Tuna Two Ways

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

Babalooooo!

I Love Lucy

That(besides whipping it) pretty much sums up my morning. I had no ambition to do much else but work my way through season 1. I got through 2 episodes, including the one with Mr. Merriweather and Ethel pretending to be a psychic. Anyone else remember that? Classy.

Montana

Mr. Montana was definitely feeling itchy this morning. I was thinking how productive it’d be to give him a bath but a) he wouldn’t let me pick him up to put him in the sink and b) that would have made a HUGE mess I’d have to clean up. Instead, I just scratched him as we watched Paula Dean use obscene amounts of butter in desserts. God bless her and may her arteries stay clear so she can keep pumping out those recipes!

For lunch, I had plenty of delicious leftovers to choose from. Not only that, I had a full kitchen to work with. And you know what I had?

Tuna And Whole Wheat Mac N' Cheese

Canned tuna and boxed mac n’ cheese I made in the microwave. Oh, the irony. I really didn’t want to make this because I know it’s the type of meal I’ll be eating all too much when I go back to campus. BUT it was what I was craving and I’m never one to deny that. At least the instant macaroni was whole wheat, right? Can anyone spy what television character those are shaped as? It’s hard to tell, and it’s a little silly. But I got the whole box for 77 cents so it was a major deal. So as to not fall off the green wagon completely, I pregamed(bet you didn’t expect to hear me say that) this meal with a green beverage.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood

I mixed 1/2 a cup of plain coconut milk kefir with Amazing Grass‘s green superfood. I’d been waiting for an occasion just like this to review this product. And I was wicked impressed with how UNgreen it tasted! Well, it still tasted green, but not displeasantly so. It was slightly sweet without a graininess to it at all. If you want to tell me I was getting the benefits of all the foods listed on the back, that’s fine with me and pass a glass. The kefir made it a nice, thick treat, too, and probiotic.

This afternoon was monumentously unproductive. I hoped to go for a walk since the sky was so blue… until I realized with the wind chill it was 19 degrees. I didn’t even really feel like cooking up one of the few recipes I have bookmarked to do because that meant cleaning up after myself. Boo. I realized that this is when normal people generally watch their movies, such as the one I bought over a month ago and still haven’t seen: Gettysburg. That was good enough reason for me to pop it in. I almost napped during the first hour, but eventually got into it. Halfway through I made a snack.

Stonyfield's Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt And A Vitamuffin

And now that picture is making me want it again, darn it all. The frozen yogurt had a bit too much freezer burn on it but that was fine by me. And it went so nicely with the warmed muffin–yum! I knew Gettysburg was a movie about history but I didn’t realize it’s the longest movie in history(not really). But after 2 and a half hours, when it wanted me to change discs instead of being over, I was over and decided to save the rest for a rainy day. Thankfully, by then my mom came home and we were planning dinner.

Lemon Pepper Oil

My aunt gave us a Stonewall Kitchen Oil for Thanksgiving and tonight seemed like the perfect chance to open it. We had ahi tuna and rather than roasting I suggested pan searing after seeing it on Ada’s blog. The oil splattered on me a bit, but we got through 4 minutes of searing, 2 minutes per side.

Roasted Butternut Squash And Broccoli, Seared Tuna

It wasn’t perfect like at Tomasso’s, but I was pretty damn impressed with us. The lemon flavor really was soaked in there well, and the inside was a pretty pink. I topped the tuna with smoked Scottish salt, the butternut with salt and black pepper, and broccoli with plain sea salt. I ended up finishing the pan of broccoli “to be helpful with cleaning up” 😉 It’s a lot better than cleaning dishes!

http://liveloveeatandplay.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/a-sweet-giveaway-for-the-new-year/#comment-1575

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Just Your Average Sunday

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday was all I could ask for from a Sunday. I rolled out of bed at 8:30, which is about as late as I’ll ever sleep in these days. I had no plans for running, and I wasn’t quite ready for breakfast. Hmm… what to do…

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Kashi Vanilla Blueberry Raspberry Muffins

Bake! I hate shelling out all that money for blueberry raspberry oat bran muffins so I thought I’d give a hand at doing my own. I used my lazy man’s muffin recipe, and did 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 raspberries. Ps. I’m trying to get this recipe picked up by Kashi, so if you have connections hook a brother up 😉 The best part of these is they really require no flavoring or healthifying since the oatmeal packets and berries do it all for you. This was my “mystery muffin” at breakfast yesterday:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Tempeh Bacon, Mystery Muffin With Mighty Maple

Muy bueno. It was really good, but I’m also going to be critical on myself because it wasn’t quite at blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin level. I think these were a bit too soft and wheaty, whereas the others are firmer and branier. My oh my, those are words only an oatmeal-lover could adore, haha. Nevertheless, it was good with mighty maple(and I’m sure will be great with cream cheese :-))

Did I say yesterday would be a rest day? Well for the first time in a while the sun was out with no clouds, the temperature was heating up, and I hadn’t ran around my neighborhood in a long time. I headed out at 11 and did 6.7 miles in 53:33. I didn’t realize how fast that was at the time, but I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever done 6 laps around my neighborhood(which has 3 hills, one being a real crusher). I got back a bit before lunch and (re)learned something about myself: I’m kind of an ass butthead when I’m hungry and feel like I can’t eat what I want when I want. I really wanted my “breakfast foods” fast but had to wait for a family lunch. I tried to not be so tense and just put things on my plate I’d eat:

Salmon, Asparagus

Salmon, Asparagus

The asparagus were a special request, which I had about twice that amount of. My excuse is that I wanted smelly pee when I went back home. I finished my plate and grabbed a quick dessert:

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

Whole Soy & Co Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt With Banana Goodness Bread Mix-In

I don’t think it’s called dessert when you plan it and eat it with others who are on their meals.I felt a lot better after this because it was what I wanted. The banana and Nutella frozen yogurt went together as well as the real things do–Yuuuummmm. It was a lot easier to sit down and study after that while scratching Montana. My parents spoil me, I spoil him, it’s all part of the circle of life. I wasn’t in a huge rush to get back to school but better sooner than later. We stopped at Market Basket on the way to pick up two things:

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt And Matthew's Whole Wheat English Muffins

And better yet this was only 3.69. The english muffins were on sale from 3.09 to 1.50; I prefer Trader Joe’s but that’s not remotely between my house and school. The ice cream is normally 2.69 and I had a 50 cent off coupon. It was probably the last of its flavor and I had to push aside about 100 other pints to find it, but I was determined for that price.

When we got back to school, things went as smoothly as I could have hoped for. The roomie was gone; my dad helped me put things away, and I was snacking on this:

Maple Nut Clif Bar

Maple Nut Clif Bar

This was another one of the bars Clif sent me. I was a bit hesitant to try it because I thought I had had it before and not enjoyed it. I must have thought wrong because this was awesome. No lie. Read all about it here. It might have been because I could have gone for anything maple at that time, but this was really good. It might be high on sugar, but anything maple and low sugar tends to be a disappointment, and I would gladly eat this instead of any sugary dessert any day. I got a bit more done before breaking in to this:

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Dream Frozen Yogurt

I planned to have it after dinner, but I guess a little fell into my cup and then my mouth sooner. Oops 😉 I love this frozen yogurt; Stonyfield does not skimp on the cookies part. I take “cookies n’ cream” as the ingredient list, which would suggest that it be loaded with cookies first, and cream second. This isn’t too creamy, buy it has plenty of cookies. And the fact that it’s not creamy makes it lighter so you can enjoy more of it(I might or might not have eaten a whole pint of this before in one sitting before. Again, oops ;-)). Before I left home, I grabbed a good amount of leftovers from lunch, and made a meal out of that and stuff from the dining hall:

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

Glazed Carrots, Cooked Spinach, Acorn Squash, Salmon

College has definitely got me loving leftovers more. I forgot how good acorn squashes are; this one was baked back at home so it was super soft but I’m wondering if it’s possible to make one in the microwave. I’ll have to experiment with that next time I make it to a farmers market. I haven’t been loving salads lately so cooked spinach is an efficient way to get my greens for the week. And, of course, the salmon was good again. Thank you, mommy 😀

I must be getting old because I was overjoyed when 60 Minutes was on at 7 and whatever sports event on before it didn’t run long. I wonder if I can qualify for senior discounts at the grocery store? I’ll take the money where I can get it. Last night’s form of procrastination came in the form of reminiscing. My elementary school headmaster is retiring, and I couldn’t help but think back to those days and start to miss them so much. Since when is art not a class? or book reports not the biggest assignment? and what happened to school plays in cheap costumes? or singing song about planting daffodils? I guess we can’t really in all sensibility go back to those times, but I’m positive I’m going to be reliving them through my children some day.

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Syrup

Funny enough, I don’t remember ever having oats as a kid. For breakfast, I remember M&M Kudos bars, and the occasional fishy tasting medicine pill wrapped in white bread, but never oats. Maybe me having them twice a day is making up for lost time. This started as a healthy bowl with pumpkin and sliced almonds. Then I realized that was all (figurative) vegan fluff and I really just wanted something maple(thanks, Clif). Luckily, no matter how much sugar you put on oats they’re still healthy, right?

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Toast With Mighty Maple, Banana Goodness Bread With Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Now that I have a replacement jar of Mighty Maple, I’m excited how low my old jar is getting! Pumpkin oats in a jar? I think so. For the “Nutella” like spread I use Rapunzel brand. It’s organic so it has all natural ingredients. It also has more hazelnuts and less sugar per serving than Nutella so it’s more like a nut butter. I’ve also found an all natural Italian brand at Market Basket I might try after this jar runs out. Brothers and Sisters was great last night; I really think that show goes underrated. My hunger suddenly woke up after that oatmeal because I also needed this:

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

Deep Chocolate Vitamuffin

That and some water did the trick. It might have done the trick too well; fiber is a loud thing to fall asleep to while still digesting.

This morning… I don’t know where I was(figuratively, of course). I got on the treadmill and nothing felt so hot. But I had it in my mind to do 10 miles and this time in particular I really just wanted to finish. There were some annoying bathroom breaks and my right foot flared up again but I tapped into my stubborn Pollack side and kept going, finishing in 83:53. I was sure to stretch my right foot extra special and I think I’ll do that again later today just for security.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter, Pineapple Chobani With PB Puffins

10 miles is a lot of time to think about breakfast, and I think I went through 20 different scenarios, but this was a good one to settle on. Pepita Sun butter is kind of like the holidays in a spread, with all its allspice and vanilla goodness. And I completely forgot how much an addiction PB puffins are; I should eat up the bag, too, before it goes stale, right? 😉 That’s my excuse anyway.

Sunday felt too good to believe that it’s Monday already and the work week is back. Let’s all commiserate so that the time will pass faster.

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How The Time Flies

Posted on October 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As it turns out, when you’re really behind, an 80 minute class being cancelled isn’t as much a savior as you’d think. Like I mentioned, I crawled back into bed yesterday morning and did plenty I’d been neglecting around the room

  • Watch Amazing Race
  • Read blogs
  • Dust coffee grinds and salt off desk
  • Take out the trash
  • Clean plates and silverware

It felt like so much more at the time; how depressing. I got word(aka, I used the internet) of a special dish in one of the dining halls across campus, so I walked over and it was better than I could have hoped for:

Pumpkin Apple Soup With Flax, Toast With Mighty Maple, Fakin' Bacon

Pumpkin Apple Soup With Flax, Toast With Mighty Maple, Fakin' Bacon

The menu said there’d be squash apple soup. Well they ran out of squash so instead it was pumpkin! I added a bit of flax from my fridge and the tempeh bacon and peanut butter of course. Let’s ignore the fact that this is essentially my breakfast everyday and just focus on how the maple/salty/pumpkin all went together so well. I really hope that wasn’t an oil heavy soup because I ate a lot of it. While I was out I also picked up some mail and got something really exciting:

Lightlife Mail

Lightlife Mail

After discovering their new line of Tempehtation products, I got in touch with Lightlife. You know me; I’m by no means a vegan(more on that later), but I love trying out new cuisines and was so impressed by what they offered. They sent me coupons to pick out and review some of their products. Naturally I was overjoyed and went out on a special Whole Foods trip right after Days and Rachael Ray.

It was incredible in New England yesterday; the weather actually warmed up and the clouds cleared. I walked and read some Ancient Greek odes to Demeter and Aphrodite(because doesn’t everyone do this on their way to Whole Foods?) and was there before I knew it. I must have been fast in the store, because the whole trip(1.15 miles there and then back) took only 80 minutes. On the way back I had a snack:

Clif Chocolate Peanut Mojo Dipped

Clif Chocolate Peanut Mojo Dipped

This was another one of the flavors Clif sent my way that I could not say no to; the name itself had so much promise. Well, it was decent, and the salty/sweet was most definitely there. But it definitely didn’t win me over. My full review of it is here. I’m hoping after this one the rest will exceed my expectations like the PB&J flavor did. When I got back to my dorm, this is what I had to show for the adventure:

Grocery Loot

Grocery Loot

Did you know there’s now a 365 brand of pumpkin that’s cheaper than Libby’s? I’m giving it a chance even though I swear by my dealer, Libby, in hopes that it’s good. I went with the Ginger Teryaki Tempehtation dinner for my first tasting because it sounded amazing. I also picked up some soy yogurt for reasons that will become clear tomorrow and some teryaki salmon from the salad bar for dinner(only 1.86 for a salmon meal! score!). I worked a bit more until 5, at which point I realized I was hunnnnngrry. I would have made oats but my roommate was napping and those can get extensive and loud with me. Instead I tried a different in a jar:

Yogurt In A Jam Jar, Vitabrownie

Yogurt In A Jam Jar, Vitabrownie

If you can do oats in a nut butter jar, you can definitely do yogurt in a jam jar. My favorite banana pineapple rum jam was on its last leg, so I helped it along by adding 8oz Stonyfield plain yogurt. Yum! I think there was more in the jar than I realized there was, but that only made it that much better. It tasted just like a pineapple Chobani because the yogurt had a little fat in it. The brownie I threw in for a bit of fiber. It definitely held me over until I planned on meeting up with people(and an unpictured coffee from Blue State definitely didn’t hurt). I already had my main protein picked out(the salmon) but some veggies were definitely lacking from my day:

Teryaki Salmon, Roasted Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini, Baked Sweet Potato

Teryaki Salmon, Roasted Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini, Baked Sweet Potato

Let me tell you one thing: that salmon was salty. Now, I didn’t even do much to it, so if I’m saying that you know it must have been heavily doused. Don’t get me wrong; it was still damn good. But even so it could have used a tad less. I grabbed a tiny whole sweet potato instead of a 1/2 a big one; I love the skin part and this maximized the amount I got(not to mention the inside wasn’t burnt). The cauliflower and tahini combo I was not a fan of. It tasted very heavy and almost like parmesan even though I’m positive there wasn’t any cheese in that dish. Is this how tahini should be? It didn’t impress me, though I suppose if I were a vegan and ever missed the taste of cheese I could turn to tahini.

Maybe it was a denser meal than I realized, because hunger didn’t come until deep into The Biggest Loser. The blue team made a smart call by sending the black team home even if it was a tough one to make. Normally seeing other people lose weight makes me want food; I guess I was too deep into Herodotus to notice them. School was definitely getting me a bit stressed. What’s good eats when you got stress? CHOCOLATE:

Dark Chocolate Attune

Dark Chocolate Attune

Oh, and having that chocolate be probiotic definitely doesn’t hurt. This was another Attune product I reviewed here and oh my God was this good! It was just like any other premium dark chocolate bar, but had 30% my DV of calcium and 3g of fiber and 6.1 million little critters in it that’s going to keep me running regular before I go running. Amazing. At 10:30 I had a major dilemma. I’d like to be lying in bed in the dark at that time, but I really wanted oatmeal. Like my breakfast, oatmeal won out.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chips And Smart Balance

Oatmeal With Chocolate Chips And Smart Balance

I took a pretty before picture, but I decided to retake it to show how I actually eat my oats in all its salty, messy glory. I downed this in 20 minutes and still managed to sleep by a reasonable time.

When I woke up, I decided I wanted to do 10 on the treadmill this morning; it completely didn’t occur to me how nice it was outside until I ran the first 3 or so, during which time I was snacking on this:

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Flash is not my friend but it’s dark at 7am. The gym was virtually empty; I think there were 6 other people throughout my entire time there, 1 of which being my “gym-friend”. She said “have a good day” and I said “take care”. I’m a stud muffin. I ran 10 miles in 83:11 and my feet were really feeling it towards the end but I’m glad I stuck it out. Speaking of muffins, this was a berry good breakfast:

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Almond Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Almond Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

I hope you’re picking up all these puns I’m putting down. I loved the berry/almond/vanilla combo of it all. This kefir is seriously good stuff. I don’t even know how jazzed I am to try other brands than this one, because it’s so perfectly thick and sweet without overdoing it. FYI, don’t be surprised at all if you see the exact same breakfast tomorrow.

I had a very “fun” surprise in store for today which I think we all would have gotten a kick out of. Amazingly, however, I won a contest to attend an amazing sounding dinner in Boston which I am much much more excited about. I don’t know exactly how getting there and all is going to work out just yet, but it’d take a lot to keep me from good food like this. Instead, I’ll save the other thing for tomorrow and take plenty of pictures tonight for you all.

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Determination And A Bit Of Math

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

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

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

Trader Joe Multigrain Pilaf

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Garden Burger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

TJ Pilaf, Flamegrilled Gardenburger, Steak Sauce, Broccoli

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

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

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

Organic Decaf Coffee With NuNatural Stevia

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

Shopping Loot

Shopping Loot

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

Naturally Nutty Products

Naturally Nutty Products

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

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffe Almonds

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

Mystery Apple

Mystery Apple

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

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

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

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

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

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

Carrot Cake Yogurt

Carrot Cake Yogurt

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

Chocolate Orange Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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13.1 And Done

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

Believe it or not, coffee was not my well-rounded breakfast for yesterday. Rather, this was:

Peanut Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola, Pumpkin Oats With SB PB And Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Peanut Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola, Pumpkin Oats With SB PB And Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Oh, oh oh oh. Much better than a cup of coffee. I opened up a new pound of peanut flour to fix the yogurt, added pumpkin pie spice and stevia, and topped it with my new favorite granola. So so good. I love the little flax seeds in this which really add a super chewy crunch to them. I honestly had no motivation for peanut butter with my oats so I went with smart balance; I was kind of hoping for the omega-3’s in there to get some things moving that the coffee didn’t, if you catch my drift. By the way, I hope you all salt your oats. It adds a great last touch of flavor. I put plenty in at the beginning, and then add a little on the top at the end. It really goes great with sweet things like chocolate and maple nut butters.

On Sunday  I had a light bulb moment while running. Don’t you love those? Well not so much when the light bulb is that you completely forgot the whole reason you went to Trader Joe’s the day before. Yeah. Fun. To fix the situation, we took a trip yesterday morning back to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Because clearly you can’t go to one without checking out the other, right? We picked up a few things for lunch but mostly just browsed, as usual. I did end up getting some fun finds:

Grocery Loot

Grocery Loot

The Maple-Agave syrup, which I use for everything from oats to tofu, was the staple we forgot. I also found TJ Cranberry Apple Butter which I think is another seasonal item I can’t wait to give a go. Spooky Smores and a new batch of coffee were equally welcomed. As were these two Lifeway Lassi probiotic drinks which I got for 50 cents each with sales and coupons! I love a good bargain. For lunch I made a special request for snobby joes:

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Celery

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Celery

The hot dog bun was just a formality; this was so sloppy from the steak sauce/mustard/ketchup that I ate it primarily with a fork. The best thing about a meal seasoned to taste is that it’s always delicious. Apparently, when a bean or vegetable is the main part of the dish, my mom doesn’t think you need anything else. So we steamed up broccoli in the microwave and added chopped celery. Basically, this was a fiber-me-up lunch like no other. After lunch I didn’t want to spend too much time lounging around because anything I had to do was back at my dorm. I had a strawberry tooth and was dying to try the new Lassi drink I got in the car:

Lifeway Lassi Strawberry Drink

Lifeway Lassi Strawberry Drink

Unfortunately, this did not hit said strawberry tooth. I actually only took about 2 sips and put it down for good. It wasn’t thick at all, and the flavor was more of a generic sweetness than anything like strawberry. I usually at least finish products I’m not so fond of but seeing as how this was pretty much milk + sugar + probiotics, I let it go. I was particularly looking for something with a bit more of a tang like the kefir I got from my farmers’ market. Any recommendations out there for a good one?

After that bad experience I tried to just enjoy the car ride. I even managed to finish my readings and squeeze in a solid 30 minutes of not work. Oh I spoil myself. When we got to RI I asked to make a stop to grab something that would hit my strawberry tooth, and then we got to campus. I’ve realized I’m never in a great mood when I get back to my dorm, and it’s mostly because of this:

Unpacking

Unpacking

I could live without living out of a suitcase, or in my case, Whole Food, Stonyfield, and Abercrombie bags and a backpack. Thankfully the current plan for next weekend is for them to come to me if anything and I couldn’t be more grateful. After 30 minutes of folding, hanging, and organizing, I was done and could eat that special thing I mentioned:

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Ice Cream

This ice cream is the creamiest of the crop. It’s made with goat’s milk and is strawberry flavored with a balsamic vinegar swirl. It may sound gross but it works so so perfectly. And best yet, I’ve updated the product review page for it here so you can read all about it. I can’t wait until I have that going for every product, but right now it’s going at the rate of the Big Dig. Fortunately, all the great new product reviews I have coming up in the next few weeks will automatically be put into that format so look out for those.

At this time I very well could have gone to the gym and done some running or even cross-training. However, 2 things were on my mind. First and foremost, by 4:30 I certainly hadn’t been eating like a runner so I knew any flopping about on the treadmill I could do wouldn’t have been smart. I was asked if I kept track of my intake, and the answer is yes and no. I try to make sure I’m taking in 2500-3000 a day, but I don’t really keep track other than in my mind. And as for protein/carbs/fat ratio, I let the dice roll. I think most studies have shown that after a point of intake it’s all the same, and I definitely like to pass that point. The only thing I do do is keep sugars and refined grain low, which I really don’t have trouble with these days. My decission to lounge around was also persuaded by the fact that I hadn’t seen the newest Grey’s Anatomy. So, to fix the situation, I made a snack and did “work” to abc.com playing in the background:

English Muffin With Cashew Butter And Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

English Muffin With Cashew Butter And Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Ignore what looks like dust; it was just english muffin residue. My body was weirdly craving cashew butter and I’m never one to deny a taste so I fixed up an english muffin. That episode of Grey’s, which I’m sure had low ratings against Pam and Jim, was perfect. It had funny and emotional going for it, even though all of the characters’ actions were pretty predictable(especially the patient dying of cancer in front of Izzy). Still I loved it. Unfortunately again, I don’t think anything could have made my computer run slower and I hardly got anything done. I really needed to step back and remember the days when logging onto the internet alone took 8 minutes of staring at a progress bar and breathe a sigh of relief when 5 open windows run perfectly.

Macaroni And Cheese, Sweet Potato, Glazed Carrots, Green Beans With Mushrooms

Macaroni And Cheese, Sweet Potato, Glazed Carrots, Green Beans With Mushrooms

I really didn’t have an appetite for dinner, but macaroni and cheese was at the dining hall. I took the inspiration and made a batch of my favorite brand(aka Trader Joe’s) along with some veggies from the dining hall. At the end I added a little maple syrup to everything, which I couldn’t taste but wish I added more of; I think maple, sweet potato, and cheese should all go beautifully together. Maybe maple powder would be more appropriate for the job. I think a big plate of veggies was what I needed in the end to get out of my eating funk.

I’m not even gonna lie and just admit I was in my PJ’s with a warm cup of coffee at 8pm ready to conk to Heroes. It was another don’t judge me moment but thankfully my roommate had gone off to study for the evening. The season is just starting to lose me with the crazy plot twistage with Claire. Sylar I could not care less about after all the drama he’s caused over the past few seasons. And the new hero with the power to see sounds is just a bit too out there. My night might have been better off with HIMYM.

To the tune of 2 And A Half Men, I concocted this:

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Cranberry Apple Butter

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Cranberry Apple Butter

3 things to say at this point. 1) The boy in that old has gotten so old they’re going to have to face the fact and call it 3 Men. 2) I brought 3 english muffins to my dorm because I didn’t think I’d eat them before they go bad. I ate 2 in 6 hours. Wtf? 3) Oh my God was that cranberry apple butter good. I’d never had it, so I was really excited to try it. It tasted just like that high-fructose corn syrup laden cranberry sauce from a can and I couldn’t have loved it more. It inspired me to make a whole new page for product reviews of my favorite jams. Definitely stocking up on these during the season. Inspired by Run, Eat, Repeat, I made the best thing my little dorm room hear could have asked for:

Microwave Apple Crisp

Microwave Apple Crisp

This was so good I had to go and make a recipe page for it. But basically all it was was a diced apple, 365 brand crunchy PB(nice and runny), and 25g Pumpkin Flax granola. Sometimes life’s not fair in a good way, and this is an example. It’s not fair that something that’s fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats can be so delicious, but I’m fine with it that it is. I’d be lying if I said a forkful of crunchy pb didn’t make its way straight into my mouth; I completely forgot how a little crunch and a little salt could marry so well.

This morning I did plenty of things different. I knew after yesterday I wanted to get a good, long run in; problem is Tuesday’s I’m usually pressed for time. I decided to set my alarm for 6:30, and got to the gym by 7. My aim was to run 90 minutes, but once I got going I just didn’t want to stop. I knew today was the day to break that next milestone, which I decided was to run a half marathon. I finished 13.1 miles in 1:49:51 after watching 2 shows on Cartoon Network and most of a Charmed episode. Surprisingly, I wasn’t famished for breakfast. In fact, nothing really drew me in, but I settled for a good ol’ muffin and cream:

Stonyfield Plain Yogurt With Strawberry Jam, Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With White Chocolate Wonderful And Cream Cheese

Stonyfield Plain Yogurt With Strawberry Jam, Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With White Chocolate Wonderful And Cream Cheese

So many goodies. Did you know Stonyfield now has codes under the lid to enter for points on their website? I just opened up my 32oz container this morning so I’m going to enter that code soon and hopefully will get some nice freebies after a while.  You can get anything from a free Oikos to Nature’s Path Organic product to so much more, so save those lids! Pretty much the only thing that kept me going last night and this morning was the thought that I’m out of class by 12, so I have plenty of time to lounge around and not have a care in the world today. What I thought was “way too much food” is now seeming like an awful little so I might have to fix that.

Ever try Newman’s Own Organic food? Well it’s superb and there’s a sweet giveaway over at Rosey Rebecca so check that out!

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Whoopie In The Dorm Room

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Get your mind out of the gutter 😉 Did the Newlywed Game ruin that word for anyone else? Who would’ve thought the Game Show Network could scar a child.

In Latin Class yesterday morning we got to talking with each other and one of my classmates moved to a new dorm because her roommate was from hell and literally threw a shoe at her. Could you imagine having to live with someone who would do that to a stranger? Sure, a good friend or family member deserves a slipper in the face from time to time, but not someone you don’t know. Now I’m thankful I have a normal roommate(he might just wish he were able to say the same, haha).

My appetite funk really wasn’t fixed before lunch but I went ahead and tried making due anyway:

Maple Mustard Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Corn On The Cob

Maple Mustard Tofu, Steamed Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Corn On The Cob

Clearly the maple mustard tofu has become a fave of the week with me; if you’re wondering how it tastes, the maple and mustard don’t really overpower the tofu flavor, but moreso blend with it to make some median of the 3. I recommend trying it(obviously). The sweet potato I had in my fridge from a few dinners back, and the corn was from last weeks farmers’ market. I actually finished it all(or most of it at least) before my 1 o’clock class. I didn’t think it would hold me over long but my appetite really never got going in the first place so I didn’t notice anything.

No Emma run in to report between classes. But you can’t say I didn’t try. I even went to the little cafe where I saw her last, mostly to get a cup of coffee because it’s been so cold in New England. Oh well, I heard a few weeks back she went to England for the weekend. Could you imagine what that would be like with the flight and time shift? Craziness.

When I got out of my Epic Poetry class I had something in my mailbox:

Stonyfield Mail

Stonyfield Mail

Kristina from Stonyfield sent me coupons after my moldy Oikos experience. Thanks, Kristina! It’s great that a company cares so much about their consumers. I always love it when big companies send a hand written note, too. I always stash them away with my old birthday and graduation cards because they feel special. After that I did something else that’s become a theme of the week:

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Z-Bar? Check. Grocery Bag? Check. The walk over to Whole Foods was nice and relaxing once classes were done for the week and I could not think about homework for a bit. It’s supposed to rain the majority of the weekend so in case I’m stuck in doors constantly I wanted to be well stocked. There are such good sales these two weeks at Whole Foods. One of my favorite soy ice creams, So Delicious, is on sale so much I might just have to get a pint and risk it being stolen. I couldn’t help but gawk at these as I meandered the bakery section:

Huge Cupcakes

Huge Cupcakes

Really? It should be illegal to display such gawdy cupcakes to those who have hopes of unclogged arteries. I think these were about the size of my face–no lie–which the 3.99 price tag is a testament to, not to mention it came in amazing flavors like mint and peanut butter. If they made these properly sized and priced, I would have been a lot more inclined to get one, but this was slightly ridiculous. What I really was looking for was a black and white cookie like Ada has suggested, sicne I’ve never actually had one of those. I could only buy those by the pack of 10, which I wasn’t looking to splurge on, so I gave up that search for now. In the end, though, I was very delighted with my loot:

Plain Oikos, Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip Granola Bars, Pumpkin Maple Whoopie Pies

Plain Oikos, Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip Granola Bars, Pumpkin Maple Whoopie Pie

Oh yeah, that was a good trip. The granola bars are one of my favorite “candy bar granola bars”(i.e. higher sugar than whole grains), and they are a weekly special PLUS I had a coupon. All in all this was 3.74. Props to me for sticking to a budget. I just had to grab that whoopie pie to celebrate Cookie Friday. Pumpkin Maple sounded so delicious and like Fall.

Pumpkin Maple Whoopie Pie

Pumpkin Maple Whoopie Pie

I don’t treat myself to things like this enough. I can’t complain; a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and chocolate chips, for as healthy as it is, is also one of the best damn snacks around. But sometimes it’s nice to have something that you can tell someone else put time and effort into making. And when I do go for a sort of treat food, I like it to be food. As in, I recognize and own all the ingredients to this. I watched The Office while eating this. This weeks episode was cute, but I can’t wait for the wedding! That’s going to be the exciting time. I guess it wasn’t a surprise I was hungry when dinner came around after my scant eats, which is good because Friday night means fish at the Ratty:

Steamed Broccoli, Baked Pollock, Acorn Squash, Asparagus

Steamed Broccoli, Baked Pollock, Acorn Squash, Asparagus

Talk about TGIF. Apparently some people don’t like fish, like my friend Adam. What’s with that? I would eat it every night of the week if it were offered more. This was a little dry, but I was just thankful to have it. Same to say about the squash. The asparagus was just… laughable. At least it was some green on the plate? The fish had me happy enough not to care about anything else.

When Ghost Whisperer came around at 8 o’clock, I was ravenous for anything carby and peanut butter and chocolate laden–there was my appetite. Hello, oats:

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Yes, yes, and yes. This bowl was pretty much perfection, especially for watching a show about murdered ghosts. Wait–scratch that last part. But ghost whisperer was really good last night; it kind of followed the same pattern as most episodes and felt like a repeat but I like it when there isn’t a huge twist in the show’s plot episode to episode. When I finished with this bowl, my hunger had actually gone away–what’s up with that? But thankfully not my appetite, which I was happy to feed:

Peanut Butter Oikos With Baking Chips And Vanilla Sugar, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

Peanut Butter Oikos With Baking Chips And Vanilla Sugar, Cinnamon Raisin Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

Fun Fact: I would prefer baking chips to a real candy bar almost any time(except for maybe Newman’s Own Organic Mocha Milk which I’ve raved about so much). I don’t know why, maybe it’s the baker in me, but I love the flavor of those little chips. Holly asked where I plan on getting my peanut flour on. The brand I was first sent by The National Peanut Board was Byrd Mill so I think I’m going to stick with that and order from their website. I was sent the 12% light but I might try the 12% dark for a nuttier roast. Oh, and of course the Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter was divine as usual 🙂 I like eating different nut butters because I feel like I’m getting different nutrients, but they flavor almond butter so much less and worse except for Naturally Nutty.

I was so tired sleep came like a breeze to me and was absolutely perfect… until about 1:30 when my dorm neighbors decided to park right outside my door and sit and chat at high volumes for an hour. I had to basically hear their life stories as I tossed and turned, trying to get back to sleep. Why do some people thing adding “I don’t know, I’m drunk right now, but…” makes whatever their saying more interesting or appealing? It doesn’t. I ate a Z-Bar midway through because being awake had my metabolism running like crazy. Needless to say I was annoyed and lost good sleep. Then at 6 my roommates alarm went off for a camping trip he has today. He was in such a rush he ended up being loud as hell stuffing things into his backpack and again waking me up. Once he left I could hear it raining so I reset my alarm, knowing that I would not be very happy at 7. I ended up waking  up at 8:30 since the gym near me opens at 9.

I may be able to complain about sleep, but I couldn’t about running this morning. When I got on the treadmill I felt great, and what was supposed to be a 6.3 miler on the road turned into a 9 at the gym at a great pace. I ended up finishing in 71:44. The better thing might have been cmoing back to an empty dorm where I can sprawl my things out onto the bed and make myself breakfast as loud as I want:

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Cinnamon And Muffin Bottom

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Cinnamon And Muffin Bottom

No part of the muffin went wasted today. The Carrot Ginger muffins from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorites and it pairs really well with Smart Balance “frosting” for some reason; the flavors really work. I added the butt into 4oz plain yogurt with extra cinnamon and stevia and it tasted just like carrot cake. Holy yum I should try that with the whole damn muffin next time. My bad experience of sleeping as well as some other stuff have prompted me to go home today, so I’ll be cleaning up around the dorm until my parents show up.

Plenty of great giveaways out there to shout about today. One Fit Foodie is having one hell of a giveaway.

Julie Go Lean will make your cupboard fill up with all the exciting stuff she has here.

And want to try Zevia? Hop over to One 2 Try for a chance here.

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Let’s Give This Another Try

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

So yesterday morning I was in a good mood sporting the t-shirt I won:

Zevia T-Shirt

Zevia T-Shirt

Sadly no one asked me what Zevia was all day. Then again, I’m not in the business of thrusting my chest into people’s faces, but I think that’s a good thing. Some of you came up with the idea of a page of quotes for my crazy professors, which I loved. If I do end up setting one of those up, this would be my first: my Greek teacher is one of the most charming middle aged woman ever and gets way too into her subject. She finally said “sometimes I find myself looking up the etymology of these Greek words and think to myself ‘God, you have no life’. Then I realize this is my life! Yay for me!” She was so genuinely excited, it was hysterical. It also made me realize how that’s totally going to be me if I don’t find a double major somewhere along the way; not that I have any problem with Classicists, but I know the pay, and that will not keep me through the week at Whole Foods. Speaking of foods, I lunched it up:

Asparagus, Quinoa With Veggies, 1/4 Avocado, Flame Grilled Veggie Burger With The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, Orang Zevia

Asparagus, Quinoa With Veggies, 1/4 Avocado, Flame Grilled Veggie Burger With The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, Orang Zevia

Asparagus was on the lunch line today so I took more than is holy. It was pretty overcooked, but asparagus nonetheless, so I was happy. I wanted to give quinoa a try and I’ll admit it wasn’t bad but it’s not my favorite grain. The flame grilled burger was good but needed a kick–a peanut buttery on. I have so little excuses to eat that peanut butter so I like to fit it in when appropriate. Oh, and the orange Zevia was a completely necessary throwback to my shirt. I basically dined on this while watching midday TV, aka the best, and doing some light studying, aka the worst. After watching the first 10 minutes of Rachael Ray, I was out and about.

I walked down to the two places I kind of hoped to go yesterday: Whole Foods and Eastside Market. I spent way too long browsing both; the people must’ve thought I was homeless and wanted somewhere with air conditioning. Midway through I got super hungry and ran to the register with this.

Organic Gala Apple

Organic Gala Apple

I’m still a Red Delicious fan, but I’ll say this was pretty darn good and a close second. Plus it was the type that was on sale, and that beat everything at the time. The real disappointment was when neither place had the entire reason I went for: Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. Ah, yes. It’s been far too long since I had my share of doodles. What I ended up doing was taking a second chance:

Oikos Plain Yogurt And Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Oikos Plain Yogurt And Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I’m loving my Oikos, but not loving that my coupons are gone 😦 Thanks, Stonyfield, for giving me the chance to try your Greek yogurt! I’ll definitely be making it one of my staples from now on. I also decided to rebuy the frozen yogurt that was oh-so mysteriously taken from the common room. Am I taking a chance and not learning from my mistakes? Yes, but that’s basically how I’ve lived my life so far and will probably continue to do so. Well, I figured if this gets taken tonight, I’m at least going to have gotten some of my money’s worth by then if I make myself a snack:

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I eat this so much with midnight moo sauce or some other topping, I forgot how cool and creamy it is on its own. That’s one reason I prefer frozen yogurt or even some dairy-free brands is that the product is often airier and lighter in texture and much better for cone-licking. Sure, Ben & Jerry’s got some banging flavors, but ice cream like that is too thick to enjoy in my opinion. Well after this I was still pretty hungry ravenous, so I made something that might actually soothe my stomach beast(too much epic poetry).

Pumpkin Oatbran With Maranatha's Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Pumpkin Oatbran With Maranatha's Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Ok, that was better. That was food. By the way, miss Jenny over at PB&Jenny is running a fun thing where you can send your impressive oatmeal concoctions(and if you read blogs like this, I’m betting you know how to make a mean bowl of oatmeal) and she’ll feature them. I’m working on a great bowl to send on over and you should start thinking, too! This had me a bit stuffed, but I was persuaded into dinner pretty easily:

Mushroom And Barley Soup, Salad, Snow Peas And Carrots, Beats, Vegan Chili

Mushroom And Barley Soup, Salad, Snow Peas And Carrots, Beats, Vegan Chili

A) I make a conscious effort to make my food look like Mickey Mouse whenever possible. B) I’ve learned to load up on the veggies in the cafeteria because those are where the nutrients are and they’re expensive as hell to buy from Whole Foods. The main protein and veggie option weren’t spectacular, but I found the chili from yesterday… which hopefully wasn’t the chili from yesterday. Besides that, it was all pretty much how you would expect vegetables to taste assuming you’ve had them before. I never had beets before the lunch room but now I really like them.

Tuesday nights and one of my favorite shows is back: The Biggest Loser. It got me to start the night with a somewhat healthy snack:

Raspberries With Midnight Moo Sauce

Raspberries With Midnight Moo Sauce

Unsurprisingly, one of the things I really miss is my mini chopper banana whips, even if they aren’t so smooth. Of course I go home on the one weekend it’s freezing, so I didn’t make any. but I thought I’d try the same by mushing up raspberries and chocolate sauce with a fork. The verdict? It was definitley cold and firm, and had good flavor, but the seeds made it entirely unappealing. Who wants to chew their ice cream? Looks like I’ll have to think of something new.

Did anyone else watch the Biggest Loser? I think it’s one of the most inspirational shows on tv; your heart just has to go out to all the families affected by the show. It’s a little too obvious in its product endorsement if you ask me, and it gets repetitive with the challenges and guest starts, but I still really like it and will probably watch the whole season. More healthy eats were inspired:

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin With Smart Balance PB And Chocolate Chips

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Bran Muffin With Smart Balance PB And Chocolate Chips

These Trader Joe muffins are the only one’s I’ll eat besides vitamuffins and the ones I bake myself. Any other muffin tends to be too sweet which makes it a cupcake. Chew on that(oh I’m punny). I don’t have the carton with me but all the ingredients are found in most kitchens and it has a good deal protein and fiber. I love detaching the muffin top and spreading some peanut butter on it–then it really feels like a vitatop. Of course, the butt can’t go to waste, so I pushed in a few chocolate chips which melted ever so slightly after the muffin had been microwaved–score. It was my last muffin though 😦 So I’m going to have to stock up at a Trader Joe’s back in MA sometime.

I got an amazing night sleep and woke up exactly 1 minute before my alarm; now it’s definitely starting to feel like home/the Summer. It was nice and warm but I wanted to run a set disstance so I headed to the gym to do 6 on the treadmill. I got to 6 and thought “why not 7?” so I stayed for an extra 8 minutes and ended up running 7 in 56:45. I try not to change my workout once I get on the treadmill but that seems like a good change, right? When I got back I admit I had no inspiration or desire for breakfast but that’s no excuse not to refuel.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Milk And Secret Butter, Pumpkin Pie Yogurt, Cranbran Vitatop

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Milk And Secret Butter, Pumpkin Pie Yogurt, Cranbran Vitatop

See Mickey again? I try. Believe it or not, one thing I’ve never done is made my oats with anything but water. I’m a purist in that way, but I was inspired by some blog gals to give it a shot. It came out OK, but I wasn’t blown away. The texture wasn’t changed like I thought, but the flavor was definitely introduced. The unsweetened vanilla almond breeze didn’t really fit here, but I think it would go perfect with an egg in some french toast oatmeal, so you can be sure to see that sometime soon. The yogurt and vitatop followed through on the “only OK” theme the pumpkin yogurt like I reviewed is good, but a tad sweet and thin. I’d rather eat my own version. This was the last vitatop I had to review, and I wish it ended on a better note. Cranberry is such a New England Fall flavor but this one didn’t have me feeling it. There was a generous amount of cranberries, which I liked, but they lacked tartness or flavor. And the base wasn’t like the other bran bases and a little too bland, even for a “healthy” flavor. I’d definitely rather have the BlueBran or AppleBerry.

The one shineout of the meal was the Secret Butter from Naturally Nutty which I reviewed quite a while ago here. Well I left some hints and some of you had some great guesses including pumpkin butter and sunflower seed butter. Well, here’s the truth: you were all right, and wrong. This is a special blend of equal parts sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds, with added all spice and vanilla powder. I swear it tastes JUST like french toast sticks, and does that not sound like one of the healthiest nut seed butters around? I’m not quite sure when the flavor will be available to buy on their website but I know I’m getting a nice, big jar when it is. I hope we can all sleep at night now that we know the secret, haha. Have a great day!

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Lazy Autumn Afternoons

Posted on September 18, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How long do you take to get ready in the morning? Apparently I take about 3 and a half hours. Ridiculous, no? I guess considering all I do before my 10:30 class it’s no surprised I’m ready to just sit and read, haha. Before I jetted off, I had an AppleBerry Vitatop as a part of my breakfast.

This was one of, if not my absolute, favorite “healthy flavor”. I couldn’t really pick out the apple chunks like I could the berries, but the apple flavor was diffused throughout somehow and made this so sweet and delicious. I loved the medley of blueberries and cranberries for days when you just can’t decide whether you want sweet or tart, ya know? And that pumpkin pie yogurt was incredible. Give me a few more days and I’ll have a real recipe up and running for it.

Greek class was delightful. I love the language, the culture, the yogurt–it’s all good. Afterward I wasn’t quite hungry and had a lot of email/blogging to do so I went back to my dorm and did a little arts and craft project.

Pokemon Adorned Key

Pokemon Adorned Key

Let’s not even pretend like we all didn’t love the TV show and video games and collector’s card even if it was more confusing than Bridge. I always felt deprived, yes, deprived, because I’ve NEVER had a cell phone that you can add those little tie characters to. So I was wicked excited when I realized my key had a little hole that I could attach these to. Dorky? Definitely. But now I’ll never lose my keys 🙂

Corn, Grilled Chicken With Steack Sauce, Cooked Peppers And Zuchinni With Shredded Prosciutto

Corn, Grilled Chicken With Steack Sauce, Cooked Peppers And Zuchinni With Shredded Prosciutto

Lunch was just meh today. I saw the prosciutto at the antipasto station and my hankering for some baconing kicked in and I grabbed a slice. Just a little bit of meat to season veggies is really all you need for the full flavor. There wasn’t enough at the dining hall to entertain me so I added the last of the corn from the farmers’ market to beef it up a bit. Apparently I was the only person on the planet not to see Emma Watson at the dining hall, and both my roommate and my friend Adam later had to tell me she was there. How could this happen? I literally keep one eye out for her at all times; I’ve just been off my game. I finished up, watched Days(+100 to all of you who know what show this is without me saying the full name), and stepped out the door. Just not before grabbing this:

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

This chocolate is entirely my guilty pleasure. Why does it make me feel guilty? Not for any sensible reason, but because this has me eating my words. In my day I’ve been such a milk chocolate basher/dark chocolate elitist, but honestly this is one of my favorite chocolates ever. I can’t put it into words again; check out my first products review of it to get the full sense of its greatness.

I digress. The reason I stepped out was for a bit o’ grocery shopping. I went first down to Eastside market because my favorite veggie burgers were 1.99 a box. Yes, the dining hall offers veggie burgers, but none like this. Then I went to my teeny tiny Whole Foods since they’re 1/2 a block away. To give you a sense of how big this is, here’s the “bulk bin” section:

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

Whole Foods Bulk Bin

It’s hard to put into perspective with this picture, but try to guestimate the size with the tubs of nuts to the right and the pencil holder in the center. I giggled a bit because I started thinking about the HUGE bulk bins in Dedham with goji berries and maple syrup and how nothing I buy here could really be considered “bulk”. I think I ended up wandering the whole store, up and down each aisle, and got 2 yogurts. Apparently I still have my grocery shopping addiction, but I’ve curbed the whole purchasing thing. Improvement, right? Here was the loot from the trip:

Groceries

Groceries

All of that was only 4.83 after coupons. Not bad at all, considering that Oikos would have been 4.99 without a coupon. Yikes! Oikos is delicious but packs a punch on the wallet. Oh and if you can’t tell what flavor Stonyfield that is, it’s Pumpkin Pie! You heard right. It’s seasonal, and I can’t wait to try it. I wonder how it will compare to my yogurt from breakfast yesterday. I definitely needed a snack, but wasn’t feeling the sweet. I chose the oh-so-savory root.

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

Flame Grilled Veggie Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Chips

I love how the burger came with grill marks on it, even though I obviously made it in a microwave, lol. Too cute. And thank you, Ms. Everythingtarian, for reminding me of the Food Should Taste Good Potato And Chive chips I packed en route to college; I love how salty and chived they are, and the texture is some crazy nacho-potato chip fusion. Killer. Afterward I picked up some mail I had waiting for me and was excited to find this new product:

Susta Natural Sweetener

Susta Natural Sweetener

There’s a new natural sweetener on the block, and its name is Susta. I contacted NXT Nutritionals when I heard of their brand new product and was thrilled when they offered to send a sample before it’s even hit any of the stores around here! Susta isn’t another stevia based no-calorie sweetener. What it is is a 5-calorie blend of inulin, fructose, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals. In this way I think it’s better than stevia based sweeteners because it’s bringing nutrition to your cup of coffee or however else you might use it. Naturally, I needed to try it in some coffee.

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

Susta In Blue Sky Coffee

The coffee tasted a little watery, but I wasn’t sure whether it was the sweetener or the coffee itself. You never know what kind of quality you’re going to get when you ask for decaf; seriously, decaf people get the shaft all the time. We never get flavored coffee, the pot is usually stale, and we’re only drinking it for our pure love of sugar and milkcoffee. I digress, when the main point was this was an inconclusive taste test.

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potatos, Snap Peas

Dinner tonight was very sub-par. The main protein was jerk chicken. If it has the word “jerk” in it, it can’t be anything good, hence why we call some people “jerks”. That’s my logic at least. The stew was like a medley of frozen veggies. And I had to wait holding my tray for 15 minutes for a new batch of sweet potatoes. At least they were right out of the oven? Oh, and my friend Adam FINALLY asked me why I take photos of my dinner. Way to go on the uptake. Maybe he’ll be reading this? Probably not, so I can talk smack about him. he also told me I don’t eat enough and probably am not getting enough protein because I refuse to eat the meat the Ratty serves. I’m blessed to have caring friends: misinformed, but caring. He was right though, that clearly was not enough, so I made a fast snack when I got back:

This was totally an excuse to eat the baking chips which I can’t bring myself to just pour into my hand and eat. Weird, right? Anyway, delicious and I ate it to the season premier of Survivor! One reality show ends and the next begins: it’s a vicious cycle. It’s always hard to get a sense of people after the first episode, but I liked the Rambo lady; I’m sure she’ll be a hoot. I’m definitely NOT a Russell fan. I get that it’s a game, but no one should lie about experiencing Katrina. And then there was the Office, which required more snackage:

French Toast Oatmeal

French Toast Oatmeal

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

Stonyfield Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

The Office was OK. I laughed; it didn’t blow me away, but I feel it’s a lot like Friends was: a show that was consistently good and you never mind watching reruns of. I’m super excited for Pam And Jim’s baby. Like, way more excited than anybody should be for a TV baby. What do you think they’ll name it? Oh, and obviously I broke into that yogurt long before I was expecting to and, let me tell you, it rocked. It tastes just like pumpkin pie! Minus the crust, which I’ve never eaten anyway. It also wasn’t awful on the nutrition; most Stonyfield yogurts suffer from too much added sugar but this one has a reasonable 20g, at least 6-8 of which must be lactose. Of course, it wasn’t quite as good as my peanut-pumpkin-flax yogurt from the morning, but for a quick substitute this was delicious. And it will make the best overnight oats I’m sure for all of you who love those.

Today was another treadmill morning. I’m glad to hear there are a good amount of treadmill lovers out there. My one concern with the treadmill is that I’ll start planning my runs while on the treadmill, which is why I always pick a distance/pace/time I want to run and stick to that. Today, I decided I would stop at 8:30 because that’s when my show was finished that’s what sounded good to me. I ended up doing 6.35 in 51:55. When I got back and showered I was actually a little apathetic towards breakfast. The only thing I knew I wanted was a banana nut vitatop which Christina thankfully reminded me I have to review. I just went with the theme and got a little banana nuts myself:

Banana Oatmeal With Maple Honey Peanut Butter, Plain Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam, Banana Nut Vitatop

Banana Oatmeal With Maple Honey Peanut Butter, Plain Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam, Banana Nut Vitatop

Last time I tried banana outs I was a bit of a bad mood bear, so I wanted to give them another go; this time I diced 3oz banana and microwaved with 30g whole grains for 3 minutes. The flavor was much more even and delicious without overpowering the peanut butter. I’m also really liking Oikos, too, and how it takes on the flavors of anything you give it without being too tangy. And the Vitatop–oh my god. This has got to be one of my favorite flavors. It taste like a fresh banana muffin from the bakery, but the nutrition is clearly amazing. Vitalicious has really outdone themselves with this flavor, and it’s now one of my favorites.

Can you believe it’s Friday already? It doesn’t feel like it should be, but I’m excited for the weekend. If it’s nice out I think I’ll go home and pick some fruit at Tougas Farm. Does anything say Fall better than fruit picking? I think not. What are ya’ll up to? I could use some more ideas.

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Have Time, Will Grocery Shop

Posted on September 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Isn’t this exciting? I’m excited. Be excited! Haha, somethings just go straight to my head.

Yesterday morning I blogged it up and headed out the door. There just isn’t enough time in the a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. I got to class a wee bit late after scrubbing oatmeal off the sides of my bowl(pleasant, right?). The good thing is, though, that it’s another translation class which ends after we’re done translating our homework, so i got out for the day at 11:30. Score. My first instinct was to get my lunch early and have it sit in my room until I’m ready to eat it. Go with your instinct, kids. I didn’t and by the time I went the lines were so long; but rightly so because it wasn’t half bad.

Stuffed Acorn Squash, Tuna, Stewed Tomatoes, Corn

Stuffed Acorn Squash, Tuna, Stewed Tomatoes, Corn

Today’s vegetarian option was stuffed acorn squash. I was thinking they’d be hard but they were actually really soft and sweet like canned pumpkin–delicious AND seasonal. Also from the dining hall was the stewed tomatoes. I’m pretty sure cooking them for that long completely goes against what I’ve been reading in Thrive, but they taste too good to give a damn how much lycopene’s in them. The corn and tuna were from my room; I thought my meal could use a little protein. MarathonMaiden asked a few posts ago how much I use my meal plan in eating. I try to get as much out of it as possible and eat vegetables and protein sources out of the dining hall. I also like to grab fruits on the way out for snacks and breakfast. So basically, I try to squeeze as much out of the system as I can.

Dessert came late around 2 o’clock:

Double Chocolate Dream Vitatop

Double Chocolate Dream Vitatop

This was the last of the chocolate flavors I had to try, so you know it wasn’t going to last very long with me. The first thing I noticed was it had a good amount of white chocolate chips, which was appealing. I microwaved it and it came out nice and melty; the chocolate base was the same as the other vitatops, which I like because it reminds me more of an airy cake than a dense brownie. Unless we’re talking chocolate brownie Z-bar, I’ll take the cake any day. The white chocolate chips had a marshmallow-like taste. It wasn’t quite white chocolate, but it was very vanilla, which I thought contrasted perfectly with the chocolate. I think if it were real white chocolate chips the calories would be a lot higher. Still, I enjoyed it whatever it was and would gladly get these again because my name is Evan and I’m a vanillaholic.

Afterward I went to the correct mailbox where–surprise!–I had mail 🙂

Mail From Stonyfield

Mail From Stonyfield

Kristina from Stonyfield came across my blog and noticed my love of Greek yogurt. Either she’s really perceptive or I’m way too readable. I’m guessing both are true. She offered to send coupons for Oikos yogurt, a product of Stonyfield, which I couldn’t say no to. Oikos is certified organic. All natural is the most important thing to me when picking out a product, but organic isn’t too far behind that. Plus, when you get a milk product, it’s good to go with an organic company like Stonyfield so you know you aren’t getting milk from hormonal cows(you know what I mean). I was kind of already thinking of going to this place, but this totally pushed me over the edge.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Isn’t it teeny tiny? It could use some growth hormones. JK. I like it just the way it is. Unfortunately, it’s so small it lacks some of the “essentials”, by which I mean cinnamon raisin english muffins and mocha almond fudge ice cream. But I was still able to get some goodies and hop over to Eastside Market. They had a game where you spin the wheel and get a free prize, which I was super excited for. I won a bag of Haribo gummy bears 😦 No thanks to the artificial colors and flavors. I could have asked to swap prizes but I didn’t want to make a fuss and just politely declined. When I got back, I was mighty satisfied with my loot.

Grocery Shopping Loot

Grocery Shopping Loot

I got all that for 9.89 with coupons and sales. Not too shabby. I honestly think things are just more expensive here, though, which has me looking forward to times when I can shop on my own streets again. I needed to have a cup of redemption to refuel from the walking and shopping:

Redemption

Redemption

Why is this redemption and not coffee frozen yogurt with midnight moo sauce? I’ll tell you. Honestly, it really bugged me last night when I went out and got that sinless cake batter ice cream. I didn’t need it and it wasn’t even what I wanted; this was. But I went with it and all its sucralose and artificial flavorings anyway. I don’t have to eat all naturally; it’s something I want to do and set in front of myself. So when I do something like that, it’s letting myself down in a way because I know I’m stronger than that and should be able to stick to my guns. That being said, no one should dwell on the past, and this frozen yogurt was a sort of toast to looking forward towards progress.

I worked a bit and met my friend Adam for an early dinner. he had ping pong practice at 7 for the club. Should I bother telling him he’s insane or let that one go? Haha.

Cauliflower, Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Salad, Vegan Chickpea Marsala

Cauliflower, Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Salad, Vegan Chickpea Marsala

Again, the Ratty was surprisingly good. Ignore the over chopped veggies and turn to the Chickpea oh-my-this-is-good-but-what-the-hell-is marsala. I don’t think I’ve ever had that before but I actually went back for seconds. Any culinary folk out there wanna tell me what I ate? Also, loved the sweet potato and got a second one of those. With all those seconds in me I went for a quick walk up and down Thayer street, flipped through the new Rachael Ray magazine without intending to buy it(tsk tsk), and jamming to this over the CVS radio speaker. Even if you don’t watch the show, you got to admit that’s the damn sweetest music video EVER. C’mon… admit it.

Last night there was a plethora(vocab word alert) of good television on.

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And The Biggest Loser

Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And The Biggest Loser

That wasn’t a cup of redemption, that was just frozen yogurt; you need to squint to see the difference. I ended up watching the first half of the Biggest Loser. I love that show. Does anybody else it find it so inspiring?(not to mention appetite increasing?) Half way through that I switched over to Big Brother. Spoiler alert–I was a little disappointed when Kevin got the boot since he actually played well looking back on it all, but I suppose Jordan was a good winner. I don’t get her and Jeff, though. Or why America loves Jeff. I feel like the whole season just started, so it’s a little weird that it’s over. I hope they don’t wait a whole ‘nother year for next season, and that they have more twists.

It occurred to me to do a bit of taste comparison:

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Spread

Cookie Dough Peanut Butter And Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Spread

I decided to put together in a cage match P.B.Loco’s Cookie Dough Peanut Butter with my patented(not really) peanut butter cookie dough spread. The spread is 1 tablespoon White Chocolate Wonderful to 1 table spoon reduced fat cream cheese. Obviously, there was no loser in this cage match. I liked how the P.B.Loco one introduced the flavor of chocolate. But I also liked the smooth and savory tone to the peanut butter cookie spread, and the fact that there was 2 tablespoons of that versus 1 of the cookie dough peanut butter. Overall, I came to the conclusion that this was a random and pointless taste test I was doing to avoid the Iliad, and that I prefer the peanut butter cookie spread.

This morning I planned on doing something lighter to perk up the legs after yesterday. I ended up going a full 6.5 and doing arms and ab work when I got back. I’m really not good at “going lighter”, am I? I ran by Whole Foods and picked up the new Weekly Buys on my way back. I think the lady was confused when I ran in, grabbed something, and ran out the same door, haha. Hopefully they don’t think I stole anything. When I got back I was ready for Fall In A Bowl again:

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Almonds And Mighty Maple

Carrot Juice, Plain Yogurt With Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Almonds And Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffee Almonds

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Butter Toffee Almonds

Ahh, this is oats at its finest. For my no-fail concoction, I cook 20g oatmeal with 20g oatbran and 160g water. When it comes out I add 90g canned pumpkin and sea salt and microwave it for a further 2 minutes. Then I add 1 tablespoon mighty maple and 7g sliced almonds. The result is so sweet and salty it makes you smile 🙂

Today Stonyfield is 28 cents each at Eastside Market, but I have absolutely no use for yogurt at the moment. This is a dilemma. Then again, I might be so busy with 3 classes catching up on online TV I won’t miss missing the sales. We’ll see. Thanks for finding me at the new domain!

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Sweet Potatoes And Cookie Dough

Posted on September 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thanks for all your great responses yesterday. I read and took to heart all of them. I think the magic ingredient missing in this equation is time. That’s a bit tough for me because I’m usually rushing to finish off anything and everything I can in my day before noon. But from your stories this transition sounds like something that takes weeks, months, and maybe–but hopefully not–longer to work itself out.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed or just not upbeat, a little crunch(and chocolate) always helps my mood.

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Smart Food Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn

Muuuuch better. Since starting Thrive I’ve often been thinking WWBBE, or “what would Brendan Brazier eat?” Would he like this because it has 5g fiber from chicory root or 20% my DV of calcium from calcium carbonate? No. He would not like that. But I like that, not to mention the whole chocolate chip thing, so clearly the Thrive diet is not working for me. My grandmother came over for a traditional Sunday lunch. This was good because she was too busy gambling doing something productive I’m sure the days before I left to say goodbye to me.

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

Broccoli, Chicken With Soyaki, Carrot Medley, Sweet Potato

My first thought was “this is all stuff from the cafeteria”. After actually eating it, though, I realized how much of a difference home cooking makes. Thanks mom 🙂 Bring me cooked food more often? kthnx. Obviously I love sweet potatoes; they’re one of those things, unlike pizza, where even when they aren’t great, they’re good. These were great. So great I almost had another for “dessert”. Then I had this conversation with myself:

“Might there be sweet potatoes in the Ratty tonight?”

“Maybe”

“Will there be Stonyfield’s Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt”

“Nope.”

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield's Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

I finished off what was left of the pint. I find it ridiculous how nobody touches my ice cream while I’m gone, as if I’m going to show up one day and notice a serving or two missing from the whole freezer. After we left the casa I made a request for a stop. Over the weekend I got a total of 11 dollars slipped to me by various family members and it was burning a hole in my pocket.

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

P.B.Loco's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

I just needed to get this from Roche Bros, mostly because it’s the only place in either states I know that sells it. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and it was a steep 5.99, but, as my poetic side states,

sweet potatoes

and cookie dough

are two things to which

I can not say no

Catchy, right? We stopped at Target on the way to get a soap holder. How does nobody think of these things when moving out? I guess it never occurred to me soap needs to be put somewhere when you don’t have your own shower. We live and we learn. When I got back to casa numero dos(aka my dorm), I unpacked all my laundry and made some afternoon oats.

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oats With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Because I was supposed to go how long without trying this? The first thing I noticed was how it smelt: like nutella. This I liked because the two ingredients which make this “cookie dough” is vanilla extract and chocolate chips, both of which are found in nutella. Obviously, this has a peanut base as opposed to hazelnut, and from the nutrition label it has much less added sugar. I resisted stirring the jar because I heard that messes it up and makes the chocolate entirely blended. After taking a spoonful of oats with some peanut butter, I was surprised how neutral the taste was. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little too subtle. You definitely get the hint of chocolate and vanilla, but I’m not sure it all pulls together for a “cookie dough” sense. I added a bit of salt which I think perked it up. Overall I really liked this but I’m not sure how the flavor met the expectations, but I’ll definitely keep a jar stocked.

Otherwise my afternoon was a little dullsville. I just did my Iliad reading. I think I’m a bad Classics student for absolutely hating that piece of literature. Thankfully, the entire world(except my father) has also been forced to read it multiple times so I don’t feel picked on. I just can not get into it no matter how many spears are run through gallbladders. Dinner at the Ratty was a little… repetetive?

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Carrot Medley, Seedy Bread Hull, Minestorne With Tofu

First off, who called the whole sweet potato thing? I didn’t even look at the menu before hand; I think I’m just psychic. The carrot medley veggies were a bit waxy but the broccoli was properly cooked which super excited me. I threw some tofu in vegan minestrone soup for some protein. This tofu wasn’t as good as the last time. I think it was firmer? I like the weird, wobbly, squishy tofu, if that makes any sense.

Yesterday was also Sunday which meant one thing: Big Brother. Just for alliteration’s sake I had a brownie:

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

Vitalicious Nut Vitabrownie With Coffee

The last few vitaproducts I’ve had hadn’t impressed me very much. This brownie totally redeemed the vitaname for me. I nuked it in the micro for 30 seconds until it was soft but still moist. I loved the little addition of nuts on the top, which is a helpful reminder that eating healthy, diet food does not mean giving up the health benefits of nuts–so many people think this which saddens me and my beloved nut butter stash quite a bit. Back to the brownie, the flavor was like a fudgy chocolate; this might have had bits of chocolate chips in it, but if it did they melted during the microwave process. I love the texture, too, which is more cake-like than dense. I love cakey brownies and always added extra eggs to my box-mixes as a kid. Of course, the nutrition is spot on like any vitabrownie.

Back to Big Brother, I kind of liked how it was almost a “clip show”, because I missed some of the episodes. It reminded me of how funny and quirky this cast was, but I’m still disappointed there were less twists in the game, especially after the first episode made me thinking there’d be more old house guests. Now I really don’t know who I’m rooting for; just be happy Michelle’s out of the house! I had some more breads and spreads throughout the night while working on readings.

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

PB Puffins, Toast With Maple Almond Butter And Pumpkin Butter

Isn’t a serving of cereal sad? I never eat cereal out of a bowl with milk, but I think if I did I’d be downing half a box at breakfast. I forgot how great Peanut Butter Puffins were, mostly because the last time I tried them was from a more-than-stale box. The only thing that could make the better would be whole grains, but throw them aside some whole wheat toast and who can tell the difference.

This morning I wasn’t sure what or where I wanted to run, so I just kind of explored. I ended up finding some nice shops about a mile away, turning back, passing my teeny tiny Whole Foods, finding a new Starbucks(which actually isn’t as easy as you’d think in Providence, and looping around the campus a bit. My aim was to run for an hour but I settles at 6.93 miles in 56 minutes or so. For breakfast I had two things on my mind: blueberries and smart balance. I have such odd, healthy food cravings.

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, Yogurt With Blueberries And Cinnamon, BlueBran Vitatop

I tried stevia in my oatmeal for the first time; I used vanilla bean NuNatural stevia thinking it would bring some good flavor. Sweet oats are just not for me, though, so I think I’ll be sticking with my NaCl from now on. Frozen blueberries are perfect food for a dorm; they’re cheap, full of antioxidants, and don’t spoil. And the vitatop was spot on, too. Not so surprisingly, the healthy vitatops I’ve tried I’ve really enjoyed. Their taste is authentic, and this has some great blueberry/cinnamon/bran action going on. I also like that it doesn’t have sugar alcohol, which I’ve heard(though haven’t experienced yet) can cause inflammation. If you’re looking for a good, breakfast vitatop I’d definitely recommend the BlueBran to start your morning chipper and nutrient-loaded.

Today is one of those 3-class days. Looking at the menu for today, it’s not so interesting, so I might try exploring a bit and finding alternative sources for lunch. Or of course I could end up in my dorm room eating out of my stash and desperately scrambling to finish up some homework. One of these is definitely more likely than the other.

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