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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Celebrate!

Posted on March 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I looove all your confessions on this post this morning. Some of you would eat anything expired! I’m mostly the same way 🙂 I just could not down that moldy tasting yogurt for my own health. Ironically, the replacement one I ate that tasted fine was expired by 4 days, while the moldy one had 2+ weeks. Ridiculous? I think so.

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

I decided to have a burger for lunch(shocker, I know); tomorrow’s Lent and who knows when I’ll be around over the weekend so I wanted to eat up this meat while it was still fresh. I was inspired by this daring teacher to make a burger bowl, filled with a grass-fed burger, sweet potato hash, spinach, ketchup, sea salt, and nutritional yeast. It’s a good thing I used nutritional yeast because if that were parmesan I’d of killed a cow. It was so cheesey and delicious! And the whole bowl was amazing; overstuffed plates are just too good 🙂

Spring

Spring

I was really excited for my History class today because it was the last class before break for me! Woohoo! The actual topic sucked and my friend and I ridiculed it the entire period, but that just made the hour fly by. The professor even let us out a little early because it was so nice and no one who showed up wanted to be there. Can you see Spring where you live, too?

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

Well I got back to my dorm, tied up some matters, and popped open a Dr. Zevia. This was the 1 flavor I hadn’t tried–mostly because it had caffeine–but I totally needed that this afternoon. It was good, but not great; to be fair, I’ve never liked Dr. Pepper, so that I liked this at all was a miracle 😉 Now that I’ve had all the flavors, I feel like I should do a review of each. Would anybody like that? Then I stepped out of the room to grab myself a little treat…

Juniper

Juniper

Fro Yo! There’s practically zippo frozen yogurt places in New England compared to Florida and California, but happily there’s one hole-in-the-wall joint in Providence called Juniper. I’d never been, have been wanting to try it for a while, and figured this was the best way to celebrate this week and have my “me” time.

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

I got a medium original flavor with blueberries and almonds. I wanted to get some toppings even if they cost an arm and a leg, and these were the among the more “natural” choices(you mean those fruity pebbles weren’t organic?!). I have no gripe with being limited in options by an all-natural diet; this I’ve long come to terms with. What I do question is having almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and soynuts, but no peanuts; where’s the peanut love?! Regardless, this was delicious. Oh my God, where has tart fro yo been all my life? It’s so tangy, yet so sweet–perfection! I know Trader Joe’s carries some so I’m definitely going to check that out when I’m back in Massachusetts.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Well, I got my peanut love eventually 🙂 It turns out fro yo is not the most filling thing, so where that misses a small bowl of oatmeal with a big dollop of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple hits the spot. And, in case you missed it, Oprah’s show was all about pornography today. Awkward much? I was mildly amused while also watching segments of The Today Show that I missed which sounded interesting.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Dinner was shaked and baked 🙂 I threw some maple tofu, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the oven around 5:30 and they were good-to-go at dinner time. I don’t even care if it doesn’t fill me up, like I established a few days ago; I just love this dish! And it’s easy to make and forget about, too.

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. Do you have an “reward” planned soon? Or just celebrate anything fun and exciting?

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I’m A Little Distracted…

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

If I wander off in the writing of this post, it’s because I’m a little distracted.

I’m a little distracted by how warm and sunny it’s been all day; where is this weather when I have the time to enjoy it? I hope it’s around tomorrow so I can soak up the sun on a walk to get groceries.

Grass-Fed Burger, Ketchup, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

I’m a little distracted by how delicious this meal was. Don’t you love “burger weather”? Today was very much “burger weather”, so I cooked up an old 85/15 and made a sweet potato hash to go along with some pickles; the trick here is to undercook the potatoes so they still have some chew and eat like a meal.

I was a little distracted all through my History class, mostly because I was playing a game and not paying very close attention(whoops!). To be fair, I think the professor was distracted by life because he got on a tangent about how the Bozo The Clown episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show is the funniest comedy ever. Ummm, how great to be up on your references like that…

Zevia Twist

I got distracted by my sweet tooth and grabbed a Zevia Twist in between classes. When I say “grab”, I mean I had to go back to my room; if only more places would carry these. I love the simple ingredients–just 5, which I recognize!

I might have just gotten a little distracted and started to “Do the twist, do the twist. A-do the, a-do the, a-do the twist.” OK, maybe I’m even worse with my pop culture references than my professor…

Honest Foods Choco Peanut Butter Bar

I was distracted and enthralled in Latin class by how much this bar by Honest Foods tastes like a chocolate chip blondie! Seriously, that hit a craving I was needing to be hit. The wrapper says it’s manufactured somewhere with wheat but it looked gluten-free to me.

I’m currently distracted by how true everything in this post about eating vegetarian rings true for my own life. Re: 74, my ground beef was dripping blood on my dorm floor last night while I was making patties. I must be dedicated to my (ethical) meat cravings.

Vanilla Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts And Sunflower Seeds

I got distracted thinking about making raw vegan brownies this weekend so much so that I needed to have sunflower seeds and chocolate now. I put some milk chocolate peanut sunspires and sunflower seeds on top of a vanilla Chobani. I think I forgot how much like desserts vanilla Chobani taste while keeping the sugars in checks–definitely something good for me as I don’t want to be shoving stevia in everything.

I got distracted while cooking dinner thinking about how Lady Gaga and Johnny Wier would dress their child if they got married and had a kid(and that’s a HUGE if there). What an odd thought.

Caramelized Brussels, Country Style Chicken Sausages, Maple Tofu

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, Country Style Chicken Sausages, Maple Tofu

I’m distracted right now thinking of how long it’s been since I’ve had brussels sprouts and how much I missed them! This was a lot of your “favorite green vegetable”, and I can’t say I don’t love them, but they’re so rare at the dining hall. I cooked them with some pasture butter and 2 country style Al Fresco chicken sausages–yum! The maple tofu was the perfect sweetness to top it all off.

I’ve been too distracted all along to mention that my coffee intake today has skyrocketed compared to other days this week. Uhhh, whoops? 8-|

I wish I’d be distracted tonight by Survivor but apparently that won’t be on 😦 What to do, oh, what to do? More ice cream?

I’m distracted by the thought of winning this awesome prize from the gorgeous blogger, Holly.

And, lastly, I’m distracted because this would have been my maternal grandfather’s birthday if he were still with us. 82 wouldn’t have known what to do with him 😀

What’s distracting you today? Or are you annoyingly focused? Don’t even tell me if it’s the latter.

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Keeps Gettin’ Better

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you all for your comments this morning! Getting that news was such a great way to start my day and started a momentum of feeling like things keep getting better. It also never hurts to be recognized for hard work, especially when it’s you’re concentration(and one that’s not known for being a money0maker. Hey, I’m realistic ;-)) Now–here’s my pledge that Whole Foods will NOT get most of that. Considering I estimate my shoes have an 2000+ miles on them(I’m not even exaggerating here), I definitely have some good plans.

Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bar

When I got back from Greek, I grabbed Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice bar and switched in to workout clothes lickity-split. Even though it’s not the most opportune time to work out between classes, I felt 20 times better then than when I woke up, and this just felt “right” so I was determined to make it work.

10 Miles In 87:09

Do you know how hard it is to make it work when you only have Kathie Lee and Hoda to watch on The Today show? They are no Meredith and Matt–I’m just saying. Besides that, I was fast! This isn’t the pace I can do outside, but 87:09 was quicker than my normal treadmill pace. Part of that was GI, part of that was just not having time to play around with, but all of that felt nice 🙂 I showered and thought up a lunch really quickly.

Broccoli With Breakfast Style Chicken Sausages, Spicy Peanut Tofu Salad

I’ll throw out a disclaimer and say you can set any dietary restrictions you want on yourself and get adequate nutrient levels. That being said, after going 26 hours of eating vegan when my idea of vegan “food” involves chocolate and pudding, I truly felt like I was lacking protein. I was having a HUGE white meat chicken craving, and even contemplated getting the non-local, probably hormone induced chicken from the dining hall for a split second. In the end, I scrapped up a few Al Fresco breakfast style sausages and tossed those with broccoli along side a tofu salad made with The Heat Is On by PB&Co.. It wasn’t the “best meal everrrr” like all bloggers want to share, but it was “good enough” and got me to class 2 minutes early.

Gingerade, 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

Class was brutal. Maybe it was the fact that we kept having to turn off the lights for slides. Or maybe it was just an exhausting day(my friend Alex next to me actually fell asleep during some slides). Either way, between that and a “meh” lunch, dessert was definitely in order. Between classes I grabbed a Gingerade Kombucha from a local coffee shop and cut in half a Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar I stuck in my pocket. Pardon the pun, but this really was a “perfect” dessert/snack for getting through my afternoon; the bar tastes a lot like a cookie, anyway, and who would want milk over Kombucha? 😉

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

It was another “long day” with extracurriculars even after all the regular class. When I finished those, though, I was on my weekend! Things just keep gettin’ better 🙂 Of course, I needed to celebrate all the hubbub somehow, right? This dessert–once again, pardon the pun–was also quite “perfect”. Since I can’t stand having 1/2 a bar around, I chopped up the other part of my Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar and blended that with So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Besides the subtle coconut flavor, this was awesome! It reminded me of all that peanut butter and chocolate ice cream I had as a kid. The fact that I was “catching up” with my protein intake was just ice creaming on the cake.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Then again, maybe protein’s not a problem with burgers on the menu for dinner. Since I had 1/2 a sweet potato already baked, I diced that and cooked it in the healthy grass-fed burger drippings in the pan–easy peasy clean up, too! Unfortunately, baked potatoes I find don’t make the best of hashes; you really need to get them when they’re raw and just steamed to start.

Burger 101

Preparing A Burger

It’s been asked “How do you make your burgers with just dorm room equipment?” Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the simplest things I or you could cook! You just need a quality steel pan and a slightly fatty cut of meat(I like 85/15 grass-fed beef, but anything up to 90/10 should do). Form your patty with a slight dip in the center because when it cooks it will puff up. After letting your pan heat up on medium-high heat, let your patty cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Then, flip the patty and let it cook another 4, or until the juice running out of it is thin and only slightly red. Then–and I can’t stress this enough–carefully move it to a plate, and let it sit untouched for 5 minutes. This helps the juices to settle and doing this will get you a nice, rare burger. If you like your meat more well done, extend the cooking on both ends by 1:30-2 minutes. Bonus: If you’re a New England reader, regular beef is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound and even the grass-fed is reduced an amount! I for one will be getting at least a pound over the weekend if not more. And that’s your burger 101!

If you’ve never had the great pleasure to try Zevia(now that sounds like an idea for tonight), you can win some in this giveaway. Also, you can win coupons for So Delicious products like their coconut milk ice cream or kefir in this giveaway; if you enter this, please say Food Makes Fun Fuel or EvanFMFF is how you heard about it so we both have a better chance of winning 🙂

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Jokerz And Gardens

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love how much bloggers sympathize over dropped tableware! Only you guys would understand, haha.

Jolly Beans

With the sun shining in, I knew an outdoor run would help me feel energized. I pushed it about as late as I could–10:30–and got ready to run. Right before heading out I popped the jelly beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins for quick energy. They’re all-natural, vegetarian, called “Jolly Beans”, and absolutely delicious; just like with other brands, my favorite colors are the white, orange, and yellow. Which are your favorite jelly beans?

9.4 Miles In 1:20:46

I ended up running 9.4 miles in 1:20:26, which was a really good pace for me. I had to hit the Providence hills because on my way back I made a pit stop at University Heights Whole Foods to grab a Jokerz bar. I think I’ve found a new addiction! I also swung by the dining hall before coming into my room right at 12 with the rush; that was not timed well, and there wasn’t even much for me to work with 😦 I stilled managed a tasty and quick lunch.

Kidney Beans With Ketchup And Hemp Oil, Maple Tofu, All Over Spinach

Another bean salad–I’m just loving these! Red beans are definitely not my favorite(I prefer chickpeas or black beans), but it’s what they had so I worked with them and made a dressing from organic ketchup and Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dresing. It reminded me of BBQ beans. On top, I threw on the maple tofu I roasted Monday but ended up not eating. What turned out being thrown together from stuff on hand was actually a great meal. Do you have a favorite type of bean?

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Wednesdays win for my long days: 3 1/2 hours straight class in the afternoon. I definitely needed something to look forward to in my Object History class to keep me sane. The funny thing? This weeks “object” was sugar and other food in colonial America. We also talked a lot about the potatoes role in society from it’s origins as a South American crop to Europe. As much as I love food, I feel like class is the one place I can escape from having a single track mind. C’est la vie.

Vegan Milk Chocolate Enrobing Vegan Caramel, Nougat, And Peanuts

It felt a little ironic to be eating this Go Max Go Foods Jokerz while we talked about the expansion of sugar in the 18th century English diet and how 1 ton of sugar equated to the life of a slave at the time. Guilt? I don’t know the meaning of the word–this was downright delicious! So sweet and good. And, yes, it’s a candy bar and not at all healthy. But it is all natural 🙂 And I had a surprise waiting for me after class…

Dad

Guess who was in town! Literally, he was in town on a special business conference, and since he got off dinner when I got out of class, meeting up for dinner seemed natural. First we stopped at a store to get avocadoes, kombucha, a new bowl, and jelly beans(aka, all of my staples). After that, we found a little local restaurant that Heather recommended.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant over in East Pawtucket. I have ran right near this so many times without even paying notice; I wasn’t even 1/4 mile away twice on my run this morning! The menu is all vegetarian, highly vegan/gluten-free, and they even have some raw items. Though it didn’t say, I would bargain all the ingredients to be all-natural. They even had organic brews on tap(not that I was getting any of that action), along with fresh squeezed juices and blended smoothies. Now those sounded good. I’ll definitely be planning to end a run on a nice sunny day by here.

Eggplant Rollatini

For my entree, I chose the eggplant rollatini, described as “grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, garlic sauteed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce””. The flavors were just what I was craving at the time. It also appealed to me that this was vegan, gluten-free, and–at least I would say so–didn’t compromise my Lent give-up of “prepared soy”(it had some tofu, but less than any other menu item, and since the house probably used raw tofu and just prepared it tonight, it’s less “prepared” than the ones I had in mind). The eggplant rolls with the tofu-nut cheese were amazing; I could have ate 5 more! The polenta I just had a sliver of; it was well formed, but even well formed polenta is pretty boring unless you dress it up with heavy cream or a sharp cheese(and this dish was vegan). Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll probably be eating there again. Did I mention they have vegan cinnamon rolls on the Sunday brunch menu? They do.

A few last things: first up, Katie alerted me to this article fronting Newsweek this week; apparently, I’m a good writer 😉 And I also agree with a lot I have to say! Go figure. And check out this ch-ch-chia seed giveaway from Lucky Taste Buds that comes with a sweet recipe! happy end of humpday, ya’ll!

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Not On My Time

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

If you had told me I would spend the past 15 hours like I have, and appreciating them, I would have said you’re nuts(I use this expression a lot for obvious reasons)

Burnt Homemade Chocolate

7:54- I have no sense of wasting food, so I eat this homemade chocolate I burnt trying to melt the cocoa butter in. It tastes gritty

7:56- Hey–on the bright side that tasted like burnt chocolate, not like some horrible dorm-made concoction. Go me!

8:17- Oh my God, I’m exhausted. Can I go to bed now?…

8:20- I can totally go to bed now. Bye, bye computer and hello bed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Nutritional Yeast, A Wild Peanuts

8:40- 20 minutes of lying in the dark has felt good, but something’s not working. I’ll try some oatmeal to get me sleeping.

8:55- Wild jungle peanuts… do not taste wild. In fact, they taste a bit more like cardboard than regular peanuts? Maybe I’ll roast the rest. Or would that devalue them? Or do I not care…

8:57- Mighty Maple is goooood.

9:20- Sleep. Glorious sleep.

2:40- Great, now I’m awake. Do I want sleep or cookies? I want to sleep.

2:45- Sleep’s not happening; it’s tea and cookie time.

Bedtime Tea And Chocolate Cherry Goji Cookies

2:58- Hey, Anderson Cooper’s on TV!

3:00- And now he isn’t…

3:04- God, these Goji Gourmet goji cherry cacao cookies are good. How do they get them so sugary gritty? It must be in creaming the butter and sugar. I need to bake with more butter(always more butter).

4:00- How am I still awake?! This is ridiculous.

4:15-4:20- Self-diagnosing myself with wayyy too many problems to deal with at 4am. Thinking is dangerous, people. Don’t do it.

4:35- I give up. I’m checking my email

4:44- Will my dad notice I’m responding to him at 4:45am? I don’t think he’ll be savy enough to look at the time stamp.

4:56- And now I’m tired again. I’m not sure how that works out, but I’ll take it.

6:15- Why do I set my alarm for 6:15?

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

6:29- 3 Back To Nature Fudge Mint cookies are juts as good pre-run as an apple, right? I’m going with that line of thought.

6:32- Oh my God, are these cookies good. Thin Mints who? Take that, needy girl scouts.

6:41- There are 4 other people at the gym. Now that’s odd; I wonder what time they set their alarm for.

10 Miles In 28:33

7:34- That guy better not touch my 2nd TV. Just because I have 2 TV’s and a movie going on my iPod doesn’t mean I don’t need them all to pull through 10 miles.

8:11- Wow! I never thought I’d squeeze in 10 miles on a Tuesday/Thursday before me. Sweet! Now get ready!

8:29- Showered and dressed. What for breakfast? What for breakfast? What for breakfast?

8:34- More cookies? Sure, why not.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Protein Peanut Butter, 2% Greek Yogurt With 3 Fudge Mint Cookies

8:48- Portable breakfast packed and ready. I’ve got pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter and an agave sweetened greek yogurt with 3 fudge mint cookies.

8:56- Oh thank God, I did my homework for this class.

2% Greek Yogurt With Fudge Mint Cookies

10:02- Don’t call on me; I’m still savoring the last few bites of this yogurt. Oh God, that was good. Why don’t cookies come in yogurt more often? If I’m hungry in 10 minutes, it was worth it.

10:22- Do I want coffee? Or tea? Or just water? Why is it so sunny now that I don’t have time to spend idly outside?

10:34- Oh. I should write a post.

10:59- OK, I should probably make a review page for these cookies, since I’m not sure they’re going to last the night.

11:19- Time to let out some lies…

1. My favorite candy growing up was Snickers! False. I was all over anything Reeses. I loved the peanut butter cups, reeses pieces, and fastbreak bar the most. Holiday eggs anyone? I’m just happy Newman’s Own Organics has my back on all-natural ones.

2. I was debating between going to Princeton, Stanford, and Brown. While I think I might have got a better education at Princeton, I stuck more local to be near my family. False! Wow, anyone who thought this was true must think highly of me 😀 To be honest, there was no choice involved. I applied to Brown early decision, and when I got accepted for that it was binding. I wasn’t even sure if it was the right school when I sent in my app and was still debating about Williams. Who’s to say there’s ever any 1 “right” school anyway?

3. I’ve been on every continent but Antarctica(I’m coming for you, glaciers ;-) ). False. I’ve been only to North America and Europe.

4. I left my passport on a plane on a school trip to Greece, but thankfully we got it before the plane left the gate. False! I’m always overprotective about my things even just in Boston so this would (hopefully) never happen to me. It did happen to a friend, though.

5. I speak fluently 3 languages. False. I wish! Really, the only other languages I know are Latin and Greek, and I definitely couldn’t “speak” those, especially not fluently.

6. My parents were extremely strict on anything electronic growing up, so I never owned a video game console until I got one as a High School graduation present. False. My parents had a gameboy in my hand by my 5th birthday.

7. The first time I had greek yogurt was in Greece on restaurant sidewalk with peaches and honey. True! I don’t even remember if I liked it at the time, and didn’t have another until 1 and a half years later, but on a school trip to Greece in 10th grade, we were served yogurt with honey and peaches as a complimentary dessert, and I remember being the only one at our table to eat it(I think I picked out the honey and peaches, mostly).

11:31- Publish!

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3 Days, A Lot Of Numbers, And Nutritional Yeast Facts

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t really believe in “food ruts”; if you want to eat the same thing a lot in a short amount of time, be my guest. In fact, sometimes it’s less wasteful to be that way. That being said, I’ve been surprising even myself with the repetitiveness of my eats.

Red Delicious Apple

This as the 4th of 5th apples I’ve eaten since Tuesday. Me. And they were all from the dining hall and tasted amazing. Go figure. I swear–I’ve eaten less than 5 apples in a month before; I’m really on a kick for them I guess. Should I just make this apple crisp and eat 1/2 the pan?… again? Of course, you can eat as much as you want whenever it’s vegan, right? O:-)

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Home Fries Over Spinach

Lunch time rolled around(to be eaten in Greek History class) and what did I have on hand? Beef and sweet potatoes, of course! I really couldn’t care less that I also ate this for Tuesday and Wednesday dinner seeing as how I can’t eat meat on Fridays. To make it a little different, I microwaved the cubed tomatoes and then finished them off in the rendered beef fat, and served it over spinach(which makes the whole dish healthy). For those of you keeping track, that would be 12oz grass-fed beef and 2 medium-large sweet potatoes in 72 hours. I don’t think I’ve gotten this much beta-carotene since I drank carrot juice every morning or ate this much meat since… ever.

Missing Water Bottle

Genius here forgot his water bottle in Greek History class and didn’t realize it until being in Latin class. I would have thought I’d have gone parched and been ripping through my snack stash during that class but the lunch held me over really well. And when I walked back to my previous class(in the rain), someone had moved the water bottle front and center. Perfect.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

You know it’s love when the first thing you do when you walk in the door is break out a food scale and some coconut oil to make coconut oil chocolate so it has enough time to set before you eat it. Or is that addiction/obsession? What do I care–Hollywood hasn’t known the difference in 50 years. Another ingredient: Cocoa powder.

53 grams of cocoa powder is how much I’ve used in since Tuesday. Not how much I’ve eaten, because there’s been more in the form of nut butters and store bought chocolate, but just the amount I’ve personally used in making things. Chocolate has antioxidants, right? How ironic that I’ve always looked at the pound bag of cocoa powders and thought “Gosh, it must take someone a long time to go through those!”

Red Delicious Apple

I told you that was the 4th of 5 apples I ate this morning. This was the 5th. It was between this or a 100-cal pack of cookies. I think I made the nutritious choice, don’t you? Apples seem to be my go-to when there’s a meal right around the corner. And what a meal it was…

Stir-Fried Tempeh With Vanilla Agave And Toasted Coconut Over Steamed Broccoli

Something new! If you’d have asked me at 2pm what was for dinner, I would have smacked you because I had no clue. Then I remembered I has a log of tempeh to use up. I really hate hate hate plain tempeh in comparison to tofu, so I’m not sure why I bought this. At the same time, this dish worked perfectly. I loved the nuttiness of tempeh with the nuttiness of the the toasted coconut. And the agave was a perfect “dressing” but I added sea salt because I’m so not used to sweet dinners. I think what surprised me the most was how much sesame oil the tempeh absorbed so quickly 8-| Ignorance is the best way to enjoy Asian foods 😉

I was surprised(but happy) to hear that there were so many questions surround nutritional yeast after my breakfast post. I answered in the comments there but I thought I’d readress it here for anyone wondering. Gina also blogged about it here.

What is it? Inactive, fortified yeast. Per 2 tablespoons(14g), it has 8g of protein and 6g of fiber. It’s a complete protein and loaded with the B vitamins, as well as being a 1-ingredient vegan food

How does it taste? It’s very savory and has a cheesy mouth-feel. Similarly, it’s very salty and briny, especially with a little salt added. It’s very much like a more savory parmigiana.

Where do you get it? I get all of mine from bulk bins, which is often cheaper but also let’s you get just how much you want, so you can just get a little to see if you like it or not.

How would I use it? You can use it anywhere you might otherwise want something “cheesy”. It’s often put on top of spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce. You might have seen me eat it on pumpkin oatmeal with smart balance peanut butter, but that’s a little “out there” admittedly and something only I do(that I know of). It reminds me of Lance peanut butter filled cheddar crackers 🙂

Which foods have you been all over as of late, Have you tried nutritional yeast, and Heroes or Villains? You can ask me anymore questions you’d like, but don’t expect a response while Survivor’s on 🙂

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Dynamic Duos

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

Thankfully, the ice dancing is over, which means we don’t have to look at creepy, questionably incestuous duos dancing to poorly chosen songs in outrageous costumes. No, now we can get back to the dynamic duos that set our mouths on fire!

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard

Caramel and Mustard. REALLY. This stuff is heavenly. I have could eat it by the spoonful. Who would have thunk it? But the sweetness of condensed milk and the spiciness from mustard seeds just take the floor together. So for lunch, I baked up some tofu, coated it in this and another fantastic ingredient.

Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Coconut Caramel Mustard Tofu

Tofu, meet coconut. Coconut, tofu. When I saw Caitlin give this one a try, I couldn’t help thinking yes, yes, yes! So after the mustard was adhered to the baked tofu, I toasted coconut flakes in a ban and tossed them with the tofu. Winner, winner, vegetarian lunch or dinner! And let’s not forget the dynamic duo of soy sauce and any vegetable that will soak it up. Mmmm. I steamed broccoli and then finished it in a pan with a little of the black gold 🙂 And I ain’t talking Texas tea.

Red Delicious Apple

An apple and… coffee?! Not quite, but I needed something to fill me up before 3 1/2 hours of class! Not like I thought this would last me over that long, but for the first section I was A-OK. Then I had to lead a little discussion in my seminar, which went decent, until the teacher said I should have submitted a paper with my notes on it. Oops! I’ll type that up in a jiffy after this. During the “break” I “snuck” from my pocket perhaps the holiest of dessert duos.

Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Sunspire Candy Bar

I like coconut. I love chocolate. I really love coconut oil chocolate. Sadly, I just “loved” this candy bar. OK, “just” maybe sets the wrong note. I loved this bar. The dark chocolate was perfectly bitter-sweet(70% I’m guessing). And the coconut was nice and a little sweet 🙂 Yum, yum. More companies need to make organic candy bars! Then again, maybe it’s a good thing for me they don’t, because I could go po’ eating through them.

.9oz Snack Pack Surf Sweet Sour Berry Bears

Speaking of candy, “healthy” and “candy” are not your typical duo, but Surf Sweets tries at least. Just like how I try to eat them the weirdest way possible…

Soy Yogurt With Sour Berry Bears

Sweet and sour needs no explanation. I took a container of plain soy yogurt sweetened with some vanilla stevia and added these gummy bears on top. A little confused? Remember putting gummy bears on vanilla froyo along with about 20 other toppings? Yeah, it was like that. This was after I had gotten out of class, flew my backpack down, and started cutting up a sweet potato for dinner thinking “Now I see why my mom would b*tch having to make dinner after getting home from work”. BUT that set up one hell of a duo for dinner:

Sweet Potato Fries, Grass-Fed Cheese Burger

This was more like a quartet of awesome. Of course, there’s burger + fries. Duh. And then there’s burger + cheese = meh but I went with it for a change from yesterday. And salt with sweet potato is “like woh“. And, while I recognize this is basically the same dinner as yesterday, to that I have to attribute a) my tofu block being on its last leg and b) the fact that I gave up “prepared soy foods” for Lent, so there 🙂

And now, tonight’s going to feature a lot of Evan + Plato before my Greek test tomorrow morning with a little bit of making + up that assignment I mentioned I forgot about. What’s your favorite duo? Or who? if we want to lead the edible persuasion. Personally, I’ve always been an Ash and Pikachu fan, but if you wanna say Ricky and Lucy I couldn’t deny. AND check out when Kate made my coconut oil chocolate. I love that all the ingredients she used were organic; a blogger after my own heart.

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Reigning Over Imperfection

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

Just so we all get the pun…

Rain In Providence

It’s raining really hard right now. And will be through Saturday, hence the “reign”. OK, good, I don’t feel crazy laughing alone at my own jokes 😀

I wouldn’t say I “struggle” with not being perfect simply because I’ve never met perfection in a bar and shattered a bottle to start swiping at it. That being said, I am pretty finicky(read: Polish stubborn) and try my best to excel at whatever I do or make. Sometimes A lot of times, things don’t work out. But the more I grow the more I learn to just “deal”.

Banana Whip With Vanilla Powder

This banana whip was far from perfect; some of the bananas I had just stuck in the fridge 2 hours earlier and weren’t even frozen. I needed to use Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and vanilla stevia here along with vanilla powder to get the flavor where I wanted it. And, in the end, I’d say it was just “OK”. Disappointing? A little. But there will be other banana whips.

Last night I also got the rough draft back from my writing fellow for a paper due today. I just don’t work that fast. And the comments she had I neither agreed with stylistically nor had time to properly work in. Naturally, my gut reaction was to freak out on how imperfect this paper’s going to be. In my stress, I made some tea to try and stop me from just grabbing a spoon and killing off a peanut butter jar(oh yes, I very well could have done this). But then I stepped back and thought: This is the class I took for “fun”. This is the class I changed to Pass/Fail so that it wouldn’t stress me out. And here I’m letting it walk all over me. I’m going to pass the class, perfect paper or not. And I was just being silly. At that, I edited what I could, and sent the final draft in calmly and rationally. So what did I eat in my no-longer stress?

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Simply: Food. I whipped up 1/2 a batch of coconut oil chocolate and stuck it in a muffin tin because I’m OK with eating something imperfectly shaped if you’re OK with seeing it. And I had a nice filling, relaxing bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter to calm my nerves. Did you know oatmeal is one of the best things you could eat to fall to sleep or back to sleep? I would have thought the carbs would make it imperfect for that but I guess since they’re all complex it works out.

8 Miles In 73:31

This morning, I woke up to rain(as I pointed out). I started thinking about how this could be the perfect excuse to not hit the gym. But then I had a funny thought: I wanted to brave the rain and get a good run in. There I had it, so I went and ran 8 miles in 73:31. The treadmill set up is imperfect; it only goes for 1 hour at a time, throws too many numbers at you, and doesn’t give a remote for the TV when the hour changes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it anyway 🙂

Fair Trade Organic White Chocolate Strawberry Raw Almond Butter

If it’s not clear that I’m somewhat of a neat-freak perfectionist, check out the sweet label I gave this homemade nut butter I made over Winter break. On the other side, it has a complete nutritional panel and even a little Fair Trader sticker 🙂

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Oats With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Lastly, I wholly acknowledge that I’m an imperfect refueler; I break about every rule for post-run recovery(which you can read the proper way for in this awesome and detailed post). But the flip side to that is I’m very good at telling what I want/need. Today felt like a “fat” morning where only fat would fill me up. I added a nice plop of almond butter on top of oatmeal made with pumpkin and egg whites(for a wee bit of protein). And instead of greek yogurt, I had chocolate avocado pudding. And, in an effort to keep stevia out of my breakfast, I sweetened this with 1 tablespoon Xagave instead. Was the flavor perfect? Not at all. But what’s a little real sugar after 8 miles in an effort to use stevia–while sweet and natural–a little less?

I’m also far from perfect for taking so long to get you this recipe; if you’ll remember, I made these coconut cherry cups for my family for Valentine’s Day. It took me a while to giving them their own recipe page but I finally have. Enjoy! If you try them, I bet they’ll come out perfect 😉

Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cups

Ingredient:

  • 1/2 pound dark chocolate(I used 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and 2 squares(4 pieces) Baker’s Unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cherry butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar

In the microwave or using a double boiler, melt down the chocolate to a liquid state. Put a dab of chocolate into the bottom of 12 paper muffin cups to coat the bottom. Mix the coconut oil in a liquid state with the cherry butter. In a seperate bowl, mix together the coconut and agave nectar until fully incorporated. Mix together the two until a thick consistency and even red/pink color is reached. Add about 1 tablespoon of this mixture to each cup(there might be extra; if so, either make more cups or save for another use). Add a dollop of melted chocolate to the top of each coconut ball and work with a spoon until the cherry coconut is fully covered. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or more until serving.

And it would be imperfect of me not to mention this Chobani giveaway.

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TGIT!

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t decide if that 2nd T should stand for “Thursday” or just “Today” becuase today has been so much better than any average Thursday! I know wordpress has been down a lot, so if you missed this morning’s post you can read it In A Jiffy 🙂 No worries–it’s really quick because I was really in a rush. My breakfast ended up looking more like this:

2% Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola Bar, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I realized after posting that it might give the impression I was eating all those sunspire candies. Nope! Haha, I took a reasonable amount for my yogurt; that’s just my whole stash 😉 I realized in class what these granola bars taste like: Apple Jacks! I can’t say why, but they’re dead on.

University Whole Foods

I made the decision to go to Whole Foods in between classes to get some Asian style chicken for dinner; I was having a craving and knew I couldn’t eat meat tomorrow even though I’d had more time so I thought I’d go today. I called ahead to make sure they had it, and then walked the 1.2 miles. Obviously, I spent a good amount of time perusing the aisles while I was there.

Golden Sesame Tofu

It occurred to me around the hot foods area all the things that fall under my Lenten giveup, like these! At first I thought giving up prepared soy was kind of a cop out and wouldn’t affect me much. but since I’ve almost slipped twice in 2-days, I’m thinking this was a good one. I also looked on non-soy veggie burgers while I was there but nothing impressed me.

Organic Anjou Pear

I needed a snack for the 1.2 miles back. I would have totally hit up the tri-colored raw peppers from the prepared foods bar if they wouldn’t have set me back so much money. I also almost bought a chocolate bar but decided I should not be paying for chocolate when I have so much in my closet. 😦 A rough decision but it’s good to self-edit in the checkout line. Ironically, the person behind me picked up the bar I put down and bought it! Maybe it was destiny…

Groceries

What did I get? In short: sensible things. 2 Chobani, 2 So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurts, a Kombucha(for review), a ripe avocado, cocoa powder(I normally prefer Lake Champlain but this was what they had and cheapest), and General Tso’s chicken. Well, this did not leave me much time before my next class, so I hopped to making lunch!

1/4 Pounder Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash, Orange Steaz

I planned to cook this burger yesterday on Ash Wednesday–yikes! Thankfully, it was just as good today, though a bit browned. I cooked it alone in a pan and it could not have came out more perfect! While it was resting, I cut up leftover sweet potatoes and cooked them in the fat drippings. Holy yum. My thought today: You couldn’t eat meat yesterday, you can’t eat it tomorrow, so get your fill now!

I ate this entirely in Greek History. I almost fell asleep in class. Maybe the walking tuckered me out? If not for one of my best friends, Alex, to make fun of the stupid things this professor was saying(like trying to reference gameboys for a joke), I definitely would have conked out. After that, another class and then I was free! When I got out at 4, I officially began a 5-day weekend! let the celebration begin!

Xagave Chocolate Frosty

I’ve had this Xagave recipe bookmarked for a long time. I didn’t have an open can of coconut cream(is this even the same as coconut milk? I’ve never heard of it before) so I just used 1/2 a cup coconut milk kefir instead. I also cut the recipe into 1/4th, and even scaled back the Xagave to 1 tablespoon.

Bob's Red Mill Guar Gum

This gave me cause to break out the guar gum I was sent by Bob’s Red Mill to sample and review; I won’t review it quite now because this feels like something I’ll need to use a few times to get used to. There was more excitement in store for today, too:

Emmy's Organic Mint Chip Macaroons

I won a bag of Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroons. And in a poetry contest, no less! You can read my poem here. After lots of work and blending, things looked like this:

Probiotic Frosty Milkshake, Mint Chip Vegan Raw Macaroon

Wow. Where to start? As for the milkshake: It was really good! But I didn’t blend it enough I don’t think 😦 I’m always afraid to overblend things until they get hot and liquidy(TWSS), but I guess I shouldn’t be so long as I have the guar gum? Also, this was very sweet and had a strong agave nectar flavor. And that was after I cut down the amount in the recipe.

As for the mint chip macaroon: Holy Moly! I give a lot of things into consideration when I review a product, including price, availability, nutrition, taste, sustainability, etc. I had to give this a 10/10, even if it’s not completely available nation wide in stores; they were just that good. When I’m out, I’m going to cry for about 10 minutes and then order myself a batch. They’re amazing! They completely out shined the dinner I had planned all day:

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli, Citrus Synergy

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli

That being said, this was pretty damn good too 🙂 I had a major craving for Chinese chicken last night. And I knew I wouldn’t be eating it tomorrow. It’s glaringly not the healthiest option, but once in a while why the hell not? And because it was from Whole Foods, it was completely natural chicken. On the side, for good health, I had a citrus Kombucha drink. It’s not my favorite flavor, since I could hardly taste the sour through the vinegar of the kombucha. But it was still pretty good; and, as always, stellar nutrition! You can always eat the bad if it’s with some good 🙂

As if I needed any more sunshine today, Jessie of Vegan Minded sent some my way. Thank you! If you’ve never read her blog, you must go check it out if for nothing but inspiration! Everything she eats is Tasty with a capitol T. And now, here’s 12 more sunshiney bloggers or bloggers who need sunshine or just awesome bloggers!

1. Caitlin

2. Cara

3. Heather

4. Averie

5. Kalin and 6. Baby Brother

7. Abby

8. Maddie

9. K

10. Katie

11. Holly

12. Heather

And now Survivor is almost on! I’ve seriously waited all week for this, so you know I won’t be missing it!

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