When The Weather’s This Perfect

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m so happy for the enthusiasm for my blogiversary. It was definitely fun looking over old posts and old photos; nothing makes you feel better than seeing a picture and thinking “I look so young and fresh here” until you realize it’s 3 1/2 years old 😉

After yesterday hit 91 degrees, and the night was riddled with thunderstorms and showers, the weather today was just perfect. There’s so much can do on a day like today!

I love it when it’s not too hot that chocolate melts. This was mint-flavored carob, but I’d assume it’d melt if it were too hot, too. There is nothing worse than opening up a chocolate bar only to find melted poo.

When it’s this nice out, part of me feels like I could keep going and going. The other part of me(aka, my knees) remembers all too well the 14 miles from yesterday, so there wasn’t much enthusiasm to go any further. Still, this was a dreamy run.

When the weather’s this perfect, grilling is the obvious option, but there are some things that just taste better in a seasoned pan.

I was craving Spanish potatoes and ground beef. This was so simple, too; just potatoes and onion cooked in olive oil with sea salt, paprika, and black pepper, and then grass-fed ground beef cooked through. A little basil just brightens up everything; it’s my favorite herb to add in the Summer.

I couldn’t wait for Sundae Friday this week; I just had to have fun in the kitchen. I used up the last of the vegan blondies and mixed them with snickerdoodle soy ice cream. It was missing something, though…

Rice whip, anyone?! All vegan; all delicious.

When the weather’s this perfect, I think my diet soda addiction kicks back in. Like I said here, even though I went 96 hours without stevia, I still adore it in moderation.Since the weather was so nice, I took a walk around the neighborhood, and made a delicious snack plate upon my return.

A random plate of raw onion, raw broccoli, and 2 slices vegan Hawaiian pizza. I was curious if leftover gluten-free, vegan pizza had that same magical quality as regular leftover pizza. It does.

For dinner, my mom went out with her girlfriends for the night. That used to mean “breakfast for dinner” for the boys, where the breakfast was poptarts. Thankfully, we’ve all grown up a little since then and can make real food.

When the weather’s this perfect, a Summer Salad is the way to go. This was just dressed spinach with homemade chickpeas, raisins, and Daiya. I think I’ve reached my fake-cheese limit for the day.

Do you take your leftover pizza hot or cold? I like to heat it back up and get it to the gooey cheese state.

What do you feel like doing in perfect weather? I’m 90% sure ice cream will be made tonight. I’m just debating between a very classy chocolate chip or a vegan white chocolate flavor…

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How To Break A Bottomless Pit Day With 1 Move

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

The only thing I hate more than having a bottomless pit day is realizing that I’m having one and obsessing over it. I see the same in a lot of healthy living blogs I read. To be fair, I can’t sympathize on how much it sucks to take pictures of snack after snack and post them for people who like to show all they eat(I do about 98% but every now and again I’ll grab an undocumented handful of baby carrots or something). But I haven’t had one in a long time, and I don’t think I will again, because I’ve got the one trick that breaks the bottomless pit feeling: Eat a meal.

If you’re hungry enough for a meal, even if it’s right after one or it’s not really a normal meal time, put down the apple you think might help your hunger and make something solid. Right after this post, I threw together a kitchen sink salad.

Caprese Chickpea Salad With Seasoned White Potato

Caprese Chickpea Salad With Seasoned White Potato

The “caprese” part of this was grape tomatoes, fresh basil, and raw probiotic mozzarella. With that were chickpeas and a quartered white potato. Delicious, no? Absolutely. Except it wasn’t all I needed after my run. Enter lunch #2:

Sweet And White Potato Homefries, Scrambled Eggs

Sweet And White Potato Homefries, Scrambled Eggs

After this, I felt much better, and like I had beaten my bottomless pit day. A simple mix of onion, sweet potato, and white potato in some olive oil and salt came out perfect. And between my vegan baking and the general lack of egg love, we have a ton(read: 2 dozen) of old eggs to use, so I did my part and ate a couple scrambled in all that oniony love. I guess it’s no surprise we have so many eggs when neither the ice cream nor the brownies I make call for them…

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Raw Chocolate Chip Cashew Gelato

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Raw Chocolate Chip Cashew Gelato

That would be an extra special blondie under a mountain of raw chocolate chip ice cream. J’adore this ice cream but I can’t wait to try new recipes by Gina once there’s room in my freezer! I continued to support that cause…

Raw Chocolate Chip Cashew Gelato

Raw Chocolate Chip Cashew Gelato

For dinner I had one huge craving to satisfy: steak. We served steak on Sunday night to our guests and had plenty of leftovers, but I really try to only eat grass-fed or local beef. It was worth waiting and pushing aside the craving until I could satisfy it with exactly what I wanted.

Grass Fed Steak With Caramelized Onions Over Asparagus And Arugala

Grass Fed Steak With Caramelized Onions Over Asparagus And Arugala

Oh my goodness, was this delicious. I’m pretty sure this was the fattiest cut of beef possible, but–hell–I took it and it did perfect. And considering a pound of the steak cost $7 while an entree at Tomasso’s of local beef is $24, I see big savings here.

What have you been craving of late? For me, it was the beef. Of course, now that I’ve discovered my love for onions cooked down in any and every fat, any excuse to eat more of those is also welcomed. Just beware of my breath.

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A Night At The Museum

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I like to think I’m not stereotypical “meat and potatoes”, but…

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

My lunch yesterday comprised of meat and potatoes might argue differently. I did not realize what a great flavor paprika was for a smokiness! This whole dish was herby goodness. And it felt good to refuel after my slowish 10 mile-run.

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

We did our grocery shopping in the afternoon; beforehand, I grabbed some things from Whole Food and made it snack time.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I had a major craving for the real deal root beer, so I gave Virgil’s Root Beer a try because it was among the cheaper varieties and I remembered Mama Pea toting Papa Pea’s love for it here. ‘Twas alright; I don’t think I picked up all the subtle flavors listed as ingredients but it was a fun change of pace.

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Back home I made a quickie-early dinner with a stick of Next Generation Dairy Raw Probiotic Mozarella and part of a can of chickpeas, all over spinach dressed in Foods Alive‘s Sweet & Sassy. Yum! for a sweet dessert, there was an Artisana Almond Butter sample eaten with a spoon. I swear it tasted like marzipan, it was that good.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline

Last night, I had a reunion of sorts held in the Museum Of Science’s skyline suite. Love that dirty water, Boston you’re my home.

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

I honestly had no faith in the food that’d be there so I was packing tofu and larabars, but I was pleasantly surprised to see loads of vegetables and wild salmon. I actually only had about 2 bites of the salmon–wasn’t in the mood–but grabbed a 2nd, equal-sized plates of vegetables and put those away too. I definitely run on plant power.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

Dessert after a show was a Newman’s Own Organicssuper dark chocolate bar, and then a little bulk baker’s chocolate at home… times two… plus baby carrots. Have I mentioned I’m an insomniac every Saturday night?! That’s turning in to a frustrating habit…

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Why is Fage so good?! It’s also the most expensive Greek yogurt brand around here, but it’s been on sale, and magically delicious. Take that, Lucky Charms.

What do you buy in bulk? Working with a 3-foot fridge and a tiny room, it was hard to buy anything in bulk all year long. Since coming home, I’ve started buying 5 pound bags of organic potatoes. And now I’ve done the math and discovered that if you buy the gourmet baking chocolate by the pound from Whole Foods, it’s cheaper than buying chocolate bars, so I’m sure I’ll be taking advantage of that from now one.

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Mother’s Day Brunch On Broadway

Posted on May 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Mothers Day! I have been loving today; it’s felt like my own very holiday even though I’ll never be a mom(and I’m OK with that)! And I think everyone else, including my own mom, has enjoyed it as well 😉

8 Miles 69:03

8 Miles 69:03

I ran a well-paced 8 miles while watching the newest Dr. Who(This episode freaked me out! for anyone else likewise addicted). I wanted to push it to 10 or even 12, but I just new my legs would appreciate me so much more if I didn’t, so I saved those miles for a rainy day.

Blueberry Chobani With Raw Almond Butter

Blueberry Chobani With Sprouted Almond Butter

I had some time before my family would arrive so I refueled with a blueberry Chobani and Better Than Roasted sprouted almond butter. Blueberry and almond is such a magnificent combination!

Better Than Roasted Raw Almond Butter

Better Than Roasted Sprouted Almond Butter

I couldn’t help myself from finishing off the almond butter jar(it was a small one) when my parents were running late. I’ve never made this parallel before in my mind, but isn’t nut butter straight from the jar like a vegan’s form of turkey jerky from a bag? I think so. Once everyone did arrive, we set off to this place for lunch:

Nick's On Broadway

Nick's On Broadway

Despite being in Providence almost a year, I haven’t been able to get myself to Nick’s On Broadway until today. It was highly recommended by Heather and Sabrina and was voted in the top 59 breakfast places in America! Even though the wait was an hour, I had a feeling it would be well worth it for Mother’s day brunch.

Open Kitchen

Open Kitchen

We watched the chefs in the open kitchen while we waited, and the smell of homefries, eggs, and toast with butter was absolutely intoxicating. We got a table earlier than expected and someone wasted no time:

Drinks Galore

Drinks Galore

That would be my grandmother with both a sangria and a bloody mary in front of her. She actually ended up with neither and drinking a decaf coffee instead, but I thought the photo was funny 😉 I sipped the bloody mary and even though I have nothing to compare it to I have to say it was really really good, and that’s from someone who hates horseradish. My one complaint was that the decaf coffee, which I did have, wasn’t terribly hot at all. I was so excited for my meal.

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

Homefries

Homefries

I ordered a local cut of beef with a side of homefries. Between Providence and the Garden Grill Cafe, I’ve grown a love for homefries and had to try Nick’s; they were deliciously and not overly oily at all while still being crisp and delicious.

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

The beef was perfectly cooked and seasoned, with a nice herby crust and a rare center. I love the emphasis on local, which is something I’ve found a lot of in Providence. It’s easy to want to eat from within your own state when it’s the smallest in the country 😉 On the way out the head chef, Derek, wished us well and a happy Mother’s day, which I thought was a great, personal touch. Overall I had a fantastic time at Nick’s and can’t wait to go back again.

Whole Foods Bag

Whole Foods Bag

We did some grocery shopping and I had a HUGE craving for what was in the bag. Can you guess what it might have been?

Sweet Scoops Madagascar Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Scoops Madagascar Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Ice cream! The real, dairy deal. No coconut milk would have sufficed for me, and this was so good. It tasted like straight up vanilla extract, which I know a certain blogger would appreciate if she could tolerate dairy.

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

And now for my dessert-dessert, I’m eating the last piece of microwave vegan chocolate fudge. This would be such a sadder moment if I didn’t also pick up earth balance and have something in the fridge cooling at this very moment 😉 Check back tomorrow for a new and delicious recipe! And now I need to get back to Leap Year; I have 3 hours before it expires which worries me even though it’s only 90 minutes long.

What do you order at brunch? I don’t usually crave eggs. And as much as I love the smell of toast I cant tolerate the gluten. But one thing my brunch has to have is homefries. I’m awful at making them myself and, when they’re done right, I could eat them as my main course!

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Two Times, Two Ways

Posted on May 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Warning: You can’t even read this post without increasing your cholesterol a little. Consult your doctor to see if Lipitor is right for you.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

Who doesn’t start their work-week by turning ground beef into burgers? No worries: I practice clean cooking in addition to clean eating. I wore my No Meat Athlete shirt this morning to take my final but quickly changed when I realized what a carnivorous day this would be(and now I’m rocking the Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona look).

Burger, EVOO Sweet Potato Hash Over Spinach

Burger, EVOO Sweet Potato Hash Over Spinach

EVOO Roasted Sweet Potatoes

EVOO Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Lunch was a perfectly prepared burger on a bed of spinach with pan-finished EVOO sweet potato chunks. If that doesn’t catch your eye, I don’t know what will. For these, I quartered 1/2 a sweet potato and let those roast for an hour or so. After that, I quickly tossed them in the pan with the rendered beef fat and then finished with a splash and fry of EVOO. As Miss Rachael Ray would say, yummo! Who needs salad dressing? The EVOO’s on the potatoes!

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

After an afternoon of classes, I just needed to unwind with some good white chocolate, so I went for Green & Black’s. Most dark chocolate, even when it’s sorta bad, is good; just look for the stuff with no vegetable oils and all-natural ingredients and it’s going to be tasty.

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Milk and white chocolate are more troubled beasts. But a good organic brand like Green & Black’s never fails. I love it when you can see the vanilla beans! Now, let’s no one point out white chocolate has 0 of the antioxidants and more of the sugar and we’ll all be happy, capiche?

Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt

Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt

I’m not going to say this is nature’s white chocolate, but 1/2 an avocado + lemon + sea salt = heaven. And why not eat an avocado like this? It is a fruit after all. Now, can you guess what dinner might have been?

Sweet Potato Fries With Parma, Burger, Baby Carrots

Sweet Potato Fries With Parma, Burger, Baby Carrots

It’s a whole different meal when the sweet potatoes are shaped like fries and the burger has ketchup 😉 That would lead me into answering some questions…

Question 1: Do you worry about red meat intake/cholesterol intake/animal-based saturated fat intake?

In short, no. Any concerns I have with eating animals and animal byproducts is rooted in ethical reasons rather than health. That’s not to say I don’t take steps to also get the better products–grass-fed beef and butter, wild fish, etc. I typically buy 1 pound of beef for a week with my groceries. Whether I eat that all in one day or over the week, on the large scale it’s all the same so I’m not phased by it; some days I’ll eat entirely vegan without really trying. Things balance out.

Question 2: How do you prepare your sweet potatoes?

Besides the EVOO hash I described, I’ll typically make my “sweet potato fries” by cutting up 1/2 a large sweet potato, tossing them in EVOO, and baking at 350 for 60 minutes. From there, you can add things like tumeric, Parma, Daiya, or anything else. And, of course, sometimes I’ll just roast a sweet potato whole for 90 minutes. But like I’ve said before, I’m a bit of a snob and refuse to microwave them for a quick-fix.

Question 3: Do you plan your meals?

For singular me in my dorm, extended meal plan doesn’t really work. I have a couple of meals I know how to make and make well, and rely on those so long as I have the raw materials on hand. I’ll generally figure out what I want for lunch and dinner sometimes in the morning. I have planned out a week before for my whole family and that worked great; it just hasn’t been a scenario recently.

Question 4: What’s your favorite chocolate?

That’s a loaded question. In general, I’d probably opt for dark on the fly. But really, picking a single one would be like picking a favorite child: You like each one the most at different times depending on who did something bad last 😉 I would suggest seeing my chocolate review page.

Now, since there was no antioxidants in that white chocolate, I’m afraid I’m just going to have to make up for it in dark chocolate tonight and not set my alarm 😀

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Running With Ice Cream

Posted on March 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, I want to send out a huge congrats to my favorite no meat athlete, Matt, who finished a 50k today! Could you imagine running 50k? I would like to see all the yummy food that took to fuel 🙂

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino

My run wasn’t quite that long, but boy was it entertaining! It was a beautifully sunny day in Providence so I hit the East Providence path. I wasn’t pushing myself too hard–mostly enjoying some good country music–but also not letting myself be passed except by 1 small Indian man(he was speedy for his size!). When I started heading back, I stopped by the small Whole Foods to pick up some tuna and then Eastside Marketplace for this quart of ice cream. Can you then imagine I would try to run the last mile back carrying a quart of ice cream? Because I did.

9.54 Miles In 1:21:43

I ended up going 9.54 miles(which is about 15k if my math isn’t too rusty). I actually thought my time would be a lot worse. Several times in that last mile I had to stop because the tuna fell out of my pocket or I dropped the ice cream; it wasn’t pretty. But I made it! First thing: Throw sweet potatoes in the oven.

Sweet Potato Hash

When I get a meal in my head, I want it. And nothing else will do. I was a lit hesitant that the sweet potato wouldn’t cook long enough but I threw it in at 400 and by the time I stretched, showered, and 1/2 cooked my burger, they were ready to soak up the extra fat and fry in the pan.

Sweet Potato And Grass-Fed Burger Salad

I called this a “salad” because it was over bitter greens but I don’t know if it works like that. Whatever it was, it was phenomenal. This 90/10 grass-fed meat which we picked up at Whole Foods last weekend has to have been the best I’ve gotten ever in terms of juiciness. Did I lose any veggie readers there? I hope not. That flavored the sweet potatoes amazingly and just made the whole thing rock. Of course, I applied ketchup like it were an extra serving of veggies 😉

Orange Zevia

To wash this down, I had an orange Zevia while reading some homework assignments. Want to win some Zevia for yourself? I’ll explain how at the end of the post.

Elan Coffee Frozen Yogurt

Anticipation made me jump in to dessert a little early this afternoon. I just loooove this frozen yogurt! The nutrition is really good, too, and it has a relatively simple ingredient list on which the only flavorer is decaf coffee–joy. My only grip is that the company makes no claim about cow’s not being treated with rBST :-/ But I’m guessing(hoping?) that need not be a concern with a relatively local company that only gets supplied by Vermont farmer; Vermonteers have always been good people 🙂

Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter Jar

Moving on, it was time to move on. I’d been holding on the last bit of my Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and was ready to say goodbye.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

On top of some pumpkin oatmeal went the last bit of Justin’schocolate peanut butter and some agave sweetened smart balance peanut butter. Umm, yum? I was sad to see it go, but I guess it’s time had come. I don’t think I’ll bother ordering a replacement online because I’ve heard that these hit East coast shelves by “end of March”. I can wait a week…. maybe.

Finishing Off The Jar

I’m just never satisfied by empty peanut butter jars; it’s impossible to get them “clean enough”.

Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

Not that I can really explain why, there just needed to be gummy bears at dinner. And trust me; there did. And in terms of “healthy eating”, I’d say why not? So long as you’re having gummy bears with dinner and not for dinner. Eat real food, and the fun stuff, too 🙂

Broccoli, Tuna Salad, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread, Fruity Gummy Bears, Tazo Passion

Yesterday’s tuna salad in the sun had me wanting more! And this one was just as good. On the side, I had a Dr. Kracker sunflower cheddar flatbread and some broccoli for green vegage. I’m very happy to say that the Dr. Kracker products don’t trigger my suspected gluten intolerance, and I think it’s because they’re made with spelt flour! I’ll do a more in-depth portion into this in a future post.

Tazo Zero Calorie Passion Bottled And Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

On the side of that salty goodness, I had some sweet treats. I sipped on a new, all-natural, zero calorie passion Tazo tea. Meh. The flavor was good, and the sweetness was great! I just didn’t dig the rose and herb flavor in a cold beverage; it seemed like it’d be so much better hot. The gummy bears from Surf Sweets were also meh. I suppose any time you have vegan, all-natural gummy bears you have to stop and be thankful. But the fruit flavors made them taste more like soft jelly beans, of which I was not a fan. I would now like to try their jelly beans…

Like I said, there are several opportunities out there to win your own Zevia. I don’t have a giveaway to host, but you can enter one at this blog, this blog, or this blog. All the best! Zevia is definitely worth a taste if you ever get the chance; I don’t know where my all-natural diet would be without it!

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Who Plucked Out My Sweet Tooth?

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

If I took you all in a room, and told you I didn’t like things sweet, I’d expect a roar of laughter(or at least some backwards glances). But today it’s like I’ve crave nothing sweet(that, for me, just meaning not a lot–not literally nothing). And the only reason I can think is that–save 1/8 teaspoon in my coffee at 6:15–I haven’t had any stevia. Today was not a hot drink type of day and I used agave in my yogurt this morning. I’ve never thought it before, but maybe there’s some truth to not craving sugars without low-cal sweeteners, even natural ones like stevia.

Red Delicious Apple

I can never make it between breakfast and a reasonably timed lunch on Tuesday/Thursday, so I had a naturally sweet apple. It was also quite naturally mealy and just naturally not-good, but it held me over so that I could make my favorite salad to eat in class.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

I’d never thought I’d say that: “Favorite salad”. But I’m really digging the new flavor combination I struck on 2 weeks ago. I guess these are sort of sweet ingredients, but not too much. I used a good squirt of Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing and a handful of Navitas Naturals mulberries, mixed in with chickpeas and diced cheese.

Raw & Probiotic Chickpea Salad, Trilogy Synergy

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Parsley Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Everytime I eat this, I swear it gets better; it just makes me feel so fresh! The garlic parsley cheddar raw & probiotic cheese from Next Generation Dairy really makes the flavors come together. And so much of this is raw, you know it must be good for you. On the side, I accompanied the meal with a raw and probiotic drink, namely the Trilogy flavor by Synergy. I talked about this more in the end, but it was quite the tastey juice. It tasted more just like a regular gingerade kombucha to me, but I didn’t mind because that’s most of the ingredients and a flavor I love. I would’n say this was sweet, though; It’s much more vinegary. And it finally made me feel full. Where was that when my stomach was on a war path yesterday?

Orange Chocolate Energy Bar

This afternoon, on top of my 3 hours of class I had another engagement that lasted about an hour. Therefore, a bar was a complete must. I grabbed this Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Orange Energy Bar from my bag. Sweet? Definitely. I didn’t say my sweet tooth had wholly disappeared 😉

Broccoli With Salsa

When I got back to my dorm, it was the oddest thing: All I wanted was dinner foods, even though dinner was a good time away and I still had preparation to do. I scrapped around for something not sweet, and this was the best I could do; it totally hit the spot, too! Go figure. I just hope this doesn’t continue for long because I do not keep that much savory stuff around.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

It was that time of week again. I want to thank each and every one of you who comments on how well I eat for living in a dorm. I assure you, after a full day of classes, the last thing I want to do is form burgers, cut sweet potato fries, and cook it all, especially when I still have homework for the next day. To be honest, I just don’t feel like there’s much of a choice, though. To eat in the dining hall, I either need to compromise a lot of my food philosophy, or learn to be happy with the salad bar; I just don’t like raw vegetables that much. When you get right down to it, cooking is work(God, now I understand my mother all too much), but it’s work I’ll do.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder, Sweet Potato Fries

This was worth the work, too. I do not know what was up with the beef; it was incredibly juicy but wouldn’t hold on to the juice. That’s OK because I ended up licking the plate clean(did I really just admit to that?) Happily, despite the lost prep time, I can be a fast eater and move on to my readings for tomorrow now. I’m sure today was just a fluke and that my sweet tooth will reappear soon for dessert(how could it not?).

There’s so much extra out there, I feel lie I have to mention a few before I give a product review summary. First up, there’s this article concerning fat as a new flavor. I’ve read this a couple places now, and I’m totally willing to jump aboard the flavor train if that’s the case. What’s interesting is reading how they want to take and utilize this knowledge. There’s also a funky monkey snack giveaway for you all to enter, not like those have much fat in them 😉 And check out the $50 shopping spree giveaway on Mary’s Weight Loss Blog! I can win an $50 Shopping Spree Giveaway from iHerb.com and so can you! Click here for contest details! Now, I’ll wrap this up with my Kombucha product review recap. I was able to sample 4 flavors to review for Synergy, and here’s my thoughts on those I tried. I think what I learned was, whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed so long as you like Kombucha. You can also look at my Synergy review page to see what other flavors I’ve had and might have in the future. Enjoy!

Botanic No 9

8.5/10: A delicate blend of honeysuckle and flowers, this kombucha has an equally tame flavor. It wasn’t “blue” in a saddening way but rather very mellow. I almost missed the vinegar flavor of the kombucha which is pretty much rendered down to nothing here. This one wasn’t for me on account of its subtlety but would definitely be a mellow welcome to anyone looking for “down time” or simply new to kombucha.

Citrus

8/10: The vinegar flavor of kombucha is a lot to handle naturally. I’m afraid it just might be too much for citrus to handle, too. While I liked this as a drink, it didn’t scream citrus! or lemon! the way I was expecting; there was just some certain zest of life missing from the flavor. That being said, it was very good kombucha, and I’m glad nothing fought the natural vinegar punch but–if anything–enhanced it. And perhaps the citrus helped to boost my mood because I felt like an all star after drinking it.

Multi-Green

9/10: “Drinking your calories” often gets a bad wrap; but when you’re drinking greens, living enzymes, and a host of other nutritious things, how can anything be bad? I’ll admit that I was wary of the color for this. When I started sipping I was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavors here–vinegary kombucha and bitter greens–actually work and thrive together! And the algae and other add-ins give a welcome dose of protein. The only unpleasantry was the chalky remnants at the bottom of the bottle. Otherwise, this was a surprisingly joyful way to take in my greens!

Trilogy

8.5/10: Even when synergy dabbles with juices, they really can’t go wrong; so often, the typical juice drink is over-sugared and more of a dessert than a health drink. I like how synergy keeps the kombucha strong and the ingredients simple; in this was just kombucha, raspberry juice, citrus, and ginger. The “trilogy” of flavors work well, but perhaps a little too well; you can’t identify much more than a strong vinegar flavor with a sharp bitter tone that could come from any 1–or all–of the flavors. Still, this drink had me sipping more and feeling well,, and is one of the flavors I’d gladly grab again.

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How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

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

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

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20 Minutes

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

20 minutes is the length in 1 period of an Olympic hockey game(more on that later). It’s also about the amount of time I spent on anything today.

Natural Food Store

After blogging and while I was still around home, I wanted to go to my favorite foodie store nearby. I only spent about 20 minutes perusing the 3 aisles but I could easily spend twice that if we had the time. It feels so good to go in to a store and know that I can eat anything I find, and it doesn’t even matter if I would never want to but just that I can. I found 2 really fun finds and then we were back home. I made lunch for the family which took–you guessed it–20 minutes.

Simple Italian Beef Over Cauliflower With Cheddar Cheese

20 minutes and 4 ingredients is all you need for a really simple and flavorful dish. I browned 1 pound 90/10 grass-fed beef in a large pan, and half way through added a diced onion and red pepper to sweat. Then with about 7 minutes to go I added 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce and let that cook down. Voila! A little salt, pepper, Emeril’s seasoning, and cheddar cheese and it was fantastic. Most of the meal was spent explaining what a gluten intolerance was and why I limit wheat and pastas now. After having a whole wheat cookie in my breakfast(a fantastic choice, by the way), I’m pretty darn confident of the intolerance. For a pasta and pizza loving family, this was tough news to digest 😀

After lunch, we picked up my grandmother and great aunt who wanted to go to the Casino near my school(my mom did too, of course). Can you imagine being in a car with a couple of chatty 80 year olds? That was my afternoon. I wish it lasted 20 minutes but it was more like 60. I’m always amused by the random “Did you know so-and-so died?” and “I did call you but the operator said you wouldn’t take the call” followed by “I don’t have an operator, I have a cell phone with an answering machine”. Is that how I’ll be in 60 years?

Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

When I got back on campus, I felt really crunched for time, so I whipped out this bar I”ve been seeing on so many other blogs, threw my stuff on the bed, and hit the gym, eating it over the first 2 miles in about 20 minutes. From what I could taste, it was pretty good, but very much tasting like a date; I was looking for more coconut oil. And eating it running was not a smart move for digestion.

7 Miles In 62:02

It did, however, give me energy to extend my run from 5 to 7 miles. That and the fact that I got really in to the hockey game on TV and didn’t look down until 5.4 miles had gone by. I thought the period was only 20 minutes but didn’t realize the clock kept stopping. It turned out to be a really exciting game!

Olympic Hockey Match

When I finished up the run, we were in the 3rd period, so I hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes to watch “the end”. When America scored that last point, all of let out a sweaty “Woohoo!”

Carrot Juice

At that, I rushed back to my dorm and chugged this carrot juice within 20 minutes of my workout to absorb all the nutrients. I don’t drink much juice, but carrot juice is easily my favorite. And it’s so nutritious, too! A cup has more potassium than a banana and a good amount of sodium to replace salt. The downside of this all was that I missed the last goal while I was showering 😦 Fail. After that, I whipped up an easy Asian dinner in 20 minutes.

Tofu And Broccoli Cooked In Soy Sauce, Cheddar Popchips

OK, “Asian dinner” in my terminology means dicing soft tofu, letting it steam in a pan over soy sauce, and adding steamed broccoli for the last 5 minutes to cook down. But it’s simple and good! And the cheddar Popchips were another easy side because I did not feel like getting that involved with dinner after a day like today; 20 minutes was more than enough 🙂

Normally, I might wait another 20 minutes before brewing up some decaf coffee to start off dessert, but tonight I feel hungry, and there’s a lot of work to be done. Boo 😦 But on the bright side the closing ceremonies will be on! And an excellent Brothers & Sisters. These are definitely things to look forward too 🙂

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Dynamic Duos

Posted on February 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thankfully, the ice dancing is over, which means we don’t have to look at creepy, questionably incestuous duos dancing to poorly chosen songs in outrageous costumes. No, now we can get back to the dynamic duos that set our mouths on fire!

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard

Caramel and Mustard. REALLY. This stuff is heavenly. I have could eat it by the spoonful. Who would have thunk it? But the sweetness of condensed milk and the spiciness from mustard seeds just take the floor together. So for lunch, I baked up some tofu, coated it in this and another fantastic ingredient.

Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Coconut Caramel Mustard Tofu

Tofu, meet coconut. Coconut, tofu. When I saw Caitlin give this one a try, I couldn’t help thinking yes, yes, yes! So after the mustard was adhered to the baked tofu, I toasted coconut flakes in a ban and tossed them with the tofu. Winner, winner, vegetarian lunch or dinner! And let’s not forget the dynamic duo of soy sauce and any vegetable that will soak it up. Mmmm. I steamed broccoli and then finished it in a pan with a little of the black gold 🙂 And I ain’t talking Texas tea.

Red Delicious Apple

An apple and… coffee?! Not quite, but I needed something to fill me up before 3 1/2 hours of class! Not like I thought this would last me over that long, but for the first section I was A-OK. Then I had to lead a little discussion in my seminar, which went decent, until the teacher said I should have submitted a paper with my notes on it. Oops! I’ll type that up in a jiffy after this. During the “break” I “snuck” from my pocket perhaps the holiest of dessert duos.

Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Sunspire Candy Bar

I like coconut. I love chocolate. I really love coconut oil chocolate. Sadly, I just “loved” this candy bar. OK, “just” maybe sets the wrong note. I loved this bar. The dark chocolate was perfectly bitter-sweet(70% I’m guessing). And the coconut was nice and a little sweet 🙂 Yum, yum. More companies need to make organic candy bars! Then again, maybe it’s a good thing for me they don’t, because I could go po’ eating through them.

.9oz Snack Pack Surf Sweet Sour Berry Bears

Speaking of candy, “healthy” and “candy” are not your typical duo, but Surf Sweets tries at least. Just like how I try to eat them the weirdest way possible…

Soy Yogurt With Sour Berry Bears

Sweet and sour needs no explanation. I took a container of plain soy yogurt sweetened with some vanilla stevia and added these gummy bears on top. A little confused? Remember putting gummy bears on vanilla froyo along with about 20 other toppings? Yeah, it was like that. This was after I had gotten out of class, flew my backpack down, and started cutting up a sweet potato for dinner thinking “Now I see why my mom would b*tch having to make dinner after getting home from work”. BUT that set up one hell of a duo for dinner:

Sweet Potato Fries, Grass-Fed Cheese Burger

This was more like a quartet of awesome. Of course, there’s burger + fries. Duh. And then there’s burger + cheese = meh but I went with it for a change from yesterday. And salt with sweet potato is “like woh“. And, while I recognize this is basically the same dinner as yesterday, to that I have to attribute a) my tofu block being on its last leg and b) the fact that I gave up “prepared soy foods” for Lent, so there 🙂

And now, tonight’s going to feature a lot of Evan + Plato before my Greek test tomorrow morning with a little bit of making + up that assignment I mentioned I forgot about. What’s your favorite duo? Or who? if we want to lead the edible persuasion. Personally, I’ve always been an Ash and Pikachu fan, but if you wanna say Ricky and Lucy I couldn’t deny. AND check out when Kate made my coconut oil chocolate. I love that all the ingredients she used were organic; a blogger after my own heart.

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