A Different Kind Of Raw Ice Cream

Posted on May 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve been pushing the envelope in my latest insanity.

On Sunday, I made up this raw ice cream, which was absolutely delicious.

But last night, in the fury of studying, things got a little… wacky?

Churning Raw Milk Ice Cream

Churning Raw Milk Ice Cream

I had a really bad craving for vanilla ice cream. Not coconut milk. Not anything other than dairy. Of course, this was the 1 thing we didn’t have. To appease that craving, in the ice cream maker I threw

  • 3 cups raw whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla infused sugar
  • 1/4 raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
Raw Milk Vanilla Ice Cream

Raw Milk Vanilla Ice Cream

Considering I didn’t have half the ingredients for real ice cream and made this with no patience, it was actually pretty good. It tasted nice and sweet and hit the exact spot I needed it to. It might not have been thick and creamy, but actually it came out much like a Wendy’s frosty. Yum!

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

While I was waiting for that to churn, I snacked on some local, raw honey. Is it bad that half of the 1lb honey jar is gone?… I think I’m more concerned of the fact that the farm isn’t open until Thursday. Boo.

Oatmeal With Justin's Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Justin's Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Cascadian Farm's Peanut Butter Chip Bar

Cascadian Farm's Peanut Butter Chip Bar

And to end the night of studying, I had some warm carbs with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk, and some cool carbs with an organic peanut butter chip granola bar. Can you tell I was nervous for the test much?

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Trail Mix, Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Trail Mix, Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter

Oikos, Cherry Butter, And Whole Foods Trail Mix

Oikos, Cherry Butter, And Whole Foods Trail Mix

For breakfast(eaten in the car), I just cooked oatmeal and topped it with Naturally Nutty‘s chocolate cherry peanut butter and had a plain Oikos with cherry butter and Whole Foods’ trail mix. I love getting the plan yogurts because they’re so versatile! Except I had to sweeten the cherry butter because it’s a bit tart on its own. All together it was delicious.

Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

During the test, which took 2+ hours, I sipped on a gingerade kombucha. Let’s just say I am very glad to be done with that one. It was just an awful scenario. Part of the test was answering essay questions, and the questions we had to write on were chosen by the roll of the dice. And it was not lucky snake eyes. Whatever. It’s done and I’m free!

Roasted Potato Options, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Vegan Tuna Salad

Roasted Potato Options, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Vegan Tuna Salad

To celebrate, we were supposed to go out and eat. But I chose the Whole Foods salad bar instead of a restaurant. Wouldn’t you?! I got kale and avocado salad with raw vegan tuna salad and roasted cashews, and 2 types of roasted potatoes. With all those potatoes, stick a fork in me, I’m done.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bliss Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bliss Ice Cream

After an afternoon of getting groceries, I was happy to be home for some Luna & Larrys chocolate peanut butter ice cream. There was a little left in the container so I told my dad to finish it. He declined, licked the spoon I used to scoop it, and then took back his declination. Yeah, I think he approves of it. What flavor should I try next?

Fruit & Nut Pop Culture Yogurt Bar

Fruit & Nut Pop Culture Yogurt Bar

Waiting for dinner, I snacked on a Yogurt Fruit & Nut Pop Culture bar. I forgot all about these while I was at school; they’re good for a little snack. But I didn’t realize they contain gluten! Whoops. Aw, well, I’m already bloated from all the stressing it’s hardly going to make a difference.

Grass-Fed Beef Burger Over Arugala, Baked Potato Fries

Grass-Fed Beef Burger Over Arugala, Baked Potato Fries

For dinner, I bought something else but ended up craving a burger and fries. This would have gone great with my raw milk frosty. Anywho, these were some of the best fries ever. And all they were were potato coated in EVOO and baked for about an hour! But seriously amazing. I timed this well, too, because as I was grilling the showers came in.

Summer rain: love or hate? I would hate to have to run in them. But in general, summer showers, a little lightening, and a Little People, Big World marathon would make for the perfect night.

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Better Than Candy

Posted on May 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I promise you something in this post is actually better than candy! 8-| Did you ever expect to hear that from me?!

Trader Joe's Almond Butter

Trader Joe's Almond Butter

It was not this extra scoop of Trader Joe’s almond butter I had with breakfast. Almond butter is good–it’s really good. But it’s not candy…

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

And my microwave vegan chocolate fudge doesn’t count because it is candy. I just have to say I love a life where I can wake up and before doing anything else make fudge; that makes me a happy boy 🙂

9 Laps

9 Laps

This run was so long, and so brutal; the winds were intense today and it felt like wherever I ran, I was going into them. It doesn’t help that my neighborhood is hilly or that I forgot to stretch after yesterday’s run(rookie mistake). But I’m always prouder of a tough run I stuck out than a longer run that felt easy.

Yellow Curry Tofu Over Vegetables

Yellow Curry Tofu Over Vegetables

This was certainly not candy. Whatever made a New England boy think he could cook Thai food? I just heated up tofu in a pan and simmered it with coconut milk and yellow curry paste. It was delicious, but I was a little too quick to throw in extra salt and garlic, so that my mouth was on fire. I couldn’t in good conscious feed this to anyone without having them sign a waiver.

Lipton Lemon 0 Calorie Naturally Sweetened Pure Leaf Iced Tea

Lipton Lemon 0 Calorie Naturally Sweetened Pure Leaf Iced Tea

I cooled down with this new tea from Lipton I was sent to review. Oh. My. God. All through high school, I had an addiction to Arizona diet iced tea, which I guzzled faster than water. This was like that and so much more; the flavors of lemon and black tea really shined and it was all perfectly sweetened with stevia! This can’t get on store shelves fast enough in my mind.

Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Over the course of the afternoon I snacked on an organic apple and oatmeal with high-protein honey maple peanut butter. The peanut butter tastes OK–certainly not better than candy–and is only high protein because of whey powder(not a fan) so I probably won’t buy another container once I’m done with this one. So what was better than candy?

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

Raw local honey. How local?

Local Farm

Local Farm

Let’s just say I walked there and back in less than 15 minutes. When I got there, I asked the woman who runs it if they sold raw honey and she looked at me as if to say “Are there fish in the sea?” God I love rural America. Anyway, I bought a jar, walked home, and dug in with a spoon.

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

Oh my stars. Words can not express how good this tasted. No honey I have ever had compares to raw, crystallized honey. This was the best $6 I have ever spent. Expect a lot of this over the Summer; she tells me the hives are almost ready for a second turn, whatever the hell that means.

Grilling

Grilling

After not having meat since Wednesday and writing this scathing post on my hatred towards “veganism” but love of a plant based diet, I finally wanted meat again, and so we happily fired up the grill.

Grass-Fed Burger Over Bitter Greens, Grilled Potato Fries, Pickle

Grass-Fed Burger Over Bitter Greens, Grilled Potato Fries, Pickle

What says American comfort food better than a burger and fries? Just making the healthy swaps of grass-fed beef and grilling the fries in a moderate amount of EVOO really pumped up the nutrition of this meal, too. Now I won’t lie: That honey jar sitting on the counter is looking really good right about now.

Winning this giveaway would also be sweet like candy, too…

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Naked Running And Eating Raw

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

Do you ever go running naked? No, not like that; get your mind out of the gutter 😉 I mean, do you go running with or without a Garmin? I love my 205 and usually won’t run without it. Today, however, I noticed it was low on batteries before I got going. Yikes! There was nothing I could do other than take it off and hit the road. I didn’t know really how far I was going at any time. All I know is when I was done I felt like this:

Dead Tired

Dead Tired

And I had ran for 1:51. Wow! Time really got away for me. It wasn’t until after lunch that I was able to sit down and map my run, only to find that I ran 13.4 miles. That’s .2 miles more than my half-marathon last weekend and a new outside distance PR! No wonder I felt beat. The first thing I did was grab this from Hannafords:

O.N.E. Coconut Water

O.N.E. Coconut Water

I had never had coconut water before. To be honest, it tasted a little like feet :-/ BUT I love the potassium content here. I don’t think I get much potassium, so this boost was welcomed, and I hope it really does help with recovery and hydration like I hear hyped up so much.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Ketchup Fries

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Ketchup Fries

Grass-Fed 1/3 Pounder

Grass-Fed 1/3 Pounder

You know what tastes really good after a long run? A burger on the grill–not going to lie there. This was 1/3 pound grass-fed beef(I figured I needed a little more for recovery), and while it was a little overcooked it was so juicy from the grilling. I can’t wait until Summer! On the side was steamed broccoli and Snikiddy Classic Ketchup Fries. These really tasted a little too sweet for me, even though it only had 2g of sugar. I thin the beauty of a french fry in ketchup is salty/sweet and there wasn’t enough salt here.

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Gotta keep hydrating 😉 This time I had a ginger root beer Zevia. Don’t worry; between running and then I had also had at least 2 full water bottles. I just kept needing more!

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Aaaand it was feeling like a bottomless pit day by the time I grabbed this organic apple not much later. I love increasing mileage; the downside, however, is going through groceries like crazy. I won’t even begin to rant how cheap empty calories are but how expensive nutritious ones can be. Of course, there are also those empty calories that cost a lot, too…

So Delicious Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I would be lying if I said that my cookie dough cashew butter from this morning wasn’t inspired because I was willing to go straight into this ice cream at 9am. It was just as good at 4am, but I didn’t want to spoil my appetite for dinner. As part of continued birthday celebration, we drove in to Boston to eat at Grezzo’s raw vegan restaurant. I’ve eaten here twice before(here and here) but this was the first time my parents had eaten raw. Even though I had a burger at lunch, a raw one seemed just as good for dinner.

Grezzo Sliders

Grezzo Sliders

The Grezzo Sliders were 2 sunflower patties served on bleu cheese greens, pickled cucumbers, and avocado slices between tomato “buns”. This was tasty–not very filling or big but a nice “appetizer”. The chips(potato slices soaked in vinegar and dehydrated) were a lot better than their sweet potato chips. Even though this was my “entree”, I really thought of my dessert as the main course.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Oh yes. Let me talk you through this one. That would be vanilla bean cashew milk gelato with cacao nibs on top of a raw brownie covered in a coconut oil chocolate fudge sauce and brazil nut shreds with a few macerated berries. It was tasty! I didn’t care for the nibs, but besides that the gelato was amazing; it tasted like true vanilla. There are 2 types of “ice cream”s I like: low/no-fat frozen yogurt, or vegan. Heavy dairy just doesn’t do it for me, so this was brilliant. The brownie was OK but really not much more than my raw vegan brownies.

All Gone

All Gone

Done and done. This “impressed” my dad. Really? Did he know me? I’m a card carrying member of the clean plate club, and the sliders weren’t much. Besides, this was my “birthday dessert”, so I was willing to go all out here 😉 It was definitely a lot of sugar, though, because I was all too willing to “let my body move to the music” and vogue to the radio on the way home.

Synergy Trilogy

Synergy Trilogy

And now I’m sipping on a Trilogy kombucha. The perfect way to end this night? I think so. My meal has made me think I want to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. And I’m not talking about going to the salad bar more often; I mean the raw foods that take days to make but come out intensely flavorful like nut cheeses. I put this out there only because I feel like saying it on the blog will make me accountable to follow through. And really, who doesn’t love a good nut cheese 😉

If you’re looking for giveaways, here’s one giveaway for coconut oil and here another. There’s also one for an iHerb shopping spree and last(but so not least) a giveaway for raw chocolate.

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Potato Facts And Greens, Naturally

Posted on March 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Top of the morning afternoon to you, me lassies! It’s been a long day–Wednesday’s are always long days. But before I bitch about that, I want to talk about potatoes. Do you know where most species of potatoes come from? It’s not Ireland, or even Europe, but South America! The Inca’s cultivated potatoes, and even bred different strands for different environments. In fact, the potato wasn’t even well recieved by grain-loving Europe well at first but eventually took on as a staple crop when they realized how nutrient dense they are. Unfortunately, as we all know, the Irish suffered a famine one season because of the poor crops that year. Curiously, that wouldn’t have happened to the Inca’s because they knew to grow different types of potatoes for different seasons instead of relying on 1. I love most potatoes, but I have to confess my favorite is the sweet potato:

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato With Maple Baked Tofu And Maple Drizzle

The sweet potato is notably high in beta-carotene, the same vitamin that gives carrots their orange hue. For this dish, I roasted steamed broccoli and raw, diced sweet potato for 40 minutes with some maple tofu, and topped it off with maple syrup and sea salt.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatoes With Maple Baked Tofu And A Maple Drizzle

Holy yum! Nutritious and delicious. Simply roasting a potato with nothing on it is certainly the easiest way to enjoy them and very tasty, too. Did you notice the green I snuck in with broccoli? Green veggies get their color from chlorophyll and carry loads of phytochemicals for your body. It’s true that you should eat your rainbow and green foods are typically high on nutrition while being low in calories. What’s your favorite green fruit or veggie? I would say broccoli tops the list for me

Multi-Green Kombucha

Of course, multi-green kombucha isn’t bad either 😉 The green here comes from blue algae, chlorella, and spirulina. Again, what makes this green makes this very nutritious without any yucky food colorings! Just pure, natural green 🙂 Although I have to say this bottle tasted a little flat–is that even possible with kombucha? Anyone who doesn’t like the vinegar tang might have enjoyed this. I, on the other hand, live for that funny flavor.

Chocolate Chip Clif Bar

Well, I couldn’t eat seasonably the whole day. I grabbed this on a campus eatery because I was craving a chocolate chip cookie. This is one bar I actually hadn’t tried, and was a little afraid to because I didn’t suspect to like it. It was actually pretty good! It wasn’t like a chocolate chip cookie, per say, but definitely the chocolate chips were nice.

Wednesdays are easily my least favorite days of the week: I have a lot of class in a row, get back to my room, and hardly throw my backpack down before needing to make dinner. What makes this easier is having a dinner in mind and knowing how to go about making it.

Grass-Fed 90/10 Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Pepper

It also helps when it’s a dinner that you look forward to so much that your problems melt away after each bite. In addition to roasting potatoes, you can also enjoy them in baked fry form! Now, I’ll put out a disclaimer: Baked fries do not turn out like real fries, nor could they. They’re a seperate beast and just won’t be as crispy. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be bland! Once you have your potatoes in fry forms, toss them liberally with EVOO; I assure you, no matter how much EVOO sticks to them, it will be less fat than real fries and add great flavor. You can also add spices for flavor, such as I did with Chipotle Cayenne Parma. If you want honest to goodness crispy fries, however, you’re just going to have to invest in a deep fryer. I have 1 last Saint Patty’s day lesson:

Purely Decadent Mint Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I picked up this So Delicious coconut milk mint chip ice cream after class and plan a big bowl for dessert tonight 🙂 Mint is in fact a green plant, much like spinach. However, the flavor is in the oil which is extracted, leaving behind much of the carbon. On top of that, a little flavor goes a long way. That’s why all-natural mint products are often white(or chocolate :-)). Over the Summer, when I first started dabbling in this crazy “all-natural diet” that I never would have imagined staying so strongly with after 8 months, my grandmother bough Hannaford’s brand organic mint chip ice cream. When she opened it up for celebrating God-remembers-who’s birthday, the first words out of my grandpa’s mouth were “Why isn’t it green?”. If only, if only 😀

I’ll let you check out this acai giveaway and this food scale giveaway while I go enjoy some very (non) green ice cream.

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Who Plucked Out My Sweet Tooth?

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I took you all in a room, and told you I didn’t like things sweet, I’d expect a roar of laughter(or at least some backwards glances). But today it’s like I’ve crave nothing sweet(that, for me, just meaning not a lot–not literally nothing). And the only reason I can think is that–save 1/8 teaspoon in my coffee at 6:15–I haven’t had any stevia. Today was not a hot drink type of day and I used agave in my yogurt this morning. I’ve never thought it before, but maybe there’s some truth to not craving sugars without low-cal sweeteners, even natural ones like stevia.

Red Delicious Apple

I can never make it between breakfast and a reasonably timed lunch on Tuesday/Thursday, so I had a naturally sweet apple. It was also quite naturally mealy and just naturally not-good, but it held me over so that I could make my favorite salad to eat in class.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

I’d never thought I’d say that: “Favorite salad”. But I’m really digging the new flavor combination I struck on 2 weeks ago. I guess these are sort of sweet ingredients, but not too much. I used a good squirt of Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing and a handful of Navitas Naturals mulberries, mixed in with chickpeas and diced cheese.

Raw & Probiotic Chickpea Salad, Trilogy Synergy

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Parsley Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Everytime I eat this, I swear it gets better; it just makes me feel so fresh! The garlic parsley cheddar raw & probiotic cheese from Next Generation Dairy really makes the flavors come together. And so much of this is raw, you know it must be good for you. On the side, I accompanied the meal with a raw and probiotic drink, namely the Trilogy flavor by Synergy. I talked about this more in the end, but it was quite the tastey juice. It tasted more just like a regular gingerade kombucha to me, but I didn’t mind because that’s most of the ingredients and a flavor I love. I would’n say this was sweet, though; It’s much more vinegary. And it finally made me feel full. Where was that when my stomach was on a war path yesterday?

Orange Chocolate Energy Bar

This afternoon, on top of my 3 hours of class I had another engagement that lasted about an hour. Therefore, a bar was a complete must. I grabbed this Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Orange Energy Bar from my bag. Sweet? Definitely. I didn’t say my sweet tooth had wholly disappeared 😉

Broccoli With Salsa

When I got back to my dorm, it was the oddest thing: All I wanted was dinner foods, even though dinner was a good time away and I still had preparation to do. I scrapped around for something not sweet, and this was the best I could do; it totally hit the spot, too! Go figure. I just hope this doesn’t continue for long because I do not keep that much savory stuff around.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

It was that time of week again. I want to thank each and every one of you who comments on how well I eat for living in a dorm. I assure you, after a full day of classes, the last thing I want to do is form burgers, cut sweet potato fries, and cook it all, especially when I still have homework for the next day. To be honest, I just don’t feel like there’s much of a choice, though. To eat in the dining hall, I either need to compromise a lot of my food philosophy, or learn to be happy with the salad bar; I just don’t like raw vegetables that much. When you get right down to it, cooking is work(God, now I understand my mother all too much), but it’s work I’ll do.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder, Sweet Potato Fries

This was worth the work, too. I do not know what was up with the beef; it was incredibly juicy but wouldn’t hold on to the juice. That’s OK because I ended up licking the plate clean(did I really just admit to that?) Happily, despite the lost prep time, I can be a fast eater and move on to my readings for tomorrow now. I’m sure today was just a fluke and that my sweet tooth will reappear soon for dessert(how could it not?).

There’s so much extra out there, I feel lie I have to mention a few before I give a product review summary. First up, there’s this article concerning fat as a new flavor. I’ve read this a couple places now, and I’m totally willing to jump aboard the flavor train if that’s the case. What’s interesting is reading how they want to take and utilize this knowledge. There’s also a funky monkey snack giveaway for you all to enter, not like those have much fat in them 😉 And check out the $50 shopping spree giveaway on Mary’s Weight Loss Blog! I can win an $50 Shopping Spree Giveaway from iHerb.com and so can you! Click here for contest details! Now, I’ll wrap this up with my Kombucha product review recap. I was able to sample 4 flavors to review for Synergy, and here’s my thoughts on those I tried. I think what I learned was, whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed so long as you like Kombucha. You can also look at my Synergy review page to see what other flavors I’ve had and might have in the future. Enjoy!

Botanic No 9

8.5/10: A delicate blend of honeysuckle and flowers, this kombucha has an equally tame flavor. It wasn’t “blue” in a saddening way but rather very mellow. I almost missed the vinegar flavor of the kombucha which is pretty much rendered down to nothing here. This one wasn’t for me on account of its subtlety but would definitely be a mellow welcome to anyone looking for “down time” or simply new to kombucha.

Citrus

8/10: The vinegar flavor of kombucha is a lot to handle naturally. I’m afraid it just might be too much for citrus to handle, too. While I liked this as a drink, it didn’t scream citrus! or lemon! the way I was expecting; there was just some certain zest of life missing from the flavor. That being said, it was very good kombucha, and I’m glad nothing fought the natural vinegar punch but–if anything–enhanced it. And perhaps the citrus helped to boost my mood because I felt like an all star after drinking it.

Multi-Green

9/10: “Drinking your calories” often gets a bad wrap; but when you’re drinking greens, living enzymes, and a host of other nutritious things, how can anything be bad? I’ll admit that I was wary of the color for this. When I started sipping I was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavors here–vinegary kombucha and bitter greens–actually work and thrive together! And the algae and other add-ins give a welcome dose of protein. The only unpleasantry was the chalky remnants at the bottom of the bottle. Otherwise, this was a surprisingly joyful way to take in my greens!

Trilogy

8.5/10: Even when synergy dabbles with juices, they really can’t go wrong; so often, the typical juice drink is over-sugared and more of a dessert than a health drink. I like how synergy keeps the kombucha strong and the ingredients simple; in this was just kombucha, raspberry juice, citrus, and ginger. The “trilogy” of flavors work well, but perhaps a little too well; you can’t identify much more than a strong vinegar flavor with a sharp bitter tone that could come from any 1–or all–of the flavors. Still, this drink had me sipping more and feeling well,, and is one of the flavors I’d gladly grab again.

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That Dirty Quaker

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

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

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Dynamic Duos

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

Thankfully, the ice dancing is over, which means we don’t have to look at creepy, questionably incestuous duos dancing to poorly chosen songs in outrageous costumes. No, now we can get back to the dynamic duos that set our mouths on fire!

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard

Caramel and Mustard. REALLY. This stuff is heavenly. I have could eat it by the spoonful. Who would have thunk it? But the sweetness of condensed milk and the spiciness from mustard seeds just take the floor together. So for lunch, I baked up some tofu, coated it in this and another fantastic ingredient.

Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Coconut Caramel Mustard Tofu

Tofu, meet coconut. Coconut, tofu. When I saw Caitlin give this one a try, I couldn’t help thinking yes, yes, yes! So after the mustard was adhered to the baked tofu, I toasted coconut flakes in a ban and tossed them with the tofu. Winner, winner, vegetarian lunch or dinner! And let’s not forget the dynamic duo of soy sauce and any vegetable that will soak it up. Mmmm. I steamed broccoli and then finished it in a pan with a little of the black gold 🙂 And I ain’t talking Texas tea.

Red Delicious Apple

An apple and… coffee?! Not quite, but I needed something to fill me up before 3 1/2 hours of class! Not like I thought this would last me over that long, but for the first section I was A-OK. Then I had to lead a little discussion in my seminar, which went decent, until the teacher said I should have submitted a paper with my notes on it. Oops! I’ll type that up in a jiffy after this. During the “break” I “snuck” from my pocket perhaps the holiest of dessert duos.

Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Sunspire Candy Bar

I like coconut. I love chocolate. I really love coconut oil chocolate. Sadly, I just “loved” this candy bar. OK, “just” maybe sets the wrong note. I loved this bar. The dark chocolate was perfectly bitter-sweet(70% I’m guessing). And the coconut was nice and a little sweet 🙂 Yum, yum. More companies need to make organic candy bars! Then again, maybe it’s a good thing for me they don’t, because I could go po’ eating through them.

.9oz Snack Pack Surf Sweet Sour Berry Bears

Speaking of candy, “healthy” and “candy” are not your typical duo, but Surf Sweets tries at least. Just like how I try to eat them the weirdest way possible…

Soy Yogurt With Sour Berry Bears

Sweet and sour needs no explanation. I took a container of plain soy yogurt sweetened with some vanilla stevia and added these gummy bears on top. A little confused? Remember putting gummy bears on vanilla froyo along with about 20 other toppings? Yeah, it was like that. This was after I had gotten out of class, flew my backpack down, and started cutting up a sweet potato for dinner thinking “Now I see why my mom would b*tch having to make dinner after getting home from work”. BUT that set up one hell of a duo for dinner:

Sweet Potato Fries, Grass-Fed Cheese Burger

This was more like a quartet of awesome. Of course, there’s burger + fries. Duh. And then there’s burger + cheese = meh but I went with it for a change from yesterday. And salt with sweet potato is “like woh“. And, while I recognize this is basically the same dinner as yesterday, to that I have to attribute a) my tofu block being on its last leg and b) the fact that I gave up “prepared soy foods” for Lent, so there 🙂

And now, tonight’s going to feature a lot of Evan + Plato before my Greek test tomorrow morning with a little bit of making + up that assignment I mentioned I forgot about. What’s your favorite duo? Or who? if we want to lead the edible persuasion. Personally, I’ve always been an Ash and Pikachu fan, but if you wanna say Ricky and Lucy I couldn’t deny. AND check out when Kate made my coconut oil chocolate. I love that all the ingredients she used were organic; a blogger after my own heart.

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12 Pieces Of Wisdom From My Grandmother And Others

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who in their life hasn’t picked up tips and nuggets of wisdom from the people in their lives here and there? Today, I found myself using and acknowledging those little pieces of gold. Read on and you might even learn something new, if not at least see some good eats 😉

The Heat Is On Tofu Salad, Scrambled Eggs, Steamed Broccoli, Kombucha

1. A splash of milk makes scrambled eggs 10 times better. My grandmother was sooo right on this one! Of course, she probably didn’t use almond milk like I did here 😉 But the results were the same: perfectly moist eggs. I feel like there’s no way I couldn’t take advice on eggs from the woman who made them for me almost every day during the Summer. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli, and some “tofu salad” made with 3oz soft tofu and a tablespoon The Heat Is On.

The Heat Is On Peanut Butter

2. Do what you know and love, and 3. follow your dreams. I’d like to think all our parents weren’t blowing hot air here telling us this when we were growing up. For Lee Zalben, it certainly worked out. If you weren’t aware, he started off pretty much knowing one thing: he loved peanut butter. Now he runs a successful NY sandwich shop and produces the beloved and famous PB&Co. Peanut Butters. What I love about this way of thinking is that things “just work out”. I have no clue what I’m going to do with my major or where I’ll be after college but I truly believe that something will “work out”.

Botanic No 9 Kombucha

4. Don’t eat it if it’s still alive. Well, grams can’t be right on everything, right? This flavor was my 4th of Synergy Kombucha and my 3rd for review. It tasted very “blue”(definitely a welcomed change of pace from “green”) and wasn’t nearly as harsh on the vinegar flavor of kombucha as I’ve come to know. Unfortunately, I love that strong vinegar taste! But I’m guessing this would be friendlier to the new palate. Did anybody else not realize that those things floating in the kombucha often is cultures? That was some words of wisdom I didn’t need to read.

Zevia Cola And Kombucha Collection

5. Everything in moderation. These timeless words also sum up nicely all the comments on this post from this morning. What did I end up doing? Grabbing a diet Zevia. While it avoids the aspartame of Coke zero(oh, how I miss thee), it’s also important to remember that 0-cal sweetners, natural or not, should be taken in moderation, and other occasions just call for the sweet white stuff. For reference, I use stevia in coffee, tea, yogurt, and pudding, and will occasionally enjoy an erythritol sweetened soda.  But Chicken Cacciatore over pasta with Splenda? No thank you. Also, this gave me a chance to highlight my kombucha bottle collection; isn’t it purdy 😀

6. If it makes you happy it can’t be that bad. You sing it, Sheryl.

Forming Beef Patties

7. Always have a clean work station laid out and 8. Don’t sh*t where you live. Mom always told me the first one; she’s where I get the “neat-freak” gene. Would she approve of my forming burger patties in the dorm? Good question. If it’s any consolation, I used 1 hand to make the patties and didn’t touch anything else without washing them. And number 8… my dog, Montana, could tell you that. Not like he follows his own advice.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hemp Seeds And Sea Salt

9. Salt makes everything better. Another treasure trove from mom. The sea salt on this made the sweetness of the chocolate and the savory-tone of Bob’s Red Mill‘s hulled hemp seeds explode! We can do this loud and proud, too, because we have low blood pressure(sorry, dad!).

Red Delicious Apple

10. To properly pick an apple, turn it upside down and twist. I didn’t pick this apple, but that’s one piece of knowledge that I learned on a field trip in 1st grade and never forgot. On the contrary, this was from the dining hall. But, amazingly, it was delicious, firm, and ripe!

11.You weren’t the first. You won’t be the last. I don’t know who said that but–damn–were they a downer and spot on! This actually occurred to me when I started thinking “I wonder what blogger started up sweet potato fries” and realized that sweet potato fries predate blogs by a lot. No one “started” them up; they just remembered to do them. I was also reminded of this when I came upon a dirty joke in Petronius’ Satyricon I would have never thought was that old, but there it was! I can’t say it on the blog because… I just can’t.

Grass-Fed Beef 1/4 Pounder, Sweet Potato Oven Fries

12. Let your meat rest 5-10 minutes, knowing it will continue cooking. Another gem from mom, not like she ever follows it herself! Whenever I cook my burgers, chicken, eggs, or really any protein, I keep in mind not to overdo it, and to let it sit. Since I have to photograph it and then clean the dishes, it’s not too much of a problem not diving in immediately. But once I got started at this meal, I couldn’t stop; it was that good! It definitely makes up for last nights pancake disaster.

There you have them. 12 sage pieces of advice. Got any more? I’d love to hear them in the comments, as random as they could be! I’ll add a 13th: Don’t eat yellow snow.

And, while you’re at it, you can check out a Zevia giveaway, a Chobani giveaway, and a Lightlife giveaway!

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A Little Something For Everyone

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love hearing that a lot of you have seen the Emmy’s Organics macaroons but just haven’t picked them up yet! Well, I don’t like that last part, but I will say you’re lucky in that I’d never seen these before they showed up at my door and do suggest you give them a shot(Better yet–get a different flavor and tell me how that one is!).

For lunch I “planned” for a fly-by sort of meal where I would just go with whatever’s quick and simple. Who “plans” for grabby meals like that? Apparently, me 🙂 I ended up with a plate that had a little something  for everyone on it(but all for me really).

2 Eggs, Feta & Spinach Chicken Sausage, Tempeh Bacon, Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie

The Wow Baking Company Gluten Free Cookie

This was a lot of fat, a lot of protein, and a little bit of carbs, and it totally worked for me! At least at this meal it did. I thought the idea of having (vegan) bacon and eggs was cute, as was the idea of having eggs and chicken (sausage). Sooo why not have it all? And with a gluten free cookie on the side? Perfect! A little something for whatever your eating habits may be. 🙂 This sausage was a new one to me; I loved how delicious salty it was! It wasn’t very feta in flavor, but it certainly had flavor and would be a perfect basic sausage.

The Wow Baking Company Oregon Oatmeal Cookies

The Oregon Oatmeal cookie was part of the pack from The Wow Baking Company. It smelt sooo good! Like fresh cinnamon–yum! I loved the base of the cookie, with rich tones of butter and thick, hearty oats. But the fruit I thought was a little bland and lacking. And this was a LOT of sugar. I mean, what can you expect from a cookie overall? Definitely something fun to eat, but it didn’t really WOW me.

Thumb Cut

I actually was a supreme clutz today. I managed to burn my bicep(yes, my bicep) with the pan I was cooking eggs with. Can’t figure out how one does that? It’s very complicated, and I’m clutzy enough. Later on I got a package from the mail room and managed to slice my hand open with my room key trying to open it. Not a big cut but I did manage to finish off a roll of paper towels throughout the afternoon stopping the bleeding–joy. It was worth it though because the package had goodies from Honest Foods such as this bar I snacked on:

Honest Foods Almond Trail Mix Granola Bar

First off, this bar was another product where the smell was just amazing. This time, I swore I was sniffing an open bottle of amaretto 😀 Holy sweetness. But the flavor was underwhelmingly almondy after all that; it was good but had a lot going on with other seeds and fruits. I loved the nutrition, though! Not many bars have a healthy fat source higher than sugar on the ingredient list; that’s rocking! Keeping up with the almond theme, I tried a new butter.

Trader Joe's Almond Butter With Roasted Flaxseeds

Monica convinced me I needed this in my life, so that last time I was at Trader Joe’s I grabbed it off the shelf. As if it weren’t enough of a fat source, I thought I’d throw it over some pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Trader Joe Almond Butter

Chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk, to be exact. The combination of almond and chocolate wasn’t so perfect here–not sure why not 😦 TJ’s almond butter was awesome and so well salted. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the flax seeds. Too sweet, maybe? And I don’t like having to chew them to get the nutrition from them :-/ What can I say? I’m lazy.

For dinner, I had planned to meet up with some friends in one of the dining halls. At this dining hall, you don’t have to use any meal credits to get in and only pay or what you pick off the line, so I was able to bring my whole meal without using my meal plan. Beforehand, I made some of my favorite foods in the oven in my dorm, wrapped them in foil, and was good to go!

Maple Baked Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Broccoli, Orange Zevia

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries

Better than cafeteria food? I think so. No matter how many times I roast sweet potatoes, they never cease to impress me. I think maple baking tofu is the simplest way to add flavor, but I’m definitely on the lookout for new recipes to switch it up. It was great to catch up with things from the past week in some case and the whole of winter breaks in another; one of my friends is a fellow runner and might have another half marathon to turn me on to! I’ll have to see. The only downside was getting into my dorm at 8:30 and thinking “Gosh I’m home late”. And when exactly do I get my senior citizen discount? In my defense, I have my alarm set for a 6:15 run!

Did this post provoke you to think of new things to try? I’ve found plenty of recipes for almond milk, and it’s much simpler than I would have imagined! I have yet to track down some Jungle Peanuts, but rest assured I will 😉 In the meantime, here’s an appliance giveaway, a coconut oil giveaway, a chocolate giveaway, an iherb giveaway, and another coconut oil giveaway.

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I’ve Never Been So Excited About Meals

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

OK. That’s a TOTAL lie. I mean, look at what I was eating last Saturday. BUT I was very excited for everything I ate today. And it didn’t cost nearly as much as–not even going there 😉 But first, I took a trip to the gym for an a.m. workout. I was worried the place would be PACKED; it was busy, but I was able to grab machines. First, I ran 2 miles in 18:03. Then I did some weird peddling machine where you sit down and hold bars to your side for 30 minutes; this wasn’t really ideal and I couldn’t get my heart rate even over 105 for much but I wanted to break up the running. Then I went back for another 3 miles in 27:43. The speed is so not where I want it to be, but I need to focus on getting endurance back up after my break first; I’m not running my half to win it, just to cross the line.

Lemon Bot Beverage

When I got back to my room, I wanted to get on the refueling pronto. I grabbed this Lemon Bot Beverage I was sent to review. I’m not at all one for sugary recovery drinks but that’s what’s great about Bot: They’re pretty low sugar but still good on the electrolytes. And this flavor was yummy! It wasn’t sour like a lemon straight-up but not like sweetened southern lemonade, either. It was just the right sweet and tartness. I sipped on this while I was down in the kitchen cooking something wonderful up.

Veggie Burger Caveman Style, Sugar Snap Peas

Lightlife Gimme Lean Soy Meat Burger Caveman Style

I wish I could take some credit for the peas, which were delicious, but I can’t; they were totally taken from the dining hall last night and reheated. But I forgot how fun they were to pop into! The burger I can take credit for. I took 4oz of the Lightlife gimme lean meat, formed it into a patty, and cooked it in a pan in EVOO; I like to think this is a step above getting premade veggie burgers but that’s probably not the case. Equally, I’d like to say that I ate this caveman style because it’s a smart way to avoid over-processed carbs, but really I just don’t have any bread/suspect I have a slight gluten intolerance and caveman made sense. Did I mention this burger had a secret?

Inside Out Veggie Cheeseburger

That’s really why I was excited to eat this! I actually formed 2 2oz patties, tore up a square of American cheddar cheese, stuffed it in the middle and enclosed the sides together. The cheese was so perfectly melted when I bit in–yum! That definitely made this better than regular veggieburgers.

Thayer Street

After lunch, I decided to brave the cold. At below freezing with wind, I wasn’t up to walking to Whole Foods. But CVS up the street I could do for the battery I needed. The only problem was CVS didn’t have the battery I needed >:-(. Sure, a CR2032 isn’t super common like a AA, but they should have kept more in stock. The closest store that would sell that would have been a mile away, so I gave up and headed back to my room.

Assembly Station

If you don’t already think I’m nuts(which you should, because I sure as hell do), then maybe now I can convince you. I got my scale working temporarily on a low battery, so I started making a little bit of whatever I might want until I get a new battery: oatmeal, raw vegan chocolate, chocolate avocado pudding, 2% yogurt. As I’ve mentioned, I’m much more a baker than a cook. A cook approximates and does things to taste where a baker is precise and measuring. That’d be great if I kept measuring cups and tablespooons around, but I’m so cocky with my scale I completely forgot that stuff at home. Now can I be crazy? K, thanks.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Chocolate

After everything was put away, I broke in to some of what I made. I made a bowl of chocolate avocado pudding and then did the recipe for 1/2 a raw, vegan coconut oil chocolate bar and just plopped it on top. I thought my lunch was a little light on fats; I guess this made up for it! This was soooo good. Chocolate and coconut together are becoming my new obsession. I couldn’t help but be excited about this combination! I think Grezzo really needs to add this to their menu.

Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t think anything is more exciting than roasting veggies; it’s even converting veggie haters. I was so excited for this, not just for the outcome but because it was the first time using our dorm oven. I was a little nervous: Would it work? Would it explode? I just tossed the fries from 1 potato in some EVOO, seasoned with salt, and let them do their thing for 50 minutes.

Vegan Meatloaf With Sea Salt And Cayenne Parma, Sweet Potato Fries

Once again–Very excited! Not so much for the meatloaf; after 8 days, that just needed to be eaten. But the sweet potato fries were everything and more. I think they needed another 10 minutes to crisp up, but I couldn’t wait. I can never wait long enough for roasted vegetables. The Cayenne flavored Parma added a really great kick to everything. Surprisingly, this didn’t fill me up as much as I was expecting. Maybe it needed a big dose of green veggies? Oh well, that just leaves more space for dessert 😀

Race Update

So, I really don’t have a training plan, nor do I plan to get one(hehe). The run is 8 weeks from tomorrow, and I think if I get into my good groove I’ll be able to build back up in no time. While I don’t have anything laid out, I do keep an idea of what I want to do in my head. Tomorrow, I’m aiming for 5 consecutive miles, and a 2 mile walk(either to Whole Foods and back or on the treadmill). Monday will be my first “long run” of 8 miles! I think/hope I’ll be ready for that one.

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