Super Salad And The Great Egg Debate

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

Good afternoon! It feels more like afternoon now than evening or night just because it’s still sunny! This time shift thing is definitely throwing me for a loop; I love the extra light at the end of the day, but feeling around for everything in the dark at 6:15? Not a fan. P.S. Google Reader and formatting both have not been my biggest fan today so if you missed my chocolate obsession eating and Alter Eco review you can still read it here.

Red Delicious Apple

I had my entire lunch packed and ready to go for class when hunger struck like a brick 20 minutes before hand. Rather than gobble down what I packed, I grabbed this apple. Most foods I like to eat slowly and savour but apples I can deal with the chew-and-go nature. Besides, I really wanted to give time to the salad I made.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

The combo of these ingredients does not get old. But winding back, last week I was craving chickpeas like craaaazy but since I try to make the most out of my meal plan and the dining hall never had any, I was out of luck 😦 Over the weekend, I decided since when does anyone go poor off of buying canned chickpeas? So welcome back to my life chickpea salad!

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach, Gingerade Kombucha

What makes this a super salad are all the other ingredients. First I overdress the greens with Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dressing, which really does have that sweet(agave nectar) vinegary flavor going on. Next up, I toss 1/2 a can chickpeas with Navitasdried mulberries(a superfruit!) and a diced raw & probiotic cheddar cheese stick ala Next Generation Dairy. I think cheese sticks by their very nature are super, don’t you?

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

The result is one big old trip to flavertown–I never thought I could enjoy a salad so much! And the health benefits here are ridiculous. Beans? Great vegan fiber and protein. The cheese has living enzymes for positive digestive health. The spinach is filled with vitamins!! The mulberries–well they’re a superfruit so they have to be healthy but they’re also a great subtle sweetness. And the hemp oil has healthy omega-6’s and -3’s. You can’t go wrong! I really enjoyed washing it down with a gingerade kombucha; did you know ginger has anti-flu properties to it? Not to mention kombucha also restores your body’s alkalinity and is probiotic as well. Wow, I’ve beaten that salad to death, so I’ll move on to dessert.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Yogurt And Sweet Scoops Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

Flash forward after 3 hours of class and some email responding and you have a munchy college student on the first day the sun’s been out 5 days. The answer? Ice cream! To shake things up, I had a scoop of Sweet Scoops‘ mint chip froyo(dairy & probiotic) with a scoop of So Delicious‘ vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream(vegan). The flavor came out perfect with a coolness from the mint and a cleanness from the vanilla bean. And since my stomach’s been a bit off since Sunday when I had that gluten-freefilled cookie, this was easy cals to take in without feeling more bloated.

French Toast Ingredients

Now if you thought lunch was just the bee’s knees, you’re going to looove dinner. I’ve had eggs in my fridge for weeks now that I’ve been wanting to eat but not knowing how to eat in a way that would excite me. Why eggs? Because they’re packed with protein and healthy, nutrient-rich fat from the yolk when they’re given the right feed. These were local, organic, and tested for 600mg Omega-3’s per 2 eggs, which is excellent! Especially since my diet has been lacking DHA omega-3 from fish this entire month and 1/2 I’ve been at school. Then I just needed to decide what to do with them…

Cornmeal French Toast Oatmeal

The man(and I’m pretty sure this was a man and a lazy bachelor living in a crappy apartment at that) who first used breakfast for dinner as an excuse was a genius. Since french toast oatmeal never fails me and tastes delicious, I figured that would be appropriate. To switch it up, I replaced the oatbran with cornmeal! And then continued to make it with 2 local & organic Country Hen eggs and patted with pasture butter, drizzled with New Hampshire maple syrup, and then topped with cinnamon and vanilla powder–magnifique! as the French would say 😉

Like I said and believe, eggs are very nutritious in their complete form. However, they’re subject to so much labeling! You can get regular, cage-free, cage-free organic, cage-free vegetarian fed, omega-3–the list goes on. Personally, I think so long as it’s vegetarian fed, it’s good enough; that’s really the only label I think “matters” and while some can be better vegetarian fed, the changes after that get wish-washy. However, I try to buy the most labeled eggs I can find. This time, I bought the Country Hen eggs; usually I go for Eggland’s Best cage-free, organic, even though I think they’re just as good as their regular ones. Why? The labeling makes me feel better. It just does when it comes to eggs–not all foods, but eggs in particular. I like to imagine the happy chicken wandering around dropping eggs as she pleases(even though I realistically know this is never the case) and so I shell over the extra money for the better bird. What about you? Does it matter at all, or are you at some sort of conflict like me?

And here’s an awesome giveaway for coconut oil!

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

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

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

Laundry

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

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

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

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

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

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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Butterfingers

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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Go On And Live Your Life

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

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

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

Mexican Bowl

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

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

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

Kombucha Warning Label

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

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

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

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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

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

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

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

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

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

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A Little Clunky But Not Wholly Displeasurable

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1) That’s what she said.

Packed Bag

2) That’s a pretty good description of coming home for the weekend, too. I definitely forgot how much I loathe packing. But, I managed to keep it very simple with 1 bag and only 2 peanut butters(plus my backpack and some dirty laundry). Annoying? Yes. But not as wholly displeasurable as having to completely move out and then back in over break.

Like I mentioned, our first stop was Chocolate Fest! There was tons of samples throughout the stores of different chocolate creations. First, I scoped it all out. Then I decided that some of it was skippable(I mean, I can cover a banana in melted chocolate, too :-|). Finally, I dove in 😀

Chocolate Cherry Braised Beef

Raw Chocolate Truffle

Mexican Chocolate Chili

Salmon In White Chocolate Butter Sauce

Sweet Scoops Mocha Mudslide Frozen Yogurt

The braised beef–was absolutely fantastic! It might have been my favorite of the night. It might just be my inner carnivore saying that. But I really loved it because first you got the really fatty meat flavor that just fell apart in your mouth, and then you got a kick of cherry at the end. The raw truffle was really good, too. I could totally make this at home, though(and I snatched the recipe to do so). The chili was another winner; I told you I was a carnivore 😀 The salmon, on the other hand, was really bad. What were they thinking if they tasted it? I thought it had potential because white chocolate and chickpeas are a fantastic combo, but apparently that need not apply here. And, for dessert, some Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt. I’ve actually been thinking of buying that flavor for a while, and it was really good. I don’t know, though, if it’s worth the price compared to Elan’s Decaf Cappuccino frozen yogurt(which also is decaffeinated and so better for night time snacking).

That actually wasn’t that much, so when we actually got home after an hour I was hungry… for the supper not waiting for me 😦 I decided to just throw something a little cooky together that’d be veggie-tastic and filling.

Brussels In Grass-Fed Butter Sauce

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Coconut Oil

This dinner was a bit clunky but not wholly displeasurable. Actually, it was pretty tasty 😀 I don’t think I’ve had brussels in 2 weeks! What a shame. They really soaked up the butter. On top of my pudding, I added some Navitas Naturals Goji Berries and coconut oil; I loved the goji berries here for a good dose of antioxidants! The coconut oil tasted a little out of place, oddly :-/ I think coconut butter would be better here(butter is always better 😉 But that’s another story). Speaking of Gojis, I had a sweet surprise waiting for me…

Goji Gourmet Cookies

How yummy does that all look? Among a few packages I got was this one which I won from totalfitgirl’s contest(ironic, I know, but there weren’t any gender rules for entering as far as I know :-)). I’m pretty sure it was only for the chocolate cherry cookies, and the rest of this was thrown in by my friends at Goji Gourmet. Thank you! Now I’m stocked well with one of my superfoods.

Was it just me, or was Grey’s not so good last night? Should I have gone with The Office and 30 Rock? That’s quite possible. A few more things made coming home a little clunky. A) I had noo toothbrush. Whoops. B) I had no alarm clock and freaked out until I dug out a really old one. I then decided that I wouldn’t even set it and let myself sleep in. C) I found out that one item I specifically came home for might very well actually be in my safe at school. Ugh. After most of that was resolved, I was happy for oats.

Cornbread Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Cornbread, because I could. In the batch went 1 egg white(sorry, yolk, but I didn’t need you right then :-(), 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and 1/2 a teaspoon aluminum free baking powder. This came out perfectly corny.

Like I said, I didn’t set my alarm this morning and slept in a full hour. A full glorious hour. You need to take advantage of things like no drunk people in the hallway and nothing to do once you’re actually up 🙂 A few more things that made my trip not wholly displeasurable:

Trader Joe's Oatbran And Tofu

Food! More specifically Trader Joe goodies my mom grabbed on her way home just for me(like anyone else here would be picking out tofu or know which one to get) 🙂 You can bet that I already have some tofu pressing for lunch as we speak(and using the oatbran as a weight! Haha). Beyond that, I also used the oatbran in breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And SB PB

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Stevia

A bit cheesy, but not wholly displeasurable. No wait–wholly pleasurable because it’s a bit cheesy. That’s how I would describe the pumpkin/nutritional yeast/smart balance combo. There’s something so “homey” about it. AND now I’m about 1 bowl away from OAIJ!! It’s shaping up to be a splendid trip home.

Language Lesson: This is directed to no one in particular; this is just something I thought of as I was making my breakfast and want to address now. If you are buying your Greek yogurt and buy more than 1 container of Oikos, please do not say that you picked up some “oikoses”. That is just wrong. Oikos is a Greek word meaning house. It is the nominative, singular form. For plural, you’ll want to say you picked up some “Oikoi”. Sounds a little funny? Welcome to Greek. If you all want to be super overachievers, do 1 better by saying “Oikous”. That’s the correct form when it’s the object of a verb. But, I’d totally be happy if I ever just heard Oikoi, too 😀

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My 25 Hour Week

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

It feels a little surreal, but 25 hours after my first school week of the semester began, it ended. It hasn’t even hit me really that today is my “Friday” and tomorrow’s the weekend. I could get use to this.

Because I had a little extra time before my 2nd class of the day, I decided to make lunch in the kitchen again! This time, I cooked a “burger”.

Lightlife Gimme Lean Beef Soy Meat Burger

Yeah, I wish 😛 What this actually was was 4oz Lightlife‘s  Gimme Lean Beef shaped into a patty with some black pepper and cooked in a pan with EVOO.

Lightlife Burger With Ketchup, Green Beans, Smashed Banumpkin With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

But holy yum was that a good burger! I’ve had this beef before heated up in the microwave and it didn’t do it for me, so I wasn’t looking forward to this in all honesty. But yum! Cooked in a pan with fat it tasted like a real burger(albeit an overcooked burger since I like my meat practically mooing). I think I made up a side at this meal; I had an intense banana craving and wanted to get a little funky, so I mashed 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 small-medium banana and seasoned with sea salt and cinnamon. This was sooooo good–try it! It’s similar to a sweet potato, but the sugars in the banana make the cinnamon POP!

I loooved my next two classes. The first had a hilarious professor who’s very much in the old style of teaching. My only problem with it was the class was PACKED. I have a feeling it’s a class a lot of kids are taking for fun or to slack off in, but I need it for a Classics concentration so I ain’t going anywhere. My next class was OK, but a little duller in comparison and a lot smaller. At least I know 2 of them from last semesters’ classes. Midway through, I could feel hanger coming on.

Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate

I broke this out midway through. I’m becoming so obsessed! Now, instead of making one when I feel like it, I always have one made already for me chilling in the fridge. When class got over, one of the people I knew asked me where I got this and said it smelled excellent; when I told her I made it, she called that “brilliant”, haha. No arguments there!

I walked ran to my dorm to watch Oprah’s interview with Jay Leno. I have to say–I’m liking him less and less through this whole process. I know it’s not his fault so much as NBC but… And I think Oprah was a lot easier on him than she could have been; where were the hard hitting questions, Oprah? While I was watching this I did two things: I made another organic raw vegan chocolate bar for my next craving and made a snack for then.

Creamy Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

Greek yogurt is the perfect snack; it’s a complete protein so you really feel like you’re getting something out of it, too. For my taste and my wallet, lately I’ve been mixing 3 parts Trader Joe’s 0% with 1 part Trader Joe’s full fat, and sweetening with vanilla NuNaturals stevia. I’m running out of that last ingredient and can’t help but question to stick with it or try Sweetleaf or Whole Foods brand. Any recommendation? Dinner tonight hit just about every spot:

Chickpeas With Pasture Butter And Sea Salt

Broccoli With Pizza Cheeze Sauce

I’ve had MAJOR chickpea cravings all week, but didn’t want to open up a can with so much other food to eat. Tonight was the night, and with pasture butter it tasted very much like soft popcorn–yum! For my broccoli, I made Meagan’s cheeze sauce, but added ketchup to it–another winner. The only slightly disgusting thing was thinking at the end that sliding the pool of melted butter/leftover sauce/sea salt into my mouth would be a good call; that was a bit too much sodium, even for me. Coffee will dilute that, right? I think so.

Here’s another contest to win coconut oil of your very own.

And here’s an absolutely awesome article on nut butters with all my favorite brands interviewed–you must read this!

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The Big Fat Post

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Before I go into too much, I want to stress that everything hear is based on my own opinion. I’m not a certified nutrition anything, and these are personal thoughts reached through researched. I also recognize that I change my mind like crazy, so let the record show it is 1/27/20092010*

You’re all invited to my big fat Italian-Polish-French-Welsh-Canadian wedding after you read my big fat post. Really, I should call this my big post about fat, because that’s the topic on today’s agenda. I don’t think anyone would deny that fat’s an important part of your daily intake. And I really don’t think anyone would deny that it’s usually pretty delicious(Helloooo, peanut butter?). At the same time, there are several different types of fats stemming from countless sources. After taking advice and literature from 3 intelligent bloggers, I’ve decided to incorporate saturated fat from 2 new sources into my diet.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Common literature would tell you that saturated fats are awful and should be limited. That same literature, however, once toted trans-fatty margarine over all-natural butter. Things an opinions change. These 2 pieces of literature(#1 and #2) combined with other effects and observation led me to this decision. The fats themselves, as you’ll read, are quite nutritious in themselves. Unlike commercial butter, grass-fed butter hosts a range of nutrients and a higher omega-3 content; this was also the butter that our great-great grandparents were living and thriving off of–not margarine. You can read all about Pasture Butter here. Coconut oil hosts a bound of benefits of saturated fats without a speck of cholesterol. It also hosts a wide and unique array of beneficial components, including lauric acid, the same food infants thrive off of from milk.

The other half of this shift will be limiting the amounts of canola, safflower, soy, and other refined liquid oils. The reasoning for this is two-fold: Firstly, they aren’t nearly as “natural” as some of their counterparts like Rachael Ray’s favorite, EVOO. Secondly, introducing new fats into my diet means I should probably take some of the old ones out, and these ones serve little purpose on their own. Of course I’ll still be getting a strong flow of fats from nuts and, on occasion, animal sources. But I did want to put this out there, so that there’s no surprise that I might be featuring food like this a lot:

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

And why wouldn’t I when it’s this yummy? That would be my 3rd ever homemade raw vegan chocolate, made with 13g gold label virgin coconut oil, 19g agave nectar, and 12g cocoa powder. I really liked this blend. And, yes, when it comes to these raw chocolate bars it’s grams–not even teaspoons–that change the flavor completely! I’m loving playing around with the flavor with my minute changes and I think this one came out best of all so far. I’m going to pass over the irony of eating coconut oil and a chocolate bar while watching The Biggest Loser 😀

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, I am totally infuriated with the red team. I really hate it when anyone “plays the game” instead of just losing weight. As much as I love Alison Sweeney, I really miss the days when Caroline Rhea hosted and the contestants entered not knowing what they were doing but solely devoted to getting healthy. Meanwhile, teams like the grey team keep me thinking there are still those like that out there and have hope. I needed oatmeal to distract me from being angry.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If I’m working grass-fed butter into my diet, I should work more maple butter in too, right?(For those who don’t know, maple butter is simply granulated maple syrup and, in fact, not at all butter). I think I need to add less salt to my oats because even with all this mapleness nothing tasted sweet. I might have had to have an extra spoonful of maple butter from the jar. Oops.

This did not help my first night of sleep back in the dorm. I don’t know why, but I think it took a good 60 minutes of nothingness to fall asleep. My mind was just racing with thoughts about the new day and everything. The thing I was most anxious about was running again. To top it all off, I forgot to set my alarm! I managed to wake up naturally at 7:20, though, so only slept in 20 minutes. I guzzled down a cup of coffee from a fresh canister, and hit the gym.

365 Decaf Hazelnut

It’s so hard to find coffee that’s flavored and decaf; and this really tastes like hazelnut! Love it. What I didn’t love so much was reuniting with the treadmill. The run was so tough. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy after 5 weeks but I couldn’t believe after 2 miles it was becoming a battle, even though I had The Today Show to entertain me. My goal was 7 miles and I pushed to that in 59:59; I don’t know how I’m going to build back up for my half in time. When I got back to my dorm, I was ready to refuel!

Bananamon Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Newman's Cup

This hit the spot. I needed to go to the dining hall to get bananas and I grabbed 5 while I was in there 😀 I’ll be set for a bit I think. I love the cinnamon raisin peanut butter but I almost feel like it was too much raisins! Good thing I had soy yogurt with peanut flour to help satisfy my peanut tooth. The trick to good peanut flour yogurt: salt. It makes it that much more authentic.

Today’s the first day of classes! Already so much has happened I want to share and I’ve gotten a ton of good news, but I think after covering 1 big fat topic, that’ll be enough for this post. Instead, I’ll leave you with some giveaways.

Enter here for a goji gourmet giveaway(it’s one of my superfoods!)

Here is 1 iHerb giveaway and here is another! You could get a lot of herbage with that, lol.

And an Oikos giveaway!

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Let Me Eat Oats

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

Happy national peanut butter day! Right now, I’m sitting here watching the Screen Actor’s Guild awards that I tivoed and I’m still entirely in a food coma from yesterday. Seriously–how do you get over food like that? At the same time, I’m so happy to get back to “normal” eating. I’ve often thought about how great it would be to be a celebrity and eat at the best restaurants every night, but 1 day and I’m dying to get back to good old cheap-and-tasty food. Does anybody else think certain celebrities are the same? Steve Carell is one celebrity I could certainly picture going home after a long day of work and reaching for a bowl of oats instead of anything fancy; I like down-to-earth celebs like that.

I didn’t want to completely abandon my ritual of chocolate after dinner last night, so I found room for some dessert 😉

Chocolate Banana Soft Serve

It always amazes me that cocoa powder, bananas, and a dash of nut milk can make something so glorious. I’m planning on making a How-To post for chocolate banana soft serve, because there’s a little “trick” to it if you ask me. But when you’ve got it right, it comes out so deliciously cool and creamy–you’ll think it’s soft serve!

Did anybody catch the new Unwrapped last night? It was on at a really odd time: 10:30. It was all about bargain eating, and the first 10 minutes were devoted to Trader Joe’s! Gotta love that store. They also showed a visit to the Hungry Man factory; I don’t know how anybody who works there would eat one of their meals. I actually thought some of the photos were bit graphic(if you saw this and the chicken, you might now what I mean).

That show probably influenced a dream I had last night about being at Trader Joe’s and looking for Swedish fish with a friend from high school. I used to love Swedish fish, and it sort of bums me out I haven’t found a natural alternative yet. There just soooo good. I might have to make an exception in my diet one day soon for them. Anyway, the dream got me hungry so I scrounged the kitchen for the closest thing to Swedish fish.

Dried Raspberries

You know–for something not Swedish fish, these weren’t half bad? Chewy? Check. Sweet? Check. They were just a little too tart, but I bet blended with dates they’d be a good substitute. When I stumbled on an old Disney Channel Original Movie on the TV at 4am, I might have had a mid(quarter?)life crisis; why can’t we all grow young like Benjamin Button? No worries–I’ll spoil the hell out of my kids and live through them. Lucky bastards 😀

Because of my latenight wanderings, I slept through my alarm for a full hour. That’s not an easy thing to do at the volume I play it, so I’m sure other people got an earful. I decided to just save time by nixing the strength workout since it’s good to give muscles a rest, but kept the cardio and did stairs for 200 flights(which takes almost exactly 1 hour). For breakfast, I was soooo up for eating more “normal”.

Crofter's Europe Superfruit Spread

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself; I opened the European superfruit spread from Crofter’s Organic to see if I could add some exotic(or at least organic) flavor.

Goat Milk Yogurt With Europe Superfruit Spread

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Organic Pasture Butter

I thought the goat milk yogurt with Europe superfruit spread would be a fun and exotic(well, as exotic as Europe gets) combination; honestly, the spread did not wow me, and it would have been a better idea to completely mix the two since it’s so thick. On the other hand, it was pretty “European” in flavor, so if you just can’t quit Europe this might be your best bet. The oatmeal was a divine treat. It came out kind of like pancakes topped with butter and brown sugar, except with a peanut buttery twist. All I wanted was my oats–no fillers–so I just loaded up on ‘dem grains 😀

They just played the In Memoriam section of the SAG awards. Those are always my most and least favorite parts of an award show; I totally forgot Bea Arthur died this year 😦 Youtubing Golden Girl clips for the rest of the day? Yeah, that could be a plan.

Here’s a giveaway for teather fruit strips and here’s another for nutrasalt!

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Forgetful Me

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ve been a bit absent minded lately; I’ve completely forgotten to mention two big things. First off, today’s my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to her!(even though I don’t think she knows about this yet so shhh ;-)) There will be dessert later to celebrate. The other thing I almost forgot is we’re driving to NYC and back tomorrow to see our friends from Georgia. I’m so excited since I see them only twice a year, but that left me in a mad rush to prewrite some posts! Thankfully, I thought of two good subjects I hope will entertain you while I’m away 🙂

This morning I did not forget to get my probiotics in despite skipping yogurt at breakfast.

Pop Culture Probiotic Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

Pop Culture sent me their two flavor of granola bars to sample and review. Clearly, I’m not the only one on a probiotic mission because the makers of this product believe in the power of them so much that they developed a special formula for maintaining a strand in a shelf stable granola bar. Since I was having a chocolate tooth, I reached for this flavor. I review it here. I definitely liked it and it had great nutrition(and was deliciously chocolatey :-)). My only problem was the texture, which is usually a problem with bars that add soy protein.

I felt like all morning I was playing house picking things up around here. It might be nice that my parents leave coffee still in the pot when they leave for work if they didn’t drink caffeinated and know I don’t touch the stuff. Oh well, it’s the least I could do. Just like the least my dog could do was pee on the rug and the least my camera could do was die. On mornings like that you just have to take a deep breath and take it as it comes. Fortunately, that all could wait while I was making lunch for myself.

Roasted Broccoli, Buttered Apple, Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

I got really into this meal, and it showed in the flavor. I know I wanted to use my last Al Fresco Sweet Apple sausage(so sad to see this flavor go 😦 but at least now I get to open a new one!). Along side I decided to roast broccoli, which came out beautifully. These were so nutty and crispy almost like broccoli fries! I also melted some butter spread in a pan and cooked up apples, topping them with a little more 😉 I’m totally not afraid of gaining the average 5 or 7 or however many pounds I will this Holiday season; I’ll just find it ironic if it’s from food that I could have been eating all year and not holiday cookies.

Well after all the pee was cleaned and the batteries were changed(lovely imagery, right?), I finally got time to play silly online computer games write up some posts for tomorrow. Any guesses what they might be? I already touched upon one in this post… My chocolate chip cookie tooth from this morning came back in a big way, so I thought to have it in the form of healthy fats.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Advent Chocolate

How long has it been since I’ve cracked open my jar of chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter? Too long. It’s almost gone meaning almost oats in a jar! That’ll be a good one. While eating this I was reminded of why our mailwoman rocks; she’s stopped putting anything in our box anymore when we get a package and instead drives all the way into our garage and leaves it there. Hehe, she must know I’m ever so lazy 🙂 Although today we got a package that was meant for another house so later we have to give it to its owner. Boo 😦

Like I’ve mentioned, it’s my mom’s birthday so there will be delicious goodies tonight for that. I’m wondering if I’m supposed to have picked a dinner and started up on that? I really haven’t been thinking about it. Oops. Best get to work on that!

A Nutridel cookie giveaway!

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Not On Schedule

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Why bother making a schedule? Things happen; life happens. You can plan and plan the day but good luck having it work out.

Kashi Honey Almond Flax

I ended up being hungry before lunch–not planned because I never am? I thought this bar, which I’ve enjoyed before, would be nice. After eating it and thinking it was unusually stale and nasty, I realized it expired 2 months ago. Since when do things like this even expire? It was odd, to say the least.

While I was off-schedule anyway, I thought I’d get a head start on my baking. I planned on making this recipe with a bunch of little changes that I wrote up here. As it turned out, we had no flour. Really? I planned and planned for this and went to the store twice to get ingredients and never thought to check for flour? Ugh. After freaking out for about 5 minutes I decided to enlist help.

Red Dodge Neon

I called my 81 year old grandmother for a ride; if you see this card on the road ever, you might want to be a little careful. Actually, she’s not an awful driver, but I was holding on a little tight. She was happy to take me to Hannafords(she needed scratch tickets anyway, don’t ya know ;-)). While I was in her car I noticed two things.

Purple Steering Wheel

She has pizazz apparently. 3 years ago at Christmas, this steering wheel cover caused a heated argument during yankee swap; no one wanted it except the old people so that’s who it went to.

Wendy's Kids Meal Map

I also found kid’s meal stuff in the back seat. My grandmother and her 80 year old sister are the only two people who go on this car. Apparently, they’re not above ordering off the kid’s menu on their way to the casino. Oh, to be old…

King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour

I grabbed what I needed, and that was all. After I got home, I realized I was borderline hangry because it was almost 2pm(so not on schedule) and all I’d had for “lunch” was that expired granola bar. After a kitchen failure with 2 eggs and a pan, I made this masterpiece.

2 Egg Omelet With Broccoli

Seriously, this was so good; I think I tapped in to my inner “chef”. As I’ve said before, I’m a baker who loves precise times and measurements. Therefore, “meal” food doesn’t work well with me. I put that mindset aside, put “a lil’ earth balance” in the pan to melt, cooked the bottome of the egg “until it looked ready”, added the cheese and folded. It was so beautifully runny and rich and cheesy, just the way eggs should be. Maybe I do have a lil’ chef in me? In my attempt to get back on schedule, I quickly got working on the recipe.

Browning Earth Balance Butter

That would be 10 tablespoons of earth balance(original recipe calls for real butter) melting until brown and nutty. Amazingly, this wasn’t a Paula Dean recipe, either, but one featured on Healthy Eats. I actually think this might have been my favorite part; something about a large pool of melted, fragrant butter… *drool*. Anyway, while I was doing this I spotted some old friends.

Wild Turkey

There’s a group of 20something wild turkeys that live in our neighborhood. Naturally, I was nervous since I haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving. Turns out, they’re doing just fine in this snow.

The Beaters

There was definitely some licking of the raw dough with this recipe. No, it was not vegan, but I’ll take my chances on the raw eggs. Ever since I’ve seen documentaries on body builders who eat 6 eggs or something crazy to start their day, I’ve been a bit balls-to-the-wall with raw dough. I’m a wild man, right?

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

The biscotti came out amazingly(minus the 6 or so that crumbled in to pieces). This recipe was definitely a winner with a little reworking. While I was baking, I got some fun packages.

NuttZo T-Shirt

The people at NuttZo saw I was a nut for their product and sent me a shirt! I’m such a brandaholic; I was actually wearing my zevia t-shirt just today, haha. I think I need to wear on Christmas just to kick off that conversation. And perfect timing because I just wrote a review for NuttZo this morning here.

Nature's Path Granola And Bars

I also got these awesome granola and bars. 2 weeks ago I was their “fan of the week” on facebook and got to pick out 3 products to get 2 boxes of. Naturally, I went for everything peanut butter or cherry. I’ve never tried any of these so I can’t wait to see how they are. Once the biscotti were done, I didn’t want to dive in to them because I wasn’t sure there’s enough for Christmas Eve and Christmas yet. Instead, I made some similar oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Teddy Unsalted Natural Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

I picked up this new peanut butter yesterday at Price Chopper while working on a guest post. It’s rated really better than most other brands. And it’s 1-ingredient: peanut. I needed to see what the fuss is about. I admit, for something unsalted this was rather tasty and had a good consistency(not “oily” at all yet still smooth and melty). I don’t know that it deserves the rating it does but it was pretty cheap, too, so I’m not complaining.

Let’s just say “workouts” at this point are definitely a point of contention; I don’t plan on forcing myself to do too much strengthening if it’s not what I want(I’m a cardio lover at heart), but I also don’t want to completely fall off the ladder. I resolved this by playing 2 rounds of wii tennis, 1 wii fitness test, and 2 sets of 25 stair flights. This also gave me time to plan dinner, which I had going before my mom got home.

Sirloin Roast, Roasted Brussels, Noggy Butternut Squash

Let’s just say, I couldn’t have dreamed this up better. It was soooooo good, and everyone enjoyed it I think, which makes me doubly happy. In ordinance with my “new plan” towards meat, I portioned out 3oz of rare meat, and loaded up on the vegetables. The meat was so excellent, and I think limiting that amount was just perfect in also letting me appreciate what I did have. I had in mind to mash butternut squash with 1/4 cup Silk Nog and some stevia to taste and my parents loved it(my mom thought it needed 2 tablespoons of brandy, haha). It was really earthy and delicious.

After all that, I finally got a chance to sit down and finish Days(which I started 3 hours ago). Now that Caitlin has reminded me via twitter that I have instant chocolate pudding in the pantry, I think you can guess what I’ll be “making”.

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