Reigning Over Imperfection

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

Just so we all get the pun…

Rain In Providence

It’s raining really hard right now. And will be through Saturday, hence the “reign”. OK, good, I don’t feel crazy laughing alone at my own jokes 😀

I wouldn’t say I “struggle” with not being perfect simply because I’ve never met perfection in a bar and shattered a bottle to start swiping at it. That being said, I am pretty finicky(read: Polish stubborn) and try my best to excel at whatever I do or make. Sometimes A lot of times, things don’t work out. But the more I grow the more I learn to just “deal”.

Banana Whip With Vanilla Powder

This banana whip was far from perfect; some of the bananas I had just stuck in the fridge 2 hours earlier and weren’t even frozen. I needed to use Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and vanilla stevia here along with vanilla powder to get the flavor where I wanted it. And, in the end, I’d say it was just “OK”. Disappointing? A little. But there will be other banana whips.

Last night I also got the rough draft back from my writing fellow for a paper due today. I just don’t work that fast. And the comments she had I neither agreed with stylistically nor had time to properly work in. Naturally, my gut reaction was to freak out on how imperfect this paper’s going to be. In my stress, I made some tea to try and stop me from just grabbing a spoon and killing off a peanut butter jar(oh yes, I very well could have done this). But then I stepped back and thought: This is the class I took for “fun”. This is the class I changed to Pass/Fail so that it wouldn’t stress me out. And here I’m letting it walk all over me. I’m going to pass the class, perfect paper or not. And I was just being silly. At that, I edited what I could, and sent the final draft in calmly and rationally. So what did I eat in my no-longer stress?

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Simply: Food. I whipped up 1/2 a batch of coconut oil chocolate and stuck it in a muffin tin because I’m OK with eating something imperfectly shaped if you’re OK with seeing it. And I had a nice filling, relaxing bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter to calm my nerves. Did you know oatmeal is one of the best things you could eat to fall to sleep or back to sleep? I would have thought the carbs would make it imperfect for that but I guess since they’re all complex it works out.

8 Miles In 73:31

This morning, I woke up to rain(as I pointed out). I started thinking about how this could be the perfect excuse to not hit the gym. But then I had a funny thought: I wanted to brave the rain and get a good run in. There I had it, so I went and ran 8 miles in 73:31. The treadmill set up is imperfect; it only goes for 1 hour at a time, throws too many numbers at you, and doesn’t give a remote for the TV when the hour changes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it anyway 🙂

Fair Trade Organic White Chocolate Strawberry Raw Almond Butter

If it’s not clear that I’m somewhat of a neat-freak perfectionist, check out the sweet label I gave this homemade nut butter I made over Winter break. On the other side, it has a complete nutritional panel and even a little Fair Trader sticker 🙂

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Oats With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With White Chocolate Almond Butter

Lastly, I wholly acknowledge that I’m an imperfect refueler; I break about every rule for post-run recovery(which you can read the proper way for in this awesome and detailed post). But the flip side to that is I’m very good at telling what I want/need. Today felt like a “fat” morning where only fat would fill me up. I added a nice plop of almond butter on top of oatmeal made with pumpkin and egg whites(for a wee bit of protein). And instead of greek yogurt, I had chocolate avocado pudding. And, in an effort to keep stevia out of my breakfast, I sweetened this with 1 tablespoon Xagave instead. Was the flavor perfect? Not at all. But what’s a little real sugar after 8 miles in an effort to use stevia–while sweet and natural–a little less?

I’m also far from perfect for taking so long to get you this recipe; if you’ll remember, I made these coconut cherry cups for my family for Valentine’s Day. It took me a while to giving them their own recipe page but I finally have. Enjoy! If you try them, I bet they’ll come out perfect 😉

Vegan Sweet Cherry Coconut Cups

Ingredient:

  • 1/2 pound dark chocolate(I used 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and 2 squares(4 pieces) Baker’s Unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cherry butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar

In the microwave or using a double boiler, melt down the chocolate to a liquid state. Put a dab of chocolate into the bottom of 12 paper muffin cups to coat the bottom. Mix the coconut oil in a liquid state with the cherry butter. In a seperate bowl, mix together the coconut and agave nectar until fully incorporated. Mix together the two until a thick consistency and even red/pink color is reached. Add about 1 tablespoon of this mixture to each cup(there might be extra; if so, either make more cups or save for another use). Add a dollop of melted chocolate to the top of each coconut ball and work with a spoon until the cherry coconut is fully covered. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or more until serving.

And it would be imperfect of me not to mention this Chobani giveaway.

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Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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Too Cold For Anything Else

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has just been too cold for anything other than what I did and was done. My hands are recirculating, and my jeans have been long swapped for PJ’s by now. I suppose that when they announce an “Extreme Cold Advisory” on the news, they mean business. Backing up, I had some weird cravings for lunch. It was just too cold to want something real or excited. I managed to reign back my cravings a bit and make a semi-normal lunch.

Root Beer Zevia, Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Did maple peanut butter jump out of the jar onto my turkey? It just might of… with a little help. I prefer dark meat, so if I’m going to have white meat turkey I better stick some fat in there somehow; the sweet maple was pure craving, but at least it worked well with these chips.

To-Do List

I probably should have heeded the weather warning and stayed indoors just because I could but I had a bit of a list to work on. At least while I was out I managed to get it all done. I’m officially on a lower meal plan, trading 110 meals and 125 flex points for about $240 dollars;It’d definitely be a “better bargain” to have stayed on but what’s the use if it goes to wast? Nada.

Books And Notebooks

I ended up returning 2 of my books and buying them new; I try to buy used when possible but these were a little too used and they’re books I’ll be looking at for a while so I figured the extra money was worth it. The final total for the semester was around $350–not bad considering the majority of the books are in my concentration and I’ll need beyond this semester.

Tazo Calm Tea

It was too cold not to get tea while I was near a campus convenience store. I threw everything on the bed and considered making a snack, but wanted to get to a dining hall right at 4 to grab things for dinner and get in for the night before it got colder. Or so I thought. I got there at 4:10. They opened at 4:30. But unless I wanted to go back into the cold(absolutely not), I would just have to wait there. So I did. I didn’t end up getting back to my room until 4:45.

Cooked Vegetables, Raw Broccoli, Sandwich Lettuce, Apples

At least it was a productive shopping trip. I don’t know if you’re supposed to load up two large take out containers with vegetables, but no one particularly stops you if you do. You might get odd looks, but no words. I was starving and just threw together the best thing I could think of.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

It was too cold not to eat pumpkin oats with maple peanut butter. Nothing would have made this better, unless it were made in the jar; I think that’s a principal of life. Instead of eating more after this, which definitely would have spoiled my appetite for dinner, I just decided to invest a little time and “make something” that’d be nice. Since I was craving Indian, I mixed 2/3 a can of chickpeas, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons indian spice, and enough watter to thin it. Normally I’d prefer a tomato based sauce but it was too cold not to utilize pumpkin(and that’s all I had on hand). That made about 3 servings, so I took 1 and saved 2.

Vegetable Melange, Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas, Raw Vegan Brownie

Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas Wit Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

This was pretty darn good. The chickpeas came out nice and spicy, with the pumpkin to add some savor factor. A dollop of full fat yogurt, though, really made the whole thing come alive; the dish needed fat and depth. Speaking of fat, the raw vegan brownies are still just as delicious. It was too cold not to have something sweet to finish of dinner. Do other people eat the best part of their meal at the end, too? I always did this as a kid, but people would confuse this for me not liking something and picking it off my plate before I would get to it. Not cool. No one got my brownie.

Don’t think having chocolate with dinner meant there won’t be some for dessert; it would just be too cold to ignore chocolate like that. I do feel somewhat bad on skipping out on a friend’s birthday party tonight. But if I went–and in this cold–I wouldn’t be enjoying myself, and I’m not convinced she’d notice me there amongst the other 100 facebook friends attending. So after all I don’t feel bad about ditching it for some light and humorous reads.

Homework

Wow are there a lot of giveaways going on now. Here’s one for a bread machine. Here’s another for coconut oil! Here’s one for some delicious bars. And here’s one for iHerb shopping spree! Here’s one for chocolate. And how about one last one for chocolate, here!

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Decisions, Decisions

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

I’ll let you in on a little secret point out something completely obvious: I’m a creature of habit. I love tradition and sameness. It’s the other reason I have oatmeal and yogurt every morning, the first reason being it’s so good. I find making any sort of decision a burden and constantly second guess myself. Like yesterday, I asked myself “why do you want to run 10 miles in the pseudo-cold with no tv to watch?” What did it matter? The thing was that I did want to run it. Sometimes I wish I were on some sort of training plan or something to use as an excuse. Well that’s my confession of the day. So tell me, are you a creature of habit, too?

Well regardless I jumped in some running shorts and grabbed pre-run fuel.

1 Lightlife Breakfast Sausage Link

I’ve decided that I love fake meat. This stuff is my new obsession. I could never give up real meat for it, because I think they’re two very separate things. But that doesn’t stop me from loving them both. Do Tofurky’s go half off after Thanksgiving? Because if so I am buying out the freezer.

For my run I made a playlist with a ton of energetic playlists of mine and my Christmas tunes. It was a bit spastic between Lady Gaga and Bing Crosby, but kept me going for the whole 10.1 miles at 8:00 pace. I suppose in a way everytime I passed my house(all 8 times before stopping) I was deciding to keep going, but I tried to block out the fact that home was right there and kept going like I was far from the finish line. After showering we sat down to Sunday lunch.

Caramel Mustard Tofu, Acorn Squash With Full Fat Voskos, Brussel Sprouts Orange Zevia

On the one hand, I decided not to have the chicken that was roasted for dinner. On the other hand, hearing about Food Inc. has taught me that paying for most supermarket chicken is like paying for corn and fat and I’ve chosen a lifestyle that’s removed that as a food option. Thankfully I brought home enough tofu to feed a vegetarian army and cracked open the caramel mustard dip I brought for Thanksgiving. ‘Twas delightful. The acorn squash with yogurt was sooooo nice and creamy. And brussels are just one of my favorite vegetables ever! So overall it was a saved meal.

It’s definitely a habit of mine to want to finish all my homework for the next day as soon as possible. So I had no trouble sticking around long enough to finish translating Latin, and then plan on having The Aeneid read in the car. My throat was also feeling a bit sore, so I made a veryadult” decision:

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And Giovanni's White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

This totally soothed my throat. And it was a very adult(and tasty) decision to throw the frozen yogurt in there, too, if you ask me. What would I do without probiotics? For one I’m guessing my morning routine would not be so… routine. On the way down we made a pit-stop at Whole Foods. The Silk Nog, which I specifically requested we have at home so I could steal it for my dorm, I forgot in the fridge. Good going, self. Also, I kind of got jealous of the chicken at lunch and wanted some of my own since it was 1/2 off this week. After that, we got back to campus right before it was dark and unloaded everything(which wasn’t that much since I’m only back for 2 days). Eventually, my taste buds made this amazing decision for me.

Banana Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Kashi Dark Chocolate Cookie

Seriously, I think I should patent and charge royalties on this bowl–it was that good. I was sent a sample of chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter. Funnily enough, I already had a full jar which I’ve almost gone through so I am well acquainted with the flavor. Still I hadn’t made a review in the new format so I had this bowl to “remind me” of how it was and give a good and honest review. Here’s another confession: when I add a whole wheat cookie on top, I usually only do about 3/4 the regular amount of oats. How many whole grains does a fella need?

There are certainly some decisions I’m happy to make as an adult(or whatever I am). Like the decision that I have some awesome food/leftovers and could eat in my dorm in my PJ’s listening to yet more Christmas music and translating Greek.

Deli Roasted Chicken, Veggie Melange, Microwaved Sweet Potato

I was definitely practicing for Thanksgiving with this one. The deli man gave me a bit too much meat but not enough to separate into two meals so I just let myself go at it. I love my sweet potatoes; why do people mash these up? Then you miss all the crispy crisp skin 🙂

I watched a bit of the American Music Awards but wasn’t too enthralled. It felt a little all over the place and while my love of music genres is wide it’s not quite that big to be entertained by it all. I thought Kelly Clarkson’s performance was really good, though. She’s just an awesome person with a very healthy attitude and by far the best thing to come from American Idol. Eventually I made something I haven’t had in a while.

 

Greek Yogurt With Cherry Butter And Dried Cherries Topped With Cherry Dark Chocolate And Vanilla Sugar

 

A gourmet yogurt mess. I forget how good these are. I’ll give you a clue, though: I don’t really make decisions on things like this or my oatmeal concoctions because most I’ve made before and are just resurrections of recipes. If you go back a few weeks, I’m positive you’ll find an identical mess. My current favorite oatmeal “recipe”(like you can’t already tell) is pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter and a vegan pumpkin molasses cookie crumble–genius. I then decided not that I don’t want oatmeal but that I wanted something simpler.

 

Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

 

Much easier 🙂 I love the butter toffee with the vitatop if you haven’t noticed. And the sunflower butter worked well on the muffin though it’s so thick! It was almost impossible to spread. I do have one HUGE decision coming up: what to place in my next Naturally Nutty order. Clearly I need to plan on buying more at once because I’m almost out of butter toffee and this will be my 4th order from them.

I watched the end of the American Music Awards. Way to go, Taylor Swift, yet again! She’s just a rockstar now; I hope she doesn’t get too big for us country lovers who remember “Tim McGraw”. Did anybody else see Adam Lamberts hyped up preformance? That was pretty much porn. And I blame it for why I got an awful nights sleep. When I got up, I was craving something cookie-esque.

 

Spooky S'mores Z-Bar

That hit the spot, and also worked as my pre-run fuel. The run I’d rather not mention but I will. I really wanted to tie my distance PR of 15 miles and have that be the long run of the week. I felt like I had the energy and form, but annoying bathroom issues kept coming up. I never have these on the roads, just the treadmill, which makes it all the more frustrating. Instead of pushing myself to God knows what length, I decided 12 was enough to satisfy me and stopped then 1:36:44. After showering, I also decided that my “standard” breakfast of matchy-matchy oatmeal with a flavored yogurt was not what I needed today. What I needed was to shove my soul in a bowl.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With White Chocolate Raspberry Peanut Butter, Strawberry Frosting, And My Mojamix

My soul started with the standard 40gram oat blend, then mixed with 3/4 cup pumpkin(my soul really likes pumpkin), and topped with a double dose of strawberry frosting, a new nut butter I’m sampling for P.B.Loco(how did my soul know to want something it’s never had? intriguing), and my Mojamix(which would make sense since I designed it) which had an unusually high amount of chia seeds this time compared to when I last had it. Will my soul be poured into a bowl more often? Probably, but it will also probably change from time to time so who knows what it will look like.

It feels silly to have had to gone home this weekend for the retirement party, now back to campus for 4 classes between today and tomorrow, only to go back for Thanksgiving tomorrow afternoon. Such is life, I suppose. I’ll reiterate the question of the day: Are you a creature of habit?

 

 

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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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Talkin’ Turkey

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wowza(as my aunt would say), am I blessed to have so many great products to review, such as the honey vanilla bean Voskos I ate yesterday for breakfast. I’ll be sure to repost all of them when I’m finished reviewing the line for the company to the front page. But if you want a sneak peak at their goodness, just click on the links to the pages as I set them up.

Good morning, good morning. Yesterday in Latin class after handing in my essay on Catullus 8 I was painfully reminded of a midterm in that class Friday. Uhmmm shit crap. Countdown 4 days to memorize the Latin vocab for many many dirty poetry words. Besides that the class was tolerable. My hunger was a bit raging after my half marathon run so I had to eat a loud, crunchy apple during class; I felt really awkward making so much noise but c’est la vie. Afterwards I decided for lunch I would not be wasteful and instead eat the other 1/2 can of tuna in my fridge. Problem? It kind of froze over the weekend. Yuck. Also my other apples had gone bad. Double yuck. Instead I salvaged some other left overs and made some more space:

TJ Multigrain Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli

TJ Multigrain Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli

Pineapple Chobani With Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

Pineapple Chobani With Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

I found the other half of my Trader Joe’s pilaf, which was still good and not-frozen(does anybody else remember when I heated the bag for this because I sure don’t). Along with some steamed broccoli it was a nice veggie entree. And to add a bit of protein, by which I mean I could marry this beloved combination, I had a pineapple Chobani with some Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola. Holy shiz is that the bomb. I think I picked it up from Tina on Carrots N’ Cake; that’s one blogger who knows her food. Classes were a delightful snooze. My Greek History professor, who’s always quick to give his opinion, apparently considers The Simpsons as one of the best form of art in culture of any time. I can’t wait to see what that midterm’s like(jk, I totally can wait and would rather it weren’t next Friday). When I got out of Epic Poetry I had a great big box waiting for me:

Clif Bars And Mojo Bars

Clif Bars And Mojo Bars

The kind people at Clif sent me a box full of goodies. I contacted them after being in love with their Z-Bars for so long and realizing just what an extensive product line they have. Not only is their the original Clif Bars and Luna for woman(which, if you’re looking for reviews of, you’re looking at the wrong blog), but others including new MoJo bars and MoJo dipped. They sent me a medley of those and some of their new flavors, all of which I can’t wait to give a taste. If they’re anything like the Z-Bars, I’m going to be a very happy man.

The only other time I ran a half marathon was last Tuesday. If you remember from Wednesday’s post, I could hardly walk after that. Amazingly, I felt great yesterday all day long. So great in fact that I could walk the mile to Whole Foods to pick up two things I was absolutely craving:

Deli Sliced Turkey, Cola Zevia

Deli Sliced Turkey, Cola Zevia

I was seriously considering chugging a Zevia this morning with breakfast; unfortunately, I didn’t have this particular flavor which I wanted so bad. Thankfully I crave things that are on sale, so this 6-pack was only $4. The deli meat, as you will see, was for dinner. I love that at Whole Foods I don’t need to ask if the deli meat was treated with nitrates or what diet the turkeys were fed but can just eat it and feel good. For an Oprah worthy snack, I made oats:

Oatmeal With Semisweet Chocolate And Smart Balance

Oatmeal With Semisweet Chocolate And Smart Balance

When was the last time I had this combo? If I have to ask, I’m guessing the answer is far, far too long. This is another jar I’m almost out of; yippee for picking up $1 off coupons at home! Here’s to hoping it goes on sale somewhere so I can be really savvy. My work load has really picked up this week. I thought I had somehow dodged the Midterm bullet but apparently not. And since I consider blogging my “part-time job”, it’s not like I’ll be letting myself slack on that either. *Sigh* I think my perfect bubble of 7-8 hours of sleep a night, 1-2 hours running, and 1-2 hours walking/grocery shopping might take a hit this week. But I digress with this rant(isn’t that what blogging’s all about?). While I was catching up on reading, I came up with the perfect study snack:

Pumpkin Ginger Whoopie Pie

Pumpkin Ginger Whoopie Pie

The hamster in my mind was really running on his wheel for this one. I took a pack of gingerlicious cookies, mixed plain canned pumpkin with cinnamon and stevia, and mushed it between the two. This was just like a whoopie pie, except rung in at about 115 calories(aka, if I kept more gingerlicious cookies in my freezer than 1 pack, I would have ate a hell of a lot more of these). I didn’t need a big snack anyway because it was almost dinner. Despite the fact that I had pretty much the bulk of my meal I wanted to meet up with Adam at The Ratty to catch up:

Turkey And Cranberry Apple Butter Sandwich, Broccoli, Carrots, Vegan Garden Veggie Chili, Cola Zevia

Turkey And Cranberry Apple Butter Sandwich, Broccoli, Carrots, Vegan Garden Veggie Chili, Cola Zevia

The turkey was destined to be with the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter. It’s almost identical in flavor to cranberry sauce and I’ll be sure to put a can on my Thanksgiving table. The broccoli I doused with tobasco sauce for something a little different. I honestly didn’t touch the carrots because they seemed over processed and oily. And the vegan chili was amazing. I almost regretted bringing my own main meal on a night when the vegetarian option was so good.

I read a bit of Hesiod’s Works And Days for my Epic Poetry Class. After learning a language, I feel like such a slacker reading anything in translation; that being said, the professor definitely didn’t assign this 800something line book in the original Greek and I was in no way, shape, or form prepared to read it like that. Apparently, Hesiod was the iron age where men toiled in labor for Zeus. I think that makes us the… Selenium age? What do they even use to make computers these days anyway? Midway through, while also “watching” Heroes, I answered to my name being called:

Peanut Butter And Jelly Clif Mojo Dipped

Peanut Butter And Jelly Clif Mojo Dipped

In all truthfulness, I did not want to eat this last night because eating it meant photoing it, thinking about it, and writing up this review. But it was definitely calling out to me for obvious reasons(I mean, just look at the flavor). So I totally gave in and it was definitely worth it. I suggest you read my full review which I’ll repost once I’ve had a chance to sample this all, but this bar has a lot going for it: salty/sweet, 70% organic, 1st ingredient being peanut, 9g protein, etc. Now I’m jazzed to try the rest. The rest of my night was lame, in a good way:

Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Raspberry Jam, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Raspberry Jam, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

I made plenty of toast to eat up the bread in my fridge. I haven’t had the peanut butter cookie spread in too long. I can’t believe how many of you had never had cream cheese on a muffin; I’m not a bagel fan(that’s a whole other story) so I’ve made my peace with cream cheese on toast and muffins. Also, I love the combo of these vitatops and berry jams just as much as with peanut butters(yes, you read that right), especially when they aren’t too hot. Television for the night was decent comedy, but nothing spectacular. I’m now aware that I’ve moved on in my life from “Mom, do we have to watch the news?” to “Ooo, the 11 o’clock news is on, great now I can fall asleep to the headlines”. Life is a mysterious thing.

At 6:30 my roommate came home and went into his bed. I don’t know what’s worse: that he’s getting home at 6:30 or that I’m sometimes up by 6:30. Let’s call it a draw. It was definitely a drag-myself-out-of-bed morning, which I haven’t had in a while. Nonetheless I went to the gym and rocked out 8 miles in 65:52. It was most definitely an ipod assisted run. My gym friend, the 50+ year old woman who rocks it out on the treadmill with me, is back after being gone a few weeks–so exciting. I had the “I have early class but I want oatmeal” dilemma for breakfast. Oatmeal won out:

French Toast Oatmeal, Organic Voskos Plain With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Sunflower Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, Organic Voskos Plain With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Isn’t it always the case that oatmeal wins out? This bowl was especially good with a heaping dose of vanilla powder and cinnamon. I also gave another Voskos yogurt a try, the Organic Plain Non Fat. I was sure to taste a little for review before adding peanut flour, vanilla stevia, and chocolate sunflower butter. This butter is so thick, it actually makes a really great addition to yogurt, almost like a granola. I love finding new ways to eat nut butter.

Despite it not being 10am, I can tell today will be an amazing day. First I walked next to a security card singing “it’s going to be a bright sunshiny day”. Then I found not 1 but 2 pennies heads up outside my dorm. And when I glanced at my emails I came across this:

Email

Email

Aka, I have no class today. Too perfect. After reading that I’ve crawled back into bed(literally) and plan on blog reading to the tine of The Amazing Race. Should be a swell time.

Here’s a very Candid giveaway with tons of healthy goodies

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R & R

Posted on October 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note to self: If you want to run your first half marathon in the morning, don’t plan on anything else for the rest of the day. That was pretty much the lesson I learned after yesterday’s experience. Thanks for all the good-wishes; I don’t know that I’ll be “just getting up and deciding” to break any previous PR by 3 miles any time soon. Unfortunately, after my half marathon, I had a full Greek class(see what I did there? ;-)). It’s not so bad since I literally translated this last year and remember most of it–yay for me! When I got out I stumbled over to the mailbox room, through the lunch line, and back to my dorm. My 1/2 tablespoon of White Chocolate Wonderful with breakfast that I had to talk myself into at the time caused a real craving and had me making the weirdest lunch yet:

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful, Vegan Sloppy Joe Mix, Cucumbers, Broccoli

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful, Vegan Sloppy Joe Mix, Cucumbers, Broccoli

I told you it was weird; I wasn’t going to do it, but I figured it’s best to listen to your cravings when you’re more active than usual. The vegan sloppy joe mix was from the cafeteria, and I think a medley of tomatoes, peppers, tempeh, and tofu. It was pretty good though a bit bland. The oats were perfect and soul-soothing; could you ask for anything more from a hot bowl of grains? While I was eating, I was so happy to find this in the mail:

Attune Coupons

Attune Coupons

Daniel from Attune sent over some coupons for me to sample and review some of their products and I could not be more thankful! I’m sure you’ve all heard me harp on about probiotics and how I strive to get 2 sources a day. Well, the people at Attune share my same enthusiasm for bacteria and probiotically fortify chocolate bars. Chocolate and probiotics–could it get better? I love my yogurt and frozen yogurt, but variety is always welcomed. Thank you, Daniel and Attune, I can’t wait to try these out. After some uber-duper exciting email reading and google reading, I came to a bit of halting reality: That Whole Foods and F.Y.E. trip I would have loved to take was not happening, not on my legs at least. It seemed I underestimated the strain my body would take and nothing was budging. Instead my afternoon looked an awful lot like this:

Sitting And Sipping Coffee

Sitting And Sipping Coffee

Oh yeah, that was deserved. This semester running might have persuaded my class scheduling a tad. Would it be too much if next semester running AND TV were taken into consideration? Didn’t think so. Well I made a list of all the History readings I “shoud’ve” done by this point. Yikes. I haven’t read anything for that class. Thankfully, it seems like the teacher hasn’t either, haha. Hopefully my being awake in class and taking notes will be enough combined with a little cramming come midterm time. I also took out some books and some snacks:

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Poetry is never as fun as one would think; sure, it has rythym and soul. But the poet takes way too much “artistic liscence” and I’m not one of the people patient enough to dig for the deeper meaning. But if there’s anything I learned in high school, it’s how to BS an essay with crazy interpretating which is exactly what I plan to do for this class. On another note, I love Ellen. She’s always giving away money to unfortunate people on her show and that feels so good just to watch. I also made a delicious “mousse” around this time:

Peanut Pumpkin Maple Mousse

Peanut Pumpkin Maple Mousse

Yum. For this, I mixed 2% plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons peanut flour, cinnamon, and stevia, and topped with maple-agave syrup. The peanut flour really thickens it, adds a depth to the flavor, and gives it a moussey texture. I was thinking of granola-topping this but it just seemed so perfectly light and airy on its own. I also caught up on HIMYM. Even though it was a Barney heavy episode, it wasn’t one of my favorites of the new season. I don’t like that Robin and Barney are becoming a boring couple. Oh well, some hit and some miss. By 5:30, I felt way too caged in and needed to get out, even if my legs wanted to stay behind. I picked out a nutty bar:

Honey Almond Flax Kashi Bar

Honey Almond Flax Kashi Bar

On the one hand, I’m trying to eat whole, unpackaged food as much as possible. On the other hand, I have a lot of dorm-room stuff I need to eat before it goes bad, so I’ll be trying to fit them in exciting and creative ways into my meals. I decided that, if somewhere down the road someone asked me “how did you celebrate running your first half?”, “I didn’t” wouldn’t be a great response. So what would? “I went to a party that night, got smashed, and met Emma Watson”. Well that would make a good story but isn’t very likely and definitely isn’t me. “I got a gourmet cupcake.” Much better.

Cupcakerie Cupcakes

Cupcakerie Cupcakes

I went to Blue State Coffee where they carry these delectable goodies made by The Cupcakerie. These are the people who made that great Vegan Buttercream Cupcake I had for Cookie Friday. I also love them for this:

Blue State Coffee

Blue State Coffee

Kosher, Shade Grown, Fair Trade, and Organic. Best yet–they always brew me a decaf whenever I go unlike some companies *cough*Starbucks*cough* who actually denied to brew my mom decaf at 6pm. Cupcake in hand, I went back to my dorm just as it started to rain. Unfortunately, I had to go back out in that rain to meet my friend, Adam, for dinner.

Zuchinni And Tempeh Bake, Ginger Vegetables, Chickpea Stew

Zuchinni And Tempeh Bake, Ginger Vegetables, Chickpea Stew

Up to this point I was keeping a close eye making sure I was refueling well after my half. I couldn’t really keep track of the calories on this plate, but I used guestimation and all was right with the world. The tempeh was really good, as I always find tempeh. I love that touch of sourness from the fermentation. The vegetables were also surprisingly good. Not only were they cooked the right amount, but the ginger was present and popped through. Unfortunately, the chickpea stew, which had a lot of potential, was way too heavy and bland. I even added loads of cinnamon and salt and it couldn’t fix it. Oh well, overall pretty darn good.

After dinner was NBC Tuesday! I love The Biggest Loser, and haven’t missed a season yet. I just love the theme song; it has such an uplifting message, you know it’ll be an inspiring episode. I can’t believe how lucky Tracy’s gotten this season and how little weight she’s lost; that really bugs me and is not in the spirit of the show if you ask me. Sometime through I broke into the cupcake I purchased:

Wake Up and Smell the Cupcake

Wake Up and Smell the Cupcake

I went in for a carrot cake cupcake, but this one was the last of its flavor so I really felt like it was calling for me. It’s described as “An eye-opening mocha cake with espresso cream cheese frosting topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean”. Normally, I don’t do caffeine, but I made an exception 😉 I felt semi-bad eating this while watching people slave to lose poundage on The Biggest Loser. But not too bad because I’ve done my time in the gym and then some so this was well worth it. You just gotta learn what in life needs moderation. The cake was so incredibely moist–best not to think about how much oil must have been in it and just how good it tasted. And the frosting was cream cheese–just as I like it. I decided to opt out of the chocolate covered bean on top. I know it’s such a small amount of caffeine, but it was 9 at night and I’m a proud party pooper 🙂

While I was watching(and getting disappointed by the voting of The Biggest Loser), I did up a formal translation of the poem I’ll be writing an essay on, and, more importantly, made a snack:

English Muffin With Pumpkin Peanut Butter And Pumkin Cream Cheese

English Muffin With Pumpkin Peanut Butter And Pumkin Cream Cheese

I’m officially getting annoyed by pumpkin. It’s everywhere, even in my room. I want to shun it and never see it again, but then I crave it. Since when did pumpkin become crack? I’m an addict. And Libby is my dealer.

Getting to bed has been a bit of a trouble lately. I’m a firm believer in shutting your computer off at least 45 minutes before you plan to snooze and lights off 30 minutes before. Living with a roommate, the second one’s not so easy, so I tried making due with the lights on to no avail. Thankfully, he had to go work on a project in someone else’s room a little after 11, but I still didn’t get to bed till around midnight and snacked on some carbs to get me to shut eye.

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This morning’s run brought an interesting concept to mind. All through out the Summer when I ran and up till now, I’ve run the same distance give or take a mile day after day. now that I’m getting up there and spontaneously doing halfsies, that can’t be happening(because I am not running 12-14 miles daily. No way, no how). Varying my distance, and pace for that matter, are two things I’m going to need to get use to. I decided to do a traditional Tuesday/Thursday run and see how far I’d get in an hour flat. At the end, I ran 7.15 miles, so not bad. There were about 50 different food combos I was craving when I got back to my room. Rather than try a new recipe on the fly and potentially get disappointed by breakfast, I decided it was better to do 2 things right than 20 things wrong:

French Toast Oatmeal, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I am soooo excited for my Naturally Nutty shipment to come in tomorrow; these new seed butters are amazing. But when it comes to the good ol’ peanut, butter toffee definitely tops the chart for a great flavor. I feel like this is something obvious but worth saying: They key to good french toast oatmeal is in the spicing. I was dying for a good, runny egg this morning and this is the best way I know how. Just be sure to use quality cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla powder if you have it, and it will really shine through.

I hope to get to a grocery store today but it’s going to be freezing in NE! How is it that time of year again? Worse yet, they were talking Christmas gifts on The Today show. Really? Already?

One Fit Foodie is having a Nasoya giveaway! I’d love to do some tofu-loving in my dorm on days when the cafeteria is boring as… something not tofu? haha.

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Healthy Is Not My Word

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, huge news on the nut butter front! Naturally Nutty has just released a new line of seed butters! I had the great fortune of trying the Pepita Sun Butter and I promise you it is one of the best I’ve ever had. I was so excited I’ve already placed orders for some of their new products as of last night, so go on over to the site and give them a looksie.

Ok, enough excitement and good morning. Thanks to the long weekend I got not one but two great nights of sleep in a row. Boy that has me feeling rested. Like I mentioned, yesterday we were heading off to Maine in the morning. I am completely incapable of packing light for wherever I go:

Study Bag

Study Bag

Yeah, let’s just say I don’t get much on the times I come home except what I do in the car. That’s one of the things I’ve hated about the past few weekends; I feel like I always fall behind and by the time I get back on campus I’m rushing like a mad man. Anyway, I packed plenty of dead languages, a couple bars, and my camera. Along the drive I got a bit snacky and came across the perfect time to try this:

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

This was another one of the goodies Nature’s Path Organic sent my way, and let me just say: wow! I had not had a Nature’s Path bar before at all so this was very new to me. The nutrition, look, and ingredients were all along the same lines of an Odwalla bar so that’s what I was comparing it to in my mind. At first I didn’t think it looked chocolatey or orange, but each bite had a great zest to it which made the flavor distinct. There were also plenty of chocolate chips as well as bits of soynuts which added a great crunch to the texture. The size was personally a bit bigger than what I look for in a bar, but it also helped to hold me over longer. There was a good bit of added sugar, but overall it was a tasty and nutritious bar that I wouldn’t mind buying again.

When we got there it was about 1 and all the appetizers were out. I’m not an appetizer person; I’d really rather sit down with a plate full and eat. I did, however, contribute the cumin cheddar from the farmers’ market:

Cumin Cheddar

Cumin Cheddar

It seemed to be a hit. My family is definitely more into crackers than chips–what’s up with that? Well people got moving surprisingly fast for my family and by 1:45 the lunch had came. If you guessed lobster would be on my plate, you were right:

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

I also had an unpictured salad with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard dressing when I realized there really wasn’t enough on the table for me. Lobster is a bit overrated if you ask me, but it feels fun to eat because of all the hype. There were also mussels but that’s one sea creature I can not get my mind around eating; it’s just too weird. After lunch we had the 90 minute getting ready for dessert period which always happens. With 2 young cousins and an entire family who need ADD pills when it comes to conversation, things don’t get moving so fast. Which is a shame because they also like ice cream cakes that manage to turn into mush by the time they want to eat them. I caught this little tyke red handed:

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Like I said, 90 minutes and 90 candles later we were ready to sing Happy Birthday.

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

Enter joykill moment of the day: My family, although I’m sure they try, really don’t “get” me and why I eat what I eat or even just what I eat. There’s a major assumption on my grandmother’s part that I only eat “healthy” and shun sugar. She even mentioned having a “special sugar-free dessert” for me which she thankfully never brought out or up again. Let me say it straight: Not now or ever do I claim to be a healthy eater. That isn’t my aim or focus. I’m all about eating natural, and I assure you natural can be just as unhealthy as laboratory food. I actually shun the word “healthy”. Does it sound fun? Not at all. I would much rather be “healthy” in the sense of sane and happy than any of its other meanings. So yes, in a sense when I didn’t have either of the cakes, which were made from a box and frosted from a can, I was avoiding them. But I was avoiding their absolute artificialness and not their nutrition; had they been made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like I believe in I assure you I would have had half a cake myself. Unfortunately, it’s easier to find stuff like that for me from my Whole Foods than my family. Well this is what I actually did end up having:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

This was not healthy. Dessert shouldn’t be healthy. This was tasty and joyful–that’s my kind of dessert. The Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies were a HUGE hit with the family; like I mentioned, my cousin’s deceased grandmother used to make some amazing ones for us and they were really happy to have these as a sort of notalgia to those cookies. I was equally pleased to break into the TJ pumpkin spice whoopie pies we picked up. They were good, but a bit too sweet for me. I wasn’t really in a sweet-tooth mood at the time, so 1/2 of one was more than enough to satisfy me. I think I liked the ones from Whole Foods a bit better because those had a cream cheese filling; if you’re going to get fat from dessert, you might as well be eating fat instead of sugar(tasty, tasty fat :-P).

We managed to escape say our goodbyes by 5, which was good because I had light for most of the way home to catch up on work. Unlike other people who actually did eat half a cake, I didn’t so I needed a little boost on the way back:

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This was perfect in the sense that it hit my peanut butter tooth. All my grandparents had was original Skippy(so happy to have at least weened my dad off that stuff). But unfortunately it didn’t fill me up very well and I was pretty cranky by the time we got back into my town. On the one hand, all I wanted to eat was lentils and beans to actually feel full for once in the day. On the other hand, time was a factor. By only some good grace, I managed to find a vegan 365 chili in the back of our cupboard; I know no one else bought this so I assume it was something I grabbed over the Summer and just completely forgot about. Well, it certainly made my night and my meal:

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

Thank you, fiber. This was a gala apple, which was a bit too sweet to work with the mustard as good as a tart apple. But trust me, the combo does work. I would be lying if I said some apple didn’t find it’s way into the chili and I liked it. It’s all pretty much about earthy flavors so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it worked out. Thankfully my inbox was pretty empty after being gone for the day. My google reader? Not so much.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching The Food Network(why oh why don’t I get this in my dorm?) and catching up on The Next Iron Chef. Any love for this show? I liked it on principle, but honestly I don’t know if any of them seemed like a true Iron Chef to me; it’s pretty hard to rank any cook along the lines of Bobby Flay and Cat Cora except maybe the other Food Network stars who are a bit too famous to do a show like this. I digress from the food of course.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

I love my self rule about 2 probiotic sources a day because it gives me an excuse for things like this 🙂 I used 365 peanut butter because it’s nice and runny so it gets onto the frozen yogurt well. Personally, I’ve always been more of a vanilla and peanut butter person, especially with ice cream; I think a good chocolate overpowers the peanut butter but a good vanilla works right at its level to make a great overall product. After this, I had to get a little nutty 😉

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Just when I thought those cinnamon raisin yeast rolls couldn’t get more amazing, I added this. Let me explain how this jar got into my possession, or rather my dad’s. He placed a large order a few weeks ago, and the company had run out of labels for the Vanilla Peanut Butter Jar. No biggy, he still got the flavor, but the company is so nice overall that to apologize they sent him that before it was released. It’s only by pure luck it wound it’s way into this nutty characters hands. And let me tell you, it was ah-mazing. It reminded me a lot of the pepita sun butter except a little less french toasty and a little more subtley sweet. Have I mentioned since finding these online last night I’ve already ordered 15oz jars of Pepita Sun, Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower, and Chocolate Sunflower? Clearly I didn’t like it so much I had to have it again:

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Just because I don’t like the word “healthy” doesn’t mean I don’t think about things like nutrients and vitamins, which felt a little low at the end of the day. Low on vitamins and sunflower butter on the brain? This was the perfect snack for the drama of Brothers & Sisters.

Thank you to all the New Englanders who gave me props for running yesterday. Trust me: I wouldn’t have gone out if I had any clue of how freaking cold it was. This morning I definitely learned my lesson.

Coffee

Coffee

So a little low on the breakfast front as of yet. It has a spoon in it, so it counts as food, right? I’ll come up with something I’m sure. Fun fact: I drink decaf. Always. And yet I swear I need it to get up in the morning. At this point I think it’s more mental, because if I just have water I know I can’t get up and go as good as with some joe. Anyway, I’m starting to get a little hungry so time to experiment in the kitchen.

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Build Me Up Butternut

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As you can tell, there are a few new changes to the blog. Yesterday was all about building up, up, and away. I can’t believe Food Makes Fun Fuel has come this far from a Summer distraction, and I can’t wait to see where it will go next. After sending in an application last week, yesterday I became a Featured Foodbuzz Blogger. I’m super excited as you might be able to tell to take on that role and whatever might come of it. I’ve had to adjust the layout a bit. Any ideas for what you think the header should be? I stuck with some Fall themed PB & Oats, since I think that’s pretty descriptive of everything right now. That being said, don’t be surprised if I’m procrastinating on a paper some day soon and switch it up. I also have big plans over the next month(yes–we’re talking month because I do have homework and an attempt at a life) to reorganize the Product Reviews for them to be much more readable like the Recipes page. Lastly, I wrote up a quick blurb called How I Fuel for new readers to get a sense of my food philosophy, so check that out.

And thanks for all the well-wishes on my exam. I think it went pretty well; it’s kind of hard to tell with language courses because you either know the vocab and constructions or you take a guess at the vocab and constructions. That being said, I think I finished feeling about par for the class so I feel strong and know I did what I could. Afterwards I stopped by somewhere I might not have otherwise expected myself:

Rockefeller Library

Rockefeller Library

We have a pretty decent library, but it’s very… libraryish? I’m not a fan of anywhere where a cough is a spectacle and books are the main source of entertainment. Funny because my grandmother was a town librarian for 40 years. Yikes. I printed what I needed and dashed. I swung by the dining hall and grabbed a lunch that really buttered me up:

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Maple Mustard Tofu, Broccoli, Italian Veggies, Mushrooms

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Maple Mustard Tofu, Broccoli, Italian Veggies, Mushrooms

Get the joke? Oh, I’m punny 🙂 This soup was actually AMAZING. Better yet, I looked up the nutrition/ingredient details because I can and it was equally spectacular. This was pretty much straight, seasoned squash puree with a little EVOO. I try to stick to “vegan” things in the dining hall because anything else risks a heavy case of butteritis(and not butternut). I added a little cinnamon and salt and that took me off to heaven. The rest was decent, too. No protein really stood out to me so I went with the maple/mustard combo of last week and that was perfect.

I hope you’re sitting down reading this: I didn’t go to a grocery store yesterday afternoon. Fever? Nope. Swine Flu? Nope. I just really had nothing I needed other than to get work done, so I stayed put on campus. It’s not entertaining, but c’est la vie. This was more what my afternoon looked like:

Study Area And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Study Area And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Plus daytime TV, of course. How could I miss that 😉 I try not to do the processed food thing when in my dorm room but I needed something I could nibble slowly on to work and my palate said chocolate brownie Z-bar or straight baking chips; I think I chose the better route. I’m not going to claim to have done anything spectacular other than translate pages and pages from dead authors who have been translated time and time again, but if that doesn’t get your goat I don’t know what will. Oh, maybe this:

Banana Goodness Bread With Smart Balance Peanut Butter In Low-Fat Plain Yogurt

Banana Goodness Bread With Smart Balance Peanut Butter In Low-Fat Plain Yogurt

When Baked Goods Met Freezer should be the sequel to When Harry Met Sally, because it’s a hit. I dethawed some of my Banana Goodness Bread and topped it with Smart Balance peanut butter(which I’ve been oddly obsessed with lately) and threw in some plain low-fat yogurt for a controlled yogurt mess. I think low-fat plain yogurt has the perfect flavor, with just a touch of cream, to the point where it doesn’t need any sweetening whatsoever. Speaking of X Met Y, I might have caught up with How I Met Your Mother at this time and that might have been the best episode of the season thus far in my opinion; anything Barney + Robin I’ll be a sucker for. I met Adam whom I ditched last night for dinner:

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Carrots, Green Beans, Black Bean And Spinach Ragout

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Carrots, Green Beans, Black Bean And Spinach Ragout

Why do you fill me up, butternut baby? Again, delicious. I even brought cinnamon to the dining hall to add to it(is that weird? Don’t answer that, I’ll take a wild guess). The veggies were all their veggie self. The bean and spinach thing wasn’t bad, but it definitely didn’t prompt me to finish all of it. I was happy ending the meal on the note of my soup and Grease playing in my mind.

Tuesday nights NBC has stolen me. With The Biggest Loser and Jay Leno, how could I not just park myself on that station? I loved the theme of this week; how Americans have so much trouble eating out I don’t know but they do and that needed to be addressed. I’ve always felt a little “special” when i get nit-picky about my food when we eat out, but it’s entirely worth it to have a healthy and delicious meal made the way you want it(so long as the waiter doesn’t get p-ssed and spit in your food). Midway through I got an intense craving and had to leave my dorm for this:

Don’t I take a great photo 😉 But in all seriousness, in getting this yogurt, I was robbed. Not on the walk over, or even the walk back, but in the cafeteria, at the checkout, when I realized it was 2.85. Wtf? Is it made with gold now or something? I’ve always believed in feeding your cravings but not if they’re going to drive you to the poor house. I’m going to need to bolster up on some Oikos soon at Whole Foods to avoid that situation. But I do love that hint o’ cream in the base, and that this flavor has less sugar than other Chobani fruit flavors, so I guess it’s OK in the end. Have I not mentioned my obsession lately?

Smart Balance And Semi-Sweet Baking Chip Oats

Smart Balance And Semi-Sweet Baking Chip Oats

Dear Smart Balance, please make a chocolate flavor and spare me the extra effort. Your stalker, Evan. If this were a flavored nut butter I might understand the cravings; last I checked, flax oil wasn’t a “flavor”, but that might have just changed. And in case anyone’s ever wondered, the side-effects from too many Omega-3’s in the diet are an elevated mood, diarrhea, and thinned blood. I looked that up one day over the Summer when my intake of salmon, Smart Balance, and flax was a little more than gratuitous. I also had some toast with cream cheese and peanut butter cookie spread because I really wanted to fuel for the AM run.

When I woke up it was pouring. And I’m talking “Get out the ark” pouring. But I took it in stride and went to the gym. I wanted to run 10 miles this morning. But I knew if I used that word “want” that left doubt, so instead I told myself I was running 10 miles. I put on the ipod video and got going, although the real drama was the lightening and monsoon occurring outside. Mile 4 was the longest by far, and continually peeking at the distance didn’t help. I got through it nonetheless and finished strong in 82:46. Obviously, I was ecstatic because that’s only the 5th time I’ve run that distance and I felt really strong afterwards. I got back to my dorm a little later than usual but dent ahead with my planned bowl of oats:

Oatmeal With Fluff, Vanilla Almond Butter, And Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Chobani

Oatmeal With Fluff, Vanilla Almond Butter, And Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Chobani

Strawberry, vanilla, and almond could not possibly go better together; this bowl makes me miss Summer so much as I look out on the damp streets right now. This Chobani was not 2.85, thankfully. It’s from the ones I won off of Heather’s contest. It’s a little thin, and a lot of sugar, but it’s got some good flavor. I really wish they used the 2% base more because I think that really makes the yogurt.

Today I have no clue what to do. I suppose it’s dependant on the weather, like always in New England in Fall. I have 7 strong essay pages, so I’m not stressing that one too much yet until I realize I have nothing to make it longer with(TWSS?). Anyway, toodle loo!

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