An Eventful Day In Boston Part 2

Posted on May 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

So, I timed this to publish right when I start taking my last final. It might be a little late for this, but wish me luck!… please? Good God, I’m going to need that or a hard drink.

What is someone to do in the North End when they’re hungry and can’t eat gluten(the North End is primarily Italian-American with the best pizza and pasta in Boston)? Well, either starve to death or find somewhere with a slightly varied menu.

Antico Forno

Antico Forno

Just down the road, I found a lovely looking Italian restaurant with an open window and ended up dining here. The prices were reasonable, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of restaurants in Boston, and there were things on the menu for me.

Olives In Oil

Olives In Oil

There were bread and olives; I couldn’t touch the bread, but I was all over the olives. I loved how fast the service was; I had ordered not 5 minutes after I got there, and it couldn’t have been 10 minutes more before my plate arrived.

Involtini Di Melanzane

Involtini Di Melanzane

I ordered a dish that was rolled eggplant stuffed with mozzarella and basil baked in a plum tomato sauce. The cheese was supposed to be ricotta, but they were out; honestly, I love fresh mozzarella so that was no big deal at all. It as all very delicious with a deep, stone cooked flavor. My only gripe was the lack of a basil flavor; it really needed that to lighten it all up. But for $8, how could I go wrong?

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate

I was still a little hungry after that and happy to break into a new chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s on my walk to Boston Common. I was hoping this was going to be a new, cheaper version of my favorite chocolate bar. It wasn’t. But it was still pretty good, definitely a bargain at $2, and all fair trade. I’ll be sure to stuff some stockings with this one.

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Iced Tea

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Iced Tea

When I got to the Common, I found a place to study and ordered an iced tea. Instantly, I got a HUGE headache and had some more chocolate thinking I might have gotten dehydrated walking around so much. In hindsight, it probably was the case that I had just drank more caffeine than I have in a week. Chocolate cures everything.

Picco Restaurant

Picco Restaurant

To get over the Grezzo disappointment, we stopped somewhere I really wanted to try on the road home. This restaurant is known for using local and organic ingredients. But, since it was just 4pm, we weren’t there for food…

Ice Cream Flavors

Ice Cream Flavors

They also have gourmet gelato. Did someone say gelato? sign me up.

Vanilla Bean Gelato

Vanilla Bean Gelato

I ordered the Vanilla gelato. You can really get to know a place through their vanilla. What I didn’t realize was that this would be vanilla bean and absolutely amazing. It was just so rich and creamy. And I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen so many vanilla beans. I was in heaven. I can’t wait to go back (many, many) times over the Summer.

Raw Local Milk

Raw Local Milk

Another place I hope to frequent this Summer is Eastleigh Farm; they’re a local business that sells their own raw milk, and have faced many troubles from the State and raw milk controversy. They’ll get our support; and I can’t wait to try their cheese and ice cream!

Chickpea Salad With Raw Ingredients

Chickpea Salad With Raw Ingredients

And, yes, I got my raw meal for the day despite the closing of Grezzo’s. This was a simple salad starting with spinach and arugala in this raw dressing. Then I added mulberries, chickpeas, sea salt, and cheddar organic raw cheese from Next Generation Dairy.

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My Summer In Recipes

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

All throughout the year, I’ve had a tiny list of a few recipes I’d like to try. Well, when I realized I was home and had the whole Summer before me, that list kind of… exploded. Thanks to all of your suggestions and more, here is what I hope to make and bake over the next few months.

Wow. I better get cooking, right? Thankfully, I have.

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

Microwave Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup no-stir peanut butter*(smart balance recommended)
  • 3/4 cup natural vegan butter substitute(earth balance recommended)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder OR 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract**

In a bowl, microwave the vegan butter until melted. Add in the peanut butter and stir until fully incorporated. The mixture should be a thick liquid at this point. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla while slowly adding the milk as needed. Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, pour into a shallow square pan. Keep in the fridge loosely covered for at least 12-24 hours before cutting into.

*If the peanut butter is not solid at room temperature, the recipe will not set properly

**The powder is recommended because the alcohol in the vanilla extract will hinder the setting process somewhat

Good thing I’ve been running too…

14 Miles

14 Miles

I hoped to run 14 miles today, but honestly I did not know that I would. I put myself out on the road, and after the first few miles things just felt good. At 6.5 miles, when I could have cut it short, I knew I had it in me to keep going and going and made it all in under 2 hours. Wahoo! I was excited, and ready to eat a good meal for lunch.

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Ah, nothing feels more refreshing than a Summer salad. I dressed spinach in this dressing and then mixed together chickpeas, golden raisins, raw cheddar, and a little maple syrup. The maple and sea salt really draw out the flavor in the cheddar to the point where it is too good for words. Have you been following your salads for salad a day?

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge And Vegan GF Chocolate Cupcake

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge And Vegan GF Chocolate Cupcake

Dessert was the 2 things I’ve been holding in my head all day: A piece of vegan peanut butter fudge and a Sweet Utopia vegan GF chocolate cupcake. The fudge isn’t quite set to where I’d like it, but I couldn’t help digging in with a spoon; the flavor is dead on. This plus Tivoed Bobby Flay made for a perfect afternoon. Do you think I could get into a fudge throwdown with him?

Oatmeal With 365 Crunchy

Oatmeal With 365 Crunchy

I also had for the 2nd day in a row a bowl of oatmeal with 365 crunchy. What can I say? I’m obsessed. I like the crunch, but so often pre-flavored nut butters are smooth. So now that I’m on a 365 kick, I expect to be crunching away!

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Plus an organic apple for a good serving of fruit before dinner.

Sweet Chili Tofu With Broccoli, Basmati Rice With Coconut And Lime

Sweet Chili Tofu With Broccoli, Basmati Rice With Coconut And Lime

For dinner I tried out this recipe.

Sweet Chili Tofu With Broccoli

Sweet Chili Tofu With Broccoli

I think I’ve got you matched here, Whole Foods. This was pretty fantastic. Sure, it wasn’t fried. But the flavor was nice and spicy. For the rice, we just cooked it normally and then drizzled with coconut milk and lime zest at the end. Magnifique! So simple and yet rich and flavorful.

What recipes do you hope to make this Summer? Or maybe you shouldn’t tell me because then my list will grow longer…

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Everything Domestic

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t tell whether I’m happy or sad Sunday night has come already. Today, I was lucky enough to have done most of my work and not have anything planned. The next day that’ll be like this is… farther off than I know. So instead of trying to do more, I just took care of everything domestic, starting at the gym.

10 Miles In 86:18

10 Miles In 86:18

I ran a rather speedy 10 miles while watching the first episode of the new Dr. Who season on my ipod(!!). So excited that’s back, and even more excited that I was able to multi-task like that because otherwise those miles would have felt looooong. Lunch was definitely not a quick post-workout meal, but it was well worth the time put around it.

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries, Gingerade Kombucha

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries, Gingerade Kombucha

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries,

Burger, Vegan Cayenne Cheddar Fries,

I threw sweet potato fries as soon as I got back, and after 30 minutes they weren’t crispy but definitely edible. I tossed those with some cayenne parma for serious flavor. The burger was meh. It was a lot like the last, in that a) I undercooked it and b) the meat was of questionable quality/age. Getting sick threw off my “mojo” but now I’m happy those burgers from last week are all gone. And my gingerade kombucha was tangy, but not fizzy; what gives? I hope the probiotes were still alive… Not being able to keep sea monkeys I can deal with, but killing kombucha and I’d really feel shame.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

I walked the 1+ mile to Whole Foods in the mediocre weather because I’m not sure when/if I’ll have time in the coming days. If you’re wondering “Why the money?”, it’s because I’m following suit with Holly on Project Cleanout. Not only do I have more than enough lying around to eat, but I’ll literally have to clean out the dorm in a month, so it’d be a lot easier if most of it wasn’t here. I gave myself a $30 limit to buy whole foods I’ll eat over the week.

Groceries

Groceries

I’d say that was a success. I clocked in at $23.05. I actually don’t think Whole Foods is all that unreasonable, except for the produce. I have a post in the works on how to shop there and get bargains. Yes, you heard that right. Keep an eye out for that. In my bag was

But let me stress: I’m not perfect.

Chocolate And Cheesecake

Chocolate And Cheesecake

If you count these in, I definitely went over budget. “What’s the deal, Evan?” Well, the deal is that these were a deal. I knew I’d be buying my favorite chocolate bar again some time some day, so I bought 3 while they’re on sale to save $3. I’m also putting them out of reach so that I won’t touch them until I eat more of the other chocolate bars I’ve started or won’t replace. And the vanilla bean cheesecake was 1/2 off, so I couldn’t say no. All of these little “splurges” that aren’t real groceries I buy with a gift card I was given by my neighbors, and I save the grocery money for fresh foods.

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

I’d like to say I snacked on a healthy egg, but instead I snacked on a peanut butter egg from my Easter basket. This was a Lake Champlain creation with milk chocolate, white chocolate(somewhere), malt, peanut butter, and peanuts.

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

Lake Champlain Peanut Butter Breakfast Egg

If I realized before it had wheat, I probably would have passed it up. Honestly, it was just alright and not really worth risking setting off my gluten intolerance. I loved how much of it was peanut butter; it was like eating straight out of the jar. But it also had a pretty “cheap” taste to it even if it was all-natural. Clearly, I’m not a fan. But I would have felt amiss not to have a giant egg this time of year.

Red Anjou Pear

Red Anjou Pear

I also snacked on the largest red anjou pear I’ve seen from the dining hall while dinner cooked, and did chores around the place. My new “saving grace” is baking soft tofu for 90 minutes instead of pressing it first and still getting the same texture. Pressing’s great, but it uses up too much paper towels, and I much prefer this no-fuss method.

Maple Salad With Tofu, Cashews, Cheddar, Onion, Carrots, And Spinach

Maple Salad With Tofu, Cashews, Cheddar, Onion, Carrots, And Spinach

For dinner, I made a simple salad with spinach(!!), maple baked tofu, Next Generation organic raw cheddar, carrot shreds, red onion, Tierra Farm’s maple glazed nuts, and watered down maple syrup for dressing. Perhaps it’s being a blogger, but I’ve gone for not caring for any greens to seriously preferring spinach over any other, so I’m always happy when the dining hall has that. Besides that, I loved how easy and no-fuss this meal was 🙂 What’s your favorite no-fuss meal? I could always use suggestions for that.

On the agenda for tonight:

  • Write up a short paper
  • Call my cousin to say happy [belated] birthday
  • Eat cheesecake!

Sounds domestic to me 🙂 G’night.

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Did You Know?

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Did you know my favorite part of Mondays is being able to do the laundry and have a completely fresh closet of clothes?

Did you know 95% of people with gluten-intolerances don’t know they have it or haven’t yet been diagnosed?

Nature's Path Organic Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bar

Nature's Path Organic Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bar

Did you know the Nature’s Path Mmmaple Pecan contain milk byproducts? I would have thought they were vegan. Still tasty, though, and probably the most nutritious out of their line!

Did you know instead of pressing soft tofu you can bake it for 90 minutes at 350 instead and it will come out with the same texture?

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatos, Maple Glazed Nuts

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatos, Maple Glazed Nuts

Did you know maple baked tofu now has its own recipe page? It does! It was also the theme of this lunch, with roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, and some Tierra Farm‘s Maple Glazed Nuts. Mmmm, maple.

Did you know if you put even just a little liquid(in this case, maple) on the outside of a sweet potato, it prevents it from developing an ugly skin burn while roasting? Only a blogger…

Liberte Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Chips

Liberte Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Chips

Liberte Goat Milk Yogurt

Liberte Goat Milk Yogurt

Did you know goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk because it’s closer to human milk? You can thank Averie for that factoid. It’s also deeelicious if you ask me; I had to pick this up when I was at Dedham Whole Foods because it’s so rare, too. I love the combination of dark chocolate and raspberry, too. Yum!

Did you know a new study suggests that eating high calorie/high fat foods most of the time causes imbalances in the body similar to heroine that then creates a compulsion to eat only high calorie/high fat foods and more of them? Did you know I’m screwed if that’s true?

Did you know this used to be my favorite flavor of ice cream when I was younger? It also just one Turkey Hill’s annual flavor competition. It’s taken years, but I’ve finally found my au naturale replacement.

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl And Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Creams

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl And Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Creams

That replacement would be So Deliciouschocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream, which j’adore. The only drawback(besides the price tag) is it’s a little chalky in texture, which is odd because the other flavors aren’t. Humph 😦 I’m willing to try different brands.

Empty Pint

Empty Pint

Did you know law of the freezer states when you finish one pint you are thereby allowed to replace it? I already have in mind what I want to replace it with…

Did you know you should always let cheese come to room temperature before serving it? It’s more pungent and flavorful that way. On the contrary, if you stick it in the microwave, that just makes it a melted mess.

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Did you know you absorb more nutrients when you use a fat-based dressing on a salad? Even more reason to pour on the Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy! I swear I could drink that stuff. Besides that, my salad involved chickpeas, Next Generation Organic Dairy raw & probiotic parsley cheddar cheese, and Navitas Naturalsdried mulberries.

Did you know this is the first time in a long time I’ve celebrate Meatless Monday? By celebrate, I mean I just didn’t have a meat craving.

Tell me something I don’t know

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The Foods I Crave

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

I’m a big fan of “eat what you crave”. I truly think cravings can be a way for your body to tell you something that you need. I also tend to crave really yummy things and might just use that as an excuse to eat them more often. Take your pick.

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Today for lunch I craved a juicy piece of red meat. I do think I crave meat when my body wants proteins or specific vitamins at times but I would never assert that you need to eat meat or even dairy to get those. I think you can be completely adequately fueled and nourished whatever your diet may be so long as you pay a little more closer attention to what you might be missing. On the side I had some maple tofu, not really because I was craving it but it was Easter leftovers. I have craved tofu at times before; that’s always a fun and unexpected craving 😀

Cashew Almond Pranabar

Cashew Almond Pranabar

I think my lunch needed more veggies because it wasn’t very filling :-/ Happily, I broke in to the cashew almond Pranabar I packed. Even if it wasn’t what I was craving, this was good!  I never would have guessed from the packaging it would be so chunky and nutty. I love that it’s mostly raw with living enzymes; and the nuts are chunky and delicious 🙂 I definitely can’t wait to try more Pranabar flavors; I might even start to crave them.

Strawberry Chobani

Strawberry Chobani

What I was craving was a strawberry Chobani. My friend, Alex, ate one in our 1pm class and for the next 3 hours I couldn’t get my mind of the smell of sweet strawberries and the Summer air *swoon*. This did not disappoint, but it was a little too tiny to really fill me up before dinner.

Dining-Hall Apple

Dining-Hall Apple

If I ever do crave an apple, it’s a nice, fresh, crisp red delicious, and not this slightly bruised one that I had at hand. That being said, I go with what’s free and convenient. Did you know vegans can get all their Vitamin B12–something normally found in animal proteins–through the decay and bacteria on fruits and vegetables? I guess this was insurance if this burger didn’t have enough :-/…

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Glazed Nuts And Syrup

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

And I absolutely crave chickpeas; I could eat them for every meal, and I know I’m not the only one. They’re like little nuggets of vegan joy. Besides those, I don’t normally crave cheese but I do enjoy it(and love the bloggers who do crave it) and Next Generation Dairy makes a fine raw cheddar cheese. I topped off the salad with some Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts and sea salt. Fun fact: I’m convinced if I ever start craving canned tuna, it means my sodium level is low. I’m also sipping a root beer Zevia with dinner, for anyone who cares; it’s my first stevia sweetened beverage of the day and after no coffee or tea I was craving something other than water.

What are you craving right now? Personally, I could go for some coconut milk hearing  Heather talk about it so much lately. And I haven’t had my healthy ounce of dark chocolate yet today. Hmm… decisions, decisions. If you crave Greek yogurt, you’re in luck with this Oikos giveaway!

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You Don’t Have To Run To Be A Runner

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning felt like the worst.

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

It was hot. I was stressed. I felt lethargic. I had just about every negative word in the book to say. I wanted to run when I knew I wasn’t mentally “there”. I had a piece of Honest Foodspomegranate walnut crisp granola plank, which was even more a tip-off I was stressed(granola is definitely my stress-food). 10 minutes later and I still wasn’t running or feeling any better.

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

I put on my No Meat Athlete shirt today, hoping it would inspire me to run. Instead, it did something of the opposite and I couldn’t be more grateful: It reminded me that you don’t have to run to be a runner. I have a bad habit of forgetting and needing to relearn lessons, like why labels don’t matter. Today, I had to relearn that you’re just as much a runner on a rest day as the days you go out. Meghann and Ashley are just as much ultra-marathoners now, even though they aren’t currently running one. And we’re all just as much food bloggers as when we aren’t taking photos of our food.

This lesson was in part learned this morning, when an update on the news about the West Virginian miners abruptly ended my pity party(please, pray for those families; it’s all they ask for). Part of it came in my Object History course when we did an exercise judging each other on our clothes. Immediately I was pegged as a vegetarian. I then had to explain why I wasn’t but still wore the shirt because I support Matt himself as a runner and the rights of ethically and naturally raised animals(touched on in my food philosophy). When I was asked if I was”OK” with people assuming I was a vegetarian, I didn’t know how to respond; of course I was “OK” with it, if the contrary opinion is that I could walk into a KFC and order some chicken without caring one bit about the animal that gave its life for that piece or how it was raised. Even if I wasn’t running a half-marathon then or eating raw food I was just as much a runner and a raw food enthusiast. I didn’t have to be doing either to be either. That is what I learned in class today.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

For lunch, once I decided to not run, I made a highly raw salad, with chickpeas, spinach dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing, Next Generation Organic Dairy raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese, and my attempt at maple golden raisins.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

The organic hunza raisins were a new product from Tierra Farm. I wanted to rehydrate them in a mix of water and maple syrup; it worked a little bit and where it did was wonderful. But they needed much more time than the 1 hour I allowed.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

In the beginning of Object History I sipped on a citrus kombucha; the ginger and lemon reminded me of a vinegary, unsweet lemonade on this 90 degree day and was the perfect flavor.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

A little later on, I snacked on an oatmeal chocolate chip bar by Zing. I got the chocolate chip part, but other than that this was just plain ol’ sweet. What I really liked moreso was the nutrition. It had a good amount of healthy fat from cashew butter, 10g of protein, and was sweetened with natural fruit juices and agave. I would have thought all that nutrition would’ve stuffed me up. It didn’t.

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

I was dreaming about this gelato all through class; how could I not outside on a 90 degree day? It tasted perfectly rich and sweet, and I ate it on my way to–drumroll–Whole Foods! I had a major salmon craving, and the weather was so nice. I couldn’t find a reason not to walk the 1.2 miles and pick up a dinner.

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon

Citrus Salmon

I brought this dinner of salmon, avocado-kale, and raw broccoli back to the dorm to enjoy. The salmon was perfectly what I needed to eat. And Whole Foods makes the best avocado kale! I need to take tips from them. And no one fret; I changed out of my No  Meat shirt before eating this 😉

Wow that post took a while! But I think it was worth it, and all stuff that needs to be said. Just because I haven’t been studying doesn’t mean I’m not a student, right 😉 And if this self-reflection helped or resonated with just one person, it will be worth it. G’night!

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Determination And Wellness

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

I apologize for the absurd length of this post. If it’s any consolation, I’m the one who actually had to write it 😉 And there’s a giveaway at the end, so hold tight.

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

I was eager to get a run in before lunch today, though apparently running didn’t feel the same way about me 😦 I pushed through 3.33 miles at the gym before just wanting to give up; I felt like I was running on empty. That was one option. The other was to get some quick carbs in me, finish the 10 miles I had planned, and worry about refueling afterwards. I’m stubborn and determined if nothing else. I ran back to my dorm, grabbed a handful of organic jolly beans, and got back on that horse treadmill.

10 Miles In 1:29:04

10 Miles In 1:29:04

I managed to finish the 10 miles in 1:29:04. It was a pretty difficult run as they come in all respects, but I’m just glad I pushed through. I’m trying to adjust to running at different times like mid-morning for my half but clearly my body would prefer I get up and going at 7. If nothing else, I got to see this segment of the Today Show which pretty much sums me up and how I grocery shop. 100% natural on products means nothing, but unless you’re determined to pay for the organic seal then you have to read the ingredients. And organic chicken legs?! What was up with those? After a quick 5-minute shower, I was ready for a lunch meeting.

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

My gym friend, the res life dean, invited me to lunch to get to know each other off the treadmill. I was excited to see the ins and outs of the faculty club, which had an amazing selection including a chicken, maple, and walnut salad that had my mouth drooling. But since it is a Friday in Lent I kept it kosher(so to speak) and went with the chilled citrus salmon salad, which had grapefruit, mandarin orange slices, and a citrus vinagrette. I loved the mandarin orange here; it was so nice and flavorful! It made things seem like Spring, even though it was snowing this morning.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

When I got back to my room, I made a quick dessert of an apple and some Vivani 72% dark chocolate. With just 3 ingredients, this chocolate is a dream and perfectly sweet. It’s even better ingredient-wise than my favorite dark chocolate(Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

An hour later, I was pretty famished. It wasn’t even snackish-hunger, but I was ready for a meal. Since I was going to have chickpeas for dinner, why not 2 and 1/2 hours early? I made a salad of chickpeas with Next Generation Dairy Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese. The spinach I dressed with some Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing, all of which was deliciously sweet. I could definitely be happy eating chickpeas every day if I kept that many cans in stock.

Apple

Apple

In the afternoon, I braved the cold temperatures(seriously, New England, don’t you know it’s almost April?) to get some food from the dining hall and Tedeschi. While I was out, I snacked on an apple, and then forgot to take back more for my dorm. Drats! Good thing I’ll be going home tomorrow.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

2 apples, a crap load of greens, and 3 meals later, I just might be full. I think this day easily makes up for those when all I’ve eaten has been chocolate. I mixed a can of tuna with the remainder of some Voskos plain-non fat yogurt and topped it with chili lime Yumnuts; I think I’ve become officially obsessed with that combination since I ate it last Friday on a picnic with a friend. On some steamed broccoli I added sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey–love that crunch!

Instead of bore you with more food-food and not desserts, I’ll launch my Wellness Giveaway. First, here’s a recap of all the mental health tips from the week.

Me-Time

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not thatmuch “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person.

Declutter

I could not imagine leaving my room with an unmade bed. Hell, I couldn’t imagine being around with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, unorganized pile of papers–you name it. My point is not to make your bed, however; I don’t even do this at home when I spend almost no time in my room. My point is to declutter the area you spend the most time focusing. It’s a fact that if you only look at mess, you’ll only feel like a mess and stress out. Keeping a work area neat and tidy is the most important thing not just for organization but also mental health.

To-Do Lists

I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished.

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

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

Now for the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the Celestial Seasonings Natural Wellness Kit. I got 6 teas to keep me healthy and sane this week, all of which will be given review pages in due time. My favorite so far is actually the honey vanilla, which I wasn’t sent but found in the store and bought myself. I like how most of their teas are caffeine free, because herbal wellness doesn’t have to come with a big dose of caffeine and a crash later on.  The kit itself includes:

  • Four wellness teas to ease  symptoms associated with the cold and flu including Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint
  • Two green teas to support a healthy immune system year round – Authentic Green Tea and Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
  • Mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness” by Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel and Nancy Burke

Do you need some wellness in your life? There are plenty of ways to enter, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each one to make sure it counts. Answer/do any of the following:

  • Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How did you incorporate it into your life this week?
  • Which flavor from the wellness kit or Celestial Seasonings website most appeals to you?
  • Tweet this contest, saying “FoodMakesFunFuel is having a Celestial Tea giveaway http://tinyurl.com/ykub24n @EvanFMFF” and leave your Twitter name.
  • Blog about this contest and leave a link to the post.

That’s 4 possible entries to rack up. The contest will run through the end of March and I’ll announce the winner April 1st. Good luck!

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Easy Running And Planned Meals

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

Happy humpday, all! I have to admit: Normally, I don’t give a damn about what day of the wek it is or being half way there. But today, when I walked in my room, threw down my stuff, and knew I would be in for the night, I just wanted to do a happy dance. I’m 1 midterm I haven’t studied for, 1 class I won’t pay attention in, and 1 paper I haven’t started writing away from break. When I write it out like that, things don’t sound so good. LOL. I’ll just get on to my day then…

Red Delicious Apple
Red Delicious Apple

10 Miles In 1:29:56
10 Miles In 1:29:56

I grabbed an apple and was good-to-go to the gym. This was perhaps one of the easiest runs I’ve had in a while; I was well rested, well fueled, and feeling overall refreshed. The only thing that made it difficult was the 4th hour of the Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee and then local news, but I survived 😉 Through segments about women’s products like “the butt bra”, I don’t know how I made it…

Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick
Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick

For lunch I couldn’t decide wether to go protein-heavy or carb-heavy because of the workout. I decided on protein mainly because this salmon has been sitting around for 2 days and needed to get eaten :-/ It was tasty, though! It’s always better when you let someone else(thank you, Whole Foods) cook for you. On the side I had broccoli with my favorite dressing by Foods Alive and an organic garlic parsley cheddar cheese stick from Next Generation Dairy.

Would it be weird to say my “me” time came in History discussion? We had nothing to do this week, since the midterm was yesterday, so we watched 50 minutes of a PBS special. If 50 minutes listening to bad British documentaries while making fun of it with a friend and drifting off isn’t “me” time, I don’t know what is. After that I had another class(Object History), which just made the day feel so much longer. Midway through I broke out a snack.

Peanut Choco' Chewy Nature's Path Granola Bar
Peanut Choco’ Chewy Nature’s Path Granola Bar

Mmm I just love these bars from Nature’s Path. They’re sweet, salty, nutty–perfect! Except the ingredient list is totally less than stellar. Sugar as the number one ingredient? A chocolate coating that has less cocoa than palm oil? Yeah, I’m going to pretend I don’t see that because it’s organic…

Green & Black's Peanut Bar
Green & Black’s Peanut Bar

Candy, in general, gets a HUGE oversight from me if it’s organic, like Green & Blacks chocolates.

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Once I got this in mind, I had to hop to a campus store to grab a Vanilla Chobani; the combination was just too dreamy. The bar is milk chocolate with caramelized peanuts and sea salt. The sea salt wasn’t really present enough for me, but then again there isn’t enough sea salt in the sea to please me! But this tasted a lot better overall than I would have thought for a protein-packed snack.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

And now with dinner plated, I feel a whole other happy dance coming on. Can I get into my PJ’s before this burger is even gobbled up? For the first time in a while, it was cooked to perfection: rare. On the side, I had some Snikiddy baked cheddar cheese fries to sneak my snack fix, and some plain broccoli for a “real” vegetable. What? Ketchup doesn’t count as a vegetable? 😉

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead. When things are really crunched, I know to turn to prepared foods like the salmon I had for lunch. Likewise, the dinner I planned this morning taking in mind the fact that I had class until 5:20 and like to eat at 6:30. Do you meal plan? What’s the last meal you planned and prepared?

P.s. Survivor is on tonight! Get excited!

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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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Field Trippin’

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

Has the sun shined where you are? Because it’s been pouring and raining all day! Oh well, I guess that’s could because it’s made me a little worker bee; I got sooo much done. But first, I was dragged out the door to meet my class for a “field trip” at 10am. Since it’s an object history class and Providence has plenty of historical places, it wasn’t hard for us to find somewhere fitting. We visited the John Brown House Museum.

Slave Trade Objects

As you might guess, it was no coincidence that the John Brown house is so close to Brown Univesity–he’s from the family we’re named after. When you get through the door, they don’t beat around the bush: The entire Brown family at one point was invested in the slave trade. That led for some good objects for us to look at. John Brown actually went through his whole life advocating for slavery and the slave trade, while his brothers turned into abolitionists and argued against him. That family must have been fun around the holidays!

John Brown's Chariot

You’ve got to admit that the man had some wheels. This was the oldest American made vehicle and actually carried George Washington around Rhode Island.

Squirrel Wall Paper

The same man, however, had no sense of “style”; he had a whole room wall-papered like this with squirrels and a squirrel carving over the fireplace. Uhhh, no thank you. It was pretty cool how they were able to restore the whole thing to its original ugly pristine.

Bull's Head Soup Holder

Since I’m still a foodie no matter where I go, the kitchen was the most interesting room; this soup bowl was used to hold hot soup which the steam would exit from the nostrils to make the bull look real. LOL. The owner after the Brown family also had one of the first working refrigerators in America!

Silver Bowl

And I think I found a new bowl to replace the one I broke earlier this week. What do you think? I think it could hold a lot of oats(and pumpkin, of course). After that the trip pretty much wrapped up and we all scurried to our dorms because the rain had intensified through the morning. By this point, I was pretty famished and surprised to see it was only 11:50; there are days when I’m just finishing breakfast then. Still, I whipped up the quickest and saltiest thing I could think of.

Soy Tofu And Broccoli, Cheddar Popchips

15 minutes later and I had a good meal done. I diced 1/2 a block of soft tofu and simmered that in soy sauce. While that was working, I steamed broccoli and added that towards the end to cook down. On the side I had some cheddar popchips and voila! a well-balanced meal! Chips can count as “balanced”, right? I was still feeling a little snackish later after this, which I’m pretty sure is the whole purpose of dessert.

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

I don’t think I know any “kid” who actually eats Z-bars, but they get so much love from us around the blogworld. And they should! I can never believe how soft and chocolaty these are for something prepackaged. They’re well portioned and fortified, too. And they make feel not so bad about not being able to bake while I’m at college. OK, when did I become a commercial for Z-bars? I’ll stop now.

Gingerade Kombucha

I didn’t want to boredom eat throughout the afternoon while I was working on my Greek, History, and Latin classes, so I sipped on some gingerade Kombucha instead. I don’t believe in any “appetite suppressant” if you’re really hungry but some times all your body needs is a nice flow of nutrient dense energy to realize how it really feels. That, and I’ll use any excuse to drink something that costs a whopping 2.50 🙂 My only complaint was that this one had a lot of floaties in it that felt awkward swallowing. OK I’m done thinking of that one.

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

I learned 2 important non-class related things this afternoon. Firstly, you can be hungry and bored without being hungry because you’re bored. Secondly, when I’m bored, I will take about 20 pictures of my food trying to be as “artsy” as possible. Case in point: ^. I think in retrospect I like the carob chip Perfect Foods Bar best but the peanut butter is also darn good. And because this was an afternoon snack packed with iron and protein, I decided not to have the grass-fed burger I thought I would for dinner and go with something more cravable:

Veggies With Vegan "Cheeze" Sauce

That would be about a pound or more of an Asian veggie blend from the dining topped with Meagan’s vegan “cheeze” sauce(hummus, water, and nutritional yeast). I also added a little coarse sea salt as needed. While I enjoy meat, I don’t particularly like to eat it when I’m not craving it or think it holds nutrients I need. Otherwise, I could(and do!) just eat a bowl of veggies. I’m pretty sure if you put me, Avery, and Heather in a room with only 1 pound of vegetables, a death match would ensue.

And now I’ll be a responsible blogger and use my platform to remind you that we lose an hour from Daylight’s Savings time tonight, so set your clock forward(or just sleep in, what do I care?). I’m actually looking forward to this? I’ve been hungry for meals a bit earlier all day, not by much–about 30 minutes to an hour–so my body will in a sense catch up with the time. Can I get a head start on things by throwing on my PJ’s an hour early tonight? I just might have to…

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