“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning marked a glorious return to outside running. I’m a bit of a nit-pick when it comes to the weather; I like it hot and sunny, 80’s please. But with my race coming up in 3 weekends, I thought it would be good to do some outdoor running while the weather was so gorgeous today. 50! It felt like springtime. So I laced up, booted up the Garmin, and hit the streets of Providence down the Eastside path. I’m not the biggest fan or run reports, but since this was my first time outside in nearly 4 months, I think it’s worth one 😉

Through The Window

Mile 1: All I could think was how much I wanted to grill, drink a blueberry smoothie, and eat a peach! Memories of Summer came flooding back and I felt incredible. Everything felt alive again.

Mile 2-3: It started to hit me: These weren’t treadmill miles I was running. In my mind, miles on the ‘mill are as good as the road; my legs, however, disagree, and it didn’t help that at times the path was not paved and still soaked from snow a few days ago. I really didn’t know how long I could go.

Mile 4: I just tried to keep my mind off of things, and even worked on a smoothie recipe(to follow).

Mile 5: Should I stick with my intentions for 9 miles or cut back to 6? No, I can do this!I’ve done it once and I can do it again, literally(the run I was on had me repeat a 3-mile path route.

Mile 6-7: I really soaked up the sun, enjoyed the company of fellow runners and dogs. Getting out of my mind was the key.

Mile 8-9.5: I had a great time and a great run. I even ran into Whole Foods to grab a blueberry Chobani and tried not to dilly-dally looking at groceries too much(though I easily could have).

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

Will I hit the streets again sometime soon? You betcha! Probably even tomorrow. During the week, I really like running 1st thing, so that time will probably be at the gym. But the weekends can be another story. I was also ready to refuel(food does make fun fuel, after all), and whipped together that smoothie I mentioned.

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

  • 1 blueberry Chobani
  • 1/4 unsweetened Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 5 ice cubes

This was the perfect smoothie considering what I had on hand. It’s full of quick carbs, complete protein, and a little fat to help with the fat-soluble nutrients. Not only is a smoothie a great way to cool down, it also let me not worry about making a full lunch fast so that I could shower, rest up, and put together a good meal.

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

You would not believe how soft a sweet potato is after 4 1/2 hours in the oven; it’s hardly a solid at that point. I put it in at 9:30 when I anticipated getting back from my run late. I turned off the oven at 10:30 but let it continue cooking in there in the foil. By the time the burger was done at 2, the sweet potato could have fallen apart in my hand. So as to not waste the beef fat, I sliced it in half and charred it in my pan–easy clean up, too! It all tasted soft and delicious(even the meat, which was–admittedly–undercooked). My only complaint would be that sweet potatoes hardly feel filling after all that.

After almost 10 miles outside, sitting in, doing work, and watching a movie sounded like a goodthing to me. 95% of the movies I watch are on TV, so I was pretty excited to stumble on The Da Vinci Code not 5 minutes in. I also was really craving a brownie, but wasn’t about to walk the mile to Whole Foods to get one. What to do?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

The freezer to the rescue! I found the last two-bite bits of these brownies I made for New Years Eve with peanut butter chips. Holy yum! They were still as good after dethawing. The trick to a good brownie is good chocolate chips in them.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

A little later and I was feeling a bit… gluttenous? I don’t think Lent is healthy for me; it gives me the oddest meat cravings to repress on Friday only to erupt Saturday. This time, I thought I would try the chocolate bacon peanut brittle from Sir Francis Bacon.

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

Over soy yogurt, of course, because I eat up that irony! Wow–the brittle was an experience like no other. I recapped them both at the end, but I think the chocolate version was such an improvement over the original. You can really taste the milkfat in the chocolate and that’s pretty key.

Apple

Before dinner I snacked on this apple and plenty of coffee while reading all about the slave and sugar trade for class. All day I felt like I was either eating or thinking of what to eat next, which makes me wonder if outdoor miles really could be different from treadmill miles and require more food. Clearly, I was happy to oblige. But for dinner I really just wanted to sit down and eat a meal that would make me feel full.

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbreads

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

I also wanted picnic food! Today’s good weather had me thinking a tuna salad–as simple as they are–sounded perfect. When I was in pre-K, I remember getting served tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and making them scrape off the tuna and mayo; I was not a fan :-/ Now I make them with 365 brand wild caught tuna fish in spring water and greek yogurt(2% here) and love ’em! The broccoli felt fresh, and what could say picnic better than Dr. Krackerssunflower cheddar flatbread? It’s not a gluten-free food by any means. But I love the cheddar with the chewy sunflower seeds and any discomfort will be well worth it.

First of all, there’s this giveaway for Honest Foods bars to tell you about. Next up I have to ask how do you feel about movies on TV? Like I mentioned, they’re about all the movies I see. I’m looking through the TV Guide right now and it looks like not much other than Forest Gump will be on here. Humph. Lastly, let me review some bacon peanut brittle for you.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

8.5/10: No, your eyes do not deceive you. Sir Francis Bacon does indeed make a brittle composed of peanuts and bacon. A lot went through my mind in trying this. The first things I noticed were the instant aroma of smoked bacon opening the package and the abundance of ingredients in this brittle–perfect. I’ll admit that I was nervous–to say the least–that this would taste like a 7-Eleven reject. And it very well might have if the company didn’t put such tremendous care in making a smoky, robust brittle with a subtle sweetness to liven it all up. Thankfully, this tasted delicious and just as I described. I would not recommend this to anyone unsure about the idea of bacon and dessert; the flavor really is potent. But if you’re wacky for eccentric foods, this just might be worth tracking down and paying the rough-but-fair price tag.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

9/10: I don’t know what to say about the combination of peanuts, bacon, and milk chocolate other than–wow! This really was an improvement on the original bacon peanut brittle; not only are the pieces perfectly pre-proportioned because of the chocolate covering but the chocolate itself has the perfect milkfat content to be rich and powerful against the smokiness of the bacon. Similar to their other product, this is definitely something you need to be interested in before going whole hog and trying it. But if you know the flavors are for you, be a pig and dig in to the box of chocolates.

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I Save The Environment By Eating

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening. Is it just me, or has it been a long day for everyone? I could really use a nap, which I think by this point would constitute going to bed. Anyway, this afternoon after blogging we headed straight out the door to Jordan’s Furniture for the Imax 3D Avatar

A Streetcar Named Dessert

For anyone who doesn’t live near a Jordan’s Furniture store, it’s quite the experience–not at all like a “normal” furniture store. It has a full cafeteria, Imax, dessert station, and so much more. There is another one around here with a replica of Boston made entirely out of jelly beans. Of course, we weren’t there for furniture or beans; it was all about Avatar. This probably wasn’t a movie I’d have seen if others didn’t invite me. I like comedies and occasionally a good Rom Com–action, not so much. However, I have to say seeing it in 3D AND Imax was such an experience on its own that I would never pass that up. I thought the movie was OK. It was actually kind of hard to enjoy with the heavy message it kept on pounding and pounding into the audience about environmentlism. And some of the characters just weren’t realistic(Yes, I’m saying that only some of the characters in a sci-fi film weren’t real). Overall, though, the intensity of the whole shebang made it an enjoyable experience, and the people I was with really liked it, so I think it was a good time for all.

1.4oz Organic Dark Chocolate With Natural Cherry Flavor

I was not at all tempted with popcorn during the movie. For me, it’s all about the chocolate 🙂 This was another one of the Endangered Species bars I was sent to review, and the flavor really appealed to me today. Like I say in my review here, “natural cherry flavor” was a huge clue-in there wouldn’t be whole cherries or actually that much cherry flavor. But it was still tasty, and a perfectly portioned serving of dark chocolate(2oo cals, low sugar, 4g fiber). And not only was it organic, but 10% of Endangered Species bar’s profits go towards the environment. So really I was saving the environment by eating. Suck on that, Avatar.

Wild Atlantic Cod With Sesame, Sweet Potato Fries With Chili Powder, Turnip

When we got home, my dad and I was starving. Thank goodness my mom had a full meal hot from the oven waiting for us(to be fair, I made killer cornbread this morning which was also at the table so I “helped”). The cod was very flavorful for wild white fish. The turnips, which tsted like white beets we decided, somehow led into a discussion about weight watchers. According to them, turnips are a “vegetable” wheres sweet potato is a “starch”. This is my mom’s food terminology and it drives me insane because it’s so wrong. Can’t weight watchers just say they’re both vegetables and sweet potatoes are just a more starchy one? And apparently turnips are “pointless” because “no one’s gotten fat off of turnips”. My argument: Brussels sprouts are pointless, too, and if you roasted enough I’d be the first to get fat off of them 🙂 I think me and any sort of diet other than low sugar will never see eye-to-eye.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Crispy NibMor

I’d like to know how many points my first dessert was(or maybe not).  I’m sure this would have been better in the food processor, but to spare myself the extra cleaning I mushed 3oz avocado with 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons coconut milk kefir(the probiotic part), and vanilla stevia until mostly mixed, and topped it with a Crispy Nibmor. I’m really not a fan of crispy chocolate, but I was sent it to review so try I did. Unfortunately, I’m still not a fan. Sorry, Nibmor 😦 Every other part of their chocolate is delicious, though.

Speaking of Nibmor, this was the last flavor of theirs I had to try, so now seems as good as ever a time to recap them for you. In case you didn’t know, all of Nibmor’s chocolates are raw, vegan, organic, kosher, gluten free, diabetic friendly–the list goes on and on! And the folks at NibMor really care about nutrition; they donate 5% of their profit to organizations working against health-related diseases in America. Saving the environment: Saving the American people–it’s all good! Did I mention NibMor also comes in 3 flavors? Well here they are.

Original

9/10: It’s not often that a chocolate scores higher with me in terms of nutrition than in flavor, but that’s the case here. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the dark chocolate taste hear. It was a bit more bitter than I prefer it but it truly was dark. And the texture was nice and soft but not melty. Still, what I appreciated more was how this was made. Nibmor’s chocolate is raw, vegan, gluten and GMO-ingredient free. I also liked that it didn’t have a strong coconut taste which has been my experience with other raw chocolates. For any raw enthusiast, this is a perfect treat.

Almond

8.5/10: Chocolate and nuts is a combination of two of the most decadent things. Make them both raw and you’re also as close to nature as you can get. First off, this bar was not shy on the amount of almonds, so you know you weren’t getting the same experience as theiroriginal flavor. I liked the flavor for the most part when the almonds were in small pieces and the flavors melded together. On the other hand, when I got a huge chunk of raw almond, it was precisely like you don’t want a nit to be: soft and chewy. Otherwise, it was very good, and deliciously cocoa-y

Crispy

7/10: I think this bar had to work damage control with me going in; I don’t particularly like crispy rice cereal ever on its own so why would I want it in my smooth, delicious chocolate? Bonus pointsto NibMor for using brown rice puffs, but they did not make me a crispy lover. The puffed rice was hardly crispy anymore, anyway. I think overall it sweetened the raw chocolate, for anyone looking to get away from the bitter taste. But for me, it will never be about the crispy.

nut butter giveaway! Can you tell I’d be happy to win this one?

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I Need A BIG Cookie

Posted on January 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes you need a cookie. Othertimes, you need a COOKIE. I think I turned in to this guy this afternoon:

After lunch my dad took me on a drive through the snow to the little all-natural store with bulk bins nearby. I needed to stock up on some almonds and we browsed a bit while we were there. My eyes definitely kept turning to those huge, oversugary, amazing all-natural cookies by the counter(same brands as at Whole Foods). I couldn’t, however, bring myself to pay that much for a cookie, when I know we have a ton at home, so instead I picked up another foodie find.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum

I must be an alien because now I have Xanthan gum in my pantry. After seeing all the wonders Heather has whipped up with this stuff, I can’t wait to get to “playing” with it. When we got home, my mind was still on cookies. I didn’t want any of the cookies we had for one reason: they were wimpy. I wanted a size-of-my-face cookie that was rich and buttery and felt like a bad, naughty thing. Naturally, I whipped some up. I made a cookie recipe that otherwise I’d portion into 18, but this time made into 6.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe I whipped up in my head and was rather simple for a chocolate chip cookie. I’ll write up the actual recipe soon with some tweaks I think might improve them, too.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Basically, this entirely hit the spot. It was rich and delicious, sweet but not so sweet as to overpower the butter(or vegan butter), and filled with chocolate chips. The texture was a little too cakey but besides that I thought I’d died and gone to cookie monster heaven. After that recipe, I roasted up 12 1/2 ounces of almonds while the oven was on, and whipped up some new almond butter with flax seeds and a special ingredient.

New Almond Butter

Care to know what the secret ingredient was?…

Kahlua

You know I don’t drink, but what goes in my nut butters I’m saying is a thing on its own 😉 I won’t say how much I used, but that jar has some serious proofage on it, because it was taking a lot to get it to a butter consistency and I eventually got frustrated and just added a lot of liquid.

French Toast Almonds

With the other half of the almonds, I made one of my mom’s favorite things. They came out fine except some stuck too much to the wax paper I’m afraid. Other than that, making your own nuts is so simple and so much fun! Around then we got a call from some friends to meet them to see Avatar in 3D after dinner. I’m not so much a spontaneous person but I thought sure, why not? This, however, did not put me in the mood for a “normal” dinner.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With French Toast Hazelnut Butter, Banana Yogurt With Pecan Butter

Maybe it was the threat of not having time for oatmeal later, or maybe I just needed some fats in me because I hadn’t eaten, but I was craving me some nut butters(not a cookie monster anymore, apparently). I added a little xanthan gum to the yogurt to thicken it up–I can tell I’m going to have fun with that 🙂

When we got to the imax, Avatar was unfortunately sold out 😦 Eventually, our friends showed up, and we decided to go to a regular theater to see what’s playing. Apparently, we missed the start of everything by 20 minutes or so there, too, so we were plum out of luck. We decided to take a rain check on the whole thing, and now I’m back home, blogging, and drowning sorrows in amaretto… sort of. You’ll see tomorrow .

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Starting Off With A Smile

Posted on August 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Movie Review, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

If that doesn’t make you look forward to the day ahead, I don’t know what will. I ran 6 miles this morning; it was so hot and humid I snuck over into my neighbor’s sprinklers for a quick mist. I don’t even know where our sprinklers even are but I might have to find them later lol.

I didn’t even get a chance to eat a snack between blogging and lunch yesterday the time was so short. My grandmother came over for a family Sunday lunch. This was my plate:

My Lunch Plate

My Lunch Plate

I sometimes feel like just doing my own thing at meals, but then I feel bad disregarding the food my mom made, so I compromised on this one. I took the chicken and broccoli and smothered it with Whole Foods Steak Sauce–so addicting! Then I heated up some Whole Foods refried beans and ate it with some Trader Joe’s Potato Nachos. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, find these and pick them up. they’re made with corn flour, potatoes, and brown rice flour, so it’s like this weird nacho-potato chip love child that tastes sooo good.

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Dessert was a bit of froyo. If it looks like I’m eating a lot more ice cream/frozen yogurt lately, I probably am. our freezer is wayyy too full and there’s only one way to fix that: eat our way out. Haha, I’m definitely not minding that “mission” considering it’s a heat wave up here.

We planned to see Julie & Julia in the afternoon so I packed some snacks. I hate buying snacks at the theater because they’re so unhealthy and overpriced. I decided to go with something old and something new:

Something Old

Something Old

Something New

Something New

I opened up my 2nd bar of Mocha Milk Chocolate. After trying all the Newman’s Organic Chocolates and coming back to this one. I really can’t say why I love it so much, other than I really really do. It’s not like their milk chocolate at all; and the coffee isn’t like a dark roast or espresso bean but just a simple cup of joe. it just all works so perfectly. i haven’t seen these in many stores but I highly suggest you buy a bar if you do.

I also figured I’d give the high protein pretzels a try. These have 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in every serving, so Newman’s definitely trumps the competitors for the nutrition. Overall they were Ok, but not great. They needed more salt, but then again I pour way too much salt on everything. I don’t eat pretzels much but these felt more airy and crispy than others I’ve had, which I liked though didn’t exactly remind me of a pretzel. Overall I think they’re a great product because they really left me feeling full and satisfied. These would probably be optimal for dipping in yogurt or mustard to add a little more flavor, but I definitely want to keep these in my dorm.

Before we hit the theater we went to the same Target as yesterday to pick up a printer for my dorm. It was on sale this week. 2 dollars off isn’t much, but a sale’s a sale right? Then we hopped over to the AMC to see Julie And Julia. We got there 50 minutes early so I killed time playing Soul Caliber in the arcade. Fun Fact: I don’t play video games much but when I do I kick some CPU ass butt, except when it comes to first person shooter which I’m awful and impatient at.

Overall I really liked the movie. I didn’t think the story of Julie and the story of Julia were as parallel as the director tried to make them seem, but I liked that they kept them true to the real stories, both of which I wasn’t too familiar with. Oddly, I’ve been to France and I have to say I didn’t like the food that much; but it’s always great to see someone else so enthusiastic about a culture’s food. Julie’s story I thought would have been inspiring and motivating and encourage me to take this blog somewhere. But actually it just made me feel good for doing what I do and like I want to keep it up. And I like that the movie showed how blogging, while fun, can sometimes feel like a 2nd job and definitely extends into your life past the keyboard.

We got home pretty late(for us, at least) so we grilled for a quick dinner. I tried Morningstar’s Grillers Vegan for the first time.

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

I really liked these. They tasted smokey and grilled, a lot like the veggieburgers at UFood Grill. And the ingredient list seems more natural than other Morningstar products, which was an added bonus. I also tried Newman’s Own Organic popcorn to keep with the movie theme.

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Again, this was a Newman’s Own Organic product I really liked. It definitely had a buttery and salty flavor but wasn’t overly done or greasy like others. Of course, the fact that it’s organic makes it all the better. Did you know cheaper brands stick artificial color in there just to make it look more buttered? Yikes. I’m a little sad I only was sent 3 bags of this because that means I’ll be going out to buy some more real soon probably, lol.

At dinner my parents talked about how many times they had seen Julia Child eating at Legal Seafoods. Don’t you hate that feeling of missing out only to realize it’s hard not to miss out on things that happen before you’re born? I was about 20 feet away from Hillary Clinton back in 7th grade on a trip to DC, that’s about as close to celebritydom that I’ve gotten. My dad read that Mrs. Tom Brady shops at one of the same Whole Foods I do, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for her from now on(for some pretty obvious reasons):

After missing the past 4, yes 4, episodes of Big Brother and getting semi-caught up with my On Demand, I finally caught an episode as it aired. I love this show so so much and life has made it hard to really get into this season but I’m trying. Lydia is definitely my favorite at the moment. Woohoo for anyone labeled an off-beat! In High School I always felt like a bit of an off-beat, but I don’t think anyone else saw me like that. I pretty much hung out with every crowd, and I’m glad that I went to a school where I could do that and not feel ostracized by any social group.

The highlights of dessert:

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

I picked up the granola today because it was on sale. 20 cents isn’t much of a “sale” but it certainly was an excuse 🙂 I though it was pretty good. It must have been sweet because I mixed it with plain greek yogurt and didn’t notice any tartness. I usually eat granola as a topper to yogurt so I’m going to need to try this again a different way to get a better taste of it. The seedy bread was a bit of genious, if I may say so myself. I’m liking sunflower butter more now that I’m learning to use less; it’s a little bit bigger on flavor than nut butters and a tablespoon is just too seedy for me(pun intended, obviously).

On a last note, I think I caught a virus last night shopping peanut butter on Amazon… I wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t me, either. Anybody know any good software to get rid of it? Spybot Search And Destroy doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.

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Help Me Help You(Poll)

Posted on June 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , |

Good morning(or afternoon depending on when/where you’re reading this). Well the sun finally came out in New England yesterday. Too bad for being stuck in Marlborough, but at least I was able to get some good running, walking, and grocery shopping in. But man do I need to go to a Whole Foods. I couldn’t get half the things on my shopping list at Hannafords and the other half was noticibly more expensive(is it bad I’ve practically memorized the prices of most foods at Whole Foods?). Sometimes I wish I could stop looking at the Nutrition Info and ingredients and just buy the store brand High Fructose Corn Syrup, I mean apricot preserves. I don’t know if oblivion is bliss, but it’s definitey cheaper. Oh well, I guess paying now will help me live longer so I can spend more money on groceries. Joy.

Anyway, I wanted to bring a product review because I haven’t done one of those in a while. But there’s so many new things I’ve tried since my last one I can’t possibly type them all up. And after all a product review is to benefit the people reading it, not the one writing it, right? So I’m asking you what you want to read a review of. Post with 1 or 2 responses and look for some product reviews over the weekend

  • Instant Entree
  • Snack/Chips
  • Cookies/Brownies
  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Bars

Post it up. I have plenty of ideas for any of those and I’d love to share. Hope you all have some good weekend plans. I’m going to a deck party today where I’m sure they’ll be plenty of munchies. Also, I kind of want to see My Sister’s Keeper. I’ve never read the book but I feel like I need to watch a movie that has some lesson to it. Or I could just see The Hangover and give my brain a break for 90 minutes which would also be welcomed. Choices, choices.

By the way, I saw this on a recent episode of Unwrapped: http://www.cereality.com/main.php Has anyone ever been to one of these? If there was one near me, I would not eat anything else.

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