What Would You Do?

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

My newest Friday night television obsession is the ABC show What Would You Do? The whole show is based on what used to be a 20/20 segment where they put real people in morally compromising situations with hidden cameras to tap their reaction. Since I’ve been watching 20/20 and this segment for 5-6 years, I was excited for this(You can go ahead and do the math; you’ll just find out I turned into a grandpa at a really young age). As much as I wanted to recommend this show, I didn’t have much to say about it. That was until I had a What Would You Do? moment in my own life.

At the gym, someone clearly left their Debit card and hadn’t noticed since they weren’t around the entire while I was there. I’ve seen lost personal property at the gym before and left it, but since this clearly had the person’s name on it I decided to take it and find them. When I tried to find a school email, they weren’t in the system; at this point, I thought I’d made a huge mistake and wanted to go throw it back on the gym floor and forget about it. Instead, I used one of my most prominent skills: Facebook stalking. I was able to track them down and message the person, who actually cancelled the card right away and said thank you but that I could tear it up. What would you have done in my situation? In their’s? I think we both did the best thing; I definitely would have been hesitant to take anything from the gym if I didn’t think finding the owner would be reasonably easy, so if it were a real gym I’d probably have turned it in to the front desk and went on my way(there’s no staff there; it’s just a single room of machines).

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

Cherry Fage With Lemon Ginger Macaroon

For breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal with Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter; how is it that I haven’t eaten this peanut butter in weeks?! It may not be vegan, but it’s perfection. And on a cherry fage I crumbled my last lemon ginger macaroon from Emmy’s Organic. You know you’re a blogger when you forget that “real” macaroons have egg whites in them and aren’t raw. They also aren’t this yummy.

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Right before leaving for the gym I remembered my fudge in the refrigerator. My runs are a lot better when I do some serious prefueling. Ironically, I thought eating chocolate before a run would just be crazy and cheap. But fudge? Now that’s a class act.

I ran 12 miles on the treadmill. In hindsight, I have to question how sane it is to run on an electric machine when there’s a huge thunderstorm outside. But the thought didn’t occur to me until mile 7 so I kept going. I also got to watch Ice Age and laugh out loud at the line “It’s hard to get fat on a vegan diet.” Someone hasn’t tried my fudge

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya, Spanish Potatoes With Salsa

Black Beans And Daiya

Black Beans And Daiya

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

For lunch, I threw together a little Spanish fiesta with foods from the dining hall. I topped black beans with Daiya, which is still pure magic in case you’d thought I’d forgotten. On the side were some Spanish Potatoes and salsa, and a Dr. Zevia to wash it all down(OK, actually to empty the can so I don’t have to carry it out of the dorm).

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Microwave Vegan Chocolate Fudge With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Dessert was more vegan chocolate fudge with a little vanilla peanut butter. I have a recipe for vegan peanut butter fudge in my mind! But obviously I don’t want to release it until I can make a test batch.

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Really, the fudge was just an apertif for the main course: So Delicious chocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream. I’m going to cry in the time that I don’t have this between moving out of the dorm and settling in at home. It’s that good.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

Righteously Raw Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar

After that I walked to CVS where I got the most perfect Mother’s day card and picked up a citrus kombucha and ate that as a snack with 1/2 a raw chocolate bar. I’ve had this 1/2 lying around for so long frankly because I haven’t cared for it; if you’re looking for raw chocolate, better to try Nibmor or Lulu’s or even make your own with my recipe. Speaking of recipes…

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Syrup And Sea Salt

I cooked! OK, it wasn’t anything more than maple baked tofu with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. But it felt soooo good to get back in the kitchen and turn on the oven after more meals than I can count from the dining hall or Whole Foods or made of oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong–I love a good meal made for me here and there. But there’s nothing more grounding than making something yourself.

Do you feel like you need to cook or bake from time to time? Clearly, I do. Do you think it’s “hard to get fat” on a vegan diet like Sid the Sloth says? That’s how I used to think–that vegans were sticks who ate grass–, but after learning more and reading so many wonderful vegan blogs I know they can cook with the best of them and it’s still everything in moderation that’s key. I’ll point out everything here today besides the butter toffee peanut butter and Cherry Fage was vegan. And what would you do?

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Chocolate For My Morning And How To Do To-Do

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

Who else watched the Biggest Loser last night? I loved that the contestants got to see their families and had so much support. And I totally thought Jillian was going to bust out of that big box and whip them in to shape. Anyone else? While I was watching that, I was writing an essay on my midterm about the gripping effect sugar had on England between 1600 and 1800 and how that pushed slavery. Yikes! Scary stuff. So I made a resolution to eat without added sugars for a bit.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

An apple fit that bill and made me feel healthy for the time being. “I’m on a roll!” I thought.

Emmy's Organics' Lemon Ginger Raw Macaroon

Emmy's Organics' Lemon Ginger Raw Macaroon

And then, whoops! Fell off that train 🙂 I had a hankering for a lemon ginger macaroon by Emmy’s Organics. I think choosing raw desserts sweetened with agave nectar is a pretty good compromise for sugary goodness 😉 The hint of spice here from lemon and ginger is so nice! It was a perfect treat for sending in my take-home midterm.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And French Toast Almonds

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And French Toast Almonds

And then–ipso facto–sugar never counts when it’s on top of oatmeal 😀 I had pumpkin oats with some butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty and my own homemade french toast almonds to seal the night off. This made me thing homemade nuts would be a great thing to make for Easter lunch. The only thing is I’m not sure if/which flavors would work. Suggestions?

I listened to not 1 but 2 of my mental health tips. First of all, after I sent that paper at 9:15 it was me-time all the way. I spent it with television and mindless games. It’d be more fun if me-time were, say, during the day, but I’m glad I snuck it in at the end. I also didn’t set my alarm this morning, got 8 and a half hours of sleep, and decided to postpone any run. Even if I end up running to the bickering of Kathy Lee and Hoda, the sleep was worth it.

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Quinoa Chocolate, OIAJ

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Quinoa Chocolate, OIAJ

Breakfast in bed had to be a little bit more “desserty” than usual, right? The first thing that came to my mind was pre-flavored greek yogurt; this always tastes like a dessert, but totally passes the “healthy” bill. I grabbed a pomegranate Chobani and added some Dark Quinoa Chocolate from Alter Eco. And then what could be better than oats in a chocolate peanut butter jar?!

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Oats With All-Natural Fluff

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter Oats With All-Natural Fluff

In the bowl jar was my standard 40g oat blend, what was left of the white chocolate cherry almond butter from Naturally Nutty, and some all-natural fluff. I was worried because the fluff stuff was rock hard at room temp(it’s an old container), but it seemed to melt well over everything and add a smooth vanilla tone.

To-Do It Right

To-Do List: Homework

To-Do List: Homework

Last night’s Mental Health Week tip was all about decluttering your workspace; now I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists. Above was my homework list circa 11am yesterday morning, but I also have them for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished. Do you keep a list? If so, where is it?

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Mint Everything And Stress Sleep

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This has got to be quick; I’m done with 1 class but I need to make lunch and eat soon for back-to-back midterms in the afternoon–yikes! Not sure how those will come out…

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mint Chip Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mint Chip Ice Cream

I love mint. There is copious amounts of it in this post, and it disappoints me that it’s so hard to find as a flavor. Should I invest in a mint herb? I’d probably eat all the leaves right off… I kicked off things by having some mint chip so delicious coconut milk ice cream. I love that you can’t taste the coconut in this flavor! Nothing should get in the way of me and my mint 😉

Deep Forest Mint Chocolate

Deep Forest Mint Chocolate

But the chocolate in that wasn’t satisfying enough; I need a lot of chocolate to be satisfied, in case you hadn’t noticed. So I had a little bit of Endangered Species deep forest mint right afterwards just to hit that sweet tooth. I’m not crazy about this bar; that’s probably why I’m still working on it after 7 or so months.

Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And 1/2 Raw Mint Chip Macaroon

Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And 1/2 Raw Mint Chip Macaroon

I wasn’t sure if I even could work mint in to my oatmeal, or–if I could–how would it taste? It turned out fantastically. I took 1/2 of my favorite raw macaroon from Emmy’s organics and sprinkled that over plain oatmeal with pepita sun butter. The flavors of vanilla and mint were amazing here. It definitely tasted like dessert oatmeal 🙂 And then I hit the hay early to try and get some good rest.

9 Miles in 1:20:57

9 Miles in 1:20:57

Nothing was pretty about this morning’s run; it was one of those times you can only be thankfully for what you could control and let the rest go from your mind. I’d rather just gloss over it while I (don’t) have the time and say I pushed through 9 miles and then quickly showered and made breakfast.

Pumpkin And Egg Oatmeal With Cinnamon, Vanilla, And Maple Almond Butters, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Pumpkin And Egg Oatmeal With Cinnamon, Vanilla, And Maple Almond Butters, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

It was mostly the typical, portable goodies. I added pumpkin and an egg white to my oatmeal to make it a little french-toasty and topped it with Justin’s maple almond butter and Naturally Nutty’s organic cinnamon vanilla almond butter. Can you even process how amazing that flavor combination was? Like french toast, I tell ya. And then there was So Delicious plain soy yogurt(unsweetened) with milk chocolate coated peanuts. Is it bad I would consider those a “healthy fat”? I like to not question and just crush(and then eat!).

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

And now as I’m writing this post I’ve demolished this apple.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put a stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person. How’s your sleeping?

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Balance And Contradiction

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes two things balance each other out; sometimes they’re downright contradictions. C’est la vie.

Root Beer Zevia

I used to think natural diet soda was a contradiction before Zevia. Sure–I still think there’s a contradiction when popping one of these back while enjoying a greasy, fattening burger. But contradictions make the world more tasty. Milk chocolate on soy yogurt, anyone?

High Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

There’s nothing wrong with the balance in Chocolate avocado pudding when it’s made completely raw utilizing 3 ingredients: avocado, Xagave, and Navitas Naturals‘ raw cacao powder. There might, however, be a contradiction in eating it next to these…

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

So maybe Fudge Mint Back To Nature cookies aren’t the most raw thing around. Sue me. And let’s gloss over the contradiction of having a gluten intolerance and eating wheat cookies; I pay for that one enough as is. So what was in balance? Well, chocolate always goes good with more chocolate. Duh 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Sea Salt

This was basically one big bowl of balance. Where can you go wrong with oats and peanut butter? Or maple with pumpkin? Or the sweet taste of Mighty Maple with some coarse sea salt for contrast? Yes, yes, and yes.

Raw Mint Chip Macaroon With English Breakfast Tea

Later last night ended up being full of contradictions and out-of-balance experiences. I think the jury is pretty much out on the contradiction of drinking decaf English breakfast tea when you can’t sleep on a Saturday night 😦 The Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroon? A perfect balance of mint and chocolate, and all deliciously raw 🙂 Oh, and me and college living and anything besides a nursing home are 100% out of balance. Call me a grandpa if you will but I do not want to hear “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” at 12:30. I want it to have been a good night and have gone to bed by 11. The fact that I was having insomnia on the 1 night a year we lose an hour’s time: What was up with that?

11 Miles In 1:36:46

Waking up after a mish-moshy 6 hours of sleep, part of my body felt like running, and the other part wanted to laugh. Really? Guess which part one. I did reach a good balance between training and rest by taking a rest day yesterday, if you didn’t notice. Apparently, all it takes to keep me from running is 50mph winds, a museum tour, and more work than I know what to do with. That left my legs well rested for 11 miles in 1:36:46.

To balance out the boredom, I listened to a monster long playlist while watching a Tom & Jerry 90 minute movie on Cartoon Network(yes, they have one of those). This is a pair who really balances each other out, don’t you think? I couldn’t help but notice the contradiction in describing sounds in the closed captioning(presumably mostly for deaf viewers) with other sounds; if I were deaf, how would I have known that Tom & Jerry bouncing around sound like a pinball machine?

Peanut Butter Perfect Foods Bar, Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

Breakfast is always my most mentally balancing meal of the day. What goes better together than honey and peanut butter in the Peanut Butter flavor of the Perfect Foods Bar? Or the flavors of cocoa butter and peanut butter in White Chocolate Wonderful, which truly is, as my European hopping hip blogger would say, wundebar! Or just the flavors of peanut butter and more peanut butter? I know PB&Co. would agree with me on that one.

What about you? Are you feeling balanced or a little contradictory this morning? Either can be good(and tasty) as I think I’ve shown. Or, any excited Sunday plans? It’s still raining 😦 But I have le familia scheduled to arrive soon now to taxi me to Bellingham to pick-up something I preordered I’m excited for, the ever-exclusive store Target for a new oats bowl(!!), and then the usual goodies and groceries with maybe a meal in between. Sounds like a plan to me! And you can also check out this Pirate’s Booty giveaway. Or even a giveaway for Blackwell’s gelato from 100 Cafe Street!

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Oh Really?

Posted on March 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Some things recently have made me question the sanity of certain humans(myself included). I stumbled on a Mythbusters marathon last night and watched it for 3 hours. I love that show, but I have to wonder who’s funding The Study For How Much Popcorn It Takes To Blow Out A Window. Oh really?

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon

I took my mind off those things by making some chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and NuNaturals‘ vanilla stevia. I don’t know why, but this particularly batch tasted amazing On top I broke up my last Emmy’s Organics Coconut + Vanilla macaroon. These had SUCH a good vanilla flavor to them; if you can find them, I’m jealous and would highly recommend grabbing them if only to flaunt in my face.

While I was doing that, I was of course playing around on the internet. I haven’t even been away from Facebook for very long, and already I wonder things every time I log in. Like since when can you become a fan of any random object such as brownies? And for the love of God if I get one more invitation to be a farmer, or a vampire, or a vampire farmer…

Better Than Roasted Sprouted Almond Butter

I wasn’t cute sure whether to have oatmeal or more pudding after that. I debated this for 10 minutes like it was a matter of life or death. Oh really? Do I have nothing better to do? Apparently not. And then after decided I wanted pudding, I realized I was out of avocadoes. Oatmeal it was!

Oatmeal With Sprouted Almond Butter And Sweetened Chocolate Coconut

Call me coconut-crazy if you want; I mixed some organic unsweetened shredded coconut with raw cocoa powder and raw vanilla agave. Oh really? Did I just discover how to make quick and sloppy macaroon shreds? Because that tasted a little too good to be true… Concerning the sprouted almond butter by Better Than Roasted, it took me a good 5 minutes to decide what it tasted like: raw almonds. I know–aren’t I a genious? But after chocolate almond butter, roasted almond butter, and white chocolate cherry almond butter, this was definitely unique and delicious in its own right. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Oh really? He got in to Brown?”

Maple Butter

I woke up at 4 and couldn’t get back to bed. I knew I was hungry, but was hoping I could shake it off and fall back to sleep. Eventually, I told myself, “Evan, you’re an A——. That’s right, you’re an athlete. If you’re hungry now at 4:30, for God sake’s stop being lazy and eat something.” Clearly, I also thought that maple butter, which is pure sugar, would be another good choice for falling back to sleep. Oh really?

French Toast Oatmeal

I went downstairs to the basement to make french toast oatmeal. And you know what? This was actually perfectly cooked; apparently the secret is to do it at a ridiculous hour, half in the dark, and not involved–go figure. And the secret to a “keeper” of a photo? Moving the red Solo cups out of the way.

Morning Apple

I can say that, after that, I fell asleep nicely. And for the first time in longer than I can remember, I overslept. I got up, looked at the clock, and realized it was 9:30! OK, can you oversleep when you really don’t have any “plans”? Probably not. But that’s later than I prefer. I decided the weather looked perfect for another outdoor run, gobbled down this apple, and hit the outdoors.

9.55 Miles In 1:20:53

Before I get into the run, I’d like to point out that’s 3 1/2 minutes faster than yesterday, meaning I shaved off 20 seconds per mile. Wow! Where did that come from? When I looked at this, my first thought was Oh really? Apparently! It was just so gorgeous out again how could I not get into it? I also had motivational support via a country playlist with Taylor Swift telling me “These things will change” and Brooks & Dunn that cowgirls(and cowboys?) don’t cry.

March/April Whole Deal Flyer

Can I also mention my favorite part was running in to Whole Foods, grabbing the new Whole Deal flyer, and running out? I think I got odd looks, but it was worth it. There are fantastic coupons in here, including $1 off their 365 peanut butter! With only peanuts and salts for ingredients, it’s delicious, and that’s a steal. When I first heard about that sale, I had to thing “Oh really? Have they lost their mind?”

Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter And Coconut Milk, Cherry Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Cherry Dark Chocolate

And then I made breakfast, right at 11:50. I’m glad to have slipped under the wire; I’d have hated to have missed this and then feel like I should eat “lunch”; breakfast is better anyway. I sweetened the plain 2% yogurt with cherry butter and vanilla agave in an effort to keep stevia out of my breakfast. For the oatmeal, some chocolate cherry peanut butter and coconut milk was perfect! Coconut milk keeps forever if you put it in a thick plastic container sealed off in the fridge. And it makes fats more readily available as a fuel source! Perfect for fueling.

I have to sound like “Much to do, gotta run” but… much to do, and gotta run(not literally)! There’s a Vitamix presentation at the Whole Foods nearby today I might get to see(along with some friendly faces), and my grocery list is turning in to a catalog. But first, I need to ask, breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Clearly, breakfast foods are my favorite!

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When CAN I Have Sugar?

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

Stand back–I’m going to try being 1/2 serious in this post and somebody might lose an eye.

Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Macaroon, Coconut Oil Chocolate

Last night presented one of the silliest dilemmas yet: I wanted an Emmy’s Organic mint chip macaroon AND I want a coconut oil chocolate bar; which one should I put on top of the chocolate avocado pudding I couldn’t have cared less for? Doy! I nixed the pudding and went ahead and had both. I forgot how quick these bars are to make! Just 3 minutes prep and popped it in the freezer while I washed the dishes and good to go! A little later, another chocolaty snack:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

Hello, sweets! I was wiped out after writing the draft for a paper by 9:50 and needed the agave syrup/cane juice whatever here to stay up a little longer. Ice skating was not helping with that either; is that really a “sport” or more of an “art”? And how disturbing are the relationships of half of those teams? Yuck! That was not what I needed for sweet dreams, but thankfully I was too tired to care mostly.

Jay Robb Fudge Brownie Protein Bar

When I woke up, I was having a major chocolate almond craving. I could have gone for a bowl of oatmeal right then and there, but I wasn’t sure how that’d sit with my stomach running, so I grabbed this Jay Robb chocolate bar with almond butter as the first ingredient.

Ingredients

Overall, I liked this bar, but wouldn’t get it again most likely; I’ve never been one for protein bars to begin with. The flavor was almost more “milk” than “fudge” from all the whey, although the almond chunks were really flavorful. The xylitol had me scratching my head, but I was comforted to read that it’s naturally derived from kosher, non-GMO corn and used here to keep the protein and fats high but the net carbs low.

Running Part 1

Looking at my day, I could tell 2 things: I’m going to be studying a lot of Greek, and it’s going to pour buckets. At that, I knew I wanted to leave everything I had on the gym floor and go for my long run of 11 miles today. I broke my run into 2 halves so that, during the break, I could go to the bathroom, change treadmills, and swap the television channel(I know, I’m a needy person).

Running Part 2

I finished in 98:30 and got a lot of quality television time in. While I was running, I couldn’t help but notice the new Splenda commercial and find myself arguing with it. If you haven’t seen it, the families in the commercial are using Splenda EVERYWHERE. I don’t mean taking a packet and pouring it in their coffee; they take a pound bag and advertise it for use in everything from sweets like cookies, lemonades, and pies to savory things like dip and chicken marinade an. Basically, the message was to put Splenda anywhere and everywhere there would otherwise be sugar–no excuses. And it really didn’t seem like this was being marketed towards diabetics(I don’t even remember if this is mentioned at all) but just the general population.

Of course, after my initial disgust, this got me thinking; I believe my actual thoughts were” Jesus, when can I have sugar?”. What’s ever wrong with something like good ol’ agave nectar in coconut oil chocolate? And then the hypocrisy started to hit me: I put NuNaturals‘ stevia in my coffee that morning, sweetened my soy yogurt with vanilla extract stevia, and the Jay Robb bar had xylitol in it. Naturally sourced or not, this all seemed like quite a contradiction to me, which is the thought I had going in to breakfast…

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter, 2% Yogurt With Banana Rum Jam

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Almond Butter

Finally, some real chocolate almond butter ala Justin’s to hit my sweet tooth along with rich coconut milk. I’ve put the coconut milk in a bag to try to keep odors out but it still doesn’t taste quite as magical as those first few days; is there anyway to keep coconut milk tasting fresh? On the side was some yogurt sweetened with a little stevia and topped with this magical jam. I think rum should be at every breakfast table–just sayin’.

This gave me more time to think and ask myself if my disdain for this particular commercial contradicted the way I life my life? My answer: Yes and no(Ha! Not only am I wholly a contradiction but I’m good at it too ;-)). I get not wanting to drink 40g of sugar, and I get the delicious appeal of a frothy Coke Zero. Trust me–I have those cravings even after giving that stuff up and Zevia can only help so much. And I just don’t think I could have plain greek yogurt if I tried–it’s too tangy for me. But that’s where I draw the line; 99% of the 0-cal sweeteners I use are in beverages or yogurt/pudding, and that’s where I draw my line. Almost any other time I’d rather have agave nectar, maple syrup, or good ol’ sugar. The thought of basting chicken in Splenda or stevia is just a little revolting.

Have you seen this commercial? Do you have any thoughts on Splenda or sweeteners? Did anybody lose an eye from my seriousness? Why did I not crack open my Greek text all weekend?

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The Memory, The Reality

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Memory: 90 degree, sunny days over the Summer with nothing to do but enjoy the outdoors

The Reality: Mid-40’s with low/no Winter breeze, but plenty of work to keep me inside

The memory totally owns here; I spent most of today reading Plutarch’s life of Alexander(should’ve just sucked it up and watched the movie with Colin Farrell) along with other work. BUT in a lot of other ways the reality beat(or at least came close) to some good memories.

Cooking A Grass-Fed Burger

The Memory: I’m 6 years old, my mom’s most probably out of town, and my dad’s idea of a “dinner” is leftover pancakes from McDonalds(to be fair, I probably asked for these) and maple syrup, which we stuck in the microwave with an aluminum tin–mini-fire, anyone?

The Reality: Cooking my own grass-fed beef burger in my own pan in the dorm kitchen.

This one’s pretty clear: reality wins. Getting a full pound of beef at the beginning of the week felt daunting, but I’m loving the meals I can get from it; I hope to pick up a big(cheap) piece of quality meat tomorrow for next week.

Grass-Fed Burger, Steamed Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Root Beer Zevia

The Memory: Spending Summer days at my grandparents’ home for daycare. My grandmother knew how to cook 3 things: eggs, tacos(from a seasoning packet), and hamburgers. A typical meal would probably be a hamburger on white bread and Ore Ida french fries, washed down with a Mountain Dew

The Reality: A grass-fed beef burger with steamed broccoli, a 100-calorie portion of Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, and an all-natural diet root beer ala Zevia.

Again, need it be pointed out? It’d be one thing if the “unhealthy” meal were clearly more tasty, but I would choose today’s meal anytime. I was practically dreaming about a grass-fed burger all of yesterday but I didn’t let Lent get the best of me! Popchips are still my crack but I find this amount is perfect for satisfying my chip tooth.

Chocolate Xagave Frosty With Whole Milk

The Memory; Stopping by Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate frosty and dipping fries into it

The Reality: Making my own “Frosty” using Xagave, Bob’s Red Mill‘s guar gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, cocoa powder, and whole milk

The real Frosty still wins here :-/ But I’m getting closer to making the reality be better! This time, I very clearly added too much ice without noticing(it should not make almost two cups worth). I think the whole milk from cows helped the flavor, too. I had to get it from the dining hall because, well, I really don’t remember the last time I kept milk in the fridge. To be honest, I was a little scared I’d be getting some cheap-o, hormoned up junk. But after I did poking and prying, I found the milk I got was Rhodyfresh, which is from local farms all pledging against the use of hormones–yippee! That put this foodies mind to rest.

Raw Vegan Mint Chip Emmy's Organic Macaroon

The Memory: Big bowls of mint chip ice cream that was an unholy shade of green

The Reality: An all-natural, vegan, raw mint chip macaroon I won from Emmy’s Organics

Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms

The Memory: Junior year of High School in Boston. Nearly every day, we would spend our dining points at the campus store where you could make a bag of mixed candies and pay by the pound. My favorite bag usually had in it Reeses Pieces, Swedish Fish, and Sour Gummy Worms.

The Reality: Organic Vegan Sour Gummy Worms to review from Surf Sweets

Weeeeell the memory still wins, here. But only because of the lack of Reeses Pieces and Swedish Fish(someone needs to get on making these natural, pronto). The sour gummy worms were really quite good and flavorful, and really didn’t feel like a candy that had anything “funny” to it. You could totally pass this off to a 3(or 18)-year old to sneak in some natural sweetness and 100% their DV vitamin C. Kudos to Surf Sweets!

Roasting Sweet Potatoes, Maple Tofu, And Broccoli

The Memory: 1st semester, eating every night at the dining hall. Sometimes there was a lot to choose from, and some nights I was mixing chickpeas from the salad bar with honey and mustard

The Reality: Sticking pressed tofu with maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the dorm oven for 55 minutes at 350 degrees

I’ve really loved the reality of this semester; I’m very inclined to believe food affects mood and by cooking my ‘good mood food” I haven’t had a dull dinner yet. I still take cues from the dining hall(that’s where these sweet potatoes were from because mine grew mold), but I’m certainly not looking back with regrets. Also, does anyone else think if I were a country in the Olympics that tray of veggies could be my flag?

Maple Tofu, Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli

The Memory: My mom’s classic dish was penne with broccoli, garlic, and white-meat chicken

The Reality: My classic dish is roasted broccoli, sweet potato “fries”, and maple tofu

Obviously, if I’m willing to call it my dish, I like it a lot 🙂 No offense to my mom, but I’ve never been a pasta person, and nowadays I’m more inclined to the dark meat if I eat poultry, soooo this was an easy one. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wouldn’t “fry” up here because they were pre-baked. Boo 😦

The Memory: Translating “fun” texts in Latin class in 11th grade like Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura(I must have a very warped sense of “fun”)

The Reality: Translating Horace, Catullus, and Petronius this year, all of whom are very very raunchy

What is it with the authors these professors post classes for? I swear they’re just entertaining themselves. Ah well, Petronius and the Olympics it is.

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Butterfingers

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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TGIT!

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t decide if that 2nd T should stand for “Thursday” or just “Today” becuase today has been so much better than any average Thursday! I know wordpress has been down a lot, so if you missed this morning’s post you can read it In A Jiffy 🙂 No worries–it’s really quick because I was really in a rush. My breakfast ended up looking more like this:

2% Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola Bar, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

I realized after posting that it might give the impression I was eating all those sunspire candies. Nope! Haha, I took a reasonable amount for my yogurt; that’s just my whole stash 😉 I realized in class what these granola bars taste like: Apple Jacks! I can’t say why, but they’re dead on.

University Whole Foods

I made the decision to go to Whole Foods in between classes to get some Asian style chicken for dinner; I was having a craving and knew I couldn’t eat meat tomorrow even though I’d had more time so I thought I’d go today. I called ahead to make sure they had it, and then walked the 1.2 miles. Obviously, I spent a good amount of time perusing the aisles while I was there.

Golden Sesame Tofu

It occurred to me around the hot foods area all the things that fall under my Lenten giveup, like these! At first I thought giving up prepared soy was kind of a cop out and wouldn’t affect me much. but since I’ve almost slipped twice in 2-days, I’m thinking this was a good one. I also looked on non-soy veggie burgers while I was there but nothing impressed me.

Organic Anjou Pear

I needed a snack for the 1.2 miles back. I would have totally hit up the tri-colored raw peppers from the prepared foods bar if they wouldn’t have set me back so much money. I also almost bought a chocolate bar but decided I should not be paying for chocolate when I have so much in my closet. 😦 A rough decision but it’s good to self-edit in the checkout line. Ironically, the person behind me picked up the bar I put down and bought it! Maybe it was destiny…

Groceries

What did I get? In short: sensible things. 2 Chobani, 2 So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurts, a Kombucha(for review), a ripe avocado, cocoa powder(I normally prefer Lake Champlain but this was what they had and cheapest), and General Tso’s chicken. Well, this did not leave me much time before my next class, so I hopped to making lunch!

1/4 Pounder Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash, Orange Steaz

I planned to cook this burger yesterday on Ash Wednesday–yikes! Thankfully, it was just as good today, though a bit browned. I cooked it alone in a pan and it could not have came out more perfect! While it was resting, I cut up leftover sweet potatoes and cooked them in the fat drippings. Holy yum. My thought today: You couldn’t eat meat yesterday, you can’t eat it tomorrow, so get your fill now!

I ate this entirely in Greek History. I almost fell asleep in class. Maybe the walking tuckered me out? If not for one of my best friends, Alex, to make fun of the stupid things this professor was saying(like trying to reference gameboys for a joke), I definitely would have conked out. After that, another class and then I was free! When I got out at 4, I officially began a 5-day weekend! let the celebration begin!

Xagave Chocolate Frosty

I’ve had this Xagave recipe bookmarked for a long time. I didn’t have an open can of coconut cream(is this even the same as coconut milk? I’ve never heard of it before) so I just used 1/2 a cup coconut milk kefir instead. I also cut the recipe into 1/4th, and even scaled back the Xagave to 1 tablespoon.

Bob's Red Mill Guar Gum

This gave me cause to break out the guar gum I was sent by Bob’s Red Mill to sample and review; I won’t review it quite now because this feels like something I’ll need to use a few times to get used to. There was more excitement in store for today, too:

Emmy's Organic Mint Chip Macaroons

I won a bag of Emmy’s Organic Mint Chip Macaroons. And in a poetry contest, no less! You can read my poem here. After lots of work and blending, things looked like this:

Probiotic Frosty Milkshake, Mint Chip Vegan Raw Macaroon

Wow. Where to start? As for the milkshake: It was really good! But I didn’t blend it enough I don’t think 😦 I’m always afraid to overblend things until they get hot and liquidy(TWSS), but I guess I shouldn’t be so long as I have the guar gum? Also, this was very sweet and had a strong agave nectar flavor. And that was after I cut down the amount in the recipe.

As for the mint chip macaroon: Holy Moly! I give a lot of things into consideration when I review a product, including price, availability, nutrition, taste, sustainability, etc. I had to give this a 10/10, even if it’s not completely available nation wide in stores; they were just that good. When I’m out, I’m going to cry for about 10 minutes and then order myself a batch. They’re amazing! They completely out shined the dinner I had planned all day:

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli, Citrus Synergy

General Tso's Chicken And Broccoli

That being said, this was pretty damn good too 🙂 I had a major craving for Chinese chicken last night. And I knew I wouldn’t be eating it tomorrow. It’s glaringly not the healthiest option, but once in a while why the hell not? And because it was from Whole Foods, it was completely natural chicken. On the side, for good health, I had a citrus Kombucha drink. It’s not my favorite flavor, since I could hardly taste the sour through the vinegar of the kombucha. But it was still pretty good; and, as always, stellar nutrition! You can always eat the bad if it’s with some good 🙂

As if I needed any more sunshine today, Jessie of Vegan Minded sent some my way. Thank you! If you’ve never read her blog, you must go check it out if for nothing but inspiration! Everything she eats is Tasty with a capitol T. And now, here’s 12 more sunshiney bloggers or bloggers who need sunshine or just awesome bloggers!

1. Caitlin

2. Cara

3. Heather

4. Averie

5. Kalin and 6. Baby Brother

7. Abby

8. Maddie

9. K

10. Katie

11. Holly

12. Heather

And now Survivor is almost on! I’ve seriously waited all week for this, so you know I won’t be missing it!

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Randomness

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That pretty much is how today has felt, but all in a good way. I knew I’d have a lot to get done today, so I tried to organize things by making a list.

To-Do List

But then my typical randomness broke in…

Pressing Tofu

Doesn’t everyone press tofu with about 4lbs worth of chocolate? On the bright side, this meant that my plan to meal plan was a success! In fact, I planned parts if not all of 5 separate meals today; I should be quite on the ball through Wednesday.

Clean Laundry

Laundry is always random. I think that’s half the fun of going through everything and realizing none of the socks freaking match! Since when did I become such a sock-hoarder in life? I love having Monday’s off this semester since no one else is thinking of silly things like laundry on Monday mornings.

Foods Alive Maple Cinnamon Flax Crackers

A few things that aren’t random but rather well known are that a) I like trying new foods and b) I love chips and crackers. What is random is crackers made of flax! Foods Alive sent me some fun products to try including these. And I’m happy to report that these totally fit in the bill of trying to eat less carbs and more nutrient dense foods! These babies are full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber up the wazoo!(“Wazoo” equaling 8 grams per serving)

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Maple Cinnamon Flax Crackers, Hazelnut Cinnamon Decaf

Pairing lunch with a coffee flavor might be a little random for now but it’s definitely on the path to being a new tradition 😀 Of course, I made the tofu and broccoli with my favorite method of roasting; these broccolis came out so good and nutty! The Organic Maple & Cinnamon flax crackers unfortunately didn’t wow me with maple and cinnamon flavor. They actually tasted quite neutral :-/ On the bright side, the nutritional stats on them were out of the park.

Apple

I still felt a little hungry after all of that and went for an apple. I think this was my inner carb-lover trying to satisfy itself, which I figured an apple would be a nutritious way to curb, until I thought about how long this must have spent in the dining hall. Somethings are best left unthought.

It was a bit random to find out Days and a lot of NBC’s daytime shows are being covered by the Olympics, but not wholly displeasant. Did anybody else catch the cross-country skiers? Now that must be a workout. I half watched that and half Grey’s Anatomy from last Thursday. Alex and Lexie? Random.

Emmy's Organics Lemon-Ginger Raw Macaroons

Lemon and ginger are two classic flavors in my book.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Lemon Ginger Macaroon

Lemon, ginger, and chocolate? Well that’s a little random. But I love pairing raw with raw, so I added a lemon-ginger macaroon from Emmy’s Organics to my (almost) raw chocolate avocado pudding. That this would taste delish was not at all random; 2 good things make 1 great thing. And a nice high-fat snack was definitely a nutritious way to pump out a short history paper. I’m glad I got that out of the way before my computer started malfunctioning; I had to reboot it entirely 😦 While I was waiting, I got snacky.

Teriyaki Vegan Seitan Primal Strip

How is “vegan” and “jerky” for random? I would say very much, but the teriyaki seitan strip from Primal Spirit Foods was actually really good! It didn’t taste just like soy sauce, but also wasn’t super sweet–perfect teriyaki. And it’s a convenient snack with a lot more protein and fat than a granola bar would have, so I was all over that. I think the fact that this is high-gluten might have made my stomach feel a little funky, but it’s a lot more manageable than with peanut flour discomfort.

Another random part of my day was handling raw meat on my laptop desk. Do normal people do this in college? You all had great ideas for what to do with the beef. And I’d love to make a chili! I just wish I would have thought up to buy the right ingredients. When we bought this, I thought only 1/4-1/2 a pound would be mine, so that would be a burger or 2 tops. When I realized I had so much more to be creative with, I got a little confused as to how to make it interesting. Tonight, I tried something completely new and random:

Steamed Broccoli, Quickie Grass-Fed Beef "Chili"

Steamed Broccoli, Quickie "Chili" With Grass Fed Beef

I woudn’t quite call this a normal chili in any sense of the word, but I’m not sure what it is otherwise. In my pan, I browned the beef with some onions and diced tomato. Then I added about 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s salsa and reduced it all. At the end I spiked it with cinnamon, cocoa powder, and sea salt, and served over lettuce. I guess that’s sort of like taco filling? It actually came out a lot better than I was expecting. Like, I practically had eggs ready to be cooked in the event that this sucked. But it’s something I might consider making again.

I would like to say I have something funky and random planned for dessert, buuuut I’m guessing those 2 hours of sleep I lost are going to catch up with me at some point, and Tuesday’s an early rising day.

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