sweet yam” was marketed as different from a sweet potato. It got really caramelized from roasting for an hour and definitely tasted sweeter than normal.

After lunch, I kind of knew what had to be done even though I didn’t want to admit it: We had to start moving things back into my dorm. A pain? Majorly. But if we didn’t do this today, we’d either need to make an even bigger trip down Tuesday or 2 trips. Yeah, there was no winning here, so we went with plan A. We loaded up the car, drove down, and got to Providence quick. I made us stop at Whole Foods because I was hungry.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

The perfect snack. I had to get this to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day. It was also 50% off so it was only 1.50, eats like a complete meal, and has a great(though tasteless) green body to it. We also found nutritional yeast at the bulk bins!! This was excellent, since I was thinking we’d need to go to Dedham again to get more. When we got to my room, it looked so sad 😦

Bare Room

The athletes who had lived there left a little present: some champagne stoppers on the floor. Joy. Besides that, it was all pretty well clean, and the closet hadn’t been broken in to. We de-iced the fridge/freezer, set up the TV and microwave, made the bed, put away some food, clothes, and books, and 75 minutes later it looked more lively.

Half Moved In

Ignore the sketchy pillow on the floor; I just didn’t want it touching my bed since it’s the random pillow the school provides and had hair all over it. Now, I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions mainly because I’m constantly changing my mindset/prerogative. I like this, though, because it lets me make many “mini” resolutions throughout the year. One of these resolutions will be to make better use of my dorm’s kitchen.

Basement Kitchen

It may be small. It may be ugly. And it may definitely smells like too many bottles of Bud Light have spilled on the floor. But it’s a hell of a lot more functionable than my little microwave, and I do want to get away from the dining hall as much as possible this new semester for several reasons. So hopefully I’ll be able to make friends with these burners. Hopefully.

On the way home, we just stopped at a local grocery store quickly because, once again, I was hungry.

Cortland Apple

I don’t understand how I eat the most out of my family; they need to start shoveling it in to compete! This Cortland wasn’t organic, or even washed because I just needed to get it in me. That being said, I’d still argue it was a better decision than 90% of things in any standard grocery store–just saying. This didn’t have to last me long, anyway, because it was about dinner time.

Vegan Meatloaf, Butternut Squash With Black Pepper

And now I’m full, tired, and lounging on my couch at home. This meatloaf never fails to get better with age; if you go to the recipe page you’ll see I included the full nutritional info for a slice! It’s quite a balanced portion of protein, fat, and fiber for something began. It might change with the rice you use(I use a brown rice medley from Trader Joe’s with some seeds in it), but it should come out similar enough. Since dinner, we’ve been arguing about my meal plan, how much I ate first semester off of it, and what to do with the new year. Is it possible that I used over $450 in flex points in 3 months? I don’t really think so, but they do charge 2.69 for 1 freakin‘ Chobani, so who knows. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

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