Too Much Nature For Me

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

Sometimes, I have to look at how my post makes me seem and laugh; I swear I’m not too crunchy granola, really 😉 I do have limits to my love of nature. Bloggers, do you feel like your blog persona is never the true you?

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

I snacked on vegan peanut butter fudge before my run. Not only was I nervous about the thought of a 14-miler after 3 days of not running, but to make things work I looked out my window and say a big, black ball in my draveway. It turned out to be a wild turkey, and this one looked mean :-/ He left and soon enough I was off.

14 Miles

14 Miles

The highlight of the run, by far, was running past a beautiful, big brown cow who looked straight at me going by. The decaying possum on the side of the road I had to pass twice? Yeah, not so much. Oh, and the joy of everything was just finishing!

Raw Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Olive Cashew Cheese, Multigrain FTSG Chips

Raw Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Olive Cashew Cheese, Multigrain FTSG Chips

Since raw food takes no cooking, why not have a raw meal for quick post-run recovery? I mad a simple salad with arugula, spinach, basil, and olive oil, and tossed grape tomatoes in sea salt and black pepper.

Raw Olive Cashew Cheese

Raw Olive Cashew Cheese

We bought this cheese on this occasion at Grezzo’s and I finally dethawed it. Wow, is it delicious! It doesn’t really remind me of cheese, or cashews. It’s so unique. And somehow I insist I’m not that crunchy granola 😉

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Dessert was an apple, and then I was off!

Wolf Hill Farm

Wolf Hill Farm

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

I went down to the local farm to get more honey. Apparently, I can go through almost a pound of honey a week–who knew?! I love supporting a local farmer, but… I really wish the middle aged woman running it would buy a support bra with all that support I’m giving. Now she is that crunchy granola.

Plain Chobani With Honey And Crunchy PB

Plain Chobani With Honey And Crunchy PB

This afternoon snack was a no-brainer: yogurt with honey and peanut butter. So good! It helps to mask that plain favor I despise so much. Have you seen the new blue containers? I think I dig them more than the pink, but it’ll take some getting used to.

Coconut Ice Cream With Crunchy PB

Coconut Ice Cream With Crunchy PB

And before dinner I polished off a coconut coconut milk ice cream to make room in the freezer. Adding peanut butter to ice cream is never as good than ice cream with peanut butter already in it. I think it needs a little extra sweetness.

Black Beans With Daiya, Peppered Potato Wedges With Caramelized Onions

Black Beans With Daiya, Peppered Potato Wedges With Caramelized Onions

Dinner was a lot of carbs with a new recipe! I’ll be posting it Saturday night, so potato fans keep an eye out 😉 I have just come to love the white potato over the past few weeks. Maybe I was Irish in a past life? The only thing that disgust me is cleaning the potato itself, especially once it’s started to grow stars. Ew, ew, ew! Too much nature for me.

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Free Of Nothing; Full Of Nutrition

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I had a sobering thought on my run today. I hate “veganism”. “What? But I love all my vegan meals and recipes.” That was my next thought. But I kept going back and realizing I really do hate the label, “vegan”.

So then I asked myself “Why?”

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

*Note: I did not eat this today, or any meat. The only non-vegan things I had were a yogurt at breakfast and brownie made with eggs in the afternoon*

Frankly, I’ve known too many people going vegan or vegetarian to avoid certain things for “health”, things like cholesterol and animal fats. And then once a year–probably on their birthday–, they’d have a big juicy steak. “Once and a while won’t kill”. Well of course it’s not going to kill you; but no one can say the same for the cow.

I think there are a lot of ways you can be healthy without strapping on the vegetarian label and shunning things out of your life. That’s not why I eat vegan at the meals and times I do. Rather, it’s to bring certain nutrients in.

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

My lunch wasn’t healthy because of the absence of animal products; it was healthy because of the abundance of plant-based foods. That, to me, is what veganism is all about: The emphasis of a plant based diet. As much as I’d love to think that way 24/7, I’ll undoubtedly slip up sometime and look at something for being “dairy-free” or “free of animal by products”. What I really wish I could see 100% of the time is how something is free of nothing, but full of nutrition.

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Of course, allergens play a role in this, too. But I would count those as a separate case. A lactose-intolerant person would eat coconut milk ice cream for a very different reason than a vegan. I’m–well–I’m neither. But I love how this tastes and feels, and do try to avoid dairy to some extent for better digestion.

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

And the brownie was likewise free of dairy and gluten(an allergen I do take care to avoid).

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Desserts in general, though, I would say get a pass on ever being “healthy”. No matter how you cut it(a fudge joke), my microwave vegan chocolate fudge and microwave vegan peanut butter fudge are full of sugar. That doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor, either, or that you shouldn’t make them 😉

9 Miles

9 Miles

That fueled me to run around my neighborhood 8 times for a total of 9 miles. Perhaps my legume love isn’t such a terribly beneficial thing since I needed to make a pit stop into the bathroom after lap 6. At least I was close to home and didn’t go on a road run like I was thinking.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Afterwards I refueled with my lunch posted earlier, and when that wasn’t enough I added an apple. Later on, at the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of baby carrots to eat in the car(or the walk out of the store). If you went through a list of the allergens raw fruits and veggies are “free of”, we’d be here all day; it’s better to think of all the nutrition they’re “full of” in my mind. And tonight was “full of” recipes:

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • salt to taste

Cut the ends off of a sweet potato. Slice all the way through horizontally. With the cut side down, make strips 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Cut those again lengthwise to make into “fry” shapes. Repeat with the other 1/2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Add the fries and EVOO to the pan and massage with your hands until completely covered. Preheat an oven to 350 and bake for 60 minutes. Season to taste.

Vegan BBQ Bean Poutine

Ingredients

  • 1 serving sweet potato fries
  • 1/2 cup vegan BBQ beans
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella style Daiya
  • 2 strips tempeh bacon(optional)
  • 3 pieces fresh basil

Cook the sweet potato fries according to directions. Pile on a plate, and add on top the BBQ beans. Heat in the microwave through for about 2 minutes. Add on the Daiya and heat another 30 seconds to melt. If using, cook the tempeh bacon through until crispy according to manufacturer’s directions. Cut into small pieces and crumble on top. Garnish with basil.

Organic Pickles

Organic Pickles

Served with a side of organic pickles. Such a simple and delicious meal for one(I’m the only one home tonight). What are you full of today? I would have to say that I’m full of beans!! and also joy that I got so much on my to-do list done. The only thing I hope for this weekend to be “free of” is stress before my last final, because that’s been giving me plenty of that.

If you enjoyed my What Would You Do moment, the actual show is on at 9pm tonight on ABC so watch that!

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“I’m A Runner. I Can Eat Whatever I Want”

Posted on May 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I hear it all the time, either on the Runner’s World forums or in real life: “A runner can eat whatever they want”. Let me tear this one to shreds. First of all, are we all really “runners”? at least in this sense? I do think that there’s little difference between anyone who runs a mile for fun or 10 miles for fun. But there’s a BIG difference between people who run for fun and people like Ryan Hall who run for a living. Now those are runners.

OK. Let’s assume we are all runners. The same rules of life still apply. That’s why my first point is to listen to what mom always said and have your 3 balanced meals each and every day.

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Dinner last night was a simple medley of black beans and organic russet potato over spinach and topped with Daiya. Yes, I really was just eating everything else as a way to have Daiya. But I thought this would be better than eating it straight from the bag to get more nutrients, don’t you think?

Moldy Chobani

Moldy Chobani

Some things none of us can eat, like moldy yogurt. Yeah, this wasn’t the most pleasant way to start my day.

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

And other things we could eat but probably shouldn’t. Case in point: these cupcakes for breakfast. I know people who would call a cupcake a “muffin” if it’s eaten before 10am. But with no whole grains, and little of–well–anything, these would not have been kind to me during my 14 miler I have planned. That’s when I made a new plan for breakfast:

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Much better. A new yogurt, topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dark chocolate almonds, and oatmeal topped with vanilla peanut butter made with Madhava vanilla agave. Sure, there was sugar here. But there was also 30+ grams of protein, 20g whole grains, 20g bran, healthy fat and antioxidant from cacao and pomegranate. This was most definitely one of my “balanced meals”.

I don’t want to make the case that a runner always has to eat healthy; that’s a dangerous mindset I hear too much, too. The truth is, balance is the key. At a certain point, a calorie is a calorie and a runner might just need more to do more. That’s where dessert comes in.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Indulgent? Sugary? Delicious? All of the above. Still, I try to find some nutrition in my desserts, which is why I often reach for coconut products. The saturated fat in coconut is medium chain, making it easier for our bodies to break down to energy than long chain. And it’s plant based so it has no cholesterol. Besides that, it just is easier for me to digest than dairy. What more could I say to get you on the coconut train?

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

And if I’m notorious for anything, it’s my nightly bowl of oatmeal with nut butter. Do what you want. But the warm carbs are great for a good night’s sleep. And this is nothing but a healthy dessert. And those squares of Endangered Species organic smooth dark chocolate–all for the antioxidants 😉

Fudge

Fudge

So I guess I can’t play the runner’s card to attack this pan anymore, huh? Well it will still be there if and when I finish running 14 miles. The sun is shining and things are heating up so if ever that’s happening it will be soon. Tonight’s post will be a recipe-packed post with all of your ice cream suggestions and what’s in the pan above.

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What Would You Do?

Posted on May 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My newest Friday night television obsession is the ABC show What Would You Do? The whole show is based on what used to be a 20/20 segment where they put real people in morally compromising situations with hidden cameras to tap their reaction. Since I’ve been watching 20/20 and this segment for 5-6 years, I was excited for this(You can go ahead and do the math; you’ll just find out I turned into a grandpa at a really young age). As much as I wanted to recommend this show, I didn’t have much to say about it. That was until I had a What Would You Do? moment in my own life.

At the gym, someone clearly left their Debit card and hadn’t noticed since they weren’t around the entire while I was there. I’ve seen lost personal property at the gym before and left it, but since this clearly had the person’s name on it I decided to take it and find them. When I tried to find a school email, they weren’t in the system; at this point, I thought I’d made a huge mistake and wanted to go throw it back on the gym floor and forget about it. Instead, I used one of my most prominent skills: Facebook stalking. I was able to track them down and message the person, who actually cancelled the card right away and said thank you but that I could tear it up. What would you have done in my situation? In their’s? I think we both did the best thing; I definitely would have been hesitant to take anything from the gym if I didn’t think finding the owner would be reasonably easy, so if it were a real gym I’d probably have turned it in to the front desk and went on my way(there’s no staff there; it’s just a single room of machines).

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

For breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal with Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter; how is it that I haven’t eaten this peanut butter in weeks?! It may not be vegan, but it’s perfection. And on a cherry fage I crumbled my last lemon ginger macaroon from Emmy’s Organic. You know you’re a blogger when you forget that “real” macaroons have egg whites in them and aren’t raw. They also aren’t this yummy.

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Right before leaving for the gym I remembered my fudge in the refrigerator. My runs are a lot better when I do some serious prefueling. Ironically, I thought eating chocolate before a run would just be crazy and cheap. But fudge? Now that’s a class act.

I ran 12 miles on the treadmill. In hindsight, I have to question how sane it is to run on an electric machine when there’s a huge thunderstorm outside. But the thought didn’t occur to me until mile 7 so I kept going. I also got to watch Ice Age and laugh out loud at the line “It’s hard to get fat on a vegan diet.” Someone hasn’t tried my fudge

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya

Black Beans And Daiya

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

For lunch, I threw together a little Spanish fiesta with foods from the dining hall. I topped black beans with Daiya, which is still pure magic in case you’d thought I’d forgotten. On the side were some Spanish Potatoes and salsa, and a Dr. Zevia to wash it all down(OK, actually to empty the can so I don’t have to carry it out of the dorm).

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Dessert was more vegan chocolate fudge with a little vanilla peanut butter. I have a recipe for vegan peanut butter fudge in my mind! But obviously I don’t want to release it until I can make a test batch.

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Really, the fudge was just an apertif for the main course: So Delicious chocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream. I’m going to cry in the time that I don’t have this between moving out of the dorm and settling in at home. It’s that good.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

After that I walked to CVS where I got the most perfect Mother’s day card and picked up a citrus kombucha and ate that as a snack with 1/2 a raw chocolate bar. I’ve had this 1/2 lying around for so long frankly because I haven’t cared for it; if you’re looking for raw chocolate, better to try Nibmor or Lulu’s or even make your own with my recipe. Speaking of recipes…

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

I cooked! OK, it wasn’t anything more than maple baked tofu with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. But it felt soooo good to get back in the kitchen and turn on the oven after more meals than I can count from the dining hall or Whole Foods or made of oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong–I love a good meal made for me here and there. But there’s nothing more grounding than making something yourself.

Do you feel like you need to cook or bake from time to time? Clearly, I do. Do you think it’s “hard to get fat” on a vegan diet like Sid the Sloth says? That’s how I used to think–that vegans were sticks who ate grass–, but after learning more and reading so many wonderful vegan blogs I know they can cook with the best of them and it’s still everything in moderation that’s key. I’ll point out everything here today besides the butter toffee peanut butter and Cherry Fage was vegan. And what would you do?

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Race For The Border Half Marathon Recap

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

In short, I survived! And with all my toes and fingers, too 😉

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

The night before was filled with carbs, of course. I meant of went a little overboard with the maple-flavored goods, but how could someone not? I love the duo of mighty maple and maple cashew butter with some New Hampshire maple butter. Mmmm. I also had a reunion with the Food Network; after 4 weeks of 20 channels, being at home with my DVR was heavenly until I had to get a good night’s sleep for the race.

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

The run itself started by the New Hampshire/Maine coast border, which was a good 90 minutes away. We left bright and early and I had a breakfast to eat in the car. I mist have been nervous because I didn’t even want oatmeal; I needed something with some crunch! I smothered a Nature’s Path peanut butter energy bar with butter toffee peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Holy peanut power, Batman. That’s fuel! And of course there was plenty of anti-oxidant rich organic dark chocolate on a pomegranate Chobani.

Waiting To Start

Waiting To Start

If there’s one thing you can’t control, it’s the weather in New England. Today, it was below 40 with a strong coastal wind, too. In line for the bathroom, the man behind me said I was “brave” for just having basketball shorts on. I didn’t want to admit it to him but I don’t own running tights and my shoes have been the same pair since July. Whoops!

Organic Jolly Beans

Organic Jolly Beans

My pre-run fuel was some of these runner’s magic bites. I also had about another 1/2 a handful while waiting to start. If you’re going to boredom eat jelly beans, it might as well be right before a big run, right?

Race Recap

So we’re all on the same page, this was my longest outdoor run yet. My previous outdoor distance PR was 11.25. On the treadmill, I’ve ran 17 miles, and had a half-marathon time record of 1:46:28. That was all the past. My goal for this was sub 1:40.

Miles 1-3: I started off with “the runner’s high” and was really enjoying myself, listening to country music and practically dancing along. I passed a lot of people in this time, and it felt great to be going so fast. I also decided not to look at my pace ever; my time goal seemed lofty, and like if I pushed for it I’d burn out.

Miles 3-5: I really enjoyed the scenery. We were on the New Hampshire Hampton coast, so there was plenty to look at. I couldn’t imagine how many millions of dollars those houses were worth. This was also difficult because the entire run practically was against the wind.

Miles 6-9:

Miles 10-11: My left leg first started hurting around here. At 11.5, I could feel soreness in both of my legs. I started to think about it, and it made a lot of sense; why wouldn’t my legs hurt then when it’s the farthest on terrain they’ve ever run?

Miles 12-13.1: I kicked it in gear, gave it what I had left, and pushed for a good time. The endline was confusing, cars were driving in between me and the finish line, and it wasn’t even really made clear where that was :-/ That sour not aside, I tried to finish with a smile.

After The Finish Line

After The Finish Line

Alright, really I was thinking “Can we get in the car and turn on the heat?!” I still haven’t gotten an “official” time, but here’s what my Garmin had:

Garmin Stats

Garmin Stats

Whoopee! It wasn’t the 1:3X I was hoping for, but I couldn’t complain with the winds being what they were. That was still a huge distance and time PR, and in some of the worse conditions. I’m very happy with all of that… for now.

Lemon Pie Larabar

Lemon Pie Larabar

I did make one very big rookie mistake. I overlooked the time when I’d need to refuel. I did not realize that this half-marathon was 90 minutes away in virtually a black hole. The only restaurants we could find clearly did not have ethical meat or even vegetarian options besides pasta, which would not work when avoiding gluten. And so I had a lemon pie Larabar to hold me over until we got back to my hometown. It gave me plenty of time to think about how much better I could be at refueling. We all need to learn our lessons somehow, right?

Chipotle Menu

Chipotle Menu

Near home,w e stopped at Chipotle, which I heard was very eco-friendly after watching the CEO on Oprah. It may be eco-friendly, but I thought the options were really limited. No brown rice? What’s up with that? They didn’t even have fresh tomatoes… I just got what I could and then added more when we got home.

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

On top of lettuce was all the black beans/salsa/peppers from my burrito bowl, 1/2 a sweet potato I microwaved with salsa, and the leftover black beans from last night with a dollop of Chipotle’s guacamole. My mouth was on fire after this! Even if their options aren’t great, at least what Chipotle does have is pretty tasty. And at this point, I think we were all pretty hungry, so there was no judging shoveling Mexican food into our mouths while standing up.

Sweet Potato And Salt

Sweet Potato And Salt

After a much needed hot shower, no one wanted this sweet potato, so I’ll take it! When these are nice and soft, they’re pretty much candy to me. They taste a lot better roasted but who has 90 minutes to think about how their sweet potato will taste?

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

And since I’ve been writing this, I chugged my favorite flavor of Zevia. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier. All in all, my first race was an excellent experience, and there will be more 🙂 I just need time to recoup while the weather realizes how hot it should be in March, almost April.

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Carboloading

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

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Today looked so beautiful out. But would you know it was below freezing with the windchill?! Seriously, March, what did we do to p*ss you off? Even though it was so cold, I wanted to run outside for practice for tomorrow. I know I could have taken a rest day. When I thought about it, however, I realized all the times I’ve set distance PR’s I’ve also ran the day before. I’m not racing this half-marathon for a time; what’s important is that this will be my longest outdoor run by 1.9 miles. And so running as usual seemed the best thing for me to do on the day before this race.

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

I think I was a little faster just because I wanted to get somewhere warm 😉 After the first 3 miles, I couldn’t feel my fingers Note to self: BRING GLOVES tomorrow. After that, I started to get into it; for the first time I realized you can be cold as hell and still enjoy your run. I got into the music, regained circulation, and ran the planned course. I was happy to have thrown lunch in the oven before I went out, too, so that was ready for me.

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Instead of pressing the tofu, I threw it in as was at 300 degrees for 90 minutes with maple syrup on it; it ended up baking perfectly! Low and slow, baby, low and slow 😉 I also threw in some broccoli while I showered. And on the side I had a snack attack of hickory honey barbeque baked kettle chips for some carboloading and deliciousness. Aren’t the chips at the end of the bag just the best?

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Instead of a cup of decaf coffee for dessert, I went straight for the good stuff and made a cup of Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt. It was definitely too cold to enjoy outside so the window shot was all I got. Eating this, my dad arrived and we loaded up the car with stuff to bring home.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

On the way, since I was told we had no groceries back home, we stopped at Whole Foods in Bellingham, where I quickly grabbed an organic apple that was up front. Cortland? Empire? I can’t remember, but it was damn good. I love going to a grocery store you haven’t been at in a while; I feel like there was so much new they now carried!

Groceries

Groceries

We got plenty of groceries including yogurt, produce, and random snackage. My favorite items were the frozen ones, of course.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just had to grab a new coconut milk ice cream flavor of So Delicious: cookie dough. I was thinking about buying this yesterday for a Friday sundae but all I could find was the soy variety 😦 Once you go coconut milk, you can’t go back–it’s that good. And I like that the coconut milk ones have a lot less sugar and taste creamier.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Mmmm. I think the “vanilla” base could have been better. It was very “vanilla” when I was hoping for “vanilla bean”. Other than that, the chocolate speckles were nice and of course the gluten free cookie dough balls were a bit of heaven. When are they not? Here’s a new product suggestion: Just the balls.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

I snacked on another apple while making dinner. It was so awful and mealy :-/ What was with that, Whole Foods? At least it was organic, but can’t doing the right thing also taste good? And I also reunited with my dog in this time 😀 Who couldn’t have been less interested in me. He smelled, anyway.

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

We grabbed USDA approved ground turkey at Whole Foods. In it, I mixed rosemary, salt, and dill, and made it into 4 quarter pounders. On the side, I was craving a good ol’ roasted sweet potato with black beans. Mmmm, this combination is amazing; how come I forget about it so often? And plenty of carboloading in that 🙂

Hmmm, you know what else has carbs? Oats and more ice cream. Sounds like a night! I probably won’t have time to pop in in the morning so hopefully the next post will be a run recap. Until then, don’t forget to enter my giveaway and enjoy the weekend!

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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“This Is Going To Suck, But…”

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

Remember when there was all that buzz about becoming a “good mood blogger”? This would not be my entry post. This morning, I started out with a very clear thought “This day is going to suck, but I’m going to get through it”. That couldn’t have stayed true throughout it all.

Manning Chappel

I can’t say church sucked; I’m pretty sure a big lightening bolt would hit me if I tried. I can say figuring out how this was all going to work sucked. Back in Boston, it was easier; there’s a church where you can get “drive-by ashes” which we would do every Ash Wednesday after work/school and be off. First off, I needed to find the church, then what times they had mass, then which ones I could make, etc. I ended up going to one right on the main campus at noon. It was surprisingly packed and there were some people I recognized from last semester’s classes there, and even my gym friend! Didn’t get to say hi, though.

Black Bean And Acorn Squash Salad

I really couldn’t have been more off my game: I “meal planned” to eat a juicy burger on Ash Wednesday. Whoops! Well that was out, so I thought about a veggie burger. All of my veggie burgers are SOY based, meaning they fall under what I gave up for lent. Are you kidding me?! A simple lunch became a scrapping for leftovers, trip to the dining hall, and a bit of ingenuity. Spinach and black beans came from the dining hall while I diced 1/2 an acorn squash from Sunday, and topped it all with this:

Foods Alive Hemp Oil Dressing

I can’t say this sucked, but I can say my review of it will. That’s because I’m not giving one right now. And that’s because I really didn’t get a good taste of it/didn’t use enough 😦 From what I could taste, it seemed really good! It was sort of like BBQ sauce in that it was sweet but vinegary. But I had to eat my meal in discussion and didn’t get the opportunity to use more than I first poured. Bear with me on my day; it gets lamer.

Unsweetened Decaf Coffee

Unsweetened coffee? Yeah, that sucks. Between classes I had time(OK, I made time). to pick up a coffee. The only problem was that I didn’t have any stevia packets on me, and didn’t realize this until I was sitting in my next class. Whoops! Again!

Pomegranate Chobani And Brazil Nut Almond Bora Bora Bar

Midway through class I broke in to my planned snack(it’s 2 1/2 hours long). This picture sucks compared to how it was; I actually crumbled half the bar over the yogurt like granola. I just didn’t want to take out my camera in class(although the girl next to me had no problem texting the whole time. It’s not even a lecture!). We also had a lecturer from a Conneticutt museum. It’s not fair for him to say he sucked; when are guest lecturers ever good? When he asked if anyone had heard of the tribe he studies, I didn’t raise my hand even though I have; I didn’t quite know how to say “Yes, but not because of their museum. Because of Foxwoods casino which my family frequents.” That might have given the wrong impression(or the exact correct one).

Apple

I don’t have to say it; when has an apple taken from the dining hall ever been good? This one tasted especially spiteful, if only because I had just came back from a trek to recover my water bottle I left behind in discussion and still had no clue what was for dinner. This Lent thing really threw me for a loop! I decided that I would roast broccoli, whatever I was eating.

Eaten Ice Cream

When I was downstairs, throwing broccoli in the oven, I came across this empty container of Snickerdoodle ice cream. Yeah, I pretty much knew there was no chance this was anyone else’s but mine. Apparently, someone thought it would be alright to eat the last of it with a fork. Ughh. I had problems with this last semester, but they seemed to stop. Now I fear for my other 2 pints of ice cream down there(my stash of frozen bananas for banana whip not so much).

Oatmeal With A Cage Free EB Egg And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Roasted Broccoli

My dinner may just be the oddest thing, but it did not suck. That’s because I threw out the mentality of what it “should” be and just went with what I wanted. I needed to remind myself that no one passed a law that broccoli and oatmeal with peanut butter can’t be eaten together; the only restrictions for today are no meat and no preflavored soy, and this fits that bill. Amen to odd dinners.

My google reader and inbox are full, and yeah, that sucks, but it’s because I forwent looking at them and finished the real “work” I had to do. And now I’m going to go to the dining hall looking for plain yogurt, which they won’t have; it’s going to suck, but I’ll soften the blow by getting a decaf coffee. And then I’ll get back, slip into my PJ’s, and obsess over how Survivor’s not on tonight, and that will suck, but I’ll have the Olympics to watch. For my bemusement and your mental health, what has sucked in your life, and what was the “but”?

Life won’t suck for the winners of this Q.Bel chocolate giveaway on Mom’s Focus or this coconut peanut butter giveaway.

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2 Cuisines, 2 Times The Beans!

Posted on February 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today I’ve been traveling the globe with my eats. My first stop was a (late) lunch in Me-hi-co

Black Beans With Salsa And Avocado, Broccoli, Lime Nachos

I had 1/2 a can(or more) of black beans from Tuesday’s lunch to use up, so I heated those with some salsa, the last of the broccoli I had, and mashed avocado(you mean this is edible not in pudding form?!). I don’t know why I buy unsalted beans; I then just have to add loads of salt to make them appealing. But the real reason I had this meal was for the chips.

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: chips are my kryptonite! They’re my Achilles’ heal, to use a Classics term. I have no problem with sweets, chocolate, etc. But chips–they get me. And there’s really no nutritional way to back them up; they’re just emptiness, but so delicious. I keep a few(4 or 5) bags on hand because I’m not in to depriving myself in anyway, but I also look for different ways to satisfy those cravings with more wholesome foods. This time I took myself about 2/3rds of a serving of these to satisfy my chip tooth. And since I remembered that I reviewed these for the company a while back, I knew that they, too, need a sprinkling more salt to dance.

I took a trip to Vancouver, of course, through the television while visiting Ancient Rome and Greece through my books and internet texts. This afternoon was the speed skating; I love speed skating. If I had any ability on the ice whatsoever that’s what I’d like to do with it. I also love the Netherland’s uniforms. Spandex and bright orange–now that’s how to roll.

Snickerdoodle Soy Ice Cream, Coconut Oil Chocolate

My afternoon snack was inspired at breakfast. I liked the idea of a “sundae on Saturday”, so I scooped out 3/4 of a cup Snickerdoodle ice cream by So Delicious and then added 1/2 of a coconut oil chocolate bar. If you haven’t tried this ice cream yet, you must! It’s one of my absolute favorites. And it’s technically not even “ice cream” but rather “soy milk cream”, though I don’t think that rolls of the tongue. It’s full of gluten-free snickerdoodle cookie dough balls–yum! I was tweeting about them with So Delicious on Twitter 😀 They’re so fun to tweet with. They also must think all I eat are milk alternatives; dare they learn of my greek yogurt obsession?

Speaking of the coconut oil chocolate bar, it now has a recipe page! I was getting so many requests for that that even though it was far done on my to-do list in terms of site maintenance I figured it had to be addressed. I tried to keep the recipe general, but it’s really something that benefits from owning a kitchen scale. That’s how you can control the flavor and get what you want.

Thai Red Curry Sauce

For dinner, I took a plane with Trader Joe-San to Thailand. The first time I used this sauce was absolutely months ago; I figured I needed to revisit it now that I have a coconutty obsession and this is coconut milk based! It also has a lot of other questionable ingredients I wouldn’t have thought to be Thai. Like egg yolks? And xanthan gum(which I own but can still give me the willies sometimes). Anyway, I steamed a good amount of organic tofu and then added steamed vegetables with the sauce and let that simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Tofu In Thai Curry Sauce, Mushrooms, Watercress, Snap Peas

Mmm, all this needed(besides natural light, but I don’t control the sun) was some salt and fresh basil(not like I had any) to pop. I love how much flavor store bought sauces can bring to dishes with minimal ingredients otherwise. And so often I forget that tofu is beans! The fact that it’s smooth and white makes me think it’s probably over processed, but I do love that funky tofu texture 😀 I usually buy the one labeled “soft” for the really great texture.

I should probably return to Greece via Plato’s Phaedo before I get sucked in to Vancouver. What country would decaf hazelnut coffee be in? Because I’m making a major pit stop there.

And wow would I love to win this blender for some raw goodness!

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Go On And Live Your Life

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

Have you entered my yogurt contest yet? Or maybe my coconut oil giveaway? Both are still active!

Let’s just pretend that “funked-out” guy from this morning never happened 😀 The stress was good in that it motivated me to go 3 extra miles on the treadmill. But after thinking about it and realizing it’s one of those things that’s just out of my control at the moment, I realized it’s nothing worth fretting over. In the immortal words of Rhianna, “Go on and live your life”. OK–“immortals” an overstatement. But it’s a good song to run to 😀 I was certainly living my cravings at lunch!

Mexican Bowl

I needed something from South of the border in my life. I filled a bowl with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, raw onions, and sprouts from the dining hall(underneath). On top I added cooked broccoli(I cannot do raw here), 1/2 a can of black beans, a little avocado mashed up, and TJ’s salsa. Muy bueno! I don’t remember the last time I ate Mexican, authentic or otherwise. Did you know Chipotle is a very eco-friendly chain? I’ve never eaten from there, but after seeing them on Oprah I want to now. Along with this, I had some raw goodies.

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

Kath wrote a good post a few days ago on getting nutritional bang for you buck; I think both of these products fit that bill! I loved this flavor of Next Generation Dairy‘s cheese; even though I don’t normally like cilantro, it really worked here. And would you believe this was my first Synergy Kombucha ever? The company sent me coupons to try and review their raw & probiotic beverages. Well where I bought this(a local cafe) couldn’t take the coupon, but I decided to pay for it anyway since I psyched myself up for it hoping I’d like it. Like it? I loved it! This was so deliciously ginger; and the fermented flavor was oddly nice! I loved the little “warning”.

Kombucha Warning Label

Perfect–I was drinking alcohol in class. That’s nothing that hasn’t happened at Brown 😉 I did almost fall asleep at one point during this Greek History class, though. Oops. It’s not that bad though, I swear! After that, the classes just kept coming, as did my hunger.

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

Taking pictures in class? Do I get the good blogger award for that? This bar from 18 Rabbits had such an enticing description–“banana foster” with “caramelized banana”. Yes, please! Unfortunately, the flavor was very heavily like banana chips. This wasn’t a bad thing, per say; on the contrary, I really liked the flavor! It just needs to not set up itself for such high expectations with a name like that.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

When I finally got back to my room for the evening, I whipped up some chocolate avocado pudding to relax a bit. My afternoon might have looked something like this: The Office, 30 Rock, 5-page paper on food processors. Yes, you read that last one right. Why? I have no idea; we need to have a rough draft on an object in our lives we can look at from an objective perspective by tomorrow at 3pm and it was what popped into my mind. Thankfully, it’s not really due to be graded for 2 weeks, so I can surely change the subject if nothing pops(or processes as the case would be).

Along with my “meal planning initiative”, I had a brilliant idea for dinner: Breakfast! It’s true that I most always have oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. On the one hand, they’re cheap and tasty. But part of that is also because post-run it’s easy to whip together. Instead, I decided to make something with a little more complexity…

Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes With NH Maple Syrup And Grass-Fed Butter

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

Gluten-free, coconut flour oatmeal pancakes! Yum! It’s been far too long since I’ve had pancakes, and when I got this coconut flour from Bob’s Red Mill I knew this was one way I wanted to experiment with it. In the bowl went 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup almond milk, stevia, and salt. I cooked them in a bit of coconut oil and topped them with pasture butter and local maple syrup. Can you say heaven? My favorite fat blogger(that would be, one who blogs about fat ;-)) has a longstanding tradition of pancake eating; I think I need to follow suit here, too, because I’ve been missing out! On the yogurt, I made some raw sauce with Xagave and added Navitas NaturalsMulberries; they may be a superfood but I was not that into them :-/ I’d rather have something like dried raspberries. Maybe they’ll give me superpowers? Here’s hoping 🙂

Go on, live your life, and enter this giveaway from a loyal reader for peanut butter!

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