Who Plucked Out My Sweet Tooth?

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

If I took you all in a room, and told you I didn’t like things sweet, I’d expect a roar of laughter(or at least some backwards glances). But today it’s like I’ve crave nothing sweet(that, for me, just meaning not a lot–not literally nothing). And the only reason I can think is that–save 1/8 teaspoon in my coffee at 6:15–I haven’t had any stevia. Today was not a hot drink type of day and I used agave in my yogurt this morning. I’ve never thought it before, but maybe there’s some truth to not craving sugars without low-cal sweeteners, even natural ones like stevia.

Red Delicious Apple

I can never make it between breakfast and a reasonably timed lunch on Tuesday/Thursday, so I had a naturally sweet apple. It was also quite naturally mealy and just naturally not-good, but it held me over so that I could make my favorite salad to eat in class.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

I’d never thought I’d say that: “Favorite salad”. But I’m really digging the new flavor combination I struck on 2 weeks ago. I guess these are sort of sweet ingredients, but not too much. I used a good squirt of Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing and a handful of Navitas Naturals mulberries, mixed in with chickpeas and diced cheese.

Raw & Probiotic Chickpea Salad, Trilogy Synergy

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Parsley Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Everytime I eat this, I swear it gets better; it just makes me feel so fresh! The garlic parsley cheddar raw & probiotic cheese from Next Generation Dairy really makes the flavors come together. And so much of this is raw, you know it must be good for you. On the side, I accompanied the meal with a raw and probiotic drink, namely the Trilogy flavor by Synergy. I talked about this more in the end, but it was quite the tastey juice. It tasted more just like a regular gingerade kombucha to me, but I didn’t mind because that’s most of the ingredients and a flavor I love. I would’n say this was sweet, though; It’s much more vinegary. And it finally made me feel full. Where was that when my stomach was on a war path yesterday?

Orange Chocolate Energy Bar

This afternoon, on top of my 3 hours of class I had another engagement that lasted about an hour. Therefore, a bar was a complete must. I grabbed this Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Orange Energy Bar from my bag. Sweet? Definitely. I didn’t say my sweet tooth had wholly disappeared 😉

Broccoli With Salsa

When I got back to my dorm, it was the oddest thing: All I wanted was dinner foods, even though dinner was a good time away and I still had preparation to do. I scrapped around for something not sweet, and this was the best I could do; it totally hit the spot, too! Go figure. I just hope this doesn’t continue for long because I do not keep that much savory stuff around.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

It was that time of week again. I want to thank each and every one of you who comments on how well I eat for living in a dorm. I assure you, after a full day of classes, the last thing I want to do is form burgers, cut sweet potato fries, and cook it all, especially when I still have homework for the next day. To be honest, I just don’t feel like there’s much of a choice, though. To eat in the dining hall, I either need to compromise a lot of my food philosophy, or learn to be happy with the salad bar; I just don’t like raw vegetables that much. When you get right down to it, cooking is work(God, now I understand my mother all too much), but it’s work I’ll do.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder, Sweet Potato Fries

This was worth the work, too. I do not know what was up with the beef; it was incredibly juicy but wouldn’t hold on to the juice. That’s OK because I ended up licking the plate clean(did I really just admit to that?) Happily, despite the lost prep time, I can be a fast eater and move on to my readings for tomorrow now. I’m sure today was just a fluke and that my sweet tooth will reappear soon for dessert(how could it not?).

There’s so much extra out there, I feel lie I have to mention a few before I give a product review summary. First up, there’s this article concerning fat as a new flavor. I’ve read this a couple places now, and I’m totally willing to jump aboard the flavor train if that’s the case. What’s interesting is reading how they want to take and utilize this knowledge. There’s also a funky monkey snack giveaway for you all to enter, not like those have much fat in them 😉 And check out the $50 shopping spree giveaway on Mary’s Weight Loss Blog! I can win an $50 Shopping Spree Giveaway from iHerb.com and so can you! Click here for contest details! Now, I’ll wrap this up with my Kombucha product review recap. I was able to sample 4 flavors to review for Synergy, and here’s my thoughts on those I tried. I think what I learned was, whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed so long as you like Kombucha. You can also look at my Synergy review page to see what other flavors I’ve had and might have in the future. Enjoy!

Botanic No 9

8.5/10: A delicate blend of honeysuckle and flowers, this kombucha has an equally tame flavor. It wasn’t “blue” in a saddening way but rather very mellow. I almost missed the vinegar flavor of the kombucha which is pretty much rendered down to nothing here. This one wasn’t for me on account of its subtlety but would definitely be a mellow welcome to anyone looking for “down time” or simply new to kombucha.

Citrus

8/10: The vinegar flavor of kombucha is a lot to handle naturally. I’m afraid it just might be too much for citrus to handle, too. While I liked this as a drink, it didn’t scream citrus! or lemon! the way I was expecting; there was just some certain zest of life missing from the flavor. That being said, it was very good kombucha, and I’m glad nothing fought the natural vinegar punch but–if anything–enhanced it. And perhaps the citrus helped to boost my mood because I felt like an all star after drinking it.

Multi-Green

9/10: “Drinking your calories” often gets a bad wrap; but when you’re drinking greens, living enzymes, and a host of other nutritious things, how can anything be bad? I’ll admit that I was wary of the color for this. When I started sipping I was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavors here–vinegary kombucha and bitter greens–actually work and thrive together! And the algae and other add-ins give a welcome dose of protein. The only unpleasantry was the chalky remnants at the bottom of the bottle. Otherwise, this was a surprisingly joyful way to take in my greens!

Trilogy

8.5/10: Even when synergy dabbles with juices, they really can’t go wrong; so often, the typical juice drink is over-sugared and more of a dessert than a health drink. I like how synergy keeps the kombucha strong and the ingredients simple; in this was just kombucha, raspberry juice, citrus, and ginger. The “trilogy” of flavors work well, but perhaps a little too well; you can’t identify much more than a strong vinegar flavor with a sharp bitter tone that could come from any 1–or all–of the flavors. Still, this drink had me sipping more and feeling well,, and is one of the flavors I’d gladly grab again.

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Sweets And Cheese

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I had to summarize in two words what I ate today, it would be “Cheese” and “Sweet”. I’m pretty sure those are the only two tooths I have in my mouth(and I embrace that).

Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar

The first culprit was this bag of Pirate’s Booty. I was sent a ton of flavors to review; none were particularly “sweet” so I went for the cheesiest mother of them all. At the same time, I had the oven going and baked some maple tofu.

Aged White Cheddar Pirate's Booty, Maple Tofu, Steamed Broccoli

Maple Baked Tofu

Maple baked tofu–simple, sweet, and so(y) delicious. The tofu came out particularly good because I had it pressing all morning and changed the towel thrice; when you get a ton of water out, you really notice the difference. These corn puffs were good, but didn’t really blow me away; I liked the flavor but the texture was just OK and overall they were “meh”. Maybe one of the other flavors will impress me more.

While I was watching this I got around to watching my DVRed Oprah with Michael Pollon. I know–I’m so behind! But I really liked this episode and was able to connect with it a lot. The part with Alicia Silverstone and Oprah talking about their business had me rolling on the floor! I do get what they’re saying, though. I also found it funny that Alicia “slips up” on cheese sometimes. It gets the best of us 😀

Count-To-10 Workout Sheet

In the afternoon I did my Count-To-10 workout. This’ll be perfect for any readers lamenting being stuck in doors for the storm! In case you forgot, it’s super simple:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 push-ups(15 for me)
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 10 sit-ups(20 for me)
  • Repeat 10 times.

Obviously, I use a checklist just to keep track. While I was doing this, the mail came, and I got a “sweet” surprise.

Uli Mana's Raw Desserts

Uli Mana sent me a sampler of some of their sweet and raw treats. The seal on them was broken, but since these came straight from a closed USPS box, I assumed they were untampered and safe.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Goji Berries And Raw Chocolate Sauce, Raw Hemp Brownie

Umm, sweetest post-workout recovery meal ever? I think so. Where to start? This brownie was simply amazing. I’ll count it as my “Cookie Friday” treat(like I don’t have one of these every day). This was the 3rd bought raw brownie I tried, along with the 2 that I’ve made, and it was by far my favorite; it tasted sooo fudgy! I think the secret must have been in the cacao butter. I need to find me some. Any good brand suggestions? Or even just brands? The pudding was delicious and antioxidant rich with Navitas Naturals goji berries, but I added a little something to sweeten it up even more…

Xagave Raw Agave Nectar

Xagave sent me some of their agave nectar to bake and experiment with. Again, where to start? Simply put, from the 1 time I’ve used this so far, I’d highly recommend it. I mentioned on Monday(and even got some agreeance from readers!) that the agave nectar I used just didn’t taste sweet at all. Well, that was “Trader Joe’s raw agave nectar” for anyone curious. This, on the other hand, tasted sweet. It tasted really sweet, like I’ve been told agave nectar should. I can’t wait to bake more with it! Since I don’t prefer sweets for dinner, it was back to eating cheesy.

Next Generation Organic Dairy Raw Probiotic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Sticks

Yet another flavor of Next Generation Organic Dairy cheese to review. I knew this’d make a great addition to dinner not only because it’s no-carb, and high-protein and fat, but because of the added probiotics.

Lemon Cauliflower, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Cheese Stick, Grass Fed Beef Medallion

Dinner was also particularly good since we found out that Whole Foods(at least the one in Providence) sells grass-fed beef; sooo much cheaper than from a restaurant! And perfectly cooked so long as you know what you’re doing 😀 It tastes fantastic and I had my whole medallion. I was a bit underwhelmed though with this cheese stick; it tasted cheesy for sure, but the complexity somewhat stopped there. I suppose if it were too garlicy, that also would have been a problem, so I’m not sure where the perfect balance would have been. I do just love that they even make these in stick form; perfect for probiotics on the go!

And now, I’m thinking more sweet than cheesy for dessert. Wouldn’t you agree 🙂 For some interesting reading, here’s an article on the benefits of goat’s milk yogurt!  That’s a bandwagon I can get on. And here’s a jam giveaway and a granola giveaway

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Mighty Tasty

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

I’m just going to keep telling myself I don’t have a problem with chocolate, and then it won’t be true, right?

Xocai Xobiotic Square And Q.bel Milk Chocolate Wafer Bars

After Ghost Whisperer I made a bit of a chocolate snack plate. I had a Xocai Xobiotic sqaure for my dark chocolate tooth and my 2nd probiotic source of the day. If only all chocolate had probiotics in it, wouldn’t that be grand? Then, for my milk chocolate tooth, I sampled the Q.bel milk chocolate wafer bar. Holy yum! My, how I loved this, and usually I’m not even a fan of rice crisps! I think they were tolerated well because they went so well with the thin wafers. I loved how the chocolate basically melted as it touched my mouth–it couldn’t even wait to get in. While I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I kept the Cookie Friday celebration rolling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Jam And A Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie

First of all, would you believe I didn’t have oatmeal for once? Maybe it’s a sign of the apocalypse; better hold on. For some reason, goat milk yogurt with raspberry sounded better(especially when garnished with a cookie ;-)). This cookie was by far the best raw cookie I’ve ever eaten. Granted, that’s not fighting too many, but still kudos to The Raw Bakery! The base tasted very “vanilla”–not nutty–even though the ingredient list makes me think this wasn’t overdone with sugar(or, agave nectar as it were).

This morning I decided to give the strength training a break and stick with the cardio and 200 flights. I should check to see what alternative workouts we have On Demand to do to switch things up. Then again, I am a creature of habit and that yogurt-for-oatmeal thing was enough change for me for a week. For breakfast I had a tooth for–would you believe it–chocolate?

Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

After seeing that episode of Good Eats about Alton’s diet, I feel like he would be so proud of my breakfasts 🙂 The oatmeal was like a comforting return to an old friend, even though I had to scrape the mold off the top of the cream cheese(ewww! But I’m determined to eat what I can of it). For the yogurt, I mixed 4.5oz non-fat with 1oz full fat for a nice, creamy 2%, which went great with the milk chocolate and just a pinch of salt. And now I feel as though I’ve had my candy fix for the day(did anybody believe me? No? K, good. Just checking).

We were planning on recreating a healthy version of American Chop Suey(*drool*) tomorrow for lunch, but now my mom’s going to a cousin’s birthday party 😦 We’ll squeeze that recipe in sometime soon. And maybe I can milk a meal at a restaurant out of all of this? Hehe.

Since I know you all love Chobani Giveaway’s, here’s another

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Pop Culture Product Review

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

You all know I love my probiotics, right? And you all know I love my bar stash, right? So you must know I was flippin’ when I found a bar with probiotics. Pop Culture fortifies their two flavors with a special, shelf-stable strand of bacteria with 10x the viable cells of supermarket yogurt. I got the chance to sample and review both of their current flavors and here are my thoughts.

Yogurt Fruit & Nut

8.5/10: With 4g of fiber and a host of live and active probiotic cells, Pop Culture packs a lot into a 90 calorie, 1oz bar perfect for your pocket. The yogurt coating might have been slight, but I loved what there was of it; it reminded me exactly of yogurt covered raisins or pretzels. The fruit in the bar really came out more of a generic sweetness than any flavor, and the nuts were disappointingly unrecognizable, though I don’t know how they could have been with such a slight nutrition label. But in the end the yogurt coating saved it all and made this a tasty treat.

Chocolate Chip Granola

8/10: As a lover of probiotics, I’m always excited to find them in a new form. Here, Pop Culture takes the traditional and adds a huge twist; their unique strand of bacteria and methodology allows for a shelf-stable granola bar with probiotics. I liked the abundance of chocolate chips and the small, snack size. I also liked that it had protein from soy isolates to boost the nutrition so that this wasn’t an over-glorified granola bar. With only 1 strand of bacteria, though, this isn’t the best to rely on fully. And the texture was a bit chewier than my liking. Overall, this was a fun way to switch up the daily yogurt trend(and add a few more chocolate chips to my life ;-) )

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Christmas Eve 2009

Posted on December 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Oh my goodness have the past few days felt rushed. If you can’t tell(though I know you can :-)), I’m a complete homebody and since I haven’t been home for very much for the past 3 days, I’ll definitely be enjoying the couch all day long. But I think the last time I left you was Christmas Eve with brownies in the oven. After those came out, I started thinking about the day and realized I might not get another chance for a 2nd source of probiotics.

Xocai Xobiotic Square

Thankfully, Xocai sent me some of their healthy chocolate(yes, isn’t that music to your ears?) to review and one of them happens to be the Xobiotic Square, fortified with 300 million viable bacteria cells and your DV of flavonoids. Once I got over those factoids I could not get over the taste; this was such a scrumptious piece of dark chocolate, you’d never think twice because you’d be too busy enjoying it.

At 3:30 we left the house for Christmas Mass. It was packed. We were stuck standing in the back. There were even 2 masses going on at the same church and both were filled with Christeasterers like us. There was a little Latin that people sung but didn’t understand which amused me(I’m clearly such a nerd). Afterwards, we hit the road to go to my mom’s cousins family party. On the way I had a festive snack.

Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick

‘Tis the season, after all. Of course, it was nice to see family I see only a few times a year. And of course, since they’re Italian, they cooked enough food for 30 even though there was only about 12-15 of us.

Entree Spread

Unfortunately, my options were limited. Very limited. Everything had meat in it or was meat, or had something else artificial. There were 7 things through the night that I could eat, and then some of that wasn’t very appealing anyway. I stuck with what we brought to the table.

Lemon Thyme Salmon, Roasted Broccoli

My mom liked the lemon-thyme combination I made for her on her birthday enough to make it again here. I took a moderate amount of that(though I ended up being the only one) and a lot of broccoli. That was definitely my “nibbler” item of the night; I think I ate at least 2/3rds of the whole batch for the crowd! After our present exchange, we had dessert.

Dessert Spread

Same situation, mostly: A lot of what I couldn’t or wouldn’t have(even the coffee was regular–not decaf–so I stayed clear of that) and I stuck with what we brought.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti

These biscotti were definitely a hit with my family. Really? How could they not be. We ended up staying, waiting for another relative to show up but eventually we just had to leave; I think we were all still exhausted from our NYC trip. When I got home I was starving because I hadn’t really eaten much other than broccoli.

Milk Chocolate Advent Candies

Not like this filled me up but an obligatory treat. It’s so sad the advent is over; these were tasty! I might have to make chocolate after dinner an everyday tradition anyway.

Oatmeal With NuttZo

That was much much better. I think the valencia peanuts must make NuttZo so sweet because it has no added sugar though you might think it’s almost a flavored nut butter it’s so delicious. I was watching the last bit of It’s A Wonderful Life to make it a very merry Christmas Eve… until I found Grey’s Anatomy. Somethings are just merrier than that movie 🙂

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Forgetful Me

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ve been a bit absent minded lately; I’ve completely forgotten to mention two big things. First off, today’s my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to her!(even though I don’t think she knows about this yet so shhh ;-)) There will be dessert later to celebrate. The other thing I almost forgot is we’re driving to NYC and back tomorrow to see our friends from Georgia. I’m so excited since I see them only twice a year, but that left me in a mad rush to prewrite some posts! Thankfully, I thought of two good subjects I hope will entertain you while I’m away 🙂

This morning I did not forget to get my probiotics in despite skipping yogurt at breakfast.

Pop Culture Probiotic Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

Pop Culture sent me their two flavor of granola bars to sample and review. Clearly, I’m not the only one on a probiotic mission because the makers of this product believe in the power of them so much that they developed a special formula for maintaining a strand in a shelf stable granola bar. Since I was having a chocolate tooth, I reached for this flavor. I review it here. I definitely liked it and it had great nutrition(and was deliciously chocolatey :-)). My only problem was the texture, which is usually a problem with bars that add soy protein.

I felt like all morning I was playing house picking things up around here. It might be nice that my parents leave coffee still in the pot when they leave for work if they didn’t drink caffeinated and know I don’t touch the stuff. Oh well, it’s the least I could do. Just like the least my dog could do was pee on the rug and the least my camera could do was die. On mornings like that you just have to take a deep breath and take it as it comes. Fortunately, that all could wait while I was making lunch for myself.

Roasted Broccoli, Buttered Apple, Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

I got really into this meal, and it showed in the flavor. I know I wanted to use my last Al Fresco Sweet Apple sausage(so sad to see this flavor go 😦 but at least now I get to open a new one!). Along side I decided to roast broccoli, which came out beautifully. These were so nutty and crispy almost like broccoli fries! I also melted some butter spread in a pan and cooked up apples, topping them with a little more 😉 I’m totally not afraid of gaining the average 5 or 7 or however many pounds I will this Holiday season; I’ll just find it ironic if it’s from food that I could have been eating all year and not holiday cookies.

Well after all the pee was cleaned and the batteries were changed(lovely imagery, right?), I finally got time to play silly online computer games write up some posts for tomorrow. Any guesses what they might be? I already touched upon one in this post… My chocolate chip cookie tooth from this morning came back in a big way, so I thought to have it in the form of healthy fats.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Advent Chocolate

How long has it been since I’ve cracked open my jar of chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter? Too long. It’s almost gone meaning almost oats in a jar! That’ll be a good one. While eating this I was reminded of why our mailwoman rocks; she’s stopped putting anything in our box anymore when we get a package and instead drives all the way into our garage and leaves it there. Hehe, she must know I’m ever so lazy 🙂 Although today we got a package that was meant for another house so later we have to give it to its owner. Boo 😦

Like I’ve mentioned, it’s my mom’s birthday so there will be delicious goodies tonight for that. I’m wondering if I’m supposed to have picked a dinner and started up on that? I really haven’t been thinking about it. Oops. Best get to work on that!

A Nutridel cookie giveaway!

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