Welcome To The Weekend

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

Welcome to my weekend, at least! I can’t think of a more perfect way than with a new Survivor season starting in 20 minutes! I’ve been watching the show since season 1 when I was only around 8 or 9 years old. Has it really been that long? Anyway, It felt soooo good getting out of my class at 4pm this afternoon. If you’ll remember, last Thursday it was out of class and off to chocolate fest so there wasn’t much “downtime”. This afternoon, however, has been nothing but. Speaking of being lazy, I really didn’t want a “real lunch” this afternoon. All I cared about was dessert. I ended up doing something sloppy and simple.

Scrambled Eggs With Ketchup, Canned Pumpkin With Nutritional Yeast

What can I say? I’m a college student 😛 I scrambled 2 Eggland’s Best Cage Free eggs in a little pasture butter and topped with ketchup–OMG. I seriously forgot how satisfying just scrambled eggs are. My grandma would make them for me all the time; I’ll need to do them more often. On the other hand, I’ve decided pretty firmly that I just do not care for pumpkin anywhere but in my oats. It tastes bland and nasty, in my opinion. Blech. But I was also out of fresh, fiberous vegetables and was in a pickle(Mmm… pickles). More importantly, I just wanted my dessert.

Banana Whipe With Peanut Flour Topping

Banana whip! Oh how I love thee. So smooth. So creamy. So delicious. I’ve been keeping bananas from the dining hall in the dorm fridge for this; it’s free for me and takes up common space 🙂 For the topping, I meant to make a peanut sauce but didn’t use enough flour so it was more like dough. That doesn’t matter; what was important was that I realized peanut flour is something that upsets my stomach. It’s weird to think something that’s only peanut would do that to me, but it does. And it sucks that it’s a perfectly vegan source of protein 😦 I don’t even know what I’m going to do. Thoughts? Any lactose intolerant ice cream eaters out there?

Choco Peanut Butter Honest Foods Bar

During my 2nd of 2 classes this afternoon, I broke open this bar from Honest Foods. Honestly? It was pretty fantastic. I’ve come to notice that anything that’s supposed to taste like peanut butter with grains in it usually doesn’t; thankfully that wasn’t the case. I think any walnuts/sunflower seeds in here would have been better off being more peanut halves, but beyond that yum!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Oil

I could have been dancing getting out of my last class this afternoon; it didn’t quite matter that I didn’t do all the homework for it because we never get that far in translation courses. To celebrate the afternoon, I had some raw chocolate avocado pudding with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil. Welcome to the weekend indeed! If this is any indication, this weekend will be fattening 😉 After that I mostly vegged out doing some potential online shopping(aka filling a shopping cart with foodie finds but not hitting “check out”) and planning a comforting dinner.

Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage, Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potato With Maple Syrup

I think that pretty much sums up my comfort foods: brussels sprouts(or broccoli–either will do), sweet potatoes, maple syrup, fatty meat, salt, and anything roasted! Actually, the vegetables were a bit of a disappointment in that respect; either the fact that they were cooked in the dining hall(with no apparent fat) or my lack of patience meant they weren’t well roasted. This flavor of Al Fresco all natural chicken sausage cooked in a pan with some pasture butter made up for it a bit.

Fat Talk

Since I have a bit of time, I thought why not address some fat talk. And not the kind that we all snickered about in High School! I want to talk about fat in your(or my) diet. I was turned on to different and new fats and ways of thinking about them by bloggers like Heather and Averie. If today can be seen as an average day, then I get a good deal of mono- and poly-saturated fats from almond butter, peanut butter, and avocado, and my saturated fats from coconut, grass-fed butter, and hormone-free meats.

The obvious question would be “How do you feel?”. My answer is “Pretty darn good”. The fat is definitely delicious and filling. I haven’t had any stomach issues save the peanut flour which is actually only 12% fat. And–for what it’s worth–my skin and complexion seem smoother and clearer. If I had to sum it all up and be catch, I’d say “Fat is here to stay”. And I still think that getting the mono/polysaturated fats as well as the “bad” saturated fats. These really aren’t so bad if you stick with sources like coconut and grass-fed meat and dairy options.

Well that’s just my 5-minute 2 cents. But without further ado, the winner of the Yogurt Maker via Random.org is…

Erika!

Congrats! I can’t wait to see what she cultures up. And, if you didn’t win this, you can win Chobani from Anne in her giveaway here.

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Eat As I Say, Not As I Eat

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

Hi, Pies 🙂 (I’ve had such an urge to say that since Erin left the blogosphere :-/). Just a quickie(and early) one tonight. The moral of today(if you can find any “moral” on the internet): Don’t be a hypocrite. Now let me show you all the ways in which I’m a hypocrite saying that 😀

Lightlife Sausage With Cheese, Green Beans, Broccoli

Peanut Flour Greek Yogurt

What I say: I have a slight gluten intolerance.

What I do: Eat processed soy with concentrated wheat gluten.

What I say(now): Oops. It’s… erm… tasty?

Something here–maybe the gluten in the sausage–did not sit well with me during Greek History. It also might have been the yogurt; I’m not sure that much cream should meet that much salt. It might also just have been this was a complete protein bomb and that’s never good. Who’s to say? The lesson? Know yourself, and what you should do, and(hopefully) do it. I know certain things make my tummy funky, and that I do best with a plate comprised mostly of fat, low-cal vegetables, and a small amount of protein. I will try to do that.

Like I said, that made Greek History not so fun for me, and Latin not so fun for the people around me I’m sure(use your imagination). After that, though, I was free… from school at least. I love these 3-day work weeks. The first thing I did was run into my room and brew plenty of coffee. Decaf coffee works for me. So do I show restraint? Not at all.

The Wow Baking Company Cookie

Oprah this afternoon was all about diabetes, eating healthy, and working out. What did I do? I reached for an oversized chocolate chip cookie from the WOW Baking Company, knowing that I might not get a good run in until Monday(more on that in a bit).

The Wow Baking Company Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’m sorry, Oprah, but this cookie was amazing! Eat as Oprah says, not as I do. But, if you are going to have a cookie, why not a big, soft, gluten-free one? I got this as well as some others to review in the mail today and clearly it did not last long. But it was so delicious and unexpectedly soft, I truly truly loved it. And my stomach feels fine, too. Maybe that’s because it didn’t have gluten? More likely because chocolate chips and sugar have never been particular stomach-troublers. Totally worth every sugary, gluten-free calorie 😀

And what am I doing now? Why, waiting for my dad to come and then go to Chocolate Fest. Yes. Chocolate Fest. Real healthy right? It only happens once a year(unless you hit up each Whole Foods near you in which case it’s more like 5-6 times in 3 days), so you know I’m going. It’s either going to be really fun, or just a Whole Foods shopping trip(which is also fun). And then I’ll be home for the weekend to do some fun stuff around Boston. Did I mention there’ll be cooking/baking? Oh food processor, how I miss you! And now… Chocolate!

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Sweet Oats

Posted on February 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Don’t forget to enter the Coconut Oil giveaway I’m hosting here*

I’m a distance runner, and Tuesday-Thursday has felt like a sprint! I can do it though; we’re all most there! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Or, if you’re more for Dory, Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Onto the eats:

Q.Bel Vegan Dark Chocolate Wafer Bars

You would think all of Q.bel’s dark chocolate would be vegan, right? Well not so. They put milkfat in the regular dark chocolate, but not in this one. It was pretty good–actually tasted strikingly similar to the other dark chocolate bars. It must have been good because before I knew it these were gone while I was watching Modern Family and The Middle. I knew the former was hilarious but never watched the latter; it was really good! I’m glad Patricia Heaton is back on TV, too.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

I was so beat last night, and was the first to admit it. I did something appalling: I shut off my computer before 9:30 to start going to bed. And oh God did that feel good. After being freed from technology(and work), I turned on Idol and had a big comforting bowl of oatmeal with cookie dough peanut butter–such an amazing combo! And I’m almost done with the jar, and you know what that means 😉

I think I was asleep by 10:20, which is remarkable considering Wayland Wednesday was happening downstairs(think: music and booze). And I only woke up a few time! Some crazy dreams led to crazy cravings, though. I’m completely convinced I need to get some organic strawberry poptarts next time I’m at Whole Foods to settle those(speaking of organic junk food).

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

I woke up right at 6:15 with my alarm and had to get going to the gym unfortunately fast. Already I could tell my stomach was feeling like a pit and I had to grab this bar on-the-go. It was good, but more chocolatey than peanutty; it reminded me a lot of a Kudos bar.

Running Stats

I don’t have a ton of time at the gym in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays; my goal is to be done by 7:30, though I can probably push that 20 minutes or so when I get better into a routine. Instead of distance, I worked on consistant speed and picked it up a bit from the past few days. I felt really good after these 5 miles! I definitely could have done 2 more at that pace, but time was not on my side(I didn’t even get to when Pokemon is on :-().

Peanut Soy Yogurt, Sweet Potato Oats With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter

Sweet Potato Oats With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter

My breakfast in 3 words: On-the-go, orange, and yummy. I mixed some partially defatted peanut flour in the soy yogurt to make it more proteinous(and obviously delicious); I think the key is salt and vanilla stevia–my two staples! For the oats, I tried something completely new to me; I had leftover sweet potatoes and mashed 3oz in my oatmeal with stevia and salt. This came out sooo good! Now I see what the fuss is about. I think it would have been even better with maple peanut butter but I still had a chocolate peanut butter craving from the bar.

Apple

At least my first class doesn’t feel like an overwhelming subject or have a very intense professor; I couldn’t handle that at 9am. But when I got back to my dorm I was hangry! So far it’s feeling like a bottomless pit day 😦 Maybe a delayed reaction from yesterday’s workout. It’s important to keep in mind always that if you’re eating good foods and your body’s still hungry then it’s what it needs to refuel, so by all means dig in!

I have plans to make review pages for a) The new Q.bel chocolate, b) The Nature’s Path granola bar and c) Justin’s chocolate almond butter, but since none of those were sent for reviewing I might meander and take my time getting around to those. In the meanwhile, here’s a Q.bel giveaway, a Tropical Traditions giveaway here, and a chocolate giveaway.

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I Know What It Feels Like…

Posted on February 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Coconut Oil Chocolate Bar

… to be a little obsessed with a food. Did anybody doubt that’s the road I’m going down with this coconut oil chocolate? I think it’s pretty much out there.

Chocolate Making Station

… to be a chocolate maker. I might as well be; last night I increased production by 250%! By which I mean, instead of making 1 bar, I made 2 bars and 1 “plop” to go on oatmeal or yogurt later. Besides, “plops” are just fun.

… to think someone deserves a Grammy for their performance on The Grammy’s. At Beyonce, I believe I let out a “Dayamn”.

Banana Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter

… to regreat an online peanut butter purchase. I don’t regret buying this chocolate peanut butter from Justin’s; I regret only buying 1 jar of it. I reaaaallly hope they come to the East coast, and fast.

… to end a night peacefully and perfectly with a good dramedy. Brothers & Sisters, don’t ever go anywhere.

… to sleep past your alarm. Yikes! Maybe I got into my sleep too much, because I slept 25 minutes in. In my rush, I managed to get ready and out in 15 minutes, so I was only 10 minutes behind schedule.

… to be a gazelle glared down by a lioness in the African bush. A fellow gym goer got a little close and a little intense staring down my machine waiting for me to finish. She ended up grabbing another person’s, and I don’t even think she ran 1 mile. Part of me felt like saying “Listen, hun, I’ve got business going on here.” but didn’t.

… to go 8 miles again. Woot! It felt great, to be honest. I could see this being a daily distance again soon enough.

… to want to collapse after a run, again(in a good way, of course).

Comfy Clothes

… to throw on the comfiest clothes imaginable after a quick shower: “I’m-not-leaving-the-house” sweats + Zevia 100% cotton t-shirt = heaven.

Navitas Naturals' Sweet Cacao Nibs

… to eat a Mayan superfood. Navitas Naturals sent me some products to review, which my dad brought down on his visit yesterday. These sweet cacao nibs were just screaming to be used at breakfast for some recovery; did you know when you run you sweat out 90% of your chocolate reserves? True fact.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Sweet Cacao Nibs

Peanut Greek Yogurt With Organic Strawberry Conserve

… to want to eat a meal again after you eat it the first time. Holy yum! This breakfast was delicious. The salty yogurt went so well with sweet strawberry conserve. And I loooved the contrast of butter toffee peanut butter with sweet cacao nibs. Don’t let these fool you; they were not sweet. They actually reminded me a bit of black olives, but chocolatey. They were delicious anyhow!

… to be 100% justified in how I live my life by science. Look at what it said in a recent Dole newsletter: “A very recent study by the Swiss (who else?) found that highly anxious individuals given 40 grams of dark chocolate (about the amount in a quarter cup of chocolate chips) every day for two weeks experienced a dramatic drop in their blood stress markers — bringing them into the range of those who reported little to no stress.”

… to read Regis And Kelly instead of listen to. Why? Because my roommate apparently doesn’t need to wake up before 11 on Mondays. This is going to be a looong semester…

Pressing Tofu

… to use my Greek grammar book. Have I opened it for a grammar related issue yet? No. But it makes a great tofu press.

Clean Laundry

… to roll around in clean laundry. Have I mentioned I find folding and putting away clean laundry relaxing? That is not then an invitation for you to give me your laundry to fold if you hate it, sorry 🙂

Orange Steaz

… to need a mid-morning pick-me up. Was this needed? Absolutely. I live on the 3rd floor. the kitchen and laundry room is in the basement. Plenty of flights of stairs today!

Baked Tofu

… to make regular use of the dorm kitchen. I’m soooo happy I made this resolution! I’ll admit: It scared me at first. But it hasn’t even been a full week and I know I’m going to be eating so much better in 2010!

… to be technologically hooked up. Does anybody else have one of these? They’re amazing. My friend, Alex(the same one I stayed with in Georgia over the Summer and met in NYC over Christmas), suggested I get one and he was so right; you can charge your ipod without plugging it in to your computer! How brilliant is that?!

Benito's Original Naranja Hot Sauce

… to eat green, right down to my condiments. Benito’s Hot Sauce sent me there original naranja flavor to sample and review. It’s made with organic ingredients from local farms just a stone’s throw away in Vermont.

Vegetable Medley With Trader Joe's Salsa, Baked Tofu With Hot Sauce, Buffalo Bleu Potato Chips

… to need a side of fire extinguisher with your meal. I like things hot, and this was hot! But oh so good. The sauce obviously packed a lot of flavor from habaneros and really gave the tofu a punch. The chips, too, had a nice kick. Surprisingly, my new Trader Joe’s salsa seemed a bit tame? Maybe it was just in comparison that it lacked.

… to watch a show (off and on) for 7 years now. How old am I? Days of Our Lives, don’t ever leave me.

Family Size Buffalo Bleu Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips

… to buy bulk-sized items for one person. If you’ve Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips before, you’d know why family size was 110% necessary.

… to start doing homework and think “I really should have started this last Friday”.

Unripe Avocadoes

… to be all out of ripe avocadoes. These are all so green! But not in the good way…

… to smuggle out two large containers of food and a banana from the dining hall. OK, technically this is allowed so I wasn’t really “smuggling”. Then again, I don’t think they expect you to be taking all vegetables, and enough to last for the next 2-3 days.

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Oil Chocolate Chips

… to get into a dish a little too much, much like the raw chocolate bar. At least it’s healthy for me?

… to eat more cocoa powder than is in the Hershey’s factory. Did you know that Hershey’s is actually made with 60% vegetable oil? Vegetable oil. At what point at all should that fit in with cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar? Never, really, but for some reason they make it.

Sweet Potato Snack

… to crave sweet potatoes as a snack, like this veggie-loving blogger(and I’m sure more).

Next Generation Raw & Probiotic Colby Cheese

… to hold in my hands perhaps the most foodie-rific cheese ever. Raw and probiotically enriched? That is some serious enzymes. I have to give a big thanks to Next Generation Dairy for sending me their cheese and cheese strings to review. Not only do they benefit from being made with unpasteurized milk, but they’re fortified with good bacteria, as well.

… to hear a cat being strangled. That’s not fair; there was someone practicing their tuba in the kitchen while I was making dinner, and he was probably a lot better than that and just warming up. Still–if he plays like that in concert, God’s speed.

Stewed Artichokes, Green Beans, 2 Eggs With Colby Cheese And More Colby Cheese

… to be a cheese nibbler. I’ve never quite understood why people always go straight for the cheese at parties or sometimes big chunks will “mysteriously disappear” from the fridge? I think I’m starting to get it. This colby was pretty fantastic. And it was good for me? Don’t tell me that. The 8oz block won’t last the week.

… to be one of those “poor starving college students living off eggs for cheap protein”. Except soooo not. I don’t think those college students use cage-free Eggland’s Best eggs. Or cook them quite as good as me 😉

… to want to win some Vitalicious products from either this giveaway or this giveaway.

… to want to win Chobani from this giveaway

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20 Blessings To Count

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

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As Easy As Chocolate Making

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

Welcome back to the week! Or, if you’re lucky enough, I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend. In case you missed it, here I posted embarrassing photos of myself and here was a great recap of at least 5 products and a restaurant Eastern Massachusetts should not miss!

Yesterday I tried my hand at something quite new and different(for me, at least).

Chocolate Ingredients

Crushed at having finished my last piece of NibMor original, I consulted Averie on how to make my own raw chocolate. It turns out I had everything I needed in my pantry! It only took 4 simple ingredients: cocoa powder, agave nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla powder(unpictured). In a small bowl, I whisked together 14 grams cocoa powder, 15 grams Artisana coconut oil, 21 grams agave nectar, and a pinch of vanilla powder. To my surprise, it all combined into a thick paste I was able to actually make into a bar.

Homemade Chocolate Bar

How fun! This was soft, so I threw it in the refrigerator to thicken while I finished off a pot of coffee(at 4pm. Aren’t I a class act? ;-)). While I was waiting for the chocolate to thicken, I thought I’d make some chocolate avocado pudding with our last avocado.

Moldy Avocado

That would be mold growing inside the avocado. How does that even happen? I didn’t question; I just tossed it in the trash. What a shame 😦 I didn’t think the chocolate would be quite a filling snack all its own but I broke off a square anyway to have.

Chunk Of Raw Chocolate

Sweet delicious this was good! It was just like a NibMor–dark but not bitter, with a sweet coconutty subtleness to it. It got soft really fast, so the last few bites were like putty. I ended up starting to read Cook This Not That as I was eating it. 2 chapters in and I can say this is a great book to buy; there’s plenty of tips and it does things like compare fats to other fats, meats to other meats, and dairy to other dairy. It’s very opinionated and offers a lot of reasoning which lets you accept the knowledge it has or question it–such a book for foodies. After 2 chapters, I started getting hungry again :-/ I was going to save the rest of my chocolate for my parents but…

The Rest Of The Raw Chocolate

…since they never knew it existed, they weren’t about to miss it, right? Really, this was so good I ended up eating the whole thing. I also did a lot of reading up on coconut oil(since I was chowing down on it) and how, even though it’s high in saturated fats, it’s definitely not a fat to be left out of our diets at all; I’m definitely considering picking up a big jar if anyone has any brand suggestions.

As my parents came home, stopping at a Market Basket(where I was sure to ask for avocadoes!), I wondered what  I had to throw together for dinner. I ended up steaming/roasting some brussels and roasting parsnips with parmesan cheese grated on top. we then pan-seared some mahi mahi they brought home in extra-virgin olive oil.

Mahi Mahi With Peach Salsa, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sea Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips

I don’t know why but I didn’t particularly feel like the parsnips so I grabbed a back of sea salt & vinegar Pop Chips. They’ve been so hit or miss with me, and these were another “miss”. Honestly, I can’t say they didn’t taste like sea salt & vinegar: They did. But it wasn’t the same salt & vinegar I expect in chips. Then again, I grew up eating salt & vinegar chips that actually had no vinegar but plenty of artificial things that made one hell of a vinegar taste.

After dinner we ran out and back just in time for The Golden Globes. I thought Ricky Gervaise did a wonderful job hosting, and all of the presenters were funny. There weren’t any real controversial or “Oh my God!” moment but sometimes that’s a good thing. I had a few(or more) snacks while watching it.

Raspberry Agave Chocolate Avocado Pudding

With my new avocadoes I whipped up some pudding, this time adding 1/2 a tablespoon of Madhava’s raspberry agave syrup. It was really good and sweet, with a nice tone of raspberry I don’t think a jam could have recreated. I can’t really say why but after all these 15g of fats and 10g of fiber I was starving like I hadn’t even eaten dinner.

Sweet Potato Rounds With Salsa

I heated up sweet potato slices that had been in our fridge for longer than I’ll admit and added some really spicy salsa for flavor; these totally did the trick for a “unique” snack(though not too unique if you’re this blogger). Isn’t it weird when hunger just hits like that? And it was the kind of hunger that wanted real food(aka not chocolate). that did the trick until I wanted my ritual bowl of oatmeal.

Oatmeal/Oatbran With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Funny thoughts while photographing this: “Darn it! I can’t get a good photo of this oatmeal through all the steam” followed by “Evan, you eat this every freaking night. You could just freakin’ reuse a photo if you need to”. I didn’t, but it’s comforting to think that my regularity is at least functional in that way 🙂 I think my favorite Golden Globe acceptance speech of the night was by Sandra Bullock when she thanked her husband and said it wasn’t until she met him that she knew what it meant for someone to truly have her back–such a sweet thought.

As much as I hate to admit it, I did not sleep well last night due to the most ridiculous “nightmare”. I dreamed that where I worked over the Summer was actually NBC’s studio for Conan O’Brien and that I was losing my job as Conan was going off the air. How was this a nightmare and had me tossing and turning? I had no clue, but I woke up like a bullet when my alarm went off and got an early start on working out. I did most of my core, but then decided I didn’t feel like doing push-ups and sit-ups. The solution? The count to ten cardio workout with 10 push-ups and 15 sit-ups per iteration. This was most definitely working up an appetite in me, but I decided to push through knowing I had this great breakfast in store:

Peanut Greek Yogurt With Tempeh bacon And Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Tempeh Bacon

Yum! Oh how I love the combination of peanut butter, smoky, salty bacon, and sweet maple syrup. It feels good to just indulge in a little bit more when it’s all so healthy like this. For the yogurt, I mixed a plain Chobani with some full-fat voskos–oh how I love my full fat yogurt 😀 And all that was from 2 strips of tempeh bacon, which was all I had left from a pack I bought a loooong time ago. Thank God it wasn’t real meat or it would have gone bad by now.

On a different note, it snowed this morning! And a lot 😀 I hope it keeps on going.

Here’s a Simpsons giveaway(I know this show has plenty of fans)!

And here’s a giveaway for some Forze Bars!

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Isn’t It Ironic

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s like rain on your wedding day.
It’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid.
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.
Who would have thought? It figures…

Isn’t it ironic…

Steamed Broccoli And Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak

that I make vegetarian philly cheesesteaks(an oxymoron) and have never had a real one? It’s probably not like the real thing, but a couple servings of Lightlife fake sausage meat, 1/2 an onion, and 2 american cheese squares later and I’m a very happy boy. I love onions. And I’d love to try this with the beef fake meat. A good friend and reader recommended cheese as a way to fit fats into meals. Doh! Of course! I love cheese, and can definitely fit it in 😉 And with this…

Isn’t it ironic…

Salt & Pepper Pop Chips

that when I had all but given up on Pop Chips after a few less-than-perfect flavors, this one brought me right back into the game? It wasn’t quite as good as the sour cream & onion. And I wish that it were seasoned with something other than what tastes like the black pepper I have in my kitchen. That being said, it was seasoned beautifully and I would have demolished this if the bag were any bigger.

Isn’t it ironic… that my grandmother who plays the lottery every day was asking me who doesn’t at all if she should have gotten $10 instead of $5 for hitting 3 numbers? Yes, because these are the kinds of things they teach you in college…

Isn’t it ironic… that the death of fictional characters I hardly ever remember being part of the show will still make me feel bad. I’m so sappy.

Isn’t it ironic…

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Pound Plus Milk Chocolate

that I always top my soy yogurt with milk chocolate? I swear it just goes better together than anything else. I took a square off of my Trader Joe’s milk chocolate bar. You know, the one that weighs over a pound? I’ve got 2 recipes in mind that use it and I just wanted to make sure that it was good quality. So, you know, I was really doing everyone a favor 😉 It was decent, but I think for peanut butter cups it’s a little too sweet, so I’ll melt 3 squares with 1 square Baker’s Unsweetened and baddabing-baddaboom it’ll be perfect. I have such a chocolate tooth for these things 🙂

Isn’t it ironic… that I swore never to join Twitter, and just tweeted?

Isn’t it ironic…

Al Fresco Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausages

that I didn’t make any wiener jokes at all while cooking these? A new flavor of Al Fresco to try out tonight. We were only cooking up two because my dad was running late but I was not going to wait with my growling stomach. He came later and we cooked up another.

Isn’t it ironic…

Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, Carrot Fries, Killer Cornbread

when I microwave raw cheddar cheese? You know, the thing that you buy specially because it still has living enzymes in it you wouldn’t want to kill with high amount of heats? Yeah, well I didn’t do that tonight. I was feeling smart. I thought these sausages were OK; they were definitely spicy but I couldn’t identify jalapeno. But really, with their sodium, they were setting my mouth ablaze(and sadly I added more salt). The carrot fries were delicious roasted. But my favorite part was the cornbread.

Isn’t it ironic…

Killer Cornbread With Earth Balance And Raw Cheddar Cheese

that I’ve said at times that I hate butter AND grains at meals(other than breakfast oatmeal, obviously), and yet I could have stuffed my face with this all night long? Check it out: leftover killer cornbread, microwaved and sliced in the middle where I stuck a big pat of Earth Balance. Then on top I shaved some 2 years aged raw cheddar cheese. Heaven! Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God. Those were healthy fats, right? Who cares–delicious. I should freeze some of this cornbread so I don’t do this again so it doesn’t grow mold like last time.

Isn’t it ironic… that I thought I’d never have time to get this post up and get changed before awesome primetime television and I’m clocking in 16 minutes early? Grey’s, The Office, 30 Rock–so much good tonight!

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Get My Goat

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Check out my guest post on Tina’s Nuval Blog here*

I’ve never understood the phrase “That really gets my goat,” but right now it has a completely different meaning for me. I think that goat’s milk yogurt a few nights ago resparked my love affair with goat’s milk and now I’m craving it like crazy. According to Avery, it’s actually easier to digest because it’s closer to human milk than cow or soy. I just think it tastes amazing. So please, somebody, get my goat(or yours), start milking, and pass me a glass.

Did you know they make goat’s milk chocolate and goat’s milk fudge? Yes. That is what I was investigating last night, because I couldn’t imagine something to better feed my two loves. Because I didn’t have any of that, I decided to settle for chocolate that has no milk by Vivani.

Vivani Organic 72% Dark Chocolate

In fact, this chocolate has none of a lot of things; look at that ingredient list!

Simple Ingredients

3 organic ingredients and that’s it; I think I’m in love. And this bar tasted great, too! It was 72%, which is 2% over my usual and favorite cocoa content. This was just as good as I would have thought, with a great sweetness and a bitter touch. Chocolate will just never get old, will it?

Yesterday, Bobbi posted the recipe for “the healthiest cookie in America”. I have to admit: I was really tempted to make these(along with a few alterations to make them even more healthy). But we have so much frozen cookies right now, more would be ridiculous. Instead, I took out ingredients to recreate them in “the healthiest bowl of oatmeal in America”.

Better Than Roasted Walnuts

The cookies have dark chocolate(antioxidants) and walnuts(healthy fats) in them, so I grabbed some of the walnuts sent to me from Blue Mountain Organics. I kept trying to read the back of the bag to figure out exactly what they do and I must say that I’m still at a loss. But whatever they do, it must work! These were really light and almost like puffed rice. It was quite odd, but cool. The fact that they were so light made them really easy to break up for presentation.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Walnuts

I topped it with some dark chocolate almond butter to give it antioxidants and more healthy fats. I’ve probably made healthier bowls than this, but it wasn’t bad. I spent the whole time thinking about how they must “roast” the nuts at a really really low temperature and if I could do that. And about how this should be vegan but wasn’t because Maranatha puts milk powder in their dark chocolate almond butter. Doesn’t that make it milk chocolate technically? >:-(

I don’t think that was enough for a first-thing workout, but I just did not get hungry for anything else and ate that oatmeal minutes before falling asleep. But when I woke up I was still pretty drained. I thought I wanted to do cardio, so I set out for a nice stair session, but ended up only doing 100 flights. After that I knew I needed to just take a break, push it off until later, and eat a meal. The funny thing wa though that nothing really sounded “good” to me; thinking about greek yogurt and pumpkin made my stomach feel like it would have to work to digest, so I tried to keep it as easy and smooth as I could.

Banana Oatmeal With Earth Balance Peanut Butter And Fig Jam

Peanut Butter Soy Yogurt With Salt And Nutritional Yeast

The soy yogurt also sort of felt like a “compromise” that would be tough to digest but at least it was a tasty one. I added a little nutritional yeast to give it sort of a cheesiness more like really peanut butter has. And since I try to fit in protein to start the day, the 6g from peanut flour helped. Since pumpkin was too heavy, I used a small banana for the oats and some fig jam(which would go amazing with anything goat’s milk–just saying).

Now I’m wondering if lunch is going to be as hard to find something appetizing as breakfast. Tofu’s on the meal plan but I think I need something that goes down lighter. You didn’t hear it from me, but there might be a giveaway at the end of tonight’s post, following some recipes 😉 I guess you’ll just have to wait and see…

Or, for an instant giveaway, head over to Brandi’s blog for some delicious sounding jams!

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Dinner Was A Boar

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning, all. And good thoughts towards all the runners out at Disney right now! I can’t believe I’m saying this but I do not envy them for being at Disney; it’s cold down there. If I wanted that I could be running around my neighborhood right now, haha. Anyway I didn’t post last night because I was… eating. So really, I was just doing my job 😉 Yesterday, Montana had a morning visit to the vet, and since we were in Bellingham we planned to buy groceries for the week then and there. Market Basket was crazy, however, and I didn’t feel like getting bumped by 10 people with shopping carts at lunch time before I ate well, or I might have been tempted to bump back… and hard. Instead I popped in Whole Foods to grab more chicken that’s on sale this week and organic raw almonds which are the same price as Whole Foods’ cheapest this week due to sales. Woot Woot! We got home a good 2 hours after leaving so I was famished for some lunch. I resisted the urge to throw everything in the microwave and gobble it down.

Tofu, Sweet Potato Rounds, And Brussles In Sweet And Salty Cashew Sauce

Instead, I threw it all in a frying pan and gobbled it all down 😉 No, but really, this was a lot better than I thought it would be and appreciated it more after the fact. I cooked soft tofu and sweet potato slices in a pan with tamari. Then I threw in steamed brussels and let it all brown. In a mini-processor, I blended 1/2 an oz cashews, 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk, and 1/2 a tablespoon tamari for a quick sauce. I loved the sauce and how sweet it came out for something only nuts, unsweetened nut milk, and soy sauce. The whole dish was really nice and I didn’t even need to add salt(granted–there was half a bottle of wheat free soy sauce in there). I didn’t even realize it was vegan or gluten-free until after the fact. Go figure.

To compensate for the Market Basket fail that morning, we decided to go to a different one in the afternoon, mainly because this one has some awesome salsa we were trying to track down. I threw together a weird craving for the car ride.

Crushed Pineapple With TRUWhip

All I really wanted was pineapple. Finding out you can take frozen TRUwhip and let it thaw on its own for 5 minutes is some dangerous knowledge. Really, why’d I have to go there? This Market Basket was a little better; we actually got a parking spot! And we found the salsa, along with most everything on our list, which was basically vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables. This sight made me very happy when we had put everything away:

Counter Vegetble And Fruits

That’d be acorn squash, spaghetti squash, avocadoes, organic apples, bananas, and a rutabaga. And that’s just the ones we didn’t have to refrigerate! I’m going to eat vegtastically this week. I’m also going to start meal planning to keep leftovers moving in and out, so having a good sense of what there is will be really helpful. I definitely wanted something nutty and sweet to hold me over until dinner.

Pomegranate Pecan Bora Bora Bar

This bar was hit the spot; I won it from Averie’s giveaway and had never tried one before but figured the name said it all. It was pecan pomegranate, but weirdly I think cashews and cherries were larger ingredients than pomegranate.

For dinner, unfortunately, we did not tap into any of those vegetables 😦 Instead, we went out! 🙂 Today is my parents’ 23rd wedding anniversary. But it made more sense to go out on a Saturday night than one where they’d both have to work after, so we drove down the rode to Tomasso’s. We’ve been here probably 5 times now and I always find it such a local gem. When you walk in they have 12 food lessons from Michael Pollen posted, including “Eat local” and “Eat less, pay more”. It was so packed, we actually had to wait for a table for once. But soon enough we had sat down, picked out our orders, and got our appetizers.

Fried Polenta Stick, Marinated Roasted Root Vegetables

This was my appetizer plate, which I tried holding off on until my entree came but couldn’t resist fully. The vegetables were sooo good. I had a little more afterwards. Really, all it was was carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash, but they were roasted just right(needed salt, though). And that little thing would be the most dangerous and delicious food you’ll ever meet: fried polenta with sage.

Polenta Fries

As much as I tend to stay away from fried foods, I have no problem stealing one of these whenever we’re here 😉 It’s so much more than polenta and I’d love to know what they do. It tastes like there’s a good amount of parmesan cooked in the polenta, and maybe a little cream. I think the magic is in not knowing. For my entree, I couldn’t help but to go for the pasta special of the evening.

Housemade Butternut Gnocchi In Wild Boar Sauce

Where to start other than delicioso? The meat wasn’t grass fed; it was wild! 🙂 Who knows what it was doing before some hunter found it? It probably did a keg stand or two in its day 😉 I do normally like to portion 3oz of meat to truly appreciate what meat I do have, but I also know when a night out is a night out and if there’s 4 or 5oz of wild or organic meat on my plate, I’ma have to go for it. I ended up eating 2/3rds of the gnocchi and all the sauce. I’m not one for pasta but if you put a little vegetable in it, it ain’t half bad 😉 All in all, it was a good meal, which left me feeling full but not stuffed. And when we got home, I did a little detox.

Decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea

Because, in my head, having tea after anything essentially wipes the slate clean. Does anyone else work like that? It’s a good way to work. The majority of the night was spent between pajamas and a space heater. Sorry to say it, Floridians, but it’s still colder in the North no matter how bad it is down there. I thought I’d be fine with tea for the rest of the night. The rest of me thought otherwise, apparently.

Liberte Raspberry Goat's Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate

Little known fact about me: I loooove goat’s milk. I’ve always found goat cheese so flavorful and tangy but we never have it in the house because it’s quite literally the 1 food in the world my mom won’t touch. Apparently, she doesn’t notice we have it when it’s in yogurt form 😉 Raspberry really compliments the natural flavor of the milk. And I’m really impressed with the nutritional info for this; sugar(or raspberry puree) is the last ingredient. That’s probably why it retains its tang. On top I had 3 squares of dark chocolate with raspberries in it, which doubled as an edible spoon 🙂 Goat’s milk obviously isn’t vegan, but it’s a good alternative for dairy sensitive people.

I went to bed a little earlier to fantastic results. I woke up with my alarm this morning and felt energized! As good as tea is to detox, a pumping workout is even better. I decided to revisit my “Count to 10” workout.

Stairs

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 sit-ups(I did 15)
  • Repeat 10 times

That had me feeling good. Next time, I think I’ll try 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups each time, which completely ruins the name but oh well. And yes, those are the stairs for those wondering. I’m not sure how many there are; maybe I should count next time? Breakfast was in my head the whole time.

Banana Oats With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter

Peanut Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

I really wanted one of my biscotti 🙂 Yesterday at Market Basket, I bought 2 16oz yogurt containers instead of 5 individual ones, even though they basically worked out to the same price because it was “better for the environment”. As I’ve mentioned, I like the individual ones more, so the environment better send a thank you card >:-( Other than that, I repeated yesterday’s white chocolate cherry almond butter to try and get towards finishing that jar. It’s a fun flavor but I don’t think it’s one I’ll be ordering again; I have my own in plan 😉

Speaking of plan, this morning I’ve been making a meal plan for the week! Really, it’s just dinners that I’m doing in detail, and letting most other stuff fall where it may. I’ll post the weekly eats this afternoon. Can I say I’m drooling thinking about some of these?

A giveaway for probiotics(we all know how I love those).

Another giveaway for probiotics, this time Chobani!

And one for chocomize chocolate 🙂 Let’s not go into how much I love that


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The Best Thing I Ever Ate

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

I love love love The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Chef’s going gaga over their favorite foods? Sign me up. I could watch it for hours, which I totally did last night since there was a marathon on(new season premiering in 5 days, forward the word!). Anyway, this has to be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Original NibMor

Any surprise that it’s chocolate? Didn’t think so. Raw chocolate avocado pudding is just to die for, if you’ve never tried it. It’s creamy, thick, rich, sweet–I could go on and on. I don’t think coconut milk kefir is raw thought(maybe?), so I threw in a piece of really good NibMor original raw chocolate to counterbalance it. That’s how food math works in my mind. It was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that right before bed when all I wanted to do was eat something simple and go to sleep, all I wanted to eat was this again. I was not about to whip out and clean the food processor at 10:30, so I used what was leftover of the first avocado, a fork, and some almond milk to make it into a quickie.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Almond NibMor

Not as pretty, but it got the job done 😉 I think this one might have been actually raw because of the almond breeze? To tie in the almond I tried Nibmor’s Almond flavor for the first time. For the most part, it was absolutely delicious. I mean, chocolate and nuts? What could go wrong. I did, however, get one big raw almond that was a little too chewy for this nut enthusiast(I love my roasted nuts. I really do). Overall though, it was still a good dessert, if 1/4 cup cocoa powder and an avocado can ever be called a “dessert”.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, eating that sugar right before bed did not help me go to sleep very fast. Once I did and finally woke up, my avocado hangover had me not wanting to do my “standard” workout. Instead, I checked out what we had On Demand. Umm, since when did that have so many options? Really, I could do a different workout every day. I settled on a 20-minute kickboxing one and 1/2 a 50-minute yoga flow. This was my first time trying both of these activities and it’s probably a good thing it was in the comfort of my own home because it was messy. I also got a little P.O.ed at the kickboxer telling me “We’re almost there” when we weren’t near finishing. Don’t lie to me. I can’t handle it.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Mighty Maple

Peanut Butter Yogurt With Fig Jam

For breakfast I had some very Autumnal oats and a great yogurt for protein to build back up muscle. The combination of salty peanut butter yogurt and sweet fig jam is incredible. Almost(but not quite) the best thing I ever ate. I just love mighty maple and pumpkin cream cheese on anything so that one doesn’t even count. When I was flipping through the Sunday circulars looking for coupons, I snacked on an apple and lookie what I spotted.

Pink Lady Apple

Chocolate And Caramel Oikos

Chocolate and caramel? Am I reading this right? Umm, yes please! How funny that I’m all excited for this, when in theory I could jut put chocolate syrup or caramel sauce on top of my yogurt right now… I’d rather wait for someone else to do it for me 🙂 Lunch was leftovers, except I didn’t feel like eating meat and that was most of the leftovers. Instead, I threw some tempeh slices in a pan with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and maple syrup and let that brown up.

Maple-Soy Tempeh, Broccoli, Carrots, And Parsnips With Soyaki

Well that was quick and delicious–definitely making a mental note for times I don’t feel like cooking and just want some real food fast. Except it was soy and had a lot of fiber and now is sitting in my stomach like a brick 😦 The best foods always do that. Maybe I should eat another square of chocolate? It does speed up the digestion of carbs… hell, it just makes everything better.

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