Mighty Tasty

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

I’m just going to keep telling myself I don’t have a problem with chocolate, and then it won’t be true, right?

Xocai Xobiotic Square And Q.bel Milk Chocolate Wafer Bars

After Ghost Whisperer I made a bit of a chocolate snack plate. I had a Xocai Xobiotic sqaure for my dark chocolate tooth and my 2nd probiotic source of the day. If only all chocolate had probiotics in it, wouldn’t that be grand? Then, for my milk chocolate tooth, I sampled the Q.bel milk chocolate wafer bar. Holy yum! My, how I loved this, and usually I’m not even a fan of rice crisps! I think they were tolerated well because they went so well with the thin wafers. I loved how the chocolate basically melted as it touched my mouth–it couldn’t even wait to get in. While I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I kept the Cookie Friday celebration rolling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Jam And A Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie

First of all, would you believe I didn’t have oatmeal for once? Maybe it’s a sign of the apocalypse; better hold on. For some reason, goat milk yogurt with raspberry sounded better(especially when garnished with a cookie ;-)). This cookie was by far the best raw cookie I’ve ever eaten. Granted, that’s not fighting too many, but still kudos to The Raw Bakery! The base tasted very “vanilla”–not nutty–even though the ingredient list makes me think this wasn’t overdone with sugar(or, agave nectar as it were).

This morning I decided to give the strength training a break and stick with the cardio and 200 flights. I should check to see what alternative workouts we have On Demand to do to switch things up. Then again, I am a creature of habit and that yogurt-for-oatmeal thing was enough change for me for a week. For breakfast I had a tooth for–would you believe it–chocolate?

Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

After seeing that episode of Good Eats about Alton’s diet, I feel like he would be so proud of my breakfasts 🙂 The oatmeal was like a comforting return to an old friend, even though I had to scrape the mold off the top of the cream cheese(ewww! But I’m determined to eat what I can of it). For the yogurt, I mixed 4.5oz non-fat with 1oz full fat for a nice, creamy 2%, which went great with the milk chocolate and just a pinch of salt. And now I feel as though I’ve had my candy fix for the day(did anybody believe me? No? K, good. Just checking).

We were planning on recreating a healthy version of American Chop Suey(*drool*) tomorrow for lunch, but now my mom’s going to a cousin’s birthday party 😦 We’ll squeeze that recipe in sometime soon. And maybe I can milk a meal at a restaurant out of all of this? Hehe.

Since I know you all love Chobani Giveaway’s, here’s another

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My Shirt Matches My Oats

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

Good morning. I love that it’s a new week! For some reason, it just feels like everything’s nice and fresh and ready to start anew. Maybe I’m just happy to have the house to myself again? That’s probably it. I have a new goal! I’m new to Twitter and now I want to get 100 Twitter followers before I go back to school. I think that’s very practical so let’s do it! Follow me here. Last night there was so much dessert to choose from. My mom was first to dive in and gave glowing reviews for the peanut butter cups, which was funny because I just made those on a whim when I had leftover chocolate. Well, I figured I’d start with those.

Soy Yogurt With Homemade Peanut Butter Cup And Vanilla Sugar

Over soy yogurt, just like I like it. The irony was lost here because there was no milk in the chocolate and this was totally vegan 😦 I like irony. It’s tasty! But so were these peanut butter cups. Making these for myself is definitely a practice I should get into because it’s so much more frugal and still delicious. My mom actually set one aside to take as an afternoon snack today, haha.

Last night, against my normal Food Network nature, I wtched the Simpsons’ 20th year special. I’m afraid to admit it, but the Simpsons are older than me! And they’re still good. I find that remarkable. I really hope they never end, which is not the case for some of my other favorite shows as of late *cough*Leno*cough*. Sometime through, I had a ball.

Banana Bread Ball

Jess was pretty smart with these because they’re delicious! The thin layer of chocolate over breading is just perfect. It reminds me of a chocolate covered donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, but not as sweet and 10 times better for you. This would be a fun thing to make for a brunch; I don’t think I used enough cream cheese, thought(which is odd because I’m known for having a heavy hand with the cream cheese ;-)). I started watching Brothers & Sisters and decided to make some oats with a new product.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Agave Ginger Cashews

It’s so hard to find crunchy nut butters that aren’t peanut butter, so instead I just used a cashew butter and these new Tierra Farm’s agave ginger cashews. I was very impressed by these. I almost never deal with glazed nuts because I never find them flavorful unless they’re salt roasted but then they just taste like salt. But these were entirely different; at times I felt like I was chewing on ginger! Wowza were they hot, but in a good way. These would be very gourmet to put in a dish at a party, for sure.

This morning I woke up feeling like a little strength training would be good. I threw on my new Target shorts that cost 3.50 and an old t-shirt from Greece and did a full core, which consisted of

  • 40 push-ups
  • 50 standing lunges, 5 walking lunges
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 70 crunch pose-hold
  • 240 arm rotaries
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 40 squats
  • 70 standing marches
  • 70 rower arms(forgot to do this)
  • 40 second rower’s pose hold(and this, too)
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 100 air bike kicks.

Did you know when you do crunches you should have your legs elevated? It works your lower abs better. I put mine up on a desk chair. After that I grabbed something for protein:

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

Delicious, but really I just wanted not to have a partially eaten bar lying around; that drives me crazy! And I did 200 flights of stairs for cardio. It’s hard to tell how long it took because I had to stop not once but 3 times to let somebody outside to go to the bathroom(I’m assuming by the “let outside” part you understand it wasn’t me). I wanted to just decide to stop after the 3rd time because it made my workout feel less-so but I realized that’s not the right reason to stop a workout and it’s always better to finish no matter what. After that I showered up and made another seasonal breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With NuttZo And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Nog Greek Yogurt

Am I going to crave pumpkin in the Spring? I think I just might. I loved the NuttZo which is kind of sweet but has no added sugar, especially with the savory cream cheese–yum! And I had some Noggy yogurt which makes Christmas feel not so long ago. Thanks to Xanthan Gum, this was so nice and thick; otherwise it’d been runny like a fat-free Stonyfield and I can just not stand that. Xanthan does have a bit of a dulling flavor so it needed a little more sweetener. Afterwards I wondered why I went for NuttZo for breakfast…

NuttZo T-Shirt

Clearly, I’m not the smartest cookie since I was wondering for so long 😛 I forgot: I added cinnamon to my pumpkin oatmeal this morning for the first time. It’s not that I wanted to taste it, or even did, but I’ve been seeing so many commercials for cinnamon as a heart-healthy spice I thought I’d add it. Does my heart feel happier? Well, I don’t know, but it didn’t affect the flavor and I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

PS. Here are some reviews I rewrote last night, in case you’ve ever been interested in any of these. They’re all ice cream. Clearly, I had something on my mind.

WholeSoy & Co. Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream

Stonyfield’s Cookies N’ Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

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A Domestic Day

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

I will warn you this post might turn out to be just like my day: very long, delicious, full of British humor, and ending with a winning recipe. Just a warning.

Last night, after blogging, I felt like I needed more nuts in my life.

Tierra Farm's Organic Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts

In the box they sent me a while back, Tierra Farm included these maple glazed nuts. Maple and nuts? Two of my favorite things! I knew just how to try them out.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Maple Glazed Nuts

Delicious! These nuts were very good; they weren’t huge on the maple flavor but deliciously rich and satisfying. Note: They didn’t come in tiny pieces like that. I was actually impressed that they came all whole, and with a good selection. I just crushed them up to make them more oatmeal friendly, and threw in some sweet peanut butter. This did a great job at getting me sleepy and in the mood for bed.

Unfortunately, all this week I’ve been waking up around 4am, and I’m not sure why. Originally, it was always to go to the bathroom. Since reducing the amounts of liquids I have before bed, however, I’m still waking up, but not needing to go to the bathroom. Suggestions on how to “fix” this? I’d like to imagine(or use this as an excuse) that this is why I did not feel like working out this morning. Didn’t Kelly Clarkson once say something like “Some months I feel like working out, and some months I just feel like eating ding-dongs”? Well, if that’s the case, then I’m saying some months I feel like running, and some months I feel like watching I Love Lucy, because that’s what I did for the first hour of my day as I sipped down 2 cups of coffee. After showering from that “workout”, I had a seasonal breakfast.

Nog Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Drizzled With Maple Syrup

Very wintery and delicious. For the yogurt I used 1/4 cup Nog and a little bit of my Xanthan gum! I’ve had a problem with Nog yogurt being too thin for my preference but the gum really thickened it up. I wouldn’t say, however, that it’s flavorless. It’ll be interesting to see if now I can pick out its flavor in other products, too. The oatmeal with Artisana walnut butter and cream cheese was just beautiful; I swear I’m going to eat the rest of that cream cheese before it grows mold again… again.

Like the title says, this was a very domestic day. I had the house to myself and plenty on my to-do list to finish. Would you believe I haven’t downloaded music in months. These were the few songs I’ve heard on the radio recently that I had to have.

Recently Added

That gave me the chance to charge my iPod, Nintendo DS, and cell phone. While I was doing that, I was also looking online for a good vegan meatloaf recipe. In true Evan-fashion, I couldn’t find one that fit my wants perfectly or I had all the ingredients for, so I took a little of each and made my own. I’ll admit–making my own recipe for something that I’ve never even had before felt a little silly, but I had high hopes for this.

Lentils And Trader Joe's Brown Rice Mix

The “meat” of the loaf I decided was brown rice and lentils, which are two of my mom’s favorite vegan foods(and probably the only two). Instead of plain brown rice, I used a Trader Joe’s mix that has some seeds in it, as well. In another bowl, I worked with all the dry and wet ingredients, and 60 minutes later had it actually looking like a “loaf”

Uncooked Vegan Meatloaf

Not only have I never had vegan meatloaf before, I don’t think I’ve ever had regular meatloaf before. How weird is that? But after seeing this on Anna’s blog, I knew I really wanted it to work out. Did I mention I had to dice an onion for this? I felt like Julia Child from Julie & Julia. After the pot of rice for the loaf came off the stove, I decided that’d be good for lunch, too, so I threw another serving on. Besides that, I did not feel like cooking. Naturally, I let Al Fresco do the work.

Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages

Brown Rice Bowl With Broccoli, Garlic Chicken Sausages, And Soy Sauce

Let’s not point out the irony in shoving a vegan meatloaf in the refrigerator and pulling out chicken sausages to eat. Instead, let me just tell you how good these sausages were. In our Italian household, we’ve never been shy about adding garlic to dishes. It’s just one of those spices I cannot get enough of. Apparently, somebody at Al Fresco felt the same, because they just let these have the flavor like it was nobody’s business. It tasted so good with the soy sauce and rice(yes, there’s rice under there).

After lunch, I really wanted to get a good workout in. I came up with what I’m calling the “Count to 10” cardio and fitness workout. All you need to do is know how to count to 10, and you can do it!

  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 push-ups
  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs 10 times
  • Do 10 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

Isn’t that simple? But it’s also good in that it works you for a while, and works your legs, abs, and arms. Next time I do this, I’ll probably raise the sit-ups to 20 to fit my own fitness, but you can play around with it as you will. The whole thing took about 70 minutes, and halfway through I reached for some electrolytes.

Orange Bot Beverage

Just today, Bot Beverages sent m a pack of their lightly sweetened sport waters to sample and review. The timing for this really worked out perfectly, and orange sounded like a zesty flavor to start. The Orange Bot wasn’t incredibly flavorful, but it was definitely better than water for replenishing myself; and I’m ecstatic to see a company who believes you don’t need high sugar and artificial flavors and colors to have a good workout. I ended up drinking 1/2 the bottle and saving the rest for another time. After those electrolytes, for my post-workout eats I turned to some protein.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate Shavings

Really, I’ll look towards any excuse to eat chocolate. And because I was on an orange kick, I shaved on a square of the 1.4oz organic Endangered Speciesdark chocolate with natural orange flavor. The orange wasn’t super pronounced(just like the Bot water), but it was a nice hint of flavor. And, as I’ve pointed out, I’m really saving the environment by eating chocolate 😉 During this, my mom came home and was delighted to see dinner mostly made. We threw the meatloaf in the oven at 5:30 so it’d be ready for dinner when my dad got home.

Vegan Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard

On the stove, cook completely your brown rice and lentils. While those are simmering, dice the onion and shave the carrot. In a food processor or mini chopper, finely crush the walnuts into crumbs. Combine all of those in a dish with the bread crumbs, salt, and seasoning. When the brown rice is ready, toss it in that bowl. In a separate bowl, mush the cooked lentils with a potato masher until a thick puree. Add to the rice mixture the ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce and mix. Lastly, add the lentil puree and fold until fully incorporated. Transfer this into a loaf pan. For best results, let the laof sit in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours before baking if time allows. When ready to cook, bake in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 60 minutes, and let cool on counter covered for another 10 minutes before cutting into.

Since the loaf is so dense and nutritious, we didn’t cook too much alongside it. We simply roasted some brussels sprouts.

Vegan Meatloaf, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oh my God was this good! Right off the bat, with the ketchup and mustard and onions it reminded us all of a McDonalds hamburger. Except it was vegan–go figure! My mom also enjoyed that it was soy free(save some soy sauce). The loaf didn’t hold together as well as I hoped it would but that’s probably because we took it out a little early. I ended up eating probably twice as much as pictured, and it was sooo worth it even if it’s made me bloated like a balloon. For once I can say I’m truly excited to have leftovers!

After dinner, my parents decided they needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some things, and I opted to stay home to watch Dr. Who and do work like write 4 product reviews, a recipe, and this post. I must really like blogging if I turned down a trip to the grocery store for it 🙂 Since then, they’ve came back with a McDonalds’ coffee for me, which has already “disappeared”, and I’m watching the new Biggest Loser! Now I just need to remember that, as delicious as this vegan meatloaf is, it’s not as easily digestable as chocolate or oatmeal at 9pm at night…

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The Best Thing I Ever Ate

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

I love love love The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Chef’s going gaga over their favorite foods? Sign me up. I could watch it for hours, which I totally did last night since there was a marathon on(new season premiering in 5 days, forward the word!). Anyway, this has to be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Original NibMor

Any surprise that it’s chocolate? Didn’t think so. Raw chocolate avocado pudding is just to die for, if you’ve never tried it. It’s creamy, thick, rich, sweet–I could go on and on. I don’t think coconut milk kefir is raw thought(maybe?), so I threw in a piece of really good NibMor original raw chocolate to counterbalance it. That’s how food math works in my mind. It was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that right before bed when all I wanted to do was eat something simple and go to sleep, all I wanted to eat was this again. I was not about to whip out and clean the food processor at 10:30, so I used what was leftover of the first avocado, a fork, and some almond milk to make it into a quickie.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Almond NibMor

Not as pretty, but it got the job done 😉 I think this one might have been actually raw because of the almond breeze? To tie in the almond I tried Nibmor’s Almond flavor for the first time. For the most part, it was absolutely delicious. I mean, chocolate and nuts? What could go wrong. I did, however, get one big raw almond that was a little too chewy for this nut enthusiast(I love my roasted nuts. I really do). Overall though, it was still a good dessert, if 1/4 cup cocoa powder and an avocado can ever be called a “dessert”.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, eating that sugar right before bed did not help me go to sleep very fast. Once I did and finally woke up, my avocado hangover had me not wanting to do my “standard” workout. Instead, I checked out what we had On Demand. Umm, since when did that have so many options? Really, I could do a different workout every day. I settled on a 20-minute kickboxing one and 1/2 a 50-minute yoga flow. This was my first time trying both of these activities and it’s probably a good thing it was in the comfort of my own home because it was messy. I also got a little P.O.ed at the kickboxer telling me “We’re almost there” when we weren’t near finishing. Don’t lie to me. I can’t handle it.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Mighty Maple

Peanut Butter Yogurt With Fig Jam

For breakfast I had some very Autumnal oats and a great yogurt for protein to build back up muscle. The combination of salty peanut butter yogurt and sweet fig jam is incredible. Almost(but not quite) the best thing I ever ate. I just love mighty maple and pumpkin cream cheese on anything so that one doesn’t even count. When I was flipping through the Sunday circulars looking for coupons, I snacked on an apple and lookie what I spotted.

Pink Lady Apple

Chocolate And Caramel Oikos

Chocolate and caramel? Am I reading this right? Umm, yes please! How funny that I’m all excited for this, when in theory I could jut put chocolate syrup or caramel sauce on top of my yogurt right now… I’d rather wait for someone else to do it for me 🙂 Lunch was leftovers, except I didn’t feel like eating meat and that was most of the leftovers. Instead, I threw some tempeh slices in a pan with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and maple syrup and let that brown up.

Maple-Soy Tempeh, Broccoli, Carrots, And Parsnips With Soyaki

Well that was quick and delicious–definitely making a mental note for times I don’t feel like cooking and just want some real food fast. Except it was soy and had a lot of fiber and now is sitting in my stomach like a brick 😦 The best foods always do that. Maybe I should eat another square of chocolate? It does speed up the digestion of carbs… hell, it just makes everything better.

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Spick And Span

Posted on December 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s the most ridiculous phrase, if you ask me. Does anyone actually know what it means? I feel like I could do some funky research with my linguistics background but–meh–it’s a holiday and I’d rather be lazy 🙂 Anyway, that’s what we’re doing right now: Making everything “spick and span” for our guests soon to arrive. That’s as opposed to last night when I was throwing pillows everywhere, emptying salt containers on the counter, and rustling the leaves from out Christmas tree just for fun. JK! But I was in a mood to try something new.

Dark Chocolate Q.Bel Wafer Rolls In Raspberry Chobani

Correction: I tried 2 new things. To get some more probiotics in my day, I gave the raspberry Chobani a try. Yum! I am soooo excited for this flavor to hit shelves. I would grab the pomegranate one soley because it reminded me of raspberry. However, I’m majorly depressed sugar beats out raspberry on the ingredient list 😦 That’s not the case on any other Chobani fruit flavors, so I can’t help but wonder why here?

The other thing I tried was Q.bel‘s dark chocolate wafer roll. Again, yum! But then again, what dark chocolate isn’t? I liked how this was more sweet than bitter, but only because of the wafer part. In my mind, I was hoping for more of a hard chocolate coating but a soft, flowing syrupy center(I can dream, can’t I?). That wasn’t really the case, but it was still good. After that I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed early. My mind, however, had other plans.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I really think they’re lying on the ingredients or the nutritional info here because these are simply too good. Is cinnamon roll envy a viable reason to spark an investigation against a company? I think so, and I’m not above that. To make it more “night time appropriate”, I slathered on some healthy nut butter and picked out all the raisins.

Leftover Raisins

Definitely didn’t need that sugar before going to bed. I’m actually not a big raisin fan at all(hence leaving them out of my cinnamon roll recipe). That is unless we’re talking about Rum Raisin Gelato, in which case all bets are off 🙂 I thought I was waking up earlier this morning after listening to a few songs on the radio and shutting my alarm off but as it turned out I woke up at 7:40, again. Oh well, I’ll save that change for the new year. Eventually I got around to drinking more coffee than I’d care to mention and making a breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Walnut Butter, Fat Free Greek Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

My last breakfast of 2009, to be exact(I really hate always thinking about that “last” thing). I didn’t have any pumpkin yesterday so clearly that erupted into my bowl of oatmeal. I love the pumpkin cream cheese/walnut butter combo because the cream cheese has speckles of walnuts in it. I was soooo happy to have something other than 2% yogurt after 2 weeks. Even “plain” as a flavor can get old. Fast. Afterwards I got spick and span myself in the shower and started the party plating.

Pad Thai Hummus And Sunny Hummus

My two hummuses I made yesterday. I’m predicting the Pad Thai Hummus to go over really well with this crowd. I also baked, of course.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownies

Since one of the people coming is perhaps the biggest chocolate fan I know I decided to make gluten free chocolate mint brownies. This time, however, I made the chocolate and peanut butter by swapping out vanilla extract for mint and using 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips. The peanut butter chips weren’t gluten-free certified but none of the ingredients should have gluten. And since it’s not a genuine health concern of anybody, I figured it’d be fine. I decided I was hungry for lunch at 12 and ended up spending 45 minutes making a meal. I think that’s a new record for me. Oh well, it was worth it!

Pad Thai Hummus With Green Pepper, Brussels With Steak Sauce And Tempeh Bacon

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I caved on the hummus a little early because I’m not much of a snacker at parties and like to just eat things in meals. Now I can recommend it and have had my full 🙂 I was looking for a more smoky flavor with the brussels than the steak sauce has so I added a strip of pan-heated tempeh bacon and plenty of salt. Really, though, the pudding was entirely what I wanted; and it was sooo good! I pureed 3oz avocado with 2 tablespoons cocoa in my food processor. After that I used a fork to add 3 tablespoons coconut milk kefir, stevia, and vanilla powder. The result could not have been more perfect. All it is(besides delicious) is fat and fiber. And look how nicely the day is turning out!

Snow

I was dreaming of a white Christmas New Years and it looks like we’re getting one! I can’t bellieve it. I also can’t believe that a) my mom hasn’t been stressed out by company being here in a few hours and started yelling yet and b) that the decade is now almost over. After listening to the DJ’s on the radio reminisce and think back myself, I think this decade was best for two things: American Idol and Survivor. I hardly ever voted for American Idol these days, but who can deny that it has given us so many great artists? Besides that, Survivor is just my favorite show on television, and I imagine the same for others since it’s going into its 20th season. It totally built the world of reality television. What will you remember the decade for?

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“Hey, That Was Vegan!”

Posted on December 29, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Last night, like I mentioned, I took control of dinner. I got hungry handling the food, so I snacked on some yogurt.

YoBaby And Greek Yogurt

I mixed 1/2 a container of YoBaby with 1/2 a greek yogurt. The YoBaby was made for… well, babies and was sweet potato and apple flavored. It was actually pretty good! A little thin, but I suppose babies need it to be like that? If you’re wondering why we even had a YoBaby, there was an instore coupon to get it for free and I could not pass on free probiotics. I was very excited to see how the parents would respond to my dinner.

Broccoli Fries, Maple Baked Tofu, Brown Rice Medley With Vegan Butter

I stuck with my favorite simple vegetarian dish: maple tofu. I also made broccoli fries(which needed another 10 minutes but I wasn’t going to make others wait any longer) and some rice which I don’t particularly care for but knew my mom loves. Everyone seemed to like it! Even my mom was picking at second servings of the tofu from the pan. She later asked if it had soy in it, which she’s convinced is poison for woman over 40. Should I bother showing her it’s probably in 50% of everything she eats? I’ll save that amusement for another day. Literally 3 hours after this, for no reason whatsoever, it popped into my mind that this meal was completely vegan! I never would have pictured us as a family enjoying a vegan meal so much, and entirely accidentally. Later on I was still stuffed but wanted a little bit of chocolate cake.

Vitabrownie

Perfect. I love the touch of walnuts on top, which is weird because I’ve never made brownies with walnuts in them. I was thinking of making my gluten free brownies with walnuts instead of mints. Good thing I didn’t because I later found out that my aunt happens to break out with acne from walnuts(and she loves digging in to my desserts at the holidays ;-)). Later on I still had a chocolate tooth but this time more room to stomach oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Delicious. I swear I’m going to need a 5lb tun of Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee to last through the next semester. I’ve thought about trying to recreate it with my food processor but I just don’t think I could; the texture is just too perfect with this one among other things.

This morning I slept in again. Maybe I need a New Years Resolution to get up on time? Thankfully, I had nowhere to go, just some things to address.

Recipes

These are all the recipes I plan on making before the New Year. 3 are for out New Years Eve party and 3 are for my own amusement. 4 of them are just adapted from internet ones but 2 are “homemade”. The first one I wanted to try was homemade deep chocolate vitatops; I don’t want to think about how much money I’ve spent on these so I was happy to get muffintop baking sheets for Christmas. After studying the ingredient list carefully, I wrote up a recipe that would almost match it exactly.

Homemade Vitatops

They certainly look like the real deal, don’t they? And they’re almost identical in every way, from calories to texture to even whole grains per serving(although I threw in a few extra chocolate chips because vitatops tend to skimp ;-)). So even though I haven’t tasted them yet, I’m going to count this as a win because the point wasn’t to make the best tasting thing I could but the best replica. I’ll post the recipe a little later on. After showering, I wanted a maple(not chocolate) breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Greek Yogurt With Maple Butter

I need to eat my pumpkin cream cheese more because there was a little mold when I opened the container. Why, oh why. This happened last time and we had to throw out the whole thing, but this time I just skimmed the top and carried on(shh, don’t tell). I’d rather take the risk than lose the 6 dollars. The maple butter on yogurt was perfect; I’m going to be using the butter as the “special ingredient” in one of those 5 remaining recipes. But first up it’s time to take Montana to the vet for a check up! Of course the big lump of fur is still sound asleep.

Check out this kitchen gadget giveaway from Graze With Me!

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Christmas 2009

Posted on December 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Christmas Eve recap here.

I was definitely the kid who woke up early on Christmas morning and woke up everyone else around me so we could get to opening presents faster. I think I’ve grown since then because I let people sleep in until 8 now 🙂

Unwrapping Presents

We just did simple family presents between the 3 of us on Christmas morning. There was the obligatory scratch tickets.

Scratch Tickets

I won! But by now I forget how much… Oh well, the money is somewhere 🙂

Spreads And Spices

My parents know me so well. I’ve never tried Saratoga Peanut Butter before but my dad ordered some to try. The Catch Me If You Can flavor was invented by our very own Meagan! I’m glad I got it before it went off of the market.

Goji Cookies And Baking Pans

The Goji Gourmet cookies weren’t much of a surprise since I picked them out in NYC 🙂 But the vitatop pan will be fun to play with! Maybe I will rekindle my obsession with muffin tops but not bottoms.

Cuisinart Mini Prep

And I got a food processor! Sort of. Any one have experience with this model? I know Cuisinart is a good brand because I have some of their other appliances. But I might return this one and take some of the money I got from Christmas to buy a more expensive model. I think opening presents is way more fun than working out 7:30-9:00 😉 But afterwards I was ready for breakfast.

Eggnog Greek Yogurt With TRUwhip

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Gingerbread PB, And A Ginger Molasses Cookie

TRUwhip at breakfast is totally OK at breakfast on Christmas if it’s over a seasonal yogurt. The Catch Me If You Can peanut butter was really good! Go Meagan! I loved the way the ginger and the molasses played together–yum! At 11 we packed up to go to my dad’s family, who live in Concord, New Hampshire. It’s only a 90 minute ride and honestly it felt like we were there sooner than ever. When we walked in we were greeted, and with food.

Snack Spread

The spread was so good; there was even Kettle Chips and Food Should Taste Good chips! Rather than not fill up on chips, though, I chose some of the “healthier” food items.

Blackberries And Cantaloupe

I can not resist fresh, precut fruit. We never have it at home because it’s such a waste of money to buy, but then we’re also to lazy to cut our own–double whammy! Naturally I had about 3 times as much is pictured.

Tio Juan's Margarita Salsa Mild

There was also a plethora of celery dipped in this salsa. It has amazing flavor, except I much prefer the hot to the mild(and the hot one you know is hot because it burns your tongue when you hit a seed). My little cousins were quick to tell me what to do and where to go while I was eating.

The New Mario On The Wii

The big gift this year was a wii! I have to say, this was entirely a present for me, too. No more little cousins going crazy for mine when they come to my house! Haha. They wanted to show me it and their new Mario game. I have to say it was pretty fun, and they were in awe about how good I was. I don’t think they realize this game is 20+ years old and I’d been playing it since I was their age 😉 Once I peeled myself away from that, I was able to hang out with my grandparents and aunt and uncle. They told me stories about my great-grandfather who ate 3 raw eggs with milk and maple syrup every morning, walked 5 miles a day, and was tiny framed his whole life; well now I sound like a chip of the ol’ block! After much cooking, dinner was ready.

Dinner Table

So much food! And unlike Christmas Eve dinner, I could eat 90% of it! It was pure heaven. Usually, at holidays, I try to treat meals like every other one: make a balanced plate of 3 or 4 things and eat until you’re comfortably full. However, I really just wanted to pig out on good and natural food and feel for once like the holiday season was actually here!

Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Brie, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Cornish Hen

Such a good plate of food(though nothing in comparison to how much my grandfather put away 8-|). I also tried boiled onions for the first time and had seconds(and thirds) on the brussels and cauliflower. It was all really good. The cornish hens were naturally raised so I had no problem digging in to it. I ate the breast meat and my mom picked at probably the rest of it. Everyone pigged out on veggies so we even got to take home 3 hens!  Sweet deal. After all that amazingness, my cousins drove us to unwrap gifts.

Faux Christmas Tree

Scratch Tickets

Can you tell the type of family we are? 😉 This time I won 6 more dollars!

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

And I got the Mario game for myself 🙂 I have to admit, it was really fun when I played with my cousins so I was definitely looking forward to getting this(especially after hearing Lynn talk about how much she loved renting it). There was also clothes–some of which I’ll keep and some return–and gift cards. My aunt got me not 1 but 3 Target gift cards; apparently she couldn’t decide which one looked cute enough. After everything digested I was sooo ready for dessert.

Dessert Spread

Along with the two things I brought, there was Carvel birthday cake for my mom’s birthday and a chocolate pudding pie and apple pie from my grandmother. I think the apple pie was all-natural, but really I was not that hungry at all after the feast. I just opted for coffee(decaf, of course) and some tiny tasty treats.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Chocolate Mint Gluten Free Brownie With TRUwhip

This was such a sweet ending to the whole thing. The gluten free brownies came out amazing! No one could guess there was anything funny about them, let alone having black beans! I’m definitely going to be posting the recipe soon(and maybe even making another batch). And these biscotti got rave reviews again. I don’t think I could possibly get tired of them. The secret is in the peanut butter, peanuts, and peanut flour. After dessert we gathered our gifts, said goodbye, and drove home. It was snowing slightly and looked sooo beautiful all the way home; what a perfect way to end Christmas. When we got home it was past dinner but I wasn’t really hungry from the feast anyway. Instead I had (another) sweet ending.

NibMor Original With Raspberry Jam

Yum! The NibMor raw chocolate is definitely a bit lighter on texture but the flavor is just as decadent as rich, dark chocolate. And I love that combo of dark chocolate and raspberry 🙂 I was actually thinking of making raspberry chocolate cups but this was way faster and more effecient at 8pm at night.

Oatmeal With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting, Adirondack Jack Butter, And French Toast Almonds

A little later I definitely reverted into my nutty habits and was hungry for dessert 🙂 The “frosting”, which had yogurt in it, was more to get a 2nd(albeit, lame) source of probiotics in for the day. The adirondack jack butter was new and really interesting; it’s a mix of peanuts, almond, flax, cranberries, sunflower seeds and honey. Not my favorite, but it definitely has its own flavor. I loooved the added roasted nuts. I took them to New Hampshire, too, and everyone seemed to enjoy them, so I’m thinking next Christmas I’ll roast a batch for each person individually.

Well, that was my Christmas. In writing this post, I think I’ve remembered one of my favorite things about this blog: I know have all these great memories in a place I can go to whenever I want. Being able to share it with you all and my family is just the cherry on top. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night 🙂

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The Oatmeal Of Many Toppings

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Apparently, in my mind you either get something completely premade or do it from scratch, because last night I was lamenting the thought of making chocolate pudding since we didn’t have any Simply Well left. Thankfully, I was reminded there was such a thing as “instant”. Instant? Genious! Next you know they’ll be making cookie dough you just need to cut and bake–crazy.

Chocolate Yogurt Pudding With Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

Instant wasn’t really quick enough so I mixed 1 1/2 tablespoons with a low-fat plain Stonyfield yogurt and added more cocoa powder and stevia to taste. After that, it was quite possible perfect. And the biscotti was such a nice touch; I think my favorite thing was the peanuts which got so flavorful after all that baking. I need to pick up more instant organic pudding flavors to play around with 🙂 Right before bed, I made some oats for some good snoozing.

Oatmeal With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter And Advent Chocolate

I was definitely on a chunky kick after these biscotti; I forgot how good a little crunch is and how it’s like making peanut butter in your mouth when you bite down! They should definitely make flavored nut butters crunchy, too. It’d be the best of both worlds.

This morning I was still a bit sore from my workout 2 days ago, but I thought I’d give things another try. I did a core that consisted of(and I’m pretty sure I’m making up half of these names)

  • 240 alternating arm rotations
  • 40 squats
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 70 rower arms and a 50 second pose hold
  • 70 standing marches
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 regular crunches
  • 70 second crunch hold
  • 100 air bicycle rotations
  • 40 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 50 standing and 50 walking lunges

After that I took a cardio tip from The Biggest Loser and for all the commercial airtime from 8-8:30 of The Today Show I did jumping jacks. The original plan was to do that for the hour but I knew by the time I showered and had breakfast ready it’d be time to eat. Speaking of which, I really couldn’t decide what to do with my typical oatmeal and peanut butter. Instead I went for a spread-fest.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter, Walnut Butter, Pumpkin Cream Cheese, And Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

I used Artisana walnut butter, Tierra Farm maple cashew butter, Ciolo pumpkin cream cheese, and Earth & Vine banana pineapple rum jam. Since I’m such a creature of habit, naturally I was hesitant to ditch the proteinous yogurt for breakfast thinking there was no way this would fill me up the same way. I have to say, this has worked wonders; fats are definitely very satisfying for a full but not bloated feeling. Now I’m pondering what final dessert I’ll be making for Christmas day, and watching Little People Big World which I tivoed. Sadly, it looks like the Roloffs are having marital troubles 😦 But I haven’t heard of anything about them in the tabloids so I’m going to assume they’re still one big happy family. If TLC ruins another marriage, that’d be depressing.

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New Plan, Stan

Posted on December 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Last night, the plan for dinner was Whole Foods turkey(on sale). Well, the smallest turkey was 11 pounds… we’re 3 people. New plan: Dinner at Tomassos! I adore this restaurant, as it’s by far the best one near us, Italian or otherwise. I even dropped some not-so-secret hints last weekend I wanted to go, so I was glad those were picked up. I definitely did not want to go hungry, so I kept snacking on through the afternoon.

Apple

Organic Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Macadamia Butter

This was my first time trying macadamia butter, and I have to say the bread really outshined it. It tasted almost precisely like cashew butter(which is the other ingredient in it). It wasn’t bad, and if I were a vegan I could see myself turning to this as a “butter replacement”, but it really didn’t wow me. It seemed like something that could highlight other flavors rather than stand on its own. A little white chocolate with this would have been amazing(Ok, that can be said about a lot of things). We got to the restaurant around 6:30.

Tomassos

I love the open atmosphere; you can see right into the kitchen and the dining room is perfectly arranged for relaxation. The funniest part of the night was when my mom asked our hostess “So is your sister home yet?” with no pretext; last time we were there, we decided that the hostess looked like a girl I went to elementary school with, though we never confirmed this and she clearly had no clue who we were. This time, my mom thought that we had confirmed this with her and she knew who we were, but in reality she gave us a very creeped out glance back. Once we explained things it turned out it was her and she was shocked to come across us. Isn’t it fun running in to old acquaintances?

Pizze Margarita

I had to steal a slice of my parents pizza as an appetizer. This is seriously the best margarita pizza I’ve had outside of Italy, and even then only 1 pizza has ever tops it. It’s perfectly thin and crispy, with an herby sauce and light but fresh cheese. For my dinner I had a really hard time deciding but settled for the maiale

Local Pork With Local Cranberry And Pear Monstrada

I can’t say I’d ever reorder this. The monstrada was delightfully spicy and sweet, but I’m just not someone who can sit down to a big plate of meat and feel good(and that’s all there was on this plate). It felt vulgarly big. I ate most of the leaner meat, but ended up giving 1/3 or so of it to my parents and not feeling particularly satisfied with what I’d eaten. In fact, I was just about downright hangry as we were leaving and other people were talking about how full they were. When I got home, I knew just what I needed.

Brussels Sprouts With Vanilla Sugar

Maybe I should change this blog to VeggieBoy in homage to this lovely blogger(who we should all wish good luck on finishing her finals!). I sprinkled a little vanilla sugar on top because I couldn’t decide if this was a “dessert”. At heart, I’m truly a vegetable lover, which led me to this new plan: Eat meat as a side or seasoning, never more than 1/3 of the meal. Don’t order it while out(I could, but I don’t expect many restaurants to meet the first sentiment, so why set myself up for disappointment?). Maybe those brussels sprouts were more than I expected, because they left me big and bloated. But there’s always room for chocolate!

NibMor Original Style Chocolate

This was a new chocolate I got in the mail yesterday to sample and review by NibMor.

So Delicious Agave Sweetened Plain With Dark Chocolate Newman's Cup And Original NibMor

With a little more chocolate and some soy yogurt to go along side. Yum! This chocolate really impressed me. The flavor was slightly more bitter than I prefer, which was odd because this was a 70% and that’s usually my perfect number. But overall the flavor was good. And I couldn’t get over the fact that this was entirely organic and raw! Seriously, that part astounded me as I couldn’t taste any difference. After posting my peanut butter cookie recipe, a snack plate was in order.

Peanut Butter Cookie, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Advent Chocolate With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I don’t think they’re quite as good after being frozen from a week, but oh well. Not quite as good still equaled damn fine for a “healthy” cookie. I ended up getting to bed before 11:30, only to wake up around 3:45 and having difficulty falling back to sleep; I think I was either in anticipation of the snow or workout(both to come). I ended up making some 4am oatmeal to settle myself.

Oatmeal With Honey

McLure's Clover Honey

I don’t usually sweeten my oatmeal with stevia or anything; in fact, I like salty oats. But I thought I’d try out my new honey as I definitely was having a bear’s tooth for it. I only did 1/2 a tablespoon(I was trying tog et back to sleep after all), so I didn’t get a lot of flavor, but what I could taste was so nice and pure. I can’t believe I got this for only $4. I did eventually get to bed, and the snow outside was soooo amazing when I woke up.

7:30am

Could you think of something better to wake up to? Well I spared no time in starting my quest to find some good at home workouts to do over the next 30 days if that’s going to be the case. This morning, I did an overall body core workout first which kicked my butt. I need to readjust it for my level before I go and post anything. That took 30 minutes, and afterwards I did stair iterations for 200 flights, which took another 60 minutes. I was literally dripping sweat by the end but it felt soo good. New plan: Get a workout in every day, even if it’s just some light walking around. You’ll feel so much better once you do! And being couped up at home doesn’t have to be an excuse to get out of exercise. I was so ready for breakfast after showering.

Pumpkin Oatmeal WIth Mighty Maple And Pumkin Cream Cheese

Boulevard's Organic Hot Chocolate With Vegan Fluff

This was perfect for a snowy day. I know she wasn’t the first person ever to do this, but Brandi deserves a huge shout out for reminding me of hot cocoa and fluff. The combination of Boulevard’s Organic and vegan marshmallow spread couldn’t have been simpler and tastier. And I just love my pumpkin oats with mighty maple and pumpkin cream cheese(as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now). But that brings me to a final new plan: Get 2 sources of probiotics a day. Actually, this is a rather old plan of mine, and something I generally do, but I think I need to remind myself of this one. Probiotics from fortified foods is so good for the digestive system and I shouldn’t be skimping. If that means I have to eat frozen yogurt at night, who’s to complain? 😉 Clearly there weren’t any at breakfast which just means I’m going to need to fit them in a bit later.

I can’t believe how much it’s still snowing; this is too perfect!

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Savory Seventeen

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! Is it even still going to be morning by the time I post this, address my full google reader, and emails? Oh, who knows, but I’ve got Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper to keep me company.

Did you know yesterday was National Cupcake Day? Well, I was not in the position to go out and buy something for the fake festivities, but instead I brought the party to my oatmeal.

Oatmeal With NuttZo And Cream Cheese Frosting

The NuttZo was so fun and unique! I loved the copious amounts of seed and nut chunks. I’ve added it of my list of things to write reviews for, even though it wasn’t from the company or anything. I’ll definitely have that up after the weekend, if you’re curious. Meanwhile, this recipe had me not caring that I didn’t have a cupcake. This frosting is too good. I could(and sort of did) just eat it by the spoonful–yum.

Apparently on days when you don’t run 12 miles your hunger doesn’t go raging either. Who knew? That snack about did it for me in the afternoon as I worked on my final paper. It’s a very different assignment and basically I’m writing a screenplay about 5 ancient figures. Writing a play is tough work! I couldn’t imagine having to do it more often like some other bloggers. For dinner all I wanted was peanut butter, but I worried having oatmeal with peanut buter might make me lack veggies for my diet. Instead I decided to try to make Peanut BBQ Tofu.

Maple Syrup, Ketchup, Crazy Richard's Chunky Peanut Butter

How do you make BBQ baked tofu with a microwave and no BBQ sauce? Well, you get a little creative. What is BBQ sauce but sugar and tomato at its core? I mixed up 1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons ketchup. Then I brushed that on two pieces of Soft tofu and “baked” it in my microwave by cooking it at a low power for 15 minutes(note: this actually worked well for “baking” so long as you check every so often to drain excess liquid).

Peanut BBQ Baked Tofu, Broccoli With Peanut Flour, Green Beans

I think I went a little peanut crazy here. The tofu was awesome. I mean, it might have been able to be a little better if it were made properly, but truly this was something to be repeated. The broccoli with peanut flour was… interesting. It wasn’t bad, it just was what it was. Plus it was some good protein so no complaints. I think I’m starting a new tradition…

Q.Bel Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Rolls

…by having a chocolatey dessert every night after dinner. That’s a good tradition, right? I picked these up at Whole Foods yesterday and they didn’t make it 12 hours around me! Ha. They have great milk chocolate and peanut butter flavor. A Charlie Brown Christmas was on so chocolate and coffee totally went with the mood.

After Charlie Brown I realized I was exhausted; what a good reminder that you don’t need to run to tucker yourself out. I had a moment where I thought to myself “You can’t go to bed early. Can you? You can! Do it”. After that I shut my computer off at 9:20 and started winding things down. First I tasted this:

One Lucky Duck Cranberry Honey Bunches Bar

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a “gourmet granola bar”. I believe this was gluten free and definitely an interesting blend of ingredients, but it didn’t have much flavor, and I figured sugar right before bed was not what I needed, so I ate about half and saved the rest for a rainy day. I also had what’s becoming an obligatory bowl of oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Advent Chocolate

No complaints here. I think the combination of peanut butter and chocolate makes this like a Reeses. After all that, I probably didn’t get to bed too much earlier than normal, but I still felt good when I woke up at 6:30. I can’t say I wanted any bar in particular but I just grabbed this to get out the door quick.

Nature's Path Orange Chocolate Optimum Energy Bar

Really, anything with chocolate would do, as always ;-)When I first got there, I was the only person. Before I knew it, the gym was packed. It’s a tiny satellite gym, so I was worried someone might want my treadmill, but I kept going. In fact, I kept going and going and felt great! The rest day really must have helped, because people kept leaving and the gym emptied back out and before I knew it I ran 17 miles again. I set that distance PR 2 days ago and today it felt almost effortless. I even did it over 2 minutes faster finishing in 2:24:38. Woohoo! After a quick shower I threw together something for recovery

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter, NuttZo, And Maple Syrup, Coconut Milk Kefir With Wild Berry Amazing Grass

Again, my hunger wasn’t raging and nothing really was too appealing–maybe I’m coming down with something? No excuse not to get some NUTrition, so I threw together oatmeal with walnut butter and NuttZo–soo good! And then instead of yogurt for probiotics, I mixed a cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk Plain Kefir with Kidz Wild Berry SuperFood Amazing Grass. This was like a nicely blended smoothie; I couldn’t believe it didn’t require a blender and was so healthy. Kefir is definitely a new favorite way to get probiotics.

I did it! I’m finishing this all before noon! As for my inbox… let’s not talk about it 😉 Time for more studying! Have a wonderful day!

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