“These Aren’t Treadmill Miles”

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

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

Through The Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.56 Miles In 1:24:13

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

Blueberry Almond Recovery Shake

In the food processor went

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

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

Grass-Fed Quarter Pounder, Roasted And Charred Sweet Potato

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

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

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

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

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

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

Soy Yogurt With Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

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

Apple

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

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

Salt And Pepper Tuna Salad, Broccoli, Pickles

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

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

Bacon Peanut Brittle

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

Chocolate Bacon Peanut Brittle

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

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Uninspiration

Posted on September 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning. Not a banging title, huh? What can I say, yesterday just seemed off the whole day long. Latin class was… let’s just stick with that. We discussed the sparrow in Catullus’ poem again. What I learned was that Latin teachers use the word “mentulla” when they don’t want to say penis. Go figure.

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Lentil Stew

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Lentil Stew

Lunch was–you guessed it–uninspired. The one thing that seemed appealing from the cafe was lentil stew; basically if it has the word lentil in it I’ll eat it. But I wonder if it’s still a stew if you scoop it in a to-go box and eat it with a fork? It was OK but a little bland. I threw in a veggie burger for some flavor and protein.

My Greek History class was a bit ridiculous, mostly because our professor is a bit of a stubborn headed pollack(and I feel I can say this being a stubborn headed 1/4 pollack). He insists that 1 man converted the Greek alphabet from the Phonecian’s and that he and Homer sat down for 3 days in a tent while Homer recited the Iliad and he wrote it down. There’s about 5 individual things wrong with that, but it’s too much effort to even point out how wrong that must be.

What do you do when the 3 o’clock munchies come on? I think that’s a ridiculous question. I eat, of course!

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

This was my most inspired meal of the day(except maybe breakfast), thanks to this blogger who made some delicious sounding muffins. Naturally Nutty also makes a chocolate butter toffee peanut butter I have yet to try, but based on how this bowl tasted altogether I bet it’s great. I also had an apple to round out this meal. I think it’s more sensible to have a mid-afternoon meal to keep your metabolism up rather than snack. 6-7 hours between Lunch and Dinner is way longer than anyone should go without some good fuel.

The afternoon pretty much came and went, and I didn’t get much done other than watch last season’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. It got me mucho excited for the new season; I’ve missed being attached enough to a show to feel sympathy for the characters even though I know they’re not real. About this time I realized just how uninspired my day had actually been, so I went on a quest to fix that and ended up at the Bookstore.

Ginger Smoothie

Ginger Smoothie

Confession: I’d had this on my mind since the first time I got one but was holding off because I hate paying so much for fancy drinks. That being said, it made this even more special. It was a bit runnier than I remember the last one being, but I was just happy to get a little spice(ginger) in my life. Too bad this wasn’t about 5 times the size, because before I knew it, it was time for an uninspired dinner.

Japanese Noodle Soup, Artichoke Hearts, Mashed Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Chickpeas And Tofu In Sweet And Spicy Steak Sauce

Japanese Noodle Soup, Artichoke Hearts, Mashed Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Chickpeas And Tofu In Sweet And Spicy Steak Sauce

Umm, did you get all that? The main meat was overcooked, fatty beef. Err, no thanks. The veggie option was manicotti stuffed with cheese sauce and topped with marinara. See, as an Italian, I would have had my heritage revoked for eating cafeteria manicotti. There was grilled chicken, but I’m still trying to avoid eating meat just for the sake of protein. Rather, I stuck some chickpeas and tofu in a bowl and made a sauce with A.1., mustard, honey, and ground ginger. I’m no Iron Chef, but for working on the fly and trying to find the most natural ingredients I could, that wasn’t half bad.

I was almost talked into going to open mic night on campus. Ok, that’s a lie; stuff like that really doesn’t appeal to me so I politely declined and insisted that, maybe translating Greek on a Friday night isn’t the sexiest thing, but it’s what I wanted to do.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Cream Cheese

I hate studying without snacks. What’s the point of making up the concept of “study snacks” if you aren’t going to snack while studying. But it was clearly one of those nights because I, Evan Thomas, burnt the toast. Wtf? I’ve only made how much toast in my life? and I burnt it. It still tasted good under cream cheese. And Deep Chocolate is definitely my numero uno chocolate flavor from Vitalicious still; no one can take down the king. A little later it didn’t take much inspiration to make this:

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

Vanilla Oikos With Peanut Flour And Midnight Moo Sauce

Some great bloggers out there can’t and aren’t wrong about this combo. The vanilla Oikos is just sweet enough to raise the peanut butter flavor, and the chocolate sauce just tops it all off and makes it like a Reese’s. The amazing thing is that this has 21g of protein. Umm, what? That’s like a piece of chicken at a meal. Delicious AND nutritious? The Holy Grail.

This morning was clearly not a treadmill morning, since the gym nearby opens up at 9 and I like to have done the world and more by then. I slept 20 minutes through my alarm; frat rushing is in full swing and the parties last night would not let me get some good shut eye. Still, I got out and after a bit of Garmin frustration ran 6.3 in 52. It wasn’t the run I was hoping for, but considering the hills I had to hit I’m glad I went that far. I passed the farmer’s market setting up and a Whole Foods where I grab-n-goed a weekend flier. Thankfully I don’t know enough people around here for them to think I’m nuts 🙂 Breakfast was a bit of a mystery, until I got uninspired by a reader, Karen, who asked how to make French Toast oats.

Carrot Juice, Plain Oikos With Blueberries And Maple-Agave Syrup, Oats With An Egg And Mighty Maple

Carrot Juice, Plain Oikos With Blueberries And Maple-Agave Syrup, Oats With An Egg And Mighty Maple

Normally, I’ll make french toast oats by preparng 40g dry grains with 160g of water as usual. After 2 minutes of microwaving I crack in an egg and add salt, stirring until the yolk breaks and the egg is pretty well incorporated but not fully. Then I microwave for an additional minute, and when it comes out I add 1 tablespoon maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla powder. Today, however, I was much more feeling the mighty maple than maple syrup, and went for a tablespoon of that instead. It really came out tasting like a whole other beast separate from french toast oats. The maple syrup found its way into my yogurt instead, which I’ve since learned takes some convincing to eat when a) you aren’t pumped for it and b) you know you’ll have to pay for more when you finish the container. C’est la vie, right?(By the way, you’ve just witnessed my full knowledge of French)

Today I plan on going home again for the weekend and can’t wait. A full fridge and pantry? Yes please! Maybe I’ll even work with the oven a bit while I have the opportunity. I hear some packages are waiting for me which I can’t wait to open. And if the weather stays nice it’ll be a great time to go fruit picking. What’s on the agenda for your weekends?

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I Have Class..es

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

If there’s one thing I really dislike it’s “scarfing down” food, especially breakfast since I’m always thinking I’ll be hungry in 30 minutes.

Yesterday's Breakfast

Yesterday's Breakfast

Yesterday’s breakfast definitely held me over through the advisor meeting, because I was still full of flax by 11:30. I went back to my dorm and muddled around a bit, trying to figure out what I was going to take. I took a break for dining hall cuisine(how could I miss that?).

Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, Corn, Mushrooms

Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, Corn, Mushrooms

This looks exactly like 12 of my dinners over the Summer. Except I’ve got to remember that the person who’s making this stuff for me isn’t really looking out for nutrition and anything could be on that plate. Those fries were not Miss Alexia’s and did not come out of an oven but an actual frialator(oh the horror… and deliciousness). The corn was actually pretty bad and it wasn’t even the dining hall’s fault. I just forgot how much boiled corn sucks in comparison to the grill. Oh Summer, how I miss thee.

After I ate while watching my obsession(Days Of Our Lives, gotta love TV’s in dorms), I went out to stretch my sore legs. I wound up at the Brown bookstore. I love seizing the moment and eating odd, local finds. So I was really intrigued when the bookstore had a ginger smoothie for sale.

Ginger Smoothie

Ginger Smoothie

My oh my. Something that doesn’t seem like it should works works perfectly. I was being a creeper and peering over the barista’s shoulder. I think this was just milk, ice, plain yogurt, and pickled ginger. It came out with a great spiciness from the ginger and tang from the yogurt. Each sip was so spicy it made you take another to cool it off, which just started the cycle all over again. Basically this was irresistible and I highly recommend one if you see it on any menu.

I also had a good idea of what classes I wanted to take(though registration didn’t open until 5) so I went ahead and bought what books I could.

Books

Books

And so the intimidation begins. The only one I couldn’t get was math, which had a big sign saying “go to class first”. That did not seem like it bodes well; maybe they think people would reconsider buying the book after attending class? Yikes. I’ll find out today.

Registration opened at 5, like I said, and everyone on campus was clogging up the system like hair in the sink. After a lot of page reloading(and I mean a lot). I got myself signed up: Intro Greek, Epic Poetry From Homer To Lucan, 3rd Semester Calculus, and Intro To Phonetic Theory. The Greek and Calculus I both took last year, but definitely need a bit more experience to get it down at a college level. The linguistics is, for now, hesitant; it’s a 2nd year course but I took Intro To Linguistics last year so I think the prerequisite will be raised. Overall I feel like I have a good composition of classes I feel cocky comfortable about and ones that will have me pulling out my hair in the library challenge me.

After that whole ordeal we were all ready to get some grub. I got my first taste of tempeh!

Lentil Soup, Tempeh With Cooked Veggies, Salad Bar

Lentil Soup, Tempeh With Cooked Veggies, Salad Bar

Ok. Someone wanna tell me what exactly tempeh is? Don’t get me wrong; I actually really liked it(double surprising cause it was cafeteria food). It tasted very grainy and nutty. Am I on the right track? Next time I go home I’m going to pick up the Trader Joe Tempeh and experiment with that because I really liked this for what it was. I think the zuchinni and lentils were all the same ones from yesterday but cooked differently… how appetizing. Oh, and I totally dove for the last 2 asparaguses because that’s how I roll. Each stock is HUGE here; it slightly perturbs me and makes me wonder how many hormones they’re pumped with.

Later in the night I went back to my dorm to watch Big Brother and eat this:

French Toast Oatmeal

French Toast Oatmeal

These taste sooo good when they’re made with eggs you bought yourself… with your student ID which is payed for by your parents. I’m so glad Michelle is gone from Big Brother. Kevin seems like the only one worthy of winning at this point. Overall I thought this season was lame and lacked most of the twists and turns Big Brother is known for. Oh well. I also had a bit of toast and some secret butter because I wanted to fuel for a longer run.

Secret Butter On Toast

Secret Butter On Toast

Anyone got guesses on what it may be? I’ll give you a hint. Even though it’s crazy-ridiculous-good, you won’t be going nuts over it. Clever, aren’t I?

This morning I went out to find the cemetery Melissa talked about. I did and it was pretty beautiful. It’s kind of far away(2.9 miles) so in order to fully explore it I’ll need to go on a long run, but the sight I got today was nice. I ended up doing 6.6 and came back, showered, and made breakfast:

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Jam, Oatmeal With SB PB And Baking Chips

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Jam, Oatmeal With SB PB And Baking Chips

I really have been craving smart balance peanut butter. It has it’s own distinct flavor I think. It goes ridiculously well on a Trader Joe’s bran muffin, but there’s no Trader Joe’s anywhere near here! Isn’t that a shame? This was a fine substitute, though. I mean, look at it.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Chocolate Chips

I like to dip my spoon in the peanut butter and dot it around while it’s still hot so it melts over the top of the whole bowl and every bite has some peanut butter. I’ve got it down to a science.

Speaking of science, I have math in an hour and Greek and Epic Poetry after that. Hopefully the first day will all go smooth, wish me luck!

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Orange Monster & Chocolate Lovin’

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

For all the New Englander’s reading this, wasn’t the sun  amazing? I went out running yesterday right before lunch. Sure, when I got back I felt like a lobster that just got cooked, but damn did I feel good. The sun has reminded me of part of why I started running: to enjoy the outside. Today’s not so sunny, but I was pumped enough to go on my long run: 7.5 miles 🙂 That felt pretty damn good. Well, needless to say after a hot run you need something to cool you down and heal you up. If you’re a blog reader no doubt you’ve seen the green monster. Hmmm, to each their own I guess. I’m not sure I could get something that looks like that down my throat, but so long as I don’t have to drink one I’m happy. However, what does work for me is an orange monster 😉 I thought of this guy on my run and couldn’t get home fast enough. As you all probably know, I love my carrot juice. As for my favorie fruit, I’m a peachaholic. It seemed natural in my mind that the two be put together, so I did! 6oz carrot juice with 140 grams frozen peaches and 1/4 cup greek yogurt gave me the orange monster:

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Sooo good. It actually tasted more like a creamcscicle than any of its components, but I wasn’t complaining. It has plenty of carbs for recovery with a little hit of protein. And what a great way for weight gainers to get a compact serving of their favorite fruits and veggies! I’ll admit, since I’ve needed to eat 2500+ calories a day fresh produce has pretty much left my diet. Maybe blending’s the key to get the nutrients without the bloat.

Ok, what did I promise for today? Oh right, chocolate 🙂 For today I reviewed four “gourmet” chocolates. Basically, these are not your checkout Hershey bars.

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If you’ve stepped into a chocolate store, you know Lindt. The swiss company prides itself on using the purest, best ingredients. First up, I tried their 70% dark chocolate. This bar was basic, but definitely not boring. The flavor was rich and sweet; it was the quintessential dark chocolate. This is definitely the bar you want to keep in your pantry for that quick chocolate fix, or to share with friends(it was the cheapest after all that I tried).

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Sticking with the Lindt family, next up was their 99% cacao chocolate. This is definitely an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire. The chocolate was dry and assaultingly bitter, and yet I loved it for that reason. A teeny sqaure of this was all I needed for the full flavor. My trick; take a tiny bite and then a sip of a light, sweet coffee, and your mouth will be in for a mocha sensation like no other.

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Welcome now the organic chocolate of the bunch. I love the combination of chocolate and cherry(if you’ve been reading a while you’ve seen my parfaits). Add in some vanilla and I should be in heaven. My verdict; this bar was actually a slight disappointment. The chocolate base was very sweet and mellow. And the cherries were their texturally, but added very little flavor. As for the vanilla, I would never have guessed it was in their if the label didn’t tell me. Save your money on this one and buy something with a more promising flavor like Dark Chocolate and Citrus.

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The last chocolate I had the pleasure of eating was Joey & Marty’s Amazing All Natural Belgian dark chocolate with raspberry ganache and nonperils. Holy yum was these good! The raspberry flavor was very present and sweetened the lovely bitterness of the dark chocolate. The nonpareils were a welcomed twist to the chocolate world, reminding me of sprinkles on a cupcake or Italian Christmas cookie. My only gripe was that each piece was so small, almost too “bite sized”. And I’m slightly confused if these were meant to be marketed to children or adults; what child would pay 2.89 for chocolate or even knows where Belgium is or what ganache is?

Anyway, I hope I got your taste buds fired up for chocolate eating. And I encourage you to go to the good chocolate aisle and splurge on something, because nothing can be more rewarding after a rough day than sitting down with a piece of fine chocolate.

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