“I’m A Runner. I Can Eat Whatever I Want”

Posted on May 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I hear it all the time, either on the Runner’s World forums or in real life: “A runner can eat whatever they want”. Let me tear this one to shreds. First of all, are we all really “runners”? at least in this sense? I do think that there’s little difference between anyone who runs a mile for fun or 10 miles for fun. But there’s a BIG difference between people who run for fun and people like Ryan Hall who run for a living. Now those are runners.

OK. Let’s assume we are all runners. The same rules of life still apply. That’s why my first point is to listen to what mom always said and have your 3 balanced meals each and every day.

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Black Bean And Potato Salad With Daiya And Salsa

Dinner last night was a simple medley of black beans and organic russet potato over spinach and topped with Daiya. Yes, I really was just eating everything else as a way to have Daiya. But I thought this would be better than eating it straight from the bag to get more nutrients, don’t you think?

Moldy Chobani

Moldy Chobani

Some things none of us can eat, like moldy yogurt. Yeah, this wasn’t the most pleasant way to start my day.

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan GF Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

And other things we could eat but probably shouldn’t. Case in point: these cupcakes for breakfast. I know people who would call a cupcake a “muffin” if it’s eaten before 10am. But with no whole grains, and little of–well–anything, these would not have been kind to me during my 14 miler I have planned. That’s when I made a new plan for breakfast:

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Pomegranate Chobani With Dark Chocolate Almonds

Much better. A new yogurt, topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dark chocolate almonds, and oatmeal topped with vanilla peanut butter made with Madhava vanilla agave. Sure, there was sugar here. But there was also 30+ grams of protein, 20g whole grains, 20g bran, healthy fat and antioxidant from cacao and pomegranate. This was most definitely one of my “balanced meals”.

I don’t want to make the case that a runner always has to eat healthy; that’s a dangerous mindset I hear too much, too. The truth is, balance is the key. At a certain point, a calorie is a calorie and a runner might just need more to do more. That’s where dessert comes in.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With Coconut PB And Coconut Oil Chocolate

Indulgent? Sugary? Delicious? All of the above. Still, I try to find some nutrition in my desserts, which is why I often reach for coconut products. The saturated fat in coconut is medium chain, making it easier for our bodies to break down to energy than long chain. And it’s plant based so it has no cholesterol. Besides that, it just is easier for me to digest than dairy. What more could I say to get you on the coconut train?

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

Oatmeal With Chunky PB And Organic Dark Chocolate

And if I’m notorious for anything, it’s my nightly bowl of oatmeal with nut butter. Do what you want. But the warm carbs are great for a good night’s sleep. And this is nothing but a healthy dessert. And those squares of Endangered Species organic smooth dark chocolate–all for the antioxidants 😉

Fudge

Fudge

So I guess I can’t play the runner’s card to attack this pan anymore, huh? Well it will still be there if and when I finish running 14 miles. The sun is shining and things are heating up so if ever that’s happening it will be soon. Tonight’s post will be a recipe-packed post with all of your ice cream suggestions and what’s in the pan above.

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Can I Petition A Petition?

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Saturday! I for one am more than happy to be closer to Summer and living at home with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Have you all seen this petition yet? Basically, it’s a petition for Obama and his family to become vegans for their influence. Uhhh, what?! I fully support those who are vegans, or vegetarians. But how on earth could anyone want to dictate how another person eats? Especially when some of those are just little girls?

If I posted this when I first heard about it, I’d have some not-so-choice words, but I think by now my minds mulled it over to speak better of it. If anything, we should be preaching tolerance–tolerance of those who have a different way of thinking or path in life. This petition shows no more tolerance than the intolerance you could find against vegetarianism in a Southern cattle farm community. More importantly, you can eat ethically and aware without being a vegan, which is part of what Michelle Obama has already done through her time in the White House. What do you think of this petition? Besides that it’s going nowhere, I think it’s a little rude. And–as always–I’m on a mission to show you can eat well and ethically without devoting yourself to any label.

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I had this little bowl of Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter and a scoop more before hitting the gym. What is it about almond butter that makes me just want to eat out of the jar?! It’s so delicious! Especially with a little vanilla. I felt extra fueled after that.

10 Miles In 88:59

10 Miles In 88:59

Fueled enough to runner a faster 10 miles as the last training run before my half-marathon. That feels weird to even think about. Enough, enough. Lunch!

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Motivated by Kath, I’ve been getting in to canned salmon for extra omega-3’s without much fuss. I mixed mine with maple syrup and walnut oil for something packed with even more essential fats and tasty! Over the top was Tierra Farm‘s dried fruit and baby carrots, with salad dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing.

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

An organic apple for dessert!

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

On my way back from my grocery trip, I picked up a trilogy kombucha at a cafe because I felt a little down about the whole trip :-/ A lot of it was on the store’s sale, which was good. But I probably could have saved more in coupons if I was better organized. At least I didn’t blow the project cleanout challenge too much. And you can’t say I don’t eat what I buy:

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Isn’t it dreamy? My whole point in going was to get some whipped cream to make a sundae. They didn’t even have regular–just non-fat sugar-free or Rice Whip, which is dairy and soy-free. The latter seemed less processed, so I went with that and made a sundae with So Delicious chocolate coconut milk ice cream. The fudge sauce was simply cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed together. Voila! OK–the Rice Whip tasted REALLY fake; if you’ve ever had rice milk, just imagine that in an airier form. Besides that, this Friday sundae was delicious and a perfect before-dinner treat 🙂

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

If Obama wants to eat his beef and have his vegan cheese, too, I fully support that! I made a 1/3 a pounder hamburger but undercooked it far too much 😦 I really wanted to try the daiya so instead of eating it straight from the bag I made some sort of vegan cheese fries–YUM. This was better than mozarella cheese; it was crack. I’d be lying if I said I’m not planning on having it again today(maybe twice).

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

I love mint. I could eat a salad made of mint leaves. This bar doesn’t have a great minty flavor like alter-eco’s mint bar. But it was what the Whole Foods I was at had, and I don’t terribly mind it.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

And some oatmeal with homemade chocolate almond butter because nowhere near me carries Justin :-/ Oh well, now that I’ve pinned down the secret to making good homemade chocolate nut butters, I’m less enthused to go out and pay $10 for someone to do it for me.

This morning I woke up nice and early to not run. Maybe it defeats the purpose of a rest day to keep yourself from sleep. But I want to be nice and tired tonight so I can go to bed early and sneak 8 hours in somewhere before the race.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

I love Fage, especially their cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it’s about expensive as they come around here. At least it’s on sale at Whole Foods this week. The cherry here tastes just like the cherry dips at Dairy Queen! Yum! Next time I’m trying full fat. The peanut butter–again, since I’ve figured out how to make cookie dough nut butter, I’m less enthused about paying someone to do it for me. Besides, this one seems really fake since half of it melts over oats and the other half is still solid :-/ Until it’s gone, though, I’ll live it up and enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on mint? I made my gluten free chocolate brownies with a lot of mint extract once and was told it was like mouthwash; hell, I thought they were great! The more mint, the better in my opinion. Even though it’s often paired with chocolate, I wouldn’t mind a dessert exclusively with mint as the flavor. Speaking of chocolate, here’s a Bubble Chocolate Giveaway. Now I get to go to my very first race expo! I hope it’s nifty.

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Ice Cream For A Cause

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

Hello, hello! I feel like this weekend totally flew past me between the auction Friday night to Avery’s birthday party to now being back in my dorm room and attending classes again with little to no transition in between. When the flow goes, go with it!

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

Avocado Rubbed Kale, Sweet Chili Tofu And Peppers

We packed up the car last night and made it to the Whole Foods in Providence in record time. Of course, we hit up the salad bar while grabbing groceries. My plate had some avocado-rubbed kale, sweet chili tofu, and pepper strips. The tofu was to die for. I can’t begin to explain how crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside it was. And the sweet and heat balanced perfectly. I would have had more, except that wasn’t really my dinner…

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social

As any Rhode Islander knows, there were massive floodings earlier in the month from a huge rainstorm that hit us. Businesses and houses were destroyed, and Whole Foods was holding an ice cream social to help raise money for those families. I can definitely get into ice cream for dinner for charity.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae With Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream, And A Cherry

I was hoping they’d break out the fun and funky pints for this, but they just had 365 vanilla and chocolate :-/ I got vanilla ice cream with organic chocolate sauce, 365 whipped cream, and a natural maraschino cherry. Sundaes always taste better when someone else makes them for you with a heavy hand. The 365 vanilla is OK, but I’ve definitely branched out from dairy-based ice cream and have had better. Other fun finds(but not purchases) at Whole Foods were the new So Delicious flavors in stock and Daiya vegan cheese!

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

While working on some homework not-so-hard, I had the snack of champions: an apple, mint dark chocolate, and decaf coffee. Could I have had a little more sugar last night? It was all for a good cause–let’s keep that in mind. Last Summer I managed to switch from caffeine to decaf coffee; this year it’s been about weening off the stuff completely from the acidity, but I do have about a cup a day, which is probably an ideal balance of antioxidants and acidity. I don’t think I could/would give it up completely.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On PB

I couldn’t deal with more sugar before bed so I went the spicy route with The Heat Is On peanut butter and a savory Omega-3 egg. It might be hard to believe it through my sweet tooth and all, but I definitely could not go a day without a good deal of savoriness. Sometimes, my garlic tooth is just as big.

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Quinoa Dark Chocolate

Back to classes and rain meant back to runs first thing, so I woke up at 6:30 to squeeze an 8-miler in before class. Normally, dairy and protein wouldn’t work for me before a run. But it was all I was craving. And since I was going to run anyway, I thought why not have the damn pomegranate Chobani with Alter Eco dark chocolate quinoa.

10 Miles In 86:16

10 Miles In 86:16

Something must have worked, because I extended my run to 10 miles and ran at a 7mph pace. The best part was finding out through the news that the forecast for Sunday’s half-marathon is sunny and warm! Crossing my fingers…

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Cranberry Greek Yogurt With Craisins, Oatmeal With An Egg And PB

Finally, for breakfast I was craving craisins. I just wish there was a bar called that so I could have known what to eat so much easier. I mixed Crofter’s Organic Europe jam in a plain chobani and topped with Tierra Farm‘s organic dried cranberries–holy yum were these soft and squishy! On the side I had oatmeal with another egg and some Teddie’s pb sweetened up a tad. In class I got bored and calculated that I ate around 50g of protein and all before lunch! Sure, you could just take 2 scoops of a powder and call it at that. But I love getting so much nourishment from real food.

Do you have any cooking goals? 2 of the things this weekend inspired me to do are 1) use my food processor to make more complex and delicious raw foods and 2) learn to fry tofu. An ironic pairing, no? Well, if things go my way today, I’ll be incorporating one of those into dinner… Is there anything you want to learn to do in the kitchen?

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Homemade Raisinets

Posted on April 21, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

One of my favorite Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is “You can eat all the junk food you’d like, so long as you make it yourself”. I couldn’t agree with a thought like this more. Sometimes I wonder, “Is that hamburger and sweet potatoes meal I alway make all that different from a McDonald’s burger and fries?

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash

There are obvious differences: The lack of a refined-grain bun, no added oils or frying, naturally raised and grass-fed beef, etc. But even if my version topped the charts in calories, fat, you name it, I’d still feel 10 times better eating it knowing I made it myself. In fact, the last time I ordered a burger out has to have been August at Ufood Grill. I couldn’t agree more that–on the occasion–having food made for you couldn’t feel like a better treat. But if you’re making from scratch 90% of what you eat, it’s a great way to feel healthy and on top of your game.

Melted Milk Chocolate And Raisins

Melted Milk Chocolate And Raisins

Last night, I started craving milk chocolate covered raisins like nothing else. Chocolate’s not so weird for e, but dried fruit? Funky. Even though I didn’t have any, I had all the ingredients. Why not make some? I was sure they’d come out with a cleaner ingredient list than raisinets, anyway. I used raisins from the Whole Foods bulk bins and 3 chunks Trader Joe’s pound plus milk chocolate bar.

Drying Raisinets

Drying Raisinets

I might have overlooked the annoying fact that these needed to dry individually. Eventually I moved them to the refrigerator, which worked much faster.

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Homemade Raisinets

Voila! Don’t they look authentic? I still can’t believe I was craving dried fruit, but that’s another story. These tasted so much fresher than the raisinets I remember, too. Best of all was not thinking about “How many from a King sized box is a serving?” There was no serving. A serving was how much I made and I ate them all up, happily and healthfully.

Tierra Farm Dark Chocolate Coated Almonds

Tierra Farm Dark Chocolate Coated Almonds

Give me some time and I think I could make even dark chocolate covered almonds. But last night it was just a handful of Tierra Farm‘s while passing the time with a book.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

So happy to have a fresh can of coconut milk opened that I love. It’s just 365 brand organic, but it’s so much better than the other I’ve tried. Sadly, this was the last good scoop of Justin’s chocolate almond butter :,-( I’m sure I could make my own, but I love the way Justin’s tastes. I hope to find them in stores really soon.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple, Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

I think we can extend the homemade metaphor to breakfast. As in: No matter what or how much you top oatmeal and yogurt with, it’s healthy so long as you do it yourself. That seems legit, right? My oatmeal was actually quite reserves with just 1 huge plop of mighty maple. Do you think it’s a problem when you start singing “Addicted” by Simple Plan to your peanut butter?

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Mint Dark Chocolate

Look where those bears wound up today! Trying to steal some of my chocolate. This was a new bar to me: Dark Chocolate Mint by Divine. It was good and definitely had some minty staying power. I wasn’t a fan of the crisps, though(never am). I’m still infatuated preferring Alter Eco’s dark chocolate mint on this one.

What was your last do it yourself project? Besides these raisinets, I haven’t had much of a chance to play around this semester between everything else :-/ A little birdy tells me, however, that there’ll be vegan and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes coming up this weekend…

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The Foods I Crave

Posted on April 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m a big fan of “eat what you crave”. I truly think cravings can be a way for your body to tell you something that you need. I also tend to crave really yummy things and might just use that as an excuse to eat them more often. Take your pick.

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Grass-Fed Burger, Maple Tofu, Spinach With Sassy Hemp Oil Dressing

Today for lunch I craved a juicy piece of red meat. I do think I crave meat when my body wants proteins or specific vitamins at times but I would never assert that you need to eat meat or even dairy to get those. I think you can be completely adequately fueled and nourished whatever your diet may be so long as you pay a little more closer attention to what you might be missing. On the side I had some maple tofu, not really because I was craving it but it was Easter leftovers. I have craved tofu at times before; that’s always a fun and unexpected craving 😀

Cashew Almond Pranabar

Cashew Almond Pranabar

I think my lunch needed more veggies because it wasn’t very filling :-/ Happily, I broke in to the cashew almond Pranabar I packed. Even if it wasn’t what I was craving, this was good!  I never would have guessed from the packaging it would be so chunky and nutty. I love that it’s mostly raw with living enzymes; and the nuts are chunky and delicious 🙂 I definitely can’t wait to try more Pranabar flavors; I might even start to crave them.

Strawberry Chobani

Strawberry Chobani

What I was craving was a strawberry Chobani. My friend, Alex, ate one in our 1pm class and for the next 3 hours I couldn’t get my mind of the smell of sweet strawberries and the Summer air *swoon*. This did not disappoint, but it was a little too tiny to really fill me up before dinner.

Dining-Hall Apple

Dining-Hall Apple

If I ever do crave an apple, it’s a nice, fresh, crisp red delicious, and not this slightly bruised one that I had at hand. That being said, I go with what’s free and convenient. Did you know vegans can get all their Vitamin B12–something normally found in animal proteins–through the decay and bacteria on fruits and vegetables? I guess this was insurance if this burger didn’t have enough :-/…

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Glazed Nuts And Syrup

Chickpea And Cheddar Salad With Maple Syrup And Maple Glazed Nuts

And I absolutely crave chickpeas; I could eat them for every meal, and I know I’m not the only one. They’re like little nuggets of vegan joy. Besides those, I don’t normally crave cheese but I do enjoy it(and love the bloggers who do crave it) and Next Generation Dairy makes a fine raw cheddar cheese. I topped off the salad with some Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts and sea salt. Fun fact: I’m convinced if I ever start craving canned tuna, it means my sodium level is low. I’m also sipping a root beer Zevia with dinner, for anyone who cares; it’s my first stevia sweetened beverage of the day and after no coffee or tea I was craving something other than water.

What are you craving right now? Personally, I could go for some coconut milk hearing  Heather talk about it so much lately. And I haven’t had my healthy ounce of dark chocolate yet today. Hmm… decisions, decisions. If you crave Greek yogurt, you’re in luck with this Oikos giveaway!

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You Don’t Have To Run To Be A Runner

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning felt like the worst.

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

Pomegranate Walnut Crisp Honest Foods Bar

It was hot. I was stressed. I felt lethargic. I had just about every negative word in the book to say. I wanted to run when I knew I wasn’t mentally “there”. I had a piece of Honest Foodspomegranate walnut crisp granola plank, which was even more a tip-off I was stressed(granola is definitely my stress-food). 10 minutes later and I still wasn’t running or feeling any better.

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

No Meat Athlete T-Shirt

I put on my No Meat Athlete shirt today, hoping it would inspire me to run. Instead, it did something of the opposite and I couldn’t be more grateful: It reminded me that you don’t have to run to be a runner. I have a bad habit of forgetting and needing to relearn lessons, like why labels don’t matter. Today, I had to relearn that you’re just as much a runner on a rest day as the days you go out. Meghann and Ashley are just as much ultra-marathoners now, even though they aren’t currently running one. And we’re all just as much food bloggers as when we aren’t taking photos of our food.

This lesson was in part learned this morning, when an update on the news about the West Virginian miners abruptly ended my pity party(please, pray for those families; it’s all they ask for). Part of it came in my Object History course when we did an exercise judging each other on our clothes. Immediately I was pegged as a vegetarian. I then had to explain why I wasn’t but still wore the shirt because I support Matt himself as a runner and the rights of ethically and naturally raised animals(touched on in my food philosophy). When I was asked if I was”OK” with people assuming I was a vegetarian, I didn’t know how to respond; of course I was “OK” with it, if the contrary opinion is that I could walk into a KFC and order some chicken without caring one bit about the animal that gave its life for that piece or how it was raised. Even if I wasn’t running a half-marathon then or eating raw food I was just as much a runner and a raw food enthusiast. I didn’t have to be doing either to be either. That is what I learned in class today.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

For lunch, once I decided to not run, I made a highly raw salad, with chickpeas, spinach dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing, Next Generation Organic Dairy raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese, and my attempt at maple golden raisins.

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

Chickpea Salad With Raw Garlic Cheddar, Maple Golden Raisins, And Hemp Oil Spinach

The organic hunza raisins were a new product from Tierra Farm. I wanted to rehydrate them in a mix of water and maple syrup; it worked a little bit and where it did was wonderful. But they needed much more time than the 1 hour I allowed.

Citrus Kombucha

Citrus Kombucha

In the beginning of Object History I sipped on a citrus kombucha; the ginger and lemon reminded me of a vinegary, unsweet lemonade on this 90 degree day and was the perfect flavor.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Zing Bar

A little later on, I snacked on an oatmeal chocolate chip bar by Zing. I got the chocolate chip part, but other than that this was just plain ol’ sweet. What I really liked moreso was the nutrition. It had a good amount of healthy fat from cashew butter, 10g of protein, and was sweetened with natural fruit juices and agave. I would have thought all that nutrition would’ve stuffed me up. It didn’t.

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

I was dreaming about this gelato all through class; how could I not outside on a 90 degree day? It tasted perfectly rich and sweet, and I ate it on my way to–drumroll–Whole Foods! I had a major salmon craving, and the weather was so nice. I couldn’t find a reason not to walk the 1.2 miles and pick up a dinner.

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon, Kale Avocado Salad, Raw Broccoli With Lemon

Citrus Salmon

Citrus Salmon

I brought this dinner of salmon, avocado-kale, and raw broccoli back to the dorm to enjoy. The salmon was perfectly what I needed to eat. And Whole Foods makes the best avocado kale! I need to take tips from them. And no one fret; I changed out of my No  Meat shirt before eating this 😉

Wow that post took a while! But I think it was worth it, and all stuff that needs to be said. Just because I haven’t been studying doesn’t mean I’m not a student, right 😉 And if this self-reflection helped or resonated with just one person, it will be worth it. G’night!

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Would You Eat It?

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Tonight’s your last chance to enter the wellness giveaway!*

My jaw dropped when this ice cream creation popped up on my Google Reader.

Yes, you see that right: turkey ice cream. They describe it as “super premium chocolate ice cream with morsels of real turkey covered in dark chocolate swirled with sweet potato, chocolate fudge and cranberry sauce“. It’s set to be released in October, and you might not believe my first thought: Awesome! Yes, I was actually excited by this. Letting the shock past, I realized this will probably have a lot of less-than-natural ingredients in it, and the meat will be from questionably treated animals, so I will not be partaking in Turkey Day ice cream when it’s out. That’s not to say I might not try to recreate it in the kitchen with some vegan chocolate ice cream and Tofurkey 😉 It then occurred to me that the reason I wouldn’t eat this might very well be different from a lot of yours. Maybe this doesn’t sound exciting to you. Or maybe you don’t want meat, ethically raised or not. That had me thinking all day what would other people not eat that I am and why?

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Maplemazing Salad

Could I interest you in a maplemazing salad? This was something I threw together on a whim and it was so damn good. It was also vegan, sodium-free, and did I mention amazing? The center was a bed of spinach surrounded by maple baked tofu On top, I mixed together 1/2 can chickpeas, carrot shreds, golden raisins, maple syrup, and no-salt indian spice blend(the secret ingredient), and topped it off with Tierra Farm‘s maple glazed nuts. Holy yum! I was worried about the indian spice blend at first but it added just the right level of heat and a twist to keep it interesting. Meanwhile, I think nuts on salads are my new addiction.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For the first time in days the rain stopped; to celebrate I grabbed some So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. This is creeping up to be my favorite chocolate ice cream; there are only a handful of recognizable, non-GMO ingredients and it has a great sweetness for such a low sugar content. This was dreamy to scoop on and enjoy the day.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I might have been a little too excited for my oatmeal this afternoon. This was just a flavor combination I’ve been dieing to try: coconut shreds and chocolate chips This did not disappoint, either. The coconut on its own was nutty enough for the salty oats, and the chips were just bursting with sweetness. I also forgot what a great snack oats can be when you have the time to sit down and enjoy them–so filling!

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Mustard Sweet Potato Chunks Over Spinach

My first dinner back was about as classic as they come a burger with sweet potatoes. To keep things interesting, I tossed the cooked sweet potatoes with mustard and then microwaved them for 3 minutes(they were a little hard). It wasn’t quite as flavorful as I was hoping but it was good for a change of pace. The burger, of course, was cooked to perfection, though now I’m looking forward even more to grilling over the weekend.

So, back to the opening question, would you eat the turkey ice cream? I’d also be very curious to know which dishes from today of mine you’d not eat and why. Call me curious 🙂 On a much different note, I’d gladly eat these snacks or any of this prize giveaway

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Mental Health Week Intro And Escape Your Prison

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Isn’t it timely that mental health week would come at the same time as my midterms? 😉 Go figure. Stick with me all week on helpful tips and tricks to think right and there’ll be a giveaway to have you feel well at the end of the week!

Groceries

Groceries

I had plans for lunch that fell through and got rescheduled to Friday, which left me with a free Monday morning–score! Rather than dive right in to midterm studying, I decided to take a nice walk before the rain came to Whole Foods to get groceries. I wanted more So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt while the sale still ran and didn’t have anything planned for lunch, so prepared food sounded like a good surprise.

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken Salad, Steamed Broccoli, Baby Carrots

Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Talk about being a fussy diner, I took plain grilled chicken thighs from one part of the salad bar and used the honey garlic sauce from the chicken wings tray for some flavor. And flavor there was! The honey and the garlic added such a nice savory-sweetness. I could ave thought of this like a normal lunch and realized a) I payed too much for “just eating” and b) there must have been a hell of a lot of sugar on there. Instead, I decided to think of it like a good meal out, in which case a) I got a bargain on a chicken dish and b) who cares about nutrition? I’m eating out! It’s all in the perception.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

That held me over… not nearly long enough. I figured 12 miles running + 2.5 walking would increase hunger a bit, so why fight it? I broke in to one of the So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt I picked up at Whole Foods.

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt

Holy creaminess, batman! This is why I’ve been loving coconut milk and its byproducts so much recently: You get something rich, creamy, and satisfying that’s an alternative to dairy. And it’s comforting to know if I ever went dairy and soy free, I could still get my probiotics(not like that’s happening any time soon!).

I’m not going to lie: The afternoon was very rough, and I did very little other than write and read and generally prep for the 2 papers and 3 in-class midterms I have over the next 4 days. In a lot of ways, my room felt like a prison. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was recognizing hunger verses boredom. I could eat all day if you let me, so I put particular emphasis on that while distracting myself with Betty White on Ellen. Around 4, I could tell that I was legitimately hungry again.

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Milk Chocolate

I had oatmeal with maple cashew butter from Tierra Farm and some really good milk chocolate. I can’t believe I ever measured out nut butter on top of oatmeal; nowadays, I’d so much rather not know how much I use and just enjoy it while it’s in front of me 🙂

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Scharffen Burger Milk Chocolate

Kristie from Vegan In Dairy Land gave me this chocolate as part of blogger’s secret santa and I’ve been enjoying it nibble by nibble since then. It’s sooooo creamy! Think of the best milk chocolate Easter bunny you’ve ever had, then make it natural and gourmet. I think it’s because they use butterfat, and I love that. Where would I be in life without good chocolate?

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I threw some stuff in the oven for dinner, but was ready to eat right then. It didn’t help I had no fresh fruit around 😦 I went out to the dining hall and grabbed a ton of fruit to last. No red delicious apple could have grown this perfect on its own, but it was definitely a better choice than eating highly processed chocolate candy(not like I’d ever bad mouth which one I was thinking of. I still love it 😀 It just… was not candy time). This held me over nicely through cooking dinner.

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma, Pickles

I decided to save the salmon from Whole Foods for a rushed meal I’ll inevitably have later on in the week and cook a grass-fed burger while I had the time. There was also some thinly sliced sweet potato fries with chipotle cayenne parma and 3 pickle spears(gotta have the pickles in there :-))Check out Gina’s post on the pro’s and con’s of grass-fed beef! Apparently I’m making a name for myself 😀 While a lot of you have thought “Wow, he cooks beef in a dorm!” I’ve often looked at it as “I only cook beef”. I’d love to see how my cholesterol is after all of this. I just don’t like dealing with raw chicken or having to cook it through, and raw fish is a nightmare to keep around, so beef it always is! I’ll be happy once Lent is over so I can start adding some fake chicken back into my diet. Even before then, I’d love to get some vegan ice cream or Vivapura goodies in by winning either of these giveaways.

Today’s tip:

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not that much “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained. Today, that took form for me in the way of a walk to Whole Foods and back. OK, maybe that’s not the most exciting thing. But looking back I am happy to have had the time to not be productive. And it makes me look forward to ideas for activities later on in the week a little more photogenic and edible 😉 Tell me, what have YOU done for yourself lately?

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Yogurt, Yogurt, And With A Side Of Yogurt

Posted on March 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yogurt can be fantastically healthy for you with protein, probiotics(a superfood), and calcium. Of course, these numbers vary by the brand. There are some I just wouldn’t suggest touching, like any using artificial sweeteners or even the organic ones which have more sugar in them already than a serving of ice cream. But–on the whole–if you’ve got yogurt in your hands, you’re doing all right.

Well Being Tazo Rest

What’s a better way to unwind on a Friday night than with tea? OK, OK, I know there are more exciting drinks to be found. But I have to tell you this tea sent to me by Tazo was probably the best I’ve had yet! It was so calming with rose and citrus–I could have fallen asleep then and there. I think it’s new and not available yet but should be soon.

I did a silly thing last night: I purposely went out and bought this ice cream for Friday’s sundae, even though a very strong part of me knew it wasn’t truly what I wanted. Why do we–as humans–cloud our wants with thoughts only to do the wrong thing? Fortunately, I was sensible enough to put this in the freezer and eat what I really had in mind.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Coconut Oil Chocolate

It’s a small departure, but I was really craving a pomegranate Chobani with some chocolate on top; who am I to deny a yogurt craving? And for said chocolate, I used half a bar of coconut oil chocolate. If you’ll remember when my friend came to visit, I gave her a bar of this to eat when she got home. Since this is partly a all-natural product review blog, here’s her review :-D:

“It was absolutely incredible. I didn’t want to share it with my family, but since they were all curious and jealous, I did and they all loved it. (In short, since that syntax was awful, the fam is one huge collective fan of your chocolate bar.) Seriously. I should probably stop being lazy and make some for myself, but I think that I’m just going to have to visit you more often to get some.”

If that doesn’t make you want to make some(or come visit me to get it for free), I don’t know what will 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Chocolate Chips

I’ll let the secret slide that this is the only food not yogurt in this post. I can break for yogurt for cashew butter, especially from Tierra Farm. There’s something so much more rich and delicious about cashew butter; if you don’t have any, you must! I don’t know of any widely available chocolate cashew butters. That’s a shame because the combo was fantastic and something I need to recreate in my food processor pronto.

Soy Yogurt And Greek Pomegranate Yogurt Chocolate Messes

Saturday morning were made for sleeping in, cartoons, and wasting time. I haven’t done much of the last two(yet?), but I certainly enjoyed sleeping in. Once I got up and started moving, my hunger led me to double yogurts. I think that’s a good thing; how can you go wrong with yogurt?

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

First up was some So Delicious soy yogurt sweetened with vanilla stevia and topped with milk chocolate peanuts and salt. I might have gone a little overboard on the peanuts–whoops! Oh well, I was counting them as my “healthy fat”, even if buried under chocolate 😉

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

On the other spectrum, for some good protein I had another pomegranate Chobani, this time with the last two squares of Endangered Species dark chocolate with orange. I’ll admit that I need to stop putting crazy of chocolate on yogurt when you accept that pomegranate and citrus chocolate is the best combo ever. Seriously, how have I not tried this one before? it was almost like a fine marmalade–delicious.

It’s another beautiful and sunny day so I’m going to mull about until 11 to go for a pleasant outdoor run. I’m making a new playlist just for it! But it’s horribly uninventive: I’m just putting all my Lady Antebellum and Sugarland songs onto the On The Go and calling it done, haha.  Have you tried cashew butter? Love it or hate? Obviously, I’m a lover 🙂 And while I don’t want to spark any “brand debates”, I’ll simply ask what’s your favorite type of yogurt? For me, I like greek-style if it’s cow’s milk. I also like soy yogurt and–as I discovered yesterday–coconut milk yogurt!

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Go Ahead, Overdo It

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

It’s snowing! I just had to let that one out. It’s not going to accumulate to much, if anything, but I’m always so happy to see the white stuff 🙂

Last night, after posting, I went to the dining hall to grab some yogurt. At dinner you can use your meals to pay for some instead of points, and they sell Chobani. I couldn’t decide what/how many I would reasonably need without filling my fridge unnecessarily. I decided to grab 3: 2 pomegranates and a vanilla(they never have any plain). I thought this might have been overdoing it. Clearly, as you’ll see all 3 in this post, I was wrong.

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

While watching The Biggest Loser, I made a reasonably healthy snack of pomegranate Chobani with a few squares of Endangered Species‘ organic dark chocolate. Not to be confused with this one I reviewed, these came from a full sized bar my dad paid for from Whole Foods. If I were reviewing it, I’d actually score it slightly less than the 1.4oz; the flavors the same, but I really like the notion of a quality, organic chocolate bar that’s single-sized. HUGE chocolate bars seem to be one place where overdoing it is not a cool thing :-/

I loved The Biggest Loser last night and that it’s back on air. The challenge in the first half was pretty great, if you ask me. But really, what’s 2000 calories when you’re in a gym all day with Bob and Jillian? I feel like the contestants have probably eaten that much extra junk at one time without even realizing it. They might have overdone it a bit, but at least they were self aware and could kick their own butts next time.

Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

I started winding down the evening with a carob chip perfect foods bar. I still enjoyed this one, but I think I got even less of a carob/chocolate flavor than the first one I ate. Maybe carob just doesn’t work for my tongue? That’d be weird. I do seem to love my chocolate 😀 Still, the honey and peanut butter flavors in this are fantastic. After a “meal replacement” bar and some light history reading, I’d have thought I’d be full and ready for bed…

Pomegranate Chobani With Chocolate Covered Almonds

Apparently not! Last night, I really felt like I could eat a horse and a half. And I’ve felt like this a couple of nights looking back. Taking the rest day really helped me realize what I need: more time off, and more fuel. A lot of exercise kills hunger(ironic, isn’t it?) so I’ve come to think been listening to my hunger too well in the morning and throughout the day until it strikes right back at night; the brain can know best. At least in my repeat of pomegranate Chobani I tried something knew.

Organic Chocolate Covered Almonds

I just love Tierra Farm and all they’ve sent me that I’ve tried so far, so I was happy to try another new thing from them. The fact that these were chocolate covered made me 10 times happier 😀 These chocolate covered almonds were nothing fantastic, per say; they tasted a lot like chocolate and almonds, but didn’t really pull together the way macaroni and cheese do. But I loved that they’re organic and vegan. I used to eat up Emerald’s cocoa almonds until I saw sucralose(aka Splenda) on the ingredient list–not on my nuts! I would happily take these in lieu of those.

Apple And Coffee

This morning, I woke up knowing that I very well could need more time off than 1 day to recover from overtraining. That being said, I felt pretty good. I wasn’t particularly hungry from last night’s greek yogurt feasting, but I grabbed an apple. In light of overdoing things, an apple was the least I could eat before a good run. I can’t wait until it’s actually bright and sunny when I wake up again!

11 Miles In 1:38:49

On my run this morning, I truly felt fantastic. At first I was a little nervous, not because of anything running related but because some television channels changed their a.m. line-up; what the heck? I was gone for 1 day! Back to the run, this was where overdoing it really paid off. I felt energized, relaxed, and ready. I was only planning for 8-10 but overdid it and went for 11, partially because I felt so damn good and also because Lady Antebellum was on The Today Show performing then.

This gave me time to think about how there might really be 3 types of bloggers. I don’t mean to offend anyone; on the contrary, I think there’s a lot to be praised about some of you. I’m sorry in advanced if this gets taken any other way.

Type 1: You eat “healthy” and are extremely athletic–an energized and bubbly person. You know any fuel you take in will go to good use, and the overdoing it is just good fueling.

Type 2: You eat “healthy” and workout to a moderate extent to lower your weight or for some other health related reason that you need to get control of.

Type 3: You yourself would call yourself type 2 when a lot of your fantastic readers realize just how healthy you are and would easily put you as type 1.

95% of the blogs I read I would say are type 1 or type 3. It kills me to read a blogger who I think looks perfectly happy and healthy and is amazingly athletic talk about wanting to lose weight or be another way. Restricting your diet when you’re an active person is restricting all that you can be. So go ahead! Overdo it! And the results will show up in the gym, or on the scale but in a good way.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

Breakfast was another thing I gave a lot of thought to on the treadmill. In particular, there’s one nifty bowl I’ve been wanting to give a try ever since picking this up and baking with it over the weekend.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake Chobani

Birthday Cake Chobani

My real birthday isn’t for about a month, but I can celebrate early, right 😉 In the vanilla Chobani, I added 1/2 a serving of the mix, and then crumbled 1/2 a cupcake on top. Yum! This wasn’t quite as good as any cake-flavored ice creams I’ve tried(I’ve yet to find a really good, all-natural brand :-/), but it was really really yummy all things considering. And then, because that had only about 1/4 tablespoon coconut oil in all of it, I had pumpkin oatmeal with a big plop of Naturally Nutty butter toffee peanut butter on it. I just opened this 15oz jar a few nights ago and I’m already thinking I might need to place a new order soon! Great…

OK, so maybe if you’re lined up to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser, you shouldn’t overdo it; otherwise, dig in. All that fuel will show up as performance. Now the one area in my life I haven’t been overdoing it this week seems to be homework, particularly History. So if you’ll excuse me…

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