A “Basic” Brownie Recipe

Posted on May 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I come from the line of thinking that you should never make things from a box: Either make it yourself, or buy it from someone who made it themselves. Things just taste better that way, don’t they?

Last night, I had a brownie attack. Don’t we all get those? I used to swear by a recipe like this one by Rachael Ray.I love the tag: “We can’t believe people are still using boxed mixes!” However, since then my “basic” has become anything but. Of course, there’s the gluten thing; I’ve also steered away from using eggs in baked goods for personal reasons. And, while I’m at it, I usually figure why not take out the dairy and make them vegan just in case? In case of what? I have no clue either. But that’s my line of thinking. And so I made brownies as “basic” as I could. And you know what? They turned out darn good. And because they were vegan, I got to lick the pan šŸ˜‰

Basic Allergen-Friendly Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk(water in a pinch)
  • 1 flax egg(1 tablespoon flaxmeal gelled in 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz chopped dark chocolate, or 6 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, sift together the first five ingredients. Melt the non-hydrogenated margarine and add in the olive oil, non-dairy milk, vinegar, flax egg, and extract. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate and pour into an 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When you’re living with allergens, life isn’t simple. Good thing these brownies are. And tasty!

I’m ashamed to say this was store bought vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. When you get used to the home-churned stuff, it just feels naughty coming from a carton. Regardless, this was soooo good. Isn’t this how every weekend should be? 3-days long and full of brownie sundaes? I think so.

You could use 3 ounces of fancy chocolate for the recipe. Or you could use vegan baking chips and save the good stuff for yourself to eat straight. I think you can guessed what I chose.

And a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and sea salt tasted good after all that chocolate. Sometimes, you just need to detox.

After all that baking/microwaving, I did not feel like much for breakfast this morning. I really wanted a big cake donut and to call it a day but that wasn’t happening. Thankfully, I found this chocolate chip muffin fromĀ Gluten Free Life to eat with some earth balance. Just like my brownies, you’d never guess this was gluten-free! And so many chocolate chips. Yum šŸ™‚

Anything exciting on tap for Memorial Day? I had a pool party in store but apparently it’s been rain checked since the pool won’t heat up šŸ˜¦ Alas, we have a grill, we have neighbors, I’m sure we’ll find some way to spice up Memorial day.

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Building A Perfect Evening

Posted on May 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Movie Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

What would be in your perfect evening? Last night might not have been “perfect” btu, well… I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Whole Foods Salad Bar OptionsFalafals

Eating out? Good. Eating somewhere with a huge array of choices? Better. Trying new and exciting things? Best. I think I want to try to makeĀ falafelsĀ now, because these were my first taste, and while they were good, they weren’t the best. But that tamarind chutney. WOW. I wish I took note of the ingredients besides onion and raisins because it was amazing.

The Holiday

I have to admit this is one of my favorite movies, so I went ahead and popped it in for the night. I still remember trudging through snow in Boston with friends to see it at the movies. I think it comforts me that Cameron Diaz’s character might just be crazier and more high-strung than me. And if Jack Black can get a girl like Kate Winslet, well there’s hope for everyone.

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Ice Cream With Chocolate Chips

You haven’t had ice cream until you’ve had homemade. The gluten-free birthday cake didn’t come out quite like I hoped for(probably needs more sugar). But I’d rather have a decent birthday cake flavor that’s gluten-free than an excellent one that’s not. And chocolate chips–of course.

Dark Chocolate With Salted Buttercream

Who says vegan buttercream has to be just for cakes? It tastes just as good on a Newman’s Own Organic‘s 54% dark chocolate bar. I was looking for cream cheese but we didn’t have any. Next thought: buttercream. The day you discover the how to make a really fast buttercream with be the first day of the rest of your life.

2% Fage With Pineapple, Oatmeal With Justin's Nut Butter

And now we’re back to realty… sort of, with oatmeal, Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter(aka, better Nutella butter), and a Fage with pineapple and brown sugar.

Yogurt With Brown Sugar And Pineapple

Pineapple Chobani, eat your heart out.

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Yogurt, Yogurt, And With A Side Of Yogurt

Posted on March 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yogurt can be fantastically healthy for you with protein, probiotics(a superfood), and calcium. Of course, these numbers vary by the brand. There are some I just wouldn’t suggest touching, like any using artificial sweeteners or even the organic ones which have more sugar in them already than a serving of ice cream. But–on the whole–if you’ve got yogurt in your hands, you’re doing all right.

Well Being Tazo Rest

What’s a better way to unwind on a Friday night than with tea? OK, OK, I know there are more exciting drinks to be found. But I have to tell you this tea sent to me by Tazo was probably the best I’ve had yet! It was so calming with rose and citrus–I could have fallen asleep then and there. I think it’s new and not available yet but should be soon.

I did a silly thing last night: I purposely went out and bought this ice cream for Friday’s sundae, even though a very strong part of me knew it wasn’t truly what I wanted. Why do we–as humans–cloud our wants with thoughts only to do the wrong thing? Fortunately, I was sensible enough to put this in the freezer and eat what I really had in mind.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Coconut Oil Chocolate

It’s a small departure, but I was really craving a pomegranate Chobani with some chocolate on top; who am I to deny a yogurt craving? And for said chocolate, I used half a bar of coconut oil chocolate. If you’ll remember when my friend came to visit, I gave her a bar of this to eat when she got home. Since this is partly a all-natural product review blog, here’s her review :-D:

“It was absolutely incredible. I didn’t want to share it with my family, but since they were all curious and jealous, I did and they all loved it. (In short, since that syntax was awful, the fam is one huge collective fan of your chocolate bar.) Seriously. I should probably stop being lazy and make some for myself, but I think that I’m just going to have to visit you more often to get some.”

If that doesn’t make you want to make some(or come visit me to get it for free), I don’t know what will šŸ˜‰

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Chocolate Chips

I’ll let the secret slide that this is the only food not yogurt in this post. I can break for yogurt for cashew butter, especially from Tierra Farm. There’s something so much more rich and delicious about cashew butter; if you don’t have any, you must! I don’t know of any widely available chocolate cashew butters. That’s a shameĀ becauseĀ the combo was fantastic and something I need to recreate in my food processor pronto.

Soy Yogurt And Greek Pomegranate Yogurt Chocolate Messes

Saturday morning were made for sleeping in, cartoons, and wasting time. I haven’t done much of the last two(yet?), but I certainly enjoyed sleeping in. Once I got up and started moving, my hunger led me to double yogurts. I think that’s a good thing; how can you go wrong with yogurt?

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

First up was some So Delicious soy yogurt sweetened with vanilla stevia and topped with milk chocolate peanuts and salt. I might have gone a little overboard on the peanuts–whoops! Oh well, I was counting them as my “healthy fat”, even if buried under chocolate šŸ˜‰

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

On the other spectrum, for some good protein I had another pomegranate Chobani, this time with the last two squares of Endangered Species dark chocolate with orange. I’ll admit that I need to stop putting crazy of chocolate on yogurt when you accept that pomegranate and citrus chocolate is the best combo ever. Seriously, how have I not tried this one before? it was almost like a fine marmalade–delicious.

It’s another beautiful and sunny day so I’m going to mull about until 11 to go for a pleasant outdoor run. I’m making a new playlist just for it! But it’sĀ horriblyĀ uninventive: I’m just putting all my Lady Antebellum and Sugarland songs onto the On The Go and calling it done, haha. Ā Have you tried cashew butter? Love it or hate? Obviously, I’m a lover šŸ™‚ And while I don’t want to spark any “brand debates”, I’ll simply ask what’s your favorite type of yogurt? For me, I like greek-style if it’s cow’s milk. I also like soy yogurt and–as I discovered yesterday–coconut milk yogurt!

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No Regrets And Chocolate

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If anything could better sum up last night than “no regrets” and chocolate, I don’t know it. But first, since I think it’s worth recalling, be sure that you read all about my Friday and special guest, cookie fest, and all the rest(I’m a poet ;-)).

What’s better to do on Friday night than pop open a cool one and watch TV? Well, I don’t actually keep my soda in the fridge, but you get the picture. And this Zevia definitely hit the spot. At the same time, all I could think about was how much I wanted chocolate ice cream but how I didn’t have any. I knew just where I could get some, too, but I wasn’t too keen on layering up and going out to get some. And then I remembered: The only steps we regret are the ones we don’t take.

I haven’t had many regrets over the past few years. And yet, the secret isn’t in not living in the past. It’s always taking the action you want to take. Had I stayed around, I would have regretted not getting the ice cream. But even if I had gone and there wasn’t any to get, I’d have had nothing to regret. So I threw on jeans(over my PJ’s, of course, because I’m classy like that), and walked down to the Tedeschi mini-mart.

Wouldn’t you know, they had just what I was looking for? And I learned that it’s actually cheaper to get these So Delicious coconut milk ice creams there than it is at the groceries stores! How else would I have learned that but by taking that step forward? It may have been a cold walk, but there were no regrets.

Here’s where the chocolate part of my night begins. I was craving chocolate. Dark chocolate. I took about 3/4 cup chocolate ice cream and added Trader Joe’s gluten-free, vegan baking chips–holy yum! If only it came like this, but I didn’t mind doing the mixing. The ice cream I thought tasted a little too coconutty, but I guess that’s to be expected from coconut milk. These chocolate chips are just the best; I should use them for everything. Unfortunately, I switched it up for my nighttime oats.

Delicious? Absolutely. The nut butter was Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter and kept feeding my chocolate craving. The chocolate chips seemed like a good idea at the time :-/; they were dark chocolate grain-sweetened ones I picked up from Dedham Whole Foods a while ago. After hearing a rumbling in my stomach, I remembered that those “grains” used are not gluten-free. Whoops. It was a small amount and didn’t effect me much. But from now on it’ll be Trader Joe’s all they way(they taste better, anyway).

I decided that I would go for a run outside today! It’s supposed to get pretty warm(I say that considering it’s New England), and I think it will be good training. So despite going out at 8am when it was still cool, I made breakfast and am putting the run off until mid-morning. I had no clue what I wanted, so I went with another good thought: When in doubt, go for chocolate. I used Justin‘s chocolate peanut butter this time; OK, seriously, these need to come to the East coast ASAP because I am almost out and can not pay shipping for those again.

The one thing I did know I wanted was another 5-ingredient peanut butter cookie. Great breakfast choice, right? Well, I settled for using 1/2 of one as granola over a blueberry Chobani. And now I’m doing my favorite academic subject in my head: cookie math. You know, the math where you tally up how many cookies you’ve eaten compared to the people around you and how much more you can get away with before it becomes piggish. That’s good math.

Have you tried Zevia? Do you want to? I’m not having a contest for them, but it seems like everyone else is, so you have a good chance at getting some. Just Audrey is hosting one, as is Me and Jorge, Melinda Joy, the Amelie Fille blog, and Review Retreat here.

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

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

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

Laundry

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

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

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

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

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

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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Catch Up, Run, Devour!

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Things I need to do more often: Relax! But that’s not happening now, so let’s get into it.

Tips To Save

I’ve been wanting to bring this one up for a while. I get asked a lot “How do you save money on groceries?”. My answer is that there are tons of ways! You just need to tap into them!

Proteins

1. Buy off-brand and do it yourself! These are two biggies anyone can do. If you trust a store brand, it’ll often be cheaper than the name ones. I buy a lot of Trader Joe products, which are almost a dollar off theirĀ competitorsĀ at normal price. I also try to buy the raw ingredients rather than premade/seasoned, which are always more expensive. And the best thing you can do is simply cook for yourself! You’ll save a lot more if you buy proteins and cook them than if you order them out.

If you’re asking yourself “what’s he going to do with a pound of beef in a dorm room?” I’m thinking the same question :-/

Yogurts

Yes, I do acknowledge my yogurt obsession, but this brings up 2 more tips.

2. Follow your favorite brands on Twitter. It sounds weird, but by doing this I won 12 Chobani in one of their contests, and you could too! It’s a great way to connect with your favorite brands. I tweet @So_Delicious all the time, and while it hasn’t won me anything so far, it’s really fun!

3. Store sales and coupons! I’m sure we all had mothers who sat at the table clipping coupons and reading circulars until the cows came home, right? Well, turns out she had a point! If you check, you’re favorite foods(like Oikos) just might be cheaper this week. And if you pair a $1 Oikos sale with a $1 off Oikos coupon from the circulars, that’s a freebie right there!

Groceries

4. Fan Your Favorite Companies. Similar to tweeting, email and Facebook are two great ways to stay up to date with your favorite company, and they often help you right back! In this picture, I managed a free bag of Popchips because I get their e-newsletters, and 2 free Nature’s Path products because I won a fan contest on Facebook by being their friend. It does pay to be friendly!

I hope that has enlightened or at least amused you. Personally, I loooove seeing other’s groceries šŸ™‚

Almost Empty Smart Balance Peanut Butter

While I was home yesterday, I grabbed this out of our pantry. Who takes almost empty things just to use them once and throw them away? Apparently, me!

Pumpkin Oats In A Jar With Chocolate Chips, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

I also seriously felt like I needed protein, since I had so little all day. I added an Oikos in to put my mind at ease. Does anyone else make the oats in a bowl, and then add them to the jar? I just don’t really trust microwaving that plastic for 2 minutes. Also, for good measure, there was Trader Joe’s chocolate chips involved. There always are šŸ™‚

Last night I could not sleep for the life of me. I think the attendant at McDonalds gave me real coffee instead of decaf at 6pm, which threw me off for the night! I tried to get sleepy; I shut down everything but the TV at 10. But then 11 rolled around, and I was up. And then 11:30. Finally, I had a snack.

Nature's Path Pumpkin N' Spice Chewy Granola Bar

I’m not saying something as carby as this bar is good at 11:30 when you can’t sleep. But it did hit a certain spot, and was free because of the Nature’s Path Facebook coupon, so left me with good conscious. The flavor reminded me of anything and everything toted as “frosted” from my childhood. And I was a little disappointed that even the seeds weren’t hard anymore but rather chewy. Anyway, I don’t think I actually fell asleep until after 12:30, which definitely P.ed me O, if only because there’s so much I could have done with that amount of time, and I knew I had a long run in the morning.

10 Miles in 89:51

I’ll start with what matters: I did it! Woohoo! The first time I hit 10 miles on the treadmill I remember needing a movie to keep me going. Well, this time I had The Today Show. I tried to get their early to dominate the TV’s but most of the ‘mills were taken by 7am! Let the competition begin. I felt a little lagging half way through, but then a gym friend showed up, and we talked about the opening ceremonies and not being able to be awake for the whole thing, haha.Ā The time was a little slower than I’d like–a 9:00min/mile pace. But hopefully I’ll get speedier once I get more used to these distances.

Better Than Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It’s also been a rather slow(but busy!) morning; I took 60 minutes between getting of the treadmill to do everything I had to do before sitting down to a breakfast. Time gap much? I pulled out these new seeds for some optimum nutrition and worked them in to some favorite foods.

Pepita Sun Butter Oats, Soy Yogurt With Hemp And Pumpkin Seeds

Agave Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Pumpkin Seeds, And Hulled Hemp

Clearly, when I get on a theme, I get on it. I had a somewhat obligatory bowl of oatmeal with pepita sun butter from Naturally Nutty. Since that has pumpkin, flax, and hemp, naturally my yogurt should follow suit, right? It was a glorious reunion with soy yogurt after a week of being out of it! It was nice and sweet, which gave good contrast for the pumpkin seeds and hulled hemp. I guess overall it was a pretty seedy breakfast šŸ˜‰

Back On Track

I tried this last week and liked where it got me! But then some things took a downturn over the weekend, so here’s to me getting back on track.

1. Meal plans. In short, I need to make them. They may not be necessary, but they make life so much simpler, especially on work days, so why not? Any ideas for all that beef? I have a few, but I’d love to hear what you can come up with!

2. Planned Runs. Last week I hit my running goals spot on, and I hope the same for this week! Mon: 10. Tues: 5. Wed: 10. Thu: 7. Fri: 8. Those are the goals, at least.

3. Protein & Fat. I feel like I was doing so well at incorporating more protein and fat and then–what happened? Over the weekend was beans and chips and oatmeal–oh my! Hopefully, this one will come naturally if I stick to number 1 and number 4…

4. Eat Nutrition! I don’t mean to demonize carbs, I really don’t. But the fact is that heavy carb items–sugar, oatmeal, starchy vegetables–are also usually not as nutrient dense as light vegetables, seeds, nuts, and proteins. I was not a fan of Thrive by Brendan Brazier, but one point that stuck out to me was that he went from eating 8000 calories of starchy, white foods a day to 2000 of nutrient-rich ones and became 10 times better in what he does.

5. Work First, Internet Later. This is more of a one-day goal, specifically today! I have a HUGE to-do list before the week starts up, and anything beyond my inbox just does not need to be addressed soon I figure. So for now, it’s work work work!

And now, drumroll please….

The winner of my biggest contest thus far is reader Melissa MC! Congrats! I will contact you for your information. If you didn’t win, keep an eye out for more contests soon and more coconut oil recipes!

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I Have No Shame

Posted on February 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I feel no shame.
I’m proud of where I came
From. I was born and raised
In the Boondocks.

Almond Milk Hot Chocolate

Don’t have shame in drinking your calories. Didn’t you hear? Hot chocolate and wine(once you’re 21) have been scientifically proven not to have calories. Joke’s aside, you probably won’t find a healthier hot chocolate than this.

  • 1 cup warmed vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • stevia to taste

Did I just de-carbify the hot chocolate? I think I did. And no shame here making up words.

I have no shame admitting I do not care for LOST one bit. If it’s your thing, go right on ahead. I’ll take Idol, and The Biggest Loser, please.

I also have no shame turning off my computer at 9:40, with things still in the Google Reader, at a time when other students are just getting back to their room to start homework. I need my sleep–no lie.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Chocolate Chips

I feel no shame in turning my oatmeal into a candy bar with Trader Joe chocolate chips. Holly’s amazing oat-creations have reminded me how much I used to adore these things, and now that I’m back to high milage, I’m pretty sure candy is encouraged, unshamefully.

Morning Dusting

I have no shame in admitting how much I love snow. Are you maybe a Virginian or D.C.er who’s been gettingĀ pummeledĀ and hates it? Well here’s me admitting I’m totally jealous of you and would trade in an instant. Pretty please?

Peanut Butter And Jelly Larabar

Larabar has no shame in throwing some salt in to their peanut butter and jelly bar–thank God! A lot of the flavors of Larabars I just don’t care for, and they coud probably be improved tenfold with a touch of salt for sweetness. Dates and nuts need salt!

Who turned Pokemon on at the gym? Shamelessy–me! I needed something to get me through 8 miles in 71:53. And you know what? It worked!

Bicycle Stats

Do you know what else I shamelessly love? The Today Show with sound, which I wouldn’t have gotten if I went straight back to my dorm. So I stayed around for 30 minutes with my friend, Mr. Stationary Bike.

Bike Riding

And no shame here admitting I was peddling as hard as this little tyke would be at resistance level 3.

Whoever left their soap in the shower clearly has no shame or germaphobia because that’s not something I’d do.

Trader Joe's Organic Avocado

I have no shame admitting I don’t eat as much organic vegetables as I’d like. Hell, I’d like to be able to say I grew this and everything, but that’s just not the case and buying organic isn’t always wallet friendly. This avocado, however, was a) organic and b) cheaper than the non-organic ones from Stop & Shop. Score.

Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter

It’s a shame that I haven’t shown my nut butter collection in a while; it’s just too big to fit into a photo! And it keeps growing.

Normally, I like to review new products and post them here. I have to say, though, that I don’t have time this morning, and I don’t feel shame in skipping this review right nowĀ because all these Justin’s Nut Butters I bought with my Christmas money and wasn’t sent for review(and they were worth every penny).

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Clearly, I don’t feel shame piling on the fat for breakfast. And the way I shamelessly poured the sea salt on the oatmeal after this picture, you’d think I missed the ocean.

I’d feel no shame plugging any company who sends me avocadoes, cocoa powder, or coconut beverage every time I eat one of these pudding, but sadly that’s not the case(yet). Anybody? Please?

I have no shame plugging my own Coconut Oil Contest, but I also want to tell you about this coconut oil giveaway,Ā this cookbook giveaway, this maple syrup giveaway, this giveaway for Zevia,Ā and this freebie from Kashi.

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Show The People What They Want

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

For the past two days, my most viewed page(besides the Home page) hasn’t been my In Defence Of Saturated Fats, my rant on Nutella, or evenĀ My Superfoods. Nope. I’m not even sure you’re reading this; the way things have been, you might just be looking at my Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe. Is anybody out there? Helloooo. Aww, hell. I’ll just give you what you want to see.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding

There? Happy? Because I definitely was eating this. I think the fact that I can make this in my dorm room goes to show just how easy it is. For some reason, though, I could not get this to be sweet enough. I practically saturated it with stevia; I think my sweet tooth is officially retiring and moved to Boca Riton. He’s lived a rough life. He had to listen to some God awful auditioners on American Idol like there were last night. He didn’t have to eat half the things Bear Grylls did on Man Vs. Wild, which I watched while the president spoke. Did anybody know that Bear is a vegetarian? Well, when he’s not eating a fish eyeball for water, that is. But apparently so–go figure.

I wanted to be able to show guys oats in a jar…

Agave Sweetened Smart Balance Peanut Butter

But something tells me this one was just a bit too full. Just a bit. Maybe? You’re going to have to settler for in a bowl:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast

Yum! I don’t think I could ever get over this combination; the pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and sea salt make for a sort of sharp cheddar–it’s divine. Why did I never know about this stuff before learning more about veganism? Nutritional yeast is something that should be in every household, meat-eaters or not. It’s so versatile! Speaking of veganism, I realized after yesterday that I “accidentally” ate vegan all day except for a milk chocolate peanut butter cup with breakfast; how random is that?

This morning, I set my alarm for 6:15. Besides the fact that the volume was WAY too loud, I just kind of stood there wondering “why?”. Well, I knew why: I wanted to run before class, but this year it’s going to be a little more difficult. I considered going back to bed and trying to squeeze a run in sometime later(even though this isn’t really practical either), but in the end I just went with my first thought and hit the gym.

Treadmill Stats

Once again: This was hard! How was I running like I was before break? I didn’t realize walking stairs and running would be so different but apparently so. I probably need to figure out how to cut it back/do cross training to “fill time” I would otherwise be running, but I just don’t know; this half-marathon is feeling a lot harder now :-/ I didn’t have much time to shower/make breakfast/prepare for class, but I squeezed it all in.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pistachio Butter, Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pistachio Butter

All nice and portable to-go. I bought a pomegranate Chobani yesterday knowing I’d need somethign I could grab. The pistachio butter made with Tierra Farm‘s pistachios goes so well with pumpkin: It’s orange, green, salty, smooth, delicious, and–best of all–alliterated! I tried thinking bout how the dark chocolate chips would fit in a p, but no luck. Oh well. They perfectly hit the spot. Ā I ate most of this in my 9am Greek class. It looks like a non-intimidating work-load. And the grad student teaching it is very nice. He has a severe stutter and talks a little(OK, a lot) like Steven Hawkins to eliminate it but he seems like the nicest and most supportive teacher anyone could hope for. When I got back to my dorm, I brewed something up to get typing.

Decaf Hazelnut Coffee

Now that I’m lowering the meal plan, it makes much more economical sense just to brew my own coffee. Cheaper, fresher, tastier–works for me šŸ™‚ Two more classes for today! I don’t expect it to add up to much “excitement”. Anything fun on your end? Tune in to Oprah at 4 to see Jay speak on NBC!

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Soups And Raw Eating

Posted on January 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m glad you guys found my format for the last post witty; I’d like to do stuff like that more often but it’s something that comes and goes(mostly goes). Maybe it was because I was watching sassy Sabrina, The Teenage Witch while working out? Maybe… For lunch my mom threw together for herself chicken noodle soup, which gave me a major craving for the stuff. After looking at what she made hers with, I actually had no clue what half the ingredients were(me, the person who has gone shopping for xanthan gum) and the ones I did recognize I was not willing to touch. Instead, I tried to supplement that with a replacement soup.

Amy's Lentil Vegetable Soup

Broccoli And Cornbread With Raw Cheddar And Vegan Organic Bac'Uns

Amy’s soup was only OK. I added dehydrated onions, pepper, and salt to it to boost the flavor(and it was already a sodium bomb). Really, though, it did not impress or feed my craving at all. On the side I had leftover killer cornbread and broccoli. Is microwaving raw cheddar cheese counterproductive? Something tells me that it is, but it was better melted. The Bac’Uns again were only OK; they had more of a general smokiness than a bacon flavor. By the way, I ate it along with this.

Looney Toons Utensils And A Scratch Ticket

Because if microwaving raw cheese isn’t hypocritical, maybe baby utensils and adult entertainment is–not a problem. After lunch it was still snowing but less so than it will be for the next few days, so we went to TJMaxx to return a sweater. Fun stuff, isn’t it? I was not so interested in the clothes shopping so I ran in to Sudbury Farms(a grocery store) right next door to grab a few things.

Full Circle Organic Chicken Noodle Soup

Such as this soup. Meat cravings cost money when you’re only willing to go free-range; good thing I don’t get them much. I was actually grabbing stock and whole wheat egg noodles first and then asked myself “Do I really want to actually buy a big chicken? And would I be motivated enough to make it all from scratch?”. Short answer: Buy the canned stuff. When we got home I could not wait to make an afternoon meal.

Organic Chicken Noodle Soup In A Parisian Soup Bowl

Chocolate Vitamuffin

With a muffin on the side, to make it a well-rounded meal šŸ™‚ The soup definitely hit the spot, despite having like 2 pieces of chicken in it. Really, I probably could have drank chicken broth and been happy at that point. I picked up that bowl in Paris last year and thought it would be a fun time to use it. It fits, no? I don’t actually remember eating soup that trip… Anyway, afterwards I planned on making some roasted nuts, but realized if I did that I’d be all out! I hate running out of things which is why I usually have 2 cans of everything. Instead, I found another recipe I wanted to make.

Ingredients

I decided to go with Averie’s almost raw chocolate chip cookie dough balls. I think I was in love with this recipe when I saw it had 4 ingredients(5 with vanilla powder) and I could make it all in my food processor. I used 3oz cashews, 30g oats, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies

These came out the perfectĀ consistency. I made mine into 10 90-calorie cookies rather than into balls because I just like them more that way(Oh, the things that could be said here…). Of course, I needed to taste them and spoil my appetite šŸ˜‰

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie

They were really good considering how simple they are. They kind of tasted simply like cashew butter; maybe next time I’ll add more vanilla and a touch of sea salt. Or I could put these in yogurt or ice cream like real cookie doughs. I’m liking the possibilities. While I was making(and eating) these, my mom made dinner for everybody.

Turbot With Smoked Salt, Baked White Potato With Habanero Salsa, Green Veggies With Nutritional Yeast

We picked up turbot at Whole Foods in Dedham even though we didn’t(still don’t) know that much about it. It tasted like any sort of white fish so I added some of my new, fancy shmancy salt to perk it up with smokiness. I’m liking the nutritional yeast more and more a as I eat it. And I don’t think I’ve had salsa on a white potato since Summer–long overdue. For dessert, I have wayyyy too many possibilities going around my mind. This should be fun…

By the way–I just looked around and asked if I was the last person not in my pajamas. My mom said “Yeah, I didn’t want to say anything because I thought it might be rude, but…” and my dad asked “Are you feeling alright?”.

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Good Call/Bad Call

Posted on January 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good Call: Suggesting that, while my mother and grandmother go to the Linkin Park Casino, my dad take me to the Dedham Whole Foods, which is the largest in New England.

Bad Call: Not checking the batteries on the car DVD player or taking the car adapter before leaving the house for the 50 minute drive to the casino followed by the 40 minutes to Whole Foods. There was no energy left in the machine, which made me holding my copy of Gettyburg look rather silly.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Black Bean Brownie

Good Call: Grabbing a ziploc with 2 of these for snacks in case I got hungry. After 80 minutes in the car, I got hungry

Bad Call: Not taking a watch to time myself. I think we legitimately spent 90+ minutes in there. My mom and grandmother were probably happy with that, though, because they got to gamble more.

Full Wine And Beer Section

Good Call: Not bringing my mom and grandmom for this very reason. I’m guessing that this is where my dad was, too, for the time when he was “lost and looking for me”(It’s big but it’s not that big).

Good Call: Getting a coffee from a freshly brewed pot to “settle in”

“Meh” Call: The Whole Foods doesn’t really have that much different stuff than the other ones near me(once you get past the wine section, walk in cheese cellar, 4 rows of salad bar, and fresh butchery). That is, of course, except for the bulk bin section…

Vanilla Bean Sugar

Coarse Salish Smoked Alderwood Sea Salt

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Nutritional Yeast

Good Call: Hitting this up like it was nobody’s business. So many fun foodie finds! They really had a lot more I wouldn’t have minded trying but I controlled myself.

Good Call: Loading up on random proteins/vegetables/yogurts for the next 3 days of snow!

Cake Batter Gelato

Bad Call: This gelato(did I mention this Whole Foods has a gelatoria?). When is gelato ever bad? Well, it wasn’t; but it really wasn’t good either. It might as well have been vanilla.

Good Call: Giving the gelato to my dad and running back in for a good snack that’d last me the 90 minute drive home.

Voskos Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt With Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownie

Good Call: Going with a yogurt I’ve sampled and reviewed here and know I’d love and topping that with another brownie.

Bad Call: Mentally calculating that in 24 hours I ate 2 tablespoons cocoa, 2 tablespoons NuNatural baking blend, 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter, almost an egg, almost a serving of black beans, 1 1/4 serving of peanut butter chips, and an ounce of greek yogurt through these brownies(I was bored and it was a long drive).

Good Call: Demanding that we stop in Bellingham for an emergency bathroom break unless we had an empty bottle to do it Dumb & Dumber style.

Oh Nuts! Sweetened Dried Cranberries

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nuttzo And Craisins

Good Call: Making about the quickest and sweetest thing I could think of for dinner because I was starving by the time we got home. Naturally, that involved oats, which made sense because this was more like dessert time anyway. I thought I’d try these craisins from Oh Nuts! While I wanted something sweet and red; I wasn’t much a fan because they definitely weren’t tart but also didn’t have much flavor. Oh well, I think I just needed some form of sugar.

"Fun" Groceries

Good Call: Being a “grown-up” and paying for my own “fun” groceries, which included vanilla sugar, nutritional yeast, fancy salt, grain sweetened dark chocolate chips, and organic Bac’uns

Bad Call: Staying up till midnight the night before and dragging all night long. Why did I do that? Oh yeah, New Years.

Dark Chocolate Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips

Good Call: These little buggers as a snack. They aren’t the same as Sunspire brand I don’t think, because I’ve had those and they taste more like unsweetened milk chocolate whereas these are more like bitter dark chocolate.

Brussels Sprouts And Broccoli With Smoked Salt And Nutritional Yeast

Bad Call: Not eating much veggies all day. That wouldn’t be bad if I didn’t like vegetables, but I love them(especially green ones). So right before bed I heated up these leftovers and had them with yeast and my new salt. The yeast was OK; it didn’t really remind me of cheese except in mass quantities, but it had amazing nutrition to it.

Bad Call: Trying to go to bed before 11. My body just does not work that way. I’m too much a creature of habit.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Coffee

Good Call: Deciding to get back on the fitness horse after a few too many days of not. I made a pre-workout snack(which looks alarmingly like a breakfast but wasn’t) to make sure I’d be set for a good, long work out. The better thing about getting in a workout mindset is that the body starts getting into “regularity”.

“Oh my God” Call: Kind of how I felt after doing this

  • 50 standing lunges, 50 walking lunges
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 50 second crunch hold
  • 40 push-ups(messy)
  • 100 air kicks
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 standing marches/chest flexes
  • 240 alternating arm rotations
  • 40 squates
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 70 rowers arms
  • 40 second rower pose hold

Followed by 200 flights of stairs(a little more than an hour’s worth).

Good Call: Showering before breakfast, because I was sweaty as all hell.

Bad Call: Opening up the Strawberry Chobani that expired 10 days ago when I prefer plain anyway(stuck it back in the fridge; somebody will eat it).

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Gingerbread Peanut Butter And 1/2 A Ginger Molasses Cookie, 2% Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Good Call: Thinking no bowl of oatmeal is complete without peanut butter and cookies, and buying gourmet jams to use a little at a time with yogurt. Seriously, this all made my morning.

Bad Call: Taking so long to write up this post that I’m almost about to eat lunch and feeled semi-compelled to upload it though not planning to at all.

Bad Call: Worsening my chance of winning The Not So’s Vitatop Giveaway from Vitalicious by telling you about it.

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