What Is Fluff?

Posted on December 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , |

Lately, I’ve been getting a few questions like “what is that?” or “what is Fluff?”…. What is Fluff? That seems like the silliest question in the world, to me. Fluff is Fluff! And then I remember: Fluff is mostly a New Englander thing, and I’m thankful to have a readership that not only crosses states but countries. Therefore, I think it’s time I addressed “Fluff”.

Firstly, Fluff is technically a brand–not a food item. It’s so common, however, that it’s come to describe the product they make. Fluff is actually a marshmallow spread. If you can’t imagine this, think of a melted marshmallow, but one that stays like that at room temperature and you can spread with a knife from a jar. That is Fluff.

Actual Fluff is made of 4 ingredients: corn syrup, sugar syrup, egg whites, and vanillin. Real healthy, right? It also comes in raspberry and strawberry flavored forms. Since vanillin is an artificial ingredient, what I eat isn’t actually “Fluff”. Thankfully, there are several brands of vegan alternatives which do use all-natural ingredients. The one I have is Tiny Trapeze which can be found at Whole Foods around New England. A more common brand across the company would be Suzanne’s Rice Mellow Creme.

Boulevard's Organic Hot Chocolate With Vegan Fluff

Even vegan and natural Fluff is still primarily spreadable, sweet vanilla. And that’s Fluff’s glory. How do I use it? Well, for one, it’s in some of my recipes like shortcut cream cheese frosting and the award winning fluffernutter cupcakes. On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine on it’s own as a topper over oatmeal. You know how fun it is to eat melted marshmallow? Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like. You can also add it to hot cocoa for a sweeter twist. And lastly there’s the pride of New England: The Fluffernutter. I couldn’t begin to count how many of these I ate in my childhood: partially hydrogenated Jif, Fluff(the name brand), and 2 slices of Wonderbread white bread. Over the years I’ve changed so much and yet so little; I’m not one to turn down a sandwich of vegan fluff, NuttZo, and 2 slices of organic, whole wheat sprouted grain bread 😉

Are you a fluff fan? Had you known about it before?

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Stop Being So Chicken

Posted on October 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday started off normal enough. I ran, ate carbs and oatmeal, got dressed, and walked out the door like this:

October 30th 002

Me In A Chicken Suit

Yes, that is my costume. It’s actually the same from 2 years ago, but I figure I’m at such a different point in my life it’s OK to rewear this one(plus it was like $50 dollars so I need to get my money’s worth of it). I thought Brown was a fun campus? No one else was in costume; what was up with that? My first reaction was “This is kind of embarrassing. Maybe I should take it off.” But then I realized, if I can make just 1 persons day by doing this and having a good time doing it, then it would all be completely worth it. I marched right in to Latin class and definitely caused a few smiles.

I had an hour between class for lunch and last minute studying until my midterm. I rushed to my dorm, logged on my computer to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important(apparently, your blog posts count as important items in my book :-)), and threw together something quite gourmet.

Thanksgiving Sandwich On Whole Wheat English Muffin, 1/2 Acorn Squash With Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

It’s not so bad–I could have been eating deli sliced chicken. If the english muffin looks burnt, it’s because it was; I forgot about it while I was fighting with my costume to let me go to the bathroom(full body suits are not for those of us with small bladders, fyi). The acorn squash was a genius idea; seriously, I’m making sure that hits the Thanksgiving table. I think anything squash and salt is good, but the pumpkin seeds really added texture.

I got outside of where I had class 25 minutes early to get some extra studying in. Honestly? I think I rocked it. I couldn’t have felt more prepared going in, and when I saw the terms I had to demonstrate a knowledge of I really put it all on the table. We had to write two “stories” that showed we knew how 12 Ancient Greek terms, people, events, and places related to one another. I definitely took some “artistic license” in my stories, but I think he’ll appreciate it. For epic poetry class, I got hungry. It was an odd time of day for that to happen but I obliged.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

Peanut Butter Pretzel Clif Mojo Bar

So glad I had this in my bag. Yum! It was great. This was the last of the Mojo’s I had to try and I think it was my favorite. Is anyone else not surprised the peanut butter one was my fave? You can read my full review here, but now that I’ve had them all I’ll be ready to post a recap review soon. On the way back to my dorm another something exciting happened: Emma Watson noticed me! You know how I know she noticed me? Well, she passed me about 1 foot to the right, and it’d be pretty hard not to notice someone in a giant chicken costume. If she had said “Nice costume” or something, I probably would have had a heart attack on the spot.

Well my day was fun and all but at 3 I was ready to get into civilian ware. I also decided I wasn’t as done with this place as I thought I was…

October 30th 010

University Plaza Whole Foods

My original plan for Cookie Friday was a pumpkin maple whoopie pie like I had 3 or 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any when I got there. Wtf. Don’t ever walk 1.2 miles somewhere to an uncertain future or you’re likely to have your heart broken 😦 I did get some salmon and Oikos, however, and stopped at Blue State Coffee on the way back for what would be my treat.

When I got back to my dorm I was starrrrving. It was that hunger where you want everything and nothing, and have no clue what to make. Doesn’t that suck? I felt like I was standing in front of my microwave for 10 minutes just thinking and getting no where. Finally I went with the one thing I know never disappoints.

Fluffernutter Oats With Cashew Butter, Fluff, And Banana Pineapple Rum

Fluffernutter oats–how I love thee. The extra 2oz of banana made this super thick and creamy. But since I hardly ever eat my cashew butter, the plop that i had was really lumpy, and I ended up chewing whole dry nut butter. Honestly, at that point, nothing mattered but that I got food. Speaking of food…

Food Bag For Home

Food Bag For Home

This is how much of it I feel that I need to bring home, where there should in theory already be a ton of food. I called my dad earlier and proposed that he pick me up last night instead of this morning and he obliged. That put me in a bit of a mad rush to pack everything, and I remembered what an awful packing problem I have. Oh well, if we were to have gotten stuck in a blizzard on the way back and needed to survive for 5 days, we would have been set. There was still the matter of my own dinner.

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Simple Salmon Salad And Broccoli

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Summer Squash And Zuchinni With Maple Syrup, Sweet Potato

Thankfully, college has made me the king of quick cooking. I grabbed the squash and broccoli from the dining hall, nuked a sweet potato under my bed(well, from under my bed) and heated the salmon from Whole Foods. Something didn’t quite smell right here, but I couldn’t figure out what it was so I ate it all… Don’t even play like you haven’t done that. I got home by 8 and had a pot of fresh ground decaf coffee going by 8:15; it’s good to be back. I just as quick busted this out:

The Elvis

The Elvis

Remember how I mentioned stopping at Blue State for Cookie Friday? This was the spoil. The Elvis is a red velvet cupcake cake with cream cheese frosting with sequin sugar. This is why I say I eat 99.9% all-natural in my How I Fuel section; sure, the food coloring in this probably wasn’t all natural, but once a week in something that’s already a “treat” is fine by me. Plus, this was homemade by a small, local retailer, so overall it’s a quality product. It was just as good as I thought it’d be: moist, rich, and sweet. It’s definitely good I removed myself about 50 miles from the source before eating it or I might have needed to get another. When I realized I’d only had 1 probiotic source for the day, I felt a little disappointed in myself… until this entered my mind:

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Organic Peanut Butter Cookies And Cream Yogurt

Yes. You heard right. Peanut butter cookies and cream yogurt. How? I used peanut flour and vanilla stevia to flavor the yogurt, and crumbled in 2 Newman’s Own Organic Peanut Butter Newman-O’s. This was so delicious, but it also made me glad Cookie Friday comes but once a week. All this sugar made me hyper, and when I get hyper I often go to cranky. Some people are mean drunks; I’m a mean sweets-head. One last celebration of cookieness:

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Toast With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

It wouldn’t have been Friday otherwise. Food Network wasn’t working in my room; what’s up with that? Instead I watched my standby, Leno, and got a great night of sleep.

Thankfully it was a great day for an outdoor run this morning. I slept in all the way until 8, strapped on some old clothes I had lying around that didn’t go off to college with me, and ran around the block a few(read: 7) times. I ended up running 7.08 miles right at 8:00/mi pace. It felt great to be reaffirmed that running on a treadmill at 8:30/mi pace doesn’t affect my outdoor stride. When I got back, I made a very ‘”homey” breakfast:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And A Vegan Molasses Cookie, Voskos Honey Greek Yogurt

Normally, I’m all about the salt. But this breakfast was sweet and sweeter. I love the cookie texture on top of some thick oats; I might need to make another batch of these while I home. And that’s one of the few last yogurts I have to try and review for Voskos! Honestly, this might have been a bit too sweet. But for those of you who that’s not possible for, you’d be in love with a yogurt. The benefit of coming home early was that this breakfast wasn’t eaten in a rush in the car and I can now sit and plan my day.

Zesty Cook is having a really unique giveaway. This is the kind of makeover I’d gladly sign up for.

Lucky Taste Buds is having a delicious sounding giveaway, too!

Who doesn’t love a high quality chocolate giveaway?

Holey Decisions

One of the other great joys of coming home was finding in my freezer 4 boxes of Holey Donuts’ delicious products. Needless to say, this hungry college student was overjoyed to have such great products to sample and review. All you need to do is look at the nutrition to realize what a better option this is than the competition.

Unfortunately, while their products are great in that they’re low calorie/fat, have no trans fat, and no artificial sweeteners, they do contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. As a naturaltarian, this was a bump in the road. Should I ignore that temporarily and parade these on the blog like I wanted to? Or do I stick with this boundary I’ve set for myself. I really wanted to just do the former and pretend like no one would notice. But the record number of views this week(my 3 most visited days being Thursday, yesterday, and Monday respectively) are keeping me honest. I realize these are a great option for a certain lifestyle, but that’s just not mine. Instead, I’ll be having my parents sample and review these, and publish them in special posts called “Parents’ Korner” or something really corny like that. They’ve eaten about 10 times more donuts in their life than me, so I feel like they’ll be excellent reviewers.

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Cherries Or Cranberries?

Posted on October 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Before I forget, yesterday’s breakfast was a bunch of new products I wanted to tell you about including Sunland’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter, Voskos’ Organic Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt, and Nature’s Path Organic Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, all of which will be summarized on the main page at some point so don’t worry if you miss them now.

Good morning. Is it good? It’s raining the tears of Semonides here(sorry, all this Classical studying has my brain in the wrong millenium!). Yesterday morning I left a little early to grab a cup of joe before class.

Organic Coffee With NuNaturals Sweetener

Organic Coffee With NuNaturals Sweetener

And Thank God I did. My Greek professor is still sick so we got a substitute instead. Rather than a placid, middle aged woman we had a bit more lively, energetic Swede with a heavy accent. Fun, just not at 10:30. Class got particularly amusing when him and the soft-spoken British grad student were trying to communicate and it just… wasn’t working. I actually wasn’t ready for lunch when I got out, so I came back to my dorm and admired Steve, the stevia plant.

October 27th 002

Steve

I was told to trim him to be a foot tall a while back when I first got him, which I did. Now he’s gone crazy and has grown 3 feet tall. If you’re horrible with plants, get a stevia bush; they’re impossible to kill no matter how little you water them(and taste really good). After a while of that amusement, I picked up stuff from the dining hall and made a cozy lunch in my room.

Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

Recently, I got to thinking, “You know, my pee smells too floral. I think I’m going to eat a ton of asparagus”. Or I just love it and they so rarely have it at the dining hall that I might have gone a bit nuts when I stumbled upon it. I coupled that with some maple mustard tofu(so good!) and a whole microwaved sweet potato from last week’s farmers’ market. I have a good 2+ pounds of sweet potato under my bed, so I feel pretty set for a while.

I did the typical Days Of Our Lives while blog reading thing. I swear, soaps never go anywhere in plot but they’re so entertaining. I was planning on hanging around for Rachael Ray but the show didn’t look too interesting and the weather was not getting better. I had some high hopes of going to Whole Foods rain or shine so I bundled up and headed out. On the way I stopped by the mailing center.

October 27th 010

Mail From Home

One was from my mom and the other my grandmother; though the fact that they both have Simpsons stamps and my mom’s handwriting on them makes me think(and not too hard). They were Halloween cards with some money. I love that being a college student Halloween is a reason to receive cards. What I don’t get is why these needed to be mailed when I saw both of them Sunday. Odd people. I also snacked on this while shopping:

Spooky S'mores Z-Bar

Spooky S'mores Z-Bar

I’ve been loving all the manly-men products Clif sent me, but sometimes I need a little something to feed the kid in me 😉 I’m going to miss these when they’re gone for the season. Grocery shopping was–of course–a blast. I found kombucha and acorn squash, but neither were on sale so I thought I’d hold off with microwave experimentation. I found out something very dangerous:

October 27th 014

Bulk Colored Frosting

Whole Foods now sells their naturally colored buttercream frosting by the tub for the holiday season. Ummm, hello. This is a) a dream b) very dangerous. On the one hand, I could use these to make some nice treats that look awesome and I would feel good serving. On the other hand, I don’t see that frosting it making it through the ride/walk home. In case anyone was wondering, it’s 5.99/lb. Somehow, one of those didn’t end up in my basket, but look what did!

October 27th 015

Groceries

I went a little shopping happy on this trip; money from relatives will do that. I got a new flavor of Lightlife‘s tempeh to review, along with my favorite product of theirs: tempeh bacon. Some Oikos and So Delicious Soy Yogurt were a must. I felt like talkin’ turkey for dinner so I got some fresh sliced from the deli. And of coarse I hit up the bulk bins for oats and, my treat of the trip, dried cherries. At first, I wasn’t going to get them because they’re a bit pricey. At the check out, the woman couldn’t read the bin # I wrote down(I swear my handwriting isn’t that bad). Instead of asking me to read it, she looked up the code in the big book and entered it herself. What she failed to realize was that they were cherries, not cranberries. She didn’t ask me or anything, just input the cranberry code and continued scanning items. Since cranberries are 1/2 the price of cherries, I basically got them half off. And since I didn’t lie or be at all misleading through any of that, I feel pretty damn good. When I got back to my room I made some oats to fight off the gloomy weather.

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Can I tell you a little secret? If you pour maple syrup over the top and stick it back in the microwave, the water cooks off and the maple crystalizes, not to mention smells like candy. Oh was this good. It made a “serious” Oprah episode bearable to study through. It almost made my Epic Poetry homework bearable to read… almost. I thought I’d be reaching for a snack later, seeing as how most of this was lovely, unrefined sugar. Surprisingly it held me over until dinner.

October 27th 022

Open Faced Thanksgiving Sandwich, Ginger Carrots And Snap Peas, Broccoli With Beets

There are only 29 days to Thanksgiving, but who’s counting, really? I made the sandwich in my dorm and brought it to the dining hall. On a Matthew’s English Muffin, one side had TJ Cranberry Apple Butter and the other had Organic Valley Lowfat cream cheese. That combo is ridiculous; I don’t even want the turkey come Thanksgiving; I just want the leftovers. So I guess I have to wait 30 days then, huh? When I got back to my dorm, I broke into this:

Green Mountain Single Origin Mexican Decaf

Green Mountain Single Origin Mexican Decaf

I picked this up at the Green Mountain dinner last Wednesday. I already have one canister open, but I wanted to try this to see if it had a more robust, dark flavor. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as strong as the whole bean house decaf I made back at home, but it definitely had a deeper flavor than Whole Food’s Decaf Hazelnut.

Tuesday night meant Biggest Loser, of course. Was Abby’s story on The Biggest Loser not the saddest thing? I was not expecting the show to take such a dramatic turn; I think even Jillian was cracked by that. The Biggest Loser also means ridiculous snackage that the contestants could never eat.

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, PB And Chocolate Chips

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, PB And Chocolate Chips

October 27th 011

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I broke my own rule with this one; I stole the peanut butter chips from a trail mix I own because I don’t have any peanut butter chips. I hate it when people go through a trail mix and screw up proportions. Then again, my love for peanut butter chips is greater than my hatred for that. I don’t even remember when I had the bottom of that muffin(presumably in yogurt). I’ve just had the top sitting around for so long I figured I’d eat it. I’m wicked exciting that the next time I eat from that Smart balance jar, it will be from the jar.

Could one thing have gone routinely this morning? Didn’t think so. I woke up at 6:40… and then again at 6:50. I honestly didn’t feel like running, but when analyzing the situation, I realized it wasn’t for any good reason other than the sun wasn’t out and it was running. I told myself “The lights will be on in the gym and it has a roof. You’ll be fine.” That’s about as peppy as my pep talks get. While I grabbed one of these and hit the gym:

At first I thought that today I needed a running body more than ever. What I got was even better: no one else around. Score. I just put on my TV shows and ran. At first I thought 8, then 10. I was taking it at a very slow comfortable, and I knew being outside wasn’t happening much today, so I went on to 13.1. I was planning to do this Friday, but I figured I’d push it up 2 days. I finished in 1:53:04 which really put me behind for the morning. My roommate was not only awake but dressed and studying when I got back!(That’s not like him). Even though I was short on time, I decided to make myself a nice breakfast to feel like the king I like to think I am:

2 Eggs Lightly Microwaved With Cheddar Cheese, Toast With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Oikos With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Chips

2 Eggs Lightly Microwaved With Cheddar Cheese, Toast With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Oikos With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Chips

I don’t know egg terminology. Is it poached when you leave them unscrambled and try to cook the whites without cooking the yolks? Well that’s what I did, or tried to do at least. It’s a lot easier with a skillet than a microwave, but 1 of the yolks was nice and runny. I think I need to revisit that peanut butter over some oats later because it’s just too good. Now I’m very behind for a Wednesday but thankfully should have everything done in time for class.

My all-natural heart was very happy to hear that Necco candy is going natural! I haven’t had Necco wafers in ages; I don’t even think I liked them. But I’m very happy to hear they’re taking this step and I’ll certainly give the new stuff a try.

Speaking of candy, there’s an awesome chocolate giveaway at Run, Eat, Repeat.

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Ridiculous And Amazing: Ridiculous

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

Because this post would be ridiculously long if I tried to cover my whole day(and because I’m going to be kicked out in T-40 minutes), I’ll talk about the ridiculous part of my day now and the amazing part in the afternoon.

In one word, my yesterday was ridiculous. As I briefly mentioned at the end of my post, I had ust found out I won a contest. The contest was to attend a dinner hosted by Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee that featured local Boston chef’s making dishes with local products and coffee to be judged Top Chef style. Amazing, right? Well, after working out that my dad would pick me up from Providence, that became a reality and we had a plan.
What was also ridiculous was how much my feet killed after that run. The last 2 miles took a toll on my toes(say that 5 times fast) and walking to class was unbearable. Fortunately, I made it where I got to listen to my teacher talk to us for 50 minutes about a paper she’s writing on a 400 line poem we had to translate, but never actually translated in class–crap, I mean, ridiculous. On the way back to my dorm I picked up some of these:
Sweet potatoes, because they’re ridiculously good. I did a mad rush of email answering/microwaving/google reading right up until I had to run off to Greek History with this in my hand:
So so good. I love microwaved sweet potatoes better than oven roasted because the skin is firm and crispy and it reminds me of French fries. The sandwhich was perfect with the turkey/cranberry apple butter/cream cheese combo. The greens were meh but I had zilch all of yesterday so I felt I needed to add them back into my system. But the real ridiculous thing about this was that Thanksgiving is just a month away! Can you believe it? I am sooo psyched to get my pie-baking on(secret family crustless pumpkin pie recipe to be published? We’ll see…)
Class was ugh. My professor would just mention a historical fact and ramble on and on about his take on it and often completely wrong theory. The only ridiculous thing here was how much he’s like his wife, my Latin teacher. I’d be very disturbed but sadly not surprised if they were blood related.
When I got back to my dorm I knew I just had to work work work if I wanted to enjoy my evening. I had a really nutritious study snack:
We’re going to pretend this is healthy because it’s all natural and not just a diet soda. K? good. Picture me, furiously reading Ancient Greek, flipping back and forth between Heroditus and my dictionary, only to receive an email that my class tomorrow was cancelled again. Ridiculous. I was slightly annoyed, but this made my evening much easier. I knew my dad would be at my dorm in 30 minutes but my oat craving did not care:
Need I remind how soon Thanksgiving is? Pumpkin oats with almond butter never fail to disappoint, but the addition of this new cereal made it perfect. This is Nature’s Path Organic’s Crunch Maple Sunrise and, though I’m generally not a cereal person, I must say this stood out. I don’t want to review it yet since I’m sure being on pumpkin oats might have affected the flavor, but I could literally smell maple syrup as I opened the bag. Ridiculous, right? And it’s gluten free if that’s a care to anyone. At 4:45 I got a message that a package was waiting for me in the mailroom that closed at 5. Ridiculous. I hustled my way over there and was overjoyed to make it and find these waiting for me:
The kind people at Kardea contacted me about trying their energy bars. Kardea’s product are all natural with cholesterol lowering ingredients, a hefty supply of protein and fiber, and all low and naturally sweetened. Not to mention, the flavors sound ridiculous. Ex: Banana nut and chai spice. I could not wait to try them, but I also needed to hop in my car and go go go.

As I briefly mentioned at the end of my post, I had just found out I won a contest. The contest was to attend a dinner hosted by Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee that featured local Boston chef’s making dishes with local products and coffee to be judged Top Chef style. Amazing, right? Well, after working out that my dad would pick me up from Providence, that became a reality and we had a plan.

What was ridiculous was how much my feet killed after that run. The last 2 miles took a toll on my toes(say that 5 times fast) and walking to class was unbearable. Fortunately, I made it where I got to listen to my teacher talk to us for 50 minutes about a paper she’s writing on a 400 line poem we had to translate, but never actually translated in class–crap, I mean, ridiculous. On the way back to my dorm I picked up some of these:

Farmers' Market Sweet Potatoes

Farmers' Market Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, because they’re ridiculously good. I did a mad rush of email answering/microwaving/google reading right up until I had to run off to Greek History with this in my hand:

1/2 Turkey, Cranberry, And Cream Cheese Sandwich, 1/2 Sweet Potato With maple Syrup, Sesame Seed Savory Spinach, Steamed Broccoli

1/2 Turkey, Cranberry, And Cream Cheese Sandwich, 1/2 Sweet Potato With maple Syrup, Sesame Seed Savory Spinach, Steamed Broccoli

Yum! I think I actually love microwaved sweet potatoes better than oven roasted because the skin is firm and crispy and it reminds me of French fries. The sandwhich was perfect with the turkey/cranberry apple butter/cream cheese combo. The greens were meh but I had zilch all of yesterday so I felt I needed to add them back into my system. But the real ridiculous thing about this was that Thanksgiving is just a month away! Can you believe it? I am sooo psyched to get my pie-baking on(secret family crustless pumpkin pie recipe to be published? We’ll see…)

Class was ugh. My professor would just mention a historical fact and ramble on and on about his take on it and often completely wrong theory. The only ridiculous thing here was how much he’s like his wife, my Latin teacher. I’d be very disturbed–but sadly not surprised–if they were blood related.

When I got back to my dorm I knew I just had to work work work if I wanted to enjoy my evening. I had a really nutritious study snack:

Cola Zevia

Cola Zevia

We’re going to pretend this is healthy because it’s all natural and not just a diet soda. K? good. I was furiously reading Ancient Greek, flipping back and forth between Heroditus and my dictionary, until I received an email that my class tomorrow was cancelled again. Ridiculous. I was slightly annoyed, but this made my evening much easier. Despite the fact that I would be leaving my dorm in 30 minutes, my oat craving kicked in and did not care:

Pumpkin Oats With Crunchy Maple Sunrise And Almond Butter

Pumpkin Oats With Crunchy Maple Sunrise And Almond Butter

Need I remind how soon Thanksgiving is? Pumpkin oats with almond butter never fail to disappoint, but the addition of this new cereal made it perfect. This is Nature’s Path Organic’s Crunch Maple Sunrise and, though I’m generally not a cereal person, I must say this stood out. I don’t want to review it yet since I’m sure being on pumpkin oats might have affected the flavor, but I could literally smell maple syrup as I opened the bag. Ridiculous, right? And it’s gluten free if that’s a care to anyone. At 4:45 I got a message that a package was waiting for me in the mailroom that closed at 5. Ridiculous. I hustled my way over there and was overjoyed to make it and find these waiting for me:

Kardea Nutrition Bars

Kardea Nutrition Bars

The kind people at Kardea contacted me about trying their energy bars. Kardea’s product are all natural with cholesterol lowering ingredients, a hefty supply of protein and fiber, and all low and naturally sweetened. Not to mention, the flavors sound ridiculous. Ex: Banana nut and chai spice. I could not wait to try them, but I also needed to hop in my car and go go go.

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Talkin’ Turkey

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wowza(as my aunt would say), am I blessed to have so many great products to review, such as the honey vanilla bean Voskos I ate yesterday for breakfast. I’ll be sure to repost all of them when I’m finished reviewing the line for the company to the front page. But if you want a sneak peak at their goodness, just click on the links to the pages as I set them up.

Good morning, good morning. Yesterday in Latin class after handing in my essay on Catullus 8 I was painfully reminded of a midterm in that class Friday. Uhmmm shit crap. Countdown 4 days to memorize the Latin vocab for many many dirty poetry words. Besides that the class was tolerable. My hunger was a bit raging after my half marathon run so I had to eat a loud, crunchy apple during class; I felt really awkward making so much noise but c’est la vie. Afterwards I decided for lunch I would not be wasteful and instead eat the other 1/2 can of tuna in my fridge. Problem? It kind of froze over the weekend. Yuck. Also my other apples had gone bad. Double yuck. Instead I salvaged some other left overs and made some more space:

TJ Multigrain Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli

TJ Multigrain Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli

Pineapple Chobani With Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

Pineapple Chobani With Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

I found the other half of my Trader Joe’s pilaf, which was still good and not-frozen(does anybody else remember when I heated the bag for this because I sure don’t). Along with some steamed broccoli it was a nice veggie entree. And to add a bit of protein, by which I mean I could marry this beloved combination, I had a pineapple Chobani with some Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola. Holy shiz is that the bomb. I think I picked it up from Tina on Carrots N’ Cake; that’s one blogger who knows her food. Classes were a delightful snooze. My Greek History professor, who’s always quick to give his opinion, apparently considers The Simpsons as one of the best form of art in culture of any time. I can’t wait to see what that midterm’s like(jk, I totally can wait and would rather it weren’t next Friday). When I got out of Epic Poetry I had a great big box waiting for me:

Clif Bars And Mojo Bars

Clif Bars And Mojo Bars

The kind people at Clif sent me a box full of goodies. I contacted them after being in love with their Z-Bars for so long and realizing just what an extensive product line they have. Not only is their the original Clif Bars and Luna for woman(which, if you’re looking for reviews of, you’re looking at the wrong blog), but others including new MoJo bars and MoJo dipped. They sent me a medley of those and some of their new flavors, all of which I can’t wait to give a taste. If they’re anything like the Z-Bars, I’m going to be a very happy man.

The only other time I ran a half marathon was last Tuesday. If you remember from Wednesday’s post, I could hardly walk after that. Amazingly, I felt great yesterday all day long. So great in fact that I could walk the mile to Whole Foods to pick up two things I was absolutely craving:

Deli Sliced Turkey, Cola Zevia

Deli Sliced Turkey, Cola Zevia

I was seriously considering chugging a Zevia this morning with breakfast; unfortunately, I didn’t have this particular flavor which I wanted so bad. Thankfully I crave things that are on sale, so this 6-pack was only $4. The deli meat, as you will see, was for dinner. I love that at Whole Foods I don’t need to ask if the deli meat was treated with nitrates or what diet the turkeys were fed but can just eat it and feel good. For an Oprah worthy snack, I made oats:

Oatmeal With Semisweet Chocolate And Smart Balance

Oatmeal With Semisweet Chocolate And Smart Balance

When was the last time I had this combo? If I have to ask, I’m guessing the answer is far, far too long. This is another jar I’m almost out of; yippee for picking up $1 off coupons at home! Here’s to hoping it goes on sale somewhere so I can be really savvy. My work load has really picked up this week. I thought I had somehow dodged the Midterm bullet but apparently not. And since I consider blogging my “part-time job”, it’s not like I’ll be letting myself slack on that either. *Sigh* I think my perfect bubble of 7-8 hours of sleep a night, 1-2 hours running, and 1-2 hours walking/grocery shopping might take a hit this week. But I digress with this rant(isn’t that what blogging’s all about?). While I was catching up on reading, I came up with the perfect study snack:

Pumpkin Ginger Whoopie Pie

Pumpkin Ginger Whoopie Pie

The hamster in my mind was really running on his wheel for this one. I took a pack of gingerlicious cookies, mixed plain canned pumpkin with cinnamon and stevia, and mushed it between the two. This was just like a whoopie pie, except rung in at about 115 calories(aka, if I kept more gingerlicious cookies in my freezer than 1 pack, I would have ate a hell of a lot more of these). I didn’t need a big snack anyway because it was almost dinner. Despite the fact that I had pretty much the bulk of my meal I wanted to meet up with Adam at The Ratty to catch up:

Turkey And Cranberry Apple Butter Sandwich, Broccoli, Carrots, Vegan Garden Veggie Chili, Cola Zevia

Turkey And Cranberry Apple Butter Sandwich, Broccoli, Carrots, Vegan Garden Veggie Chili, Cola Zevia

The turkey was destined to be with the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter. It’s almost identical in flavor to cranberry sauce and I’ll be sure to put a can on my Thanksgiving table. The broccoli I doused with tobasco sauce for something a little different. I honestly didn’t touch the carrots because they seemed over processed and oily. And the vegan chili was amazing. I almost regretted bringing my own main meal on a night when the vegetarian option was so good.

I read a bit of Hesiod’s Works And Days for my Epic Poetry Class. After learning a language, I feel like such a slacker reading anything in translation; that being said, the professor definitely didn’t assign this 800something line book in the original Greek and I was in no way, shape, or form prepared to read it like that. Apparently, Hesiod was the iron age where men toiled in labor for Zeus. I think that makes us the… Selenium age? What do they even use to make computers these days anyway? Midway through, while also “watching” Heroes, I answered to my name being called:

Peanut Butter And Jelly Clif Mojo Dipped

Peanut Butter And Jelly Clif Mojo Dipped

In all truthfulness, I did not want to eat this last night because eating it meant photoing it, thinking about it, and writing up this review. But it was definitely calling out to me for obvious reasons(I mean, just look at the flavor). So I totally gave in and it was definitely worth it. I suggest you read my full review which I’ll repost once I’ve had a chance to sample this all, but this bar has a lot going for it: salty/sweet, 70% organic, 1st ingredient being peanut, 9g protein, etc. Now I’m jazzed to try the rest. The rest of my night was lame, in a good way:

Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Raspberry Jam, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Raspberry Jam, Toast With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

I made plenty of toast to eat up the bread in my fridge. I haven’t had the peanut butter cookie spread in too long. I can’t believe how many of you had never had cream cheese on a muffin; I’m not a bagel fan(that’s a whole other story) so I’ve made my peace with cream cheese on toast and muffins. Also, I love the combo of these vitatops and berry jams just as much as with peanut butters(yes, you read that right), especially when they aren’t too hot. Television for the night was decent comedy, but nothing spectacular. I’m now aware that I’ve moved on in my life from “Mom, do we have to watch the news?” to “Ooo, the 11 o’clock news is on, great now I can fall asleep to the headlines”. Life is a mysterious thing.

At 6:30 my roommate came home and went into his bed. I don’t know what’s worse: that he’s getting home at 6:30 or that I’m sometimes up by 6:30. Let’s call it a draw. It was definitely a drag-myself-out-of-bed morning, which I haven’t had in a while. Nonetheless I went to the gym and rocked out 8 miles in 65:52. It was most definitely an ipod assisted run. My gym friend, the 50+ year old woman who rocks it out on the treadmill with me, is back after being gone a few weeks–so exciting. I had the “I have early class but I want oatmeal” dilemma for breakfast. Oatmeal won out:

French Toast Oatmeal, Organic Voskos Plain With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Sunflower Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, Organic Voskos Plain With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Isn’t it always the case that oatmeal wins out? This bowl was especially good with a heaping dose of vanilla powder and cinnamon. I also gave another Voskos yogurt a try, the Organic Plain Non Fat. I was sure to taste a little for review before adding peanut flour, vanilla stevia, and chocolate sunflower butter. This butter is so thick, it actually makes a really great addition to yogurt, almost like a granola. I love finding new ways to eat nut butter.

Despite it not being 10am, I can tell today will be an amazing day. First I walked next to a security card singing “it’s going to be a bright sunshiny day”. Then I found not 1 but 2 pennies heads up outside my dorm. And when I glanced at my emails I came across this:

Email

Email

Aka, I have no class today. Too perfect. After reading that I’ve crawled back into bed(literally) and plan on blog reading to the tine of The Amazing Race. Should be a swell time.

Here’s a very Candid giveaway with tons of healthy goodies

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Determination And A Bit Of Math

Posted on October 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t know what happened, but yesterday was not 24 hours. It was 8, maybe 10 tops, and I have the pictures(and not the productivity) to prove it. The day started off good enough in class. I realized for the first time just how many grad students and upperclassmen I have for classmates. If I don’t Ace all my classes, I at least will feel comforted that my curve is being screwed by people who already did the college thing. I went to the lunchroom for lunch and ended up throwing out most of the food I picked up. I felt bad, but I’m sure the cafeteria throws out wayyy more than what I did. Instead I had a delicious microwave made meal:

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Garden Burger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

You don’t get this stuff from the dining hall. The Flamegrilled are my favorite Gardenburger, and they’re also vegan! I love simplicity of ingredients like that. The pilaf was very good; I’d had it before but don’t remember much more than liking it enough to buy it again. It had just the right amount of spice and salt, and a really fun play on texture. Tomatoes was the 2nd ingredient, which was odd because it didn’t seem like much there, but overall it was very tasty and filling, especially for something made in the microwave. 365 Steak Sauce just completes any dish–if you’ve tried it, you know what I mean.

Normally I’d have stayed in and watched Days and Rachael Ray. But the weather was not getting better with time here in New England, so I figured I might as well “get it over with”. As I started walking towards Whole Foods and F.Y.E., it started raining. This was entirely warranted:

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Look, ma, no cardboard holder! Nothing was getting between me and my warmth… literally. I pretty much gulped this down over the mile walk in record time. I first stopped at F.Y.E. to buy myself a little treat, then to Whole Foods to buy a little more. Would you believe my Whole Foods doesn’t have any Vitaproducts? What’s with that? I needed bread–I had made that admittance to myself. I also got enamored by the fresh cut deli meat so I got 1/4 pound Honey Maple Turkey. Yum!

Shopping Loot

Shopping Loot

When I was walking back, it really started raining. Thank God I’m a talented power-walker along with runner. I stopped by the mail room where I had an argument with my mailbox; I can remember what the numbers are, I just can’t keep in mind what direction to turn the dial! So frustrating, and all I had waiting for me was a bank statement. I did however have a very special package I was thrilled to receive waiting for me at the window. It was the order I placed Sunday night!

Naturally Nutty Products

Naturally Nutty Products

My Naturally Nutty Seed Butters! Have you ordered yet? What are you waiting for? Well I definitely needed a good bowl of oats to help me warm up. But I needed a good melting peanut butter and, despite how good Naturally Nutty is, it just doesn’t melt like PB&Co.:

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Soul-hitting? Yeah, that’s the word. I’m glad I’m not the only blogger with a serious addiction to this, see proof. Joint intervention? I hear those are cheaper. I caught up on Family Guy and SNL at this time. Loved Family Guy, but meh on the SNL. It just hasn’t been itself in ages. Around 6 I didn’t want to be ravenous at dinner so I snacked on this apple:

Mystery Apple

Mystery Apple

Calling all apple experts: This was delicious! Except I have no idea what it was. Is there such a thing as a Golden Delicious? Because that would certainly fit the bill for this one. It had a great sweetness at first but then mellowed out with a slight tartness, but not too much. One of you, I’m sure, will keen on this one I’m guessing. For dinner, my day all came together. My friend had to head back to Boston earlier so dinner with him was off; it was also raining cats and dogs so I was more than happy to stay inside and eat what I bought earlier:

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Cherry Zevia, Honey Maple Turkey Sandwich With Cranberry Apple Butter And Cream Cheese

Can you practically taste Thanksgiving already? The honey maple turkey had such a nice salty sweet flavor. And the Trader Joe’s Cranberry Apple Butter was just perfect and the cream cheese really mellowed it all out in the end. Ideally this would have had some vegetable on the plate, but the only one I had in my dorm was a sweet potato I didn’t feel like nuking and I certainly was not swimming to the dining hall to get carrots and broccoli. While I ate this I reunited with The Food Network. Did you know you can watch full episodes of certain shows like Good Eats? I found out exactly why yogurt is “good eats” and why I’ll probably never be making my own any time soon. If I did make my own, though, it would probably be out of goat milk:

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Because it sure makes for one hell of an ice cream. When I went down to the communal freezer, I said a little prayer along the lines of, “Just let it be there, damnit, or someone’s going to pay”. Don’t I make great prayers? At 6.99 a pint, you have to be a bit protective. Thankfully it was there so I scooped some out and put the itty-bit that’s left back in the freezer. I ate this to the tune of Survivor. I would so rock that show if I were on the island. The only problem is I don’t think I could stomach half the things they eat, and my metabolism would probably be racing so I would need to eat a lot. That would be a disaster. How is it that Russell has fooled them all? I couldn’t imagine watching these episodes after having gone through all that and been voted off and not feel a little cheated. For Grey’s I needed to get my probiotic on. I didn’t quite want to eat my other Attune bar yet; I want to save it for a “life could be worse. There could be no such thing as chocolate” moment, so I went with good ol’ Stonyfield instead:

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Stonyfield with a kick, that is. The muffin butt to my carrot ginger muffin had mysteriously been squished, so it made it all the better to grind up and add to this. It came out a little too yogurty because I used a lot, but ’twas still good with some NuNaturals vanilla stevia and cinnamon. Meanwhile I was having a ton of fun playing with this new feature to the MyPyramid website. It’s kind of fun, but kind of wrong, too, in my opinion. I don’t see why whole milk yogurt would have 65 “extra calories”(i.e. empty). Yes, it has fat solids, but its not like it has the same effect on the body as refined sugar. To each their own.

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With SB PB, Toast With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Can you tell I needed something to butter me up? The Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter is ah-mazing. It has a very similar flavor to the Pepita Sun Butter but isn’t quite as sweet, I’m guessing in part because of the extra cinnamon. I also watched Matt Lauer on Jay Leno and decided a Today Show Host is my new official dream job. Why? Well first of all who doesn’t love all of them. And Matt was talking about going to bed early and getting up and doing his job first thing in the a.m. How about perfect for me?

This morning was not normal, and I’m a creature of habit, so naturally I was a bit annoyed. I set my alarm 30 minutes early to do a longer run, and slept in for the first 15. Ididn’t get the best nights sleep, so my hunger was unusually raging when I woke up, so I grabbed this before going to the gym:

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

I’m not accustomed to eating before exercise, so this felt a little weird. But I didn’t want to just ignore hunger. Hopefully this isn’t an every day occurrence and sleep gets better or I’ll be putting on a Freshman 15 overnight(literally). After running about 3 1/2 miles, nature called and I had to make a pit stop. Thankfully, I recorded how far I’d run but not how long, and when I got back to the machine it had reset–oi. I kept going and after another 5 miles the same thing happened. This time I took note of distance and time, but I was still pretty annoyed as you can imagine. By the end, I had ran 10 miles, and after adding up all my distances/times/estimated times I ran it in what I think was 85:28. It almost doesn’t “feel” like a 10 mile run after all the interruptions and oddities. But I kept determined all the way through and that’s what matters.

When I got back there was another disappointment: My basil plant practically died overnight. I’m trying to water him all he’ll take but I’m guessing it’s just not a hospitable environment for him right now(hell, or me, I’m cold!).

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Blueberry Banana Yogurt With Strawberry Marmalade, Chocolate Vitatop With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

I really felt like I needed a “cleansing” breakfast this morning to shake off the bad and absorb the good, and that’s exactly what this was. Fruit and yogurt always feel nice and healthy, so I whipped up 1/2 a banana and unfroze some blueberries, mixed with Stonyfield and topped with jam–yum! The vitatop with the new seed butter was deeeelicious. The Sunflower Butter is very thick like most of Naturally Nutty’s products so it was hard to spread, but had a great flavor. It reminded me of Nutella except it’s not laden with sugar; in fact, sugar is one of the last ingredients. I’m going to try and convert all my peanut butter reviews into the new format this weekend, and I’ll be sure to add the new ones in. Speaking of this weekend, I’ve no clue what I’ll be doing. There’s so much to do at the Boston Regatta and campus and, at the same time, so much not to do so that I can catch up on work. I’ll have to figure that out today.

I would really go nutz to try Nuttzo, aka, don’t enter this contest 😉

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Fall And Falling Back

Posted on September 15, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I opened my inbox to 12 new messages this morning. most of it’s probably spam, but I still don’t feel like going through it, so I’m sure I’m going to write more in procrastination of not reading emails. Bad Evan. Anyway, yesterday’s Latin class was… interesting. Catullus has some really beautiful poems about his maiden’s sparrow, who sadly dies. How could anyone taint such a beautiful image? Well, reading the sparrow as a metaphor for his Johnson’s one way. What can I say, some classics majors only have one thing on their minds, haha. I was a little relieved when the bell rang after that class and it was time for lunch

1/2 Tuna And Peanut Butter Salad Sandwich On Sunflower Seed Bread, Corn, Apple With Mustard

1/2 Tuna And Peanut Butter Salad Sandwich On Sunflower Seed Bread, Corn, Apple With Mustard

This lunch was soo therapeutic. First off, the line to the lunch room was out the door, which I was not waiting for; but beyond that, I realized one of the reasons this hasn’t felt like home is that I haven’t been my amazing chef-self while I’m here. Cooking is what made me feel at home, so I went to my dorm and that’s just what I did. I think tuna and peanut butter make the best sandwich ever. If you think that’s weird, just try it. I use The Heat Is On peanut butter which has garlic and chile powder in it for a kick. I thought mustard and apple would be an interesting side since I didn’t have any other veggies, and I liked the sweet/spicy. This lunch definitely put me in a good mood for my next 2 classes.

After my Epic poetry I went to check my mailbox. It was full, and I spent 5 minutes trying to get it open to no avail. Any guesses why? It wasn’t my mailbox. Mine was the one beneath it. Oops! Oh well, I got mine open which also had mail. Finally my bank acount near school has been set up, so I won’t be going po’ at Whole Foods for a while now(though it will still happen, trust me). I went back to my dorm and was actually pretty hungry, so I threw Fall into a bowl and nuked it.

Peanut Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Pumpkin Seeds

Peanut Pumpkin Oats With Chocolate Chips And Pumpkin Seeds

I’ve been dying to get back to baking, and one of the things I really want to make is my pumpkin bread; but living in a dorm, this was as close as I could think to come. I mixed 1/3 oats with 2 tablespoons peanut flour, 120g pumpkin, and 3/4 cup water and added cinnamon and salt. The flavor was really great–pumpkin with a hint of peanut, and do you not see those delicious chocolate chips? I think it was a bit too watery, though, or it needed oatbran to thicken it. It’s definitely on it’s way to being a protein-powerhouse of a winner. Afterward I went out for the one thing that goes best with Fall:

Blue State Coffee

Blue State Coffee

Coffee of course. One thing I love is that everywhere here the coffee is fair trade and organic. There’s actually more place like that than there are Starbuckses–imagine that! After finishing my work for tomorrow’s 1 class(insert happy dance), I celebrate with some ice cream.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

I scream, you scream, we all scream for frozen yogurt!… Doesn’t have the same ring, but it’s just as yummy. I can’t wait to finish my quart and pick out a new flavor. And by “I can’t wait” you can presume I mean I really can’t wait and will probably go get another flavor tomorrow. Patience is a virtue, just not one of mine 🙂 I read up on the rules of beer pong while I was licking away. Interesting game; I don’t know that I’d want to drink anything after a ping pong ball lands in it, but I suppose the people who play get drunk enough not to care. I met up with my friend, Adam, at the Ratty, where I loaded my plate with veggie loving:

Chickpea Soup, Vegan Chili, Tomato Rice, Hugh Jass Salad, Carrots, Root Beer Zevia

Chickpea Soup, Vegan Chili, Tomato Rice, Hugh Jass Salad, Carrots, Root Beer Zevia

This night was particularly good at the Ratty. I started with a salad made with grape tomatoes, chickpeas, tofu, and onion. There was also a funky rice thing; it looked like brown rice which is why I took it but an afterthat was that it wasn’t. Oh well, white rice doesn’t kill. The Vegan chili was really good–lots of big red beans and celery in a thick sauce. I was thinking of sneaking some out but that might have gotten a little messy.

When I got back to my dorm room I tried to work but had one thing on my mind: coffee ice cream. I couldn’t shake the craving no matter what so I went out onto Thayer street to try to buy a Breyer’s quart somewhere and sooth my sweet tooth. Did CVS have it? Nope. Did Tedeschi? Nope. I ended up in the last of places I’d have expected and ordered the last of things I’d have expected.

Sinless Cake Batter Ice Cream

Sinless Cake Batter Ice Cream

Oh Coldstone, how you are my friend and my enemy, or as some might say–frenemy. I went in “just to look” but when does that ever work out? I felt like I needed to get something or I would go to my room and get nothing done, so I ordered my old standby: sinless cake batter. It has artificial sugar and partially hydrogenated oil in, along with artificial flavor. Oh joy. Do I like falling back to this stuff? No. I like living my all natural lifestyle. But, at the beginning of the Summer, a day where I ate just no artificial sugars was “a good day” and now that’s my every day. So if at one snack I fall back to my old ways, I say the good outweighs the bad, and I need to not judge me so harshly. Will I do this again? Probably. Is it going to become my “lifestyle” again? No way.

When I got back to my dorm I still hadn’t had my coffee anything, so I threw together some oats:

Oatmeal With Cocoa Powder And Mocha Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cocoa Powder And Mocha Peanut Butter

I’ve never tried cocoa powder in oats, and I don’t think I will again. They came out kind of bland. I could have added stevia, but after the sucralose in the ice cream I was not digging any sort of added sugar for the rest of the night. I actually didn’t want to finish these, but I felt like if I threw them away I’d have to explain to my roommate how someone can make oats and then decide he doesn’t like them. Ridiculous, right? Well that was how I was thinking. I finally figured out what it was I really wanted:

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cream Cheese And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cream Cheese And Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Mucho better. Except for the fact that was my last cinnamon raisin english muffin and the Whole Foods brand ones are expensive 😦 Anyone else watch Jay Leno’s new show? I can’t say I was a fan of the lign-up of guests(except Oprah, of course). But I still liked the show. I used to tivo him and watch him at a more reasonable hour, because I’m 87 years old and 11:30 is just too late for me. I hope it does well in the ratings because I could see myself watching this on nights when the primetime dramas are a little slow.

Well, needless to point out, that was a lot of delicious carbs for my morning run. I decided just to go down Hope street and see what I find. I didn’t realize Downtown Pawtucket was just 3 miles down the road. I felt a little funny runny past all the high schoolers going to class, because I really don’t see much of a difference between them and I; I think I look young for my age(because 18 is soooooo old(sarcasm alert)). I ended up feeling great and going farther than I expected. By the end I ran 7.6 miles at an 8:00min/mile pace, which I was super excited about because that’s as fast as I’ve been able to go on these Providence streets. I smelled bacon on my run. A lot of bacon. I don’t have bacon 😦 But I tried to make a breakfast just as good 🙂

Oatbran With An Egg And Steack Sauce, Toast With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Yogurt With Maple Syrup And Peanut Flour

Oatbran With An Egg And Steack Sauce, Toast With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Yogurt With Maple Syrup And Peanut Flour

This felt sort of like a “diner” breakfast, minus the homefries and HFCS laden jams. I’d been needing something to use as an excuse to eat my steak sauce on: welcome, mr. egg. The salty-savory combo worked really well with the maple-peanut yogurt. It’s kind of like how great it is when the maple syrup drips a little bit and leaks onto your bacon–bacon? did someone say bacon? where?

Tuesday’s and Thusdays my mornings always feel rushed. By the time I run, shower, and make breakfast it’s 9:15, and my class starts at 10:30. Thankfully that’s my only class for the day, so I can do all the grocery store mosying that I want too homework that I need to.

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Dark Chocolate Almond Day

Posted on August 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ever just have a flavor follow you throughout the day? Yesterday was officially dark chocolate almond day in Evan’s world(not like that’s a bad thing in the least). It all started off really innocent. I thought “you know what I haven’t had in a looooong time? Chocolate milk.” Dark chocolate almond moment number 1:

Chocolate Almond Milk

Chocolate Almond Milk

I usually use the almond milk for thinning out overnight oats or pouring into coffee, but over time I’ve developed a flavor for it on its own. I even prefer the unsweetened version because it has a soft almond bitterness to it. I stirred in about 2 teaspoons organic midnight moo sauce and it was a cool glass of spot-hitting nostalgia.

Surprisingly I didn’t go for a walk in the morning; I stayed in spending quality time with my adoptive father: Conan O’brien. Good times, good times. I miss him when he goes on repeats. I also made my Whole Foods shopping list for the day after checking out the new sales:

Shopping List

Shopping List

I have to admit I’m an over-organizer. Not only do I make a list for things that I need but also any products that I might want or still need time to think about. I end up buying about 1/4-1/3 of what’s actually written down and usually nothing not on the list. Apparently men are better at sticking to grocery lists. Sorry, ladies, we’re just that good 🙂 For lunch I thought I’d go veg for the meal since I have been having a lot of meat/fish.

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

I tried making a panini on an indoor grill but that really didn’t work out. After working out my fisherman’s vocab, I stuck the bread in a toaster and slathered on tomato, avocado, swiss, and mustard when it came out. I also threw it alongside some watermelon and refried beans.

Wayland Farmer's Market

Wayland Farmer's Market

This Wednesday was particularly special because we found out where there was a farmers’ market that sold Great Harvest bread. Apparently this is a very popular chain but there are only 2 in all of Massachusetts so I’d never had their bread before. We went to the farmers’ market and picked up Dakota 4-seed bread. The woman selling it asked if it was “ok that it’s still a little hot from the oven”. Ok? That’s fricken awesome, thanks.

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

I actually didn’t break into the bag because Whole Foods was like 100 yards away and I was itching to get in there. I almost never go to the Wayland Whole Foods since it’s a bit more out of the way than Framingham and it’s a little bit smaller. Well good things come in small packages, right? This place had tons of new goodies I hadn’t seen on the shelves yet. Check out this aisle!

New Spreads

New Spreads

They had an entire part dedicated to new spreads. I was in heaven. I know I said I almost never buy something not on the list, but this CLEARLY begged to be that “almost” time. I spent literally a good 10 minutes debating between an organic version of Nutella and what I actually ended up buying:

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Now do you get the title of this post? I bought this and the tote with my own money. My grandmother who was with us offered to pay but I feel like such a moocher all the time, I needed to do this for my independence. I started way over thinking that decision on the way home and over thinking how much of a poor college student I’ll be and my life will suck which I realized meant I was just Hungry. Before the groceries were even put away I made myself this:

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Taste test time! I was slightly worried this would be like PB&Co.’s dark chocolate dreams peanut butter, which is really nothing like peanut butter or dark chocolate. But this was exactly the flavor you get from the name. The almond was very pronounced followed by a sweetness from the chocolate and finishing with an overall slight bitterness–joy. It didn’t even matter that the banana bread was definitely over ripe because it was that good. And currently Maranatha is the only company I know of who offers this flavor, so they’re definitely the innovators here.

I straightened out the entire kitchen after that snack. When I get stressed, no matter what it’s about, I need to clean everything around me until it’s sparkling clean. Even if that wasn’t the stress factor, it makes me feel better. That’s when I had dark chocolate almond moment 3 of the day:

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Newsflash: Ice cream isn’t bad for stress relief either. I could’ve easily finished the pint, but a little voice in my head reminded me of how I’d been nagging my dad to give it a try and see if he liked the flavor. Later on he finished the pint and gave it a thumbs up–obviously.

Dinner was definitely fit for a king:

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Boneless sirloin steak was on sale for 5 dollars a pound at Whole Foods. This was almost 3 times less than the halibut from last night, and umm 20 times better? 365 steak sauce was the perfect touch to it(like it is with everything else). I’d never had beets before but they were pretty good too; I liked the sweetness with some salt. And the Dakota 4-seed bread was ok, but for my money, I think I’ll be sticking with Trader Joe’s soft 10-grain bread until I find something else. My mom apparently got sick sometime in the afternoon and went upstairs without even eating, and is now requesting that we have steak again sometime while it’s on sale because she missed it; sounds good to me 🙂

Right after dinner this was on my doorstep:

Food Should Taste Good Package

Food Should Taste Good Package

Emily from Foodshouldtastegood.com was nice enough to send me a sampler of their products!

Lime, Sweet Potato, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Lime, Potato And Chive, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Emily sent me their 4 new flavors–Lime, Potato And Chive, Yellow Corn, and Cinnamon–as well as their 2 spicy flavors–Buffalo and Jalapeno. Did you know men prefer the spicy flavors? I knew that was true for myself but didn’t want to jump to general conclusions, but apparently it’s a fact. Thanks Emily! I can’t wait to munch on these over the week and right a full review for Food Should Taste Good.

I prepared myself for dark chocolate almond flavor 4 of the day:

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

I pulsed up 7 ounces of frozen banana and then a small handful of Emeralds’ Dark Chocolate Almonds to go on top. Each bight had jsut the right amount of cocoa and nut to banana. I must admit, this soft serve is really growing on me, even if my food processor is duller than a door knob. I was thinking of buying a very base flavor ice cream to add whatever mix-ins I want, but my money would be so much better spent on a bunch of bananas. A big tub of frozen yogurt might not be a bad idea, though, until they make probiotic bananas(hey, you never know these days).

After some more carbs(unpictured) with some more spreads(also unpictured, but you betcha dark chocolate almond butter was in there) I watched Top Chef and went to bed. It’s so obvious one of the brothers are going to win; they kind of blow away the competition. This morning I ran 6.7 slow and steady. My legs definitely aren’t 100% at the moment but I’m thinking Sunday will be a rest day and that they can wait. This morning did not continue dark chocolate almond day; I was in a peanut-pumpkin mood:

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

Sadly this killed my jar of pumpkin butter, my banana nut granola sampler, AND my tub of vanilla chobani. That being said, it’s totally delicious and hitting the spot. And I’m loving the peanut flour from The National Peanut Board. 5oz vanilla chobani with 2 tablespoons peanut flour has 19 grams of protein and a great peanutty flavor; could you ask for more? Eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to have benefits that last through out the day. I’m definitely going to see if any stores around here carry peanut flour once I’ve baked out this bag.

Today I’m very excited for. Why? I’m baking a fresh loaf of banana bread. I’ve been debating playing with the recipe, but I’m thinking of just going with what I did the first time, since I know how that comes out and it’s damn good.

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Pick Me! Pick Me!

Posted on August 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

After going through a mountain of circulars and clipping some coupons I noshed on this little guy:

Juicy Peach

Juicy Peach

Peaches seem to be a favorite of bloggers, myself included. This turned out to be a cling peach, which I don’t like nearly as much as the free stone peaches(although not liking nearly as much is still liking a lot). Any other people with a preference one way or the other? I also like peaches with a darker orange flesh. White peaches are just not up my alley, sorry to get all racist on ya’ll. For lunch we were grilling but I did my own thing.

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey and avocado is just so tried and true I couldn’t turn it down once it got in my head. And I really like the Newman’s Own Organic white cheddar soycrisps(and the fact that they sent me 2 bags since the first is almost gone ;-)) They’re much better than their barbeque counterpart I decided after trying these again. For dessert I killed some dead weight:

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Doesn’t it feel good to empty out a pint and make room? I don’t even know what I’m going to replace this with, but I’m already racing my mind. Any suggestions are welcome so long as it’s an all-natural brand/flavor.

I really didn’t think today would be all that exciting or interesting until my mom came up with a great idea–berry picking! We went to Tougas Farm a while back for blueberry picking, from which we still have some berries, but this time we wanted something different. We decided to be fancy and mix it up.

August 23rd 004

August 23rd 005We decided to get 1 pint of blackberries and 3 of raspberries, since raspberries are just that pro(and so expensive to buy in the store). I really kick the other people in this family’s asses butts when it comes to picking berries, mostly because I find the really ripe ones and then put them in my container instead of my mouth. I ended up doing about half the total picking, including this pint which I proudly labeled after getting home.

My Pint O' Raspberries

My Pint O' Raspberries

Peaches were also in season at the farm(!!) but there was a bushel minimum. I enjoy my peaches, but a bushel plus the ones we already had would make enough pies for a Southern State Fair, so we just bought some already picked. I asked the lady distributing them who said they were free stone, which has me pumped to try one.

Tougas Farm's Peaches

Tougas Farm's Peaches

After that my parents needed to get some coffee from price chopper. Folgers is definitely not the best part of waking up, but they got 2 containers for 3 dollars, which I must admit was a killer deal. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s for some whole wheat hot dog buns for an upcoming meal. I was also getting the snackaroo’s at this point and figured it was a great chance to try one of Trader Joe’s muffins.

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Normally, I’d say avoid any store or cafe muffin, but Trader Joe’s are the real deal. They’re well sized with decent nutritional stats–full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. I love that all the ingredients make sense and are things I would put in my muffins. And what I love more is that I don’t have to lift a finger to make them 🙂 I chose the carrot ginger flavor since it sounded like my most beloved dessert–the carrot cake. The carrot and ginger flavor was present but subtle, which I liked because it made this muffin taste like a muffin and not a dessert. The oatmeal and oatbran added a lot of texture, and the water, oil, and white grape juice kept the muffin moist. Overall it was a great, filling snack and would make a killer on-the-go breakfast. I definitely want to stock up on these to shove in the freezer and heat up whenever I’m feeling a wee bit lazy.

Before dinner I took a little note from my previous day:

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 pints free from the fridge? Ooo, I could buy a quart of ice cream now 🙂 Another pick-up from Trader Joe’s was some Wild Atlantic Salmon for dinner.

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

I made my own sauce for the salmon instead of turning to my standby Island Soyaki and am so glad I did. All I did was take 1 part apricot preserves to 1 part soy sauce, added a few squirts of agave nectar and zested a little lemon and voila. It was light and citrusy and asian, so basically perfect for this meal.

Of course dessert started with this little number:

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

I totally had this in mind when I was picking my berries. It’s one of those combos that you just know works and is going to be good. Nothing beats berries and cream in the Summer, am I right? I tried to toast the almonds for 6 minutes, which didn’t really work but I was feeling a little impatient. If you have the time to, toast away–it really brings the flavor out. Then I noshed on a little more homemade banana bread with coffee.

Banana Goodness Bread With Coffee

Banana Goodness Bread With Decaf Coffee

One idea I had was to bake the bread with instant coffee granules to give it a bit of a mocha taste, but if it had any caffeine in it I probably would be afraid to eat it past 5pm because, yes, I am that much of a lightweight.

This morning I really didn’t know what to run so I did the same 6.7 as yesterday. My time was only 1 minute slower than yesterday, which I thought was pretty good considering my legs weren’t feeling 100% and I was slightly bored/hesitant running the same path. Maybe I’ll be spending more time on Google Maps today looking for something new. As I write I’m sitting down to a deliciously orange breakfast:

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

I love whole grains at breakfast but I always turn to toast or oatmeal. One of the challenges of the breakfast challenge for me has been how to work whole grains in in a new way, to which my response is this delicious muffin top, smothered in peanut butter. The peach from the farm wasn’t really free stone, but it didn’t matter. It was so ripe and buttery it all practically fell apart and tastes amazing. Alas, that was the last of my quart of Wallaby Vanilla Bean yogurt that I got for 2.50. That was a good Whole Foods sale. Today I plan on getting a lot more college stuff done. i can’t believe I move in in less than 2 weeks; it seems so close yet so far!

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Monday Through Funday

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

P.S. Wednesday is now known as Funday

P.P.S. Funday wasn’t so fun until around 6pm this week.

It seems like only yesterday I was here:

The Pond

The Pond

That’s the pond across from their house. Years ago we would fish in it but at some point the idea of sticking a spear into fishes’ lips, tearing it out, and throwing them back lost its appeal. I sat around waiting for other people to get their butts out of bed get dressed and ready. While I was waiting I enjoyed some Newman’s Own Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso chocolate and my favorite funny lady.

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

My opinion’s changing slightly on this one with each try. I still don’t see it as an espresso flavor, but it’s growing on me as an artisan flavor.

When said butts were in motion, we went to Malibu Grand Prix–a place with race cars, bumper boats, mini-golf and an arcade. It was the first day of school in Georgia so the three of us comprised half the population in the whole place. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t turn on the bigger machines until 3pm when more people might show up, so we played a round of golf.

Alex Taking His First Putt

Alex Taking His First Putt

I even got a hole in one!

My Hole In One

My Hole In One

After that I was feeling munchy. We stopped at Publix on the way where I grabbed some of my all-time favorites: Hormel sliced turkey, an avocado, and an organic peach.

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

I made a turkey and avocado sandwich. Oh God have I been missing this, especially the cool and creamy avocado. So happy I had some waiting for me back home J The peach was… weird. The inside was brownish but it tasted perfectly normal. I was just happy to have an organic peach; it’s number one on the pesticide dirty dozen list.
I played a few games, but mostly I think they’re a waste of money considering the hefty amounts of video games I have, so I just ate while the others played.

A Skiball Machine

A Skiball Machine

This guy stole one of my tokens >_< After that we hit up the race track. I drive very much like my parents: slow and cautious. I was literally waving people on the track to pass me and staying on the outside of curbs. I think the 8 year old who lapped me got a kick out of it. Oh well, that’s how we do it in New England and if you don’t like it stay off our streets. We also went on the bumper boats.

Bumper Boats

Bumper Boats

This was fun and relaxing until mine lost power at the end and the women operating the ride had to get into another boat to come and pull me in. I guess I can now say I’ve been part of a sea search and rescue operation?

Dinner

Dinner

For dinenr we had chicken marsala and Kashi curry pilaf on the side. It was all tasty(with loads of salt added, of course) but my stomach felt awful. I have no idea what the problem could have been; the rice was a few months past the date but that doesn’t seem like it would have been an issue. Maybe it was all the fiber and protein at once? Idk, if my stomach ever feels like that again I can relate the two situations and figure it out.

We all went down stairs to watch one of the birthday gifts: Watchmen. I think a huge WTF is warranted here. I just did not get it at all, thank god I had my laptop to blog read with during that. I also popped this out of m pocket since I wanted something small to try and settle my stomach.

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

This is definitely still one of my favorite flavors. The orange has just the right intensity for the dark chocolate. I also made myself a parfait and tried using the banana spread trick with raspberries. The raspberry spread came out Ok. I’d stick with the 365 brand, though. The parfait was really fun, mostly because I don’t take the extra minutes to make myself something like that usually.

I was a little sleep deprived from my roomie’s tv watching habit(maybe this was good practice for college), but I still got up the next morning at 7 and powered in a 5-miler. That makes 20 miles for Georgia and I’m more than ecstatic about that. I came back and made myself oats with SB PB and another parfait.

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

At the suggestion of some other Runner’s World forumites, we explored the Dekalb’s Farmers Market, and I’m so glad we did.

Dekalb Farmers Market

Dekalb Farmers Market

This place was huge and absolutely incredible. I really wish we had something like this within 50 miles of me because it would entirely be worth the trip. Maybe it was a good thing I had to get on a plane in a few hours because otherwise I would’ve bought all the produce I could get my hands on to. The variety and prices were incredible. I found some Sunland Inc. Peanut Butter which I’ve been really wanting to try but they only had creamy and crunchy which weren’t too exciting. I ended up with this as my loot:

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Using everything I bought, I made a sandwich with Cashew and Cherry butter on that fresh bread. That bread must be baked with crack love, because it’s sooo good. Too bad there aren’t many more places that make artisan breads these days; it’s really a lost art. The goat milk yogurt is always one of my favorites. This one was a little thin but I think that’s because it hadn’t been in the refrigerator long before I grabbed it.

We got to the airport and said our sad goodbyes. It was fun and hopefully we’ll see them around Christmas time in NY for a day like we usually do. I can manage to smuggle a lot on to an airplane, but apparently not Smart Balance Peanut Butter and Cherry Butter. The containers were “too deep” or something like that. Sure, they’re things I can get at Whole Foods, but it was pretty annoying.

The first flight went fine, the second not so much. I had to lay over in Philly. My flight ended up getting pushed back 20 minutes. I grabbed this way overpriced but not horrible salad for dinner:

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

We starting boarding another 20 minutes late due to the mass amount of people trying to get on my plane since the previous flight to Boston was cancelled. We got onto the runway and–surprise–wouldn’t know if we could take off until 9:30. All we could do was sit there, so I watched a movie on my ipod, hoped to God we’d get off the ground, and snacked on some Newman’s Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate for stress relief, which actually worked.

Snacking On The Plane

Snacking On The Plane

We ended up taking off around 9:45 and got off the plane at around 10:40. I’ll spare you the drama but the landing was a little more than bumpy.  I was not in the mood at that time to be chatty so I just snacked cherry butter I asked my dad to buy and cashew butter on toast, just like my lunch. Life’s hysterical, ain’t it?

I was asleep by 12:15 and as soon as I knew it it was 6am and I was waking up to run. A little crazy maybe but I figured it was the best way to get into the swing of things. I did a good 5 miles before heading off to work and having some breakfast:

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Work was, again, unexciting. I’m just happy I made it through the day awake. I tapped into the power of Goji berries in the form of my favorite bar, Clif Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar. I figure it makes Erik from Vegan Fritz so badass it’ll keep me going for a few hours. For lunch I munched on a bison burger.

UFood Bison Burger

UFood Bison Burger

It was a little over cooked, but it hit the spot. I got a paycheck, too. You’ll be seeing that in the form of peanut butter eventually. I also tried the last chocolate Newman’s Own Organic sent me:

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

I’m not a milk chocolate fan in general; my memories of it are Hershey’s bars and Easter bunnies. That’s probably why I pushed this one off as long as I could. It was actually pleasant. It in no way made me think of a dreaded Hershey’s. It did remind me of an Easter egg but a high quality one. The texture was smooth and the flavor was overall pretty creamy. I’m still not a milk chocolate fan, though. I’d much rather go for the Mocha Milk Chocolate, which was absolutely incredible.

On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to hit the sales.

The Loot

The Loot

Black mission figs were 2 dollars for 8oz, yippee!! I also got some Zevia root beer on sale, some TJ brand sunflower butter, all-natural gummies, and chocolate syrup because they’re so cheap, and a few other goodies. I also had this waiting for me:

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Sally from Newman’s Own Organic sent me more(much more) products to review. I just got through all the types of chocolate; they’re really working me over there. Haha, jk. Thanks a ton Sally and Newman’s Own Organic! I never knew Newman’s Own Organic made so many high-protein snacks and munchies. I’m going to find plenty of uses for these over the next few weeks.

After all that excitement I had to try something out, but what? These!:

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

I’ve already had and reviewed their original hermits, but I was really excited to try the ginger variety. I love their hermits in general because each one has 8-10% your DV of iron, in a cookie no less! Plus, I love a deep spice and molasses flavor over something sugary sweet anyday. The ginger variety was very delicious, but I didn’t notice a huge difference from the original ones. Both had a great spiced flavor that wasn’t too sharp. Overall I’d definitely recommend getting some Newman’s Own Organic Hermits if you’re a spice lover, but I can’t recommend one flavor over another; you’ll be healthy and happy with any.

Speaking of Newman’s Own Organic, the chocolate review is almost complete, and since tomorrow’s a work day I plan on finishing it tonight and posting it bright and early before I head off. Hope you’ll check it out!

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