The Earth Will Forgive Me

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

*I don’t think google reader has yet picked up this morning’s post at the time I’m writing this. I’m hoping this was just an individual problem, but if it persists I’ll look into it*

So, if I was supposed to “celebrate” the earth in some way today, the earth is going to have to forgive me. To be honest, I find a lot of the notions put forth about Earth Day a little silly. The whole thing is counterproductive: we build up so much about recycling and being green this 1 time a year that it’s as if to say we aren’t expected to do this all the time. We are.

3 things have really rubbed me the wrong way today

  • Having to go down to the bank this morning to cancel my current card and request a new one to be sent to me in 5-7 business days. Looks like I won’t be purchasing any peanut butter online in that time(but maybe that’s a good thing). Oh, at least while I was down there I bought a gingerade kombucha. No need for the day to totally suck, right?
Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

  • Cookies/Bars that use banana as a binder. Don’t ask me why but I hate these and I’ve been seeing them everywhere recently. If you made them and have been eating them and love them, that’s all that matters. Personally, I’ve never had a baking success with a banana besides banana goodness bread, and even that relies on eggs.
  • The idea that eating vegetarian today at all has to do with “celebrating Earth Day”. I don’t know how to feel about this one other than like it’s a personal attack saying you can’t eat meat and also be green. You can. You can  also be a vegan who litters. Shocker. I happily and greenily ate my naturally-raised, grass-fed burger for lunch today.
Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

(Not so) funny story. When I got to class, my friend Alex knocked this all over the floor :-/ I really didn’t have anything else to eat, so I just ate it anyway, hoping things were clean enough(most actually went onto her purse). Was that green? I don’t know. But at least it still tasted good. I tossed the sweet potatoes in EVOO after they grilled in my pan for added fat and flavor. Delicious. Since I wasn’t even all that hungry to begin with, this held me over well into the afternoon.

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to be green is with our shopping cart and the foods we buy. That’s why so often I look for good companies like Alter Eco who not only make tasty chocolates but use fair-trade, organic ingredients. This particular flavor is not my favorite(I hate crunchies in my chocolate), but I’m still working on project clean out.

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I also snacked on an organic apple. As I’ve said in posts before, I don’t always by local or organic produce, simply because it’s not affordable 100% of the time. If there’s a sale, or it’s a small cost extra or something, I’ll gladly buy organic, even choosing a pink lady over my beloved red delicious. I’ll eat pink to be green.

Dinner was something special tonight. I’m going home for the weekend for an event tomorrow night and then one Friday, so my dad came down to pick me up and start moving things home. On the way, he grabbed take out from Garden Grille that I placed. I tried a new dish: their vegan and gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

How did it taste? Honestly, I just uploaded the picture and need to start packing the car, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow 😉

What’s something you do year round that’s green? Proceeds for my favorite chocolate bar by Endangered Species go towards rain forest preservation. I wonder how many trees the 6 I’ve bought in the past week have saved… But seriously, I do believe my greenest contribution takes place in the market, and I take pride in that. Today, in fact, I signed up for a program next Fall to get fresh produce from local farmers weekly through my college. If that ain’t green, neither is broccoli.

Perhaps more controversially, Do you see eating green and eating vegetarian as one in the same? I can picture an indirect connection being made between the two. But to directly relate one another is, I think, invalid.

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Why Fish For Lunch And Tofu Is Local

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s the last Friday in Lent and I didn’t slip! Not on eating meat, not on eating “prepared soy”, not on anything. Trust me: There have been some times when I almost threw it all by eating bacon peanut brittle on a Friday(only I could make this mistake…), but not today.  Of course, my biggest challenge came on the last day…

Avocado Kale Salad With Roasted Cashews, White Fish With Lemon

Avocado Kale Salad With Roasted Cashews, White Fish With Lemon

I ended up eating lunch at Whole Foods again, this time with my dad on the way to Boston and then home for Easter weekend. When I got to the salad bar, all I could find was meat and tofu. And it looked goood. The one fish I was able to find had a wheat cracker coating, so I brushed that off and added a lemon wedge. It was totally overcooked and tough; in a phrase, it was Lent.

Avocado Kale Salad With Roasted Cashews

Avocado Kale Salad With Roasted Cashews

Trilogy Kombucha

Trilogy Kombucha

Of course, I had to have more of that amazing kale and avocado salad; I can’t wait to try to make this myself! And kombucha is on sale this week so I had a trilogy flavor to wash that all down. Yum!

Green & Black Cherry Dark Chocolate

Green & Black Cherry Dark Chocolate

Actually, before lunch I went for a run. My “prerun fuel” was 4 more squares of Green & Black cherry dark chocolate. Would I fuel with anything else 😉 I did not feel like I had energy the first 3 miles; in fact, I thought of cutting it short early just because it felt like I was “chugging along” and not really running. I may not run pretty, but I have good endurance and I convinced myself I could “chug” the full 9.5.

9.5 Miles At 8:12 Pace

9.5 Miles At 8:12 Pace

When I got back, my jaw almost dropped looking at my watch. I “chugged” the 9.5 mile route 3 minutes faster than I had so far this year. Apparently, I don’t know my own speed! That kale and avocado salad from yesterday must have been my running magic, which is why I took it again today 😉

"The Vegan" Cupcake

"The Vegan" Cupcake

I don’t suppose it would surprise you if I told you we went to another Whole Foods after passing through Boston, would it? This cupcake was part of my birthday celebration; it’s “chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips, a chocolate ganache center and chocolate frosting” and all vegan. It’s made by Kickass Cupcakes, so it’s all-natural, but it’s not gluten-free. I’ll just be paying for that last part later.

Cupcake And Coconut Ice Cream Sundae

Cupcake And Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Sundae

First thing we grabbed at Whole Foods was chocolate So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, a spoon, and a cup. There’s something so amazing about buying a pint of ice cream and eating it on the spot. When that was devoured, we got almost all our groceries for Easter Sunday, and headed across the way to the 2nd most glorious place on earth:

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's

I can’t believe this must have been the first time I went in to a Trader Joe’s in over a month! There were some new goodies to gawk at, but I wasn’t there to dilly-dally. My favorite fun find was milk chocolate peanut butter eggs(!!). I’m thinking/hoping these are going to be like the Reeses’ eggs.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Putting away the groceries, I snacked on an organic apple. The coconut milk I was trying to bring home totally went bad after 5 hours in the car 😦 Good thing we got a new can. We also wanted to eat out for a birthday dinner but the restaurant had nothing free tonight. Double 😦 Good thing we had groceries for dinner, too.

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks Drizzled With Maple Syrup

Maple Baked Tofu, Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks Drizzled With Maple Syrup

I did what I always do when I feel like a simple meal; I threw maple coated tofu, steamed broccoli, and raw sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. At least I know I couldn’t go wrong here. And you really do learn something new everyday. At dinner, my mom told me the man who started Nasoya lived two doors down when we first moved in(I would have been 2 or 3). I’ve always known Nasoya’s a Massachusetts company, but I didn’t realize we were that close. I like to think that means I’m eating local whenever I have tofu 😉

And now, as you might have guessed, I’m at home. Man Vs. Food is on the Television. I completely embrace the crappy and addictive shows whenever I can get them. Happy Friday and do enjoy whatever is your “guilty television programming” 😀

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Teas, Tweets, Chocolate, And Sweets

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Despite the order of this rhythmic post title, I’ll start with chocolate and save the tea for last 😀

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Last night I was feeling like a chocolate snob and debating between which brand of orange dark chocolate to have; yes, I do that. In the end, I went with Newman’s Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate not just because it’s organic but because it has a sweeter flavor from a higher sugar content. OK, enough chocolate talk. That prompted the tweet,

EvanFMFF: I want to go on an all-organic chocolate diet so that when I get fat from it I can say “yeah, but it’s organic fat”.

It was a joke (sort of :-D) but I loved the responses so much I had to share. Some bloggers wanted to join in; could I be more popular than the cookie diet? Other bloggers were their witty selves:

RunEatRepeat: @EvanFMFF and when you die all that organic fat will be like feeding the soil in a good way 🙂

which reminded me of something I want to share from the Today Show: sewage waste is not only permitted, but used in non-organic produce fertilizing. Uhh, ew! I don’t always or even often eat organic produce but these are the kinds of things I’d rather not know because it makes me want to. And, lastly, some bloggers made a knowledgeable and poignant tweet:

CandidRD: @EvanFMFF Sadly people really do think organic and “natural” foods are ALL healthy. HA!

That’s a good reminder that just because you shop at Whole Foods doesn’t mean you can’t go wrong, or at least be picking up things that are still “sometimes” treats rather than good-for-you diet staples.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

For instance, Go Max Go Foods Jokerz candy bars. Not USDA organic,  and not a diet staple by any means. But one a week won’t kill you 😉 Just maybe your wallet.

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

This morning I slept in in hopes of a sunny outdoors run later on this morning; let’s see what the sun has to say about that. Instead of coffee, I thought I’d opt for mocha herbal teeccino instead so as to not dehydrate myself. It doesn’t really taste like coffee, but it’s nice beverage to have around if you need to feel April Fooled into drinking the real java. It’s better because it’s non-acidic. If it were the only type of coffee I kept around, I probably wouldn’t notice missing the “real” thing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Ahh, pumpkin oats, my voluminous friend, where have you been these past few days? 🙂 There was some pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter, but the real story was in the yogurt. I mixed a plain So Delicious coconut milk yogurt with 2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals‘ twister powder(cacao, maca, and hemp) and topped that with some Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter. Coconutty? I think so. The peanut butter was a little stiff on the yogurt and might have been overkill, but at least it was tasty overkill.

Sweet Utopia

Sweet Utopia

Rick from Book Publishing Co. offered to send me a book for review and share my opinions on. Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik is a book devoted to vegan desserts; how perfect does that sound? Desserts are something I’ve always had trouble “veganizing” myself so I can’t wait to see what she has to teach me and how much I can take away. For the month of April and possibly May, I’ll be flipping through the book, picking up tips, and trying out recipes. In the end, I’ll give a comprehensive review and hopefully if I end up loving it I can suggest it to you all! Sound fun?

Last but not least, the winner of the Celestial Tea Wellness giveaway as chosen by random lot is Angela! Congrats to her and happy sipping 🙂

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The Birthday Day

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Makes Me Want To Shout

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has made me want to shout! Not like, “Hey, you kids. Get off my lawn!” kind of shout, but as in you make me want to shout, throw my hands up and shout, throw my hands up and shout. It’s been that good! It’s reminded me of how weekends should be: filled with friends, family, and fun, and not responsibilities.

1/2 A Munch Bar

After this morning, my parents and grandmother drove down to Providence. We quickly swung by the Brown gymnasium so I could shout at a high school friend who was visiting for a fencing tournament and say hi. After that we drove to Bellingham to pick some things up, and back to Providence for a late brunch. Since I knew we weren’t eating until 2:30, I broke off 1/2 a Munch bar to munch on.

Garden Grille Cafe

My dad and I liked Garden Grille Cafe so much Wednesday night, we thought it’d be great to bring my mom and grandmother. This time, of course, it was light out 🙂 Their brunch menu is full of good things. Everyone else seemed to want French toast but they were out of the batter 😦 That ended up being fine because no one had complaints with what we did get.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes With BBQ Sauce

For the table, we ordered a side of grilled sweet potatoes with BBQ sauce. Where else could you get a plate of sweet potatoes for $6? Love it. And so did everyone else! There were only about 3 wedges left after everything which we boxed up.

Homemade Tofu Bacon

When I saw “homemade tofu bacon” as a side, I knew we had to order some; I just wanted to shout it at the waitress. Since this was homemade from regular tofu and not made in a factory, it didn’t have to count for Lent as “prepared soy”. It wasn’t as crispy as regular bacon, but had good flavor. My grandmother even ate it and loved it! I don’t think, however, she realized this wasn’t made from real pig. She also loved her vegan blueberry pancakes, but was ready to shout when she didn’t get real heavy cream at first for her coffee(maybe that was a good thing).

Garden Tofu Scramble With Hash, Grilled Sweet Potato With BBQ Sauce, 2 Tofu Slices

For my plate, I ordered the garden tofu scramble “with grilled seasonal vegetables, served with home fries and toast”. I gave away the toast(not gluten-free) and also took a wedge of sweet potato and 2 strips of bacon.

Empty Plate

Obviously, I hated it and wanted to shout out my frustration 🙂 This was amazing and I need to go here more often(it’s only about 2.5 miles down the road–an easy run). It was all a little heavily oiled, but isn’t that how brunches are supposed to be? The hash was easily the best part; next time I come, I’m just going to order that as my main because anything else was just filler. Likewise, the sweet potato seemed a little bland compared to the hash with regular and sweet potatoes in it. Have I shouted enough about the hash?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

On the way out, I picked up one of their vegan chocolate chip hemp cookies. This was shouting my name, even though it wasn’t gluten-free. I just love over-sized and soft cookies 🙂 Everybody loved the restaurant; my grandmother who couldn’t even tell you what a vegan meal would look like wants to go back for dinner some time! Hehe, too bad it’s so far from home(but not from me :-)).

New Bowl

We went grocery shopping and wound up at Targe where I was able to get a new bowl! Isn’t this so radically different from my last one 😉 What can I say? I know what I like. This really is what reminded me of a good ol’ care-free weekend, because I was able to enjoy just riding around and going places without thinking “Oh shoot, I have to write that paper!” I still do have to write that paper; I just wasn’t thinking about it.

Whole Foods Groceries

All the groceries were more-or-less the standards: copious amount of yogurt and soy yogurt, some grass-fed beef(on sale this week!), tofu, chickpeas(why don’t I keep a few cans of this around more often?), and agave nectar(been going through this a bit too fast lately…).

Eastside Market Groceries

At Eastside Market, I grabbed 2 gingerade kombucha(still on sale, woohoo!), nutritional yeast, sweet potato, avocado, and pumpkin. Again–it’s not like I’m radically changing my diet this week.

Jokerz And Raw Caramel Chocolate

I did “treat” myself to 2 “fun purchases”: another Jokerz bar and a new raw chocolate. Normally, dropping $10 for so little chocolate would make me want to shout(I mean, I better be buying a cacao tree for that price). But since I won that prize for my Greek exam and then another $583 for tieing for 1st in the Latin exam(did I forget to mention this?), I thought a little self-indulgence was due. I can’t wait to see if they were worth it!

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

1/2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Hemp Cookie

As if I needed any more self-indulgence, I broke in to my cookie. I cut half and ate it from my new bowl just because I could. This reeaaallly made me want to shout!  It was so soft and chewy–absolutely perfect for how I like my cookies. It wasn’t at all filling, probably not whole-grain, and sugary/butter as all hell; it was the perfect over-sized cookie 🙂 I like how the sweetness of the chocolate contrasted with slightly-savory hemp, too; I never would have thought to do that flavor combo. All that cookie adoration/putting away of groceries made dinner a real quickie:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter, Nutritional Yeast, And Sea Salt, Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds

I was going to make a burger with sweet potatoes, but since I had so much potato at lunch and didn’t get the ball going on cooking them, I just shouted out a c’est la vie and went with a breakfast-for-dinner motif. I love how savory this meal turned out; the nutritional yeast on pumpkin with saltiness tastes just like a vegan cheddar cheese, and the soy/hulled hemp seed combo was more savory, protein goodness. Not going to lie: I also love savory meals because they give me a sweet tooth for dessert 🙂 Until tomorrow!

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Field Trippin’

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

Has the sun shined where you are? Because it’s been pouring and raining all day! Oh well, I guess that’s could because it’s made me a little worker bee; I got sooo much done. But first, I was dragged out the door to meet my class for a “field trip” at 10am. Since it’s an object history class and Providence has plenty of historical places, it wasn’t hard for us to find somewhere fitting. We visited the John Brown House Museum.

Slave Trade Objects

As you might guess, it was no coincidence that the John Brown house is so close to Brown Univesity–he’s from the family we’re named after. When you get through the door, they don’t beat around the bush: The entire Brown family at one point was invested in the slave trade. That led for some good objects for us to look at. John Brown actually went through his whole life advocating for slavery and the slave trade, while his brothers turned into abolitionists and argued against him. That family must have been fun around the holidays!

John Brown's Chariot

You’ve got to admit that the man had some wheels. This was the oldest American made vehicle and actually carried George Washington around Rhode Island.

Squirrel Wall Paper

The same man, however, had no sense of “style”; he had a whole room wall-papered like this with squirrels and a squirrel carving over the fireplace. Uhhh, no thank you. It was pretty cool how they were able to restore the whole thing to its original ugly pristine.

Bull's Head Soup Holder

Since I’m still a foodie no matter where I go, the kitchen was the most interesting room; this soup bowl was used to hold hot soup which the steam would exit from the nostrils to make the bull look real. LOL. The owner after the Brown family also had one of the first working refrigerators in America!

Silver Bowl

And I think I found a new bowl to replace the one I broke earlier this week. What do you think? I think it could hold a lot of oats(and pumpkin, of course). After that the trip pretty much wrapped up and we all scurried to our dorms because the rain had intensified through the morning. By this point, I was pretty famished and surprised to see it was only 11:50; there are days when I’m just finishing breakfast then. Still, I whipped up the quickest and saltiest thing I could think of.

Soy Tofu And Broccoli, Cheddar Popchips

15 minutes later and I had a good meal done. I diced 1/2 a block of soft tofu and simmered that in soy sauce. While that was working, I steamed broccoli and added that towards the end to cook down. On the side I had some cheddar popchips and voila! a well-balanced meal! Chips can count as “balanced”, right? I was still feeling a little snackish later after this, which I’m pretty sure is the whole purpose of dessert.

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

I don’t think I know any “kid” who actually eats Z-bars, but they get so much love from us around the blogworld. And they should! I can never believe how soft and chocolaty these are for something prepackaged. They’re well portioned and fortified, too. And they make feel not so bad about not being able to bake while I’m at college. OK, when did I become a commercial for Z-bars? I’ll stop now.

Gingerade Kombucha

I didn’t want to boredom eat throughout the afternoon while I was working on my Greek, History, and Latin classes, so I sipped on some gingerade Kombucha instead. I don’t believe in any “appetite suppressant” if you’re really hungry but some times all your body needs is a nice flow of nutrient dense energy to realize how it really feels. That, and I’ll use any excuse to drink something that costs a whopping 2.50 🙂 My only complaint was that this one had a lot of floaties in it that felt awkward swallowing. OK I’m done thinking of that one.

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

I learned 2 important non-class related things this afternoon. Firstly, you can be hungry and bored without being hungry because you’re bored. Secondly, when I’m bored, I will take about 20 pictures of my food trying to be as “artsy” as possible. Case in point: ^. I think in retrospect I like the carob chip Perfect Foods Bar best but the peanut butter is also darn good. And because this was an afternoon snack packed with iron and protein, I decided not to have the grass-fed burger I thought I would for dinner and go with something more cravable:

Veggies With Vegan "Cheeze" Sauce

That would be about a pound or more of an Asian veggie blend from the dining topped with Meagan’s vegan “cheeze” sauce(hummus, water, and nutritional yeast). I also added a little coarse sea salt as needed. While I enjoy meat, I don’t particularly like to eat it when I’m not craving it or think it holds nutrients I need. Otherwise, I could(and do!) just eat a bowl of veggies. I’m pretty sure if you put me, Avery, and Heather in a room with only 1 pound of vegetables, a death match would ensue.

And now I’ll be a responsible blogger and use my platform to remind you that we lose an hour from Daylight’s Savings time tonight, so set your clock forward(or just sleep in, what do I care?). I’m actually looking forward to this? I’ve been hungry for meals a bit earlier all day, not by much–about 30 minutes to an hour–so my body will in a sense catch up with the time. Can I get a head start on things by throwing on my PJ’s an hour early tonight? I just might have to…

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Jokerz And Gardens

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Restaraunt Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I love how much bloggers sympathize over dropped tableware! Only you guys would understand, haha.

Jolly Beans

With the sun shining in, I knew an outdoor run would help me feel energized. I pushed it about as late as I could–10:30–and got ready to run. Right before heading out I popped the jelly beans from the Whole Foods bulk bins for quick energy. They’re all-natural, vegetarian, called “Jolly Beans”, and absolutely delicious; just like with other brands, my favorite colors are the white, orange, and yellow. Which are your favorite jelly beans?

9.4 Miles In 1:20:46

I ended up running 9.4 miles in 1:20:26, which was a really good pace for me. I had to hit the Providence hills because on my way back I made a pit stop at University Heights Whole Foods to grab a Jokerz bar. I think I’ve found a new addiction! I also swung by the dining hall before coming into my room right at 12 with the rush; that was not timed well, and there wasn’t even much for me to work with 😦 I stilled managed a tasty and quick lunch.

Kidney Beans With Ketchup And Hemp Oil, Maple Tofu, All Over Spinach

Another bean salad–I’m just loving these! Red beans are definitely not my favorite(I prefer chickpeas or black beans), but it’s what they had so I worked with them and made a dressing from organic ketchup and Foods Alive hemp oil sweet & sassy dresing. It reminded me of BBQ beans. On top, I threw on the maple tofu I roasted Monday but ended up not eating. What turned out being thrown together from stuff on hand was actually a great meal. Do you have a favorite type of bean?

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Wednesdays win for my long days: 3 1/2 hours straight class in the afternoon. I definitely needed something to look forward to in my Object History class to keep me sane. The funny thing? This weeks “object” was sugar and other food in colonial America. We also talked a lot about the potatoes role in society from it’s origins as a South American crop to Europe. As much as I love food, I feel like class is the one place I can escape from having a single track mind. C’est la vie.

Vegan Milk Chocolate Enrobing Vegan Caramel, Nougat, And Peanuts

It felt a little ironic to be eating this Go Max Go Foods Jokerz while we talked about the expansion of sugar in the 18th century English diet and how 1 ton of sugar equated to the life of a slave at the time. Guilt? I don’t know the meaning of the word–this was downright delicious! So sweet and good. And, yes, it’s a candy bar and not at all healthy. But it is all natural 🙂 And I had a surprise waiting for me after class…

Dad

Guess who was in town! Literally, he was in town on a special business conference, and since he got off dinner when I got out of class, meeting up for dinner seemed natural. First we stopped at a store to get avocadoes, kombucha, a new bowl, and jelly beans(aka, all of my staples). After that, we found a little local restaurant that Heather recommended.

Garden Grille Cafe

Garden Grille Cafe is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant over in East Pawtucket. I have ran right near this so many times without even paying notice; I wasn’t even 1/4 mile away twice on my run this morning! The menu is all vegetarian, highly vegan/gluten-free, and they even have some raw items. Though it didn’t say, I would bargain all the ingredients to be all-natural. They even had organic brews on tap(not that I was getting any of that action), along with fresh squeezed juices and blended smoothies. Now those sounded good. I’ll definitely be planning to end a run on a nice sunny day by here.

Eggplant Rollatini

For my entree, I chose the eggplant rollatini, described as “grilled and stuffed with herb tofu nut cheese, crispy polenta, garlic sauteed spinach with homemade pomodoro sauce””. The flavors were just what I was craving at the time. It also appealed to me that this was vegan, gluten-free, and–at least I would say so–didn’t compromise my Lent give-up of “prepared soy”(it had some tofu, but less than any other menu item, and since the house probably used raw tofu and just prepared it tonight, it’s less “prepared” than the ones I had in mind). The eggplant rolls with the tofu-nut cheese were amazing; I could have ate 5 more! The polenta I just had a sliver of; it was well formed, but even well formed polenta is pretty boring unless you dress it up with heavy cream or a sharp cheese(and this dish was vegan). Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll probably be eating there again. Did I mention they have vegan cinnamon rolls on the Sunday brunch menu? They do.

A few last things: first up, Katie alerted me to this article fronting Newsweek this week; apparently, I’m a good writer 😉 And I also agree with a lot I have to say! Go figure. And check out this ch-ch-chia seed giveaway from Lucky Taste Buds that comes with a sweet recipe! happy end of humpday, ya’ll!

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Candy, The Oscars, And Other Lies Your Mother Told You

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t think anything but the first 3 words of that title are really fitting, but it sounded nice 🙂 Up first, the candy!

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

I knew I wanted something “special” for Oscars night, so I picked out this all-natural candy bar from Whole Foods earlier in the day. It’s 1 of 4 Go Max Go Foods makes, it’s vegan, and it involves a layer of nougat topped with caramel and peanuts wrapped in (vegan) milk chocolate; sound heavenly, anybody? Well, I was really hoping it would be after dropping $2.50 on it.

Jokerz Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Food porn alert! The Jokerz bar was everything I could have hoped for and more; because I really wanted to describe it to you well, I even made up a review page for it. Even though you practically had to claw the $2.50 out of my hands to get me to pay for this at first(yes, that’s right, $2.50), I’m already planning when I should buy another. I figure it’s not that bad either if you think of it less like a candy bar and more like going out to get frozen yogurt with 10 different toppings, especially since I’d probably rather have this.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Of course, I was watching The Oscars all throughout, and made this oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter at some point. I thought Steve and Alec were some of the funniest host of any show in years; what less could you expect of them? But oh my God did the show drag on! At 11:40, after the best actor award, I had to throw in the towel.

Homemade Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

I really should have gone to bed when I was tired at 11; staying up an extra hour when you already have troubles sleeping sometimes is not productive. But I really wanted to see the show, which then caused midnight snack cravings including this homemade Reeses’ from Valentine’s day. The secret for me for a good homemade peanut butter cup is a) milk chocolate, b) powdered sugar, c) salted peanut butter. It’s as simple as candy making 🙂

Apple

When my alarm went off at 6:50 this morning–well, that was a big fat no thank you. I can not do with 7 hours of sleep; I did that and less through most of high school and I’m enjoying the full 8 hours I get these days, thank you very much. I slept in another 45 minutes, and got to the gym 35 minutes behind planned(how I gained those 10 I have no clue). I grabbed an apple to eat fast beforehand, too.

12 Miles in 1:45:59

Well, I got just what I wanted, on the TV that is. I really wanted to hear all the Oscar buzz and recaps and see what I miss, and that was all over The Today Show. I’m so happy for my Hollywood crush, Sandra Bullock! She definitely deserved it. Now if only I’d see that movie… To be honest, these 12 miles were tough. I really wanted to quit after 8, and for no other reason than time. But then I thought about the Oscar winners, who put the time into what they wanted and got great outcomes from that. That thought and simply not looking down at distance pushed me through.

Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Cupcake And Jelly Beans

After powerwalking to the campus cafe and back, showering, pressing tofu, shoving laundry in the machine, and fuddling with the microwave, breakfast was served; gotta love Mondays. I quickly threw some in with a little too little water and topped that with a big scoop of butter toffee peanut butter by Naturally Nutty. That tasted like candy, but actually candy found its way onto my yogurt.

Agave Sweetened Greek Yogurt With 1/2 Vanilla Cupcake And Jelly Beans

The combination here might seem weird to some, but it makes perfect sense to me. We always have celebrated my birthday and Easter together with the relatives(and more recently my baby cousin’s birthday), so cake and eggs? Sure, why not. Throw in a milk chocolate bunny, too, while you’re at it. I sweetened the plain yogurt just with some Xagave; I don’t know how other bloggers can do it but truly plain yogurt does not sit well with my taste buds.

Well, lastly it’s time for some lies 🙂 Astra and a bunch of you have tagged me for the 7 lies meme and so I’m finally throwing in the towel and giving it a go. You can also enter Astra’s contest here to win some peanut butter along with guessing her lies! Can you spot the truth? I’ll leave this running through tomorrow. And, in lieu of tagging anyone because I have no clue who–if anyone–hasn’t done this, consider yourself tagged if you haven’t but really want to. Now, my laundry is definitely ready to switch machines, and I’m having too much fun with jelly beans(it rhymed!).

1. My favorite candy growing up was Snickers!

2. I was debating between going to Princeton, Stanford, and Brown. While I think I might have got a better education at Princeton, I stuck more local to be near my family.

3. I’ve been on every continent but Antarctica(I’m coming for you, glaciers ;-)).

4. I left my passport on a plane on a school trip to Greece, but thankfully we got it before the plane left the gate

5. I speak fluently 3 languages.

6. My parents were extremely strict on anything electronic growing up, so I never owned a video game console until I got one as a High School graduation present.

7. The first time I had greek yogurt was in Greece on restaurant sidewalk with peaches and honey.

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How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

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Shedding Vegan Guilt And Others

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Guilt” is a really nasty word in my book and something no one should ever have to go through. And yet, at times, I feel like I put some pressures on myself that make my feel guilty for really stupid reasons. I write this post in earnest in hopes that, by getting them out there, I’ll be able to squash these feelings from ever returning.

Burnt Peanut Butter

Last night started off on a much lighter note: I managed to burn peanut butter. Is that even possible? Apparently. I was trying to get the last bit of this butter toffee peanut butter to soften but after 40 seconds it started smoking and the bottom was like pumice! Such a major bummer that this happened to my favorite Naturally Nutty peanut butter but thankfully there wasn’t much left and I had a full 16oz jar to replace this 8oz one.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

This combination of chocolate avocado pudding with sweet butter toffee peanut butter was absolutely heavenly, just what I wanted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it did have me face 1 common guilt I have: vegan guilt. On several occasions, I’ve caught myself thinking “Why do you have to eat that. Why not something similar but vegan?” It mostly ever occurs with things that might otherwise be vegan but aren’t due to added ingredients, like an energy bar or peanut butter. That’s when I lay down the line and remind myself I’m not vegan, raw, vegetarian, or any label like that, nor do I have plans to be. It’s so easy to get caught up and think about participating in some vegan for a day challenge; the fact is that I’ve done that, hated it, and moved on. I’ve also had days when I unintentionally ate completely vegan and been 100% satisfied. So from here on, I’m shedding the vegan guilt, knowing I do well for my part.

Red Delicious Apple

After that, I snacked on an apple while doing work. Sometimes I wonder what must it look like that I eat a good deal after dinner? I’ll shed that guilt before it starts by saying it’s just how my body works that it gets more hungry at night, I have no clue how much I eat after dinner or through the day for that matter, and it fuels me well for an a.m. run. Last night in particular I was fueling for a long run, so these extra carbs were more than welcomed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter And Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

To cap off the carb loving, I had a big bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and a few milk chocolate peanut sunspire candies. Ya’ll(OK, seriously, where did that come from), I can not tell you how bad my pictures get me down sometimes. But I think by typing it out I’ll feel a lot better: I’m working with crappy lighting in a dorm room at night. We’ll all just have to deal. Phew. Now I can talk about how good Brothers & Sisters was, as well as the closing ceremonies. I thought the latter were so much more fun than the opening ceremonies; I loved all the celebs and the hockey game at the end. Russia, though, seemed like downers on the whole party. Brothers & Sisters is definitely getting funnier, too. I just hope they crank up the drama to finish the season.

13 Miles In 1:54:55

Like I said, I was fueling for a long run in the morning. And that worked really well. I ended up running 13 miles. This also gave me time to think about my guilts, brainstorm this entrie blog posts, and discovered some running related ones: marathoner’s guilt and treadmill guilt. As you all probably know, I’m running a 1/2 marathon in 27 days, and that’s what I’m training for. After thinking about it, I realized I really like to run 8-10 miles and have no desire for much else usually. It’s great to be inspired by so many marathon running bloggers but that just ain’t for me. Besides that, I loved the treadmill. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating; I love having a TV and a nice warm, bright climate. Will I run outside again? Sure. But I like it hot(60’s at least) and sunny(we haven’t seen this in New England for about a week now). So there’s where I stand on running.

Soy Yogurt With Bacon Peanut Brittle, Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With An Egg And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

I big time got over my vegan guilt for breakfast; case in point: My yogurt isn’t even vegetarian. I added a plank of Sir Francis Bacon‘s Bacon Peanut Brittle and some vanilla stevia and sea salt. God was that good. It’s helping to settle my cravings for Fakin’ Tempeh Bacon(how much longer is Lent?). In the oats went an egg and on top more butter toffee peanut butter. And right now the only shred of guilt I have left is because I’m drinking a really good new tea I’m not sharing yet, but I have to save something for future posts, right 😉 Any guilts you need to shed? Let ’em out! I assure you, it feels 10 times better afterwards.

Here’s a giveaway for some good gluten-free granola–yum! Perfect for me 🙂 And here’s another for come cho-cho-bani!

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