Gnu Foods Product Review Recap

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

2 weeks ago, the kind people at Gnu Foods sent me a box of their products to sample and review. The Gnu bars come in 7 flavors and all have one big focus: fiber. Lots and lots of fiber. 12g, or 50% the daily value, to be exact. Gnu makes their bars so fiberous with their special blend of grains, seeds, and chicory root extract. Besides that, their bars feature some powerful, natural flavors, all sweetened by fruit sources. Before I get into the reviews, I want to mention an exclusive coupon code for Food Makes Fun Fuel readers. If you go to their website and place an order, enter the code FunFuel10 upon checkout to receive 10% off. The only exception is with 5-bar flavor sampler, which ships free all its own. Either way, you’re going to get good savings. Gnu bars can also be found at health retailer stores such as Whole Foods.

Banana Walnut

8.5/10: I really had low expectations for this bar: banana could hardly be lower on the ingredient list after other fruit sweeteners and most banana flavored bars I’ve tried disappoint me anyway. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This was delicious with a very pungent banana flavor and the perfect hint of spices. It tasted justlike banana bread. I’d love to rate it higher, if it didn’t give the expectation of walnuts, but I can’t. There was only a small hint of nutty chew to it and no way to distinguish walnut in particular. Otherwise, it was a clear winner.

Chocolate Brownie

8.5/10: Gnu Foods starts all their bars with a whole grain blend, sweetens with natural fruit sources, flavors and adds binders for further fiber, giving each bar 50% of your daily value. Wow. At first I didn’t think this was sweet enough. But as I took the tie to enjoy it, I came to appreciate it more as a dark chocolate–slightly bittersweet. The more I ate, the more I got and appreciated the cocoa essence to it, and it had great texture from the baking process. With 15% natural fiber to boot, this really filled me up and had me feeling strong. I’d gladly get this again.

Cinnamon Raisin

9/10: This perfect in theory and practice is perfect with Gnu’s product line. It’s a flavor that has to be heavy on the spices, but not on the sweet; this definitely had a good amount of earthiness from the cinnamon added. Since Gnu already fruit sweetens their products with plum puree and other natural sweeteners, the raisins fit right in. They fit in so well, it was actually hard to tell just how many there were by texture. Overall I was pleased by this and would buy it again for when I’m on the go and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread just isn’t practical.

Espresso Chip

8.5/10: This bar has a clear, deep mocha flavor. You get that rich sense of cocoa and coffee without all the added sugar of other bars. I didn’t notice any particular “chips”; rather the flavor and texture was even throughout. One thing I would warn is this is notfor the caffeine intolerant. Though it doesn’t state the content of this bar, from my own reaction I have a sense that it’s pretty high. Overall, this was definitely something for any true mocha lover(though don’t expect one of those sugary Starbucks drink flavors here).

Lemon Ginger

9/10: Dare I say it, this was my favorite rendition of a lemon flavor in a bar. At first, I hesitated to do more than smell it; this was just like a fresh baked lemon square. Once I finally got around to biting in, however, I found the kick: the ginger. These had a big spicy flavor thanks to the ginger, but still kept the zestfulness of lemon and an overall sweetness for pleasantry. This complex flavor isn’t something I’d be wanting all the time but for a very specific craving it’s absolutely perfect.

Orange Cranberry

8.5/10: Zesty would not be the word for this tart treat; whereas I was expecting a hint of orange essence I got something much closer to a full fruit attack. I really enjoyed the promise and delivery of flavor here. I thought the cranberry was a nice touch, though I would have liked that flavored to be louder and not just incorporated by whole craisins alone. I also would have liked to see them much higher on the ingredient list, but they were welcomed when they came. Overall this was a fun and fruity bar.

Peanut Butter

7.5/10: Peanut butter by itself has a little fiber. But gnu turns that notch up all the way to 12 with this product. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about flavor. While there was a hint of nuttiness hear and noticeable peanuts, it all didn’t feel like enough. I think Gnu’s mission to make bars around 140 calories really hindered the here. Peanuts are relatively low on the ingredient list and peanut butter is non-existent unless it’s a “natural flavor”. I enjoyed it and would eat it again, but not for a peanut butter craving.

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Larabar Review

Posted on November 21, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

I don’t think I need to give these bars too much of an introduction. With their simplistic ingredients of dates, fruits, nuts, and the occasional seasoning, Larabars have won the hearts of many foodies and healthy livers(as in people who live healthy. Not properly functioning livers). After some not-so-great experiences with my first Larabar, I was geared up to give these 4 flavors a try when the company sent them my way for product reviews. There were definitely some winners among the bunch, and I can’t wait to find more flavors that I might enjoy.

Cashew Cookie

7/10: The texture thankfully wasn’t too dry with this flavor which is a problem I’ve had in the past with other Larabars. In terms of flavor, this was dead on for a cashew cookie, which isn’t hard to do when your first ingredient is cashew. I did, however, wish the cashew wasn’t ground so small, almost into a flour. It would have been much more enjoyable had there been whole cashew pieces in there. Overall, for a 2 ingredient bar this is much more complex than I’d expect.

Lemon Bar

8.5/10: This bar was a perfect, sweet rendition of a good slice of lemon bar. The tartness of the lemon perfectly is balanced with the natural sweetness of the dates. The ingredients are simple and nutrition wholesome. The only problem I had with this was the inconsistency of nut size; most was crushed beyond recognition but I also got a whole almond. And I found it odd that they used both cashews and almonds instead of picking just one. The two have and gave distinct flavors, either of which would have been great but together was a bit confusing.

Peanut Butter And Jelly

9/10: How can anyone recreate something so memorable as the PB&J and put it in portable form? I don’t know how, but I know that Larabar has. This was absolutely great with flavors; the peanut and salt combined to be just like fresh peanut butter and the dates and cherries together made a sweet but tart, raspberry jam-like flavor. I loved the addition of salt in this bar. I know Larabar tries to use as little ingredients as possible and usually thinks of this as extraneous but here it truly was necessary. I only might have preferred a greater variation in texture and size of ground nuts. With fiber and protein, it’s a great snack that I’d gladly have again.

Tropical Fruit Tart

7/10: In some ways, this seems like the anti-Larabar from the start. Larabar, to me, means simple ingredients and single flavors. This bar, however, seems to tie in a medley of tropical flavors into one, tart bar. While it succeeds in giving an overall tropical impression, this one really didn’t grab me. The nuts felt secondary to the whole flavor. And I got more of a pineapple sense than any other ingredient, which makes me think it could do without the others. This was decent but not something I’d buy again.

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Encyclopedia Achoo To Distance PR

Posted on November 18, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As ridiculous as it sounds, I am so much happier now that I’ve admitted to myself that I love oatmeal for breakfast. I love it. And I’ll shout it to the world. I’ve been resisting having oatmeal on Tuesdays and Thursdays and other days when I simply wouldn’t have much time for one reason or another. But a quickie with some oats is much more satisfying than spending long, hellish time with anything not in the morning. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t very hungry when I got out at noon yesterday. Instead of eat immediately, I went to check my mail where I had something amazing waiting for me.

Amazing Grass Sampler

Amazing Grass that is. The folks at Amazing Grass were kind enough to send me all these goodies to try and review. This could not have come at a better time. As I slowly feel myself getting sick, I realize it’s probably because I rely on the dining hall for all my veggies and when they don’t have good ones I just don’t get them in me. With these products, hopefully I’ll be feeling 100%. I also picked up a lunch on my way back to the dorm and had a ball making a bowl.

Taco Bowl With Lettuce, Spinach, Shaved Cucumber, Shredded Carrot, Vegan Taco Filling, Peppers, And Full Fat Voskos Yogurt

Taco Bell, Q’doba, BoLoco, all those places ain’t got nothing on me. And would you believe that most of this came from the dining hall? All I had to do was put it together by making the base with salad bar fixings and plopping the vegan taco filling on top. It was delicious! In the filling was tofu, tempeh, molasses, tomato puree, and seasoning. And topping it with the yogurt was sooo good. Even though it’s full fat, I’m going to pretend like it was healthy because it’s yogurt 🙂 But I would definitely opt for that in place of cheese any day.

Well you can’t say I didn’t warn you that this would be how I would spend my day:

Resting

I only had a bad sneezing bout for about an hour. The rest of the time was mostly a runny nose. It was definitely a good day for daytime tv, though. There was actually a plot progression on Days Of Our Lives this week! Can you believe that? And Rachael Ray made a sweet potato casserole with bruleed bananas on top. Um, yum? I also did some major behind-the-scenes blog working and you can expect some product review summaries coming your way real soon. At some point, I decided I needed more green in my diet.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

I’ll admit: The green innards of this freaked me out a little. But oh my God was this good! I’d much rather have this than any Snickers bar or anything, plus it has incredible(avoiding overusing the word amazing) nutrition. You can read my full review here. Now I can’t wait to try others. Did anyone else catch Oprah? It was all pretty adult material for something on at 4pm. Jenna Jameson and Oprah in the same room was not something I expected. After getting more work done I had another snack.

Plain Chobani With Strawberry Conserves

This new jam, excuse me, conserve is ok. I guess it’s size and price and the fact that it’s organic made it a steal. I’m just happy whenever the fruit is the first ingredient. This was my last individual yogurt, so afterwards I went to all the open school facilities I knew of that sold yogurt, and none had another plain Chobani. It was a bit of a disappointment(mainly because it was too cold to be walking around like a nut), but I was able to grab dinner on the way back.

Asparagus Spears, Honey Ginger Vegetables, Veggie Marinated Tempeh

Apparently when my dining hall does tempeh they like to do it all out. I was just happy to have another meal where I didn’t need to provide any ingredients. I love it when they have asparagus; that’s one of my favorite ingredients and I literally took all the ones they had out. Definitely some good cold-fighting vitamins in that, right? The tempeh just kind of tasted like vegetables, if that makes any sense, but it was good enough. What it wasn’t was fulling, so after I went out and came back from buying coffee and flavored Chobani, I grabbed another bar.

 

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

 

I’m not going to lie. I could have just eaten the chocolate shell off and been just as happy 🙂 As much as I hate that feeling of still being hungry after dinner(oh, and I do, a lot) I now know it’s better to just honor your hunger and accept you’re still hungry rather than pretend otherwise. You can read my review of this one here. I don’t think it was as nutritionally good or flavorful as the peanut butter one but it was decent. I was not expecting(and really enjoyed) the hint of peppermint–so seasonal!

The Biggest Loser didn’t blow me away last night. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just not as entertaining without the awesome orange team anymore? That must be the case. Instead I did some Greek and snacked.

 

Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Baking Chips

 

Along with my morning oatmeal revelation, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I like oatmeal at night. I don’t like cleaning the bowl, but I like oatmeal and that’s enough(plus if I’m eating it in the morning who needs a perfectly clean bowl anyway?). I’ve also come to grips with the fact that I like TJ’s baking chips the best; they aren’t as “healthy” as the grain-sweetened ones nor are they vegan, but since when do chocolate chips need to be healthy? Bring on the sugar and dry milk powder, baby.

 

Pumpkin Oatbran With White Chocolate Chips

 

Correction: I really like oatmeal at night. Except I’ve learned you can’t cook the pumpkin and oats at the same time, or it comes out rather gritty. Still, this pumpkin and vanilla chip combo is awesome. Someone should make a bar like this *hint*hint*.

This morning I woke up with a really dry throat, but otherwise energized. After guzzling down coffee and water, I felt good enough to run. I didn’t know how far I’d go, but I could feel it would be a long one so I grabbed a bar.

 

Berry Whole Food Energy Bar

Really? Were you expecting anything else at this point? I don’t have a chance to review it this morning but when I do it will be available here and I’ll be sure to start tomorrow’s post with it. I got going fairly early(around 6:45) so time was not an issue this morning. I just ran and ran. And I kept running all the way to 15 miles in 2:01:06! It felt great and I felt great. My previous record, by the way, was 14 miles set last Monday, but after that I was dehydrated and exhausted. Today I felt super and energized.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup, Eggnog Yogurt

I won’t pretend like these aren’t the same flavors I always have; they just taste so good! But I had to make the Nog yogurt twice. Note: It doesn’t work well if you use vanilla yogurt to start instead of plain because the consistency otherwise is absolutely soupy. Now hopefully I’ll find more plain yogurt around the campus today or otherwise today will be very low-gurt. I could try to squeeze in a Whole Foods trip between the end of class and sunset but on these legs I’m thinking not.

 

 

Here’s a contest by Nature’s Path for some of their great products!

How about a Chocolate Covered Giveaway?

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Bars, Bars, Bars

Posted on November 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Bars are a runner/blogger/anybody health conscious’ best friends, aren’t they? There was some serious bar lovin’ yesterday on my part. Normally, I really hate leaving a dirty dorm room. Yesterday, I had time to make my bed and clean my dishes and still be at class on rime. Or I could screw all that and get coffee and be at class on time. I chose the second option. The not-so-fun part was doing it all when I got back on my lunch hour while catching up on emails. The fun part was that I got mail when I got coffee.

Nugo Bars

Nugo Bars

Nugo Bars. I won these in a contest, so I’m not going to feel the same pressure to write reviews for them the way I would if they were from the company. But if any of them really stand out, good or bad, I’ll give you the 411. I read my emails; apparently ya’ll do a lot of blog commenting after I’ve gone to sleep, you night-owls. That or a lot of people just live on the west coast. Before going off to class I needed to make a lunch.

Italian Veggies, Maple Mustard Tofu

Italian Veggies, Maple Mustard Tofu

November 2nd 005

Maple Nut Clif Bar

“Make” is an interesting word here since this is probably the least effort I’ve (had) to put into a meal. The veggies were straight from the dining hall, so all I had to do was toss tofu with mustard and maple syrup. I really like this tofu I picked up(read: had my parents buy me) more than the one they serve at the dining hall. It’s softer and just tastes fresher. Even though it’s one of those things I *could* get for free, I think I’ll start paying for my own ‘fu. And the Maple Nut clif bar was just the perfect thing to get me through my next two classes.

Don’t you hate it when a teacher or anyone is awkward and they just don’t stop? My Epic Poetry teacher made a joke about nymphs stealing young boys with their lust(it was relavent to what we’re reading) and wouldn’t stop “warning” us to watch out. For 5 minutes. Really? I think I’ll be set walking to Eastside Market from the nymphs. After that class, I had another package waiting for me.

November 2nd 011

Larabars

More bars! I feel so behind in the blogosphere: I actually haven’t eaten more than 1 or 2 of these, ever! I’ve made my own, but not had the original, so I was excited when they sent these 4 flavors to sample and review. I’m really pumped to try the PB&J one, of course. I met with my advisor to talk about classes next semester. It looks like I’ll be following up on my History and Greek classes, taking a Latin translation course, and then a 4th literary course outside my concentration that I’ll take Pass/Fail so it’s not so much of a pressuring course. That being said, I actually need to find said classes being offered, so I’m not entirely sure what I’ll really be taking. When I got back to my dorm, the afternoon had practically gone by and I was starving.

Carrot Muffin Bottom Yogurt With SB PB, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Cream Cheese

Carrot Muffin Bottom Yogurt With SB PB, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Cream Cheese

No bars here. I feel bad eating bars when I’m in my dorm room and could be eating “real” food, even though most of the bars I have are made with simple ingredients. I love the cream cheese and vitatop combo–perfect savory sweet. And normally my muffin bottom yogurt tastes more like carrot cake but this time it just wasn’t happening 😦 Maybe it needed more cinnamon? Or just a fresher muffin. I was still decently hungry after this and needed more.

November 2nd 020

Oatmeal With Sunland Banana Peanut Butter And PB&Co. Mighty Maple

I couldn’t decide between banana peanut butter, or maple peanut butter. Silly me–together the two are tastier than the 1! These worked so well together for some nice sweet oats. After this I was quite satiated, enough so to realize how little I’d accomplished for the afternoon. Ugh. I made the decision then to stay in for the night and hopefully get stuff done, starting with sharpening 5 pencils, putting on some PJ’s, and thinking “if only I owned a snuggie right now…”. I ended up having a late-ish dinner, which usually happens when I fend for myself.

Broccoli, Acorn Squash, Zesty Lemon Tempeh

Broccoli, Acorn Squash, Zesty Lemon Tempeh

This was the last of the Lightlife tempehtations I had to review. And boy did I enjoy it! I think all the flavor that was lacking in the other two wound up in this one, because it really was zesty. All that garlic flavor really pleased my Italian heart. Similarly, the acorn squash from under my bed(because that’s where all acorn squashes grow) tasted delicious as well.

I didn’t really care for Heroes last night. Let’s face it; it was a clip show. A clip show with a unique plot twist, but a clip show nonetheless. I translated Horace’s 10th and 11th ode. I’m sure you all know the phrase carpe diem but did you know that’s from the last line of his 11th ode and the full phrase is carpe diem quam minimum credula postero? I bet you didn’t (want to) know that. What you will want to know is how I made the most amazing yogurt mess clean.

 

Gourmet Organic Chocolate Cherry Oikos

Gourmet Organic Chocolate Cherry Oikos

 

I can’t call this a mess; it was too crisp and clean. And gourmet is definitely the right word. I took a plain Oikos and fruit sweetened it myself with a tablespoon cherry butter(American Spoon), vanilla stevia, and some vanilla infused sugar from the Dedham Whole Foods. Then I topped that with the dried cherries from WF the bulk bin and 3 squares of the Green & Black organic Dark Chocolate Cherry bar my mom gave me for Halloween. Oh my God. This redefined dessert in my book. There was tart, sweet, bitter, creamy, crunchy, smooth, and chewy all in the same bowl. Creativity like this is the best reason to opt for plain yogurt.

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Chocolate Chips And Mighty Maple

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Chocolate Chips And Mighty Maple

After seeing this sammie on The Inner Workings Of A College Graduate so many times, I knew I needed to try it. That, and I needed an excuse not to just eat chocolate chips out of the bag 🙂 This was really good! I ate it open faced, because that’s how I have every sandwich(not just PB&J’s, but everything save burgers), but I loved how the flavors still managed to find each other. It kind of bums me out TJ pumpkin butter isn’t vegan 😦 Is it just me, or does maple syrup make more sense to sweeten pumpkin butter with anyway? Maybe we can make a motion for that for next season. Unfortunately, what this didn’t do was hit my chocolate chip tooth.

 

November 2nd 020

Whole Wheat Bread With Cream Cheese, Vanilla Bean Sugar, And Chocolate Chips

I like to think I made the healthy choice by having this with whole wheat bread and cream cheese, a source of calcium. I also like to think cream cheese is a source of calcium, that princess Di is still alive somewhere, and that the moon is made of cheese. Anyway, this was good and the non-melted chocolate chips totally hit the spot.

When I got up this morning, nothing felt like a labor of love; everything just felt like labor. I couldn’t diagnose if I was hungry, or tired, or mad the sun got its butt out of bed before me, or what. I had a shorter run planned anyway, so I decided to just go ahead with it. When I got to the gym, all the TV’s were set so I had the Today sho to watch. Normally I love it but today just seemed like a bunch of yacity-yack. They debated whether the claim “Helps Boost Your Immunity” should be on sugary kids cereal fortified with vitamin A, C, and E. My take? Of course not, because we all know they’d be better off with oatmeal. In actuality though, they definitely have the “right” to put that claim there because those vitamins do help with immunity. It’s just that having 10% more in your bowl of sugar isn’t going to make a difference overall. Well I put up with that crap for 8 miles in 65:03. When I got back I was really apathetic towards food and decided I wanted a meal that would make me feel full.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter And Ginger Walnut Goji Gourmet Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter And Ginger Walnut Goji Gourmet Cookies

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Sugar And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Sugar And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Don’t you just love bars? The yogurt became a mess after picture taking, per usual. I decided pumpkin oats are always nice and filling; this bowl had slightly less oatmeal to compensate for the cookie and bar carbage that was also to take place. I wasn’t expecting to love this Goji Gourmet cookie because of my general dislike of walnuts; I hate love it when products prove me wrong. It wasn’t my favorite of the 3 I’ve tried so far, but it was delicious. I just loved biting into whole chunks of ginger 🙂 Which reminds me I haven’t had a ginger smoothie from the bookstore in too long, but that’s another story. I think the walnuts might have been a little light in these, but I wasn’t complaining.

Today already feels stress free, with no more emails to answer, a short google reading list, and 1 class. Maybe a trip to Whole Foods is in order? I can most definitely study and walk at the same time(unless a tree gets in my way). Stay well!

 

Nature’s Valley Granola Clusters Giveaway

A delicious chocolate giveaway and a funky monkey giveaway both at One2Try

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Ridiculous And Amazing: Ridiculous

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Because this post would be ridiculously long if I tried to cover my whole day(and because I’m going to be kicked out in T-40 minutes), I’ll talk about the ridiculous part of my day now and the amazing part in the afternoon.

In one word, my yesterday was ridiculous. As I briefly mentioned at the end of my post, I had ust found out I won a contest. The contest was to attend a dinner hosted by Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee that featured local Boston chef’s making dishes with local products and coffee to be judged Top Chef style. Amazing, right? Well, after working out that my dad would pick me up from Providence, that became a reality and we had a plan.
What was also ridiculous was how much my feet killed after that run. The last 2 miles took a toll on my toes(say that 5 times fast) and walking to class was unbearable. Fortunately, I made it where I got to listen to my teacher talk to us for 50 minutes about a paper she’s writing on a 400 line poem we had to translate, but never actually translated in class–crap, I mean, ridiculous. On the way back to my dorm I picked up some of these:
Sweet potatoes, because they’re ridiculously good. I did a mad rush of email answering/microwaving/google reading right up until I had to run off to Greek History with this in my hand:
So so good. I love microwaved sweet potatoes better than oven roasted because the skin is firm and crispy and it reminds me of French fries. The sandwhich was perfect with the turkey/cranberry apple butter/cream cheese combo. The greens were meh but I had zilch all of yesterday so I felt I needed to add them back into my system. But the real ridiculous thing about this was that Thanksgiving is just a month away! Can you believe it? I am sooo psyched to get my pie-baking on(secret family crustless pumpkin pie recipe to be published? We’ll see…)
Class was ugh. My professor would just mention a historical fact and ramble on and on about his take on it and often completely wrong theory. The only ridiculous thing here was how much he’s like his wife, my Latin teacher. I’d be very disturbed but sadly not surprised if they were blood related.
When I got back to my dorm I knew I just had to work work work if I wanted to enjoy my evening. I had a really nutritious study snack:
We’re going to pretend this is healthy because it’s all natural and not just a diet soda. K? good. Picture me, furiously reading Ancient Greek, flipping back and forth between Heroditus and my dictionary, only to receive an email that my class tomorrow was cancelled again. Ridiculous. I was slightly annoyed, but this made my evening much easier. I knew my dad would be at my dorm in 30 minutes but my oat craving did not care:
Need I remind how soon Thanksgiving is? Pumpkin oats with almond butter never fail to disappoint, but the addition of this new cereal made it perfect. This is Nature’s Path Organic’s Crunch Maple Sunrise and, though I’m generally not a cereal person, I must say this stood out. I don’t want to review it yet since I’m sure being on pumpkin oats might have affected the flavor, but I could literally smell maple syrup as I opened the bag. Ridiculous, right? And it’s gluten free if that’s a care to anyone. At 4:45 I got a message that a package was waiting for me in the mailroom that closed at 5. Ridiculous. I hustled my way over there and was overjoyed to make it and find these waiting for me:
The kind people at Kardea contacted me about trying their energy bars. Kardea’s product are all natural with cholesterol lowering ingredients, a hefty supply of protein and fiber, and all low and naturally sweetened. Not to mention, the flavors sound ridiculous. Ex: Banana nut and chai spice. I could not wait to try them, but I also needed to hop in my car and go go go.

As I briefly mentioned at the end of my post, I had just found out I won a contest. The contest was to attend a dinner hosted by Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee that featured local Boston chef’s making dishes with local products and coffee to be judged Top Chef style. Amazing, right? Well, after working out that my dad would pick me up from Providence, that became a reality and we had a plan.

What was ridiculous was how much my feet killed after that run. The last 2 miles took a toll on my toes(say that 5 times fast) and walking to class was unbearable. Fortunately, I made it where I got to listen to my teacher talk to us for 50 minutes about a paper she’s writing on a 400 line poem we had to translate, but never actually translated in class–crap, I mean, ridiculous. On the way back to my dorm I picked up some of these:

Farmers' Market Sweet Potatoes

Farmers' Market Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, because they’re ridiculously good. I did a mad rush of email answering/microwaving/google reading right up until I had to run off to Greek History with this in my hand:

1/2 Turkey, Cranberry, And Cream Cheese Sandwich, 1/2 Sweet Potato With maple Syrup, Sesame Seed Savory Spinach, Steamed Broccoli

1/2 Turkey, Cranberry, And Cream Cheese Sandwich, 1/2 Sweet Potato With maple Syrup, Sesame Seed Savory Spinach, Steamed Broccoli

Yum! I think I actually love microwaved sweet potatoes better than oven roasted because the skin is firm and crispy and it reminds me of French fries. The sandwhich was perfect with the turkey/cranberry apple butter/cream cheese combo. The greens were meh but I had zilch all of yesterday so I felt I needed to add them back into my system. But the real ridiculous thing about this was that Thanksgiving is just a month away! Can you believe it? I am sooo psyched to get my pie-baking on(secret family crustless pumpkin pie recipe to be published? We’ll see…)

Class was ugh. My professor would just mention a historical fact and ramble on and on about his take on it and often completely wrong theory. The only ridiculous thing here was how much he’s like his wife, my Latin teacher. I’d be very disturbed–but sadly not surprised–if they were blood related.

When I got back to my dorm I knew I just had to work work work if I wanted to enjoy my evening. I had a really nutritious study snack:

Cola Zevia

Cola Zevia

We’re going to pretend this is healthy because it’s all natural and not just a diet soda. K? good. I was furiously reading Ancient Greek, flipping back and forth between Heroditus and my dictionary, until I received an email that my class tomorrow was cancelled again. Ridiculous. I was slightly annoyed, but this made my evening much easier. Despite the fact that I would be leaving my dorm in 30 minutes, my oat craving kicked in and did not care:

Pumpkin Oats With Crunchy Maple Sunrise And Almond Butter

Pumpkin Oats With Crunchy Maple Sunrise And Almond Butter

Need I remind how soon Thanksgiving is? Pumpkin oats with almond butter never fail to disappoint, but the addition of this new cereal made it perfect. This is Nature’s Path Organic’s Crunch Maple Sunrise and, though I’m generally not a cereal person, I must say this stood out. I don’t want to review it yet since I’m sure being on pumpkin oats might have affected the flavor, but I could literally smell maple syrup as I opened the bag. Ridiculous, right? And it’s gluten free if that’s a care to anyone. At 4:45 I got a message that a package was waiting for me in the mailroom that closed at 5. Ridiculous. I hustled my way over there and was overjoyed to make it and find these waiting for me:

Kardea Nutrition Bars

Kardea Nutrition Bars

The kind people at Kardea contacted me about trying their energy bars. Kardea’s product are all natural with cholesterol lowering ingredients, a hefty supply of protein and fiber, and all low and naturally sweetened. Not to mention, the flavors sound ridiculous. Ex: Banana nut and chai spice. I could not wait to try them, but I also needed to hop in my car and go go go.

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Clafon’t You Want Some?

Posted on July 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning, all. Last night I was such a bottomless pit. It’s a good thing I had such good eats on hand to keep me entertained and happy. My morning was a decent paced 6.7(6 times around the neighborhood). I definitely felt like I could’ve gone another time around, but then I realized just because I could doesn’t always mean I should. I imagine a lot of us have problems pacing and limiting ourselves; maybe the runner’s flu is going around! lol. My day is pretty empty as of now. I’m sure my jars of Cinnamon Raisin, Mighty Maple, and White Chocolate Wonderful are all going to be finished off during the week, SO I could be a plan-aheader and get those today. Also, there’s a reunion at Bertucci’s with a few people I haven’t seen since 5th or 6th grade; I could go to that, but not quite sure how it’ll be. Anyone else ever hesitant to reunite with people after so long?

Well after breakfast and blogs yesterday we planned on having a burgerlicious lunch. I was really craving something asian, though, and couldn’t quite figure out how to orientize my burger, so I just didn’t try.

Thai Peanut Tuna Sandwich & Pork Dumplings

Thai Peanut Tuna Sandwich & Pork Dumplings

It’s always good to just go with your cravings. Maybe my body was low on sodium, and it knows when it wants sodium just ask for Chinese and it will get more than its share.

After that we headed to the mall for my mom to exchange some clothes; aka nothing too exciting. I was thirsty though and craving something a little lemony so I picked up this:

Lemonade Vitamin Water

Lemonade Vitamin Water

I remembered buying this during the school year and not being impressed, but I thought I’d give it a second chance. And I’m so glad I did. This was nice and sweet, and tart; just like lemonade should be. I like that it’s natural and uses Truvia as part of the sweetness. I used to think the flavor was bland, but I think cutting out excessively sugary foods has allowed me to appreciate subtle flavors like lemon more.

After that we went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. You know how it is: You go for a loaf of bread and you come out 50 dollars poorer. Oh well. At Trader Joe’s there was a woman who had clearly never been there before and was getting really excited about sunflower seeds, goji berries, and sour yogurt. All I could think was “Is this woman a blogger? Should I know her?” lol. I think she thought I was giving her weird looks, because she kept whispering to her friend and nervously giggling. While we were in Whole Foods hunger struck my like a ton of bricks. I tried getting away with a cheap bar, but I really wanted something grainy with granola, so I dug deep into my pocket and bought a 6-pack of this for *cringe* 4.79

Vanilla Chip Cascadian Farms Granola Bar

Vanilla Chip Cascadian Farms Granola Bar

This was a bar I had been eyeing at stores for quite some time now, and let me tell you, it was entirely worth the money. This is absolutely one of those bars people talk about when they say they’re “disguised as healthy”; basically it has more sugar than whole grains, and very little protein or fiber. But the redeeming quality for this bar is the amazing flavor. Unlike the other not-so-healthy granola bars, which still taste like granola, this seriously tasted like raw cookie dough. Vanilla is such an underused flavor and this bar is bursting with it. Go out and buy a pack NOW, and enjoy it for dessert or a quick sugar pick-me-up.

Dinner was rainbow trout, which I thought was OK but not flavorful enough on its own/ i was surprised to learn trout is more of a fatty fish like salmon. I would’ve thought by that it’d have more flavor, but lemon really brightened it up.

Well the night called for a great dessert after my distance PR. We had fresh picked blueberries still on hand and cherries that were on sale so I threw together a Cherries N’ Berries Amaretto Clafouti

Ingredients:

5oz cherries, pitted

140 grams blueberries

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

60 grams sugar(about 5 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup almond milk

1-2 tablespoons amaretto

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cherries N' Berries

Cherries N' Berries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a deep, 9×9 baking dish, spread out the cherries and blueberries. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the eggs one ate a time. Pour in the almond milk, amaretto, and vanilla extract and mix. Pour over the fruit evenly in the baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let set for at least 5 minutes before cutting into.

Fresh Out Of The Oven

Fresh Out Of The Oven

This recipe was incredibly simple and delicious. It’s definitely something to make when you’re having company over because it’s so easy and yet seems so decadent. And it really is best within the few hours out of the oven. You can sift powdered sugar over the top for serving. The almond flavor was a little subtle, so if you’re someone who likes louder flavor increase the sugar in the batter. The best thing about this recipe is that it can easily be adapted to fit certain dietary needs. Try swapping out the flour for almond meal, and using flaxseed meal as a thickener to replace the eggs.

If you can believe it, the entire pan has only around 860 calories. I did not feel bad at all eating half of it myself. Here was my first slice along with some hazelnut coffee.

Clafouti For Me

Clafouti For Me

Another GREAT find yesterday was Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Granola from Target. This was another product I’d been eyeing for quite a while and finally caved in and let other people pay for it for me, lol. It went really well with some chocolate avocado pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Granola

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Granola

At least that big box for 5 dollars will last a while; I mainly just use granola for going over yogurt and pudding, so I’ll get quite a few parfaits out of that.

Wow. What am I going to do today that’ll come close to all that deliciousness? I’m completely daunted by the thought. I suppose I’ll come up with something!

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