When Beans And Coconut Collide

Posted on April 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“If running were easy, it’d be called your mom”

That’s the thought I told myself after running my first mile this morning. It goes to show just the kind of things I’ll think without the distraction of an iPod 😉 I have to admit, the first few miles today were really tough, and I couldn’t tell if it was from being sick or if it’s because running’s a sport and those are meant to be challenging.

10.72 Miles In 1:29:38

10.72 Miles In 1:29:38

I stuck with it. I’m a tough, old bat. It didn’t get easier, but at least it got more amusing. I got to explore most of the half marathon route I’ll be running. And, for the first time in far too long, I did it all without an iPod. That kind of time lets you think a lot to yourself. Do you ever run without any distractions, just your mind?

Chickpea And Mulberry Salad With Simple Coconut Maple Dressing, Mo' Betta Odwalla

Chickpea And Mulberry Salad With Simple Coconut Maple Dressing, Mo' Betta Odwalla

This meal was as thrown together as any to make it to class in time. I wanted a chickpea salad with mulberries, but to avoid cheese and dairy. To keep it interesting, I tossed it in some simple coconut maple dressing. 2 ingredients, no refined sugar, creamy and satisfying–what’s not to love?! On the side, for my wellness, I had an Mo’ Beta Odwalla.

Mo' Beta Odwalla

Mo' Beta Odwalla

This was delicious. I loved that it was all fruit juice or all fruit puree. And it packed some serious vitamin content if we’re to believe the labeling. My biggest shock, however, was noticing stevia on the ingredient list! Don’t get me wrong–it’s way better than finding evaporated cane juice. But why did it need any sweetener with all this fruit? Regardless, I hope this’ll knock back any cold or flu.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I managed to get through my classes only by thinking about the wonderful ice cream awaiting me at my dorm to enjoy in this hot, sunny weather. The catch was it wasn’t actually that warm; it just looked really nice out the windows sitting in class 😦 I could definitely still go for ice cream, though!

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I just love the specks of vanilla bean in here; seeing them definitely make me smile 🙂 And because it’s non-dairy and sweetened with agave, it’s a great choice for me to cut back on refined sugars and dairy! I love finding excuses to eat ice cream like that.

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

Nature's Path Peanut Choco' Granola Bar

OK, I’m not trying to cut all refined sugars out of my diet, so I didn’t feel bad breaking into this peanut choco chewy granola bar by Nature’s Path. I could have had an apple, or a pear, but when you’re in a granola mood, only a granola bar will do, ya know? Actually, this didn’t do much; I guess my first day back to running and my hunger was ready to come out, guns ablazing, too.

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger, Broccoli, The Heat Is On PB, Mustard

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger, Broccoli, The Heat Is On PB, Mustard

Mmmm, fried food 😀 There was no coconut at dinner(what a shame), but there were beans in the form of tofu in my veggie burger. I reviewed this Southwest Wildwood burger last semester and picked it up this weekend for a flavorful meal in place of fake meat which so often has gluten. Like I say in my review, these are taaaasty. But that’s probably because they’re fried. It’s good oil though, so it’s healthy, right? Right? To add a touch more fat, I had The Heat Is On peanut butter and mustard with some steamed broccoli. Delicious and nutritious.

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger

Wildwood Southwest Veggie Burger

What’s your favorite veggie burger? I have a motive in asking this question. I’m looking for some brands to try because I simply don’t know/have a favorite since moving to an all-natural diet and then giving up prepared soy for Lent. I like the Wildwood burgers, but I’m not sure if they’d grill well, and the outside is entirely fried which, while tasty, might not be an everyday thing.

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Race For The Border Half Marathon Recap

Posted on March 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In short, I survived! And with all my toes and fingers, too 😉

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Mini PB Cups

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashew Butter, And Maple Butter

The night before was filled with carbs, of course. I meant of went a little overboard with the maple-flavored goods, but how could someone not? I love the duo of mighty maple and maple cashew butter with some New Hampshire maple butter. Mmmm. I also had a reunion with the Food Network; after 4 weeks of 20 channels, being at home with my DVR was heavenly until I had to get a good night’s sleep for the race.

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts, Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic Dark Chocolate

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

Nature's Path Peanut Energy Bar With Butter Toffee And Peanuts

The run itself started by the New Hampshire/Maine coast border, which was a good 90 minutes away. We left bright and early and I had a breakfast to eat in the car. I mist have been nervous because I didn’t even want oatmeal; I needed something with some crunch! I smothered a Nature’s Path peanut butter energy bar with butter toffee peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Holy peanut power, Batman. That’s fuel! And of course there was plenty of anti-oxidant rich organic dark chocolate on a pomegranate Chobani.

Waiting To Start

Waiting To Start

If there’s one thing you can’t control, it’s the weather in New England. Today, it was below 40 with a strong coastal wind, too. In line for the bathroom, the man behind me said I was “brave” for just having basketball shorts on. I didn’t want to admit it to him but I don’t own running tights and my shoes have been the same pair since July. Whoops!

Organic Jolly Beans

Organic Jolly Beans

My pre-run fuel was some of these runner’s magic bites. I also had about another 1/2 a handful while waiting to start. If you’re going to boredom eat jelly beans, it might as well be right before a big run, right?

Race Recap

So we’re all on the same page, this was my longest outdoor run yet. My previous outdoor distance PR was 11.25. On the treadmill, I’ve ran 17 miles, and had a half-marathon time record of 1:46:28. That was all the past. My goal for this was sub 1:40.

Miles 1-3: I started off with “the runner’s high” and was really enjoying myself, listening to country music and practically dancing along. I passed a lot of people in this time, and it felt great to be going so fast. I also decided not to look at my pace ever; my time goal seemed lofty, and like if I pushed for it I’d burn out.

Miles 3-5: I really enjoyed the scenery. We were on the New Hampshire Hampton coast, so there was plenty to look at. I couldn’t imagine how many millions of dollars those houses were worth. This was also difficult because the entire run practically was against the wind.

Miles 6-9:

Miles 10-11: My left leg first started hurting around here. At 11.5, I could feel soreness in both of my legs. I started to think about it, and it made a lot of sense; why wouldn’t my legs hurt then when it’s the farthest on terrain they’ve ever run?

Miles 12-13.1: I kicked it in gear, gave it what I had left, and pushed for a good time. The endline was confusing, cars were driving in between me and the finish line, and it wasn’t even really made clear where that was :-/ That sour not aside, I tried to finish with a smile.

After The Finish Line

After The Finish Line

Alright, really I was thinking “Can we get in the car and turn on the heat?!” I still haven’t gotten an “official” time, but here’s what my Garmin had:

Garmin Stats

Garmin Stats

Whoopee! It wasn’t the 1:3X I was hoping for, but I couldn’t complain with the winds being what they were. That was still a huge distance and time PR, and in some of the worse conditions. I’m very happy with all of that… for now.

Lemon Pie Larabar

Lemon Pie Larabar

I did make one very big rookie mistake. I overlooked the time when I’d need to refuel. I did not realize that this half-marathon was 90 minutes away in virtually a black hole. The only restaurants we could find clearly did not have ethical meat or even vegetarian options besides pasta, which would not work when avoiding gluten. And so I had a lemon pie Larabar to hold me over until we got back to my hometown. It gave me plenty of time to think about how much better I could be at refueling. We all need to learn our lessons somehow, right?

Chipotle Menu

Chipotle Menu

Near home,w e stopped at Chipotle, which I heard was very eco-friendly after watching the CEO on Oprah. It may be eco-friendly, but I thought the options were really limited. No brown rice? What’s up with that? They didn’t even have fresh tomatoes… I just got what I could and then added more when we got home.

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Mexican Salad

On top of lettuce was all the black beans/salsa/peppers from my burrito bowl, 1/2 a sweet potato I microwaved with salsa, and the leftover black beans from last night with a dollop of Chipotle’s guacamole. My mouth was on fire after this! Even if their options aren’t great, at least what Chipotle does have is pretty tasty. And at this point, I think we were all pretty hungry, so there was no judging shoveling Mexican food into our mouths while standing up.

Sweet Potato And Salt

Sweet Potato And Salt

After a much needed hot shower, no one wanted this sweet potato, so I’ll take it! When these are nice and soft, they’re pretty much candy to me. They taste a lot better roasted but who has 90 minutes to think about how their sweet potato will taste?

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

Ginger Root Beer Zevia

And since I’ve been writing this, I chugged my favorite flavor of Zevia. I don’t know why I didn’t think about this earlier. All in all, my first race was an excellent experience, and there will be more 🙂 I just need time to recoup while the weather realizes how hot it should be in March, almost April.

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Easy Running And Planned Meals

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

Happy humpday, all! I have to admit: Normally, I don’t give a damn about what day of the wek it is or being half way there. But today, when I walked in my room, threw down my stuff, and knew I would be in for the night, I just wanted to do a happy dance. I’m 1 midterm I haven’t studied for, 1 class I won’t pay attention in, and 1 paper I haven’t started writing away from break. When I write it out like that, things don’t sound so good. LOL. I’ll just get on to my day then…

Red Delicious Apple
Red Delicious Apple

10 Miles In 1:29:56
10 Miles In 1:29:56

I grabbed an apple and was good-to-go to the gym. This was perhaps one of the easiest runs I’ve had in a while; I was well rested, well fueled, and feeling overall refreshed. The only thing that made it difficult was the 4th hour of the Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee and then local news, but I survived 😉 Through segments about women’s products like “the butt bra”, I don’t know how I made it…

Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick
Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick

For lunch I couldn’t decide wether to go protein-heavy or carb-heavy because of the workout. I decided on protein mainly because this salmon has been sitting around for 2 days and needed to get eaten :-/ It was tasty, though! It’s always better when you let someone else(thank you, Whole Foods) cook for you. On the side I had broccoli with my favorite dressing by Foods Alive and an organic garlic parsley cheddar cheese stick from Next Generation Dairy.

Would it be weird to say my “me” time came in History discussion? We had nothing to do this week, since the midterm was yesterday, so we watched 50 minutes of a PBS special. If 50 minutes listening to bad British documentaries while making fun of it with a friend and drifting off isn’t “me” time, I don’t know what is. After that I had another class(Object History), which just made the day feel so much longer. Midway through I broke out a snack.

Peanut Choco' Chewy Nature's Path Granola Bar
Peanut Choco’ Chewy Nature’s Path Granola Bar

Mmm I just love these bars from Nature’s Path. They’re sweet, salty, nutty–perfect! Except the ingredient list is totally less than stellar. Sugar as the number one ingredient? A chocolate coating that has less cocoa than palm oil? Yeah, I’m going to pretend I don’t see that because it’s organic…

Green & Black's Peanut Bar
Green & Black’s Peanut Bar

Candy, in general, gets a HUGE oversight from me if it’s organic, like Green & Blacks chocolates.

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Once I got this in mind, I had to hop to a campus store to grab a Vanilla Chobani; the combination was just too dreamy. The bar is milk chocolate with caramelized peanuts and sea salt. The sea salt wasn’t really present enough for me, but then again there isn’t enough sea salt in the sea to please me! But this tasted a lot better overall than I would have thought for a protein-packed snack.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

And now with dinner plated, I feel a whole other happy dance coming on. Can I get into my PJ’s before this burger is even gobbled up? For the first time in a while, it was cooked to perfection: rare. On the side, I had some Snikiddy baked cheddar cheese fries to sneak my snack fix, and some plain broccoli for a “real” vegetable. What? Ketchup doesn’t count as a vegetable? 😉

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead. When things are really crunched, I know to turn to prepared foods like the salmon I had for lunch. Likewise, the dinner I planned this morning taking in mind the fact that I had class until 5:20 and like to eat at 6:30. Do you meal plan? What’s the last meal you planned and prepared?

P.s. Survivor is on tonight! Get excited!

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I’m Trying To Be Profound Here

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What can I say to be profound? The early bird catches the worm? Well, unless you’re willing to get up before 3am, Al Roker’s going to get that worm.

They say You are what you eat…

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Therefore, I’m a cow with a sweet potato farm. Since I didn’t have my planned meal of a burger last night for dinner, I was excited to cook one up for lunch today. In lieu of fries, I cubed a sweet potato to bake for 30 minutes, and then cooked in the beef fat for another 6-8. Magnifique. I love this method for flavor and clean-up. And since the sweet potato isn’t over cooked, it feels more like a meal; I loooove the flavor of long-roasted sweet potato but eating that is as filling as eating shuga’ to me.

Maybe slow and steady wins the race, but I rushed and by 3pm I mailed in an essay due at 3pm on Wednesday. Why? Because I was done with it and wanted it out of my mind to tend to other things for the rest of my week. Best. Decision. Ever.

Vanilla Bean So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream With TJ Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Where’s the lesson here? It definitely isn’t the best things in life come free, because this So Delicious coconut milk ice cream is pretty pricey(but definitely one of the best things in life). No, I think the lesson is good things come in small packages–clearly whoever said that had Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups in mind. Aren’t they the cutest? And so flavorful. I have could eat the whole container.

Chocolate Chobani With Peanuts And 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’ll give it to the man who said you can have too much of a good thing. This yogurt got a little overloaded when I remembered I really don’t care for cocoa powder in my greek yogurt with vanilla stevia(I know–you’d think I’d like this, right? But I can’t stand it). To rectify the sitch I threw on some roasted peanuts and a few squares of my favorite dark chocolate–organic, 70% cacao, and saving the rain forest one nibble at a time.

Roasted Broccoli And Vegan Coconut Crusted Baked Tofu With Toasted Coconut

I assure you that whoever said time flies never roasted a vegetable in his life. Otherwise he would have said something like time’s a fly on a glue trap.

Coconut Tofu

A rolling stone may gather no moss, but rolling tofu in agave will gather shredded coconut. I tried to recreate coconut baked tofu from Caitlin’s blog by tossing it with agave and shredding coconut. It was “meh”; really the flavor came from toasting coconut and adding it at the end. I’ll add this profound thought: When you have time to toast coconut, do. Really, what do philosophers have on me?

Alright, maybe I’m not the most profound blogger, BUT I have added a new page that lets you see what I think are the most thought provoking or inspiring posts thus far. Sometimes I try to put down the oatmeal and discuss real matters, and I think those moments should be saved somewhere so that your voices in conversation can ring out. And if there’s any post that you recall that was particularly poignant or educational that’s not there, please bring it up; I’ve only looked back through February.

After spending all too long at the Wikipedia proverbs page, I think the truest proverb is…

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

While the most ridiculous…

There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream

Of course there are more ways to kill a cat. I’ve got two in my trunk and I ran out of cream 3 weeks ago.

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No Crying Over Dropped Oatmeal

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

It’s a Wendesday! You know what that means… new Whole Food circulars! I get excited about Wednesday for all the wrong reasons 😀 But–if you’re a Providence reader–you simply need to get out grocery shopping today. It’s the last day kombucha and organic avocadoes are on sale at Eastside Market, and now at Whole Foods you can get organic broccoli, Kerrygold butter, and brownies all for more than cheap! I’m going to *try* to get to at least the former today.

Gingerade Kombucha

Speaking of kombucha, last night after supper I had a Gingerade kombucha. This is probably my favorite of the Synergy flavors. I just love anything ginger, and this is so robust! I sipped on this doing work and watching the Biggest Loser; last night’s episode just seemed “meh” to me. It also made me remember how much I hate when they lose weight but aren’t happy with how much. Every little step towards being healthy counts! Big changes don’t need to be made overnight, and–in real life, at least–there is no “game” to play. So often on that show they lose sight of what matters.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For a dessert I mixed some agave into a So Delicious soy yogurt and crumbled a few too many Sunspire milk chocolate peanuts on top. I love that I can get these peanuts from the bulk bin; it’s all that saves me from going poor having to buy the individual packages. The yogurt not surprisingly wasn’t too sweet because I used  agave instead of vanilla stevia :-/ I think there’s a time and place for both–this would have been a stevia moment.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Chunky PB

Afterwards, I was definitely feeling a little nutty. I whipped up some pumpkin oatmeal and added a spoonful of Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter and 365 brand crunchy(which you can get for $1 with the new Whole Deal flyer. If I went overboard on the peanut butter, it’s because this combo was fantastic. It reminded me of eating a crunchy peanut butter cup(do they even make those?). So good.

I happily woke up this morning after 8 hours  of sleep right with my alarm at 6:50 and the sun shining in and did not feel like running at the gym; it just seemed like too much work, and I have enough of that. Instead, I spent the first few hours in bed with a good book(read: homework book), some coffee, my laptop and breakfast. This was definitely the way I needed to start today. This, however, was not.

Shatered Bowl And Oatmeal

Shattered Bowl And Oatmeal

Why did I title the post how I did Because I totally want to cry. I had just put the toppings on my oatmeal, and randomly decided to carry it back to the microwave for reheating. It was so hot I lost my handle and, well, the rest was history. At least the bowl was only from the ever exclusive Targe and I can probably get another one easily. Call me crazy(please don’t), but I even made an effort to save what peanut butter I could; I hardly had any left of the cookie dough peanut butter and I’m not sure if P.B. Loco exists as a company.  After that fiasco, I remade the oatmeal in something I couldn’t possibly break.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Strawberry Jam, Chobani With 1/2 Gluten Free Cupcake

There’s definitely something to the thought that we eat with our eyes; even though this was the exact same amount of oats and everything, it looked 10 times less appetizing(the first bowl was a real beauty). Shame, too, because the flavors of vanilla and strawberry were really uplifting and reminded me of Summer.

Chobani With 1/2 Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake

At least this yogurt couldn’t possibly have been a failure. I am really loving these gluten-free cupcakes more and more and definitely want it as my full birthday cake; Bob’s Red Mill makes a fine product!

I had planned to go for an 8-9 mile outdoor run in about an hour. Now I just don’t know what the morning holds. The night, on the other hand, looks a little better; I have another one of those 6(now 7) extracurricular things but this one should be a goody 😉 And definitely a boost I need to make it through this week. Lastly, check out this double giveaway from Iowa Girl!

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Not On My Time

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you had told me I would spend the past 15 hours like I have, and appreciating them, I would have said you’re nuts(I use this expression a lot for obvious reasons)

Burnt Homemade Chocolate

7:54- I have no sense of wasting food, so I eat this homemade chocolate I burnt trying to melt the cocoa butter in. It tastes gritty

7:56- Hey–on the bright side that tasted like burnt chocolate, not like some horrible dorm-made concoction. Go me!

8:17- Oh my God, I’m exhausted. Can I go to bed now?…

8:20- I can totally go to bed now. Bye, bye computer and hello bed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Nutritional Yeast, A Wild Peanuts

8:40- 20 minutes of lying in the dark has felt good, but something’s not working. I’ll try some oatmeal to get me sleeping.

8:55- Wild jungle peanuts… do not taste wild. In fact, they taste a bit more like cardboard than regular peanuts? Maybe I’ll roast the rest. Or would that devalue them? Or do I not care…

8:57- Mighty Maple is goooood.

9:20- Sleep. Glorious sleep.

2:40- Great, now I’m awake. Do I want sleep or cookies? I want to sleep.

2:45- Sleep’s not happening; it’s tea and cookie time.

Bedtime Tea And Chocolate Cherry Goji Cookies

2:58- Hey, Anderson Cooper’s on TV!

3:00- And now he isn’t…

3:04- God, these Goji Gourmet goji cherry cacao cookies are good. How do they get them so sugary gritty? It must be in creaming the butter and sugar. I need to bake with more butter(always more butter).

4:00- How am I still awake?! This is ridiculous.

4:15-4:20- Self-diagnosing myself with wayyy too many problems to deal with at 4am. Thinking is dangerous, people. Don’t do it.

4:35- I give up. I’m checking my email

4:44- Will my dad notice I’m responding to him at 4:45am? I don’t think he’ll be savy enough to look at the time stamp.

4:56- And now I’m tired again. I’m not sure how that works out, but I’ll take it.

6:15- Why do I set my alarm for 6:15?

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

6:29- 3 Back To Nature Fudge Mint cookies are juts as good pre-run as an apple, right? I’m going with that line of thought.

6:32- Oh my God, are these cookies good. Thin Mints who? Take that, needy girl scouts.

6:41- There are 4 other people at the gym. Now that’s odd; I wonder what time they set their alarm for.

10 Miles In 28:33

7:34- That guy better not touch my 2nd TV. Just because I have 2 TV’s and a movie going on my iPod doesn’t mean I don’t need them all to pull through 10 miles.

8:11- Wow! I never thought I’d squeeze in 10 miles on a Tuesday/Thursday before me. Sweet! Now get ready!

8:29- Showered and dressed. What for breakfast? What for breakfast? What for breakfast?

8:34- More cookies? Sure, why not.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Protein Peanut Butter, 2% Greek Yogurt With 3 Fudge Mint Cookies

8:48- Portable breakfast packed and ready. I’ve got pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter and an agave sweetened greek yogurt with 3 fudge mint cookies.

8:56- Oh thank God, I did my homework for this class.

2% Greek Yogurt With Fudge Mint Cookies

10:02- Don’t call on me; I’m still savoring the last few bites of this yogurt. Oh God, that was good. Why don’t cookies come in yogurt more often? If I’m hungry in 10 minutes, it was worth it.

10:22- Do I want coffee? Or tea? Or just water? Why is it so sunny now that I don’t have time to spend idly outside?

10:34- Oh. I should write a post.

10:59- OK, I should probably make a review page for these cookies, since I’m not sure they’re going to last the night.

11:19- Time to let out some lies…

1. My favorite candy growing up was Snickers! False. I was all over anything Reeses. I loved the peanut butter cups, reeses pieces, and fastbreak bar the most. Holiday eggs anyone? I’m just happy Newman’s Own Organics has my back on all-natural ones.

2. I was debating between going to Princeton, Stanford, and Brown. While I think I might have got a better education at Princeton, I stuck more local to be near my family. False! Wow, anyone who thought this was true must think highly of me 😀 To be honest, there was no choice involved. I applied to Brown early decision, and when I got accepted for that it was binding. I wasn’t even sure if it was the right school when I sent in my app and was still debating about Williams. Who’s to say there’s ever any 1 “right” school anyway?

3. I’ve been on every continent but Antarctica(I’m coming for you, glaciers ;-) ). False. I’ve been only to North America and Europe.

4. I left my passport on a plane on a school trip to Greece, but thankfully we got it before the plane left the gate. False! I’m always overprotective about my things even just in Boston so this would (hopefully) never happen to me. It did happen to a friend, though.

5. I speak fluently 3 languages. False. I wish! Really, the only other languages I know are Latin and Greek, and I definitely couldn’t “speak” those, especially not fluently.

6. My parents were extremely strict on anything electronic growing up, so I never owned a video game console until I got one as a High School graduation present. False. My parents had a gameboy in my hand by my 5th birthday.

7. The first time I had greek yogurt was in Greece on restaurant sidewalk with peaches and honey. True! I don’t even remember if I liked it at the time, and didn’t have another until 1 and a half years later, but on a school trip to Greece in 10th grade, we were served yogurt with honey and peaches as a complimentary dessert, and I remember being the only one at our table to eat it(I think I picked out the honey and peaches, mostly).

11:31- Publish!

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Almost Perfect Sunday

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

Wow! Where did the weekend go? I remember getting a guest, and then an awesome run outside followed by a 3 1/2 minute faster run, and now The Oscars?! Already? Aww, man. At least Sunday felt great!

The perfect: It was super sunny outside in Providence all day

The almost perfect: A few more 10’s of degrees wouldn’t have hurt 😉

Peanut Butter Perfect Foods Bar

Lunch just… didn’t happen. I had just finished breakfast when my parents dropped by at 1:40. Instead, I grabbed a peanut butter perfect foods bar to snack on while we went grocery shopping. I recapped all my reviews of their flavor in this post, but I will say now the flavor was no lie: This tasted like straight up peanut butter and honey.

The perfect: Getting slipped money for groceries from my grandmother in the grocery stores.

The almost perfect: Having to listen to said grandmother comment on every single building she sees on the car ride to the grocery stores.

Vita-Mix Demo

The perfect: Getting to go to Whole Foods.

The almost perfect: Seeing a Vita-mix demonstration all set up but not actually running.

I don’t know why I didn’t stick around to see the full demo; I just felt time-crunched. But I’ve already decided the day I buy a house I’ll buy a Vita-mix. The ridiculous cost wont’ seem like so much in perspective and, from what I hear, the two last the same amount of time.

Jolly Beans

I was very excited to see at Whole Foods Easter candy all laid out! I had forgotten what a tasty holiday this could be 😉 I really wanted to grab it all, but I limited myself to jelly beans from the bulk bin which were also on sale.

The perfect: Getting jelly beans.

The almost perfect: Having a funny feeling I’ll be getting fair-trade organic chocolate eggs in my Easter basket but having to wait a few more weeks for those.

Groceries 1

Groceries 2

In the loot:

  • 5 So Delicious soy yogurts
  • 1 Oikos
  • 3/4 lb grass-fed 85% beef
  • 2 blocks Nasoya soft tofu
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 5 organic avocadoes
  • Multi-green Kombucha
  • Fudge mint cookies
  • Jelly beans
  • Jokerz all-natural candy bar
  • So Delicious plain coconut milk kefir
  • Organic 365 decaf coffee
  • 1/4lb black forest ham
  • Sea salt
  • Chocolate brownie Z-bar
  • 3 cans pumpkin
  • Individual sized fully loaded Kettle chips

The perfect/almost perfect: This is a total catch-22; I ended up maybe grabbing more than I needed, but it was because all of my “maybe” items like the kefir and the cookies were on sale this weekend–I can’t pass up a sale! Most of the other stuff was on sale or I had a coupon or I just got for a good price/know I’ll eat and fast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Peanuts

I was also a starving Marvin when I walked in the door; meal replacement bars don’t replace much for this fueler. Before I even put much of it away, I was simultaneously making this bowl of oatmeal. How does that work out? Not well.

The perfect: The flavor of Justin’s maple almond butter and that so many other bloggers are getting on this flavor train; I’ve had this in my pantry since Summer, have never regretted it, and I think my dad’s gone through 3lbs easily in that time, too 🙂

The almost perfect: This has been on my list to give a review page for forever now! I’ll get around to it… eventually.

Sea Salt & Vinegar

Dinner was destined to be low-key; I spent what time I had catching up on emails and what not and looked at the time to see that I should really start thinking of something and fast! That’s a good enough reason for me to break out the Pirates Booty.

The perfect: Being fast and convenient.

The almost perfect: Being a processed food. Really though, this is an all-natural foods blog and not a 100% healthy all the time blog. Just eat mostly whole foods and then slip in the good stuff 😉

Ham, Broccoli, And Cauliflower Salad, Sea Salt & Vinegar Pirate's Booty

Ham, Broccoli, And Cauliflower Salad

For a simple salad, I diced up the deli meat I got from Whole Foods today and tossed that with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I added smoked Scottish sea salt; I completely forgot I had this and the flavor went with ham perfect.

The perfect: I’ve been craving ham since seeing it on Meghann’s blog earlier this week. It felt sooo good to dig in to some.

The almost perfect: I liked the vinegar flavor in these chips to begin with, but then it had me wondering, “What happened?” The corniness of them was just a bit too overpowering.

Overall, today has been almost perfect; I have yet to crack open a book(whoops). But at the same time I know I haven’t been not doing things, and that definitely counts for something. And soon I have the Oscars to curl up too 🙂 That doesn’t happen often enough. Here are my reviews for all 4 flavors of Perfect Foods bars I’ve had the chance to try now.

Peanut Butter

8.5/10: There was certainly no deception in the name or advertisement; this bar was fully peanut butter and honey. The only thing which would have bettered the flavor would have been whole or halved peanuts to crunch on. Otherwise, it was a bit inconvenient to have to worry about keeping the bar refrigerated. And for simplicity of ingredients 3 protein sources seems a bit much. But the nutrition in the end was spot on for a good sized snack with filling fats and protein.

Carob Chip

8.5/10: I’m always skeptical when a bar is this hefty that it has to be equally good and not at all disappointing. Well, this was just that for the most part. The peanut butter tasted fresh ground, and whereas the prominant honey flavor might put me off in any other bar, I wouldn’t expect different from a company whose mascot is a bee. The ingredients list seemed a tad long and complex, but I suppose it was necessary to fit the perfect nutrition these offers. The biggest let down was the carob flavor, which rather than being spread throughout the bar I only got here and there from a rogue chip. But overall this was a tasty and filling snack.

Cranberry Crunch Lite

8.5/10: Perfect Foods makes some fantastic “meal replacement” bars, but this was a much needed addition to their line: a bar that can be eaten as a more modest snack. For bulk, they use brown rice crisps. These felt a little overwhelming in presence, and unfortunately rather dull compared to the other flavors. As for the other flavors, while cranberry isn’t one of my favorite fruits I enjoyed how this at least had a strong flavor. The peanut butter did not come off as well, but the honey added a much needed, mellow sweetness. Nutritionally, I think they hit the nail on the head by maintaining high protein and fat levels. It’s a little annoying that this has to be kept refrigerated, but if I ever found this in the refrigerated section of my grocery store I’d gladly pick it up.

Fruit & Nut

7/10: This bar was–quite literally–a “fruit & nut” bar. It had 1 fruit and 1 nut: raisins and walnuts. And I can’t even say they were in a particular abundance, either :-/ Clearly, would have benefited from a wider variety and simply more of the “fruit & nut” aspect. Beyond that, it was everything I love about Perfect Foods Bars. The nutrition was once again spot on, with a great fat and protein content. The honey taste was particularly appealing in the fruit & nut theme. The one inconvenience that annoyed me was the refrigeration; I tend to eat bars when I’m not near a kitchen and so when I got to this it was a little soft, but not completely lost on me. It’s not my favorite, but I’d eat it again, and gladly knowing I’m getting so many nutrients.

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Layers Of Flavor

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reunited and it feels so good… with Food Network! I forgot how much I enjoyed this channel. Right now, I’m getting my 5-ingredient fix with Claire Robinson on; I’m not even a fan of hers but 3 weeks without having it and I’ll watch anything on the Food Network. Her theme is layering flavors, so naturally I’m going to be a copy cat and show you some delicious layered flavors.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Shavings, Peanut Butter, And Salt

From top to bottom:

  • Sea salt
  • 365 Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Bulk Milk Chocolate Shaved
  • Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia

Hello, flavorful. I didn’t have any peanut butter cups around, and I didn’t feel like making the, so I just used the raw ingredients. Then I stirred it all together. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter always gets lost in the yogurt, so I finished it off with a garnish:

Peanuts Added On Top

Much better 🙂 I find, if you want peanut flavor in your yogurt, it’s better to use peanut flour(which I’ve discovered troubles my stomach) or peanuts to get it loud and proud. On TV was bobsledding; I think bobsledding/luge/skeletons are so much more exciting than most of the sports they show on The Olympics but they get almost as little attention as cross-country skiing 😦 And yet the world has to stop to see ice dancers. Go figure. Before I went to bed I had some nutty oats.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Creme Concentrate

One thing that is not muy bueno about being home is not having my super stash of nut butters to choose from. I ended up going with Maranatha’s almond butter, which is not nearly as good as Justin’s now that I’ve tried both 😦 I can’t wait to turn the people in this house on to Justin’s once it hits New England shelves!

Spoonful Coconut Creme Concentrate

The coconut creme concentrate is a new product I’m trying from Tropical Traditions. It’s kind of like very concentrated coconut milk. I haven’t explored it much and so won’t review it yet, but know that it was tasty enough that I took a spoonful straight from the jar before falling asleep 😉

This morning I slept in and read a little in bed before actually getting up. Is it just me, or are there a lot more commercials for cereals and breakfast foods before 9am? That would be good advertising if it’s true. It made me hungry for some cinnamon toast crunch–not like we actually have that or even any organic version around. That’s OK because I was perfectly capable of layering my own flavors.

Cinnamon Soy Yogurt With Ginger Cookie, French Toast Oatmeal With Honey Cinnamon PB

For the yogurt, I did…

This was delicious, kind of like my beloved snickerdoodle ice cream but breakfast-friendly. I think the fact that I have 3 soy yogurts in the my fridge right now for the week and I’ve gone through 2 in 12 hours is a bad sign.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon And An Egg Topped With Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

The oatmeal likewise was a bit of a flavor conundrum(I’m pretty sure I’m not using this word right here).

Cinnamon toast crunch who? This was wayyy better. And it went good with some Mexican style coffee on the side, too. Now Food Network programming has shifted from Aida to Sunny Anderson. Fun fact: She actually commented on this blog once! It was towards the beginning of the Summer when I mentioned the new program The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It definitely made me feel famous for that one day(and might have gone to my head :-)). Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe Giada will be coming on, and she’s always entertaining to watch, and not because of her cooking 😉

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So This Is Sunday

Posted on February 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So this is Sunday,
An what have I done?
Saturday’s over.
But a new day’s begun.
And so this is Sunday
I haven’t done much–
Sleeping in mostly,
Eating and such…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Coconut Oil Topping

I’d say I’m predicatble in a good way when it comes to my eats 😉 I had 1/2 an avocado leftover from another one and could have practically jumped for joy when it was the exact amount needed for pudding(did I just admit that?). Anyway, in went the avocado, almond milk, cocoa powder, and stevia. Then, for a chocolaty topping, I mixed cocoa powder, agave nectar, and Tropical Traditions coconut oil in a 1:1:3 ratio with a little vanilla powder added in–yum! I imagine this is something like raw cacao paste would be if I had some. A bit after this I was still ravenous and dug on in to my next snack:

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspire Topping

Hello, probiotics and carbs! I think I would rather have this than a bowl of ice cream most nights; is that wrong? Don’t tell me because then I wouldn’t want to be right. This was a bit off I’ll admit; every once and a while, I get one that’s too runny. I think they forget to add one of the gums or something to stabilize it, so for this one I mixed in a little Bob’s Red Mill guar gum and voila! It was just like the real thing again. Who would have thought such an obscure ingredient would be so handy?

Oatmeal/Oatbran With Honey

Still hungry. More carbs. But this seemed to be settling. I loooove the smell of warmed clover honey; I think that in itself was enough to make me want to go to bed. I saw Apolo win bronze in his race and then was out of here.

Through the night, I had some wacky-wonky dreams. In short, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted cake batter more 8-| I used to eat up cake batter ice cream like crazy(Coldstone’s sinless ftw), but haven’t found a good all-natural one to date. Maybe I could just buy an all-natural cake mix and work from that? It’s worth a shot.

Tweeting

Sleeping in led to the classic decision: Should I go to the gym or put it off? Surprisingly, I never have issues with this during the week; I’m usually raring to run and watch some television. But on the weekends, the gym opens a bit later, the television shows lessen in quality, and my motivation suffers because of all of that. Guess what I decided:

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Blueberries, And Coconut Milk

It was definitely the right decision. Just as I dream of sweet yellow cake(oh, how delicious), I dreamt up this amazing combination of awesomeness. The coconut and the blueberries just sounded so perfect together. On top of that, I love any sort of berry with chocolate. And almond was a nice, subtle bitter tone to finish it all of. Hallelujah! AND I learned from the ever-knowledgeable Joanna in this post that coconut milk makes fat more readily available as a fuel source; look out, gym, here I come!

3 things to check out before I do. First, check out this Chobani giveaway! Next up, Caitlin had an awesome mood-boosting post this morning; go on and try it! And then a giveaway for coconut oil! Something fun for everyone.
So this is Sunday,
What will I do?
Groceries and homework
To name a few…
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I Need A Dentist

Posted on February 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I need a dentist because my sweet tooth has been out of control recently! Now, you might say, “But Evan, that would mean that it was once in control, and you can’t honestly expect that, can you?” Well, I would say that on the whole it pretty much is; if anything, I overdo it with the salt in food. I love my oats salty! But recently, it’s been all about the sugar. For example:

Agave Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

It shouldn’t be a shocker that I enjoy something chocolate every night after dinner. Last night my thought process was along these lines: “I think I want dark chocolate. Yeah, dark chocolate. That’s nice and full of antioxidants. And it’s vegan. I’ll have vegan dark chocolate, and a vegan yogurt. I’ll have soy yogurt. But if I’m having soy yogurt I’ll need… milk chocolate!!” And that’s how we arrived here.

Bleeding Colors

That amuses me oh so much. This snack had plenty of sugar between the agave in the yogurt and the chocolate. At least there were peanuts in there, too? Those made them healthy. These are actually one of the few “candies” I eat, so if they’re my biggest vice, c’est la vie. I ate this while trying to get in to the Olympics, but pair skating is just not my sport 😦 Bring back the speed skating! Not an hour later, my sweet tooth struck again.

Cherry Coconut Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Coconut Butter

I usually like salty oats; last night was a huge exception. I made oatmeal with 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, a spoonful of cherry butter, and vanilla stevia, and then topped them with coconut butter from Artisana and Justin’s chocolate peanut butter. Notice how there’s a big plop of the sweet nut butter and a little bit of the fiberous one? Yeah, me neither. Well I had that and then got to bed nice and early(10:30!) for some sweet dreams and 8 hours of sweet sleep.

18 Rabbits Cheeky Cherry Chocolate Granola Bar

This morning I woke up half-hungry? It just feels like my hunger’s going to be off today, but I’d hate to think pessimistically like that. Anyway, I ate about 2/3rds of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar from 18 Rabbits on my run. Overall, the most satisfying thing here was the chocolate(of course). Otherwise, thought that the cherries and cacao nibs were bit slacking. The coconut in the granola was a nice subtle flavor, too. Still, it was pretty sweet and almost like a dessert with the chocolate.

8 Miles In 68:57

The “plan” for my run was 5 miles. I started out going faster than I would have thought: 7mph. That was my treadmill pace last semester but has been elusive so far. Today, however, I had no trouble with it, and I felt like I could just keep going, so I did! The way my (lack of) training plan works is that I’d rather run “how I’m feeling” today than plan too far ahead. I ended up doing a speedy 8 miles, which was fun but put the rest of my morning in a rush.

Banana Oats With Barney Butter, Cherry 2% Greek Yogurt

Banana Oats With Barney Butter

FINALLY I had a thought to try and cap the sugars. I was at least somewhat successful? I still needed to sweeten my oats and yogurt, and topped both with spreads that have sugar in them :-/ But cherry butter and Barney Butter are definitely some of the lesser evils that I could have gone for. Maybe I need a sugar challenge like this daring blogger and Ellen?

Vanilla Decaf Coffee

And now I’m enjoying my favorite new tradition of Tuesday/Thursday: a warm cup of coffee with stevia after class. And I feel thrifty because I brew it myself instead of going to a campus coffee stop 🙂 I also polished off the remaining 1/3 of the cheeky cherry chocolate bar while writing this. And you can damn well bet I savored and enjoyed the chocolate chips 😉 But now I’m just hoping a straight and proper lunch will smack things back to “normal” again. And… I’m off!

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