The Swing Of Things

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! In case you were travelling over the weekend, there was a new recipe dreamed up on Black Friday, a review of Clif bars, a day that had me blushing beet red, and a 2nd, meatless Thanksgiving.

After that awesome lunch, I needed time to digest on the couch with Montana, and then got to work on my next project.

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree. After chopping it down yesterday and leaving it in the cold overnight, we finally brought it in. Traditionally, I do the lights and the cranberries while my mom does the ornaments afterwards; since I was moving back to my dorm I needed to do this snappily. I was happy at the end 🙂 I love the lights on a Christmas tree. I think the ornaments are always nice and personal but it’s just not a tree to me if it doesn’t light up.

Afterwards we got to packing up. I dreaded this. It always feels like I have more going back than coming home, and this time I knew I did because of all the leftovers and extra clothes. Ugh. Thankfully with enough helping hands in the house this wasn’t too bad and shaped up pretty quick.

Packed Bags

I think it was a backpack, 3 bags of food, 2 of laundry, 2 of random machinery, and a stevia plant. Because, really, how could I live without all of that? We swung by my grandmother’s apartment to pick her up because she likes to come “just for the ride”. Wouldn’t it be nice to have time to go for a ride just because you have nothing else to do? 60 more years and I’ll be there.

Double Chocolate Pillow

Of course before hitting the highway we wento McDonald’s for some decaf and I broke out one of these cookies. I think it’s always the case that things grow on me after a few days, because 4 days later and I’m now becoming obsessed with them. Seriously, just smelling the cocoa–bliss. On the way down we stopped at Target looking for a movie. Alas, no luck 😦 But underwear was on sale and that’s close enough to grab, right?

Moving back in was actually quite quick and painless with enough helping hands(again). The rug looks awesome since my mom brought down her vacuum to clean it up(thanks!). I definitely lost track of time in all of this and realized I was hungry. A little cookie is not a substantial afternoon snack, but you know what is?

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream. I’m surprised this has survived the common freezer for so long, but yesterday I decided it was time to polish it off(only about 1 serving left anyway). I love the tang of the balsamic vinegar in this. Something tells me adding balsamic vinegar, even an organic one, to strawberry chobani wouldn’t work the same. When all the groceries were away I enjoyed staring at a full fridge.

Full Fridge

Really? Is there anything more blissful? I’m surprised I managed to cram it all in there; it looked like it might not make it and I’m glad I left some tofu at home for another weekend. I also found this which I snuck into my bag:

The Killer Angels

I don’t really “pleasure read”, and if I had time to, I’d probably choose a book I haven’t read, so I’m not sure why I brought this. But I do love and recommend this book for anyone wanting to read a psuedo-historic novel. I did a huge paper on it and the battle of Gettysburg in 11th grade. As you might know, I’m a Classics major, but besides that American history 1640-1865 is my other area of interest. There’s a movie, Gettysburg, based on this book I have yet to see but I can’t wait to find it some day.

Dinner started off a little disgusting; I went to get one of my sweet potatoes and found it covered in mold–yuck! That’s actually never happened with the food I keep under my bed but I guess there’s a first for everything. Instead, I had to improvise.

Broccoli, Turkey Breast, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Lightlife Breakfast Sausages And Maple Syrup

You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Yeah, story of my life day. First there was being stuffed from a stuffed tofurkey and acorn squash, and then there was this. The turkey wasn’t anything special, I just wanted to eat it up before it got moldy like a sweet potato. The english muffin with sausage was the real money maker here. Does anybody else remember McGriddles from McDonalds? That’s EXACTLY What this was like, except with infinitesimally less trans fat. Oh my God, so good. Rest assured it will be made again. Unfortunately, there was one casualty during dinner.

 

Broken Amazing Grass Bottle

 

My Amazing Grass bottle 😦 I dropped it on the floor while it was full and water went pretty much everywhere–fun. After cleaning it up I went to the bathroom and tried refilling it, wondering why it kept being empty. Smart one, Evan. I think they carry these at Whole Foods? That’s what I’m hoping at least. After getting ahead(ahead! not catching up!) on work I made a snack and settled in for A Dog Named Christmas.

 

Peanut Butter Soy Yogurt With Fig Jam And Peanut Butter Chips

 

I don’t expect much from cheesy, holiday, made-for-TV movies, but this one was even below expectations. I expect them to suck, but to also be cutesy, and the child acting in this was not cutesy. This snack also did not disappoint even though I was iffy on the flavor combo. I think I forgot to sweeten the base but thankfully I bought a Vanilla flavor. I completely forgot I even had fig preserves but they were still just as good. And the pb cheeps were nice and sweet, nothing at all like real peanut butter and yet just as magical 🙂

After I’d put up with bad child acting for an hour, it was time for a new Brothers & Sisters. Last weeks episode was not on because Adam Lambert needed to whore it up at the AMA’s, but this week there were supposed to be great plot twists and secret revealings–it did not disappoint. Midway, I snacked on this:

 

English Muffin With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Honey Maple Peanut Butter Topped With Me And Goji Granola

2 english muffins in one day? I was on a roll. I liked the crunch from the granola. And the gojis I’m sure were some decent brain food. I also love “rediscovering” peanut butters I forget about. Brothers & Sisters I thought was awesome–can’t wait until the wedding(or will there even be one?) next week.

I was exhausted so I knew I wanted shut eye but for some reason, as tired as I was, I wasn’t getting to sleep. I don’t know how much I slept overall or how many times I woke up/had weird dreams. This was one harsh “welcome back” to the swing of things. When I woke up, though, I was ready to meet my old friend–the gym. I made a quickie snack.

Kashi Strawberry Flax Waffle With Banana Peanut Butter

Normally I like bars that I can take on the treadmill but for some reason this was what appealed to me best. When I got there, it was packed for 6:50am(read: 3 other people). But then it quited down and the regulars started showing up. I didn’t concern myself too much with pace or anything; I was plenty happy to be back and watching the Today Show(does anybody care about Tiger Woods’ car crash at this point? really?). In the end I did 12 miles in 1:38:59. That’s almost exactly like yesterday, which is good because I tend to be slower inside than out. When I got back, I relearned how to make a dormroom breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Butter And Maple Frosting, Eggnog Yogurt

This microwave just ain’t the same as the one back home. For the oats I used Caitlin’s pancake frosting recipe with a little vanilla stevia. I think my cooking skills were on vacation and are just getting back, too, because everything was underseasoned/sweetened. Afterwards, I added more stevia and cinnamon to the yogurt and some vanilla sugar and salt atop the oats and that perked things up.

And so, clearly I’m relearning dorm life after a week of bliss. I suppose with finals and papers coming up I won’t even notice the time between now and Christmas vacation, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s cyber Monday, and as dirty as that sounds I have some deals to catch.

 

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Thanksgiving 2009

Posted on November 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hopefully with a title like that it’ll be easy to find in the archives 😉 How was your Thanksgivings?(if I haven’t already read about them on your blogs). Mine was pretty fantastic I’d have to say. But why take my word–the proof is in the pictures!

Firstly, the relatives were running “a little behind”. This is absolutely expected every time. So it didn’t really change anything. I knew Thanksgiving lunch wouldn’t be for a few hours, and I had no plans to touch the appetizers, so I got a head start on dessert.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Cocoa Greek Yogurt

Can you tell I had a chocolate tooth? I just mixed cocoa powder and sweetener with the yogurt and voila–it was so thick I think had it been frozen for 30 minutes it would have been like ice cream. At around 1:15 the relatives showed up(which impressed us who thought they wouldn’t be here until 1:40). They came bearing gifts.

Organic Balsamic Vinegar And Lemon Pepper Oil

Maple Syrup From Berlin

*Swoons* Something tells me my relatives are finally starting to “get” me; the maple syrup actually was on my Christmas list!! Now I need something to take its place, right? As predicted, my little cousins had one thing on their mind: video games. They aren’t allowed to have game systems besides a computer(they’re only 8 and 3) so my house is like gold. When they were doing that, the adults had appetizers:

Homemade Meatballs, Whole Food Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese Platter, Trader Joe Chicken Wontons

I’m pretty much the opposite of a grazer, and was still satisfied from my vitatop, so I was fine skipping all this. My mom’s meatballs are kind of famous within the family; maybe some day I’ll steal borrow the recipe and make it with bison and organic sauce. I don’t think I’ve seen someone attack appetizers like my grandfather on those wontons. Apparently he’d been “saving” calories all last week for today. Probably not the healthiest thing but when you’re 75 who’s to say you can’t do what you want.

Carved Turkey

The turkey rested while people chatted and then we got to carving. Notice how on the left it’s pulled like pork and on the right it’s nicely carved in tact. Guess who did the right 😉 My mom was anally organized about the table and had labeled everything a place so set up was fast.

Thanksgiving Table

Like usual, my mom and I were the first to the table with the old people behind only because they’re… slower. And the uncle, aunt, and cousins were running around enthralled with video games, haha. My cousin wanted me to help him on a level but I told him I was hungry, and when my grandmother said I’d need to prioritize with my own children I assured her that’s a ways away. And then there was food.

Turkey, Stuffing, Roasted Brussels, Organic Jellied Cranberry

Delicious. The turkey, from Whole Foods, was free-ranged so I felt perfectly fine digging right into it. Ironically, I probably took less than 2oz of meat! I think meat being absent so much while I’m at school makes a little seem like a lot and have me appreciate it more. My “strategy” going in was just to take 3 or 4 foods, even though there were plenty more on the table. I didn’t want to do a “sampler” of everything; I knew I’d have all this for leftovers so I’d rather eat what I did take and ignore what I didn’t. No regrets here or in the foods I did choose. I’ve loooooved cranberry sauce from a can since being a boy and am so happy that this didn’t have HFCS in it. Here are my 3 living grandparents also enjoying the meal:

Enjoying The Meal

We swiftly started heating up pies, defrosting desserts, and cleaning plates. I completely failed on taking a picture of the dessert line up but there was my pie, Trader Joe lemon bars, homemade berry pie from my grandmother, store bought cheesecake, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and a Carvel birthday cake.

Blowing Out The Candles

Tuesday was my grandfather’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday! Hopefully he doesn’t eat like that everyday or there’s no way he’s hitting 76, haha. There was also another unique item welcomed to the table.

TruWhip

This week I received a coupon from TruWhip to try and review their product. Could you think of a better time than Thanksgiving? Unlike its competitors, TruWhip is 100% natural, 70% organic, with no hydrogenate oils or HFCS. Not only was I happy to try this but it felt great to serve to my family. I took plate of the natural goodies that fit my hunger.

Pumpkin Pie, Trader Joe Lemon Square, TruWhip

What a sweet way to end the meal. The pumpkin pie came out as good this time as last time. The lemon square from Trader Joe was good but not superb; it was definitely better than any lemon bar I could’ve made from scratch. The real shocker here was the TruWhip, which everyone seemed to enjoy. It really tasted just like the competitor to me. I must admit there are some things I miss since eating all-natural so it’s always fun when groceries like this come along. It was light and airy, sweet with a hint of cream. I think the only one who wasn’t convinced it was an identical match was my mom, who went in with a slanted opinion to begin with. I think a carton is only 4 or 5 dollars, and since it can be refrozen for another holiday, this is completely worth buying and keeping around for a naturally special event.

Everyone had a good time and piled out by 5 o’clock. I think the most tired of the day was Montana, who was already sleeping on the couch. We tried passing off as much leftovers as we could but in the end our fridge was full. At least what we have is real food we can work into any meal over the next few days. By 5:45 I was feeling munchy.

Raw Vegetables

I started to work on the leftovers with the raw veggies. My mom couldn’t understand how anyone would still be hungry after Thanksgiving; I believe it’s called not eating 3 slices of Carvel cake? I was happy with eating until I was comfortably full and knowing how much was enough–I absolute despise that “overstuffed” feeling. Right like clockwork I had a dinner for one made and ready for 7.

Brussels And Tempeh Bacon With Maple Syrup, Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes, Lightlife Breakfast Sausages

3 delicious meals in one day–how lucky am I! I wasn’t quite up to real meat for the time, so instead I let my protein be soy sausaged and tempeh bacon. I steamed and then pan seared some brussels to add some crust, and drizzled maple syrup at the end. The sweet potatoes were one of the dishes I passed over at lunch because I knew there’d be leftovers, and I rather liked this because it made it feel like I was eating a completely new meal! They were pretty good, but I think my mom had a heavy hand with the alcohol because these were pungent, haha 🙂

You know I was right there for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special(it helped that Survivor was just a clip show, too). After a cup of coffee for good digesting, I got to work on more leftovers.

 

Plain Soy Yogurt With Cranberry Sauce

 

I will never understand how something like cranberry sauce has become accepted with dinner and not as dessert but I’ll just be thankful for that 🙂 We got 365 organic and it is perfect. Not only does it not have HFCS but it’s and also a little less sweet so that the tartness is evenly balanced. Between the textures of jellied cranberry soy yogurt and the flavors this was just to die for.

I was also thankful for NBC’s People Of The Year special. I really hope it wasn’t just me. I think I’m becoming old, because in my head I thought of this as “The Today Show + 60 Minutes + Miracle Grow” and practically wet my pants in anticipation. It lived up to what I hoped. I’m really tired of the Octomom and balloon boy, but I could never get tired of hearing praise for Taylor Swift. Right before I went to bead I had what my day was lacking–whole grains.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Almond Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

That brought me back to my roots. I’m liking the double nut-butter topping now as opposed to the nut butter and a topping(like chocolate). Not sure why, maybe I truly am just nuts for nuts 🙂

This morning there were plans to maybe attack Target for Black Friday sales with my dad, but my parents had to leave for a funeral at 8:30(irony) and the sales just weren’t as appealing as last year so we called it off. Today it’s planned raining all day so it will, by all likelihood, become a rest day, and I will be between the kitchen baking and my computer studying. Again, hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Now get to work on them leftovers 🙂

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Stop Being So Chicken

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

Yesterday started off normal enough. I ran, ate carbs and oatmeal, got dressed, and walked out the door like this:

October 30th 002

Me In A Chicken Suit

Yes, that is my costume. It’s actually the same from 2 years ago, but I figure I’m at such a different point in my life it’s OK to rewear this one(plus it was like $50 dollars so I need to get my money’s worth of it). I thought Brown was a fun campus? No one else was in costume; what was up with that? My first reaction was “This is kind of embarrassing. Maybe I should take it off.” But then I realized, if I can make just 1 persons day by doing this and having a good time doing it, then it would all be completely worth it. I marched right in to Latin class and definitely caused a few smiles.

I had an hour between class for lunch and last minute studying until my midterm. I rushed to my dorm, logged on my computer to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important(apparently, your blog posts count as important items in my book :-)), and threw together something quite gourmet.

Thanksgiving Sandwich On Whole Wheat English Muffin, 1/2 Acorn Squash With Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

It’s not so bad–I could have been eating deli sliced chicken. If the english muffin looks burnt, it’s because it was; I forgot about it while I was fighting with my costume to let me go to the bathroom(full body suits are not for those of us with small bladders, fyi). The acorn squash was a genius idea; seriously, I’m making sure that hits the Thanksgiving table. I think anything squash and salt is good, but the pumpkin seeds really added texture.

I got outside of where I had class 25 minutes early to get some extra studying in. Honestly? I think I rocked it. I couldn’t have felt more prepared going in, and when I saw the terms I had to demonstrate a knowledge of I really put it all on the table. We had to write two “stories” that showed we knew how 12 Ancient Greek terms, people, events, and places related to one another. I definitely took some “artistic license” in my stories, but I think he’ll appreciate it. For epic poetry class, I got hungry. It was an odd time of day for that to happen but I obliged.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

So glad I had this in my bag. Yum! It was great. This was the last of the Mojo’s I had to try and I think it was my favorite. Is anyone else not surprised the peanut butter one was my fave? You can read my full review here, but now that I’ve had them all I’ll be ready to post a recap review soon. On the way back to my dorm another something exciting happened: Emma Watson noticed me! You know how I know she noticed me? Well, she passed me about 1 foot to the right, and it’d be pretty hard not to notice someone in a giant chicken costume. If she had said “Nice costume” or something, I probably would have had a heart attack on the spot.

Well my day was fun and all but at 3 I was ready to get into civilian ware. I also decided I wasn’t as done with this place as I thought I was…

October 30th 010

University Plaza Whole Foods

My original plan for Cookie Friday was a pumpkin maple whoopie pie like I had 3 or 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any when I got there. Wtf. Don’t ever walk 1.2 miles somewhere to an uncertain future or you’re likely to have your heart broken 😦 I did get some salmon and Oikos, however, and stopped at Blue State Coffee on the way back for what would be my treat.

When I got back to my dorm I was starrrrving. It was that hunger where you want everything and nothing, and have no clue what to make. Doesn’t that suck? I felt like I was standing in front of my microwave for 10 minutes just thinking and getting no where. Finally I went with the one thing I know never disappoints.

Fluffernutter Oats With Cashew Butter, Fluff, And Banana Pineapple Rum

Fluffernutter oats–how I love thee. The extra 2oz of banana made this super thick and creamy. But since I hardly ever eat my cashew butter, the plop that i had was really lumpy, and I ended up chewing whole dry nut butter. Honestly, at that point, nothing mattered but that I got food. Speaking of food…

Food Bag For Home

Food Bag For Home

This is how much of it I feel that I need to bring home, where there should in theory already be a ton of food. I called my dad earlier and proposed that he pick me up last night instead of this morning and he obliged. That put me in a bit of a mad rush to pack everything, and I remembered what an awful packing problem I have. Oh well, if we were to have gotten stuck in a blizzard on the way back and needed to survive for 5 days, we would have been set. There was still the matter of my own dinner.

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Thankfully, college has made me the king of quick cooking. I grabbed the squash and broccoli from the dining hall, nuked a sweet potato under my bed(well, from under my bed) and heated the salmon from Whole Foods. Something didn’t quite smell right here, but I couldn’t figure out what it was so I ate it all… Don’t even play like you haven’t done that. I got home by 8 and had a pot of fresh ground decaf coffee going by 8:15; it’s good to be back. I just as quick busted this out:

The Elvis

The Elvis

Remember how I mentioned stopping at Blue State for Cookie Friday? This was the spoil. The Elvis is a red velvet cupcake cake with cream cheese frosting with sequin sugar. This is why I say I eat 99.9% all-natural in my How I Fuel section; sure, the food coloring in this probably wasn’t all natural, but once a week in something that’s already a “treat” is fine by me. Plus, this was homemade by a small, local retailer, so overall it’s a quality product. It was just as good as I thought it’d be: moist, rich, and sweet. It’s definitely good I removed myself about 50 miles from the source before eating it or I might have needed to get another. When I realized I’d only had 1 probiotic source for the day, I felt a little disappointed in myself… until this entered my mind:

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Yes. You heard right. Peanut butter cookies and cream yogurt. How? I used peanut flour and vanilla stevia to flavor the yogurt, and crumbled in 2 Newman’s Own Organic Peanut Butter Newman-O’s. This was so delicious, but it also made me glad Cookie Friday comes but once a week. All this sugar made me hyper, and when I get hyper I often go to cranky. Some people are mean drunks; I’m a mean sweets-head. One last celebration of cookieness:

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

It wouldn’t have been Friday otherwise. Food Network wasn’t working in my room; what’s up with that? Instead I watched my standby, Leno, and got a great night of sleep.

Thankfully it was a great day for an outdoor run this morning. I slept in all the way until 8, strapped on some old clothes I had lying around that didn’t go off to college with me, and ran around the block a few(read: 7) times. I ended up running 7.08 miles right at 8:00/mi pace. It felt great to be reaffirmed that running on a treadmill at 8:30/mi pace doesn’t affect my outdoor stride. When I got back, I made a very ‘”homey” breakfast:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Normally, I’m all about the salt. But this breakfast was sweet and sweeter. I love the cookie texture on top of some thick oats; I might need to make another batch of these while I home. And that’s one of the few last yogurts I have to try and review for Voskos! Honestly, this might have been a bit too sweet. But for those of you who that’s not possible for, you’d be in love with a yogurt. The benefit of coming home early was that this breakfast wasn’t eaten in a rush in the car and I can now sit and plan my day.

Zesty Cook is having a really unique giveaway. This is the kind of makeover I’d gladly sign up for.

Lucky Taste Buds is having a delicious sounding giveaway, too!

Who doesn’t love a high quality chocolate giveaway?

Holey Decisions

One of the other great joys of coming home was finding in my freezer 4 boxes of Holey Donuts’ delicious products. Needless to say, this hungry college student was overjoyed to have such great products to sample and review. All you need to do is look at the nutrition to realize what a better option this is than the competition.

Unfortunately, while their products are great in that they’re low calorie/fat, have no trans fat, and no artificial sweeteners, they do contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. As a naturaltarian, this was a bump in the road. Should I ignore that temporarily and parade these on the blog like I wanted to? Or do I stick with this boundary I’ve set for myself. I really wanted to just do the former and pretend like no one would notice. But the record number of views this week(my 3 most visited days being Thursday, yesterday, and Monday respectively) are keeping me honest. I realize these are a great option for a certain lifestyle, but that’s just not mine. Instead, I’ll be having my parents sample and review these, and publish them in special posts called “Parents’ Korner” or something really corny like that. They’ve eaten about 10 times more donuts in their life than me, so I feel like they’ll be excellent reviewers.

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Just Your Average Sunday

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday was all I could ask for from a Sunday. I rolled out of bed at 8:30, which is about as late as I’ll ever sleep in these days. I had no plans for running, and I wasn’t quite ready for breakfast. Hmm… what to do…

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Bake! I hate shelling out all that money for blueberry raspberry oat bran muffins so I thought I’d give a hand at doing my own. I used my lazy man’s muffin recipe, and did 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 raspberries. Ps. I’m trying to get this recipe picked up by Kashi, so if you have connections hook a brother up 😉 The best part of these is they really require no flavoring or healthifying since the oatmeal packets and berries do it all for you. This was my “mystery muffin” at breakfast yesterday:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Muy bueno. It was really good, but I’m also going to be critical on myself because it wasn’t quite at blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin level. I think these were a bit too soft and wheaty, whereas the others are firmer and branier. My oh my, those are words only an oatmeal-lover could adore, haha. Nevertheless, it was good with mighty maple(and I’m sure will be great with cream cheese :-))

Did I say yesterday would be a rest day? Well for the first time in a while the sun was out with no clouds, the temperature was heating up, and I hadn’t ran around my neighborhood in a long time. I headed out at 11 and did 6.7 miles in 53:33. I didn’t realize how fast that was at the time, but I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever done 6 laps around my neighborhood(which has 3 hills, one being a real crusher). I got back a bit before lunch and (re)learned something about myself: I’m kind of an ass butthead when I’m hungry and feel like I can’t eat what I want when I want. I really wanted my “breakfast foods” fast but had to wait for a family lunch. I tried to not be so tense and just put things on my plate I’d eat:

Salmon, Asparagus

Salmon, Asparagus

The asparagus were a special request, which I had about twice that amount of. My excuse is that I wanted smelly pee when I went back home. I finished my plate and grabbed a quick dessert:

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

I don’t think it’s called dessert when you plan it and eat it with others who are on their meals.I felt a lot better after this because it was what I wanted. The banana and Nutella frozen yogurt went together as well as the real things do–Yuuuummmm. It was a lot easier to sit down and study after that while scratching Montana. My parents spoil me, I spoil him, it’s all part of the circle of life. I wasn’t in a huge rush to get back to school but better sooner than later. We stopped at Market Basket on the way to pick up two things:

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

And better yet this was only 3.69. The english muffins were on sale from 3.09 to 1.50; I prefer Trader Joe’s but that’s not remotely between my house and school. The ice cream is normally 2.69 and I had a 50 cent off coupon. It was probably the last of its flavor and I had to push aside about 100 other pints to find it, but I was determined for that price.

When we got back to school, things went as smoothly as I could have hoped for. The roomie was gone; my dad helped me put things away, and I was snacking on this:

Maple Nut Clif Bar

Maple Nut Clif Bar

This was another one of the bars Clif sent me. I was a bit hesitant to try it because I thought I had had it before and not enjoyed it. I must have thought wrong because this was awesome. No lie. Read all about it here. It might have been because I could have gone for anything maple at that time, but this was really good. It might be high on sugar, but anything maple and low sugar tends to be a disappointment, and I would gladly eat this instead of any sugary dessert any day. I got a bit more done before breaking in to this:

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

I planned to have it after dinner, but I guess a little fell into my cup and then my mouth sooner. Oops 😉 I love this frozen yogurt; Stonyfield does not skimp on the cookies part. I take “cookies n’ cream” as the ingredient list, which would suggest that it be loaded with cookies first, and cream second. This isn’t too creamy, buy it has plenty of cookies. And the fact that it’s not creamy makes it lighter so you can enjoy more of it(I might or might not have eaten a whole pint of this before in one sitting before. Again, oops ;-)). Before I left home, I grabbed a good amount of leftovers from lunch, and made a meal out of that and stuff from the dining hall:

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

College has definitely got me loving leftovers more. I forgot how good acorn squashes are; this one was baked back at home so it was super soft but I’m wondering if it’s possible to make one in the microwave. I’ll have to experiment with that next time I make it to a farmers market. I haven’t been loving salads lately so cooked spinach is an efficient way to get my greens for the week. And, of course, the salmon was good again. Thank you, mommy 😀

I must be getting old because I was overjoyed when 60 Minutes was on at 7 and whatever sports event on before it didn’t run long. I wonder if I can qualify for senior discounts at the grocery store? I’ll take the money where I can get it. Last night’s form of procrastination came in the form of reminiscing. My elementary school headmaster is retiring, and I couldn’t help but think back to those days and start to miss them so much. Since when is art not a class? or book reports not the biggest assignment? and what happened to school plays in cheap costumes? or singing song about planting daffodils? I guess we can’t really in all sensibility go back to those times, but I’m positive I’m going to be reliving them through my children some day.

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Funny enough, I don’t remember ever having oats as a kid. For breakfast, I remember M&M Kudos bars, and the occasional fishy tasting medicine pill wrapped in white bread, but never oats. Maybe me having them twice a day is making up for lost time. This started as a healthy bowl with pumpkin and sliced almonds. Then I realized that was all (figurative) vegan fluff and I really just wanted something maple(thanks, Clif). Luckily, no matter how much sugar you put on oats they’re still healthy, right?

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Now that I have a replacement jar of Mighty Maple, I’m excited how low my old jar is getting! Pumpkin oats in a jar? I think so. For the “Nutella” like spread I use Rapunzel brand. It’s organic so it has all natural ingredients. It also has more hazelnuts and less sugar per serving than Nutella so it’s more like a nut butter. I’ve also found an all natural Italian brand at Market Basket I might try after this jar runs out. Brothers and Sisters was great last night; I really think that show goes underrated. My hunger suddenly woke up after that oatmeal because I also needed this:

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

That and some water did the trick. It might have done the trick too well; fiber is a loud thing to fall asleep to while still digesting.

This morning… I don’t know where I was(figuratively, of course). I got on the treadmill and nothing felt so hot. But I had it in my mind to do 10 miles and this time in particular I really just wanted to finish. There were some annoying bathroom breaks and my right foot flared up again but I tapped into my stubborn Pollack side and kept going, finishing in 83:53. I was sure to stretch my right foot extra special and I think I’ll do that again later today just for security.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

10 miles is a lot of time to think about breakfast, and I think I went through 20 different scenarios, but this was a good one to settle on. Pepita Sun butter is kind of like the holidays in a spread, with all its allspice and vanilla goodness. And I completely forgot how much an addiction PB puffins are; I should eat up the bag, too, before it goes stale, right? 😉 That’s my excuse anyway.

Sunday felt too good to believe that it’s Monday already and the work week is back. Let’s all commiserate so that the time will pass faster.

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Ridiculous And Amazing: Amazing

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

It would have been ridiculous to leave you hanging with part 1 for too long, so here’s the amazing part of my day yesterday.

We got to the event right on time and the whole place looked stunning:
This was, by all accounts, a foodie heaven. There were even a few other bloggers around, though most were people from corporations or other sources of the media. I really felt like a true food blogger just being there and I can’t wait for more opportunities like that. But I digress, let’s get to the eats!
Believe it or not, these were all just the appetizers and tasters. My easy favorite was the tuna tartar with ahi tuna in a ginger and chile aioli sauce that put my mouth on fire. It was perhaps the peak of ridiculousness, The pecan halibut with local honey mustard sauce was definitely a close runner up. But I did not care for the ritoni or the mahi mahi, both of which were a bit bland. I may have also had a few of these over the course of the night:
Let me set that straight. I had about 3 sips of the apple cider martini(my first alcoholic beverage ever by the way) and about 6 cups of organic decaf coffee. Your boy knows where it’s at. After that came time for the real deal stuff:
These were the courses being judged and they were all worth judging. But my clear favorite of the bunch was the steak with coffee gravy and banana squash puree and whole coffee beans on the top. Oh my god. I could have eaten the entire station of this. I had to shake the chefs hand on my way out and tell him how much in love I was with his dish. It was ridiculous that this didn’t win. The duck with coffee sauce and local produce salad was the judges favorite. That was definitely a strong dish and my 2nd favorite; the only one I didn’t care for was the sea urchin cappuccino, which was basically fish and vanilla cream… in the same cup. There was also a Ben and Jerry’s station with fair trade ice cream including a new flavor!
Unfortunatly, Ben, Jerry, and I are not a friendly crown. Three’s Company, they say. I think it stems from when I ate a pint of Lite Phish Food in one sitting(I‘d like to think this was ridiculous but that would just be an invitation to you all champ eaters to out show me so I won‘t), but ever since it’s been too creamy and thick for my preference, so I passed and went back for 2nds and 3rds on the real food.
Overall it was an amazing night. And the best, most ridiculous part about it was the loot I walked away with:
Umm, let’s see. Full grab bag + red delicious apple + 2 of the biggest yams I’ve ever seen + 2 bags of coffee(and my dad took a 3rd for me). I am well stocked now. Because my class was cancelled, it didn’t make sense for me to go back to Providence, though this clearly showed me how I’d changed. A month ago, I’d have loved any chance to go home; last night I actually would have liked to have gone back to my dorm, in all its food-lacking glory, because that’s where my home is now. But I was not going to make my dad drive for an extra hour plus, so I packed the bare essentials before I left my dorm at 5 and we went to my other home. I was a bit over psyched to find this waiting for me:
The gracious people at Sunland Inc offered to send me some of their nut butter to try. For shipping security reasons, they were sent to my house and arrived on Monday, so I planned on getting them over the weekend anyway. I can not wait to try these; they both sound so good! And banana peanut butter? Does anyone else think that’d go good with a certain recipe of mine?…

We got to the event right on time and the whole place looked amazing:

Chef Station

Chef Station

This was, by all accounts, a foodie heaven. There were even a few other bloggers around, though most were people from corporations or other sources of the media. I really felt like a true food blogger just being there and I can’t wait for more opportunities like that. But I digress, let’s get to the eats!

Roasted Tenderloin With Coffee Demi-Glaze And Simply Whipped Sweet Potato

Roasted Tenderloin With Coffee Demi-Glaze And Simply Whipped Sweet Potato

Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar On Naan

Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar On Naan

Sustainable Mahi Mahi With Preserve Peach Chutney And Local Cranberry And Apple Compote

Sustainable Mahi Mahi With Preserve Peach Chutney And Local Cranberry And Apple Compote

Butternut Squash  Risotto Arancini

Butternut Squash Risotto Arancini

Free Range Chicken Sate With Local Peach Chutney

Free Range Chicken Sate With Local Peach Chutney

Rotini Basilica

Rotini Basilica

Pecan Crusted Local Haddock With Local Honey & Mustard Sauce

Pecan Crusted Local Haddock With Local Honey & Mustard Sauce

Apple Stuffed Baked Vermont Brie Pastry

Apple Stuffed Baked Vermont Brie Pastry

Believe it or not, these were all just the appetizers and tasters. My easy favorite was the tuna tartar in a ginger and chile aioli sauce that put my mouth on fire. It was perhaps the peak of amazingness. The pecan halibut with local honey mustard sauce was definitely a close runner up. But I did not care for the arancini, pastry, or the mahi mahi, all of which were a bit bland. I may have also had a bit of this over the course of the night:

Apple Cider Martini

Apple Cider Martini

Let me set that straight. I had about 3 sips of the apple cider martini(my first alcoholic beverage ever by the way. Isn’t that amazing?) and about 6 cups of organic decaf coffee. Your boy knows where it’s at. After that came time for the real deal stuff:

Bacon And Coffee Crusted Pork With Sweet Potato Puree And Vanilla Cayenne Glaze

Bacon And Coffee Crusted Pork With Sweet Potato Puree And Vanilla Cayenne Glaze

Sea Urchin And Coffee Vanilla "Cappuccino"

Sea Urchin And Coffee Vanilla "Cappuccino"

Tea Smoked Sirloin With Banana Squash Puree And Coffee-Sunchoke Gravy

Tea Smoked Sirloin With Banana Squash Puree And Coffee-Sunchoke Gravy

Dark Roast Coffee Marinated Duck  With Parsnip Puree And Vanilla Chimichurri

Dark Roast Coffee Marinated Duck With Parsnip Puree And Vanilla Chimichurri

These were the amazing courses being judged. My clear favorite of the bunch was the steak with coffee gravy and banana squash puree and whole coffee beans on the top. Oh my god. I could have eaten the entire station of this. I had to shake the chefs hand on my way out and tell him how much in love I was with his dish. The duck with coffee sauce and local produce salad was the judges favorite. That was definitely a strong dish and my 2nd favorite. the only one I didn’t care for was the sea urchin cappuccino, which was basically fish and vanilla cream… in the same cup. There was also a Ben and Jerry’s station with fair trade ice cream including a new flavor!

Ben & Jerry's Station

Ben & Jerry's Station

Amazingly, despite all the ice cream I consume, Ben, Jerry, and I are not a friendly crown. Three’s Company, they say. I think it stems from when I ate a pint of Lite Phish Food in one sitting, but ever since it’s been too creamy and thick for my preference, so I passed and went back for 2nds and 3rds on the real food.

Overall it was an amazing night. But the best part was the amazing loot I walked away with:

Swag Bag

Swag Bag

Umm, let’s see. Full grab bag(with Oikos coupons) + red delicious apple + 2 of the biggest yams I’ve ever seen + 2 bags of coffee(and my dad took a 3rd for me). I am well stocked now. Because my class was cancelled, it didn’t make sense for me to go back to Providence, though this clearly showed me how I’d changed. A month ago, I’d have loved any chance to go home; last night I actually would have liked to have gone back to my dorm, in all its food-lacking glory, because that’s where my home is now. But I was not going to make my dad drive for an extra hour plus, so I packed the bare essentials before I left my dorm at 5 and we went to my other home. I was a bit over psyched to find this waiting for me:

Sunland Inc Peanut Butter

Sunland Inc Peanut Butter

The gracious people at Sunland Inc offered to send me some of their nut butter to try. For shipping security reasons, they were sent to my house and arrived on Monday, so I planned on getting them over the weekend anyway. I can not wait to try these; they both sound so good! And banana peanut butter? Does anyone else think that’d go amazing with a certain recipe of mine?…

No night is complete without a few desserts, and after that kingly dinner I still felt like I needed some grains and nuts in my system:
Clif Mountain Mix Mojo
Clif Mountain Mix Mojo
Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

This was my first time trying this Mojo bar. On the front it said “peanuts, almonds, raisins, and chocolate chips” and it absolutely delivered! I hate when a bar sounds like one thing but gives you another, but that was basically the gist of the whole thing and it was amazing. I also might have snuck a little “chocolate cake” from the freezer. I didn’t even defrost it so it was like one big chocolate chip.

It was amazing how the little amount of coffee in all those dishes kept me up an extra 30 minutes. When I woke up 70 minutes later than planned, I was a little very flustered. I didn’t have my good shoes, my contacts burned like hell, and I didn’t have my new ipod or running watch. But it was such a beautiful day in N.E. I couldn’t pass up the chance to run on my home turf. All in all, I did a 7.5 mile course in what I think was 60:50. I didn’t have much time for the 1 oatmeal packet I packed, so I made a breakfast to go:

English Muffin With Raspberry Jam And Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter, Chocolate Greek Yogurt With Dark Cherries

English Muffin With Raspberry Jam And Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter, Chocolate Greek Yogurt With Dark Cherries

Who says you have to go to a fancy shmancy party to eat amazing? I was a bit worried about breakfast because I really wasn’t prepared to eat at home, but I made do with what we had. I added unsweetened cocoa to vanilla yogurt to make it chocolatey, and added some frozen fruit(how I missed thee). Thankfully we had 2 english muffins left in the freezer from God knows when, so I toasted one and used some great spreads. See? I can make do with where I am; I don’t always need to pack for 2 weeks, haha 😛

Healthy Halloween? Sign me up! I still need to find a costume, too…

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We Don’t Judge Here

Posted on October 9, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

And that’s a good thing, because honestly yesterday was not the schmexiest or most exciting day, but it was what it was. But before I get going, I wanna pose a bloggee question to ya’ll to settle something: Sweet potatoes. We all love them and eat them, but do you eat the skin? I always eat the skin. I think it tastes the same, and I heard once there’s good nutrients in there. But I’ve seen a lot of people including members of my family who just toss the skin off. So which do you do and why? I’m oddly too excited to see the responses to this.

We got our tests from Tuesday back in class. I feel pretty well about how I did, and it sounded like it was certainly decent for the class average. most of the things I got wrong were those silly little grammar points you forget over Summer but I’m not kicking myself because I feel pretty damn good just being in that class considering I’m 1 of 3 or 4 freshmen.

As soon as I was out of class for the day I just wanted to go back to my room, get under the covers, and watch primetime TV. What? You can’t do that at 11:50? Darn. I grabbed lunch and went back to my room, where I put on my “rainy day sweats”.

Rainy Day Sweats

Rainy Day Sweats

I believe if you look up “rainy day sweatpants” you get a definition similar to “A pair of loose, cotton trousers one would preferably not wear out of the house due to fashion but find comfortable and functional for lounging”. It was actually perfectly sunny outside, but I didn’t hesitate to throw them on. After that I plated and served lunch for myself:

Veggie Cheeseburger, Hugh Jass Asian Salad

Veggie Cheeseburger, Hugh Jass Asian Salad

I think the only thing that made this salad was asian was the heaping helping of soy sauce and ginger powder I added, but that just meant I didn’t have to salt it. In the mix was spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumbers, jalapenos, tofu, onions, and sunflower seeds. I nuked a flame grilled vegan gardenburger and added some light cheddar cheese and had that with a TJ ww bun toasted; for something made in a dorm room, that was one hell of a burger. Maybe I’m just missing Summer too much.

The sight was not pretty after I finished lunch. I really wanted to curl up in bed with coffee and work on my paper, but I thought that my roommate might judge me a bit for that. Then I realized, we live together and there’s going to be a lot of judging going around but we’re friends after all so what the hell:

Doing Work In Bed

Doing Work In Bed

Yep, that’s Rachael Ray in the background. Next year I just might have to schedule all my classes so I can watch her everyday. I worked on my paper a bit, which sort of felt like beating a dead puppy(read: tofu pup if you’re vegan) at that point. By 3 I was ready to throw in the towel, so I went to the library to print. And yes, sadly I was in my rainy day sweats and awkwardly almost matching brown sweatshirt at that point. Then again, who was I dressing to impress?

Well I had a pretty sad realization when I got to the library: the paper was supposed to be 10 pages, I thought I had 8 1/2, and I had 7 1/2. 8 1/2 I figured was “good enough” but not 7 1/2. I had to sit there writing for another 30 minutes until I felt comfortable with the length(TWSS), printed, and got the hell out of there. My lunch held me over for an impressive amount of time considering it didn’t seem like much. But I figured what’s watching Oprah without a snack, right?

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

That’s a tablespoon, if you’re wondering. I usually do that with my peanut butter after I take my pictures because it’s easier to get some good flavor in every spoonful. But I’m learning with thicker peanut butters that don’t melt it’s easier just to spoon it out from the get-go. And I used prepackaged oatmeal for this. Don’t judge me. Actually I never use any prepackaged oats except for Kashi Creamy Vanilla. I don’t know why but I love these and their awesome nutrition loves me back. I made a recipe with them that I’m really hoping gets picked up by the company. If you ever need oats on the go, I suggest these.

It was National Poetry Day yesterday as you must have heard. I celebrated by doing my homework, which was to translate a hell of a lot of Latin poetry. Fun, eh? What was fun was finding Top Chef online, which I haven’t watched in far too long and got caught up with. I needed a snack so I grabbed this from my fridge:

Peach

Peach

The perfect peach to tide me over 30 minutes to dinner.

Green Beans, Corn Muffin Vitatop, Tequila And Lime Chicken

Green Beans, Corn Muffin Vitatop, Tequila And Lime Chicken

I know what you couldn’t possibly be thinking, and no, my cafeteria doesn’t serve vitatops. I snuck a peek at the menu and knew to bring my own. Honestly, nothing really jumped out this time, but I didn’t want to not eat with people so I tried the chicken. There really wasn’t anything tequila & lime(not that I’d actually know) to this; it just tasted like a bland cream sauce. The green beans were alarmingly perfect and almost too bright if that’s possible. And my original review of the corn vitatop wasn’t spectacular, but I actually really liked it hear. I think the sweetness balanced better with the cream sauce than the bison burger I had my first taste with. Ironically, it was also probably more nutritious than the corn niblets or Mexican corn bread and bean dish that was being offered.

Banana Goodness Bread And Plain Lowfat Yogurt

Banana Goodness Bread And Plain Lowfat Yogurt

Well that left room for a quick dessert during Survivor. I heated up the last of my Banana Goodness Bread and threw in some plain yogurt. Chocolatey, hot carbs with cool, creamy yogurt? Yeah I was game. I’m going to need to make a new loaf soon; maybe a weekend project? We shall see. So at 9 I decided that nothing was on TV and I went out of the dorm… I didn’t think I could fool you. Of course I attended the wedding of the year century. I thought for the first 50 minutes it was a good episode of The Office, but not what I was hoping for for the wedding. But then the end with the dance and the eloping totally made it all for me; I went to Niagra Falls 4 years ago and I must say that getting married right there on the boat was a spectacular idea(for fictional characters…).

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Semi-Sweet Baking Chips

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Semi-Sweet Baking Chips

I made a little snack midway through. See that blue book underneath? I’m translating from it. Doesn’t it look like that? Who says it has to be open? These oats were perfect. Instinct told me to choose a nut butter but nothing really stood out to me; I just wanted bakers chocolate. ‘Twas a good choice because any PB might have muddled the flavor. Right before going to bed I made a little cookie platter.

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Blueberry Raspberry Oatbran Muffintop With Cream Cheese

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Blueberry Raspberry Oatbran Muffintop With Cream Cheese

I’m not even going to play and try to tell you you weren’t missing anything with this, because you entirely were. Everything on here was lovin’ to the tongue. And it totally helped that the muffin and cookie spent quality time in the microwave so they were nice, warm carbs. I’ve been asked what kind of muffins I buy; they’re from a bakery called Zen Bakery. They don’t seem too widely available but if you’re from MA or CA you might have some luck. I’ve never found them but word on their site is they have carrot cake muffins and whole wheat peanut butter carob chip cookies. This is definitely my kind of bakery.

Well let’s just say this was on rollercoaster of a morning. I did not want to get up this morning. Again, don’t judge, we all have those days. But I told myself to get my butt out of bed and at least do something on the treadmill(and I might have done some self-bribing with the thought of Cookie Friday). So I got there and ran. I really don’t think my Ipod Genius knows what the hell it’s suggesting because the playlist was a bit funky but I kept it up. My plan was for 8 miles, but after 6.5 I felt really strong. I ended up going for another 10 miler. That’s 2 in the past 3 days for a distance I’ve only ever run 6 times. Holy moly, I don’t know why or how but I’m thankful I did it. When I got back to my dorm I learned a life lesson: glass should not be microwaved. OK, you can judge a bit here, but I’m guessing you won’t because you’ve probably made the exact same mistake. After clean-up(ugh) I had a nice breakfast:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Smart Balance, Plain Low Fat Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Smart Balance, Plain Low Fat Yogurt

Can you guess what I was craving? I couldn’t decide between Mighty Maple and Smart Balance, so I didn’t. I don’t run 10 miles to think. I also was craving just some plain, organic, low fat yogurt. I just love that touch of cream, and now I feel bad about judging my grandmother for putting it in her coffee(though the amount she put I can still totally judge). Wouldn’t some 2% Oikos be absolutely amazing? I’m going to suggest that to the site after I post this, and not just because it’s that or get ready for a day full of classes…

I really hope to get to Whole Foods today before it starts raining for some good Cookie Friday action, but it’s looking a bit ominous out. At the very least, Friday should mean fish in the dining hall, and that’s better than a cookie in my book.

Like whole grains for breakfast?(I know, I know, stupid question but I had to ask). Check out this wholly grainy mother of a giveaway

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Eating The Alternative

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Beside my daily grind, today I want to point out some of the foods I ate yesterday that are something of an alternative to the traditional. I hope you find something fun and funky to try; and I’d love to read comments about any alternatives you’d think I like because I love trying new foods(and all the better if they’re delicious :-))

So I’m kind of bad with rest days, case in point: I run on them. Write after I wrote and (thought I) posted, I got to thinking about a walk. And then I thought “why walk when you could run?” Well that did it for me. Plus there were some old streets I hadn’t been by in a while and I thought it’d be interesting to run around and see if anything’s changed. One thing I don’t like about running any other time than first thing is having food digesting, and feeling my body switch from running on simple carbs to stored energy. About 2 miles in I felt the switch and got a little dizzy for a minute, but thankfully that past and I continued on feeling like I do every morning. I saw a skunk as roadkill and about a mile later almost made a baby squirrel road kill, too; he darted right in front of me and it took a hop, a skip, and a jump to avoid him I ended up running 7.18 miles in 59 minutes. When I got back I showered and it was pretty much time for lunch.

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Alternative first: Bison. Consider bison and yam the meat and potatoes of the new millenium, because they’re here to stay. Bison is a much leaner red meat than beef yet has the same robust flavor and is very very tender. My 6oz medallion had 180 calories, 1.5g saturated fat, and 38g protein. Amazing, isn’t it? It cut as well as butter and was perfectly fulling. If you’ve read this for a while, you’d know I don’t eat meat unless I think it’s quality, and this definitely was. Of course, it went great with the sweet potato, which is an alternative we all already know a lot about probably. I top mine with salt but cinnamon is a great alternative for something with a bit of a punch. What’s Sunday lunch without dessert, right?

Vitabrownie

Vitabrownie

Not really alternative, just delicious 🙂 I ate this in the car to my second Massachusett’s home, also known as Trader Joe’s. I stockpiled things for the dorm including bread, cheese, mac n’ cheese pouches, canned tuna, and peanut butter filled pretzels. If you haven’t had a TJ peanut butter filled pretzel, you have experienced life. We stopped at Whole Foods because it’s literally across the way(how cool is that?) where I got another one of my favorite alternatives for dinner. Not too much time was spent back at home; it was mostly pack the car, serve some ice cream, and go. Or was it?

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Alternative second: Coconut milk ice cream. I love all types of ice cream, frozen yogurt, soy yogurt, etc. And don’t get me started on the joy of goat milk ice cream! Coconut milk is just one of the many great alternatives. It is higher on fat, particularly saturated, but it’s all plant based so it has no cholesterol(and I think plant saturated fat doesn’t have the same negative effect on cholesterol as animal meat but someone might want to correct me here). That’s why coconut milk is great, but here’s why this ice cream is: I first had it after seeing Jenna gush about it. I love anything mocha and the fudge in this blends with the coffee so well. And the almonds are a perfect touch, especially since they’re roasted and salted to really bring out the flavor for a salty/sweet punch.

Getting back to college this time around was much better than the emotional disaster of last. My roommate was not in the room, so I invited my whole family to actually come in the room this time. Of course, we had to yell at grandma when she started picking up my roommates clothes on the floor, haha. My dad even scraped down the freezer that was all iced up so it hopefully will run better now. This time the goodbyes were much more normal and after they left I got a case of the munchies:

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

It’s been so long since I’ve had a good peach, too long. This one was a bit soft but it was not a disappointment at all. I’m missing the perfect peach season 😦 Summer, come back! Oh wait, we have pumpkins and apples to comfort us. Meh. I also had some T light whole wheat bread with cream cheese and TJ pumpkin butter. This sweet/savory combo works really well. And I like this bread for toast when I’m not looking for a real artisan bread because it has a light, wheaty flavor that toasts well and doesn’t impede on the spread. Gotta watch out though; 5g insoluble fiber per slice can get a little dangerous if you know what I mean. I met up with a friend for dinner but I already had what I wanted in mind so I brown bagged it:

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Alternative third: Tempeh bacon. Try getting a bacon cheddar cheeseburger at any burger joint and I bet you won’t find this. The flame-grilled gardenburgers have a great flavor on their own, but with the smokiness of the tempeh bacon it was just out of this world. Obviously, tempeh bacon is a great vegetarian alternative. It has no cholesterol and has heart-healthy fats; and the Lightlife brand uses all natural flavorings to give it that bacon-essence. The potato and chive Food Should Taste Good chips totally top and greasy fries you’d find at a burger joint, too. There’s something so deliciously intriguing about them that makes it hard to stop eating them.

Last night I started off with The Amazing Race. I don’t really think it’s all that great of a show, especially not worthy of the crap load of Emmy’s it’s one. But I also have an addictive personality and aren’t too picky about reality shows so I’ll probably be watching the whole season. Usually each season has a pair of charming old people but I think this season’s missing that, which is so disappointing. Instead, I tihnk I’ll be rooting for the couple that came in 2nd last night and the gay brothers. I don’t really care for those shrewd poker players. One of my latest kicks lately has been the black and white cookies. I’ve never tried them, but after seeing them on blogs I got curious. I’m told I’m not missing anything special, so I don’t really feel like I’m missing out anymore, but that quest did inspire some kickassbutt oatmeal:

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Ok, I can stop questing for the cookie now that I have this. I used P.B. Loco’s cookie dough peanut butter, which has vanilla bean extracts and chocolate morsels, and used 1/2 serving grain sweetened dark chocolate chips and 1/2 serving ghiradelli’s white chocolate chips. This was definitely a “dessert” oatmeal, and it was so perfect. It took me almost an hour to finish because I was also watching Family Guy and working on my essay(1/4 of the way there…). I thought Family Guy wasn’t as great as last week but still decent enough to keep up its reputation. Afterwards I made some homemade pumpkin pie yogurt with double alternatives:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

4th and 5th Alternatives: Stevia and Turbinado sugar. There are a lot of ways to sweeten our favorite dishes; and when it comes to sweeteners, while none might be all that great for us, in moderation there are some better than others. Stevia is an all natural zero-calorie sweetener from the stevia. Normally, I’d be suspicious of things like that that seem too good to be true. But since I own my own stevia plant and can see what this comes from, it puts my mind to ease. NuNaturals has a great line of products, too. Another better option is turbinado sugar. This is the unrefined crystallized form of evaporated can juice. Because of the method employed, it’s more slowly absorbed into the body than other table sugars and retains more of the nutrients. Again, though, these are all sugars and need moderating. I topped off the night with some more of Holly’s amazing cookies and toast with peanut butter cookie spread and watched Brothers & Sisters. I fell behind last season but I’m trying to get back into it and feeling really bad for Kitty at the moment 😦

This morning I felt decent enough. I decided to keep it in the gym because there was one part of my important morning routine that wasn’t happening and I wanted to keep it close to a bathroom, if you catch my drift. My first machine was definitely broken, telling me I was running 7 mph but going wayy faster than that. I hopped over to another machine and tried readjusting. I’m not quite sure I trust all the stats but according to the machines I went 8 miles in 66:46. I’ve also been lucky enough to make a gym friend(i.e someone who you constantly run in at the gym and awkwardly acknowledge each other’s presence). She’s a rockin’ 60 or so year old who kicks her butt out of bed to walk for a few miles and even do a bit of jogging while watching the Today Show. Clearly she’s a woman after my own heart. Breakfast was a little bit of a nuissance; my kitchen scale has run out of batteries so I needed to measure everything with tablespoons and measuring cups. I really love using a scale for oatmeal and other grains because it gives me the perfect amount with the perfect amount of water every time. Nevertheless, I trudged on:

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Alternative Last: Peanut Flour. A while back, when I came in 2nd at The Peanut Butter Boy‘s recipe contest, The National Peanut Board sent me some peanut flour to play around with. This very easily became a new food obsession with me. Peanut flour is the roasted, ground, defatted product of a peanut. It retains much of the flavor and essence but is in a dry form, much more easily mixed in to liquids and cold products such as Oikos. I recently ordered 2 more pounds of it from Byrd Mill to continue using. A 24g serving has a whopping 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and I typically will use 1/2 a serving in my yogurt. I’ve also added it to bread and cookie recipes to add nutrition. This breakfast was pretty decent; I think the oat bran came out a little dry because there wasn’t enough water, but hopefully I’ll get batteries for the scale later on today. For the granola topper I used Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip, which is extremely delicious, but on its own will not fill you up at all.

Not much for the day ahead other than batteries and essay writing. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from all these alternatives. Again, please share anything you love that’s a little bit different so we can all learn and experience a little more.

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Sweet Potatoes And Cookie Dough

Posted on September 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thanks for all your great responses yesterday. I read and took to heart all of them. I think the magic ingredient missing in this equation is time. That’s a bit tough for me because I’m usually rushing to finish off anything and everything I can in my day before noon. But from your stories this transition sounds like something that takes weeks, months, and maybe–but hopefully not–longer to work itself out.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed or just not upbeat, a little crunch(and chocolate) always helps my mood.

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Muuuuch better. Since starting Thrive I’ve often been thinking WWBBE, or “what would Brendan Brazier eat?” Would he like this because it has 5g fiber from chicory root or 20% my DV of calcium from calcium carbonate? No. He would not like that. But I like that, not to mention the whole chocolate chip thing, so clearly the Thrive diet is not working for me. My grandmother came over for a traditional Sunday lunch. This was good because she was too busy gambling doing something productive I’m sure the days before I left to say goodbye to me.

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

My first thought was “this is all stuff from the cafeteria”. After actually eating it, though, I realized how much of a difference home cooking makes. Thanks mom 🙂 Bring me cooked food more often? kthnx. Obviously I love sweet potatoes; they’re one of those things, unlike pizza, where even when they aren’t great, they’re good. These were great. So great I almost had another for “dessert”. Then I had this conversation with myself:

“Might there be sweet potatoes in the Ratty tonight?”

“Maybe”

“Will there be Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt”

“Nope.”

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

I finished off what was left of the pint. I find it ridiculous how nobody touches my ice cream while I’m gone, as if I’m going to show up one day and notice a serving or two missing from the whole freezer. After we left the casa I made a request for a stop. Over the weekend I got a total of 11 dollars slipped to me by various family members and it was burning a hole in my pocket.

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

I just needed to get this from Roche Bros, mostly because it’s the only place in either states I know that sells it. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and it was a steep 5.99, but, as my poetic side states,

sweet potatoes

and cookie dough

are two things to which

I can not say no

Catchy, right? We stopped at Target on the way to get a soap holder. How does nobody think of these things when moving out? I guess it never occurred to me soap needs to be put somewhere when you don’t have your own shower. We live and we learn. When I got back to casa numero dos(aka my dorm), I unpacked all my laundry and made some afternoon oats.

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Because I was supposed to go how long without trying this? The first thing I noticed was how it smelt: like nutella. This I liked because the two ingredients which make this “cookie dough” is vanilla extract and chocolate chips, both of which are found in nutella. Obviously, this has a peanut base as opposed to hazelnut, and from the nutrition label it has much less added sugar. I resisted stirring the jar because I heard that messes it up and makes the chocolate entirely blended. After taking a spoonful of oats with some peanut butter, I was surprised how neutral the taste was. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little too subtle. You definitely get the hint of chocolate and vanilla, but I’m not sure it all pulls together for a “cookie dough” sense. I added a bit of salt which I think perked it up. Overall I really liked this but I’m not sure how the flavor met the expectations, but I’ll definitely keep a jar stocked.

Otherwise my afternoon was a little dullsville. I just did my Iliad reading. I think I’m a bad Classics student for absolutely hating that piece of literature. Thankfully, the entire world(except my father) has also been forced to read it multiple times so I don’t feel picked on. I just can not get into it no matter how many spears are run through gallbladders. Dinner at the Ratty was a little… repetetive?

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

First off, who called the whole sweet potato thing? I didn’t even look at the menu before hand; I think I’m just psychic. The carrot medley veggies were a bit waxy but the broccoli was properly cooked which super excited me. I threw some tofu in vegan minestrone soup for some protein. This tofu wasn’t as good as the last time. I think it was firmer? I like the weird, wobbly, squishy tofu, if that makes any sense.

Yesterday was also Sunday which meant one thing: Big Brother. Just for alliteration’s sake I had a brownie:

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

The last few vitaproducts I’ve had hadn’t impressed me very much. This brownie totally redeemed the vitaname for me. I nuked it in the micro for 30 seconds until it was soft but still moist. I loved the little addition of nuts on the top, which is a helpful reminder that eating healthy, diet food does not mean giving up the health benefits of nuts–so many people think this which saddens me and my beloved nut butter stash quite a bit. Back to the brownie, the flavor was like a fudgy chocolate; this might have had bits of chocolate chips in it, but if it did they melted during the microwave process. I love the texture, too, which is more cake-like than dense. I love cakey brownies and always added extra eggs to my box-mixes as a kid. Of course, the nutrition is spot on like any vitabrownie.

Back to Big Brother, I kind of liked how it was almost a “clip show”, because I missed some of the episodes. It reminded me of how funny and quirky this cast was, but I’m still disappointed there were less twists in the game, especially after the first episode made me thinking there’d be more old house guests. Now I really don’t know who I’m rooting for; just be happy Michelle’s out of the house! I had some more breads and spreads throughout the night while working on readings.

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

Isn’t a serving of cereal sad? I never eat cereal out of a bowl with milk, but I think if I did I’d be downing half a box at breakfast. I forgot how great Peanut Butter Puffins were, mostly because the last time I tried them was from a more-than-stale box. The only thing that could make the better would be whole grains, but throw them aside some whole wheat toast and who can tell the difference.

This morning I wasn’t sure what or where I wanted to run, so I just kind of explored. I ended up finding some nice shops about a mile away, turning back, passing my teeny tiny Whole Foods, finding a new Starbucks(which actually isn’t as easy as you’d think in Providence, and looping around the campus a bit. My aim was to run for an hour but I settles at 6.93 miles in 56 minutes or so. For breakfast I had two things on my mind: blueberries and smart balance. I have such odd, healthy food cravings.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

I tried stevia in my oatmeal for the first time; I used vanilla bean NuNatural stevia thinking it would bring some good flavor. Sweet oats are just not for me, though, so I think I’ll be sticking with my NaCl from now on. Frozen blueberries are perfect food for a dorm; they’re cheap, full of antioxidants, and don’t spoil. And the vitatop was spot on, too. Not so surprisingly, the healthy vitatops I’ve tried I’ve really enjoyed. Their taste is authentic, and this has some great blueberry/cinnamon/bran action going on. I also like that it doesn’t have sugar alcohol, which I’ve heard(though haven’t experienced yet) can cause inflammation. If you’re looking for a good, breakfast vitatop I’d definitely recommend the BlueBran to start your morning chipper and nutrient-loaded.

Today is one of those 3-class days. Looking at the menu for today, it’s not so interesting, so I might try exploring a bit and finding alternative sources for lunch. Or of course I could end up in my dorm room eating out of my stash and desperately scrambling to finish up some homework. One of these is definitely more likely than the other.

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A Room Of My Own

Posted on September 13, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning. I feel so much more chipper today than yesterday. Maybe it was the not running in the rain, maybe it was the sleeping in my own bed. I’ll get to all of that later.

The ‘rents came down to Providence around 11:30. I loaded up a cooler with half the vitatops to bring home in case my school freezer wouldn’t cut it. On the way home we had a few stops, the first being here:

Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market

This is part of the same Farmer’s Market loop that comes to my quad on Wednesdays. There were a lot more vendors today but nothing peaked my interest(except specialty jams which ALWAYS do except they’re so expensive). Afterwards we went to the Whole Foods which has an exceptional collection of ice cream–but more on that later. It was lunch time and I needed a snack or a full blown meal to keep my crankiness down so we went with the salad bar:

Salmon, Sweet Potato Tempeh Taco Filling, Lentils With Brown Rice

Salmon, Sweet Potato Tempeh Taco Filling, Lentils With Brown Rice

Salmon is always a good choice, no? It was a bit dry, and cold, but you know how I am about salmon: just say yes. I also got some hot sweet potato/tempeh taco filling and some cold lentil/brown rice concoction. I put them in the same container because I didn’t realize one was hot and one was cold wanted to spare the environment. Again, these were pretty damn good. I was so happy to see this lil’ bugger when I got back:

Montana

Montana

He was happy too, and I’m taking sniffing my leg, itching himself, and falling asleep as happy signs. Remember when I mentioned that ice cream? Well let’s just say I didn’t ask my parents to come down to Providence and bring a cooler for nothing.

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

I came across Laloo’s on my goat’s milk kick(which I’m totally still on). It’s an ice cream made of goat’s milk that comes in fun and interesting flavors. It’s carried at a few stores such as Whole Foods and a pint costs around 7 dollars. I was immediately drawn to Strawberry Darling–juicy strawberries in cream married to a graceful swirl of balsamico. Um, yum? This totally lived up to its description and more. The sweet strawberry flavor with the natural tang of goat’s milk was wonderous enough, but the balsamic swirl really set it over the edge. It added a savoriness that half made me want to stop eating it and half shove the whole thing in my mouth. Yes, it’s expensive and I probably wouldn’t buy it for more of the plain flavors; but I think for some of the more extremes it’s a must go-to.

Afterwards we went out for a bit more errands. My mom made it expressly clear that if I planned on staying we needed yogurt and bread. Yogurt, I understand, but why does no one buy bread once I leave? They clearly can’t function without me. First we stopped by a small store where I couldn’t help picking up these:

Indigo Rabbit's Gingerlicious Cookies

Indigo Rabbit's Gingerlicious Cookies

I love these little cookies. They’re soft and delicious and taste like they’re from the oven of a happy, healthy home–better yet, not mine. We also worked our way down to Trader Joe’s where I was jumping up and down the aisle at the sight of these:

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter

They’re baaaaack. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter has hit the shelves again. I got 2 jars and I’m already regretting not getting more; I’ve had other pumpkin butters that taste like baby food but this is the real spiced-up deal. I can’t wait to bring one back to my dorm. When I got home I knew just what I wanted for a snack.

Snobby Joe

Snobby Joe

Properly cooked lentils. What can I say? I’m a man of healthy tastes. Having lentils so much at the Ratty that were cooked only OK made me really want to bust out the pans and start simmering. I made a batch and added snobby joe sauce. Believe it or not, this was only OK. I had to use Market Basket steak sauce instead of 365 since I stole that for my dorm room; I never realized just how much of the flavor it brought.

For dinner we tried something a little different and sort of special?

Tomass's Margharita And Eggplant Pizza

Tomass's Margharita And Eggplant Pizza

We ordered take-out pizza from this place. I love Tomasso even though I’ve only been there once. It was such a great experience that took me back to Italy. I’m tantalized every time I get a facebook update about their specials for the night. That being said, getting their take out just did not make the night feel special at all. It tasted blander than when we ate it fresh out of the oven; I would have rather a good homemade dinner even if it was just something bland like chicken. To make things worth, no one said a word during dinner. Not a word. There were a few little nuisances earlier in the evening that caused a little awkward anger–not the way anyone wants to spend their time “home”. Oh well, I happily left the table and moved to the fridge to get a little more Laloo’s.

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

I really love this flavor. The pint’s almost gone 😦 I’ll need to try their seasonal flavor, pumpkin! I can’t even begin to imagine how that’ll be 🙂

I needed some totally-different-carbs to get my mind off dinner.

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin With White Chocolate Wonderful

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin With White Chocolate Wonderful

I picked out the Carrot Ginger Bran Muffins from Trader Joe’s. These totally have that healthy-muffin taste which is what I love about them. A muffin SHOULD be healthy. Otherwise it’s a cupcake–nuff’ said. My big box o’ PB was back at my dorm, but luckily I left a little White Chocolate Wonderful back home for just such an occasion. Yum. I was thinking about trying out Skippy Natural which was a new find in my pantry(can I just say how proud I am of my parents for actually learning something about nutrition from me). But I thought “If I’m going to have a peanut butter with sugar in it, I might as well have a flavored peanut butter”. Speaking of peanut butter, I gave this a try while catching up on television shows via Tivo and the internet:

Crazy Richard's Chunky Peanut Butter

Crazy Richard's Chunky Peanut Butter

How was it? You’ll have to wait and see until I try both varieties and write a full review. But I think it’s clear from the picture that, when Crazy Richard’s says chunky, they mean ChUnKy. This was more like smooth peanut butter + whole peanuts than coursely ground peanuts. Can I reiterate what a blessing tivo and internet television sites are? I’m still having trouble tracking down a lot of my Food Network shows(oh, Unwrapped, where art thou?), but otherwise I’m almost caught up.

This morning I hoped to do 8.5 miles on my own turf. I realized I just wasn’t feeling it towards the end and took a turn that landed me at 7.5 miles. But I did do this at sub 8:00 pace and finished a little under 59 minutes, which I loved; it’s so hard to go fast on those Providence hills but it really helped on the flats here. When I got back I showered, had a bit of an identity crisis, and made breakfast… we’ll get back to the middle part after breakfast.

Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Honey Almond Butter And Strawberry Jam, Cherries With Chocolate Yogurt And Chocolate Chips

Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Honey Almond Butter And Strawberry Jam, Cherries With Chocolate Yogurt And Chocolate Chips

The yogurt and cherries is my excuse for getting potassium. There’s potassium in there, it’s just under the chocolatey goodness. The peanut butter muffin tops are from the batch I froze and taste just as delicious, although I prefer them as “pancakes”. They’re light and airy and the peanut flour really pumps the protein. Both the spreads were new; I really loved the strawberry spread. It tasted like the smuckers that you would slather on toast at Denny’s except it’s organic and the first ingredient is strawberries, just as it should be. The honey almond butter was a bit of a disappointment. It was like almond butter-light, meaning the flavor was really neutral and almost unrecognizable. I added some salt which always perks up almonds, but I probably won’t buy this again.

Like I said, I had a bit of a moment, and I’d love to hear any thoughts you guys have on this. The weekend home really wasn’t what I thought it’d be; it didn’t feel at all special really since we just grocery shopped and watched the rain outside, and at times it didn’t even feel like “home” since half of my stuff is back at my dorm. That being said, my dorm doesn’t feel like a “home” either. I mean, how could it when I have half a room to call my own and pretty much rely on the college for everything else including food, cable, and entertainment, as hit-or-miss as those all may be. A lot of you have probably gone though this experience and felt the same way at one point or another, so I’d really appreciate any advice/stories on how you dealt with the transition.

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Flour Flying Everywhere

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

Yesterday morning I put on my work clothes and did some heavy lifting.

The Spare Bedroom

The Spare Bedroom

I can’t believe move in day is in less than 2 weeks? I feel wicked prepared, but also very not prepared. I have most of the big stuff, so today I focused on finding pencils, binders, etc., and moving that huge ass trunk. A hernia, fallen cactus, and 20 minutes later, I was spent. That’s enough for one day, right? I mean, it IS over a week away. I needed sunlight being trapped in that room so I stepped outside with a peach.

Going For A Walk

Going For A Walk

When I got back, we needed to go next door to let out our neighbors’ new cat. His name’s shadow, and he was a stray that’d been roaming the neighborhood for the past 2 weeks. Finally my parents and neighbors got wicked attached to them and apparently he’s been adopted. I’m pretty sure that breaks about 3 rules my parents taught me but apparently never learned themselves?

Shadow

Shadow

After that I was pretty cranky, which definitely meant lunchtime. I tried making a salmon and tuna burger with our leftovers–bad idea. I should know not to take on difficult cooking projects when I really just want to eat, but I needed to relearn that. I settled for a pretty sweet reincarnation of pizza and wings.

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

What a knockout combo. Of course I grilled the pizza which gave the bottom that crusty, burnt flavor. We used to have pizza parlor pizza and wings every Tuesday. Looking back, that was fun, but definitely not healthy and something to eat every week. Plus, fresh basil? I would eat this meal in a heartbeat over that greasy stuff.

After “the soaps” we jumped in the car, swung by my grandmothers condo, and took her to Roche Bros. I needed something for some shopping energy.

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

This loaf is definitely on its last leg. Roche Bros. was a reminder of why I’m not much of a fan of shopping other places than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Does anybody else find it ridiculous that grocery stores these days have special sections for “natural” products? I mean, it’s a food store, you’d hope most of what’s in there is natural. But that’s just not the case these days. And Whole Foods is lovingly termed Whole Paycheck, but have you ever tried buying Whole Foods quality stuff at regular supermarkets? That’ll be your paycheck and your bonus. Whole Foods can actually be quite affordable; the trick is to shop the sales and use the coupons from companies/The Whole Deal and you can get some real bargains. That all being said, I did get some loot(with a little help from a stop at a natural food store on the way back)

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

The wallaby yogurt and spice grinder is for my next banana loaf–I am so on top of this planning thing. The oats were from the natural stores’ bulk bin, which are rocksome for getting high quality cheap grains and seeds. And the dairy free ice cream was another find from the natural food store.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

How could I turn this down? I couldn’t obviously. Carrot cake is my favorite dessert so I needed to give it a try. The base was absolutely delicious, like a frozen form of carrot juice with cinnamon and nutmeg, and absolutely none of that soymilk flavor. In the ice cream was big globs of gingerbread dough, which were surprisingly soft and moist, almost like eating right out of a freshly mixed batch. Overall this was really good, but not quite what I was expecting. I love raisins and pineapple in my carrot cake, as well as a little cream cheese frosting. Still, this was great for what it was. The nutrition threw me off in a non-favorable way. No fiber or protein? That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of non-dairy ice creams: Because you miss the nutrients from milk. Still, it was a great treat, just not something to be eaten if you’re looking to get filled up.

I also really wanted to try out my new peanut butter flour today, and one recipe instantly caught my eye. I majorly tweaked it to fit my particularities–aka no butter and low sugar. Even for being tweaked so much, these came out great.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Ingredients:

2oz Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

2oz reduced fat cream cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup peanut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, blend the cream cheese and peanut butter with a mixer. Crack in the eggs and add the milk and maple syrup. Mix until well incorporated. In a seperate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Sift the dry into the wet and mix until fully smooth. Using an ice cream scoop, dump the dough onto lined cookie tins. Dust with cinnamon sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and firm.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

I’ve never made muffin tops before, so I was a little dissappointed when these didn’t turn out just like the picture. But then I figured they probably used real muffin top tins, which apparently exist, so boo on them. While these cooled we had dinner:

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Yours truly grilled the watermelon using some fun kabobs. It makes them so juicy and sweet, almost like they were dusted with sugar. The halibut was ok, but when I heard how much wild halibut costs “on sale” my jaw hit the floor. Seriously? That’s a lot of nut butter. Speaking of nut butter…

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

A package came for me at dinner time as well and it was this lovely gift bag from Katie over at Naturallynutty.com I ordered 3 of their flavors last month and wrote a review here. Katie loved my review and clearly figured out how much I LOVED these two flavors and was nice enough to send me 2 8oz jars! This package really threw me off at first, because I also am waiting for another ordered I placed to try 3 new flavors, which is apparently in UPS’s hands in Ohio at the moment. So much peanut butter! It’s a good problem to have, though, like a REALLY good problem. Thanks again, Katie! Now I have some jars to take to college and some to leave home. To anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to try some of this peanut butter, I highly suggest treating yourself to some from their website. They’ve been my celebration-purchase of choice for my first and last week of work.

For dessert I needed carbs–loads of them for running. Obv, my favorite source is breads and spreads, so I loaded up on those.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Hey, what’s that fruit doing there? Ever notice how the same food appears on every blog. Well, it’s quite simple. After reading all of each others blogs, how could we not get cravings for the food we see? Frozen cherries was all over blog world last night and nothing felt like it would hit the spot better. The muffin tops were really delicious–not much of a maple flavor but HUGE on the peanut butter and protein. I did some mental math and found out there’s at least 5 grams of protein per top. My one problem with muffin tops is that they’re ugly which is the only reason I don’t think I’ll be making them again unless I get my hands on a special tin.

Waking up this morning was an odd experience. Usually my alarm radio is playing Daughtry and having some light hearted talk about the Red Sox but today it was all reminiscing about Senator Kennedy. Reminiscing? It took me a while to put the pieces together and realized he passed away. I’m not a very political person in the least, but one thing I do remember is him taking the time to meet and shake the hands of my entire 7th grade class on a trip to DC, so he was definitely a great man by my standards.

Normally my mornings are pretty standard: Run 5-7 miles, shower, make breakfast, blog and eat, do my email/website round-up, all while watching my Regis, Kelly, and Rachael Ray. Not a bad life, right? 🙂 But this morning I had a bagel-hankering. After pleading for arranging a ride I was good to go for a new plan. I ran the first 3/4ths of the run I was planning but then took a turn and ended up at this humdinger of a place:

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

It’s definitely been a while. I ran here at the beginning of the Summer but it was always a 2.5 mile walk back, and that just wasn’t a wise use of my time. I went in expecting to get a French Toast bagel but what was this? A new signature bagel? Cherry vanilla?! That’s definitely one of my top flavor combos so I knew I needed to order it. I got one of each, came home, toasted up half of each, and unleashed my armory of spreads.

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Breads and spreads make my life. I had an awful thought last night: What if my roommate is allergic to nuts? He’d be dead if he got within 10 feet of me. I’m sure he would have mentioned this in one of our emails, right? Here’s hoping. Today we’re totally hitting up a Farmer’s Market for some Great Harvest bread. This is a chain, but there are only 2 in all of MA and I’ve never tried them before. I think they’re good though, Kath from KERF seems to really like it.

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