72 Bitter-Sweet Hours

Posted on May 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What could have been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I…

As if that wasn’t all sweet enough, last night was a blast, too. We had family friends over for dinner. There were hors d’oeuvres…

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

Cheddar Food Should Taste Good Chips

I snacked on raw carrots and grape tomatoes and these Food Should Taste Good chips I had to try after hearing them referred to as Doritos. I disagree; they’re much classier and mroe sophisticated than Doritos. but they definitely have that Mexican tang that regular cheddar chips don’t. Anyway, yum!

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

Seasoned Fries, Roasted Brussels, Chipotle Chicken

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of all the food; there was a lot! But this was my plate: potato fries(I made these for myself because there were only sweet potatoes otherwise and I wanted white), roasted brussels, and chipotle marinated Amish chicken. The chicken was remarkably good, and that’s coming from someone who usually thinks poultry is too “bland”. I suppose we would have expected no less from something grabbed from Whole Food.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

My mom made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert while I baked these blondies and our guests brought ice cream. It was all plenty rich for us.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie With Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

This was my first plate. I get the irony of Talenti gelato on a dairy-free blondie but I don’t care; this was too good for words. The blondies came out so moist and everyone loved them.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

Vegan Chocolate Chip Blondie

I didn’t really take pictures of what else I ate but just assume I kept picking at the blondies and that’s why there’s less than half the pan left. After everyone left, I turned on Iron Chef and curled up with this:

Bulk French Chocolate

Bulk French Chocolate

Buying chocolate in bulk was a genius move. I have no idea how much chocolate this was, but it was all excellent. And there’s something so satisfying about biting in to a chunk of chocolate.

Today is being devoted to leftovers:

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter, Chipotle Chicken

Lots and lots of leftovers:

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

I wasn’t “feeling” greek yogurt this morning for protein, so why not chicken just to get it out of the fridge before it goes bad? I’m curious how this is going to play out on a run…

So what’s been bitter? Over the past 72 hours, I tried going without stevia. I don’t use any artificial sweeteners, but have often used natural stevia in tea and coffee and a few other things. I’ve never gotten a bitter taste to it; it’s always been sweetness. And I think it’s perfectly fine in moderation and all. But, trying to go without it, I noticed my sweet tooth in general grew smaller and I discovered so many other pleasantly-bitter flavors.

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

I’ve been drinking black coffee, unsweetened iced tea, and dry seltzer, all of whose flavor I’ve been enjoying more and more without added sweetness. It took just a little getting used to, but I don’t really miss anything.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I did get one craving for a sweet drink, so I just had one sweetened with cane juice. This wasn’t my favorite beverage, but that was because of the flavoring and not the sweetening. I’m totally open to trying more, too.

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Plain yogurt has become less repulsive in all its tart-glory. It helped to find Fage on sale, which is creamier and dreamier than any other brand in my opinion, but the same holds true for Oikos and Chobani plain.

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

And, of course, my favorite bitter treat is, was, and always will be, dark chocolate, which doesn’t need much to taste juuuust right. Have you ever had/used stevia? Like it? Hate it? I do enjoy it and think there’s nothing wrong with using it. But even now that the 72 hours are up I’m not rushing to throw some in my drinks.

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How Gluten Makes Me Feel

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

In case you unplugged over the weekend, yesterday was definitely the highlight and worth a look. “Gluten” has probably been googled more in the last year than the rest of the time google has existed. It’s definitely emerged as a new “buzz word” and you hear people refer to it as everything from a “diet” to a “fad” to a “cleanse”.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

These are the foods I [foolishly] ate over the weekend with gluten in them. Tasty? Of course. And when we eat a food, we’re often focused on how it will makeus feel. But there’s more to feeling than immediate taste, and that’s where the downside of gluten comes in for me. Since Saturday, I haven’t particularly been hungry. At all. In a sense, one thing gluten does to me is take away the ability to know how and when to fuel properly. The only way I know I need more is if I’m cranky for more. For anyone who does a serious amount of physical activity, this isn’t only inconvenient; it’s dangerous. My biggest weapon in fighting this is simply awareness. Be aware that your regular hunger’s gone, be aware that gluten can do this, and be aware where gluten is hiding. On top of all this, gluten has other side effects for me, like irregularity and bloating.

My point is not to scare anyone off gluten. I say eat and let eat! And if gluten works for you, eat it. Some people shun soy, while I thrive off of it and love not having to worry about the ethical treatment of an animal. Other people restrict themselves from cheese; I have around 30 cheese sticks in my fridge and another couple of pounds back home(I kid you not). What my point is is that it’s up to us to be aware of how certain foods make us feel, and equally important how they make other people feel and respect that part of them. If you feel you might have any of the same symptoms, there is a way to test for gluten intolerance and I plan to try it over the Summer. And lest you think that you could never eat normal again without gluten, well… you might be right…

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

There was nothing normal about this muffin. It was, however, gluten-free and freshly baked from Garden Grille. And you know I can’t pass up anything maple.

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

Maple Jalapeno Gluten-Free Muffin

I realize now I forgot to ask if it was a muffin or a cupcake. I couldn’t really picture it being eaten at either time, but I had it for dessert. It was good! A little odd to have something so spicy right after dinner. But the maple was definitely a nice and subtle sweetener, and the texture was just like a muffin(cupcake?) should be.

Strawberries

Strawberries

I snacked on some strawberries while watching the Brothers & Sisters movie. I planned on going to bed early to make up for Saturday’s lack of sleep but I just got way too into the movie and watched the whole thing. Did anybody else Wasn’t it good! But I feel like they could have taken the drama just one step further, and not leave us hanging at the end.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

And about halfway through I made a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter. I love that it’s vegan and hazelnut is the first ingredient! Because of the gluten problems I mentioned, I wasn’t actually hungry for this. But I wanted to make sure if I was running in the morning, I was well fueled.

10 Miles In 86:07

10 Miles In 86:07

And I was. I started out my morning by waking up naturally at 6:44 while my alarm was set for 6:45–love that. Then I rocked out 10 miles while catching up on the Today Show. I love getting the workout done first thing; it just makes the rest of the day go so much more efficient!

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk, Soy Yogurt With Sunspire Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Breakfast was only “boring” in the sense that it was the same ingredients as last night; otherwise, it tasted delicious 😀

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Coconut Milk

I can’t believe how much coconut milk I still have from that one can. How could I possibly use it all up before it goes bad?!

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I sweetened the soy yogurt a bit with Madhava’s vanilla agave after I realized I bought plain instead of vanilla and it tasted just right. It was definitely nice not to have the spice of jalapeno 😉

How do you differentiate between a cupcake and a muffin? I’m curious about this one. I’ve seen people change their opinion on something based solely on the time when they eat it. If I ate a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, would that make it oatmeal? For me, a muffin has more grams of whole grains than of sugar, and vice-versa. If you’re eating a “muffin” without any whole grains, you might as well be having a cupcake.

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Today Was A Fairytale

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

I’ve had that Taylor Swift song stuc in my head for the longest time now. At least today it was pretty applicable! I was in such a bad mood this morning, but once the day got going things turned for the better. I even got to visit 3 of my favorite places 😀 Any guesses where those might be?

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

This mornings breakfast was not enough to make me happy; I followed up a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut btuter with a slightly smaller bowl of oats with peanut butter. At least I know what I like? The nut butter was 365 creamy mixed with Madhava’s vanilla agave; I swear this made it taste like Reese’s PB! Sooooo good.

Root Beer Zevia

Root Beer Zevia

As if the morning weren’t off enough, I decided to drink a root beer Zevia at 11am before running. Who am I?! I didn’t feel like running; but I didn’t feel like not running. At that, I went to the gym where I could take it easy on the treadmill watching Mr. Deeds.

8 Treadmill Miles In 69:54

8 Treadmill Miles In 69:54

I did 8 miles, and they didn’t go slow or fast; they just sort of “went” and I was tuned out, listening to my iPod. At some point, I had a grand idea on how to change the day around. After I finished running 8 miles in 69:54, I ran another 3.27 miles outside in around 27 minutes and ended at one of my favorite places.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe

Love Garden Grille! Especially their brunch menu, which is only available on Sundays. Therefore, I’d have been a fool not to go. Also, my dad was driving down to Providence for the afternoon, and he was easy to persuade to eat here, too; we all just love their food!

Home Fries

Home Fries

Home Fries, Homemade Tofu Bacon, Peanut Butter

Home Fries, Homemade Tofu Bacon, Peanut Butter

I also love how flexible they let me be ordering. My favorite thing by far of theirs is the home fries, which comes as a side to every dish. And while–to their credit–all their dishes sound really good, I’m a man of simple tastes; I’m plenty happy with just their home fries, so I ordered a side of them and a side of their homemade tofu bacon and asked for a little dish of peanut butter.

Hash With Peanut Butter

Hash With Peanut Butter

Holy yum! This is an amazing flavor combination with the rich flavors of peanut butter and hash fat. It’s an odd combination, but I get it every time. How many more do you think before I get a menu item named after me? The Evan Hash.

J.P. Licks

J.P. Licks

After that amazing lunch, we decided to do something a little more fun for the day. I’ve had a hankering for a J.P. Licks ice cream all week! J.P. Licks is a local ice creamery that prides itself in wholesome, quality ingredients and fun flavors. The closest one to Brown is in Dedham(not close at all), so I was happy for the ride.

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt With Freshly Whipped Cream

This was so well worth the wait. I ordered a medium mint chip frozen yogurt with fresh whipped cream. I can pass up the canned stuff no problem, but if you tell me your cream is homespun, I need to take a taste 😀 The ice cream was so delicious! I love how J.P. Licks keeps the crap ingredients out: no fake green dye here. And lucky for us, in that same strip mall is New England’s largest Whole Foods! That’s my third favorite place from today.

Meat Counter

Meat Counter

Can I tell you I was a little in heaven at this Whole Foods? They didn’t just have the 85/15 grass-fed beef I was looking for, they had 85/15 local beef(from Maine) and 85/15 bison! I’ve never had so many choices when getting ethical meat before. I stuck with the grass-fed, but the local meat was duly noted for the Summer grilling season.

KIND Nut Delight

KIND Nut Delight

When we stopped at Eastside Marketplace on the way back to get some cheaper groceries, I snacked on a KIND bar. The ice cream was delicious but that low-fat yogurt is like a drink so some nuts were a good change of pace.

Groceries

Groceries

For the week, I grabbed

  • Grass-Fed beef
  • Chickpeas
  • Tuna
  • Organic Oatmeal
  • 365 Peanut Butter
  • Kombuchas
  • Organic Coconut Milk
  • Wildwood Veggie Burgers
  • Tofu
  • Divine Chocolate Bars
  • Raspberry Goat Milk Yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Tumeric
  • Organic Sweet Potatoes

I love a good grocery shop to prepare me for the week! And between sales and coupons, we saved $15 easy on all of that.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup

Strawberry Coconut Avocado Salad

Strawberry Coconut Avocado Salad

This dinner was the perfect ending for today. The fresh meat made for an amazingly juicy, delicious burger. Instead of sweet potato fries, I wanted to get some greens in me for today. I made a salad with cut strawberries, avocado, and coconut milk. The flavor pairing was unreal here and it tasted just like I hoped it would. I just love the soft, rich avocado on salad.

Where’s one favorite place you wish you could be right now? I could definitely go for an after dinner dessert at J.P. Licks 😉 Or I’d love to watch Date Night at a little 3-screen movie theater in my hometown they tore down around 7 years ago.

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