Sweet 16

Posted on December 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I did it! As I mentioned in a 6:29am mad rush yesterday, The Biggest Loser inspired me to get out and try for a distance personal record. More specifically, what I was inspired by was the contestant’s goal: not necessarily to “run a marathon” but more “to move their bodies 26.2 miles”. Every morning I’ve gotten up and ran until it was time to stop(which, if the time is a literal thing, around 8:30). Yesterday I decided no time excuses–that I was going to get up and “move my body 16 miles”. While I wanted to run it, I acknowledged I might need to walk, to hop off the treadmill for the bathroom(which happened a lot), or to take a water break. Regardless, I was determined to hit the distance and not factor in anything else. While it was long, it wasn’t nearly as grueling as I anticipated. I overprepared like a pro.

Peanut Butter And Jelly Larabar

I brought 3 bars and only ended up eating what you don’t see of this PB&J Larabar. And, yes, I made it 16 miles. Needless to say, it felt quite good to finish after a time of 2:17:50 and I was into the 3rd hour of The Today Show. Best of all, I learned a new way of thinking; I loved the mentality shift from running to moving myself a certain distance. It makes all sorts of distances look possible for the future. Also needless to say, I was a sweaty mess when I got back to my dorm at 9:20, so I showered and made this salty and sweet mess:

Sweet And Salty Oats

Oatmeal
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tablespoon Smart Balance PB
1 tablespoon peanut butter chips
2 strips Fakin’ Bacon
Maple Syrup
Sea Salt

If this is at the end of 16 miles, I’m running 32 tomorrow. I was short on time after ignoring it so I went with the throw-everything-in-a-bowl method and wow was this good. I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just let your imagine soar 🙂 I still wanted to get some breakfast probiotics though, so I gave a new product a try.

Vega Vanilla Chai Whole Food Health Optimizer

You can read my review here, but to sum it up I’d say the nutrition was ridiculously amazing, the flavor decent, and the coloration scary. I think that’s how it works with most green drinks, at least the last part anyway. I ended up walking into class right with the bell(score!) just in time to do teacher evaluations… I’m sure I’ll stick out like a thumb on my evaluations in the classes where I’m the only freshman(and that’s the first question on the paper) but I tried being honest in all of them. After class I picked up something at a campus convenience and made my way home for emails and lunch. Lunch came in to parts:

Trader Joe's Mac N' Cheese, Broccoli

Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna

It just felt like a mac n’ cheese day; I don’t think that needs any explanation 🙂 When I saw a chocolate peppermint bar at the convenience store, I had to grab it. Yes–it’s a bar marketed for women. But I see you gals eat Clif bars all the time so if you can gender-bar hop so can I 😉 Plus it just felt so nice and seasonal. I really liked it and even bought another one afterwards to enjoy with cocoa some time.

All I could think about in classes 2 and 3 was how I almost spent as much time on the treadmill as I would in class yesterday–insane! When i got out, I wandered around a bit up and down Thayer street. I bought 2 magazines even though I had 3 I hadn’t read yet(whoops), and managed by Blue State for some coffee. Eventually, I realized all of this was procrastination since I had an overflowing inbox and homework to do, so I hung my head and got back to the dorm. I also picked up this delicacy while I was out and about:

Pizza Strip With Lightlife Breakfast Sausage

A pizza strip is a local food comprised of a yeast dough topped with a thin layer of herby sauce and nothing more. I added some breakfast sausage to make it a “faux meat lovers” pizza–yum! I think this officially makes me a Rhodey now, right Big Girl? The afternoon was filled with busy work. I got pretty hungry by 6 but didn’t want to ruin my appetite for meeting folks at the dinning hall at 6:30 so I snacked on an apple.

Apple

It’s really unfortunate this is my pre-dinner snack because my dining hall serves some pretty bad apples and I refuse to buy produce with my grocery money that’s not some sort of tuber or I can’t store under my bed 😦 For dinner, I knew I didn’t want the veggie option so I made my main in my dorm and relied on the cafe for side veggies.

Maple Mustard Tofu Steaks, Sweet Potato, Steamed Vegetables

It feels like ages since I’ve done the maple/mustard combo, so it was welcomed to have it back. I cut up 3 slices(2 servings) of firm tofu and tried letting it marinate for 30 minutes and “glaze” in the microwave but in the end it was more of a sauce. I don’t know why the sweet potato doesn’t look like much here because it felt HUGE and sat like a rock in my tummy. I was honestly stuffed when I got back to my dorm and just wanted to put on stretchy PJ’s and my glasses to watch TV.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who was glued to the tree lighting ceremony? Rudolph was also on, and so were some new ABC shows, but how often do they light the Rockefeller tree? I never knew Jane Krakowski was an actual singer; I never would have guessed that from her 30 Rock character. Eventually, when there was room, I had a seasonal snack.

Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna

Haha, guess I’m getting a little repetitive? I blame this blogger for giving me a peppermint craving(and by blame, I mean utterly adore). It was still as good as the first time and prompted me to write a review so I can spread the crack love. Other than that, I got an embarrassingly low amount of work done 😦 It’s just that time of year when things are piling up so high doing the “normal” amount of work won’t cut it. I realized when enough was enough(aka, quitting time) and tried getting out with my sanity. I was ready to get under the covers and enjoy one last night time snack.

Oatmeal With Peanut Butter Frosting, TJ's Mini PB Cups, Smart Balance PB And An Advent Chocolate

Holy oats! So good. True fact: I’m all for dark chocolate and it’s antioxidental power, but when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter I need my milk–it’s just better if you ask me. For the peanut butter frosting, I did 2oz greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon peanut flour and 5 drops stevia. Expect to see about 22 more of those little hearts before Christmas.

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

I might have snuck a little more milk chocolate. At least I’m good enough to take pictures of it? Sleep felt so easy and natural last night; it was raining when I went to bed and I love falling asleep to the sound of rain. Unfortunately, when I woke up, it wasn’t rain but a full blown torrential downpour. I decided to sleep in and not run(and since I run in the gym, you can imagine how bad this ran seemed at the time). I got up an hour or so later and realized I’m so lost when I’m off my “routine”. Regardless, I tried to normalize things with oats and yogurt.

Banana Oatmeal With Banana Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Yogurt With Pumpkin Flax Granola And White Chocolate Chips

Normal tastes gooood. I think I underseasoned the oats because I tried to make them taste more like my banana goodness bread but they came out just banana with a touch of cinnamon. Salt and this peanut butter perked it up. I completely forgot how nice and flaxy the Nature’s Path granola is. Yesterday I got awesome news that I was their “fan of the week” on facebook and am getting some products I’ve never had before!! I can’t wait to try them.

As the sun is coming out, it’s making me feel bad about not getting a great run in. Well where was it at 6:30am? I might take the rest day, or might be drawn out after class. Or I might just call a trip to the Whole Foods salad bar a “workout”. Any of those are good options.

Giveaway over at the PB queen herself’s blog!

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A Second Thanksgiving

Posted on November 29, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m glad to hear that I delighted some of you with my embarrassing beet story(and that I’m not the only one!). On my run today, which I’ll get to, I asked myself this: What makes someone a “full-time blogger? Is it the amount of posts they make per day? Surely I or someone else isn’t less of a blogger for posting all at once what someone else posts spread over 3 times. Is it someone who can live off their blog income alone? Ha! If somebody can do this, congrats to them and they can go f— themselves(jk here ;-)). Or is it someone who just loves posting and is inspired by the whole community and blogs when and because they feel like it? I’d argue the last one. What do you think makes a full time blogger?

Oatmeal With An Egg, The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, And A Morningstar Breakfast Patty

Unfortunately, today was one of those mornings when my hunger was there but my appetite wasn’t. I had no clue what to make and went through a number of dishes before settling on this. Most mornings my tongue tells me what dessert(because my breakfasts always taste like a dessert to me :-)) I want but on the rare occasion that it’s vacationing in Rio I feel up a creek without a paddle. These oats, Green Dog Wine style, were delicious nonetheless. I decided that this morning I would run(2 days off and I feel like a sloth, haha) so after letting breakfast settle for 5 minutes I grabbed some fuel.

Apple And Double Chocolate Pillow

This fuel was fun(oh em gee, the title of this blog!). The apple was adorably small; I think any fruit that’s a little abnormal is adorable(plantains, anyone?). And why didn’t I realize how good these cookies are? When I had it on my oats Friday, I thought it was pretty decent, but needed a milkiness to it. Today, however, it was perfect: like bittersweet chocolate but with a cakey texture. That had me revved up for a strong run. I first went around the neighborhood 6 times for 6.7 miles. After that I set out on the road for my small loop around town of 5.3 miles. Both of these were my “long run” at some point so it felt awesome that I could do them both on one day now. When I got back in the neighborhood I noticed my dad had been sent to drive around and find me so I figured it was time to stop 🙂 I did a great 12 miler in a little under 1:39. Not a bad “welcome back” to running. When I got back, I was ready to try a new recovery drink.

Vega Acai Berry Sport Drink

Vega was nice enough to send me some of their powders to try out a while ago and I’m just getting around to them. I’ve never experimented much with energy powders but this one seemed simple enough: just mix with 1 cup of water and shake what your momma gave ya’. It says drink before a workout but I think the nutrition still works for post-run recover. I’ve never had an acai berry, but this was rather nice; the flavor was a lot like a diluted blueberry flavor and definitely nothing I minded drinking. I’m not quite convinced yet specialty powders and drinks are necessary for optimal recovery but I guess I’ll see how this makes me feel tomorrow. Once I showered, it was time for our family Sunday lunch, which felt like a second Thanksgiving!

Carving The Tofurkey

Yesterday we picked up a Tofurkey on sale at Whole Foods and I couldn’t wait to give it a try; this is like the epitome of fake meat products, right? We cooked it in the oven according to directions, and it looked beautiful all done. It was both my dad and I’s main protein, and my grandmother even took a slice!(though I’m not convinced she had any clue what the hell she was eating). After I made my plate, I could have sworn it was Thanksgiving all over again.

Tofurkey, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Acorn Squash Stuffed With Canned Cranberry Sauce

I actually think I ate more here than at Thanksgiving lunch. Oops. Well there wasn’t going to be much leftovers so I thought I’d seize the moment 🙂 The tofurkey was excellent, but it felt like a little much. I seriously think this is sitting like a brick in my stomach right now. The stuffing was amazing for being whole wheat; I wonder if they sell that seperate? I’ll need to try Tofurkey deli meat to see if it’s the same. The squash + cranberry sauce was equally excellent. I still can’t imagine how cranberry sauce is accepted as a lunch item and not dessert but I’ll take it!

Speaking of dessert, let’s not. I don’t think I have any room :-X Now I’m off to decorate the tree! And then it’ll be time to pack the car and go back to campus 😦 Boo. Can’t I just live here again and pretend like work doesn’t exist? I’ll just dream on…

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Vegan Friday

Posted on October 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Like I mentioned yesterday morning, Friday I decided I was going to eat completely vegan, both to try out the product I bought with one of my Lightlife coupons, but also as a way to challenge myself overall. Veganism is not something I ever had or will consider living permanently, but it was “fun”(and I realize my sense of this term is completely whack) to give a try. I’m also not going to pretend it was easy; let’s revisit breakfast, shall we?

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Banana Oats With Banana Peanut Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir

Good, very good. This was a great vegan way to start the day. Originally I had planned to have my last blueberry raspberry oat bran muffin instead of the oats; but I couldn’t bear the thought of having that muffin without cream cheese. Cream cheese, as yesterday taught me, is my crack and I was going through withdrawal.

After that I had my midterm. Thanks for all the well-wishes! I think I did pretty good. It was a Latin midterm and I think I really could have aced it had I known all I needed to do was memorize the poems we did, but that’s not really translating so much as copying. So I feel good with how I did study and how I did do and I’m sure that’ll be reflected in the grade. On the way back I picked up some mail and was psyched to find this:

Vega Products

Vega Products

The people at Sequel Naturals sent me some of their Vega products to try. I haven’t experimented much with protein powders before but I’m glad my first tasting will be with some of the best. These were optimally designed for athletes and sport nutrition so I’m sure they’re some super post-workout eats. I’m up for any tips you guys have on how to have these. I also made myself a very vegan lunch:

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

Snobby Joe, Broccoli, Sweet Potato

How lucky am I that my favorite recipe from the Summer happens to be a staple in any vegan cookbook? Trader Joe now sells lentils you can make in your microwave, so I could that up and mixed it with steak sauce, ketchup, and mustard to make a nice sloppy sauce. That with my two favorite sides made for one hell of a lunch. Best yet, I only used about 1/3 the bag so there’s a ton of lentils leftover–yum!

In History we got our assignment f.or our 2 part midterm. The first section is in class next Friday. He’s made a list of 4 pages worth of terms we should know inside and out; then he’s going to give us 10 or so of these terms to connect in a story of, and we do that twice. Basically, we’re going to be making fictional, random stories with unrelated events to amuse him. My plan: to insert as many dirty jokes as I can. He’s the kind of teacher who that would definitely work on. The other part is 3 4-5 page essays. That one scared me, until he basically said we have no deadline so long as we get them done well(and he didn’t even really say that last part). Basically, all of this has made me feel a lot better of never doing the homework for that class, but I’m still going to study my butt off for the best grade I can grub.

When I got out of my 3 o’clock class, I was actually pretty famished; I had almond butter on the brain all through class so of course I made some oats:

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats With Maple Almond Butter

These totally hit the spot. But they were also a reminder of how you have to think a bit more when you’re eating vegan. I was going to top this with some butter toffee sliced almonds, until I thought about the name: butter toffee. Yikes–that was a close call. Since the almonds were out, I took that as liberty to salt these… a lot. Thank God salt’s vegan! I caught up on The Office and 30 Rock to this bowl. I was actually a bit downed by The Office; I just think it was because the wedding was so amazing there’s no comparison to other episodes anymore. 30 Rock, on the other hand, was great.

My foot was kind of killing me, but I knew I needed to go to Eastside Market. Today is going to rain, rain, rain, and there was at least 1 thing I needed to pick up. The walk actually stretched my muscles and I think helped. All in all, I hit up Eastside, Whole Foods, the dining hall, and Blue State coffee. My fingers were numb from the cold after all that, but I got what I went out for:

Smart Balance Creamy

Smart Balance Creamy

Yep. My old jar is almost out and I couldn’t let that happen. I picked this up with a dollar off coupon, but it was still a bit pricey. Insert my tale of Smart Balance here: My first experience with the SB PB was when I went to Georgia in August. The family I was with actually didn’t have any peanut butter that I could find. They were nice enough to buy me groceries and I picked out this jar to give it a shot. At first, the flaxy flavor was… alarming; after the first day it grew on me. I was crushed when the security at the airport took my jar from me, so much so that the day after I got home I went out and bought another jar. That time it was with agave. I don’t quite think I noticed a difference between the two flavors, but if I did it was in preference of the molasses sweetened one, and when we’re talking less than 1g of sugar per serving GI influence doesn’t really matter.

Well, now that I’ve bored you with that tale, maybe my snack will perk you up:

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

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

I bought this soy yogurt Tuesday when I decided to do a vegan day; I wasn’t sure I could go a day without yogurt and, while I think I could’ve, I’m glad I didn’t have to. I admit: I was a little weirded out when I had the thought “I’ve tasted this before. It tastes like… tofu”. By the end of the cup, it actually grew on me like that. I’m way too impressable. The real star here were the chocolate chips, which I was craving. I’m sure you can imagine my jumping for joy when I found out one of the chocolate chips I have(and, yes, I keep multiple types on stock) was vegan. I also liked that soy yogurt had 6g of fiber in a 110 calorie serving. I might have to buy that more often.

After letting my tofu-yogurt digest, it was time for the motivation behind the whole day:

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Ginger Teriyaki Tempeh, Sugar Snap Peas, Vegetable Medley

Finally–an excuse to use the chopsticks I brought to my dorm! This was, in short, a sensible and delicious meal that I would gladly have again another night. I was thrilled at how easy it was for me to prepare in my dorm; not too many protein sources are like that when all you have to work with is a microwave. The tempeh wasn’t quite as sweet as I expected from my experience with ginger teriyaki dishes from Chinese take-out. However, as I gave that some thought and looked at the nutrition/ingredients on this product, I surmised how unhealthily sugar-laden Chinese take-out often is, and how reasonable and healthy of an entree this was. While the flavor wasn’t loud, it was certainly present in ever bite. And the 320 calorie portion had an excellent 22g protein and 10g fiber, making it a filling dish as well. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to over done take-out or just something fun and funky for a change, I’d recommend this tempehtation and I can’t wait to try others.

After that delicious dinner, it was time for dessert:

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Buttercream Frostin

Just because it was Vegan Friday didn’t mean it wasn’t also Cookie Friday. I was a bit thrown off when I came to this realization, but then I remembered vegans have great desserts, too! I immediately knew what I wanted and picked this up at Blue State. Even though I might have dropped this once twice, it survived and I was able to pretty it back up. It really didn’t matter what it looked like because it tasted like heaven.

For the night I watched Ghost Whisperer, which was good as always, and Medium because nothing else was on. What a great example of how a show, even though it might have a decent concept, can be really bad. I felt like every character was whining the entire time. And it didn’t help that the episode was about a crying baby. I should have just watched Dateline or something.

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

English Muffin With SB PB And Chocolate Chips And Pepita Sun Butter

This day was a fun experience, and I’m glad I challenged myself to do it. As you can see, it wasn’t like I ate much different than my normal ways; I just had to plan out a day of some of my favorite meals and watch out for “pitfalls” along the way. Overall, I think I relearned what I already knew: veganism isn’t a health craze or a diet. It’s a philosophy, mindset, and way of life. I don’t personally share the same beliefs as this; I think eating animals respectfully, and certainly byproducts of animals as well, is fine. But I fully support and have new respect for the people who do live like this 24/7.

I actually didn’t have plans to run this morning. But after a full 9, as in nine, as in the square root of 81, hours of sleep last night, I was surprisingly energized. I got to the gym and ran for an hour(or 59:20 to be exact) and did 7 miles. This made my total for the week a whopping 62.6 miles. Considering I’ve never ran more than 50 before, that was a shock. I actually started having an upset stomach when I got back, but I went ahead and made myself a very not-vegan breakfast:

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese, Voskos 2% With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

2 very big reasons why I couldn’t go vegan were present. I set aside some of the Voskos yogurt for a taste testing because it’s one of the flavors they sent me, and added jam to the other part to make a sort of pineapple… you know the brand I’m thinking of. Obviously, the muffin was begging to be slathered in all its berry goodness. And now I’m just waiting(read: frantically packing) for my dad to get here to take me home, as the sky has just opened up and began pooring.

Chobani Giveaway! Can you have enough greek yogurt? I think we all know the answer to that…

And now that it’s getting cold out you’ll need soup, too!

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