Life Unexpected

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m just loving the little curve-balls life’s been tossing my way. Dropping over $40 last night online on some foodie goodies? Not expected, but I’ll roll with it! You might see some in due time 😉

Red Delicious Apple

I equally did not expect to be hungry after that fantastic dinner of burgers and fries but c’est la vie. I grabbed this perfect apple from the dining hall; it was the last one I had 😦 And I don’t think anyone was expecting for how bad some of those American Idols singers were; unfortunately, for the guy who sang Apologize, it’s too late to do the same.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter

I was still starving for some reason, and so early in the night. Oatmeal to the rescue! With a little Justin‘s chocolate almond butter. I ate like 2 spoonfuls of this peanut butter the first month I had it, and now I’m ripping through it; where’d that come from? I did a lot of focusing on studying for my exam(ugh) while noshing on that. A little later came chocolate almond in a different form:

Hot Chocolate Made With Almond Milk

Hot yum! For this, I mixed 1 cup original almond milk unsweetened with 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder and some liquid vanilla stevia. Sooo good. Why don’t I crave this more? And it was surprisingly filling; I thought last night would be a hungry hungry hippo time, but after this I was just exhausted and ready for bed, so I did! Sensical and unexpected 😉

Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice Chewy Granola Bar

It was not unexpected by me that I’d need a snack before my run; that was not a lot of food before bed but I was just jiving with my hunger. I grabbed a Pumpkin-N-Spice bar, which I’ve decided tastes straight up like Apple Jacks, but are jacked up on Omega-3’s. If it looks like this photo was taken in the men’s room, it was(I was also putting in my contacts at the time). If it looks like I was still half asleep, I also was.

Running Part 1

Everything actually went just as expected this morning. For one, I knew no one would be in the gym when I got there; 6:40 on a rainy morning is not a popular time. I had 8 miles in mind, which is exactly what I went for. I split it up into 2 parts partly because I dropped my ipod and it went flying behind me(oops) and also because nature picked up her phone and gave me a rang.

Running Part 2

For those of you playing along at home, that would total 8 miles in 71:55, which is a good amount faster than yesterday–unexpected since I felt like I was slugging through it but well welcomed! Also well welcomed was breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

I was a little nervous to have to eat breakfast in class while taking the test, but by this point I think the teacher expects that of me 😉 I swear there’s something addictive in flax oil because I crave smart balance agave sweetened like nothing else–it’s so savory! Love it. To add more omega-3’s, some Bob’s Red Mill hemp helped to mellow out the soy yogurt. I think they actually have a higher omega-6 content, but that’s not on the packaged label. Hmmm, knowledgeable opinions? The test went good enough. I know I could have prepared better but I still think I did really well, so I’ll take that as an unexpected win 🙂

Only 1 week without them and I forgot how crazy my Tuesday/Thursdays feel! I just keep telling myself “it’s almost the weekend”. It really is!

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New Plan, Stan

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

Last night, the plan for dinner was Whole Foods turkey(on sale). Well, the smallest turkey was 11 pounds… we’re 3 people. New plan: Dinner at Tomassos! I adore this restaurant, as it’s by far the best one near us, Italian or otherwise. I even dropped some not-so-secret hints last weekend I wanted to go, so I was glad those were picked up. I definitely did not want to go hungry, so I kept snacking on through the afternoon.

Apple

Organic Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Macadamia Butter

This was my first time trying macadamia butter, and I have to say the bread really outshined it. It tasted almost precisely like cashew butter(which is the other ingredient in it). It wasn’t bad, and if I were a vegan I could see myself turning to this as a “butter replacement”, but it really didn’t wow me. It seemed like something that could highlight other flavors rather than stand on its own. A little white chocolate with this would have been amazing(Ok, that can be said about a lot of things). We got to the restaurant around 6:30.

Tomassos

I love the open atmosphere; you can see right into the kitchen and the dining room is perfectly arranged for relaxation. The funniest part of the night was when my mom asked our hostess “So is your sister home yet?” with no pretext; last time we were there, we decided that the hostess looked like a girl I went to elementary school with, though we never confirmed this and she clearly had no clue who we were. This time, my mom thought that we had confirmed this with her and she knew who we were, but in reality she gave us a very creeped out glance back. Once we explained things it turned out it was her and she was shocked to come across us. Isn’t it fun running in to old acquaintances?

Pizze Margarita

I had to steal a slice of my parents pizza as an appetizer. This is seriously the best margarita pizza I’ve had outside of Italy, and even then only 1 pizza has ever tops it. It’s perfectly thin and crispy, with an herby sauce and light but fresh cheese. For my dinner I had a really hard time deciding but settled for the maiale

Local Pork With Local Cranberry And Pear Monstrada

I can’t say I’d ever reorder this. The monstrada was delightfully spicy and sweet, but I’m just not someone who can sit down to a big plate of meat and feel good(and that’s all there was on this plate). It felt vulgarly big. I ate most of the leaner meat, but ended up giving 1/3 or so of it to my parents and not feeling particularly satisfied with what I’d eaten. In fact, I was just about downright hangry as we were leaving and other people were talking about how full they were. When I got home, I knew just what I needed.

Brussels Sprouts With Vanilla Sugar

Maybe I should change this blog to VeggieBoy in homage to this lovely blogger(who we should all wish good luck on finishing her finals!). I sprinkled a little vanilla sugar on top because I couldn’t decide if this was a “dessert”. At heart, I’m truly a vegetable lover, which led me to this new plan: Eat meat as a side or seasoning, never more than 1/3 of the meal. Don’t order it while out(I could, but I don’t expect many restaurants to meet the first sentiment, so why set myself up for disappointment?). Maybe those brussels sprouts were more than I expected, because they left me big and bloated. But there’s always room for chocolate!

NibMor Original Style Chocolate

This was a new chocolate I got in the mail yesterday to sample and review by NibMor.

So Delicious Agave Sweetened Plain With Dark Chocolate Newman's Cup And Original NibMor

With a little more chocolate and some soy yogurt to go along side. Yum! This chocolate really impressed me. The flavor was slightly more bitter than I prefer, which was odd because this was a 70% and that’s usually my perfect number. But overall the flavor was good. And I couldn’t get over the fact that this was entirely organic and raw! Seriously, that part astounded me as I couldn’t taste any difference. After posting my peanut butter cookie recipe, a snack plate was in order.

Peanut Butter Cookie, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Advent Chocolate With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I don’t think they’re quite as good after being frozen from a week, but oh well. Not quite as good still equaled damn fine for a “healthy” cookie. I ended up getting to bed before 11:30, only to wake up around 3:45 and having difficulty falling back to sleep; I think I was either in anticipation of the snow or workout(both to come). I ended up making some 4am oatmeal to settle myself.

Oatmeal With Honey

McLure's Clover Honey

I don’t usually sweeten my oatmeal with stevia or anything; in fact, I like salty oats. But I thought I’d try out my new honey as I definitely was having a bear’s tooth for it. I only did 1/2 a tablespoon(I was trying tog et back to sleep after all), so I didn’t get a lot of flavor, but what I could taste was so nice and pure. I can’t believe I got this for only $4. I did eventually get to bed, and the snow outside was soooo amazing when I woke up.

7:30am

Could you think of something better to wake up to? Well I spared no time in starting my quest to find some good at home workouts to do over the next 30 days if that’s going to be the case. This morning, I did an overall body core workout first which kicked my butt. I need to readjust it for my level before I go and post anything. That took 30 minutes, and afterwards I did stair iterations for 200 flights, which took another 60 minutes. I was literally dripping sweat by the end but it felt soo good. New plan: Get a workout in every day, even if it’s just some light walking around. You’ll feel so much better once you do! And being couped up at home doesn’t have to be an excuse to get out of exercise. I was so ready for breakfast after showering.

Pumpkin Oatmeal WIth Mighty Maple And Pumkin Cream Cheese

Boulevard's Organic Hot Chocolate With Vegan Fluff

This was perfect for a snowy day. I know she wasn’t the first person ever to do this, but Brandi deserves a huge shout out for reminding me of hot cocoa and fluff. The combination of Boulevard’s Organic and vegan marshmallow spread couldn’t have been simpler and tastier. And I just love my pumpkin oats with mighty maple and pumpkin cream cheese(as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now). But that brings me to a final new plan: Get 2 sources of probiotics a day. Actually, this is a rather old plan of mine, and something I generally do, but I think I need to remind myself of this one. Probiotics from fortified foods is so good for the digestive system and I shouldn’t be skimping. If that means I have to eat frozen yogurt at night, who’s to complain? 😉 Clearly there weren’t any at breakfast which just means I’m going to need to fit them in a bit later.

I can’t believe how much it’s still snowing; this is too perfect!

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A Time To Unwind

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

I completely forgot to mention yesterday that I did a guest post over at Heather Bakes. It’s on one of my favorite subjects so go ahead, check it out, and tell me what you think. And while you’re over there be sure to congratulate Heather and Brian on their new baby, Jack!

Yesterday morning I had my last Latin class of the semester where I had to recite a 16 line poem in Latin. Oi that had me nervous, but I think I did pretty good. I stumbled on the last 3 lines out of nerves but overall I did well. Plus the assignment only called for a 10 line poem so really what were those but the cherry on top? 😛 It felt so good to be done with a class, until I decided to take something harder upon myself: microwave eggs.

2 Eggs Scrambled, Broccoli With American Cheese

Lightlife Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

I guess this can sort of count as a deconstructed omelet? I should have gone for the one bowl wonder, because while this was all OK, it didn’t really pull together. Scrambeled eggs are a hell of a lot less explosive to microwave so I did that until they were just a little runny. The broccoli with an american cheese slice was pure goodness: Is anything with cheese not? And the squash and sausage… just didn’t work, which was a shame because I wanted it to. This also got cold by the time I was eating it in class so that was not so appetizing.

Having my last History and Epic Poetry classes was also a joy. In between I stopped to get coffee when the worst happened: they had no decaf 😦 Rather than play around with drugs(i.e. caffeine), I tried a new tea.

I’m not normally a tea drinker, but I already had put stevia in my cup and didn’t want it to go to waste, and I noticed this was a) seasonal b) caffeine free and c) all-natural so I thought I tried it. I liked it, though as with all tea it tasted mostly like hot, sweetened water. It did have a nice lemon and ginger kick to it, kind of like some bars I’ve had(is it bad that my mind relates things to bars? Don’t answer that…). When I got back to my dorm, I found out it was National Cookie Day! And yet I had not prepared well enough. Oh well, I grabbed the closest thing to a cookie I could find.

Vanilla Chip Cascadian Farms Bar

Seriously, if you’ve never tried this bar, you should. It has 0 nutritional value to it, but it tastes JUST like a cookie. The vanilla chips and touch of salt make it so amazing. That cured my cookie tooth(with about 2 cups of coffee), until I was hungry like 20 minutes later. I choose non-nutritious snacks and then get upset when they don’t keep me full 😦 I’m a genius.

Orange Cranberry Gnu Bar, Peanut Butter Yogurt With Vanilla Cranberry PB

Muuuuuuuch better. This was a perfect assembly of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. When they called this bar “orange cranberry” they weren’t kidding! The flavor was potent. I think I’ve been programmed to expect duller flavors in bars but not here. The yogurt was soooo good. It was like eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, but with some control(and probiotics, too!). Like I said, those mini-Oikos containers are perfect for when you could care less about the yogurt and just want the toppings.

As I ate this I packed all my stuff to bring home. On Thursday after the persimmon incident I asked(read: commanded) my dad to pick me up early this week and take me home Friday. It just felt soooo long and rough(remember the lock out incident?) I really was just dying to feel “at home” and college wasn’t feeling like that this week. We were hoping to get home for a real “homestyle” dinner, but time was not on our side so we hopped off the highway to get something at Whole Foods. I was craving general tsao’s chicken, but they only had it in party platter size(as in, meant to feed and clog the arteries of 20 people). Instead I went for an equally greasy meal.

Golden Sesame Tofu, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This felt… a little disgusting, but I went at it anyway because I was starving. My mom makes way better roasted brussels than these; they were so oily they didn’t get crisp. And the tofu was… fried, but oddly didn’t have that heavenly fried food feeling. Bummer 😦 And I had to throw salt AND soy sauce on it all just because… ok I wasn’t really thinking then. I guess, though, if this were everyone’s “greasy, guilty fast food”, America would be a little less screwed up–just sayin’.

It felt so good to get home. What I loved most was seeing all the Christmas lights on the houses! That’s another thing you miss at college-the true holiday spirit(I say “holiday” because it’s not just Christmas time and our Jewish friends can get just as spirited with giant, lit up manorahs ;-)). There was so much mail when I walked in the door; I’m really excited about some of the product reviews I’ll get to give you guys! For instance…

Boulevards Organic Dark Hot Chocolate Dairy

This was amazing and very welcomed into my life. Thank you to the people from Boulevards! The weather in New England has been so disappointingly unseasonal but hot chocolate never fails to make it feel like Christmas time. Next time I think I’ll be adding a touch of stevia to perk it up. I might even get a little crazy and add it to decaf coffee. Look out, Lindsey Lohan; we’ve got one crazy partier here 😉 After settling in and getting things organized around here, I had some solid food.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Kettle Cashew Butter And Chocolate Peanut Covered Sunspire Candies

This bowl was mighty random, and mighty good. My dad had some new cashew butter he wanted me to try. With a little maple syrup and sea salt, I was down with it. All of you guys who said these Sundrops on yogurt look like a Blizzard are soo right! I don’t know why it never occurred to me; I used to get those with reese’s pieces and that’s probably where my color obsession came from.

Advent Calender Milk Chocolate

Because I clearly hadn’t had enough milk chocolate for the night(and it’s only December 4th once a year), a piece of advent calender. Advent calenders are a great way to say “you’re probably going to overeat this holiday season anyone, so one more piece of chocolate everyday isn’t going to kill” :-).

How ironic I came home to “unwind” and as I think of everything I need to do I want to pull out my hair. At the least, there’ll be 2 different batches of cookies being made, a definite trip to Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods, plenty of product reviewing, and a 15 page paper being written in the background. I’d love to run, eat out, and perhaps get a haircut, but we’ll see. It’s also supposed to snow for the 2nd time this year! That has me seeing the silver lining. Have a great weekend!

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Cozy On Up(Hot Chocolate Review)

Posted on December 4, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , |

Hey all! I hope you’re having a great night. Right now, I’m back at home on the couch in my PJ’s enjoying some hot beverages, and nothing would feel better after the whirlwind of a week this has been. I just wanted to share a new delicacy I found that found me: Boulevards Organic Hot Chocolate. Is there anything better for the winter time than hot chocolate? Well, besides making it organic, I don’t think so. I got the Boulevards’ Dark Hot Chocolate(Dairy) to review and had to break into it when I got through the door a tad chilly. Here’s my review. Bottoms up!

7.5/10: As for instant hot chocolates, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. I liked how Boulevards has dry milk powder already in it so this could be added to hot water(or even coffee) and still have a milky texture. It still was a bit thin but better than other instant hot chocolates I’ve tried. I loved how it was organic and the simplicity of ingredients. Nutritionally… well who’s having hot chocolate for nutrition anyhow ;-)Taste-wise it was enjoyable, though perhaps could have used a bit more sweetness. That being said, I’m glad it wasn’t too seet since it’s always possible to sweeten afterwards. Overall this was a simple and enjoyable holiday favorite.

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