An Eventful Day In Boston Part 1

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

Good evening! What’s a perfect way to spend an evening?

Homemade Iced Tea

Homemade Iced Tea

Sipping half-caf iced tea with lemon and stevia. Superb. Last night, I was flipping back and forth between Survivor and Brothers & Sisters. All I can say is WOW to both of them. Brothers & Sisters got a little predictable towards the end, but that didn’t make it any less good. Anyway, the food.

Green & Black's Ginger Dark Chocolate

Green & Black's Ginger Dark Chocolate

I absolutely love this chocolate now on my 2nd bar. And I might have bought another at Whole Foods since it was on sale. Maybe. Anyway, I’ll have to throw up a review page for it. All I can say are ginger and chocolate were meant to be. I also had a handful of baby carrots around this time, which I saw a better option than more chocolate. Again, maybe.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Local Raw Honey

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Local Raw Honey

Before hitting the hay I made a bowl of oatmeal with Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee peanut butter and some local raw honey on the side for dippage. Yum! The honey is definitely a new addiction; I snuck down stairs afterwards for another scoop. Did it help me fall asleep? Probably not, but it was good.

Speaking of sleep, I woke up with my alarm, hopped in the bathroom, and then started getting all my clothes ready, and still felt really really tired. After I put in my contacts, I saw that I set my alarm for 6:20 instead of 7:20. Whoops. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I just made an extra special breakfast.

Cooking A Hash

Cooking A Hash

Practice makes perfect; that’s what the owner of Nick’s On Broadway told me himself. Let’s just think of him as my hashpiration 😉 This one started with earth balance, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, red onion, and basil. I then added some EVOO for a different flavor.

Sweet Potato And Potato Home Fries With Basil, Scrambled Tofu, Mighty Maple

Sweet Potato And Potato Home Fries With Basil, Scrambled Tofu, Mighty Maple

This one was much better than the other ones I’ve made(all 2 of them); I think the earth balance added a much needed butter flavor but from a vegan source. The scrambled tofu was so much simpler than I would have thought: just tofu and nutritional yeast cooked in whatever fat the potatoes didn’t take up. And it was all super tasty and filling.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been stuck home the past week, but Boston seemed so alive today. Several schools, including my dad’s college, were having graduations, so joyful families were everywhere. I started my day at Whole Foods to get some coffee(the same one where Gisele Bundchen shops), and then meandered to the graduation I was attending.

Cashew Cookie Larabar

Cashew Cookie Larabar

I snacked on a cashew cookie larabar beforehand. It was a terrific ceremony and it was great to congratulate everyone. But rather than stick around I was really excited to go to my favorite Boston restaurant and keep the raw vegan theme rolling. I took the T and walked down to the North End(not easy for someone self-proclaimed “T-literate”). But look what I found when I got there!

"Grezzo Is Closed"

"Grezzo Is Closed"

Yes, it’s true, unfortunately. The owner explains the reasons on her blog here. In the larger picture, I’m very sad to see the very thing that introduced me to raw veganism disappear like that. I felt like it was a Boston institution. On a much more limited scale. What was I to do for lunch? I was starving by this point and in a part of Boston I almost never go. Would I find somewhere good? Would I ever eat raw again?

Have you ever had a favorite spot close down on you? Where was it?

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I’m The MacGyver Of Baking

Posted on May 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, my parents went to see our relatives while I stayed home studying. My aunt, ever-thoughtful, sent back some cupcakes for me. It was really thoughtful; but there was something that worried us. If you asked her what they were, she’d say “organic, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free…” the list goes on. She did the same when I made my cousin these cupcakes. And they didn’t seem gluten-free. In fact, after a little investigating, it seemed likely they weren’t and she just got confused. Well I was OK with that and letting my family have them. Except then I wanted cake. I really wanted cake.

Simple Chocolate Cake

Simple Chocolate Cake

I broke out the Sweet Utopia cookbook sent to me by Book Publishing Co. and flipped open to the first recipe in the book: a simple chocolate cake. Perfect. I made a few alterations to the recipe(switching to gluten-free flours, almond milk for soy milk, and olive oil for canola oil), and 28 minutes later I brought life into this world.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Isn’t she a cutie? But I wanted cake fast so I cut a slice and stuck it in the fridge to cool quickly. While that was cooling, I made a 2-minute buttercream frosting by mixing earth balance, powdered sugar, and vanilla powder in a small dish with a fork. It was almost too easy.

Cake With Frosting

Cake With Frosting

I went from thinking I’d have a chocolate bar for dessert(but not really happy with that) to 1 hour later having a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake with vegan buttercream frosting all with whatever ingredients I had on hand. I think that qualifies me to be the MacGyver of baking.

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

After that excitement, I just couldn’t sleep; this happens almost every Saturday night and it’s so annoying. I figure this last time just might be because of my last final. But I definitely needed more fuel than usual for the 2+ hours I was awake. I’m not even sure when I got to bed, but this morning I stumbled out of bed late and just hungry.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

I’m still trying to find out the secret to making a really amazing maple peanut butter. It’s harder than you’d think! And the secret ingredient is not coconut oil as it turns out. Oh well. This bowl was still really good with crunchy maple butter. And now I’m eating a Chobani as if it were a parfait–not stirring the jam up first. It’s pretty good this way.

What do you hate most about restless nights? In the time I’m awake, all I can think about is the stuff I could have done with that time rather than lie in a dark room and toss and turn. And here’s a fun chocolate giveaway to enter.

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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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“If I’m Running, It Ain’t At 6:15”

Posted on April 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! I hope you feel refreshed. I sure do sleeping in. I think I’m still catching up on sleep lost from Saturday night and I knew a 6:15 wake-up was not happening. I was thinking of running soon but I’ll just take a rest day and call the whole thing off.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Can I change the name of the blog to “Oats and peanut butter”? Because that’s all you’re getting today since that’s all I felt like. I blame the fact that something in our hall smelt like freshly roasted peanuts. God, I can’t pass those up. I tried to recreate some sinfully unnutricious Reese’s peanut butter and had a little too much fun putting it on my oatmeal.

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Despite the combination of 365 brand peanut butter, Madhava vanilla agave, and vanilla bean sugar, it didn’t really taste that sweet :-/ Maybe I wasn’t using as much sweetener as I thought, but I’ve had the agave in peanut butter before and it tasted better than this. Oh well, there’s always the next bowl!

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

And there was another bowl. This time, it was a more tried-and-true combination of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple, which you must know I’m addicted to for a sweet peanut butter, and some Scharffen Berger milk chocolate, which is perhaps the dreamiest I’ve ever had but better to get as a gift than pay for yourself. A little sea salt to this and it was like a gourmet peanut butter cup. Yum.

It felt very good this morning to have time to sip coffee, walk around, check email and blog all before having to do much activity; that’s definitely not how my Tuesday/Thursdays would go otherwise. Eventually, my taste buds led me to yet more oats and peanut butter…

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

I broke open a new can of pumpkin and had to celebrate with Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee peanut butter. And for a fun yogurt-mess, I started with a fruity flavor of Chobani and added some fruity chocolate.

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

I remembered really loving the combination of pomegranate and citrus chocolate so I thought I’d try it with Vivani’s orange dark chocolate. The combination was good, but not quite magical. Vivani’s dark chocolate is just a little too dark to let the sweetness of the citrus shine. Of course, since I love their 72% dark chocolate, I knew this could never be a bad bar 😀

And now in between classes I’m the luckiest man and get to take a trip to Whole Foods. I did not realize how low on oat bran I was when I went on Sunday! The answer? Very low! I usually only use Trader Joe’s oatbran, but since he’s 10+ miles away the bulk bins will have to do. And if I put this off any longer I’ll never be back in time for my next class. See you tonight!

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The Birthday Day

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Surprise!

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Surprise! It’s Monday. How much does that suck? Miss the weekend race recap? Read all about it here.

Surprise! Oprah hates surprises; did you know that? She would not like this post.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprise! These were all from 1 sweet potato! Granted, it was a hugh jass one, but I think that’s impressive nonetheless.

Surprise! I stayed home while my parents went to Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure this is theopposite of how things should be, but I was worn out from my race and needed to sit on the couch with my friend, Mr. Computer 😀

Perfect Apple

Perfect Apple

Surprise! This apple actually tasted good!

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Surprise! I still eat the same at home as at school, just with different equipment 😀 I asked for red meat for dinner, so we heated up the grill and made some burgers. Mmmm so much juicier than in a pan! And I love how spicy the chipotle cayenne parma makes sweet potato fries; they’re like a new experience.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Surprise! My parents picked up a chocolate flourless cake at Whole Foods the day before my birthday to celebrate while my grandmother was around! This really was a surprise; I saw the sketchy brown paper bag they hid it in, but could only guess what it was. You have no idea how relieved I was when I realized they understood gluten-free eating and got an appropriate style cake; that’s love for ya 😉

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Surprise! When we got So Delicious cookie dough ice cream, we also got the peanut butter chocolate swirl, which I’m ready to confess is my new favorite frozen dessert. OK, I don’t think there’s actually much surprise here except from my dad when he realized how much ice cream I need to grab for a few days at home.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Surprise! Could you see this one coming? How could I not take the two fattiest pieces of dessert in our kitchen and combine them? 🙂 I was refueling from a half-marathon, after all. Needless to say, this was tasty. But I think my mom and I agreed there are better flourless chocolate cakes out there, hers included.

Surprise! My stomach got me! 30 minutes later I was not feeling so hot :-X It had been so long since I’d eaten something that rich made from dairy, I forget that a lot of milk fat really doesn’t sit well in my stomach. That plus a sugar rush had me wanting to be near a garbage tin for the rest of the night. Could I possibly regret it, though? Not a chance.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Not A Surprise! You didn’t have to be psychic to see a final bowl of oatmeal before bed coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d see this come back up, so I kept it small with just a little butter toffee peanut butter. And before you say “Isn’t that dairy fat, too?”, butter is the 5th or 6th ingredient and 2 tablespoons has just 2g of saturated fat, so I can’t imagine there’s much.

Cards And A Present

Cards And A Present

Surprise! was how I felt when I woke up to cards and my favorite chocolate bar. Awww, what a perfect way to wake up 🙂

Surprise! I’m going to keep the rest of the morning a secret for a good birthday recap tonight or tomorrow morning. What a shame because there’s already been cake mix involved and it’s not even 10am 😉

Surprise! Not even 24 hours after my last half marathon and I’ve signed up for my next! I was actually thinking about this before yesterday. It’s perfect. It’s the Providence Marathon, so let’s just say I know the streets quite well 😉 It’ll hopefully be a nice, warm May day, too. And I might be able to coerce a Brown friend of mine into running, too, which would be great. My only concern are the hills around Providence but I’ll have a while to work with those.

Surprise! You or I could win either Tazo tea, gluten free goodies, or coconut butter in either of these giveaways.

What has been a surprise in your life lately?

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The Sound Of Food

Posted on March 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

White chocolate roses and blogging for pitons,
bright copper oat bowls and warm oven mittens,
brown paper lunch bags filled with cheese strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.
Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Dark Chocolate

I didn’t intend for a “favorite foods” post. But when you’re eating, how can you not just want to eat all the best? And when you’re a blogger posting what you eat, that’s what you blog about! I think it’s safe to say pomegranate is pretty much my favorite flavored Chobani, and with my favorite dark chocolate by Endangered Species it’s just a winning duo.

Endangered Species Organic Smooth 70% Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Organic Smooth 70% Dark Chocolate

And since there were only 4 more squares left, how could I not finish off the organic smooth dark chocolate; as always I’m a little sad to see this one go after only 2 days of eating, but with Easter and a birthday coming up, I feel as though it might be chocolate season 😉

Oatmeal With Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

When the paper’s written
And the  computers off
And I’m feeling tired
I simply reach for my butter toffee peanut butter
And then I don’t feel so wired

5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie

5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie

And even after that I was feeling a little “snacky” so I grabbed a 5-ingredient peanut butter cookie from the freezer and called it a night. I try not to have “a favorite recipe” and to love all my recipes equally. But… anything that’s filled with that much peanut butter and so simple you can make in a dorm environment is pretty special.

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

This morning, I bit the bullet: I opened up a can of coconut milk. Have I mentioned, coconut milk is among my favorite things? But you can only eat so much at a time, and I’m only one person, so 2/3rds ends up going bad. I decided to look at it the other way, though, and notice that 1/3 will be eaten before I have to throw it out 🙂 That made me happy as a clam

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Twister Power Coconut Milk Yogurt

Twister Power Coconut Milk Yogurt

Dare I say, it doesn’t get better than the combination of Justin’s chocolate almond butter and fresh coconut milk. Simply words can not describe it. And I always worry about protein on Fridays during Lent; usually I can not give this a second thought and go with cravings, but on a day when I have to ignore any meat cravings it makes me focus a bit more. Since So Delicious coconut milk yogurt is creamy and dreamy, but not protein-rich, I added 2 tablespoons of Navitas Naturals‘ twister power powder, which is a 6g protein and antioxidant boost from hemp, maca, and cacao. If nothing else, this tasted good. It was just the right amount of chocolate sweetness with a clear hemp flavor and a bit of maltiness. A new favorite thing? We’ll have to see…

Mental Health Week Wrap-Up

I hope you’ve all enjoyed some stress relieving tips. If nothing else, they’ve helped me get through this midterm week, which I’m happy to report will be all done once I get my butt to the Classics department to turn in a hard copy of my paper 😀 Stress can be our biggest enemy or out biggest motivator; we just need to learn how to control it. Tonight, I’ll repost all the tips when it’s time for the giveaway!

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Chocolate For My Morning And How To Do To-Do

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

Who else watched the Biggest Loser last night? I loved that the contestants got to see their families and had so much support. And I totally thought Jillian was going to bust out of that big box and whip them in to shape. Anyone else? While I was watching that, I was writing an essay on my midterm about the gripping effect sugar had on England between 1600 and 1800 and how that pushed slavery. Yikes! Scary stuff. So I made a resolution to eat without added sugars for a bit.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

An apple fit that bill and made me feel healthy for the time being. “I’m on a roll!” I thought.

Emmy's Organics' Lemon Ginger Raw Macaroon

Emmy's Organics' Lemon Ginger Raw Macaroon

And then, whoops! Fell off that train 🙂 I had a hankering for a lemon ginger macaroon by Emmy’s Organics. I think choosing raw desserts sweetened with agave nectar is a pretty good compromise for sugary goodness 😉 The hint of spice here from lemon and ginger is so nice! It was a perfect treat for sending in my take-home midterm.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And French Toast Almonds

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And French Toast Almonds

And then–ipso facto–sugar never counts when it’s on top of oatmeal 😀 I had pumpkin oats with some butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty and my own homemade french toast almonds to seal the night off. This made me thing homemade nuts would be a great thing to make for Easter lunch. The only thing is I’m not sure if/which flavors would work. Suggestions?

I listened to not 1 but 2 of my mental health tips. First of all, after I sent that paper at 9:15 it was me-time all the way. I spent it with television and mindless games. It’d be more fun if me-time were, say, during the day, but I’m glad I snuck it in at the end. I also didn’t set my alarm this morning, got 8 and a half hours of sleep, and decided to postpone any run. Even if I end up running to the bickering of Kathy Lee and Hoda, the sleep was worth it.

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Quinoa Chocolate, OIAJ

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Quinoa Chocolate, OIAJ

Breakfast in bed had to be a little bit more “desserty” than usual, right? The first thing that came to my mind was pre-flavored greek yogurt; this always tastes like a dessert, but totally passes the “healthy” bill. I grabbed a pomegranate Chobani and added some Dark Quinoa Chocolate from Alter Eco. And then what could be better than oats in a chocolate peanut butter jar?!

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Oats With All-Natural Fluff

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Oats With All-Natural Fluff

In the bowl jar was my standard 40g oat blend, what was left of the white chocolate cherry almond butter from Naturally Nutty, and some all-natural fluff. I was worried because the fluff stuff was rock hard at room temp(it’s an old container), but it seemed to melt well over everything and add a smooth vanilla tone.

To-Do It Right

To-Do List: Homework

To-Do List: Homework

Last night’s Mental Health Week tip was all about decluttering your workspace; now I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists. Above was my homework list circa 11am yesterday morning, but I also have them for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished. Do you keep a list? If so, where is it?

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All Kinds Of Blocks

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Write now I think I’m suffering from writer’s, runner’s, reader’s, and any other “er’s” block you could be, because I have no motivation or clue where to begin! Of course, you could also call this “Spring Break mode”. Well, somebody’s going to have to remind my body that that’s a good week away. 3 tests, 2 papers, 4 homework assignments, and 2 scheduled lunches away, but who’s counting?

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Fig Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream on a Thursday night–that felt classy 😉 I suppose it’s better to eat up what I have here while I can before Spring break. 1/2 of this was So Delicious chocolate coconut milk and 1/2 Laloo’s fig. The combination of chocolate and fig is always so surprisingly delicious; I never would have thought the two to work together but they so do! With all these cow’s milk alternatives, you’d think I’m lactose-intolerant or have something against bovines. Nope! Haha. I just think all the best flavors are in “alternative” brands, or you get a richer, velvetier texture with better nutrition. When the cow’s milk flavors start being stepped up, I’ll revert.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Peanut Butter

The way I eat pumpkin oatmeal, you’d think I own a pumpkin patch. Again, nope! I was just never affected by this “pumpkin shortage” I’ve heard about and always been able to find it somewhere. I like replacing 10g of grains with 1/2 cup pumpkin because it sneaks in a serving of fruit(which I would not be getting otherwise :-/). I topped this with the last scoop of Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and Naturally Nutty‘s Butter Toffee while watching The Marriage Ref. The fact that I fell asleep during that show shows about how funny I think it is. BUT the Indian couple were from my hometown! I tried recognizing the house because I’m sure I’ve ran near it at one point or another but I couldn’t do it.

Like I mentioned, I had “runner’s block” this morning. I was incredibely indecisive about whether or not to sleep in; when I fell asleep that pretty much made up my mind for me, but then I had an unpleasant dream about pizza being made from dogs 😦 I think that at least made the crust gluten-free? Bad joke, bad joke. I slept in 40 minutes, played games and browsed blogs, and decided that almond butter isn’t in my life enough.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Again, where’s my pumpkin patch? Cooking an egg in the oatmeal makes it taste so much more like a pumpkin pie to me–light and airy. And Justin’s maple almond butter was a must here along with some real maple butter; did you know it’s maple season coming up now? I’m sure they’ll be more maple products to come. And then there was the oh-so-delicious-but-again-not-cow’s-milk-yogurt with some milk chocolate peanuts. I have 6 of those left(the peanuts, not the yogurts) 😦 I definitely need to see a grocery store soon.

It’s true what they say: You only regret the steps you didn’t take. I’m thinking that taking the morning off was a blessing in disguise, and that running in this gorgeous weather might re-excite me for something or at least unblock my mind. I probably won’t get to a Whole Foods as planned today 😦 I can go a day without sweet potatoes, right? Maybe…

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Chocolate Makes The Meal

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

Believe it or not, I don’t actually ever realize how much chocolate I eat until someone points it out, or that it might not be normal for everyone to have chocolate at every point in there day. I can’t fathom how my 9 year old cousin doesn’t like chocolate(I think there’s genetic testing to done here). It goes without saying that I started last night off with–what else–chocolate.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I broke in to the Righteously Raw chocolate bar I splurged on over the weekend, taking half and save the rest for another time.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I was intrigued to say the least to see how they would work lucuma and dates into a raw caramel. In short: they didn’t :-/ I guess caramel is just something too difficult to make with raw ingredients, because this really didn’t remind me of that. Oh well. Would I pay another 3.50 for the 1/2 a bar I ate? Probably not, but you gotta experience these things one and a while.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Cacao Coconut Butter

A little later and why not more chocolate? This time in the way of my homemade dormmade chocolate coconut butter(recipe to come) along side some butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty. The cacao coconut butter is the perfect consistency at room temp, but melts to water over oatmeal or hardens to chocolate in yogurt. What to do, oh, what to do? I suppose neither are really a “problem” when it tastes that good 😀

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

This morning I actually felt energized when I woke up at 6:15; I was not expecting that. Because I dream of chocolate while others dream of Jeannie, I grabbed 5 squares of my favorite dark chocolate bar made by Endangered Species. There’s no harm in a little chocolate prerun for some quick carbs when it’s organic and saving the rain forest 😉

10 Miles In 89:56

For whatever reason, I have a lot easier time doing long runs if I extend the time from the start rather than at the end; it’s like all those minutes before 7am don’t even count! I totally could have gone longer to watch Kirstie Alley on the Today Show had I not had to get to class. I was just happy to squeeze 10 miles in under 90 minutes so that I could get back, make a breakfast, and get to class.

Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate

Really, chocolate should be at every breakfast table. At least this one from Alter Eco has a complete protein in it in the form of quinoa. Note: Do not leave squares of chocolate next to the heat vent of the computer unattended.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Raw Cashew Butter, Greek Yogurt With Superfruits And Quinoa Dark Chocolate

I love how fast oatmeal cooks! Is that a silly thing to love? Regardless, it’s this college boy’s dream food. I made pumpkin oatmeal and topped it with raw cashew butter from Love Raw Foods and butter toffee peanut butter fromNaturally Nutty. This combo was fantastic. Seriously, both of these nut butters are incredibly rich and the duo had such a Wow! factor to them. They’re also so different–one’s raw whereas the other is sugared and buttered up. You’ve just got to love each for their own right 🙂

Greek Yogurt With Superfruit Spread And Dark Quinoa Chocolate

The yogurt, likewise, was love. I mixed in Europe superfruits spread from Crofters Organic into a 2% plain yogurt and added on some shavings of Alter Eco‘s dark quinoa chocolate. I won’t go into too much detail now because I reposted my review in just a little bit but I loved the crunch of this, and I don’t even normally like “crispy” chocolate! Something about the quinoa, though, was perfectly cacao.

Now, will you get me to admit that I eat too much chocolate? On the contrary, I’d probably tear up the internet looking for all the articles on chocolate’s health benefits than admit to that. And if you asked me what kind of chocolate’s best, I’d point you to companies that hold organic and fair trade ingredients at a premium, like Alter Eco does. This company sent me a few bars to review, and now that I’ve nibbled on both I want to share my thoughts. Universal of all their products is their commitment to equality and the ingredients, which was a philosophy I could not help but admire. Beyond that, their products tasted good, too 😉

Dark Velvet Chocolate

8/10: First to get the elephant out of the room: this is in no way–in my opinion–a dark chocolate bar. Not only does it have dairy solids in it, the flavor of them shines through. That’s really not a bad thing though; on the contrary, I loved the rich, buttery tone to it. It just would have scored higher with me if it didn’t advertise itself as “dark” with a “touch” of milk. I also loved the simple, fair trade, origin ingredients, and that it had no soy or lecithin. This bar was as pure and ethical as they come, and if you want a “feel good” chocolate, it certainly shares that mission.

Dark Quinoa Chocolate

9.5/10: I’ve always thought chocolate with crispies in it to make it “interesting” always turned out bland and airy more than anything else. Alter Eco has made a truly interesting chocolate bar by inserting quinoa–not puffed rice–for a nice and satisfying crunch–not crisp. This seemed to me an ingenious move as a reminder of the Amazonian origins of cacao, as if the fact that they locate their cocoa and sugar to fairly traded farmers in Bolivia wasn’t enough. The company and thus the chocolate bar are entirely ethical and entirely tasty; even the chocolate, while “only” 61% cacao, had a much deeper, darker bitterness to it that I loved. While it may cost a little more because it’s so gourmet and might be hard to find, for a reasonable splurge or chocolate lover’s present this bar is perfect.

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