As Unpredictable As The Weather

Posted on April 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Such computer drama! I think mine is dying if not dead 😦 I’m blogging from the library now. As a blogger and a student, this is a nightmare. Bear with me through what could be an awful week :-/

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic White Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Last night I predictably wanted a greek yogurt chocolate mess for dessert. Unpredictable was the white chocolate; it’s so much easier to find good dark chocolate than white, but the Easter bunny picked out this Green & Black’s organic white chocolate to give a shot. He I enjoyed it a lot, though it’s not quite as good as Divine‘s; the key to amazing white or milk chocolate is not milk powder but butterfat as the source of dairy. Unfortunately, all the Whole Foods in the area seemed to not carry Divine‘s anymore 😦

Oatmeal With Organic Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Organic Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter

Right before bed was a bowl of oatmeal with organic cinnamon vanilla almond butter from Naturally Nutty. I was definitely in an almond butter mood from blog reading 😉 Though I like my almond butters a bit thicker than this was last night–not sure why. But the flavor was so earthy and delicious!

Cranberry Crunch Lite Perfect Foods Bar

Cranberry Crunch Lite Perfect Foods Bar

On the way to the gym this morning I ate a cranberry crunch lite Perfect Foods bar. I was craving something honey and the raw honey that these bars made with has soooo much flavor. Unfortunately, this was the last of my pack 😦 I’m seriously considering ordering a case of the peanut butter or carob chip–they’re that good; I just need to prioritize and fix things like, say, my computer.

10 Miles In 88:04

10 Miles In 88:04

If you had told me I would want to wake up at 6:15 and run 10 miles, I would have thought you were nuts. But I did! Last night, I decided I completely missed the morning rest, The Today Show–the entire package. These 10 miles seemed to fly by. I found it funny that, in my time on the treadmill, the forecast went from “chance of late afternoon showers” to no showers. Guess what the weather was doing when I got out of class at 10:30… I’m finding a new weatherwoman.

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts, Plain Greek Yogurt With Honey And Banana

Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts, Plain Greek Yogurt With Honey And Banana

I packed this breakfast before class. I forgot how amazing plain yogurt with New Hampshire honey could be; I don’t even normally like bananas but that completely pulled the flavors together. And the milk chocolate peanut sunspires were the candy on top 🙂 Now I seriously need to organize my life. I can’t blog in the library forever; I’ve got sweet potatoes in the oven! See you later(maybe?)

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Shaking Off The Funk

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning from Providence! It feels good to be able to say that again. Maybe tomorrow I can blog from Houston? I’ve never been but anywhere it’s not raining sounds good to me!

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Yesterday morning, I was still a little “sugar shocked” from my birthday eats, so I decided to avoid added sugar and sweetness for as long as I could. For breakfast, it really wasn’t that hard; I just swapped out yogurt for scrambled eggs and used plain old 365 peanut butter with sunflower seeds on my oats. That peanut butter is probably my favorite plain, and it’s only $1 with the new Whole Deal coupon! That’s insane!

Baby Carrots

Baby Carrots

Before lunch, I munched on some carrots where I might have coffee. The natural and voluminous sugars were enough to hold me over for a while and still feel fresh. But then it rained. And rained. And rained. So I had tea.

Tazo Rest

Tazo Rest

Since the goal of the day wasn’t to make me miserable, I went ahead and added a little stevia to this. It was just enough to bring out the essence of the Tazo Rest tea, which is amazing.

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Lunch was kept real simple and real fresh I a can of 365 tuna with 2oz plain Chobani and salt; that’s the ingredients for the perfect tuna salad, in my mind. That went atop some simply steamed broccoli with soy sauce and then was sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds; those are the best seeds to add for flavor, crunch, and protein in my book.

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Around 3, I came to the realization that my life is not complete without chocolate; I just can’t fathom otherwise. And I’m OK with that since I always celebrate my chocolate tooth with good quality products. Did you know some Hershey’s products contain 60% vegetable oils and can’t even legally be called “chocolate”? Yuck! Elan’s chocolate frozen yogurt has simple, natural ingredients, probiotics, and a stellar nutrition panel. I say, scoop away!

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Baking this banana goodness bread with hemp seeds instead of flax was such a good idea it makes it a little nuttier and sweeter. I was worried the sugar crust was gone the day after but with some time in the toaster, this was just as crust and nice. Is it just me, or is nothing better on rainy days than sweet breads and coffee? Except this was without the coffee. Boo.

This week was so sporadic; I’d planned to be home for the half-marathon, and my birthday, and then I had no clue what I was doing. I thought I might drop by campus to pick up books and stay home all week. But after 2 days of being trapped home and not having a great time, I realized I was in a funk, and being back in Providence might help me defunk(or at least I’d have work to keep me busy). At that, we packed up yesterday afternoon and drove down to RI.

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Morrocan Chickpea Salad

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Dinner was eaten at Whole Foods; do you know of a better chef? I kind of wish they had gluten-free pizza so I could have partaken in the pizza eating(everyone else had pizza), but I was also happy with what I got. The parmesan cauliflower was insanely good; I wanted so much more! Except it cost an arm and a leg from the salad bar. I think it’s a winner for Easter lunch, though. The Chickpea salad didn’t taste any exotic, but I could eat chickpeas morning, noon, and night on their own.

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

When I was settled in, I made a snack and turned on The Biggest Loser midway through. I didn’t forget my low-sugar challenge; in fact, I just tried to exercise a modest and healthy chocolate tooth, with a special treat I found at Whole Foods.

Coconut Creme Egg

Coconut Creme Egg

If it’s shaped like an egg and made by Lake Champlain, you’ve just got to get it, right? 😉 The “coconut creme” in here didn’t taste particularly exciting that’s coming from someone with about every form of coconut except the actual coconut in his dorm. The yogurt with coconut oil chocolate, however, was great.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Coconut Oil Chocolate

So great, I needed to taste the other half of the bar. At least it has no refined sugars? That’s my excuse. That completely took care of my chocolate tooth, though, and so I went back to my “raw roots” for one last dessert.

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

I forgot I opened and reviewed Better Than Roasted’s sprouted almond butter. It’s good, but I think I prefer their cashew. If you want a really nutritious nut butter, you don’t need to go raw, just look for one with the skin ground in; that’s the best thing you can eat!

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Dare I say, it felt good to get up at 6:45 on break and start running again?! The Today Show, the gym, the endorphins–I just missed it all. I scarfed down my last fruit & nut Perfect Foods Bar and got there surprisingly, I wasn’t the first or only one!

12 Miles In 1:46:11

12 Miles In 1:46:11

I broke my run into two segments of 6 miles, and finished in 1:46:11; thank goodness that’s not my half marathon pace or I’d be so off my goal.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was pretty standard fare between oatmeal with chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter(I got a new jar in my time at home) and chobani sweetened with agave and topped with milk chocolate peanuts. I was watching on The Doctors yesterday(first off, big mistake there) about how peanut particles are easy to get lodged in the lungs and trachea, which is why infants should never eat it. It also can account for a rough cough in adults, which I always have and now I can guess why. Anyone else out there with this? I’m going to be coughing after this meal, that’s for sure. It’s also made me scared to death to feed babies anything other than mushed veggies. I don’t think I was fed peanut butter, but I’ve heard admissions of coffee being slipped into the baby bottle. Any other baby feeding admissions people want to get out there? 😉

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Feeling Not Quite Right

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

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Right after posting last night, I was still a little hungry :-/ That ain’t right! I guess snack food at dinner maybe isn’t the most filling option. Oops. Oh well, I knocked out another one of these apples from the dining hall and felt happy again. If only that were the simplest part of my night…

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Doesn’t this So Delicious yogurt with milk chocolate peanuts look excellent? Well, looks can be decieving. As soon as I opened the yogurt, it smelt a little moldy. “But it looks fine!” I thought, so I dressed it with vanilla stevia and the Sunspire drops. I took one bite and knew it was off–yuck! In the trash all this went 😦 It wasn’t even close to expired, too!

Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

So I grabbed more peanuts…

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

…And gave it another shot. This time, thankfully, things tasted right and this was delicious. But I couldn’t help but feel “dirty” with the taste of mold around for most of the rest of the night. Have you ever eaten something that’s gone bad accidentally? I’m the worst at throwing out food, so I’ve eaten a lot of “questionable” produce, but that yogurt was beyond question.

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Where was my head tongue last night? Instead of oatmeal, I was craving some Purely Decadent chocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream; why deny a craving? It wasn’t “right”, but it damn was tasty 🙂 I’m so happy to have discovered an all-natural chocolate peanut butter ice cream I like. If only my wallet and health could be as happy for me.

Perfect Foods Cranberry Crunch Lite Bar

Perfect Foods Cranberry Crunch Lite Bar

Contrary to the title and the previous night, this morning I woke up feeling excellent; don’t you love it when you can spring out of bed fresh like you never even went to sleep? I didn’t feel like I needed much even, but I grabbed 1/2 a Perfect Foods cranberry crunch lite bar. These things taste great when they’re fresh from the pack; after a week or so lying around the fridge half opened, well, that ain’t so right.

11 Miles In 1:38:45

11 Miles In 1:38:45

Did I mention I was feeling good? 11 miles good. And I didn’t even get bored between all the distractions. For the first time in a while, I was the first one to the gym; then again, not much competition at 6:35. My other option would have been to run later on after my midterm, but for some reason getting it done early just felt “right” even if it did put me to a rush.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter, Pineapple Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple Peanut Butter, Pineapple Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Pineapple Chobani With Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Pineapple Chobani With Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Breakfast was a quickie and eaten in class while taking a midterm(oh yes, I have coordination). There was pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter. On the side, I had a Pineapple Chobani topped with Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups; I’m not sure if the flavor combination was the best, but when two amazing things come together how can it not be even more amazing? And I’m so grateful to have the instructors I do. I give them every reason to think I’m incredibly weird; instead, I get a “good luck on the race and early happy birthday” on the way out.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Now I’m snacking on an apple and coffee. Great combo, isn’t it? Good Lord, I think I’ve gone through a whole pesticide laden apple tree this past week. I just need to make lunch and then attend my last class before Spring Break at 1! And those 2000 more words of paper I have to write… that’ll happen sometime, too 😉 And time sneaks up on you because it’s the last day for Averie’s lunch box giveaway.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for. Just today, I couldn’t choose what passages would be on my midterm. But I could prepare for whatever came my way and reduce stress through that. How do you find acceptance over what you can’t control? Or, for a more fun question, What’s the last thing you ate that was well-expired?

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Half & Half

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It took about half an hour after finishing this dinner and post for me to be starving; don’t you hate it when the best tasting meals aren’t the most filling?

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Brown Sugar

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Brown Sugar

This bowl with mighty maple certainly did the trick, especially after not having any grains since breakfast. I love the way a little real brown sugar tastes granulated on top, but pumpkin oatmeal just wouldn’t be right without copious amounts of salt to me. The duo was superb. And this bowl held me through plenty of work into the night, until I decided to make a snack in the name of carboloading.

Raw Avocado Pudding And Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Raw Avocado Pudding And Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Maybe my snacks veer more towards fatloading–that works, too! I had 1/2 of my bowl with raw avocado pudding made with xagave and 1/2 with coconut milk vanilla yogurt. Yep, I’m definitely finding a new food obsession in the coconut milk yogurt. What on earth prompted me only to get 2? I also caught the last half of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, which I don’t think we needed to realize America needs reform, but was a helpful reminder. The USDA requires 2 breads be served at every lunch?! Why not 2 fruits or 2 vegetables–baffling.

1/2 Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

1/2 Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

And I finished the night with 1/2 a Fruit & Nut Bar from Perfect Foods. My appetite wanted a whole one; I wasn’t at all hungry–1/2 seemed like a good compromise.

1/2 Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

1/2 Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

That left the other 1/2 for devouring when I woke up at 6:40. I’m really starting to prefer eating nothing before my run or waiting to have a full breakfast and run mid-morning. But unfortunately today I needed to run early for timing and my runs are always better with a little snack so snack it was.

12 Miles In 1:45:30

There was no halfassing today. It felt great to be reunited with the treadmill and the today show, and that motivation pushed me through 12 miles, which felt easier than you would know. Even if I may not like a small snack before hand, it sure has results. After that I was a sweaty mess and ready fro a full breakfast.

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey Maple Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey Maple Peanut Butter

I topped my oatmeal 1/2 with honey maple peanut butter and 1/2 with Love Raw Foodsraw cashew butter. Come to think of it, I think I just used a full serving of each because they’re both so tasty; I can’t go 1/2 way with nut butters 🙂

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Lucuma Powder

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Lucuma Powder

On my yogurt, I added 1/2 a tablespoon a hell of a lot of lucuma powder, which, I’ll have you know, will be my newest food obsession even though this was my first time trying it and I’ll eat enough to turn into a lucuma fruit in 10 days. It’s an alternative sweetener that’s low sugar and made just from the powdered fruit and tastes absolutely amazing–sort of like dates! Apparently, it’s even a popular flavor in Europe? How come I never found lucuma gelato before…

And my plans that had me running early have fallen through and been rescheduled. Fun. At least now I have the day free, and while I could use all that time to work for midterms, something’s telling me to grab more coconut milk yogurt while it’s on sale. Happy Monday! If such a thing exists.

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Running On Borrowed Time

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Like Kermit the frog said, “It ain’t easy being green”. I think mint ice cream would share the same sentiment. It is not a green food by nature, and the all-natural kind doesn’t even try. That doesn’t mean it won’t taste as green or good on St. Patrick’s Day, right?

Mint Chip So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Tastes yummy by me! Like I mentioned, I picked up a new So Delicious ice cream to try: Mint Chip Coconut Milk. I love mint and wish it were a more popular flavor. This ice cream not dissapoint; it was minty and fresh, and the chocolate in it was essentially my coconut oil chocolate! Delicious. By the way, I know I’ve had plenty of new ice creams lately I don’t have page reviews for. In part this is because they’ve all been bought with my money so I haven’t felt an obligation towards the company; I also simply haven’t had time. But if any flavor has a particular following or anyone wants to email me individually, I’d be happy to share the details and maybe even eventually getting around to formal pages.

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Fudge Mint Cookies

Have I mentioned I love mint? I always overkill it in desserts, too, which makes no one else in my family want to eat it. I’ve been told my mint brownies taste like mouthwash 😀 I don’t mind if it means I get more! So, naturally I thought to add some mint cookie to my oats last night, as I simply wasn’t over the flavor.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And A Fudge Mint Cookie

Holy yum! The combo of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter and the cookie balanced soooo well. Of course, these are wheat cookies with gluten; they’re also really small and this was at least 1/10 the size of the one that did me in on Sunday so I wasn’t sweating eating it too much.

1/2 Perfect Foods Cranberry Crunch Lite Bar

On Mythbusters, they were testing all the alcohol related myths, including hangovers and what not. I’m glad my night of ice cream and oats made me feel a lot better than the Mythbusters, because all I needed was 1/2 a Perfect Foodscranberry crunch lite and I was good to go to the gym at 6:35.

11 Miles In 1:37:24

Tuesdays and Thursdays are notoriously tight for me, time-wise, with a class at 9, and that’s running moderate amounts. Today, I was so tired of doing 10 miles day after day I decided I felt like 11. Was today any better for time? Not so much. But I busted them out in 1:37:24 and then briskly walked back to my room to shower, change, cook, and get to class.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Breakfast also saw the return of one of my favorite Bob’s Red Mill products. At first I tried making an individual cupcake by cooking a serving with 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/2 an eggwhite. That came out… interesting and not at all fluffy, and now resides in my trash can.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter, Vanilla Cake Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I still managed to sneak the cake mix in there by pouring about 1/2 a serving straight into my vanilla chobani. This was so good! It was a little grainy, and definitely a sweet treat. The salty peanut candies on top made it even better, which I didn’t think would be possible. And then there was more Justin’s chocolate butter–this time almond–on the oats. When I got to class I realized I had none of my translation or text–bad for a Greek class 😦 I ran(literally) back to my room, grabbed it, and got back. If in no other way, at least running will help me in life as a courier.

Happy Thursday! I’m very happy it’s Thursday. Clearly, my mind is gone, and Thursday’s the last day of the work-week for me so I can really relax tonight. And as we all know Survivor’s on Thursdays. To quote the Black Eyed Peas, “I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night”.

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Balance And Contradiction

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

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

Root Beer Zevia

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

High Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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

Fudge Mint Back To Nature Cookies

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Sea Salt

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

Raw Mint Chip Macaroon With English Breakfast Tea

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

11 Miles In 1:36:46

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

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

Peanut Butter Perfect Foods Bar, Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

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

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

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Field Trippin’

Posted on March 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Has the sun shined where you are? Because it’s been pouring and raining all day! Oh well, I guess that’s could because it’s made me a little worker bee; I got sooo much done. But first, I was dragged out the door to meet my class for a “field trip” at 10am. Since it’s an object history class and Providence has plenty of historical places, it wasn’t hard for us to find somewhere fitting. We visited the John Brown House Museum.

Slave Trade Objects

As you might guess, it was no coincidence that the John Brown house is so close to Brown Univesity–he’s from the family we’re named after. When you get through the door, they don’t beat around the bush: The entire Brown family at one point was invested in the slave trade. That led for some good objects for us to look at. John Brown actually went through his whole life advocating for slavery and the slave trade, while his brothers turned into abolitionists and argued against him. That family must have been fun around the holidays!

John Brown's Chariot

You’ve got to admit that the man had some wheels. This was the oldest American made vehicle and actually carried George Washington around Rhode Island.

Squirrel Wall Paper

The same man, however, had no sense of “style”; he had a whole room wall-papered like this with squirrels and a squirrel carving over the fireplace. Uhhh, no thank you. It was pretty cool how they were able to restore the whole thing to its original ugly pristine.

Bull's Head Soup Holder

Since I’m still a foodie no matter where I go, the kitchen was the most interesting room; this soup bowl was used to hold hot soup which the steam would exit from the nostrils to make the bull look real. LOL. The owner after the Brown family also had one of the first working refrigerators in America!

Silver Bowl

And I think I found a new bowl to replace the one I broke earlier this week. What do you think? I think it could hold a lot of oats(and pumpkin, of course). After that the trip pretty much wrapped up and we all scurried to our dorms because the rain had intensified through the morning. By this point, I was pretty famished and surprised to see it was only 11:50; there are days when I’m just finishing breakfast then. Still, I whipped up the quickest and saltiest thing I could think of.

Soy Tofu And Broccoli, Cheddar Popchips

15 minutes later and I had a good meal done. I diced 1/2 a block of soft tofu and simmered that in soy sauce. While that was working, I steamed broccoli and added that towards the end to cook down. On the side I had some cheddar popchips and voila! a well-balanced meal! Chips can count as “balanced”, right? I was still feeling a little snackish later after this, which I’m pretty sure is the whole purpose of dessert.

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

I don’t think I know any “kid” who actually eats Z-bars, but they get so much love from us around the blogworld. And they should! I can never believe how soft and chocolaty these are for something prepackaged. They’re well portioned and fortified, too. And they make feel not so bad about not being able to bake while I’m at college. OK, when did I become a commercial for Z-bars? I’ll stop now.

Gingerade Kombucha

I didn’t want to boredom eat throughout the afternoon while I was working on my Greek, History, and Latin classes, so I sipped on some gingerade Kombucha instead. I don’t believe in any “appetite suppressant” if you’re really hungry but some times all your body needs is a nice flow of nutrient dense energy to realize how it really feels. That, and I’ll use any excuse to drink something that costs a whopping 2.50 🙂 My only complaint was that this one had a lot of floaties in it that felt awkward swallowing. OK I’m done thinking of that one.

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

I learned 2 important non-class related things this afternoon. Firstly, you can be hungry and bored without being hungry because you’re bored. Secondly, when I’m bored, I will take about 20 pictures of my food trying to be as “artsy” as possible. Case in point: ^. I think in retrospect I like the carob chip Perfect Foods Bar best but the peanut butter is also darn good. And because this was an afternoon snack packed with iron and protein, I decided not to have the grass-fed burger I thought I would for dinner and go with something more cravable:

Veggies With Vegan "Cheeze" Sauce

That would be about a pound or more of an Asian veggie blend from the dining topped with Meagan’s vegan “cheeze” sauce(hummus, water, and nutritional yeast). I also added a little coarse sea salt as needed. While I enjoy meat, I don’t particularly like to eat it when I’m not craving it or think it holds nutrients I need. Otherwise, I could(and do!) just eat a bowl of veggies. I’m pretty sure if you put me, Avery, and Heather in a room with only 1 pound of vegetables, a death match would ensue.

And now I’ll be a responsible blogger and use my platform to remind you that we lose an hour from Daylight’s Savings time tonight, so set your clock forward(or just sleep in, what do I care?). I’m actually looking forward to this? I’ve been hungry for meals a bit earlier all day, not by much–about 30 minutes to an hour–so my body will in a sense catch up with the time. Can I get a head start on things by throwing on my PJ’s an hour early tonight? I just might have to…

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Keeps Gettin’ Better

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

Thank you all for your comments this morning! Getting that news was such a great way to start my day and started a momentum of feeling like things keep getting better. It also never hurts to be recognized for hard work, especially when it’s you’re concentration(and one that’s not known for being a money0maker. Hey, I’m realistic ;-)) Now–here’s my pledge that Whole Foods will NOT get most of that. Considering I estimate my shoes have an 2000+ miles on them(I’m not even exaggerating here), I definitely have some good plans.

Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bar

When I got back from Greek, I grabbed Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice bar and switched in to workout clothes lickity-split. Even though it’s not the most opportune time to work out between classes, I felt 20 times better then than when I woke up, and this just felt “right” so I was determined to make it work.

10 Miles In 87:09

Do you know how hard it is to make it work when you only have Kathie Lee and Hoda to watch on The Today show? They are no Meredith and Matt–I’m just saying. Besides that, I was fast! This isn’t the pace I can do outside, but 87:09 was quicker than my normal treadmill pace. Part of that was GI, part of that was just not having time to play around with, but all of that felt nice 🙂 I showered and thought up a lunch really quickly.

Broccoli With Breakfast Style Chicken Sausages, Spicy Peanut Tofu Salad

I’ll throw out a disclaimer and say you can set any dietary restrictions you want on yourself and get adequate nutrient levels. That being said, after going 26 hours of eating vegan when my idea of vegan “food” involves chocolate and pudding, I truly felt like I was lacking protein. I was having a HUGE white meat chicken craving, and even contemplated getting the non-local, probably hormone induced chicken from the dining hall for a split second. In the end, I scrapped up a few Al Fresco breakfast style sausages and tossed those with broccoli along side a tofu salad made with The Heat Is On by PB&Co.. It wasn’t the “best meal everrrr” like all bloggers want to share, but it was “good enough” and got me to class 2 minutes early.

Gingerade, 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

Class was brutal. Maybe it was the fact that we kept having to turn off the lights for slides. Or maybe it was just an exhausting day(my friend Alex next to me actually fell asleep during some slides). Either way, between that and a “meh” lunch, dessert was definitely in order. Between classes I grabbed a Gingerade Kombucha from a local coffee shop and cut in half a Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar I stuck in my pocket. Pardon the pun, but this really was a “perfect” dessert/snack for getting through my afternoon; the bar tastes a lot like a cookie, anyway, and who would want milk over Kombucha? 😉

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

It was another “long day” with extracurriculars even after all the regular class. When I finished those, though, I was on my weekend! Things just keep gettin’ better 🙂 Of course, I needed to celebrate all the hubbub somehow, right? This dessert–once again, pardon the pun–was also quite “perfect”. Since I can’t stand having 1/2 a bar around, I chopped up the other part of my Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar and blended that with So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Besides the subtle coconut flavor, this was awesome! It reminded me of all that peanut butter and chocolate ice cream I had as a kid. The fact that I was “catching up” with my protein intake was just ice creaming on the cake.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Then again, maybe protein’s not a problem with burgers on the menu for dinner. Since I had 1/2 a sweet potato already baked, I diced that and cooked it in the healthy grass-fed burger drippings in the pan–easy peasy clean up, too! Unfortunately, baked potatoes I find don’t make the best of hashes; you really need to get them when they’re raw and just steamed to start.

Burger 101

Preparing A Burger

It’s been asked “How do you make your burgers with just dorm room equipment?” Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the simplest things I or you could cook! You just need a quality steel pan and a slightly fatty cut of meat(I like 85/15 grass-fed beef, but anything up to 90/10 should do). Form your patty with a slight dip in the center because when it cooks it will puff up. After letting your pan heat up on medium-high heat, let your patty cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Then, flip the patty and let it cook another 4, or until the juice running out of it is thin and only slightly red. Then–and I can’t stress this enough–carefully move it to a plate, and let it sit untouched for 5 minutes. This helps the juices to settle and doing this will get you a nice, rare burger. If you like your meat more well done, extend the cooking on both ends by 1:30-2 minutes. Bonus: If you’re a New England reader, regular beef is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound and even the grass-fed is reduced an amount! I for one will be getting at least a pound over the weekend if not more. And that’s your burger 101!

If you’ve never had the great pleasure to try Zevia(now that sounds like an idea for tonight), you can win some in this giveaway. Also, you can win coupons for So Delicious products like their coconut milk ice cream or kefir in this giveaway; if you enter this, please say Food Makes Fun Fuel or EvanFMFF is how you heard about it so we both have a better chance of winning 🙂

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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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That Dirty Quaker

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

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

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