The Big Fat Post

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Before I go into too much, I want to stress that everything hear is based on my own opinion. I’m not a certified nutrition anything, and these are personal thoughts reached through researched. I also recognize that I change my mind like crazy, so let the record show it is 1/27/20092010*

You’re all invited to my big fat Italian-Polish-French-Welsh-Canadian wedding after you read my big fat post. Really, I should call this my big post about fat, because that’s the topic on today’s agenda. I don’t think anyone would deny that fat’s an important part of your daily intake. And I really don’t think anyone would deny that it’s usually pretty delicious(Helloooo, peanut butter?). At the same time, there are several different types of fats stemming from countless sources. After taking advice and literature from 3 intelligent bloggers, I’ve decided to incorporate saturated fat from 2 new sources into my diet.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Common literature would tell you that saturated fats are awful and should be limited. That same literature, however, once toted trans-fatty margarine over all-natural butter. Things an opinions change. These 2 pieces of literature(#1 and #2) combined with other effects and observation led me to this decision. The fats themselves, as you’ll read, are quite nutritious in themselves. Unlike commercial butter, grass-fed butter hosts a range of nutrients and a higher omega-3 content; this was also the butter that our great-great grandparents were living and thriving off of–not margarine. You can read all about Pasture Butter here. Coconut oil hosts a bound of benefits of saturated fats without a speck of cholesterol. It also hosts a wide and unique array of beneficial components, including lauric acid, the same food infants thrive off of from milk.

The other half of this shift will be limiting the amounts of canola, safflower, soy, and other refined liquid oils. The reasoning for this is two-fold: Firstly, they aren’t nearly as “natural” as some of their counterparts like Rachael Ray’s favorite, EVOO. Secondly, introducing new fats into my diet means I should probably take some of the old ones out, and these ones serve little purpose on their own. Of course I’ll still be getting a strong flow of fats from nuts and, on occasion, animal sources. But I did want to put this out there, so that there’s no surprise that I might be featuring food like this a lot:

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

And why wouldn’t I when it’s this yummy? That would be my 3rd ever homemade raw vegan chocolate, made with 13g gold label virgin coconut oil, 19g agave nectar, and 12g cocoa powder. I really liked this blend. And, yes, when it comes to these raw chocolate bars it’s grams–not even teaspoons–that change the flavor completely! I’m loving playing around with the flavor with my minute changes and I think this one came out best of all so far. I’m going to pass over the irony of eating coconut oil and a chocolate bar while watching The Biggest Loser 😀

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, I am totally infuriated with the red team. I really hate it when anyone “plays the game” instead of just losing weight. As much as I love Alison Sweeney, I really miss the days when Caroline Rhea hosted and the contestants entered not knowing what they were doing but solely devoted to getting healthy. Meanwhile, teams like the grey team keep me thinking there are still those like that out there and have hope. I needed oatmeal to distract me from being angry.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If I’m working grass-fed butter into my diet, I should work more maple butter in too, right?(For those who don’t know, maple butter is simply granulated maple syrup and, in fact, not at all butter). I think I need to add less salt to my oats because even with all this mapleness nothing tasted sweet. I might have had to have an extra spoonful of maple butter from the jar. Oops.

This did not help my first night of sleep back in the dorm. I don’t know why, but I think it took a good 60 minutes of nothingness to fall asleep. My mind was just racing with thoughts about the new day and everything. The thing I was most anxious about was running again. To top it all off, I forgot to set my alarm! I managed to wake up naturally at 7:20, though, so only slept in 20 minutes. I guzzled down a cup of coffee from a fresh canister, and hit the gym.

365 Decaf Hazelnut

It’s so hard to find coffee that’s flavored and decaf; and this really tastes like hazelnut! Love it. What I didn’t love so much was reuniting with the treadmill. The run was so tough. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy after 5 weeks but I couldn’t believe after 2 miles it was becoming a battle, even though I had The Today Show to entertain me. My goal was 7 miles and I pushed to that in 59:59; I don’t know how I’m going to build back up for my half in time. When I got back to my dorm, I was ready to refuel!

Bananamon Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Newman's Cup

This hit the spot. I needed to go to the dining hall to get bananas and I grabbed 5 while I was in there 😀 I’ll be set for a bit I think. I love the cinnamon raisin peanut butter but I almost feel like it was too much raisins! Good thing I had soy yogurt with peanut flour to help satisfy my peanut tooth. The trick to good peanut flour yogurt: salt. It makes it that much more authentic.

Today’s the first day of classes! Already so much has happened I want to share and I’ve gotten a ton of good news, but I think after covering 1 big fat topic, that’ll be enough for this post. Instead, I’ll leave you with some giveaways.

Enter here for a goji gourmet giveaway(it’s one of my superfoods!)

Here is 1 iHerb giveaway and here is another! You could get a lot of herbage with that, lol.

And an Oikos giveaway!

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Good News For Fat

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway*

I love watching the media’s view on fat. In case you need a recap: Trans fat and movie theater popcorn are still bad, but now butt fat is OK and even kind of good. Personally, I’d rather take the wisdom of fellow bloggers like Heather than NBC who’s toying with my beloved late night talk shows. And after dinner last night, when I was still hungry, I did think about Heather’s wisdom; yesterday she wrote a great post about how fats help satisfy her and I realized that my dinner was appauling in that it had virtually no fat. There was some in the cornbread, but it wasn’t like I was dipping broccoli fries in peanut butter. After giving it some thought, I’ve come to realize that fats are my filling food, too, and now I’ll try keep meals more well balanced in that respect. But like I said: fats are my filling food and work for me, though by no means everyone. So while I recommend exploring this for yourself, it’s by no mean a blanket answer. I think you can guess what I had to feed my fat craving ways.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With NibMor Original Chocolate

Sooo good. I think we discovered there was 15g of fat in this? Well, I look at this dish in a whole new light now that I know there’s also 10.2 grams of fiber there; I definitely kept a warm drink nearby as I ate this and watched both The Biggest Loser and American Idol. I hate that the two are competing! I ended up watching American Idol more, because I find it amusing at this stage whereas I don’t have any connection with The Biggest Loser’s contestants. Plus, I know if I miss any real drama, I’ll read about it on food blogs 😉 After American Idol, I threw together a unique combo on the whim.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nutritional Yeast

Is the combination of nutritional yeast and peanut butter outlandish or not? I haven’t seen it on any other blogs, but they feel like two things that just “work” together; maybe I’m not looking at enough vegan cookbook/desserts. You definitely get a delicious, cheesey mouth-feel from the nutritional yeast that pairs with the peanut butter. And I think I feel a recipe coming on.

This morning’s workout was 10 times better than yesterday’s attempt; I ended up doing my core(minus leg works) and 200 flights. To get myself into “the spirit” of working out, first I got in the right clothes; comfy socks and PJs are fun but not really motivating like basketball shorts. I also put on the ipod and blasted that. Yes, I would have liked to listen to The Today Show, but it’s not as fist-pumping as songs. Speaking of which, I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with my Top 25 Most Played, but I can not imagine a time in my life went Push It by Salt N’ Pepper was played that much. I ended up not having anything mid-workout for a snack(besides 2 or 3 cups of coffee you couldn’t pry out of my hands if you tried). I was oddly not even that hungry for breakfast, but made something nice nonetheless.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With 2 Cage-Free Organic Eggs

Similar to how I laugh at the media’s take on things, I just don’t agree with a lot of modern medicine advice. I’ve heard both that the cholesterol in eggs isn’t bad for us and that we “can have up to 1 egg a day and do no harm”. No. I can have as many eggs a day as I can fit in my body. You suggest up to 1 a day. There’s a difference. I have high cholesterol, but it’s completely hereditary and I’m not convinced it hurts me or will change no matter what I do. Along with the oatmeal and eggs(and enough salt to make a doctor cry), I had some greek yogurt with vanilla powder, vanilla bean sugar, and vanilla stevia. I guess I’m a vanilla kind of guy 😀 I wish it were 2% but they don’t sell that near me 😦 Maybe I’ll buy a full container of full fat and mix in a couple tablespoons in each of my bowls.

Once again, Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway!

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Breakfasts Make The Best Meal

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

Thank you for all the kudos on the recipe contest 3rd place win. It feels so good to be acknowledged for a recipe. If any of you try my pumpkin bread let me know how you like it and if you bake it on your blog so I can give it linkage. Now the question is what I’m going to be making with eggs for the next 3 months 🙂 That’s one of those good problems to have, I figure. Like I promised after blogging yesterday, there was a trip to the mail room in order. I found a new tea.

Tazo Calm Tea

Calm? Hmm. Something tells me this is going to get bought a lot during the stress of finals week. I was alerted of a package I had. I had no clue what it was at first.

Gettysburg and Gods And Generals

Then I remembered I bought this on Black Friday from Walmart. I’m not much of a war buff but I really wanted to see Gettysburg, and the double feature with Gods And Generals was only about a dollar more. Instead of watching it then and there, I decided to save it for when I have time to pay attention to it and got to writing. My room is soo comfortable with the heat on now. You know it must be warm because I was ready for ice cream in the afternoon.

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream

I’m so glad we bought some of this Sunday; I’m always tempted to break out the one at home but never have the time or am in an ice cream mood. If you’ve never had it–gah! It will change your life. The snickerdoodle cookie dough chunks… *drool* Anyway, yes, more work ensued. Something about working made me want breakfast.

French Toast Oats And Coffee

Maybe I wanted an egg after winning 3 months worth. Maybe it’s just that breakfast is the best meal of the day. I’m not sure, but this was tres magnifique. I think the secret to french toast oats is swirling the egg in but not too much. And cooking it thoroughly but not too much. So basically they’re a crap shoot 😉 I started to get hungry but had plans to meet up for dinner so there was some fruit snackage:

Tangerine

I tried to convince myself it was a clementine but it doesn’t work that way. Plus it had little annoying seeds in it. Don’t you hate those? I much prefer Trader Joe’s milk chocolate orange for my citrus intake, thank you. I decided to smuggle some links in the dining hall to bolster up whatever veggies they were serving.

Al Fresco Country Style Breakfast Chicken Sausages

I don’t think it’s weird to carry around breakfast sausages. In your coat pocket. At dinner time. Do you?

Fresh Vegetable Medley, Curried Acorn Squashes With Maple Syrup And Breakfast Style Sausages

Wow… remarkable. These sausages… beyond words. They were so perfectly herby I could hardly believe it. With a touch of maple syrup–to die for. And who would have thought maple syrup and curried squash would work? It so totally did. It was almost Indian but with a Maine flair. I’ve been scared off of making my own Indian food thus far but I think I just need to find a good curry powder and I’d be good to go.

Before the Biggest Loser I went to a dining hall to stock up of Greek yogurt for the impending storm. I walked out carrying 4 with a bar and a coffee. I have some serious balancing skills 😉 How amazing were all the come back contestants on The Biggest Loser? I don’t think there was a loser amongst them.I always feel funny snacking during The Biggest Loser but I spend my time in the gym and earn my damn dessert 😉

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Cherry Dark Chocolate And Vanilla Sugar

Plus this had fruit, dairy, and antioxidants, so it was entirely healthy, right? I’m going with that 🙂 Did anybody else learn to spell dessert with an extra “s” because you always want more? That always stuck with me. There was definitely more dessert, unfortunately.

KIND Sesame And Peanut Bar

I try to eat with no regrets. But I regretted this. Firstly, I try not to eat bars in my dorm when I could have real food(or, you know, oatmeal), but this at first seemed alluring. Secondly, this wasn’t very good. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good; it’s best feature was chocolate which I could easily have eaten in other forms. And yet I ate it in about 2 minutes flat, because I didn’t know how to put it down or just throw it out. I think all the thinking required for writing an essay made my rational thinking go away, and afterwards I learned better. For my last desssert, I tried being much more in tune with what I wanted.

Chocolate Vitatop With Cream Cheese, Advent Chocolate, White Chocolate Wonderful

Delicious and what I wanted. I’m not accustomed to eating peanut butter without carbs underneath but I didn’t want toast or oatmeal or to put it on the vitatop. The answer? A simple spoon–and it was perfect.

This morning I woke up to this lovely scene:

Providence 6:45

Snow! I love snow, I really do. I hate the cold, but I love snow(let’s not point out the contradiction here). Unfortunately it doesn’t put me in a work-out mood, but I decided a good run was just what I needed so I grabbed a bar and hit the gym.

Maple Nut Clif Bar

At first I wasn’t feeling it for one reason or another; it didn’t help the non-basic cable tv channels weren’t operative. But then I thought maybe this would need to be one of those “move your body” and not “run” days and I resolved to go for 14 miles. It definitely felt like a stretch for the first 5 but eventually it just flew by and I was happily done in 1:58:02. After trekking back to my room and warming up I made yet another satisfyingly-breakfast meal.

Eggnog Greek Yogurt, French Toast Oatmeal With Al Fresco Breakfast Sausages

Clearly being a repetitive eats blogger does not weigh on my mind because I was happy to dig in to this. I just love these sausages. Perhaps it’s a bit hypocritical to use vegan eggnog and serve it next to chicken and an egg but let’s ignore that like the snow and cold thing.

Today I would love love love to take a trip to the groceries stores. Unlike rain, however, that’s not in the forecast. What is is an essay being done, I’m sure. Happy humpday!

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Pans And Pies

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

I didn’t feel that much pressure to get out and run yesterday. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how many opportunities I’d get today and tomorrow, so I decided to take the time and go out. It was a slightly slow 6.7 but felt good to be active for an hour(because I firmly planned on being lazy the other 23). When I got home, I challenged myself to make a lunch not with the microwave. It’s simple enough but there’s so many flavors and textures it just can’t achieve. After planning out a menu, I got to work with my fancy pan I won from some Hood milk promotion last month.

Brussels And Sausage In A Pan

First I scrambled 2 eggs and cooked those in the pan to the perfect doneness–so much easier than in a microwave! Then I steamed raw brussels for 3 minutes in the microwave and then pan-browned them for another 2 minutes. I also heated up a pre-cooked chicken sausage in the microwave(btw, all these uses of it don’t count ;-)) and finished that in the pan.

Scrambled Eggs, Spicy Chicken Sausage, Brussels Sprouts

This deserves a Holy Yum award. Brussels sprouts are seriously my favorite green vegetable and by far the best thing here, even though they were a bit dry, with a touch of salt. The browning gave a good crispness to the outside. The sausage was also quite good. Note: It was real meat and not faux meat. I think I can love them equally. The fennel in it was really impressive. For dessert I had something that took neither pan nor microwave.

Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

So perfect. Well, OK, it could have used more jam, but then again my ideal would be eating the jam from the jar with a spoon, which is a no-no when it costs as much as this one does. I had a lovely evening on the couch planned, but then my mom asked if I wanted to accompany her to Market Basket while she picked up some last minute food. My knee-jerk reaction was a big yes, and next thing I knew it I was in the car. Oops. At least I brought a little work with me. For those who don’t have a Market Basket, it’s a place full of interesting finds…

Christmas Decor

Oh, Canada. What are you doing up there? Jk, but Market Basket does have good finds. It’s right across the way from Whole Foods, and while it might only carry about 30% the same stuff, what it does have is very often cheaper. The only thing I could find on my list this trip was a 4-pack of deep chocolate vitatops for 3.69. they had faux meat, but unfortunately nothing all-natural and breakfasty 😦 It was pretty late when everyone was done, so I was happy to grab a snack in the car.

Banana Walnut Gnu Bar

Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. All you have to do is read my review to know I loved this. I don’t like bananas that much, but I swear anything that tastes like bananas I’m game with. And this was just like banana bread. There wasn’t a large presence of walnuts, but that was fine by me since I don’t care for the. And all the fiber filled me up and kept me calm when I realized I still had to make the pie! Yikes. By the time we got home it was dark and I was getting anxious about that, until I remembered this is the simplest recipe and I didn’t even need to check my computer to remember how to make it.

Unbaked Crustless Pumpkin Pie

There was a mini-issue with the pesky water bath, but otherwise crisis averted and sanity restored. I felt a little something was in order along with a pat on the back.

Chocolate Elan Frozen Yogurt

This snack ended up being a little littler than I expected; who knew we were almost out and there was hardly a serving left in the container! Too bad nobody realized this over the past 4 weeks we’ve been having freezer-space issues. Normally I’m happy to finish an ice cream but I love elan and this flavor so much I feel like I need to get an exact replacement for it. I watched 1 of the 2 SNL’s I slept through and then the pie was done.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It had a couple bubbles but no cracks and definitely nice and firm so that it will stand on its own at the table. Amen 🙂 And then there was dinner.

Haddock With Soyaki, Beets, Parsnips With Peach Salsa

Not quite my pan-licious lunch, but this was pretty good, too 😉 There was a little more beets taken after the photo and we finished it all! We didn’t want any leftovers going in to Thanksgiving. I swear this house empties of all vegetables when I’m not here so I made sure we got good ones at Market Basket. Parsnips are so good for a soft and white vegetable; I don’t like white potatoes because they always taste dry and starchy but I think I’ve found a new friend in parsnips.

I almost forgot about The Biggest Loser last night! I was so thankful my tivo reminded me of it. I brewed some coffee and had a naked dessert.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I kept racking my brain to try and figure out what to do with this vitatop. It finally occurred to me: If it wasn’t coming naturally, it wasn’t meant to be. And this vitatop tasted just delicious on its own. It was great to see where former contestants are and to know they’ve really changed their lives. I think finding and staying with that balance must be the toughest thing. There was another snack.

Oikos With Turbinado Sugar And Chocolate Chips

Turbinado sugar is good for you because it has the minerals crystalized in, right? And it’s from Trader Joe’s so it cures cancer, right? We’re just going to go with all of that because this hit my sweet tooth. It was so depressing seeing the winner who gained back so much weight. Clearly, though, he felt bad about it, too, so it’s hard to be upset with him.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter

Let’s just say, this bowl took a lot of work to figure out what to do with it, but I’m happy where I settled. I forgot how good and chocolatey(not to mention thick) the chocolate sunflower butter is. And probably a better choice at 10:30 than chocolate chips with my sugar tolerance(or lack thereof).

I set my alarm for 7 this morning. On a holiday–why’d I do that? To run, of course. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen but it was actually reasonably warm and I felt refreshed with only 8 hours of sleep. I grabbed a bar for the run.

 

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

What a delicious way to start Thanksgiving 🙂 I ate 3/5ths of it on the run and then never needing the last bit. I ended up doing 10.55 miles–my longest run outside! The course was completely new to me; they demolished a bridge near my house which pretty much eliminated as options all my longer runs but I figured out a new course that worked perfectly. I came home to a house already smelling of food–love that. I got a touch creative with breakfast:

 

Pumpkin Yogurt With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nog Cream Cheese Frosting, Peanut Oikos

Ok, I’ll admit it, I used the microwave for the oats and I don’t regret it because this bowl was perfect. The frosting, which I dreamed up on the run, really made it; the recipe is 1oz greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon Silk Nog with 3 drops vanilla liquid stevia. I wouldn’t give such precise measurements if I weren’t convinced those are the measurements of the Greek Gods. It’s sweet but not so much that you lose the cream cheese, and it’s entirely seasonal.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Now I’m kicking back, watching The Parade with Pikachu just having floated by. My relatives are coming in just 2 hours! I’m so excited, even though I realize the 2 little cousins will probably have me tearing my hair out of my head by the end of the day, haha.

 

NuNaturals giveaway! I think they’re stevia taste the purest(and this is coming from someone who, from time to time, nibbles on his plant).

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Encyclopedia Achoo To Distance PR

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

As ridiculous as it sounds, I am so much happier now that I’ve admitted to myself that I love oatmeal for breakfast. I love it. And I’ll shout it to the world. I’ve been resisting having oatmeal on Tuesdays and Thursdays and other days when I simply wouldn’t have much time for one reason or another. But a quickie with some oats is much more satisfying than spending long, hellish time with anything not in the morning. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t very hungry when I got out at noon yesterday. Instead of eat immediately, I went to check my mail where I had something amazing waiting for me.

Amazing Grass Sampler

Amazing Grass that is. The folks at Amazing Grass were kind enough to send me all these goodies to try and review. This could not have come at a better time. As I slowly feel myself getting sick, I realize it’s probably because I rely on the dining hall for all my veggies and when they don’t have good ones I just don’t get them in me. With these products, hopefully I’ll be feeling 100%. I also picked up a lunch on my way back to the dorm and had a ball making a bowl.

Taco Bowl With Lettuce, Spinach, Shaved Cucumber, Shredded Carrot, Vegan Taco Filling, Peppers, And Full Fat Voskos Yogurt

Taco Bell, Q’doba, BoLoco, all those places ain’t got nothing on me. And would you believe that most of this came from the dining hall? All I had to do was put it together by making the base with salad bar fixings and plopping the vegan taco filling on top. It was delicious! In the filling was tofu, tempeh, molasses, tomato puree, and seasoning. And topping it with the yogurt was sooo good. Even though it’s full fat, I’m going to pretend like it was healthy because it’s yogurt 🙂 But I would definitely opt for that in place of cheese any day.

Well you can’t say I didn’t warn you that this would be how I would spend my day:

Resting

I only had a bad sneezing bout for about an hour. The rest of the time was mostly a runny nose. It was definitely a good day for daytime tv, though. There was actually a plot progression on Days Of Our Lives this week! Can you believe that? And Rachael Ray made a sweet potato casserole with bruleed bananas on top. Um, yum? I also did some major behind-the-scenes blog working and you can expect some product review summaries coming your way real soon. At some point, I decided I needed more green in my diet.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

I’ll admit: The green innards of this freaked me out a little. But oh my God was this good! I’d much rather have this than any Snickers bar or anything, plus it has incredible(avoiding overusing the word amazing) nutrition. You can read my full review here. Now I can’t wait to try others. Did anyone else catch Oprah? It was all pretty adult material for something on at 4pm. Jenna Jameson and Oprah in the same room was not something I expected. After getting more work done I had another snack.

Plain Chobani With Strawberry Conserves

This new jam, excuse me, conserve is ok. I guess it’s size and price and the fact that it’s organic made it a steal. I’m just happy whenever the fruit is the first ingredient. This was my last individual yogurt, so afterwards I went to all the open school facilities I knew of that sold yogurt, and none had another plain Chobani. It was a bit of a disappointment(mainly because it was too cold to be walking around like a nut), but I was able to grab dinner on the way back.

Asparagus Spears, Honey Ginger Vegetables, Veggie Marinated Tempeh

Apparently when my dining hall does tempeh they like to do it all out. I was just happy to have another meal where I didn’t need to provide any ingredients. I love it when they have asparagus; that’s one of my favorite ingredients and I literally took all the ones they had out. Definitely some good cold-fighting vitamins in that, right? The tempeh just kind of tasted like vegetables, if that makes any sense, but it was good enough. What it wasn’t was fulling, so after I went out and came back from buying coffee and flavored Chobani, I grabbed another bar.

 

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

 

I’m not going to lie. I could have just eaten the chocolate shell off and been just as happy 🙂 As much as I hate that feeling of still being hungry after dinner(oh, and I do, a lot) I now know it’s better to just honor your hunger and accept you’re still hungry rather than pretend otherwise. You can read my review of this one here. I don’t think it was as nutritionally good or flavorful as the peanut butter one but it was decent. I was not expecting(and really enjoyed) the hint of peppermint–so seasonal!

The Biggest Loser didn’t blow me away last night. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just not as entertaining without the awesome orange team anymore? That must be the case. Instead I did some Greek and snacked.

 

Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Baking Chips

 

Along with my morning oatmeal revelation, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I like oatmeal at night. I don’t like cleaning the bowl, but I like oatmeal and that’s enough(plus if I’m eating it in the morning who needs a perfectly clean bowl anyway?). I’ve also come to grips with the fact that I like TJ’s baking chips the best; they aren’t as “healthy” as the grain-sweetened ones nor are they vegan, but since when do chocolate chips need to be healthy? Bring on the sugar and dry milk powder, baby.

 

Pumpkin Oatbran With White Chocolate Chips

 

Correction: I really like oatmeal at night. Except I’ve learned you can’t cook the pumpkin and oats at the same time, or it comes out rather gritty. Still, this pumpkin and vanilla chip combo is awesome. Someone should make a bar like this *hint*hint*.

This morning I woke up with a really dry throat, but otherwise energized. After guzzling down coffee and water, I felt good enough to run. I didn’t know how far I’d go, but I could feel it would be a long one so I grabbed a bar.

 

Berry Whole Food Energy Bar

Really? Were you expecting anything else at this point? I don’t have a chance to review it this morning but when I do it will be available here and I’ll be sure to start tomorrow’s post with it. I got going fairly early(around 6:45) so time was not an issue this morning. I just ran and ran. And I kept running all the way to 15 miles in 2:01:06! It felt great and I felt great. My previous record, by the way, was 14 miles set last Monday, but after that I was dehydrated and exhausted. Today I felt super and energized.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup, Eggnog Yogurt

I won’t pretend like these aren’t the same flavors I always have; they just taste so good! But I had to make the Nog yogurt twice. Note: It doesn’t work well if you use vanilla yogurt to start instead of plain because the consistency otherwise is absolutely soupy. Now hopefully I’ll find more plain yogurt around the campus today or otherwise today will be very low-gurt. I could try to squeeze in a Whole Foods trip between the end of class and sunset but on these legs I’m thinking not.

 

 

Here’s a contest by Nature’s Path for some of their great products!

How about a Chocolate Covered Giveaway?

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Cherries Or Cranberries?

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

Before I forget, yesterday’s breakfast was a bunch of new products I wanted to tell you about including Sunland’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter, Voskos’ Organic Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt, and Nature’s Path Organic Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, all of which will be summarized on the main page at some point so don’t worry if you miss them now.

Good morning. Is it good? It’s raining the tears of Semonides here(sorry, all this Classical studying has my brain in the wrong millenium!). Yesterday morning I left a little early to grab a cup of joe before class.

Organic Coffee With NuNaturals Sweetener

Organic Coffee With NuNaturals Sweetener

And Thank God I did. My Greek professor is still sick so we got a substitute instead. Rather than a placid, middle aged woman we had a bit more lively, energetic Swede with a heavy accent. Fun, just not at 10:30. Class got particularly amusing when him and the soft-spoken British grad student were trying to communicate and it just… wasn’t working. I actually wasn’t ready for lunch when I got out, so I came back to my dorm and admired Steve, the stevia plant.

October 27th 002

Steve

I was told to trim him to be a foot tall a while back when I first got him, which I did. Now he’s gone crazy and has grown 3 feet tall. If you’re horrible with plants, get a stevia bush; they’re impossible to kill no matter how little you water them(and taste really good). After a while of that amusement, I picked up stuff from the dining hall and made a cozy lunch in my room.

Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Maple Mustard Tofu

Recently, I got to thinking, “You know, my pee smells too floral. I think I’m going to eat a ton of asparagus”. Or I just love it and they so rarely have it at the dining hall that I might have gone a bit nuts when I stumbled upon it. I coupled that with some maple mustard tofu(so good!) and a whole microwaved sweet potato from last week’s farmers’ market. I have a good 2+ pounds of sweet potato under my bed, so I feel pretty set for a while.

I did the typical Days Of Our Lives while blog reading thing. I swear, soaps never go anywhere in plot but they’re so entertaining. I was planning on hanging around for Rachael Ray but the show didn’t look too interesting and the weather was not getting better. I had some high hopes of going to Whole Foods rain or shine so I bundled up and headed out. On the way I stopped by the mailing center.

October 27th 010

Mail From Home

One was from my mom and the other my grandmother; though the fact that they both have Simpsons stamps and my mom’s handwriting on them makes me think(and not too hard). They were Halloween cards with some money. I love that being a college student Halloween is a reason to receive cards. What I don’t get is why these needed to be mailed when I saw both of them Sunday. Odd people. I also snacked on this while shopping:

Spooky S'mores Z-Bar

Spooky S'mores Z-Bar

I’ve been loving all the manly-men products Clif sent me, but sometimes I need a little something to feed the kid in me 😉 I’m going to miss these when they’re gone for the season. Grocery shopping was–of course–a blast. I found kombucha and acorn squash, but neither were on sale so I thought I’d hold off with microwave experimentation. I found out something very dangerous:

October 27th 014

Bulk Colored Frosting

Whole Foods now sells their naturally colored buttercream frosting by the tub for the holiday season. Ummm, hello. This is a) a dream b) very dangerous. On the one hand, I could use these to make some nice treats that look awesome and I would feel good serving. On the other hand, I don’t see that frosting it making it through the ride/walk home. In case anyone was wondering, it’s 5.99/lb. Somehow, one of those didn’t end up in my basket, but look what did!

October 27th 015

Groceries

I went a little shopping happy on this trip; money from relatives will do that. I got a new flavor of Lightlife‘s tempeh to review, along with my favorite product of theirs: tempeh bacon. Some Oikos and So Delicious Soy Yogurt were a must. I felt like talkin’ turkey for dinner so I got some fresh sliced from the deli. And of coarse I hit up the bulk bins for oats and, my treat of the trip, dried cherries. At first, I wasn’t going to get them because they’re a bit pricey. At the check out, the woman couldn’t read the bin # I wrote down(I swear my handwriting isn’t that bad). Instead of asking me to read it, she looked up the code in the big book and entered it herself. What she failed to realize was that they were cherries, not cranberries. She didn’t ask me or anything, just input the cranberry code and continued scanning items. Since cranberries are 1/2 the price of cherries, I basically got them half off. And since I didn’t lie or be at all misleading through any of that, I feel pretty damn good. When I got back to my room I made some oats to fight off the gloomy weather.

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple And Maple Syrup

Can I tell you a little secret? If you pour maple syrup over the top and stick it back in the microwave, the water cooks off and the maple crystalizes, not to mention smells like candy. Oh was this good. It made a “serious” Oprah episode bearable to study through. It almost made my Epic Poetry homework bearable to read… almost. I thought I’d be reaching for a snack later, seeing as how most of this was lovely, unrefined sugar. Surprisingly it held me over until dinner.

October 27th 022

Open Faced Thanksgiving Sandwich, Ginger Carrots And Snap Peas, Broccoli With Beets

There are only 29 days to Thanksgiving, but who’s counting, really? I made the sandwich in my dorm and brought it to the dining hall. On a Matthew’s English Muffin, one side had TJ Cranberry Apple Butter and the other had Organic Valley Lowfat cream cheese. That combo is ridiculous; I don’t even want the turkey come Thanksgiving; I just want the leftovers. So I guess I have to wait 30 days then, huh? When I got back to my dorm, I broke into this:

Green Mountain Single Origin Mexican Decaf

Green Mountain Single Origin Mexican Decaf

I picked this up at the Green Mountain dinner last Wednesday. I already have one canister open, but I wanted to try this to see if it had a more robust, dark flavor. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as strong as the whole bean house decaf I made back at home, but it definitely had a deeper flavor than Whole Food’s Decaf Hazelnut.

Tuesday night meant Biggest Loser, of course. Was Abby’s story on The Biggest Loser not the saddest thing? I was not expecting the show to take such a dramatic turn; I think even Jillian was cracked by that. The Biggest Loser also means ridiculous snackage that the contestants could never eat.

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, PB And Chocolate Chips

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia, Vanilla Sugar, PB And Chocolate Chips

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Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I broke my own rule with this one; I stole the peanut butter chips from a trail mix I own because I don’t have any peanut butter chips. I hate it when people go through a trail mix and screw up proportions. Then again, my love for peanut butter chips is greater than my hatred for that. I don’t even remember when I had the bottom of that muffin(presumably in yogurt). I’ve just had the top sitting around for so long I figured I’d eat it. I’m wicked exciting that the next time I eat from that Smart balance jar, it will be from the jar.

Could one thing have gone routinely this morning? Didn’t think so. I woke up at 6:40… and then again at 6:50. I honestly didn’t feel like running, but when analyzing the situation, I realized it wasn’t for any good reason other than the sun wasn’t out and it was running. I told myself “The lights will be on in the gym and it has a roof. You’ll be fine.” That’s about as peppy as my pep talks get. While I grabbed one of these and hit the gym:

At first I thought that today I needed a running body more than ever. What I got was even better: no one else around. Score. I just put on my TV shows and ran. At first I thought 8, then 10. I was taking it at a very slow comfortable, and I knew being outside wasn’t happening much today, so I went on to 13.1. I was planning to do this Friday, but I figured I’d push it up 2 days. I finished in 1:53:04 which really put me behind for the morning. My roommate was not only awake but dressed and studying when I got back!(That’s not like him). Even though I was short on time, I decided to make myself a nice breakfast to feel like the king I like to think I am:

2 Eggs Lightly Microwaved With Cheddar Cheese, Toast With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Oikos With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Chips

2 Eggs Lightly Microwaved With Cheddar Cheese, Toast With Pumpkin Peanut Butter, Oikos With Peanut Flour And Chocolate Chips

I don’t know egg terminology. Is it poached when you leave them unscrambled and try to cook the whites without cooking the yolks? Well that’s what I did, or tried to do at least. It’s a lot easier with a skillet than a microwave, but 1 of the yolks was nice and runny. I think I need to revisit that peanut butter over some oats later because it’s just too good. Now I’m very behind for a Wednesday but thankfully should have everything done in time for class.

My all-natural heart was very happy to hear that Necco candy is going natural! I haven’t had Necco wafers in ages; I don’t even think I liked them. But I’m very happy to hear they’re taking this step and I’ll certainly give the new stuff a try.

Speaking of candy, there’s an awesome chocolate giveaway at Run, Eat, Repeat.

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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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R & R

Posted on October 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note to self: If you want to run your first half marathon in the morning, don’t plan on anything else for the rest of the day. That was pretty much the lesson I learned after yesterday’s experience. Thanks for all the good-wishes; I don’t know that I’ll be “just getting up and deciding” to break any previous PR by 3 miles any time soon. Unfortunately, after my half marathon, I had a full Greek class(see what I did there? ;-)). It’s not so bad since I literally translated this last year and remember most of it–yay for me! When I got out I stumbled over to the mailbox room, through the lunch line, and back to my dorm. My 1/2 tablespoon of White Chocolate Wonderful with breakfast that I had to talk myself into at the time caused a real craving and had me making the weirdest lunch yet:

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful, Vegan Sloppy Joe Mix, Cucumbers, Broccoli

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful, Vegan Sloppy Joe Mix, Cucumbers, Broccoli

I told you it was weird; I wasn’t going to do it, but I figured it’s best to listen to your cravings when you’re more active than usual. The vegan sloppy joe mix was from the cafeteria, and I think a medley of tomatoes, peppers, tempeh, and tofu. It was pretty good though a bit bland. The oats were perfect and soul-soothing; could you ask for anything more from a hot bowl of grains? While I was eating, I was so happy to find this in the mail:

Attune Coupons

Attune Coupons

Daniel from Attune sent over some coupons for me to sample and review some of their products and I could not be more thankful! I’m sure you’ve all heard me harp on about probiotics and how I strive to get 2 sources a day. Well, the people at Attune share my same enthusiasm for bacteria and probiotically fortify chocolate bars. Chocolate and probiotics–could it get better? I love my yogurt and frozen yogurt, but variety is always welcomed. Thank you, Daniel and Attune, I can’t wait to try these out. After some uber-duper exciting email reading and google reading, I came to a bit of halting reality: That Whole Foods and F.Y.E. trip I would have loved to take was not happening, not on my legs at least. It seemed I underestimated the strain my body would take and nothing was budging. Instead my afternoon looked an awful lot like this:

Sitting And Sipping Coffee

Sitting And Sipping Coffee

Oh yeah, that was deserved. This semester running might have persuaded my class scheduling a tad. Would it be too much if next semester running AND TV were taken into consideration? Didn’t think so. Well I made a list of all the History readings I “shoud’ve” done by this point. Yikes. I haven’t read anything for that class. Thankfully, it seems like the teacher hasn’t either, haha. Hopefully my being awake in class and taking notes will be enough combined with a little cramming come midterm time. I also took out some books and some snacks:

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Poetry is never as fun as one would think; sure, it has rythym and soul. But the poet takes way too much “artistic liscence” and I’m not one of the people patient enough to dig for the deeper meaning. But if there’s anything I learned in high school, it’s how to BS an essay with crazy interpretating which is exactly what I plan to do for this class. On another note, I love Ellen. She’s always giving away money to unfortunate people on her show and that feels so good just to watch. I also made a delicious “mousse” around this time:

Peanut Pumpkin Maple Mousse

Peanut Pumpkin Maple Mousse

Yum. For this, I mixed 2% plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons peanut flour, cinnamon, and stevia, and topped with maple-agave syrup. The peanut flour really thickens it, adds a depth to the flavor, and gives it a moussey texture. I was thinking of granola-topping this but it just seemed so perfectly light and airy on its own. I also caught up on HIMYM. Even though it was a Barney heavy episode, it wasn’t one of my favorites of the new season. I don’t like that Robin and Barney are becoming a boring couple. Oh well, some hit and some miss. By 5:30, I felt way too caged in and needed to get out, even if my legs wanted to stay behind. I picked out a nutty bar:

Honey Almond Flax Kashi Bar

Honey Almond Flax Kashi Bar

On the one hand, I’m trying to eat whole, unpackaged food as much as possible. On the other hand, I have a lot of dorm-room stuff I need to eat before it goes bad, so I’ll be trying to fit them in exciting and creative ways into my meals. I decided that, if somewhere down the road someone asked me “how did you celebrate running your first half?”, “I didn’t” wouldn’t be a great response. So what would? “I went to a party that night, got smashed, and met Emma Watson”. Well that would make a good story but isn’t very likely and definitely isn’t me. “I got a gourmet cupcake.” Much better.

Cupcakerie Cupcakes

Cupcakerie Cupcakes

I went to Blue State Coffee where they carry these delectable goodies made by The Cupcakerie. These are the people who made that great Vegan Buttercream Cupcake I had for Cookie Friday. I also love them for this:

Blue State Coffee

Blue State Coffee

Kosher, Shade Grown, Fair Trade, and Organic. Best yet–they always brew me a decaf whenever I go unlike some companies *cough*Starbucks*cough* who actually denied to brew my mom decaf at 6pm. Cupcake in hand, I went back to my dorm just as it started to rain. Unfortunately, I had to go back out in that rain to meet my friend, Adam, for dinner.

Zuchinni And Tempeh Bake, Ginger Vegetables, Chickpea Stew

Zuchinni And Tempeh Bake, Ginger Vegetables, Chickpea Stew

Up to this point I was keeping a close eye making sure I was refueling well after my half. I couldn’t really keep track of the calories on this plate, but I used guestimation and all was right with the world. The tempeh was really good, as I always find tempeh. I love that touch of sourness from the fermentation. The vegetables were also surprisingly good. Not only were they cooked the right amount, but the ginger was present and popped through. Unfortunately, the chickpea stew, which had a lot of potential, was way too heavy and bland. I even added loads of cinnamon and salt and it couldn’t fix it. Oh well, overall pretty darn good.

After dinner was NBC Tuesday! I love The Biggest Loser, and haven’t missed a season yet. I just love the theme song; it has such an uplifting message, you know it’ll be an inspiring episode. I can’t believe how lucky Tracy’s gotten this season and how little weight she’s lost; that really bugs me and is not in the spirit of the show if you ask me. Sometime through I broke into the cupcake I purchased:

Wake Up and Smell the Cupcake

Wake Up and Smell the Cupcake

I went in for a carrot cake cupcake, but this one was the last of its flavor so I really felt like it was calling for me. It’s described as “An eye-opening mocha cake with espresso cream cheese frosting topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean”. Normally, I don’t do caffeine, but I made an exception 😉 I felt semi-bad eating this while watching people slave to lose poundage on The Biggest Loser. But not too bad because I’ve done my time in the gym and then some so this was well worth it. You just gotta learn what in life needs moderation. The cake was so incredibely moist–best not to think about how much oil must have been in it and just how good it tasted. And the frosting was cream cheese–just as I like it. I decided to opt out of the chocolate covered bean on top. I know it’s such a small amount of caffeine, but it was 9 at night and I’m a proud party pooper 🙂

While I was watching(and getting disappointed by the voting of The Biggest Loser), I did up a formal translation of the poem I’ll be writing an essay on, and, more importantly, made a snack:

English Muffin With Pumpkin Peanut Butter And Pumkin Cream Cheese

English Muffin With Pumpkin Peanut Butter And Pumkin Cream Cheese

I’m officially getting annoyed by pumpkin. It’s everywhere, even in my room. I want to shun it and never see it again, but then I crave it. Since when did pumpkin become crack? I’m an addict. And Libby is my dealer.

Getting to bed has been a bit of a trouble lately. I’m a firm believer in shutting your computer off at least 45 minutes before you plan to snooze and lights off 30 minutes before. Living with a roommate, the second one’s not so easy, so I tried making due with the lights on to no avail. Thankfully, he had to go work on a project in someone else’s room a little after 11, but I still didn’t get to bed till around midnight and snacked on some carbs to get me to shut eye.

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This morning’s run brought an interesting concept to mind. All through out the Summer when I ran and up till now, I’ve run the same distance give or take a mile day after day. now that I’m getting up there and spontaneously doing halfsies, that can’t be happening(because I am not running 12-14 miles daily. No way, no how). Varying my distance, and pace for that matter, are two things I’m going to need to get use to. I decided to do a traditional Tuesday/Thursday run and see how far I’d get in an hour flat. At the end, I ran 7.15 miles, so not bad. There were about 50 different food combos I was craving when I got back to my room. Rather than try a new recipe on the fly and potentially get disappointed by breakfast, I decided it was better to do 2 things right than 20 things wrong:

French Toast Oatmeal, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I am soooo excited for my Naturally Nutty shipment to come in tomorrow; these new seed butters are amazing. But when it comes to the good ol’ peanut, butter toffee definitely tops the chart for a great flavor. I feel like this is something obvious but worth saying: They key to good french toast oatmeal is in the spicing. I was dying for a good, runny egg this morning and this is the best way I know how. Just be sure to use quality cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla powder if you have it, and it will really shine through.

I hope to get to a grocery store today but it’s going to be freezing in NE! How is it that time of year again? Worse yet, they were talking Christmas gifts on The Today show. Really? Already?

One Fit Foodie is having a Nasoya giveaway! I’d love to do some tofu-loving in my dorm on days when the cafeteria is boring as… something not tofu? haha.

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Build Me Up Butternut

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As you can tell, there are a few new changes to the blog. Yesterday was all about building up, up, and away. I can’t believe Food Makes Fun Fuel has come this far from a Summer distraction, and I can’t wait to see where it will go next. After sending in an application last week, yesterday I became a Featured Foodbuzz Blogger. I’m super excited as you might be able to tell to take on that role and whatever might come of it. I’ve had to adjust the layout a bit. Any ideas for what you think the header should be? I stuck with some Fall themed PB & Oats, since I think that’s pretty descriptive of everything right now. That being said, don’t be surprised if I’m procrastinating on a paper some day soon and switch it up. I also have big plans over the next month(yes–we’re talking month because I do have homework and an attempt at a life) to reorganize the Product Reviews for them to be much more readable like the Recipes page. Lastly, I wrote up a quick blurb called How I Fuel for new readers to get a sense of my food philosophy, so check that out.

And thanks for all the well-wishes on my exam. I think it went pretty well; it’s kind of hard to tell with language courses because you either know the vocab and constructions or you take a guess at the vocab and constructions. That being said, I think I finished feeling about par for the class so I feel strong and know I did what I could. Afterwards I stopped by somewhere I might not have otherwise expected myself:

Rockefeller Library

Rockefeller Library

We have a pretty decent library, but it’s very… libraryish? I’m not a fan of anywhere where a cough is a spectacle and books are the main source of entertainment. Funny because my grandmother was a town librarian for 40 years. Yikes. I printed what I needed and dashed. I swung by the dining hall and grabbed a lunch that really buttered me up:

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Maple Mustard Tofu, Broccoli, Italian Veggies, Mushrooms

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Maple Mustard Tofu, Broccoli, Italian Veggies, Mushrooms

Get the joke? Oh, I’m punny 🙂 This soup was actually AMAZING. Better yet, I looked up the nutrition/ingredient details because I can and it was equally spectacular. This was pretty much straight, seasoned squash puree with a little EVOO. I try to stick to “vegan” things in the dining hall because anything else risks a heavy case of butteritis(and not butternut). I added a little cinnamon and salt and that took me off to heaven. The rest was decent, too. No protein really stood out to me so I went with the maple/mustard combo of last week and that was perfect.

I hope you’re sitting down reading this: I didn’t go to a grocery store yesterday afternoon. Fever? Nope. Swine Flu? Nope. I just really had nothing I needed other than to get work done, so I stayed put on campus. It’s not entertaining, but c’est la vie. This was more what my afternoon looked like:

Study Area And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Study Area And Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

Plus daytime TV, of course. How could I miss that 😉 I try not to do the processed food thing when in my dorm room but I needed something I could nibble slowly on to work and my palate said chocolate brownie Z-bar or straight baking chips; I think I chose the better route. I’m not going to claim to have done anything spectacular other than translate pages and pages from dead authors who have been translated time and time again, but if that doesn’t get your goat I don’t know what will. Oh, maybe this:

Banana Goodness Bread With Smart Balance Peanut Butter In Low-Fat Plain Yogurt

Banana Goodness Bread With Smart Balance Peanut Butter In Low-Fat Plain Yogurt

When Baked Goods Met Freezer should be the sequel to When Harry Met Sally, because it’s a hit. I dethawed some of my Banana Goodness Bread and topped it with Smart Balance peanut butter(which I’ve been oddly obsessed with lately) and threw in some plain low-fat yogurt for a controlled yogurt mess. I think low-fat plain yogurt has the perfect flavor, with just a touch of cream, to the point where it doesn’t need any sweetening whatsoever. Speaking of X Met Y, I might have caught up with How I Met Your Mother at this time and that might have been the best episode of the season thus far in my opinion; anything Barney + Robin I’ll be a sucker for. I met Adam whom I ditched last night for dinner:

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Carrots, Green Beans, Black Bean And Spinach Ragout

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup, Carrots, Green Beans, Black Bean And Spinach Ragout

Why do you fill me up, butternut baby? Again, delicious. I even brought cinnamon to the dining hall to add to it(is that weird? Don’t answer that, I’ll take a wild guess). The veggies were all their veggie self. The bean and spinach thing wasn’t bad, but it definitely didn’t prompt me to finish all of it. I was happy ending the meal on the note of my soup and Grease playing in my mind.

Tuesday nights NBC has stolen me. With The Biggest Loser and Jay Leno, how could I not just park myself on that station? I loved the theme of this week; how Americans have so much trouble eating out I don’t know but they do and that needed to be addressed. I’ve always felt a little “special” when i get nit-picky about my food when we eat out, but it’s entirely worth it to have a healthy and delicious meal made the way you want it(so long as the waiter doesn’t get p-ssed and spit in your food). Midway through I got an intense craving and had to leave my dorm for this:

Don’t I take a great photo 😉 But in all seriousness, in getting this yogurt, I was robbed. Not on the walk over, or even the walk back, but in the cafeteria, at the checkout, when I realized it was 2.85. Wtf? Is it made with gold now or something? I’ve always believed in feeding your cravings but not if they’re going to drive you to the poor house. I’m going to need to bolster up on some Oikos soon at Whole Foods to avoid that situation. But I do love that hint o’ cream in the base, and that this flavor has less sugar than other Chobani fruit flavors, so I guess it’s OK in the end. Have I not mentioned my obsession lately?

Smart Balance And Semi-Sweet Baking Chip Oats

Smart Balance And Semi-Sweet Baking Chip Oats

Dear Smart Balance, please make a chocolate flavor and spare me the extra effort. Your stalker, Evan. If this were a flavored nut butter I might understand the cravings; last I checked, flax oil wasn’t a “flavor”, but that might have just changed. And in case anyone’s ever wondered, the side-effects from too many Omega-3’s in the diet are an elevated mood, diarrhea, and thinned blood. I looked that up one day over the Summer when my intake of salmon, Smart Balance, and flax was a little more than gratuitous. I also had some toast with cream cheese and peanut butter cookie spread because I really wanted to fuel for the AM run.

When I woke up it was pouring. And I’m talking “Get out the ark” pouring. But I took it in stride and went to the gym. I wanted to run 10 miles this morning. But I knew if I used that word “want” that left doubt, so instead I told myself I was running 10 miles. I put on the ipod video and got going, although the real drama was the lightening and monsoon occurring outside. Mile 4 was the longest by far, and continually peeking at the distance didn’t help. I got through it nonetheless and finished strong in 82:46. Obviously, I was ecstatic because that’s only the 5th time I’ve run that distance and I felt really strong afterwards. I got back to my dorm a little later than usual but dent ahead with my planned bowl of oats:

Oatmeal With Fluff, Vanilla Almond Butter, And Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Chobani

Oatmeal With Fluff, Vanilla Almond Butter, And Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Chobani

Strawberry, vanilla, and almond could not possibly go better together; this bowl makes me miss Summer so much as I look out on the damp streets right now. This Chobani was not 2.85, thankfully. It’s from the ones I won off of Heather’s contest. It’s a little thin, and a lot of sugar, but it’s got some good flavor. I really wish they used the 2% base more because I think that really makes the yogurt.

Today I have no clue what to do. I suppose it’s dependant on the weather, like always in New England in Fall. I have 7 strong essay pages, so I’m not stressing that one too much yet until I realize I have nothing to make it longer with(TWSS?). Anyway, toodle loo!

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Soybeans Make Meals

Posted on September 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Firstly, I’m glad I have tough readers who don’t let a little mold scare them off from their favorite food. As a testament to the kind of company Oikos is, Kristina, the representative who first introduced me, came across that part of the post and offered to send replacement coupons. Thank you, Oikos; Clearly I’m just not eating my tubs of yogurt fast enough, but that’s fixable. My breakfast yesterday must have filled me up with protein because I was not hungry at all by the end of Greek. Looking back, between the oatmeal, egg, greek yogurt, and peanut flour, there was about 40 grams in all–and much tastier than just eating a piece of grilled chicken, too! I muddled around my room a bit, went to the Ratty, and got the PERFECT inspiration for lunch:

Lentil Soup, Broccoli, Maple Mustard Tofu

Lentil Soup, Broccoli, Mustard Maple Tofu

Mustard Maple Tofu

Mustard Maple Tofu

I know I’m not the only blogger who has drooled whenever Kath makes her tofu; I thought hers always sounded really interesting, so I worked with what I could. I tooke 3oz chopped tofu from the salad bar, tossed with 2 teaspoons mustard and maple syrup, and microwaved for 40 seconds. She was definitely right about the flavors here because they’re AMAZING. It’s not quite sweet like maple, and not quite savory like mustard, yet it’s very earthy and subtle. The lentil soup completely failed in comparison to the tofu. Is anyone else always surprised when they find lentil soup? I know how much water it takes to make regular lentils so I can never imagine how much water is needed for lentils AND soup.

I was originally going to go to Whole Foods after Days with my friend, Adam, but he said he didn’t want to go today since he just went grocery shopping yesterday. What, normal people don’t go grocery shopping every single day and don’t find browsing the aisles fun? What’s up with that? I went by my lonesome, but I think that’s a good thing because I took so long he would have gotten really frustrated. I had this in my pocket to snack on:

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

So loving these right now. And why not, ’tis the season. They have a bit more saturated fat than my other faves, the chocolate brownie and the peanut butter, but they also have more whole grains. And I swear, if you have any intention of eating a Z-bar during the day, keep it in your pocket beforehand. Some people swear by microwaving these, but I think the pocket is a much better method because it heats from the outside, more like an oven. After a few hours it’s really soft and slightly melted–unbelievable. So what did I end up getting at Whole Foods?

Whole Foods Organic Lowfat Yogurt

Whole Foods Organic Lowfat Yogurt

Just my yogurt. I browsed the kefirs to see if there was any I wanted to try, but I wasn’t sure what brand to go for, what flavor, etc., so I let that one be for now. Besides, after this I have 2.25 left in my food allowance for September and with today being the last day I really want to try to start October out on the positive. And I like the Organic Lowfat variety; in my opinion, lowfat gives the best combination of nutrition and texture out there, and Whole Foods doesn’t make a non-organic version of it. When I got back to my room, I downloaded the new google chrome, which has made uploading pics so much less of a pain, and made a snack:

Oats With Vanilla Peanut Butter And Grain Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips

Oats With Vanilla Peanut Butter And Grain Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips

This is another Naturally Nutty flavor that puzzles me but I really like. I’m convinced if you try it unknowing, you can’t tell that it’s not regular peanut butter, yet you’ll like it a lot more than plain. The vanilla adds a subtle something that does a good job at just enhancing the nuttiness. And dark chocolate chips… speak for themselves. I ate this while catching up on Heroes. Now that the episodes aren’t 2 freakin’ hours long, I can get a lot more into them and appreciate the plot; it looks like this will be one hell of a season. For dinner, I met up with my friend at the V-W since the online menu looked more appealing:

Curry Tempeh, Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrots, Beans And Bacon Soup

Curry Tempeh, Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrots, Beans And Bacon Soup

Enter soybean source number two of the day. I’ve only recently tried tempeh since eating at the dining halls and I’ve really enjoyed it thus far. It’s much meatier than any other meat-alternatives I’ve had and I’d love to try some of the great blog recipes I’ve seen if I ever get back into a kitchen. The curry added a nice mild spice to this. The bacon soup was a bit to soothe my bacon tooth I had last week that went untouched; it didn’t really do much more than give me plenty of gas. Bacon in soup is just sad and flabby, whereas bacon should be salty and crisp(and, some people might argue, in dark chocolate bars I eye every time I’m at Whole Foods). The soy definitely won out in this meal.

NBC officially has me on Tuesday’s. First up was 2 hours of the Biggest Loser. Is it just me, or is this the nastiest, meanest, most depressing season yet? Isn’t it great in a horrible way? I think Bob and Jillian must be tired with the show or have HUGE egos because they have gotten pissy–love it. The last scene before they went into the elimination room was so emotional, it was almost hard to watch. Of course, there was snacks throughout:

Coffee, Gingerlicious Cookies, 10-Grain Bread With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Coffee, Gingerlicious Cookies, 10-Grain Bread With Peanut Butter Cookie Spread

Peanut Butter Scone With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Scone With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

Plenty of good eats for the night. See my mug? Oh yeah, I’m a devoted fan(/it was dirt cheap at the NBC store in Rockefeller center since no one else wants them). Where to start, where to start. Holly’s post last night had me drooling at her amazing pumpkin molasses cookies. I’m definitely adding those to the to-bake list, but for the meanwhile it reminded me I had some frozen gingerlicious cookies to devour. I’m sure they aren’t as good as Holly’s but at 50 calories each with fiber and a veggie puree base, they aren’t shabby at all. I finished off a tub of cream cheese in making my peanut butter cookie spread toast; I was thinking of oats in a container at first but somehow I don’t think the plastic and hot oats would be friends. And the scone was made with a recipe from The Peanut Butter Boy. That’s definitely one of the favorite recipes amongst the members of my house. I made mine with flax and almond milk so they’re vegan. Note to self: flaxy scones + flaxy peanut butter might be a bit too much fiber for the stomach right before bed. I wound down the night with Jay Leno’s new show. I really like it and hope it’s here to stay because it’s a reliable source of entertainment. I’d rather be watching Flipping Out at that time but we don’t get Bravo here so no dice.

This morning was another “why do I get up early to run morning”, but run I did nevertheless. I didn’t even look at milage/time on the treadmill because I think it takes so much longer if you obsess about those numbers. Instead I just kept my eyes focused on The Today Show and the drama that is Jon And Kate Plus 8(Sorry, but I can not stand this show or all the press around it). I ended up going 8 miles in 68:30 minutes; I think the older woman who’s there every morning like me thinks I’m a bit crazy for running even after the treadmill shuts itself down; then again, I can’t disagree with her. I think my breakfast speaks for itself today:

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Banana Goodness Bread, Banana Nut Vitatop

Fluffernutter Oatmeal, Banana Goodness Bread, Banana Nut Vitatop

Normally, I try to vary up the plate with dairy, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats, and normally I’m pretty good at that, no? I mean, what doesn’t say balance better than a bowl with oats, egg, and steak sauce. This morning balance just did not appeal to me, and I wanted bready carbs. I almost got the toaster out to add a slice of 10-grain bread, but showed restriction after the oats. The banana nut vitatop was clearly one of the winners from the sampler I recieved; though I must say it has serious competition with my Banana Goodness Bread with dark chocolate chips. And fluffernutter oats, ah fluffernutter oats, nothing else is so universally satisfying. See, there’s fruit on the plate in the banana jam. That counts, right? I used Butter Toffee Peanut Butter by Naturally Nutty for this batch because I think the flavor just works well with banana(and who doesn’t love B-alliteration?).

I’ve been in such a rush this morning, I haven’t even looked at what the new sales are at Whole Foods. Can you imagine that? Please excuse me while I fix that. But I want to leave you with this hilarious quote I came across yesterday, that is just too true for words:

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four; unless there are three other people.” – Orson Welles

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