Roaming With The Roomie

Posted on September 4, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hey y’all. Lemme give you a low down on the weekend. I’m probably not going to have time to post my regular hilariousness(oh he thinks highly of himself). Well turn those frowns upside down, because I do have several product reviews ready to be posted that I’ll put up in place of my dailies, and hopefully be back and blogging by Monday. Get it? Got it. Good.

Yesterday was basically all a-go-go so I’m glad I fueled well, starting with this guy:

Homemade Lemon Cashew Nectar Bar

Homemade Lemon Cashew Nectar Bar

I had the other half of the bar from yesterday. Cleaning out your freezer definitely has its perks, like discovering tasty little goodies you forgot about. I grabbed this and felt like stretching my arch which gave me some trouble on the run by taking a walk. On the route I came across this lil’ bugger:

Catapillar

Catapillar

Was he not a little weird? His head and behind were bright green, and his mid section silver. I seriously thought he got a heavy dose of spray paint but it seemed au natural. The second I got home I needed to whip up a lunch to eat in the car.

Vegan Veggie Burger With Avocado, Habanero FSTG Chips

Vegan Veggie Burger With Avocado, Jalapeno FSTG Chips

How can you ever go wrong with a nuked soy burger topped with avodaohmythat’sgood? I also gave the jalapeno Food Should Taste Good nachos a try because I wanted something spicy on my plate. My oh my did these deliver. At first I didn’t find them particularly flavorful and then I hit a pepper and got my wish and more. These might have been a little too intense to eat plain. I’d love to try them with a wet and chunky salsa. Mild will do–these definitely bring their own kick!

Well I ate in the car because we were on the way to my old stomping grounds.

Boston University

Boston University

Honestly, I don’t think I gave myself enough time away from this place. It was nice seeing some of the old faculty but it had only been 3 months. I had much higher expectations of seeing all the same people even walking down the street whom I would pass daily last year. But the times have changed and a new bunch of froshes arrived and it just felt weird.

Well we only stayed at my school for 20 minutes before going to Boylston to meet up with my new roommate! I must admit: I was very nervous going into this and felt kind of awkward. Then I thought “You’re feeling awkward about meeting someone you’re going to live with for the next year?” Yeah, that definitely got me over it and I walked in with a positive mind. After a bit of searching, my mom and I found him and his mom and said our hellos. Right away they were starving so we brought them to Ufood Grill right around the corner to sit and chat. Turns out I’m basically living with myself! He’s very chill, a lover of good food, messy but not dirty, and did I mention chill? He’s actually 20 and spent the past 2 years at a school in Hong Kong. How cool’s that?! While we were learning about each other I grabbed a snack:

Tart & Raspberry FroYo Swirl

Tart & Raspberry FroYo Swirl

I never got these at Ufood because we always went for lunch and I would be full after my meal but I figured I’d get some today. It was deliciously tart, like a plain low-fat yogurt. We talked a bit more and found just how alike we are: Last month I showed my parents this restaurant and said I would be interested in eating there. Raw and vegan obviously didn’t appeal to my family enough for them to take me, but it turns out they went to that restaurant just last night after wandering around the city and coming upon it by chance–how random!

After that we walked around a bit and talked some more. They really wanted to see something famous so we took them to Mike’s Pastry:

Mike's Pastry

Mike's Pastry

Where I had this:

Coffee And Bina's Peanut Butter Cup

Coffee And Bina's Peanut Butter Cup

Confession: The peanut butter cup was not from Mike’s; it was actually from Bina’s alimentari where we stopped at a bit earlier. Mike’s is authentic Italian-American treats, but Bina’s is the real Italian deal. Things there are made in such smaller batches and it’s so less commercial that it really comes out in the quality. Case in point: My roomate and his mom split a cannoli, but we forgot to tell them to ask for ricotta so they got the commercial cream filled ones, which just aren’t as good. Oh well, now they have something to go back for.

After that we walked around some more. These people really like to walk apparently. Don’t they run 6 miles in the morning? Haha I guess that’s just me. We ended up saying goodbye to them at their hotel and heading home rather late. We didn’t get home until 7:30 which none of us were expecting. I kind of threw this dinner up on the fly:

Bison Burger With Basil And Steak Sauce, Refried Pinto Beans, Yellow Corn FSTG Nachos

Bison Burger With Basil And Steak Sauce, Refried Pinto Beans, Yellow Corn FSTG Nachos

Let me tell you, this did NOT taste like a thrown-together-on-the-fly dinner. That was the last of the bison burgers I made a while back. So sad to see them go; what’s tastier than a patty you make with your own hands? And for nachos from a bag, those Food Should Taste Good chips tasted better than the stuff they make in house at most Mexican restaurants. It was crisp and not greasy, with that perfect corny taste. The flavor was good enough for it to be eaten on its own and subtle enough to enjoy refried beans with. Another Food Should Taste Good Winner!

Getting back so late, I had A LOT to catch up with on the web and what not. needless to say I needed a pick me up and turned to a pint.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

What kind of pint did you think I’d be talking about? Of course I finished off the Rice Divine Carrot Cake ice Cream. I loved the bits of hermit cookie dough in this one and definitely want to try one of the company’s other fun flavors. Like I mentioned, my google reader was all in bold, but I worked my way through it. Afterwards I had soe good ol’ breads and spreads.

Toast With Almond Butter And Raspberry Jam, Deep Chocolate Vitatop

Toast With Almond Butter And Raspberry Jam, Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I nuked the vitatop for about 10 seconds more than normal and it came out amazingly soft and pillowy. Winner, winner, chicken dinner, as Guy Fieri would say. Salted almond butter and raspberry in my opinion is one of the best combinations out there; you get the saltiness and the tartness. It’s even better on Trader Joe’s 10 grain bread with sunflower seeds. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, that’s one loaf I definitely recommend trying out. i can’t believe there’s no Trader Joe’s in Providence! Argh, we’ll have to fix that.

This morning I told myself I’d be fine with 6.7 miles. But something inside me really wanted to go for it and capture that special moment last Friday when I broke double digits. After 6 laps I still felt really good so I went for it and ran 10.04 miles in 1:22:18. I’m having such a great runner’s high right now and I feel as though I can leave having conquered the neighborhood. Now I’m blogging with an incredibly healthy breakfast:

Stonyfield Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Creme Caramel Frozen Yogurt

JK. Not about the frozen yogurt, about the healthy breakfast thing. After 10 miles, I just want some quick sugar and probiotics. Don’t worry, I’ll fix myself a real breakfast filled with peanut buttery goodness once I’ve licked this cup clean.

P.S. Zevia giveaway!

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Having My Cake And Eating It Too!

Posted on August 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Sweet, No? Don’t tell me you’re not jealous 😛 Once again, it was a ton of fun and I can’t wait for the next one, and I have yet to bake one of the other recipes from the contest but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking and gearing up my hand mixer!

So the new thing out there seems to be the breakfast challenge, which I am all for. I pretty much have the same thing every morning–fruit, whole grains, nuts, and yogurt–but that doesn’t mean it has to always be in the same form, right? I took a hint from some fellow bloggers for Thursday’s breakfast:

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

What’s new? The PB on the waffle. Believe it or not, I’ve never done this before. I always thought the spreading would be difficult and uneven, but I gave it a go to get those fats on the plate. And I have to say, ya’ll were right; the pb on the waffles worked well. Thursday morning was major Tivo time. I don’t even remember what I watched, just that I got through it all. I hardly recognized when lunch came around and Ias starving, but luckily this guy only took about 5 minutes to throw together:

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

This meal made me realize why I love blogging so much: Taking pictures of what I eat makes me take the time to really appreciate what I’m putting on the plate and know it in a whole new light. Really, everybody should blog or take pictures of what they eat, because it stimulates the senses and makes you became a better eater. Even though all a picture can share is sight, when you take the time to make your food look good, you sure as hell put just as much into the flavor. I made a great sauce for the meatballs with pizza sauce, steak sauce, and fresh basil. I salted the cantaloupe slightly and let it sit. And while I can’t say I prepared the tomato any particular way, I can tell you it was grown in our very own garden–another thing I might not have done if I hadn’t learned to appreciate food. So this meal was dedicated to food blogging. Thre cheers!

After lunch I explored the neighborhood:

Exploring

Exploring

By which I mean I killed time waiting for my mom to get back from “lunch with the girls”. I also killed a pint with a little ingenuity:

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

I wasn’t sure how the fluff would work with coffee, but then I did some simple math. Fluff = vanilla. Vanilla + coffee = french vanilla latte. Ok, the math worked out and the taste buds agreed. This was rather good 🙂 We hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I spent 15 minutes looking at the bread at Trader Joes–no lie–and ended up buying the same one we always get: light wheat. I really want a bread like the sunflower bread I got from Dekalb Farmer’s market, and I noticed 2 of TJ’s bread have sunflower seeds on the ingredient list. Anybody ever try these/have an opinion to share? At Whole Foods we quickly filled the space left from the Java FroYo with So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. I have yet to break into this but I’ll let you know how it is when I do!

I got home and instantly whipped up a recipe that was running through my head:

The Wet

The Wet

The Dry

The Dry

The Cookies

The Cookies

I’m just going to call them Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Chippers. They came out great, but I’m sure there’s ways to improve them, so I’m not sharing the recipe just yet. Plus, these are based off another recipe which is a tight family secret, so I might just have to keep these locked away in the Disney Vault with Cinderella. Dinner was one of them boring well balanced meals *yawn*

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Jk, it was pretty good, it just… wasn’t dessert 🙂

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

I’ll admit, I’d fallen behind on my Newman’s Own Organic testing since I’ve been baking up a storm lately, but I welcomed a treat that I didn’t have to make from scratch. The first thing that confused me about these was the long ingredient list, which I realized was only long because this has chocolate chips AND organic chocolate chips(both of which list all of their ingredients). A bit odd, but that cleared up some q’s. Like the espresso cookies I noticed how tough these looks. The initial texture was rather dry, but after a few seconds of sitting in my mouth the flavor really popped. There was no denying this was chocolate chocolate mint. I think a lot of chocolate mint products have one or the other flavor be overbearing, but this had a nice balance. The texture was dry but it all came together on the palate, making them ultimately enjoyable.

I also baked a fresh loaf of pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip bread:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Did I say baked a fresh loaf? I meant took the ultimate lazy shortcut to some fantastic results. For the banana bread, I nuked 1/4 of a banana into a spread and added chocolate chips. They melted and got nice and gooey as they sat there. For the pumpkin bread, I just used some good ol’ TJ pumpkin butter(almost out 😦 but almost the right season again :-)) and topped with salted and roasted pumpkin seeds. Seriously, baking whole loaves is overrated when you can be lazy ingenious and just do this.

Friday was a very special day–my last day of work! Of course that meant a very special morning–my last day of 6am running!! The air was so thick and humid, just breathing took thought(yuck) but my itunes shuffle was very good to me and powered me through the 5 miles. I kept up the breakfast challenge for the 2nd time:

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I’ve done the overnight oat thing twice before: The first time they came ou great and I loved them, the second time they were too thick so I thinned it with too much milk and ended up dumping it and clogging the drain. Needless to say, I was hesitant to try them again after that, but I’m glad I did. The yogurt was a little thick bt I resisted from thinning it and I’m glad I did because the natural cherry juice really loosened it and got it perfect. The whole almonds were a great way to get my nut fat into breakfast without turning to butter(and who doesn’t love cocoa?). And the vitatop was a little special treat to celebrate my last day 🙂

I have to say this breakfast was so filling I kept half the vitatop for work, where it said hello to my little friend:

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman’s Own Organic has been so good to me. Oh won’t you just adopt me into the Newman family already? I love getting their coffee from McDonalds because a) it has a balanced neutral taste and b) it’s cheap. Oh, and c) it’s good for the environment. I challenge any die hard Starbucks fan to try this out; your taste buds won’t mind and your wallet will thank you.

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

Lunch was the typical-but-oh-so-delicious UFood. Only UFood can take brown rice and make it taste so delicious. I never make brown rice from a box for myself because it always has that bland, healthy taste, but UFood totally doctors it up with broccoli, carrot, chicken, and spicy thai ginger terryaki and you’d think your eating something as sinful as deep fried general tsao’s chicken–no lie.

When I got back to the office there was a little surprise in store for me…

Last Day Card

Last Day Card

Party! Haha, well it wasn’t quite a full blown party, but there was a card and some snacks from Chinatown and mindless joking. The four of us played a rousing game of pin the tail on the donkey:

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Meghan from healthy Tipping Point has been listing things to do more often. Add spontaneous childhood gaming to that list, because this was pretty fun. Mine is the one coming out of his neck, so we changed the game to pin the ponytail on the donkey and I won! Filing really switched into high gear my last hour at work so I was very relieved when 5(or 4:50 but who’s counting :-P) rolled around. i treated myself to this:

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

I’d actually never had this flavor before, and I must say it was pretty good. It had a strong strawberry flavor which i was really looking for. It was a great way to get fruit into my day, and I love the added protein and fiber to curb the carbgestion. I used this to power me through the farmer’s market at Copley where I got some great finds:

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

I’d never seen okra before until this moment. Ever. Needless to say, I was excited to find it. It’s not really a New England thing, but I’m going to search some recipes and figure out what to do with them. I already found something on KERF last night to try! And the goat cheese was a local product that sounded so good. I love goat cheese, and you can’t beat fresh, right? It was well worth the $4.25 for 4oz. When I got home this was waiting for me:

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

This and Oprah okra have been all over the blog world. I bought it from the internet to use up my Barnes & Noble card, and am really curious to see what I can learn from it. I’m not interested in going raw or vegan, but I’m happy to pick up some recipes, and definitely have stuff to learn on fueling. Any pre-book knowledge to share before I open up the pages?

Dinner was, again, quite the treat:

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, salmon, salmon. Oh how I love thee. Have I mentioned I would have it every night if that was an option? Switching the protein up is overrated. Slap me some salmon and I’m a happy boy. And the goat cheese was as good as it sounded. Cheese and bread I think are two of those things that, if you find homemade, you just gotta go for because you know it’ll be good.

For dessert I had these two treats:

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

The cake was a gift from my fellow work study–very rich and delicious and prefect with a cup of joe 🙂 The yogurt was something from Thursday’s Whole Foods trip. I grabbed it because it was on “sale”(I have a hard time calling anything that’s 5 dollars a sale but that was about 15% off). I’d only tried Liberte goat milk yogurt which I loved so I wanted to try more brands. This one stood out as one of the best yogurts I’ve had; the vanilla isn’t overpowering but balances the natural tang of the goats milk so that the result is palatable and pleasant while still being true to the goat milk nature. I would totally buy this if it were ever cheaper, but it’s nice to splurge now and again.

Today there’s a farmer’s market in store(!!). I just hope the farmers show up, because they never seem to do around Marlborough, lol. We also might check out a hole-in-the-wall artisan bakery to find some decent sunflower bread. Until then, have fun and do what you can to beat the heat!

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Dinners For Dessert

Posted on August 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Before I begin, can I just say what amazing songs can do for a run? I wasn’t sure how today’s 6 would be but I really pumped through it with the help of some Cobra Starship and Black Eyed Peas. All I need is a 3-hour mash-up of I Got A Feeling and Good Girls Go Bad and I could run a marathon. Haha, ok maybe that’d get a little boring after a while, better throw in some Don’t Trust Me 😉

Backtracking a ton, for lunch Thursday I really couldn’t pick anything or even a theme so I threw a bunch of things onto a plate:

Bunless Salmon Burger, 1/2 An Avocado, Refried Beans, Guiltless Gourmet Lime & Chile Nachos

Bunless Salmon Burger, 1/2 An Avocado, Refried Beans, Guiltless Gourmet Lime & Chile Nachos

It all sort of works, except for the salmon burger which is a bit random but soooo good. I’d only had these with parmesan cheese before which I thought brought all the flavor; I was way wrong. I should see what brand they are/how they’re seasoned because these really don’t need a damn thing on them. I put the chips on to eat the refried beans with but then I ate the chips straight and had the beans with a spoon 🙂 They’re so much better that way. For dessert I kept up with cleaning out the freezer.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious is so delicious. And it’s on sale again this week at Whole Foods! Once this pint’s gone I’m going to pick up another(or 2 or however many I can get away with). I checked and the almonds in this are roasted and salted which makes all the difference and the flavor pop. And I like it because it’s pretty low on sugar and high on fiber for an ice cream, and sure it has a lot of saturated fat but it’s plant based.

We hit up CVS for a new passport picture. I’m a little weary that they didn’t let me see the picture and I still haven’t looked at it. Oh well, as long as it’s not God awful I’ll live. Then we went to Hannaford where I bought… nothing! Nada. Zippo. When was the last time that happened? No clue, but I couldn’t find anything. We got home and I made a little snack.

Raspberries, Plain Yogurt, And Sliced Almonds

Raspberries, Plain Yogurt, And Sliced Almonds

I never would have pictured myself as a plain yogurt person just a few months ago but now I dig it. It has only milk and bacteria in it and a great flavor(ps. tart is a flavor). Well then I got to work on using up the figs from Whole Foods, some of which I’d let go moldy(oops). I used the adapted version of VeggieGirl’s Fig And Almond Blondies from Mindless Living which I adapted a little myself. Check it out.

Ingredients

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil

6 tablespoons(about 1/3 cup) honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/4 white whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 ounces fresh dates, diced

2 ounces slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat your oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. Sift in the flout, baking soda, and salt. Add in the dates and almonds and mix until well incorporated. Pour into an 8 x 8 baking pan and bake until golden, about 35-38 minutes.

There was a little accident during this recipe.

Finger Wound

Finger Wound

I cut myself with a butter knife dicing the figs. Wtf? I’ve done much more dangerous stuff; I’ve diced mango and avocado in a rush at 9am with a steak knife and didn’t brush the skin. I must have been off my game, but I washed it and worked on. Here were the beauties out of the oven:

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondies

No time to taste quite yet, though. Right after this I started making the 4-C scones I posted yesterday. And as soon as those came out of the oven, dinner went on the table.

Grilled Carrots, Turkey With Steak Sauce, Corn With Sunflower Butter

Grilled Carrots, Turkey With Steak Sauce, Corn With Sunflower Butter

Yes, you read right, sunflower butter on my corn. I’ve been having trouble falling in love with this butter so I thought it’d be better on a savory dish instead of toast. Funny story: As I put it on the corn, my mom said “I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that”. After a short explanation of how sunflower butter is NOT peanut butter, she just rolled her eyes and smothered butter on her corn. Oh the irony. It tasted pretty good on the corn, though I think there’s more potential out there to be found.

Well, let’s see. What could possibly have been for dessert…

Fig And Almond Blondie And 4-C Scone

Fig And Almond Blondie And 4-C Scone

Let’s see, where to start. How about at YUM! The fig and almond blondies were amazing and a hit around here. They’re definitely going to be the first thing I make whenever I get my hands on figs again. Major props to Mindful Living and VeggieGirl. I don’t know that I would ever change the recipe anymore, but if I did it would be to swap the 2 tablespoons canola oil for 2 tablespoons olive oil. It might sound weird but a fruity olive oil would go perfectly here and just lend a very subtle flavor to the overall dish. And the 4-C scones were also delicious. Like I said, the recipe as is doesn’t have a very pronounced cashew flavor; it mainly serves as a healthy fat in the recipe. To get a better flavor, swap out all the cream cheese for cashew butter, or simply cut your scone in have and spread more cashew butter on! After all this sweetness, I needed a bit more savory:

Snobby Joe

Snobby Joe

I told you there’d be dinners for desserts. Again, microwaving lentils is not the proper way to make them, but it gets them soft enough to chew, and that’s all I cared about. Is it said this dish is so fiberous, proteinrific, full of health benefits, and I would have it on my death bed? I ate this watching Big Brother. Ok, I know there are other obsessed people out there: Don’t be shy and admit it. What the hell was with Shima? I would NOT have given up an opportunity of being on Big Brother like that. I hope they throw in some cool twist to replace her.

Well that certainly makes good running fuel because the next morning I was up at 6 and out at 6:30. I kind of forgot that I run at 6 before work on Wednesdays, so I was really confused when my alarm went off, but eventually it hit me and I got the pot o’ joe brewing. I ran 5 miles a little slower than 8:00 min/mile pace but I think that’s because it’s been so darn hot up in New England lately(and, yes, it was hot at 6:30am). I finished up, showered, and threw together a breakkie before hopping into the car:

French Toast Oatmeal, 1/2 Banana, Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Almond Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, 1/2 Banana, Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Almond Butter

I had some oats soaking for the past 2 days that needed to be used or losed so I made french toast oatmeal. I’m really liking this new concoction(especially when I added a bit more maple-agave blend this time ;-)). And I tried something I’d actually never done before–nut butter on yogurt. I always like having yogurt and nut butter be somewhere around my breakfast, but I wasn’t sure how to fit the nut butter in with the french toast oatmeal without toasting up some bread, until I remembered seeing this on some other blogs. It was pretty good considering the vanilla/vanilla combo; I made sure not to stir it in to keep the flavors pure. It’s not my preferred way of eating either but it’s a great way to fit in both to a balanced breakfast.

Work was… work? This is my last week. I was willing to work another week but they didn’t quite have the money for that. I’m lucky to have gotten a job and so many paychecks as is in this economy so I’m very thankful for that. I brought in 5 4-C scones and they were all gone by 11:30. I also packed one for myself(grab I packed it seperate or I might not have gotten it!). For lucnh I was feeling cheesy and we hit up UFood.

UFood's Veggie Cheeseburger

UFood's Veggie Cheeseburger

It’s easy to eat veg when they make it this tasty. I ate my pickles on the side; I like them but don’t want them playing with my burger flava. And they put wayyy too much ketchup on the bottom which made it sweet like a candy bar. I scraped that off with a knife and swapped it for some mustard/steak sauce. Much yummerer. These were buy 1, get one at CVS so I thought I’d give it a try:

Sobe Lifewater Yumberry Pomegranite

Sobe Lifewater Yumberry Pomegranate

It’s naturally sweetened with Stevia. I really enjoyed this flavor; it was like a great Hawaiian–not overly sweet with a touch of tartness from the pomegranate. It’s also fortified with plenty of Vitamins which I’m sure I already get enough of but why not get some more? I would definitely buy this again. The one question I have is if it is “all-natural”. I know it has natural flavors and is naturally sweetened, but I’m a little confused with some of the ingredients which (I think) are the added vitamins.

I broke away from the bars for an afternoon snack:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Justins Maple Almond Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Justin's Maple Almond Butter

I picked up the maple almond butter pack at a Starbucks a while back and finally got to use it. Those things are so handy and portable; I’d love to stock up on them but the expense isn’t worth it considering I usually eat toast at home where my pantry is right at hand. Still, it was nice to eat fresh food instead of packaged stuff(not that I see much wrong in packaged stuff so long as it’s wholesome). But would it kill my office to get a toaster?

Dinner was pollock; I’m becoming such a fish snob I don’t even want to eat anything other than salmon, but I closed my eyes, covered it in Soyaki, and tried pretending. Then I placed a celebratory last-week-at-work order to Naturally Nutty(!!). I’m getting myself some new flavors but I’ll keep it hush hush until the package comes. We all went for a walk and when we got back I wasn’t quite ready for dessert, so I had another dinner for dessert:

TJ's Instant Mac N' Cheese And Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausage

TJ's Instant Mac N' Cheese And Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausage

Here’s where I don’t even make sense to myself; I try to limit the amount of animal meat I have at meals as a self-challenge, but apparently desserts don’t count? Maybe that’s just me over thinking things. Either way, this was good and hit the spot. What with cheese doesn’t hit the spot?

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Vegan Fluff, Fig And Almond Blondie

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Vegan Fluff, Fig And Almond Blondie

Finally I was up for something more desserty. I love this Vegan Fluff I found at Whole Foods. It’s a local company and it’s all natural made with real vanilla bean. It’s as nutritionally void as regular fluff, but it doesn’t have vanillin so it fits in with my first motto in To Live By… And to stop raving about those blondies would be a sin. There’s only 3 left on the counter as of 9am this morning and 6 in the fridge. Yikes, I better eat them up before others do!

Like I said, I ran a pretty decent 6 miles today. Later we’re going to Whole Foods and Trader Joes to pick up some essentials(like bread) and some not-so-essentials(like whatever works its way into my hands). I dreamt up a recipe on my run that I’m itching to try for my last day of work tomorrow(!!). If it goes good be sure to look for it on Saturday. Until then, g’bye!

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I Brake To Bake

Posted on August 15, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you gone out and bought chocolate yet? What could you possibly be waiting for?

I have to admit, the time between blogging and lunch is pretty brief and boring and I don’t know why I bother to mention it. I snacked on a homemade Larabar and ground some flax.

Fresh Flaxmeal

Fresh Flaxmeal

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sniffs the flax after they grind it and get a huge smile on their face. Anyone? No? You’re just not willing to admit it. I can’t wait until I go to Brown and my roommate finds this in our fridge and asks “Dude, what are you on” and I stare blankly and say “Flax, man. Flax.”

Lunch was the perfect opportunity to try another Newman’s Own Organic product:

Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soy Crisps

Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soy Crisps

Is it even fair to review a product you already know you’ll love? Idk, but these were really great. The white cheddar flavor was very present and they had a great crispy crunch to them. The best part is that a serving(pictured) has 8 grams of protein and they’re completely vegetarian. I’m not a vegetarian, but I try to have 2 meals a day without meat, and I usually have to worry about getting enough protein on the plate during those meals. I threw this alongside a black bean burger, which has moderate but not high protein, and didn’t have to worry anymore. These would probably also make a great snack as opposed to potato chips since the protein is much more filling, though I’m not someone who tends to munch on chips in between meals.

After lunch was, what else, but grocery shopping. Our fridge was a little low on things I consider staples since I’d left for vacation so we picked up some stuff like spinach and fruit. We must have been out for longer than I realized because I was pretty hungry(and cranky) when we got back. I threw together an afternoon wrap:

Salmon, Goat Cheese, And Spinach Wrap

Salmon, Goat Cheese, And Spinach Wrap

I’m getting so much better at using leftovers. The salmon was from last night, the wrap and spinach were from the shopping trip, and the goat cheese sadly is almost gone! And I was just at Trader Joe’s yesterday, now I’ll have to go back. Ugh :-(… ;-).

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

I snacked on that while baking Pumpkin Bread. I consider this my best recipe; not only is it healthy but other people actually like it too. Well I meant to bake this for our new neighbors but we were out of applesauce so I just had a field day playing with the recipe. The result tasted OK, but needs more sugar(and if I’m saying this, you know it’s not sweet enough).

I don’t usually share dinner but this was off the chain and so simple:

Buffalo Mac N' Cheese And Buffalo Chicken Sausage

Buffalo Mac N' Cheese And Buffalo Chicken Sausage

The sausages were Al Fresco brand which I love; they have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and come in a lot of fun flavors(blueberry maple anyone?). The Mac N’ Cheese was Archer Farms brand so it was also all natural. A big box had 3 servings–perfect for our family of 3. And the whole thing together had a nice hot-wing flavor without too much heat.

Dessert was a lot of goodies, per usual, but I’ll just share the highlight:

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Chip Cookies

Another Newman’s Own Organic product to try. I’m not a chocolate chip cookie lover, so I was a little weary of these; I would choose a hermit style cookie anyday. That being said, I was surprised how much I liked these. My main issue with chocolate chip cookies is that the base is flavorless and each bite is a contest to see how many chocolate chips you can get–not so with these. The base of the cookie had a delicious vanilla-sugar flavor that made me completely forget about the chocolate chips. These are crispy whereas I prefer chewy, but they did melt in my mouth which was a welcomed surprise. Overall I’d definitely recommend them.

Friday’s are my unofficial rest days, which I celebrate by waking up at 6am and running 5 miles on. Before I headed out I emptied another PB jar and filled up it’s replacement:

PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

I forgot how many raisins a fresh jar has before I get at them, this will be delicious 🙂

There was a police officer driving around my neighborhood, and he totally didn’t stop at a 4-way intersection D-X. He was probably called to check out who the nut running so early around the neighborhood was(I know 6:30’s not early for most runners, but for the people in this neighborhood it is). I had oats soaking in my microwave for 2 days(I didn’t mean to let them go this long but kind of never got in an oaty mood). I figured it was their time so I concocted this breakfast:

Pumpkin Oats With Maple Almond Butter, Cantaloupe, Strawberry Yogurt With Banana

Pumpkin Oats With Maple Almond Butter, Cantaloupe, Strawberry Yogurt With Banana

Surprisingly, I didn’t have carrot juice for once after a run. I figured the banana had plenty of potassium and the fruit and yogurt had sugar so I didn’t need it for recovery. Work wasn’t awful; it never is when we all just sit around and joke about other people in the office and have baked goods to keep the sugar up. Of course we had UFood for lunch. I wasn’t feeling like a meat dish since I figured we’d be having that at home so I went with their Tofusion bowl for the first time:

Tofusion Bowl

UFood's Tofusion Bowl

I’m not crazy ont he tofu, but I’m trying to get mmore vegetable protein into my diet. Next time, I’ll just go with the Newman’s Soy Crisps. For “dessert” I tried this:

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Breath Mints

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Breath Mints

Ok, a breath mint isn’t dessert, but it was really good. I lvoe that Newman’s Own Organic even has this sort of stuff on its line, because I figured I’d have to give up breath mints along with gum and candy after getting rid of artifical stuff from my diet. This had a a kicking flavor that really left my mouth feeling refreshed and spicy(in a good way). My dad said it was “too strong” and that “the flavor lasted 20 minutes after it was gone”, at which point I clarified it was a breath mint and NOT a candy. Then he seemed pretty pleased with the product lol.

Lady luck was on my side: Our boss let us all go an hour early because so many people took today off and no one would really notice. I took a trip to the Whole Foods at Symphony I never go to and on the way stumbled across the Farmer’s Market at Copley:

Copley's Farmer's Market

Copley's Farmer's Market

It was no Dekalb but it was pretty neat. There was tons I could’ve bought but I just grabbed some corn and broccoli and kept on my way. I stumbled upon Shaws and got some Vitatops on sale(!!), and then got wicked lost trying to find Whole Foods. Ultimately I found a cool asian chick carrying a Whole Foods bag so i asked her and it turned out she was going there, too. We talked and chatted; she’s a Berkley student and reminded me a ton of my friend Alex who’s already a Junior at Brown and one of the people who convinced me to go there.

The trip was a bit of a bust because they didn’t have much different except Coconut Artisana Butter and Blue Diamond Almond Butter, so I just grabbed some more figs that were on sale and was content.

There was a bit of an angry tantrum when I got home. I think one of my worst qualities is that I still have these. I was more upset with myself since I KNOW never to ask others to buy groceries for me because I’m so specific. So I was a little annoyed when I asked my mom to get a jar of unsweetened applesauce and she came back with individual cups of HFCS sweetened applesauce. Again, I was more upset with myself than anyone else, since I was JUST at Shaws and Whole Foods and should’ve bought it myself. Well the parents were nice enough to go back out and get what I asked for while I did the tons of crap I always have after a day of work.

Dessert started with a plate of zombies:

Loaded Scone And PB & J Homemade Larabar

Loaded Scone And PB & J Homemade Larabar

By zombies I mean foods that were dead(aka frozen) that I necromanced(aka thawed). I can’t believe I never froze my baked goods before. It’s so great to have something delicious and homemade whenever I want without lifting a finger. Then I had a bit of a savory tooth:

Trader Joe's Microwaved Pizza

Trader Joe's Microwaved Pizza

I love it when pizza parlors cut their pizza into uneven slices so I went with the 12-slice method here. And I finished up with some unpictured pumpkin bread, white chocolate cherry PB toast, and fresh figs. Is it just me, or do figs look a little… naughty when bitten into?

I woke up this morning still digesting most of those carbs and went out for my long run. I really didn’t see the 8.5 miles happening last night but something got me through them this morning in only 1:08:16. Not shabby, huh? I made myself a rather incredible post-run breakfast:

White Peach, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Mint Chip Yogurt, carrot Juice, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

White Peach, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Mint Chip Yogurt, carrot Juice, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

I’d probably have this every morning if I wouldn’t go po’ from the vanilla almond butter and vitatops. I can be satisfied with it being a weekly thing. I’m going to make some 4-grain Maple Apple Vegan cookies today, an adaptation from a recipe from the Runner’s World forums. I’m hoping they come out alright because then I will FINALLY have something for the neighbors. I also just found out that the wife(they’re newlyweds) is training for a marathon. I think that’s awesome, though I’m pretty much a horrible running partner/prefer going solo so I kind of hope she doesn’t ask if I want to go running some time. Asking me to bake whole-grain cookies is more my style 😉 Ok, I’ve got the oven preheating, time to make these bad boys.

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Monday Through Funday

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

P.S. Wednesday is now known as Funday

P.P.S. Funday wasn’t so fun until around 6pm this week.

It seems like only yesterday I was here:

The Pond

The Pond

That’s the pond across from their house. Years ago we would fish in it but at some point the idea of sticking a spear into fishes’ lips, tearing it out, and throwing them back lost its appeal. I sat around waiting for other people to get their butts out of bed get dressed and ready. While I was waiting I enjoyed some Newman’s Own Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso chocolate and my favorite funny lady.

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

My opinion’s changing slightly on this one with each try. I still don’t see it as an espresso flavor, but it’s growing on me as an artisan flavor.

When said butts were in motion, we went to Malibu Grand Prix–a place with race cars, bumper boats, mini-golf and an arcade. It was the first day of school in Georgia so the three of us comprised half the population in the whole place. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t turn on the bigger machines until 3pm when more people might show up, so we played a round of golf.

Alex Taking His First Putt

Alex Taking His First Putt

I even got a hole in one!

My Hole In One

My Hole In One

After that I was feeling munchy. We stopped at Publix on the way where I grabbed some of my all-time favorites: Hormel sliced turkey, an avocado, and an organic peach.

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

I made a turkey and avocado sandwich. Oh God have I been missing this, especially the cool and creamy avocado. So happy I had some waiting for me back home J The peach was… weird. The inside was brownish but it tasted perfectly normal. I was just happy to have an organic peach; it’s number one on the pesticide dirty dozen list.
I played a few games, but mostly I think they’re a waste of money considering the hefty amounts of video games I have, so I just ate while the others played.

A Skiball Machine

A Skiball Machine

This guy stole one of my tokens >_< After that we hit up the race track. I drive very much like my parents: slow and cautious. I was literally waving people on the track to pass me and staying on the outside of curbs. I think the 8 year old who lapped me got a kick out of it. Oh well, that’s how we do it in New England and if you don’t like it stay off our streets. We also went on the bumper boats.

Bumper Boats

Bumper Boats

This was fun and relaxing until mine lost power at the end and the women operating the ride had to get into another boat to come and pull me in. I guess I can now say I’ve been part of a sea search and rescue operation?

Dinner

Dinner

For dinenr we had chicken marsala and Kashi curry pilaf on the side. It was all tasty(with loads of salt added, of course) but my stomach felt awful. I have no idea what the problem could have been; the rice was a few months past the date but that doesn’t seem like it would have been an issue. Maybe it was all the fiber and protein at once? Idk, if my stomach ever feels like that again I can relate the two situations and figure it out.

We all went down stairs to watch one of the birthday gifts: Watchmen. I think a huge WTF is warranted here. I just did not get it at all, thank god I had my laptop to blog read with during that. I also popped this out of m pocket since I wanted something small to try and settle my stomach.

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

This is definitely still one of my favorite flavors. The orange has just the right intensity for the dark chocolate. I also made myself a parfait and tried using the banana spread trick with raspberries. The raspberry spread came out Ok. I’d stick with the 365 brand, though. The parfait was really fun, mostly because I don’t take the extra minutes to make myself something like that usually.

I was a little sleep deprived from my roomie’s tv watching habit(maybe this was good practice for college), but I still got up the next morning at 7 and powered in a 5-miler. That makes 20 miles for Georgia and I’m more than ecstatic about that. I came back and made myself oats with SB PB and another parfait.

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

At the suggestion of some other Runner’s World forumites, we explored the Dekalb’s Farmers Market, and I’m so glad we did.

Dekalb Farmers Market

Dekalb Farmers Market

This place was huge and absolutely incredible. I really wish we had something like this within 50 miles of me because it would entirely be worth the trip. Maybe it was a good thing I had to get on a plane in a few hours because otherwise I would’ve bought all the produce I could get my hands on to. The variety and prices were incredible. I found some Sunland Inc. Peanut Butter which I’ve been really wanting to try but they only had creamy and crunchy which weren’t too exciting. I ended up with this as my loot:

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Using everything I bought, I made a sandwich with Cashew and Cherry butter on that fresh bread. That bread must be baked with crack love, because it’s sooo good. Too bad there aren’t many more places that make artisan breads these days; it’s really a lost art. The goat milk yogurt is always one of my favorites. This one was a little thin but I think that’s because it hadn’t been in the refrigerator long before I grabbed it.

We got to the airport and said our sad goodbyes. It was fun and hopefully we’ll see them around Christmas time in NY for a day like we usually do. I can manage to smuggle a lot on to an airplane, but apparently not Smart Balance Peanut Butter and Cherry Butter. The containers were “too deep” or something like that. Sure, they’re things I can get at Whole Foods, but it was pretty annoying.

The first flight went fine, the second not so much. I had to lay over in Philly. My flight ended up getting pushed back 20 minutes. I grabbed this way overpriced but not horrible salad for dinner:

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

We starting boarding another 20 minutes late due to the mass amount of people trying to get on my plane since the previous flight to Boston was cancelled. We got onto the runway and–surprise–wouldn’t know if we could take off until 9:30. All we could do was sit there, so I watched a movie on my ipod, hoped to God we’d get off the ground, and snacked on some Newman’s Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate for stress relief, which actually worked.

Snacking On The Plane

Snacking On The Plane

We ended up taking off around 9:45 and got off the plane at around 10:40. I’ll spare you the drama but the landing was a little more than bumpy.  I was not in the mood at that time to be chatty so I just snacked cherry butter I asked my dad to buy and cashew butter on toast, just like my lunch. Life’s hysterical, ain’t it?

I was asleep by 12:15 and as soon as I knew it it was 6am and I was waking up to run. A little crazy maybe but I figured it was the best way to get into the swing of things. I did a good 5 miles before heading off to work and having some breakfast:

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Work was, again, unexciting. I’m just happy I made it through the day awake. I tapped into the power of Goji berries in the form of my favorite bar, Clif Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar. I figure it makes Erik from Vegan Fritz so badass it’ll keep me going for a few hours. For lunch I munched on a bison burger.

UFood Bison Burger

UFood Bison Burger

It was a little over cooked, but it hit the spot. I got a paycheck, too. You’ll be seeing that in the form of peanut butter eventually. I also tried the last chocolate Newman’s Own Organic sent me:

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

I’m not a milk chocolate fan in general; my memories of it are Hershey’s bars and Easter bunnies. That’s probably why I pushed this one off as long as I could. It was actually pleasant. It in no way made me think of a dreaded Hershey’s. It did remind me of an Easter egg but a high quality one. The texture was smooth and the flavor was overall pretty creamy. I’m still not a milk chocolate fan, though. I’d much rather go for the Mocha Milk Chocolate, which was absolutely incredible.

On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to hit the sales.

The Loot

The Loot

Black mission figs were 2 dollars for 8oz, yippee!! I also got some Zevia root beer on sale, some TJ brand sunflower butter, all-natural gummies, and chocolate syrup because they’re so cheap, and a few other goodies. I also had this waiting for me:

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Sally from Newman’s Own Organic sent me more(much more) products to review. I just got through all the types of chocolate; they’re really working me over there. Haha, jk. Thanks a ton Sally and Newman’s Own Organic! I never knew Newman’s Own Organic made so many high-protein snacks and munchies. I’m going to find plenty of uses for these over the next few weeks.

After all that excitement I had to try something out, but what? These!:

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

I’ve already had and reviewed their original hermits, but I was really excited to try the ginger variety. I love their hermits in general because each one has 8-10% your DV of iron, in a cookie no less! Plus, I love a deep spice and molasses flavor over something sugary sweet anyday. The ginger variety was very delicious, but I didn’t notice a huge difference from the original ones. Both had a great spiced flavor that wasn’t too sharp. Overall I’d definitely recommend getting some Newman’s Own Organic Hermits if you’re a spice lover, but I can’t recommend one flavor over another; you’ll be healthy and happy with any.

Speaking of Newman’s Own Organic, the chocolate review is almost complete, and since tomorrow’s a work day I plan on finishing it tonight and posting it bright and early before I head off. Hope you’ll check it out!

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