The 11th Commandment

Posted on December 11, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you had the chance to check out my new HoliDEALS page? or enter my giveaway? Yes? Good, then let’s continue.

After having been on self-promoted dorm arrest for the past few days with the first of 4 papers let’s not talk about it, I decided to obey the 11th commandment: treat thyself. In this case that manifested with a trip down to Eastside Market and Whole Foods right after breakfast. It was chilly, but I was a man on a mission *insert serious face smiley*

Ok, it was really cold, so I was relieved to make it in Eastside Market and snoop the new sales. There really wasn’t anything that looked enticing, but I did find a Tofurkey Farm.

Tofurky Products

They were full price so I didn’t feel pressure to snag anything. But I’m comforted to know these are still existing at least until Christmas. I just picked up some squash and decided to see if there was more at Whole Foods. How had I not noticed organic gum drops before? I was very tempted to grab these but the price had me putting them back. I also noticed bulk bin oats were on sale, which had me laughing; usually don’t things go on sale and people pick them up “to give the a try” or because “they’re too expensive regularly but now they’re on sale.”? I’m pretty sure neither has ever applied to oatmeal. There was a lot more meandering and picking up things to only put them back; I wanted to just pick up a few things that I knew I’d eat and finish.

Groceries

Ok, so maybe I did buy some bulk bin oatmeal 😀 But I was going to buy it anyway. I also obeyed commandment 11 by treating myself twice(is that too holy?). I grabbed herbed turkey for dinner and a carrot cake slice that was calling my name. I quickly made a “healthy”ish lunch.

Snobby Joe, Baby Carrots, 1/2 Slice of Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

If you’re going to have carrots, you really ought to have carrot cake, too. Or is that the other way around? To be honest, my favorite part of this meal was the snobby joe, followed by the cream cheese frosting. How is that possible? Maybe I’m just not a sweets person as I thought because, while it was good, some oats with melting peanut butter would have been fine, too. Oh well. Sometimes we do what we think we want and it’s not right; how could I have known I’d be happier with 3/4 pound gumdrops for the same price? C’est la vie.

I worked a bit more created a twitter account just to play and win Chobani’s spoons. Score for free Greek yogurt! You can follow me @FunFuel, but if you expect me to ever update it you are sadly mistaken 😦 I was totally bought with yogurt. After my super nutritious lunch, this was definitely in order:

Apple

And then a trip out. I swung by the mailroom which meant some more calm:

Tazo Calm Tea

Ok, this tea is growing on me slightly. I also swung by the dining room, because it was so cold I knew I wouldn’t want to leave my dorm 2 hours later when it’d be even colder. Brussels were on the menu. What was actually there was stir-fried(read: dripping in grease) veggies. Not cool, dining hall, not cool. I grabbed some apples and a banana to replenish my fruit stash and went back to make a snack.

Pumpkin Oats With Honey Maple Peanut Butter And A Chocolate Pillow Cookie

I think after two weeks my pillow was ready to be a crumble. It kind of looks like a mudslide pudding, don’t you think? Well it didn’t look like that for long because I was ravished and attacked this. Apparently carrot cake digests fast and isn’t very filling 😦 Who would have guessed? It’s a vegetable, right? But the peanut butter(which is high protein) totally took care of that. Then again, I don’t think I needed another reason to like peanut butter more than cake. Dinner was touched with a little magic. And when I say magic…

Indian Curry Spice

I mean this Indian spice I picked up. Except it was salt free–is that a contradiction? Good thing I have plenty of sea salt to go around.

Herb Roasted Turkey, Broccoli, Acorn Squash With Curry Spice And Maple Syrup

This was one meal in which the 11th commandment was kind to me 🙂 The turkey was perfect. As you know, I don’t have meat much because I opt for only organic, natural, or wild, so it pains me when I do find meat like that but it’s flavorless. This was soooo juicy and bursting with herb flavor. Truly that beat out carrot cake and gum drops. And the combo of maple syrup and curry is just killer; it sounds a little iffy but you try it out and you just “get it”, if that makes sense. For dessert, I acknowledged that sometimes you just need chocolate.

Chocolate Yogurt With Midnight Moo Sauce

And I forgot how bitter real cocoa powder could be! Seriously this had plenty of vanilla stevia and vanilla sugar as well as the Midnight Moo sauce but some scoops still tasted really dry. I think I need to buckle down and by some sugary sweet pudding. Trader Joe must make that, right? I finished my 2nd paper while eating this 🙂 It was by far the easiest assignment, but 2 down and 2 to go still feels like a huge relief. Mid-30 Rock I had a HUGE craving for a warm and gooey, buttery blondie.

Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip Granola Bar

I don’t know what’s sadder; that this is marketed as “healthy” or that it 120% hit my craving. I was just happy I had it. And it’s good to keep bars like this around to honor the 11th commandment. Since I’m an intense creature of habit, I needed to finish the night off as always.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Chocolate Vitatop, Advent Chocolate

I ate this while watching Matt Damon on Leno; the man gained 30 pounds for one of his recent movies and couldn’t have had a better attitude about it. He talked about how the “man’s version of anorexia” where no matter how ugly or out of shape you are you think you look like Brad Pitt(btw, this is so true). Do you think you could gain weight for a role?(or, if you’re already an accomplished actress, have you?) I think if they gave me enough guidance and an intense trainer to whip my butt in the gym to pack on muscle, I’d do it.

This morning I definitely honored the 11th commandment by sleeping in 30 minutes. It wasn’t even “sleep” because I was awake the whole time, but sometimes it feels really good just to lie awake without a care. When I did get to the gym it was rather empty(score) and I felt very energized from the night before(double score). Not looking at the treadmill infor for the first 5 miles really helped the time pass, and in the end I wound up going 12–10 purposefully and 2 more to see Mark Bittman on the Today Show(He was making cheddar shortbread cookies. Need I say more?). But when I got back I was way in a peanut butter mood.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Mighty Maple

2% Peanut Butter Yogurt With Strawberry Jam

Yum! I don’t think a double dose of peanut butter counts as treating yourself; it’s too healthy. But it sure does taste good! And I’ve found the trick to peanut butter yogurt made with peanut flour: salt. It makes so much sense. I love salted peanut butters, so why not carry that over?

At the moment, I have a very full inbox and google reader. So naturally I’m surfing the web for anything to help get my mind off of those.

Here’s the original article. As you might guess, with my all-natural diet, I advocate always looking at the ingredient list first; you can usually get a good sense of the product just by what’s in it and how much. But I also really like this new food label for Americans who don’t pay the same attention to ingredients. And I really like the idea of “added sugar” and not just “sugar”. Did you know lactose in milk and fructose in fruit are included as sugar in products? That’s why a plain Chobani has 7g of sugar even though the only ingredient is milk.

Check out the Healthy Eats blog peanut butter taste test.

Here’s a lovely giveaway for some winter goodness–soup!

Holly’s having a lil’ giveaway as well!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 12 so far )

Kicking Off The Month Right

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December is one of, if not my absolute, favorite months. Why? Snow, Christmas, family, vacation–you get the picture. Thankfully yesterday was perfect for kicking things off. My breakfast(pumpkin oatmeal with smart balance peanut butter and maple syrup and a chobani with blueberry jam and double chocolate pillow) filled me up amazingly well. I was not at all hungry after class got out, so I thought I’d seize the opportunity to go to Eastside Market and Whole Foods! Would you believe me if i told you it’s been over 2 weeks since I walked that way? It has! On the way, I came across the best car:

LDYINRED

Would it be awful to paint this car blue as a very involved April Fool’s joke? Probably. First up was Eastside, which looked mostly the same. I noticed they had brown rice sushi now, which might or might not be new, and for less than $5! I grabbed some for lunch and moved through fairly quickly getting just “the essentials”. Then I hopped over to Whole Foods and was psyched to find this.

December Whole Deal

There’s a new Whole Deal! But it has some pretty awful coupons 😦 I would majorly suggest stocking up on the old ones before you can’t get them anymore. Again, I tried to be quick and dirty shopping here so as to get back to my dorm. Thankfully, it’s a small Whole Foods and not much changes. I couldn’t even find a single Tofurkey roast 😦 Maybe hunting season’s over? I got back at 1:30 so as to only miss half of Days, and unloaded the loot.

Groceries

The Chobani and banana were from the dining hall bought with meal points. Otherwise, it was all from my grocery fund. And while none of it I had a coupon for, I tried to just get sale items and things that were “essential”. Here’s a question: when did I become the type of person who considers fake bacon an essential? The only thing that was really an impulse buy was the Carrot Cashew Ginger soup which, for 75 cents a serving, I was willing to try. I also got this one last thing:

Advent Calender

An advent calender! Frankly, I was a little saddened to find that the 99 cent advent calenders my mom always got us had artificial ingredients I couldn’t eat 😦 Thankfully, this one is made with all-natural ingredients and fair trade cocoa to boot! Here’s to a delicious 24 days.

Brown Rice Tuna And Salmon Sushi, Carrot Cashew Ginger Soup

My lunch was simple yet amazing. The sushi wasn’t bad at all for $4.89, although I only ever really eat sushi for the fish. I honestly couldn’t care less for the bit of whole grains and small amount of avocado they give you that hardly adds up to a veggie. The soup was delicious! Albeit a little thin. I think I just like stews and thick bowls of oatmeal, but the flavor was rich.

My afternoon felt like a whirlwind. I hadn’t answered emails or read blogs since 9pm Monday night right before my lock-out experience. Rachael Ray, Ellen, Oprah–I think I was there for them all but I wasn’t really “present”. Before I knew it it was 4:30 and I had a rather odd snack craving.

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

For some people(here’s looking at you, Heather), acorn squash might not be so weird a snack. For oatmeal and peanut butter boy here, it was. Nonetheless, I complied, cut up my squash, and steamed it in the microwave, adding a little seasoning at the end. It was perfectly spot-hitting. A little later on the munchies came again and I wanted some protein.

Greek Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter And Peanut Butter Chips

18 grams to be exact. For this I just mixed a plain Chobani with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and clear liquid stevia and then added on Sunspire chips–yum! It was such a sweet treat. I love the pumpkin butter with peanut butter for a fall flavoring. As for protein, I don’t generally keep close track of all that stuff; I just aim to have at least 3 high-protein sources through out the day, which often end up being greek yogurt or tofu.

For dinner, the online menu for the dining hall was not promising. Really, there was nothing since even one of the main vegetables was beets which I’ve sworn off for 2 weeks. I still wanted to catch up with my friend, Adam, however, since it’d been nearly 2 weeks since we last had dinner with Thanksgiving being last week. Thankfully, he was fine with bringing takeout to my room, where I whipped up this dish:

Tofurkey Loaf Slice, Broccoli, Carrot Cashew Ginger Soup, Orange Zevia

So I like the soup, wanna fight about it 😉 This was a delicious way to serve up leftovers. I was thinking of adding some flax to the soup to thicken it up but I hate playing around with things and so let it be in the end. We caught up on each other’s Thanksgiving and groaned about how ridiculous these next few weeks of work will be and then said our goodbyes to “write papers”(which in my case meant blog). I’m not a terribly political person so I was happy to skip the Presidential address for some serious snackage.

Chocolate Vitatop With Shortcut Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh my God. What have I released? This was sooooo good. Seriously, has anyone else tried this frosting? If anyone made it vegan with Tofutti I would be mondo impressed/intrigued to hear how it worked out. The Biggest Loser was inspiring, as always. I couldn’t wait to see them do a marathon! That’s really going to make me feel lazy and like I need to get a move on that, haha. The Biggest Loser must make me hungry because at 10 I made a large(r) snack.

Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Roll With Cream Cheese Frosting, Yogurt With Cherry Butter, Dried Cherris, And Advent Chocolate

Advent Chocolate In Smart Balance

If I weren’t addicted to running and a health eater I’m sure I’d be driving my doctor nuts. The roll tasted just like a cinnabon; Afterwards I had a better idea for the chocolate. I love how the advent candy was in the shape of a heart. I hope they’re all fun like that. I pretty much gave up work after this(note how there’s a notebook under that food) and just focused on getting a good night’s sleep. I was also inspired to ask myself after watching the Biggest Loser contestants run a marathon why I hadn’t tried to run farther recently? Unfortunately my answer sucked: time. I’ve just always been focused on getting back to my dorm and making oatmeal too much to go the extra mile. And so this morning that’s exactly what I’m going to do(literally). I’m going to challenge myself to go 16 miles. If I have to walk or slow down I’ll let myself and I’ll give myself all the time I need. But that’s why I’m up posting at 6:30–to take a bit of time pressure off as I head out right now. Wish me luck!

So so many giveaways…

Popchip giveaway! Snap, crackle, POP!

Some very sweet nut butters to enjoy.

And an awesome regions best giveaway!

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

Vegan Friday

Posted on October 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Like I mentioned yesterday morning, Friday I decided I was going to eat completely vegan, both to try out the product I bought with one of my Lightlife coupons, but also as a way to challenge myself overall. Veganism is not something I ever had or will consider living permanently, but it was “fun”(and I realize my sense of this term is completely whack) to give a try. I’m also not going to pretend it was easy; let’s revisit breakfast, shall we?

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Good, very good. This was a great vegan way to start the day. Originally I had planned to have my last blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin instead of the oats; but I couldn’t bear the thought of having that muffin without cream cheese. Cream cheese, as yesterday taught me, is my crack and I was going through withdrawal.

After that I had my midterm. Thanks for all the well-wishes! I think I did pretty good. It was a Latin midterm and I think I really could have aced it had I known all I needed to do was memorize the poems we did, but that’s not really translating so much as copying. So I feel good with how I did study and how I did do and I’m sure that’ll be reflected in the grade. On the way back I picked up some mail and was psyched to find this:

Vega Products

Vega Products

The people at Sequel Naturals sent me some of their Vega products to try. I haven’t experimented much with protein powders before but I’m glad my first tasting will be with some of the best. These were optimally designed for athletes and sport nutrition so I’m sure they’re some super post-workout eats. I’m up for any tips you guys have on how to have these. I also made myself a very vegan lunch:

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

How lucky am I that my favorite recipe from the Summer happens to be a staple in any vegan cookbook? Trader Joe now sells lentils you can make in your microwave, so I could that up and mixed it with steak sauce, ketchup, and mustard to make a nice sloppy sauce. That with my two favorite sides made for one hell of a lunch. Best yet, I only used about 1/3 the bag so there’s a ton of lentils leftover–yum!

In History we got our assignment f.or our 2 part midterm. The first section is in class next Friday. He’s made a list of 4 pages worth of terms we should know inside and out; then he’s going to give us 10 or so of these terms to connect in a story of, and we do that twice. Basically, we’re going to be making fictional, random stories with unrelated events to amuse him. My plan: to insert as many dirty jokes as I can. He’s the kind of teacher who that would definitely work on. The other part is 3 4-5 page essays. That one scared me, until he basically said we have no deadline so long as we get them done well(and he didn’t even really say that last part). Basically, all of this has made me feel a lot better of never doing the homework for that class, but I’m still going to study my butt off for the best grade I can grub.

When I got out of my 3 o’clock class, I was actually pretty famished; I had almond butter on the brain all through class so of course I made some oats:

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

These totally hit the spot. But they were also a reminder of how you have to think a bit more when you’re eating vegan. I was going to top this with some butter toffee sliced almonds, until I thought about the name: butter toffee. Yikes–that was a close call. Since the almonds were out, I took that as liberty to salt these… a lot. Thank God salt’s vegan! I caught up on The Office and 30 Rock to this bowl. I was actually a bit downed by The Office; I just think it was because the wedding was so amazing there’s no comparison to other episodes anymore. 30 Rock, on the other hand, was great.

My foot was kind of killing me, but I knew I needed to go to Eastside Market. Today is going to rain, rain, rain, and there was at least 1 thing I needed to pick up. The walk actually stretched my muscles and I think helped. All in all, I hit up Eastside, Whole Foods, the dining hall, and Blue State coffee. My fingers were numb from the cold after all that, but I got what I went out for:

Smart Balance Creamy

Smart Balance Creamy

Yep. My old jar is almost out and I couldn’t let that happen. I picked this up with a dollar off coupon, but it was still a bit pricey. Insert my tale of Smart Balance here: My first experience with the SB PB was when I went to Georgia in August. The family I was with actually didn’t have any peanut butter that I could find. They were nice enough to buy me groceries and I picked out this jar to give it a shot. At first, the flaxy flavor was… alarming; after the first day it grew on me. I was crushed when the security at the airport took my jar from me, so much so that the day after I got home I went out and bought another jar. That time it was with agave. I don’t quite think I noticed a difference between the two flavors, but if I did it was in preference of the molasses sweetened one, and when we’re talking less than 1g of sugar per serving GI influence doesn’t really matter.

Well, now that I’ve bored you with that tale, maybe my snack will perk you up:

So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla, Sugar, And Chocolate Chips

So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla, Sugar, And Chocolate Chips

I bought this soy yogurt Tuesday when I decided to do a vegan day; I wasn’t sure I could go a day without yogurt and, while I think I could’ve, I’m glad I didn’t have to. I admit: I was a little weirded out when I had the thought “I’ve tasted this before. It tastes like… tofu”. By the end of the cup, it actually grew on me like that. I’m way too impressable. The real star here were the chocolate chips, which I was craving. I’m sure you can imagine my jumping for joy when I found out one of the chocolate chips I have(and, yes, I keep multiple types on stock) was vegan. I also liked that soy yogurt had 6g of fiber in a 110 calorie serving. I might have to buy that more often.

After letting my tofu-yogurt digest, it was time for the motivation behind the whole day:

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Finally–an excuse to use the chopsticks I brought to my dorm! This was, in short, a sensible and delicious meal that I would gladly have again another night. I was thrilled at how easy it was for me to prepare in my dorm; not too many protein sources are like that when all you have to work with is a microwave. The tempeh wasn’t quite as sweet as I expected from my experience with ginger teriyaki dishes from Chinese take-out. However, as I gave that some thought and looked at the nutrition/ingredients on this product, I surmised how unhealthily sugar-laden Chinese take-out often is, and how reasonable and healthy of an entree this was. While the flavor wasn’t loud, it was certainly present in ever bite. And the 320 calorie portion had an excellent 22g protein and 10g fiber, making it a filling dish as well. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to over done take-out or just something fun and funky for a change, I’d recommend this tempehtation and I can’t wait to try others.

After that delicious dinner, it was time for dessert:

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Just because it was Vegan Friday didn’t mean it wasn’t also Cookie Friday. I was a bit thrown off when I came to this realization, but then I remembered vegans have great desserts, too! I immediately knew what I wanted and picked this up at Blue State. Even though I might have dropped this once twice, it survived and I was able to pretty it back up. It really didn’t matter what it looked like because it tasted like heaven.

For the night I watched Ghost Whisperer, which was good as always, and Medium because nothing else was on. What a great example of how a show, even though it might have a decent concept, can be really bad. I felt like every character was whining the entire time. And it didn’t help that the episode was about a crying baby. I should have just watched Dateline or something.

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

This day was a fun experience, and I’m glad I challenged myself to do it. As you can see, it wasn’t like I ate much different than my normal ways; I just had to plan out a day of some of my favorite meals and watch out for “pitfalls” along the way. Overall, I think I relearned what I already knew: veganism isn’t a health craze or a diet. It’s a philosophy, mindset, and way of life. I don’t personally share the same beliefs as this; I think eating animals respectfully, and certainly byproducts of animals as well, is fine. But I fully support and have new respect for the people who do live like this 24/7.

I actually didn’t have plans to run this morning. But after a full 9, as in nine, as in the square root of 81, hours of sleep last night, I was surprisingly energized. I got to the gym and ran for an hour(or 59:20 to be exact) and did 7 miles. This made my total for the week a whopping 62.6 miles. Considering I’ve never ran more than 50 before, that was a shock. I actually started having an upset stomach when I got back, but I went ahead and made myself a very not-vegan breakfast:

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

2 very big reasons why I couldn’t go vegan were present. I set aside some of the Voskos yogurt for a taste testing because it’s one of the flavors they sent me, and added jam to the other part to make a sort of pineapple… you know the brand I’m thinking of. Obviously, the muffin was begging to be slathered in all its berry goodness. And now I’m just waiting(read: frantically packing) for my dad to get here to take me home, as the sky has just opened up and began pooring.

Chobani Giveaway! Can you have enough greek yogurt? I think we all know the answer to that…

And now that it’s getting cold out you’ll need soup, too!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

Never A Wasted Meal

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, I had a million ideas for breakfast, and this morning I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. What’s up with that? Back to yesterday, I still had a good part of my Elvis Parfait to chomp down on by the time I got to class, but I mixed it all up so I don’t think anyone cood tell I had (fakin’) bacon in my yogurt. Some people just aren’t as opened minded as bloggers 😉 I can’t believe I’ll be having my first test of the school year in that next Tuesday; didn’t I just move in? Time is a flyin’. I’ll be studying, but I’m not going to burn myself out in any one subject. I love being in college, because it really feels like the grades don’t matter and I can learn for the sake of learning. The internet was tame when I got back to my dorm; what’s up with that? I almost caught up to Google Reader before lunch. That shouldn’t happen:

Vegan Bacon And BBQ Baked Beans, Snap Peas, Broccoli, Artichoke And Chickpea Salad

Vegan Bacon And BBQ Baked Beans, Snap Peas, Broccoli, Artichoke And Chickpea Salad

Nothing really appealed at the diner until I found the vegan BBQ baked beans; I don’t remember I had baked beans, and I don’t even think these were originally from a can! I added 1 1/2 strips fakin’ bacon since I’m clearly addicted to really give it a smokiness. The side was good old steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, and some artichoke/garbanzo bean cold salad that I’m sure had too much EVOO but don’t want to know(hey, that rhymed!). I think the baked beans were dense, more than I realized because I felt like a 300lb trucker after finishing off the bowl. When I did and there was a commercial, this happened:

Broken Bowl

Broken Bowl

Way to go, Evan. It might not had been so annoying if I dropped it after scrubbing the thick sauce from the sides, but no luck their either. Now I’m a little annoyed because I already thought that bowl was on the larger side and the 2 others in the set are larger; I do not need 30oz of soup. I guess a Bed, Bath, And Beyond trip is in my near future.

After lunch and Days my roommate was still around and I just felt like getting outside. Enter grocery trip! Why some people don’t choose to go to a grocery store every day I’ll never understand; it’s just one of life’s simpler pleasures. There was some good sales at Eastside Market:

Live Lobsters

Live Lobsters

As much as I love lobster, I wasn’t sure how bringing a new “pet” back and figuring out some way to boil him would’ve worked out. Shame, too. Oh well, I imagine they don’t taste as good as when you get them right on the shores of Maine like I’m used to. I’m also really excited because Eastside Market is moving all their natural frozen foods to the natural food section. Is this a weird thing to be excited about? Don’t answer that. I figured it was time to leave when I started browsing the ice creams even though I thought I wasn’t hungry and it is in no way ice cream weather(which is a shame because Breyer’s All Natural is 2.99 a 1/2 gallon this week). I ended up with some simple loot:

Libby's Canned Pumpkin

Libby's Canned Pumpkin

That plus a Rachael Ray magazine. The only two worth buying in my mind are Food Network and Rachael Ray(see a pattern?). I’ve heard rumors of a pumpkin shortage this year? Well it hasn’t affected Eastside apparently since they had a full stock at 2.39 a can. I was definitely hungrier than I knew so I made a snack:

Pumpkin Oats With Seed Butter

Pumpkin Oats With Seed Butter

This was actually using an older can of pumpkin I’m working on emptying before cracking open the mother of all cans. In case you missed it, the secret Naturally Nutty butter is a blend of flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds with vanilla powder and all spice; it totally hit my vanilla tooth for the afternoon. I had heard it would be available by now but it’s not on their website. I hope it comes out soon because I’m almost out and it’s too. good. for. words. I was so ambitious yesterday afternoon, even making up a little study area with all the essentials:

Study Area

Study Area

Decaf coffee is always an essential and don’t you forget it. In reality? I got a lot of… internet procrastinating done 🙂 I think once you’ve read one dead language, you feel like you’ve read them all and just need a little break(i.e. any time you aren’t in class). I might not have had a lot of inspiration reading, but there was definitely inspiration in this snack:

Apple With Yellow Mustard

Apple With Yellow Mustard

So this has become one of my new favorite combos. I’m not sure what type of apple this was, but it’s a bit on the tarter side. It’s a shame that the cafeteria hasn’t had more Red Deliciouses for me to steal lately but the tartness worked wonderfully with the mustard. It might have been a Macintosh? Ok, you know you’re a blogger when you obsess not knowing what type of apple you ate. Anyway, my friend I was supposed to meet for dinner totally ditched me because he got an invite to a real dinner on someone else’s dollar, lucky bastard, so I trekked over to the V-W cafeteria.

Seafood Gumbo, Sauteed Peppers And Asparagus, Cooked Veggie Medley, Tofu Pineapple Curry With Rice

Seafood Gumbo, Sauteed Peppers And Asparagus, Cooked Veggie Medley, Tofu Pineapple Curry With Rice

Well, neither dining hall really grabbed me last night but I thought I’d give this one a try. When I got there and made my plate, it still didn’t grab me. The shrimp in the gumbo were tough and it was pretty flavorless altogether. I’m also pretty prejudice… against white rice that is. I tried picking out the tofu and pineapple in the curry but there was so little compared to the rice I just gave up. After I took this picture, I realized I was going to be filling up on veggies, so I wanted to really full up. I went back and got another serving of the cooked veggies and 2 more servings of the asparagus and red peppers. On the bright side, the asparagus was actually properly cooked(!!). That in itself almost made the meal worth it.

A bad meal always feels like a downer to me–like I could have had something good but instead I wasted a meal on something unworthy. That’s not a good way to think about things, though, so I shaked that thought from my mind. I reminded myself: I eat a lot, and can eat whatever I want whenever I want, so nothing goes wasted, especially when you eat wholesome, nutritious food. That thought made me feel good(and the coffee I grabbed on the way back made me feel that much better ;-)). I got back to the dorm, turned on the TV, rubbed my fiber/coffee baby belly, and put on my PJ’s to get some work done.

The rest of the night was just a bit off. Throughout all off Survivor I didn’t even have an appetite for dessert. That’s not like me. Speaking of Survivor, what is with doing yoga on a deserted island in the middle of a competition? That’s not right. And how are these people being played by Russell so well? I need to be on one season so I can show them all how to really play the game. At 9 I had to make a heart wrenching decision: Grey’s Anatomy or The Office? I chose Grey’s Anatomy since I was in more of a drama mood and know that the Office will be on nbc.com later today. I like this season of Grey’s so far. It’s a bit dramatic and out there, but that’s totally why I watch the show. About midway through Grey’s things got more normal and I got a bit of hunger:

Double Chocolate Dreams Vitatop With Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Yogurt With Figs And Vanilla Sugar

Double Chocolate Dreams Vitatop With Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Yogurt With Figs And Vanilla Sugar

Can I tell you another weird thing about last night? I peed 4 times before any dessert and at least 1 more time later on and drank nothing after my coffee. My fiber/coffee belly must had been bigger than I realized and I was carrying triplets or something. I love my vitatops but one thing I don’t like is there inconsistency in toppings. This literally had 2 white chocolate chips–that should happen. At least that way it didn’t interfere with my Rapunzel Nut Butter. And the vanilla sugar went perfect in the yogurt. Before I mixed in a little bit of my NuNaturals vanilla stevia and with the sugar it had a really authentic flavor. By 10:30 I still didn’t have much of an appetite, but I did not want to wake up feeling like crap because I didn’t eat right so I made what bit of a snack I could talk myself into:

Muffin Butt With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Muffin Butt With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

For every muffin top there has to be a muffin bottom, right? I may be prejudice against white rice, but not against muffin butts.

After falling asleep to some LOUD ASS frat parties, I woke up this morning not feeling great but not feeling bad either; I was more or less apathetic to running. That meant to me just do it, so I hit the gym and decided an easy-paced 8-miler was what the doctor ordered. I don’t think I looked at the stats for the first 7 miles; at one point I thought I might as well make it 10 but my shins and what felt like a bloody toe snapped me into reality and I settled for 8, finishing in 67:44. Again, I came back to more or less no appetite. What the hell? I don’t believe in forcing one’s self to eat, but there are certain times when one would be a dumb ass not to do so, so instead I like to think I “convinced” myself into these:

AppleBerry Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Apricot Jam And Cream Cheese

AppleBerry Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Apricot Jam And Cream Cheese

Fig And Vanilla Sugar Yogurt

Fig And Vanilla Sugar Yogurt

The vitatop was an easy bargain; that flavor tastes fruity and delicious and perfect for fall, not to mention you get way more than 2 toppings. I had the last of my english muffins :,-( And believe it or not there wasn’t a nut butter I really wanted so I stuck with cheese and fruit. The yogurt combo was all I could think of; if you heat your figs in the microwave for 20 seconds they get extra juicy and very flavorful. I poured out a glass of carrot juice to go with this only to find out my carrot juice is not so fresh after a few weeks in my fridge. I still love the flavor of carrot juice and appreciate the post-run energy it has to offer but I’ve cut back way on my consumption and definitely don’t feel like I need it anymore, especially if it’s only going to go bad by the time I get around to it.

I started the week thinking TGIM and now I’m all about the TGIF. I feel like I have so much to do I’m going to be happy to just finish with classes for the week. Like I mentioned, The Office is top priority, above all that essay stuff. And I want to find out the weekend sales at Whole Foods which those sneaky people don’t disclose on their sites. Who knows, maybe I’ll even run in to Emma again? 🙂 Crossing my fingers!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )

We’re Drama People

Posted on September 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, I’d like to let the somebody in my house who reads this know I’m on to them 🙂 Dad, I’m guessing it’s you since you probably can work the browser history better, but clearly not well enough to make it so that I couldn’t find see my own self. Oh well, now I just can’t write anything too too bad about ya’ll.

Yesterday morning that sugar really had me pumping, so much in fact I took a walk down to Eastside Market to pick up another pint of black mission figs. That’s just too good a deal not to take advantage of again and again. Then I popped over to Whole Foods where I didn’t buy anything but I sure had fun browsing!

Swordfish Sample

Swordfish Sample

My school might not feed me fish, but my Whole Foods sure will. There was also some cheese I’d never heard of but was nice and sharp. Good cheese is something I’ve definitely been missing in college life, but I eat it so rarely and in such small amounts at a time it doesn’t make sense to buy any. I actually didn’t buy anything during this Whole Foods trip, just snacked on the freebies and dashed. I found the new Whole Deal for October/November(!!) which I was super excited to see hit shelves.I think I spent a little too long scoping out the freebies because by the time I had gotten back on campus, grabbed my lunch, and made my way into my dorm room it was 12:50.

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

As far as Ratty meals go, this is one I’d happily have more often. Roast beef was the main protein option; I don’t think you need as much as they encourage you to put on your plate but a sensible amount of meat as a side to a meal is always welcomed. The veggie option, which I had reserves about, was a white bean ragout with mushrooms and leak. It looked heavy but the nutritional info insured me it had a relatively low amount of fat and no butter. Overall this was really good. The mushrooms and white beans ad a real earthiness to them tat paired with the roast beef. I also like the artichoke melange, but got a sharp piece in my mouth–not so fun.

When I finished this my parents pulled onto campus, I hopped in the car, and we were off to foodie heaven:

Dedham Whole Foods

Dedham Whole Foods

If you remember my trip here at the beginning of September, you’d know that Dedham now has the biggest Whole Foods in New England. That picture does it no justice and captures about 1/20th of the store. This place is so big you can(and we did) spend well over an hour shopping each aisle. And look what I found:

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

It’s totally Fall now. I’d been looking for these forever and you readers who mentioned having found them were just more taunts until now. I did my little happy dance and loaded up the cart. Now do you believe me this was foodie heaven. If not, let me mention the amount of ridiculous add-ons it has that I’m now convinced should be in every Whole Foods:

Trail Mix Bar

Trail Mix Bar

Dessert Bar

Dessert Bar

You know, in case the walk in cheese cave, sushi bar, gelateria, winery, and massive bulk bins sections weren’t enough for you, maybe the trail mix bar and dessert bar might be. What do I mean when I say dessert bar? I mean they had full bread puddings, boston creme pies, strawberry shortcakes, AND carrot cake for you to scoop and buy by the pound. Normally, I can’t turn down a good carrot cake, but I didn’t have too much trouble passing up this one; to get it you had to scoop out your piece rather than cut, which made the whole thing really messy and disassemble.

This was pretty much where the day went from fun to just not. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to read about other people’s family drama(do people like that exist?), skip wayyyy ahead past the rant. Otherwise, strap in for some of the most pointless family bickering as of yet which was probably the result of how little sleep we’ve all gotten lately, my parents due to my dog who cries in the night and I because of my dormmates who drink during the night. as we proceeded to the check-out, my mom insisted we pay separately and that my items come out of my allowance. Umm, say whaaat? Obviously getting free groceries was not my ENTIRE point of coming home for the weekend, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I think I was more insulted than anything, because I keep such good track of my allowance, expenses, and income; I even have a whole Microsoft document devoted to it. Well communication kind of broke down at this point while I put back all the fun stuff like 2 year old cheese and butterless, HFCS-less caramel sauce(which I’ve since resolved I must go back to a Whole Foods and buy with my money because Fall won’t be Fall without caramel apples).

The car ride home was more awkward than a fart in an elevator. A loud fart. I snacked on this to make try and calm my nerves at least:

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Honestly, I wasn’t in the right state of mind to properly review this bar. I definitely liked it, but in hindsight I can’t remember why. All that I was thinking about was how the day had played out so far. I mentioned being taken back to my dorm without going home, and gave it a lot of thought, even once we were in the driveway at my house. I went into my room to compose myself(which didn’t really work out) and then demanded to go back to school. The way I saw it, I came home to bake and have a good time with family, and the former wasn’t going to happen since I put back half of my baking supplies at Whole Foods and the latter just wasn’t happening. Now we were all crying for one reason or another and none of us particularly well at sharing our feelings. What can I say? We’ve watched way too many soap operas in our house and now we’re just turning into one. After really bad communicating, I ended up staying, which was probably the best decision for all. Enough drama for you? Because it’s enough for me. Here’s the loot I ended up paying for from Whole Foods:

Whole Foods Loot

Whole Foods Loot

Essentials, right? I got the 6 5 Spooky Smores bars, cream cheese(aka old faithful), vanilla sugar, raisins, Greek yogurt, honey(for baking), grain-sweetened dark chocolate chips, and chocolate hazelnut Whole Soy frozen yogurt. One of the things that convinced me to stay was a trip to Hannafords for the rest of my baking needs, but not before this:

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Chocolate, meet chocolate hazelnut. I think you two are half-siblings, but you make a perfect marriage. How dramatic is that? In all seriousness, this frozen yogurt was AMAZING. It tasted exactly like liquid nutella. Not to mention it has a skim milk base so it’s light and airy and similar to soft serve when it’s slightly melted. It has decent nutrition(120 calories per serving) and actually less sugar per serving than real Nutella and no artificial flavors–chew lick on that.

We were out and back lickity split, or as least as lickity split gets with grocery stores and I. On the agenda was 2 recipes, the first of which being my Banana Goodness Bread:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I switched up the original recipe a bit using some of the various baking products I’ve received for the blog. The first change I did was using 1/2 cup of NuNaturals special baking blend; this can fit into any recipe in a 1:1 replacement for sugar and adds fiber, not empty calories, to your product. The second change I made was adding 1/2 cup peanut flour instead of oatbran. In terms of recipe swapping, this was a bit of a mismatch. Oatbran adds structure whereas the peanut flour adds 24g protein and 6g fiber to the loaf, but I had hopes it would work. Dinner interrupted the baking magic.

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Salmon was also part of the “please, won’t you stay” shpeal, but honestly it didn’t taste that great after all that went down. I felt like I should have swiped my dining hall card or payed for my portion to eat it, which was just absurd but where my mind was at. As soon as my loaf was out of the oven, my fig and almond blondies went in. The original is Veggie Girls’ and let me just say there’s someone who knows how to bake. Every time I see figs on sale, my mind goes to that recipe, and this week was no exception. When the whole gang was out of the oven, it looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

And my plates looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Creamcheese

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Cream Cheese

I spent the night having “quality time” with my DVR. Oh how I miss some channels in college. I completely caught up on The Food Network shows–phew, right? On the snackage front, everything was amazing. I would have preferred a nice hot bowl of oats to the muffin but we have no oatbran in the house and a bowl of straight oats just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. The banana bread and fig and almond blondies came out perfectly despite all the distress surrounding them and I can’t wait to have them back in my dorm. And the spooky smores bar was PERFECT in my opinion. I can’t really compare it to the peanut butter or brownie because they’re all so different; I liked how this one had the graham base but with white chocolate specks inside that instantly gave a vanilla flavor –love at first bite. And I liked how the smooth chocolate drizzle melted with time and imposed itself as an after taste. I’m seriously stocking up on these before the season’s over.

Sleep last night was pretty amazing. I had a deep, full nights worth. And I had one of those long, intricate dreams which feel like I glimpse of the past and future with all these people, some who you recognize obviously but some who you can’t help but feel you’ll see on the street someday. Don’t you love sleep like that? Unfortunately, this morning I also woke up to this:

Rain

Rain

A bit unfortunate that my rest day coincides with the day I’m back on my old running turf but necessary nonetheless. Even though I’m not running, my metabolism’s pretty much running the same, so I plan on DVRing it until hunger strikes, probably around 9. Now if you’ll excuse me, this grandpa couldn’t stay up for SNL last night so he needs to get caught up.

BTW–If you loved drooling over my Vitatops, you’ll love even more the giveaway over at Busy Mom. head over there to win a HUGE vitasampler!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 11 so far )

Our Desserts Are Not Normal

Posted on September 25, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Like all Thursday mornings, yesterday was rush rush rush. I actually finished my breakfast in under an hour. I literally can not think the last time I ate that fast(because a fly usually can be born and die while I eat a meal). Greek class was pleasant as always. Another gem of a quote from my professor(this one’s mostly sane), “A coffee addiction is a terrible thing; I have to wear a lot of Brown clothes”. Too true. And unfortunately for me, decaf stains and burns the same. I grabbed lunch at the Ratty and came back to this horror:

Google Reader

Google Reader

You all keep me busy; please keep it coming. I pretty much tore down what I brought from the lunchroom and rebuilt it into a more decent meal:

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Savory Spinach, 3 Bean Salad With Steak Sauce, Mustard, And Maple Syrup

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Savory Spinach, 3 Bean Salad With Steak Sauce, Mustard, And Maple Syrup

What did I learn at this meal? Let’s see. Broccoli from salad bar steamed in a little water in the microwave is beast. My microwave’s potato setting actually does a decent job but this could have used a bit longer. “Savory spinach” is just spinach cooked down. And cheese can easily be picked out of 3 bean salad which can then be sauced however you please. I thought the steak sauce, mustard, and maple syrup would make a nice flavor together. It was OK, but not as great as I had hopes for. Anyway, I ate this and worked worked worked my way through google reader, watching some quality Days. I planned to give my legs a complete rest yesterday and just mostly hang around. I’m not good at following the itinerary, because at 2 I was headed out the door with this in hand:

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Midnight Moo Sauce

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Midnight Moo Sauce

Coffee and chocolate make a mocha heaven, that’s all I’m saying. In case anyone’s ever wondered what this Midnight Moo stuff I talk so much about is, it’s Trader Joe brand organic chocolate syrup. It’s very well priced compared to the competitors and all natural, so definitely pick some up if you’re lucky enough to live near a TJ’s. Where was I headed and why? I think this sums it up:

Black Mission Figs

Black Mission Figs

1.88 a pint for black mission figs. Curse you, Eastside Market, for ruining my rest day with such a great sale. How could I say no? And of course while I was there I had to shop the whole store AND the Whole Foods right across the way. I knew once I started looking at 1/2lb blocks of raw cheddar cheese, I needed to get out of there with my wallet in tact. Well, I actually kept my spending really modest after all.

Pint Of Black Mission Figs And Peanut Butter Z-Bars

Pint Of Black Mission Figs And Peanut Butter Z-Bars

With sales and coupons, that was all 3.80. I would call that a success, wouldn’t you? I hear Spooky Smores Z-Bars are out there now; if you’ve found them, I envy you. I saw them on their website over the Summer and was unsuccessful in tracking them down thus far. I have high hopes for the Halloween season but not if the only stores I can get to are Eastside Market and Whole Foods. Anyway, I decided to watch How I Met Your Mother when I got back and make a study–wait for it…–snack:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

I do not understand Smart Balance Peanut Butter–I just slip my spoon under it and eat it. It doesn’t have any fun flavor, and it’s made to be healthier, so how come it tastes so funky fresh good? The mysteries of life… I really liked that episode of HIMYM and the show’s progression. Robin and Barney are too cute together. After this I finished up all my homework for Friday(impressive, no?) just in time for dinner:

Brussel Sprouts, Hugh Jass Salad, Vegan Chili

Brussel Sprouts, Hugh Jass Salad, Vegan Chili

I totally got the “why is that guy taking pictures of his food” look for this one, but it was worth it. I was not feeling the protein or veggie option tonight. So, when in Rome doubt, I made a sald. Let me tell you what went down in that. I started with some spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Topped that with broccoli, onion, shredded carrots, and shredded beets. Finished with the jalapenoes and sunflower seeds. Can we say winner, winner, no chicken in that dinner? I’ll have to remember that long ass combo. When I was finished my mound of green and my friend his white cake with chocolate pudding frosting, he asked me why I never eat dessert there. Rather than open up the whole can of worms on eating unrefined, all natural, food that actually looks appealing, and all that jazz, I told him I have a lot of desserts like oats and peanut butter when I go back to my room. He told me that wasn’t “dessert”. Oh no? I think someone doesn’t read enough blogs…

Actually, my desserts did start out pretty normal by all standards:

Fig And Almond Blondies, Black Mission Figs

Fig And Almond Blondies, Black Mission Figs

I defrosted one of my fig and almond blondies which was perfect for the night. If I go home this weekend, I’m definitely grabbing a ton of figs and baking a big old batch. I love that they aren’t too too sweet but the honey is definitely prevalent, and how incredibly moist they are. Figs are a funny thing, I must say; when they’re ripe, they’re perfection, but when they aren’t they’re just bland. Some of these were ripe; some of these were bland. I was pretty enthralled in Survivor while eating these. I thought the entire show was ridiculous and hilarious in a “laugh at not with” kind of way. Russell finding the immunity idol without any clues kind of p-ed me off since I hate him, but that has to be one of the greatest Survivor moves out there. And when he and his tribe mate were being racist–priceless. Not good, just good TV that makes them the people you love to hate. After Survivor, it was new show, new snack time:

English Muffin With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread And Fig Preserves

English Muffin With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread And Fig Preserves

I don’t care if you’re a healthy eater or not, how can white chocolate, peanut butter, cream cheese, and fig not be appealing as a dessert? Seriously, normal people aren’t normal. I was super excited for the 2 hours of Grey’s Anatomy. No surprises with George being killed off; I was surprised how not sad that all seemed. I liked the story line progression. To be honest, my favorite scenes have always been the one’s where Chandra Wilson’s and Sandra Oh’s characters have broken down and gone apeshit crazy. I’m looking forward to what’s to come with the hospitals merging, but I hope it doesn’t get too too dramatic in a soap opera way(though I do like my Days). I would have made some delectable oats during the second episode, but my roommate and his friend were around, and I didn’t feel quite like breaking out the food scale and measuring grains in front of them. Instead I stuck with toast with the best jam in the world, a peanut butter Z-Bar, and some more of these:

Black Mission Fig

Black Mission Fig

This morning was about as “5 more minutes of sleep, mommy” as I get. I really didn’t want to get up, nor go to the gym, nor do a damn thing. On top of that, I was feeling a little hungry which was a sign to me that yesterday’s fueling was not enough. As I snacked on some figs and peanuts, I thought about whether or not I wanted to run this morning. I realized the shirt I was wearing was my Nike shirt from the Olympic collection which says “Just Do It” on it. How could I ignore that? I went to the gym, got on the treadmill, and just ran. There was a giant EXIT sign in front of my machine, but that’s one sign I ignored. Half an hour in, I got off to turn on the TV, because running without it is just a sin. I surprised myself by doing 7.34 in an hour flat. That’s a much better pace and further than yesterday, all on a day when I wasn’t feeling it. Needless to say I was pretty cocky proud of myself. After I showered I was ready for the oats that never were from last night and more:

Fluff And Fig Oatmeal, English Muffin With Cherry Butter And White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Carrot Juice

Fluff And Fig Oatmeal, English Muffin With Cherry Butter And White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Carrot Juice

Nothing was bad about this meal. I baked the figs in the oatmeal which diffused the flavor well. If anybody wondered what kind of Fluff I use, it’s by a local company called Tiny Trapeze, and it’s all natural and vegan. The almond butter is Naturally Nutty. It’s definitely not one of my favorite flavor of theirs, but that’s just because they make so many other great flavors this one gets swept under the rug in comparison.

TGIF! I’m so ready for this weekend, not like I have any clue what I’m doing as of yet. I’m excited because one of my favorite shows, Ghost Whisperer, comes back on tonight; I think Jennifer Love Hewitt makes an excellent dramatic actress. I need to decide if I want to take a trip home this weekend, which seems sensible since my roommate and best friend will both be out of town and wild atlantic salmon is on sale at Whole Foods. Ok, I’m more persuaded by the latter argument, I’m not going to lie. Have a good Friday!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 16 so far )

Let’s Give This Another Try

Posted on September 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So yesterday morning I was in a good mood sporting the t-shirt I won:

Zevia T-Shirt

Zevia T-Shirt

Sadly no one asked me what Zevia was all day. Then again, I’m not in the business of thrusting my chest into people’s faces, but I think that’s a good thing. Some of you came up with the idea of a page of quotes for my crazy professors, which I loved. If I do end up setting one of those up, this would be my first: my Greek teacher is one of the most charming middle aged woman ever and gets way too into her subject. She finally said “sometimes I find myself looking up the etymology of these Greek words and think to myself ‘God, you have no life’. Then I realize this is my life! Yay for me!” She was so genuinely excited, it was hysterical. It also made me realize how that’s totally going to be me if I don’t find a double major somewhere along the way; not that I have any problem with Classicists, but I know the pay, and that will not keep me through the week at Whole Foods. Speaking of foods, I lunched it up:

Asparagus, Quinoa With Veggies, 1/4 Avocado, Flame Grilled Veggie Burger With The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, Orang Zevia

Asparagus, Quinoa With Veggies, 1/4 Avocado, Flame Grilled Veggie Burger With The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, Orang Zevia

Asparagus was on the lunch line today so I took more than is holy. It was pretty overcooked, but asparagus nonetheless, so I was happy. I wanted to give quinoa a try and I’ll admit it wasn’t bad but it’s not my favorite grain. The flame grilled burger was good but needed a kick–a peanut buttery on. I have so little excuses to eat that peanut butter so I like to fit it in when appropriate. Oh, and the orange Zevia was a completely necessary throwback to my shirt. I basically dined on this while watching midday TV, aka the best, and doing some light studying, aka the worst. After watching the first 10 minutes of Rachael Ray, I was out and about.

I walked down to the two places I kind of hoped to go yesterday: Whole Foods and Eastside Market. I spent way too long browsing both; the people must’ve thought I was homeless and wanted somewhere with air conditioning. Midway through I got super hungry and ran to the register with this.

Organic Gala Apple

Organic Gala Apple

I’m still a Red Delicious fan, but I’ll say this was pretty darn good and a close second. Plus it was the type that was on sale, and that beat everything at the time. The real disappointment was when neither place had the entire reason I went for: Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. Ah, yes. It’s been far too long since I had my share of doodles. What I ended up doing was taking a second chance:

Oikos Plain Yogurt And Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Oikos Plain Yogurt And Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I’m loving my Oikos, but not loving that my coupons are gone 😦 Thanks, Stonyfield, for giving me the chance to try your Greek yogurt! I’ll definitely be making it one of my staples from now on. I also decided to rebuy the frozen yogurt that was oh-so mysteriously taken from the common room. Am I taking a chance and not learning from my mistakes? Yes, but that’s basically how I’ve lived my life so far and will probably continue to do so. Well, I figured if this gets taken tonight, I’m at least going to have gotten some of my money’s worth by then if I make myself a snack:

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I eat this so much with midnight moo sauce or some other topping, I forgot how cool and creamy it is on its own. That’s one reason I prefer frozen yogurt or even some dairy-free brands is that the product is often airier and lighter in texture and much better for cone-licking. Sure, Ben & Jerry’s got some banging flavors, but ice cream like that is too thick to enjoy in my opinion. Well after this I was still pretty hungry ravenous, so I made something that might actually soothe my stomach beast(too much epic poetry).

Pumpkin Oatbran With Maranatha's Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Pumpkin Oatbran With Maranatha's Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Ok, that was better. That was food. By the way, miss Jenny over at PB&Jenny is running a fun thing where you can send your impressive oatmeal concoctions(and if you read blogs like this, I’m betting you know how to make a mean bowl of oatmeal) and she’ll feature them. I’m working on a great bowl to send on over and you should start thinking, too! This had me a bit stuffed, but I was persuaded into dinner pretty easily:

Mushroom And Barley Soup, Salad, Snow Peas And Carrots, Beats, Vegan Chili

Mushroom And Barley Soup, Salad, Snow Peas And Carrots, Beats, Vegan Chili

A) I make a conscious effort to make my food look like Mickey Mouse whenever possible. B) I’ve learned to load up on the veggies in the cafeteria because those are where the nutrients are and they’re expensive as hell to buy from Whole Foods. The main protein and veggie option weren’t spectacular, but I found the chili from yesterday… which hopefully wasn’t the chili from yesterday. Besides that, it was all pretty much how you would expect vegetables to taste assuming you’ve had them before. I never had beets before the lunch room but now I really like them.

Tuesday nights and one of my favorite shows is back: The Biggest Loser. It got me to start the night with a somewhat healthy snack:

Raspberries With Midnight Moo Sauce

Raspberries With Midnight Moo Sauce

Unsurprisingly, one of the things I really miss is my mini chopper banana whips, even if they aren’t so smooth. Of course I go home on the one weekend it’s freezing, so I didn’t make any. but I thought I’d try the same by mushing up raspberries and chocolate sauce with a fork. The verdict? It was definitley cold and firm, and had good flavor, but the seeds made it entirely unappealing. Who wants to chew their ice cream? Looks like I’ll have to think of something new.

Did anyone else watch the Biggest Loser? I think it’s one of the most inspirational shows on tv; your heart just has to go out to all the families affected by the show. It’s a little too obvious in its product endorsement if you ask me, and it gets repetitive with the challenges and guest starts, but I still really like it and will probably watch the whole season. More healthy eats were inspired:

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin With Smart Balance PB And Chocolate Chips

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Bran Muffin With Smart Balance PB And Chocolate Chips

These Trader Joe muffins are the only one’s I’ll eat besides vitamuffins and the ones I bake myself. Any other muffin tends to be too sweet which makes it a cupcake. Chew on that(oh I’m punny). I don’t have the carton with me but all the ingredients are found in most kitchens and it has a good deal protein and fiber. I love detaching the muffin top and spreading some peanut butter on it–then it really feels like a vitatop. Of course, the butt can’t go to waste, so I pushed in a few chocolate chips which melted ever so slightly after the muffin had been microwaved–score. It was my last muffin though 😦 So I’m going to have to stock up at a Trader Joe’s back in MA sometime.

I got an amazing night sleep and woke up exactly 1 minute before my alarm; now it’s definitely starting to feel like home/the Summer. It was nice and warm but I wanted to run a set disstance so I headed to the gym to do 6 on the treadmill. I got to 6 and thought “why not 7?” so I stayed for an extra 8 minutes and ended up running 7 in 56:45. I try not to change my workout once I get on the treadmill but that seems like a good change, right? When I got back I admit I had no inspiration or desire for breakfast but that’s no excuse not to refuel.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Milk And Secret Butter, Pumpkin Pie Yogurt, Cranbran Vitatop

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Milk And Secret Butter, Pumpkin Pie Yogurt, Cranbran Vitatop

See Mickey again? I try. Believe it or not, one thing I’ve never done is made my oats with anything but water. I’m a purist in that way, but I was inspired by some blog gals to give it a shot. It came out OK, but I wasn’t blown away. The texture wasn’t changed like I thought, but the flavor was definitely introduced. The unsweetened vanilla almond breeze didn’t really fit here, but I think it would go perfect with an egg in some french toast oatmeal, so you can be sure to see that sometime soon. The yogurt and vitatop followed through on the “only OK” theme the pumpkin yogurt like I reviewed is good, but a tad sweet and thin. I’d rather eat my own version. This was the last vitatop I had to review, and I wish it ended on a better note. Cranberry is such a New England Fall flavor but this one didn’t have me feeling it. There was a generous amount of cranberries, which I liked, but they lacked tartness or flavor. And the base wasn’t like the other bran bases and a little too bland, even for a “healthy” flavor. I’d definitely rather have the BlueBran or AppleBerry.

The one shineout of the meal was the Secret Butter from Naturally Nutty which I reviewed quite a while ago here. Well I left some hints and some of you had some great guesses including pumpkin butter and sunflower seed butter. Well, here’s the truth: you were all right, and wrong. This is a special blend of equal parts sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds, with added all spice and vanilla powder. I swear it tastes JUST like french toast sticks, and does that not sound like one of the healthiest nut seed butters around? I’m not quite sure when the flavor will be available to buy on their website but I know I’m getting a nice, big jar when it is. I hope we can all sleep at night now that we know the secret, haha. Have a great day!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )

Lazy Autumn Afternoons

Posted on September 18, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How long do you take to get ready in the morning? Apparently I take about 3 and a half hours. Ridiculous, no? I guess considering all I do before my 10:30 class it’s no surprised I’m ready to just sit and read, haha. Before I jetted off, I had an AppleBerry Vitatop as a part of my breakfast.

This was one of, if not my absolute, favorite “healthy flavor”. I couldn’t really pick out the apple chunks like I could the berries, but the apple flavor was diffused throughout somehow and made this so sweet and delicious. I loved the medley of blueberries and cranberries for days when you just can’t decide whether you want sweet or tart, ya know? And that pumpkin pie yogurt was incredible. Give me a few more days and I’ll have a real recipe up and running for it.

Greek class was delightful. I love the language, the culture, the yogurt–it’s all good. Afterward I wasn’t quite hungry and had a lot of email/blogging to do so I went back to my dorm and did a little arts and craft project.

Pokemon Adorned Key

Pokemon Adorned Key

Let’s not even pretend like we all didn’t love the TV show and video games and collector’s card even if it was more confusing than Bridge. I always felt deprived, yes, deprived, because I’ve NEVER had a cell phone that you can add those little tie characters to. So I was wicked excited when I realized my key had a little hole that I could attach these to. Dorky? Definitely. But now I’ll never lose my keys 🙂

Corn, Grilled Chicken With Steack Sauce, Cooked Peppers And Zuchinni With Shredded Prosciutto

Corn, Grilled Chicken With Steack Sauce, Cooked Peppers And Zuchinni With Shredded Prosciutto

Lunch was just meh today. I saw the prosciutto at the antipasto station and my hankering for some baconing kicked in and I grabbed a slice. Just a little bit of meat to season veggies is really all you need for the full flavor. There wasn’t enough at the dining hall to entertain me so I added the last of the corn from the farmers’ market to beef it up a bit. Apparently I was the only person on the planet not to see Emma Watson at the dining hall, and both my roommate and my friend Adam later had to tell me she was there. How could this happen? I literally keep one eye out for her at all times; I’ve just been off my game. I finished up, watched Days(+100 to all of you who know what show this is without me saying the full name), and stepped out the door. Just not before grabbing this:

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

This chocolate is entirely my guilty pleasure. Why does it make me feel guilty? Not for any sensible reason, but because this has me eating my words. In my day I’ve been such a milk chocolate basher/dark chocolate elitist, but honestly this is one of my favorite chocolates ever. I can’t put it into words again; check out my first products review of it to get the full sense of its greatness.

I digress. The reason I stepped out was for a bit o’ grocery shopping. I went first down to Eastside market because my favorite veggie burgers were 1.99 a box. Yes, the dining hall offers veggie burgers, but none like this. Then I went to my teeny tiny Whole Foods since they’re 1/2 a block away. To give you a sense of how big this is, here’s the “bulk bin” section:

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

It’s hard to put into perspective with this picture, but try to guestimate the size with the tubs of nuts to the right and the pencil holder in the center. I giggled a bit because I started thinking about the HUGE bulk bins in Dedham with goji berries and maple syrup and how nothing I buy here could really be considered “bulk”. I think I ended up wandering the whole store, up and down each aisle, and got 2 yogurts. Apparently I still have my grocery shopping addiction, but I’ve curbed the whole purchasing thing. Improvement, right? Here was the loot from the trip:

Groceries

Groceries

All of that was only 4.83 after coupons. Not bad at all, considering that Oikos would have been 4.99 without a coupon. Yikes! Oikos is delicious but packs a punch on the wallet. Oh and if you can’t tell what flavor Stonyfield that is, it’s Pumpkin Pie! You heard right. It’s seasonal, and I can’t wait to try it. I wonder how it will compare to my yogurt from breakfast yesterday. I definitely needed a snack, but wasn’t feeling the sweet. I chose the oh-so-savory root.

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

I love how the burger came with grill marks on it, even though I obviously made it in a microwave, lol. Too cute. And thank you, Ms. Everythingtarian, for reminding me of the Food Should Taste Good Potato And Chive chips I packed en route to college; I love how salty and chived they are, and the texture is some crazy nacho-potato chip fusion. Killer. Afterward I picked up some mail I had waiting for me and was excited to find this new product:

Susta Natural Sweetener

Susta Natural Sweetener

There’s a new natural sweetener on the block, and its name is Susta. I contacted NXT Nutritionals when I heard of their brand new product and was thrilled when they offered to send a sample before it’s even hit any of the stores around here! Susta isn’t another stevia based no-calorie sweetener. What it is is a 5-calorie blend of inulin, fructose, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals. In this way I think it’s better than stevia based sweeteners because it’s bringing nutrition to your cup of coffee or however else you might use it. Naturally, I needed to try it in some coffee.

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

The coffee tasted a little watery, but I wasn’t sure whether it was the sweetener or the coffee itself. You never know what kind of quality you’re going to get when you ask for decaf; seriously, decaf people get the shaft all the time. We never get flavored coffee, the pot is usually stale, and we’re only drinking it for our pure love of sugar and milkcoffee. I digress, when the main point was this was an inconclusive taste test.

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

Dinner tonight was very sub-par. The main protein was jerk chicken. If it has the word “jerk” in it, it can’t be anything good, hence why we call some people “jerks”. That’s my logic at least. The stew was like a medley of frozen veggies. And I had to wait holding my tray for 15 minutes for a new batch of sweet potatoes. At least they were right out of the oven? Oh, and my friend Adam FINALLY asked me why I take photos of my dinner. Way to go on the uptake. Maybe he’ll be reading this? Probably not, so I can talk smack about him. he also told me I don’t eat enough and probably am not getting enough protein because I refuse to eat the meat the Ratty serves. I’m blessed to have caring friends: misinformed, but caring. He was right though, that clearly was not enough, so I made a fast snack when I got back:

This was totally an excuse to eat the baking chips which I can’t bring myself to just pour into my hand and eat. Weird, right? Anyway, delicious and I ate it to the season premier of Survivor! One reality show ends and the next begins: it’s a vicious cycle. It’s always hard to get a sense of people after the first episode, but I liked the Rambo lady; I’m sure she’ll be a hoot. I’m definitely NOT a Russell fan. I get that it’s a game, but no one should lie about experiencing Katrina. And then there was the Office, which required more snackage:

French Toast Oatmeal

French Toast Oatmeal

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

The Office was OK. I laughed; it didn’t blow me away, but I feel it’s a lot like Friends was: a show that was consistently good and you never mind watching reruns of. I’m super excited for Pam And Jim’s baby. Like, way more excited than anybody should be for a TV baby. What do you think they’ll name it? Oh, and obviously I broke into that yogurt long before I was expecting to and, let me tell you, it rocked. It tastes just like pumpkin pie! Minus the crust, which I’ve never eaten anyway. It also wasn’t awful on the nutrition; most Stonyfield yogurts suffer from too much added sugar but this one has a reasonable 20g, at least 6-8 of which must be lactose. Of course, it wasn’t quite as good as my peanut-pumpkin-flax yogurt from the morning, but for a quick substitute this was delicious. And it will make the best overnight oats I’m sure for all of you who love those.

Today was another treadmill morning. I’m glad to hear there are a good amount of treadmill lovers out there. My one concern with the treadmill is that I’ll start planning my runs while on the treadmill, which is why I always pick a distance/pace/time I want to run and stick to that. Today, I decided I would stop at 8:30 because that’s when my show was finished that’s what sounded good to me. I ended up doing 6.35 in 51:55. When I got back and showered I was actually a little apathetic towards breakfast. The only thing I knew I wanted was a banana nut vitatop which Christina thankfully reminded me I have to review. I just went with the theme and got a little banana nuts myself:

Banana Oatmeal With Maple Honey Peanut Butter, Plain Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam, Banana Nut Vitatop

Banana Oatmeal With Maple Honey Peanut Butter, Plain Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam, Banana Nut Vitatop

Last time I tried banana outs I was a bit of a bad mood bear, so I wanted to give them another go; this time I diced 3oz banana and microwaved with 30g whole grains for 3 minutes. The flavor was much more even and delicious without overpowering the peanut butter. I’m also really liking Oikos, too, and how it takes on the flavors of anything you give it without being too tangy. And the Vitatop–oh my god. This has got to be one of my favorite flavors. It taste like a fresh banana muffin from the bakery, but the nutrition is clearly amazing. Vitalicious has really outdone themselves with this flavor, and it’s now one of my favorites.

Can you believe it’s Friday already? It doesn’t feel like it should be, but I’m excited for the weekend. If it’s nice out I think I’ll go home and pick some fruit at Tougas Farm. Does anything say Fall better than fruit picking? I think not. What are ya’ll up to? I could use some more ideas.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

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