Fussy Dining And Grocery Success

Posted on March 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t believe the weekend’s gone; where did that time go? I hope you had a good one. My Sunday was fantastic and I’m absolutely exuberant to blog about it, so I’m going to dive right in.

Jolly Beans

Jolly Beans

Similarly, I dove right in to these jolly beans right before my run. I wasn’t really hungry for them, but I kept telling myself “You can have more jolly beans next time you run. You can have more jolly beans next time you run” So, I had more jolly beans the next time I ran. I was thankful for the extra energy, because in all honsety this was probably the toughest run I’ve had so far. Even before hand, the distance–11 miles outside–kept making me lose my focus. Could I do it? Would I do it? Just run!

11.2 Miles In 1:34:58

I’ll save any run recap where I could tell you everything went through my head at one point: incredible joy, wanting to quit, etc. The important thing was I did it! And could not have been more pleased(or wanting to stretch and collapse) at the end. But the finish line wasn’t my dorm room. No, today it was different:

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

I was running to meet my family for brunch again at Garden Grill Cafe! A free meal out? Yes, please! I think my grandmother was most happy to eat here again 😉 And it was packed! I think it took 15 minutes to get a table. In hindsight, this was actually awful planning on my part; I’m very particular about how I like to recover and refuel, and going somewhere where I couldn’t pick out the ingredients or cook had me a little crabby. Really, I just needed food in me! So I was very happy when they got the ball rolling and we ordered.

Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

One of the great benefits of ending my run here was I knew I could get fresh carrot juice to refuel. As I’ve mentioned, a cup has more potassium than a banana! This was my first time having carrot juice fresh squeezed; because it was a little more fresh and fiberous, I don’t think it was as sweet. But it was still tasty. I also managed to impress people by guzzling more water than is holy throughout the meal 😉

Hash And Peanut Butter

Hash And Peanut Butter

Speaking of the meal, I ordered the “American Breakfast” which was “2 eggs served any style, hash, and toast”. Well, what I ate was a far departure from that. Unfortunately, they were out of gluten-free toast, which I wanted to give a shot(and craved the carbs of) :-/I also found no appeal in the eggs, even though usually I’m all over perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs. Boo. After some finagling, I got the meal I wanted. I traded my eggs for most of my mom’s hash, and asked the server to bring peanut butter on the side. I managed to turn my “American breakfast” into hash with peanut butter; how American 😉

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

I’m not complaining, though, because this was amazing and just what I wanted. You wouldn’t think fatty, salty hash(which is the best in the world, in my opinion, at Garden Grill) would work with fatty peanut butter, but I’ve never had a problem with fat on carbs 😀 I also stole some maple syrup from my dad’s vegan cinnamon roll french toast(yes, you read that right, but unfortunately it was far from gluten-free :,-() to also flavor this.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

And I wiped that plate clean, leaving a little of the peanut butter behind. The peanut butter was also really good; it tasted like it had brown sugar or some great sweetness in it that made it taste like Reeses’. Who knows? It might have been Reeses’. I was just hoping and praying a good establishment like this wouldn’t use hydrogenated peanut butter(there entire pantry is Bob’s Red Mill so I’m guessing they’re honest and good people).

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

After that we ran back to my dorm so I could shower and change and then went to do some grocery shopping. At Whole Foods, Zevia was on sale for 3.50 a 6-pack, and by signing up for their newsletter I had a $1 coupon, so I was able to get 6 Root Beers for $2.50–score! It’s so easy to pair manufacturers coupons with the store sales if you’re patient.

Whole Food Groceries

The rest of the groceries were pretty standard. I grabbed some coconut milk yogurt since it’s a sale item. The one grocery item not on sale or that I had a coupon that I “had to get” was my favorite dark chocolate bar by Endangered Species. I like to think that if I’m going to eat it and not let it go to waste, then it’s worth it. And have no fear that I’ll eat that 😉

Bulk Bin Grabs

Bulk Bin Grabs

I also tore up the bulk bins; I looove the bulk bins for things that you might want odd amounts for. I always get my steel cut oats from them, since they’re cheaper and organic and I can get a lot. I also get Sunspire peanuts and jolly beans because it’s better to buy candy in bulk so that you decide the amount for a lesser cost. And I got some sunflower seeds and dried cherries, since I wasn’t looking to invest in big bags of those. I also spotted spelt flour while I was snooping the selection, which I’m now curious to pick up for some gluten-intolerant baking over break.

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Of course, the grocery I saved for last was ice cream. I mentioned picking up a flavor I really didn’t want on Friday night but convinced myself sounded good at the time :-/ Well, I was able to trade that one in for one I would eat. This afternoon, in fact!

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Oh. My. God. Where to start? You could read my review for it here. Or, perhaps we could start at 10 years ago when I would eat way too much of Turkey Hill’s peanut butter chocolate ice cream at my grandparent’s house. Nowadays, me and the Turkey aren’t best friends because of the ingredients he uses 😦 This was just as good, or better, or–I don’t know how to describe it other than amazing with gooey peanut butter swirls.

Since I was hungry but not starving after that goodness, I decided to throw dinner in the oven a little early and make it a little bigger rather than snack on. Of course, being human I’d rather eat dinner later and make my ice cream bowl bigger. But I think keeping the real food in your diet high is 90% of “healthy eating”

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu With Maple Peanut Butter

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

I love roasting; you don’t have to do much but wait. I roasted brussels cooked from last week, fresh sweet potato, and some quick-pressed tofu in maple syrup. The tofu needed longer pressing but I was short on time. Apparently, peanut butter on the side of every meal is going to become my “thing” now that Garden Grille endorsed it. I felt free to add some mighty maple from PB&Co. on the side. Without even realizing it until now, all 3 of my eats since breakfast have had peanut butter; I think that’s the sign for a great day.

Do you “Pick your plate” eating out and drive the servers mad? I generally detest fussiness as a quality and would consider myself pretty adaptive. I always try to make sure there’ll be something in a dining situation I’ll eat even before going in. At the same time, if I’m eating out I really want to enjoy my meal, so I don’t sweat the little things like asking for a side of peanut butter if the server will oblige. And do you utilize the bulk bins? Clearly, I consider them a necessity. But after getting home I read Averie’s post about who and what has actually been near them–yuck! It has me second guessing…

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Putting What In My Which?

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

It’s probably no surprise I’m all about the layering. I don’t do much–if any–snacking, so when I want to eat, I want to eat. And often that means layers of flavor through some sort of base and some topper.

ChocAlive! Coconut Raw Truffles

These were the 2nd flavor of ChocAlive! truffles I was sent to review. Of course, what better to put raw chocolate on than chocolate avocado pudding made with coconut milk no less?

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With 2 Coconut Truffles

This was too perfect; the pudding came out light and “whipped”. The trick is adding the avocado last after fulling mixing the first few ingredients–heavenly. The coconut truffles tasted deliciously sweet, probably from the dates included in the body. It seems like an unusual addition but it works well, not so much for the richness but definitely so for the sweetness. Who couldn’t use sweetness in their life 🙂

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

After a crazy episode of Law & Order with Kathy Griffin, I whipped up some coconutty oats with Justin’s chocolate almond butter. I can not get enough of this! But the coconut milk didn’t taste quite as rich, even though I know it hasn’t gone bad; I think it’s just never as good as when you first open the can. Still, coconut milk as a topper for oatmeal? How could you go wrong. Mmmm, taste that coconut!

Apple

I got a great night’s sleep, which is just what you need when you plan tog et up at 6:15 to run. I wasn’t particularly hungry, but since an apple worked such magic the day before I thought why not? Naturally, I was the first person at the gym, and just kept going and going while listening to an iPod.

9 Miles In 79:58

I had time to run 8 miles. I ended up running 9 and in 79:58. It felt great! And like I could have even done more. But that was not happening. I hurried my butt first to grab some yogurt and then shower up. I needed things I could throw together fast for my 9am class.

Me & Goji Custom Granola

My [me] & goji granola was just begging to be used for some quick and tasty calories. You can read all about my experience making this like I posted back in 2009 here. I only wish I had known then I had or would have a slight gluten intolerance so I could have opted for their wheat-free granola! C’est la vie.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Pineapple Chobani With Custom Granola

Pineapple Chobani With Custom Goji Granola

Quick and delicious. I whipped up some pumpkin oatmeal and topped that with PB&Co.’s mighty maple. By the time I got to class and took the lid off the container, this had all melted down to a frosting–holy yum! One of the yogurts I picked up was a pineapple Chobani which I then topped with my granola. In the granola is tons of seeds and nuts, dried blueberries, raspberries, and goji berries, and chocolate covered peanuts and goji berries. Could anything describe me better? I just didn’t get any chocolate covered peanuts this time 😦 I think the last time I ate it I picked them out. Oops. Once I had scooped off most of the granola, I succumbed to the ultimate “what in my which?”

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple With Pineapple Chobani

Oatgurt! I’m usually not a fan of this, but something about the pineapple, pumpkin, peanut butter, and pmaple(it needed a p to keep up the alliteration) worked really well. I’m still not a fan in general, but this was darn tasty 🙂 I just have to advice against reheating your oatmeal at this point. Why? Like how milk curdles, yogurt does, except much faster because of the bacteria. That’s another thing–microwaving kills the healthy probiotic(a superfood of mine). Normally killing bacteria is a good thing, but not when they’re healthy for your gut. Interestingly, this property of microwaves makes microwaving a sponge to clean it efficient. Go figure!

The weekend is practically here! It doesn’t even matter that I’m just bookmarking websites at this point to get to them at a later time because I’m sipping some Celestial tea, so you know I’m starting to feel calm. Happy Thursday(which is my Friday)! And here’s the final recap of the ChocAlive! products I reviewed. Have you tried raw chocolate? Love it/Don’t care for it? Clearly, I love it, as I constantly try to make my own. Not like it could compare to these gourmet ones.

Coconut

9/10: Shredded coconut enrobes a raw truffle ball comprised mostly of cocoa, agave, and coconut–yes, please! As a raw chocolate and coconut lover, I can attest that the two flavors go together beautifully. The texture of the shredded coconut contrasts but doesn’t compete with the smooth, mellow body. I find the inclusion of dates into the truffle an interesting choice which makes them more sweet and soft than rich, but it does add a great, deep sweetness. These are definitely a “treat” when it comes to cost, but a well-deserved one for any raw foodist and one that I’d recommend.

Dark Chocolate Crunch

8/10: A good truffle, in my mind, would have a smooth base with a consistent flavor, and something that truly makes it unique. This has both, but unfortunately the two fight each other. The center of raw cocoa, coconut, dates, and agave was deliciously smooth and sweet. The cacao nibs on the outside, in contrast, certainly added character, but the bitterness was too intense for my palate in contrast with the truffle. To be fair, raw cacao nibs have never been a favorite of mine. But the sweetness of the truffle makes their bitterness all too apparent here and I much preferred the chocolate of the truffle alone.

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“It Has That Green Smell”

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

Glad you all liked my Lennon this morning 🙂 Clearly, I was the missing Beatle. Anyway, right after potsage I hopped on out for a long Sunday morning gym extravaganza!

Mint Chocolate Attune

I didn’t have any probiotics(a superfood of mine) at breakfast because I was out of yogurt, so I grabbed this mint chocolate Attune bar on the way to out the door. It was pretty tasty! I like that it tasted like dark chocolate even though it’s milk. I was not a fan of the rice crisps, but I never am. According to the package, this was 5x better than a store brand yogurt would have been! Score! Plenty of probiotics to work my digestion while I ran.

6 Miles in 54:21

I don’t know what it was about today, but time felt like it went at a snail’s pace. I set my treadmill to go 6 miles; when I could have sworn I was getting close, I looked down and saw a disappointing 4 :-/ At that point, I had to put on a movie to finish me through. Afterwards, I was inspired to keep watching the movie and do 20 minutes on the elliptical at resistance 7 and 20 minutes of treadmill walking. Getting back the last thing I wanted to do was shower and make a meal, but that’s what ended up happening somehow.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, New York Pizza Pirates Booty

After a quick one I was downstairs cooking my burger in the dorm kitchen. I might have forgotten a shirt. Oops. The Naked Chef, anyone? I actually overcooked it for the first time! Well that makes up for yesterday when it was undercooked and I ate it anyway; I love my meat red 😀 On the side, I had some new snack’ums.

New York Pizza Pirate's Booty

I thought about giving up chips for Lent; that would have gone horribly horribly wrong. I opened up a bag of New York Pizza Pirate’s Booty I was sent to review. The flavor was not what I was expecting. That being said, I liked that it had flavor. It was very heavy on the paprika with some sharp cheddar to it. It didn’t knock me off my feet but I liked it. Maybe I need to spend more time in NYC?

After that my parents and grandmother took a trip down to see me with mail and such. It was good because I needed supplies like paper towels; I’ve been pressing too much tofu! My mom even vacuumed and in response my grandmother had to say “It smells good in here. You know, it smells clean. It just has that ‘green’ smell, like somebody’s been eaten broccoli and brussels sprouts.” LOL She nailed it on the head. I guess I don’t notice the smell since I’ve lived with it so long?

Zevia Twist

While I had the ride, I took the chance to get a trip out for groceries; how could I deny that? I grabbed a Zevia and we were out the door. First up: Trader Joe’s! I’m actually becoming more apathetic about that store. I feel like the best things from it are the plain stuff that you can get in bulk for cheap. And I’ve already gotten those in bulk! Well, it certainly is a good place for everyone to find something, at least, so while others finished shopping I had a snack:

Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

In the mail I got from home was some Perfect Foods bars. These are made primarily with organic peanuts and raw honey along with all different forms of protein and are meant as a meal replacement, but I’m pretty sure for athletes they’d just qualify as a snackypoo. This flavor was carob chip. I’d actually never had carob before! And I still don’t really feel like I have; this bar was pretty heavy on the peanuts with the carob only coming up in chip form even though carob powder is the 5th ingredient. BUT it was also really tasty so I can’t complain too much. It tasted a lot like peanuts and honey–duh. And it kept me fueled for all the serious grocery shopping, so it was definitely hefty.

Oatbran And Oatmeal

I got 2lb of oatbran from Trader Joe’s and then 2lb of oatmeal from Whole Foods. I’d say I’m pretty well stocked! The oats were on sale 99 cents a pound from the bulk bins(organic), so I had to load up. I also completely lost my shopping list in Whole Foods which freaked me out, but I was able to remember what last scribbles were on it. Seriously though, who would even have picked that up and taken it if they came across it? Weird.

Whole Foods Groceries

I liked using the pound of grass-fed beef I got last weekend so much I decided to do it again! Unfortunately, they didn’t have the fattier cut, which I would have gone for, so this one ended up costing a little more, but it’s still not bad since it will work over 4 meals. And I might have snuck one of my favorite ice creams and favorite chocolate bars into the shopping cart–not going to lie.

Trader Joe's Groceries

At Trader Joe’s, I was all over the proteins and fats. I also had my parents bring me whole eggs, too; the egg whites are more for oats. I feel like I should have gotten another block of tofu now that I think about it :-/ It’s such a perfect protein!

Apple

I grabbed an apple while I was in the dining hall scrapping up veggies for dinner. I really felt like I needed to eat something “clean” for one reason or another. “Clean eating” in my mind is something where each ingredient is a raw ingredient or has only a few components to it. I was planning on a Thai dish with Trader Joe’s coconut milk curry sauce but that long list would not have fit as “clean” :-/ Instead, I went ahead and just used coconut milk and honey.

Tofu And Tempeh In Honey Coconut Milk, California Vegetables, Cayenne Parma

Pretty clean, if I do say so myself. The tofu and tempeh were cooked in coconut milk, watter, and honey, then drained and splashed with coconut milk and honey(it’s a flawed process). On top I sprinkled some cayenne Parma, which, if that’s the most unclean thing I was eating, I was doing damn well. All the flavors fought a bit but it was still very much enjoyable. I just think it needed more cruciferous veggies! OK, I can cross my word of the day off 🙂

Blah, today was fun but I felt like the productivity took a dive. I got about 20 pages of reading done in the car and… yeah. I actually got into my PJ’s before dinner just to be able to cross that off my mental to-do list. Is that crazy? That’s not something I want to hear the answer to. Hopefully, tonight will be better.

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Go On And Live Your Life

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

Have you entered my yogurt contest yet? Or maybe my coconut oil giveaway? Both are still active!

Let’s just pretend that “funked-out” guy from this morning never happened 😀 The stress was good in that it motivated me to go 3 extra miles on the treadmill. But after thinking about it and realizing it’s one of those things that’s just out of my control at the moment, I realized it’s nothing worth fretting over. In the immortal words of Rhianna, “Go on and live your life”. OK–“immortals” an overstatement. But it’s a good song to run to 😀 I was certainly living my cravings at lunch!

Mexican Bowl

I needed something from South of the border in my life. I filled a bowl with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, raw onions, and sprouts from the dining hall(underneath). On top I added cooked broccoli(I cannot do raw here), 1/2 a can of black beans, a little avocado mashed up, and TJ’s salsa. Muy bueno! I don’t remember the last time I ate Mexican, authentic or otherwise. Did you know Chipotle is a very eco-friendly chain? I’ve never eaten from there, but after seeing them on Oprah I want to now. Along with this, I had some raw goodies.

Gingerade Kombucha And Caribbean Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese Stick

Kath wrote a good post a few days ago on getting nutritional bang for you buck; I think both of these products fit that bill! I loved this flavor of Next Generation Dairy‘s cheese; even though I don’t normally like cilantro, it really worked here. And would you believe this was my first Synergy Kombucha ever? The company sent me coupons to try and review their raw & probiotic beverages. Well where I bought this(a local cafe) couldn’t take the coupon, but I decided to pay for it anyway since I psyched myself up for it hoping I’d like it. Like it? I loved it! This was so deliciously ginger; and the fermented flavor was oddly nice! I loved the little “warning”.

Kombucha Warning Label

Perfect–I was drinking alcohol in class. That’s nothing that hasn’t happened at Brown 😉 I did almost fall asleep at one point during this Greek History class, though. Oops. It’s not that bad though, I swear! After that, the classes just kept coming, as did my hunger.

18 Rabbits Belle Banana Foster Bar

Taking pictures in class? Do I get the good blogger award for that? This bar from 18 Rabbits had such an enticing description–“banana foster” with “caramelized banana”. Yes, please! Unfortunately, the flavor was very heavily like banana chips. This wasn’t a bad thing, per say; on the contrary, I really liked the flavor! It just needs to not set up itself for such high expectations with a name like that.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

When I finally got back to my room for the evening, I whipped up some chocolate avocado pudding to relax a bit. My afternoon might have looked something like this: The Office, 30 Rock, 5-page paper on food processors. Yes, you read that last one right. Why? I have no idea; we need to have a rough draft on an object in our lives we can look at from an objective perspective by tomorrow at 3pm and it was what popped into my mind. Thankfully, it’s not really due to be graded for 2 weeks, so I can surely change the subject if nothing pops(or processes as the case would be).

Along with my “meal planning initiative”, I had a brilliant idea for dinner: Breakfast! It’s true that I most always have oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. On the one hand, they’re cheap and tasty. But part of that is also because post-run it’s easy to whip together. Instead, I decided to make something with a little more complexity…

Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes With NH Maple Syrup And Grass-Fed Butter

Goat Milk Yogurt With Xagave Raw Chocolate Sauce And Mulberries

Gluten-free, coconut flour oatmeal pancakes! Yum! It’s been far too long since I’ve had pancakes, and when I got this coconut flour from Bob’s Red Mill I knew this was one way I wanted to experiment with it. In the bowl went 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup almond milk, stevia, and salt. I cooked them in a bit of coconut oil and topped them with pasture butter and local maple syrup. Can you say heaven? My favorite fat blogger(that would be, one who blogs about fat ;-)) has a longstanding tradition of pancake eating; I think I need to follow suit here, too, because I’ve been missing out! On the yogurt, I made some raw sauce with Xagave and added Navitas NaturalsMulberries; they may be a superfood but I was not that into them :-/ I’d rather have something like dried raspberries. Maybe they’ll give me superpowers? Here’s hoping 🙂

Go on, live your life, and enter this giveaway from a loyal reader for peanut butter!

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Eat As I Say, Not As I Eat

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

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

Lightlife Sausage With Cheese, Green Beans, Broccoli

Peanut Flour Greek Yogurt

What I say: I have a slight gluten intolerance.

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

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

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

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

The Wow Baking Company Cookie

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

The Wow Baking Company Chocolate Chip Cookie

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

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

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Trying New Things

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As much as I love my routine, I also love trying new things(so long as they fit in, somehow). Well, I’ve just tried 4 new things and 3 of them were a hit! Would you be surprised if I told you the 3 were food and the 1 was not? 🙂 Didn’t think so. Last night it seemed like everything was a repeat on television; what was with that? I ended up watching an old Grey’s and having a sweet snack.

Q.bel Mint Wafers

Q.bel came out with 2 new flavors this year and I got both of them in the prize pack I won from Facebook! One of those flavors is mint, which seemed like a nice palate cleansing dessert. I looved this, and reviewed it here. It was kind of like a peppermint patty but with a little wafer in there, too. I’m confused why they used milk fat in the dark chocolate; that makes it milk in my book, but it’s still really deep in flavor. These Q.bel bars are really dense in calories for something so light, but Twitter friends assured me it’s all good:

TryingToHeal @EvanFMFF Um, yes. All chocolate should be devoid of calories anyhow.

The judge has spoken. After that I tried another new thing with my bowl of oatmeal.

Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

I ordered a few favorites from Naturally Nutty with my Christmas money. When I opened up the box, I was surprised to find this little gift Katie snuck in: a new flavor! It’s so new, it doesn’t have it’s own label yet. But when it comes out in Spring it will be Organic Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter. Yes please!

Oatmeal With Organic Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter

This was delicious! I had a feeling I’d like it, since I looove the vanilla almond butter for it’s clean, crisp taste. The vanilla cinnamon almond butter had that same cleanness to it, but with an added depth from the cinnamon. I was impressed how it’s spiced so that the cinnamon doesn’t detract from the other spices–definitely on to keep an eye out for on their website.

This morning I “slept in” and felt raring to go to the gym.. And when I say slept in, I mean 7am; I just couldn’t not be an early bird. I grabbed a bar–a new one–and was off.

18 Rabbits Funky Figs And Cherries Granola Bar

I’ll share the disappointing part first: This bar didn’t really taste like figs or cherries 😦 It definitely had those in there, but they tasted more generic like raisins in raisin bran. Overall, though, this was another story; I loved how the texture was chewy and crunchy, and this was packed with seeds and nuts. The strongest flavors were hazelnuts and cacao nibs, which were perfect. And this has so little sugar, it really makes me happy. The quaker oats man needs to take a lesson from 18 Rabbits!

New Bike Machine

As for the workout, I started by running an awesome 7 miles. I had to slow the pace a lot lower than I’d like. But that let me go further than I expected I could at this point at the game, and I’m all for rebuilding that endurance. After 7 miles, which took a little more than an hour, I decided to try this bike machine for another 30 minutes of The Today Show at resistance level 3. Confession: I’ve never really used a bike machine before, so this was totally new.

Uncomfortable Seat

It felt like an OK workout–not quite like running in my opinion 😉 My only question has to be what is with that seat?! I would think if you’re going to be rigorously active somewhere for extended periods of time, you’d want that place to be comfortable. A pillow, maybe? Not something with a rigid figure that probably was too loose. Another thing: I wouldn’t mind a virtual reality helmet so I feel like I’m biking through a sunny neighborhood or something–just saying.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

French Toast Oatmeal With 2 Cage Free Eggs, Maple Syrup, And Cinnamon

Breakfast was not at all new and that I did not mind. I could just never get enough of yogurt with raspberry jam. And no fancy shmancy jam here; 365 brand is a great and tasty bang for your buck. I picked up a french toast craving somewhere along the way and made my oatmeal with 2 Eggland’s Best cage free eggs and topped it with New Hampshire maple syrup and Trader Joe’s cinnamon–perfect. It felt so “homey”. And maple syrup season is only 2 months away! So I better eat up all that “old” stuff, haha.

I’m so glad it’s really the weekend already; I love having most of my morning to spend working out, but if I were expected to do anything after that I’d feel so behind and lost. I have a short and simple to-do list to tackle, and plenty of time to get on that. Happy Friday!

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I Wanna Be “That Guy”

Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ve decided that I want to be “that guy”. Not “that guy on the bus”,

Or “that guy who got screwed by NBC”,

I want to be “that guy” who, when he’s 80 and grey, his grand kids can recite all the rituals he did every day. I want to be “that guy” whose routine you can set a clock to. Basically, I want to be boring. But I don’t see it as boring. Other people see it as boring and tell me I should want to switch it up and try new things. Great. Fine. But here I am knowing what I want to do; and last I checked, when somebody knows what they really want, that’s something to celebrate, right? So rather than fight my routine, I’ve decided to start embracing it. For instance,

The Raw Bakery Cacao Brownie

The Raw Bakery Cacao Brownie

I want to be “that guy” who has something chocolate every night after dinner. That seems to be the theme, as of late. I’ve had raw things after dinner. I’ve had yogurt after dinner. But, in the end, they’re all chocolate. Does anyone want to argue with me that that’s a bad thing? Didn’t think so. Last night’s treat was a raw cacao brownie from The Raw Bakery. I definitely didn’t need something composed of dates and agave right before bed but c’est la vie. This was OK, but it tasted oddly figgy and not chocolate enough. It had a great texture–better than most cooked brownies I’ve ever had. I’d definitely have it again, but, in all honesty, I could probably make a recipe for these or find a better brand.

I want to be “that guy” who has his shows and is always up to date on them. How could I ever show my face at the water cooler if I didn’t know how hilarious Modern Family was last night(seriously, wasn’t that good?).

Oatmeal With Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter

I want to be “that guy” who has oatmeal with nut butter every night before going to bed. I’ve fought this one before and it’s just not worth it; I love it, it’s good for me, and I’m going to do it. Last night, I even got to try a brand new nut butter: Justin’s chocolate peanut butter. I bought this with my Christmas money, skeptical of how it’d be since I haven’t had a chocolate peanut butter I like before. My verdict? YUM-O! This is seriously one of the best peanut butters I’ve ever had, and the first chocolate peanut butter one I’ve liked. You can taste both flavors, and they aren’t mixed into one; it’s simply perfect. I can’t wait until these are in every Whole Foods, at which time PLEASE get yourself a jar. And it’s organic–my heart be still.

I want to be “that guy” who sleeps 11-7, so long as he can help it. Sure, once and a while I’ll be up later than that, or have to hit the snooze button. But I’m not letting anyone convince me that I shouldn’t be asleep that early at my age. It’s just how I am.

I want to be “that guy” who gets up and exercises! To be honest, I’ve fought myself on this one. I mean, really, who’s thinking anything difficult is “fun” 10 minutes after waking up? But you know what? After I do it, I feel energized and ready to tackle the day, and sooo much better than when I don’t or put it off. Sometimes, we may need to tell ourselves what we want, but that’s just how it is. This morning, I told myself I wanted to do  full core and 200 flights, and that’s what I did. And I felt so good afterwards.

Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter And Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme

I want to be “that guy” who sets the record straight. For months now, I’ve been calling the all-natural Fluff I’ve been using vegan. Well, a little while back I double checked the ingredients and saw egg whites top the list. Oops. Turns out it wasn’t vegan, just all-natural. Because it wasn’t breaking news, I didn’t think to make a point of it. Recently, Suzanne’s sent me some of their goodies to review. And their ricemellow creme is vegan. There. Record straight.

4 Parts 0% Greek Yogurt : 1 Part Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Bananamon Oats With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter, Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme And NOO's Cinnamon Grahams

I want to be “that guy” who has yogurt and oatmeal at breakfast everyday. Predictable? Definitely. But what’s wrong with that when you’re getting protein, fiber, probiotics, whole grains, and healthy fats? Nothing. And occasionally things do change, like trying out my new vegan ricemellow creme. Honestly–I loved it. Fluff who? This was an identical match. It was airy and gooey and sweet. I only wish it had improved on the vanilla flavor of Fluff rather than match it. Definitely not a disappointment by any means, though.

I want to be “that guy” who watches gets his news from Regis & Kelly and The Today show every morning. It’s pretty much how I stay on top of things. I think it’s a lot more reliable than The Jay Leno Show these days, don’t you?

I want to be “that guy” who tries new things from time to time, too. On today’s plate(literally): seitan. I had had seitan jerky but never seitan as a main part of a dish. I bought pre-prepared seitan and just heated it up.

Prepared Seitan, Smoky Soy Brussels Sprouts, Honey Barbeque Baked Potato Chips

Smoky Soy Brussels Sprouts

I want to be “that guy” who brings you fun flavor ideas, like wheat-free tamari and liquid smoke brussels sprouts. Seriously, every time I hear a commenter say that putting certain flavors together was a great idea or that they tried it and loved it, it warms my heart. Really, I don’t think too much about things. I just throw them together if they sound good, and thankfully these came out amazing with the honey barbeque chips and seitan. But also sometimes they don’t work out; that’s one of the benefits of having a dog 😉

I want to be “that guy” who’s a hoot to watch shop, moving slowly and picking up and feeling every product. Yes. I shop like an Italian grandmother, which was ironic today because it was my Italian grandmother who drove me to the natural food store down the road. But I totally encourage shopping like this, because how else would you know if a fruit is ripe? Or nut properly roasted?

NuNaturals Pure White Stevia Extract 1oz

I want to be “that guy” who people trust for good recommendations. I’m kind of hoping to be that already, and I’m hoping you’ll trust me when I say this is the best stevia I’ve had to date. I was sent this along with other NuNatural products over the Summer to sample and review. I’ve boughten 2 or 3 of this particular product because it is truly the purest, least bitter stevia I’ve found. If you think it’s pricey($14 for 1 ounce), know that you get at least 200+ servings out of it so it’s not so outrageous.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

I want to be “that guy” who raises his family right but never deprives. I like to take cues from Mama Pea. She’s so popular, I’m sure I don’t need to plug her. But if you haven’t heard of her, you must check her blog out; she’s raising her two girls so well, giving them wholesome snacks that they truly enjoy(like chocolate banana ice cream), and if I raise kids half that well one day I’ll be happy.

I don’t want to be “that guy” who calls his dad in a whiny voice complaining how we have no dinner for tonight and our back-up restaurant randomly completely closed due to a private engagement(seriously, how often does this happen?), but I was that tonight. I’m just trying to keep us all fed, people.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Organic Pistachio Butter

I want to be “that guy” who has all the crazy cool nut and seed butters. Can I be that guy already, with this organic pistachio seed butter I ground with Tierra Farm‘s organic salted pistachio meat? There’s something kind of fun looking at a bowl of what should be oatmeal and peanut butter and seeing all orange and green–just saying.

I want to be “that guy” who wins this giveaway for Chobani, so don’t enter.

So there it is. That’s just the kind of guy I want to be, day in and day out. Why the word “want”? Who’s stopping me? That’s the guy I am.

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Superfoods And Pop Chip Review

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , |

In case you missed it…

Read and chime in on this post about eggs!

Announcing..

The release of a new page! My Superfoods. I took down my My Oats page, which was originally meant to be a forum of foodie display, because it just wasn’t cutting it for me. Instead, I’ve made this new page which I’m hoping to both display and teach what I eat and why. I’ll constantly be updating the page as I think of more. And it’s where I’m sharing some of my favorite brands and where you can get them, because when it comes to what I eat for my health I can definitely get a little picky 😉

Reviewing…

Pop Chips! I got a big box of these to sample last week and have worked my way through them in record time. These are chips that aren’t baked, or fried, but popped! Interesting, huh? This gives them a much different taste and texture but a stellar nutrition. They come i a full line of flavors, some of which were misses for me and others that were HUGE hits. They’re sold(and I’ve hunted them down) at stores like Target and Whole Foods. I’m sure there’s a flavor for you; mine is sour cream & onion 😉

Barbeque

8.5/10: I had really high hopes for these after reading numerous recommendations. Flavor-wise, they didn’t blow me out of the water; dare I say this was almost a little let-down? It was OK, but not the amazing, signature flavor I thought it would be, and very similar to other BBQ chips I’ve had. Nutritionally, this is another story. This particular flavor Pop Chip I did think tasted a little “healthy”, but with 4g of healthy fat, no cholesterol, and only 2g of sugar, these can be proud of their nutritional stats. BBQ can get A LOT heavier than 2 grams of sugar.

Cheddar

8/10: Whenever I go for a cheese-flavored chip, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m looking for something that tastes artificial and overly-processed. These were good, but not quite there; the flavor was almost too real? That, or too subtle. I guess that’s what you get from an all natural product. I didn’t think this tasted all that “healthy” even though it is, which impressed me. And they were a great way to eat something portioned and cheesy without cutting into a block of actual cheddar. As weird as it sounds, these were best when topped with peanut butter, for a truly savory delight.

Original

7.5/10: Healthy chips that taste amazing yet aren’t fried? That might be too good to be true. These were not “amazing”, but they were at least “good”. I’d say they still tasted pretty “healthy” and were on the dry side. Their saving grace was the seasoning of sea salt, which made these mighty tasty. They also are perfect for dipping into thin sauces and adding your own flavor. Beyond that, though, I’d rather get one of their preflavored varieties, particularly the sour cream & onion.

Salt & Pepper

8.5/10: After a long string of so-so Pop Chips, this flavor really brought me back to the fan side. Of course salt and pepper were two flavors meant to be together, and they work just as well here, too. Neither outshines the other so that you’re getting an over seasoned chip. And these don’t at all taste healthy. I loved these a lot, and considered giving them a 9; ultimately, I would have been more impressed had the salt or pepper been of a slightly higher caliber. Besides that, these were a great, vegan snack.

Sea Salt & Vinegar

8/10: This is yet another flavor of Pop Chips I could never call bad but certainly wasn’t what I was expecting or particularly hoping for. Again, the unique cooking method gave both a healthy and flavorful chip. And this most definitely had the tastes of both sea salt and vinegar. But it wasn’t the same vinegar flavor that you might want from a chip–not nearly abrasive enough. Still, it did taste like what it promised, and with the tastes of nature.

Sour Cream & Onion

9/10: Potato chip what? I’m not quite sure how they do it, even after reading everything on their site. All I know is these were delicious! The savory and tangy sour cream & onion had me snacking chip after chip. I think I preferred these over “regular” potato chips because the potato flavor was so neutral that it let the other flavors shine. I might or might not have poured all the crumbs into my mouth at the end of the bag–just saying.

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Yellow Yolks

Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t want to think what I’ll do without a food processor when I go back to campus. It’s sooo amazing. For instance, it can turn fruit into ice cream… twice in one day!

Banana Soft Serve With Milk Chocolate

I had a second bowl of banana soft serve. This time I omitted cocoa powder and added some xanthan gum because the bananas weren’t fully frozen to begin with–delicious. I topped it with the milk chocolate that Kristie gave me. Holy yum was this good! I didn’t check but I bet they use butterfat in the ingredients because this was soooo rich and creamy and delicious. I think it rivals Divine’s milk chocolate; would it be ironic that one of my new favorite milk chocolates was given to me by a vegan? Thanks, Kristie!

I also like the food processor because it makes seeds into seed butter, such as it did yesterday with my pistachios, which I couldn’t wait(literally) to dive into.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pistachio Butter

This bowl was saltier than the sea but it was sooo delicious, too. I forgot how much I liked pistachios; they’re just such a pain to deshell. I ended up watching Chopped, which is one Food Network show I don’t care for. Have you seen it? It’s just not my style. What I do like is trying to figure out what I’d make if I were one of the contestants. For instance, they had to make a dessert with tofu, cacao nibs, cherry tomatoes, and gingersnaps. If I were them, I would have made a gingersnap crust, filled it with chocolate tofu pudding, and garnished with whip cream, a candied cherry tomato, and cacao nibs. I don’ know how good that’d come out but it’d be worth a shot 🙂

When I woke up I was pumped for a strength and cardio session. I did my core of

  • 40 push-ups
  • 50 standing lunges, 50 walking lunges
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 70 crunch pose-hold
  • 240 arm rotaries
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 40 squats
  • 70 standing marches
  • 70 rower arms
  • 40 second rower’s pose hold
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 100 air bike kicks

Followed by the standard 200 flights. I knew my after-dinner snacks wouldn’t hold me over through all of that so all the while I was nibbling on this new bar I was sent to review:

Jay Robb Cashew Coconut Bar

As with all Jay Robb products, if it will make me look like that, I’ll eat it no matter what it tastes like. Thankfully, this cashew coconut bar was also delicious. It really tasted quite tropical with the coconut and sweet cashews. I couldn’t even notice the rice crisps, which I normally detest. And I love that it’s lightly sweetened with agave nectar and sugar alcohols; who wants a lot of sugar when they’re reaching for a protein bar? That’s what energy bars are for. This also has a good deal of NUTrition(cashew butter is the first ingredient), so for breakfast I went for some other fats.

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Bean Sugar

Oatmeal With 2 Cage-Free Organic Eggs

I had(what I thought) was a lightbulb moment: I separated the whites and yolks, cooked the oatmeal with the whites for 1 minute and then added the yolks fr the last 30 seconds. They came out so perfectly runny while the whites were completely set. That’s how I’ll be making eggy oats from now on. For the yogurt, I just took a plain So Delicious and added vanilla bean sugar from Whole Foods bulk bin; don’t you love looking at something and seeing vanilla beans? I definitely eat vanilla with my eyes first.

Today’s Tip: Eggs It seems like there’s a million different things to think about with eggs(then again, I overthink everything) and I was wondering: Where do you stand? Love it all? Just the whites, please? Or no eggs for you? For me, they’re a package deal. I think they’re a perfect protein balanced with fat when you eat the whole egg. And so much of the vitamins and nutrients are in the yolk that they’re hard to pass up. Of course, there’s the cholesterol that comes in the yolk, too(a healthy egg should have a bright yellow/orange yolk). But after reading the literature on egg cholesterol and cholesterol in general, I’ve came to the decision that it doesn’t matter to me. I do, however, keep a carton of egg whites on hand, just for those times when I want a protein boost or need the structure they provide in baking. If you want your baked good to be cakey, add 2-3 eggs. If you’re looking for something airy, omit the yolks and whip the whites. Or, on the contrary, if you want something a bit beefier like milk chocolate peanut butter chunkies, use just the yolk. Ideally, I’ll own my own hen coop some day. That way I’d know where my eggs come from, how the hens are treated, and not have to pay for eggs ever again. Clearly, not much plans to move to the big city here. So what are your thoughts on eggs?

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Say Cheeese And A Giveaway!

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

Road trip! Route: Memory Lane

Did anybody else eat way too many of these in their childhood? It might or might not be just a New England thing; I’m not sure. Basically, these are cheese sandwich crackers with peanut butter in between. They’re not exactly health food, but at least they don’t have trans fat or HFCS(anymore at least. I have doubts about when I was a kid). OK, well I didn’t quite have these, BUT I figured out a kickassbutt way to work them into my lunch.

Cheddar Pop Chips With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

While trying out a new flavor of Pop Chips. Pretty snazzy. Plus I had real food.

Snobby Lentils And Broccoli With Nutritional Yeast

And something tall and bubbly to wash it all down.

Blueberry Pomegranate Steaz

And then I moved this all to the couch in front of the television. No, really, I did. My stomach was still feeling funky for lunch so instead of tofu I kept it simple with overcooked lentils and snobby joes over broccoli. I think I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of nutritional yeast; you just need to add A LOT at the time. The soda was OK but the flavor didn’t blow my mind; it mostly just tasted like green tea.

Also “just OK” was this flavor of Pop Chips. It just didn’t have that same, overly processed flavor as other cheese snacks. But maybe that’s a good thing? It’s just what I’ve come to expect from cheddar chips. What was really good was them with the peanut butter. It was just like the crackers! The sweet and salty work so well together. I might have to buy a bag of Pop Chips just for that.

After lunch and television, I started working on dinner.

Wet Ingredients

Along with the meal plan, I was making some killer cornbread. This time, I tried a variation some variations on it: I sweetened with 3 tablespoons agave nectar, accidentally poured in about twice the salt, and cut in cold pieces of Earth Balance natural butter spread at the last moment instead of mixing in the butter well.

Killer Cornbread

I actually think it might have cooked a few minutes faster, but besides that it looked and smelled the same: delicious. I also made up a rub for the chicken.

BBQ Chicken Rub

BBQ Chicken Rub

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, if desired. Rub over chicken before cooking.

Marinating Chicken

It might technically be a marinade. I’m not sure. But if it’s a problem for you, please take it up with my lawyers. After that I rewatched the newest episode of Unwrapped(because, really, you need to see it twice to let it sink in). As much as I hate to eat bars at home, I was craving something dense and chewy, much like a granola bar. It was that or cut into the cornbread early.

Nature's Path Peanut Butter Optimum Energy Bar

I won this bar from Nature’s Path‘s facebook page and had no reason to try it until now. It definitely wasn’t very peanut buttery, but at least it had peanuts in it, as well as fiber and protein. Probably didn’t need all that added sugar for sitting on the house and converting recipes, but c’est la vie. After a good while, I got a start on dinner by putting broccoli and the chicken in the oven, and made a snack while I waited for that.

Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Vanilla bean sugar makes everything feel special 🙂 And I just noticed my strawberry is organic, which has me far more excited than it should. Now I feel like I’m saving the earth every time I have some, though that’s probably not the case.

Killer Cornbread, BBQ Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Fries

Killer Cornbread, BBQ Chicken, Roasted Broccoli Fries

Finally, some decent broccoli fries. The perfection comes in the patience; these roasted for over an hour. The chicken was really good, but it would have been better had we had the grill to use. Still, the notes of cinnamon and cayenne were perfect. And the cornbread came out much better than the last time, probably because last time I forgot to add 1/2 the sweetener. This batch we decided was definitively more “corny” due to the agave nectar.

You should enter this giveaway for Amy’s Kitchen products right after entering my…

Chobani Giveaway!

Now that you’ve seen me cook with Chobani, here’s your chance to win some. Would you like to win a case of fruit Chobani? I love their fruit flavors because fruit is always the number 2 ingredient right behind milk(except for with the raspberry flavor). To enter, go to the Chobani website and write in one of the recipes that looks good to you. For bonus entries:

I’ll randomly choose a winner Friday at 8pm(which spells Ghost Whisperer time in this house) so get your comments in by then and good luck!

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