Working (And) Up An Appetite

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If this post has a somewhat downer tone it’s probably because my dinner was a little bit of a Disaster with a capitol D, but more on that later :-/

Laundry

I still love Mondays, though! I managed to get laundry done, and read 160 pages for a class I need to read. It’s not as much homework as I’d like to have done but there’s still time after dinner, right? I’ll just keep hoping.

Sundried Tomato Al Fresco Chicken Sausage

I wanted lunch to be low-key so I grabbed a new flavor of Al Fresco‘s chicken sausage to try and review. I love these because I just have to defrost in the microwave for 90 seconds and then cook them in there, too, for another minute!

Black Beans With Salsa, Broccoli With Hemp Oil, Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage

Even though this was an early lunch, I felt like I needed volume. I guess those 10 miles this morning got my appetite going, too. The broccoli was jazzed up with a little of the hemp oil dressing from Foods Alive and then the beans by salsa. Yum. This sausage wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I was looking for :-/ It tasted… like chicken. AND I was still hungry. Dessert time!

Lemon Fig Pecan Raw Bar

Which obviously called for coffee, as well. I dug into my stash of Uli Mana raw desserts and tried their lemon fig pecan bar. It was super delicious! I just loved how bursting with lemon this was, like a lemon bar with powdered sugar but sooo much better for me. It was a nice sweet tone to end Lunch with and get working while watching TV.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

3pm rolled around and I was starving AGAIN. Did you know Stedman isn’t a fan of chocolate? The things we learn watching Oprah… Anyway, that gave me a major chocolate chip craving, which led to some rawesome ice cream with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve

Yum! I think I need to make a recipe page with all the possible alterations on banana soft serve, because the possibilities are endless! This batch was chocolate chip, and at the end I made it something of a banana de sel by sprinkling sea salt on top to bring out the sweetness. Can you say heavenly?

Trader Joe's Chocolate Chip

These are my preferred chocolate chips of choice for applications like this. They are gluten free and vegan. They taste deliciously sweet(hello, 8g of sugar per serving). I’ve had lengthy discussions with Avery just about how much these rock. My only complaint is that Trader Joe doesn’t make mini chocolate chips; mini makes everything more fun! Oh, I’d also complain they aren’t terribly filling.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Looks like a breakfast, but eats like a snack. And, yes, I eat oatmeal usually with a salt shaker at arm’s length for some flavoring. Pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter was just what I needed to power me through an otherwise painfully long afternoon.

For dinner, I wanted to make an entry into Katie’s new contest. All you need to do is make pancake roll-ups, top with fun toppings, and enjoy. Simple, right? My idea was gluten-free coconut flour crepes with cream cheese, avocado, salsa, and tuna toppings. But instead of crepe, I got…

Coconut Pancake "Grits" With Grass-Fed Butter, Tuna With Coconut Milk And Cream Cheese

Crap. CLEARLY I am not that good at making pancakes. I tried! I honestly did! I was flipping away in the dorm kitchen but everything turned to mush. This was one gluten-free recipe that was not meant to be. Not to mention it wasn’t very smart to keep licking the batter when there’s egg white in it(oops). In the end, it was really a meal that would have better off uneaten 8-| But I also am pretty strict about not wasting food, so I called it a “grits” and went ahead and had something like the planned meal.

I could let the nastiness of this get me down, but instead I’ll focus on the positive points. It was a meal full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Besides, with a hunger like mine, there are plenty of more meals to come and 1 bad one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, tomorrow night’s dinner will be a real hum-dinger I know I can pull off 😀 And so I can look forward to that. And maybe, just maybe, Katie will take pity on my and let my shameful attempt count as an entry? So let’s hear in the comments some of your worst dinner disaster stories.

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“Life” Is A Funny Thing

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

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

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Welcome To The Weekend

Posted on February 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Welcome to my weekend, at least! I can’t think of a more perfect way than with a new Survivor season starting in 20 minutes! I’ve been watching the show since season 1 when I was only around 8 or 9 years old. Has it really been that long? Anyway, It felt soooo good getting out of my class at 4pm this afternoon. If you’ll remember, last Thursday it was out of class and off to chocolate fest so there wasn’t much “downtime”. This afternoon, however, has been nothing but. Speaking of being lazy, I really didn’t want a “real lunch” this afternoon. All I cared about was dessert. I ended up doing something sloppy and simple.

Scrambled Eggs With Ketchup, Canned Pumpkin With Nutritional Yeast

What can I say? I’m a college student 😛 I scrambled 2 Eggland’s Best Cage Free eggs in a little pasture butter and topped with ketchup–OMG. I seriously forgot how satisfying just scrambled eggs are. My grandma would make them for me all the time; I’ll need to do them more often. On the other hand, I’ve decided pretty firmly that I just do not care for pumpkin anywhere but in my oats. It tastes bland and nasty, in my opinion. Blech. But I was also out of fresh, fiberous vegetables and was in a pickle(Mmm… pickles). More importantly, I just wanted my dessert.

Banana Whipe With Peanut Flour Topping

Banana whip! Oh how I love thee. So smooth. So creamy. So delicious. I’ve been keeping bananas from the dining hall in the dorm fridge for this; it’s free for me and takes up common space 🙂 For the topping, I meant to make a peanut sauce but didn’t use enough flour so it was more like dough. That doesn’t matter; what was important was that I realized peanut flour is something that upsets my stomach. It’s weird to think something that’s only peanut would do that to me, but it does. And it sucks that it’s a perfectly vegan source of protein 😦 I don’t even know what I’m going to do. Thoughts? Any lactose intolerant ice cream eaters out there?

Choco Peanut Butter Honest Foods Bar

During my 2nd of 2 classes this afternoon, I broke open this bar from Honest Foods. Honestly? It was pretty fantastic. I’ve come to notice that anything that’s supposed to taste like peanut butter with grains in it usually doesn’t; thankfully that wasn’t the case. I think any walnuts/sunflower seeds in here would have been better off being more peanut halves, but beyond that yum!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut Oil

I could have been dancing getting out of my last class this afternoon; it didn’t quite matter that I didn’t do all the homework for it because we never get that far in translation courses. To celebrate the afternoon, I had some raw chocolate avocado pudding with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil. Welcome to the weekend indeed! If this is any indication, this weekend will be fattening 😉 After that I mostly vegged out doing some potential online shopping(aka filling a shopping cart with foodie finds but not hitting “check out”) and planning a comforting dinner.

Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage, Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potato With Maple Syrup

I think that pretty much sums up my comfort foods: brussels sprouts(or broccoli–either will do), sweet potatoes, maple syrup, fatty meat, salt, and anything roasted! Actually, the vegetables were a bit of a disappointment in that respect; either the fact that they were cooked in the dining hall(with no apparent fat) or my lack of patience meant they weren’t well roasted. This flavor of Al Fresco all natural chicken sausage cooked in a pan with some pasture butter made up for it a bit.

Fat Talk

Since I have a bit of time, I thought why not address some fat talk. And not the kind that we all snickered about in High School! I want to talk about fat in your(or my) diet. I was turned on to different and new fats and ways of thinking about them by bloggers like Heather and Averie. If today can be seen as an average day, then I get a good deal of mono- and poly-saturated fats from almond butter, peanut butter, and avocado, and my saturated fats from coconut, grass-fed butter, and hormone-free meats.

The obvious question would be “How do you feel?”. My answer is “Pretty darn good”. The fat is definitely delicious and filling. I haven’t had any stomach issues save the peanut flour which is actually only 12% fat. And–for what it’s worth–my skin and complexion seem smoother and clearer. If I had to sum it all up and be catch, I’d say “Fat is here to stay”. And I still think that getting the mono/polysaturated fats as well as the “bad” saturated fats. These really aren’t so bad if you stick with sources like coconut and grass-fed meat and dairy options.

Well that’s just my 5-minute 2 cents. But without further ado, the winner of the Yogurt Maker via Random.org is…

Erika!

Congrats! I can’t wait to see what she cultures up. And, if you didn’t win this, you can win Chobani from Anne in her giveaway here.

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A Little Something For Everyone

Posted on February 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love hearing that a lot of you have seen the Emmy’s Organics macaroons but just haven’t picked them up yet! Well, I don’t like that last part, but I will say you’re lucky in that I’d never seen these before they showed up at my door and do suggest you give them a shot(Better yet–get a different flavor and tell me how that one is!).

For lunch I “planned” for a fly-by sort of meal where I would just go with whatever’s quick and simple. Who “plans” for grabby meals like that? Apparently, me 🙂 I ended up with a plate that had a little something  for everyone on it(but all for me really).

2 Eggs, Feta & Spinach Chicken Sausage, Tempeh Bacon, Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie

The Wow Baking Company Gluten Free Cookie

This was a lot of fat, a lot of protein, and a little bit of carbs, and it totally worked for me! At least at this meal it did. I thought the idea of having (vegan) bacon and eggs was cute, as was the idea of having eggs and chicken (sausage). Sooo why not have it all? And with a gluten free cookie on the side? Perfect! A little something for whatever your eating habits may be. 🙂 This sausage was a new one to me; I loved how delicious salty it was! It wasn’t very feta in flavor, but it certainly had flavor and would be a perfect basic sausage.

The Wow Baking Company Oregon Oatmeal Cookies

The Oregon Oatmeal cookie was part of the pack from The Wow Baking Company. It smelt sooo good! Like fresh cinnamon–yum! I loved the base of the cookie, with rich tones of butter and thick, hearty oats. But the fruit I thought was a little bland and lacking. And this was a LOT of sugar. I mean, what can you expect from a cookie overall? Definitely something fun to eat, but it didn’t really WOW me.

Thumb Cut

I actually was a supreme clutz today. I managed to burn my bicep(yes, my bicep) with the pan I was cooking eggs with. Can’t figure out how one does that? It’s very complicated, and I’m clutzy enough. Later on I got a package from the mail room and managed to slice my hand open with my room key trying to open it. Not a big cut but I did manage to finish off a roll of paper towels throughout the afternoon stopping the bleeding–joy. It was worth it though because the package had goodies from Honest Foods such as this bar I snacked on:

Honest Foods Almond Trail Mix Granola Bar

First off, this bar was another product where the smell was just amazing. This time, I swore I was sniffing an open bottle of amaretto 😀 Holy sweetness. But the flavor was underwhelmingly almondy after all that; it was good but had a lot going on with other seeds and fruits. I loved the nutrition, though! Not many bars have a healthy fat source higher than sugar on the ingredient list; that’s rocking! Keeping up with the almond theme, I tried a new butter.

Trader Joe's Almond Butter With Roasted Flaxseeds

Monica convinced me I needed this in my life, so that last time I was at Trader Joe’s I grabbed it off the shelf. As if it weren’t enough of a fat source, I thought I’d throw it over some pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Trader Joe Almond Butter

Chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk, to be exact. The combination of almond and chocolate wasn’t so perfect here–not sure why not 😦 TJ’s almond butter was awesome and so well salted. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the flax seeds. Too sweet, maybe? And I don’t like having to chew them to get the nutrition from them :-/ What can I say? I’m lazy.

For dinner, I had planned to meet up with some friends in one of the dining halls. At this dining hall, you don’t have to use any meal credits to get in and only pay or what you pick off the line, so I was able to bring my whole meal without using my meal plan. Beforehand, I made some of my favorite foods in the oven in my dorm, wrapped them in foil, and was good to go!

Maple Baked Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Broccoli, Orange Zevia

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato Fries

Better than cafeteria food? I think so. No matter how many times I roast sweet potatoes, they never cease to impress me. I think maple baking tofu is the simplest way to add flavor, but I’m definitely on the lookout for new recipes to switch it up. It was great to catch up with things from the past week in some case and the whole of winter breaks in another; one of my friends is a fellow runner and might have another half marathon to turn me on to! I’ll have to see. The only downside was getting into my dorm at 8:30 and thinking “Gosh I’m home late”. And when exactly do I get my senior citizen discount? In my defense, I have my alarm set for a 6:15 run!

Did this post provoke you to think of new things to try? I’ve found plenty of recipes for almond milk, and it’s much simpler than I would have imagined! I have yet to track down some Jungle Peanuts, but rest assured I will 😉 In the meantime, here’s an appliance giveaway, a coconut oil giveaway, a chocolate giveaway, an iherb giveaway, and another coconut oil giveaway.

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A Friendly Face Gets You Places

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

Are you smiling? Should you be smiling? Maybe your team is winning the Superbowl or already did; don’t ask me because I didn’t even know it was on until people downstairs started yelling and I found it on TV. There’s never a dull(or quiet) moment living in the dorms, but I think I secretly like that about it 😀 Backing up 10 hours, I was at home getting my grub on.

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter

Greek Yogurt With Fig Jam

Is it crazy that I brought Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter home for the 3 days? I’m just glad I remembered to bring it back 😀 I love sunny Sunday mornings and eating on the floor with the circulars. I don’t know why it has to be on the floor, but it does with me. It feels more homey. The slightly sour part to this breakfast was the Chobani yogurt.

Skimpy Chobani

Does that look a little empty to anyone else, too? I thought mine did yesterday, and then this one was the same. I weighed it and it was only 4oz instead of 6oz. Crazy much? I think I got a bad batch :-/ I bulked it up with a little full-fat yogurt and jam anyway, but not quite sure what was happening at Chobani that day.

We ended up loading the car and starting our drive before lunch, mostly since my grandmother was too busy gambling to eat with us; oh, old people. After the customary “Oops, I forgot that. Let’s go back”, we rehit the road and were at a Whole Foods half way for lunch.

Lightlife Smart Chili, Redwood Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt

Most definitely a random combination. What I really wanted to do(besides eat of my arm) was load up on veggies, black beans, and guacamole from the salad bar. BUT that would have taken $20 worth of food easily; I hate how they make it cost by the weight 😦 Instead, I kept it cheap and simple by buying these 2 premade things and heating up the chili in the microwave. I must have looked a little silly eating from the bag but it was pretty delicious and totally worth it.

Nintendo DSi

After lunch we grocery shopped a bit; avocadoes were on sale for $1 so I got 7! That’s going to be a lot of pudding 🙂 Then I went to a game store for–what I thought–was a lost cause. My old gameboy’s screen clearly was broken and I knew I needed to get a new one, but hated the thought of $170 dollars for it. I also couldn’t find any good deals on used one, so I went to the store to see if maybe I could get a little money for my old one to soften the blow on my wallet. The cashier who worked with me on the trade in couldn’t have been sweeter; she didn’t quite seem like the typical video game clerk and I was excited for that. Even though she could tell the screen was not properly working, with some sweet casual conversation and a smile she gave me a great discount and knocked $75 off the price of a new one! It goes to show how far being friendly and wearing a smile will get you.

Room Clutter

No amount of smiling, however, can make there be more space in my room(or less food. Either one would work at this point). After we brought things back in, it began to look a bit ridiculous. In my defense: I am eating for a half-marathon, after all 😉 I threw things in places I won’t even remember and grabbed a snack.

Next Generation Organic Dairy Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Is there anything more perfect than cheese in stickular form? I think not. Thanks, Next Generation Dairy, for sending me this one, too! For the pros, it was very easy to grab and keep working. And it was definitely made healthier by being raw and probiotic. But, oddly, it didn’t taste too much like the mozzarella I was expecting :-/ I think of mozzarella as a more sweeter, mellow cheese and this was a bit tangy for my taste. Maybe it was just the “raw” flavor imposing itself?

Running Stats

Whatever was with the flavor, it fueled me nicely for a 5 mile run. I was itching to get back onto campus and on the treadmill this weekend and it felt so natural, once more! I even managed to keep a friendly face going after that.

Post-Workout Smile

I think I look a little more nervous than friendly, lol. I was clearly excited to get some fresh produce from the dining hall(assuming that’s fresh) and get to some recovery eating.

Apple, Cherry Amaretto So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious! The apple made this healthy 😉 I finished off the pint of this amazing ice cream. My only complaint would be that there were no cherries in this last 3/4 cup 😦 I think I might have scooped them all out last time I ate from this. Oops. It was still so creamy and delicious. And even though I’m not very into the Superbowl doesn’t mean I’m not into football grub…

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Krinkle Cut Kettle Chips

Of course we had to buy 2 bags of chips because they were on sale and we had a coupon. And one of them had to be mine. And these just happened to find their way into my dinner. I need people to stop feeding my chip addiction! I have so many dealers, it’s really a beautiful thing 😀

Broccoli With Hot Sauce, Salt & Pepper Chips, Al Fresco Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage

NOTHING says football food quite like buffalo wings–wouldn’t you agree? Immediately I knew I wanted a buffalo style Al Fresco chicken sausage–love these! And I have to think it’s a lot better for you than just grabbing a few wings in your plate, too. On the side I had broccoli with Benito’s hot sauce for volume(!!) and my crack chips. Last time I got these, I mistakenly got the baked variety. I’m sorry but hear you need the krinkle cut. Just tell yourself those are healthy fats, too 🙂

This week I’m looking to get back on track! I don’t know that I was ever off track, so this might just be switching tracks. I don’t know. Trains are confusing. Here’s what I do know!

1. Running. I pretty much run what my body(or head) wants rather than stick with a half-marathon plan. I will keep that up, and here’s what I think should work well for this week.

  • Monday: 8 miles
  • Tuesday: 5 miles
  • Wednesday: 9 miles
  • Thursday: 5-6 miles, time dependent
  • Friday: 8 miles + 30 min biking

9 miles will be my new long run; I have to say that it feels incredibly doable and I’m loving being at high mileage again.

2. Worktime/Funtime. I have an awesome schedule this semester, in case you haven’t heard. But I need to get better about using that schedule. It may be a little late for this week, but my new goal is to go 100% at homework from Friday-Monday when I don’t have class, and then soak up whatever free time I have Tuesday-Thursday without a car in the world(other than attending classes). Who knows; maybe I’ll really bust out the effort tomorrow for that to be the case.

3. Meal Planning. I don’t feel the necessity to go 100% at this. But I do remember that, the 1 week I used meal planning, everything felt incredibly organized, nothing went wasted, and it eliminated time spent thinking “what am I going to make?!”. That’s why I think it’s a perfect thing to work back in, even if it’s only 1 or 2 meals in advanced. For instance, tomorrow’s dinner will be baked maple tofu with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli.

Lastly, I would very much have a friendly face if I won this Candid Contest; I love my smart balance agave sweetened so I must see what’s with this new “rich roast”

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Eat As I Say, Not As I Eat

Posted on February 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hi, Pies 🙂 (I’ve had such an urge to say that since Erin left the blogosphere :-/). Just a quickie(and early) one tonight. The moral of today(if you can find any “moral” on the internet): Don’t be a hypocrite. Now let me show you all the ways in which I’m a hypocrite saying that 😀

Lightlife Sausage With Cheese, Green Beans, Broccoli

Peanut Flour Greek Yogurt

What I say: I have a slight gluten intolerance.

What I do: Eat processed soy with concentrated wheat gluten.

What I say(now): Oops. It’s… erm… tasty?

Something here–maybe the gluten in the sausage–did not sit well with me during Greek History. It also might have been the yogurt; I’m not sure that much cream should meet that much salt. It might also just have been this was a complete protein bomb and that’s never good. Who’s to say? The lesson? Know yourself, and what you should do, and(hopefully) do it. I know certain things make my tummy funky, and that I do best with a plate comprised mostly of fat, low-cal vegetables, and a small amount of protein. I will try to do that.

Like I said, that made Greek History not so fun for me, and Latin not so fun for the people around me I’m sure(use your imagination). After that, though, I was free… from school at least. I love these 3-day work weeks. The first thing I did was run into my room and brew plenty of coffee. Decaf coffee works for me. So do I show restraint? Not at all.

The Wow Baking Company Cookie

Oprah this afternoon was all about diabetes, eating healthy, and working out. What did I do? I reached for an oversized chocolate chip cookie from the WOW Baking Company, knowing that I might not get a good run in until Monday(more on that in a bit).

The Wow Baking Company Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’m sorry, Oprah, but this cookie was amazing! Eat as Oprah says, not as I do. But, if you are going to have a cookie, why not a big, soft, gluten-free one? I got this as well as some others to review in the mail today and clearly it did not last long. But it was so delicious and unexpectedly soft, I truly truly loved it. And my stomach feels fine, too. Maybe that’s because it didn’t have gluten? More likely because chocolate chips and sugar have never been particular stomach-troublers. Totally worth every sugary, gluten-free calorie 😀

And what am I doing now? Why, waiting for my dad to come and then go to Chocolate Fest. Yes. Chocolate Fest. Real healthy right? It only happens once a year(unless you hit up each Whole Foods near you in which case it’s more like 5-6 times in 3 days), so you know I’m going. It’s either going to be really fun, or just a Whole Foods shopping trip(which is also fun). And then I’ll be home for the weekend to do some fun stuff around Boston. Did I mention there’ll be cooking/baking? Oh food processor, how I miss you! And now… Chocolate!

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My Quick-And-Dirty Dinner Exposed

Posted on February 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In addendum to my last post, I want to add that I have no shame in admitting I went through today knowing it’s been far too long since I’ve made the time to shave, though I think that’s more socially acceptable with a man’s face than anything else. That aside, lunch featured 2 Trader Joe products I’d never bought before.

Trader Joe's Sesame Oil And Tempeh

Even though I’ve had plenty of tempeh, I’ve never had Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, I might not again after this one, either. Even though it’s so perfectly priced, it’s made with gluten forming grains 😦 My intolerance is so slight, I could eat a ton of bread and still feel fine; but then again, why not weed it out where it’s not necessary? I heated the sesame oil in a pan, and quickly cooked some tofu and tempeh. Towards the end, I added soy sauce and broccoli. It smelled just like teppanyaki!

Stir Fried Tofu, Tempeh, And Broccoli

For a final touch, I added a little cold sesame oil once it was out of the pan

Tip: Not sure how much oil to add at the end for a little flavor? Don’t pour haphazardly; use the cap of the bottle as a measuring device.

I packed this in a to-go container and met my friend, Adam, for lunch to reconnect after the long Winter break. The gist of it: Nothings really changed 🙂 We decided that, since I’m almost off the meal plan entirely, it’s easier to meet for lunches occasionally rather than at night. I think this semester is taking shape wonderfully.

After lunch I went back to my room, squeezed in some work, and then went to my 2 1/2 hour class. The entire first half of it was devoted to a librarian talking about how to use the internet for resources. That was about as exciting as it sounds like it was. I find it ironic whenever somebody in their fifties is telling my generation what to do with a computer. I was sooo happy for break, at which point I whipped out my snacks.

Pomegranate Chobani, Paradise Walnut Pistachio Bora Bora Bar

Like I Tweeted, I really didn’t want a “bar” exactly. Instead, I brought a yogurt and a Bora Bora bar which I won from Avery.

I suppose it was still a “bar”, but it felt a lot more like a trail mix with nuts and fruit being the first 3 ingredients and fat being half the calories.

Pomegranate Chobani, Paradise Walnut Pistachio Bora Bora Bar

I ate half like granola and half on its own. Either way, this was absolutely delicious! It really did taste nutty, spicy, and fruity, and not at all like a grainy “bar”, which I just could not have gotten through at this point. I wonder if they sell these at Whole Foods? To be honest, I’ve never looked.

Random Chandelier

I also never looked for a chandelier in a classroom, but this was right there in the classroom across the hall from mine. What exactly could they need that for? It’s in a tiny room with a front board and a lot of chairs. And is 110% out of place. On the other hand, I could see this being my “escape lounge” if I ever need to take my laptop and go somewhere quiet. When I got back into my room, I was beat. First things first:

Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I think the 2 minutes after walking in the door after a long day, when everything you have yet to do(such as taking off your coat) start running through your mind, is the worst 2 minutes ever. After that, though, I brewed some coffee and got to work–Not nearly as much as I would like but c’est la vie. For dinner, I just did not feel like much, so I went for my “quick-and-dirty” meal.

Lightlife Soy Sausage With Cooked Onions And Organic American Cheese, Green Beans

Flavored soy products are my blessing! I could probably eat this meal 10 times and not have it get old. I mixed 3 servings Lightlife gimme lean sausage with 2 squares Trader Joe’s organic american cheddar and some green beans from the dining hall 2 nights ago–quick and simple. I absolutely love the Trader Joe’s cheese here; not only is it organic, but it’s so processed it needs to be called a “cheese product”. Sign me up! I eat up contradictions like that(clearly).

Any other organic junk foods you crave? Newman-O’s, perhaps?

Here’s a giveaway for coconut peanut butter from Tropical TraditionsHere’s one Amazing (grass) giveaway. And here’s a Chobani giveaway.

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Roasting Away Anxiety

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

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

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

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

Goat Milk Yogurt In A Raspberry Jam Jar

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

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

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

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Cherry Green & Black Dark Chocolate

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

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

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

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

Pajama Bottoms

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

Baked Maple Tofu With Roasted Sweet Potato And Broccoli

Raspberry Steaz

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

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

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Grocery Shopping RI

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

The Grammy’s are starting soon, and I’m not sure if I want to watch them, so I’ll just type super fast just in case. Speaking of grammies, I saw mine today. But first, lunch.

Jalapeno Al Fresco Chicken Sausage, Broccoli With Soy Sauce

I just could not get in to the idea of “brunch” so I had a late breakfast and a small lunch. I wasn’t that hungry but I had an odd craving for broccoli and soy sauce(how good does that sound?) so I threw on one of these sausages and called it a meal. Voila! Plenty of sodium for one day. At the end of this, my dad arrived and brought a few goodies from home, mostly being things I forgot. Are chopsticks essentials? No, but they’re fun 😀 My mom and grandmother(who came along “for the ride”) were waiting in the car and they took me to Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe Groceries

Would you believe there’s just 1 Trader Joe’s in all of Rhode Island? The next closest one is the one in Framingham I go to when I’m home. I don’t know how you Trader Joe-less folks do it. Actually, I do know: You go to Whole Foods and pay a little more. Sorry 😦 I just wanted to get every simmer sauce and curry I could find for meals! But realizing that wasn’t practical in my dorm fridge I just got mostly plain things like tofu, tempeh, salmon, pilaf, and the rest of what you see. Clearly there’ll be more pudding with all them avocadoes 😉

Libby's Pumpkin

After that, I made us take quick detour to McDonalds for coffee(which I defend by pointing out that everyone else in the car got coffee driving down and didn’t bring me one), and then we went to Stop & Shop for some pumpkin; I knew if I went in it would take 10 minutes and I’d come out with 5 extra things, so this time my dad just did the shopping. He still took 10 minutes, but got the 1 thing on the list.

Whole Foods Groceries

Whole Foods Groceries

And then, of course, it wouldn’t have been a trip without going to Whole Foods. I was actually a little disappointed with this sales period; there was soooo much I picked up and wanted to try but couldn’t really “justify” getting. Instead, I kept it simple again. I guess the two “treats” I got were the dark chocolate coconut candy bar(umm, yum!) and some dark meat turkey for dinner. The Crofter’s Organic Europe Superfruit spread I had a coupon for because, if you remember, I got a bunch of their jams to review for the blog but that one unfortunately broke during shipping. One “fun” thing I almost bought was vanilla goat milk frozen yogurt with brownie pieces in it coming off sale Tuesday. It took a lot of restraint from buying that, restraint and the promise of this:

Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Peanut Butter Chocolate Black Bean Brownie And Chocolate Peanut Butter

I defrosted one of the peanut butter gluten free brownies I made for New Years and crumbled it warm into a yogurt. Then I melted a little of the Justin’s chocolate peanut butter in the microwave to drizzle over. Holy yum! Vanilla brownie ice cream who? This completely had my attention while I was catching up on emails/putting groceries away. Unfortunately, I still felt like I could chew my arm off, so I had another snack while waiting for dinner.

Apple

A little mealy but not bad for free from the dining hall. Dinner was a sweet potato I threw in the oven at 5 and the dark meat turkey I bought. I really didn’t know how to make it so I called home. No answer. I then called my mom. No answer. Finally, my dad picked up his cell phone. Why was no one answering? Because they stopped at a casino on the way home. I’m glad nothings changed in my absence.

Cooking Dark Meat Turkey

Since I couldn’t get in touch with my mom, I went ahead and guessed that the turkey would be fine in a pan on its own since it should have enough fat in it already to cook. That was pretty much right. I cooked the meat through and then let it rest for 5-10 minutes while I worked with the sweet potato and such.

Turkey Burger With Ketchup, Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Sea Salt

Ah, this came out wicked good*said in a Bauston accent*. I don’t think there is any real “trick” to meat; I think there are just old rules which people either follow or ignore. Don’t work with it too much. Let it sit. And, if you really want flavor, use a fatty cut. It’s that simple to get something juicy and delicious. The sweet potato was perfect and practically fell apart after roasting for 90 minutes. I was craving cinnamon on a sweet potato and that hit the spot. I think I will watch the Grammy’s soon; I hear Elton John and Lady Gaga are performing together and how could I miss that?

Tomorrow’s the first day of February, and let’s just say there’s a bit of a special surprise in store for the morning post. I also have my “long run” of 8 miles first thing. Ahhh I need to start stockpiling fuel via chocolate!

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From Loser To Winner

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

Self-sabotage is a funny thing: Do we do it on purpose? Do we do it subconsciously? Or does it just “happen”? I’m not quite sure, but I entirely sabotaged my workout this morning. I planned on doing the count-to-10 workout modified by 15 push-ups and 20 sit-ups. In anticipation, I drank. A lot. No, not beer–get your mind out of the gutter. But coffee, water, and black tea, and all this had me feeling like a hot mess when I got going.

It wasn’t pretty. I got through 1/4 of the workout and realized I was over-hydrated, overheated, and doing anything more would just be stupid; if you can hear “splish-splosh” when you do a sit-up, it wasn’t meant to be. I felt like a loser, but I just stopped and went to somewhere I’m always usually a winner: The kitchen.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Butter

I must have gotten onto a sunflower seed kick after breakfast. First up, I made a sunflower seed butter that I’ll hopefully like more than Trader Joe’s(sorry, Joe, but you failed me there). I added sea salt and sunflower seeds at the end so this would be a crunchy seed butter. Who doesn’t love texture? Next up, I sought to make some new and improved raw brownies.

Raw Brownies

Avery led me to a recipe that I was able to modify to my own tastes. I most definitely wanted to use seeds as a binder, and just needed to adjust the cocoa/agave/date ratio. I think I ended up nailing them on the head. And while I usually don’t frost regular brownies(which I remember debated on Kalin’s blog once), these were just begging for something. The frosting was super simple, and by far the most fun thing to make.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup(120 grams) dates
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the frosting:

  • 1oz avocado
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar

In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds and flax seeds until mostly crumbs, but not to the point of becoming like butter. Add the dates and agave nectar and mix until a ball of dough forms. Add in the cocoa powder and continue mixing until well incorporated. Press into a square dish and cut.

For the frosting, mash the avocado until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the cocoa powder and agave nectar and continue mixing until completely smooth. Spread over each of the brownies.

Raw Brownies With Frosting

Nailing this recipe really had me feeling like a winner. You know what else had me feeling like a winner? Actually winning Q.bel’s contest for a catchy and fun review on facebook! I can’t wait to get a big ol’ box of chocolate. I’ve already reviewed 5 of their products here but have yet to try the milk chocolate rolls or their 2 new flavors(vegan and mint). It was amazing how much my spirits had changed so much over the course of 1 hour. I was intensly ready for a winning lunch.

Steamed Broccoli, Lightlife Sausage With Cheddar Cheese And Green Pepper

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

I just love love love the Lightlife sausage(from a log, not pre-formed) heated up with some cheese; it’s like the perfect spice level for comfort. I usually make it with an onion but we’re all out so the pepper took that place(not too well). I don’t usually have dessert with my meal but I figured anything made mostly from seeds and dates wasn’t really a dessert(don’t you like the way I think ;-)). The brownie came out so good; it was actually just like the one I shelled out $5 for from Grezzo. I think it needs a little more chocolate flavor, but I don’t know how to do that without comprimising the texture, and the texture is amazing.

Work-Out Checklist

By 3 I was ready to retackle the workout. Over the last 4 hours, I had drank maybe half a cup of water and a cup of coffee(Hey, something needed to go with the brownie ;-)), and I felt overall better. I put the laptop near the stairs, played a movie, and got to work doing my count-to-1o series:

  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 15 push-ups
  • 10 flights of stairs
  • 20 sit-ups
  • Repeat for 10 iterations

To keep track while I’m doing this(and to make sure I really just need to count to 10), I use a checklist on the door to keep track of my progress. Obviously, once everything was checked off, I was done, and a sweaty mess at that. I quickly showered and then hopped to the kitchen for a refueling.

The Raw Bakery Chocolate Snackaroons

The Raw Bakery sent me these interesting snackaroons to try out, which I knew would go great on another one of my favorites:

Probiotic Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Chocolate Snackaroons

Chocolate avocado pudding. We picked up coconut milk kefir over the weekend so I was able to make this the way I love; it came out super creamy and coconut-licious. The chocolate snackaroons were just the perfect touch for some more coconut and healthy fats. Yum! They were perfectly raw-tasting, and held me over quite nicely until dinner.

Dill Salmon, Roasted Broccoli, Carrots With Maple And Soy Glaze

We had salmon we had to cook up, so I suggested throwing dill on top; dill is one of my favorite herbs ever, especially with fish–soo good! On the side was simple broccoli and carrots that needed another good 15 minutes in the oven. A little soy sauce(or wheat-free tamari for me) perks any vegetables up, though. I completely forgot to keep some in my dorm room all last semester; I won’t be making that mistake again.

Enter Holly’s amazing contest for a blender!

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