What Makes A Good Day?

Posted on November 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Is it setting a distance PR?

Is it starting the day off with this Amazing Grass bar?

Decaf Coffee And Plain Chobani

Is it abusing using your meal plan to hook yourself up with coffee and greek yogurt before class?

Is it getting an email that you have a package waiting for you in the mailroom after Latin class?

Wildwood Sample Products

Is it getting a great box of soy products from Wildwood including burgers, yogurt, and baked tofu to sample and review?

Is it making lunch with a new condiment?

Wicked Natural Caramel Mustard Dip

Caramel Mustard Tofu, Broccoli And Sliced Carrots, Flamegrilled Gardenburger

Is it having a lunch that tastes almost like a dessert, except with a vinegary kick to it?

Is it vegetables that taste fresh with a little salt even though they’ve been in the dining hall God-only-knows-how long?

Is it an old, favorite vegan veggie burger with a smoky kick?

Lemonade Vitamin Water 10

Is it standing 1 foot next to Emma Watson when you go to the convenience store in the mail room to grab a drink between classes?

Epic Poetry Paper

Is it getting an A you totally didn’t expect because, even though your work kind of sucks and you gave up hope half way through a paper, the teacher sees enough progress and takes enough pity to give a damn good grade?

Peanut Butter Chip Cascadian Farm Granola Bar

Is it eating a granola bar with very low fiber and protein and no fortified vitamins or minerals but that has peanut butter chips in it?

Is it forgetting your water bottle in Greek History class, invading the room and another class 2 years later, and getting mistaken as an “escort” for a sick girl?

Is it watching Oprah, but an episode that unfortunately has no porn stars, ex-vice president nominees, or ex-vice president nominee’s grandbaby’s daddy who’s becoming a porn star?

Pumpkin Oats With Cranberry Frosting And Cranberry Vanilla Peanut Butter

Is it having a colorful bowl of oatmeal that reminds you you don’t need artificial ingredients or colors in your life for edible things to look and taste amazing?

Is it being inspired by New England to make a dish with pumpkin, vanilla, and cranberry as the flavors?

Carrots And Caramel Mustard Dip

Is it dipping carrots straight into the jar?

Is it convincing yourself that this is better than just eating straight caramel because there’s mustard and vinegar in their, too?

Local Products

Is it a day when, despite the fact that the Farmers’ Market ended two weeks ago, local companies arranged to send their products to Josiah’s for a special night?

Is it buying more caramel mustard for Thanksgiving and a new jar of local jam and paying with 2 breakfast meals because you eat oatmeal in your room every morning?

Baked Scrod, Sweet Potato, Steamed Vegetables

Is it the dining hall having fish, sweet potato and steamed vegetables all on the same night?

Is it laughing at how the one night that you don’t get food from the vegetarian line your friend, a completely careless meat eater, won’t touch the fish?

 

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Chocolat Jam And Shaved Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate

 

Is it having a dessert with fruit and chocolate that clocks in with 20+ grams of protein?

Is it being convinced that because fruit is the first ingredient, jam with chocolate is still reasonably good for you?

Is it having no unread emails in your mailbox for the first time at 8:45pm?

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

 

Is it having your favorite bowl of oatmeal, with the same exact combination of ingredients/nut butter/topping that you’ve had umpteen times?

Is it watching a new Modern Family and laughing a little too hard at “she came to the Halloween party as Sigfried and half of Roy”?

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Is it eating one of your favorite desserts ever with a blend of chocolate, peanut butter, and toffee just because you can?

Is it getting 50% your daily value of iron in said dessert?

Is it knowing and respecting your body well enough to listen to it when it says it wants to go to bed at 10:20?

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

Is it waking up and feeling energized, and grabbing this bar you’ve been dreaming about on the way to the gym?

Is it watching television shows you’re about 8 years too old for because they make the treadmill an enjoyable experience?

Is it running 10 miles in 83:41 when you only planned to go 7 miles because you feel so darn good?

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Nog And Cinnamon Soy Yogurt

Is it that your room smells like fresh cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg at 9am?

Is it when you realize that you won’t have to give up anything going vegan for a day–again–but rather just find different ways to love the food you normally eat?

 

Is it the thought of winning this amazing coffee filled giveaway?

I think it’s all of those things(especially the Emma Watson one ;-)) What about you? What makes it a good day?

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A Collegiate Dinner

Posted on November 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

To everyone who asked how the peanut butter was, I tried to sum it up at breakfast: it’s very thin and runny. The vanilla gives it a nice sweetness. And the cranberries were a bit of a surprise, namely that they’re very finely chopped and not whole, but you still get a lot of cranberry flavor in each bite even if you can’t see them. Considering it’s a store brand flavored nut butter, it’s really good, so I’d buy one if you see it.

Speaking of pumpkin, yesterday’s pumpkin oats really held me over, so I wasn’t very hungry come lunch. I grabbed some random veggies from the dining hall, and went back to my dorm, first to catch up on internet stuff and then make lunch for later.

Cranberry Mustard Tofu, Sweet Potato, Zucchini

To be honest this wasn’t so spectacular. I thought I might hit upon the next tofu genius recipe by putting together mustard, TJ Cranberry apple butter, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon, but it was mostly a flavorless mess. The sweet potato, on the other hand, was perfect; sweet potato never disappoints. Now I’m down to 1 under my bed so I should stock up soon. I ate this mostly in Greek History, in which my professor, who’s pretty much the most opinionated man, hateful of anything deemed “good” by pop culture, professed his love for Michael Scott. I knew he had a soul somewhere in him.

I had a slip in my mailbox which meant I needed to go to a window and get in line to get a package. 2 people in front of me was Emma Watson, but I realized I only had 2 minutes until my class upstairs started so I had to bail and get the package later. Lame. My teacher was late, too, so I totally could have stuck around. Anyway, I had not 1 but 2 packages waiting for me. Exciting!

P.B. Loco Peanut Butter Samplers

The first was some samplers from P.B. Loco to try and review! I’ve had the chocolate chip cookie dough, but I don’t think I’ve properly reviewed it in the new format yet, so expect that soon. Also, I’ve never had(but have oogled many times) the white chocolate raspberry so I can’t wait to give that a taste! Thanks, P.B. Loco!

Strawberries And Cocoa MojaMix

The 2nd package was equally exciting. Remember when I mentioned winning a Mojamix? They run weekly contests on Facebook to win a prize and 2 weeks ago I was the lucky winner! I got to make a trail mix of my own, and I went with ginger granola with cacao nibs, chocolate sprouted sunflower seeds, dried strawberries and persimmons, and chia seeds. Great, now that I’ve just told you all about these contests I’m sure I’ll have a lot more competition for the future.

I spent the first part of my afternoon walking up Thayer Street to Blue State Coffee. I had a hankering for a carrot cake cupcake, even though it’s not Cupcake Friday, but they were all out 😦 Next I found another of the dining halls(yes, it’s been 3 months and I’m still “finding” things), and made it back to my dorm, where I had something like carrot cake…

Bolthouse Baby Carrots

This is the raw and vegan version of carrot cake 😉 Jk to all my raw and vegan readers. I KNOW you guys know how to do dessert and do it well. Mucho blog reading resumed and eventually I made a real snack.

Banana Oats With Chocolate Hazelnut Spread And Maple Vanilla Frosting

Yum. This was perfect with vanilla powder, vanilla stevia, and Trader Joe cinnamon. The chocolate hazelnut spread I use is made by Rapunzel. It’s organic, and has about half the sugar of Nutella, but it’s still not really a nut butter. I ate this while watching Sarah Palin on Oprah. Anybody else watch this? I felt like it was all pretty tame, except when her grandbaby’s-daddy came up. He totally deserves the bashing, though; there’s no way 20 years from now he’s going to look back and think Playgirl was a smart call. Afterwards I had one of my favorite in-a-jar snacks.

Oikos In A Jam Jar With My Mojamix

I love the spoonfuls of just jam you get when you do this. And my Mojamix is off the wall good! I couldn’t really sense the chia, but the dried strawberries were heavenly and my new favorite dried fruit. The persimmons were a bit flavorless but maybe the sweetness of the Oikos was too much for them.

By the time 6:30 came around I was pretty hungry again. I met a friend from High School at the dining hall for dinner, as planned. I decided I didn’t need to look at the menu for tonight and just go in. Bad call. There were random vegetables I wouldn’t have minded, but nothing that was a meal. I still wanted to catch up so I sat with him and talked while he ate, and made like I wasn’t hungry(though I probably came off like a spaz because I was planning my dinner in my head). Once he was done, I grabbed some things and pretty much ran to my room to cook.

Canned Tuna, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Trader Joe's American Cheese, Glaed Carrots, Green Beans With Mushrooms

Beautiful, no? I learned from Le Cordon Blue Collar. I think some of you were in my class 🙂 I’m not saying all my other meals have been Grade A, but this one felt unique, and like my first real “your in college” meal: random veggies from the dining hall, canned tuna, frozen veggie burger, and a slice of American cheese. God bless America. As random as it felt it hit the spot. Oh, and apparently TJ makes cheese that refuses to melt. Like at all. Oh, oh, and my dining hall does have canned tuna at the salad bar, but over the Summer my mother, who’s one of the least picky eaters ever ironically, convinced me if I don’t eat only a specific type of canned tuna at the rate I do then I’m going to die of mercury and so now I only eat light tuna from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. She implants that anxiety into me but then eats God-knows-what tuna salad sandwiches from Subway. Thanks.

My entire night was ups and downs but I’ll abbreviate. Downs: Spilling water all over and behind my bed. Cutting my knuckle at some point on something. Sneezing a hell of a lot and concluding I’ve got a head cold. Only getting done 1 poem in Latin. Ups: Winning a coupon giveaway. Excusing copious amounts of coffee because coffee has antioxidants. And this oatmeal.

 

Carrot Cake Oateal With Cream Cheese Frosting And Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

 

Believe it or not, I’ve never made carrot cake oatmeal before. And let me tell you, this was weird and complicated. I could never do this on a hungry stomach, but I had enough patience for dessert. I assembled the base oatmeal, shredded carrots, and raisins, and cooked that with a lot of water. On the side I made a cream cheese, yogurt, and vanilla stevia frosting, and topped it all with banana pineapple rum jam. I recognize that there are a ton of variations on carrot cake but my version(aka, the correct one ;-)) always must involve raisins and pineapple. It was good, but the carrot shreds were too long(they were from the salad bar). I’d like to try this again more homemade.

 

Carrot Ginger Muffin Bottom With White Chocolate Wonderful Harvest Spice Granola Bar With Cream Cheese Frostin, Silk Nog

That oatmeal with 2 cups of coffee did a number on me and completely filled me up. I didn’t even have an appetite for anything more, but I felt like I should have had an appetite. As much as I hate a feeling of needing to eat, I made this spread. And after I decided that I really wasn’t hungry for the muffin, I ate it and a few fingersful of peanut butter from the jar. Oops. The only part that really annoyed me was losing that sense of control.

After any time like that, I like to get a good run in and have a healthy breakfast. You could argue I do that most days but some days feel better than others. I felt like I struggled the first few miles but once I got control of the tv straightened up my form it became easier. My original gym friend, who I hadn’t seen much lately, introduced herself as Gail. Apparently, she works on the first floor of my building and has seen me walk past her window. And now I know her name I can stalk her on the faculty website. Score!(big jk on that last part). I ran 10 miles in 84:14, and when I got back I was ready for some super suprerfood.

 

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With 2 Goji Orange MintChip Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie Crumble

My superfoods of choice were goji, pumpkin, orange essence, mint, and pepita. I think that’s a good line-up no? The oatmeal totally hit the spot with some salt of course. Can salt be a superfood, too? I was thinking of having eggnog yogurt, but then I realized just how much I have that and how little Nog I have left and though better save it for a rainy day. Instead this yogurt was just perfect! I love these cookies; such an interesting blend of flavors that in the end just work. And now that I’ve had a breakfast that didn’t rely on white chocolate, I feel fresh and revitalized.

Today is one of those days where I’ll have a lot of free tie but I’ll probably be spending it feet up in front of the TV. I’m not a person who can nap; I used to be but I’m not anymore. I’d love to nap to get rid of this head cold but instead lounging around with warm nog will have to do.

 

 

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A Crisp Autumn Day

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

*Sidenote* A good friend noted that my vegan pumpkin pumpkin butter brownies were not actually vegan as TJ pumpkin butter has honey in it. Thankfully, I wasn’t baking for any vegans, but take note of that if you plan on trying them. Otherwise, enjoy.

Today really is crisp! I don’t think we’ll hit 60 degrees 😦 But I’m talking about yesterday for now. Yesterday, it didn’t really look like running weather when I woke up. It looked like baking weather. I “prefueled” with a couple cups of decaf and made an awesome breakfast: Vegan Apple Crisp. I found a recipe I used to make great and simple apple crisp 2 years ago; I just swapped out the butter *shudder* for organic smart balance vegan butter spread *slightly-less-of-a-but-still-a-shudder*. I’m still not down with the butter thang. And it’s definitely not a health thing because even the “healthy alternative” gives me the willys. I think I should see a psychiatrist on this butter thing(that was sarcasm. I have better ways to spend 100 dollars in an hour). It came out beautifully.

November 1st 001

Vegan Apple Crisp

It has whole grains and fruit, so it was good enough for breakfast.

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

I needed candy to cure my Halloween hangover–you know how that goes. I loved having time to catch up with tivo and do some homework. I think the people on Top Chef were reacting a bit too strongly to having to cook for Natalie Portman, a vegetarian. Anyone remember on Top Chef Masters when they cooked vegan and gluten free? That was a challenge. I might have had some more of this,

November 1st 004

Vegan Apple Crisp

so that by 11 o’clock the pan looked like this

November 1st 008

Vegan Apple Crisp Pan

To my knowledge, I was the only one who had eaten this yet. Thank god I’m a runner, and don’t bake this every day 🙂 More specifically, I’m a runner who ran 10.05 miles in 1:20:53. It felt so nice and crisp out, but my stomach was a little full. Still that was a great pace for my neighborhood and I’m surprised I kept it up the whole way. I showered for lunch when we got back, and we had a very squashy meal.

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

My mom baked a whole pumpkin along with the rest of the meal. It was fun to scoop but I was not a fan of the hard seeds and we all agreed it was very tart. Oh, Libby, teach us your ways of pumpkin! Even though there were 4 potatoes roasted, I opted for one cooked in the microwave. I love the chewier texture, it makes it feel not like baby food(which I already eat for every other meal of the day). Before leaving home for one epicly long trip back to Campus, I served myself a couple scoops of one of my favorite frozen yogurts.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Holy cow’s milk frozen yogurt is this stuff good. When you let it sit just to the point where it’s starting to melt and lick it, it tastes just like a frothy milkshake. I also like that it’s a bit richer because of a touch of cream but still has decent nutrition, and all natural pronounceable ingredients.

First on our stops was Target to look for Vanilla Cranberry peanut butter: no luck 😦 I didn’t even go in because I didn’t want to get distracted so I just had my dad check for me. After that we did the Whole Foods thang for a couple yogurts and some steak sauce. Across the way was Market Basket for some more yogurt and waffles. I really wanted chocolate vitatops but all they had were bluebran and banana nut. I was tempted to buy the banana nut just out of compulsion but resisted because I knew it wasn’t what I really wanted. There was a quickie snack in the car to ward of crankiness.

November 1st 015

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

This definitely helped get past the chocolate disappointment. But then I remembered that the Stop And Shop near campus had a very large selection of vitatops and actually sold them at a decent price. No place is better than Market Basket, but Stop And Shop certainly beats the other options near me. We swung by there and I found them 🙂 That Stop And Shop would be a great option for me to get food at cheaper more often; unfortunately it’d be about a 2 mile walk and through some rough parts of Providence 😦 I’d rather be safe and poor than save a few bucks only to get mugged. When we got back, I had plenty to put away, including all the new stuff we’d boughten.

Groceries

Groceries

Did I mention there’s a 2 dollars off 2 Oikos coupon on Facebook and Oikos at Market Basket is a dollar each? Aka, free Oikos. Score. Nothing else was free, or really on sale… At least I’ll be eating well 🙂 What was not well was finding mold in my apple butter!

November 1st 019

Moldy Apple Butter

Serves me right for eating this about once a month. How ironic, too, that I just picked up one yesterday to bake with and left it at home. I’ll grab it next weekend or something. I was going to spread it on this english muffin, but peanut butter just had to do.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Who am I kidding? There was always going to be peanut butter; now there was just more of it. This held me over for catching up on The Office(I know, I know, I’m really behind). Thankfully, it also held me over through “dinner”. I met with my friend at The Ratty, which was good because we’d lost touch since Wednesday or so. What wasn’t good was any of the options on the lines. Rather than try to make a meal that wouldn’t have satisfied me, we just sat and talked while he ate. ‘Twas fun, but I was a bit more than ready to make something I’d eat when I got back to my dorm.

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

This was soooooooo worth waiting for. I’ve never understood why people put eggs and mushrooms together until I tried it; this was deliciously meaty yet savory, and the cheese made it feel rich. I love Trader Joe’s ketchup with just about anything savory. It’s not quite as sweet as it is vinegary so the flavor works a bit better I think. And as if I didn’t eat my fair share of veggies yesterday, a veggie burger surely helped. Meals like this make me think I really don’t need the dining hall and could probably eat just fine off a meal plan and for less money. Because there wasn’t enough funky flavor in my life, I made this for The Amazing Race.

November 1st 004

So Delicious Plain Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, And A Milk Chocolate Neman's PB Cup

 

Sorry, I’ll stop doing this combo when it stops being so good. That’s not happening anytime soon? Shucks. The list of ingredients in “plain” soy milk is kind of funnily long but it still has that beloved soy flavor, which goes really well with the sweetness of the peanut butter. I was slightly disappointed with last night; my plan for the weekend was to have all my homework done Saturday so I could work on the 3(yes, 3) essays for Greek History, but Greek the language was a time whore that required far too much of my attention. Maybe we should all be thankful to speak and understand the one language we learn as a baby? Yeah, good plan.

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

 

I realized I hadn’t had oatmeal all day. What was wrong with me? Clearly, this bowl needed to be made in a jiffy. Butter I may not do, but Naturally Nutty’s Butter Toffee Peanut Butter is a clear exception. I have not seen this enough around the blogosphere and can’t help but wonder porque? If you’re nervous about making the step from a super market PB stalker to an online PB predator, it’s understandable, but take my word and just go for it! You won’t be disappointed. Don’t even make the mistake of ordering sampler jars on flavors that sound incredible like I did my first time because you’re only going to have to reorder that much sooner.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

One of the things grocery shopping has taught me is to know what to budget on and what can be your special splurge. Do I need that box of granola bars because it’s a different flavor than the one I have? No. And they’ll taste the same now as the day I have a coupon and they’re on sale. Somethings, on the other hand, make sense to treat yourself with, like these. They’re obviously wholesome and healthy(and vegan, too!), and they work out to be decently priced(1.10 a roll), so I don’t mind “splurging” on these from time to time. Brothers & Sisters was, as always, great last nice. I liked Balthazar Getty’s appearance but it looks like he’s going as quick as he came back.

I had set my alarm for 7, then brought it back to 6:40 because of the extra hour. I actually woke up before that and didn’t need it. It was light out, too, so I wasn’t fumbling to make coffee in the dark–oh joy! I had a ghoulish snack.

November 1st 013

Trader Joe's Ghoulie Gummies

I completely forgot about these for Halloween! They still tasted as good. Just a warning to anyone thinking of picking them up: They are all-natural but they aren’t vegetarian because they use animal gelatin. First I was thinking 8 for this morning, but then that turned to 10, and then 12. I can’t say I know quite how that happened because they were definitely not an easy 12, but I felt determined and wasn’t about. I think that run had me wanting sugar when I got back, because for breakfast I used a good amount of it in my favorite form.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup, Oikos With Maple Syrup And Crunchy Maple Sunrise Cereal

Maple! I’m thinking I should ask my grandparents for some high-quality maple syrup for Christmas or Thanksgiving. They’re from middle-of-no-where, NH so they probably have a neighbor who makes his own or something. My grandpa was once on PBS for being a lumberjack for over 40 years 🙂 Right now the one I’m using is from the Dedham Whole Foods but it won’t be around for long! I love the new Nature’s Path Organic maple cereal, which I still need to review. I think it comes out this month so keep an eye out for it!

Speaking of Nature’s Path… Nature’s Path Giveaway!

 

 

Chobani Giveaway! Over at Abby Has Issues

Who doesn’t want some hot chocolate in their life for the cold season? Check out this giveaway.

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Take Your Time

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday was great, not for any other reason than I had time. Yes, it seems like something so simple. But think of the origin of stress in your life and I bet 80% of it would be solved if their wasn’t an ever present time crunch over our heads. It’s a vicious cycle, mostly because we all want time but put pressure on each other. So I ask you today, if you’re in the leadership position, to tell someone to take their time. Or if they say “I just didn’t have time”, rather than roll your eyes, tell them you understand, because I bet you do. All it takes is a few outliers to break the cycle and get the motion rolling in the opposite direction.

After Mid-breakfast, I left my dorm  little early to give myself time to get coffee and make it to class a little early(normally both do not happen). I think I managed a few odd looks walking around with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon; people need to read more blogs. When I got out, I was nice and full from my oats; this gave me the time to go back to my room, read a little(blogs, not books ;-)), and let the rush at the dining hall die down. Eventually I went and got some food, and then came back and took the time to make a quintessential Evan lunch.

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Sauteed Spinach, Steak Sauce

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Sauteed Spinach, Steak Sauce

There’ something really great about sitting down to a meal where you know all the flavors and you know you’re going to love them. Unfortunately, this meal reminded me how low I am on 365 steak sauce; add that to the weekend grocery list. I took my time eating this to the tune of Days Of Our Lives. When Rachael Ray came on, I asked myself what I really wanted to do for the day. Well that was obvious–go grocery shopping, of course. But did I have time? I just told myself “You have time because you’re going to make time” and headed out. I was working with an October food budget of .92 cents…. Yeah–not going to happen. Just because I wasn’t going to stick to it didn’t mean I would go nuts; I decided to dip into November but only buy what was on sale, I had coupons for, or I really wanted.

Groceries

Groceries

Mission greatly accomplished. I got everything you see above plus an acorn squash(who apparently missed the photo opp or is blending in with the background so well I can’t even see him) for 3.54. Impressive, right? My momma didn’t raise no fool. The Oikos, Stonyfield, and Lightlife tempeh all fell under coupons. The soy yogurt was a sale item; normally I would have gotten plain but they didn’t have any and the sweetened form only has about 5g more sugar anyway. And the pumpkin, Z-bar, and acorn squash all fell under the “I’m going to be kicking myself in 2 hours if I don’t buy these” category. Since I dont plan on winding up at a grocery store today, I think I did reasonably well for October. Of course, I made a snack within minutes of entering the door.

Oikos Parfait With Mini PB Cups And Vanilla Sugar

Oikos Parfait With Mini PB Cups And Vanilla Sugar

How funny that I had this right after thinking to myself “Why is it that I’m always buying yogurt at the grocery store?” This was such a sweet treat. Maybe it was the hefty does of vanilla stevia I put in… I love the Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups; I cut each one in half so they were all crumbly and it reminded me of getting a Reeses mix-in at Coldstone. More yogurt like this to come? I think so. I took the time to work on my email stuff, and then set aside the time for homework; I think setting them aside rather than rush at everything at once, as tempting as it is, really cuts the stress. And when you really want to save time, what’s better than prepackaged oats?

Kashi Vanilla Creamy Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Kashi Vanilla Creamy Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

I love the combo of vanilla on vanilla; what can I say, I’m just a vanilla(bean) kind of guy 😉 I’ll spare you the gory details of the time I spent studying for my history midterm, and skip ahead to dinner. I told who I was going to have dinner with earlier that I would be too busy studying to eat at the cafeteria. It probably would have saved me time to just go to The Ratty, pick up a plate of food, and walk back to my dorm with it. But sometimes we need to make time to do the things we love, and I love making my own food. I was feeling a BBQ mood so I went for a real western meal.

BBQ Tempeh, Acorn Squash, TJ Mac N' Cheese, Zevia Cola

BBQ Tempeh, Acorn Squash, TJ Mac N' Cheese, Zevia Cola

Yeehaw! What a fun meal this was. It was my first time trying this Lightlife tempeh; you can read my review or get a sense of how it was by me being happy I still have 1/2 the package left for another meal 🙂 The acorn squash was fun to prepare and delicious to eat; I cut it, scooped out the center, and microwaved this 1/2 for 4 minutes. I love how this squash tastes a little buttery without actually needing butter(I don’t eat butter. I know it’s all-natural and certainly has simple ingredients but I just don’t touch the stuff. It’s not a diet or health thing, it just gives me the willies.). And of course any BBQ needs soda and a mac n’ cheese dish to round it out. Now if only BBQ’s had natural diet soda and whole grain pasta more often…

I swear I do study sometimes. Like all through Survivor, for instance. I know I must have been focused on something other than the show because I wasn’t sure who to expect being voted off at the end. I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard this from my dad: “I had my oatmeal in my maple almond jar today.  The jar was good for oatmeal but that almond butter just clumps.” We’ve infected the general population.

October 28th 003

Carrot Ginger Muffintop With Smart Balance And Chocolate Chips

I think I’m getting back on my muffin top obsession, which means muffin bottom yogurt to come. Also, my Smart Balance obsession hasn’t left, just switched jars. I’ve gone from agave sweetened to molasses sweetened; it was hard to tell how “funky” the flavor here was because the chocolate chips also sweetened it. Clearly I’m not too concerned with the GI load of agave vs molasses if I’m throwing chocolate on top… Grey’s Anatomy was as good as ever last night; did you know that surgery of Dr. Sheppard’s was based on a real medical surgery that was deemed as equally impossible? It’s great seeing art imitate life.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pepita Sun Butter And Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pepita Sun Butter And Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I couldn’t decide what to do with my last whole wheat cinnamon roll so I let it go both ways(TWSS). I find adding a bit of real vanilla sugar to the stevia, cream cheese, Oikos mix gives it a purer flavor. And that pepita sun butter is plenty vanilled-up already. One last snack rounded out the night:

Chocolate Br

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

When I buy something at regular price “because I really want it”, I need to eat it the same day, right?

This morning I gave myself time by setting the alarm a little earlier for my long run. I’d been having trouble with pace and this morning I finally settled it; I just accepted that while my outside pace is 7.5mph my treadmill pace is more 7mph and to push it everyday is just not the way to go. I let myself go at my new pace and just kind of enjoyed the morning, watching the crazy costumes on the Today show. I did 12 miles in 1:43:18, which was actually my first time ever running between 10 and 13.1 miles.

Banana Goodness Bread Toast With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Vanilla Oikos With Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate And Dried Cherries

Banana Goodness Bread Toast With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Vanilla Oikos With Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate And Dried Cherries

Clearly, I took all that time and put it into making this breakfast, and it was well worth it. I just looooove dark chocolate and cherry. How could you not? I also like cutting up a square of chocolate so that it gets unequal and crumbly and looks really “professional”. I’m not sure how big a fan of the toasted banana bread I am; somethings are just meant to be soft and mushy.

Today has so much excitement. It’s Cookie Friday! I’ve got some ideas, but we’ll have to see how the day plays out. It’s also the day before Halloween, so I’m going to all 3 of my classes in full costume. You’ll have to wait and see what that it 😉 And I have a history midterm! That one’s… not so exciting.

Sodastream giveaway! I might no drink the soda but I would looooove those flavor essences–it’s been so long since I’ve had seltzer why is that?

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(Half-)Marathon Monday

Posted on October 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday when I got home, the gang was there to welcome me:

Montana

Montana

I can’t decide whether he looks annoyed or apathetic. My grandmother was also there to slip me a little money for the food(thanks, grams!). I was a little worried, because the only thing I smelled upon entering the house was chicken. I’ve decided that chicken and turkey that’s not wild or grass fed I am more than happy to give up for good. Thankfully, though, there was a slab of salmon hiding in oven as well. My mom apparently felt that for the 4 of us we needed broccoli, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, a chicken, and salmon. My plate simply looked like this:

Sweet Potato, Salmon, Brussel Sprouts

Sweet Potato, Salmon, Brussel Sprouts

Salmon, sweet potato, and brussel sprouts. Isn’t this my every meal? Of course it was all delicious. The only problem was that this occured about 20 minutes after shoveling in my muffin and cream cheese so afterwards I felt the bloat–majorly. I parked my butt in front of the TV and caught up with my beloved Food Network. Tivo records Unwrapped so I caught up on all the inside scoop with marshmallow foods, and then it was time for Paula’s Party. They cut open a coconut; I now have much more respect for anything I eat that has a decent amount of coconut milk because that is not easy stuff to harvest. It began snowing quarter-sized flakes at 2pm:

Snow In The Backyard

Snow In The Backyard

What month is it? This is not ok with me at the moment. By 3 we decided to hit the road, not before raiding the freezer of course:

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Just because it’s snowing and I’m bloated does not mean I’m not in the mood for ice cream. Let’s not make that mistake. I seriously love this Snickerdoodle, which I reformatted the product review specially for this post, so if you want to hear all about it click on the link. Or, ya know, just buy it and take my word on that. We swung by Hannafords because I remembered they sold a certain new favorite product of mine:

Coffee Bean And Raspberry Dark Chocolate Attune

Coffee Bean And Raspberry Dark Chocolate Attune

Attune bars! I only had 1 coupon left but both of these flavors sounded so promising I didn’t mind paying for the other. These really do come in plenty of fun flavors and I hope they taste as good as they sound. It was snowing ridiculously, but for some reason I feel so much calmer riding in the snow; I guess it’s fun to think of the whole “carriage ride in the snow” thing even if you’re just in the car. I managed to spill coffee all over my freshly washed jeans–way to go, Evan. When we got back, I didn’t have much to put away other than a ton of clothes. I was feeling like something wheaty but a big bowl of oats right before dinner wasn’t appealing. Instead I had toast!

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

My jar of Cookie Dough Peanut Butter is almost gone, which on the one hand means oats in a jar! But on the other means I’m going to need to swing by the 1 store near home I know that sells it soon. I might have accidentally ditched my friend for dinner, not thinking we were meeting up tonight. Oops. Well he ditched me last night when his parents came and he got a real meal so I’m going to play the even stevens card. Instead, I put together this in my room:

Flamegrilled Gardenburger With Ketchup, Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Carrot And Zuchinni Medley

Flamegrilled Gardenburger With Ketchup, Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Carrot And Zuchinni Medley

The first thing I loved about this meal was that it was entirely vegan! I could never go vegan or really any restricting diet for a prolong period, but I love eating different ways at different meals. Look at the size of those broccoli spears; I love it when my cafeteria has those available. And sweet potato? How luck could I get. I was really craving the flamegrilled gardenburger(my last one :-() doused with ketchup. Trader Joe’s ketchup is much more vinegary than most and definitely a unique twist.

The Patriots completely owned Tennessee last night, but apparently this wouldn’t prevent them from showing the game and screwing up the primetime line-up. Instead I caught up on some Simpsons and their treehouse of horror; it’s such a weird thought that that’s gone on for 20 years and the show is older than me! I knew precisely what I wanted for probiotic source #2 for the day:

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Attune And French Vanilla Coffee

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Attune And French Vanilla Coffee

This bar was definitely unique and delivered on the promised flavor. You can catch my full review here. I really love anything dark chocolate and berry or berry and peanut butter; they definitely don’t make enough foods with those flavor combos. Do you think we should petition for a chocolate raspberry vitatop? I do. I also needed–yes, needed–to have this bowl of oats:

Pumpkin Maple Oats With Pepita Sun Butter

Pumpkin Maple Oats With Pepita Sun Butter

I forgot how amazing pumpkin oats with the real deal maple syrup could be. Don’t get me wrong; I still love my salty pumpkin messes. But this sweet variety is also quite nice. The single(and I do mean 1 and only) thing I don’t like about this and other Naturally Nutty peanut butters is that they don’t melt so purdy on oats. I’m actually more of a fan of runny, need-to-stir peanut butters and Naturally Nutty makes a point of their no stir formula. Oh well, at least the flavor is spectacular.

Finally The Amazing Race came on but it coincided with Brothers And Sisters; since I really hate falling behind on my dramas, it was a pretty clear choice which one I’d go with. I’m loving the progression of this season with all its twists and turns; it’s a wonder why this show doesn’t get the hype of others. I had one last bedtime snack:

Deep Chocolate Vitatop

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

For some reason, I’m just not a big fan of the muffins. It should be the same as the vitatops or brownies in theory, but it doesn’t feel that way. At least it was better digested than last time’s english muffin. By the way, I have a great roommate who vacates the room at 10:30 because he knows grandpa here wants to get to sleep.

This morning my alarm went off at 6:30… and then again at 6:40. I felt I needed a little pre-run fuel even though I didn’t have much of a plan:

Decaf French Vanilla, Whole Wheat Bread With Mighty Maple

Decaf French Vanilla, Whole Wheat Bread With Mighty Maple

Love that mighty maple. By the way, it’s pitch black here until 7. When did that happen? Bread’s not easy to spread in the dark. I got to the gym and started on the treadmill at a really easy pace of 7.1mph. After a while I knew how far I wanted to go if I continued to feel this good and that it could be my 2nd half marathon. Around mile 9, I had to do a quick bathroom break, and the last mile was definitely a push, but that’s no time to call uncle. I ran 13.1 miles in 1:50:56 and it felt great. Wouldn’t it be awesome to do that every day? I think I just heard my legs laugh. Anyway, that really put me behind for my morning and breakfast was a quickie to help me catch-up:

Jumbo Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Voskos Vanilla Bean Yogurt

Jumbo Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Voskos Vanilla Bean Yogurt

The cinnamon raisin rolls by Zen Bakery are amazing; even after time in the freezer and the microwave it’s still delightfully yeasty(giggle, giggle), light, and airy. The butter toffee peanut butter made a good frosting, too. I’ll write up a review for this Voskos yogurt, which was a sample from the company. I haven’t ate it yet but I see real vanilla beans(!!) so this is muy promising.

And have you ever wondered how any of the Peanut Butter & Company peanut butters are? Well, this weekend I set out to reformat my entire nut butter review section if you remember. That was far too large an undertaking, but what I did accomplish was the PB&Co. section so check out those if you’ve ever had any questions. One of the flavors even gets a perfect 10/10! Which could it be…

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Determination And A Bit Of Math

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

I don’t know what happened, but yesterday was not 24 hours. It was 8, maybe 10 tops, and I have the pictures(and not the productivity) to prove it. The day started off good enough in class. I realized for the first time just how many grad students and upperclassmen I have for classmates. If I don’t Ace all my classes, I at least will feel comforted that my curve is being screwed by people who already did the college thing. I went to the lunchroom for lunch and ended up throwing out most of the food I picked up. I felt bad, but I’m sure the cafeteria throws out wayyy more than what I did. Instead I had a delicious microwave made meal:

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Garden Burger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

You don’t get this stuff from the dining hall. The Flamegrilled are my favorite Gardenburger, and they’re also vegan! I love simplicity of ingredients like that. The pilaf was very good; I’d had it before but don’t remember much more than liking it enough to buy it again. It had just the right amount of spice and salt, and a really fun play on texture. Tomatoes was the 2nd ingredient, which was odd because it didn’t seem like much there, but overall it was very tasty and filling, especially for something made in the microwave. 365 Steak Sauce just completes any dish–if you’ve tried it, you know what I mean.

Normally I’d have stayed in and watched Days and Rachael Ray. But the weather was not getting better with time here in New England, so I figured I might as well “get it over with”. As I started walking towards Whole Foods and F.Y.E., it started raining. This was entirely warranted:

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Look, ma, no cardboard holder! Nothing was getting between me and my warmth… literally. I pretty much gulped this down over the mile walk in record time. I first stopped at F.Y.E. to buy myself a little treat, then to Whole Foods to buy a little more. Would you believe my Whole Foods doesn’t have any Vitaproducts? What’s with that? I needed bread–I had made that admittance to myself. I also got enamored by the fresh cut deli meat so I got 1/4 pound Honey Maple Turkey. Yum!

Shopping Loot

Shopping Loot

When I was walking back, it really started raining. Thank God I’m a talented power-walker along with runner. I stopped by the mail room where I had an argument with my mailbox; I can remember what the numbers are, I just can’t keep in mind what direction to turn the dial! So frustrating, and all I had waiting for me was a bank statement. I did however have a very special package I was thrilled to receive waiting for me at the window. It was the order I placed Sunday night!

Naturally Nutty Products

Naturally Nutty Products

My Naturally Nutty Seed Butters! Have you ordered yet? What are you waiting for? Well I definitely needed a good bowl of oats to help me warm up. But I needed a good melting peanut butter and, despite how good Naturally Nutty is, it just doesn’t melt like PB&Co.:

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Soul-hitting? Yeah, that’s the word. I’m glad I’m not the only blogger with a serious addiction to this, see proof. Joint intervention? I hear those are cheaper. I caught up on Family Guy and SNL at this time. Loved Family Guy, but meh on the SNL. It just hasn’t been itself in ages. Around 6 I didn’t want to be ravenous at dinner so I snacked on this apple:

Mystery Apple

Mystery Apple

Calling all apple experts: This was delicious! Except I have no idea what it was. Is there such a thing as a Golden Delicious? Because that would certainly fit the bill for this one. It had a great sweetness at first but then mellowed out with a slight tartness, but not too much. One of you, I’m sure, will keen on this one I’m guessing. For dinner, my day all came together. My friend had to head back to Boston earlier so dinner with him was off; it was also raining cats and dogs so I was more than happy to stay inside and eat what I bought earlier:

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Can you practically taste Thanksgiving already? The honey maple turkey had such a nice salty sweet flavor. And the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter was just perfect and the cream cheese really mellowed it all out in the end. Ideally this would have had some vegetable on the plate, but the only one I had in my dorm was a sweet potato I didn’t feel like nuking and I certainly was not swimming to the dining hall to get carrots and broccoli. While I ate this I reunited with The Food Network. Did you know you can watch full episodes of certain shows like Good Eats? I found out exactly why yogurt is “good eats” and why I’ll probably never be making my own any time soon. If I did make my own, though, it would probably be out of goat milk:

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Because it sure makes for one hell of an ice cream. When I went down to the communal freezer, I said a little prayer along the lines of, “Just let it be there, damnit, or someone’s going to pay”. Don’t I make great prayers? At 6.99 a pint, you have to be a bit protective. Thankfully it was there so I scooped some out and put the itty-bit that’s left back in the freezer. I ate this to the tune of Survivor. I would so rock that show if I were on the island. The only problem is I don’t think I could stomach half the things they eat, and my metabolism would probably be racing so I would need to eat a lot. That would be a disaster. How is it that Russell has fooled them all? I couldn’t imagine watching these episodes after having gone through all that and been voted off and not feel a little cheated. For Grey’s I needed to get my probiotic on. I didn’t quite want to eat my other Attune bar yet; I want to save it for a “life could be worse. There could be no such thing as chocolate” moment, so I went with good ol’ Stonyfield instead:

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Stonyfield with a kick, that is. The muffin butt to my carrot ginger muffin had mysteriously been squished, so it made it all the better to grind up and add to this. It came out a little too yogurty because I used a lot, but ’twas still good with some NuNaturals vanilla stevia and cinnamon. Meanwhile I was having a ton of fun playing with this new feature to the MyPyramid website. It’s kind of fun, but kind of wrong, too, in my opinion. I don’t see why whole milk yogurt would have 65 “extra calories”(i.e. empty). Yes, it has fat solids, but its not like it has the same effect on the body as refined sugar. To each their own.

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Can you tell I needed something to butter me up? The Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter is ah-mazing. It has a very similar flavor to the Pepita Sun Butter but isn’t quite as sweet, I’m guessing in part because of the extra cinnamon. I also watched Matt Lauer on Jay Leno and decided a Today Show Host is my new official dream job. Why? Well first of all who doesn’t love all of them. And Matt was talking about going to bed early and getting up and doing his job first thing in the a.m. How about perfect for me?

This morning was not normal, and I’m a creature of habit, so naturally I was a bit annoyed. I set my alarm 30 minutes early to do a longer run, and slept in for the first 15. Ididn’t get the best nights sleep, so my hunger was unusually raging when I woke up, so I grabbed this before going to the gym:

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

I’m not accustomed to eating before exercise, so this felt a little weird. But I didn’t want to just ignore hunger. Hopefully this isn’t an every day occurrence and sleep gets better or I’ll be putting on a Freshman 15 overnight(literally). After running about 3 1/2 miles, nature called and I had to make a pit stop. Thankfully, I recorded how far I’d run but not how long, and when I got back to the machine it had reset–oi. I kept going and after another 5 miles the same thing happened. This time I took note of distance and time, but I was still pretty annoyed as you can imagine. By the end, I had ran 10 miles, and after adding up all my distances/times/estimated times I ran it in what I think was 85:28. It almost doesn’t “feel” like a 10 mile run after all the interruptions and oddities. But I kept determined all the way through and that’s what matters.

When I got back there was another disappointment: My basil plant practically died overnight. I’m trying to water him all he’ll take but I’m guessing it’s just not a hospitable environment for him right now(hell, or me, I’m cold!).

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

I really felt like I needed a “cleansing” breakfast this morning to shake off the bad and absorb the good, and that’s exactly what this was. Fruit and yogurt always feel nice and healthy, so I whipped up 1/2 a banana and unfroze some blueberries, mixed with Stonyfield and topped with jam–yum! The vitatop with the new seed butter was deeeelicious. The Sunflower Butter is very thick like most of Naturally Nutty’s products so it was hard to spread, but had a great flavor. It reminded me of Nutella except it’s not laden with sugar; in fact, sugar is one of the last ingredients. I’m going to try and convert all my peanut butter reviews into the new format this weekend, and I’ll be sure to add the new ones in. Speaking of this weekend, I’ve no clue what I’ll be doing. There’s so much to do at the Boston Regatta and campus and, at the same time, so much not to do so that I can catch up on work. I’ll have to figure that out today.

I would really go nutz to try Nuttzo, aka, don’t enter this contest 😉

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Yeah, There’s Healthy Fats In That

Posted on October 10, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One thing I(literally) could not live without are healthy fats. Not only are they vital for the body, but they help you feel satisfied. I’m also convinced no one ever will feel full if they don’t feed their cravings. And, let’s face it, we usually crave things with a good bit of fat. The trick is just to pick the good fats for us. And yesterday I was swimming in healthy fats(not really, because that would have been gross).

This is my 7th year taking Latin, and if I weren’t from a harder stock, it would be my last. The poetry of Catullus is so dirty that I’m wondering if this is even stuff worth translating. “Oral —” should not be words you have to hear your 50something year old Latin teacher say. Ever. The beloved sharpens-her-pencil-with-a-knife girl is also, surprisingly, very timid and bashful, so she made sure the poem she was going to translate aloud had very few swears in it.

After class I was surprisingly not hungry. I was a bit worried thinking it over after the fact that my breakfast, which ended up having more peanut butter but the same amount of calories as usual, wouldn’t hold me over as well as if those other calories came from fruit or something more voluminous. Well, let me tell you, the peanut butter held me over better. I ended up doing a bit of computer work and not eating until I got to my 1 o’clock class.

Flame Grilled Vegan Gardenburger, Broccoli, Black Beans With Guacamole

Flame Grilled Vegan Gardenburger, Broccoli, Black Beans With Guacamole

One of my favorite healthy fats is avocado. Over the Summer, I would add some to everything, and even make chocolate pudding with it. As you can imagine, avocado isn’t popular on the lunch room line, but they do have guacamole occasionally which still has plenty of the good fats. I mixed that with some black beans because I have high hopes of torturing the people next to me on the treadmill, and ate that with my favorite veggie burger. I was a bit disappointed to not see Emma again between classes. I haven’t seen her all week; maybe she’s adjusted her class schedule? That’d be a shame.

When I got done for the day I was a little surprised to find that my roommate had left for the weekend. I know he didn’t go home, because he lives in Montana, so I’m not sure where he went. Well, I’m not complaining about having the room to myself 🙂 I decided that even though it was gloomy and drizzeling, a Whole Foods trip was a necessity. I snacked on this on the way:

Bear Naked Chocolaty Cherry Granola Bar

Bear Naked Chocolaty Cherry Granola Bar

There was a lot to say about this bar. On the pro side, it had a great flavor, a good amount of healthy fats from almonds and pecans, and was decently low sugar at 14g. On the down side, honey was the second ingredient, it had an odd, soft texture I wasn’t expecting, and it was a bit bigger on calories than I was expecting for a snack bar of its size. Overall, it was good, but I wouldn’t pay what usually single granola bars cost for it.

This was another one of those times when I spent wayyy longer shopping than I should have. I definitely spent a good hour in there. I wanted a soft brie, but the smallest amount I could buy was 3.50’s worth, and I was really just wanting a taste. I found cinnamon raisin rolls by Zen Bakery that looked amazing, but seeing as how I just splurged on their muffins Wednesday, I thought I’d save those for next week. And I tried finding something for Cookie Friday, but nothing truly jumped out at me. Well that’s all I didn’t get, but here’s what I did get:

Plain Oikos, 4oz Salmon

Plain Oikos, 4oz Salmon

Of course, gotta keep my yogurt stash up and healthy. And on my way out I saw the most glorious thing on the salad bar: shredded salmon. I knew the options for the dining hall last night weren’t fish or even anything good, and here was salmon for 8 dollars a pound whereas a fillet cost 20 dollars per pound. My mom raised me not to miss a bargain like that, so I took a good portion for dinner. I also swung by a local cafe where I knew there’d be something amazing for Cookie Friday:

"The Vegan"

"The Vegan"

Or should I say Cupcake Friday. And yes, I’m going to try and convince you there’s healthy fats in that, too. This is made by a little company called The Cupcakerie in Rhode Island. It’s a very small company, so I’m lucky to have found somewhere to buy their products. They have some amazing sounding flavors, but today I was feeling like chocolate so I went for “The Vegan”. This has a chocolate base with a vanilla bean “buttercream” frosting, but of course it’s vegan so the base is made with heart-healthy canola oil and the buttercream is done with vegetable shortening. I always use canola oil for butter in my recipes because I also think it makes an airier product. There’s a lot of talk about vegetable shortening these days because of cheaply hydrogenated oils, but I’m thinking that a quality company like this probably uses good enough ingredients that I don’t have to worry about that. And while I generally try to avoid all things artificial including colors, I’m not so prude as to deny a little purple and green flower, especially when it’s piped so beautifully. If you look closely, you can actually see the vanilla beans in the frosting–amazing. It was about as good as I think I’ve made it sound, and then some.

After that fantastic experience, I was left for myself for dinner. My roommate’s out of town and some of my friends have already gone home for the weekend, so I kept it simple in the dorm room:

Salmon, Sweet Potato, Stewed Okrah With Tomatoes, Vegetable Melange

Salmon, Sweet Potato, Stewed Okrah With Tomatoes, Vegetable Melange

Obviously, I planned the salmon well in advance and it was very much worth it. Salmon is another great source of healthy Omega-3s. Wild is best, which is lower on Omega-3’s but has a much smaller chance of Mercury contamination. The rest of the dinner was equally good. I love how many of you eat the skin! I knew it was a nutritious and delicious part but I could never figure out why no one in my family ate it. Now I’m thinking they’re just a bit off, haha.

How great was Ghost Whisper last night? The last few episode I felt were dragging but they really bought the good old formula for a ghost story with a twist last night and I loved it. I also translated more dirty poetry, because what doesn’t make a Friday night more fun? Oh, how about this:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oikos With Vitabrownie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oikos With Vitabrownie

Pardone moi for the blurry pic but lighting is not on my side these days. This time I tried add 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder to the peanut butter Oikos. Surprisingly, it was not as snacktastic as it might sound. I realized after this pic that the meal was missing two things: chocolate sauce and coffee. I got right to that, and watched reruns of Modern Family and Patricia Heaton’s new show, both of which, though I don’t find hysterical, are definitely solid “background noise” TV programs. More snackage:

Macoun Apple With Dulce De Leche Sauce

Macoun Apple With Dulce De Leche Sauce

Toast With Raspberry Jam And White Chocolate, Cookie Dough PB, and PN Cookie Spread

Toast With Raspberry Jam And White Chocolate, Cookie Dough PB, and PN Cookie Spread

Random much? My taste buds just did not know where to go, but it was all good. I think Macoun apples have some solid sweetness going for them; I’m more a fan of the Red Delicious or Honeycrisp but I can settle for a Washington Macoun(I can settle for anything in caramel sauce;-)). And could we possible do a post about healthy fats without talking about my favorite? Cream cheese Peanut butter. My PB heavy breakfast held my tooth for it off until pretty late, but it wouldn’t be bed time without peanut butter and the healthy fats it has along with protein and fiber. Even the more outrageous flavored peanut butter in my collection I make sure are high in healthy fats and low on sugar. Palm oil, flax, and other thickening agents are fine, so long as they aren’t hydrogenated. The funny thing about my body is it likes to realize it ran 10 miles at around 11 pm right as I’m trying to sleep, so I ended up eating a bit more after this which caused major digestion interruption over night. I guess you really shouldn’t eat that close to bed time.

Well the weatherman said it was going to be pouring this morning, so I slep in until 8:30 planning to hit the gym when it opened. When I woke up it was bright and sunny and warm. Umm, what? Well I stuck with the plan and did 7 on the tredmill in 57:35. This has definitely been my highest mileage week ever and it was well into the 50’s. Getting up so late clearly put me behind and I didn’t have a breakfast made until 10:30!

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Maple Peanut Oikos With Tempeh Bacon Granola

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Maple Peanut Oikos With Tempeh Bacon Granola

Yowza yum. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make the claim that cream cheese or anything cream is a healthy fat. However, I do love and would never give up my lowfat cream cheese or lowfat plain yogurt. The good thing about cream is it takes a very small amount to make things taste decadent(don’t you love that word when describing food?). If you ever have to make the choice between lowfat and nofat dairy, go with lowfat. The fat helps absorb the nutrients in the dairy, usually makes for  a less artificial product, and jut tastes better. Well the muffin had the savory going for it so I needed some salty sweet. The combo of Fakin’ Bacon and maple syrup was just the thing. I microwaved it a little longer than usual and it got extra crispy–holy not-made-from-a-pig-or-cow! Now my room literally looks like a tornado hit it and my dad should have been here 4 minutes ago. Fun times. Gotta run!

B-T-Dubs. Zevia lovin’ over at The Actor’s Diet so check out this delicious giveaway

Know what I don’t eat enough of. Hummus. I might if I won this giveaway.

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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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Who Says You Can’t Go Home

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

Yesterday morning I got off to such a late rush I had just finished my oats when my dad arrived at my dorm and my roommate woke up(late sleepers, what’s with them?). I threw together laundry, packed a bag, and we headed off, first stopping at Eastside Market. Gardenburgers were still on sale this week for 1.99. Ridiculous. After grabbing those and some chips that were absolutely calling “Evaaannnn”, we hit the road and were home in 50 minutes–gotta love that. I was pretty stoked to walk in and find a pile I made for myself perfectly posed for a picture.

Packages

Packages

Exciting, no? Here was the loot:

24 Zevia, Zevia T-Shirt, Kashi Sampler, Passports

24 Zevia, Zevia T-Shirt, Kashi Sampler, Passports

Wahoo! First off, a while back I won the Zevia contest at I’m An Eating Machine. My prize was a t-shirt and 4 of every flavor Zevia! I’ve had them all before and couldn’t choose a favorite if I had to so the super sampler was perfect. And I can’t wait to wear the t-shirt on campus and have people ask what sort of crazy drug Zevia is. I also got my old, expired passport and my brand new shiny one. Thank God because I’ve had no photo ID for the past month(try opening a bank account like this–not fun), And my free Kashi cereal box. I went with blueberry clusters since I haven’t tried that one before.

That excitement aside, I was actually pretty hungry for lunch and ready to take some photos of something edible and destined to be inside of me.

Mystery Fish Burger With Peach Salsa, Salt And Black Pepper Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips

Mystery Fish Burger With Peach Salsa, Salt And Black Pepper Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips

I say mystery fish burger because it didn’t have a package, but there’s a 90% chance it was Whole Food’s salmon burger. Of course, I get home and the first thing I look for is salmon. That’s just how I roll. And the chips were the one that were “calling my name” It was 2.50 for a party size bag. Partyyy! Food Should Taste Good top the charts when it comes to nachos, but when it comes to potato chips, Kettle Chips top the chart. And they fried in safflower and canola oil, so they count as a “healthy fat” on the plate(that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Another oddity: When I come home, things tend to disappear, like this pint from our freezer:

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Seriously, one of the best ice creams ever. Period. Ignore the cholesterol bomb that it is, and it actually has decent nutrition. Who wants to split the cost of a goat with me and get milking? Anyone? One of the reasons I came home was to get my haircut. That sounds a little weird, but after 7 years with the same person I couldn’t imagine having anyone else do it. Today she was teaching her daughter how to be a hairdresser, so I got to be the test dummy who they both worked on while the mother critiqued the daughter. Too fun. Luckily, no one can mess up “short trim”

Short Trim

Short Trim

With that done, I knew I wanted to go grocery shopping with my parents to get food I didn’t have to pay for spend quality time, but first I made some snackage:

English Muffin With Cream Cheese And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

English Muffin With Cream Cheese And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

In case you were wondering, yes I traveled with a few jars of peanut butter, specifically Cookie Dough, Mighty Maple, and Smart Balance. I just like to know I’ll have an option wherever I go, and peanut butter is nice and portable. We hit up my two staples: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Again, loot:

Groceries

Groceries

I was running low on oats and oat bran so I stocked up. Trader Joe’s toasted is the only oat bran I like, but for the oats I just go for the organic at the bulk bin. I got over 2 pounds. Oops! Thankfully they won’t go bad in this lifetime. Oikos and pumpkin pie yogurt joined the party since I wasn’t paying, and the same with some Z-bars(1 is mysteriously missing from the box since I ate it in the store. Where could it have gone?). And of course some coffee and frozen yogurt hopped in my cart, why wouldn’t they?

While my mom had the oven going for dinner, I threw in some of the Stevia plant I cut to bring home, baked for 3 minutes, and ground up the leaves, making my own Stevia powder.

Homemade Stevia Powder

Homemade Stevia Powder

Umm how cool is that? The yield from the leaves isn’t as much as you’d expect, but I still think it’s pretty sweet to make your own. I’m definitely not carrying this around Brown in a little plastic baggy. I don’t think people would think it’s Stevia, if you catch my drift 😉

What can I say, other than my mom knows what I want when I come home:

Salmon, Acorn Squash, Broccoli, Black Cherry Zevia

Salmon, Acorn Squash, Broccoli, Black Cherry Zevia

I find it ironic that black cherry Zevia is the whitest of their sodas, but it’s delicious! My mom was so disappointed when I mentioned that the cafe had acorn squash one night. This one was definitely better, what with not being stuffed with stale rice. But this isn’t really a great veggie for anybody who doesn’t eat butter because it’s pretty bland. Maybe a little cinnamon and nutmeg would jazz it up.Also, you apparently aren’t suppose to eat the skin? Well why is it so edible if you aren’t supposed to eat it? Just saying…

Here’s a tip: After a meal with really fiberous food and Erythritol(Zevia), don’t look at the bowling ball that is your stomach unless you’re a very secure person. Even if you are, just don’t do it. It’s not pretty.

Let me count the ways that made this treat perfect:

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

So far I’d tried the Vanilla and Decaf Cappuccino Elan’s before, so chocolate was the natural progression. Flavor-wise, A+. This was about as chocolaty as it gets without pouring chocolate syrup in your mouth(which we’ve all done, don’t lie). Nutrition-wise, also A+. Because it’s Elan, all the ingredients are natural and recognizable. It’s frozen yogurt, so it has probiotics. And this flavor has 2 grams of fiber per serving because of all the real cocoa powder they put in. That’s a lot of cocoa powder = a lot of chocolate flavor. Thankfully, chocolate helps quicken the digestion of carbs, so this also worked double duty on dissolving that bowling ball I mentioned in my stomach.

I had a craving for some oatmeal raisin cookies after watching Unwrapped, but didn’t have any 😦 But wait, oatmeal? C’mon, I’m the king of that grain, so I tried to recreate it in bowl form:

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal With Coffee

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal With Coffee

For this, I cooked 40g oatmeal with 5g brown sugar and about 10g raisins, and sprinkled an additional 5g brown sugar over the top when it was done. It was OK, but it wasn’t cinnamon raisin, which is odd because I can’t think what else to add to make it so. It tasted just like a packet of oatmeal from the Quaker dude, except with more wholesome ingredients. I’ve found that I really don’t care for straight oatmeal anymore; I much prefer an oatmeal/oatbran blend for a thick consistency. And the whole Stevia thing was cool in theory, but not very sweet in practice 😦 The leaves look good floating in the coffee, though. More oatmeal and a cookie got me through the night:

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Morning Maple Cookie

Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Morning Maple Cookie

I both recognize that smart balance has a bit of a funky taste and love it for that reason. And does anyone find Libby’s pumpkin the best for baking and pumpkin oats? I’ve noticed it’s thicker and darker than other brands, and also has slightly different nutritional information. Maybe Libby uses a different variety pumpkin, but I really prefer that brand when it comes to baking and oats.

Well this morning was C-O-L-D. It was supposed to hit freezing overnight. Crazy, right? It was so cold, I had to put on these:

Granny Sweats

Granny Sweats

Sexy, no? No. I started out thinking 6 times around the neighborhood would be enough. 1 lap down, 2 laps down, and I started thinking: I don’t put on the sweats for nothing, I’m hitting double digits again. I slowed down my pace a bit, cleared my mind, and just went with. I ended up doing 10.10 in 1:22:12. Obviously, I was ecstatic. That’s only the 3rd time I’ve run that far. And right now I’m working on my traditional 10-miler post-run snack.

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

You run 10 miles, you get ice cream for breakfast. That’s the rule in my house. As I type and lick, I’m thinking about what I’ll make for a real breakfast. That’ll have to start off my next post.

Today I plan on staying home as long as I can, getting some more good meals, and hitting up Target to drop a pretty penny. Hope all your weekend’s are going swell!

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Lazy Autumn Afternoons

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

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

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

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

Pokemon Adorned Key

Pokemon Adorned Key

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

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

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

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

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

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

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

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

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

Groceries

Groceries

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

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

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

Susta Natural Sweetener

Susta Natural Sweetener

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

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

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

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

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

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

French Toast Oatmeal

French Toast Oatmeal

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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