Celebrate!

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

I looove all your confessions on this post this morning. Some of you would eat anything expired! I’m mostly the same way 🙂 I just could not down that moldy tasting yogurt for my own health. Ironically, the replacement one I ate that tasted fine was expired by 4 days, while the moldy one had 2+ weeks. Ridiculous? I think so.

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

I decided to have a burger for lunch(shocker, I know); tomorrow’s Lent and who knows when I’ll be around over the weekend so I wanted to eat up this meat while it was still fresh. I was inspired by this daring teacher to make a burger bowl, filled with a grass-fed burger, sweet potato hash, spinach, ketchup, sea salt, and nutritional yeast. It’s a good thing I used nutritional yeast because if that were parmesan I’d of killed a cow. It was so cheesey and delicious! And the whole bowl was amazing; overstuffed plates are just too good 🙂

Spring

Spring

I was really excited for my History class today because it was the last class before break for me! Woohoo! The actual topic sucked and my friend and I ridiculed it the entire period, but that just made the hour fly by. The professor even let us out a little early because it was so nice and no one who showed up wanted to be there. Can you see Spring where you live, too?

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

Well I got back to my dorm, tied up some matters, and popped open a Dr. Zevia. This was the 1 flavor I hadn’t tried–mostly because it had caffeine–but I totally needed that this afternoon. It was good, but not great; to be fair, I’ve never liked Dr. Pepper, so that I liked this at all was a miracle 😉 Now that I’ve had all the flavors, I feel like I should do a review of each. Would anybody like that? Then I stepped out of the room to grab myself a little treat…

Juniper

Juniper

Fro Yo! There’s practically zippo frozen yogurt places in New England compared to Florida and California, but happily there’s one hole-in-the-wall joint in Providence called Juniper. I’d never been, have been wanting to try it for a while, and figured this was the best way to celebrate this week and have my “me” time.

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

I got a medium original flavor with blueberries and almonds. I wanted to get some toppings even if they cost an arm and a leg, and these were the among the more “natural” choices(you mean those fruity pebbles weren’t organic?!). I have no gripe with being limited in options by an all-natural diet; this I’ve long come to terms with. What I do question is having almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and soynuts, but no peanuts; where’s the peanut love?! Regardless, this was delicious. Oh my God, where has tart fro yo been all my life? It’s so tangy, yet so sweet–perfection! I know Trader Joe’s carries some so I’m definitely going to check that out when I’m back in Massachusetts.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Well, I got my peanut love eventually 🙂 It turns out fro yo is not the most filling thing, so where that misses a small bowl of oatmeal with a big dollop of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple hits the spot. And, in case you missed it, Oprah’s show was all about pornography today. Awkward much? I was mildly amused while also watching segments of The Today Show that I missed which sounded interesting.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Dinner was shaked and baked 🙂 I threw some maple tofu, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the oven around 5:30 and they were good-to-go at dinner time. I don’t even care if it doesn’t fill me up, like I established a few days ago; I just love this dish! And it’s easy to make and forget about, too.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

Sometimes, when you’re leading a tough time, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes focused on what’s at the end of the tunnel rather than your present situation. It may sound like it was on a whim, but really I had that trip to Juniper planned all week long. At the very least, it gave me something fun and different to look forward to as a “reward” for a potentially stressful week. It doesn’t have to be food. It doesn’t even have to cost money. But doing something for yourself special or out of the ordinary is a great way to keep your mind in a healthy place. Do you have an “reward” planned soon? Or just celebrate anything fun and exciting?

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The Downside To Christmas

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

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

Just kidding! But really…

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

Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cup Over Oikos

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Coconut, And Dried Blueberries

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

10 Miles In 88:14

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

Green Chocolate Dreams Superfood Snacks

Green Chocolate Dream Superfood Snack

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

Breakfast

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful And Tempeh Bacon

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

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

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Leftovers At Breakfast

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

Would someone tell my cheese tooth to reappear soon? I think my sweet one may have gotten loose.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

How does So Delicious make their soy yogurt so delicious? My guess is a heavy hand of agave nectar–love it. At least there’s plenty of fiber from inulin here, too. And those Sunspires have healthy nut fat… just enrobed under milk chocolate 😉 Anyway, ghost whisperer I thought was excellent last night; I love it when they’re a bit creepy and not at all touchy-feely. Later on was The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Not the best one I’ve ever seen, but good nonetheless. I don’t think there’s anything better than professional chefs talking about food *drool*. The subject of the episodes was snacks, speaking of which…

Goji Chocolate Chip Goji Gourmet Cookies And Coconut Oil Chocolate

No oatmeal last night. Instead, I celebrated cookie friday with some of the Goji Gourmet cookies I won. I was so happy to get to try their new flavor!

Chocolate Chip Cookie With Coconut Oil Chocolate

The goji chocolate chip cookies were sooo yummy. The chocolate chips were a little dull; they definitely weren’t Trader Joe brand(my favorite). But the cookie itself was so buttery and vanilla-infused it didn’t even matter. A little dip in some chocolate and these were perfect; I couldn’t not eat the whole 4-pack!

This morning I lazed out of bed; I figure this’ll just count as a mini-“vacation” being home 🙂 After deciding to keep it a rest day, I showered up and found some natural sweetness in the pantry for breakfast.

Bob's Red Mill Dried Blueberries

NuttZo

Neither of these have added sugar, but you’d never know it! That’s the great thing about dried fruit: natural sweetness with all the fiber. As for the NuttZo… frankly, I have no clue why it’s so sweet. But I’m glad it is!

Breakfast

Greek Yogurt With Dried Blueberries

Sweet Potato Oatmeal With NuttZo

Just to drive the sweet-theme home, I used 1/2 a leftover sweet potato for my oatmeal instead of pumpkin. It came out sooo much better this time than on Thursday. I can’t wait to set up an oats page for instructions on how I make banana, pumpkin, egg, and now sweet potato oats; each needs a little special attention but it’s worth it. These blueberries were delicious; they tasted soft and gummy, almost like candy! Probably a better decision than real candy for breakfast, too 😉

Check out this giveaway to find out how to win NuNaturals! My favorite stevia sweetener(another superfood) 😀

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Just Your Average Sunday

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

Yesterday was all I could ask for from a Sunday. I rolled out of bed at 8:30, which is about as late as I’ll ever sleep in these days. I had no plans for running, and I wasn’t quite ready for breakfast. Hmm… what to do…

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Bake! I hate shelling out all that money for blueberry raspberry oat bran muffins so I thought I’d give a hand at doing my own. I used my lazy man’s muffin recipe, and did 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 raspberries. Ps. I’m trying to get this recipe picked up by Kashi, so if you have connections hook a brother up 😉 The best part of these is they really require no flavoring or healthifying since the oatmeal packets and berries do it all for you. This was my “mystery muffin” at breakfast yesterday:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Muy bueno. It was really good, but I’m also going to be critical on myself because it wasn’t quite at blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin level. I think these were a bit too soft and wheaty, whereas the others are firmer and branier. My oh my, those are words only an oatmeal-lover could adore, haha. Nevertheless, it was good with mighty maple(and I’m sure will be great with cream cheese :-))

Did I say yesterday would be a rest day? Well for the first time in a while the sun was out with no clouds, the temperature was heating up, and I hadn’t ran around my neighborhood in a long time. I headed out at 11 and did 6.7 miles in 53:33. I didn’t realize how fast that was at the time, but I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever done 6 laps around my neighborhood(which has 3 hills, one being a real crusher). I got back a bit before lunch and (re)learned something about myself: I’m kind of an ass butthead when I’m hungry and feel like I can’t eat what I want when I want. I really wanted my “breakfast foods” fast but had to wait for a family lunch. I tried to not be so tense and just put things on my plate I’d eat:

Salmon, Asparagus

Salmon, Asparagus

The asparagus were a special request, which I had about twice that amount of. My excuse is that I wanted smelly pee when I went back home. I finished my plate and grabbed a quick dessert:

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

I don’t think it’s called dessert when you plan it and eat it with others who are on their meals.I felt a lot better after this because it was what I wanted. The banana and Nutella frozen yogurt went together as well as the real things do–Yuuuummmm. It was a lot easier to sit down and study after that while scratching Montana. My parents spoil me, I spoil him, it’s all part of the circle of life. I wasn’t in a huge rush to get back to school but better sooner than later. We stopped at Market Basket on the way to pick up two things:

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

And better yet this was only 3.69. The english muffins were on sale from 3.09 to 1.50; I prefer Trader Joe’s but that’s not remotely between my house and school. The ice cream is normally 2.69 and I had a 50 cent off coupon. It was probably the last of its flavor and I had to push aside about 100 other pints to find it, but I was determined for that price.

When we got back to school, things went as smoothly as I could have hoped for. The roomie was gone; my dad helped me put things away, and I was snacking on this:

Maple Nut Clif Bar

Maple Nut Clif Bar

This was another one of the bars Clif sent me. I was a bit hesitant to try it because I thought I had had it before and not enjoyed it. I must have thought wrong because this was awesome. No lie. Read all about it here. It might have been because I could have gone for anything maple at that time, but this was really good. It might be high on sugar, but anything maple and low sugar tends to be a disappointment, and I would gladly eat this instead of any sugary dessert any day. I got a bit more done before breaking in to this:

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

I planned to have it after dinner, but I guess a little fell into my cup and then my mouth sooner. Oops 😉 I love this frozen yogurt; Stonyfield does not skimp on the cookies part. I take “cookies n’ cream” as the ingredient list, which would suggest that it be loaded with cookies first, and cream second. This isn’t too creamy, buy it has plenty of cookies. And the fact that it’s not creamy makes it lighter so you can enjoy more of it(I might or might not have eaten a whole pint of this before in one sitting before. Again, oops ;-)). Before I left home, I grabbed a good amount of leftovers from lunch, and made a meal out of that and stuff from the dining hall:

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

College has definitely got me loving leftovers more. I forgot how good acorn squashes are; this one was baked back at home so it was super soft but I’m wondering if it’s possible to make one in the microwave. I’ll have to experiment with that next time I make it to a farmers market. I haven’t been loving salads lately so cooked spinach is an efficient way to get my greens for the week. And, of course, the salmon was good again. Thank you, mommy 😀

I must be getting old because I was overjoyed when 60 Minutes was on at 7 and whatever sports event on before it didn’t run long. I wonder if I can qualify for senior discounts at the grocery store? I’ll take the money where I can get it. Last night’s form of procrastination came in the form of reminiscing. My elementary school headmaster is retiring, and I couldn’t help but think back to those days and start to miss them so much. Since when is art not a class? or book reports not the biggest assignment? and what happened to school plays in cheap costumes? or singing song about planting daffodils? I guess we can’t really in all sensibility go back to those times, but I’m positive I’m going to be reliving them through my children some day.

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Funny enough, I don’t remember ever having oats as a kid. For breakfast, I remember M&M Kudos bars, and the occasional fishy tasting medicine pill wrapped in white bread, but never oats. Maybe me having them twice a day is making up for lost time. This started as a healthy bowl with pumpkin and sliced almonds. Then I realized that was all (figurative) vegan fluff and I really just wanted something maple(thanks, Clif). Luckily, no matter how much sugar you put on oats they’re still healthy, right?

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Now that I have a replacement jar of Mighty Maple, I’m excited how low my old jar is getting! Pumpkin oats in a jar? I think so. For the “Nutella” like spread I use Rapunzel brand. It’s organic so it has all natural ingredients. It also has more hazelnuts and less sugar per serving than Nutella so it’s more like a nut butter. I’ve also found an all natural Italian brand at Market Basket I might try after this jar runs out. Brothers and Sisters was great last night; I really think that show goes underrated. My hunger suddenly woke up after that oatmeal because I also needed this:

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

That and some water did the trick. It might have done the trick too well; fiber is a loud thing to fall asleep to while still digesting.

This morning… I don’t know where I was(figuratively, of course). I got on the treadmill and nothing felt so hot. But I had it in my mind to do 10 miles and this time in particular I really just wanted to finish. There were some annoying bathroom breaks and my right foot flared up again but I tapped into my stubborn Pollack side and kept going, finishing in 83:53. I was sure to stretch my right foot extra special and I think I’ll do that again later today just for security.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

10 miles is a lot of time to think about breakfast, and I think I went through 20 different scenarios, but this was a good one to settle on. Pepita Sun butter is kind of like the holidays in a spread, with all its allspice and vanilla goodness. And I completely forgot how much an addiction PB puffins are; I should eat up the bag, too, before it goes stale, right? 😉 That’s my excuse anyway.

Sunday felt too good to believe that it’s Monday already and the work week is back. Let’s all commiserate so that the time will pass faster.

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Determination And A Bit Of Math

Posted on October 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t know what happened, but yesterday was not 24 hours. It was 8, maybe 10 tops, and I have the pictures(and not the productivity) to prove it. The day started off good enough in class. I realized for the first time just how many grad students and upperclassmen I have for classmates. If I don’t Ace all my classes, I at least will feel comforted that my curve is being screwed by people who already did the college thing. I went to the lunchroom for lunch and ended up throwing out most of the food I picked up. I felt bad, but I’m sure the cafeteria throws out wayyy more than what I did. Instead I had a delicious microwave made meal:

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Garden Burger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

You don’t get this stuff from the dining hall. The Flamegrilled are my favorite Gardenburger, and they’re also vegan! I love simplicity of ingredients like that. The pilaf was very good; I’d had it before but don’t remember much more than liking it enough to buy it again. It had just the right amount of spice and salt, and a really fun play on texture. Tomatoes was the 2nd ingredient, which was odd because it didn’t seem like much there, but overall it was very tasty and filling, especially for something made in the microwave. 365 Steak Sauce just completes any dish–if you’ve tried it, you know what I mean.

Normally I’d have stayed in and watched Days and Rachael Ray. But the weather was not getting better with time here in New England, so I figured I might as well “get it over with”. As I started walking towards Whole Foods and F.Y.E., it started raining. This was entirely warranted:

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Look, ma, no cardboard holder! Nothing was getting between me and my warmth… literally. I pretty much gulped this down over the mile walk in record time. I first stopped at F.Y.E. to buy myself a little treat, then to Whole Foods to buy a little more. Would you believe my Whole Foods doesn’t have any Vitaproducts? What’s with that? I needed bread–I had made that admittance to myself. I also got enamored by the fresh cut deli meat so I got 1/4 pound Honey Maple Turkey. Yum!

Shopping Loot

Shopping Loot

When I was walking back, it really started raining. Thank God I’m a talented power-walker along with runner. I stopped by the mail room where I had an argument with my mailbox; I can remember what the numbers are, I just can’t keep in mind what direction to turn the dial! So frustrating, and all I had waiting for me was a bank statement. I did however have a very special package I was thrilled to receive waiting for me at the window. It was the order I placed Sunday night!

Naturally Nutty Products

Naturally Nutty Products

My Naturally Nutty Seed Butters! Have you ordered yet? What are you waiting for? Well I definitely needed a good bowl of oats to help me warm up. But I needed a good melting peanut butter and, despite how good Naturally Nutty is, it just doesn’t melt like PB&Co.:

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Soul-hitting? Yeah, that’s the word. I’m glad I’m not the only blogger with a serious addiction to this, see proof. Joint intervention? I hear those are cheaper. I caught up on Family Guy and SNL at this time. Loved Family Guy, but meh on the SNL. It just hasn’t been itself in ages. Around 6 I didn’t want to be ravenous at dinner so I snacked on this apple:

Mystery Apple

Mystery Apple

Calling all apple experts: This was delicious! Except I have no idea what it was. Is there such a thing as a Golden Delicious? Because that would certainly fit the bill for this one. It had a great sweetness at first but then mellowed out with a slight tartness, but not too much. One of you, I’m sure, will keen on this one I’m guessing. For dinner, my day all came together. My friend had to head back to Boston earlier so dinner with him was off; it was also raining cats and dogs so I was more than happy to stay inside and eat what I bought earlier:

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Can you practically taste Thanksgiving already? The honey maple turkey had such a nice salty sweet flavor. And the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter was just perfect and the cream cheese really mellowed it all out in the end. Ideally this would have had some vegetable on the plate, but the only one I had in my dorm was a sweet potato I didn’t feel like nuking and I certainly was not swimming to the dining hall to get carrots and broccoli. While I ate this I reunited with The Food Network. Did you know you can watch full episodes of certain shows like Good Eats? I found out exactly why yogurt is “good eats” and why I’ll probably never be making my own any time soon. If I did make my own, though, it would probably be out of goat milk:

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Because it sure makes for one hell of an ice cream. When I went down to the communal freezer, I said a little prayer along the lines of, “Just let it be there, damnit, or someone’s going to pay”. Don’t I make great prayers? At 6.99 a pint, you have to be a bit protective. Thankfully it was there so I scooped some out and put the itty-bit that’s left back in the freezer. I ate this to the tune of Survivor. I would so rock that show if I were on the island. The only problem is I don’t think I could stomach half the things they eat, and my metabolism would probably be racing so I would need to eat a lot. That would be a disaster. How is it that Russell has fooled them all? I couldn’t imagine watching these episodes after having gone through all that and been voted off and not feel a little cheated. For Grey’s I needed to get my probiotic on. I didn’t quite want to eat my other Attune bar yet; I want to save it for a “life could be worse. There could be no such thing as chocolate” moment, so I went with good ol’ Stonyfield instead:

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Stonyfield with a kick, that is. The muffin butt to my carrot ginger muffin had mysteriously been squished, so it made it all the better to grind up and add to this. It came out a little too yogurty because I used a lot, but ’twas still good with some NuNaturals vanilla stevia and cinnamon. Meanwhile I was having a ton of fun playing with this new feature to the MyPyramid website. It’s kind of fun, but kind of wrong, too, in my opinion. I don’t see why whole milk yogurt would have 65 “extra calories”(i.e. empty). Yes, it has fat solids, but its not like it has the same effect on the body as refined sugar. To each their own.

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Can you tell I needed something to butter me up? The Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter is ah-mazing. It has a very similar flavor to the Pepita Sun Butter but isn’t quite as sweet, I’m guessing in part because of the extra cinnamon. I also watched Matt Lauer on Jay Leno and decided a Today Show Host is my new official dream job. Why? Well first of all who doesn’t love all of them. And Matt was talking about going to bed early and getting up and doing his job first thing in the a.m. How about perfect for me?

This morning was not normal, and I’m a creature of habit, so naturally I was a bit annoyed. I set my alarm 30 minutes early to do a longer run, and slept in for the first 15. Ididn’t get the best nights sleep, so my hunger was unusually raging when I woke up, so I grabbed this before going to the gym:

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

I’m not accustomed to eating before exercise, so this felt a little weird. But I didn’t want to just ignore hunger. Hopefully this isn’t an every day occurrence and sleep gets better or I’ll be putting on a Freshman 15 overnight(literally). After running about 3 1/2 miles, nature called and I had to make a pit stop. Thankfully, I recorded how far I’d run but not how long, and when I got back to the machine it had reset–oi. I kept going and after another 5 miles the same thing happened. This time I took note of distance and time, but I was still pretty annoyed as you can imagine. By the end, I had ran 10 miles, and after adding up all my distances/times/estimated times I ran it in what I think was 85:28. It almost doesn’t “feel” like a 10 mile run after all the interruptions and oddities. But I kept determined all the way through and that’s what matters.

When I got back there was another disappointment: My basil plant practically died overnight. I’m trying to water him all he’ll take but I’m guessing it’s just not a hospitable environment for him right now(hell, or me, I’m cold!).

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

I really felt like I needed a “cleansing” breakfast this morning to shake off the bad and absorb the good, and that’s exactly what this was. Fruit and yogurt always feel nice and healthy, so I whipped up 1/2 a banana and unfroze some blueberries, mixed with Stonyfield and topped with jam–yum! The vitatop with the new seed butter was deeeelicious. The Sunflower Butter is very thick like most of Naturally Nutty’s products so it was hard to spread, but had a great flavor. It reminded me of Nutella except it’s not laden with sugar; in fact, sugar is one of the last ingredients. I’m going to try and convert all my peanut butter reviews into the new format this weekend, and I’ll be sure to add the new ones in. Speaking of this weekend, I’ve no clue what I’ll be doing. There’s so much to do at the Boston Regatta and campus and, at the same time, so much not to do so that I can catch up on work. I’ll have to figure that out today.

I would really go nutz to try Nuttzo, aka, don’t enter this contest 😉

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Uninspiration

Posted on September 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning. Not a banging title, huh? What can I say, yesterday just seemed off the whole day long. Latin class was… let’s just stick with that. We discussed the sparrow in Catullus’ poem again. What I learned was that Latin teachers use the word “mentulla” when they don’t want to say penis. Go figure.

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Lentil Stew

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Lentil Stew

Lunch was–you guessed it–uninspired. The one thing that seemed appealing from the cafe was lentil stew; basically if it has the word lentil in it I’ll eat it. But I wonder if it’s still a stew if you scoop it in a to-go box and eat it with a fork? It was OK but a little bland. I threw in a veggie burger for some flavor and protein.

My Greek History class was a bit ridiculous, mostly because our professor is a bit of a stubborn headed pollack(and I feel I can say this being a stubborn headed 1/4 pollack). He insists that 1 man converted the Greek alphabet from the Phonecian’s and that he and Homer sat down for 3 days in a tent while Homer recited the Iliad and he wrote it down. There’s about 5 individual things wrong with that, but it’s too much effort to even point out how wrong that must be.

What do you do when the 3 o’clock munchies come on? I think that’s a ridiculous question. I eat, of course!

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

This was my most inspired meal of the day(except maybe breakfast), thanks to this blogger who made some delicious sounding muffins. Naturally Nutty also makes a chocolate butter toffee peanut butter I have yet to try, but based on how this bowl tasted altogether I bet it’s great. I also had an apple to round out this meal. I think it’s more sensible to have a mid-afternoon meal to keep your metabolism up rather than snack. 6-7 hours between Lunch and Dinner is way longer than anyone should go without some good fuel.

The afternoon pretty much came and went, and I didn’t get much done other than watch last season’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. It got me mucho excited for the new season; I’ve missed being attached enough to a show to feel sympathy for the characters even though I know they’re not real. About this time I realized just how uninspired my day had actually been, so I went on a quest to fix that and ended up at the Bookstore.

Ginger Smoothie

Ginger Smoothie

Confession: I’d had this on my mind since the first time I got one but was holding off because I hate paying so much for fancy drinks. That being said, it made this even more special. It was a bit runnier than I remember the last one being, but I was just happy to get a little spice(ginger) in my life. Too bad this wasn’t about 5 times the size, because before I knew it, it was time for an uninspired dinner.

Japanese Noodle Soup, Artichoke Hearts, Mashed Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Chickpeas And Tofu In Sweet And Spicy Steak Sauce

Japanese Noodle Soup, Artichoke Hearts, Mashed Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Chickpeas And Tofu In Sweet And Spicy Steak Sauce

Umm, did you get all that? The main meat was overcooked, fatty beef. Err, no thanks. The veggie option was manicotti stuffed with cheese sauce and topped with marinara. See, as an Italian, I would have had my heritage revoked for eating cafeteria manicotti. There was grilled chicken, but I’m still trying to avoid eating meat just for the sake of protein. Rather, I stuck some chickpeas and tofu in a bowl and made a sauce with A.1., mustard, honey, and ground ginger. I’m no Iron Chef, but for working on the fly and trying to find the most natural ingredients I could, that wasn’t half bad.

I was almost talked into going to open mic night on campus. Ok, that’s a lie; stuff like that really doesn’t appeal to me so I politely declined and insisted that, maybe translating Greek on a Friday night isn’t the sexiest thing, but it’s what I wanted to do.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

I hate studying without snacks. What’s the point of making up the concept of “study snacks” if you aren’t going to snack while studying. But it was clearly one of those nights because I, Evan Thomas, burnt the toast. Wtf? I’ve only made how much toast in my life? and I burnt it. It still tasted good under cream cheese. And Deep Chocolate is definitely my numero uno chocolate flavor from Vitalicious still; no one can take down the king. A little later it didn’t take much inspiration to make this:

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

Some great bloggers out there can’t and aren’t wrong about this combo. The vanilla Oikos is just sweet enough to raise the peanut butter flavor, and the chocolate sauce just tops it all off and makes it like a Reese’s. The amazing thing is that this has 21g of protein. Umm, what? That’s like a piece of chicken at a meal. Delicious AND nutritious? The Holy Grail.

This morning was clearly not a treadmill morning, since the gym nearby opens up at 9 and I like to have done the world and more by then. I slept 20 minutes through my alarm; frat rushing is in full swing and the parties last night would not let me get some good shut eye. Still, I got out and after a bit of Garmin frustration ran 6.3 in 52. It wasn’t the run I was hoping for, but considering the hills I had to hit I’m glad I went that far. I passed the farmer’s market setting up and a Whole Foods where I grab-n-goed a weekend flier. Thankfully I don’t know enough people around here for them to think I’m nuts 🙂 Breakfast was a bit of a mystery, until I got uninspired by a reader, Karen, who asked how to make French Toast oats.

Carrot Juice, Plain Oikos With Blueberries And Maple-Agave Syrup, Oats With An Egg And Mighty Maple

Carrot Juice, Plain Oikos With Blueberries And Maple-Agave Syrup, Oats With An Egg And Mighty Maple

Normally, I’ll make french toast oats by preparng 40g dry grains with 160g of water as usual. After 2 minutes of microwaving I crack in an egg and add salt, stirring until the yolk breaks and the egg is pretty well incorporated but not fully. Then I microwave for an additional minute, and when it comes out I add 1 tablespoon maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla powder. Today, however, I was much more feeling the mighty maple than maple syrup, and went for a tablespoon of that instead. It really came out tasting like a whole other beast separate from french toast oats. The maple syrup found its way into my yogurt instead, which I’ve since learned takes some convincing to eat when a) you aren’t pumped for it and b) you know you’ll have to pay for more when you finish the container. C’est la vie, right?(By the way, you’ve just witnessed my full knowledge of French)

Today I plan on going home again for the weekend and can’t wait. A full fridge and pantry? Yes please! Maybe I’ll even work with the oven a bit while I have the opportunity. I hear some packages are waiting for me which I can’t wait to open. And if the weather stays nice it’ll be a great time to go fruit picking. What’s on the agenda for your weekends?

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Sweet Potatoes And Cookie Dough

Posted on September 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thanks for all your great responses yesterday. I read and took to heart all of them. I think the magic ingredient missing in this equation is time. That’s a bit tough for me because I’m usually rushing to finish off anything and everything I can in my day before noon. But from your stories this transition sounds like something that takes weeks, months, and maybe–but hopefully not–longer to work itself out.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed or just not upbeat, a little crunch(and chocolate) always helps my mood.

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Muuuuch better. Since starting Thrive I’ve often been thinking WWBBE, or “what would Brendan Brazier eat?” Would he like this because it has 5g fiber from chicory root or 20% my DV of calcium from calcium carbonate? No. He would not like that. But I like that, not to mention the whole chocolate chip thing, so clearly the Thrive diet is not working for me. My grandmother came over for a traditional Sunday lunch. This was good because she was too busy gambling doing something productive I’m sure the days before I left to say goodbye to me.

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

My first thought was “this is all stuff from the cafeteria”. After actually eating it, though, I realized how much of a difference home cooking makes. Thanks mom 🙂 Bring me cooked food more often? kthnx. Obviously I love sweet potatoes; they’re one of those things, unlike pizza, where even when they aren’t great, they’re good. These were great. So great I almost had another for “dessert”. Then I had this conversation with myself:

“Might there be sweet potatoes in the Ratty tonight?”

“Maybe”

“Will there be Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt”

“Nope.”

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

I finished off what was left of the pint. I find it ridiculous how nobody touches my ice cream while I’m gone, as if I’m going to show up one day and notice a serving or two missing from the whole freezer. After we left the casa I made a request for a stop. Over the weekend I got a total of 11 dollars slipped to me by various family members and it was burning a hole in my pocket.

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

I just needed to get this from Roche Bros, mostly because it’s the only place in either states I know that sells it. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and it was a steep 5.99, but, as my poetic side states,

sweet potatoes

and cookie dough

are two things to which

I can not say no

Catchy, right? We stopped at Target on the way to get a soap holder. How does nobody think of these things when moving out? I guess it never occurred to me soap needs to be put somewhere when you don’t have your own shower. We live and we learn. When I got back to casa numero dos(aka my dorm), I unpacked all my laundry and made some afternoon oats.

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Because I was supposed to go how long without trying this? The first thing I noticed was how it smelt: like nutella. This I liked because the two ingredients which make this “cookie dough” is vanilla extract and chocolate chips, both of which are found in nutella. Obviously, this has a peanut base as opposed to hazelnut, and from the nutrition label it has much less added sugar. I resisted stirring the jar because I heard that messes it up and makes the chocolate entirely blended. After taking a spoonful of oats with some peanut butter, I was surprised how neutral the taste was. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little too subtle. You definitely get the hint of chocolate and vanilla, but I’m not sure it all pulls together for a “cookie dough” sense. I added a bit of salt which I think perked it up. Overall I really liked this but I’m not sure how the flavor met the expectations, but I’ll definitely keep a jar stocked.

Otherwise my afternoon was a little dullsville. I just did my Iliad reading. I think I’m a bad Classics student for absolutely hating that piece of literature. Thankfully, the entire world(except my father) has also been forced to read it multiple times so I don’t feel picked on. I just can not get into it no matter how many spears are run through gallbladders. Dinner at the Ratty was a little… repetetive?

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

First off, who called the whole sweet potato thing? I didn’t even look at the menu before hand; I think I’m just psychic. The carrot medley veggies were a bit waxy but the broccoli was properly cooked which super excited me. I threw some tofu in vegan minestrone soup for some protein. This tofu wasn’t as good as the last time. I think it was firmer? I like the weird, wobbly, squishy tofu, if that makes any sense.

Yesterday was also Sunday which meant one thing: Big Brother. Just for alliteration’s sake I had a brownie:

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

The last few vitaproducts I’ve had hadn’t impressed me very much. This brownie totally redeemed the vitaname for me. I nuked it in the micro for 30 seconds until it was soft but still moist. I loved the little addition of nuts on the top, which is a helpful reminder that eating healthy, diet food does not mean giving up the health benefits of nuts–so many people think this which saddens me and my beloved nut butter stash quite a bit. Back to the brownie, the flavor was like a fudgy chocolate; this might have had bits of chocolate chips in it, but if it did they melted during the microwave process. I love the texture, too, which is more cake-like than dense. I love cakey brownies and always added extra eggs to my box-mixes as a kid. Of course, the nutrition is spot on like any vitabrownie.

Back to Big Brother, I kind of liked how it was almost a “clip show”, because I missed some of the episodes. It reminded me of how funny and quirky this cast was, but I’m still disappointed there were less twists in the game, especially after the first episode made me thinking there’d be more old house guests. Now I really don’t know who I’m rooting for; just be happy Michelle’s out of the house! I had some more breads and spreads throughout the night while working on readings.

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

Isn’t a serving of cereal sad? I never eat cereal out of a bowl with milk, but I think if I did I’d be downing half a box at breakfast. I forgot how great Peanut Butter Puffins were, mostly because the last time I tried them was from a more-than-stale box. The only thing that could make the better would be whole grains, but throw them aside some whole wheat toast and who can tell the difference.

This morning I wasn’t sure what or where I wanted to run, so I just kind of explored. I ended up finding some nice shops about a mile away, turning back, passing my teeny tiny Whole Foods, finding a new Starbucks(which actually isn’t as easy as you’d think in Providence, and looping around the campus a bit. My aim was to run for an hour but I settles at 6.93 miles in 56 minutes or so. For breakfast I had two things on my mind: blueberries and smart balance. I have such odd, healthy food cravings.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

I tried stevia in my oatmeal for the first time; I used vanilla bean NuNatural stevia thinking it would bring some good flavor. Sweet oats are just not for me, though, so I think I’ll be sticking with my NaCl from now on. Frozen blueberries are perfect food for a dorm; they’re cheap, full of antioxidants, and don’t spoil. And the vitatop was spot on, too. Not so surprisingly, the healthy vitatops I’ve tried I’ve really enjoyed. Their taste is authentic, and this has some great blueberry/cinnamon/bran action going on. I also like that it doesn’t have sugar alcohol, which I’ve heard(though haven’t experienced yet) can cause inflammation. If you’re looking for a good, breakfast vitatop I’d definitely recommend the BlueBran to start your morning chipper and nutrient-loaded.

Today is one of those 3-class days. Looking at the menu for today, it’s not so interesting, so I might try exploring a bit and finding alternative sources for lunch. Or of course I could end up in my dorm room eating out of my stash and desperately scrambling to finish up some homework. One of these is definitely more likely than the other.

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A Berry Long Past Two Days

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It feels good to sleep in, check my emails, and blog in the morning again 🙂 I swear if my work week wasn’t just 2 days and that money wasn’t being put towards some tasty peanut butter I would just stay home and not write that reflective essay I’ve been neglecting so well. And look what was waiting for me when I got home: it’s the Zevia I won from Melinda’s blog! Thanks! I love how it’s a sampler of all the flavors–I had only ever tried root beer.

Zevia Package

Zevia Package

Anyway, let’s jump back to rainy Tuesday. After a hectic morning of running around/blogging/contacting Odwalla because my last carton of carrot juice had more skin in it than a Playboy magazine/other stuff, my body was craving red meat. Of course, the one time I crave red meat the grill won’t start. But it was that bad that I settled for a skillet cooked burger, along with some TJ Mac N’ Cheese.

A Burger & Mac N' Cheese

A Burger & Mac N' Cheese

I was really hungry, and that lunch hit the spot. Once the rain let up, I went out for a short walk around the neighborhood. Apparently I do my best thinking on walks. I was thinking about what to make with my buckets o’ blueberries; I had picked out a recipe for maple blueberry muffins with flax seed. Well, I didn’t really feel like cooking with flax because it seemed complicated. And, although I like maple, I love white chocolate. I never actually restashed my white chocolate after my last batch of Toffee Almond Blondies, so I thought about the next best thing: vanilla. Hmmm, vanilla and flax? Sounds like my favorite Kashi oatmeal. SO, I took the lazy shortcut and modified the recipe.

Ingredients

4 packets Kashi Creamy Vanilla Cereal

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup almond breeze

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups(210 grams) blueberries

The Set Up

The Set Up

In a cup, let the almond breeze and lemon juice stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal packets, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil, and sour milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate the egg mixture. Fold in the blueberries and mix until it reaches a lumpy batter. Line 12 muffin tins and pour equal amounts of batter into each one(it should fill up to the rim). Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden and springy.

Blueberry Mixing

Blueberry Mixing

Muffins Out Of The Oven

Muffins Out Of The Oven

I’ve got to say, these muffins are amazing. You would never know they’re at all healthy with the soft, cupcake-like bread and the generous mix of blueberries. They have a strong vanilla flavor that ties in with the blueberries well. And the best part about these muffins is the oatmeal shortcut adds all the flavor and health benefits for you. Next time I’m going to try this with raspberries(and maybe toss in a few white-chocolate chips if I restock).

While those were cooling, we ran to the store and picked out a few things:

Blueberry Z-Bars

Blueberry Z-Bars

Blueberry Sausages

Blueberry Sausages

I was absolutely craving those Z-Bars the entire time I was baking. Is it bad that I ate one of them before I ate my own blueberry creation? They’re just so delicious. I think I’ll keep them in permanent stock from now on. The sausages I had never seen before and needed to grab. I just figured they would go so well with my blueberried dessert. They ended up being really good. The blueberry flavor is subtle, but the maple really brings pizzazz to the sausage overall and makes it more of a dessert than a meal. It went really well with these:

Warmed Blueberry Muffin

Warmed Blueberry Muffin

I popped it in the microwave for about 10 seconds so the blueberries were nice and juicy.

Can you believe that was all only Tuesday? Well on Wednesday I kicked my butt out of bed at 6am for a 5.3 mile run around the neighborhood. Why I do this I do not know but it felt so good(in hindsight, not so much at the beginning). I think I was running on blueberry power maybe? Haha. Well then I had to do what I do best worst and make a breakfast for the road. My taste buds led me to this:

Pumpkin Oatmeal In The Car

Pumpkin Oatmeal In The Car

At least I wasn’t driving, right? In the mix was oatmeal, pumpkin, ground flax seeds, Mighty Maple PB, and sliced almonds. This was the first time I used ground flax, so I was a little nervous. Overall they came out nice and thick and nutty; ground flax is definitely something I’ll try using more of.

Why I Love My Office

Why I Love My Office

Work was pretty bland. Luckily it was a meeting day and when there are meetings I get kicked out and get to go on a coffee break. I got an extra hour and a half to sit and sip 🙂 Also, I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was packing after my run before I had to head out of the door. I found it a little funny when I actually looked:

My Bag Of Bars

My Bag Of Bars

I’m seeing at least 7 snacks plus the cinnamon raisin Larabar I made and threw in the company fridge. Well if there was a blizzard in July and we were trapped suddenly I would have been Mr. Popular. For lunch my dad and I went over to UFood Grill, a restaraunt I did a review on a while back. I love this place because of the generous portions, healthy simple dishes, cheap prices, and friendly atmospher. i got their signature Chopstick Chicken UBowl:

Chopstick Chicken UBowl

Chopstick Chicken UBowl

This is one of those dishes I feel like I should be able to recreate but just can’t. It’s steamed brocolli, grated carrots, and seasoned kitchen all over a big pile of brown rice and covered by a teryaki ginger glaze. In all honesty, their might be a little too much brown rice. This really filled me up, filled me up like air into a Macy’s Day Parade float. For the rest of my time at work I nibbled on a chocolate brownie Z-Bar. And then once I got off hunger hit me like a ton of bricks. Luckily we were planning to go to Whole Foods anyway so I grabbed this to give a try:

Goat Milk Raspberry Yogurt

Goat Milk Raspberry Yogurt

I was craving something cool and creamy with a tang. This went above and beyond the call. I absolutely loved the goat milk base which gave a very unique flavor. Also, the manufacturers use chicory roo insulin to thicken it, which not only adds fiber but also makes it somewhat thick(not greek yogurt thick, but not Stonyfield creamy thin). If it ever goes on sale, I will be loading up on all of the flavors. Wow that was a long two days. Hope Thursday turns out restful!

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Screw The Blues, I Got A Cheap Date

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

These Blues:

Blueberries

Blueberries

These dates:

Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates

Shortly after blogging, my mom wanted to go to Hannaford to pick up something for dinner. I’m never one to pass up a grocery trip, so I tagged along. boy was I shocked to find these; it seems like the 1.50 dates I found in Maine last weekend followed me down. These things are 11 dollars a pound at Whole Foods and 5 at Market Basket. What a steal, right? I basically grabbed a bag and went to town. I thought I took an absurd amount but guess what: My huge haul was less than 2 dollars because they’re so cheap. I of course attacked the bulk bins for some dry roasted nuts to make Homemade Larabars.

Now, I don’t have a food processor, so I severely improvised using a hand chopper and making these one at a time. yes it was painful, but it was also very worth it. The ratio I used was 3 parts fruit to 1 part nut, which makes it more like a Nectar bar than a Larabar(which I prefer). However, mine were larger in size than the average Nectar bar and had a calorie count more similar to a Larabar.

The Set Up

The Set Up

Homemade PB&J Larabar

Homemade PB&J Larabar

I got 14 out of my 1 1/4 pounds of dates(plus one failed attempt at a banana bread flavor). I made 5 PB & J, 5 Cinnamon Raisin, 1 Pistachio, and 3 Lemon Cashew. The PB & J had dates, craisins, peanuts and salt. The Cinnamon Raisin had dates, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon. The Pistachio had dates, lime juice, and pistachios. And the Lemon Cashew had dates, lemon juice, and cashews.

This was a ton of fun and delicious and cheap but I really don’t recommend doing this without a food processor and have no plans on doing it again until I get myself one.

After that it was time for a quick trip to the doctors. It had been 7 weeks since my check-up and he wanted to do a follow up on my weight.

Snacking In The Doctors Office

Snacking In The Doctors Office

The good news: I’ve gained 6 pounds. The bad news: my doctor was incredibly unencouraging. He basically acted like I hadn’t gained anything, told me I should cut my running down, and repeatedly asked me annoying questions like “are you stressed out? skipping meals?” Honestly? Who the hell gains 6 pounds skipping meals. Anyway, I’m one of those people who thinks the best way to get negative feelings out is to write a letter, so here’s my frustration put into organized and eloquent thought:

Dear Dr. Who

Our last meeting left me more discouraged than I think I have right to be; I feel as though you were unfairly discouraging in my progress so far. Over the past 7 weeks(the time since our last appointment), I’ve accomplished several things. First and foremost, I’ve been able to enjoy my summer with friends and family and live life to the fullest; this I prize more than anything considering it is the last Summer I will be home before going off to college. Secondly, I have become a stronger person. I have never felt more energized, and I’ve become a better and faster athlete. Last, but certainly not least, I have managed to increase my weight 6 pounds. This is one accomplishment I am very proud of as it has not been easy to take-in such an excess of calories each and every day but something that I’ve taken very seriously and am reaping the benefits of. Along with the weight-gaining, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition, world cuisine, cooking techniques, and other points of information I can take and apply into the real world. I can now make anything from spicy thai noodles to bagels to a myriad of other dishes. Like I said, I myself am proud of all that I’ve just mentioned in this letter, and found your lack of enthusiasm rather discouraging. If I misread our meeting at all, please do reply with anything you have to say. Thank you.

*Sigh of relief* Much better. Should I actually bother to send that? I feel like it could be taken as a long, eloquent “F-U”. What do you think?

Well, skipping dinner and moving onto dessert, I had picked up this little guy at the store and wanted to give it a try:

Stonyfield Strawberries & Cream Cream Top Yogurt

Stonyfield Strawberries & Cream Cream Top Yogurt

I’m one of those people who would rather have a fine yogurt or pudding than a bowl of ice cream(weird, I know). I was excited to try a cream top yogurt to see if it made it taste any more luxurious. This, however, was quite a disappointment. First off, I’m not a fan of Stonyfield’s fruit on the bottom variety; I never feel as though the flavoring is at all fruity. And when I did stir it up, I noticed something odd in my strawberries: a blueberry! No, it was not one of the ones I picked(I would never have picked such a small blueberry). Well I emailed the folks at Stonyfield about that and they were nice enough to say they’re sending replacement coupons(Ok, I really didn’t need to get replacement coupons just because I found a silly blueberry in my yogurt. I guess they’re just really nice people over there at Stonyfield). And the thinness of the yogurt is really what killed it for me. Apparently, I’m a Greek boy thick and through–for yogurt at least. Oh well, I’m glad I gave the cream top a try but probably won’t be rushing back to grab another.

Anyway, that was my yesterday. Today has been super super busy and this blog entry has taken me over 2 hours. I’ve been running around like a nut and am starving(does anybody else find when they get caught up in work the first thing to shove aside is eating/nutrition?). I did a quick 6.7 after sleeping in and enjoyed the ultimate comfort food:

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Blueberry Parfait

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Blueberry Parfait

Love them fluffernutter oats. Anyway, now I need to make lunch and then get back to the to-do list, which includes a lot of blueberry baking. When will I have time to read any of your blogs? Aghh. Anyway, bye.

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Feeling Picky

Posted on July 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Clearly my taste buds are still asleep because they dreamed up this post-run “breakfast”

Breakfast

Breakfast

A parfait with Plain Chobani, blueberries, and Maple-Agave syrup, and an Angry Tropical Tuna Sandwich(see recipe page for details). Yeah, pretty random, right? Oh well, it’s what I wanted, and I’m happy I didn’t have to waste the other 1/2 of a can of tuna. Anyway, today was a really quick 6 miles. I feel like I ate sooo much after dinner last night that the fiber and protein were still digesting when I woke up and that gave me some great energy for the run(the coffee might have helped too ;-)).

Back to yesterday, the day was full with plenty of fun as you will see. Our original plan was to take my grandmother to Foxwoods for her birthday present. Well, she was pretty tired from spending the week gambling with her sister, and I wasn’t feeling so hot after 2 days of high-mileage running and eating out(probably all resulting in undereating). SO, we settled on having her over for lunch. Again, the plan was for grilling, but I had some avocado and mango going bad that I wanted to use up so I dreamed up a DELICIOUS sandwich that apparently my forefinger prevented me from getting a picture of 😦

Ingredients:

1/2 can tuna

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1.5oz mango, cut and cubed

1oz avocado, cut and cubed

1 tablespoon tropical jam(banana or pineapple)

2 slices of bread

Spread the jam over one slice of bread. In a bowl, mash together the tuna and Greek yogurt. Fold in the chunks of mango and avocado. Scoop and sandwich between the two slices of bread and cut down the middle. Like I said, delicious. The creamy avocado and yogurt go great with the sweet jam and mango.

After we drove my grandmother out the door finished lunch, we wet to a local farm called Tougas for some blueberry picking.

Blueberries

Blueberries

Bucket #1

Bucket #1

Picking fruit can be such a fun way to spend the day and enjoy the sun. And it’s definitely something you can only do this time of year so seize the moment and get out there! It’s also great because you get just the good ones(I do not hesitate to take the imperfect ones out of my bucket and toss them to be fertilizer). In the end I think we got about 4 1/2 pounds of blueberries. We could have gone for 10+ but we don’t have much freezer space at the moment. needless to say, if you have any blueberry recipes please send them my way.

After blueberry picking we did a little grocery shopping. I found some homemade pumpkin butter at another local farm(thank god because my TJ pumpkin butter is almost all gone :-() We had to hit up TJ for some of my favorite sandwich bread(5g insoluble fiber and 3g protein per slice–that’ll get you moving!) and Price Chopper where I found this:

Pineapple Chobani

Pineapple Chobani

The second of the new Chobani flavors. The first thing I noticed about this was that it’s the 2% variety, unlike the other fruit Chobani which are 0%. I ain’t afraid of no ghost fat, and I was hoping the added cream would make the product more thick and dessert-like; ultimately, I think they have to use it because of an enzyme in the pineapple which thins the yogurt. It was still good, but I definitely prefer the tart pomegranite flavor.

While my mom was picking up some paint at Ace Hardwares I ran in a little Deli & Grocery and was surprised to find these:

Indigo Rabbit Cookies

Indigo Rabbit Cookies

Indigo Rabbit is a health-food company based out of Northborough that makes 5 cookies using onoly the purest and simplest ingredients. They use vegetable puree as the base for the cookie making them quite healthy. Some of their varieties such as the peanut butter cookie are also vegan friendly. I decided to go with their Gingerlicious flavor. These were really good; they were soft and had a strong molasses flavor(they should, it was the first ingredient!). You would never have known these cookies were healthy or only 50 calories each. They seriously taste fresh out of the oven and I couldn’t recommend them more(as proof by the 4 that are missing from my box already).

Sunday night has turned into one crazy night for television if you ask me. First there’s Big Brother which I’ve already expressed my enthusiasm for. Then of course at 9 there’s The Next Food Network Star. I really don’t like Jeffrey and I don’t know why but I hope he doesn’t win. Jameka I feel was better at the beginning of the season but since had crashed and needed to get booted. And then at 10 I completely forgot Ace Of Cakes was starting their new season! What an entertaining show; I was getting tired of the repeats all the time though.

Dare I say I was not feeling the peanut butter cookie sandwich at this time of night? It’s become somewhat of a ritual to have that as my last thing of the night because my runs the next morning have always felt great(I swear this is the magic combination of fiber, protein, and fat). But, like I said, I was just not feeling it; SO I worked my brain and made up the sandwich’s close cousin, the chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich

Just as simple. Just as delicious. The same thing except using Dark Chocolate Dreams instead of White Chocolate Wonderful. I’ve tried combining cream cheese with some of the other flavors like cinnamon raisin but it just doesn’t work the same. I think the slight sugar content in these two flavors is what really makes the sandwich creamy and dreamy.

Up for today I hope to be making something with blueberries, so look for some baking photos tomorrow. Besides that there’ll be a quick trip to the doctors for a check-up(here’s to hoping no shots!). Also, I’m practically waiting by the mailbox for my first paycheck. I’m thinking of celebrating by buying some naturally nutty peanut butter or other gourmet nut butter. Any suggestions for a brand/flavor?

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