200017 Things Making Me Smile

Posted on April 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. They now sell 18 Rabbits granola bars(reviewed here) in an on-campus cafe!

365 Peanut Butter

365 Peanut Butter

2. Finding a jar of 365 creamy peanut butter I was convinced I didn’t have amongst my array of nut-butters.

Pomegranate Chobani With Orange Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Chobani With Orange Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

3. Organic chocolate at every meal, this time courtesy of Newman’s Own Organics

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

4. All too much of my absolute favorite nut butter: 365 peanut butter with Madhava’s vanilla agave

April's Food Network Magazine

April's Food Network Magazine

5. This months Food Network Magazine, about which I’ve said, and I quote, “This issue deserves to be framed.” Love it.

6. Getting a response from the Food Network editors for what I wrote in!! I wrote in about their lack of tofu recipes. The response wasn’t so much about that, but that they might use my comment in an upcoming issue and wanted to verify my name and hometown! I’d be so excited if I made it in 😀

Zevia Ginger Ale

Zevia Ginger Ale

7. Feeding my diet soda addiction, naturally.

8. Avocadoes! And that they’re on sale this for 98 cents along with other good deals.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Yumnuts, 1/2 An Avocado, Lime Nachos

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Yumnuts, 1/2 An Avocado, Lime Nachos

9. Healthy salads, filled with tuna salad with chili lime Yumnuts, avocado with lemon juice, and lime Food Should Taste Good chips.

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

Lime Food Should Taste Good Nachos

10. Chips! OK, maybe this was an addiction better left forgotten.

11. 2 ancient historians referencing the Godfather in a candid, back and forth lecture on this, the day of their students’ class.

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig Zag

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig Zag

12. Chocolate and peanut butter in ice cream(or anything). It works every time! Unfortunately, this was the last of the pint, which shouldn’t have been the case except it looks like somebody felt it was OK for them to eat my ice cream last night 😦 Seriously, if it’s not yours, don’t take it! Ugh. At least that assisted in Project Cleanout?

13. Finding a dime in the bathroom. I should’ve cleaned it first.

14. Our last fire drill of the year coming when I had dinner baking in the oven. OK, I was actually panicking at the time and assumed I let something explode, but it definitely gave me a chuckle in hind sight 🙂

Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

15. My skills in [not] baking must be getting better because this bar of chopped dates, cherries, raw walnut butter, maple glazed almonds(non-raw) and agave nectar came out… well, it came out 🙂

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar

16. Hot meals out of the oven, like my maple baked tofu. Traditionally, I might serve this with sweet potatoes. But tonight I thought I’d try changing it up since that dish just never satisfies me as good as it is.

200016. Today, we will have hit 200,000 page views, all thanks to you and your wonderful support 🙂 I think without growth and backing, I’d be afraid to “blog on”. But I feel the love and the momentum and can’t wait for 200,000 more.

200017. New Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy tonight! Get excited!

What has made you smile today?

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To-Done

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

Some days call for a to-do list, and others call for a to-done list. What’s a to-done list? It’s simply writing down everything you’ve done and needed to do after you do it. I love them for days I feel overwhelmed and need reassurance that things are getting done even if it seems like there’s more to do. And really, who has time to make a list beforehand? Here’s my to-done list of the day

Goldenberry Goji Pranabar

Goldenberry Goji Pranabar

  • Eat this Pranabar I’ve been carrying around all weekend
  • Make a review page for the goldenberry goji flavor explaining how delicious the orange, goji berries, and goldenberries combine to be, and how amazing for energy agave(raw, unrefined sugar) and almond butter(slow-burning fat and fiber) are.
14 Miles In 1:58:20

14 Miles In 1:58:20

  • Run the same distance you said you would never run again and it was crazy ever to do once.
  • Find Eastleigh Farms where (hopefully) we’ll be getting our dairy from over the Summer on the run.
Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

  • Try an Holly inspired oatmeal creation involving homemade chocolate almond butter and Mocha Almond Fudge coconut milk So Delicious ice cream. I know nowadays it seems like my blood is made of coconut milk ice cream, but this was actually the first flavor I ever tried after hearing Jenna rave about it.
  • Write an apology letter to Justin saying how much I love his chocolate almond butter but that they’re impossible to find and that I think I’ve discovered the “secret ingredient” to awesome chocolate nut butters.
  • Shower while drinking mocha teeccino–no time lost here.
Roasted Walnut Broccoli And A Grass-Fed Grilled Burger

Roasted Walnut Broccoli And A Grass-Fed Grilled Burger

  • Roast broccoli while you have the resources and time.
  • Use up the last of the beef that’s a week old(!!). It certainly wasn’t at its prime, but it was edible and I couldn’t stand the thought of wasting animal meat.
  • Grill!!
  • Try an amazing new combination of broccoli roasted in walnut oil and topped with soy sauce and toasted walnuts–heaven.
New Hampshire Goat Milk Fudge

New Hampshire Goat Milk Fudge

  • Break in to the local, goat’s milk chocolate fudge picked up in New Hampshire the day before and devour for dessert.
Goat Milk Fudge

Goat Milk Fudge

  • Call the neighbors. Tell them not to worry about the moaning and that it’s just me eating really really good fudge
  • Browse new cameras and laptops online because I might be in the market.
Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

  • Keep my claim as red delicious apple king while getting more raw fruits in me
  • Spoil Montana before I leave him.
Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

What have you added to your to-done list lately?

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Food Combining

Posted on April 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When you eat a lot of food, you eat a wide variety of food; that’s good, right? Maybe not, at least according to the rules of food combining. Food combining, at its core, breaks down foods into their categories and suggests which to pair together for optimal nutrition and which to avoid combining. Proper food combining is supposed to lead to proper digestion.

Nectarine

Nectarine

Fruit, for instance, should always be eaten alone. Accordingly, I snacked on this nectarine before lunch eaten all by itself. I first heard of food combining from Gina, and my first reaction was “Finally, the key!”

A little more time and thought and I’m ready to call this one busted. Why? Well, in a bit of research, I’ve came across a slew of articles such as this article which make it sound more absurd than miraculous; 20,000 years of food digestion and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also took in to account that nothing usually digests on its own; that nectarine I ate was undoubtedly sitting on top of my breakfast in my gut even if eaten an hour later. The final straw was that I’d have to accept that 19 years of eating have been done “improperly” if I’m to believe food combining now. I’ve had some bad times on the toilet, but not that much.

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Grass-Fed Burger, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Butternut Squash

Burgers and sweet potatoes “don’t combine well”; if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’d know that meal is a staple in my diet. I meant to have it for lunch, too, but instead I cooked some brussels sprouts in the beef fat and steamed butternut squash in the microwave to the point of being soft. I then tossed those with sea salt, turmeric, and cinnamon. That combination of spices was magnificent and anti-oxidant rich–love it! Dessert was my cookie Friday creation:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

How do chocolate, peanut butter, and brownie combine? I obviously didn’t stick around with it long enough before looking in to debunking the myth to find out. All I know is that in my mouth they combine heavenly. The inside was a peanut butter gluten-free chocolate brownie, surrounded by Endangered Species 70% dark chocolate and a layer of 365 brand peanut butter sweetened with Madhava vanilla agave.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich

OK. I actually ate it uncombined more like this because it was so clumpy; it was still delicious! 😀 By far my favorite bit was the chocolate with peanut butter on top, which was perfectly bitter-sweet. And this chocolate bar is on sale at Whole Foods for the next week! I’m going to stock up over the weekend since I obviously have no problem going through them.

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

Sweet Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, And Tofu With Maple Syrup

This was my dinner: quite literally combined! I gave new meaning to shake and bake by filling a bag with tofu, sweet potato, and brussels, shaking it with maple syrup to spread that around and baking it at 350 to roast the veggies while cooking the tofu to the perfect texture.

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Brussels And Sweet Potato

I loooooove this combination of maple baked tofu with sweet potato and greens. This feels like the perfect Friday night meal because it’s so homey and warm, and it’s been rain clouds all day. I just wish good food didn’t take so long to prepare! I start dinner at 4:30 to eat at 6:30. But if time is the cost for a healthy meal, I’ll pay up and pay it forward. I added a secret ingredient on top I’m “testing out”. I don’t want to say too much, but I think the flavor works well, and I can’t wait to try making a real recipe with it.

My Verdict

I will not be striving to keep separate my starch from my flesh from my fruit any time soon. Had you heard of food combining? Do you practice it? Does it work for you? I’m not saying my disbelief of it means it’s not the key for somebody. I just read an article last night saying there’s no scientific evidence for a gluten intolerance short of Chron’s Disease, but I know my body enough to say I don’t have Chron’s and still gluten from wheat, barley, and rye upset my stomach. Similarly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear if food combining is what works for some people. Just not myself.

A giveaway for WoW baked goods–I love these!

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Sundae Friday At Ben & Jerry’s

Posted on April 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Friday! I can’t get the lyrics “Everybody’s working for the weekend” out of my head; if that was true for you, well good news: it’s here! I have plenty of homework, though, and not much else on my mind for the time besides that; I hope you’ve something more enjoyable on your plate. Speaking of plates(or bowls)…

Maple Tofu And Coconut-Maple Chickpeas Over Spinach

Maple Tofu And Coconut-Maple Chickpeas Over Spinach

For lunch, I threw pre-cubed, firm tofu from the dining hall in the oven after a little maple syrup bath and had that on one side of the plate. On the other, I added a little coconut milk to the remainder of a can of chickpeas and drizzled maple syrup on top, sprinkled with some sea salt. I’m not sure what made me think to put maple syrup and coconut milk together but I’m so glad I did! Seriously, this combination was divine. I loved having this all over spinach, too, because that just soaked up the juices.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

My afternoon was pretty tediously spent on assignments which I won’t bore you with. Around 3:30, I stepped out into the rain for a field trip to Ben & Jerry’s on Thayer St. Over the past 5-6 weeks, I’ve started a tradition of “Sundae Friday”. This Friday, I couldn’t have been more enthused for a sundae.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

While there, I ordered a brownie sundae. First, they heated up a brownie from the display case. I chose Fair Trade Vanilla as my flavor and two small scoops were added on top. On top of that went a parade of hot fudge sauce, finished off with a coating of fresh whipped cream.

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

While I try to avoid gluten and dairy fat because of their difficult digestion, I can digest both. And today my longing for a sundae was beyond absurd, so Ben & Jerry’s it was!

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

And–again–while I don’t love the Ben & Jerry ice cream, I do love their company for their activism and awareness. By the end of 2010 they plan on using only cage-free eggs, and by 2012 have a completely fair trade ingredient list; the vanilla I had today was just the start of that movement. All their flavors already have all-natural ingredients. Even in their scoop shops, I was impressed with the quality of ingredients, certainly not the least of which being fresh whipped cream instead of something more convenient like Reddi Wip.

All Gone

All Gone

While it’s obviously important to eat well and exercise a moderate amount, it’s equally important to treat yourself. And there are other ways to “feel good” about what you eat besides it being healthy. For some, that’s having the 80-20 mindset, and for others that’s veganism; for me, it’s a natural and ethical ingredient list. Have you treated yourself lately? I hope so, or living would get tough! What mindset makes you “feel good”? Of course, at some point we all have to get back on the wagon…

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu, Soy Sauce

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu, Soy Sauce

Besides the fact that I’m horribly monotonous, this was incredibly tasty. I still had a little maple tofu from Easter to eat up, so I roasted broccoli, sweet potato, and a little extra tofu; I think I made too much tofu in the end, because that dominated the bowl. Oh well, it’s my favorite ingredient, especially when it’s slightly soft and mushy on the inside 😀

As if the monotony couldn’t get worse, I realized 1 week ago today I had the same dinner, and my afternoon snack was 1/2 a vegan cupcake with ice cream, haha. With any luck, that’d mean I’m eating at Grezzo’s tomorrow and Easter’s on Sunday again; wouldn’t that be nice.

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Celebrate!

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

I looove all your confessions on this post this morning. Some of you would eat anything expired! I’m mostly the same way 🙂 I just could not down that moldy tasting yogurt for my own health. Ironically, the replacement one I ate that tasted fine was expired by 4 days, while the moldy one had 2+ weeks. Ridiculous? I think so.

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

Burger Bowl With Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, And Nutritional Yeast

I decided to have a burger for lunch(shocker, I know); tomorrow’s Lent and who knows when I’ll be around over the weekend so I wanted to eat up this meat while it was still fresh. I was inspired by this daring teacher to make a burger bowl, filled with a grass-fed burger, sweet potato hash, spinach, ketchup, sea salt, and nutritional yeast. It’s a good thing I used nutritional yeast because if that were parmesan I’d of killed a cow. It was so cheesey and delicious! And the whole bowl was amazing; overstuffed plates are just too good 🙂

Spring

Spring

I was really excited for my History class today because it was the last class before break for me! Woohoo! The actual topic sucked and my friend and I ridiculed it the entire period, but that just made the hour fly by. The professor even let us out a little early because it was so nice and no one who showed up wanted to be there. Can you see Spring where you live, too?

Dr. Zevia

Dr. Zevia

Well I got back to my dorm, tied up some matters, and popped open a Dr. Zevia. This was the 1 flavor I hadn’t tried–mostly because it had caffeine–but I totally needed that this afternoon. It was good, but not great; to be fair, I’ve never liked Dr. Pepper, so that I liked this at all was a miracle 😉 Now that I’ve had all the flavors, I feel like I should do a review of each. Would anybody like that? Then I stepped out of the room to grab myself a little treat…

Juniper

Juniper

Fro Yo! There’s practically zippo frozen yogurt places in New England compared to Florida and California, but happily there’s one hole-in-the-wall joint in Providence called Juniper. I’d never been, have been wanting to try it for a while, and figured this was the best way to celebrate this week and have my “me” time.

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

Original Fro Yo With Blueberries And Almonds

I got a medium original flavor with blueberries and almonds. I wanted to get some toppings even if they cost an arm and a leg, and these were the among the more “natural” choices(you mean those fruity pebbles weren’t organic?!). I have no gripe with being limited in options by an all-natural diet; this I’ve long come to terms with. What I do question is having almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and soynuts, but no peanuts; where’s the peanut love?! Regardless, this was delicious. Oh my God, where has tart fro yo been all my life? It’s so tangy, yet so sweet–perfection! I know Trader Joe’s carries some so I’m definitely going to check that out when I’m back in Massachusetts.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Well, I got my peanut love eventually 🙂 It turns out fro yo is not the most filling thing, so where that misses a small bowl of oatmeal with a big dollop of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple hits the spot. And, in case you missed it, Oprah’s show was all about pornography today. Awkward much? I was mildly amused while also watching segments of The Today Show that I missed which sounded interesting.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu

Dinner was shaked and baked 🙂 I threw some maple tofu, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the oven around 5:30 and they were good-to-go at dinner time. I don’t even care if it doesn’t fill me up, like I established a few days ago; I just love this dish! And it’s easy to make and forget about, too.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

Sometimes, when you’re leading a tough time, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes focused on what’s at the end of the tunnel rather than your present situation. It may sound like it was on a whim, but really I had that trip to Juniper planned all week long. At the very least, it gave me something fun and different to look forward to as a “reward” for a potentially stressful week. It doesn’t have to be food. It doesn’t even have to cost money. But doing something for yourself special or out of the ordinary is a great way to keep your mind in a healthy place. Do you have an “reward” planned soon? Or just celebrate anything fun and exciting?

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Dark Chocolate Obsession And Declutter Your Mind

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Regarding this morning’s mental health tip, I’m happy to hear I have so many sound sleepers! Not too long ago there was a time when I was the worst offender of sleeping too little; I remember a week of school I think I got 13 hours of sleep over 5 days–no lie. And that was voluntarily! If sleep’s a drug, find a good dealer 😉 Remember, there’ll be mental health tips all weekend long capped off with a giveaway!

365 Brand Canned Tuna And Chickpeas

365 Brand Canned Tuna And Chickpeas

Lunch was a bit of a rush; who has time to think of cooking with 3 hours of midterms coming up next? That was my dilemma. But you also don’t have to eat unhealthy just because you’re relying on processed foods; anything with 1 ingredient like chickpeas, tuna, peanut butter, etc. can be a great on-the-go grab.

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, yumnuts Chili Lime Cashews

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, Yumnuts Chili Lime Cashews

I ended up making a salad of undressed spinach, chickpeas, tuna salad(made with Voskos plain non-fat greek yogurt), and chili lime Yumnuts. I was also craving something along the lines of cashew cheese, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before. Do you ever crave things you don’t eat? Well, I had cashew butter

Love Raw Foods Raw Cashew Butter

Love Raw Foods Raw Cashew Butter

I’m pretty sure this is like having a craving for real cheese and using real butter to satisfy it. Regardless, the dollop of Love Raw Foodscashew butter was pretty tasty. I also forgot what a kick those chili lime Yumnuts cashews had–wowza! Was that there before?

Most of this was scarfed down in between essay sentences during my History midterm. I’m happy to say that went well overall! We knew all the essay questions beforehand, but the main concern was just getting all the thoughts down on paper in time, which I think I managed. After that was a Latin midterm. Again, I think it went as good as I could have asked for! There wasn’t much of a way to study for this, so I more-or-less went by the seat of my pants and lucked out that I paid attention in class enough all along to remember the passages. When I got back to my dorm, it was time for some mental refueling.

Gingerade Kombucha, Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

Gingerade Kombucha, Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

Is there anything more restorative than my favorite flavor Kombucha and 5 squares my favorite dark chocolate by Endangered Species? I think not. I’m always disappointed when my Kobucha doesn’t taste as… fermented as I think it should. You’ll be happy to know this one was super strong and tangy–love it! And the dark chocolate… had antioxidants. Seriously, I might have to do a wellness tip on that one 😉

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

This week, I have a new mission: finish what ice cream I have in the freezer before Spring Break without buying more. I had 6 pints and 1 quart at the start of the week. All of the pints have only 1 or 2 servings left, so they shouldn’t be too hard, but the quart? Well, it’s “light frozen yogurt” so I’ll give it my all 😉

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Endangered Species Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

I took 2 more squares of my favorite dark chocolate and shaved them in to the last of my So Delicious vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. Do you see the obsession I have with that chocolate? This was creamy and delicious and hit the spot. I don’t know that I’d rush out to buy that flavor again(even though this was the 2nd pint I got of it) because I’m sure there’s a better vanilla out there somewhere; this one’s a little too coconutty for my taste.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Broccoli

Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Broccoli

For dinner, I made simple roasted broccoli and sweet potato rounds with some baked maple tofu. Weirdly, this combination of food fills me up not at all, despite the fact that I love it and eat it so much. I swear, the kombucha and dark chocolate is more filling. But it’s my comfort dish and I can throw it in the oven and be done with it! I also probably turned to this because it has been the dreariest day in a while in New England; sun, won’t you come out for my half-marathon and birthday?  Before I get in to my mental health tip, I want to mention this giveaway for some bootay! Pirate’s, that is. And there’s also this giveaway for Nature’s Path goodies.

Declutter!

Bed Area

Bed Area

Desk Area

Desk Area

I could not imagine leaving my room with an unmade bed. Hell, I couldn’t imagine being around with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, unorganized pile of papers–you name it. My point is not to make your bed, however; I don’t even do this at home when I spend almost no time in my room. My point is to declutter the area you spend the most time focusing. It’s a fact that if you only look at mess, you’ll only feel like a mess and stress out. Keeping a work area neat and tidy is the most important thing not just for organization but also mental health. Where do you do the most of your work? And is it spick and span, or should we grab you a sponge? Now I get to write the fastest 3-4 page paper of my life and be done with my take-home midterm. Have a great night and don’t forget about The Biggest Loser at 8!

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Fussy Dining And Grocery Success

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

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

Jolly Beans

Jolly Beans

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

11.2 Miles In 1:34:58

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

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

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

Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

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

Hash And Peanut Butter

Hash And Peanut Butter

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

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

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

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

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

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

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

Whole Food Groceries

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

Bulk Bin Grabs

Bulk Bin Grabs

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

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl

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

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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

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

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

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

Roasted Brussels, Sweet Potatoes, And Maple Tofu

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

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

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Feel Good Fueling Well

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I am so happy Monday is over; it’s amazing how much ended up getting done today and needing to be. And the prize? Kicking back with my feet up, scrapping to finish up work, trying not to think about the 6:15 alarm I have now. This week is packed! I have 6 engagements I wouldn’t otherwise have–some for fun, some having me looking for the exit–so I need to be fueling well all along(aka, there’s an interesting blurb from me at the end on fueling)

Gourmet Groceries

While I had tofu pressing and laundry spinning, I got an email to go pick up a package. Can’t it come to me? Well, I threw on clothes to go get it and it was the jungle peanuts I ordered. In fact, between shipments to home and here, I got a good number of fun foods in the past 48 hours. A little while ago I might have gone internet-shopping happy; all but the Tropical Traditions coconut creme were my own purchases, and the creme is to review. I can’t wait “playing” with all of these, though! Chia seeds sound so good and nutritious, and cacao butter will make some mighty chocolate if I can figure out how to use it.

Preparing A Burger

I had planned to have maple baked tofu for lunch(I even had it in the oven), but swinging by the dining hall for veggies on the way back to my dorm really had me craving meat. I believe my words were, “Screw tofu, this is burger weather.” I removed a frozen 90/10 burger I had from 2 weeks ago and cooked that from frozen. Really, for decent flavor and cooking, 85/15 is the better option.

90/10 Quarter Pounder With Ketchup, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Rounds With EVOO, Root Beer Zevia

Yep. It was definitely burger weather. The roasted vegetables with EVOO drizzled on top was just what I wanted. My only complaint would be that between this, Days Of Our Lives, and folding/putting away laundry, there wasn’t much sitting down and enjoying the meal :-/ Otherwise, I try to make it a point to eat slowly and savor each bite.

Wild Jungle Peanut Butter

With laundry done, I broke out the food processor to–you guessed it–make peanut butter with my wild jungle peanuts. I only used half the batch, and ground until a thick paste. I’m just glad no one dropped by to ask what the noise was 😉 As I was talking about with Gina, really, the greatest thing you can do for nutritional benefits in making your own peanut butter is keeping the skins on; I’ll be interested how “wild” these jungle peanuts taste.

Oikos Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Crunch Truffle

Like I mentioned, I didn’t sit down and savor much of that meal, so no surprise when I was hungry for a quick dessert. I added some NuNaturals alcohol free vanilla stevia(also included in the shopping spree) droplets to a plain Oikos and then broke up a ChocAlive! dark chocolate crunch truffle on top. Yum! I’m still not sure how I feel about stevia in yogurt instead of just sugar/when to use it, but whenever it is such I like the alcohol free vanilla flavor for a clean, pure sweetness. And the truffle was good because… well just when is chocolate not?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Amazing Grass Bar

I was hoping the dessert would hold me over through extracurricular appointment #1 and beyond. It did the first part but soon after getting back I grabbed this chocolate peanut protein Amazing Grass bars. I can not afford to keep these around because… well, I eat them. I think this was bought on sale, though. It was also my last one 😦 I would have thought all this protein throughout the day would have been more satisfying. I would have been wrong.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I’ve had this chocolate chia pudding gelling for a bit too long; I’d been avoiding eating it because… well, it scares me? But I was hungry enough that it didn’t even matter. I could only get through 1/3 to 1/2 of it before throwing it away; chocolate chia pudding is not for me. So then that wasn’t very substantial, which called for another bar.

Peanut Choco' Nature's Path Organic Bar

This time I went for a peanut-choco Nature’s Path bar. Sense a theme of flavors throughout today? Usually I reserve these for pre-run fueling, because they do have a good deal of sugar compared to other ingredients, but it was at hand and a tiny snack to hold me over while dinner was in the oven.

Roasted Indian Chickpeas And Broccoli

For tonight, I thought I’d try something Monica inspired. Would ya’ll believe I never have roasted chickpeas? I tossed these with EVOO and indian spice along with some broccoli. I know–this is the second time I ate roasted broccoli today. But while the oven’s on why not roast some broccoli? It’s that good. The chickpeas, on the other hand, will not be a new obsession; they just tasted… more stale? Oh well. They also felt more like finger food than any protein I know. I resisted eating them with my fingers, though, because I was at extracurricular #2. I try to have some manners.

Feel Good Fueling Well

Since I feel it’s my duty with a blog called Food Makes Fun Fuel to talk about fueling sometimes as opposed to just food, I will! Let me first assure you it’s easy for anyone in any walk of life to feel a little “blah” on days where they’re a bottomless pit. Today, I couldn’t help but get down on myself for how much random snacking I did.  I’d just rather I had sat down to a bigger, less-processed mid-day meal at some point(chocolate avocado pudding crossed my mind but non of my avocadoes are ripe :-(). But, regardless of snacking or meal-eating, you should always feel good fueling well.

Bottom line number 1: If you’re hungry for it, eat it. There’s no two ways about this one; if you’re hungry, even if it’s not within your “routine” schedule, it’s important to eat. Not doing so can actually throw you more off routine

How much is it really? Here, the key is thinking macro, not macro. Today I ran 12 miles this morning. OK, that accounts for some extra hunger. But also look at your workouts on a weekly schedule. I am running a lot more recently, and my body anticipates more running to come. It’s right! So it needs more fuel.

Want to avoid any guilt? Get away from knowledge–knowledge of calories that is. Depending your intent or method, this may not be for you. But personally I feel much better knowing as little about the exact nutrition content of my meals as I can, which also corresponds to eating whole foods. An apple doesn’t come with a calorie content! Today, I can pinpoint just how many calories/fat/protein/sugars were in my plain Chobani(100), oatmeal grains(105), Oikos(80), truffle(66), Amazing Grass bar(270), and Nature’s Path bar(140), and I can guestimate the 1/2 a cupcake(100). Beyond that, there’s plenty of foods I don’t know that much about, and I’m happier with those. Like I said, ideally this list would be even shorter, but today was an off day(ripen, avocadoes, ripen!).

I think that satisfies my “fueling” obligation for the week. Don’t forget to guess among my sea of lies! I’ll tell the truth tomorrow morning 🙂 But I’m loving the guesses, haha. And now, in honor of proper fueling, plenty of dishes are crossing my mind, not the least of which is this winner from breakfast 😉

Agave Sweetened Greek Yogurt With 1/2 Vanilla Cupcake And Jelly Beans

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“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

Posted on March 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning marked a glorious return to outside running. I’m a bit of a nit-pick when it comes to the weather; I like it hot and sunny, 80’s please. But with my race coming up in 3 weekends, I thought it would be good to do some outdoor running while the weather was so gorgeous today. 50! It felt like springtime. So I laced up, booted up the Garmin, and hit the streets of Providence down the Eastside path. I’m not the biggest fan or run reports, but since this was my first time outside in nearly 4 months, I think it’s worth one 😉

Through The Window

Mile 1: All I could think was how much I wanted to grill, drink a blueberry smoothie, and eat a peach! Memories of Summer came flooding back and I felt incredible. Everything felt alive again.

Mile 2-3: It started to hit me: These weren’t treadmill miles I was running. In my mind, miles on the ‘mill are as good as the road; my legs, however, disagree, and it didn’t help that at times the path was not paved and still soaked from snow a few days ago. I really didn’t know how long I could go.

Mile 4: I just tried to keep my mind off of things, and even worked on a smoothie recipe(to follow).

Mile 5: Should I stick with my intentions for 9 miles or cut back to 6? No, I can do this!I’ve done it once and I can do it again, literally(the run I was on had me repeat a 3-mile path route.

Mile 6-7: I really soaked up the sun, enjoyed the company of fellow runners and dogs. Getting out of my mind was the key.

Mile 8-9.5: I had a great time and a great run. I even ran into Whole Foods to grab a blueberry Chobani and tried not to dilly-dally looking at groceries too much(though I easily could have).

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

Will I hit the streets again sometime soon? You betcha! Probably even tomorrow. During the week, I really like running 1st thing, so that time will probably be at the gym. But the weekends can be another story. I was also ready to refuel(food does make fun fuel, after all), and whipped together that smoothie I mentioned.

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

  • 1 blueberry Chobani
  • 1/4 unsweetened Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 5 ice cubes

This was the perfect smoothie considering what I had on hand. It’s full of quick carbs, complete protein, and a little fat to help with the fat-soluble nutrients. Not only is a smoothie a great way to cool down, it also let me not worry about making a full lunch fast so that I could shower, rest up, and put together a good meal.

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

You would not believe how soft a sweet potato is after 4 1/2 hours in the oven; it’s hardly a solid at that point. I put it in at 9:30 when I anticipated getting back from my run late. I turned off the oven at 10:30 but let it continue cooking in there in the foil. By the time the burger was done at 2, the sweet potato could have fallen apart in my hand. So as to not waste the beef fat, I sliced it in half and charred it in my pan–easy clean up, too! It all tasted soft and delicious(even the meat, which was–admittedly–undercooked). My only complaint would be that sweet potatoes hardly feel filling after all that.

After almost 10 miles outside, sitting in, doing work, and watching a movie sounded like a goodthing to me. 95% of the movies I watch are on TV, so I was pretty excited to stumble on The Da Vinci Code not 5 minutes in. I also was really craving a brownie, but wasn’t about to walk the mile to Whole Foods to get one. What to do?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

The freezer to the rescue! I found the last two-bite bits of these brownies I made for New Years Eve with peanut butter chips. Holy yum! They were still as good after dethawing. The trick to a good brownie is good chocolate chips in them.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

A little later and I was feeling a bit… gluttenous? I don’t think Lent is healthy for me; it gives me the oddest meat cravings to repress on Friday only to erupt Saturday. This time, I thought I would try the chocolate bacon peanut brittle from Sir Francis Bacon.

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

Over soy yogurt, of course, because I eat up that irony! Wow–the brittle was an experience like no other. I recapped them both at the end, but I think the chocolate version was such an improvement over the original. You can really taste the milkfat in the chocolate and that’s pretty key.

Apple

Before dinner I snacked on this apple and plenty of coffee while reading all about the slave and sugar trade for class. All day I felt like I was either eating or thinking of what to eat next, which makes me wonder if outdoor miles really could be different from treadmill miles and require more food. Clearly, I was happy to oblige. But for dinner I really just wanted to sit down and eat a meal that would make me feel full.

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbreads

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

I also wanted picnic food! Today’s good weather had me thinking a tuna salad–as simple as they are–sounded perfect. When I was in pre-K, I remember getting served tuna salad sandwiches for lunch and making them scrape off the tuna and mayo; I was not a fan :-/ Now I make them with 365 brand wild caught tuna fish in spring water and greek yogurt(2% here) and love ’em! The broccoli felt fresh, and what could say picnic better than Dr. Krackerssunflower cheddar flatbread? It’s not a gluten-free food by any means. But I love the cheddar with the chewy sunflower seeds and any discomfort will be well worth it.

First of all, there’s this giveaway for Honest Foods bars to tell you about. Next up I have to ask how do you feel about movies on TV? Like I mentioned, they’re about all the movies I see. I’m looking through the TV Guide right now and it looks like not much other than Forest Gump will be on here. Humph. Lastly, let me review some bacon peanut brittle for you.

Bacon Peanut Brittle

8.5/10: No, your eyes do not deceive you. Sir Francis Bacon does indeed make a brittle composed of peanuts and bacon. A lot went through my mind in trying this. The first things I noticed were the instant aroma of smoked bacon opening the package and the abundance of ingredients in this brittle–perfect. I’ll admit that I was nervous–to say the least–that this would taste like a 7-Eleven reject. And it very well might have if the company didn’t put such tremendous care in making a smoky, robust brittle with a subtle sweetness to liven it all up. Thankfully, this tasted delicious and just as I described. I would not recommend this to anyone unsure about the idea of bacon and dessert; the flavor really is potent. But if you’re wacky for eccentric foods, this just might be worth tracking down and paying the rough-but-fair price tag.

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

9/10: I don’t know what to say about the combination of peanuts, bacon, and milk chocolate other than–wow! This really was an improvement on the original bacon peanut brittle; not only are the pieces perfectly pre-proportioned because of the chocolate covering but the chocolate itself has the perfect milkfat content to be rich and powerful against the smokiness of the bacon. Similar to their other product, this is definitely something you need to be interested in before going whole hog and trying it. But if you know the flavors are for you, be a pig and dig in to the box of chocolates.

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How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

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

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

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