March To The Beat Of Your Own Drum

Posted on May 6, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s one of the simplest things to say, but the hardest to do. And yet, if we can do it in the little places in life, can’t we master it when it matters, too?

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Hazelnut Agave

Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter And Hazelnut Agave

Madhava Hazelnut Agave

Madhava Hazelnut Agave

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Ice Cream

We define “serving sizes” all the time. Don’t tell me to eat 10 pieces of ginger Vivani chocolate when they’re made 4 blocks to a row. I know math and that just doesn’t work out unless I’m willing to put a little effort into it. Likewise, there’s no such thing as a tablespoon of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter or Madhava’s hazelnut agave. There’s a scoop and a squirt and how much that is is how much that is. And ice cream? A serving’s what I left in the pint after the last time I at some. I don’t need a measuring cup, and I don’t even need a cup–just hand me the spoon.

But what if I told you to get to that snickerdoodle So Delicious soy ice cream I had to walk through a room of people drinking and playing beer pong in front of the fridge? And that I was in my pajamas? And that I really didn’t want to be doing that? Fact. Fact. And you bet your booty. It was one hell of an awkward minute I felt like a fish out of water. But what would have been the argument against getting the ice cream? There wasn’t really one, so in the end I knew what was “right”. Besides, the joke should be on them: It was Cinco de Mayo and I saw no margaritas. Really, guys, really?

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Pineapple Chobani With Maple Glazed Cashews

Pineapple Chobani With Maple Glazed Cashews

So where does that leave me, on this most Holy of days, Seis de Mayo. Well, I know a few things. I know I was hungry way before class today and ate my breakfast of Mighty Maple oatmeal and a pineapple Chobani with cashews early. I know I’ll watch Bear Grylls in just about anything and everything he wants to do in his career(see Worst Case Scenario). And I know that I should throw away fears and do what I really want to do more often, because at the end of the tunnel there just might be a pint of ice cream. Now, if I may quote different strokes

Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum.
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
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Someone Thinks I’m A Healthy Blogger

Posted on April 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Well, it might not be clear through all the chocolate I eat…

Divine Mint Dark Chocolate

Divine Mint Dark Chocolate

…But believe it or not I do fall under the “health food blogger category”. And now I’m excited to say I’ll be a featured publisher for that, too! Foodbuzz is releasing a special section devoted to healthy living and I’ve been accepted as a publisher! First of all, you can friend me and buzz my profile here. Of course, I’ll still be having the same fun and friendly blog. I’ll just be sure to emphasize on occasion a new healthy recipe(like banana goodness bread) or deeper info on a health-related topic(like how gluten affects me). And if you have a Foodbuzz account, please friend and buzz me! Of course, I’ll always be a chocolate reviewer at heart…

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Ginger

I think I’m on a ginger dark chocolate kick. After trying Green & Black’s last night, I had to see what Vivani had to offer. I liked their bar, but not quite as much. The ginger was perfect; I just wish there was a tad more of it. But the combination of ginger and dark chocolate is a new favorite in my book! It also seems that, in the time since Vivani sent me several of their bars to review, they’ve completely renewed their line; I’d be interested to see if they become more widely available now.

Oatmeal With Honey And Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Honey And Peanut Butter

I finished the night with a little honey in my oatmeal; sometimes, there’s nothing better than fragrant, warm honey.

Peanut Choco' Nature's Path Organic Bar

Peanut Choco' Nature's Path Organic Bar

This morning, I had the pleasure not to have a 9am class. I slept in(just a bit) and decided still to run first thing. I snacked on a Peanut Choco’ Nature’s Path Chewy Granola Bar while sipping some coffee before making my way down. An empty gym is definitely food for the soul, too, when it comes to relaxation

12 Miles In 1:45:18

12 Miles In 1:45:18

105 minutes later, I had gone 12 miles. The run wasn’t much more exciting than what was on TV, which was the Today Show. Have you heard of Sandra Bullock’s baby adoption and how they’re willing to work together through divorce to both be parents of Louis? That’s such a sweet and at the same time heartbreaking story; I still have secret hopes she’ll reconcile with Jesse James.

What “healthy” subjects would you like to see touched upon more? I’m all ears! And tonight I can’t wait to announce a blogging milestone. Until then, just click around a bit, read a few recipes to get us there quicker 😀

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“If I’m Running, It Ain’t At 6:15”

Posted on April 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! I hope you feel refreshed. I sure do sleeping in. I think I’m still catching up on sleep lost from Saturday night and I knew a 6:15 wake-up was not happening. I was thinking of running soon but I’ll just take a rest day and call the whole thing off.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Can I change the name of the blog to “Oats and peanut butter”? Because that’s all you’re getting today since that’s all I felt like. I blame the fact that something in our hall smelt like freshly roasted peanuts. God, I can’t pass those up. I tried to recreate some sinfully unnutricious Reese’s peanut butter and had a little too much fun putting it on my oatmeal.

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Despite the combination of 365 brand peanut butter, Madhava vanilla agave, and vanilla bean sugar, it didn’t really taste that sweet :-/ Maybe I wasn’t using as much sweetener as I thought, but I’ve had the agave in peanut butter before and it tasted better than this. Oh well, there’s always the next bowl!

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

And there was another bowl. This time, it was a more tried-and-true combination of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple, which you must know I’m addicted to for a sweet peanut butter, and some Scharffen Berger milk chocolate, which is perhaps the dreamiest I’ve ever had but better to get as a gift than pay for yourself. A little sea salt to this and it was like a gourmet peanut butter cup. Yum.

It felt very good this morning to have time to sip coffee, walk around, check email and blog all before having to do much activity; that’s definitely not how my Tuesday/Thursdays would go otherwise. Eventually, my taste buds led me to yet more oats and peanut butter…

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

I broke open a new can of pumpkin and had to celebrate with Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee peanut butter. And for a fun yogurt-mess, I started with a fruity flavor of Chobani and added some fruity chocolate.

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

I remembered really loving the combination of pomegranate and citrus chocolate so I thought I’d try it with Vivani’s orange dark chocolate. The combination was good, but not quite magical. Vivani’s dark chocolate is just a little too dark to let the sweetness of the citrus shine. Of course, since I love their 72% dark chocolate, I knew this could never be a bad bar 😀

And now in between classes I’m the luckiest man and get to take a trip to Whole Foods. I did not realize how low on oat bran I was when I went on Sunday! The answer? Very low! I usually only use Trader Joe’s oatbran, but since he’s 10+ miles away the bulk bins will have to do. And if I put this off any longer I’ll never be back in time for my next class. See you tonight!

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Candy Bar Oatmeal

Posted on April 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Shall we start with the obvious? I eat a lot of of candy bars, particularly chocolate bars.

Vivani And Endangered Species 70% Dark Chocolate

Vivani And Endangered Species 70% Dark Chocolate

I’m not complaining. Remember when I said here that I want to aim for at least 1oz of dark chocolate a day? I wasn’t kidding. That would be a “tasting plate” of the last of my Vivani 72% dark chocolate and some Endangered Species organic 70% dark chocolate. This boy knows what he likes. Of course, we can’t eat candy bars all the time.

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

That’s when we make oatmeal taste like candy. Almond Joy, anyone? After reading this post on Heather’s blog, I was reminded how amazing coconut milk and grains are together. I don’t have a rice cooker, so oats will have to do. The richness of organic coconut milk pairs so well with Justin’s chocolate almond butter; it’s beyond words.

Who needs and Almond Joy? I have oatmeal.

Chococonut Nature's Path Bar

Chococonut Nature's Path Bar

I woke up bright and early for a run, because I have so much to get done today I wanted for running to be out of the way. This Nature’s Path Organic bar definitely tastes more like a candy than granola bar. I still don’t get much of a coconut flavor out of it :-/

11.5 Miles In 1:39:18

11.5 Miles In 1:39:18

I think the dark chocolate must have worked, because I pushed through 11.5 miles on the tready at a 7.0 pace, which is faster than I was doing before. While I know it’s the running outside that’s boosting my speed, I’d like to think it’s dark chocolate. I can hope, right?

Madhava Vanilla Agave Nectar

Madhava Vanilla Agave Nectar

Madhava recently sent me a box of their agave nectars which I was super excited to try and review. Agave, as you probably know, is an unrefined, vegan sweetener noticeably sweeter than sugar. There’s plenty of scandal around its actual properties I could get into but won’t now. The bottom line for me is that it is just a form of sugar in the end, but one of the ones I’d rather eat than refined white sugar. And when they’re doctored up with flavors like this vanilla, what’s not to love?

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter, Vanilla Greek Yogurt

I sweetened plain yogurt with the vanilla agave, and made my own peanut butter with 365 brand smooth and a squirt of vanilla agave. If you like a soft, mellow vanilla tone to flavors, this is perfect for you. It wasn’t as intense as a vanilla bean, but definitely added intrinsic flavor. The peanut butter I’ll tell you tasted just like what you get in a Reese’s cup; the Scharffen Berger milk chocolate and sea salt on top totally enhanced the experience. Let’s compare:

Vs.

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Milk Chocolate And Peanut Butter

I’ll take my oatmeal, thank you.

What was/is your favorite candy? Growing up, I was always a Reese’s and milk chocolate peanut butter supporter. My all-time favorite had to be the Reese’s Fast Break. A bag of the “minis” would not last long around me. My lifestyle transition to an all-natural diet has been made simpler by Newman’s Own Organics’ milk chocolate peanut butter cups and Sunspire’s milk chocolate coated peanuts. But I still have secret hopes that someday someone will make an all-natural Fast Break, and a few recipes I have yet to try to mimic this.

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Determination And Wellness

Posted on March 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I apologize for the absurd length of this post. If it’s any consolation, I’m the one who actually had to write it 😉 And there’s a giveaway at the end, so hold tight.

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

Sunridge Organic Jolly Beans

I was eager to get a run in before lunch today, though apparently running didn’t feel the same way about me 😦 I pushed through 3.33 miles at the gym before just wanting to give up; I felt like I was running on empty. That was one option. The other was to get some quick carbs in me, finish the 10 miles I had planned, and worry about refueling afterwards. I’m stubborn and determined if nothing else. I ran back to my dorm, grabbed a handful of organic jolly beans, and got back on that horse treadmill.

10 Miles In 1:29:04

10 Miles In 1:29:04

I managed to finish the 10 miles in 1:29:04. It was a pretty difficult run as they come in all respects, but I’m just glad I pushed through. I’m trying to adjust to running at different times like mid-morning for my half but clearly my body would prefer I get up and going at 7. If nothing else, I got to see this segment of the Today Show which pretty much sums me up and how I grocery shop. 100% natural on products means nothing, but unless you’re determined to pay for the organic seal then you have to read the ingredients. And organic chicken legs?! What was up with those? After a quick 5-minute shower, I was ready for a lunch meeting.

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

Chilled Salmon Salad With Citrus Fruit And Vinagrette

My gym friend, the res life dean, invited me to lunch to get to know each other off the treadmill. I was excited to see the ins and outs of the faculty club, which had an amazing selection including a chicken, maple, and walnut salad that had my mouth drooling. But since it is a Friday in Lent I kept it kosher(so to speak) and went with the chilled citrus salmon salad, which had grapefruit, mandarin orange slices, and a citrus vinagrette. I loved the mandarin orange here; it was so nice and flavorful! It made things seem like Spring, even though it was snowing this morning.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

Vivani 72% Dark Chocolate

When I got back to my room, I made a quick dessert of an apple and some Vivani 72% dark chocolate. With just 3 ingredients, this chocolate is a dream and perfectly sweet. It’s even better ingredient-wise than my favorite dark chocolate(Sorry, Endangered Species, but clearly you don’t need soy lecithin to make something solid).

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

Chickpea And Raw Cheese Salad Over Dressed Spinach

An hour later, I was pretty famished. It wasn’t even snackish-hunger, but I was ready for a meal. Since I was going to have chickpeas for dinner, why not 2 and 1/2 hours early? I made a salad of chickpeas with Next Generation Dairy Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw & Probiotic Cheese. The spinach I dressed with some Foods Alive Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing, all of which was deliciously sweet. I could definitely be happy eating chickpeas every day if I kept that many cans in stock.

Apple

Apple

In the afternoon, I braved the cold temperatures(seriously, New England, don’t you know it’s almost April?) to get some food from the dining hall and Tedeschi. While I was out, I snacked on an apple, and then forgot to take back more for my dorm. Drats! Good thing I’ll be going home tomorrow.

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Chili Lime Cashews, Broccoli With Honey And Sunflower Seeds

2 apples, a crap load of greens, and 3 meals later, I just might be full. I think this day easily makes up for those when all I’ve eaten has been chocolate. I mixed a can of tuna with the remainder of some Voskos plain-non fat yogurt and topped it with chili lime Yumnuts; I think I’ve become officially obsessed with that combination since I ate it last Friday on a picnic with a friend. On some steamed broccoli I added sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey–love that crunch!

Instead of bore you with more food-food and not desserts, I’ll launch my Wellness Giveaway. First, here’s a recap of all the mental health tips from the week.

Me-Time

Everyday, especially those at rough or difficult times, make sure you have an activity 20-60 minutes to spend on you. Treat yourself or just enjoy alone time. In the end, you’ll be grateful for those moments and you’ll realize that that’s not thatmuch “time lost” in the grand scheme of things; in fact, it’s time gained.

Stress Sleep

First up, I’m not saying sleep like you’re stressed. I’m telling you to put stress on sleep. That’s the best thing you can do for your mental health at a time when you might otherwise be distracted. We’ve all been there: Too much to do and the first thing you’re willing to sacrifice is sleep. But that’s not the answer. In fact, in times when we just need clarity, sleep can be the most beneficial thing for us and boost brain power and concentration in our waking hours. It also helps to “normalize” hunger cues. Despite a 6:15 wake-up call, I prioritized and managed 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night to be a sharp thinker for my tests. Between 7 and 8 hours is the recommended amount, but this varies slightly between person to person.

Declutter

I could not imagine leaving my room with an unmade bed. Hell, I couldn’t imagine being around with an unmade bed, dirty dishes, unorganized pile of papers–you name it. My point is not to make your bed, however; I don’t even do this at home when I spend almost no time in my room. My point is to declutter the area you spend the most time focusing. It’s a fact that if you only look at mess, you’ll only feel like a mess and stress out. Keeping a work area neat and tidy is the most important thing not just for organization but also mental health.

To-Do Lists

I want to talk about how to work! While we could try to juggle everything in our mind, why? All that remembering and forgetting easily adds stress. The first step is to put it down in writing. I use Google Tasks because it goes wherever I go, and I can have different lists for everything from blog stuff, to television shows I need to watch online, to my grocery list, etc. And my favorite mental booster is to cross off–not erase–tasks gone by; seeing things with a strike through them will remind you of what you’ve done and make you feel more accomplished.

Meal Planning

This is the happy union of being a foodie and doing things for your mental health: meal planning. I know it’s something a lot of other bloggers are passionate about. The 1 week we did it for my family back in January, I remember meals being the last thing on my mind all week, which was such a comfort. Now that I have such a small refrigerator to work with and so less options, I don’t keep up the practice. But I do keep meals in mind, and usually am able to plan at the very least 3-4 hours ahead.

Don’t Sweat It

Sweat during your workout? Definitely. But one of the best things you can do for mental health is not stress what you do not control. Some people find this through acceptance; some people find it through a higher power. Whichever way is right for you, it’s important to recognize there are some things in life we don’t choose but we can prepare for.

Keep Your Eye On The Reward

Sometimes, when you’re leading a tough time, it’s best to keep your head up and eyes focused on what’s at the end of the tunnel rather than your present situation. It may sound like it was on a whim, but really I had that trip to Juniper planned all week long. At the very least, it gave me something fun and different to look forward to as a “reward” for a potentially stressful week. It doesn’t have to be food. It doesn’t even have to cost money. But doing something for yourself special or out of the ordinary is a great way to keep your mind in a healthy place.

Now for the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the Celestial Seasonings Natural Wellness Kit. I got 6 teas to keep me healthy and sane this week, all of which will be given review pages in due time. My favorite so far is actually the honey vanilla, which I wasn’t sent but found in the store and bought myself. I like how most of their teas are caffeine free, because herbal wellness doesn’t have to come with a big dose of caffeine and a crash later on.  The kit itself includes:

  • Four wellness teas to ease  symptoms associated with the cold and flu including Sleepytime Extra, Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint
  • Two green teas to support a healthy immune system year round – Authentic Green Tea and Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
  • Mug, soothing lip balm, honey sticks and Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Bear and the book “Herbs for Health and Happiness” by Celestial Seasonings founder Mo Siegel and Nancy Burke

Do you need some wellness in your life? There are plenty of ways to enter, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each one to make sure it counts. Answer/do any of the following:

  • Which of these tips did you find most helpful? How did you incorporate it into your life this week?
  • Which flavor from the wellness kit or Celestial Seasonings website most appeals to you?
  • Tweet this contest, saying “FoodMakesFunFuel is having a Celestial Tea giveaway http://tinyurl.com/ykub24n @EvanFMFF” and leave your Twitter name.
  • Blog about this contest and leave a link to the post.

That’s 4 possible entries to rack up. The contest will run through the end of March and I’ll announce the winner April 1st. Good luck!

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Hung[ry] over

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

No, this hasn’t turned in to a blog reviewing organic ales. Give it a few more years, the right sponsorship, and we’ll see where it goes 😉 But as for last night, it took forever to fall asleep(lets blame the people who probably are hungover), which drove my hunger up a wall and this morning I’m feeling a little hungry over. Why does the keyboard type so loud?

Vivani Organic 72% Dark Chocolate

Because all good nights should start and end with chocolate, I broke out a bar to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve ran out of my favoritedark chocolate but luckily remembered I still had some Vivani 72% Organic Dark Chocolate and broke off 8 squares. I love that this has 3 ingredients(cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar), all of which I have. How’s that for simple eating?

Apple

Once that was gone, I snacked on an apple. When you can’t remember when you got the apple, it’s not a good sign for the freshness :-/ I swear this was turning to cider on the inside already. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I’d be hung[ry] over today…

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Dried Cherries

A little later and it was time for oats. This I topped with Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter and some dried cherries, the combination of which was fantastic. Good news: 2 readers, Kim and Carolyn, commented on this post saying chocolate Justin’s has reached New York! It’s comin’; I can feel it.

Tazo Rest

Vanilla Yogurt With Cherry Butter And Organic Cherry Dark Chocolate

After that oatmeal, I tried to go to bed. How’d it work out? Not so well. Oh well, at least I’d get to see Betty White on SNL, right? That wasn’t last night, either. Shucks. I hoped that some Tazo Rest tea would lull me to sleep, which was followed up with a vanilla chobani topped with cherry butter and 4 squares Green & Black’s cherry dark chocolate. Despite that this was mostly sugar, it must have worked because I don’t remember being up much longer; Sigourny Weaver on SNL was just not cutting the entertainment for me.

Soy Yogurt With Hemp Seeds, Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And Mulburries, Bedtime Tea

The plan for this morning was either run on the treadmill 10-11 miles while watching a Scooby Doo movie(hey, it was what’s on) or stay in for breakfast and run later. The sun and my stomach led me to the latter. I think the fact that I’m having “bedtime tea” at 9:30 says my mood.

Oatmeal With Pepita Sun Butter And Mulberries

Since I plan to run withing the hour, I opted for So Delicious soy yogurt sweetened with vanilla stevia instead of greek because it’s easier to digest. And I topped that with Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp–gotta love the hemp. My oatmeal turned out more like a salty, watery pancake because I ran out of oatbran 😦 That, too, will get fixed today. And I hardly noticed after deluging it in Naturally Nutty’s Pepita Sun Butter with some of Navitas Naturals’ Mulberries to sprinkle on top. Come to think of it, the pepita sun butter has hemp in it, too; I guess it is a hempy morning, afterall 😀

I have 11 outdoor miles on the agenda for today. I’m a little worried how this will feel after yesterday’s 9.5 felt “long” but I have some great motivation waiting for me at the end to look forward to 😉 And I’ll be packing jolly beans for fuel; can’t run around Easter time without your jolly beans! Happy Sunday! What are your plans?

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Let’s Try This Again

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m officially back, blogging from a dorm room! The lighting is awful; I can hear into every room from mine; and I’ll be running back and forth to the bathroom for everything from water to plate cleaning. Welcome back to me 😀

This morning was hectic with packing and organizing. I really tried remembering what I never used 1st semester and what I wish I had, trying to bring the perfect amount of things. The food processor did not make the cut; it would have been too bulky for my little room, and I’m sooo overprotective of it I’d need 10 feet of bubblewrap to move it. Banana whips will have to wait for the weekends I’m home. Since the weather was soooo nice, we grilled for lunch!

I had really odd cravings for my final meal. We grilled a frozen bison burger that I made out of ground bison back in September. When I took my first bite, I realized it was seriously undercooked(which says a lot coming from me), so I committed the cardinal sin of meat by microwaving it to cook it.  At least it was became edible. On the side I had broccoli(duh) with soy sauce, ketchup, and peanut butter! I just really needed to fit peanut butter in there somehow. The earthiness of it went great with bison.

After the car was packed and we left, wed ended up taking 2 hours just to get to campus. We needed to stop to pick up last-minute food items, but it seemed like all the stores were reorganizing or out of things! Only after Market Basket and Whole Foods did we find canned pumpkin at Stop & Shop. Ugh. I think the shortage is starting to take effect. When we were almost here, I started getting hungry and reached what was in the closest box behind me.

Vivani Dark Chocolate With 85% Cocoa

Lucky for me, that turned out to be dark chocolate 🙂 I liked this flavor of Vivani, but it felt a little bland all by itself. It would have been really great in yogurt, with peanut butter, or just about any application other than plain because the sweetness and bitterness were both so dim. 3 simple, organic ingredients(cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and sugar) though make me a happy man 🙂

We had a happy system going when we finally got here: I stayed in my room putting things away while my dad brought them from the car, up the stairs, and into the room. I really liked that deal 😀 I think it all looked like so much more in the car than it does in the room, that or I did a good job organizing it all. When I was halfway through, I had a made time for a quick snack.

Chocolate Vitamuffin With Fig Goat Milk Ice Cream

Yum! I love the chocolate and fig combo, even though it doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven. The goat milk ice cream is Laloo’s brand, which I bought a few weeks ago and brought on campus to keep in the basement. I hope I can eat it before someone steals it, because it cost a good deal(and this was with my money, not the parents’). This snack made my line of thought go from “How am I ever going to eat all this?!” to “I bet this’ll be gone before I know it.” I forgot how big my appetite can get when I’m on campus and running again! Let me give you a quick tour:

Books And Appliances

On my desk, I have my alarm, coffee maker, some movies I’m sure I won’t get around to watching all semester, and books(mostly pleasure reads I won’t get the pleasure of actually reading). On top, I keep all my electronics on the left and spices/seasonings on the right–gotta have those at quick hand as a foodie.

Closet Space

My closet has just about everything but… clothes. OK, there are some shirts in there. There’s also my coffee, chocolate, shopping bags, pots, pans, storage containers, towels, utensils, and plates. I’m glad it has shelves because that’s the majority of my storage space(I couldn’t fit myself in there and close the door so at least I don’t have to worry about getting locked in).

Underbed Storage

And, as any college student knows, bed raisers are a saint. No, really, I don’t know what I’d do without my under-bed storage. This has all of my food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, a LOT of bars, more nut butters than you would believe, natural sodas, and, at the end, dirty laundry(as in, literal dirty laundry).  Well that’s my space! I hope you like it. So, I’m sure you’re all sitting on the edge of your seats wondering how my first real “meal” back went, right? 😉

3oz All-Natural Dark Meat Turkey, Asparagus Cuts, Lemon Tahini Cauliflower

Pretty darn good if you ask me. From the dining hall, I was able to scrap up asparagus tips and cauliflower in a lemon-tahini sauce, which was actually quite delicious! One of the great things about my dining hall is that the ingredients for all of their dishes are readily available so I’m able to know if the food fits my current food philosophy(and these obviously made the cut). The main protein was leftover turkey from Sunday lunch, which I chose to eat tempeh instead of then. I took every shred of dark meat I could because I like it better; yes, it has more fats, but it also has more flavor. And since I just occasionally eat moderate amounts of meat for enjoyment anyway, it’d be silly to opt for the leaner but flavorless cuts–that’s just my 2 cents.

It’s almost time for Biggest Loser and American Idol! I love how something are very much changing, like location and what’s on my plate, while other things are more constant, like good friends and good television shows(and by “good”, I mean trashy, addicting reality TV :-D).

Here’s a coconut peanut butter contest! Yum. I like my peanut butter any which way.

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Get My Goat

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Check out my guest post on Tina’s Nuval Blog here*

I’ve never understood the phrase “That really gets my goat,” but right now it has a completely different meaning for me. I think that goat’s milk yogurt a few nights ago resparked my love affair with goat’s milk and now I’m craving it like crazy. According to Avery, it’s actually easier to digest because it’s closer to human milk than cow or soy. I just think it tastes amazing. So please, somebody, get my goat(or yours), start milking, and pass me a glass.

Did you know they make goat’s milk chocolate and goat’s milk fudge? Yes. That is what I was investigating last night, because I couldn’t imagine something to better feed my two loves. Because I didn’t have any of that, I decided to settle for chocolate that has no milk by Vivani.

Vivani Organic 72% Dark Chocolate

In fact, this chocolate has none of a lot of things; look at that ingredient list!

Simple Ingredients

3 organic ingredients and that’s it; I think I’m in love. And this bar tasted great, too! It was 72%, which is 2% over my usual and favorite cocoa content. This was just as good as I would have thought, with a great sweetness and a bitter touch. Chocolate will just never get old, will it?

Yesterday, Bobbi posted the recipe for “the healthiest cookie in America”. I have to admit: I was really tempted to make these(along with a few alterations to make them even more healthy). But we have so much frozen cookies right now, more would be ridiculous. Instead, I took out ingredients to recreate them in “the healthiest bowl of oatmeal in America”.

Better Than Roasted Walnuts

The cookies have dark chocolate(antioxidants) and walnuts(healthy fats) in them, so I grabbed some of the walnuts sent to me from Blue Mountain Organics. I kept trying to read the back of the bag to figure out exactly what they do and I must say that I’m still at a loss. But whatever they do, it must work! These were really light and almost like puffed rice. It was quite odd, but cool. The fact that they were so light made them really easy to break up for presentation.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Walnuts

I topped it with some dark chocolate almond butter to give it antioxidants and more healthy fats. I’ve probably made healthier bowls than this, but it wasn’t bad. I spent the whole time thinking about how they must “roast” the nuts at a really really low temperature and if I could do that. And about how this should be vegan but wasn’t because Maranatha puts milk powder in their dark chocolate almond butter. Doesn’t that make it milk chocolate technically? >:-(

I don’t think that was enough for a first-thing workout, but I just did not get hungry for anything else and ate that oatmeal minutes before falling asleep. But when I woke up I was still pretty drained. I thought I wanted to do cardio, so I set out for a nice stair session, but ended up only doing 100 flights. After that I knew I needed to just take a break, push it off until later, and eat a meal. The funny thing wa though that nothing really sounded “good” to me; thinking about greek yogurt and pumpkin made my stomach feel like it would have to work to digest, so I tried to keep it as easy and smooth as I could.

Banana Oatmeal With Earth Balance Peanut Butter And Fig Jam

Peanut Butter Soy Yogurt With Salt And Nutritional Yeast

The soy yogurt also sort of felt like a “compromise” that would be tough to digest but at least it was a tasty one. I added a little nutritional yeast to give it sort of a cheesiness more like really peanut butter has. And since I try to fit in protein to start the day, the 6g from peanut flour helped. Since pumpkin was too heavy, I used a small banana for the oats and some fig jam(which would go amazing with anything goat’s milk–just saying).

Now I’m wondering if lunch is going to be as hard to find something appetizing as breakfast. Tofu’s on the meal plan but I think I need something that goes down lighter. You didn’t hear it from me, but there might be a giveaway at the end of tonight’s post, following some recipes 😉 I guess you’ll just have to wait and see…

Or, for an instant giveaway, head over to Brandi’s blog for some delicious sounding jams!

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Finding Groceries And Motivation.

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

I love it when title just right themselves. It saves me from trying to be witty and failing. This one totally applies to my past 16 hours. Right after blogging last night, we made a midnight(err, 7:30pm) Whole Foods trip. It was simpler to do this with our schedules these days and we needed meals for the next few nights. We went to the Framingham Whole Foods and now I have to wonder: How long has it been since I’ve been there? Because there was a lot of new finds. First we stopped at Stop And Shop to get more pumpkin, and 2 things caught my eye.

TRUwhip At Stop And Shop

Soap Opera Digest

Stop And Shop now sells TRUwhip and for cheap! Unfortunately, the holidays are over but if you have any excuse to buy some, do! It’s so good and keeps in your freezer. And apparently I’m in for a “shocking death” sometime this week. If I write a really nasty and angry blog post around 2:05 tomorrow, assume I wasn’t happy with who died 😦 Then we went to Whole Foods where I basically ran around like a chicken without a head. They always ay go grocery shopping Wednesday nights and it’s so true! There was no one there(except me, of course). And I just wanted to get things and get out so I could go to bed. But look at all the new products I found!

Caramel And Chocolate Oikos

Luna Protein Bars

Clif Fruit And Nut Strips

Clif Fruit And Nut Strips

The new Oikoi(Oikos in plural in Greek) are out! Like I said, I don’t know why these are so exciting to me since I could theoretically put chocolate and caramel over a plain Oikos, but for some reason they are(I didn’t end up buying one though). And the new Clif bars are here, too! Even though they weren’t on sale, I couldn’t resist picking one out “just to try”. I went with the cookie dough Luna because I love me some cookie dough. We saved so much on coupons and sales, it was ridiculous! The cashier actually commented and wanted to know how we were doing it 😉 All you need to do is cut from the Whole Deal flier and wait for the sales to match. There was one thing I payed for myself not on sale or with a coupon.

Burnt Sugar Chocolate Fudge

I’ve been having a major fudge craving. I was thinking about making my own vegan version, but after realizing all the powdered sugar I’d need, it seemed so much simpler to pay someone else to make it for me. This should be delicious. If I did make a vegan version, I would use this:

Soy Free Earth Balance

The kind people at Earth Balance sent me some coupons to try their version of an all-natural vegan butter spread, and with my first coupon I picked out this one which I’ve seen on Heather’s blog a lot. A solid fat has a lot of advantages in cooking and baking that liquid doesn’t so this should be fun to play with. And it has no cholesterol because it’s vegan–score.

Steaz Soda And Organic Whole Wheat Pasta

I think my dad was more giddy about the savings we got than I was. The pasta is normall $3 a pound, but they were on sale for $2 and Whole Foods had a $1 coupon off two, so we got BOTH for $3. And the Steaz is normally around $4.49 for a 4-pack, but are on sale for $2.66 this week, and there’s a buy 1 get 1 in the Whole Deal. So instead of $9 for both, we got both for $2.66. That is some savings! We also got regular stuff like chicken and beef for dinners(both on sale). After everything was put away, I had a new chocolate to sample and review.

Vivani Organic Dark Chocolate With Lemon

Vivani sent me some of their products to try and review and lemon was just what I was craving. They’re a European country that makes their chocolate with only 3 or 4 ingredients and no soy lecithin. If you’ve never looked, that’s a common emulsifier in American chocolate, so this is more friendly to people who are allergic to or intolerant of soy. This flavor was really good; the lemon wasn’t super loud like I was hoping, but then again no one would want to bite into chocolate and feel like they’re sucking on a lemon. I loved the flavor of the 70% dark chocolate which makes me excited to try that one soon.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

A little later I needed something nutty and melty so I made this with a new can of pumpkin. Yum! It hit the spot. After watching Hugh Jackman on Jay Leno I tried to get to bed, but no dice. Ever have it when you’re just so ready to start the next day you can shut off your mind to end this one? That’s how I felt like last night. And the fact that I almost napped during Gettysburg didn’t help. After 40 minutes of turning I decided hot food would help.

Tempeh With Quick BBQ Sauce

Who craves tempeh at 11:40? Apparently, I do. It was so good with a little BBQ sauce(ketchup, liquid smoke, and mustard). I turned on Conan and fell asleep to that, and amazingly wasn’t to tired when I woke up at 7:30. Now for the motivation part: Yesterday, I was completely lazy all day and did nothing. There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact I think it made me more excited to get things done today and how! I wrote a to-do list before I went to bed detailing as much as I could. First up was my workout; I decided to do my core followed by 200 flights. After the muscle-building power moves of the core, I reached for a snack to eat for the cardio of the stairs.

Cookie Dough Luna Protein

Ho-Ly-Crap. This bar was amazing! It was so good, I had to give it a 10/10. The flavor for once was a perfect rendition of cookie dough. And the nutrition was just what I like during a workout: some sugars, a good deal of whole proteins, minerals to be absorbed, and sodium for replenishing. Really, I couldn’t stop thinking about this for the hour I was climbing(that and pumping along to embarrassing songs like Cowboy Casanova and Hey, Soul Sister). What I also loved was it was the perfect size to let me cool down and shower before making breakfast without feeling in a rush. That way, when I had breakfast, it was just how I wanted it to be.

Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal With Maple Walnut Butter

Chobani With Raspberry Jam

Sometimes there’s nothing better than simple yogurt topped with simple jam–fruity and delicious. I meant to make banana goodness bread oats which would have involved vanilla powder and vanilla stevia but I forgot(whoops) and instead it was simple banana and cinnamon. That was good, but not as flavorful. On top I mixed together Artisana raw walnut butter with maple butter from New Hampshire for some nutty sweetness.

1/7/10 List

See? There really is a list, for today anyway. I love how my day is broken up: Workout, Shower, Breakfast, Lunch, Baking, Dinner, Dessert. That pretty much sums me up 🙂 And I’m doing so good! Right now I’ve done everything I was supposed to, except having banana oatmeal instead of pumpkin. Well, we can’t all be perfect, right 😉

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