Eating Picnic Foods

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

Well if you live in the Northeast, I hope you got outside for this amazing weather. If you don’t, I hope the sun was shining where you are, too! March is the best month: In like a lion, out with my birthday like a lamb.

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’m lucky to love the treadmill and running out doors. They’re very different things, and both have their good points. When I get bored of one, the other can be there to pick me up. Today, that was the case where I didn’t feel like running on the treadmill first thing but was ready for an outdoor run around 11. I had 2 tiny squares of my favorite organic dark chocolate from Endangered Species and hit the road.

11.25 Miles In 1:35:10

This was a long run. In fact, it turned out to be my longest outdoor run ever! by .7 of a mile. I went up and down the Providence Path 3 times. There was even some running team(maybe collegiate?) holding time trials so I had good company and motivation. At the 3rd turn, I went down Hope street and ended my run at Whole Foods to do some refueling and grocery shopping.

Odwalla Carrot Juice

For some reason, I had it in my mind that this Whole Foods made fresh pressed carrot juice. I guess not :-/ But I was happy to refuel with this brand. Not only do I find carrot juice incredibly sweet and delicious, but it’s one of the best recovery drinks around.

Carrot Juice Nutrition

What makes a good recovery drink? Well, we could really debate this for hours. Chocolate milk gets a lot of attention for its 4:1 carb:protein content. Coconut water seems to be the new fad, but I have yet to try this and can’t speak for it. What I love about carrot juice is the potassium content: Look at it! That’s more than a banana, and for 1/2 the bottle. And potassium is something necessary for recovery. Another reason to love carrot juice is it’s 1 natural ingredient: carrots.

Groceries

I’m sure you’d believe me if I told you the first thing I grabbed at the store–even before the juice–was the milk chocolate sunspire peanuts. Could I live on without them? Beyond that, I just grabbed a sweet potato(albeit, a huge one), some canned fish for dinner and yogurt on sale. I was pushing my timing and had to get back to shower and make a full recovery lunch fast.

Chili Lime Yumnuts

In my rush, I remembered I wanted to try these seasoned cashews sent to me by Yumnuts. I’m not much of a spicy or savory snacker but for my meals they sounded wonderful and picnic-y. I threw everything in one big container and met my friend, Adam, on the campus green to enjoy the sun!

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, And Chili Lime Cashews Over Dressed Greens

I started by tossing bitter greens with my favorite dressing from Foods Alive. I tossed on top the remaining 1/2 a can of chickpeas, a can of tuna mixed with 2oz Voskos plain non fat for a healthy tuna salad, and a small handful chili lime Yumnuts. Could you imagine something better for picnicing? Because I couldn’t. This was all perfect! I forgot how much I loved tuna salads with a little salt. I guess the “trick” is to reserve just a little liquid from the can so that it’s not dry when you mix it with the thick-and-creamy binder. And the Yumnuts were–well–yum! They really were quite spicy, which I appreciated. Maybe a bit of sweetness for contrast wouldn’t have hurt? Still, they were quite good, and even flavored the tuna a bit.

Tazo 0 Cal Zen Green Tea With Lemongrass And Spearmint

To wash this all down, I sipped on this new tea from Tazo. It’s sweetened naturally with erythritol and stevia which is a great renovation to the sweet tea line if you ask me. It was definitely enjoyable, and probably sweet enough for most tastes. I did think the lemon part of it was lacking a bit, but still I’d happily grab this over any sugared-up competition. Overall, I hope it’s bright and sunny again soon because I want to eat this whole meal again!

Chocolate So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After getting a little work done and cleaning up after the hurricane that hit my dorm, I was craving something chocolate. Can you imagine that? I finished off the pint of chocolate So Delicious coconut milk ice cream I’d been working on. Is there anything sadder than finishing a pint of ice cream with no ability to immediately replace it? I think not.

Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

And, since that wasn’t enough So Delicious, coconut milk, and chocolate, I gave their yogurt a try with the final two squares of the same chocolate bar I ate earlier. A pint and a chocolate bar? Man, I was knocking them out today. Concerning the coconut milk yogurt: holy yum! This was amazing. Like I really needed another food to be obsessed over? At least I’m hooked while it’s on sale; you know there’ll be more of these over the weekend.

Dr. Kracker's Seeded Spelt

Another perfect picnic food, of course, are crackers. What’s not to love? I decided I’d try these Dr. Krackers because I loved the idea of sunflower seeds baked right in for a little crunch. I also read from Whole Foods that spelt flour–while wheat and so gluten-forming–has a higher tolerance level among gluten intolerant people than regular wheat. I’m not above conducting mini-science experiments on myself.

Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Seeded Spelt Crackers

I didn’t plan to have so much but when I read that spaghetti squash was at the cafeteria, well you know I had to make adjustments 😉 Overall, the whole meal was good, but not really “put together”. The crackers were nice, but they missed the crispness I was expecting; I really enjoyed the sunflower seeds with this sunny weather, though! The salmon in a can was–in a word–disgusting; I wasn’t expecting it to be not even deskinned or deboned. I only took 2 servings and threw the other 1.5 out. It tasted fine, but I think I would rather go without omega-3’s during my time at college than eat that more often. At least it was in the spirit of cheap fish during Lent? I’ll be happy when that’s over.

Annnd as much as I talked about the sun, it’s now dark out. Good thing because I should work work work on these midterms. I also want to keep up the “sundae on Fridays” tradition, but need to find some good ice cream to suit my palate. Enjoy the night!

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20 Minutes

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

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

Natural Food Store

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

Simple Italian Beef Over Cauliflower With Cheddar Cheese

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

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

Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

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

7 Miles In 62:02

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

Olympic Hockey Match

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

Carrot Juice

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

Tofu And Broccoli Cooked In Soy Sauce, Cheddar Popchips

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

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

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Veggies For An Upsest Stomach

Posted on September 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning. So I’m thinking I need a section of this blog where I solely talk about how ridiculous my professors are? As in when we’re translating a Catullus poem that deals with bed squeaking and my Latin teacher uses the phrase “going at it, hot and heavy”. Yes, that will scar you. Or perhaps my Greek History class which is taught by my Latin teachers husband in which he frequently mentions how the Olympians were naked, oiled, and wrestling. Should I mention to her that her husband might have something else on his mind? Thankfully, Epic Poetry is a break from the craziness. I love our professor; she’s a middle-aged Spanish woman with a heavy accent and it feels like a museum tour guide is talking to you when she leads discussion ❤

After the Latin class experience, I, amazingly, still had an appetite and went to the Ratty

Vegatable Stiry Fry, Tofu With Steak Sauce/Mustard/Agave Syrup, Snap Peas, Sprouts, Waterchesnuts, And Broccoli

Vegatable Stiry Fry, Tofu With Steak Sauce/Mustard/Agave Syrup, Snap Peas, Sprouts, Waterchesnuts, And Broccoli

The new Taste Of The World section is up and running for the week and this week is Japan. How exciting, I grabbed some scoops of the stir fry which was supposed to have tofu and veggies in it but was lacking. To compensate I grabbed some for the side as well as some tofu which I heated in my microwave with the described sauce. Something in this meal did not sit with me at all. I knew it wasn’t that much food or fuel and I should have eaten more but I could barely get down what was in the picture; I’m thinking it was the stir fry, since oily things tend to give me trouble, so I’ll be steering clear of that this week. Around Epic Poetry I started to have an appetite so I ate these in order:

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I hate getting hungry in class because it’s hard to whip out a Whole Food that’s portable and quiet to eat, but the Z-Bar is a close second. When I got back to my dorm I noshed on the apple. Red Delicious all the way for me, which is great because that’s one of the varieties that I can steal from the dining hall 🙂 My roommate was in the room reading all day; I really was not in a people mood so I decided this’d be a good time to run an errand I’d been meaning to do.

Providence Place Mall

Providence Place Mall

So I’ve lived a mile from a mall and only went to Bed, Bath, And Beyond on the first day–what’s up with that? I was impressed how big this place was: 5 stories! I didn’t get anything, but it’d be a fun place to hang if I ever stayed here over the weekend like I should. If they would only put a Whole Foods in there…

When I got back I had a craving for mint ice cream. Normally, I might go out and buy a quart and that’d be that. But given my recent “experience” I was too hesitant to buy anything new and improvised:

Vanilla Elan Frozen Yogurt With Dark Forest Mint Chocolate

Vanilla Elan Frozen Yogurt With Dark Forest Mint Chocolate

It wasn’t really mint ice cream :-/ But I did what I could, right? Maybe tomorrow I’ll go out and get the real thing. By the way, 1 square chopped up goes a long way in ice cream. I’ve always wondered how chocolate bars are so calorific but chocolate chip ice cream not so much. After the sweet I had a little salty:

Roasted And Salted Edamame With Goji Berries

Roasted And Salted Edamame With Goji Berries

This was such a great find last week at Eastside Market. Not only is it uber healthy with fiber and protein, and uber salty with… salt, it was pretty cheap, like 2.50. Considering the amount of goji berries in this, I’m guessing it’s a better option than buying goji’s from the bulk bins. Delicious. Come dinner time I definitely had my appetite back and didn’t touch the stir fry station.

Vegan Chili, Green Beans, Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Veggie Stew, Sweet Potato

Vegan Chili, Green Beans, Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Veggie Stew, Sweet Potato

That’s a lot of vegetables, and it sat with me. Well. The stew was mostly just a ratatouille with less tomatoes which reminded me of Provence. The artichoke hearts were also delicious and apparently made with a cooking wine which I really didn’t taste. And the chili was pretty great. It reminded me of Wendy’s chili except without the dodgy meat. I was very happy and very full with this meal(well, full for an hour, which is about what you can expect from me).

There was too much to choose from last night on TV. I decided to go with Heroes, and this lil’ guy:

Deep Chocolate Vitabrownie

Deep Chocolate Vitabrownie

For chocolate fixes nowadays, I don’t even go for chocolate chips or chocolate cookies; I go for vitaproducts. 30 seconds in the microwave and they become so cakey yet with a fudgy flavor. Perrrrfect, because I’m a cake person but hate how most cakes chocolate cakes come out tasting too vanilla(and not in the “vanilla bean” kind of way). I was so excited to see Chelsea from Days Of Our Lives as an actress on Heroes! And then she got killed off… wtf. I’m going to try and pretend that the season wasn’t ruined then for me. And for all you HIMYM fans, don’t worry, I’m still loyal to the show. I just need to track the new episode down online in my oh-so-plentiful free time. 2 hours is way too long for 1 show, in my opinion. I had to make snacks half way through.

French Toast Oatmeal And 10-Grain Bread With White Chocolate Wonderful And Cream Cheese

French Toast Oatmeal And 10-Grain Bread With White Chocolate Wonderful And Cream Cheese

Talk about hitting the spot. At first I was hesitant to make the oats; I thought to myself “Evan, do you realize you’ve gone a whole day eating vegetarian? Do you want to change that at 9pm at night?” Well, as much as I support the cause, I’m not a vegetarian and thought it’d be kind of silly to ignore a craving over something like that. The secret to good french toast oats: lots of vanilla powder. It’s not a household staple, but you should make it one.

I ended up in bed with my Nintendo DS copy of the Iliad and spent the night mostly like that and got some great sleep. My roommate is starting to get a cold or something so I’m being careful to get my sleep and eat right to fend of the flu this season(no shot for me. I’d rather bolster my immune system with food than fluids). When I got up it was a “treadmill morning” because Tuesday’s and Thursday’s my mornings are a bit hectic and I wanted to be done running at 8:30 sharp. I did 6.86 in 55:10, which is almost perfect pace for me. My right arm and shoulder started getting really sore; I need to learn to watch the TV in front of me rather than 10 feet to the side. When I got back I had the weirdest morning cravings:

Oatmeal/Bran With An Egg And 365 Steak Sauce, Multibran Vitatop With Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

Oatmeal/Bran With An Egg And 365 Steak Sauce, Multibran Vitatop With Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

I warned you. What I really wanted was the steak sauce. Don’t ask why, but 365 steak sauce is just addicting. Obviously that would have been too weird to just put on oatmeal, right? Gotta have an egg to balance it out. Oh, and salt. Lots and lots of salt 😉 Because I’m such a Bran boy I was happy to try this vitatop. I took a lesson from Christina and topped it with one of my favorite peanut butters, Butter Toffee by Naturally Nutty. The nutrition for this vitatop threw me off a bit; I wouldn’t have imagined something “bran” having so much sugar. But I was happy there weren’t sugar alcohols and the ingredient list was about as simple as could be. The flavor was just what I expected and hoped for: bran. Believe it or not, sometimes I don’t want everything to taste like a dessert(though I give you plenty of reason to not believe me, there). I would definitely buy this vitatop as a morning-starter, though if I had the choice of flavor I might go for one of their fruitier healthy flavors like BlueBran or AppleBerry.

Why oh why did I make oatmeal on a day I have early class? Seriously, I can spend 2 hours on a good bowl in the morning. I better get my butt moving and the spoon to my mouth. I’m wicked excited for today because it’s going to be nice and sunny and I’m done with class at 11:50! Where will the day take me? I’m guessing it’ll be a Whole Foods lot of fun, wherever it is.

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Uninspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

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

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

Ginger Smoothie

Ginger Smoothie

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

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

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

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

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

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

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

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Have Time, Will Grocery Shop

Posted on September 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Isn’t this exciting? I’m excited. Be excited! Haha, somethings just go straight to my head.

Yesterday morning I blogged it up and headed out the door. There just isn’t enough time in the a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. I got to class a wee bit late after scrubbing oatmeal off the sides of my bowl(pleasant, right?). The good thing is, though, that it’s another translation class which ends after we’re done translating our homework, so i got out for the day at 11:30. Score. My first instinct was to get my lunch early and have it sit in my room until I’m ready to eat it. Go with your instinct, kids. I didn’t and by the time I went the lines were so long; but rightly so because it wasn’t half bad.

Stuffed Acorn Squash, Tuna, Stewed Tomatoes, Corn

Stuffed Acorn Squash, Tuna, Stewed Tomatoes, Corn

Today’s vegetarian option was stuffed acorn squash. I was thinking they’d be hard but they were actually really soft and sweet like canned pumpkin–delicious AND seasonal. Also from the dining hall was the stewed tomatoes. I’m pretty sure cooking them for that long completely goes against what I’ve been reading in Thrive, but they taste too good to give a damn how much lycopene’s in them. The corn and tuna were from my room; I thought my meal could use a little protein. MarathonMaiden asked a few posts ago how much I use my meal plan in eating. I try to get as much out of it as possible and eat vegetables and protein sources out of the dining hall. I also like to grab fruits on the way out for snacks and breakfast. So basically, I try to squeeze as much out of the system as I can.

Dessert came late around 2 o’clock:

Double Chocolate Dream Vitatop

Double Chocolate Dream Vitatop

This was the last of the chocolate flavors I had to try, so you know it wasn’t going to last very long with me. The first thing I noticed was it had a good amount of white chocolate chips, which was appealing. I microwaved it and it came out nice and melty; the chocolate base was the same as the other vitatops, which I like because it reminds me more of an airy cake than a dense brownie. Unless we’re talking chocolate brownie Z-bar, I’ll take the cake any day. The white chocolate chips had a marshmallow-like taste. It wasn’t quite white chocolate, but it was very vanilla, which I thought contrasted perfectly with the chocolate. I think if it were real white chocolate chips the calories would be a lot higher. Still, I enjoyed it whatever it was and would gladly get these again because my name is Evan and I’m a vanillaholic.

Afterward I went to the correct mailbox where–surprise!–I had mail 🙂

Mail From Stonyfield

Mail From Stonyfield

Kristina from Stonyfield came across my blog and noticed my love of Greek yogurt. Either she’s really perceptive or I’m way too readable. I’m guessing both are true. She offered to send coupons for Oikos yogurt, a product of Stonyfield, which I couldn’t say no to. Oikos is certified organic. All natural is the most important thing to me when picking out a product, but organic isn’t too far behind that. Plus, when you get a milk product, it’s good to go with an organic company like Stonyfield so you know you aren’t getting milk from hormonal cows(you know what I mean). I was kind of already thinking of going to this place, but this totally pushed me over the edge.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Isn’t it teeny tiny? It could use some growth hormones. JK. I like it just the way it is. Unfortunately, it’s so small it lacks some of the “essentials”, by which I mean cinnamon raisin english muffins and mocha almond fudge ice cream. But I was still able to get some goodies and hop over to Eastside Market. They had a game where you spin the wheel and get a free prize, which I was super excited for. I won a bag of Haribo gummy bears 😦 No thanks to the artificial colors and flavors. I could have asked to swap prizes but I didn’t want to make a fuss and just politely declined. When I got back, I was mighty satisfied with my loot.

Grocery Shopping Loot

Grocery Shopping Loot

I got all that for 9.89 with coupons and sales. Not too shabby. I honestly think things are just more expensive here, though, which has me looking forward to times when I can shop on my own streets again. I needed to have a cup of redemption to refuel from the walking and shopping:

Redemption

Redemption

Why is this redemption and not coffee frozen yogurt with midnight moo sauce? I’ll tell you. Honestly, it really bugged me last night when I went out and got that sinless cake batter ice cream. I didn’t need it and it wasn’t even what I wanted; this was. But I went with it and all its sucralose and artificial flavorings anyway. I don’t have to eat all naturally; it’s something I want to do and set in front of myself. So when I do something like that, it’s letting myself down in a way because I know I’m stronger than that and should be able to stick to my guns. That being said, no one should dwell on the past, and this frozen yogurt was a sort of toast to looking forward towards progress.

I worked a bit and met my friend Adam for an early dinner. he had ping pong practice at 7 for the club. Should I bother telling him he’s insane or let that one go? Haha.

Cauliflower, Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Salad, Vegan Chickpea Marsala

Cauliflower, Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Salad, Vegan Chickpea Marsala

Again, the Ratty was surprisingly good. Ignore the over chopped veggies and turn to the Chickpea oh-my-this-is-good-but-what-the-hell-is marsala. I don’t think I’ve ever had that before but I actually went back for seconds. Any culinary folk out there wanna tell me what I ate? Also, loved the sweet potato and got a second one of those. With all those seconds in me I went for a quick walk up and down Thayer street, flipped through the new Rachael Ray magazine without intending to buy it(tsk tsk), and jamming to this over the CVS radio speaker. Even if you don’t watch the show, you got to admit that’s the damn sweetest music video EVER. C’mon… admit it.

Last night there was a plethora(vocab word alert) of good television on.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And The Biggest Loser

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And The Biggest Loser

That wasn’t a cup of redemption, that was just frozen yogurt; you need to squint to see the difference. I ended up watching the first half of the Biggest Loser. I love that show. Does anybody else it find it so inspiring?(not to mention appetite increasing?) Half way through that I switched over to Big Brother. Spoiler alert–I was a little disappointed when Kevin got the boot since he actually played well looking back on it all, but I suppose Jordan was a good winner. I don’t get her and Jeff, though. Or why America loves Jeff. I feel like the whole season just started, so it’s a little weird that it’s over. I hope they don’t wait a whole ‘nother year for next season, and that they have more twists.

It occurred to me to do a bit of taste comparison:

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Spread

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Spread

I decided to put together in a cage match P.B.Loco’s Cookie Dough Peanut Butter with my patented(not really) peanut butter cookie dough spread. The spread is 1 tablespoon White Chocolate Wonderful to 1 table spoon reduced fat cream cheese. Obviously, there was no loser in this cage match. I liked how the P.B.Loco one introduced the flavor of chocolate. But I also liked the smooth and savory tone to the peanut butter cookie spread, and the fact that there was 2 tablespoons of that versus 1 of the cookie dough peanut butter. Overall, I came to the conclusion that this was a random and pointless taste test I was doing to avoid the Iliad, and that I prefer the peanut butter cookie spread.

This morning I planned on doing something lighter to perk up the legs after yesterday. I ended up going a full 6.5 and doing arms and ab work when I got back. I’m really not good at “going lighter”, am I? I ran by Whole Foods and picked up the new Weekly Buys on my way back. I think the lady was confused when I ran in, grabbed something, and ran out the same door, haha. Hopefully they don’t think I stole anything. When I got back I was ready for Fall In A Bowl again:

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Almonds And Mighty Maple

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Almonds And Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffee Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffee Almonds

Ahh, this is oats at its finest. For my no-fail concoction, I cook 20g oatmeal with 20g oatbran and 160g water. When it comes out I add 90g canned pumpkin and sea salt and microwave it for a further 2 minutes. Then I add 1 tablespoon mighty maple and 7g sliced almonds. The result is so sweet and salty it makes you smile 🙂

Today Stonyfield is 28 cents each at Eastside Market, but I have absolutely no use for yogurt at the moment. This is a dilemma. Then again, I might be so busy with 3 classes catching up on online TV I won’t miss missing the sales. We’ll see. Thanks for finding me at the new domain!

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Learning How To Hold Them, How To Fold Them

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday morning I had the 3rd semester Greek I was too intimidated to sign up for. Sure, what was on the board at the beginning of the class looked like complete gibberish, but I’m starting to feel with the notes at the back of the book time I will relearn the language and do quite well in the class. And the students and professor seemed much more mature and better than the intro class, which I also appreciated. I had gotten an email that a package was waiting for me so after class I tracked it down to a sketchy warehouse and look what I found!

Vitatop Super Sampler

Vitatop Super Sampler

The folks from Vitalicious agreed to send me their super sampler for review! I’m very excited for these. My local Market Basket only carried a smattering of flavors which I had already tried all of. I think from this whole box I’ve only had the deep chocolate(coincidently my favorite so far) so I can’t wait to give them all a review. The best thing about vitatops is how fortified with vitamins and minerals they are; I’d prefer to get all that from food but since I’m no longer purchasing food or cooking for myself, I’ve been thinking about a multi-vitamin. These are much better–and tastier. Thanks, Vitalicious!

I knew it was time to bite the bullet and do my first load of laundry. Of course this never goes smoothly for anyone, right? It wasn’t that bad except for the fact that my Brown ID which should have money for laundry on it didn’t and I ended up scrambling around for street vendors to make change and give me quarters(old-school style). I probably looked insane running around eating lunch because at this point in the day I was starving.

Grilled Chicken, Black Beans With Salsa, Couscous Salad

Grilled Chicken, Black Beans With Salsa, Couscous Salad

The grilled chicken was plain, which was just what I was looking for. It let me drown dab it with 365 steak sauce. The couscous salad was definitely different and something I wouldn’t mind now and again. And black beans are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Good thing that they’re so proteinous and fiberous.

After I got enough quarters that they probably thought I’d open a bank, I went downstairs to work the machines. I accidently payed for the dryer above mine to go for an additional 60 minutes(oops) which cost me another 5 quarters(double oops) but I got it all worked out in the end. While I waited I shucked corn in my dorm room–not recommended. Those darn little hairs are so hard to clean. And one of my corns had this to reveal:

Maggot In Corn

Maggot In Corn

That’s what you risk when you buy fresh from a farmer’s market. It kind of creeped me out that I might have eaten that if I wasn’t paying attention, but I just shoved it out. And when I was done so was my laundry.

Laundry

Laundry

Amazingly everything was the same color going in as it was coming out: joyous. I still had more to do but I was out of quarters for the day. One vitatop was still in my mind after unpacking it and shoving it in my teeny-tiny dorm freezer so I knew I had to try it.

Chocolate Fig Vitatop

Chocolate Fig Vitatop

This smelled just like a Fig Newman, which I loved. After being thawed in the microwave a bit it was ready to be eaten. I thought the flavor was pretty decent, but I wasn’t rushing out to buy more, which I normally am tempted to do with limited edition things. Maybe it’s because I’ve had fig almond blondies and fig jam at my disposal all summer that these didn’t taste as special as they sounded. Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely delicious. But I would stick with the deep chocolate variety in comparison. I ate this on a walk to my favorite place:

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Where I picked up some real goodies:

Blue Diamond Honey Almond Butter, Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

Blue Diamond Honey Almond Butter, Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

Believe it or not, I haven’t boughten a honey almond butter before, and I was able to get this for 3 dollars between sales and coupons. The mint chocolate was also a sale item and something I’ve been craving this week. I don’t like spending money on food while I should be eating from my meal plan, but for 5.08(the cost of these products) I got over 2000 calories, which is really quite great when you think about it. As long as I don’t buy things like organic celery(lol at the thought) I think it’s a smart purchase for my stomach and my wallet. Speaking of eating up my food, I had this when I got back to my dorm:

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Yes, I brought one of those adorable silly little cone cups from home. I’m still a little bumbed the frozen yogurt melted and refroze cause it’s a bit icy, but it’s still decent; plus, I won’t let myself buy a new one until I finish the last one. I’m thinking I should just wait until my parents come down to buy my next pint, anyway. The Whole Foods here has a strawberry goat’s milk ice cream with balsamic vinegar swirl. Umm, holy yum? It’s 7 dollars, though, so I ain’t paying for it.

I read a bit of the Iliad before dinner. God I forgot how much I hated that book. Shame, too, because it’s like the number 1 piece of Classical literature and I’ll probably be facing it 10’s of times in my future. For dinner we went to the Ratty and met another friend from high school who’s in her Junior year.

Black Beans, Cajun Corn, Broccoli, Baked Potato with Salsa

Black Beans, Cajun Corn, Broccoli, Baked Potato with Salsa

Black beans are officially my bffl(best food for life). The cajun corn was nice and spicy, but I hate it when something has flavor and you don’t know what the flavor’s from. The broccoli was just… sad. After we went to the activity fair; unfortunately, it was mostly just “legit” clubs. Where’s the get-together-and-watch-season-20-of-Survivor club? I’m sure it will pop up soon. I grabbed some decaf and went back to my room to get minty fresh.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Rain Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Rain Forest Mint

I like how this chocolate has a 72% cacao base; it makes it very dark and slightly bitter. The mint is refreshing and noticable at first, but the flavor kind of subsides as the chocolate melts. I like how solid the bar is–it doesn’t seem like it would melt easily even after a long day in your pocket. Overall, I thought this was good, but I don’t know if I’d be buying it again. The fact that the mintiness disappears with time is too disappointing and I’d like to find a bolder brand.

I had a great night of watching Big Brother(c’mon, Kevin!) and Grey’s Anatomy(dramaaaaa) while eating some savory oats:

Oatbran/meal And An Egg

Oatbran/meal And An Egg

Why are these so good? Oh right, the half a shaker of salt I put on them. I also managed to finish reading my homework in the Iliad a little early so I picked up the next chapter of this book:

Thrive

Thrive

I already have a lot of problems with this book by page 70, but I’m going to go ahead and finish it before it frustrates me enough to throw it out the window. I know I’m completely electing to read it and Brendan Brazier is just sharing his own diet, but I feel like he comes off as condescending to any other sort of way of eating, not just the typical America refined foods. And of course I take issue with his food pyramid; grains at the top and no spot for peanut butter or chocolate? We’ll have to agree to disagree.

This morning I went a little more than 6 miles. I’m definitely feeling stronger than at the beginning of the week when this was all new to me but I haven’t had that feeling of “why don’t I just keep running to 10” since I was home. I’m curious as to how much of this is the new courses, how much is mental, and how much is dietary. Hopefully things will keep improving. I had one of those I-have-no-idea-what-to-have-for-breakfast days. Don’t you hate those? Luckily fluffernutter oats is always a pleasing standby.

Carrot Juice, Vanilla Chobani With Chocolate Hazelnut Granola, Fluffernutter Oats With Maple Peanut Butter

Carrot Juice, Vanilla Chobani With Chocolate Hazelnut Granola, Fluffernutter Oats With Maple Peanut Butter

Fluffernutter Oats

Fluffernutter Oats

What is fluffernutter oats some of you may be wondering? It’s 20g oatbran/20g oatmeal cooked and topped with 1 tablespoon fluff(or technically an all natural, vegan, marshmallow creme), banana pineapple rum jam, and a peanut butter(in this case Mighty Maple). Yes, there are oats under that blanket of goodness in the picture even though you can’t see them 😉 I also finished my containers of vanilla Chobani AND Odwalla carrot juice. But good news on the carrot juice! One of the cafes here sells it for the mondo-ridiculous price of 8.50 but I can use a meal credit to pay for it, which I have ample of because I don’t eat breakfast at the crapacafeteria. So don’t worry; my natural orange hue will remain in tact.

Today is supposed to rain the day away, which works for me. i’ve fallen so far behind on my TV watching because we don’t get the Food Network. I know, I should right to whoever’s in charge; how am I supposed to get the recent doings of Charm City Cakes?

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FroYo Follows Me Where I Go

Posted on September 8, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you couldn’t tell, I was rushing through the end of yesterday’s post because of a complete alarm clock failure. That being said, it felt amazing to get 9 hours of sleep. I must be the lamest person to sleep so much at college orientation but I don’t care because it felt sooo good. Plus, I was tired after partying it up with some Brown Bears the night before:

The Mascot And I

The Mascot And I

My friend(whose last name is Bear) is apparently not so good at photos because I look like a reincarnated demon but oh well. I woke up at 8:17, rushed into the shower, threw together a breakfast, and ate it at the 9am lecture. Just because I was on the go, though, didn’t mean breakfast wouldn’t rock.

Toast With Fig Jam And Honey maple PB, PB Greek Yogurt, Water

Toast With Fig Jam And Honey Maple PB, PB Greek Yogurt, Water

The toaster was soooo worth the 13 dollars. What was I thinking? That I could go without toast for 4 years? I need to learn to listen to my body better apparently. Sadly, there was no coffee time. I should’ve gone with a little Mocha Peanut Butter to perk me up, but the Honey Maple one I found is also very good(and a local product ;-))

The two lectures weren’t awful, just long. But dare I say it felt good to get into an educational environment after all this time wasting? Strange, but true. Afterward I went back to my dorm because I hadn’t checked my email at all that morning, and I snacked on an apple while google reading being scholarly. My stomach started to alert me to what time it was so I hit up the Ratty and brought the food back to my dorm for some microwave lovin’.

Vegan Veggie Burger, Roasted Potatos, Zuchinni, Seedy Bread

Vegan Veggie Burger, Roasted Potatos, Zuchinni, Seedy Bread

I’m definitely improving at figuring out what’s good eats, but it’ll still take a little work. I went for the vegan burger cause it seemed a little different. With me, it’s all about ingredients–what ingredients in my food, are they natural, yada yada yada. So I try to stick with simple things they relaly can’t make artifical like chicken, but I’m hoping the vegan and veggie options will also be good choices. The bread was OK, but it tasted a little sweet even though I suppose it had whole grains? I mostly ate the crust(which had sunflower seeds!). I also had some beans and guac I was saving for later but that were calling my name. Sue me.

I needed to get out after lunch because it was so sunny. I went to the book store where I found where I could buy a lot of school supplies(and coffee) on my parent’s money(yayyy). I got a regular–should have had a decaf. At least I was wide awake and alert for walking those Providence streets with the scary churches. I made my way down to a local grocery store that reminds me of Whole Foods except cheaper. There was plenty of good products, like Providence made whole milk yogurt, but I kept it simple:

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, Roasted And Salted Soybeans With Goji Berries

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, Roasted And Salted Soybeans With Goji Berries

Two days without frozen yogurt? Again, I clearly was not listening to my body, lol. Because I’m a kid in a candy goji store who needs to try everything the second he bring it home:

This stuff was addicting, and actually pretty cheap, too! It was $2.50 for 3.5 servings, which I can make last longer in oats or yogurt as opposed to straight noshing. I think I actually likes the soybean part more than the goji berries. I know they bring a lot of good antioxidants, but the soybeans brought a lot of good… salt. Lots and lots.

I popped on over to the student fair to get some literature on class picking. It was packed like Mariah Carey’s jeans so I spent 20 minutes and brought the info back to my room where I could actually read it.

Class Pamphlets

Class Pamphlets

I’m going to do the sensible thing here and ask people over the internet to determine my future, what should I take? I’ve got a line up of Classics, Linguistics, American History, and Math. I’m thinking of going with the old dart board trick–that always works, right?

Dinner was not so great at the dining hall tonight. Thankfully the rest will open up once classes officially begin, but I made due with what there was.

Dolmas, Sweet Potatos, Carrots, Beans,

Dolmas, Sweet Potatos, Carrots, Beans,

I’m all for some EVOO but when your dolmas bleed green you get a little skeptic. At least there was sweet potatoes; I’d been  meaning to pick some up to test the “potato” feature on my oven, but things taste so much better when they’re already cooked for you. I salted that baby, mushed it with a fork, and ate it like I was back home. After dinner we had a lecture on diversity. The speaker was actually pretty funny and charming and dealt with a lot of issues straight on and gave the best answer: there is no right answer. Afterwards we walked back to the dorms when guess who we saw on Thayer street?

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Note: Photo totally stolen from online. Sighting number 3. Yes, she is that crazily beautiful in person. It wasn’t as great a sighting as number 2 because she was with some guy who better get of my girl but it was exciting nevertheless.

I got back to my dorm and played beer pong in the lounge… JK! I played with Map My Run a bit and heated up some banana goodness bread with vanilla Chobani. I make my own fun and that’s just the way I like it. My roommate went to an alien dance across campus, which left me with the room and the TV. Banana bread and TV? Life’s too good sometimes. I snacked on these in bed:

Newman's Own Organic's Double Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic's Double Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Minty. Chocolatey. Delicious. I managed to fall asleep to my favorite red haired Late Night host, but wouldn’t you know I was up an hour later, and for 4 more hours. It was kind of hellish. Why does no one sleep at college? All that time awake not only annoyed me but got me thinking(uh-oh). I really don’t want the stress of college life to overtake me like it did Senior year and make me lose focus. I stopped taking care of myself and it took the whole Summer to rebuild and get stronger. That thought kept me up a lot. Around 2 I ate a Peanut Butter Z-Bar hoping the carbs would help for tiredness.

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Around 7:12 I heard the faint buzzing that apparently was my 6:30 alarm. I turned the volume down so it would wake my roommate, but it was so low it didn’t wake me! I rushed on some clothes and went on a run I mapped last night. Melissa had a great tip on a cemetery nearby I’ll check another day. Overall I ran 5.5 miles which wasn’t bad. I want to do 7 miles again soon but time hasn’t allowed it so far. I hopped in and out of the shower and threw together a recovery breakfast:

Yogurt With Chocolate Stevia, 3/4 Banana, 1/2 Tablespoon Flax, And Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Granola, Carrot Juice, Toast With Almond Butter

Yogurt With Chocolate Stevia, 3/4 Banana, 1/2 Tablespoon Flax, And Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Granola, Carrot Juice, Toast With Almond Butter

It’s really hard to make breakfast quietly; I usually have pots and pans flying everywhere, machines toasting, and am doing some mad measuring, but I’m working on keeping it silent. Now I’m off to meet my academic advisor and(hopefully) pick classes! Maybe they’ll have some ideas what to do with my life cause I sure don’t, lol. And later I get to take a trip to the bank to make sure my account got set up, isn’t that fun? Hell, I might go all out and throw in some laundry. Party. Catch you on the flip side.

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My Whole Foods Is Thiiiis Big

Posted on September 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

G’morning. Yesterday my savory breakfast threw my body way off. I was totally not hungry for a mid-morning snack but I figured I could use one anyway:

Homemade Lemon Cashew Larabar

Homemade Lemon Cashew Larabar

The homemade larabars were definitely a worth while time investment. Too bad dates haven’t been on sale and so cheap since back in July. I ate half and stuck the other half back in the freezer. I always heard that a high protein source for breakfast makes you less hungry over the course of the day; I definitely think it’s true. Another way the savory oats threw me off: I was craving sweet for lunch. I never want something sweet for lunch, but all I could think about was a PB&J, or just the J! I also really wanted to finish off the box of salmon burgers, and that won out.

Salmon Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Nachos

Salmon Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Nachos

I had to have more of the potato and chive Food Should Taste Good chips. They’ve really grown on me, and with a healthy dose of salt and pepper they were remarkable. For a time when I was craving something sweet, this salmon burger hit the spot nonetheless. I wish I checked the ingredients to see how they’re seasoned, because adding anything on top of these would be a sin; they’re so flavorful on their own.

I actually ended up eating lunch in the car, as it were. We planned a special trip for today. The largest Whole Foods in all of New England opened in Dedham.

Dedham Whole Foods

Dedham Whole Foods

How could I not visit this before going off to Brown? It was a 45-55 minute drive, and we passed one of our regular Whole Foods on the way, but it was soooo worth it. Check out the bulk section:

Bulk Section

Bulk Section

They had EVERYTHING in bulk bins. They even had bulk containers for agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup. Not to mention bulk gojis for $20/lb(Fritz would have gone bulk bin nuts). From this section I got Grade A maple syrup and vanilla sugar. I should have gotten a lot more vanilla sugar; I didn’t realize it would smell so amazing with all the bean pieces in there. To give you a better idea of how big this place was, know that it had a coffee bean roaster, a walk in cheese cellar, homemade pasta, a butchery, about 5 different salad bars, a nut and trail mix section seperate from the bulk bins, a full wine section, several dessert bars, sushi, a gelateria, and full bakery. Classy, very classy. Oh yeah, and there were some groceries, too 😛 I wouldn’t say it had more variety than other Whole Foods, just a lot more. Imagine how high our bill would have been if I didn’t have to think about moving! Argh, I did, however, pick up an organic chocolate hazelnut butter I’d been eyeing at other Whole Foods as a sort of souvenir.

Whole Foods Loot

Whole Foods Loot

We were in there for over an hour–no lie. It was no wonder I needed a snack when we got in the car:

Peach And Morning Maple Cookie

Peach And Morning Maple Cookie

The peach wasn’t organic, but it was cheap and from a farm that’s closer to my house than the Whole Foods(irony) so I figured it must be very fresh. The cookie is one of my Morning Maple Cookies I resurrected from the freezer; at first I didn’t really care for these but the sweetness of apple and maple has really grown on me and they’re incredibly pillowy considering they have flax, wheat germ, oats, and whole wheat flour.

When we got home, I had this conversation with myself:

Gut: Hey, can we get some of those healthy probiotics?

Tongue: Sure, do you mind if they come in frozen form?

Gut: Not at all. They’re dormant in the freezer but become active again at higher temperatures.

Tongue: That’s interesting, I never knew that.

Brain: I did. Now eat some Frozen Yogurt.

Vanilla, Coffee, And Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla, Coffee, And Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

I could’ve finished the vanilla container but I was feeling a little more fun than that. Chocolate, vanilla, and coffee in one bowl, does it get any better? I also got an amazing package in the mail that contained this:

NuNuNatural Products

NuNuNatural Products

The kind folks at NuNuNaturals sent me a wide variety of their products to try. In the line-up they included their Stevia powder used as a sugar substitute, cocoa and vanilla stevia drops, and their Better Baking formula. This powder can be substituted into any recipe at a 1:1 ratio for sugar, and instead brings fiber, not sugar, to your baked good. That’s perfect, thanks NuNunaturals! I planned on making myself Banana Goodness Bread on Friday as a housewarming gift for myself(is that weird? that’s weird. I’m weird, yeah I already knew that) and this sounds like it will fit into my recipe perfectly! New things always get me so excited so I had some toast and milk:

Toast With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Toast With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Vanilla Almond Milk

Vanilla Almond Milk

On the toast I spread my new chocolate hazelnut butter. This stuff is absolutely amazing and melted into a rich, velvety coat the second I put it on. It tasted exactly like Nutella and brought back fond memories of that. I don’t eat Nutella anymore because it’s artificially flavored, so having this as an alternative is wonderful. What I like even better than Nutella is that this has a nutrition label more like a nut butter than a dessert sauce. Sure, hazelnut is the 3rd ingredient, but it has almost half the sugar as Nutella and more healthy fats. In the vanilla almond milk I added Nuvia’s vanilla drops. It’s hard to tell whether the vanilla came from the milk or the drops, but this drink was very good. it was cool, creamy, and hit the spot; and better yet, there was no funky stevia taste I’ve experienced in the past.

All these good eats, I might not have been hungry for dinner if it wasn’t my favorite: Salmon!

Salmon, Corn, Brocolli, Laughing Cow Cheese

Salmon, Corn, Broccoli, Laughing Cow Cheese

I must have more omega-3’s in me than the ocean. Thankfully, I’ve done some research on the subject and the main side effects of a high Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio is just diahrrea, slightly thinned blood, and perhaps a slightly elevated mood. I can deal with the first two for salmon. Obviously I wanted to play with my new toys products for dessert.

Yogurt With Peanut Flour And Cocoa Bean Stevia

Yogurt With Peanut Flour And Cocoa Bean Stevia

Coffee With NuNatruals Stevia

Coffee With NuNatruals Stevia

First I tried making some PB&C(chocolate) yogurt with the cocoa bean stevia. I like this product because it’s non-alcohol based which makes it more appealing to add to uncooked products. The yogurt definitely tasted sweetened, but I don’t know that I got the cocoa. Maybe the problem was that yogurt typically requires more sweetening than beverages, which the instructions are geared towards. Then I tried their plain stevia powder in my cofffee. Just like the package says, there was no bitter taste. I use stevia in the raw typically and this was a great replacement; it’s much better than other brands I’ve tried like Treader Joe’s which has a very odd aftertaste. I fixed myself some more breads and spreads and watched Top Chef. Is it weird that nothing they made that challenge really appealed to me? Clearly the brothers are dominating and the only two worth keeping an eye on this season.

Today’s running was not how I would have liked it. I should have stayed in the neighborhood today but I went for a road run anyway. My left arch started feeling tight but I was too stubborn headed to stop. Around 2 miles in a soccer mom barreled up to a Stop sign; if I was 1 second behind I very clearly would have been hit. At that point I was thinking of just sitting on the side of the road and waiting for my dad to pass me on his way to work, but I kept going. 4.5 miles in that first side effect of too many Omega-3’s kicked in and I had a new motivation to get back into the neighborhood. Finally I made it back, safe and sound, and was just thankful to sit down to breakfast.

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Dark Chocolate Almond Spread, Yogurt With Banana Jam, Carrot Juice

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Dark Chocolate Almond Spread, Yogurt With Banana Jam, Carrot Juice

This meal finished off the box of waffles and container of yogurt–double score. The almond butter calls itself a “spread” but it has less than 10 grams of sugar and almonds are the first ingredient, making it a butter in my books for what it’s worth. I thought after the picture to add some cocoa stevia into my yogurt. Again, I didn’t get a strong cocoa sense, but it definitely sweetened it well.

Today I might meet up with my new roommate and his mother in Boston. They’re from Montana but flew in to see the city I guess. I also have some last minute “Why didn’t I think to take care of this sooner” things to workout before I move, so it should be a busy busy day.

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