Working (And) Up An Appetite

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

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

Laundry

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

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

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

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

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

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

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

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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I Need A Dentist

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I need a dentist because my sweet tooth has been out of control recently! Now, you might say, “But Evan, that would mean that it was once in control, and you can’t honestly expect that, can you?” Well, I would say that on the whole it pretty much is; if anything, I overdo it with the salt in food. I love my oats salty! But recently, it’s been all about the sugar. For example:

Agave Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

It shouldn’t be a shocker that I enjoy something chocolate every night after dinner. Last night my thought process was along these lines: “I think I want dark chocolate. Yeah, dark chocolate. That’s nice and full of antioxidants. And it’s vegan. I’ll have vegan dark chocolate, and a vegan yogurt. I’ll have soy yogurt. But if I’m having soy yogurt I’ll need… milk chocolate!!” And that’s how we arrived here.

Bleeding Colors

That amuses me oh so much. This snack had plenty of sugar between the agave in the yogurt and the chocolate. At least there were peanuts in there, too? Those made them healthy. These are actually one of the few “candies” I eat, so if they’re my biggest vice, c’est la vie. I ate this while trying to get in to the Olympics, but pair skating is just not my sport 😦 Bring back the speed skating! Not an hour later, my sweet tooth struck again.

Cherry Coconut Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Coconut Butter

I usually like salty oats; last night was a huge exception. I made oatmeal with 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, a spoonful of cherry butter, and vanilla stevia, and then topped them with coconut butter from Artisana and Justin’s chocolate peanut butter. Notice how there’s a big plop of the sweet nut butter and a little bit of the fiberous one? Yeah, me neither. Well I had that and then got to bed nice and early(10:30!) for some sweet dreams and 8 hours of sweet sleep.

18 Rabbits Cheeky Cherry Chocolate Granola Bar

This morning I woke up half-hungry? It just feels like my hunger’s going to be off today, but I’d hate to think pessimistically like that. Anyway, I ate about 2/3rds of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar from 18 Rabbits on my run. Overall, the most satisfying thing here was the chocolate(of course). Otherwise, thought that the cherries and cacao nibs were bit slacking. The coconut in the granola was a nice subtle flavor, too. Still, it was pretty sweet and almost like a dessert with the chocolate.

8 Miles In 68:57

The “plan” for my run was 5 miles. I started out going faster than I would have thought: 7mph. That was my treadmill pace last semester but has been elusive so far. Today, however, I had no trouble with it, and I felt like I could just keep going, so I did! The way my (lack of) training plan works is that I’d rather run “how I’m feeling” today than plan too far ahead. I ended up doing a speedy 8 miles, which was fun but put the rest of my morning in a rush.

Banana Oats With Barney Butter, Cherry 2% Greek Yogurt

Banana Oats With Barney Butter

FINALLY I had a thought to try and cap the sugars. I was at least somewhat successful? I still needed to sweeten my oats and yogurt, and topped both with spreads that have sugar in them :-/ But cherry butter and Barney Butter are definitely some of the lesser evils that I could have gone for. Maybe I need a sugar challenge like this daring blogger and Ellen?

Vanilla Decaf Coffee

And now I’m enjoying my favorite new tradition of Tuesday/Thursday: a warm cup of coffee with stevia after class. And I feel thrifty because I brew it myself instead of going to a campus coffee stop 🙂 I also polished off the remaining 1/3 of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar while writing this. And you can damn well bet I savored and enjoyed the chocolate chips 😉 But now I’m just hoping a straight and proper lunch will smack things back to “normal” again. And… I’m off!

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Where No Coconut Flour Has Gone Before

Posted on February 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning(at least I hope it’s still morning by the time I finish typing this)! Don’t forget that I pick a yogurt contest giveaway winner randomly tonight!

Uli Mana Raw Desserts

Uli Mana Raw Truffles

Last night was “one of those nights” where I just needed something really good for dessert. I pulled out my little treasure trove from Uli Mana and picked out 2 of their truffles to try out. These are made with cacao powder, cacao butter, agave, and a few other ingredients. The first thing that surprised me was how rich and decadent these were; the inside was like super soft and melty chocolate–delicious! I think my favorite was the Goji Cherry Raw Truffles

Goji Cherry Raw Truffle

So so good. I would have thought the nibs would add an unpleasant bitterness but they actually worked super well here; I could easily eat a container of these in one sitting. They were just that good. Also good but not quite as much so were the Dark Cacao Raw Truffles. Don’t get me wrong–I loved these as well. But the flavor was a little 1-dimensional whereas the other truffle had so much going on to make it exciting. Either way was a winner, though. All these superfoods had me excited to try something else exotic.

Coconut Flour Oats With Chocolate Coconut Butter, Hemp Seeds, And Goji Berries

Coconut flour oats! Can you say yum? The Bob’s Red Mill product actually made this more of a batter than oats, but it was still super nice; I think it needed either more sweetness or saltiness to really be “interesting”. On top I made a new butter using Xagave and Tropical Tradition’s coconut oil along with other flavors. Holy yum! This was jsut as I expected cacao bliss to be. It’s not perfect, but I can’t wait to play around and make a big batch once it is! And then some hulled hemp seeds and Navitas Naturalsgoji berries made this feel like a real superfood treat. I was still craving a little chocolate, though, so I had to have a little more.

1/2 Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

Even though it was just 1/2, the sugar did not help me sleep soon or well; I ended up waking up around 2am but feeling absolutely paralized from a bad dream. I’m honestly surprised(and happy) I didn’t jolt up screaming and punching only to wake everybody else up. Somehow, I still managed to get out of bed at 6:15 to hit the gym.

Running Stats

I would not say getting up at 6:15 to run is ideal. BUT it is only 2 days a week I have to do it, and for that I can definitely deal. I was debating running 5 miles and doing a 30 minute bike or just running 7. To save my legs for 8 miles tomorrow, I went with the former.

My Gym

The gym was completely empty; that I was not expecting. At least I got my choice of a few televisions(and chose The Today Show and Cartoon Network, as always). I have to say that I do not like the bike and this might have been “my last ride”. I just find it uncomfortable and it’s hard to keep my HR over 100. Elliptical? More running? I’ll find something to entertain me. For breakfast, I turned back to my new friend…

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Yogurt With Coconut Flour

More coconut flour! It’s becoming an addiction; this time I added 2 tablespoons to greek yogurt and the result was fantastic. For flavor, it came out a mellow but present coconuttiness. In terms of texture, this made it super thick and almost like soft serve that wouldn’t melt(that much coconut flour has 6g of fiber!). It may look like there’s not much chocolate peanut butter there, but that’s because I stuck it back in the microwave for the oatmeal to surround the giant clump o’ nut butter; that way, when I got to Greek and opened up my oatmeal, the inside was still perfectly soft and melty.

On my way back from class, I ordered the last book I need for classes–$51 out of pocket! It’s not even noon and today’s already expensive… Anyway, I’ve now sampled all the products sent to me by Navitas Naturals and so am recapping my reviews for them! As always, any of these can be found under the Product Reviews page at anytime.  My general impression was that a lot of care was put into all the products I’ve sampled and that really shined through. I don’t know that the items themselves were my favorite, par say, but I definitely look forward to exploring the company more and seeing what else they have to offer.

Sweet Cacao Nibs

8.5/10: Cacao nibs are as close to the rainforest as you can eat when it comes to chocolate. So pure and raw, these were an excellent treat. “Sweet”, however, was a big overstatement. These might have been sweetened with sugar, but make no mistake in that they were still quite bitter like raw cacao nibs. No matter which was you spin it, the flavor was far too bitter to be called sweet. I liked the big clumps which were almost more like granola and the tiny individual nibs for a good variety over yogurt and oatmeal. If 100% raw cacao nibs aren’t your thing, this just might be a nice stepping stone.

Goji Berries

9/10: Why don’t you see goji berries more around America? Because the real deal come only from the Himilayas. And that’s what these are: The real deal. Navitas Naturals brings the Himilayan superfruit to your pantry. Of course, the real question when it comes to dried fruit is whether they’ll be soft and not stale. These, honestly, felt a bit on the cusp, but I’m hoping it was just my mouth fooling me and I’ll get used to the true texture.

Mulberries

9/10: I can’t say I was in love with these berries, but I can’t find much fault with Navitas, either. I’m really impressed that they can grow these organically in their native Turkey and deliver them to your home. The berries themselves read like a pill with their nutritional benefits, but it’s hard to know whether they’re any better than any other berries. Navitas claims to dry them to “the perfect” moisture content; I don’t know if perfect is the word, but at least they aren’t stale. If you’re dead set on getting mulberries, by all means get Navitas Naturals’. Just looking for something new and different to try? Look again.

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Go On And Live Your Life

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

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

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

Mexican Bowl

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

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

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

Kombucha Warning Label

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

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

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

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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

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

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

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

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

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

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