Let’s Make That Workout Happen

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

Let’s face it: When you’re just out there running for fun, it’s a lot easier to get “bored” with running than if you’re motivated by a race, or weight loss, or have some crazy deal where you get paid per mile you run(If I had a deal like that, I’d be out there all day). The truth is it’s just hard to love a tough workout 100% of the time. Here is how I get workout-ready in my morning.

I always start the day with a big breakfast, workout or not. My perfect trifecta is oatmeal for fiberous carbs, peanut butter(cinnamon raisin swirl PB & Co. here) for healthy fat, and greek yogurt for protein. To be completely honest, I don’t love Greek yogurt here always; a lot of days I’d be happiest with 2 huge bowls of oatmeal and nut butter. But greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein. And starting your day with protein has been shown to boost metabolism and curb you late-night hunger. I can certainly scoop some Fage for that.

When I know I’m about to run, I always steal some chocolate from my stash. Call it a bribe; it’s as natural as putting on my shoes. “Rituals” lie this can keep you on a regular exercising route.

Today, my workout motivation as music. I just downloaded Telephone(I know, I’m terribly behind) and Love On The Inside by Sugarland and made a big playlist out of them. I definitely couldn’t have gone so far without that energy pumping through me. For some, it’s music. Other times, it’s whatever’s on the TV at the gym. And, of course, there’s always the beautiful nature of the outdoors. Whatever it is, distractions can be some of the greatest ways to make a cardio workout enjoyable.

Afterwards, it’s important to hydrate. In fact, I plan this beforehand by sticking water and anything else I might want in the fridge and knowing just where it is to grab it to drink while doing stretches. Without stretches, the next workout might not be as enjoyable…

And, of course, you need to refuel. There was a lot of hype last Summer about chocolate milk being the “perfect drink”. Really, what you need is food. Drinking carbs is certainly one way to get energy back in to your system. That just doesn’t fit me, personally. For myself, I made a “dream salad”(as in, I dreamed this up all run long): Spinach, avocado with lemon juice, sauteed onions, and toasted cashews. If this doesn’t work for you, feel free to go back to the chocolate milk.

And it never hurts to have a little more running motivation. Sundae Friday, anyone?

No matter how difficult it is, there is nothing that tastes better than homemade ice cream. Can you see the vanilla bean specks and thick chunks of organic dark chocolate? Maybe I got hit by a car on my run and went to heaven and don’t know it yet.

Flash forward to 2 hours later when I hadn’t sat down at all and realized it was one of those 2-lunch days.  Now I’m relaxing with oatmeal and cashew butter and a pineapple Chobani. Glorious, no? I’ve been trying to churn up a real good dessert. It’s been a battle so far; we’ll see how it comes out tonight. We’ll see…

How do you stay motivated to work out?

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Shape Up RI Half Marathon Race Report

Posted on May 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

But first, I’m going to make you sit through the prefueling.

Mint Dark Chocolate And Raisins

Mint Dark Chocolate And Raisins

Oatmeal With Vanilla-Maple PB And Raisins

Oatmeal With Vanilla-Maple PB And Raisins

Not too exciting, except for the random raisin cravings. I think my body needs iron! I figured after a mostly vegan day that might be the case. As always, sleep was not easy on a Saturday night on campus; I woke up to loud music around 1am. Fortunately, I was tired enough to sleep through most of it and got 7 hours or so, waking up promptly at 6:30.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

My pre-race “breakfast” was an Amazing Grass chocolate peanut butter protein bar. I chose this because it’s nutritionally dense and covers all the macro’s and micro’s well. It had agave nectar for slow burning energy peanut power for satiety.

Standing at the starting gate could not have felt more “real”. Looking around, seeing all the other runners and marathoners was definitely inspiring. Even though I promised myself not to feel any pressure to sign up for another race in the near future, this definitely got me on a high that had me thinking. And then the gun went off!

Rehydrating

Rehydrating

Miles 1-2: Its here! Its here! It’s really here! I was very excited to be running. And I had no clue how fast I was going because my Garmin kept bouncing between 8 and 6; I was just hoping the people I was with were running a reasonable pace.

Miles 3-4: Ugh. Providence is hilly! And the hills set in early. At least by this point I was on the part of the course that I used to run daily, so I knew the terrain like the back of my hand.

Miles 5-6: At the 5 mile marker, I was not on pace for meeting my goal. I really stepped it up and took the downhills like a madmen. Unfortunately, they changed the layout of the course so I was a bit confused where we were going; but I was going and going strong.

Crossing The Finish Line

Crossing The Finish Line

Miles 7-9: Do not underestimate the power of people cheering from the sidelines. I never felt more loved than at this stretch with all the spectators. At a time when my head was saying “You’re only half way there”, everyone else was cheering “Half-way, half-way!”

Miles 10-11: I always try to run strong, be composed, and keep a level-head. At this point, I told myself it was OK to fight, struggle, and swear, so long as I won in the end.

Miles 12-13.1: The last mile is always the easiest. There were signs and people everywhere, and at this point I knew I had my time even if I slowed down considerably. I crossed the line with an official time of 1:37:51 and grabbed the medal at the end with enthusiasm.

Hardware

Hardware

Overall: I could not hold my water today! I think I peed 5 times before the race, and had to again the entire time through. At the end, I was probably dehydrated because I didn’t drink a lick, but it all worked for me. That just goes to show how nervous I was. But I did it! I beat my goal. And I feel no pressure to run off and sign up for another one 🙂

My parents were at the finish line. I really had no plans for after the race but I decided to come home for the day(I really didn’t have the energy to do my own laundry, haha). I made a little breakfast for the car ride.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Cherry Fage With Trail Mix

Cherry Fage With Trail Mix

I have no clue what was in this trail mix, but it was delicious; I might have to go back and buy the whole bin. All I know is that the giant chocolate swirls were superb. And with the sweet cherry from the fage, it was definitely a magical pairing. I might have to get this again later on when I go back to RI to have for a dessert 🙂

I’m plenty happy being on my couch, reuniting with Tivoed shows(hello, Little People, Big World), and am about to fix that iron problem with something off the grill! Yum 🙂

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Ice Cream For A Cause

Posted on April 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello, hello! I feel like this weekend totally flew past me between the auction Friday night to Avery’s birthday party to now being back in my dorm room and attending classes again with little to no transition in between. When the flow goes, go with it!

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

We packed up the car last night and made it to the Whole Foods in Providence in record time. Of course, we hit up the salad bar while grabbing groceries. My plate had some avocado-rubbed kale, sweet chili tofu, and pepper strips. The tofu was to die for. I can’t begin to explain how crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside it was. And the sweet and heat balanced perfectly. I would have had more, except that wasn’t really my dinner…

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social

As any Rhode Islander knows, there were massive floodings earlier in the month from a huge rainstorm that hit us. Businesses and houses were destroyed, and Whole Foods was holding an ice cream social to help raise money for those families. I can definitely get into ice cream for dinner for charity.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

I was hoping they’d break out the fun and funky pints for this, but they just had 365 vanilla and chocolate :-/ I got vanilla ice cream with organic chocolate sauce, 365 whipped cream, and a natural maraschino cherry. Sundaes always taste better when someone else makes them for you with a heavy hand. The 365 vanilla is OK, but I’ve definitely branched out from dairy-based ice cream and have had better. Other fun finds(but not purchases) at Whole Foods were the new So Delicious flavors in stock and Daiya vegan cheese!

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

While working on some homework not-so-hard, I had the snack of champions: an apple, mint dark chocolate, and decaf coffee. Could I have had a little more sugar last night? It was all for a good cause–let’s keep that in mind. Last Summer I managed to switch from caffeine to decaf coffee; this year it’s been about weening off the stuff completely from the acidity, but I do have about a cup a day, which is probably an ideal balance of antioxidants and acidity. I don’t think I could/would give it up completely.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

I couldn’t deal with more sugar before bed so I went the spicy route with The Heat Is On peanut butter and a savory Omega-3 egg. It might be hard to believe it through my sweet tooth and all, but I definitely could not go a day without a good deal of savoriness. Sometimes, my garlic tooth is just as big.

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Back to classes and rain meant back to runs first thing, so I woke up at 6:30 to squeeze an 8-miler in before class. Normally, dairy and protein wouldn’t work for me before a run. But it was all I was craving. And since I was going to run anyway, I thought why not have the damn pomegranate Chobani with Alter Eco dark chocolate quinoa.

10 Miles In 86:16

10 Miles In 86:16

Something must have worked, because I extended my run to 10 miles and ran at a 7mph pace. The best part was finding out through the news that the forecast for Sunday’s half-marathon is sunny and warm! Crossing my fingers…

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Finally, for breakfast I was craving craisins. I just wish there was a bar called that so I could have known what to eat so much easier. I mixed Crofter’s Organic Europe jam in a plain chobani and topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dried cranberries–holy yum were these soft and squishy! On the side I had oatmeal with another egg and some Teddie’s pb sweetened up a tad. In class I got bored and calculated that I ate around 50g of protein and all before lunch! Sure, you could just take 2 scoops of a powder and call it at that. But I love getting so much nourishment from real food.

Do you have any cooking goals? 2 of the things this weekend inspired me to do are 1) use my food processor to make more complex and delicious raw foods and 2) learn to fry tofu. An ironic pairing, no? Well, if things go my way today, I’ll be incorporating one of those into dinner… Is there anything you want to learn to do in the kitchen?

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When CAN I Have Sugar?

Posted on February 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stand back–I’m going to try being 1/2 serious in this post and somebody might lose an eye.

Raw Vegan Mint Coconut Macaroon, Coconut Oil Chocolate

Last night presented one of the silliest dilemmas yet: I wanted an Emmy’s Organic mint chip macaroon AND I want a coconut oil chocolate bar; which one should I put on top of the chocolate avocado pudding I couldn’t have cared less for? Doy! I nixed the pudding and went ahead and had both. I forgot how quick these bars are to make! Just 3 minutes prep and popped it in the freezer while I washed the dishes and good to go! A little later, another chocolaty snack:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Sunspires

Hello, sweets! I was wiped out after writing the draft for a paper by 9:50 and needed the agave syrup/cane juice whatever here to stay up a little longer. Ice skating was not helping with that either; is that really a “sport” or more of an “art”? And how disturbing are the relationships of half of those teams? Yuck! That was not what I needed for sweet dreams, but thankfully I was too tired to care mostly.

Jay Robb Fudge Brownie Protein Bar

When I woke up, I was having a major chocolate almond craving. I could have gone for a bowl of oatmeal right then and there, but I wasn’t sure how that’d sit with my stomach running, so I grabbed this Jay Robb chocolate bar with almond butter as the first ingredient.

Ingredients

Overall, I liked this bar, but wouldn’t get it again most likely; I’ve never been one for protein bars to begin with. The flavor was almost more “milk” than “fudge” from all the whey, although the almond chunks were really flavorful. The xylitol had me scratching my head, but I was comforted to read that it’s naturally derived from kosher, non-GMO corn and used here to keep the protein and fats high but the net carbs low.

Running Part 1

Looking at my day, I could tell 2 things: I’m going to be studying a lot of Greek, and it’s going to pour buckets. At that, I knew I wanted to leave everything I had on the gym floor and go for my long run of 11 miles today. I broke my run into 2 halves so that, during the break, I could go to the bathroom, change treadmills, and swap the television channel(I know, I’m a needy person).

Running Part 2

I finished in 98:30 and got a lot of quality television time in. While I was running, I couldn’t help but notice the new Splenda commercial and find myself arguing with it. If you haven’t seen it, the families in the commercial are using Splenda EVERYWHERE. I don’t mean taking a packet and pouring it in their coffee; they take a pound bag and advertise it for use in everything from sweets like cookies, lemonades, and pies to savory things like dip and chicken marinade an. Basically, the message was to put Splenda anywhere and everywhere there would otherwise be sugar–no excuses. And it really didn’t seem like this was being marketed towards diabetics(I don’t even remember if this is mentioned at all) but just the general population.

Of course, after my initial disgust, this got me thinking; I believe my actual thoughts were” Jesus, when can I have sugar?”. What’s ever wrong with something like good ol’ agave nectar in coconut oil chocolate? And then the hypocrisy started to hit me: I put NuNaturals‘ stevia in my coffee that morning, sweetened my soy yogurt with vanilla extract stevia, and the Jay Robb bar had xylitol in it. Naturally sourced or not, this all seemed like quite a contradiction to me, which is the thought I had going in to breakfast…

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Chocolate Almond Butter, 2% Yogurt With Banana Rum Jam

Oatmeal With Coconut Milk And Almond Butter

Finally, some real chocolate almond butter ala Justin’s to hit my sweet tooth along with rich coconut milk. I’ve put the coconut milk in a bag to try to keep odors out but it still doesn’t taste quite as magical as those first few days; is there anyway to keep coconut milk tasting fresh? On the side was some yogurt sweetened with a little stevia and topped with this magical jam. I think rum should be at every breakfast table–just sayin’.

This gave me more time to think and ask myself if my disdain for this particular commercial contradicted the way I life my life? My answer: Yes and no(Ha! Not only am I wholly a contradiction but I’m good at it too ;-)). I get not wanting to drink 40g of sugar, and I get the delicious appeal of a frothy Coke Zero. Trust me–I have those cravings even after giving that stuff up and Zevia can only help so much. And I just don’t think I could have plain greek yogurt if I tried–it’s too tangy for me. But that’s where I draw the line; 99% of the 0-cal sweeteners I use are in beverages or yogurt/pudding, and that’s where I draw my line. Almost any other time I’d rather have agave nectar, maple syrup, or good ol’ sugar. The thought of basting chicken in Splenda or stevia is just a little revolting.

Have you seen this commercial? Do you have any thoughts on Splenda or sweeteners? Did anybody lose an eye from my seriousness? Why did I not crack open my Greek text all weekend?

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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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Nutelling What I Think

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I keep things in my life–including my blog–free of controversy. I don’t confront people a lot, and always try to respect others opinions while keeping my own. At the same time, I love a good rant 😀 So skip down to the end for me blowing my top on a not-so-nutty topic.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I wanted to eat up this soy yogurt so it would be one less thing to carry back to school with me. Of course, what’s soy yogurt without a milk chocolate topic? Irony is tasty. I love how the peanuts taste a little roasted and salted; that contrast definitely helps bring out the sweetness of chocolate. I tried throwing myself back in to Heroes since it looked like the only new thing on television, but since I haven’t seen any of the 2010 episodes I was a little confused. Claire has daddy drama again? That can’t be healthy.

I decided the night would be perfect for a new nut butter. This was one of the ones I bought from Justin’s online store with my Christmas money. It’s similar to Nutella in concept, but the stats are much better as I’ll go into later.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Mmmm, yum! It melted so well over the oatmeal. This one’s a keeper. It didn’t taste too chocolatey; it more tasted like hazelnuts sweetened up. But that’s what I hope for in a hazelnut butter. And, unlike Nutella, this is vegan! I hope it reaches store shelves before I go through it(I hear it’s already in Colorado!). I ate this watching the star from NCIS on Leno. That was possibly the least interesting interview I’ve seen; oh Conan, we’ll miss you and your wit! I ended up tuning out early, going to bed, and waking up to a sweet surprise.

Box Of Q.Bel Chocolate

I mentioned yesterday that I won a Facebook contest for reviewing Q.Bel. Well, apparently they have Speedy Gonzalez running deliveries for them because I got my prize at 7:20 am from FedEx. Look at that chocolate! I can’t wait to try out the 2 new flavors. That’s definitely one way to start the day. That excitement aside, I started doing my core and did that through. When I got to the cardio(stairs), I grabbed something with protein and carbs.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna Protein Bar

I wish I had time to review this now; I will sometime soon and I’d give it a 7.5/10. But I think I say it all when I ate about 1/3-1/2 and just threw the rest out. And I HATE wasting food. It just tasted OK. But it almost was more like a candy bar and definitely not a whole food. I figured, if I wanted to eat a candy bar at the time I should have a Q.bel and if I wanted peanut butter I should have peanut butter. After I finished all the flights, I made a breakfast to “redeem” chocolate and peanut butter.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ok. I’ve made my peace with chocolate and peanut butter now. I assure you, the dollop of peanut butter was big; it just got “nestled” into the oats after I popped it back in the microwave for 15 minutes(doesn’t that sound delicious :-D). For the yogurt, I just mixed full fat and 0% with some vanilla stevia and vanilla powder and it was nice and clean tasting. Once again, Justin’s nut butter made me happy 🙂 That was such a good purchase with my Christmas money.

Not Nutella

I’ll admit it: There was a time I adored Nutella and kept it in my pantry. There was also a time I had a Barney plush and thought about tearing out all my teeth if it meant I’d get a dollar under my pillow. But I’ve grown older, and wiser, and just cannot stand Nutella or its marketing. Have you ever noticed how they call it a “Hazelnut spread”? That’s because, legally, they cannot call it a hazelnut butter. The ingredients and statistics of it are so poor, I’m amazed they can get that far.

INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, MODIFIED PALM OIL, HAZELNUTS, COCOA, SKIM MILK, REDUCED MINERALS WHEY (FROM MILK), SOY LECITHIN: AN EMULSIFIER, VANILLIN: AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

What’s more appropriate would be “Chocolate Pate” or even “Palm Oil Spread”. But would you top your oatmeal with something called “Palm Oil Spread”? Probably not. But there it is, higher on the ingredients than hazelnuts. And modified to boot! And the list is rounded out with vanillin, which I just can not stand and am happy to have out of my diet. Is it going to hurt you? Not at all. It’s just the hallmark of a cheap product. Now let’s look at Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter:

Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

That looks 10 times better to me. No, 100x. It’s a legitimate hazelnut butter–not a chocolate spread. The ingredients are straight forward and organic. And the nutritional information reads like a nut butter. I’ll leave you with a good rule for buying a flavored nut butter: If the grams of sugar are more than the fiber and protein, look at it with a skeptical eye; if the grams of sugar are more than the fat, put it down and walk away.

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Meals And Moving

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

Woo, I am beat. So much for a somple Sunday. Can I fall asleep now? Maybe a post(and dessert) first. For lunch we ewre roasting half of an all-natural turkey, which raised a little dilemma in my head. I knew I didn’t want meat, but I hated the idea of not eating good meat when it was cooked. In the end, I decided I knew what I knew and I should make my own meat-free lunch if that’s the way it should be.

Fakin' Bacon Marinated Tempeh Cubes

I did some research and found the generic ingredients for something bacon-like in flavor. After toying around I came up with this combo:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

This was much more marinade than I needed for 1 serving of tempeh, but the flavor came out great–very bacon-like! I’ll make an actual recipe page for this soon enough. I ended up skewering and grilling the tempeh, which also really helped out the flavor.

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Like I said, the tempeh came out delicious. My grandmother made me give her a piece even though she had no clue what it was, and approved of it highly. Well that should be all the convincing you need 😉 Apparently the “sweet yam” was marketed as different from a sweet potato. It got really caramelized from roasting for an hour and definitely tasted sweeter than normal.

After lunch, I kind of knew what had to be done even though I didn’t want to admit it: We had to start moving things back into my dorm. A pain? Majorly. But if we didn’t do this today, we’d either need to make an even bigger trip down Tuesday or 2 trips. Yeah, there was no winning here, so we went with plan A. We loaded up the car, drove down, and got to Providence quick. I made us stop at Whole Foods because I was hungry.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

The perfect snack. I had to get this to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day. It was also 50% off so it was only 1.50, eats like a complete meal, and has a great(though tasteless) green body to it. We also found nutritional yeast at the bulk bins!! This was excellent, since I was thinking we’d need to go to Dedham again to get more. When we got to my room, it looked so sad 😦

Bare Room

The athletes who had lived there left a little present: some champagne stoppers on the floor. Joy. Besides that, it was all pretty well clean, and the closet hadn’t been broken in to. We de-iced the fridge/freezer, set up the TV and microwave, made the bed, put away some food, clothes, and books, and 75 minutes later it looked more lively.

Half Moved In

Ignore the sketchy pillow on the floor; I just didn’t want it touching my bed since it’s the random pillow the school provides and had hair all over it. Now, I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions mainly because I’m constantly changing my mindset/prerogative. I like this, though, because it lets me make many “mini” resolutions throughout the year. One of these resolutions will be to make better use of my dorm’s kitchen.

Basement Kitchen

It may be small. It may be ugly. And it may definitely smells like too many bottles of Bud Light have spilled on the floor. But it’s a hell of a lot more functionable than my little microwave, and I do want to get away from the dining hall as much as possible this new semester for several reasons. So hopefully I’ll be able to make friends with these burners. Hopefully.

On the way home, we just stopped at a local grocery store quickly because, once again, I was hungry.

Cortland Apple

I don’t understand how I eat the most out of my family; they need to start shoveling it in to compete! This Cortland wasn’t organic, or even washed because I just needed to get it in me. That being said, I’d still argue it was a better decision than 90% of things in any standard grocery store–just saying. This didn’t have to last me long, anyway, because it was about dinner time.

Vegan Meatloaf, Butternut Squash With Black Pepper

And now I’m full, tired, and lounging on my couch at home. This meatloaf never fails to get better with age; if you go to the recipe page you’ll see I included the full nutritional info for a slice! It’s quite a balanced portion of protein, fat, and fiber for something began. It might change with the rice you use(I use a brown rice medley from Trader Joe’s with some seeds in it), but it should come out similar enough. Since dinner, we’ve been arguing about my meal plan, how much I ate first semester off of it, and what to do with the new year. Is it possible that I used over $450 in flex points in 3 months? I don’t really think so, but they do charge 2.69 for 1 freakin‘ Chobani, so who knows. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

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Feeling FRESH

Posted on January 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning afternoon! Actually, I “gave myself the morning off”, which doesn’t mean much when you don’t do much but has a great psychological boost behind it 😀 Have you done something little for yourself that’s made you feel 10 times better than you thought it would? Do tell, because I’m always looking for little things like that. When I make a lunch in the oven or anything more intensive than the microwave, that always has me feeling like a million bucks.

Vegan Meatloaf With Smokey Ketchup, Broccoli With Nutritional Yeast

This lunch yesterday was neither “fresh” or made in anything but the microwave, and yet still had me feeling like a million bucks. I decided to finish off the vegan meatloaf. My first thought was “Wow, this is really a lot. Maybe I should portion better.” followed by “Oh well, it’s all healthy foods so it’s OK to go a bit over on.” ended with “This is all healthy?! I need to make another one this week!” Clearly, we know what I’ll be doing at some point soon 😉 I topped it with ketchup and liquid smoke(love this combo) and some nutritional yeast; I think I need to get a pound of nutritional yeast next time I go to the Dedham Whole Foods and I’m not even exaggerating.

After lunch my mom went her way and my dad and I went ours and I feel like we went everywhere! First up was Job Lot, which always has fun finds. This time it was maple and blueberry flavored agave nectar, but I passed on any of those. Then I happened to stumble on an unbelievable sale at Price Chopper while waiting for my dad to pick out socks.

Lightlife Soy Beef And Buffalo Wings

Lightlife products were buy 1 get 1 free! I only bought 1 and got 1 and now I’m thinking I should have grabbed more but oh well. I’ve been wanting to try their Buffalo Wings forever so now was my opportunity! I’d never have paid $5 for them had I not gotten a log of soy beef for free–love that last part. I can’t wait to make beefy things with it(a burger? Ooo Summer’s been gone for too long).

After Price Chopper I pretended to be an educated individual and took us to Borders. I love the idea of book stores; there’s so much variety! Buuuut… I always end up looking at the same food books. Haha, one track mind much? And I ended up buying one!

Cook This Not That

I think the Eat This Not That series is one of my guilty pleasures, and I was able to get this for $14 with a coupon. This is my 3rd or 4th, and it’s all about recipes of restaurant favorites. Normally I don’t bother paying for cookbooks and just use the internet or my own head but I love ones like this that also have interesting and unique facts and articles. Did you know the pecan is the most antioxidant-full nut? Fascinating. I also looked at Michael Pollon’s new book about food rule, which looked awesome. It also looked like a lot of things that seem like “common sense” to me after reading In Defense Of Food, though, which I did not feel like paying $10 for. But words like “You can eat all the junk food you want so long as you make it yourself” is what people need to here!(and good news for me with all my peanut butter cups ;-))

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunky

Well, not a peanut butter cup, but still some wholesome junk food I packed for a snack instead of a granola bar. After that we ended up at Target followed by a trip to the eye doctors. Good news and bad news–I’m just as blind as I was a year and a half ago 🙂 I remember when I first got contacts and the employee had to sit with me for 30 minutes while I tried to figure out how to put a lens on my eyeball. I felt soooo bad taking forever, I just wanted to give up. Now I pop them in and yank them out like putty, haha. Oh how times change. And on the way home we dropped by Whole Foods where brussels sprouts were on sale! We didn’t have these at all this week, so I grabbed 3 pounds. Will that be enough? I doubt it.

Thai Peanut Primal Strip

We decided to be fun and funky and go out for dinner last night, mostly through my own persuasion 😉 Before we left I wasn’t really hungry but had this thai peanut Primal Strip I was sent to review so I wouldn’t get hungry waiting for dinner. I hate being hungry at restaurants; then you can hardly enjoy the delicious food! I liked this strip as a quick and portable protein source–definitely an upgrade to the sugary granola bar and held me over well. I really wanted somewhere I could eat vegetarian and not pasta, which is a rare breed around here. We ended up driving back to Framingham past the eye doctors to Big Fresh Cafe. I’d never been there before, but you can just look at their website to see how awesome they are and how tough it was to choose one thing from their amazing menu.

Teryaki Vegetables And Tofu Over Organic Brown Rice

I ended up going with the teryaki vegetables and tofu over organic brown rice. It was awesome! I think this might have been the first time I’ve had someone else prepare tofu for me–so good. What I loved most was how this was basically fast food, with no fuss ordering and quick cooking. You’d also never a place devoted to natural, fresh food was here; it’s next to a Papa Gino’s and across from a McDonalds and has the tiniest sign. But we’ll definitely be coming back again! This was what was left of my plate.

Leftovers

Don’t worry; we took it home in a container and I’m going to make fried rice one of these days for lunch. Why let some good organic brown rice go to waste? On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods again(I know; we live here) because my dad and I didn’t actually get any protein for dinners that my mom would eat. We left with a hunk of beef and enough chicken breasts to fill Playboy. When we got home, I was held over well by my meal, but inevitably reached for some chocolate.

Goat Milk Yogurt With Chocolate Raspberry Jam And Original NibMor

Don’t you hate finishing a really good bar? This was my last piece of NibMor original–so sad. Then again, I can’t really say I have a chocolate shortage. Even my jam has chocolate in it! Or at least this one did; it was a fun twist on the raspberry and goats milk combo. I didn’t think I’d be hungry for a bowl of oatmeal later on but I was, much to my pleasure.

Egg White Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter

I got to try out my egg whites I bought at Whole Foods; they add such great fluff to the oats! Now I get why bloggers love them. It’s a bit more expensive than just buying the eggs but I’d hate to waste yolks. In my dream-filled mind, the yolks to these were all used well in pudding and custards. Likely? Probably not, but I can hope. And I tried out the new chocolate cherry peanut butter I bought with X-mas money. A little low on the peanut flavor but I suppose there are mroe reasons to eat and like it than peanut.

This morning I very much just wanted a good, full workout. I started off with my core while watching some Sunday morning cartoons. What else is more motivating during push-ups than Cartoon Network? Beats me. When I got to the stair portion, I decided to give a new bar a try.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Luna Protein

I also picked the chocolate cherry almond luna protein up at Whole Foods, and unfortunately it just did not rock my socks 😦 I don’t know what it was about it that was so unappealing; it really did taste like chocolate cherry almond! But still did nothing for me. I ate half and gave half to my dad. So when I got to breakfast I was ready for something anything other than chocolate, cherry, or almond.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Sugar

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

I just love the nutritional yeast and peanut butter combo! I’m going to need to buy a pound from Dedham Whole Foods before I go back to school in a week and a half. I mixed 1/2 a tablespoon in with the pumpkin and reserved 1/2 a tablespoon for topping along with a big glob of Smart Balance Peanut Butter–holy yum was this good! Alongside, I felt like a plain So Delicious soy yogurt agave sweetened and topped with vanilla bean sugar. This “held me over” but didn’t really “fill me up” so I reached for an organic red delicious apple at the end which did the trick.

I enjoyed my morning off with some SNL and web-browsing. How ugly will the Jay Leno and Conan thing get? Really, I just wish something would be resolved because they’re two great hosts and it’s sad to see all this bickering mar their good names. After my parents went to a birthday party, I whipped up a lunch for one, inspired by the cafe last night and all the FRESH foods I’ve been seeing.

Lightlife Buffalo Wings, Carrots And Broccoli With Cashew Almond Dressing

Where to begin? The wait on the buffalo wings–totally worth it! I just loved these; if I ever were to really go vegetarian(that’s a HUGE if right there), I’d be content with living off these. Hell-I don’t think I’ve had a real buffalo wing in sooo long and I’m still content with these. There was a creaminess about them that was unreal. For the veggies, I steamed them while whipping up 1 tablespoon cashews, 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a squirt of lemon juice in the mini-processor. So sweet! It was really perfect with the vegetables in place of something bleu cheese which I don’t have. And then, to end my being veggie streak of almost 48 hours, I had… chocolate?!

Vosges' Bacon Milk Chocolate Bar

That’s right 🙂 I finally broke into this bar that I bought a while back with my Christmas money. I actually think I’ll be just nibbling on it throughout the afternoon while I do work around here because all those fresh veggies filled me up. Tonight we’re getting a storm! Hopefully, it will bring plenty of snow for the long weekend 🙂 I’ve thrown on a FRESH pot of coffee and now I must flip through my Cook This Not That book to find out what’s for dinner.

Contests

A giveaway for Theo Chocolate

Here’s a giveaway for a chocomize bar!

A Zola beverage giveaway(never tried these, but I will if I win)

And an Oogave beverage giveaway(also never tried)

And last(but certainly not least) an awesome vitamix giveaway!

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Say Hello To My Little Friend

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

Freebie alert: go to Barneybutter.com to sample their delicious almond butter for free(but watch out because you’ll get hooked). Just click on the ad in the top left and say you heard about it through FoodMakesFunFuel.com

*In an awful Italian accent* Say hello to my little friend:

Trader Joe's Plain Goat Milk Yogurt

Really, Trader Joe would be my bestie, but I don’t have any pictures of him, so this yogurt will substitute as my little friend. Think it’s intimidating? It’s not really. In fact, it’s very similar to cow’s milk.

Goat's Milk Nutrition

See? The nutrition is pretty much the same as a low fat plain cow’s milk yogurt. The only difference is that the flavor is much tangier and, as Avery has taught us, closer to human’s milk explaining the greater toleration for it. If you’re lactose intolerant, you must try goat milk; what’s there to lose? Well, OK, you might still not be able to tolerate it and gas up the place. But you also might be able to and find a new food. But before I got to open this up, the UPS man came.

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

He never comes after dinner, or knocks on our door(and really intimidatingly); Montana tried barking and sounding tough but it kind of sounded like we were drowning a cat. Anyway, our order from Naturally Nutty came in! I placed this order shortly after Christmas with some gift money and my dad and I both ordered so we could save on shipping. I got something old(the butter toffee), something new(the chocolate cherry), and Katie from the company threw in an unreleased one for me to sample and review! It’s vanilla cinnamon almond butter and it’s all organic! Thanks, Katie, I can’t wait to give it a try(especially since the vanilla almond butter itself is unreal)! OK–back to my little friend:

Goat Milk Yogurt With Gluten Free Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownie

I swear there was goat milk under that. I still have some gluten free chocolate brownies from New Years in the fridge. Oops. At least they’re still delicious 😀 That one might have been cut a little big, because it kept giving and giving, but it was so good! Also good was Modern Family last night; I had to break from Idol to watch it and it was soooo worth it. Afterwards, I was really boring:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Nutritional Yeast And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

2 nights in a row and no shame–it’s good. And it’s giving me such ideas for an original recipe; should I get in the kitchen this afternoon? Maybe… I have to say, this bowl was a lot more than I thought it’d be and made me feel a bit sick after eating it all. Or maybe that was just because I had the thought “Hey, the nutritional yeast kind of looks like dandruff” half way through. It’s disgusting, but doesn’t it? I should stop talking before I convince you out of eating it.

This morning I did the same workout as yesterday, which was great! When i did this my first week on vacation just once, it put me out of exercise for a few days; clearly it’s been building strength and endurance. Yesterday I didn’t need anything as a workout snack but today I felt famished half-way through.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

I’m reusing this photo from a few days ago, only because it looks so good! And it was 🙂 I should just buy a case of these protein bars and maybe save 60 cents that way. Today’s workout got me sweating! But sweat is good; embrace the sweat 🙂 It means you’re doing it right. Obviously, a quick shower was in order before breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey-Maple Peanut Butter

Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Preserves

My little friend returned! But first I had some pumpkin oatmeal with protein honey maple peanut butter for some delicious and healthy fats. And then along that I had raspberry jam over goat milk; these two flavors were entirely meant for each other, like peanut butter and jelly. I do sweeten the goat milk yogurt a tad with vanilla stevia but not so much so as to lose the tanginess.

I tivoed a good couple of hours worth of shows last night, so I guess I know what I’ll be doing next. But first 2 awesome bloggers are having giveaway. Happy 1 year anniversary to Brandi! And win some Chia seeds(how exotic) from Avery.

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My Shirt Matches My Oats

Posted on January 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning. I love that it’s a new week! For some reason, it just feels like everything’s nice and fresh and ready to start anew. Maybe I’m just happy to have the house to myself again? That’s probably it. I have a new goal! I’m new to Twitter and now I want to get 100 Twitter followers before I go back to school. I think that’s very practical so let’s do it! Follow me here. Last night there was so much dessert to choose from. My mom was first to dive in and gave glowing reviews for the peanut butter cups, which was funny because I just made those on a whim when I had leftover chocolate. Well, I figured I’d start with those.

Soy Yogurt With Homemade Peanut Butter Cup And Vanilla Sugar

Over soy yogurt, just like I like it. The irony was lost here because there was no milk in the chocolate and this was totally vegan 😦 I like irony. It’s tasty! But so were these peanut butter cups. Making these for myself is definitely a practice I should get into because it’s so much more frugal and still delicious. My mom actually set one aside to take as an afternoon snack today, haha.

Last night, against my normal Food Network nature, I wtched the Simpsons’ 20th year special. I’m afraid to admit it, but the Simpsons are older than me! And they’re still good. I find that remarkable. I really hope they never end, which is not the case for some of my other favorite shows as of late *cough*Leno*cough*. Sometime through, I had a ball.

Banana Bread Ball

Jess was pretty smart with these because they’re delicious! The thin layer of chocolate over breading is just perfect. It reminds me of a chocolate covered donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, but not as sweet and 10 times better for you. This would be a fun thing to make for a brunch; I don’t think I used enough cream cheese, thought(which is odd because I’m known for having a heavy hand with the cream cheese ;-)). I started watching Brothers & Sisters and decided to make some oats with a new product.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Agave Ginger Cashews

It’s so hard to find crunchy nut butters that aren’t peanut butter, so instead I just used a cashew butter and these new Tierra Farm’s agave ginger cashews. I was very impressed by these. I almost never deal with glazed nuts because I never find them flavorful unless they’re salt roasted but then they just taste like salt. But these were entirely different; at times I felt like I was chewing on ginger! Wowza were they hot, but in a good way. These would be very gourmet to put in a dish at a party, for sure.

This morning I woke up feeling like a little strength training would be good. I threw on my new Target shorts that cost 3.50 and an old t-shirt from Greece and did a full core, which consisted of

  • 40 push-ups
  • 50 standing lunges, 5 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(forgot to do this)
  • 40 second rower’s pose hold(and this, too)
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 100 air bike kicks.

Did you know when you do crunches you should have your legs elevated? It works your lower abs better. I put mine up on a desk chair. After that I grabbed something for protein:

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

Delicious, but really I just wanted not to have a partially eaten bar lying around; that drives me crazy! And I did 200 flights of stairs for cardio. It’s hard to tell how long it took because I had to stop not once but 3 times to let somebody outside to go to the bathroom(I’m assuming by the “let outside” part you understand it wasn’t me). I wanted to just decide to stop after the 3rd time because it made my workout feel less-so but I realized that’s not the right reason to stop a workout and it’s always better to finish no matter what. After that I showered up and made another seasonal breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With NuttZo And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Nog Greek Yogurt

Am I going to crave pumpkin in the Spring? I think I just might. I loved the NuttZo which is kind of sweet but has no added sugar, especially with the savory cream cheese–yum! And I had some Noggy yogurt which makes Christmas feel not so long ago. Thanks to Xanthan Gum, this was so nice and thick; otherwise it’d been runny like a fat-free Stonyfield and I can just not stand that. Xanthan does have a bit of a dulling flavor so it needed a little more sweetener. Afterwards I wondered why I went for NuttZo for breakfast…

NuttZo T-Shirt

Clearly, I’m not the smartest cookie since I was wondering for so long 😛 I forgot: I added cinnamon to my pumpkin oatmeal this morning for the first time. It’s not that I wanted to taste it, or even did, but I’ve been seeing so many commercials for cinnamon as a heart-healthy spice I thought I’d add it. Does my heart feel happier? Well, I don’t know, but it didn’t affect the flavor and I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

PS. Here are some reviews I rewrote last night, in case you’ve ever been interested in any of these. They’re all ice cream. Clearly, I had something on my mind.

WholeSoy & Co. Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream

Stonyfield’s Cookies N’ Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

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