How To Be A Smart And Healthy Shopper

Posted on April 30, 2010. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Today I went grocery shopping. I did a lot right, but also some things wrong. I hope this post to be a reminder to both you and me for the ways of healthy shopping. *And if you never read my post on how to save at Whole Foods, here it is.

Do: How far is the store? I walked to my Whole Foods today, which is 1.2 miles away. If a store is nice and close, you can and should enjoy the walk for activity. Even if it’s not close, you might be able to get there through an alternative method like public transportation, especially if you live in a city. All this can be better for you and the environment.

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

Do: Have a mental list. I knew exactly what groceries I wanted.

Do: Shop where the healthy groceries are. Is trail mix and cereals your weakness? Don’t go to that section of the store. Keep yourself surrounded by fresh vegetables and that’s all you’ll have the chance to put in to your cart.

Don’t: Shop while you’re hungry. Not only can it lead to impulse buys, but those often won’t be the healthiest choices. If you do find yourself in this situation, do buy some fresh fruit and eat it as a snack while shopping.

Don’t: Go to the cashier without having your coupons ready. I did this and ended up not using any because I felt so disorganized. I still got all the benefits of store sales, but I could have saved at least an extra dollar or two if I had coupons ready.

Reusable Shopping Bag

Reusable Shopping Bag

Do: Bring reusable shopping bags. They both save waste from the environment and many stores these days will offer discounts to shoppers who use them.

Don’t: Forget to give your grocery bag to the bagger.

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Don’t: Buy things without having a plan for them. I’ve been dying to try daiya soy-free, dairy-free vegan cheese. But I honestly have no clue how or when I’ll use it. I have no GF pizza crust, not tomato sauce, nothing my Italian side would know what to do with. I’m determined to eat it now that I have it, but I wish I had planned better.

Rice Whip

Rice Whip

Do: Look for the least processed items that fit your lifestyle. Ideally, I would love to buy local cream and whip it myself; that’s just not happening in a dorm room. The two options the store had was Non-fat, sugar-free 365 brand whipped cream or Rice Whip(they were out of regular whipped cream). The ingredient list of the Rice Whip was simpler and more recognizable, so I chose that.

Do: Pick your proteins right. I always make a point to buy hormone and nitrate-free poultry, as well as grass-fed beef. It’s slightly more expensive but it has less saturated fat and more omega-3’s, which to me is worth the extra money.

Are you a smart and healthy shopper? What are your tips and tricks? Share in the comments! And here’s a teaser from my eats today; happy Friday Sundae to me!

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

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Waiting On Chickpeas And What The Internet Knows…

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m glad you all seem to love fudge almost as much as I do

Could I resist having a piece this morning after photographing it? Not a chance. That does not bode well for how long this will last in my freezer. At least it’s raw, and the coconut oil gave me good energy for a run.

10 Miles In 90:16

10 Miles In 90:16

Maybe that’s a lie, too. This run was a little slower than I’ve been able to do recently. My left foot hurt and I suspect it’s because there’s so little arch support. These shoes seriously have 2000-3000 miles on them, and I really need a new pair 😦 Perhaps after the half-marathon this Sunday. Besides that, I was entertained by the new Dr. Who and pushed past that.

Blueberry Chobani With Sprouted Almond Butter

Blueberry Chobani With Sprouted Almond Butter

Instead of regular class, I had an earlier museum tour today. I didn’t have enough time between running and that for a proper lunch, but it’s always important to fuel, so I threw some Better Than Roasted Sprouted Almond Butter and sea salt on a blueberry Chobani; I love the blueberry/almond flavor combo.

Ancient Egyptian Mummy

Ancient Egyptian Mummy

The museum tour was pretty interesting; the RISD art museum is famous and somewhere I’d really like to spend more time if I get the chance. As is, we just had 40 minutes to go through a few rooms and get lectured on ancient artifacts.

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Gingerade Kombucha

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Gingerade Kombucha

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts

Tumeric Spiced Carrot Cake Chickpea Salad With Toasted Walnuts

I was so excited for this salad when I got back. I’ve been toying around with the thought of carrot cake chickpeas in my mind for a while now, and this was a spicy twist on that. In the mix was

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoon chickpea water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • shredded carrots
  • organic hunza raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • sea salt

I took the extra 5 minutes to go down stairs and toast some walnuts in a pan, too. If you have the time, you really should toast your nuts. The flavors here were all incredible and I loved it! This’ll definitely be a new salad recipe to keep in mind for the future. On the side and in my next class I sipped on a Gingerade Kombucha.

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Vanilla Bean Purely Decadent And White Chocolate Cranberry Giovanni Gelato

Even though the weather is crappy and cold, I can still crave ice cream; I can always crave ice cream. In accordance with project cleanout, I knocked down both of these pints, neither of which had a real serving left. I think the combination of a coconut/vanilla flavor with white chocolate was bliss. Could someone make a vegan white chocolate ice cream next, maybe? I’d buy. That was all in prep for dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger And Sweet Potato Chunks

Grass-Fed Burger And Sweet Potato Chunks

It wouldn’t be a Wednesday night in this house dorm without sweet potatoes and a burger. How long has it been since I’ve had sweet potatoes? 4 days? That’s too long. This meat also tasted nice and fresh since we just got it Monday and I hadn’t unsealed the pack yet–yum!

I always find it funny seeing what website my internet thinks I want to go to just when I type in the first letter. Some of them are dead on; others I can’t fathom what it’s thinking. I thought I’d post them all here for a laugh and encourage any other bloggers to do the same.

A- Aol.com/television

B- Brown.edu

C- CarrotsNCake.com

D- Database Library(Brown)

E- EmmysOrganics.com

F- Foodmakesfunfuel.com

G- Google.com

H- HealthyTippingPoint.com

I- iHerb.com

J- JPLicks.com

K- KickassCupcakes.com

L- Loveveggiesandyoga.com

M- Mycourses.brown.edu

N- Nomeatathlete.com

O- Nothing

P- Pokemon.com

Q- Quakeroats.com

R- Rhoderaces.com

S- Stonyfield.com

T- Tinyurl.com

U- Ulimana.com

V- Vivani.de

W- Wikipedia.org

X- Xagave.com

Y- Youtube.com

Z- Zingbars.com

Anyone care to post this on their blog for themself?

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The Earth Will Forgive Me

Posted on April 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*I don’t think google reader has yet picked up this morning’s post at the time I’m writing this. I’m hoping this was just an individual problem, but if it persists I’ll look into it*

So, if I was supposed to “celebrate” the earth in some way today, the earth is going to have to forgive me. To be honest, I find a lot of the notions put forth about Earth Day a little silly. The whole thing is counterproductive: we build up so much about recycling and being green this 1 time a year that it’s as if to say we aren’t expected to do this all the time. We are.

3 things have really rubbed me the wrong way today

  • Having to go down to the bank this morning to cancel my current card and request a new one to be sent to me in 5-7 business days. Looks like I won’t be purchasing any peanut butter online in that time(but maybe that’s a good thing). Oh, at least while I was down there I bought a gingerade kombucha. No need for the day to totally suck, right?
Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

  • Cookies/Bars that use banana as a binder. Don’t ask me why but I hate these and I’ve been seeing them everywhere recently. If you made them and have been eating them and love them, that’s all that matters. Personally, I’ve never had a baking success with a banana besides banana goodness bread, and even that relies on eggs.
  • The idea that eating vegetarian today at all has to do with “celebrating Earth Day”. I don’t know how to feel about this one other than like it’s a personal attack saying you can’t eat meat and also be green. You can. You can  also be a vegan who litters. Shocker. I happily and greenily ate my naturally-raised, grass-fed burger for lunch today.
Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

(Not so) funny story. When I got to class, my friend Alex knocked this all over the floor :-/ I really didn’t have anything else to eat, so I just ate it anyway, hoping things were clean enough(most actually went onto her purse). Was that green? I don’t know. But at least it still tasted good. I tossed the sweet potatoes in EVOO after they grilled in my pan for added fat and flavor. Delicious. Since I wasn’t even all that hungry to begin with, this held me over well into the afternoon.

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to be green is with our shopping cart and the foods we buy. That’s why so often I look for good companies like Alter Eco who not only make tasty chocolates but use fair-trade, organic ingredients. This particular flavor is not my favorite(I hate crunchies in my chocolate), but I’m still working on project clean out.

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I also snacked on an organic apple. As I’ve said in posts before, I don’t always by local or organic produce, simply because it’s not affordable 100% of the time. If there’s a sale, or it’s a small cost extra or something, I’ll gladly buy organic, even choosing a pink lady over my beloved red delicious. I’ll eat pink to be green.

Dinner was something special tonight. I’m going home for the weekend for an event tomorrow night and then one Friday, so my dad came down to pick me up and start moving things home. On the way, he grabbed take out from Garden Grille that I placed. I tried a new dish: their vegan and gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

How did it taste? Honestly, I just uploaded the picture and need to start packing the car, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow 😉

What’s something you do year round that’s green? Proceeds for my favorite chocolate bar by Endangered Species go towards rain forest preservation. I wonder how many trees the 6 I’ve bought in the past week have saved… But seriously, I do believe my greenest contribution takes place in the market, and I take pride in that. Today, in fact, I signed up for a program next Fall to get fresh produce from local farmers weekly through my college. If that ain’t green, neither is broccoli.

Perhaps more controversially, Do you see eating green and eating vegetarian as one in the same? I can picture an indirect connection being made between the two. But to directly relate one another is, I think, invalid.

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The Foods I Crave

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

I’m a big fan of “eat what you crave”. I truly think cravings can be a way for your body to tell you something that you need. I also tend to crave really yummy things and might just use that as an excuse to eat them more often. Take your pick.

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Today for lunch I craved a juicy piece of red meat. I do think I crave meat when my body wants proteins or specific vitamins at times but I would never assert that you need to eat meat or even dairy to get those. I think you can be completely adequately fueled and nourished whatever your diet may be so long as you pay a little more closer attention to what you might be missing. On the side I had some maple tofu, not really because I was craving it but it was Easter leftovers. I have craved tofu at times before; that’s always a fun and unexpected craving 😀

Cashew Almond Pranabar

Cashew Almond Pranabar

I think my lunch needed more veggies because it wasn’t very filling :-/ Happily, I broke in to the cashew almond Pranabar I packed. Even if it wasn’t what I was craving, this was good!  I never would have guessed from the packaging it would be so chunky and nutty. I love that it’s mostly raw with living enzymes; and the nuts are chunky and delicious 🙂 I definitely can’t wait to try more Pranabar flavors; I might even start to crave them.

Strawberry Chobani

Strawberry Chobani

What I was craving was a strawberry Chobani. My friend, Alex, ate one in our 1pm class and for the next 3 hours I couldn’t get my mind of the smell of sweet strawberries and the Summer air *swoon*. This did not disappoint, but it was a little too tiny to really fill me up before dinner.

Dining-Hall Apple

Dining-Hall Apple

If I ever do crave an apple, it’s a nice, fresh, crisp red delicious, and not this slightly bruised one that I had at hand. That being said, I go with what’s free and convenient. Did you know vegans can get all their Vitamin B12–something normally found in animal proteins–through the decay and bacteria on fruits and vegetables? I guess this was insurance if this burger didn’t have enough :-/…

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Glazed Nuts And Syrup

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

And I absolutely crave chickpeas; I could eat them for every meal, and I know I’m not the only one. They’re like little nuggets of vegan joy. Besides those, I don’t normally crave cheese but I do enjoy it(and love the bloggers who do crave it) and Next Generation Dairy makes a fine raw cheddar cheese. I topped off the salad with some Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts and sea salt. Fun fact: I’m convinced if I ever start craving canned tuna, it means my sodium level is low. I’m also sipping a root beer Zevia with dinner, for anyone who cares; it’s my first stevia sweetened beverage of the day and after no coffee or tea I was craving something other than water.

What are you craving right now? Personally, I could go for some coconut milk hearing  Heather talk about it so much lately. And I haven’t had my healthy ounce of dark chocolate yet today. Hmm… decisions, decisions. If you crave Greek yogurt, you’re in luck with this Oikos giveaway!

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Updates, Updates, And More Updates

Posted on April 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Because I know you all were worried sick about every little detail of my life, here’s an update on all of them. No, really.

Green Apple

Green Apple

Update on apples: I really don’t like green ones. They taste sour and yucky 😦 It’s also all the dining hall has. BUT they now have fair trade and organic bananas! Sure, they won’t stop bragging about them, but I think it’s still a win.

Ants

Ants

Update on our kitchen: I was spoiled at home. I had a nice, big, working stainless steel kitchen. Now the stove I usually use doesn’t work anymore, and the other kitchen in this building has a major ant problem; ain’t that cheery? That’s what I had to be creeped out by while cooking.

Update on the computer: We(my dad and I) assume it shuts itself off from overheating. After meals and meals, there’s probably way too much salt, coffee grounds, and other food particles trapped in the vent 😦 I took it to the service desk, and they wanted to hold on to it from 1-7 days. I couldn’t make that kind of commitment so I kept it.

Update on Betty White: I love her. Her SNL appearance will be in May, and I might even stay up past my bedtime to see it live(Shh, don’t tell anyone). Betty White fans? I’m guessing yes.

Burger Salad With Grass-Fed Beef, Sweet Potato Hash, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast, Ketchup And Sea Salt

Burger Salad With Grass-Fed Beef, Sweet Potato Hash, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast, Ketchup And Sea Salt

Update on ketchup: It’s a vegetable. Period. If french fries can be called a vegetable in schools, so can ketchup. Oh, and this was really tasty. I might have overcooked the burger(odd, because all I wanted to do was get away from the ants), but the sweet potato with nutritional yeast made up for that. And ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup.

Update on midterms: I got 2 midterms back today. I did really well on the one I expected to do poorly on and not so well on the one I thought was a breeze. Isn’t that the way life goes?

Raspberry Chocolove Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Chocolove Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Update on my diet: *Note: I’m using the word “diet” here as in “food intake” and not “weight loss eating”; the latter is not a concern of mine* I did some thinking last night in bed(usually, this turns out as bad as doing thinking while visiting WebMD and looking up random symptoms I think I have). I used to aim for 2 sources of probiotics a day; this always made things feel more “regular”. At some point, I stopped caring simply because I was addicted to yogurt and frozen yogurt and never had a problem with getting those 2 or more. Recently, I fell out of that habit. But I want to get back into it! So hopefully I will be with help from Chobani, So Delicious, and kombucha. I also realized I had no dark chocolate yesterday; an ounce of dark chocolate has been shown to be incredibly delicious reduce your chance of stroke and ease stress levels. I want to also aim for at least 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day. I think I had enough Chocolove for today and yesterday here 🙂 Lastly(bear with me; I want a lot because I’m a needy person), I still want to incorporate more raw foods with living enzymes into my diet, for similar reasons as the yogurt. While I wait and train to become a better raw (un)cook, fruit and vegetables like the banana and 2 apples I’ve had so far seem like the easier way to incorporate this.

Nut Cheese

Nut Cheese

Update on my nut cheese: It smells like a funky funky monkey, but still tastes a hell of a lot like cashew butter from the sample I had. I’ll give it until tomorrow morning and then move it to the fridge.

Green Apple

Green Apple

Update on these apples: Nope, not growing on me. But filling!

Grass-Fed Burger, Roasted Sweet Potato With Sea Salt And Cinnamon, Garlic Broccoli

Grass-Fed Burger, Roasted Sweet Potato With Sea Salt And Cinnamon, Garlic Broccoli

Update on repetetive eating: It’s gotten worse. We all know bloggers love to eat the same things, but really? All I was craving for dinner was a sweet potato and burger. If it’s any consolation, I only bought 3/4 lb of meat, so I won’t be eating many more unless I get to a Whole Foods one of these days. OH! New sales tomorrow! That just made my evening 😀

Broken Knife

Broken Knife

Update on my life: Today officially could not get any weirder. At this point, I’m just telling myself tomorrow will be better.

Update on the essay draft I have due tomorrow: I haven’t written anything, or even finished the book. Update me on your life and g’night!

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Naked Running And Eating Raw

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

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

Dead Tired

Dead Tired

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

O.N.E. Coconut Water

O.N.E. Coconut Water

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

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Ketchup Fries

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Ketchup Fries

Grass-Fed 1/3 Pounder

Grass-Fed 1/3 Pounder

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

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

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

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

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

So Delicious Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

Grezzo Sliders

Grezzo Sliders

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

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

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

All Gone

All Gone

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

Synergy Trilogy

Synergy Trilogy

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

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

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Surprise!

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Surprise! It’s Monday. How much does that suck? Miss the weekend race recap? Read all about it here.

Surprise! Oprah hates surprises; did you know that? She would not like this post.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprise! These were all from 1 sweet potato! Granted, it was a hugh jass one, but I think that’s impressive nonetheless.

Surprise! I stayed home while my parents went to Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure this is theopposite of how things should be, but I was worn out from my race and needed to sit on the couch with my friend, Mr. Computer 😀

Perfect Apple

Perfect Apple

Surprise! This apple actually tasted good!

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Surprise! I still eat the same at home as at school, just with different equipment 😀 I asked for red meat for dinner, so we heated up the grill and made some burgers. Mmmm so much juicier than in a pan! And I love how spicy the chipotle cayenne parma makes sweet potato fries; they’re like a new experience.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Surprise! My parents picked up a chocolate flourless cake at Whole Foods the day before my birthday to celebrate while my grandmother was around! This really was a surprise; I saw the sketchy brown paper bag they hid it in, but could only guess what it was. You have no idea how relieved I was when I realized they understood gluten-free eating and got an appropriate style cake; that’s love for ya 😉

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Surprise! When we got So Delicious cookie dough ice cream, we also got the peanut butter chocolate swirl, which I’m ready to confess is my new favorite frozen dessert. OK, I don’t think there’s actually much surprise here except from my dad when he realized how much ice cream I need to grab for a few days at home.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Surprise! Could you see this one coming? How could I not take the two fattiest pieces of dessert in our kitchen and combine them? 🙂 I was refueling from a half-marathon, after all. Needless to say, this was tasty. But I think my mom and I agreed there are better flourless chocolate cakes out there, hers included.

Surprise! My stomach got me! 30 minutes later I was not feeling so hot :-X It had been so long since I’d eaten something that rich made from dairy, I forget that a lot of milk fat really doesn’t sit well in my stomach. That plus a sugar rush had me wanting to be near a garbage tin for the rest of the night. Could I possibly regret it, though? Not a chance.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Not A Surprise! You didn’t have to be psychic to see a final bowl of oatmeal before bed coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d see this come back up, so I kept it small with just a little butter toffee peanut butter. And before you say “Isn’t that dairy fat, too?”, butter is the 5th or 6th ingredient and 2 tablespoons has just 2g of saturated fat, so I can’t imagine there’s much.

Cards And A Present

Cards And A Present

Surprise! was how I felt when I woke up to cards and my favorite chocolate bar. Awww, what a perfect way to wake up 🙂

Surprise! I’m going to keep the rest of the morning a secret for a good birthday recap tonight or tomorrow morning. What a shame because there’s already been cake mix involved and it’s not even 10am 😉

Surprise! Not even 24 hours after my last half marathon and I’ve signed up for my next! I was actually thinking about this before yesterday. It’s perfect. It’s the Providence Marathon, so let’s just say I know the streets quite well 😉 It’ll hopefully be a nice, warm May day, too. And I might be able to coerce a Brown friend of mine into running, too, which would be great. My only concern are the hills around Providence but I’ll have a while to work with those.

Surprise! You or I could win either Tazo tea, gluten free goodies, or coconut butter in either of these giveaways.

What has been a surprise in your life lately?

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Mental Health Week Intro And Escape Your Prison

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Isn’t it timely that mental health week would come at the same time as my midterms? 😉 Go figure. Stick with me all week on helpful tips and tricks to think right and there’ll be a giveaway to have you feel well at the end of the week!

Groceries

Groceries

I had plans for lunch that fell through and got rescheduled to Friday, which left me with a free Monday morning–score! Rather than dive right in to midterm studying, I decided to take a nice walk before the rain came to Whole Foods to get groceries. I wanted more So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt while the sale still ran and didn’t have anything planned for lunch, so prepared food sounded like a good surprise.

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Talk about being a fussy diner, I took plain grilled chicken thighs from one part of the salad bar and used the honey garlic sauce from the chicken wings tray for some flavor. And flavor there was! The honey and the garlic added such a nice savory-sweetness. I could ave thought of this like a normal lunch and realized a) I payed too much for “just eating” and b) there must have been a hell of a lot of sugar on there. Instead, I decided to think of it like a good meal out, in which case a) I got a bargain on a chicken dish and b) who cares about nutrition? I’m eating out! It’s all in the perception.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

That held me over… not nearly long enough. I figured 12 miles running + 2.5 walking would increase hunger a bit, so why fight it? I broke in to one of the So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt I picked up at Whole Foods.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Holy creaminess, batman! This is why I’ve been loving coconut milk and its byproducts so much recently: You get something rich, creamy, and satisfying that’s an alternative to dairy. And it’s comforting to know if I ever went dairy and soy free, I could still get my probiotics(not like that’s happening any time soon!).

I’m not going to lie: The afternoon was very rough, and I did very little other than write and read and generally prep for the 2 papers and 3 in-class midterms I have over the next 4 days. In a lot of ways, my room felt like a prison. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was recognizing hunger verses boredom. I could eat all day if you let me, so I put particular emphasis on that while distracting myself with Betty White on Ellen. Around 4, I could tell that I was legitimately hungry again.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

I had oatmeal with maple cashew butter from Tierra Farm and some really good milk chocolate. I can’t believe I ever measured out nut butter on top of oatmeal; nowadays, I’d so much rather not know how much I use and just enjoy it while it’s in front of me 🙂

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Kristie from Vegan In Dairy Land gave me this chocolate as part of blogger’s secret santa and I’ve been enjoying it nibble by nibble since then. It’s sooooo creamy! Think of the best milk chocolate Easter bunny you’ve ever had, then make it natural and gourmet. I think it’s because they use butterfat, and I love that. Where would I be in life without good chocolate?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I threw some stuff in the oven for dinner, but was ready to eat right then. It didn’t help I had no fresh fruit around 😦 I went out to the dining hall and grabbed a ton of fruit to last. No red delicious apple could have grown this perfect on its own, but it was definitely a better choice than eating highly processed chocolate candy(not like I’d ever bad mouth which one I was thinking of. I still love it 😀 It just… was not candy time). This held me over nicely through cooking dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

I decided to save the salmon from Whole Foods for a rushed meal I’ll inevitably have later on in the week and cook a grass-fed burger while I had the time. There was also some thinly sliced sweet potato fries with chipotle cayenne parma and 3 pickle spears(gotta have the pickles in there :-))Check out Gina’s post on the pro’s and con’s of grass-fed beef! Apparently I’m making a name for myself 😀 While a lot of you have thought “Wow, he cooks beef in a dorm!” I’ve often looked at it as “I only cook beef”. I’d love to see how my cholesterol is after all of this. I just don’t like dealing with raw chicken or having to cook it through, and raw fish is a nightmare to keep around, so beef it always is! I’ll be happy once Lent is over so I can start adding some fake chicken back into my diet. Even before then, I’d love to get some vegan ice cream or Vivapura goodies in by winning either of these giveaways.

Today’s tip:

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not that much “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained. Today, that took form for me in the way of a walk to Whole Foods and back. OK, maybe that’s not the most exciting thing. But looking back I am happy to have had the time to not be productive. And it makes me look forward to ideas for activities later on in the week a little more photogenic and edible 😉 Tell me, what have YOU done for yourself lately?

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I’m Trying To Be Profound Here

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

What can I say to be profound? The early bird catches the worm? Well, unless you’re willing to get up before 3am, Al Roker’s going to get that worm.

They say You are what you eat…

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Therefore, I’m a cow with a sweet potato farm. Since I didn’t have my planned meal of a burger last night for dinner, I was excited to cook one up for lunch today. In lieu of fries, I cubed a sweet potato to bake for 30 minutes, and then cooked in the beef fat for another 6-8. Magnifique. I love this method for flavor and clean-up. And since the sweet potato isn’t over cooked, it feels more like a meal; I loooove the flavor of long-roasted sweet potato but eating that is as filling as eating shuga’ to me.

Maybe slow and steady wins the race, but I rushed and by 3pm I mailed in an essay due at 3pm on Wednesday. Why? Because I was done with it and wanted it out of my mind to tend to other things for the rest of my week. Best. Decision. Ever.

Vanilla Bean So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream With TJ Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Where’s the lesson here? It definitely isn’t the best things in life come free, because this So Delicious coconut milk ice cream is pretty pricey(but definitely one of the best things in life). No, I think the lesson is good things come in small packages–clearly whoever said that had Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups in mind. Aren’t they the cutest? And so flavorful. I have could eat the whole container.

Chocolate Chobani With Peanuts And 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’ll give it to the man who said you can have too much of a good thing. This yogurt got a little overloaded when I remembered I really don’t care for cocoa powder in my greek yogurt with vanilla stevia(I know–you’d think I’d like this, right? But I can’t stand it). To rectify the sitch I threw on some roasted peanuts and a few squares of my favorite dark chocolate–organic, 70% cacao, and saving the rain forest one nibble at a time.

Roasted Broccoli And Vegan Coconut Crusted Baked Tofu With Toasted Coconut

I assure you that whoever said time flies never roasted a vegetable in his life. Otherwise he would have said something like time’s a fly on a glue trap.

Coconut Tofu

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but rolling tofu in agave will gather shredded coconut. I tried to recreate coconut baked tofu from Caitlin’s blog by tossing it with agave and shredding coconut. It was “meh”; really the flavor came from toasting coconut and adding it at the end. I’ll add this profound thought: When you have time to toast coconut, do. Really, what do philosophers have on me?

Alright, maybe I’m not the most profound blogger, BUT I have added a new page that lets you see what I think are the most thought provoking or inspiring posts thus far. Sometimes I try to put down the oatmeal and discuss real matters, and I think those moments should be saved somewhere so that your voices in conversation can ring out. And if there’s any post that you recall that was particularly poignant or educational that’s not there, please bring it up; I’ve only looked back through February.

After spending all too long at the Wikipedia proverbs page, I think the truest proverb is…

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

While the most ridiculous…

There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream

Of course there are more ways to kill a cat. I’ve got two in my trunk and I ran out of cream 3 weeks ago.

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Keeps Gettin’ Better

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you all for your comments this morning! Getting that news was such a great way to start my day and started a momentum of feeling like things keep getting better. It also never hurts to be recognized for hard work, especially when it’s you’re concentration(and one that’s not known for being a money0maker. Hey, I’m realistic ;-)) Now–here’s my pledge that Whole Foods will NOT get most of that. Considering I estimate my shoes have an 2000+ miles on them(I’m not even exaggerating here), I definitely have some good plans.

Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bar

When I got back from Greek, I grabbed Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice bar and switched in to workout clothes lickity-split. Even though it’s not the most opportune time to work out between classes, I felt 20 times better then than when I woke up, and this just felt “right” so I was determined to make it work.

10 Miles In 87:09

Do you know how hard it is to make it work when you only have Kathie Lee and Hoda to watch on The Today show? They are no Meredith and Matt–I’m just saying. Besides that, I was fast! This isn’t the pace I can do outside, but 87:09 was quicker than my normal treadmill pace. Part of that was GI, part of that was just not having time to play around with, but all of that felt nice 🙂 I showered and thought up a lunch really quickly.

Broccoli With Breakfast Style Chicken Sausages, Spicy Peanut Tofu Salad

I’ll throw out a disclaimer and say you can set any dietary restrictions you want on yourself and get adequate nutrient levels. That being said, after going 26 hours of eating vegan when my idea of vegan “food” involves chocolate and pudding, I truly felt like I was lacking protein. I was having a HUGE white meat chicken craving, and even contemplated getting the non-local, probably hormone induced chicken from the dining hall for a split second. In the end, I scrapped up a few Al Fresco breakfast style sausages and tossed those with broccoli along side a tofu salad made with The Heat Is On by PB&Co.. It wasn’t the “best meal everrrr” like all bloggers want to share, but it was “good enough” and got me to class 2 minutes early.

Gingerade, 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

Class was brutal. Maybe it was the fact that we kept having to turn off the lights for slides. Or maybe it was just an exhausting day(my friend Alex next to me actually fell asleep during some slides). Either way, between that and a “meh” lunch, dessert was definitely in order. Between classes I grabbed a Gingerade Kombucha from a local coffee shop and cut in half a Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar I stuck in my pocket. Pardon the pun, but this really was a “perfect” dessert/snack for getting through my afternoon; the bar tastes a lot like a cookie, anyway, and who would want milk over Kombucha? 😉

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

It was another “long day” with extracurriculars even after all the regular class. When I finished those, though, I was on my weekend! Things just keep gettin’ better 🙂 Of course, I needed to celebrate all the hubbub somehow, right? This dessert–once again, pardon the pun–was also quite “perfect”. Since I can’t stand having 1/2 a bar around, I chopped up the other part of my Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar and blended that with So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Besides the subtle coconut flavor, this was awesome! It reminded me of all that peanut butter and chocolate ice cream I had as a kid. The fact that I was “catching up” with my protein intake was just ice creaming on the cake.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Then again, maybe protein’s not a problem with burgers on the menu for dinner. Since I had 1/2 a sweet potato already baked, I diced that and cooked it in the healthy grass-fed burger drippings in the pan–easy peasy clean up, too! Unfortunately, baked potatoes I find don’t make the best of hashes; you really need to get them when they’re raw and just steamed to start.

Burger 101

Preparing A Burger

It’s been asked “How do you make your burgers with just dorm room equipment?” Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the simplest things I or you could cook! You just need a quality steel pan and a slightly fatty cut of meat(I like 85/15 grass-fed beef, but anything up to 90/10 should do). Form your patty with a slight dip in the center because when it cooks it will puff up. After letting your pan heat up on medium-high heat, let your patty cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Then, flip the patty and let it cook another 4, or until the juice running out of it is thin and only slightly red. Then–and I can’t stress this enough–carefully move it to a plate, and let it sit untouched for 5 minutes. This helps the juices to settle and doing this will get you a nice, rare burger. If you like your meat more well done, extend the cooking on both ends by 1:30-2 minutes. Bonus: If you’re a New England reader, regular beef is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound and even the grass-fed is reduced an amount! I for one will be getting at least a pound over the weekend if not more. And that’s your burger 101!

If you’ve never had the great pleasure to try Zevia(now that sounds like an idea for tonight), you can win some in this giveaway. Also, you can win coupons for So Delicious products like their coconut milk ice cream or kefir in this giveaway; if you enter this, please say Food Makes Fun Fuel or EvanFMFF is how you heard about it so we both have a better chance of winning 🙂

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