When The Weather’s This Perfect

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

I’m so happy for the enthusiasm for my blogiversary. It was definitely fun looking over old posts and old photos; nothing makes you feel better than seeing a picture and thinking “I look so young and fresh here” until you realize it’s 3 1/2 years old 😉

After yesterday hit 91 degrees, and the night was riddled with thunderstorms and showers, the weather today was just perfect. There’s so much can do on a day like today!

I love it when it’s not too hot that chocolate melts. This was mint-flavored carob, but I’d assume it’d melt if it were too hot, too. There is nothing worse than opening up a chocolate bar only to find melted poo.

When it’s this nice out, part of me feels like I could keep going and going. The other part of me(aka, my knees) remembers all too well the 14 miles from yesterday, so there wasn’t much enthusiasm to go any further. Still, this was a dreamy run.

When the weather’s this perfect, grilling is the obvious option, but there are some things that just taste better in a seasoned pan.

I was craving Spanish potatoes and ground beef. This was so simple, too; just potatoes and onion cooked in olive oil with sea salt, paprika, and black pepper, and then grass-fed ground beef cooked through. A little basil just brightens up everything; it’s my favorite herb to add in the Summer.

I couldn’t wait for Sundae Friday this week; I just had to have fun in the kitchen. I used up the last of the vegan blondies and mixed them with snickerdoodle soy ice cream. It was missing something, though…

Rice whip, anyone?! All vegan; all delicious.

When the weather’s this perfect, I think my diet soda addiction kicks back in. Like I said here, even though I went 96 hours without stevia, I still adore it in moderation.Since the weather was so nice, I took a walk around the neighborhood, and made a delicious snack plate upon my return.

A random plate of raw onion, raw broccoli, and 2 slices vegan Hawaiian pizza. I was curious if leftover gluten-free, vegan pizza had that same magical quality as regular leftover pizza. It does.

For dinner, my mom went out with her girlfriends for the night. That used to mean “breakfast for dinner” for the boys, where the breakfast was poptarts. Thankfully, we’ve all grown up a little since then and can make real food.

When the weather’s this perfect, a Summer Salad is the way to go. This was just dressed spinach with homemade chickpeas, raisins, and Daiya. I think I’ve reached my fake-cheese limit for the day.

Do you take your leftover pizza hot or cold? I like to heat it back up and get it to the gooey cheese state.

What do you feel like doing in perfect weather? I’m 90% sure ice cream will be made tonight. I’m just debating between a very classy chocolate chip or a vegan white chocolate flavor…

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1 Year Older, 1 Year… Different

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

I have to say, I don’t even really remember writing this post 1 year ago tomorrow. I actually started the blog 1 year ago today; I’m not quite sure what happened to the first post but it was nothing special as I remember. I guess it’s fitting that this blog started with a product review, since that’s one thing I’ve done through it all(I still do, too. I’ve just been enjoying a house with a loaded kitchen). But over all that time I can’t say that I’ve really “learned” anything; I’ve simply changed. In a lot of ways.

I’ve updated both my bio on the side bar and my About Me to reflect my latest thoughts. There was a time when I measured out nut butter on oatmeal, and that worked for me. Now, I’m happy plopping it on and not knowing. And in this post, I swore off artificially sweetened yogurts; that sparked 8 or so months of eating how I would call “all-natural”. Honestly, I’m a little over that label. I still probably eat that way 99.9% of the time, but it’s not how I’d label myself. But I realized at the root of everything I’ve done, it’s been in the name of comfort. I think no matter what you do, it needs to be what feels right to you. So that’s where I am now: a comfort eater.

Speaking of comfort, we used to eat pizza as a family probably twice a week in my younger days. It was always from a greasy local joint, never quite good or healthy, and yet we all loved it. Since going gluten-free(another thing different), I really have missed pizza. So yesterday I broke out the gluten-free pizza mix and got to work. The dough tasted like Bertucci’s!(I made it vegan so it was OK to eat the dough ;-))

The ingredients were very basic: we got pizza sauce made fresh at Whole Foods, fresh mozzarella on sale, basil picked from our garden, Daiya, and canned pineapple. Yes, my favorite pizza has always been Hawaiian. 

It came out of the oven perfectly. The dough was a little… doughy, but I realized that was because I cut the whole recipe in half except for the water. Whoops. Half of this was a traditional pizza margarita and half vegan Hawaiian.

My plate had two slices of each, and a salad made with strawberries, yellow onion, and grape tomatoes. Like I said, the crust was a little bit doughy. But besides that this was excellent. I don’t even think anyone knew the pineapple pieces were vegan until I told them.

Of course, some things will never be different.

I still like ice cream. It just happens to be made from coconut milk.

I’ll have my cake and eat it, too. Even better, I can do it without gluten, eggs, or dairy.

And chocolate… how I love my Endangered Species chocolate. The only thing different here is that I’ve elevated my hydrogenated Jif to vanilla peanut butter and other fun flavors by Naturally Nutty.

After 1 year, I never thought I’d be so excited for another and more. I could never pick 1 favorite thing about blogging; I’d have to pick 3. Making friends with other bloggers is huge to me, and I look forward to many more meetups and getting to know new people. Hearing about how I’ve influenced people in any way, shape, or form, big or small always brings a smile to my face. If I can help someone in anyway by just doing my own thing, I’m happy to. And I never, ever take for granted a public platform to embarrass myself, because how will I ever achieve my dream of being a Food Network chef/stand-up comedian/Today Show host/Mythbuster/Adventurer if I can’t take a little criticism.

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If Today Was Your Last Day

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

10 Miles

10 Miles

Sure enough, just when I was thinking of cutting my run short at the halfway point after 5 miles, Nickelback’s If Today Was Your Last Day came up on my ipod shuffle and had me thinking, “If today were my last day(I’m pretty sure this is more grammatically correct but then again I study dead languages for a living), would I want to go out knowing I gave in on my last run?” At that, I kept on running and did another loop. But that same song had me thinking all day long.

Chickpeas Cooking

Chickpeas Cooking

If today was my last day, I’d knock off all the recipes I want to make over the Summer(listed here). I didn’t do all of them, but I did do 1: chickpeas from their dry state. This was so simple, and much cheaper. How had I not gotten on this before? Besides, fresh chickpeas make for the best lunches.

Olive Oil Seared Chickpeas, Grilled Sweet Potato Chunks, Onion, And Spinach Salad, Root Beer

Olive Oil Seared Chickpeas, Grilled Sweet Potato Chunks, Onion, And Spinach Salad, Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

If today was my last day, I’d eat tons of fried food and drink through a brewery. Since it’s not, I stuck with pan-fried chickpeas and root beer. Oh my. When chickpeas take on olive oil is better than When Harry Met Sally, I’m just saying. Add in a cold one, and it’s a little sinly.

Green & Black's Ginger Dark Chocolate

Green & Black's Ginger Dark Chocolate

Lulu's Maca Love Bar

Lulu's Maca Love Bar

If today was my last day, I’d eat through pounds and pounds of chocolate. You could very well make an argument that I already do that. I had a few pieces of Green & Black’s ginger dark chocolate way before my run, and then a Maca Love Bar by Lulu’s chocolate as an afternoon delight. Hmm… I learned I’m not a maca lover. But this totally had me on the vanilla and the crunchy sea salt/coconut sugar combo. How could it not?

Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Vegan Blondie

Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Vegan Blondie

If today was my last day, dessert would have been for dinner. Instead, dessert came before dinner. Oo la la. These blondies are just as magical the day after as leftovers. Speaking of leftovers, I probably would have baked with less earth balance if I knew I’d still have these. Vegan don’t mean skinny 😉 And So Delicious vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. Yes, please.

Paprika Pepper Fries, Vegan Stuffed Italian Pepper

Paprika Pepper Fries, Vegan Stuffed Italian Pepper

If today was my last day, I’d have my last meal be a big, juicy piece of grass-fed beef with a whole margarita, gluten-filled pizza with fresh mozzarella up the wazoo; I’m going out guns ablazin’ and belly abloated. In this instance, a vegan stuffed pepper would have to do.

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Ketchup
  • Soy Sauce
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh Basil
  • Nutritional Yeast

Stuffed in a pepper and topped with ooey, gooey Daiya goodness next to some fries with pepper and paprika. I do believe it doesn’t have to be your last day to eat good.

What would you do if today was your last day? Of course, ipod shuffle isn’t always so profound. Case in point: Sex Bomb.

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Too Much Nature For Me

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

Sometimes, I have to look at how my post makes me seem and laugh; I swear I’m not too crunchy granola, really 😉 I do have limits to my love of nature. Bloggers, do you feel like your blog persona is never the true you?

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge

I snacked on vegan peanut butter fudge before my run. Not only was I nervous about the thought of a 14-miler after 3 days of not running, but to make things work I looked out my window and say a big, black ball in my draveway. It turned out to be a wild turkey, and this one looked mean :-/ He left and soon enough I was off.

14 Miles

14 Miles

The highlight of the run, by far, was running past a beautiful, big brown cow who looked straight at me going by. The decaying possum on the side of the road I had to pass twice? Yeah, not so much. Oh, and the joy of everything was just finishing!

Raw Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Olive Cashew Cheese, Multigrain FTSG Chips

Raw Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Olive Cashew Cheese, Multigrain FTSG Chips

Since raw food takes no cooking, why not have a raw meal for quick post-run recovery? I mad a simple salad with arugula, spinach, basil, and olive oil, and tossed grape tomatoes in sea salt and black pepper.

Raw Olive Cashew Cheese

Raw Olive Cashew Cheese

We bought this cheese on this occasion at Grezzo’s and I finally dethawed it. Wow, is it delicious! It doesn’t really remind me of cheese, or cashews. It’s so unique. And somehow I insist I’m not that crunchy granola 😉

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Dessert was an apple, and then I was off!

Wolf Hill Farm

Wolf Hill Farm

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

I went down to the local farm to get more honey. Apparently, I can go through almost a pound of honey a week–who knew?! I love supporting a local farmer, but… I really wish the middle aged woman running it would buy a support bra with all that support I’m giving. Now she is that crunchy granola.

Plain Chobani With Honey And Crunchy PB

Plain Chobani With Honey And Crunchy PB

This afternoon snack was a no-brainer: yogurt with honey and peanut butter. So good! It helps to mask that plain favor I despise so much. Have you seen the new blue containers? I think I dig them more than the pink, but it’ll take some getting used to.

Coconut Ice Cream With Crunchy PB

Coconut Ice Cream With Crunchy PB

And before dinner I polished off a coconut coconut milk ice cream to make room in the freezer. Adding peanut butter to ice cream is never as good than ice cream with peanut butter already in it. I think it needs a little extra sweetness.

Black Beans With Daiya, Peppered Potato Wedges With Caramelized Onions

Black Beans With Daiya, Peppered Potato Wedges With Caramelized Onions

Dinner was a lot of carbs with a new recipe! I’ll be posting it Saturday night, so potato fans keep an eye out 😉 I have just come to love the white potato over the past few weeks. Maybe I was Irish in a past life? The only thing that disgust me is cleaning the potato itself, especially once it’s started to grow stars. Ew, ew, ew! Too much nature for me.

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Free Of Nothing; Full Of Nutrition

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I had a sobering thought on my run today. I hate “veganism”. “What? But I love all my vegan meals and recipes.” That was my next thought. But I kept going back and realizing I really do hate the label, “vegan”.

So then I asked myself “Why?”

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

*Note: I did not eat this today, or any meat. The only non-vegan things I had were a yogurt at breakfast and brownie made with eggs in the afternoon*

Frankly, I’ve known too many people going vegan or vegetarian to avoid certain things for “health”, things like cholesterol and animal fats. And then once a year–probably on their birthday–, they’d have a big juicy steak. “Once and a while won’t kill”. Well of course it’s not going to kill you; but no one can say the same for the cow.

I think there are a lot of ways you can be healthy without strapping on the vegetarian label and shunning things out of your life. That’s not why I eat vegan at the meals and times I do. Rather, it’s to bring certain nutrients in.

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

My lunch wasn’t healthy because of the absence of animal products; it was healthy because of the abundance of plant-based foods. That, to me, is what veganism is all about: The emphasis of a plant based diet. As much as I’d love to think that way 24/7, I’ll undoubtedly slip up sometime and look at something for being “dairy-free” or “free of animal by products”. What I really wish I could see 100% of the time is how something is free of nothing, but full of nutrition.

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Of course, allergens play a role in this, too. But I would count those as a separate case. A lactose-intolerant person would eat coconut milk ice cream for a very different reason than a vegan. I’m–well–I’m neither. But I love how this tastes and feels, and do try to avoid dairy to some extent for better digestion.

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

And the brownie was likewise free of dairy and gluten(an allergen I do take care to avoid).

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Desserts in general, though, I would say get a pass on ever being “healthy”. No matter how you cut it(a fudge joke), my microwave vegan chocolate fudge and microwave vegan peanut butter fudge are full of sugar. That doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor, either, or that you shouldn’t make them 😉

9 Miles

9 Miles

That fueled me to run around my neighborhood 8 times for a total of 9 miles. Perhaps my legume love isn’t such a terribly beneficial thing since I needed to make a pit stop into the bathroom after lap 6. At least I was close to home and didn’t go on a road run like I was thinking.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Afterwards I refueled with my lunch posted earlier, and when that wasn’t enough I added an apple. Later on, at the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of baby carrots to eat in the car(or the walk out of the store). If you went through a list of the allergens raw fruits and veggies are “free of”, we’d be here all day; it’s better to think of all the nutrition they’re “full of” in my mind. And tonight was “full of” recipes:

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • salt to taste

Cut the ends off of a sweet potato. Slice all the way through horizontally. With the cut side down, make strips 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Cut those again lengthwise to make into “fry” shapes. Repeat with the other 1/2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Add the fries and EVOO to the pan and massage with your hands until completely covered. Preheat an oven to 350 and bake for 60 minutes. Season to taste.

Vegan BBQ Bean Poutine

Ingredients

  • 1 serving sweet potato fries
  • 1/2 cup vegan BBQ beans
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella style Daiya
  • 2 strips tempeh bacon(optional)
  • 3 pieces fresh basil

Cook the sweet potato fries according to directions. Pile on a plate, and add on top the BBQ beans. Heat in the microwave through for about 2 minutes. Add on the Daiya and heat another 30 seconds to melt. If using, cook the tempeh bacon through until crispy according to manufacturer’s directions. Cut into small pieces and crumble on top. Garnish with basil.

Organic Pickles

Organic Pickles

Served with a side of organic pickles. Such a simple and delicious meal for one(I’m the only one home tonight). What are you full of today? I would have to say that I’m full of beans!! and also joy that I got so much on my to-do list done. The only thing I hope for this weekend to be “free of” is stress before my last final, because that’s been giving me plenty of that.

If you enjoyed my What Would You Do moment, the actual show is on at 9pm tonight on ABC so watch that!

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“I’m A Runner. I Can Eat Whatever I Want”

Posted on May 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I hear it all the time, either on the Runner’s World forums or in real life: “A runner can eat whatever they want”. Let me tear this one to shreds. First of all, are we all really “runners”? at least in this sense? I do think that there’s little difference between anyone who runs a mile for fun or 10 miles for fun. But there’s a BIG difference between people who run for fun and people like Ryan Hall who run for a living. Now those are runners.

OK. Let’s assume we are all runners. The same rules of life still apply. That’s why my first point is to listen to what mom always said and have your 3 balanced meals each and every day.

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Dinner last night was a simple medley of black beans and organic russet potato over spinach and topped with Daiya. Yes, I really was just eating everything else as a way to have Daiya. But I thought this would be better than eating it straight from the bag to get more nutrients, don’t you think?

Moldy Chobani

Moldy Chobani

Some things none of us can eat, like moldy yogurt. Yeah, this wasn’t the most pleasant way to start my day.

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

And other things we could eat but probably shouldn’t. Case in point: these cupcakes for breakfast. I know people who would call a cupcake a “muffin” if it’s eaten before 10am. But with no whole grains, and little of–well–anything, these would not have been kind to me during my 14 miler I have planned. That’s when I made a new plan for breakfast:

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Much better. A new yogurt, topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dark chocolate almonds, and oatmeal topped with vanilla peanut butter made with Madhava vanilla agave. Sure, there was sugar here. But there was also 30+ grams of protein, 20g whole grains, 20g bran, healthy fat and antioxidant from cacao and pomegranate. This was most definitely one of my “balanced meals”.

I don’t want to make the case that a runner always has to eat healthy; that’s a dangerous mindset I hear too much, too. The truth is, balance is the key. At a certain point, a calorie is a calorie and a runner might just need more to do more. That’s where dessert comes in.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Indulgent? Sugary? Delicious? All of the above. Still, I try to find some nutrition in my desserts, which is why I often reach for coconut products. The saturated fat in coconut is medium chain, making it easier for our bodies to break down to energy than long chain. And it’s plant based so it has no cholesterol. Besides that, it just is easier for me to digest than dairy. What more could I say to get you on the coconut train?

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

And if I’m notorious for anything, it’s my nightly bowl of oatmeal with nut butter. Do what you want. But the warm carbs are great for a good night’s sleep. And this is nothing but a healthy dessert. And those squares of Endangered Species organic smooth dark chocolate–all for the antioxidants 😉

Fudge

Fudge

So I guess I can’t play the runner’s card to attack this pan anymore, huh? Well it will still be there if and when I finish running 14 miles. The sun is shining and things are heating up so if ever that’s happening it will be soon. Tonight’s post will be a recipe-packed post with all of your ice cream suggestions and what’s in the pan above.

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What Would You Do?

Posted on May 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My newest Friday night television obsession is the ABC show What Would You Do? The whole show is based on what used to be a 20/20 segment where they put real people in morally compromising situations with hidden cameras to tap their reaction. Since I’ve been watching 20/20 and this segment for 5-6 years, I was excited for this(You can go ahead and do the math; you’ll just find out I turned into a grandpa at a really young age). As much as I wanted to recommend this show, I didn’t have much to say about it. That was until I had a What Would You Do? moment in my own life.

At the gym, someone clearly left their Debit card and hadn’t noticed since they weren’t around the entire while I was there. I’ve seen lost personal property at the gym before and left it, but since this clearly had the person’s name on it I decided to take it and find them. When I tried to find a school email, they weren’t in the system; at this point, I thought I’d made a huge mistake and wanted to go throw it back on the gym floor and forget about it. Instead, I used one of my most prominent skills: Facebook stalking. I was able to track them down and message the person, who actually cancelled the card right away and said thank you but that I could tear it up. What would you have done in my situation? In their’s? I think we both did the best thing; I definitely would have been hesitant to take anything from the gym if I didn’t think finding the owner would be reasonably easy, so if it were a real gym I’d probably have turned it in to the front desk and went on my way(there’s no staff there; it’s just a single room of machines).

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

For breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal with Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter; how is it that I haven’t eaten this peanut butter in weeks?! It may not be vegan, but it’s perfection. And on a cherry fage I crumbled my last lemon ginger macaroon from Emmy’s Organic. You know you’re a blogger when you forget that “real” macaroons have egg whites in them and aren’t raw. They also aren’t this yummy.

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Right before leaving for the gym I remembered my fudge in the refrigerator. My runs are a lot better when I do some serious prefueling. Ironically, I thought eating chocolate before a run would just be crazy and cheap. But fudge? Now that’s a class act.

I ran 12 miles on the treadmill. In hindsight, I have to question how sane it is to run on an electric machine when there’s a huge thunderstorm outside. But the thought didn’t occur to me until mile 7 so I kept going. I also got to watch Ice Age and laugh out loud at the line “It’s hard to get fat on a vegan diet.” Someone hasn’t tried my fudge

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya

Black Beans And Daiya

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

For lunch, I threw together a little Spanish fiesta with foods from the dining hall. I topped black beans with Daiya, which is still pure magic in case you’d thought I’d forgotten. On the side were some Spanish Potatoes and salsa, and a Dr. Zevia to wash it all down(OK, actually to empty the can so I don’t have to carry it out of the dorm).

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Dessert was more vegan chocolate fudge with a little vanilla peanut butter. I have a recipe for vegan peanut butter fudge in my mind! But obviously I don’t want to release it until I can make a test batch.

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Really, the fudge was just an apertif for the main course: So Delicious chocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream. I’m going to cry in the time that I don’t have this between moving out of the dorm and settling in at home. It’s that good.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

After that I walked to CVS where I got the most perfect Mother’s day card and picked up a citrus kombucha and ate that as a snack with 1/2 a raw chocolate bar. I’ve had this 1/2 lying around for so long frankly because I haven’t cared for it; if you’re looking for raw chocolate, better to try Nibmor or Lulu’s or even make your own with my recipe. Speaking of recipes…

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

I cooked! OK, it wasn’t anything more than maple baked tofu with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. But it felt soooo good to get back in the kitchen and turn on the oven after more meals than I can count from the dining hall or Whole Foods or made of oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong–I love a good meal made for me here and there. But there’s nothing more grounding than making something yourself.

Do you feel like you need to cook or bake from time to time? Clearly, I do. Do you think it’s “hard to get fat” on a vegan diet like Sid the Sloth says? That’s how I used to think–that vegans were sticks who ate grass–, but after learning more and reading so many wonderful vegan blogs I know they can cook with the best of them and it’s still everything in moderation that’s key. I’ll point out everything here today besides the butter toffee peanut butter and Cherry Fage was vegan. And what would you do?

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Naughty. Sexy. Food.

Posted on May 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you took the weekend off and are catching up

I feel like I’ve eaten everything naughty and delicious already and it’s not even 7pm. That’ll cure those Monday blues 😀

Golden Sesame Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Raw Baby Carrots

Golden Sesame Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Raw Baby Carrots

Because, really, what’s more naughty than golden sesame tofu ala Whole Foods?

Golden Sesame Tofu

Golden Sesame Tofu

I took a peak at the potential nutritional of this. Yeah, don’t do that; just eat it and enjoy. I love this every time. And at 2.50 it’s a cheap way to get a good meal! Fried tofu definitely doesn’t have me wanting to run a marathon right afterwards, though.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

For dessert and before going to office hours I had a piece of vegan fudge. Obviously, because this has all been vegan so far, it all must have been good for me, right? Yeah, no. But so many foodgasms here.

Cashew Almond KIND Bar And Strawberry Serenity Kombucha

Cashew Almond KIND Bar And Strawberry Serenity Kombucha

For a “cleaner” snack I ate a cashew almond KIND bar(my favorite) along with a strawberry Kombucha. I definitely was not a fan of this flavor. But I was happy to get rid of a bar and a bottle as part of Project Cleanout.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

An apples nice and clean, right? Not washed and non-organic. Oooo, I just keep getting dirtier.

Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ Baked Beans, Daiya Mozzarella

Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ Baked Beans, Daiya Mozzarella

And dinner was this one last naughty, dirty, uncomposed plate of deliciousness.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

And all vegan! Oh, Daiya, I love you. And it’s all thanks to Caitlin for this flavor pairing of sweet potato and BBQ beans. 80% of the sweet potato fries were completely burnt; one of the perks of being home surely will be that, at home, the oven isn’t floors below me. And in case you were wondering, fork or fingers on the fries? It’s all dirty and all delicious, so yes and yes.

Now, really, I should do something better with my time than eat naughty foods while watching the latest Dr. Who(Daleks, again?!). In the meantime, check out Averie’s stevia giveaway, Gina’s iHerb giveaway, and Katie’s shopping spree.

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These Legs Were Made For Walking

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s just what they do.
One of these days the legs
Are gonna walk all around you.
RISD Art Sale

RISD Art Sale

First Baptist Meeting House

First Baptist Meeting House

Downtown

Downtown

I feel like I went everywhere today, and all by foot! So much for rest day? But it was fun! I did not expect the RISD art sale to be in swing again. There was so many amazing paintings and potteries, any of which I’d have been lucky to own. When I hit downtown, Providence couldn’t have reminded me of Boston any more, and for the first time. I’ve never really seen the city like this; all my time so far has been rainy or cold but today was perfect. Of course, the reason for my walking extravaganza was this:

Registering

Registering

I can’t believe the half-marathon is just tomorrow! The nerves are starting to set in, as this will be my first “real” half-marathon. The Race For The Border was fun, but it felt more like 250 people getting together in New Hampshire to run around a bit. This feels real. The best part of the walk back was knowing that I started lunch at 9:30 and it’d be waiting for me.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

I think I’ve hit vegan heaven.

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

Vegan Cheesy BBQ Fries And Beans

I’ve been really intrigued by Caitlin’s combination of sweet potatoes and BBQ beans. I also loved the combination of sweet potato fries and Daiya from last night so much I knew I wanted it again! Why not combine the two in a poutine-like fashion? This was divine. The flavor came through as some salty, sweet, and fatty bit of deliciousness with crisped potato fries, soft beans, and gooey Daiya. I’m going to need several more plates of this over the Summer.

Groceries

Groceries

My options for the early afternoon were work or do chores. I’d rather do chores. I walked down to Eastside Market and my little Whole Foods to get some ice cream(majorly on sale), 3lb of organic sweet potatoes, beans(dinner), a bar(my “breakfast” tomorrow), and some chocolates(longly considered and purchased enthusiastically).

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I snacked on an organic apple for rehydrating from all the walking until I was ready for something more “desserty”.

Mint Chip And Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Mint Chip And Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

This hit the spot. I used the last of my mint Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt with a good amount of Elan’s vanilla. Cost per scoop, this is hands down the best vanilla ice cream out there. It was only $3 for a quart on sale! It’s local to New England and the flavor is absolutely fantastic; it tastes like a fresh, frothy vanilla milkshake all the time. And, of course with me, the ingredient list is rather clean.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

As big as my chocolate tooth is, my vanilla tooth is right there with it; I had a small bowl of oatmeal with some 365 peanut butter mixed with Madhava’s vanilla agave. Vanilla makes for the best everything: peanut butter, chocolate, cookies. God bless vanilla.

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

And a cool Zevia beverage after returning from the dining hall with some greens for dinner. I just hope in hindsight that the concentrated erythritol or stevia here doesn’t cause any running discomfort tomorrow morning.

Hemp Oil Dressed Greens, Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Hemp Oil Dressed Greens, Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

Chickpea Salad With Raisins And Daiya

I’m really digging this Daiya. I don’t even like real mozzarella this much! I figured because it’s so flavorful it must be loaded with added sugars. Nope! There aren’t any! It puzzles me, but all I care is that it’s good. And there’s never enough room on the plate for my greens, so instead I just put them in a separate bowl after dressing with Foods Alive sweet and sassy; you can’t tell but that’s fully packed in.

OK, kiddos, since I won’t have time to post in the morning, here’s my game plan: I’m going to try to be asleep by 10:30 tonight to get hours and wake up at 6:30. After my morning routine, I’ll either be walking or getting a ride down to the starting line at 7, snack on my Amazing Grass chocolate peanut butter protein bar, and the race will start at 8. My goal is to do it in under 1:40, and my bib is 3761. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Yes. But I figure that’s all part of the recipe for success. As the best of them say, here goes nothing!

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Can I Petition A Petition?

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Saturday! I for one am more than happy to be closer to Summer and living at home with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Have you all seen this petition yet? Basically, it’s a petition for Obama and his family to become vegans for their influence. Uhhh, what?! I fully support those who are vegans, or vegetarians. But how on earth could anyone want to dictate how another person eats? Especially when some of those are just little girls?

If I posted this when I first heard about it, I’d have some not-so-choice words, but I think by now my minds mulled it over to speak better of it. If anything, we should be preaching tolerance–tolerance of those who have a different way of thinking or path in life. This petition shows no more tolerance than the intolerance you could find against vegetarianism in a Southern cattle farm community. More importantly, you can eat ethically and aware without being a vegan, which is part of what Michelle Obama has already done through her time in the White House. What do you think of this petition? Besides that it’s going nowhere, I think it’s a little rude. And–as always–I’m on a mission to show you can eat well and ethically without devoting yourself to any label.

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I had this little bowl of Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter and a scoop more before hitting the gym. What is it about almond butter that makes me just want to eat out of the jar?! It’s so delicious! Especially with a little vanilla. I felt extra fueled after that.

10 Miles In 88:59

10 Miles In 88:59

Fueled enough to runner a faster 10 miles as the last training run before my half-marathon. That feels weird to even think about. Enough, enough. Lunch!

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Motivated by Kath, I’ve been getting in to canned salmon for extra omega-3’s without much fuss. I mixed mine with maple syrup and walnut oil for something packed with even more essential fats and tasty! Over the top was Tierra Farm‘s dried fruit and baby carrots, with salad dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing.

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

An organic apple for dessert!

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

On my way back from my grocery trip, I picked up a trilogy kombucha at a cafe because I felt a little down about the whole trip :-/ A lot of it was on the store’s sale, which was good. But I probably could have saved more in coupons if I was better organized. At least I didn’t blow the project cleanout challenge too much. And you can’t say I don’t eat what I buy:

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Isn’t it dreamy? My whole point in going was to get some whipped cream to make a sundae. They didn’t even have regular–just non-fat sugar-free or Rice Whip, which is dairy and soy-free. The latter seemed less processed, so I went with that and made a sundae with So Delicious chocolate coconut milk ice cream. The fudge sauce was simply cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed together. Voila! OK–the Rice Whip tasted REALLY fake; if you’ve ever had rice milk, just imagine that in an airier form. Besides that, this Friday sundae was delicious and a perfect before-dinner treat 🙂

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

If Obama wants to eat his beef and have his vegan cheese, too, I fully support that! I made a 1/3 a pounder hamburger but undercooked it far too much 😦 I really wanted to try the daiya so instead of eating it straight from the bag I made some sort of vegan cheese fries–YUM. This was better than mozarella cheese; it was crack. I’d be lying if I said I’m not planning on having it again today(maybe twice).

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

I love mint. I could eat a salad made of mint leaves. This bar doesn’t have a great minty flavor like alter-eco’s mint bar. But it was what the Whole Foods I was at had, and I don’t terribly mind it.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

And some oatmeal with homemade chocolate almond butter because nowhere near me carries Justin :-/ Oh well, now that I’ve pinned down the secret to making good homemade chocolate nut butters, I’m less enthused to go out and pay $10 for someone to do it for me.

This morning I woke up nice and early to not run. Maybe it defeats the purpose of a rest day to keep yourself from sleep. But I want to be nice and tired tonight so I can go to bed early and sneak 8 hours in somewhere before the race.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

I love Fage, especially their cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it’s about expensive as they come around here. At least it’s on sale at Whole Foods this week. The cherry here tastes just like the cherry dips at Dairy Queen! Yum! Next time I’m trying full fat. The peanut butter–again, since I’ve figured out how to make cookie dough nut butter, I’m less enthused about paying someone to do it for me. Besides, this one seems really fake since half of it melts over oats and the other half is still solid :-/ Until it’s gone, though, I’ll live it up and enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on mint? I made my gluten free chocolate brownies with a lot of mint extract once and was told it was like mouthwash; hell, I thought they were great! The more mint, the better in my opinion. Even though it’s often paired with chocolate, I wouldn’t mind a dessert exclusively with mint as the flavor. Speaking of chocolate, here’s a Bubble Chocolate Giveaway. Now I get to go to my very first race expo! I hope it’s nifty.

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