Keeps Gettin’ Better

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

Thank you all for your comments this morning! Getting that news was such a great way to start my day and started a momentum of feeling like things keep getting better. It also never hurts to be recognized for hard work, especially when it’s you’re concentration(and one that’s not known for being a money0maker. Hey, I’m realistic ;-)) Now–here’s my pledge that Whole Foods will NOT get most of that. Considering I estimate my shoes have an 2000+ miles on them(I’m not even exaggerating here), I definitely have some good plans.

Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Granola Bar

When I got back from Greek, I grabbed Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin-N-Spice bar and switched in to workout clothes lickity-split. Even though it’s not the most opportune time to work out between classes, I felt 20 times better then than when I woke up, and this just felt “right” so I was determined to make it work.

10 Miles In 87:09

Do you know how hard it is to make it work when you only have Kathie Lee and Hoda to watch on The Today show? They are no Meredith and Matt–I’m just saying. Besides that, I was fast! This isn’t the pace I can do outside, but 87:09 was quicker than my normal treadmill pace. Part of that was GI, part of that was just not having time to play around with, but all of that felt nice 🙂 I showered and thought up a lunch really quickly.

Broccoli With Breakfast Style Chicken Sausages, Spicy Peanut Tofu Salad

I’ll throw out a disclaimer and say you can set any dietary restrictions you want on yourself and get adequate nutrient levels. That being said, after going 26 hours of eating vegan when my idea of vegan “food” involves chocolate and pudding, I truly felt like I was lacking protein. I was having a HUGE white meat chicken craving, and even contemplated getting the non-local, probably hormone induced chicken from the dining hall for a split second. In the end, I scrapped up a few Al Fresco breakfast style sausages and tossed those with broccoli along side a tofu salad made with The Heat Is On by PB&Co.. It wasn’t the “best meal everrrr” like all bloggers want to share, but it was “good enough” and got me to class 2 minutes early.

Gingerade, 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

Class was brutal. Maybe it was the fact that we kept having to turn off the lights for slides. Or maybe it was just an exhausting day(my friend Alex next to me actually fell asleep during some slides). Either way, between that and a “meh” lunch, dessert was definitely in order. Between classes I grabbed a Gingerade Kombucha from a local coffee shop and cut in half a Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar I stuck in my pocket. Pardon the pun, but this really was a “perfect” dessert/snack for getting through my afternoon; the bar tastes a lot like a cookie, anyway, and who would want milk over Kombucha? 😉

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream With 1/2 Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar

It was another “long day” with extracurriculars even after all the regular class. When I finished those, though, I was on my weekend! Things just keep gettin’ better 🙂 Of course, I needed to celebrate all the hubbub somehow, right? This dessert–once again, pardon the pun–was also quite “perfect”. Since I can’t stand having 1/2 a bar around, I chopped up the other part of my Carob Chip Perfect Foods Bar and blended that with So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Besides the subtle coconut flavor, this was awesome! It reminded me of all that peanut butter and chocolate ice cream I had as a kid. The fact that I was “catching up” with my protein intake was just ice creaming on the cake.

Grass-Fed 1/4 Pounder With Sweet Potato Hash

Then again, maybe protein’s not a problem with burgers on the menu for dinner. Since I had 1/2 a sweet potato already baked, I diced that and cooked it in the healthy grass-fed burger drippings in the pan–easy peasy clean up, too! Unfortunately, baked potatoes I find don’t make the best of hashes; you really need to get them when they’re raw and just steamed to start.

Burger 101

Preparing A Burger

It’s been asked “How do you make your burgers with just dorm room equipment?” Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the simplest things I or you could cook! You just need a quality steel pan and a slightly fatty cut of meat(I like 85/15 grass-fed beef, but anything up to 90/10 should do). Form your patty with a slight dip in the center because when it cooks it will puff up. After letting your pan heat up on medium-high heat, let your patty cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Then, flip the patty and let it cook another 4, or until the juice running out of it is thin and only slightly red. Then–and I can’t stress this enough–carefully move it to a plate, and let it sit untouched for 5 minutes. This helps the juices to settle and doing this will get you a nice, rare burger. If you like your meat more well done, extend the cooking on both ends by 1:30-2 minutes. Bonus: If you’re a New England reader, regular beef is on sale at Whole Foods this week for $2.99 a pound and even the grass-fed is reduced an amount! I for one will be getting at least a pound over the weekend if not more. And that’s your burger 101!

If you’ve never had the great pleasure to try Zevia(now that sounds like an idea for tonight), you can win some in this giveaway. Also, you can win coupons for So Delicious products like their coconut milk ice cream or kefir in this giveaway; if you enter this, please say Food Makes Fun Fuel or EvanFMFF is how you heard about it so we both have a better chance of winning 🙂

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That Dirty Quaker

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

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

Celestial Teas

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

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

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

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

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

Organic Decaf Coffee

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

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

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

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

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

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

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

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

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

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

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

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