All Kinds Of Blocks

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

Write now I think I’m suffering from writer’s, runner’s, reader’s, and any other “er’s” block you could be, because I have no motivation or clue where to begin! Of course, you could also call this “Spring Break mode”. Well, somebody’s going to have to remind my body that that’s a good week away. 3 tests, 2 papers, 4 homework assignments, and 2 scheduled lunches away, but who’s counting?

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Fig Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream on a Thursday night–that felt classy 😉 I suppose it’s better to eat up what I have here while I can before Spring break. 1/2 of this was So Delicious chocolate coconut milk and 1/2 Laloo’s fig. The combination of chocolate and fig is always so surprisingly delicious; I never would have thought the two to work together but they so do! With all these cow’s milk alternatives, you’d think I’m lactose-intolerant or have something against bovines. Nope! Haha. I just think all the best flavors are in “alternative” brands, or you get a richer, velvetier texture with better nutrition. When the cow’s milk flavors start being stepped up, I’ll revert.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Peanut Butter

The way I eat pumpkin oatmeal, you’d think I own a pumpkin patch. Again, nope! I was just never affected by this “pumpkin shortage” I’ve heard about and always been able to find it somewhere. I like replacing 10g of grains with 1/2 cup pumpkin because it sneaks in a serving of fruit(which I would not be getting otherwise :-/). I topped this with the last scoop of Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and Naturally Nutty‘s Butter Toffee while watching The Marriage Ref. The fact that I fell asleep during that show shows about how funny I think it is. BUT the Indian couple were from my hometown! I tried recognizing the house because I’m sure I’ve ran near it at one point or another but I couldn’t do it.

Like I mentioned, I had “runner’s block” this morning. I was incredibely indecisive about whether or not to sleep in; when I fell asleep that pretty much made up my mind for me, but then I had an unpleasant dream about pizza being made from dogs 😦 I think that at least made the crust gluten-free? Bad joke, bad joke. I slept in 40 minutes, played games and browsed blogs, and decided that almond butter isn’t in my life enough.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Again, where’s my pumpkin patch? Cooking an egg in the oatmeal makes it taste so much more like a pumpkin pie to me–light and airy. And Justin’s maple almond butter was a must here along with some real maple butter; did you know it’s maple season coming up now? I’m sure they’ll be more maple products to come. And then there was the oh-so-delicious-but-again-not-cow’s-milk-yogurt with some milk chocolate peanuts. I have 6 of those left(the peanuts, not the yogurts) 😦 I definitely need to see a grocery store soon.

It’s true what they say: You only regret the steps you didn’t take. I’m thinking that taking the morning off was a blessing in disguise, and that running in this gorgeous weather might re-excite me for something or at least unblock my mind. I probably won’t get to a Whole Foods as planned today 😦 I can go a day without sweet potatoes, right? Maybe…

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 14 so far )

Makes Me Want To Shout

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has made me want to shout! Not like, “Hey, you kids. Get off my lawn!” kind of shout, but as in you make me want to shout, throw my hands up and shout, throw my hands up and shout. It’s been that good! It’s reminded me of how weekends should be: filled with friends, family, and fun, and not responsibilities.

1/2 A Munch Bar

After this morning, my parents and grandmother drove down to Providence. We quickly swung by the Brown gymnasium so I could shout at a high school friend who was visiting for a fencing tournament and say hi. After that we drove to Bellingham to pick some things up, and back to Providence for a late brunch. Since I knew we weren’t eating until 2:30, I broke off 1/2 a Munch bar to munch on.

Garden Grille Cafe

My dad and I liked Garden Grille Cafe so much Wednesday night, we thought it’d be great to bring my mom and grandmother. This time, of course, it was light out 🙂 Their brunch menu is full of good things. Everyone else seemed to want French toast but they were out of the batter 😦 That ended up being fine because no one had complaints with what we did get.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes With BBQ Sauce

For the table, we ordered a side of grilled sweet potatoes with BBQ sauce. Where else could you get a plate of sweet potatoes for $6? Love it. And so did everyone else! There were only about 3 wedges left after everything which we boxed up.

Homemade Tofu Bacon

When I saw “homemade tofu bacon” as a side, I knew we had to order some; I just wanted to shout it at the waitress. Since this was homemade from regular tofu and not made in a factory, it didn’t have to count for Lent as “prepared soy”. It wasn’t as crispy as regular bacon, but had good flavor. My grandmother even ate it and loved it! I don’t think, however, she realized this wasn’t made from real pig. She also loved her vegan blueberry pancakes, but was ready to shout when she didn’t get real heavy cream at first for her coffee(maybe that was a good thing).

Garden Tofu Scramble With Hash, Grilled Sweet Potato With BBQ Sauce, 2 Tofu Slices

For my plate, I ordered the garden tofu scramble “with grilled seasonal vegetables, served with home fries and toast”. I gave away the toast(not gluten-free) and also took a wedge of sweet potato and 2 strips of bacon.

Empty Plate

Obviously, I hated it and wanted to shout out my frustration 🙂 This was amazing and I need to go here more often(it’s only about 2.5 miles down the road–an easy run). It was all a little heavily oiled, but isn’t that how brunches are supposed to be? The hash was easily the best part; next time I come, I’m just going to order that as my main because anything else was just filler. Likewise, the sweet potato seemed a little bland compared to the hash with regular and sweet potatoes in it. Have I shouted enough about the hash?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

On the way out, I picked up one of their vegan chocolate chip hemp cookies. This was shouting my name, even though it wasn’t gluten-free. I just love over-sized and soft cookies 🙂 Everybody loved the restaurant; my grandmother who couldn’t even tell you what a vegan meal would look like wants to go back for dinner some time! Hehe, too bad it’s so far from home(but not from me :-)).

New Bowl

We went grocery shopping and wound up at Targe where I was able to get a new bowl! Isn’t this so radically different from my last one 😉 What can I say? I know what I like. This really is what reminded me of a good ol’ care-free weekend, because I was able to enjoy just riding around and going places without thinking “Oh shoot, I have to write that paper!” I still do have to write that paper; I just wasn’t thinking about it.

Whole Foods Groceries

All the groceries were more-or-less the standards: copious amount of yogurt and soy yogurt, some grass-fed beef(on sale this week!), tofu, chickpeas(why don’t I keep a few cans of this around more often?), and agave nectar(been going through this a bit too fast lately…).

Eastside Market Groceries

At Eastside Market, I grabbed 2 gingerade kombucha(still on sale, woohoo!), nutritional yeast, sweet potato, avocado, and pumpkin. Again–it’s not like I’m radically changing my diet this week.

Jokerz And Raw Caramel Chocolate

I did “treat” myself to 2 “fun purchases”: another Jokerz bar and a new raw chocolate. Normally, dropping $10 for so little chocolate would make me want to shout(I mean, I better be buying a cacao tree for that price). But since I won that prize for my Greek exam and then another $583 for tieing for 1st in the Latin exam(did I forget to mention this?), I thought a little self-indulgence was due. I can’t wait to see if they were worth it!

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

As if I needed any more self-indulgence, I broke in to my cookie. I cut half and ate it from my new bowl just because I could. This reeaaallly made me want to shout!  It was so soft and chewy–absolutely perfect for how I like my cookies. It wasn’t at all filling, probably not whole-grain, and sugary/butter as all hell; it was the perfect over-sized cookie 🙂 I like how the sweetness of the chocolate contrasted with slightly-savory hemp, too; I never would have thought to do that flavor combo. All that cookie adoration/putting away of groceries made dinner a real quickie:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Nutritional Yeast, And Sea Salt, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

I was going to make a burger with sweet potatoes, but since I had so much potato at lunch and didn’t get the ball going on cooking them, I just shouted out a c’est la vie and went with a breakfast-for-dinner motif. I love how savory this meal turned out; the nutritional yeast on pumpkin with saltiness tastes just like a vegan cheddar cheese, and the soy/hulled hemp seed combo was more savory, protein goodness. Not going to lie: I also love savory meals because they give me a sweet tooth for dessert 🙂 Until tomorrow!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 16 so far )

How Do You Feel NOW?

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Morning, all! How are you feeling today? How about right now? If the difference doesn’t make sense, hopefully it will soon. Right now I feel on top of the world because of some good news I’ll share at the end 😉

Love Raw Foods Cashew Butter

Last night I broke out this new cashew butter I was sent to sample and review from Blue Mountain Organics. It’s raw so the nuts have only been soaked, low-temp dried, and slow ground. I was interested to see if it would still taste as “nutty”.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Caramel Sauce

I was really craving something caramel, but wanted to keep it vegan while I could. I read on a website that an equal mixture of agave, maple syrup, and cashew butter makes for a raw caramel sauce and gave it a try. The result wasn’t incredible but it was pretty tasty no less; with a little sea salt it definitely tasted more caramel-like. But I think for something really raw and caramel you’ll want to try lucuma powder(not like I ever have but it’s what I’ve heard). Anyway, it went well over chocolate avocado pudding made with stevia and almond milk.

Banana Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Maple Syrup

For a better taste of the butta’, I went with a bowl of banana oats with 1/2 a banana and the grains for a small bowl, along with a HUGE dollop of cashew butter and some maple syrup. I loved how sweet it tasted, even without the syrup. And the consistency was nice and airy. I definitely wouldn’t have known there was anything “different” about it because it was raw; it tasted like cashews should. And I equally loved watching Modern Family while eating this; how hilarious was the turtle plot line?

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

One thing to know about me is I like to go to bed FULL; not hungry, or even satisfied, but feeling really well fueled. On days with long runs in the morning, I can go 14 miles and 3 hours without having time to eat, so I definitely need that night time energy. When I asked myself “How do you feel now?” after that first bowl, I knew I wasn’t there yet and made another with white chocolate wonderful. That hit the spot.

Making Raw Chocolate

As it turned out, when I woke up, I felt more or less like I’d been hit by a bus; clearly, it was not a runner’s high or anything. Still, I wanted to get to the gym. 3 times I started and stopped walking. My excuses to keep going were always something like “I might feel like going later and would have more time now” or “the weekend would be so much better for a rest day”. Both of those thoughts were true, but then it hit me: I don’t feel like running now and that’s when matters. Maybe I will feel like going to the gym later, and if so I’ll have to find the time to squeeze in. But instead, I spent my morning doing something more practical: Making raw coconut oil chocolate 😀 This was a triple batch I made into 3 bars for refrigeration.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raw Chocolate, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

Breakfast ended up being another expression of feelings. I felt hungry earlier than usual, so I ate earlier. I felt like eating vegan and not oatmeal, so I avoided oats and dairy products. And I had a definite sweet tooth, so I might have gone a little chocolate/stevia happy. Isn’t listening to your feelings great? I had a So Delicious soy yogurt with Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds for protein, and along side that more chocolate avocado pudding(stevia sweetened) with 1/2 a batch of coconut oil chocolate on top. For the pudding, I cracked open a container of my secret ingredient…

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir

You can really use whatever milky liquid you like in the recipe–it’s only 3 tablespoons anyway. Usually I use almond milk since I always seem to have an open container, and occasionally I’ll use coconut milk but that’s a little much to use all the time. A good option is this coconut milk kefir, which is almost as thick as full fat coconut milk, much lighter, and has probiotics to boot! It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I let myself grab some whenever it’s on sale(which it is in the New England area at Whole Foods right now fyi).

Another reason I let myself get a little “desserty” with breakfast was because I got really good news right before making it. I’ve been a little secretive with all the extra things I have going on this week; some of that is for other’s privacy, some of that is because they’re boring things I wouldn’t trouble you with. One of those “boring things” was an optional Greek exam put on by the Classics department here for freshmen. As it turns out, I came in 1st along with a classmate of mine and we both got $875 in prize! Maybe now I can afford a new bowl that’s not plastic, made for a 5 year old, and bright “apple green”? 😉 Of course, that doesn’t excuse me from actually going to Greek class, which I need to do now 🙂

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 19 so far )

No Crying Over Dropped Oatmeal

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s a Wendesday! You know what that means… new Whole Food circulars! I get excited about Wednesday for all the wrong reasons 😀 But–if you’re a Providence reader–you simply need to get out grocery shopping today. It’s the last day kombucha and organic avocadoes are on sale at Eastside Market, and now at Whole Foods you can get organic broccoli, Kerrygold butter, and brownies all for more than cheap! I’m going to *try* to get to at least the former today.

Gingerade Kombucha

Speaking of kombucha, last night after supper I had a Gingerade kombucha. This is probably my favorite of the Synergy flavors. I just love anything ginger, and this is so robust! I sipped on this doing work and watching the Biggest Loser; last night’s episode just seemed “meh” to me. It also made me remember how much I hate when they lose weight but aren’t happy with how much. Every little step towards being healthy counts! Big changes don’t need to be made overnight, and–in real life, at least–there is no “game” to play. So often on that show they lose sight of what matters.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For a dessert I mixed some agave into a So Delicious soy yogurt and crumbled a few too many Sunspire milk chocolate peanuts on top. I love that I can get these peanuts from the bulk bin; it’s all that saves me from going poor having to buy the individual packages. The yogurt not surprisingly wasn’t too sweet because I used  agave instead of vanilla stevia :-/ I think there’s a time and place for both–this would have been a stevia moment.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Chunky PB

Afterwards, I was definitely feeling a little nutty. I whipped up some pumpkin oatmeal and added a spoonful of Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter and 365 brand crunchy(which you can get for $1 with the new Whole Deal flyer. If I went overboard on the peanut butter, it’s because this combo was fantastic. It reminded me of eating a crunchy peanut butter cup(do they even make those?). So good.

I happily woke up this morning after 8 hours  of sleep right with my alarm at 6:50 and the sun shining in and did not feel like running at the gym; it just seemed like too much work, and I have enough of that. Instead, I spent the first few hours in bed with a good book(read: homework book), some coffee, my laptop and breakfast. This was definitely the way I needed to start today. This, however, was not.

Shatered Bowl And Oatmeal

Shattered Bowl And Oatmeal

Why did I title the post how I did Because I totally want to cry. I had just put the toppings on my oatmeal, and randomly decided to carry it back to the microwave for reheating. It was so hot I lost my handle and, well, the rest was history. At least the bowl was only from the ever exclusive Targe and I can probably get another one easily. Call me crazy(please don’t), but I even made an effort to save what peanut butter I could; I hardly had any left of the cookie dough peanut butter and I’m not sure if P.B. Loco exists as a company.  After that fiasco, I remade the oatmeal in something I couldn’t possibly break.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Strawberry Jam, Chobani With 1/2 Gluten Free Cupcake

There’s definitely something to the thought that we eat with our eyes; even though this was the exact same amount of oats and everything, it looked 10 times less appetizing(the first bowl was a real beauty). Shame, too, because the flavors of vanilla and strawberry were really uplifting and reminded me of Summer.

Chobani With 1/2 Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake

At least this yogurt couldn’t possibly have been a failure. I am really loving these gluten-free cupcakes more and more and definitely want it as my full birthday cake; Bob’s Red Mill makes a fine product!

I had planned to go for an 8-9 mile outdoor run in about an hour. Now I just don’t know what the morning holds. The night, on the other hand, looks a little better; I have another one of those 6(now 7) extracurricular things but this one should be a goody 😉 And definitely a boost I need to make it through this week. Lastly, check out this double giveaway from Iowa Girl!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 17 so far )

“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.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

Full Of Probiotics

Posted on March 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That pretty much describes me right now! These days, I don’t really keep track of any part of my diet. I don’t do calorie counting, I don’t keep track of my fruit and veggie intake, if I’m not down with a protein at a meal I let it slide, etc. The one thing I have sort of kept up with as of lately is getting 2 sources of probiotics a day. They’re a superfood of mine because I think they’re great for digestion, an upset stomach, and longevity. But even this isn’t much of a “goal” because 2 sources is quite average for me. You know what’s not average? 5. And that’s all before dessert.

Pineapple Chobani With Custom Goji Granola

Backing up, what are probiotics? They’re strands of bacterial culture added to foods, most recognizably yogurt. Since these bacteria already exist in our digestive tracks, eating more of them helps to bolster any that might have died out over time. Probiotics have been suggested to have a host of other benefits from weight management(unless you’re only getting them through gallons of frozen yogurt) to flu prevention. This morning, I got S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Casei from my pineapple Chobani.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

For lunch, I had another superfood salad in mind! I had something like this Monday; I’m really not a big salad eater, but something about this particular combination of ingredients just “works” and made me crave it. In the mix was a good dose of Foods Alive‘s Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing and Navitas Naturals mulberries.

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach, Gingerade Kombucha

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

I mixed the dressing with spinach, and made a composite of chickpeas, garlic, sea salt, diced Next Generation Dairy raw & probiotic garlic parsley cheddar, and the mulberries. I love the mulberries here, which are like golden raisins but less sweet and more fiberous. On the side, I had a gingerade kombucha. Overall, not only was this meal fantastic, but it was amazingly healthy. The dressing, spinach, mulberries, cheese, and drink were all raw. Only the chickpeas were cooked, but those are healthy anyway so who cares? And the cheese was fortified with Ganeden BC30 probiotics, while the kombucha has 1 billion Lactobacillus Bacterium and S. Boulardii. That’s a lot of cultures!

Mint Chip Sweet Scoops Frozen Yogurt

Let’s just say I was more than happy to get out of my class at 4pm–it was the weekend! And I needed it, too, seeing as how much I had juggling in my mind to handle “once the school work was done with”. Well, really the first thing I did was get to my dorm, turn on the computer, and scoop out some frozen yogurt. We picked up this mint chip frozen yogurt from Sweet Scoops on Sunday; I’ve had it before so I knew I’d like it. Plus I love anything mint. But I think Sweet Scoops is also good because they keep the milk kind of fatty so it has a thick texture.  And it had my good friends, L. Bulgaricus & S. Thermophilus–score.

If you’ve ever wondered about the cultures in frozen yogurt(because I know you have ;-)), they are live but–unlike in yogurt–are not active. The freezing process puts the bacteria into a dormant state. Once they get into your system, however, where the temperature is much higher, they become active again. That is what makes frozen yogurt what it is(it has nothing to do with fat content). Running around like the nut that I am pressing tofu and shoving vegetables in the oven, I needed more fuel before dinner. Enter into my life more probiotics:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

How many times do I eat this? A lot. And yet I never thought to notice that each time I do I’m taking in L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Rhamnosus, L. Acidophilus, Bif. Bifidum, and Bif. Animalis. Good to know. It was also quite delicious, perfectly sweet and salty, and a little nutty. I’ve heard that Stop & Shop employees in R.I. are going on strike this weekend! I sure hope not; it’s $1 cheaper to get these So Delicious soy yogurts there than it is at Whole Foods. Now, if you can believe it, there weren’t any probiotics at dinner.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Baked Tofu

What it was was my ultimate comfort food dish; would it make sense to have anything else on a snowy night that’s kicking off the weekend? I think not. I was thinking about putting this on a plate, but a bowl seemed so much more comforting. Bowl? Plate? Doesn’t matter? This all tasted awesome with some sea salt to balance it out. I’m impressed the tofu pressed well in only 90 minutes.

Not only was that bowl incredibly comforting, it’s going to be very well digested. I think I got about 10 different strands of bacteria in me, if not more, and billions of cultures. Incredible, huh? Don’t get me wrong–today was a bit of an abnormality, and really getting any probiotics is a good start. If you aren’t a yogurt or frozen yogurt fan(although how could you not be?), they also make supplements that are concentrated forms of probiotics; Avery would be the one to see on those. Now, I’m freezing my butt off tonight; the bacteria strand S. Thermophilus would not be happy(this means heat lover in Greek). I think they lowered the heat in the whole building because my coconut oil used to even be liquid at room temp and now I’m cold 😦 PJ’s, a sweatshirt, and Survivor will cure the cold.

And because I’m tired of writing out scientific names for bacteria, I’ll talk about giveaways. Kate is giving away ch-ch-ch-chia seeds. Click here to win some Maranatha. There’s also a Tropical Tradition Coconut Oil giveaway. Here’s a chance to get some of my favorite protein bars. And, lastly, a [me] & goji custom cereal giveaway.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 24 so far )

That Dirty Quaker

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 22 so far )

It’s Rough To Rest

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For a non-bachelor watcher, there was nothing on TV last night. Now can we stop hearing about Jake and all the complaints over the fake girls? Please? I really wanted a Pomegranate Chobani but all I had on hand was plain so I whipped one up.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Dark Velvet Chocolate

In the mix went 1oz Pom Wonderful juice and a tablespoon of the Europe superfruit spread from Crofters with some stevia. Together it was all “OK” but not quite up to par with a real pomegranate yogurt; I did not miss the seeds, though. On top, of course, was a little bit of chocolate.

Alter Eco Dark Velvet Chocolate

This new bar from alter eco called Dark Velvet Chocolate. On the one hand, it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs “It’s not dark chocolate if it has milk in it!”. On the other hand, I was too busy savoring it to scream anything. The butterfat and milk in this make it sooo creamy and good. And I like that it had no soy and the ingredients were all fair trade and mentioned the origin. Very eco-aware! It was a fun treat to be working on my paper with. I’m writing about The First Baptist Church, which–in Providence–is the first Baptist Church. The building itself(what I’m concerned with) is only as old as 1775, but then again so is our Nation.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nutritional Yeast

Before bed, I made a snack. How many times can I eat this same combination? Apparently, a lot. It’s a better choice though than whipping out the cheddar popchips and dipping them in PB, and with the same flavor, too! And there was still nothing on TV. I might have been guilty of even submitting and turning on the Bachelor for a time. Maybe.

Munch Bar

Just when I thought I was going to go to bed, something in my stomach was irking me to try out this bar. What the heck?! I had practically just eaten a full meal between the oatmeal and yogurt; but my hunger was just raging. My dad found this at Walgreens and gave it to me. It’s an all-natural, 6-ingredient candy bar whose first ingredients is peanuts and it’s made by the Mars company. Lo and behold, it even has its own website! It was actually really good, too, and reminded me of chunky peanut brittle. I would definitely be happy to find more candy bars like this on store shelves(as opposed to those whose 2nd ingredient is artificial red coloring and 3rd trans fat).

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds, Oatmeal, 2 Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese

This morning felt so uninteresting. I slept in a good 75 minutes, read a bit while watching TV, showered, checked emails, and cooked eggs. I have to wonder how it is I wound up with a life where I cook eggs before class in college; it’s a good thing they take about 2 minutes.

Omelet Oatmeal

Considering the difficulties of perfectly cooking oatmeal, eggs, and melting cheese, this wasn’t bad at all. I cooked the oatmeal in the microwave, topped with slightly undercooked scrambled eggs from a pan, and topped that with cheese microwaving a little longer to melt it and covering to let the steam finish it off. It was actually all pretty well incorporated and still warm when I got to class.

Red Delicious Apple

And walking in the door I grabbed this apple to snack on while posting because I was still hungry. There’s something that feels backwards about needing to eat more when you know you’re taking a rest day; at the same time, I know in the back of my mind that if you’re hungry for it, it won’t be bad for you. In general, I have a rough time with rest days; I just want to run! But 20-someodd days of running straight and I was definitely feeling fatigued from overtraining. And for what? A half marathon I know I’ll be able to complete? It’s not worth it to push that hard, at least without sitting down to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a spoon at some point in that time frame. How do you “deal” with rest days? Do you look forward to them, or do they make you cringe? I’m definitely the latter, but I think I have enough going on today that my hands will be too busy to notice. I still have to make beef burgers for lunch!

And check out this awesome chia seed giveaway.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 18 so far )

Shedding Vegan Guilt And Others

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Guilt” is a really nasty word in my book and something no one should ever have to go through. And yet, at times, I feel like I put some pressures on myself that make my feel guilty for really stupid reasons. I write this post in earnest in hopes that, by getting them out there, I’ll be able to squash these feelings from ever returning.

Burnt Peanut Butter

Last night started off on a much lighter note: I managed to burn peanut butter. Is that even possible? Apparently. I was trying to get the last bit of this butter toffee peanut butter to soften but after 40 seconds it started smoking and the bottom was like pumice! Such a major bummer that this happened to my favorite Naturally Nutty peanut butter but thankfully there wasn’t much left and I had a full 16oz jar to replace this 8oz one.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

This combination of chocolate avocado pudding with sweet butter toffee peanut butter was absolutely heavenly, just what I wanted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it did have me face 1 common guilt I have: vegan guilt. On several occasions, I’ve caught myself thinking “Why do you have to eat that. Why not something similar but vegan?” It mostly ever occurs with things that might otherwise be vegan but aren’t due to added ingredients, like an energy bar or peanut butter. That’s when I lay down the line and remind myself I’m not vegan, raw, vegetarian, or any label like that, nor do I have plans to be. It’s so easy to get caught up and think about participating in some vegan for a day challenge; the fact is that I’ve done that, hated it, and moved on. I’ve also had days when I unintentionally ate completely vegan and been 100% satisfied. So from here on, I’m shedding the vegan guilt, knowing I do well for my part.

Red Delicious Apple

After that, I snacked on an apple while doing work. Sometimes I wonder what must it look like that I eat a good deal after dinner? I’ll shed that guilt before it starts by saying it’s just how my body works that it gets more hungry at night, I have no clue how much I eat after dinner or through the day for that matter, and it fuels me well for an a.m. run. Last night in particular I was fueling for a long run, so these extra carbs were more than welcomed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

To cap off the carb loving, I had a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and a few milk chocolate peanut sunspire candies. Ya’ll(OK, seriously, where did that come from), I can not tell you how bad my pictures get me down sometimes. But I think by typing it out I’ll feel a lot better: I’m working with crappy lighting in a dorm room at night. We’ll all just have to deal. Phew. Now I can talk about how good Brothers & Sisters was, as well as the closing ceremonies. I thought the latter were so much more fun than the opening ceremonies; I loved all the celebs and the hockey game at the end. Russia, though, seemed like downers on the whole party. Brothers & Sisters is definitely getting funnier, too. I just hope they crank up the drama to finish the season.

13 Miles In 1:54:55

Like I said, I was fueling for a long run in the morning. And that worked really well. I ended up running 13 miles. This also gave me time to think about my guilts, brainstorm this entrie blog posts, and discovered some running related ones: marathoner’s guilt and treadmill guilt. As you all probably know, I’m running a 1/2 marathon in 27 days, and that’s what I’m training for. After thinking about it, I realized I really like to run 8-10 miles and have no desire for much else usually. It’s great to be inspired by so many marathon running bloggers but that just ain’t for me. Besides that, I loved the treadmill. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating; I love having a TV and a nice warm, bright climate. Will I run outside again? Sure. But I like it hot(60’s at least) and sunny(we haven’t seen this in New England for about a week now). So there’s where I stand on running.

Soy Yogurt With Bacon Peanut Brittle, Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I big time got over my vegan guilt for breakfast; case in point: My yogurt isn’t even vegetarian. I added a plank of Sir Francis Bacon‘s Bacon Peanut Brittle and some vanilla stevia and sea salt. God was that good. It’s helping to settle my cravings for Fakin’ Tempeh Bacon(how much longer is Lent?). In the oats went an egg and on top more butter toffee peanut butter. And right now the only shred of guilt I have left is because I’m drinking a really good new tea I’m not sharing yet, but I have to save something for future posts, right 😉 Any guilts you need to shed? Let ’em out! I assure you, it feels 10 times better afterwards.

Here’s a giveaway for some good gluten-free granola–yum! Perfect for me 🙂 And here’s another for come cho-cho-bani!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 23 so far )

Layers Of Flavor

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reunited and it feels so good… with Food Network! I forgot how much I enjoyed this channel. Right now, I’m getting my 5-ingredient fix with Claire Robinson on; I’m not even a fan of hers but 3 weeks without having it and I’ll watch anything on the Food Network. Her theme is layering flavors, so naturally I’m going to be a copy cat and show you some delicious layered flavors.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Shavings, Peanut Butter, And Salt

From top to bottom:

  • Sea salt
  • 365 Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Bulk Milk Chocolate Shaved
  • Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia

Hello, flavorful. I didn’t have any peanut butter cups around, and I didn’t feel like making the, so I just used the raw ingredients. Then I stirred it all together. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter always gets lost in the yogurt, so I finished it off with a garnish:

Peanuts Added On Top

Much better 🙂 I find, if you want peanut flavor in your yogurt, it’s better to use peanut flour(which I’ve discovered troubles my stomach) or peanuts to get it loud and proud. On TV was bobsledding; I think bobsledding/luge/skeletons are so much more exciting than most of the sports they show on The Olympics but they get almost as little attention as cross-country skiing 😦 And yet the world has to stop to see ice dancers. Go figure. Before I went to bed I had some nutty oats.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Creme Concentrate

One thing that is not muy bueno about being home is not having my super stash of nut butters to choose from. I ended up going with Maranatha’s almond butter, which is not nearly as good as Justin’s now that I’ve tried both 😦 I can’t wait to turn the people in this house on to Justin’s once it hits New England shelves!

Spoonful Coconut Creme Concentrate

The coconut creme concentrate is a new product I’m trying from Tropical Traditions. It’s kind of like very concentrated coconut milk. I haven’t explored it much and so won’t review it yet, but know that it was tasty enough that I took a spoonful straight from the jar before falling asleep 😉

This morning I slept in and read a little in bed before actually getting up. Is it just me, or are there a lot more commercials for cereals and breakfast foods before 9am? That would be good advertising if it’s true. It made me hungry for some cinnamon toast crunch–not like we actually have that or even any organic version around. That’s OK because I was perfectly capable of layering my own flavors.

Cinnamon Soy Yogurt With Ginger Cookie, French Toast Oatmeal With Honey Cinnamon PB

For the yogurt, I did…

This was delicious, kind of like my beloved snickerdoodle ice cream but breakfast-friendly. I think the fact that I have 3 soy yogurts in the my fridge right now for the week and I’ve gone through 2 in 12 hours is a bad sign.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon And An Egg Topped With Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

The oatmeal likewise was a bit of a flavor conundrum(I’m pretty sure I’m not using this word right here).

Cinnamon toast crunch who? This was wayyy better. And it went good with some Mexican style coffee on the side, too. Now Food Network programming has shifted from Aida to Sunny Anderson. Fun fact: She actually commented on this blog once! It was towards the beginning of the Summer when I mentioned the new program The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It definitely made me feel famous for that one day(and might have gone to my head :-)). Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe Giada will be coming on, and she’s always entertaining to watch, and not because of her cooking 😉

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...