Balance And Contradiction

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes two things balance each other out; sometimes they’re downright contradictions. C’est la vie.

Root Beer Zevia

I used to think natural diet soda was a contradiction before Zevia. Sure–I still think there’s a contradiction when popping one of these back while enjoying a greasy, fattening burger. But contradictions make the world more tasty. Milk chocolate on soy yogurt, anyone?

High Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

There’s nothing wrong with the balance in Chocolate avocado pudding when it’s made completely raw utilizing 3 ingredients: avocado, Xagave, and Navitas Naturals‘ raw cacao powder. There might, however, be a contradiction in eating it next to these…

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

So maybe Fudge Mint Back To Nature cookies aren’t the most raw thing around. Sue me. And let’s gloss over the contradiction of having a gluten intolerance and eating wheat cookies; I pay for that one enough as is. So what was in balance? Well, chocolate always goes good with more chocolate. Duh 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Sea Salt

This was basically one big bowl of balance. Where can you go wrong with oats and peanut butter? Or maple with pumpkin? Or the sweet taste of Mighty Maple with some coarse sea salt for contrast? Yes, yes, and yes.

Raw Mint Chip Macaroon With English Breakfast Tea

Later last night ended up being full of contradictions and out-of-balance experiences. I think the jury is pretty much out on the contradiction of drinking decaf English breakfast tea when you can’t sleep on a Saturday night 😦 The Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroon? A perfect balance of mint and chocolate, and all deliciously raw 🙂 Oh, and me and college living and anything besides a nursing home are 100% out of balance. Call me a grandpa if you will but I do not want to hear “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” at 12:30. I want it to have been a good night and have gone to bed by 11. The fact that I was having insomnia on the 1 night a year we lose an hour’s time: What was up with that?

11 Miles In 1:36:46

Waking up after a mish-moshy 6 hours of sleep, part of my body felt like running, and the other part wanted to laugh. Really? Guess which part one. I did reach a good balance between training and rest by taking a rest day yesterday, if you didn’t notice. Apparently, all it takes to keep me from running is 50mph winds, a museum tour, and more work than I know what to do with. That left my legs well rested for 11 miles in 1:36:46.

To balance out the boredom, I listened to a monster long playlist while watching a Tom & Jerry 90 minute movie on Cartoon Network(yes, they have one of those). This is a pair who really balances each other out, don’t you think? I couldn’t help but notice the contradiction in describing sounds in the closed captioning(presumably mostly for deaf viewers) with other sounds; if I were deaf, how would I have known that Tom & Jerry bouncing around sound like a pinball machine?

Peanut Butter Perfect Foods Bar, Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

Breakfast is always my most mentally balancing meal of the day. What goes better together than honey and peanut butter in the Peanut Butter flavor of the Perfect Foods Bar? Or the flavors of cocoa butter and peanut butter in White Chocolate Wonderful, which truly is, as my European hopping hip blogger would say, wundebar! Or just the flavors of peanut butter and more peanut butter? I know PB&Co. would agree with me on that one.

What about you? Are you feeling balanced or a little contradictory this morning? Either can be good(and tasty) as I think I’ve shown. Or, any excited Sunday plans? It’s still raining 😦 But I have le familia scheduled to arrive soon now to taxi me to Bellingham to pick-up something I preordered I’m excited for, the ever-exclusive store Target for a new oats bowl(!!), and then the usual goodies and groceries with maybe a meal in between. Sounds like a plan to me! And you can also check out this Pirate’s Booty giveaway. Or even a giveaway for Blackwell’s gelato from 100 Cafe Street!

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Oopsies, Daisies, And Half Marathons

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

I was going to right a post about added sugars(which were not my crowning glory the past 14 hours), but then I accidentally ran a half marathon. Oops. I’m hoping that’s more interesting, as I look at the other “oopses” that led to that happy accident.

Peanut Butter Q.Bel Wafer Roll, Coconut Oil Chocolate

As you must know, I’m addicted to Survivor; I’ve watched every season! Last night, I was so enthused to see a reward for–what else–chocolate. Apparently, I must think I’m a contestant this season, because I went ahead and made a chocolate plate of my own to rival the prize. Oops. It was certainly tasty, though. The coconut oil chocolate got a little soft at room temp, but was fine with a spoon to finish it off.

Peanut Butter Q.bel Wafer Roll

I forgot how much I loved these peanut butter wafer rolls from Q.bel;; I should read my own reviews more often, haha. They taste so much more peanut buttery than you’d think, and it’s all natural! I only wish they’d be gluten-free, which I forgot they weren’t. Oops. As you can(and will) see, I’m awful about eating how I should.

Oatgurt With Vanilla Chobani And Nuttzo

I’ve never been one for oatgurt, but I thought I’d give it a shot since I was craving oatmeal and greek yogurt. Pouring salt over all of this was a BIG oops and made the yogurt taste nasty. After I scooped that off, it wasn’t half-bad, but still wasn’t half good. At least the Nuttzo didn’t have any added sugar thankfully? I’ll take a win in the nutrition department where I can get it. Perhaps this wasn’t such a big flop since it really nutrient-loaded me for the morning.

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

I set my alarm purposefully 10 minutes earlier, knowing if I wanted to get a long run in(still unsure how long), this would be easier than extending it 10 minutes later. While sipping some coffee and changing, I snacked on 3 Fudge Mint Back To Nature cookies. What can I say? When a cookie is a 10/10, you’ve just gotta munch on it 🙂 Plus, I was sure those added sugars would help me just a little bit(Note: These are also not a gluten free food, proving moreso my awfulness in that respect. Oops).

13.1 Miles In 1:57:39

I think it helped me to run 13.1 miles that there was always somebody else on the treadmills around me; that kind of atmosphere is so much more encouraging. I had planned for 12, but when I got there and it wasn’t even 9 o’clock, I figured why not go for it?My record(also on the treadmill) is 1:46:28. For my race(in 16 days), I’d hope to run it in 1:40, though won’t be disappointed by anything. It’ll also be my furthest distance ran outside!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Vanilla Chobani With 1/2 A Gluten Free Cupcake And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Vanilla Chobani With 1/2 A Gluten Free Cupcake And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

And then there was refueling. As silly as it may sound, I didn’t have oats this morning in part because I didn’t want to have to look at one of those green plastic bowls again 😦 I can’t wait to buy a real one. Who needs oats, anyway, when you have flavors like these? I topped a vanilla chobani with my last Bob’s Red Mill gluten free vanilla cupcake–I think that deserves a moment of silence right there–and some butter toffee peanut butter ala Naturally Nutty. I made my standard chocolate avocado pudding with Xagave in place of stevia. After 13.1 miles of rough labor, I’d rather give my body a caloric sweetener rather than risk confusing it. Now if only I had measured or used a little digression on adding that sugar :-/

So there you have it: Fueling for an accidental half marathon. I think this goes along with the emphasis in this post that if you’re a regular exercisor, you really need not worry about overdoing it. Of course, there are exceptions to be said about any statement. But extra energy sure will show out in your workout. Now, you can enter here for a raw chocolate giveaway, or here for a Fresh & Fit carry container! And even though I don’t have classes on Friday(whoopee!) I have somewhere I need to be soon and am under-prepared for(Oops). Happy Friday!

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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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Surprise Guest

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I mentioned I was in a rush this morning, but I never really made clear why on a day I had no class.

Truth was I had company to attend to! My friend, Eury, decided to take the train down from Boston for the day before she goes to England for a month(lucky duck!). I’ve known Eury litrally since day 1 of high school; for freshmen and sophomore year we had all the same classes and were in the same circle of friends. More recently, I met her in Boston to eat at Grezzo‘s here. While I was finishing up eating breakfast, Eury was understandably hungry from the train and walking. I whipped up something I know pretty well:

Who doesn’t love tofu, broccoli, and soy sauce? It was fun to catch up and have my mind off work while we chatted. One thing we had “planned” to do was bake cookies, which was a lot easier to manage in high school with visits at home than to dorms. Still, we had all the ingredients on hand for a certain recipe.

Eury brought 3/4 cup Florida sun crystals sugar, which was the perfect amount for 5-ingredient peanut butter cookies. I don’t keep much for baking around, but peanut butter and an egg I could certainly manage. I love this recipe because it’s so simple; it was gluten-free before I knew I needed that!

Even though we were dealing with a finicky oven, they came out great for the most part. For the peanut butter, we used 365 brand creamy. Not only is it so delicious, but there’s a coupon in the new Whole Deal flyer letting you get a jar for just $1! For peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt, that’s a bargain. After a bit more time, Eury needed to catch one of the trains heading out of Providence so we said our goodbyes. I gave her a coconut oil chocolate; I’m still waiting for the review 😉

After she left, I was definitely hungry for lunch. What I really wanted was a nice, juicy burger. Since it’s a Friday during Lent, that was not an option. And–to be honest–I was actually feeling resentful. I could tell that wasn’t right, but rather than sulk and force myself to eat something “real” while resenting it, I decided to go for an out-of-the-norm lunch that would just keep me happy. Last weekend, I picked up this raw cacao at the natural food store and decided to make really raw pudding.

I’ve had a lot of chocolate avocado pudding, but would you believe I’ve never had it 100% raw before? Well, now I have. In the bowl went avocado, coconut milk, raw cacao, and raw agave. To balance out the chocolate, I had one of our peanut butter cookies. The pudding didn’t taste ground breakingly different, but it did have a bit more of a bitter taste and was a unique experience. And, sure, I’d make it like that again. When this didn’t quite fill me up, I went for dessert.

It couldn’t have been wrong to go for another; the first one was part of lunch and this was a wholly different snack 😉 And who can turn down the smell of fresh cookies? With enough peanut butter and sugar in my system, I was able to get to the computer for the first time and get to work. Somewhere along the line, I had the nerve to try something I’d been thinking about for a few days now. It’s no secret I love my fakin’ tempeh bacon, but that’s off limit for Lent, too, so why not make my own?

Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a block of tempeh

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic or onion(optional)

Cut the block of tempeh vertically into thin strips with a sharp knife. Lay these out carefully in a deep dish with a flat bottom or in a sealed plastic bag. In a small cup, mix together the wet ingredients and spices if using. Pour the marinade over the tempeh bacon, and toss and turn until well coated. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes. Before preparing, pat dry with a paper towel. Cook either heated in a pan with a teaspoon of oil or in the microwave on a paper towel.

After this plop of Mighty Maple, I had easily eaten 1/4 cup nut butter through my day so far. Fantastic. Besides that, it was pretty delicious; the tempeh bacon didn’t taste quite as good as Lightlife’s, but it’ll get me through the Lenten season. I love the maple/smoky/salty flavor to it all. This filled me up a lot, too, and was probably more protein than I had gotten all day, haha. After that, though, I had no real appetite for hunger. I wasn’t craving much beyond veggies and tofu, so that’s what I whipped up.

You definitely can’t say I feed my guests things I wouldn’t eat; I just heated up tofu in a pan with some soy sauce, steamed broccoli in the microwave and then finished that off in the pan, too. I threw in some sour cream & onion popchips to round it out, even though I wasn’t particularly in the mood for them; the dish just felt empty otherwise. My mind keeps going back to last Friday night, when I felt so overwhelmed and needed the promise of ice cream and a trip home the next day to push through. I’m definitely far from there tonight, but I’ll take the ice cream 😉

Check out this giveaway for some  Sahale nuts or this giveaway for chocolate milk–both good choices!

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My, Oh, Brownie

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Some things words cannot describe.

The Wow Baking Company Chocolate Brownie

Like really big brownies. I was planning on saving this one from The Wow Baking Company for Cookie Friday, but I just couldn’t wait. Is it ironic that I was also watching The Biggest Loser at the time? I didn’t feel too bad because it was all about Olympic athletes and fueling! And I love chocolate fuel.

The Wow Baking Company Chocolate Brownie

Like the name says, “wow”. I popped this brownie in the microwave to get warm and melty. The texture was superb! So fudgy 🙂 I thought the sweetness was a bit “off”. It was definitely sweet(how could it not be with so much sugar?) but needed something to balance that sweetness. I really couldn’t complain…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie

Check out that fudge factor! And, of course, being from Wow, it was gluten free. I fel like that’s not so much a problem with brownies, though, since the first ingredients are always chocolate, eggs, sugar, and butter. For homemade gluten free brownies, check out my recipe here.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I thought all those generally empty calories would have left me starving, but I was actually more or less in a sugar coma and just wanted to get to bed early for my long run. Still, I figured I might want a little more so I wouldn’t be starving when I got up and made a bowl of oatmeal. There was a good blob of peanut butter but sticking it back in the microwave “enrobed” it with oats; doesn’t that sound tempting? 🙂

Running Stats

The oatmeal must have worked because this morning I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle my “long run” of the week. I wasn’t sure how it’d be after yesterday’s unplanned 8-miler. Well, for one, it certainly felt like a long run–difficult and painfully long at times. That being said, I enjoyed it and finished 9 miles in 80:53. And in that time I was able to catch to much of The Today Show on the Olympics! I can’t wait for them to really start! Breakfast was very “themed” 🙂

Tierra Farm's Organic Crystallized Ginger

I found this product from Tierra Farm I had yet to even open. I think yesterday’s Kombucha turned me on to a ginger kick!

Breakfast

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Crystallized Ginger

Vanilla Chobani With 2 Goji Ginger Walnut Cookies

Like I said, very themed. I topped the vanilla Chobani with 2 of the ginger walnut cookies from Goji Gourmet; gotta get my superfood in after a good run! Since I liked the idea of the ginger and walnut so much, I topped my pumpkin oats with Artisana brand walnut butter and the organic crystallized ginger. The ginger wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked; I’ve had some ginger in the past that’s just knocked my socks off and this wasn’t at that spice-level.

And on my way back from the gym it started snowing!! Obviously, the East is getting pummeled today, and it’s finally hitting New England; we’re supposed to get 6-10 inches! There’s also a great chance my only class will be cancelled, so I went ahead and put on lazy sweat pants, and now need to think of what to do for today. Obviously, there’s a little homework. Beyond that, I’ve just got an email about next year’s housing which has me thinking. I really lucked out this year. I got into the perfect dorm for me and got paired with a great roommate and we respect each other well. For higher years, however, it’s done a little more differently; there’s a bit of play involved. I could partner up with a group of 6–if I could find 6–and have us go into the “housing lottery” for a suite, go in completely solo and throw myself to chance, or a number of things in between.  My dream would probably be a solo in the dorm I live in now(Wayland). That’s not very likely, though, for a Sophomore. If anything, the top preference on my list would be to live in the same building at least as this year; I lived in one house my whole life so clearly, when I settle somewhere, I like to settle. There’s always hoping, right?

Editted to add:

I just got an email that class is back on, even though I can tell you right now it is not going to be pretty out at 3-6 in the afternoong. Ugh. And today was the class I volunteered to bring in snacks for(raw vegan brownies). I guess I know where my afternoon is going to. Aww, man, now I need to put on real pants!

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Stress Running

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

I was hoping that stress wouldn’t kick in this semester for a while but apparently not :-/ Last night while blogging those 8 miles from the morning totally caught up with me! I was starving not an hour after dinner. First I tried chocolatey oats…

Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Good(of course), but not quite enough. It is important to point out that the chocolate sunflower butter by Naturally Nutty was the first nut(technically seed) butter I liked before Justin’s new line. I was still pretty hangry, though, and so reached for some protein.

Pomegranate Chobani

This was definitely better. I couldn’t get any plain from the dining hall with my meal points, which I’d prefer, but as for flavored I like to grab the pomegranate, pineapple, or vanilla if I have to. This was nice, but afterwards when I went to brush my teeth I heard something a bit distressing. It’s not something that blogging will help anyway, so no need to mention it. But it definitely put me into a downward spiral for the night and led to a bad nights sleep. I’m also not above stress eating.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

To be fair, 80% of this was want but a little bit was probably chocolate for the sake of stress relief. I turned off my computer at 10 but don’t think I actually got to sleep until way later; it’s too bad Conan’s no longer new or I probably could have caught him 😦 I did wake up surprisingly refreshed(and full) for a run.

Running Stats

I planned to do 5 miles. I might(or, rather, did) run 8 miles in 70:46. I didn’t even look down to check my mileage until after 6 miles, so I thought why not continue until time became a factor? I got really into some thoughts and Adam Lambert, who’s surprisingly therapeutic, and of course Cartoon Network on the television. Needless to say, this put me into a bit of a rush for a grab-n-go breakfast.

Pumpkin And Egg Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Vanilla Chobani With Cherry Butter And 2 Goji Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Vanilla Chobani With Cherry Butter And 2 Goji Chocolate Cherry Cookies

The oatmeal was the first time I tried pumpkin and egg whites. It tasted so much more like a pumpkin pie! But needed sweetness or saltiness to make it interesting. On top of the Chobani I added a spoonful of Cherry Butter and then 2 of my favorite cookies from Goji Gourmet. Oh my God–I forgot how good these were with the dried but not stale(!!) cherries; they tasted so fresh and absolutely perfect. My favorite part of the morning had to be walking in to Greek class early and getting asked about how much I’m doing for my half marathon; when he heard I just finished 8 miles he basically said eat up! Sorry if this has been an otherwise downer or stress-influenced post 😦 Hopefully after some clarification in my life I’ll be back to my not-so-serious me 😀

That just seems scary…

Here’s a lovely valentine’s day contest! And another for all the chocolate lovers.

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Leftovers At Breakfast

Posted on February 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Would someone tell my cheese tooth to reappear soon? I think my sweet one may have gotten loose.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

How does So Delicious make their soy yogurt so delicious? My guess is a heavy hand of agave nectar–love it. At least there’s plenty of fiber from inulin here, too. And those Sunspires have healthy nut fat… just enrobed under milk chocolate 😉 Anyway, ghost whisperer I thought was excellent last night; I love it when they’re a bit creepy and not at all touchy-feely. Later on was The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Not the best one I’ve ever seen, but good nonetheless. I don’t think there’s anything better than professional chefs talking about food *drool*. The subject of the episodes was snacks, speaking of which…

Goji Chocolate Chip Goji Gourmet Cookies And Coconut Oil Chocolate

No oatmeal last night. Instead, I celebrated cookie friday with some of the Goji Gourmet cookies I won. I was so happy to get to try their new flavor!

Chocolate Chip Cookie With Coconut Oil Chocolate

The goji chocolate chip cookies were sooo yummy. The chocolate chips were a little dull; they definitely weren’t Trader Joe brand(my favorite). But the cookie itself was so buttery and vanilla-infused it didn’t even matter. A little dip in some chocolate and these were perfect; I couldn’t not eat the whole 4-pack!

This morning I lazed out of bed; I figure this’ll just count as a mini-“vacation” being home 🙂 After deciding to keep it a rest day, I showered up and found some natural sweetness in the pantry for breakfast.

Bob's Red Mill Dried Blueberries

NuttZo

Neither of these have added sugar, but you’d never know it! That’s the great thing about dried fruit: natural sweetness with all the fiber. As for the NuttZo… frankly, I have no clue why it’s so sweet. But I’m glad it is!

Breakfast

Greek Yogurt With Dried Blueberries

Sweet Potato Oatmeal With NuttZo

Just to drive the sweet-theme home, I used 1/2 a leftover sweet potato for my oatmeal instead of pumpkin. It came out sooo much better this time than on Thursday. I can’t wait to set up an oats page for instructions on how I make banana, pumpkin, egg, and now sweet potato oats; each needs a little special attention but it’s worth it. These blueberries were delicious; they tasted soft and gummy, almost like candy! Probably a better decision than real candy for breakfast, too 😉

Check out this giveaway to find out how to win NuNaturals! My favorite stevia sweetener(another superfood) 😀

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A Little Clunky But Not Wholly Displeasurable

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1) That’s what she said.

Packed Bag

2) That’s a pretty good description of coming home for the weekend, too. I definitely forgot how much I loathe packing. But, I managed to keep it very simple with 1 bag and only 2 peanut butters(plus my backpack and some dirty laundry). Annoying? Yes. But not as wholly displeasurable as having to completely move out and then back in over break.

Like I mentioned, our first stop was Chocolate Fest! There was tons of samples throughout the stores of different chocolate creations. First, I scoped it all out. Then I decided that some of it was skippable(I mean, I can cover a banana in melted chocolate, too :-|). Finally, I dove in 😀

Chocolate Cherry Braised Beef

Raw Chocolate Truffle

Mexican Chocolate Chili

Salmon In White Chocolate Butter Sauce

Sweet Scoops Mocha Mudslide Frozen Yogurt

The braised beef–was absolutely fantastic! It might have been my favorite of the night. It might just be my inner carnivore saying that. But I really loved it because first you got the really fatty meat flavor that just fell apart in your mouth, and then you got a kick of cherry at the end. The raw truffle was really good, too. I could totally make this at home, though(and I snatched the recipe to do so). The chili was another winner; I told you I was a carnivore 😀 The salmon, on the other hand, was really bad. What were they thinking if they tasted it? I thought it had potential because white chocolate and chickpeas are a fantastic combo, but apparently that need not apply here. And, for dessert, some Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt. I’ve actually been thinking of buying that flavor for a while, and it was really good. I don’t know, though, if it’s worth the price compared to Elan’s Decaf Cappuccino frozen yogurt(which also is decaffeinated and so better for night time snacking).

That actually wasn’t that much, so when we actually got home after an hour I was hungry… for the supper not waiting for me 😦 I decided to just throw something a little cooky together that’d be veggie-tastic and filling.

Brussels In Grass-Fed Butter Sauce

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Coconut Oil

This dinner was a bit clunky but not wholly displeasurable. Actually, it was pretty tasty 😀 I don’t think I’ve had brussels in 2 weeks! What a shame. They really soaked up the butter. On top of my pudding, I added some Navitas Naturals Goji Berries and coconut oil; I loved the goji berries here for a good dose of antioxidants! The coconut oil tasted a little out of place, oddly :-/ I think coconut butter would be better here(butter is always better 😉 But that’s another story). Speaking of Gojis, I had a sweet surprise waiting for me…

Goji Gourmet Cookies

How yummy does that all look? Among a few packages I got was this one which I won from totalfitgirl’s contest(ironic, I know, but there weren’t any gender rules for entering as far as I know :-)). I’m pretty sure it was only for the chocolate cherry cookies, and the rest of this was thrown in by my friends at Goji Gourmet. Thank you! Now I’m stocked well with one of my superfoods.

Was it just me, or was Grey’s not so good last night? Should I have gone with The Office and 30 Rock? That’s quite possible. A few more things made coming home a little clunky. A) I had noo toothbrush. Whoops. B) I had no alarm clock and freaked out until I dug out a really old one. I then decided that I wouldn’t even set it and let myself sleep in. C) I found out that one item I specifically came home for might very well actually be in my safe at school. Ugh. After most of that was resolved, I was happy for oats.

Cornbread Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Cornbread, because I could. In the batch went 1 egg white(sorry, yolk, but I didn’t need you right then :-(), 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and 1/2 a teaspoon aluminum free baking powder. This came out perfectly corny.

Like I said, I didn’t set my alarm this morning and slept in a full hour. A full glorious hour. You need to take advantage of things like no drunk people in the hallway and nothing to do once you’re actually up 🙂 A few more things that made my trip not wholly displeasurable:

Trader Joe's Oatbran And Tofu

Food! More specifically Trader Joe goodies my mom grabbed on her way home just for me(like anyone else here would be picking out tofu or know which one to get) 🙂 You can bet that I already have some tofu pressing for lunch as we speak(and using the oatbran as a weight! Haha). Beyond that, I also used the oatbran in breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And SB PB

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Stevia

A bit cheesy, but not wholly displeasurable. No wait–wholly pleasurable because it’s a bit cheesy. That’s how I would describe the pumpkin/nutritional yeast/smart balance combo. There’s something so “homey” about it. AND now I’m about 1 bowl away from OAIJ!! It’s shaping up to be a splendid trip home.

Language Lesson: This is directed to no one in particular; this is just something I thought of as I was making my breakfast and want to address now. If you are buying your Greek yogurt and buy more than 1 container of Oikos, please do not say that you picked up some “oikoses”. That is just wrong. Oikos is a Greek word meaning house. It is the nominative, singular form. For plural, you’ll want to say you picked up some “Oikoi”. Sounds a little funny? Welcome to Greek. If you all want to be super overachievers, do 1 better by saying “Oikous”. That’s the correct form when it’s the object of a verb. But, I’d totally be happy if I ever just heard Oikoi, too 😀

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Why, Alton, Why?

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you haven’t heard, Alton Brown totally revamped his diet with some simple rules he follows that has him happier and healthier than ever. That’s great. Good for him. That’s not what gets me. What gets me is how he’s still giving me major pound cake cravings with his shows. Why, Alton, why? You know I don’t have a stash of pound cakes around. And you’re basically telling me a pound cake is one of the hardest things to bake. Don’t do this to me! OK, well after all that I didn’t have a pound cake. BUT I found something remarkably similar.

1/2 An "I Really Need A" Cookie

Maybe it’s not a pound, but these chocolate chip “I really need a” cookies have a full tablespoon of butter(along with plenty of other healthy things like that ;-)) in them. I wasn’t super hungry for a cookie, so I split one with my dad, and covered my half with a little more earth balance. For something that wasn’t a pound cake, this was super good and hit the spot. Take that, Alton. After a great episode of Unwrapped(which I’ll be rewatching today because I’m obsessed with Unwrapped), I made an equally great bowl of oatmeal.

Banana Oatmeal With NuttZo And 2 Goji Almond Oat Cookies

This wasn’t even like oatmeal; it was like warm banana pudding *drool*. I used the same amount of oatbran as usual but cut 1/3 the thick cut oats and added stevia(not a normal oatmeal ingredient) and that made it perfect. Then I topped it with two of the sweetest treats I could find: the last of my almond oat goji gourmet cookies and a dab of NuttZo. If I were more awake, I would have added vanilla to the oatmeal; thankfully, the sweet vanilla of the cookies saved the day–soo good! And then I went to bed a little early after listening to Jay Leno explain what’s been going on himself. All I can say is the NBC executives have really made a mess for themselves.

Backyard Snow

Ironically, today was the day I was thinking “Maybe it will warm up enough for a run”. Haha. Well Mother Nature had another plan, and I’m OK with waiting a little more. I was a little bit extra pumped to do my cardio this morning because last night I downloaded Say Hey and Tick Tock. Those are such pumping songs! I definitely gave Tick Tock and extra listen, even though 1/2 the time I feel too old to be listening to something like that and the other 1/2 too young.

Better Than Roasted Just 4 Nuts Butter

I really had no appetite for anything after stretching, other than trying out this new nut butterBlue Mountain Organics sent. Just 4 nuts? I think that includes me 😀 it has almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts, is raw, and has no salt added, so I was very curious how it would all come out.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Just 4 Nuts Butter

Plain Greek Yogurt With Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Brownie

When you can’t get yourself to want greek yogurt, throw a brownie into it. Unfortunately, I’m running out of said greek yogurt fast 😦 On the bright side, the nut butter was delicious! I wasn’t sure how it would come out, whether a muddled or sweet flavor. It was enjoyably sweet, with a nice nutty crunch to it. I think as someone who isn’t a raw purist it’s hard to be “satisfied” with raw and unsalted nut butters but this one was definitely flavorful and artisan.

It’s still snowing 3 hours later! I love it; it looks so nice and fluffy. Here’s a health tip for the day: Did you know organic, thick cut oats at the bulk bins at Whole Foods are just $1.49 a pound? For less than 15 cents, you can have a healthy and green breakfast. What kind of oatmeal do you eat?

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Taking Control

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Chobani winner announced at the end of this post*

I think everyone is entitled to control of their own life. And it then becomes our duty to make sure we actually take the control into our own hands. This morning I had my annual doctor’s physical, which I was not looking forward to. Frankly, I haven’t been happy with my physician for the past few visits, which doesn’t bode well for him since I’ve only had him for a few years now. I feel he judges his patients as dots, simply comparing them to all the other dots in America on his little chart; that doesn’t cut it for me. I’m unique. You’re unique. Everyone is unique. Like I predicted, he pulled up his laptop with his charts and explained what numbers were a little high and which ones were a little low, and I sat there and took it. What I really wanted to yell say was that everything he was pointing out runs in my family and is hereditary and that they are who he should be comparing me to. But when I walked out afterwards, I made a decision: I will be changing doctors after today. We have every right to be in control of our health care, we just need to take it. Consider control taken. Is there any part of your life that you need to take control? You don’t need to write about it in the comments; just do it!

What else gives me a great sense of control? My meal planning, which led me to this lunch of tactfully planned leftovers:

Vegan Meatloaf With Ketchup, Sweet Potato Rounds With Nutritional Yeast, Broccoli

Root Beer Zevia

I cannot tell you how excited I was for today’s lunch; as good as the vegan meatloaf is the first day, it’s about 10 times better after sitting in the fridge–sooo amazing! Especially with a little ketchup because I’m classy like that 😉 And, hey! There might have even been some sweet potato under that nutritional yeast… just maybe. And on the side I sipped a root beer Zevia for something special while watching the television and catching up on the google reader.

While we’re talking about control, I never feel more in control than in the kitchen. I love it, especially when it’s my own recipe I’m working on. I made up a recipe last night just for Cookie Friday that hit all my cravings for the time.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunkies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance(or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon salt
  • 60g milk chocolate bar, shaved(or 1/4 cup chocolate chips)
  • Coarse sea salt

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, cream together the earth balance and sugar. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk, peanut butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the dry ingredients the egg mixture and mix well. Fold in the milk chocolate shavings. Scoop out cookies onto a lined baking pan. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of the cookies and flatten the top with a fork perpendicularly. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunkies

These definitely would be the show-stoppers at any cookie swap; who can say no to milk chocolate and peanut butter? And they really aren’t that unhealthy for you at all because a lot of the sugar has been replaced with healthy fats and butter replaced with no-cholesterol Earth Balance. And of course you can take control and adjust the recipe to suit yourself.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

While I was in the kitchen I made up some peanut butter cups. There were also 4 others that are just out of the picture. What I love about this is you can take control and adjust the chocolate and peanut butter to your liking. The chocolate here is a darker milk chocolate made with 3 parts Trader Joe’s milk chocolate for every 1 part Baker’s Unsweetened. The peanut butter was a blend of 8 parts Smart Balance Agave Sweetened to 1 part vanilla bean infused sugar. I’m not sure how the peanut butter tasted but I slipped a bit of the chocolate and it was perfect. When everything was done, I took my cookie and coffee and sat down.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunky

Soooo good. These are more salty than sweet, which is totally my preference. But that’s not saying they don’t have sweetness to them. They just taste like good ol’ peanut butter and some smooth chocolate. I ended up watching Tivoed Good Eats and was pleasantly surprised to find it was Alton’s new weight loss episode. Have you seen him recently? He lost 50 pounds of fat! Go Alton! I loved his “no-diet” diet of how he eats:

  • Daily: Fruits, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, carrots, green tea.
  • At least 3x weekly: oily fish, yogurt, broccoli, sweet potato, avocado.
  • 1 time a week at most: red meat, pasta, dessert, alcohol.
  • None: fast foods, soda, processed meals, canned soups, “diet” anything
  • Breakfast every day–no excuses!

I love it! Probably because it sounds like me 😀 (Except for the dessert thing. Desserts a daily item with me) He really took control of his life. What was best was that he was serving this up as a lifestyle and not a diet, which is how it should be seen. If you can, seek out the whole episode. Before dinner I snacked on an apple:

Organic Apple

I don’t know why but I feel the need to point out when things are organic. Thankfully, I’ve noticed this is a common thing among blogs so I don’t feel completely random here. And then I made dinner. I tried a honey citrus salmon, which probably would have been 10 times better were the fish thicker, fresh, and not done in a pan. As it were, it actually didn’t come out bad(though caused a lot of smoke).

Honey Citrus Salmon, Mashed Kefir Cauliflower With Black Pepper

Salty Oatmeal With Raw Cheddar Cheese

We just called it “blackened” salmon 🙂 I also tried out a new recipe! Mashed cauliflower with coconut milk kefir as the creamer. Sooo good! I loved how it came out a bit tangy and sweet from the kefir. AND I can count it as a probiotic source(which is helpful because this would then be number 1 of the day). On the side, I was having a major craving for salt oatmeal. So while I made my parents white potatoes, I cooked up really salty oats and topped it with a salty, raw cheddar–heaven. I’m sure that doesn’t sound in the least appetizing, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have been if it weren’t a major craving. And now, as I’m typing, I’m “unwinding” to this:

Zevia Cola

What is it about beverages that make them what we unwind with? With caffeine, this probably isn’t the best choice to have at night for me, but it is Friday after all 😀 Before I bring up my giveaway, I want to point out the Oikos giveaway at An Apple A Day and the Crofter’s giveaway at Crunches For Cupcakes. And without further ado…

Carrie H!

“Lemon Bluberry Chobani loaf! I NEED some baked goods in my life right now! Oh, and I’ve never tried Chobani, so thanks for the giveaway!”

Never tried Chobani?! We’ll have to fix that. Send me your address and I’ll forward it to the company.

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