72 Bitter-Sweet Hours

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

What could have been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I…

As if that wasn’t all sweet enough, last night was a blast, too. We had family friends over for dinner. There were hors d’oeuvres…

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

I snacked on raw carrots and grape tomatoes and these Food Should Taste Good chips I had to try after hearing them referred to as Doritos. I disagree; they’re much classier and mroe sophisticated than Doritos. but they definitely have that Mexican tang that regular cheddar chips don’t. Anyway, yum!

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of all the food; there was a lot! But this was my plate: potato fries(I made these for myself because there were only sweet potatoes otherwise and I wanted white), roasted brussels, and chipotle marinated Amish chicken. The chicken was remarkably good, and that’s coming from someone who usually thinks poultry is too “bland”. I suppose we would have expected no less from something grabbed from Whole Food.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

My mom made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert while I baked these blondies and our guests brought ice cream. It was all plenty rich for us.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

This was my first plate. I get the irony of Talenti gelato on a dairy-free blondie but I don’t care; this was too good for words. The blondies came out so moist and everyone loved them.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

I didn’t really take pictures of what else I ate but just assume I kept picking at the blondies and that’s why there’s less than half the pan left. After everyone left, I turned on Iron Chef and curled up with this:

Bulk French Chocolate

Bulk French Chocolate

Buying chocolate in bulk was a genius move. I have no idea how much chocolate this was, but it was all excellent. And there’s something so satisfying about biting in to a chunk of chocolate.

Today is being devoted to leftovers:

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Lots and lots of leftovers:

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

I wasn’t “feeling” greek yogurt this morning for protein, so why not chicken just to get it out of the fridge before it goes bad? I’m curious how this is going to play out on a run…

So what’s been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I tried going without stevia. I don’t use any artificial sweeteners, but have often used natural stevia in tea and coffee and a few other things. I’ve never gotten a bitter taste to it; it’s always been sweetness. And I think it’s perfectly fine in moderation and all. But, trying to go without it, I noticed my sweet tooth in general grew smaller and I discovered so many other pleasantly-bitter flavors.

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

I’ve been drinking black coffee, unsweetened iced tea, and dry seltzer, all of whose flavor I’ve been enjoying more and more without added sweetness. It took just a little getting used to, but I don’t really miss anything.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I did get one craving for a sweet drink, so I just had one sweetened with cane juice. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but that was because of the flavoring and not the sweetening. I’m totally open to trying more, too.

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Plain yogurt has become less repulsive in all its tart-glory. It helped to find Fage on sale, which is creamier and dreamier than any other brand in my opinion, but the same holds true for Oikos and Chobani plain.

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

And, of course, my favorite bitter treat is, was, and always will be, dark chocolate, which doesn’t need much to taste juuuust right. Have you ever had/used stevia? Like it? Hate it? I do enjoy it and think there’s nothing wrong with using it. But even now that the 72 hours are up I’m not rushing to throw some in my drinks.

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )

How To Have A Staycation

Posted on May 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Staycation: A vacation spent at home or nearby(merriam-webster)

Did you know Italy could be in the town right next to yours? And later in the freezer? Italia est mi amor.

At The Colosseum

At The Colosseum

On The Ponte Vecchio

On The Ponte Vecchio

The Vatican On Palm Sunday

The Vatican On Palm Sunday

I’ve been there twice and both times have been pure magic. Looking back at the pictures makes me want to go again. Of course, all of this was pre-foodie days so there’s no pictures  of the mountains of pizza I consumed.

Last night, I decided we’d take a staycation to Italy. Really, do you have to go 1000s of miles to eat good food, overindulge, and open your wallet? Not really. You can do that all at home!

Tomasso

Tomasso

Dinner took place at my favorite Italian restaurant nearby: Tomasso Trattoria. This place is the real deal; I was listening to twitter updates from them all day about how they got a fresh pig in and were roasting it. Heaven.

Roasted Pig With Fennel And Local Greens

Roasted Pig With Fennel And Local Greens

For my Secondi I ordered the special: roasted suckling pig stuffed with garlic and fennel sausage, radicchio in agrodolce, local field greens. With a Contorni:

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted fingerling potatoes with sage. Yes, I am 110% a meat and potatoes person. The fennel was too vinegary for my own taste so I passed those off. I loved how rich and fatty and well cooked the meat was; a little salt and it melted in my mouth. And I think white potatoes are my true passion; these were divine. Another great meal in Italy, err… at Tomasso’s.

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

All good Italian desserts start with a good cup of coffee. This was to die for. I swear, this Sumatra blend didn’t even need sugar or stevia or any sweetness. I won’t say that about a lot of hot drinks!

Scharffen Berger Bittersweet

Scharffen Berger Bittersweet

For dessert, there was a little dark chocolate. I don’t think I’d tried this one before. Tres magnifique!(yes, I know that’s French). But I think the price and smaller portion will have me not buying this one again.

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Finally, it was time to get my Italian gelato. I picked up this brand on this blogger’s recommendation. I love how they add a little lemon for a vanilla flavor–so Italian!

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Dreamy. Creamy. Deliciouso. Do you know the difference between gelato and ice cream? Ice cream legally has 10% or more butterfat, whereas gelato has less. It’s also churned at a slower rate, meaning less air is added into it and the product is denser. That was my Italian history lesson for the day.

Gluten-Free Biscuit With Walnut Butter And Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Biscuit With Walnut Butter And Sea Salt

On the flight home, we had a layover in the South, so I ate one of their biscuits and topped it with Artisana Walnut Butter and sea salt. I hate layovers, but I love these biscuits so I went ahead and ate another.

Oats In A Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Jar, Plain Oikos With Local Honey

Oats In A Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Jar, Plain Oikos With Local Honey

The best part of a staycation? No jet lag. No unpacking. And only a slight sense of “OH, I really need to hit the gym now after that”. Yes, I do believe I’ve found a love for staycation, along with my pre-existing loves for local raw honey and butter toffee peanut butter. Speaking of Naturally Nutty, you can win some in Averie’s giveaway! Let’s recap:

How To Have A Staycation

1. Pick the cuisine. Italian? French? Hell, you could take a whole tour across Europe if you want!

2. Find the local spot. Look for the best “authentic” restaurant. Now is not the time to drive around and stop at the first place called “Georgio’s” only to find it’s a greasy pizza joint.

3. Plan the night out. From dinner to dessert, just have a plan and things will run smoother.

4. Make use of groceries. Now might be a good time and excuse to buy that French wine you’d been eyeing that was out of your budget. Like my gelato, the food frontier doesn’t just have to be in a restaurant.

5. Forget about the costs. Since a staycation is meant to be taken in place of a mini-vacation, treat it like one and let your worries go for the time being.

6. When in doubt, take a rain check. Didn’t get reservations at the restaurant of your dreams? Unless the staycation needs to be taken that day, put it off until you can do it right.

Where do you want to take your next staycation? I think Greece is on the travel plans for me.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 14 so far )

Excess

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

I’m so glad you liked my first Picture It post; I feel like I’ve had so many food memories already and will undoubtedly have more so I can’t wait to share more of them.

Yesterday, it seemed that everything was in excess. Luckily, I’m in a mindset where I’d sooner laugh it off than actually fret. Every day is a new day and the bigger picture is always more important and dwarfs those little “outrages”. And you always have the power to change.

I don’t even know how many cups of decaf coffee with stevia I had yesterday; today, I’m all about the moderate amounts of teeccino(non-acidic, herbal coffee). In fact, now I’m just drinking unsweetened herbal tea because I really just want water but it’s so cold I need something hot.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

1/2 of a big Newman’s Own OrganicsSuper Dark Chocolate Bar? Yeah, that’s not so bad…

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Add on what was left of a really old Endangered Species mint dark chocolate bar and maybe my love of dark chocolate is a little excessive. I had had this one lying around since Summer because–blech–it just isn’t very minty(for the record, Alter Eco‘s Dark Chocolate Mint is much better).

Empty Wrappers

Empty Wrappers

I imagine I look a little guilty with these in my trash right now, but I sure as hell don’t feel guilty. At least dark chocolate is low on sugar, dairy-free, and high with flavenoids? I love excuses. I eat chocolate like it’s my job(moreso than just being a chocolate reviewer), so if anyone could hook me up and make that really the case, I’d be mucho appreciative. And, yes, this is me excessively pleading to get a Summer job in the chocolate industry.

Yesterday was filled with an excessive amount of work; I anticipate being much more lazy today.

Last night, I clicked on iTunes to start downloading my Doctor Who way too much to no avail; it finally did so this morning.

And Bear Grylls giving himself an enema for the sake of rating was all too excessive. And I would not care to say more.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

I’m sure you don’t need 2 guesses to know what I wanted at breakfast this morning. I completely removed that from being an option, and you’d have thought I’d shot myself in the foot. What to do, oh, what to do? I topped oatmeal with Mighty Maple and maple butter(which I wrote about last weekend), and topped 1/2 an Honest Foods bar on a pomegranate Chobani.

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Oh, yum. I just loved the apple ginger bar. This could easily be my favorite non-chocolate bar out there. It tastes kind of like an apple cinnamon oatmeal Quaker Oats square. But it’s also bursting with an welcomed excess of dried fruit and nut, and the nutrition of it is amazing. Even though almond butter is the fat used to cook it, it’s not a strong flavor, which I love. What a great way to start my day of moderation.

What’s been in excess in your life lately? Please, no references to the band or awful CBS show…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )

Picture It: Javaberry

Posted on April 17, 2010. Filed under: Picture It | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food holds memories. Those make the dishes ten times better and ten times tastier. And yet it’s hard to know on a blog just what someone is thinking when they put flavors together unless they’re willing to share it all. That’s why I’m starting a new category of posts, ala Sophia Petrillo, called “Picture It”s.

Picture it: Prom night Junior year. After the prom, I end up at a friends house for an after party with 40 or so friends. There’s an open fire, cookies, chips, s’mores, everything legal(yeah, yeah. We weren’t a very troublesome crowd, but something tells me that’s a good thing). I didn’t even plan to stay the whole night, but by 1am I was convinced by my good friend and hostess. After too many games of midnight Hide N’ Seek(who does this?!), I crashed sometime around 5am in front of Bend It Like Beckham. The next day, still in a cookie coma, no one cared for a very nutritious breakfast, if it’s even breakfast at 11:30. Instead, we took a very short walk to Dairy Joy.

Of course, when there’s an ice cream shop virtually in someone’s front yard, you have to throw yourself at their mercy and get what they suggest. The “favorite flavor” couldn’t have sounded weirder: Javaberry. A blend of raspberry and coffee ice creams. Really? Could that possible be good? No. It was fantastic. What a random but delectable combination, one that I had never had again, until today.

Black Raspberry And Coffee Frozen Yogurts

Black Raspberry And Coffee Frozen Yogurts

That would be Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt and Sweet Scoops‘ black raspberry frozen yogurt. Again, the combination was eerily magnificent. How could these two flavors work? They just do. And when I had the Sweet Scoops‘ black raspberry the first time, I thought it wasn’t sweet enough. I take that back. This was perfectly fruity and sweet. But I did more today than just eat ice cream.

Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate

Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate

I ate chocolate, too. Right before hitting the gym, I snacked on the last few pieces of a raspberry dark chocolate bar and ran out the door. It’s been rainy/cloudy all weekend, so I stuck with the gym. It turns out I picked a perfect time for television, and I was really able to get into my “groove”.

12 Miles In 1:46:08

12 Miles In 1:46:08

These 12 miles truly felt effortless I could have kept going, if I really had to, which leads me to feel confident for my half-marathon in 2 weeks from tomorrow. And when I was done, I went straight to work on lunch. I was craving chickpeas, so I tossed some with honey, water, and garlic and tossed them in an oven to roast at 425 while I showered. My lunch ended up having 3 forms of chickpeas. Obsession?

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas And Garlic Over Greens

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas And Garlic Over Greens

Steamed Broccoli With Garlic, Hummus Chips With Hummus

Steamed Broccoli With Garlic, Hummus Chips With Hummus

My breath was not pretty after this meal, but I loved it nonetheless. On the salad was just the roasted chickpeas given a little flavor with garlic and honey, as well as some roasted garlic from the cafeteria. I steamed some broccoli and added ground garlic, and had “hummus chips” with hummus. The chips are made completely with garbanzo bean flour and baked with garlic and olive oil. Like I said, I think I was having a flavor obsession.

In between lunch and dinner was when I had the Javaberry creation. I also did some work and made an impulse online purchase. Aren’t those fun? I’ll be sure to share on that in a little time…

Cheese Burger, Roasted And Grilled Sweet Potato With Tumeric, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

Cheese Burger, Roasted And Grilled Sweet Potato With Tumeric, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

I basically kept putting off finding a way to not have to cook so long that I needed to cook. I tossed a sweet potato in the oven for 90 minutes and made a cheeseburger with some questionably old meat :-/ And I love roasted potatoes; nothing says “home” and “comfort” like a roasted sweet potato. But they are wholly unfilling. I topped mine with turmeric and cinnamon for powerful antioxidants.

Hidden Ketchup

Hidden Ketchup

Whenever my grandmother made me a cheeseburger, she put the ketchup on top of the burger and then the cheese while it was still cooking so the ketchup got a chance to heat up while the cheese melted. I always thought that was smart, and tasty 😉 Speaking of grandparents and parents, I loved Heather’s post today on just enjoying a day with her mom, and I’d like to wish Matt and his wife a huge congratulations for the birth of their baby!

I think after all that cheese and frozen yogurt, dairy has been capped for the day. Thank God for dark chocolate 😀 In the meantime, here’s a giveaway for Tropical Tradition’s shredded coconut! Yum.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 21 so far )

Carboloading

Posted on March 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Today looked so beautiful out. But would you know it was below freezing with the windchill?! Seriously, March, what did we do to p*ss you off? Even though it was so cold, I wanted to run outside for practice for tomorrow. I know I could have taken a rest day. When I thought about it, however, I realized all the times I’ve set distance PR’s I’ve also ran the day before. I’m not racing this half-marathon for a time; what’s important is that this will be my longest outdoor run by 1.9 miles. And so running as usual seemed the best thing for me to do on the day before this race.

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

9.57 Miles In 1:20:47

I think I was a little faster just because I wanted to get somewhere warm 😉 After the first 3 miles, I couldn’t feel my fingers Note to self: BRING GLOVES tomorrow. After that, I started to get into it; for the first time I realized you can be cold as hell and still enjoy your run. I got into the music, regained circulation, and ran the planned course. I was happy to have thrown lunch in the oven before I went out, too, so that was ready for me.

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Maple Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Hickory Honey BBQ Chips

Instead of pressing the tofu, I threw it in as was at 300 degrees for 90 minutes with maple syrup on it; it ended up baking perfectly! Low and slow, baby, low and slow 😉 I also threw in some broccoli while I showered. And on the side I had a snack attack of hickory honey barbeque baked kettle chips for some carboloading and deliciousness. Aren’t the chips at the end of the bag just the best?

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Instead of a cup of decaf coffee for dessert, I went straight for the good stuff and made a cup of Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt. It was definitely too cold to enjoy outside so the window shot was all I got. Eating this, my dad arrived and we loaded up the car with stuff to bring home.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

On the way, since I was told we had no groceries back home, we stopped at Whole Foods in Bellingham, where I quickly grabbed an organic apple that was up front. Cortland? Empire? I can’t remember, but it was damn good. I love going to a grocery store you haven’t been at in a while; I feel like there was so much new they now carried!

Groceries

Groceries

We got plenty of groceries including yogurt, produce, and random snackage. My favorite items were the frozen ones, of course.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just had to grab a new coconut milk ice cream flavor of So Delicious: cookie dough. I was thinking about buying this yesterday for a Friday sundae but all I could find was the soy variety 😦 Once you go coconut milk, you can’t go back–it’s that good. And I like that the coconut milk ones have a lot less sugar and taste creamier.

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Mmmm. I think the “vanilla” base could have been better. It was very “vanilla” when I was hoping for “vanilla bean”. Other than that, the chocolate speckles were nice and of course the gluten free cookie dough balls were a bit of heaven. When are they not? Here’s a new product suggestion: Just the balls.

Organic Apple

Organic Apple

I snacked on another apple while making dinner. It was so awful and mealy :-/ What was with that, Whole Foods? At least it was organic, but can’t doing the right thing also taste good? And I also reunited with my dog in this time 😀 Who couldn’t have been less interested in me. He smelled, anyway.

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

Sweet Potato With Black Beans, Herbed Turkey Burger

We grabbed USDA approved ground turkey at Whole Foods. In it, I mixed rosemary, salt, and dill, and made it into 4 quarter pounders. On the side, I was craving a good ol’ roasted sweet potato with black beans. Mmmm, this combination is amazing; how come I forget about it so often? And plenty of carboloading in that 🙂

Hmmm, you know what else has carbs? Oats and more ice cream. Sounds like a night! I probably won’t have time to pop in in the morning so hopefully the next post will be a run recap. Until then, don’t forget to enter my giveaway and enjoy the weekend!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 21 so far )

Running With Ice Cream

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

First of all, I want to send out a huge congrats to my favorite no meat athlete, Matt, who finished a 50k today! Could you imagine running 50k? I would like to see all the yummy food that took to fuel 🙂

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino

My run wasn’t quite that long, but boy was it entertaining! It was a beautifully sunny day in Providence so I hit the East Providence path. I wasn’t pushing myself too hard–mostly enjoying some good country music–but also not letting myself be passed except by 1 small Indian man(he was speedy for his size!). When I started heading back, I stopped by the small Whole Foods to pick up some tuna and then Eastside Marketplace for this quart of ice cream. Can you then imagine I would try to run the last mile back carrying a quart of ice cream? Because I did.

9.54 Miles In 1:21:43

I ended up going 9.54 miles(which is about 15k if my math isn’t too rusty). I actually thought my time would be a lot worse. Several times in that last mile I had to stop because the tuna fell out of my pocket or I dropped the ice cream; it wasn’t pretty. But I made it! First thing: Throw sweet potatoes in the oven.

Sweet Potato Hash

When I get a meal in my head, I want it. And nothing else will do. I was a lit hesitant that the sweet potato wouldn’t cook long enough but I threw it in at 400 and by the time I stretched, showered, and 1/2 cooked my burger, they were ready to soak up the extra fat and fry in the pan.

Sweet Potato And Grass-Fed Burger Salad

I called this a “salad” because it was over bitter greens but I don’t know if it works like that. Whatever it was, it was phenomenal. This 90/10 grass-fed meat which we picked up at Whole Foods last weekend has to have been the best I’ve gotten ever in terms of juiciness. Did I lose any veggie readers there? I hope not. That flavored the sweet potatoes amazingly and just made the whole thing rock. Of course, I applied ketchup like it were an extra serving of veggies 😉

Orange Zevia

To wash this down, I had an orange Zevia while reading some homework assignments. Want to win some Zevia for yourself? I’ll explain how at the end of the post.

Elan Coffee Frozen Yogurt

Anticipation made me jump in to dessert a little early this afternoon. I just loooove this frozen yogurt! The nutrition is really good, too, and it has a relatively simple ingredient list on which the only flavorer is decaf coffee–joy. My only grip is that the company makes no claim about cow’s not being treated with rBST :-/ But I’m guessing(hoping?) that need not be a concern with a relatively local company that only gets supplied by Vermont farmer; Vermonteers have always been good people 🙂

Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter Jar

Moving on, it was time to move on. I’d been holding on the last bit of my Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and was ready to say goodbye.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

On top of some pumpkin oatmeal went the last bit of Justin’schocolate peanut butter and some agave sweetened smart balance peanut butter. Umm, yum? I was sad to see it go, but I guess it’s time had come. I don’t think I’ll bother ordering a replacement online because I’ve heard that these hit East coast shelves by “end of March”. I can wait a week…. maybe.

Finishing Off The Jar

I’m just never satisfied by empty peanut butter jars; it’s impossible to get them “clean enough”.

Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

Not that I can really explain why, there just needed to be gummy bears at dinner. And trust me; there did. And in terms of “healthy eating”, I’d say why not? So long as you’re having gummy bears with dinner and not for dinner. Eat real food, and the fun stuff, too 🙂

Broccoli, Tuna Salad, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread, Fruity Gummy Bears, Tazo Passion

Yesterday’s tuna salad in the sun had me wanting more! And this one was just as good. On the side, I had a Dr. Kracker sunflower cheddar flatbread and some broccoli for green vegage. I’m very happy to say that the Dr. Kracker products don’t trigger my suspected gluten intolerance, and I think it’s because they’re made with spelt flour! I’ll do a more in-depth portion into this in a future post.

Tazo Zero Calorie Passion Bottled And Surf Sweets Fruity Gummy Bears

On the side of that salty goodness, I had some sweet treats. I sipped on a new, all-natural, zero calorie passion Tazo tea. Meh. The flavor was good, and the sweetness was great! I just didn’t dig the rose and herb flavor in a cold beverage; it seemed like it’d be so much better hot. The gummy bears from Surf Sweets were also meh. I suppose any time you have vegan, all-natural gummy bears you have to stop and be thankful. But the fruit flavors made them taste more like soft jelly beans, of which I was not a fan. I would now like to try their jelly beans…

Like I said, there are several opportunities out there to win your own Zevia. I don’t have a giveaway to host, but you can enter one at this blog, this blog, or this blog. All the best! Zevia is definitely worth a taste if you ever get the chance; I don’t know where my all-natural diet would be without it!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 23 so far )

That Dirty Quaker

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 22 so far )

Go Ahead, Overdo It

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s snowing! I just had to let that one out. It’s not going to accumulate to much, if anything, but I’m always so happy to see the white stuff 🙂

Last night, after posting, I went to the dining hall to grab some yogurt. At dinner you can use your meals to pay for some instead of points, and they sell Chobani. I couldn’t decide what/how many I would reasonably need without filling my fridge unnecessarily. I decided to grab 3: 2 pomegranates and a vanilla(they never have any plain). I thought this might have been overdoing it. Clearly, as you’ll see all 3 in this post, I was wrong.

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

While watching The Biggest Loser, I made a reasonably healthy snack of pomegranate Chobani with a few squares of Endangered Species‘ organic dark chocolate. Not to be confused with this one I reviewed, these came from a full sized bar my dad paid for from Whole Foods. If I were reviewing it, I’d actually score it slightly less than the 1.4oz; the flavors the same, but I really like the notion of a quality, organic chocolate bar that’s single-sized. HUGE chocolate bars seem to be one place where overdoing it is not a cool thing :-/

I loved The Biggest Loser last night and that it’s back on air. The challenge in the first half was pretty great, if you ask me. But really, what’s 2000 calories when you’re in a gym all day with Bob and Jillian? I feel like the contestants have probably eaten that much extra junk at one time without even realizing it. They might have overdone it a bit, but at least they were self aware and could kick their own butts next time.

Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

I started winding down the evening with a carob chip perfect foods bar. I still enjoyed this one, but I think I got even less of a carob/chocolate flavor than the first one I ate. Maybe carob just doesn’t work for my tongue? That’d be weird. I do seem to love my chocolate 😀 Still, the honey and peanut butter flavors in this are fantastic. After a “meal replacement” bar and some light history reading, I’d have thought I’d be full and ready for bed…

Pomegranate Chobani With Chocolate Covered Almonds

Apparently not! Last night, I really felt like I could eat a horse and a half. And I’ve felt like this a couple of nights looking back. Taking the rest day really helped me realize what I need: more time off, and more fuel. A lot of exercise kills hunger(ironic, isn’t it?) so I’ve come to think been listening to my hunger too well in the morning and throughout the day until it strikes right back at night; the brain can know best. At least in my repeat of pomegranate Chobani I tried something knew.

Organic Chocolate Covered Almonds

I just love Tierra Farm and all they’ve sent me that I’ve tried so far, so I was happy to try another new thing from them. The fact that these were chocolate covered made me 10 times happier 😀 These chocolate covered almonds were nothing fantastic, per say; they tasted a lot like chocolate and almonds, but didn’t really pull together the way macaroni and cheese do. But I loved that they’re organic and vegan. I used to eat up Emerald’s cocoa almonds until I saw sucralose(aka Splenda) on the ingredient list–not on my nuts! I would happily take these in lieu of those.

Apple And Coffee

This morning, I woke up knowing that I very well could need more time off than 1 day to recover from overtraining. That being said, I felt pretty good. I wasn’t particularly hungry from last night’s greek yogurt feasting, but I grabbed an apple. In light of overdoing things, an apple was the least I could eat before a good run. I can’t wait until it’s actually bright and sunny when I wake up again!

11 Miles In 1:38:49

On my run this morning, I truly felt fantastic. At first I was a little nervous, not because of anything running related but because some television channels changed their a.m. line-up; what the heck? I was gone for 1 day! Back to the run, this was where overdoing it really paid off. I felt energized, relaxed, and ready. I was only planning for 8-10 but overdid it and went for 11, partially because I felt so damn good and also because Lady Antebellum was on The Today Show performing then.

This gave me time to think about how there might really be 3 types of bloggers. I don’t mean to offend anyone; on the contrary, I think there’s a lot to be praised about some of you. I’m sorry in advanced if this gets taken any other way.

Type 1: You eat “healthy” and are extremely athletic–an energized and bubbly person. You know any fuel you take in will go to good use, and the overdoing it is just good fueling.

Type 2: You eat “healthy” and workout to a moderate extent to lower your weight or for some other health related reason that you need to get control of.

Type 3: You yourself would call yourself type 2 when a lot of your fantastic readers realize just how healthy you are and would easily put you as type 1.

95% of the blogs I read I would say are type 1 or type 3. It kills me to read a blogger who I think looks perfectly happy and healthy and is amazingly athletic talk about wanting to lose weight or be another way. Restricting your diet when you’re an active person is restricting all that you can be. So go ahead! Overdo it! And the results will show up in the gym, or on the scale but in a good way.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Breakfast was another thing I gave a lot of thought to on the treadmill. In particular, there’s one nifty bowl I’ve been wanting to give a try ever since picking this up and baking with it over the weekend.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake Chobani

Birthday Cake Chobani

My real birthday isn’t for about a month, but I can celebrate early, right 😉 In the vanilla Chobani, I added 1/2 a serving of the mix, and then crumbled 1/2 a cupcake on top. Yum! This wasn’t quite as good as any cake-flavored ice creams I’ve tried(I’ve yet to find a really good, all-natural brand :-/), but it was really really yummy all things considering. And then, because that had only about 1/4 tablespoon coconut oil in all of it, I had pumpkin oatmeal with a big plop of Naturally Nutty butter toffee peanut butter on it. I just opened this 15oz jar a few nights ago and I’m already thinking I might need to place a new order soon! Great…

OK, so maybe if you’re lined up to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser, you shouldn’t overdo it; otherwise, dig in. All that fuel will show up as performance. Now the one area in my life I haven’t been overdoing it this week seems to be homework, particularly History. So if you’ll excuse me…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 17 so far )

How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

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

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 19 so far )

Priorities And Directions

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening. I’ll just mention now that I’m bloggin’ from another state! But more on that in a bit. When I was wrapping up the post from this morning, I was thinking how much I really wanted to walk to Whole Foods, but didn’t have a lot of free time. Where are my priorities! I’m scarily good about doing what “should” be done, but not so good about always doing what I “want” to do. At that point, I let the dishes be dirty, the emails go unanswered, and stepped out the door. I know, I’m a rebel 😉

Groceries

I grabbed the typical stuff for next week: soy yogurt, beef, condiments, etc. The only thing they didn’t have was any soft tofu >:-( We got that a little later on in the day, though. And I say we because my dad met me at Whole Foods to pay for this and pick me up(double score). I just really felt like I needed a trip home this weekend after a lot of work and 3 weeks of not being in my own bed. So I packed up and was out of there!

Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli, Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

On the way back to good ol’ MA, we stopped a different Whole Foods to grab some lunch. I grabbed buffalo chicken off the food bar, a bag of new chips that were on sale, but broccoli out of the produce section(!!). This is the trick to eating at Whole Foods without breaking the bank: get the things that are cheaper raw and cook them in the microwave–it’s so simple and instead of $7 a pound broccoli was $1.50 a pound.

Snikiddy Cheddar Cheese Fries

These were the chips that were on sale made by Snikiddy and oh my God were they brilliant! I had never tried any of their products, but if it’s on sale I’ll definitely give them a taste. Cheddar Cheese Fries says it all; these were like straight up Cheetos. Heavenly. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have one of the Bob’s Red Mill products I was looking for, so we went across the way(literally, right across the street) to Market Basket.

Bob's Red Mill Products

Check out that selection! And it’s all super cheap because nothing costs much at Market Basket(granted, most of the stuff they sell I wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole). I definitely need to keep this place in mind more often.

Red Delicious Apple

After I found what I wanted, I snacked on this apple until we got home safe and sound, where mom and Montana were waiting to say hello. Apparently, it’s been snowing in MA all week, or at least moreso than it has at all at school. Now, for the big unveiling…

GF Vanilla Cake Mix, Coconut Oil, Eggs

What I wanted to pick up was Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free vanilla cake mix! God, I really need to lay off the exclamation marks in this post. Normally, I wouldn’t use a mix, but since I know so little about gluten-free baking I felt like I needed to the first time. But Bob’s is a good one because it uses whole grain gluten-free flours(very important to me). I used 1/2 the bag to make 8 cupcakes. And, while it called for vegetable oil, I asked myself “WWFLBD?” or “what would fat-loving bloggers do?” and swapped that out for an equal amount of coconut oil. Is there anything coconut can’t do?

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake With Coconut Oil Vanilla Frosting

I couldn’t wait longer than 30 minutes for them to cool; these smelled too good. And they tasted too good, too! So perfectly light, airy, and sweet. The texture was a bit chewy, but I think that’s just the general way of gluten-free flours and eggs. For a frosting, I mixed powdered sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract–heavenly. But you know what they say about cupcakes…

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake

1 is just not enough. At least I didn’t frost this one? It may have been a bit more sugars than I’m used to in an afternoon, especially an afternoon where all I did was find TV shows like Friends on channels I haven’t had in a while, but no regrets; when there’s cake around baked fresh, you better eat it up! To compensate, there at least was a vegan dinner.

Asparagus, Snobby Joe Mix

I actually love green lentils. Too bad they aren’t more dorm-room friendly. For the mix, a little ketchup and mustard and a lot of steak sauce and voila! It’s so good! And I couldn’t imagine a more homey meal. On the side was asparagus grabbed from Whole Foods because, well, they really keep this house bare. And now it’s already almost 7:30; how did that happen? I need to get a move on things! I can’t wait to hear what people think of the cupcakes once they eat them for dessert(obviously, I hated them ;-)).

Here’s a popchip giveaway! Perfect for fueling my addiction.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 23 so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...