Can Carob Compete?

Posted on April 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Before last night, I had never tried carob.

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

I had known about it for months now, and even have had this bar since November. Still, I hadn’t really tried carob, not because of what it is, but because of what it isn’t: chocolate. Carob has been marketed as “the new, healthy chocolate”. Hold the phone; what was wrong with our old chocolate? Chocolate-specifically cocoa powder which is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate–can be packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate only has fat from cocoa butter and relatively low added sugar. Carob, on the other hand, has no antioxidants and inherently more sugar than cocoa. The only advantage might come in its lack of caffeine, or for anyone allergic to chocolate(if you are, I am so so sorry you have to sit through 90% of what I eat). But how did it taste?

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

This certainly was sweeter than dark chocolate, and it’s hard to tell if that’s from a disproportionate amount of carob/cocoa powder or because carob naturally has higher sugar content. The texture was what threw me; this was rather chalky, and not at all smooth like my favorite dark chocolate. As for the benefits of carob, it’s easier to obtain in its raw state than cacao. It also boasts more calcium(or, in its case, calci-yum). I did like it, but I’m certainly not running out to buy carob powder or recommending it to anyone not allergic to chocolate(again, sorry!).

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

I also had healthy snacks like baby carrots and tiny broccoli florets. Actually, I ate this right after my dinner post. I love roasted broccoli, but it’s about 1/2 as filling as steamed broccoli, and 1/10 as filling as raw. Don’t get me wrong, though: The flavor is a thousand times better. Can you tell I’m good with numbers, particularly food math?

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Like I said, chocolate is irreplaceable. The texture is smoother; the flavor is richer; and think of all those antioxidants! I enjoyed Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate with a shmear of 365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. The chocolate bar looks damaged because it was in my pocket all last Friday and got melted along the way, but it tasted delicious. And I was so happy Grey’s Anatomy was back new last night! That show has had me addicted since Season 1.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

This morning I actually forced myself to sleep in until 8; otherwise I just wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. I muddled around/read blogs until I was hungry for breakfast. It was more of my non-chocolate addiction:365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. I have yet to see this agave in a store, but if I do I’m buying them out. And I’m sure the overall price is better than buying a fancy nut butter, since 365 only cost me $1(Get those Whole Deal coupons before they go!).

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Of course, fancy nut butter will always be a part of my life, like vanilla almond butter from Naturally Nutty. I prefer things like nuts or trail mix on my yogurt so much more than granola; and I never have to think if it’s gluten-free or not!

Have you tried carob? Like it or not? It was fine, really; but it will never be a part of my life like chocolate is.

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I’ve Caught A Bug And I’m Burnt Out

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

If you haven’t yet got to read my post on food combining and the comments, it’s well worth it! There are good opinions weighed in by experts, and if anything I know I’ve mentioned I’m no expert. What’s there is what I’ve noticed and what works(or doesn’t) for me, but if you have a different experience, please share!

This week, I caught 2 bugs. There was the bug that made me so sick, I couldn’t so much as move out of my chair for 2 hours. That’s not gone, but it’s a lot better now, and I’m sure I’ll feel great again in a few days. When I went home, though, I caught a second bug: The Summer Bug. Since then, all I’ve been able to think about is time not at school. I can’t wait for the opportunity to make real recipes from scratch like when I made white bean and kale soup, or do Summertime activities like pick blackberries and raspberries(with better quality pictures, this year). It’s definitely burnt me out of school with just 1 month to go. I’m trying to stayed focus; I even did homework first thing when waking up this morning. But this bug could be too strong. Have you caught this bug yet? What’s the remedy? Or, let’s just embrace the bug. What are you looking forward to most about Summer?

Local White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

Local White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

As proof I’ve caught the bug: A shamefully large portion of my night was spent trying to find ice cream shops around Boston and Massachusetts that don’t use artificial ingredients. I’ve got the name of a store with organic gelato in my pocket. Meanwhile, this gelato tasted heavenly. I’m not even a huge fan on cranberries generally but put them(or anything) with white chocolate and you’ve got me. Since I only had a serving of yogurt at breakfast, this clocked me in right around my 3 daily servings of dairy.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Another new obsession on the warm front this time is mixing 365 peanut butter with Madhava vanilla agave: ah-mazing. I’ve found adding a little peanut oil makes it a bit runnier, too, but not super thin, so this bowl was perfect. The joy of the night was falling asleep to the sound of rain; I hate being out in the rain but I love listening to it, and the same with thunderstorms.

Tazo Thrive

Tazo Focus

Like I mentioned, this morning I woke up with a goal: to focus. Fittingly, I gave Tazo’s new Focus tea a try. The cocoa peal and orange essence made this smell like orange dark chocolate–yum! The flavor was a lot more subdued, much like any black tea. I think the real therapy came in the aroma, but the flavor was nice with a hint of zest. I probably won’t be drinking it much just because I avoid caffeine generally but this was fun for a change of pace.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Raspberry Greek Yogurt

Raspberry Greek Yogurt

Hopefully the Summer will include finding a place that sells Justin’s chocolate butters because I’m almost out of the almond, too 😦 Meanwhile, have you jumped on the coconut milk train with me? I could drink the stuff if anything would fit after that. To turn some plain greek yogurt into something fruity, I added Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve and Madhava raspberry agave; this agave I wasn’t so much a fan of as the vanilla. Do you see my multi-vitamins at breakfast? They’re hiding.

After much delay, I’ve finally given oatmeal a recipe page! I should seeing as how I eat it year round 😉 Check out my way on how to make oatmeal and enjoy the weekend! It’s all rain and gloom here. Perhaps that’s good to quash the Summer bug.

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Did You Know?

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Did you know my favorite part of Mondays is being able to do the laundry and have a completely fresh closet of clothes?

Did you know 95% of people with gluten-intolerances don’t know they have it or haven’t yet been diagnosed?

Nature's Path Organic Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bar

Nature's Path Organic Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bar

Did you know the Nature’s Path Mmmaple Pecan contain milk byproducts? I would have thought they were vegan. Still tasty, though, and probably the most nutritious out of their line!

Did you know instead of pressing soft tofu you can bake it for 90 minutes at 350 instead and it will come out with the same texture?

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatos, Maple Glazed Nuts

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potatos, Maple Glazed Nuts

Did you know maple baked tofu now has its own recipe page? It does! It was also the theme of this lunch, with roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, and some Tierra Farm‘s Maple Glazed Nuts. Mmmm, maple.

Did you know if you put even just a little liquid(in this case, maple) on the outside of a sweet potato, it prevents it from developing an ugly skin burn while roasting? Only a blogger…

Liberte Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Chips

Liberte Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Chips

Liberte Goat Milk Yogurt

Liberte Goat Milk Yogurt

Did you know goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk because it’s closer to human milk? You can thank Averie for that factoid. It’s also deeelicious if you ask me; I had to pick this up when I was at Dedham Whole Foods because it’s so rare, too. I love the combination of dark chocolate and raspberry, too. Yum!

Did you know a new study suggests that eating high calorie/high fat foods most of the time causes imbalances in the body similar to heroine that then creates a compulsion to eat only high calorie/high fat foods and more of them? Did you know I’m screwed if that’s true?

Did you know this used to be my favorite flavor of ice cream when I was younger? It also just one Turkey Hill’s annual flavor competition. It’s taken years, but I’ve finally found my au naturale replacement.

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl And Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Creams

So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl And Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Creams

That replacement would be So Deliciouschocolate peanut butter swirl coconut milk ice cream, which j’adore. The only drawback(besides the price tag) is it’s a little chalky in texture, which is odd because the other flavors aren’t. Humph 😦 I’m willing to try different brands.

Empty Pint

Empty Pint

Did you know law of the freezer states when you finish one pint you are thereby allowed to replace it? I already have in mind what I want to replace it with…

Did you know you should always let cheese come to room temperature before serving it? It’s more pungent and flavorful that way. On the contrary, if you stick it in the microwave, that just makes it a melted mess.

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Chickpea Salad With Cheddar, Mulberries, And Hemp Oil Dressing

Did you know you absorb more nutrients when you use a fat-based dressing on a salad? Even more reason to pour on the Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy! I swear I could drink that stuff. Besides that, my salad involved chickpeas, Next Generation Organic Dairy raw & probiotic parsley cheddar cheese, and Navitas Naturalsdried mulberries.

Did you know this is the first time in a long time I’ve celebrate Meatless Monday? By celebrate, I mean I just didn’t have a meat craving.

Tell me something I don’t know

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Updates, Updates, And More Updates

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

Because I know you all were worried sick about every little detail of my life, here’s an update on all of them. No, really.

Green Apple

Green Apple

Update on apples: I really don’t like green ones. They taste sour and yucky 😦 It’s also all the dining hall has. BUT they now have fair trade and organic bananas! Sure, they won’t stop bragging about them, but I think it’s still a win.



Update on our kitchen: I was spoiled at home. I had a nice, big, working stainless steel kitchen. Now the stove I usually use doesn’t work anymore, and the other kitchen in this building has a major ant problem; ain’t that cheery? That’s what I had to be creeped out by while cooking.

Update on the computer: We(my dad and I) assume it shuts itself off from overheating. After meals and meals, there’s probably way too much salt, coffee grounds, and other food particles trapped in the vent 😦 I took it to the service desk, and they wanted to hold on to it from 1-7 days. I couldn’t make that kind of commitment so I kept it.

Update on Betty White: I love her. Her SNL appearance will be in May, and I might even stay up past my bedtime to see it live(Shh, don’t tell anyone). Betty White fans? I’m guessing yes.

Burger Salad With Grass-Fed Beef, Sweet Potato Hash, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast, Ketchup And Sea Salt

Burger Salad With Grass-Fed Beef, Sweet Potato Hash, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast, Ketchup And Sea Salt

Update on ketchup: It’s a vegetable. Period. If french fries can be called a vegetable in schools, so can ketchup. Oh, and this was really tasty. I might have overcooked the burger(odd, because all I wanted to do was get away from the ants), but the sweet potato with nutritional yeast made up for that. And ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup.

Update on midterms: I got 2 midterms back today. I did really well on the one I expected to do poorly on and not so well on the one I thought was a breeze. Isn’t that the way life goes?

Raspberry Chocolove Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Chocolove Dark Chocolate, Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Raspberry Rush Kombucha

Update on my diet: *Note: I’m using the word “diet” here as in “food intake” and not “weight loss eating”; the latter is not a concern of mine* I did some thinking last night in bed(usually, this turns out as bad as doing thinking while visiting WebMD and looking up random symptoms I think I have). I used to aim for 2 sources of probiotics a day; this always made things feel more “regular”. At some point, I stopped caring simply because I was addicted to yogurt and frozen yogurt and never had a problem with getting those 2 or more. Recently, I fell out of that habit. But I want to get back into it! So hopefully I will be with help from Chobani, So Delicious, and kombucha. I also realized I had no dark chocolate yesterday; an ounce of dark chocolate has been shown to be incredibly delicious reduce your chance of stroke and ease stress levels. I want to also aim for at least 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day. I think I had enough Chocolove for today and yesterday here 🙂 Lastly(bear with me; I want a lot because I’m a needy person), I still want to incorporate more raw foods with living enzymes into my diet, for similar reasons as the yogurt. While I wait and train to become a better raw (un)cook, fruit and vegetables like the banana and 2 apples I’ve had so far seem like the easier way to incorporate this.

Nut Cheese

Nut Cheese

Update on my nut cheese: It smells like a funky funky monkey, but still tastes a hell of a lot like cashew butter from the sample I had. I’ll give it until tomorrow morning and then move it to the fridge.

Green Apple

Green Apple

Update on these apples: Nope, not growing on me. But filling!

Grass-Fed Burger, Roasted Sweet Potato With Sea Salt And Cinnamon, Garlic Broccoli

Grass-Fed Burger, Roasted Sweet Potato With Sea Salt And Cinnamon, Garlic Broccoli

Update on repetetive eating: It’s gotten worse. We all know bloggers love to eat the same things, but really? All I was craving for dinner was a sweet potato and burger. If it’s any consolation, I only bought 3/4 lb of meat, so I won’t be eating many more unless I get to a Whole Foods one of these days. OH! New sales tomorrow! That just made my evening 😀

Broken Knife

Broken Knife

Update on my life: Today officially could not get any weirder. At this point, I’m just telling myself tomorrow will be better.

Update on the essay draft I have due tomorrow: I haven’t written anything, or even finished the book. Update me on your life and g’night!

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Roasting Away Anxiety

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

Disclaimer: I don’t know how this post is going to read because today has been “just one of those days”. Nothing’s been wrong; but I’ve still felt… uncomfortable? anxious? stressed? all the way through. It’s a bit ironic I’ve felt like that today, since I have something to celebrate: This blog hit 100,000 page views. That, to me, feels like 100,000 hugs from you readers. Considering only 89 of those came from the first month I was blogging, the growth has been trememndous and I couldn’t really be happier with my readership. I think I’ve never gotten a single bad comment and all I ever get are wonderful words and that alone lifts my spirits so much.

Enough sappiness aside–after blogging I was so ready for a warm lunch in my tummy, with another built in dessert!

Steamed Broccoli, Lightlife Sausage Style Meat With Red Onions And American Cheddar Cheese

Goat Milk Yogurt In A Raspberry Jam Jar

After 4 or 5 months, I should feel pretty cozy taking food photos in front of people, especially the roomie, right? This just felt awkward for some reason. But how could I miss a beauty like this. Maybe this blog should be Confession of an Onion Addict because I could not get enough in the Lightlife Sausage. For the cheese, I used a Trader Joe’s american cheese square; it’s all natural and tastes just as overprocessed as the supermarket kind that’s why I love it 🙂

To round out the meal, I had YIAJJ(Yogurt In A Jam Jar)! I think I go through that jam more than any other; it’s the best! I totally need to make a review page for it because it gets a 10/10 in my book. I ate the yogurt in my Greek History class, and ironically felt no unease or discomfort come to thing about it. I guess I don’t consider eating straight out of jars unusual?

Lucky for me, Latin class was cancelled today. The 2nd class of the semester was cancelled; that’s a good sign. Even better, I rushed back to my dorm, hopped on Twitter, and was able to be around in time for Chobani’s Spoons! If you don’t know what that is, the gist of it is that I won a case of 2% Chobani, and having lowered my meal plan this couldn’t possibly have happened at a better time. To celebrate, of course I needed to eat some Greek yogurt.

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Cherry Green & Black Dark Chocolate

Ah, yes. This greek yogurt shipment will be well recieved. I stirred some cherry butter into plain and then added the remainder of the Green & Black bar my mom gave me for Halloween. It was… well a little disgusting, to be honest. The chocolate was good, but the dried cherries in the bar went bad. I didn’t even know that was a legitimate concern. Of course, I ate it anyway.

Maybe this is when things starting feeling a little blah; I had a meeting with my peer advisor at the bookstore. Because of miss-scheduling on her part, she was a little late, but I really didn’t mind. What did bug me was how a “quick check in” was really 40 minutes of fun-but-slightly-awkward-and-aimless conversation. At one point, we drifted from classes to something that called for the line “as a kid, you don’t see your parents naked but you see your Barbie doll naked”. Frankly, that was not the case with my childhood, but I wasn’t about to say that. When I finally did break free and make it back to my dorm, I really needed something with pizazz.

Pumpkin With Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt, And Sweet Cacao Nibs

Pizazz… was not here. This was one of those things that felt like it would come together great in my mind, and ended up tasting like its individual components–quite disappointing. I also managed to realize all at once that a) the hour away from my dorm took a real toll on my work productivity and b) I had nothing in mind for dinner. Anxious! First up…

Pajama Bottoms

I needed to get comfy so I slipped on pajama bottoms. At 6pm? You betcha. With that aside, I knew that what I really needed to calm my nerves was something homey, like a roasted meal. I found some ingredients and stuck them in the oven for 40 minutes with some maple syrup.

Baked Maple Tofu With Roasted Sweet Potato And Broccoli

Raspberry Steaz

This has definitely made me feel 90% better; there’s just something about roasted vegetables, wouldn’t you agree? I wanted to switch up the greens at dinner but broccoli is all I had that roasted well. A little maple syrup at the end really livened it all up and brought out the earthiness. I love how the sweet potato and broccoli just soak it up, too.

What’s your comforting hug after a long day? Clearly, mine is roasted vegetables. A tin pan and aluminum foil(100% recycled) was the best investment of this semester so far. Maybe you’re a mac n’ cheese person? Macaroni has never really been “my thing” and even cheese is “meh” with me, but I can understand how it would be comforting. Give me some good ideas! There will be plenty more dinners this semester 😉 Now I just hope I can focus and not get too caught up in The Biggest Loser and American Idol.

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Excuse Me, Your Head Is Blocking The Fridge

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7:53: Get into some comfy pajamas. It’s going to be a good night

8:23: Find Disturbia on TV; decide to watch even though I’m a scaredy cat for movies like this.

Burnt Sugar Crumbly Chocolate Fudge

8:30: Think fudge would be a good thing for dessert, even though I can’t remember the last time fudge did anything for anyone’s hunger

8:40: This fudge is really weird and hard–not really like church fair fudge but it’s sweet and that’s nice

9:12: Realize while doing Greek homework that Plato was soooo much dirtier than people give him credit for. Why don’t I remember things like this from 9th grade?

9:23: Why am I watching Disturbia?!?!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Butter

9:30: Start the process of making chocolate avocado pudding, mashing avocado, cocoa powder, and coconut milk kefir in a bowl

9:40: Start cleaning the mess I’m making, throwing out bits of avocado, and cleaning the bowl.

9:43: Coconut oil? Coconut Butter? Cacao Bliss? Why can’t I decide?

Artisana Coconut Butter

9:47: Coconut Butter

9:52: Still cleaning; still hungry

9:53-9:57: Photographing the chocolate pudding

9:58: Screw it–I’m hungry and need to eat something now and no longer even want this damn pudding.

Cheesy Pumpkin Oats With Banana Peanut Butter

10:02: Shove the pudding in the fridge and make oats with pumpkin and nutritional yeast, topped with banana peanut butter.

10:12-10:23: Simultaneously admire and devour the oatmeal while burning my tongue because it’s so hot.

10:25: Need something sweet; feeling self-destructive.

Ginger Ale Zevia

10:32: There are worse ales I could have reached for.

10:52: Learn through Mythbusters that if I hold a gun the wrong way, my thumb will be cut off. Great.

11:02: Sleep. Glorious sleep.

3:17: Wake up, and now having trouble falling back asleep.

3:25: Roommate and 2 people I don’t know(maybe?) come in a little giddy. They whisper a lot and fall asleep on the floor.

3:27: Amazed at how the drunk people can fall asleep faster than I can and WOW DOES ONE OF THEM SNORE LOUD.

3:34: Ok, I’m hungry and not sleeping. What do I want?

3:35: I want that damn pudding but one of their heads is blocking the fridge. Would it be rude to wake whoever that is up?

3:37: Pry the door open, grab the pudding, head downstairs to the dorm kitchen.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Butter

3:40: Heat it up and start digging in. As I walk back to my bed to finish it

3:45: All gone. I like fat. I really like fat. Why do I eat protein and carbs?

4:02: Finally back to some shut-eye

7:07: Wake up and th 2 people on the floor are gone. Ugh, why is the gym not open until 9 on the weekend?! Would it be bad to watch Cartoon Network until then? I’ll just go back to sleep.

8:41: Wake up after a dream nightmare about never being able to find sour cream & onion popchips. If that’s the world I have to live in, I don’t want to live. On the bright side, I can get ready to go to the gym.

8:58: Chugging some decaf hazelnut coffee and out the door.

Running Stats

9:03: Starting my 5-miler after stretching the left calve which was acting up

9:08: Getting way too in to “Single Ladies”; resisting the urge to put my hands up and regretting that I didn’t put a ring on it

9:22: I’ve got Cartoon Network on TV, my iPod blasting, I can do this!

9:49: That felt great. Maybe could have done more? Tomorrow’s my long run so I wasn’t going to push it.

Walking Stats

9:50-10:25: Cool down with a two mile walk followed by stretching.

10:12: What time am I going to finish? When will I get back? Will it be breakfast or lunch?

10:33: Back in the dorm, roommate’s still sleeping, should I be shocked by this? Not at all.

10:46: Hop out of the shower and run back to the room.

1047-10:48: Have a fight with the scale to get it to turn on and stay on. It does, which is a sign that I should eat a “breakfast”.

10:55: Oops, people are starting to get up. Perhaps I should put on pants?

Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal With Walnut Butter, Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

11:02-12:02: Oats come out of the microwave and I start eating. Write a “cutesy” blog post, Twitter a bit, talk to a friend on the phone, e-mail my dad, and finish breakfast saving a huge bite of walnut butter for the last bite.

12:04: Publish.

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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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My 25 Hour Week

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

It feels a little surreal, but 25 hours after my first school week of the semester began, it ended. It hasn’t even hit me really that today is my “Friday” and tomorrow’s the weekend. I could get use to this.

Because I had a little extra time before my 2nd class of the day, I decided to make lunch in the kitchen again! This time, I cooked a “burger”.

Lightlife Gimme Lean Beef Soy Meat Burger

Yeah, I wish 😛 What this actually was was 4oz Lightlife‘s  Gimme Lean Beef shaped into a patty with some black pepper and cooked in a pan with EVOO.

Lightlife Burger With Ketchup, Green Beans, Smashed Banumpkin With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

But holy yum was that a good burger! I’ve had this beef before heated up in the microwave and it didn’t do it for me, so I wasn’t looking forward to this in all honesty. But yum! Cooked in a pan with fat it tasted like a real burger(albeit an overcooked burger since I like my meat practically mooing). I think I made up a side at this meal; I had an intense banana craving and wanted to get a little funky, so I mashed 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 small-medium banana and seasoned with sea salt and cinnamon. This was sooooo good–try it! It’s similar to a sweet potato, but the sugars in the banana make the cinnamon POP!

I loooved my next two classes. The first had a hilarious professor who’s very much in the old style of teaching. My only problem with it was the class was PACKED. I have a feeling it’s a class a lot of kids are taking for fun or to slack off in, but I need it for a Classics concentration so I ain’t going anywhere. My next class was OK, but a little duller in comparison and a lot smaller. At least I know 2 of them from last semesters’ classes. Midway through, I could feel hanger coming on.

Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate

I broke this out midway through. I’m becoming so obsessed! Now, instead of making one when I feel like it, I always have one made already for me chilling in the fridge. When class got over, one of the people I knew asked me where I got this and said it smelled excellent; when I told her I made it, she called that “brilliant”, haha. No arguments there!

I walked ran to my dorm to watch Oprah’s interview with Jay Leno. I have to say–I’m liking him less and less through this whole process. I know it’s not his fault so much as NBC but… And I think Oprah was a lot easier on him than she could have been; where were the hard hitting questions, Oprah? While I was watching this I did two things: I made another organic raw vegan chocolate bar for my next craving and made a snack for then.

Creamy Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

Greek yogurt is the perfect snack; it’s a complete protein so you really feel like you’re getting something out of it, too. For my taste and my wallet, lately I’ve been mixing 3 parts Trader Joe’s 0% with 1 part Trader Joe’s full fat, and sweetening with vanilla NuNaturals stevia. I’m running out of that last ingredient and can’t help but question to stick with it or try Sweetleaf or Whole Foods brand. Any recommendation? Dinner tonight hit just about every spot:

Chickpeas With Pasture Butter And Sea Salt

Broccoli With Pizza Cheeze Sauce

I’ve had MAJOR chickpea cravings all week, but didn’t want to open up a can with so much other food to eat. Tonight was the night, and with pasture butter it tasted very much like soft popcorn–yum! For my broccoli, I made Meagan’s cheeze sauce, but added ketchup to it–another winner. The only slightly disgusting thing was thinking at the end that sliding the pool of melted butter/leftover sauce/sea salt into my mouth would be a good call; that was a bit too much sodium, even for me. Coffee will dilute that, right? I think so.

Here’s another contest to win coconut oil of your very own.

And here’s an absolutely awesome article on nut butters with all my favorite brands interviewed–you must read this!

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So This Was Christmas

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

Do you realize that 1 month ago today was Christmas? Isn’t that a funny thought? I remember the time leading up to it going by soooooo slow and now it’s like the time since has flown by. I’m still “discovering” some of my gifts.

Organic Raspberry Preserve

My mom picked out this organic preserve; it’s not one I’d buy for myself because sugar is higher on the ingredients than raspberries but as a gift it was sweet 🙂 And since it has all the seeds in their, you have to think there’s fiber, too, right? 😉 Raspberry. Perfect to go with some dark chocolate.

Greek Yogurt With Organic Raspberry Jam And Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

Yummm. And because it was organic preserve and endangered species organic 70% dark chocolate, I was totally saving the environment with this dessert. That has to be one of the best 70% out there, too; it just tastes perfectly unsweet without too much bitterness. Nothing was on TV last night so I ended up watching the 30 Rock I missed Thursday. If you’re at all familiar with New England, you have to see this episode. It was all about the gang coming to Boston and filled with inside jokes that had me laughing. That show entirely deserves all the awards it gets. After that, I had a killer craving.

Cornbread Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

For some killer cornbread, that is. Instead, I made some cornbread oatmeal which came out awesome. I substituted whole grain cornmeal for the whole oats, used almond milk instead of water, and added 1 teaspoon agave, a pinch of baking powder, and an egg white. I’m not going to lie and say it was “just like the real thing”, but short of making an entire batch, this was the bomb.

This morning, I just got up too late and didn’t really feel like working out first thing. 2 cups of coffee had my number, not the stairs 😉 Before breakfast, I ended up packing some things for the dorm, and making a favorite around here.

French Toast Roasted Almonds

We found raw organic almonds on sale yesterday so I figured I’d make 1 last batch for my mom(and myself) before I leave. This definitely had the house smelling like Christmas 😀 I used earth balance soy garden for consistency but I’d love to try this with grass-fed butter next time. I still had a little of the glaze left so I put it to good use…

Greek Yogurt With Pancake Syrup

Banana Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Tastes like Christmas, too! It was also better because of some full fat yogurt mixed in for creaminess. The oatmeal–anything banana and chocolate will fly by me, these days 🙂 I think I’m getting more potassium through soft serve than anything else.

It’s going to rain today. Hard. I think someone mentioned 3 inches? Yikes! So far, it’s only been winding though. And it’s the kind of wind that makes you think somebody through their body against the front door. Joy. Maybe I’ll do a count-to-ten workout once those oats digest(the bowl is most definitely empty and licked clean so it shouldn’t be too long now).

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The Banana Soft Serve Diet

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I loved learning from this post that American Chop Suey is primarily a New England meal; I never knew that! It sounds like you either grew up eating this 3 times a week(guilty and proud of it ;-)) or have never tried it. Really, it’s just pasta(usually elbow macaroni) with ground beef, green pepper, onions, tomato sauce, and some seasonings, but it’s one of those dishes that is 10 times better than the sum of its parts; you would not believe the flavor it can have.

Another thing I cannot believe the flavor of? Fried Rice. I admit I’ve had this from a restaurant maybe once in my life, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make it with my leftover organic brown rice. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, but that’s never stopped me before 😉 I heated maybe a tablespoon of earth balance in a pan, then added the rice and tamari until it was mostly absorbed. Then I added steamed broccoli florets. I couldn’t figure out if eggs were traditionally added as a necessary ingredient, or a protein source(still unclear on this), so I threw in 1 egg white and cooked until that was well set.

Fried Rice

Lightlife Buffalo Wings

1 egg white was not my protein source so I had the rest of my Lightlife buffalo wings, too. I realize the flavors don’t work here at all; I could have thrown in some tofu. But damn if those wings ain’t delicious. Now if only they weren’t an arm and a leg 😦 The fried rice came out delicious! I mean, anything with added fat and sodium is never bad, is it? I think next time I’ll add a full egg or two for some yolk-flavor(Oh, and there will be a next time). Along with lunch I was watching television and guzzling down a new-to-me beverage.

Raspberry Steaz

This Steaz was a lot better than the other two I’ve tried. Instead of just tasting like flavored green tea, this actually tasted like raspberry. I don’t think I’d buy it over Zevia again, though, except for that we got 2 4-packs for $2.66; that was such a good sale at Whole Foods I think I’ll be dreaming about it.


Did I mention it was still snowing after Days? In fact, it snowed all day, even though it wasn’t supposed to at all. Weird. It was a nice snowfall to watch, though–very light and fluffy. For whatever reason my grandmother dropped by and proceeded to try to convince me it was “warm” out. Warm? Really? From what I’ve learned, it doesn’t snow when it’s “warm”. Then again, I wasn’t about to argue with an 81 year old(now, if she were 82, that would have been a different story).

The one thing I did not like about lunch was that it did nothing for my hunger. It really is true what they say about Chinese food: You’re just hungry an hour later. I could have eaten my arm off, but instead I decided to have an early afternoon snack.

Chocolate Banana Softserve

So much to say–where to start? Number #1: Anything put in a food processor with cocoa powder comes out good. It’s a fact. This was 6oz banana, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and some vanilla stevia, and it came out amazing. I was thinking of adding Xanthan Gum but was sooo happy I didn’t. Look how thick it was all its own! #2: As good as this was, it wasn’t a Frosty from Wendy’s, which I was craving. This would be more like a frosty if it had less chocolate, and some milk, and some ice, and came from Wendy’s. Yep. That’d make it more like a frosty. #3: Whereas my meal of fried rice and buffalo wings didn’t hold me over for an hour, this held me over 3 hours until dinner. Does that mean there’s some truth to the banana diet? I’m totally up for it, so long as that banana comes in soft serve form.

Among the things I did in the afternoon was play with my food processor, while it was out.

Tierra Farm Organic Salted Pistachio Meat

Among the package Tierra Farm sent me was these pistachio meats. Because I’m 99% more likely to eat seeds and nuts in their butter form, and didn’t have a pistachio butter, I set 1/2 an ounce aside for dinner and shoved the rest into the processor.

Pistachio Butter

Nut and sed butters are, unfortunately, not the sexiest one at the party, but this was pretty bangin’. It was so easy to grind these, probably because Tierra Farm knows what they’re doing in roasting them unlike this nut. I can’t wait to put this over oatmeal. Pistachio and pumpkin? Sounds good to me. Speaking of being a nut…

Buffalo Chicken

I ate those buffalo chicken wings at lunch fully knowing I was making the real thing for dinner. Obsessed? Just a little. These were really simple. I cooked the chicken breasts fully. While those were working, I melted 2 tablespoons earth balance and franks red hot sauce in a pan until melted. When the breasts were done, I let them sit in the butter mixture for 5 minutes or so.

Brussels Sprouts With Goat Cheese, 3oz Buffalo Chicken, 1/2oz Organic Pistachio Meat

The chicken came out good and flavorful, but I don’t think the sauce was thick enough or took to it well; maybe add a tablespoon of flower next time? Still, it was an upgrade from what would have been all-white meat. It’s good to have some sort of fat on or with meat, and since I used earth balance it was trans-fat and cholesterol free 😀 I smeared goat cheese on my brussels, to change them up, and had 1/2 an ounce Tierra Farm organic salted pistachio meat to review. Umm, yum! Maybe I just forgot how good pistachios were, or maybe these were just that good, but I loved them! Nice and salty 🙂 I can’t wait to try my seed butter now!

I have to tell you: Tomorrow morning will not be pretty. Our big coffee pot died this morning 😦 It’s not so much a problem for me because I have my Keurig single cup brewer. The key words there are “my” and “single” 😉 And now I’m flipping between American Idol and The Biggest Loser right now. Why do we have to choose things like this? It’s not fair.

Here’s a superfruit spread giveaway.

A giveaway for vegan ice cream! How fun.

And a giveaway for Q.bel chocolate–one of my faves!

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