A Night At The Museum

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

I like to think I’m not stereotypical “meat and potatoes”, but…

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

My lunch yesterday comprised of meat and potatoes might argue differently. I did not realize what a great flavor paprika was for a smokiness! This whole dish was herby goodness. And it felt good to refuel after my slowish 10 mile-run.

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

We did our grocery shopping in the afternoon; beforehand, I grabbed some things from Whole Food and made it snack time.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I had a major craving for the real deal root beer, so I gave Virgil’s Root Beer a try because it was among the cheaper varieties and I remembered Mama Pea toting Papa Pea’s love for it here. ‘Twas alright; I don’t think I picked up all the subtle flavors listed as ingredients but it was a fun change of pace.

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Back home I made a quickie-early dinner with a stick of Next Generation Dairy Raw Probiotic Mozarella and part of a can of chickpeas, all over spinach dressed in Foods Alive‘s Sweet & Sassy. Yum! for a sweet dessert, there was an Artisana Almond Butter sample eaten with a spoon. I swear it tasted like marzipan, it was that good.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline

Last night, I had a reunion of sorts held in the Museum Of Science’s skyline suite. Love that dirty water, Boston you’re my home.

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

I honestly had no faith in the food that’d be there so I was packing tofu and larabars, but I was pleasantly surprised to see loads of vegetables and wild salmon. I actually only had about 2 bites of the salmon–wasn’t in the mood–but grabbed a 2nd, equal-sized plates of vegetables and put those away too. I definitely run on plant power.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

Dessert after a show was a Newman’s Own Organicssuper dark chocolate bar, and then a little bulk baker’s chocolate at home… times two… plus baby carrots. Have I mentioned I’m an insomniac every Saturday night?! That’s turning in to a frustrating habit…

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Why is Fage so good?! It’s also the most expensive Greek yogurt brand around here, but it’s been on sale, and magically delicious. Take that, Lucky Charms.

What do you buy in bulk? Working with a 3-foot fridge and a tiny room, it was hard to buy anything in bulk all year long. Since coming home, I’ve started buying 5 pound bags of organic potatoes. And now I’ve done the math and discovered that if you buy the gourmet baking chocolate by the pound from Whole Foods, it’s cheaper than buying chocolate bars, so I’m sure I’ll be taking advantage of that from now one.

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The Fastest My Heart Has Ever Beat

Posted on May 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m pretty much the textbook runner in a medical sense: low weight, low resting heart rate, low blood pressure, etc. Even when I “run”(more like jog), I’m not pushing it too hard to strain myself. But last night–well, first there was oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Because warm carbs and Mighty Maple are a good way to start any time. So what made my heart beat so fast? Well, if you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure I annoyed you with my constant updating of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. It was a good one. I’ve got it on Tivo and might watch it again. This was pretty much me the entire time:

Nervous

Nervous

And I was SO relieved at the end when they didn’t kill off anyone worth it. In the 2nd half, I’d say I needed this dark chocolate to pull through some of the scary moments.

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

Alter Eco And Trader Joe's Chocolate

That would be 10 squares Dark Chocolate Mint by Alter Eco, which is amazing, and 8 squares of Trader Joe’s knock-off chocolate which is “meh”. Dear Trader Joe, please stop making borderline infringing products that aren’t even as good. Like your milk chocolate peanut butter eggs that had hardly any peanut butter? Yeah, don’t do that again.

Well I made it through Grey’s, and got to bed eventually(which wasn’t easy). For the record, as ridiculous as I’m sure I appeared to everyone else around here, my dad walked into the room at 9:30, saw one shooting, and said he couldn’t handle it. So at least I watched it.

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

Maple Salmon, Soy Sauce Broccoli, Antipasto Bar Selection

BBQ Popchips

BBQ Popchips

Breakfast was, well, not. Oatmeal and yogurt weren’t on the top of my list so I decided to have “a real meal”. It might have all been an excuse to eat Barbeque popchips. Maybe. And now I feel like I’m missing that sweetness of breakfast. Boo 😦 Breakfast for lunch? That could be on the menu to make up for it.

What television shows do you get invested in? Do we have time to list all of mine? Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Big Brother, just to name a few.

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So Good I Could Cry

Posted on May 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

What a wonderful response to my freshmen review this morning.

But that’s not what my title is referring to. It’s referring mostly to this:

Sushi And Fudge

Sushi And Fudge

Sushi and fudge on a Wednesday for lunch. I think a tear just went into my wasabi(I’m joking, of course; I hate wasabi). I picked out this sushi at Whole Foods the other day and ended up not wanting it for dinner. I love when the Genji people make a custom order just for me 🙂 I’ve been craving raw salmon for too long; I’m surprised I didn’t end up curled in a ball in the corner clutching a can of salmon. This hit the perfect spot.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

And what’s more extravagant than fudge? My refrigerator will never be without fudge again, methinks.

Starbucks Extra Bold Decaf

Starbucks Extra Bold Decaf

And this! Oh my, words cannot express my enjoyment. You see, when we went to the auction a few weeks ago, my parents won more Starbucks coffee than you can dream of in a raffle. I’ve been weening off of it, moving to teccino, iced tea, or just water. But today I held nothing back. Absolutely dreamy.

Green Beans

Green Beans

My hunger was still up even without running so I noshed on sting beans while doing some reflecting. You see, even though I haven’t ran the past 2 days, today felt like my first true “rest” day in too long. Without schoolwork and with crappy weather, I gave myself full license to do nothing. If I had on a pedometer, it’d read about an 8. And that gave me time to dream up things like oatmeal. Dreamy, creamy oatmeal…

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

  • Oats
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Molasses

Oh, hello; this was a recreation of one of my favorite granolas and it did not disappoint. I forgot what a sweet and distinctive flavor molasses has.

Gluten-Free Biscuits

Gluten-Free Biscuits

OK, I did do a little work today. I whipped out the food processor and got baking. I blame this post which had me craving KFC biscuits–sweet, flaky, butter biscuits. I used this recipe and followed it to a T, but since I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, I kept them square and made 8.

Protein Hummus

Protein Hummus

I also whipped up some Mama Pea inspired protein hummus. Just chickpeas, tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and lemon juice. So simple!

Hummus Salad With Raw Veggies And Hummus Chips

Hummus Salad With Raw Veggies And Hummus Chips

Gluten-Free Biscuit

Gluten-Free Biscuit

Dinner was a simple hummus salad with raw veggies and hummus chips. On the side, of coarse, was a fresh biscuit patted with earth balance. Did I die and go to carb heaven tonight? I wish I had a marathon to eat for tomorrow; I don’t, but I’ll happily eat like I do. After this, I threw another one in the microwave and ate that, too. Who can resist biscuits when they’re fresh?

Did you ever love KFC? I remember eating there 1 a week in my childhood. Probably not the best habit, huh? My favorite thing on their menu was their thick cut, seasoned fries, and then their biscuits were a close second. And their mac n’ cheese–Yum! I actually didn’t care so much for the chicken thinking back.

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It’s Time To Get New Pants

Posted on May 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I noticed a funny thing yesterday. My jeans which have always been a bit big are starting to fit better, and the ones that have traditionally fit well seem a bit tight and uncomfortable. Being a guy, my first two thoughts were a) I’ve been shrinking everything in the laundry or b) someone else had them be altered to mess with me. That’s when option c hit me.

It might actually be me who’s growing out of them

My gut response was the typical “healthy living blogger” way of seeing it: I’ll eat out a little less, cut down on the sugars, and things will go back to the way they were. And then I thought about it. What if I didn’t adjust to fit the pants; what if the pants adjusted to fit me?

EVOO Seared Sweet Potato And Chickpeas

EVOO Seared Sweet Potato And Chickpeas

I’m still healthy and eating my superfoods.

Rehydrating

Rehydrating

I’m running faster and further than ever before.

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

And I’m enjoying eating out including brunch at fantastic new places.

In short, why would I want to change any of this? I love this! Underneath clothes, we’re all naked; what does it matter what size they are? Be healthy, but be happy. And if happy leads you to a shopping spree at that incredible French clothing store, Targe, with a buttload of gift cards to get jeans from the 75% off rack, so be it.

Who else is willing to throw out the old and put on the new with me?

Whole Foods' Salad Bar Food

Whole Foods' Salad Bar Food

Not only did I go to Whole Foods last night, I ate out, too. This was my last dinner of Providence, so I was prepared to make it a good one even if I had the ingredients for something much more humble back at my room. I got from the salad bar roasted carrots, potatoes, and onions with paprika, avocado rubbed kale, and golden sesame tofu. All delicious. All making me grow out of my pants. All good.

They didn’t have the coconut almond chip coconut milk ice cream I went all the way to get. Bummer, right? I was pretty let down. That’s when I made a plan and got the regular coconut ice cream and add Tierra Farm‘s almonds.

Coconut Ice Cream With Almonds

Coconut Ice Cream With Almonds

I really liked the bare coconut flavor. This ice cream had just 6 ingredients and 11g of sugar per serving–unreal! It was a little chewy even because of the coconut flakes. It was definitely a good ice cream for anyone who likes to add their own mix-ins.

Aztec Crunch Lulu's Bar And Cashew Butter

Aztec Crunch Lulu's Bar And Cashew Butter

I never got hungry for oatmeal, but I did still want the nut butter and I can always go for chocolate. I was worried whether I’d like Aztec Crunch because I’m not a fan of raw cacao nibs(part of the crunch). But this really blew me away. It was raw, but not bitter. It definitely had a solid crunch. One of the ingredients is said to have magical soothing powers; I’m not sure if it was the chocolate or the ingredient but I was definitely soothed.

Of course, the other side to new pants is the completely metaphorical side: fitting your surroundings to fit how you want to be. As much as I love oatmeal, I’m willing to toss it by the landside if I’m craving something else. And this morning, I had a huge white potato craving.

Maple Salmon, White Potato Home Fries

Maple Salmon, White Potato Home Fries

Home Fries

Home Fries

Home fries, anyone? I think I’m still getting past the shock and awe that I made these and not some restaurant, because they’re so delicious. It was just 1 1/2 white potatoes tossed in a pan for a while with some red onion in EVOO. It would be great with sage or rosemary but I didn’t have any. To make this more of a meal and less of a breakfast, I added flaked salmon with maple syrup and sea salt. Definitely not as good as the home fries; but that’s where the extra maple syrup comes in handy.

And how about this for new pants: I’m moving out tonight =-O

If the pants do not fit, you must acquit

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Can I Petition A Petition?

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Saturday! I for one am more than happy to be closer to Summer and living at home with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Have you all seen this petition yet? Basically, it’s a petition for Obama and his family to become vegans for their influence. Uhhh, what?! I fully support those who are vegans, or vegetarians. But how on earth could anyone want to dictate how another person eats? Especially when some of those are just little girls?

If I posted this when I first heard about it, I’d have some not-so-choice words, but I think by now my minds mulled it over to speak better of it. If anything, we should be preaching tolerance–tolerance of those who have a different way of thinking or path in life. This petition shows no more tolerance than the intolerance you could find against vegetarianism in a Southern cattle farm community. More importantly, you can eat ethically and aware without being a vegan, which is part of what Michelle Obama has already done through her time in the White House. What do you think of this petition? Besides that it’s going nowhere, I think it’s a little rude. And–as always–I’m on a mission to show you can eat well and ethically without devoting yourself to any label.

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I had this little bowl of Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter and a scoop more before hitting the gym. What is it about almond butter that makes me just want to eat out of the jar?! It’s so delicious! Especially with a little vanilla. I felt extra fueled after that.

10 Miles In 88:59

10 Miles In 88:59

Fueled enough to runner a faster 10 miles as the last training run before my half-marathon. That feels weird to even think about. Enough, enough. Lunch!

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Motivated by Kath, I’ve been getting in to canned salmon for extra omega-3’s without much fuss. I mixed mine with maple syrup and walnut oil for something packed with even more essential fats and tasty! Over the top was Tierra Farm‘s dried fruit and baby carrots, with salad dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing.

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

An organic apple for dessert!

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

On my way back from my grocery trip, I picked up a trilogy kombucha at a cafe because I felt a little down about the whole trip :-/ A lot of it was on the store’s sale, which was good. But I probably could have saved more in coupons if I was better organized. At least I didn’t blow the project cleanout challenge too much. And you can’t say I don’t eat what I buy:

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Isn’t it dreamy? My whole point in going was to get some whipped cream to make a sundae. They didn’t even have regular–just non-fat sugar-free or Rice Whip, which is dairy and soy-free. The latter seemed less processed, so I went with that and made a sundae with So Delicious chocolate coconut milk ice cream. The fudge sauce was simply cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed together. Voila! OK–the Rice Whip tasted REALLY fake; if you’ve ever had rice milk, just imagine that in an airier form. Besides that, this Friday sundae was delicious and a perfect before-dinner treat 🙂

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

If Obama wants to eat his beef and have his vegan cheese, too, I fully support that! I made a 1/3 a pounder hamburger but undercooked it far too much 😦 I really wanted to try the daiya so instead of eating it straight from the bag I made some sort of vegan cheese fries–YUM. This was better than mozarella cheese; it was crack. I’d be lying if I said I’m not planning on having it again today(maybe twice).

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

I love mint. I could eat a salad made of mint leaves. This bar doesn’t have a great minty flavor like alter-eco’s mint bar. But it was what the Whole Foods I was at had, and I don’t terribly mind it.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

And some oatmeal with homemade chocolate almond butter because nowhere near me carries Justin :-/ Oh well, now that I’ve pinned down the secret to making good homemade chocolate nut butters, I’m less enthused to go out and pay $10 for someone to do it for me.

This morning I woke up nice and early to not run. Maybe it defeats the purpose of a rest day to keep yourself from sleep. But I want to be nice and tired tonight so I can go to bed early and sneak 8 hours in somewhere before the race.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

I love Fage, especially their cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it’s about expensive as they come around here. At least it’s on sale at Whole Foods this week. The cherry here tastes just like the cherry dips at Dairy Queen! Yum! Next time I’m trying full fat. The peanut butter–again, since I’ve figured out how to make cookie dough nut butter, I’m less enthused about paying someone to do it for me. Besides, this one seems really fake since half of it melts over oats and the other half is still solid :-/ Until it’s gone, though, I’ll live it up and enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on mint? I made my gluten free chocolate brownies with a lot of mint extract once and was told it was like mouthwash; hell, I thought they were great! The more mint, the better in my opinion. Even though it’s often paired with chocolate, I wouldn’t mind a dessert exclusively with mint as the flavor. Speaking of chocolate, here’s a Bubble Chocolate Giveaway. Now I get to go to my very first race expo! I hope it’s nifty.

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You Don’t Have To Run To Be A Runner

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning felt like the worst.

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

It was hot. I was stressed. I felt lethargic. I had just about every negative word in the book to say. I wanted to run when I knew I wasn’t mentally “there”. I had a piece of Honest Foodspomegranate walnut crisp granola plank, which was even more a tip-off I was stressed(granola is definitely my stress-food). 10 minutes later and I still wasn’t running or feeling any better.

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

I put on my No Meat Athlete shirt today, hoping it would inspire me to run. Instead, it did something of the opposite and I couldn’t be more grateful: It reminded me that you don’t have to run to be a runner. I have a bad habit of forgetting and needing to relearn lessons, like why labels don’t matter. Today, I had to relearn that you’re just as much a runner on a rest day as the days you go out. Meghann and Ashley are just as much ultra-marathoners now, even though they aren’t currently running one. And we’re all just as much food bloggers as when we aren’t taking photos of our food.

This lesson was in part learned this morning, when an update on the news about the West Virginian miners abruptly ended my pity party(please, pray for those families; it’s all they ask for). Part of it came in my Object History course when we did an exercise judging each other on our clothes. Immediately I was pegged as a vegetarian. I then had to explain why I wasn’t but still wore the shirt because I support Matt himself as a runner and the rights of ethically and naturally raised animals(touched on in my food philosophy). When I was asked if I was”OK” with people assuming I was a vegetarian, I didn’t know how to respond; of course I was “OK” with it, if the contrary opinion is that I could walk into a KFC and order some chicken without caring one bit about the animal that gave its life for that piece or how it was raised. Even if I wasn’t running a half-marathon then or eating raw food I was just as much a runner and a raw food enthusiast. I didn’t have to be doing either to be either. That is what I learned in class today.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

For lunch, once I decided to not run, I made a highly raw salad, with chickpeas, spinach dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing, Next Generation Organic Dairy raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese, and my attempt at maple golden raisins.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

The organic hunza raisins were a new product from Tierra Farm. I wanted to rehydrate them in a mix of water and maple syrup; it worked a little bit and where it did was wonderful. But they needed much more time than the 1 hour I allowed.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

In the beginning of Object History I sipped on a citrus kombucha; the ginger and lemon reminded me of a vinegary, unsweet lemonade on this 90 degree day and was the perfect flavor.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

A little later on, I snacked on an oatmeal chocolate chip bar by Zing. I got the chocolate chip part, but other than that this was just plain ol’ sweet. What I really liked moreso was the nutrition. It had a good amount of healthy fat from cashew butter, 10g of protein, and was sweetened with natural fruit juices and agave. I would have thought all that nutrition would’ve stuffed me up. It didn’t.

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

I was dreaming about this gelato all through class; how could I not outside on a 90 degree day? It tasted perfectly rich and sweet, and I ate it on my way to–drumroll–Whole Foods! I had a major salmon craving, and the weather was so nice. I couldn’t find a reason not to walk the 1.2 miles and pick up a dinner.

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon

Citrus Salmon

I brought this dinner of salmon, avocado-kale, and raw broccoli back to the dorm to enjoy. The salmon was perfectly what I needed to eat. And Whole Foods makes the best avocado kale! I need to take tips from them. And no one fret; I changed out of my No  Meat shirt before eating this 😉

Wow that post took a while! But I think it was worth it, and all stuff that needs to be said. Just because I haven’t been studying doesn’t mean I’m not a student, right 😉 And if this self-reflection helped or resonated with just one person, it will be worth it. G’night!

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Shaking Off The Funk

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning from Providence! It feels good to be able to say that again. Maybe tomorrow I can blog from Houston? I’ve never been but anywhere it’s not raining sounds good to me!

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal With Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter And Sunflower Seeds

Yesterday morning, I was still a little “sugar shocked” from my birthday eats, so I decided to avoid added sugar and sweetness for as long as I could. For breakfast, it really wasn’t that hard; I just swapped out yogurt for scrambled eggs and used plain old 365 peanut butter with sunflower seeds on my oats. That peanut butter is probably my favorite plain, and it’s only $1 with the new Whole Deal coupon! That’s insane!

Baby Carrots

Baby Carrots

Before lunch, I munched on some carrots where I might have coffee. The natural and voluminous sugars were enough to hold me over for a while and still feel fresh. But then it rained. And rained. And rained. So I had tea.

Tazo Rest

Tazo Rest

Since the goal of the day wasn’t to make me miserable, I went ahead and added a little stevia to this. It was just enough to bring out the essence of the Tazo Rest tea, which is amazing.

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Steamed Broccoli With Soy Sauce, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Lunch was kept real simple and real fresh I a can of 365 tuna with 2oz plain Chobani and salt; that’s the ingredients for the perfect tuna salad, in my mind. That went atop some simply steamed broccoli with soy sauce and then was sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds; those are the best seeds to add for flavor, crunch, and protein in my book.

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Around 3, I came to the realization that my life is not complete without chocolate; I just can’t fathom otherwise. And I’m OK with that since I always celebrate my chocolate tooth with good quality products. Did you know some Hershey’s products contain 60% vegetable oils and can’t even legally be called “chocolate”? Yuck! Elan’s chocolate frozen yogurt has simple, natural ingredients, probiotics, and a stellar nutrition panel. I say, scoop away!

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Baking this banana goodness bread with hemp seeds instead of flax was such a good idea it makes it a little nuttier and sweeter. I was worried the sugar crust was gone the day after but with some time in the toaster, this was just as crust and nice. Is it just me, or is nothing better on rainy days than sweet breads and coffee? Except this was without the coffee. Boo.

This week was so sporadic; I’d planned to be home for the half-marathon, and my birthday, and then I had no clue what I was doing. I thought I might drop by campus to pick up books and stay home all week. But after 2 days of being trapped home and not having a great time, I realized I was in a funk, and being back in Providence might help me defunk(or at least I’d have work to keep me busy). At that, we packed up yesterday afternoon and drove down to RI.

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Dill Salmon, Parmesan Cauliflower

Morrocan Chickpea Salad

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Dinner was eaten at Whole Foods; do you know of a better chef? I kind of wish they had gluten-free pizza so I could have partaken in the pizza eating(everyone else had pizza), but I was also happy with what I got. The parmesan cauliflower was insanely good; I wanted so much more! Except it cost an arm and a leg from the salad bar. I think it’s a winner for Easter lunch, though. The Chickpea salad didn’t taste any exotic, but I could eat chickpeas morning, noon, and night on their own.

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

Pomegranate Chobani With Coconut Oil Chocolate, Coconut Creme Egg

When I was settled in, I made a snack and turned on The Biggest Loser midway through. I didn’t forget my low-sugar challenge; in fact, I just tried to exercise a modest and healthy chocolate tooth, with a special treat I found at Whole Foods.

Coconut Creme Egg

Coconut Creme Egg

If it’s shaped like an egg and made by Lake Champlain, you’ve just got to get it, right? 😉 The “coconut creme” in here didn’t taste particularly exciting that’s coming from someone with about every form of coconut except the actual coconut in his dorm. The yogurt with coconut oil chocolate, however, was great.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Coconut Oil Chocolate

So great, I needed to taste the other half of the bar. At least it has no refined sugars? That’s my excuse. That completely took care of my chocolate tooth, though, and so I went back to my “raw roots” for one last dessert.

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Raw Sprouted Almond Butter

I forgot I opened and reviewed Better Than Roasted’s sprouted almond butter. It’s good, but I think I prefer their cashew. If you want a really nutritious nut butter, you don’t need to go raw, just look for one with the skin ground in; that’s the best thing you can eat!

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Perfect Foods Fruit & Nut Bar

Dare I say, it felt good to get up at 6:45 on break and start running again?! The Today Show, the gym, the endorphins–I just missed it all. I scarfed down my last fruit & nut Perfect Foods Bar and got there surprisingly, I wasn’t the first or only one!

12 Miles In 1:46:11

12 Miles In 1:46:11

I broke my run into two segments of 6 miles, and finished in 1:46:11; thank goodness that’s not my half marathon pace or I’d be so off my goal.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was pretty standard fare between oatmeal with chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter(I got a new jar in my time at home) and chobani sweetened with agave and topped with milk chocolate peanuts. I was watching on The Doctors yesterday(first off, big mistake there) about how peanut particles are easy to get lodged in the lungs and trachea, which is why infants should never eat it. It also can account for a rough cough in adults, which I always have and now I can guess why. Anyone else out there with this? I’m going to be coughing after this meal, that’s for sure. It’s also made me scared to death to feed babies anything other than mushed veggies. I don’t think I was fed peanut butter, but I’ve heard admissions of coffee being slipped into the baby bottle. Any other baby feeding admissions people want to get out there? 😉

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Determination And Wellness

Posted on March 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I apologize for the absurd length of this post. If it’s any consolation, I’m the one who actually had to write it 😉 And there’s a giveaway at the end, so hold tight.

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

I was eager to get a run in before lunch today, though apparently running didn’t feel the same way about me 😦 I pushed through 3.33 miles at the gym before just wanting to give up; I felt like I was running on empty. That was one option. The other was to get some quick carbs in me, finish the 10 miles I had planned, and worry about refueling afterwards. I’m stubborn and determined if nothing else. I ran back to my dorm, grabbed a handful of organic jolly beans, and got back on that horse treadmill.

10 Miles In 1:29:04

10 Miles In 1:29:04

I managed to finish the 10 miles in 1:29:04. It was a pretty difficult run as they come in all respects, but I’m just glad I pushed through. I’m trying to adjust to running at different times like mid-morning for my half but clearly my body would prefer I get up and going at 7. If nothing else, I got to see this segment of the Today Show which pretty much sums me up and how I grocery shop. 100% natural on products means nothing, but unless you’re determined to pay for the organic seal then you have to read the ingredients. And organic chicken legs?! What was up with those? After a quick 5-minute shower, I was ready for a lunch meeting.

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

My gym friend, the res life dean, invited me to lunch to get to know each other off the treadmill. I was excited to see the ins and outs of the faculty club, which had an amazing selection including a chicken, maple, and walnut salad that had my mouth drooling. But since it is a Friday in Lent I kept it kosher(so to speak) and went with the chilled citrus salmon salad, which had grapefruit, mandarin orange slices, and a citrus vinagrette. I loved the mandarin orange here; it was so nice and flavorful! It made things seem like Spring, even though it was snowing this morning.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

When I got back to my room, I made a quick dessert of an apple and some Vivani 72% dark chocolate. With just 3 ingredients, this chocolate is a dream and perfectly sweet. It’s even better ingredient-wise than my favorite dark chocolate(Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

An hour later, I was pretty famished. It wasn’t even snackish-hunger, but I was ready for a meal. Since I was going to have chickpeas for dinner, why not 2 and 1/2 hours early? I made a salad of chickpeas with Next Generation Dairy Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese. The spinach I dressed with some Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing, all of which was deliciously sweet. I could definitely be happy eating chickpeas every day if I kept that many cans in stock.

Apple

Apple

In the afternoon, I braved the cold temperatures(seriously, New England, don’t you know it’s almost April?) to get some food from the dining hall and Tedeschi. While I was out, I snacked on an apple, and then forgot to take back more for my dorm. Drats! Good thing I’ll be going home tomorrow.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

2 apples, a crap load of greens, and 3 meals later, I just might be full. I think this day easily makes up for those when all I’ve eaten has been chocolate. I mixed a can of tuna with the remainder of some Voskos plain-non fat yogurt and topped it with chili lime Yumnuts; I think I’ve become officially obsessed with that combination since I ate it last Friday on a picnic with a friend. On some steamed broccoli I added sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey–love that crunch!

Instead of bore you with more food-food and not desserts, I’ll launch my Wellness Giveaway. First, here’s a recap of all the mental health tips from the week.

Me-Time

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not thatmuch “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person.

Declutter

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.

To-Do Lists

I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished.

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for.

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.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the Celestial Seasonings Natural Wellness Kit. I got 6 teas to keep me healthy and sane this week, all of which will be given review pages in due time. My favorite so far is actually the honey vanilla, which I wasn’t sent but found in the store and bought myself. I like how most of their teas are caffeine free, because herbal wellness doesn’t have to come with a big dose of caffeine and a crash later on.  The kit itself includes:

  • Four wellness teas to ease  symptoms associated with the cold and flu including Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint
  • Two green teas to support a healthy immune system year round – Authentic Green Tea and Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
  • Mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness” by Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel and Nancy Burke

Do you need some wellness in your life? There are plenty of ways to enter, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each one to make sure it counts. Answer/do any of the following:

  • Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How did you incorporate it into your life this week?
  • Which flavor from the wellness kit or Celestial Seasonings website most appeals to you?
  • Tweet this contest, saying “FoodMakesFunFuel is having a Celestial Tea giveaway http://tinyurl.com/ykub24n @EvanFMFF” and leave your Twitter name.
  • Blog about this contest and leave a link to the post.

That’s 4 possible entries to rack up. The contest will run through the end of March and I’ll announce the winner April 1st. Good luck!

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Easy Running And Planned Meals

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

Happy humpday, all! I have to admit: Normally, I don’t give a damn about what day of the wek it is or being half way there. But today, when I walked in my room, threw down my stuff, and knew I would be in for the night, I just wanted to do a happy dance. I’m 1 midterm I haven’t studied for, 1 class I won’t pay attention in, and 1 paper I haven’t started writing away from break. When I write it out like that, things don’t sound so good. LOL. I’ll just get on to my day then…

Red Delicious Apple
Red Delicious Apple

10 Miles In 1:29:56
10 Miles In 1:29:56

I grabbed an apple and was good-to-go to the gym. This was perhaps one of the easiest runs I’ve had in a while; I was well rested, well fueled, and feeling overall refreshed. The only thing that made it difficult was the 4th hour of the Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee and then local news, but I survived 😉 Through segments about women’s products like “the butt bra”, I don’t know how I made it…

Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick
Broccoli, Shredded Parsley Salmon, Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese Stick

For lunch I couldn’t decide wether to go protein-heavy or carb-heavy because of the workout. I decided on protein mainly because this salmon has been sitting around for 2 days and needed to get eaten :-/ It was tasty, though! It’s always better when you let someone else(thank you, Whole Foods) cook for you. On the side I had broccoli with my favorite dressing by Foods Alive and an organic garlic parsley cheddar cheese stick from Next Generation Dairy.

Would it be weird to say my “me” time came in History discussion? We had nothing to do this week, since the midterm was yesterday, so we watched 50 minutes of a PBS special. If 50 minutes listening to bad British documentaries while making fun of it with a friend and drifting off isn’t “me” time, I don’t know what is. After that I had another class(Object History), which just made the day feel so much longer. Midway through I broke out a snack.

Peanut Choco' Chewy Nature's Path Granola Bar
Peanut Choco’ Chewy Nature’s Path Granola Bar

Mmm I just love these bars from Nature’s Path. They’re sweet, salty, nutty–perfect! Except the ingredient list is totally less than stellar. Sugar as the number one ingredient? A chocolate coating that has less cocoa than palm oil? Yeah, I’m going to pretend I don’t see that because it’s organic…

Green & Black's Peanut Bar
Green & Black’s Peanut Bar

Candy, in general, gets a HUGE oversight from me if it’s organic, like Green & Blacks chocolates.

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Vanilla Chobani With Green & Black's Peanut Bar

Once I got this in mind, I had to hop to a campus store to grab a Vanilla Chobani; the combination was just too dreamy. The bar is milk chocolate with caramelized peanuts and sea salt. The sea salt wasn’t really present enough for me, but then again there isn’t enough sea salt in the sea to please me! But this tasted a lot better overall than I would have thought for a protein-packed snack.

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

Grass-Fed Burger, Broccoli, Baked Cheddar Cheese Fries

And now with dinner plated, I feel a whole other happy dance coming on. Can I get into my PJ’s before this burger is even gobbled up? For the first time in a while, it was cooked to perfection: rare. On the side, I had some Snikiddy baked cheddar cheese fries to sneak my snack fix, and some plain broccoli for a “real” vegetable. What? Ketchup doesn’t count as a vegetable? 😉

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead. When things are really crunched, I know to turn to prepared foods like the salmon I had for lunch. Likewise, the dinner I planned this morning taking in mind the fact that I had class until 5:20 and like to eat at 6:30. Do you meal plan? What’s the last meal you planned and prepared?

P.s. Survivor is on tonight! Get excited!

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Eating Picnic Foods

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

Well if you live in the Northeast, I hope you got outside for this amazing weather. If you don’t, I hope the sun was shining where you are, too! March is the best month: In like a lion, out with my birthday like a lamb.

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’m lucky to love the treadmill and running out doors. They’re very different things, and both have their good points. When I get bored of one, the other can be there to pick me up. Today, that was the case where I didn’t feel like running on the treadmill first thing but was ready for an outdoor run around 11. I had 2 tiny squares of my favorite organic dark chocolate from Endangered Species and hit the road.

11.25 Miles In 1:35:10

This was a long run. In fact, it turned out to be my longest outdoor run ever! by .7 of a mile. I went up and down the Providence Path 3 times. There was even some running team(maybe collegiate?) holding time trials so I had good company and motivation. At the 3rd turn, I went down Hope street and ended my run at Whole Foods to do some refueling and grocery shopping.

Odwalla Carrot Juice

For some reason, I had it in my mind that this Whole Foods made fresh pressed carrot juice. I guess not :-/ But I was happy to refuel with this brand. Not only do I find carrot juice incredibly sweet and delicious, but it’s one of the best recovery drinks around.

Carrot Juice Nutrition

What makes a good recovery drink? Well, we could really debate this for hours. Chocolate milk gets a lot of attention for its 4:1 carb:protein content. Coconut water seems to be the new fad, but I have yet to try this and can’t speak for it. What I love about carrot juice is the potassium content: Look at it! That’s more than a banana, and for 1/2 the bottle. And potassium is something necessary for recovery. Another reason to love carrot juice is it’s 1 natural ingredient: carrots.

Groceries

I’m sure you’d believe me if I told you the first thing I grabbed at the store–even before the juice–was the milk chocolate sunspire peanuts. Could I live on without them? Beyond that, I just grabbed a sweet potato(albeit, a huge one), some canned fish for dinner and yogurt on sale. I was pushing my timing and had to get back to shower and make a full recovery lunch fast.

Chili Lime Yumnuts

In my rush, I remembered I wanted to try these seasoned cashews sent to me by Yumnuts. I’m not much of a spicy or savory snacker but for my meals they sounded wonderful and picnic-y. I threw everything in one big container and met my friend, Adam, on the campus green to enjoy the sun!

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, And Chili Lime Cashews Over Dressed Greens

I started by tossing bitter greens with my favorite dressing from Foods Alive. I tossed on top the remaining 1/2 a can of chickpeas, a can of tuna mixed with 2oz Voskos plain non fat for a healthy tuna salad, and a small handful chili lime Yumnuts. Could you imagine something better for picnicing? Because I couldn’t. This was all perfect! I forgot how much I loved tuna salads with a little salt. I guess the “trick” is to reserve just a little liquid from the can so that it’s not dry when you mix it with the thick-and-creamy binder. And the Yumnuts were–well–yum! They really were quite spicy, which I appreciated. Maybe a bit of sweetness for contrast wouldn’t have hurt? Still, they were quite good, and even flavored the tuna a bit.

Tazo 0 Cal Zen Green Tea With Lemongrass And Spearmint

To wash this all down, I sipped on this new tea from Tazo. It’s sweetened naturally with erythritol and stevia which is a great renovation to the sweet tea line if you ask me. It was definitely enjoyable, and probably sweet enough for most tastes. I did think the lemon part of it was lacking a bit, but still I’d happily grab this over any sugared-up competition. Overall, I hope it’s bright and sunny again soon because I want to eat this whole meal again!

Chocolate So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After getting a little work done and cleaning up after the hurricane that hit my dorm, I was craving something chocolate. Can you imagine that? I finished off the pint of chocolate So Delicious coconut milk ice cream I’d been working on. Is there anything sadder than finishing a pint of ice cream with no ability to immediately replace it? I think not.

Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

And, since that wasn’t enough So Delicious, coconut milk, and chocolate, I gave their yogurt a try with the final two squares of the same chocolate bar I ate earlier. A pint and a chocolate bar? Man, I was knocking them out today. Concerning the coconut milk yogurt: holy yum! This was amazing. Like I really needed another food to be obsessed over? At least I’m hooked while it’s on sale; you know there’ll be more of these over the weekend.

Dr. Kracker's Seeded Spelt

Another perfect picnic food, of course, are crackers. What’s not to love? I decided I’d try these Dr. Krackers because I loved the idea of sunflower seeds baked right in for a little crunch. I also read from Whole Foods that spelt flour–while wheat and so gluten-forming–has a higher tolerance level among gluten intolerant people than regular wheat. I’m not above conducting mini-science experiments on myself.

Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Seeded Spelt Crackers

I didn’t plan to have so much but when I read that spaghetti squash was at the cafeteria, well you know I had to make adjustments 😉 Overall, the whole meal was good, but not really “put together”. The crackers were nice, but they missed the crispness I was expecting; I really enjoyed the sunflower seeds with this sunny weather, though! The salmon in a can was–in a word–disgusting; I wasn’t expecting it to be not even deskinned or deboned. I only took 2 servings and threw the other 1.5 out. It tasted fine, but I think I would rather go without omega-3’s during my time at college than eat that more often. At least it was in the spirit of cheap fish during Lent? I’ll be happy when that’s over.

Annnd as much as I talked about the sun, it’s now dark out. Good thing because I should work work work on these midterms. I also want to keep up the “sundae on Fridays” tradition, but need to find some good ice cream to suit my palate. Enjoy the night!

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