Fusions

Posted on December 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Somethings were just meant to be: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lucy and Ricky, Me and Emma Watson, Ross and Rachel–the list goes on and on. And the truth is that these pairs work better together more than on their own. So yesterday I was looking for things that worked better together than on their own.

Pecan Butter With Cashews

My first inspiration came from Artisana’s Pecan Butter. I really enjoyed the hint of cashews in this to make it more of an artisan nut butter so I thought I’d try to replicate that with the pecans I picked up from the natural food store and some Oh Nuts! cashews. I won’t reveal the “secret” ratio but I think this came out damn good and would get a 10/10 from my own scale. I will reveal that I roasted them all so the flavor would be more pungent, but I didn’t add any salt.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter

Butterscotch and peanut butter are definitely another flavor combo that was meant to be. I think Kath would agree with the number of times I’ve seen butterscotch chips on her oatmeal. For this I used 16oz raw peanuts I dry roasted, more butterscotch extract than I’d care to know, stevia, and 4 teaspoons brown sugar. The flavor is definitely unique; it’s not my favorite but it seems like one of those I might randomly crave at some point. After I played around on nutritiondata.com, it was time for dinner.

Thai Curry Chickpeas With Hot Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Buffalo Bleu Chips

I think Frank’s Red Hot sauce + anything is amazing(as attested by multiple bloggers around here). My mouth was on fire after all of this. There was also lemon-thyme salmon on the table but a) I didn’t think the lemon-thyme and hot sauce would work and b) I didn’t feel like having meat this meal.

After dinner, as disgusting as it was, I was determined to find the receipt for the food processor so that I can work at getting a non-broken one. It just so happened to be in the same bag of trash which my mom threw out ALL of her receipts from balancing her checkbook. This was really like finding a needle in a haystack but we got it.

Macy's Receipt

A little worse from ware but proof is proof. I think I continued to wash my hands for another 20 minutes to get off the coffee grounds and tofu, and then turned on I Love Lucy and picked up more fusion food.

Xocai Nugget And Power Square

Obviously, chocolates bestie is more chocolate, so I tried out Xocai’s nugget and power square. If you want to get technical, both of these are also fused with dried acai berries to increase their ORAC value, but really chocolate is chocolate. I liked these, but surprisingly they weren’t dark enough for me at the time. They tasted like a good 55% but I was expecting them to be more bitter-sweet. After a few good I Love Lucy episodes(a timeless show), I found more fusion in the kitchen.

Barney butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

Oatmeal With Barney Butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

These were soooo meant to be together. The jam was a Christmas present to my parents and is unreal; it has so much amaretto flavor! And it’s totally giving me ideas for more nut butters. The Barney Butter oddly separated in the squeeze pack so half was really hard and have was liquid. At least it still tasted OK. Lastly I had a 2nd daily probiotic source and hit the hay.

Pop Culture Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

This morning I must have been lazy because I slept in 40 minutes. It is vacation, after all 🙂 But then I got “in the mood” for a good workout. I did my core with

  • 240 varying arm rotations
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 40 squats(thinking back, I might have forgotten this one)
  • 70 rowers’ arms
  • 40 second pose hold
  • 70 standing marches
  • 100 sit ups
  • 100 air kicks
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 50 second crunch hold
  • 40 push-ups(a little messy by this point)

After that I threw in 100 flights of stairs, which took about 30 minutes but flew by to some good ipod tunes. After that I knew exactly what was on the menu for breakfast.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pecan Butter And Brown Sugar Vegan Butter Spread

Peanut Flour Yogurt

Pecan butter, earth balance, and brown sugar were most definitely all meant to co-exist(We are the woooorrld. We are the futurrre). I’ve come to think there is nothing better than to be able to think “I’m eating homemade pecan butter” and know it’s your home that made it! Now I just need to figure out how to homemake a cinnamon roll. Peanut flour and greek yogurt were equally meant to be for a 1-2 protein punch. Today’s agenda most definitely includes a trip to Macy’s to try and get a new food processor piece, and hopefully addressing 1 or 2 recipes on my to-do list.

A huge vitatop giveaway from Iowa Girl!

And a Wild Bar giveaway from Chocolate Covered Katie!

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Cookie Monster

Posted on December 6, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Cookied out? Impossible, but I sure know how to try. Last night I made a vegan version of my Carrot Cake Cookies for Ashley’s fundraiser.

Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

How annoying is it when you can smell but not eat cookies? Because these smelled awesome. I was a bit unnerved when they didn’t puff up like usual but I figured this must be the result of using a flax egg instead of the real thing. They’re still moist and soft as ever so I’m happy with them and hope the bidder really likes them, too! Since fiber wasn’t filling me up, I decided why bother? And just went for some cookies.

Trader Joe Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge Dunkers, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea

At first I was a tad disappointed with these cookies(except for the white chocolate fudge coating, which couldn’t possibly disappoint). Then I tried dunking it and it was perfect. So soft and most–delicious. Now if only I had Trader Joe’s secret recipe… Afterwards I made some cookies for the house. I tried using an anise cookie recipe from last year substituting 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup beet juice for coloration.

Italian Anise Cookies

Well the coloration was a big success; would you ever look at these and think they’re all natural between the pinkness and nonpareils? Unfortunately, we all agreed the flavor was off. Either there wasn’t enough sugar, or something was wrong with the alcohol or baking powder. I’ll have to try these again because they were much better last year. After all this cookie madness, I was happy to sit down to some real food(that I didn’t have to cook/bake).

Cod With Soyaki Sauce, Asparagus, Acorn Squash With Red Thai Curry Sauce

Those Trader Joe sauces really can go with anything Over dinner, I was thinking how small our asparagus spears are and how they must be out of season and not so good. Then my mom mentioned how she picks out the tiny ones because she likes how they cook more. Really? I think they feel so much punier. Any asparagus-driven opinions out there? While we were eating, the storm outside took shape.

Snow

Finally! We had a dusting a few weeks ago but this was the majority of snow we’ve gotten this year; it’s been terribly unseasonal for New England and I’m happy that winter is starting to show. I had a sampling of desserts to enjoy the snow and tivo.

Italian Anise Cookie, Advent Calender Chocolate, Orange Milk Chocolate Slice

This is when we decided the cookies were off. Thankfully chocolate makes anything bearable, right? Chocolate oranges are definitely one of my favorite fruit; can I buy a chocolate orange tree? Do they make it in juice for? These questions need to be asked. Afterwards I got back in the kitchen if you can believe it.

Oh Nuts! Raw Cashews

Oh Nuts! sent some delicious, raw, natural products of theirs my way. The first I opened were these cashews and the first thing I noticed was how HUGE they are! Thanks, Oh Nuts! There’s no lack of nuts with you guys 😉 I decided to try a recipe online to make my own maple roasted cashews. First I roasted them for 15 minutes, then coated them with 1/4cup maple syrup, a touch of sea salt, and 1 tablespoon Organic Smart Balance Vegan Butter, and toasted them for another 12 minutes.

Maple Roasted Cashews

I don’t think anything smells more wintery than roasted nuts 🙂 These were so simple and yet the ones at Whole Foods at the bulk bins cost twice as much. Really? This is definitely a DIY project. These deserved a bowl of oats.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Roasted Cashews

The cashews were awesome, but I think they need a sprinkling of turbinado sugar right when they come out of the oven next time to enhance the sweetness just a tad. Clearly, I’m a maple freak 🙂

I woke up at 7:30 this morning; I really think having an 8-hour sleep session no more and no less, is just the right balance for energy and hope I can keep it up. It looked amazing out in my backyard:

More Snow

More Snow

And now I’m expecting it to always look like this when I’m home. Got that, mother nature? I decided after blogreading I wanted to give Mama Pea’s cinnamon rolls a try. Yeast is always fun to play with.

Warm Yeast

But soon enough it looked like this:

Dough In Trash

Dough In Trash

This recipe was just not working out for me. 2 cups of flour? I think I was on my 3rd by the time I gave up, with dough stuck all over my hands. Oh well, I’ll just have to look for another cinnamon roll recipe that works for me. Meanwhile, I remembered we had bakery vegan cinnamon raisin rolls in the freezer so my breakfast didn’t have to change much.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Organic Smart Balance And Brown Sugar, And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Eggnog Greek Yogurt

I topped the roll 1/2 with vegan smart balance and brown sugar, and the other half with smart balance peanut butter because I thought it was “cute” how both were smart balance. Seriously, you would have thought I had been sipping the apple brandy(which for some reason is on the island in our kitchen) the way I was amused by that. I think that’s the first time I’ve topped one of those vegan rolls with something also vegan! The yogurt… was not vegan but equally delicious 🙂

So far I have stayed out of the kitchen and been working on my 15 page Epic Poetry essay since breakfast; this thing is turning into a piece of epic poetry itself and I’ll probably have to ask for an extension on it as I ignore my other 3 papers due the following week. I’ve also caught up on Days and SNL; who couldn’t have seen the Tiger Woods and White House Crashers being parodied? Hopefully more work will happen 🙂

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Kicking Off The Month Right

Posted on December 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December is one of, if not my absolute, favorite months. Why? Snow, Christmas, family, vacation–you get the picture. Thankfully yesterday was perfect for kicking things off. My breakfast(pumpkin oatmeal with smart balance peanut butter and maple syrup and a chobani with blueberry jam and double chocolate pillow) filled me up amazingly well. I was not at all hungry after class got out, so I thought I’d seize the opportunity to go to Eastside Market and Whole Foods! Would you believe me if i told you it’s been over 2 weeks since I walked that way? It has! On the way, I came across the best car:

LDYINRED

Would it be awful to paint this car blue as a very involved April Fool’s joke? Probably. First up was Eastside, which looked mostly the same. I noticed they had brown rice sushi now, which might or might not be new, and for less than $5! I grabbed some for lunch and moved through fairly quickly getting just “the essentials”. Then I hopped over to Whole Foods and was psyched to find this.

December Whole Deal

There’s a new Whole Deal! But it has some pretty awful coupons 😦 I would majorly suggest stocking up on the old ones before you can’t get them anymore. Again, I tried to be quick and dirty shopping here so as to get back to my dorm. Thankfully, it’s a small Whole Foods and not much changes. I couldn’t even find a single Tofurkey roast 😦 Maybe hunting season’s over? I got back at 1:30 so as to only miss half of Days, and unloaded the loot.

Groceries

The Chobani and banana were from the dining hall bought with meal points. Otherwise, it was all from my grocery fund. And while none of it I had a coupon for, I tried to just get sale items and things that were “essential”. Here’s a question: when did I become the type of person who considers fake bacon an essential? The only thing that was really an impulse buy was the Carrot Cashew Ginger soup which, for 75 cents a serving, I was willing to try. I also got this one last thing:

Advent Calender

An advent calender! Frankly, I was a little saddened to find that the 99 cent advent calenders my mom always got us had artificial ingredients I couldn’t eat 😦 Thankfully, this one is made with all-natural ingredients and fair trade cocoa to boot! Here’s to a delicious 24 days.

Brown Rice Tuna And Salmon Sushi, Carrot Cashew Ginger Soup

My lunch was simple yet amazing. The sushi wasn’t bad at all for $4.89, although I only ever really eat sushi for the fish. I honestly couldn’t care less for the bit of whole grains and small amount of avocado they give you that hardly adds up to a veggie. The soup was delicious! Albeit a little thin. I think I just like stews and thick bowls of oatmeal, but the flavor was rich.

My afternoon felt like a whirlwind. I hadn’t answered emails or read blogs since 9pm Monday night right before my lock-out experience. Rachael Ray, Ellen, Oprah–I think I was there for them all but I wasn’t really “present”. Before I knew it it was 4:30 and I had a rather odd snack craving.

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

For some people(here’s looking at you, Heather), acorn squash might not be so weird a snack. For oatmeal and peanut butter boy here, it was. Nonetheless, I complied, cut up my squash, and steamed it in the microwave, adding a little seasoning at the end. It was perfectly spot-hitting. A little later on the munchies came again and I wanted some protein.

Greek Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter And Peanut Butter Chips

18 grams to be exact. For this I just mixed a plain Chobani with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and clear liquid stevia and then added on Sunspire chips–yum! It was such a sweet treat. I love the pumpkin butter with peanut butter for a fall flavoring. As for protein, I don’t generally keep close track of all that stuff; I just aim to have at least 3 high-protein sources through out the day, which often end up being greek yogurt or tofu.

For dinner, the online menu for the dining hall was not promising. Really, there was nothing since even one of the main vegetables was beets which I’ve sworn off for 2 weeks. I still wanted to catch up with my friend, Adam, however, since it’d been nearly 2 weeks since we last had dinner with Thanksgiving being last week. Thankfully, he was fine with bringing takeout to my room, where I whipped up this dish:

Tofurkey Loaf Slice, Broccoli, Carrot Cashew Ginger Soup, Orange Zevia

So I like the soup, wanna fight about it 😉 This was a delicious way to serve up leftovers. I was thinking of adding some flax to the soup to thicken it up but I hate playing around with things and so let it be in the end. We caught up on each other’s Thanksgiving and groaned about how ridiculous these next few weeks of work will be and then said our goodbyes to “write papers”(which in my case meant blog). I’m not a terribly political person so I was happy to skip the Presidential address for some serious snackage.

Chocolate Vitatop With Shortcut Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh my God. What have I released? This was sooooo good. Seriously, has anyone else tried this frosting? If anyone made it vegan with Tofutti I would be mondo impressed/intrigued to hear how it worked out. The Biggest Loser was inspiring, as always. I couldn’t wait to see them do a marathon! That’s really going to make me feel lazy and like I need to get a move on that, haha. The Biggest Loser must make me hungry because at 10 I made a large(r) snack.

Whole Wheat Vegan Cinnamon Roll With Cream Cheese Frosting, Yogurt With Cherry Butter, Dried Cherris, And Advent Chocolate

Advent Chocolate In Smart Balance

If I weren’t addicted to running and a health eater I’m sure I’d be driving my doctor nuts. The roll tasted just like a cinnabon; Afterwards I had a better idea for the chocolate. I love how the advent candy was in the shape of a heart. I hope they’re all fun like that. I pretty much gave up work after this(note how there’s a notebook under that food) and just focused on getting a good night’s sleep. I was also inspired to ask myself after watching the Biggest Loser contestants run a marathon why I hadn’t tried to run farther recently? Unfortunately my answer sucked: time. I’ve just always been focused on getting back to my dorm and making oatmeal too much to go the extra mile. And so this morning that’s exactly what I’m going to do(literally). I’m going to challenge myself to go 16 miles. If I have to walk or slow down I’ll let myself and I’ll give myself all the time I need. But that’s why I’m up posting at 6:30–to take a bit of time pressure off as I head out right now. Wish me luck!

So so many giveaways…

Popchip giveaway! Snap, crackle, POP!

Some very sweet nut butters to enjoy.

And an awesome regions best giveaway!

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Not Quite Bloody

Posted on November 29, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you want a good laugh at another’s embarrassing story, by all means read on. After sleeping in, not running, and blogging yesterday morning, I got around to breakfast. I wasn’t super hungry from pre-sleep turkey but oats are always appealing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Banana Pineapple Frosting

See? Always appealing. At first I think I oversweetened the greek yogurt for the frosting(who knew this was possible?) so I added a little more plain to dilute it and it was muy perfecto.

Even though I had declared my rest day and the wind was 20 mph, I decided to gear up for a 6-7 mile slow paced run. And then the morning got a little weird(feel free to skip to lunch if you don’t want to hear tmi). After a pre-run trip to the bathroom, something I was fearing happened again–my “stool” had red color running through from it in the toilet water. This had actually happened several times in the past 2 weeks between that and urine, but I, being a stubborn Pollack, would rather ignore anything that looks negative from a medical perspective. Having happened two days in a row, though, I brought it up to others and suggested we go to the hospital. I think just about everything went through my mind as I showered and went from running clothes to day clothes; all of this thinking about diseases really had me anxious and pushed my limits. And then when I came down ready(though not quite mentally) to face my medical fears, Dr. Dad had an explination: beets.

Beets, as described by wikipedia, are a member of the amaranth family. The are a root vegetable with a bright red pigment, and over the past 2 weeks when I’ve been home my mother has been preparing them at a much more common rate than usual since she discovered how easy they are to prepare. And one of the side effects is having red coloration in the toilet. Well, very perplexed, I consulted the blog and looked at all the days I remembered being worried by this and when we ate beets. And it seemed that, always a day or two before an “episode”, I ate beets. Really? I was thrown into all this anxiety, embarrassment, and anger because of beets? Ugh. We nixed the trip to the doctors and now I’ve ressolved not to eat beets for two weeks to make sure they’re the culprit(and then never again because I’m not going to go through this BS). That pretty much wasted my morning and the run, so I moved on to homework and then lunch.

Stuffing Stuffed Pepper

2 Eggs Scrambled With Celery And Shredded Turkey

I made two of the leftover dishes I’ve been wanting to since Thursday. I heated up a pepper in my pan and some stuffing in the microwaved for a delicious stuffed pepper. If it were a little bit more runny of a stuffing, it would have been perfect, but it was still good. I loved the slightly runny eggs with the turkey; it sort of made its own sauce, and was a perfect protein with a little salt. I’m going to miss making proper eggs when I get back to the dorm today. After lunch we decided to pick up our tree. While my dad drove, I walked(it’s not even a mile down the road). They even let me cut it down. Now whose bright idea was it to hand me a saw?

Cutting Down The Tree

It wasn’t a perfect job, but no fingers chopped off. After I walked home and the tree was dropped off, we took a trip to Whole Foods. Don’t you hate missing a sales period or weekender? Well, they didn’t look too too good this week, but I was glad to get a bunch of deals between coupons and sales and then the stuff we needed. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop. Has anybody noticed that Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell chocolate covered peanuts, milk or dark? They sell chocolate covered everything. I can sooner get chocolate soy beans than I can peanuts. Ummm, what? Though they do now have chocolate oranges with all natural flavorings which I hope to have one of this season. Oh well, that was pretty much the only thing on the list we couldn’t find.

Groceries

I got a total of $4 off two Green & Black products between coupons and sales–score. Can you tell I like my organic chocolate? The star of the trip was the Tofurkey! It’s for my dad and I for lunch today, and was 3 dollars off at Whole Foods 🙂 I figured since it’s a frozen product that’s good for 2 more years, it wouldn’t go on sale any more than that so I seized the day. I can’t wait to see what it’s like. I also couldn’t wait on another Whole Foods find:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Peanut Greek Yogurt

A Whole Foods exlusive pumpkin cream cheese was on sale for 4 dollars a tub. It had in it pumpkin, honey, ginger, walnuts, and spices. It probably wasn’t something I couldn’t have made, but it was convenient and sounded good. And it tasted awesome! The spices and walnuts really worked with the creaminess and it was very sweet. And though the oatmeal and yogurt were in two containers, rest assured they were eaten as one 🙂 Before dinner I caught up on Slapsgiving 2–legen, wait for it… I also tried watching an SNL but it crashed everything and that was the end of that. For dinner I forwent leftovers *gasp*.

Lentils In Trader Joe Curry Simmer Sauce, Broccoli, Roasted Zucchinni, Full Fat Voskos Greek Yogurt

One of the non-sale items we picked up was Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce; I was looking at getting a prepared Indian meal but the sauce was a better bargain. I cooked some lentils and let them simmer. The flavor was good, but it probably could have used a little more curry. The yogurt I felt was very Indian and a nice touch 🙂 This meal reminded me, though, why I hardly ever have lentils or beans even though I love ’em(i.e. buddha belly and discomfort). I suppose it was that or sleepiness from turkey, right?

There was an entire Charlie Brown Movie on ABC Family. I love my specials, but after 90 minutes I was tuckered out and couldn’t finish it. Instead I moved on to fun for the whole family: Knocked Up. What else is better to watch with the fam? I also had a vitalicious snack.

Coffee And A Vitabrownie

 

On a paper plate because, at 9pm, I’m not aiming to impress anyone 😉 I still think these taste best in circular form with evident chocolate chips(i.e. the vitatops), but they didn’t have them where these were on sale for 3.99 so I compromised for a bargain. The rest of the night was filled with about 4 cups of decaf coffee, and then this two-faced inspired snack.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raising Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Um, perfection. Since coming home I have not stopped craving smart balance agave sweetened peanut butter. Have you noticed? That’s why I picked some up at Stop & Shop to take back to my dorm. I don’t know why the flavor is better than molasses sweetened, but it is. This pumpkin cream cheese is also to die for; I loooove that it has crunchy walnuts for texture. And the vegan rolls are just always euphoric 🙂 I went o bed nice and happy with this in my stomach, until I woke up at 4:45 and couldn’t sleep. I decided maybe I was hungry and that this snack would knock it out:

Cinnamon Raisin Gnu Bar With Pumpkin Cream Cheese

I tried this new gnu bar, heating it up in the microwave and then topping it with the cream cheese. Wow, this was all good. The bar was just like a good slice of cinnamon raisin bread with a nice earthiness, and the cream cheese made it perfect. It definitely filled me up, but that must not have been the problem because I was still awake for quite some time.

I woke up at 8:30 this morning–a tad bit of an improvement from 9, right 😉 It’s definitely time for me to get a move on it and make breakfast. And, who knows, a run might even happen today(could you imagine that?). I’m going to need to make plenty of room for my Tofurkey for lunch! Haha.

 

Sodastream Giveaway! I could make some very bubbly seltzer with this bad boy 🙂

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Fried Food Makes You Feel Better

Posted on November 25, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

**Caveat: Amazing Grass is having an awesome sale right now! Go to there website(accessible through the button to the right) and enter the code BAR09 on any purchase of Amazing Grass bars and get 20% off! Isn’t that awesome? I think I’m going to have to stock up on the chocolate peanut butter protein bars–so good**

I’m pretty sure that title is the last thing people who eat around me would expect me saying but–let’s face it–it’s true; and there ain’t nothing wrong with food fried in good oils in moderation 😉 Wait, where was I? Oh yes, yesterday morning was filled by a light-hearted class in which 3 people ditched for Thanksgiving were mysteriously sick. 3 might not sound like a lot for a college class, but you notice it in the Classics. I was so relieved when I got out I wanted to jump for joy’ instead, I kicked it into gear to get back to my dorm so I could pack and go. I basically combed the room, thinking of everything I could possibly need for 5 days and throwing it somewhere else. Around 1 I realized I was hungry. I wanted a repeat of yesterday’s amazing spicy oats, but I needed something faster and portable so I racked my brain for a veggie dish.

Broccoli Salad And Flamegrilled Gardenburger With The Heat Is On PB

Stewed Tomatoes With Crumbled Morningstar Breakfast Patty, One Lucky Duck Raw Rosemary Quackers

Ok, this was still basically my breakfast, just with oats metamorphosed into broccoli. I just could not get enough of The Heat Is On! The stewed tomatoes were dining hall fare and I wish I could have thought of something more intricate to do with them but I did not have the chance. It game me an opportunity, though, to sample and review the One Lucky Duck Rosemary Quackers. They were not exactly what I was expecting/hoping for, but it was fun to try something raw. I think I’ll be sticking with baked chips from now on, though(and, yes, the occasional fried :-)) Well this is what things looked like when my dad showed up:

Packed And Ready To Go

That’s 2 bags of food, an extra bag of clothes/toiletries, a backpack, laundry, a coffee maker, and a stevia plant. I suppose 5 days is a while and deserves all this, right?(Back me up here). We swung by the mail room to pick up some last minute arrivals, and hit the open road. I got a package from Gnu Foods and I couldn’t wait to dig in, so I didn’t.

Chocolate Brownie Gnu Foods Bar

Um, yum?! This hit my chocolate tooth. And the nutrition was astounding. I loved reading the company info they sent in the car(because I was doing that instead of work). They’ve created their own blend of grains and seeds to give each bar 12 grams of fiber! When I read that, I took it slow and drank a ton of water–smart move. I can’t wait to try the other flavors now, though somebody remind me NEVER to eat this pre-run(for obvious reasons).

Before we got home, we swung by Framingham to hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It’s really fun when these are right next to each other. I tried to stick with just buying essentials/sales and coupon items/what we still needed for Thanksgiving, because I know we’re going to have a lot of leftovers pretty soon. In the end, I think I stuck to my mission mostly.

Groceries

The big unmarked bag is about 2lbs of steel cut oats, like I go through anything else that much. The lemon bars were a new Trader Joe’s product for Turkey Day as is the TruWhip(can’t wait to try this!). Of course, the one thing that made me ditch my entire plan of items was my vegan whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls. But seriously, how often do you find these? I went with the grab and run method… The fiber bar held me over really well but by the time we got home and I completely unpacked it was 5 and I was famished. I went for a meal rather than a snack.

Amy's Shepherd's Pie With Colby Jack Cheese

An Amy’s meal, that is. I think I’d been wanting to try this for a few months; last weekend I bought it with a coupon on the cheap, and I broke it out yesterday. I was not going to wait 45 minutes for the oven, so instead I nuked it for 3 minutes and topped it with 1 ounce of colby jack cheese which I’m pretty sure would have had a “Don’t touch. For Thanksgiving” note on it were my mom more careful. The meal was okay, but I don’t think it ever would have held me over on its own as a dinner or anything. I supplemented this with another snack.

Empire Apple

2 apples in 2 days? I think I’m setting a personal record. A very sad and low personal record. Thankfully, unlike the last one, this tasted juicy and fresh. Considering I picked it 3 weekends ago, I’m now wondering how old the apples from the dining hall must be… I caught up on Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef–you know, my chef shows. As a family, we all were slackers on dinner, so when the time came and passed and no one was doing anything it was a little frustrating. I felt hanger(hunger –> anger) coming on, so I went for something I knew would make me a happy boy again.

WildWood Original Veggie Burger, Broccoli With Soyaki Sauce

I’d never actually tried this veggie burger before, but I was 99% sure I’d like it because it’s fried. I learned in 11th grade bio that humans crave fat because of our ancient ancestors who got the opportunity to eat so little that nature is to pile it in and store it when we come across it. Why fight nature, especially when it’s healthy fat and portioned, right? Needless to say, it hit the spot, and I think I’m making a permanent place in my fridge for those little fried wonders.

I spent quite literally the rest of my night tying up loose ends and doing other work on the computer. It wasn’t the dream way to kick off vacation but C’est la vie. It gave me a great chance to watch The Biggest Loser and have some blogger faves as dessert:

 

Oikos In A Cherry Butter Jar With Dried Cherries, Cherry Dark Chocolate, And Vanilla Sugar

Can we fry this somehow? Paula? Scratch that. I think jam jars are so much easier to empty out than nut butters. Fortunately, both are good options. I just love the spoonfuls of whole jam towards the end, which are bites of tart heaven. I’m really enjoying all you new commentors who might have read this for a while but just got to saying something and getting to find new blogs that way. Keep it coming! Afterwards I just had to break into these.

 

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll

Food like this are what rededicate myself to an all-natural diet; I challenge any mass-bakery product to rival this. And it’s vegan to boot! It almost makes me think I could be vegan… and then I remember yogurt, cream cheese, flavored nut butter, fish, meat, etc. It wouldn’t work.  But is anything better than peeling back layers of yeasty dough? I think not. Maybe… Paula, can we fry this? I wish I were kidding here.

 

Peanut Butter Gnu Bar With Mighty Maple

I was a little worried eating this right before bed. 12g of fiber? That’s dangerous. But everything worked out fine, and this was a great peanut butter treat. This bar probably would have been a little bland on its own but with an extra dose of peanut butter it was the perfect piece of toast. I find it funny that most of America has trouble getting in enough fiber when I got 100% just between 2 bars both of which felt like “desserts”. I think Americans need to learn to love fiber more.

I did was not feeling the pressure to get up and run this morning with no warm gym and treadmill to entice me. I slept in almost until 9(that’s really late for me) and instead spent way too long deciding on how to make a bowl of oatmeal. I am very happy with the conclusion of that thinking.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Mocha Milk Chocolate Frosting

Holy yum. Let me walk you through this one. I did a standard pumpkin base with 1 1/2 tablespoons Smart Balance Agave Sweetened. I’ve decided I really like this version better than the molasses sweetened; I don’t know why but the flavor “works” better. For the frosting, I melted a Newman’s Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate square and then mixed that with 2oz sweetened Oikos. Ahhhhhmazing. The milk chocolate with the peanut butter comes out just like my childhood favorite candy.

I might head out for 6.7 miles in a bit. Or I might not run at all today. While I’d enjoy it, there’s plenty I have to do around here that would keep me occupied. I might just have to make an identical bowl of this oatmeal.

 

 

Secret Santa Alert!! Who doesn’t love this time-honored tradition? Well there’s a blogger’s version about; visit this post for all the info to join in!

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I’m A Scaredy Cat

Posted on November 9, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


November 8th 001

Tougas Farm Apple

I’m afraid of biting into an apple only to find half a worm, but I went ahead and at this anyway for some pre-baking food yesterday morning. It was from the 10lbs we picked last weekend.

November 8th 002

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

I’m afraid of how many eggs I might have used making these so many times except for the fact that they’re vegan. Seriously, though, what is this? Batch number 3 or 4? We just go through them like wildfire around here. While these were cooling and my other baking project was cooking, I went ahead and had breakfast.

November 8th 006

French Toast Oatmeal, Nog Greek Yogurt With Nutmeg

I’m afraid of eggs exploding on my in the microwave, but that seems not to be an issue when I make french toast oats. The eggnog yogurt was awesome; all it was was 6oz plain Oikos, 7 drops vanilla stevia, and 1/4 cup of this:

November 8th 004

Silk Nog

I’m afraid of what I’m going to do when this is out of season. I asked my mom to buy me this from Hannaford since it’s the only place I’ve seen it and it is so good. I don’t remember the last time I had “real eggnog” and I don’t care after this. It tastes just fine in all its vegan-self 🙂

November 8th 009

Pumpkin Bread Hull With Chocolate Chips

I’m afraid of losing recipes, which is why I’m glad to have a blog to post them on.

Moist Moist Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

7.5oz canned pumpkin

2 eggs

1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce

1/3 cup water

1 cup brown or turbinado sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon ginger

November 8th 007

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, eggs, applesauce, water, and sugar. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. When dry are evenly mixed, dump into the wet while stirring. Stir only until no more dry ingredients can be seen, but take care not to over mix. Pour batter into pans and put in oven until a knife in the center comes out barely wettened, or about 50 minutes. Let sit in pans for 10 minutes and then remove.

I’m afraid of how many miles we’re all piling on together. Guys(and gals), we’re rocking it. These numbers people are posting are incredible. I ended up for a 6.7 mile run around my neighborhood. One thing I don’t like about not running first thing is that my energy levels feel so much lower. I felt like I could’ve stopped at any point but I really wanted to finish what I set out to do.

November 8th 012

Bison Medallion, Grilled Sweet Potato Fries, Parsnips

I’m afraid of red meat, but not bison. At much lower cholesterol and saturated fat levels with all the same flavor, what’s not to love? I’m clearly never afraid to eat my meat slightly undercooked. And the sweet potato fries were all my mom’s idea! She knows what her lil’ blogger wants when he comes home 🙂

November 8th 014

Giovanni's White Chocolate With Cranberry Gelato

I’m afraid that if I didn’t eat this while walking out the door to go back to my dorm, I might have had the whole pint. This stuff rocked. It tasted like straight up white chocolate. It’s made by a local company based in Newton, MA in small batches. This was pure decadence, and I love that the ingredients were just milk, cream, white chocolate, cranberries, and emulsifier.

I’m afraid that this semester has been a bit of a waste of money food-wise. I’m on the best food plan option which gives me more dining hall visits than I know what to do with, and honestly, I love buying and making my own food; it’s one of those things that makes me feel valuable and responsible. Despite that fear, we stopped at Whole Foods and Eastside Market on the way back.

November 8th 018

Groceries

I’m afraid that I’m going to get arrested, because at the prices I got some of this stuff for it was practically a steal. With sales and store coupon, the Oikos normally 2.19 was .25 and the chocolate bar usually 3.00 was 1.25. And a jar of ginger preserves was only 2.69! We thought it was a misprint since that’s cheaper than most of the store brand fruit jams, but it was correct.

I’m afraid to ask what happened Saturday night when I wasn’t in my room. My roommate left a note saying he had people over and someone dropped something that went behind my bed so they had to move a few things to get to it and tidy up after themselves. That’s all well and good, but, uhh, why was my comforter made on my bed upside down? Do I want to know?

November 8th 020

Pumpkin Bread With Ginger Spread, Nog Greek Yogurt, Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I’m afraid I’m a little confused what season it is between pumpkin bread and nog Greek yogurt. Is it Christmas yet? Or am I supposed to halt for Thanksgiving? And are we officially done with Halloween or can I bust a spooky s’mores out from time to time? Someone please clarify.

I’m afraid of losing the remarkable friends I made in high school. Thankfully, that doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon, because they were there for me when I needed to do some Facebook ranting about my next semester schedule which took a backwards turn after thing started looking too good to be true.

November 8th 021

Blue State Decaf

I’m afraid of spilling coffee grounds everywhere in my dorm room, so I went out for coffee. There was a heaping amount of cinnamon involved. I don’t actually get the change of flavor this supposedly has on coffee, but cinnamon’s supposedly good for us and it’s free so I went ahead and shaked liberally.

November 8th 023

Flamegrilled Vegan Gardenburger With TJ Ketchup, Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Tempeh Bacon

And I’m afraid of sharing how random my dinner was last night, but I’m a food blogger and I’d be an awful one to deprive you of this laugh. I was feeling quite lethargic(vocab word!) and decided rather than forcing a “real” dinner on myself to just eat what I could convince myself into. Last night, that was pumpkin oatmeal(a vegetable and a grain) with a gardenburger, tempeh bacon, and mighty maple(3 delicious and vegan sources of protein). See? It was well rounded in the end.

I’m afraid the people on my floor must have thought “Who is that nut blaring and belting Sugarland?”

 

November 8th 002

So Delicious Plain Soy Yogurt With Chai Dagoba Milk Chocolate And Ginger Preserves

 

I’m afraid that I give off the impression that all I eat is yogurt and chocolate. Except that’s probably the truth. They just work so well together in my opinion, how could you not love it? This new bar, even though it supposedly had chai and ginger in it, didn’t taste very special. Maybe I need to have it again.

I’m afraid to admit how little productivity got accomplished yesterday.

 

November 8th 005

Oikos With A Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

 

I’m afraid that my eats were a bit stress affected last night, because they sure were off. First I decided that this Oikos was taking up too much space in the fridge, so it needed to be eaten with a milk chocolate Newman’s Own Organic peanut butter cup.

 

November 8th 006

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Then I made myself this beauty but decided that I didn’t really want this and threw it out after two bites.   hate throwing anything out, but a began whole wheat cinnamon roll tops those charts, especially when it’s my last one. I just don’t know what got into me.

 

November 8th 009

Sweet Vermont Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

 

I’m afraid of running out of hard to find peanut butters, but that doesn’t stop me from eating them. The only store I know that sells this is Roche Bros. for an arm and a leg but it’s so good I’ll have to buy another when it’s gone.

I’m afraid Brothers And Sisters is going to get screwed by the Emmy’s like the best shows usually do. But last night convinced me yet again it’s one of the best dramas on TV. Please tell me someone else saw the head shaving seen with Kitty; that was just so moving.

I’m afraid of falling asleep in class today because I had horrible insomnia last night. Despite trying to go to bed at 11, I don’t think I fell asleep until 1. Sugar was probably to blame. I had a few TJ mini peanut butter cups at the end of Brothers And Sisters as well, and no oatmeal last night(besides dinner) to slow down those quick carbs.

 

November 8th 014

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

 

I’m afraid of depleting my bar stash because that means I need to buy more. I ate this around 12:45. I think the bready carbs are part of what helped me fall asleep.

 

November 8th 016

Clif Peanut Butter And Jelly Mojo Dipped

 

I’m afraid of having to go to the bathroom while running at the gym because I feel like getting off the treadmill makes everything less of an accomplishment. Thankfully, that didn’t happen today. In fact, I set a new distance PR of 14 miles in 1:55:22!! I truly felt I needed to have a kick-butt workout to sweat out anything negative even though I only had 5 hours of sleep. The Mojo above was eaten around mile 10.

I’m afraid people think I’m crazy for watching cartoon network at 7am. But I just could not care less about whatever’s on CNN, and I’m not going to slog on a treadmill for 2 hours watching something I have no interest in because it’s the adult thing to watch.

 

November 8th 019

Kashi Strawberry Flax Waffles With Strawberry Jam And Vanilla Almond Butter, Pumpkin Peanut Maple Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

 

I’m afraid I might have lost a pound or so after these past few weeks/month of higher mileage, so feel free to kick me in the butt if I’m slacking on my eats, k? You won’t find that this morning. The Kashi waffles had on it vanilla almond butter by Naturally Nutty and Wild Oats strawberry jam(great combo). I’m not a huge fan of this new brand soy yogurt I bought last week because it’s so thin and doesn’t have much of a funky flavor at all, but it thickened nicely with peanut flour and pumpkin, topped with maple syrup and chocolate chips.

I’m afraid of skipping classes, even though that’s supposedly “OK” in college. If I weren’t afraid, I’d probably stay in my dorm and work on my essays today, but I’ll probably wind up going to all 3.

I’m afraid that you’re going to win and not me if I mention this amazing contest at Chocolate Covered Katie for some serious foodie appliance lovin’

So tell me, what are you afraid of?

Disclaimer: This post was about 20% serious and 80% me having fun. Isn’t that the way life should be 😛

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A Crisp Autumn Day

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Sidenote* A good friend noted that my vegan pumpkin pumpkin butter brownies were not actually vegan as TJ pumpkin butter has honey in it. Thankfully, I wasn’t baking for any vegans, but take note of that if you plan on trying them. Otherwise, enjoy.

Today really is crisp! I don’t think we’ll hit 60 degrees 😦 But I’m talking about yesterday for now. Yesterday, it didn’t really look like running weather when I woke up. It looked like baking weather. I “prefueled” with a couple cups of decaf and made an awesome breakfast: Vegan Apple Crisp. I found a recipe I used to make great and simple apple crisp 2 years ago; I just swapped out the butter *shudder* for organic smart balance vegan butter spread *slightly-less-of-a-but-still-a-shudder*. I’m still not down with the butter thang. And it’s definitely not a health thing because even the “healthy alternative” gives me the willys. I think I should see a psychiatrist on this butter thing(that was sarcasm. I have better ways to spend 100 dollars in an hour). It came out beautifully.

November 1st 001

Vegan Apple Crisp

It has whole grains and fruit, so it was good enough for breakfast.

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

Vegan Apple Crisp, Peanut Butter Oikos With Milk Chocolate PB Cup

I needed candy to cure my Halloween hangover–you know how that goes. I loved having time to catch up with tivo and do some homework. I think the people on Top Chef were reacting a bit too strongly to having to cook for Natalie Portman, a vegetarian. Anyone remember on Top Chef Masters when they cooked vegan and gluten free? That was a challenge. I might have had some more of this,

November 1st 004

Vegan Apple Crisp

so that by 11 o’clock the pan looked like this

November 1st 008

Vegan Apple Crisp Pan

To my knowledge, I was the only one who had eaten this yet. Thank god I’m a runner, and don’t bake this every day 🙂 More specifically, I’m a runner who ran 10.05 miles in 1:20:53. It felt so nice and crisp out, but my stomach was a little full. Still that was a great pace for my neighborhood and I’m surprised I kept it up the whole way. I showered for lunch when we got back, and we had a very squashy meal.

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Baked Pumpkin

My mom baked a whole pumpkin along with the rest of the meal. It was fun to scoop but I was not a fan of the hard seeds and we all agreed it was very tart. Oh, Libby, teach us your ways of pumpkin! Even though there were 4 potatoes roasted, I opted for one cooked in the microwave. I love the chewier texture, it makes it feel not like baby food(which I already eat for every other meal of the day). Before leaving home for one epicly long trip back to Campus, I served myself a couple scoops of one of my favorite frozen yogurts.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Holy cow’s milk frozen yogurt is this stuff good. When you let it sit just to the point where it’s starting to melt and lick it, it tastes just like a frothy milkshake. I also like that it’s a bit richer because of a touch of cream but still has decent nutrition, and all natural pronounceable ingredients.

First on our stops was Target to look for Vanilla Cranberry peanut butter: no luck 😦 I didn’t even go in because I didn’t want to get distracted so I just had my dad check for me. After that we did the Whole Foods thang for a couple yogurts and some steak sauce. Across the way was Market Basket for some more yogurt and waffles. I really wanted chocolate vitatops but all they had were bluebran and banana nut. I was tempted to buy the banana nut just out of compulsion but resisted because I knew it wasn’t what I really wanted. There was a quickie snack in the car to ward of crankiness.

November 1st 015

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

This definitely helped get past the chocolate disappointment. But then I remembered that the Stop And Shop near campus had a very large selection of vitatops and actually sold them at a decent price. No place is better than Market Basket, but Stop And Shop certainly beats the other options near me. We swung by there and I found them 🙂 That Stop And Shop would be a great option for me to get food at cheaper more often; unfortunately it’d be about a 2 mile walk and through some rough parts of Providence 😦 I’d rather be safe and poor than save a few bucks only to get mugged. When we got back, I had plenty to put away, including all the new stuff we’d boughten.

Groceries

Groceries

Did I mention there’s a 2 dollars off 2 Oikos coupon on Facebook and Oikos at Market Basket is a dollar each? Aka, free Oikos. Score. Nothing else was free, or really on sale… At least I’ll be eating well 🙂 What was not well was finding mold in my apple butter!

November 1st 019

Moldy Apple Butter

Serves me right for eating this about once a month. How ironic, too, that I just picked up one yesterday to bake with and left it at home. I’ll grab it next weekend or something. I was going to spread it on this english muffin, but peanut butter just had to do.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

Who am I kidding? There was always going to be peanut butter; now there was just more of it. This held me over for catching up on The Office(I know, I know, I’m really behind). Thankfully, it also held me over through “dinner”. I met with my friend at The Ratty, which was good because we’d lost touch since Wednesday or so. What wasn’t good was any of the options on the lines. Rather than try to make a meal that wouldn’t have satisfied me, we just sat and talked while he ate. ‘Twas fun, but I was a bit more than ready to make something I’d eat when I got back to my dorm.

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

Flamegrilled Gardenburger, 2 Scrambled Eggs With Mushrooms And Light Cheese, Broccoli, TJ Ketchup

This was soooooooo worth waiting for. I’ve never understood why people put eggs and mushrooms together until I tried it; this was deliciously meaty yet savory, and the cheese made it feel rich. I love Trader Joe’s ketchup with just about anything savory. It’s not quite as sweet as it is vinegary so the flavor works a bit better I think. And as if I didn’t eat my fair share of veggies yesterday, a veggie burger surely helped. Meals like this make me think I really don’t need the dining hall and could probably eat just fine off a meal plan and for less money. Because there wasn’t enough funky flavor in my life, I made this for The Amazing Race.

November 1st 004

So Delicious Plain Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, And A Milk Chocolate Neman's PB Cup

 

Sorry, I’ll stop doing this combo when it stops being so good. That’s not happening anytime soon? Shucks. The list of ingredients in “plain” soy milk is kind of funnily long but it still has that beloved soy flavor, which goes really well with the sweetness of the peanut butter. I was slightly disappointed with last night; my plan for the weekend was to have all my homework done Saturday so I could work on the 3(yes, 3) essays for Greek History, but Greek the language was a time whore that required far too much of my attention. Maybe we should all be thankful to speak and understand the one language we learn as a baby? Yeah, good plan.

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Semisweet Baking Chips And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

 

I realized I hadn’t had oatmeal all day. What was wrong with me? Clearly, this bowl needed to be made in a jiffy. Butter I may not do, but Naturally Nutty’s Butter Toffee Peanut Butter is a clear exception. I have not seen this enough around the blogosphere and can’t help but wonder porque? If you’re nervous about making the step from a super market PB stalker to an online PB predator, it’s understandable, but take my word and just go for it! You won’t be disappointed. Don’t even make the mistake of ordering sampler jars on flavors that sound incredible like I did my first time because you’re only going to have to reorder that much sooner.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Oikos "Frosting"

One of the things grocery shopping has taught me is to know what to budget on and what can be your special splurge. Do I need that box of granola bars because it’s a different flavor than the one I have? No. And they’ll taste the same now as the day I have a coupon and they’re on sale. Somethings, on the other hand, make sense to treat yourself with, like these. They’re obviously wholesome and healthy(and vegan, too!), and they work out to be decently priced(1.10 a roll), so I don’t mind “splurging” on these from time to time. Brothers & Sisters was, as always, great last nice. I liked Balthazar Getty’s appearance but it looks like he’s going as quick as he came back.

I had set my alarm for 7, then brought it back to 6:40 because of the extra hour. I actually woke up before that and didn’t need it. It was light out, too, so I wasn’t fumbling to make coffee in the dark–oh joy! I had a ghoulish snack.

November 1st 013

Trader Joe's Ghoulie Gummies

I completely forgot about these for Halloween! They still tasted as good. Just a warning to anyone thinking of picking them up: They are all-natural but they aren’t vegetarian because they use animal gelatin. First I was thinking 8 for this morning, but then that turned to 10, and then 12. I can’t say I know quite how that happened because they were definitely not an easy 12, but I felt determined and wasn’t about. I think that run had me wanting sugar when I got back, because for breakfast I used a good amount of it in my favorite form.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup, Oikos With Maple Syrup And Crunchy Maple Sunrise Cereal

Maple! I’m thinking I should ask my grandparents for some high-quality maple syrup for Christmas or Thanksgiving. They’re from middle-of-no-where, NH so they probably have a neighbor who makes his own or something. My grandpa was once on PBS for being a lumberjack for over 40 years 🙂 Right now the one I’m using is from the Dedham Whole Foods but it won’t be around for long! I love the new Nature’s Path Organic maple cereal, which I still need to review. I think it comes out this month so keep an eye out for it!

Speaking of Nature’s Path… Nature’s Path Giveaway!

 

 

Chobani Giveaway! Over at Abby Has Issues

Who doesn’t want some hot chocolate in their life for the cold season? Check out this giveaway.

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Take Your Time

Posted on October 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday was great, not for any other reason than I had time. Yes, it seems like something so simple. But think of the origin of stress in your life and I bet 80% of it would be solved if their wasn’t an ever present time crunch over our heads. It’s a vicious cycle, mostly because we all want time but put pressure on each other. So I ask you today, if you’re in the leadership position, to tell someone to take their time. Or if they say “I just didn’t have time”, rather than roll your eyes, tell them you understand, because I bet you do. All it takes is a few outliers to break the cycle and get the motion rolling in the opposite direction.

After Mid-breakfast, I left my dorm  little early to give myself time to get coffee and make it to class a little early(normally both do not happen). I think I managed a few odd looks walking around with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon; people need to read more blogs. When I got out, I was nice and full from my oats; this gave me the time to go back to my room, read a little(blogs, not books ;-)), and let the rush at the dining hall die down. Eventually I went and got some food, and then came back and took the time to make a quintessential Evan lunch.

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Sauteed Spinach, Steak Sauce

Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Sauteed Spinach, Steak Sauce

There’ something really great about sitting down to a meal where you know all the flavors and you know you’re going to love them. Unfortunately, this meal reminded me how low I am on 365 steak sauce; add that to the weekend grocery list. I took my time eating this to the tune of Days Of Our Lives. When Rachael Ray came on, I asked myself what I really wanted to do for the day. Well that was obvious–go grocery shopping, of course. But did I have time? I just told myself “You have time because you’re going to make time” and headed out. I was working with an October food budget of .92 cents…. Yeah–not going to happen. Just because I wasn’t going to stick to it didn’t mean I would go nuts; I decided to dip into November but only buy what was on sale, I had coupons for, or I really wanted.

Groceries

Groceries

Mission greatly accomplished. I got everything you see above plus an acorn squash(who apparently missed the photo opp or is blending in with the background so well I can’t even see him) for 3.54. Impressive, right? My momma didn’t raise no fool. The Oikos, Stonyfield, and Lightlife tempeh all fell under coupons. The soy yogurt was a sale item; normally I would have gotten plain but they didn’t have any and the sweetened form only has about 5g more sugar anyway. And the pumpkin, Z-bar, and acorn squash all fell under the “I’m going to be kicking myself in 2 hours if I don’t buy these” category. Since I dont plan on winding up at a grocery store today, I think I did reasonably well for October. Of course, I made a snack within minutes of entering the door.

Oikos Parfait With Mini PB Cups And Vanilla Sugar

Oikos Parfait With Mini PB Cups And Vanilla Sugar

How funny that I had this right after thinking to myself “Why is it that I’m always buying yogurt at the grocery store?” This was such a sweet treat. Maybe it was the hefty does of vanilla stevia I put in… I love the Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups; I cut each one in half so they were all crumbly and it reminded me of getting a Reeses mix-in at Coldstone. More yogurt like this to come? I think so. I took the time to work on my email stuff, and then set aside the time for homework; I think setting them aside rather than rush at everything at once, as tempting as it is, really cuts the stress. And when you really want to save time, what’s better than prepackaged oats?

Kashi Vanilla Creamy Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Kashi Vanilla Creamy Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

I love the combo of vanilla on vanilla; what can I say, I’m just a vanilla(bean) kind of guy 😉 I’ll spare you the gory details of the time I spent studying for my history midterm, and skip ahead to dinner. I told who I was going to have dinner with earlier that I would be too busy studying to eat at the cafeteria. It probably would have saved me time to just go to The Ratty, pick up a plate of food, and walk back to my dorm with it. But sometimes we need to make time to do the things we love, and I love making my own food. I was feeling a BBQ mood so I went for a real western meal.

BBQ Tempeh, Acorn Squash, TJ Mac N' Cheese, Zevia Cola

BBQ Tempeh, Acorn Squash, TJ Mac N' Cheese, Zevia Cola

Yeehaw! What a fun meal this was. It was my first time trying this Lightlife tempeh; you can read my review or get a sense of how it was by me being happy I still have 1/2 the package left for another meal 🙂 The acorn squash was fun to prepare and delicious to eat; I cut it, scooped out the center, and microwaved this 1/2 for 4 minutes. I love how this squash tastes a little buttery without actually needing butter(I don’t eat butter. I know it’s all-natural and certainly has simple ingredients but I just don’t touch the stuff. It’s not a diet or health thing, it just gives me the willies.). And of course any BBQ needs soda and a mac n’ cheese dish to round it out. Now if only BBQ’s had natural diet soda and whole grain pasta more often…

I swear I do study sometimes. Like all through Survivor, for instance. I know I must have been focused on something other than the show because I wasn’t sure who to expect being voted off at the end. I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard this from my dad: “I had my oatmeal in my maple almond jar today.  The jar was good for oatmeal but that almond butter just clumps.” We’ve infected the general population.

October 28th 003

Carrot Ginger Muffintop With Smart Balance And Chocolate Chips

I think I’m getting back on my muffin top obsession, which means muffin bottom yogurt to come. Also, my Smart Balance obsession hasn’t left, just switched jars. I’ve gone from agave sweetened to molasses sweetened; it was hard to tell how “funky” the flavor here was because the chocolate chips also sweetened it. Clearly I’m not too concerned with the GI load of agave vs molasses if I’m throwing chocolate on top… Grey’s Anatomy was as good as ever last night; did you know that surgery of Dr. Sheppard’s was based on a real medical surgery that was deemed as equally impossible? It’s great seeing art imitate life.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pepita Sun Butter And Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pepita Sun Butter And Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I couldn’t decide what to do with my last whole wheat cinnamon roll so I let it go both ways(TWSS). I find adding a bit of real vanilla sugar to the stevia, cream cheese, Oikos mix gives it a purer flavor. And that pepita sun butter is plenty vanilled-up already. One last snack rounded out the night:

Chocolate Br

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

When I buy something at regular price “because I really want it”, I need to eat it the same day, right?

This morning I gave myself time by setting the alarm a little earlier for my long run. I’d been having trouble with pace and this morning I finally settled it; I just accepted that while my outside pace is 7.5mph my treadmill pace is more 7mph and to push it everyday is just not the way to go. I let myself go at my new pace and just kind of enjoyed the morning, watching the crazy costumes on the Today show. I did 12 miles in 1:43:18, which was actually my first time ever running between 10 and 13.1 miles.

Banana Goodness Bread Toast With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Vanilla Oikos With Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate And Dried Cherries

Banana Goodness Bread Toast With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter, Vanilla Oikos With Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate And Dried Cherries

Clearly, I took all that time and put it into making this breakfast, and it was well worth it. I just looooove dark chocolate and cherry. How could you not? I also like cutting up a square of chocolate so that it gets unequal and crumbly and looks really “professional”. I’m not sure how big a fan of the toasted banana bread I am; somethings are just meant to be soft and mushy.

Today has so much excitement. It’s Cookie Friday! I’ve got some ideas, but we’ll have to see how the day plays out. It’s also the day before Halloween, so I’m going to all 3 of my classes in full costume. You’ll have to wait and see what that it 😉 And I have a history midterm! That one’s… not so exciting.

Sodastream giveaway! I might no drink the soda but I would looooove those flavor essences–it’s been so long since I’ve had seltzer why is that?

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Messy Monday

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

Sometimes, Fall in New England can be kind of nice.

On Campus

But first, some loose ends…

Thank you to all my readers; yesterday finally broke the record set by the day my refrigerator was featured on Carrots N’ Cake as the most trafficked day yet. You guys all rock(and clearly have nothing better to do on a Monday than read blogs :-D)

Banana Goodness Bread has been updated to reflect the change I tried this weekend whereby I used a container of Vanilla Oikos for the yogurt.

In regards to some questions, all the products featured on this blog are all-natural unless I make a point otherwise. “All-natural” means no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, or ingredients. I think the last thing I ate that didn’t fit this was the frosting on the vegan cupcake from vegan friday, though I didn’t turn purple so I think all is well 😉

I have, under my bed,

23 peanut butter jars(currently including 2 mighty maples and 2 smart balances)

7 almond butter jars plus 2 barney butter packets

1 pepita butter

3 sunflower butters

1 cashew butter

1 chocolate hazelnut butter

and 1 jar of vegan fluff

And I’m always looking for more in my collections so if you have something all-natural you want me to review send it my way 🙂

Okay, back to yesterday morning, I felt like a drain; I could not get enough water in me. After I got tired of water, I took a walk to the mail room, which happens to sell organic decaf coffee. They also happened to have this for me:

Goji Gourmet Cookies

Goji Gourmet Cookies

The amazing bakers over at Goji Gourmet sent me these cookies to try(the fact that I said amazing bakers should probably clue you in these didn’t stay unopened for long). Their cookies are infused with superfoods like the goji berry, packing an antioxidant punch with some fun flavors like almond oat, ginger walnut, cherry cacao, and orange mintchip. They’re all natural, mostly organic, and without refined ingredients. A more perfect food for me? I think not. I kept these in my bag through Latin class, then went to the Ratty to pick up broccoli and back to my dorm to make lunch:

Black Lentils And Beets In Snobby Sauce, Broccoli Spears, Clifi Fruit And Nut Mojo Dipped

Black Beluga Lentils And Beets In Snobby Sauce, Broccoli Spears, Clif Fruit And Nut Mojo Dipped

More good news: The “flame grilled veggie burgers” my cafeteria serves some days are Gardenburger variety, aka my favorite frozen veggie burger and the ones I’ve thus far been paying for. Well, that was awesome to know, but I wanted to use up my Trader Joe’s lentils before they went bad(do lentils even go bad?) so I stuck with them. I think any dish that is 1/4th composed of sauce is an automatic winner. I also love when the dining hall serves broccoli rather than me making it from the salad bar because the spears are huge.

That Clif bar had my name all over it, so I didn’t hesitate giving it a go. The flavor was right, but the bar threw me for a loop. You wouldn’t have guessed there were many fruit or nuts from the looks of it. The vanilla coating really saved it though; I’ll go for anything vanilla. I ate this mid-history class and I have to say that the more he talks about the midterm the more I feel prepared for it. That’s a good sign, right?

When I got back to my dorm I had hopes of plopping on the bed and shamelessly lounging around. Unfortunately, my roommate was taking an afternoon nap(who does this?) and I’m too prideful to be lazy in the company of others. Instead, I think I woke him up by making oats that I was dreaming about during epic poetry:

Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter, Cherry Butter, And Goji Gourmet Cherry Cacao Cookies

Oatmeal With Chocolate Sunflower Butter, Cherry Butter, And Goji Gourmet Cherry Cacao Cookies

Chocolate cherry is one of my favorite flavor combo’s, so I knew this would be the bag with the first broken seal. But I’d be lying to you if I said I ate it like that.

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Mess

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Mess

Much better. And then, to eat. Holy chocolate cherry cow was this good! First of all, the cookies were amazing. Take note, ye who are blood obligated to get me a Christmas present: I want these in my stocking. The cherry essence was infused in the chocolate, and the cacao nibs were wowza! Besides that, the chocolate sunflower butter and cherry butter really complimented each other, though I might have to spring for the tried and true dried cherries next time I’m at Whole Foods. I didn’t think this bowl would tame this ravenous beast for the afternoon, but surprisingly I was set until dinner. I had wanted to go to the farmers’ market to get acorn squash but my legs and wallet decided homework would be a better way to spend the afternoon, and I obliged. By dinner time, I was ready to load my plate:

Salmon, Sweet Potato, Green Beans, Steamed Vegetables, Vegan Chili

Salmon, Sweet Potato Green Beans, Steamed Vegetables, Vegan Chili

That was the last of the leftover salmon from Sunday’s lunch :,-( Getting 3 meals out of 1 is never bad, though. There was also an all-star line up of veggies being offered, so I went at those. The vegan chili they serve is very good here. But i really had “corn niblets” so I tried to just eat the beans around them–if it ain’t on a cob, it ain’t good corn. This had me feeling nice and bloated stuffed, which is good concentrating for homework blog reading.

Did anybody else find Heroes a bit… hmm, what’s the word… horny for Monday night television? I do not know what was with that opening scene. I don’t particularly think of that kind of stuff when I go to watch Heroes. Blood and explosions is more what I’m looking for. After that I made a pretty racy snack:

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Chips And Grain Sweetened Baking Chips

Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Chips And Grain Sweetened Baking Chips

I don’t know why my bowl decided to be so segregated; it’s a bit depressing looking back. When I made it into a mess(unpictured), at least the peanut butter seemed to be accepted by both sides :-/ My Smart Balance is running so low. I’m going to have not one but two oats in a jar in my future 🙂 I made word documents for the 3 history essays I have; I don’t know why, but making documents always feels like a huge step even if… it’s not.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Roll With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Have I made you salivate with these yet? That’s really cruel of me, considering I don’t think it’s possible to get outside of CA or MA. These whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls from the bakery are to die for; if you find anything like it in your neck of the woods, go for it! For the “frosting” I did probably 2 parts cream cheese to 1 part greek yogurt. This made it creamy but also smooth and spreadable like real frosting. I also used 4 drops vanilla stevia to sweeten it just the right amount.

I fell asleep to Man Vs. Wild last night, so that was clearly a good sign I’d be beastly for the morning, right? I slept in until 7:10. a) When did that become sleeping in and b) God that felt good. I decided to pump up the pace today and ran 8 miles at 7.5 pace in 64:22. I find when you’re running fast just don’t look at the treadmill distance and go go go. I caught up with my gym friend for the last few miles; she was in Florida 2 weeks ago and it was 93 degrees! Boy was I jealous to hear that.

Vanilla Bean Voskos Organic Yogurt, Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal, Sunland All Natural Valencia Peanut Butter

Vanilla Bean Voskos Organic Yogurt, Nature's Path Organic Hot Oatmeal, Sunland All Natural Valencia Peanut Butter

Breakfast today is literally all products for reviewing. I won’t say much about it now, because I like to give it a bit more time and thought than my hectic mind has right now(Greek class in 30 minutes!). I will say that the oatmeal smells appley, the peanut butter peanuty, and the yogurt doesn’t smell at all, so that’s all good signs! I hope today stays nice because I get out at 12 and hope to make a great Whole Foods trip! At the very least, I need some bulk bin oats; I have a new bag of Trader Joe oat bran but my organic steel cuts are on their last leg. More tempehtations and dried cherries might also be in my future.

Eating Bird Food is hosting a eggcellent giveaway from Cookware.com for Rachael Ray Cookware! Giveaway ends 10/30!

Enter the contest at  this blog to win some awesome Clif Kid prizes(because we’re all kids at heart!)

There’s some great Oikos action going on on Facebook!

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Caffeine Hangover

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Alright, folks. I have a midterm in 2 hours so let’s make this snappy(jk, I write most of this the night before anyway ;-))

Yesterday felt like one big caffeine hangover after Wednesday’s amazing night. The sad thing was I didn’t even have any caffeine besides what was in the food itself; I’m such a light-weight. Being at home yesterday turned out not to be such an inconvenience. My dog had a doctor’s appointment halfway towards Brown so I ended up just hitching a ride that way. I would have preferred if it wasn’t so damn early that I had to run, shower, eat, and blog within a couple of hours, but I made do.

Montana

Montana

I would like to say he was big and brave, but he’s totally a wimp. He was shaking the moment he knew where he was, and all they were doing was following up on an ear infection. He has a lot of infections/allergies. He’s also grumpy a lot and likes to sit on the couch near the TV. Hmm, maybe that thing they say about owners and dogs is true. I ended up getting back to campus exactly at the time I would have got out of class had I had it. I swung by The Ratty because I was starving, and put away all my loot from the night before as I ate:

2 Eggs With Ketchup And Steak Sauce, Black Bean CousCous Salad, Zuchinni, Brocoli

2 Eggs With Ketchup And Steak Sauce, Black Bean CousCous Salad, Zuchinni, Brocoli

Did you know eggs scrambled in a bowl and microwaved for a few minutes will cook and fluff? I didn’t know that, but I’m glad they do, because I really wanted something savory for the steak sauce to go on and I was out of vegan burgers(from vegan burgers to eggs. How ironic…). I am loving Trader Joe brand ketchup. It’s a lot less sweet and a lot more vinegary than other brands I’ve had. This is a highly recommended TJ product if you have one near you.

All that party-hardying made me very behind on google reader, but I had(somewhat) caught up by 3pm. Isn’t that a great feeling? Not when you haven’t studied, but otherwise yet. For once, I actually felt like going to Whole Foods was a chore. I tried to convince myself I had enough food, but surprisingly opening and closing the fridge 3 times doesn’t make bread appear. I grabbed a snack and hit the road.

Multibran Vitatop With Mighty Maple

Multibran Vitatop With Mighty Maple

Dear, Miss Everythingtarian

Please stop making so many tasty dishes using Mighty Maple. It’s making me crave it at an alarming rate and run through my jar. Otherwise, I might have to stop reading your hilarious blog. It’s not me you, it’s you me.

Anyway, it was a great day for a walk in N.E. The weather was sooo good yesterday, it felt like Spring! I walked around Whole Foods a lot(as usual) but did major self editing at the check out and walked out with the “bare essentials”:

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls, Plain Oikos

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls, Plain Oikos

I’m not going to lie. It definitely hurt putting back other things like my Gardenburgers, Sweet Scoops frozen yogurt, and the non-existent salmon from the salad bar. On the other hand, I knew I had 15 dollars after this to make last for the rest of October before I start digging into. I resisted the urge to call anyone to rant/tantrum, and just admired my new shopping bag:

Oikos Grocery Bag

Oikos Grocery Bag

Isn’t it nifty? I like it a lot more than the Stonyfield one because it’s more my color, fabric, and yogurt. I also love the new designs for the Oikos containers, but sadly they only had those out for the 5.3oz ones. I tried getting back quickly so that I could make a quick snack because I was stahhving and–hopefully–study. The latter didn’t happen but boy was the former a success!

Fluffernutter Oats With Banana Peanut Butter

Fluffernutter Oats With Banana Peanut Butter

I decided to test out my new Banana Peanut Butter sent to me by Sunland. By test, I really mean I threw this one to the lions; fluffernutter oats have a huge place in my heart and this peanut butter needed to fill some big shoes. Right when I opened the jar I noticed 2 promising things: it smelled like fresh sliced banana bread with peanut butter slathered on it and it was thick and smooth like PB&Co. That was all promising and a good indication for the peanut butter itself. It didn’t melt quite like I was hoping/expecting, but the flavor was spot on. It reminded me of having a sandwich on Wonder Bread in kindergarten. If any nut butter can do that over whole grains, it’s a winner in my book.

These oats were good, but not filling. That was out of the ordinary, but thankfully dinner was right around the corner and I could wait for this:

Snap Peas, Tofu With Mustard, Sweet Potato, Carrot Soup

Snap Peas, Tofu With Mustard, Sweet Potato, Carrot Ginger Soup

I wish I could say this was as good as it should have been but it never all clicked. The snap peas were at least not overcooked and had some snap. The sweet potatoes were good(duh!) but I’m actually developing a taste for them microwaved. The tofu was… tofu. But a little TJ mustard(yes, I packed my own mustard) perked it up. i didn’t even finish the soup; it seemed promising with carrot, ginger, and honey, but it never all clicked.

When I got back to my dorm, simply doing internet stuff took almost 2 hours. My computer was running sooo slow. I had to grab this while I was waiting for an update:

Zevia Cola

Zevia Cola

I didn’t quite realize why I was craving it for a while, until I noticed 45mg caffeine on the ingredient list. That couldn’t be too much, right? Well it’s the amount in a light roast regular cup of coffee. Yikes. My remedy for this was to gulp it, of course, because then the caffeine would enter my system early. Wtf? Bad judgement call here. We live and we learn–ain’t that the truth. I also watched Modern Family and Survivor. How hilarious was this weeks Modern Family? Not many shows make me laugh like that one did. I am definitely going to need to illegally download buy this season when it comes out. Speaking of Miss Mighty Maple Addict

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

You know I could never stop reading that blog and am full of hot air; I’d miss out on killerness like this. It’s such a smooth and sweet texture play, it’s ridiculous! I’m almost out of my favorite oatbran(toasted Trader Joe’s) so this was straight up steel cut. Normally, I’m not a fan because of the coarseness, but the pumpkin softened that. Grey’s Anatomy was… interesting? last night. I liked that they switch up the format of the show to make it different; but I don’t know that that way really worked. I’ll be watching The Office and 30 Rock over the weekend at some point to make up. I also might have snuck one of these into bed with me:

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Creamy Vanilla Frosting And Vanilla Sugar

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Creamy Vanilla Frosting And Vanilla Sugar

Holy Hannah was that good; now I understand why I consider these an “essential”. For the frosting I did 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 tablespoon plain 2% Voskos, and a little NuNaturals vanilla stevia. I wasn’t sure if cream cheese and yogurt together would work, but that was a big fat yes. It was smooth and creamy and held it’s consistency but was still soft; could you ask for something more?

One of the things I think is best for tests is sleep so I went to bed a little earlier than normal and got a real good nights sleep. My right foot did not feel up to par this morning, but I wanted to run anyway. Why am I so stubborn? I think it’s a familial trait. I waddled through 10 miles in 85:14. All that time gave me time to think and realize the reason I was sore was because I completely forgot to stretch anything yesterday–lesson learnt. I had a muffin planned for breakfast, but banana on the brains caused me to come up with this:

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

I love how creamy properly mushed banana makes oatmeal; it’s a great substitution for when pumpkin isn’t the right flavor. And the banana peanut butter is definitely growing on me, in case you can’t tell. That was just one big banana nut mess! But do you notice anything missing from my breakfast this morning? Whole Grains? No. Probiotics? Nope. Nut Butter? Big nope. Animal products–yes! I’ve decided that, in honor of Lightlife and Tempehtations, I’m going to take it upon myself to eat vegan for today. I actually had this planned for Wednesday but that all changed when I got invited to the dinner(there was no vegan dishes there so it would have been a huge fail). I’m very excited to try this out; it’s not something I’ll pick up permanently but I feel like it will be a fun adventure–wish me luck!

P.S. Nature’s path giveaway! They have great vegan and gluten free cereals and granolas so be sure to enter this one.

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