1 Year Older, 1 Year… Different

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I have to say, I don’t even really remember writing this post 1 year ago tomorrow. I actually started the blog 1 year ago today; I’m not quite sure what happened to the first post but it was nothing special as I remember. I guess it’s fitting that this blog started with a product review, since that’s one thing I’ve done through it all(I still do, too. I’ve just been enjoying a house with a loaded kitchen). But over all that time I can’t say that I’ve really “learned” anything; I’ve simply changed. In a lot of ways.

I’ve updated both my bio on the side bar and my About Me to reflect my latest thoughts. There was a time when I measured out nut butter on oatmeal, and that worked for me. Now, I’m happy plopping it on and not knowing. And in this post, I swore off artificially sweetened yogurts; that sparked 8 or so months of eating how I would call “all-natural”. Honestly, I’m a little over that label. I still probably eat that way 99.9% of the time, but it’s not how I’d label myself. But I realized at the root of everything I’ve done, it’s been in the name of comfort. I think no matter what you do, it needs to be what feels right to you. So that’s where I am now: a comfort eater.

Speaking of comfort, we used to eat pizza as a family probably twice a week in my younger days. It was always from a greasy local joint, never quite good or healthy, and yet we all loved it. Since going gluten-free(another thing different), I really have missed pizza. So yesterday I broke out the gluten-free pizza mix and got to work. The dough tasted like Bertucci’s!(I made it vegan so it was OK to eat the dough ;-))

The ingredients were very basic: we got pizza sauce made fresh at Whole Foods, fresh mozzarella on sale, basil picked from our garden, Daiya, and canned pineapple. Yes, my favorite pizza has always been Hawaiian. 

It came out of the oven perfectly. The dough was a little… doughy, but I realized that was because I cut the whole recipe in half except for the water. Whoops. Half of this was a traditional pizza margarita and half vegan Hawaiian.

My plate had two slices of each, and a salad made with strawberries, yellow onion, and grape tomatoes. Like I said, the crust was a little bit doughy. But besides that this was excellent. I don’t even think anyone knew the pineapple pieces were vegan until I told them.

Of course, some things will never be different.

I still like ice cream. It just happens to be made from coconut milk.

I’ll have my cake and eat it, too. Even better, I can do it without gluten, eggs, or dairy.

And chocolate… how I love my Endangered Species chocolate. The only thing different here is that I’ve elevated my hydrogenated Jif to vanilla peanut butter and other fun flavors by Naturally Nutty.

After 1 year, I never thought I’d be so excited for another and more. I could never pick 1 favorite thing about blogging; I’d have to pick 3. Making friends with other bloggers is huge to me, and I look forward to many more meetups and getting to know new people. Hearing about how I’ve influenced people in any way, shape, or form, big or small always brings a smile to my face. If I can help someone in anyway by just doing my own thing, I’m happy to. And I never, ever take for granted a public platform to embarrass myself, because how will I ever achieve my dream of being a Food Network chef/stand-up comedian/Today Show host/Mythbuster/Adventurer if I can’t take a little criticism.

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Comedic Aspirations And An Iron Stomach

Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This morning, I realized I have at least 2 things in this world that no one can take away: a sense of humor and an iron stomach. I took my act to my Twitter feed last night.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries, 2% Fage

Chocolate Covered Strawberries, 2% Fage

This snack was damn good, but I’m pretty sure it was a little hot and heavy for a Monday night alone watching How Alien Moons Are Made.

Oatmeal, Divine Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal, Divine Milk Chocolate

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

Divine makes the best milk chocolate on the planet. Their secret ingredient? Dried cream. So fattening and rich it’ll knock your socks off. Luckily, this was late enough at night that I wasn’t wearing socks anymore.



So yes, that’s my thinly veiled plea for you to follow me on Twitter. You only have to listen; how the hell will I know if you aren’t really laughing out loud over the web?

Then there’s my iron stomach…

Vanilla Goat's Milk Yogurt, Blueberry Vanilla Granola Plank

Vanilla Goat's Milk Yogurt, Blueberry Vanilla Granola Plank

When I woke up, I just needed food so I grabbed a vanilla goat’s milk yogurt and a blueberry vanilla honest foods‘ granola plank. I was a huge fan of the vanilla goat milk; now that “was like ‘woah'”. The granola plank wasn’t bad, either. It definitely satisfied the cereal craving I needed.

Bulk French Chocolate

Bulk French Chocolate

And then I realized I needed to run now or it would be too hot so I grabbed this plus a little more chocolate and got out the door. I know you aren’t supposed to swim 30 minutes after you eat, what about running? It turns out, I have an iron stomach.

11.15 Miles

11.15 Miles

And it was hot! I came back dripping in sweat; you could have fried an egg on me but a) it would have been salty as hell and b) my iron stomach did not want food at the time.

Grape Bot Water

Grape Bot Water

Instead, I tried the grape Bot water, which was perfectly lightly sweetened and packed for refueling electrolytes. And now I think the iron stomach wants more! So I’m off to the kitchen.

Do you wear socks when you sleep? No way, Jose. When I’m in bed I want to feel free to wiggle my toes. I can’t understand wearing socks in bed unless you have really cold feet.

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Cinnamon And French

Posted on April 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! Thank you for all of your kind words. I feel 75% better and will probably head back tonight for classes tomorrow. To clue you in on what went down, yesterday during the day I coughed a lot and it had that “bacterial” smell/taste to it. At 4:30, I started coughing more and more, and then for 2 hours could not stop shivering to the point where I couldn’t do anything productive. EMS came and checked me out, but there was nothing apparently threatening and I signed a release waver. I did decide, however, in those hours I was shaking that it was important to go home. I couldn’t even cook myself a hamburger last night, had no appetite, and needed not to have to fend for myself like usual, you know?

Apple

Apple

Like I said, I had no appetite; even on rest days, that’s not like me at all. I tried taking a bite of this apple while I was waiting but the solid foods were not my friend and I couldn’t eat any more :-/

Mango Tango And Cinnamon Cookies

Mango Tango And Cinnamon Cookies

We stopped at Whole Foods before leaving town where I picked up what clearly was the dinner of champions(/sarcasm/). The Mango Tango was exactly what I wanted/needed and went down smooth. I was craving some easy to digest carbs, which was really hard to satisfy when you’re in a rush and eating gluten-free. I also wanted something cinnamon, which is why I picked those cookies. I ate 4 but once I realized the solid food was making my fever go up, I stopped.

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Finally at home, I took 3 scoops of So Delicious snickerdoodle ice cream and went directly to bed. I must have been sick, because the little cookie dough balls weren’t even my favorite part; what’s up with that? Of course, I tried getting as much sleep as humanly possible, but probably clocked in around 8 hours.

OIAJ, French Vanilla Yogurt With Fig Jam

OIAJ, French Vanilla Yogurt With Fig Jam

Finally, “real food” started to seem appealing. It was even more appealing because it was in a jar; something tells me Brandi would be very jealous of this 😉 Being home meant slim pickings on the yogurt availability.

French Vanilla Yogurt With French Fig Preserves

French Vanilla Yogurt With French Fig Preserves

I found a French vanilla Stonyfield in the depths of the refrigerator and some fig preserves i picked up on a trip to France I took over a year ago. Oolala! The fig preserves were homemade; it was more like a figgy syrup with whole dried figs in it, but it definitely wasn’t bad. I love picking up things like preserves on trips because then you really get the “flavor” of the destination.

What do you eat when you’re sick? I’m all about the juice! Especially when I just don’t want to eat solid foods. Would anybody answer Greek yogurt? If so, here’s a Oikos giveaway!

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Hungry Nights And Cookie Dough Mornings

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

Last night I played Hungry Hungry Hippo. Except there was no board game and I was the hippo.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Covered Egg

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Covered Egg

I was really really excited to try the new Trader Joe’s milk chocolate peanut butter cup. I mean, how could it not be good?!

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

I diced it up and put it on some So Delicious plain soy yogurt sweetened with alcohol free vanilla NuNaturals. Trader Joe, I feel you took advantage of me. This was not like an all-natural peanut butter egg 😦 The ratio was all off, and I don’t even think that was really peanut butter; it was more like chocolate peanut butter. I think the best all-natural peanut butter egg will be just coating the inside of a plastic egg with chocolate and filling it with peanut butter–done.

Nature's Path MMMaple Pecan Bar

Nature's Path MMMaple Pecan Bar

I was equally really excited to try the 2nd of two bars Nature’s Path sent to me; this one was MMMaple Pecan. This smelled ridiculously good. It had a very “New England” aroma–love it! The flavor was a bit of a let down after that. It wasn’t really sweet, or really salty. It just was. But it also was probably the healthiest of any of the Nature’s Path granola bars I’ve reviewed, so kudos for that. But did that fill me up? Not a chance

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If this wasn’t about to fill me up, I was going to retire, pack my food bloggin’ bags, and move to Boca Riton. I made a batch of pumpkin oats topped with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and a little bit of maple butter with sea salt. Oh God this was good, and filling! It was a little cruel to eat this while watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Bacon. I. Love. Bacon. And I love maple bacon, in particular maple tempeh bacon. Two more days of Lent and I’m not giving in!

Raw Cashew Butter

Raw Cashew Butter

This morning I slept in embarrassingly late :-/ The part that bugged me was just not knowing when to run anymore. I decided to eat breakfast first, run later. In the meanwhile, I made raw cashew butter, since I loved Love Raw Foods‘ so much. It was actually one of the easier nut butters I’ve made! I just turned on the food processor for 10 minutes and voila. And what could be better for breakfast than freshly nonroasted nuts?

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Cashew Butter, Lucuma Yogurt With White Chocolate

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Cashew Butter, Lucuma Yogurt With White Chocolate

In some plain yogurt I added 365 brand agave and Navitas Naturals‘ Lucuma Powder which made such a nice, malty sweetness, and on top were a few white chocolate chips. In the oatmeal was Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cashew Butter. Yes, you read that right.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cashew Butter:

  • 1 scoop cashew butter
  • A few, scant drops vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave

Oh. My. God. If you like cookie dough at all, you must try this. The vanilla entirely makes this dish, but you have to watch out not to overdo it. It’s even better microwaved a little so the chocolate melts in to the cashew butter. Do it! Speaking of doing it, I just need to get out there and run before the day gets away from me. We have big plans for dinner; let’s just say the cashew butter was just a prelude 😉

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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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Yogurt, Yogurt, And With A Side Of Yogurt

Posted on March 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yogurt can be fantastically healthy for you with protein, probiotics(a superfood), and calcium. Of course, these numbers vary by the brand. There are some I just wouldn’t suggest touching, like any using artificial sweeteners or even the organic ones which have more sugar in them already than a serving of ice cream. But–on the whole–if you’ve got yogurt in your hands, you’re doing all right.

Well Being Tazo Rest

What’s a better way to unwind on a Friday night than with tea? OK, OK, I know there are more exciting drinks to be found. But I have to tell you this tea sent to me by Tazo was probably the best I’ve had yet! It was so calming with rose and citrus–I could have fallen asleep then and there. I think it’s new and not available yet but should be soon.

I did a silly thing last night: I purposely went out and bought this ice cream for Friday’s sundae, even though a very strong part of me knew it wasn’t truly what I wanted. Why do we–as humans–cloud our wants with thoughts only to do the wrong thing? Fortunately, I was sensible enough to put this in the freezer and eat what I really had in mind.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Coconut Oil Chocolate

It’s a small departure, but I was really craving a pomegranate Chobani with some chocolate on top; who am I to deny a yogurt craving? And for said chocolate, I used half a bar of coconut oil chocolate. If you’ll remember when my friend came to visit, I gave her a bar of this to eat when she got home. Since this is partly a all-natural product review blog, here’s her review :-D:

“It was absolutely incredible. I didn’t want to share it with my family, but since they were all curious and jealous, I did and they all loved it. (In short, since that syntax was awful, the fam is one huge collective fan of your chocolate bar.) Seriously. I should probably stop being lazy and make some for myself, but I think that I’m just going to have to visit you more often to get some.”

If that doesn’t make you want to make some(or come visit me to get it for free), I don’t know what will 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Chocolate Chips

I’ll let the secret slide that this is the only food not yogurt in this post. I can break for yogurt for cashew butter, especially from Tierra Farm. There’s something so much more rich and delicious about cashew butter; if you don’t have any, you must! I don’t know of any widely available chocolate cashew butters. That’s a shame because the combo was fantastic and something I need to recreate in my food processor pronto.

Soy Yogurt And Greek Pomegranate Yogurt Chocolate Messes

Saturday morning were made for sleeping in, cartoons, and wasting time. I haven’t done much of the last two(yet?), but I certainly enjoyed sleeping in. Once I got up and started moving, my hunger led me to double yogurts. I think that’s a good thing; how can you go wrong with yogurt?

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

First up was some So Delicious soy yogurt sweetened with vanilla stevia and topped with milk chocolate peanuts and salt. I might have gone a little overboard on the peanuts–whoops! Oh well, I was counting them as my “healthy fat”, even if buried under chocolate 😉

Pomegranate Chobani With Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

On the other spectrum, for some good protein I had another pomegranate Chobani, this time with the last two squares of Endangered Species dark chocolate with orange. I’ll admit that I need to stop putting crazy of chocolate on yogurt when you accept that pomegranate and citrus chocolate is the best combo ever. Seriously, how have I not tried this one before? it was almost like a fine marmalade–delicious.

It’s another beautiful and sunny day so I’m going to mull about until 11 to go for a pleasant outdoor run. I’m making a new playlist just for it! But it’s horribly uninventive: I’m just putting all my Lady Antebellum and Sugarland songs onto the On The Go and calling it done, haha.  Have you tried cashew butter? Love it or hate? Obviously, I’m a lover 🙂 And while I don’t want to spark any “brand debates”, I’ll simply ask what’s your favorite type of yogurt? For me, I like greek-style if it’s cow’s milk. I also like soy yogurt and–as I discovered yesterday–coconut milk yogurt!

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Eating Picnic Foods

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Well if you live in the Northeast, I hope you got outside for this amazing weather. If you don’t, I hope the sun was shining where you are, too! March is the best month: In like a lion, out with my birthday like a lamb.

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

I’m lucky to love the treadmill and running out doors. They’re very different things, and both have their good points. When I get bored of one, the other can be there to pick me up. Today, that was the case where I didn’t feel like running on the treadmill first thing but was ready for an outdoor run around 11. I had 2 tiny squares of my favorite organic dark chocolate from Endangered Species and hit the road.

11.25 Miles In 1:35:10

This was a long run. In fact, it turned out to be my longest outdoor run ever! by .7 of a mile. I went up and down the Providence Path 3 times. There was even some running team(maybe collegiate?) holding time trials so I had good company and motivation. At the 3rd turn, I went down Hope street and ended my run at Whole Foods to do some refueling and grocery shopping.

Odwalla Carrot Juice

For some reason, I had it in my mind that this Whole Foods made fresh pressed carrot juice. I guess not :-/ But I was happy to refuel with this brand. Not only do I find carrot juice incredibly sweet and delicious, but it’s one of the best recovery drinks around.

Carrot Juice Nutrition

What makes a good recovery drink? Well, we could really debate this for hours. Chocolate milk gets a lot of attention for its 4:1 carb:protein content. Coconut water seems to be the new fad, but I have yet to try this and can’t speak for it. What I love about carrot juice is the potassium content: Look at it! That’s more than a banana, and for 1/2 the bottle. And potassium is something necessary for recovery. Another reason to love carrot juice is it’s 1 natural ingredient: carrots.

Groceries

I’m sure you’d believe me if I told you the first thing I grabbed at the store–even before the juice–was the milk chocolate sunspire peanuts. Could I live on without them? Beyond that, I just grabbed a sweet potato(albeit, a huge one), some canned fish for dinner and yogurt on sale. I was pushing my timing and had to get back to shower and make a full recovery lunch fast.

Chili Lime Yumnuts

In my rush, I remembered I wanted to try these seasoned cashews sent to me by Yumnuts. I’m not much of a spicy or savory snacker but for my meals they sounded wonderful and picnic-y. I threw everything in one big container and met my friend, Adam, on the campus green to enjoy the sun!

Tuna Salad, Chickpeas, And Chili Lime Cashews Over Dressed Greens

I started by tossing bitter greens with my favorite dressing from Foods Alive. I tossed on top the remaining 1/2 a can of chickpeas, a can of tuna mixed with 2oz Voskos plain non fat for a healthy tuna salad, and a small handful chili lime Yumnuts. Could you imagine something better for picnicing? Because I couldn’t. This was all perfect! I forgot how much I loved tuna salads with a little salt. I guess the “trick” is to reserve just a little liquid from the can so that it’s not dry when you mix it with the thick-and-creamy binder. And the Yumnuts were–well–yum! They really were quite spicy, which I appreciated. Maybe a bit of sweetness for contrast wouldn’t have hurt? Still, they were quite good, and even flavored the tuna a bit.

Tazo 0 Cal Zen Green Tea With Lemongrass And Spearmint

To wash this all down, I sipped on this new tea from Tazo. It’s sweetened naturally with erythritol and stevia which is a great renovation to the sweet tea line if you ask me. It was definitely enjoyable, and probably sweet enough for most tastes. I did think the lemon part of it was lacking a bit, but still I’d happily grab this over any sugared-up competition. Overall, I hope it’s bright and sunny again soon because I want to eat this whole meal again!

Chocolate So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After getting a little work done and cleaning up after the hurricane that hit my dorm, I was craving something chocolate. Can you imagine that? I finished off the pint of chocolate So Delicious coconut milk ice cream I’d been working on. Is there anything sadder than finishing a pint of ice cream with no ability to immediately replace it? I think not.

Vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

And, since that wasn’t enough So Delicious, coconut milk, and chocolate, I gave their yogurt a try with the final two squares of the same chocolate bar I ate earlier. A pint and a chocolate bar? Man, I was knocking them out today. Concerning the coconut milk yogurt: holy yum! This was amazing. Like I really needed another food to be obsessed over? At least I’m hooked while it’s on sale; you know there’ll be more of these over the weekend.

Dr. Kracker's Seeded Spelt

Another perfect picnic food, of course, are crackers. What’s not to love? I decided I’d try these Dr. Krackers because I loved the idea of sunflower seeds baked right in for a little crunch. I also read from Whole Foods that spelt flour–while wheat and so gluten-forming–has a higher tolerance level among gluten intolerant people than regular wheat. I’m not above conducting mini-science experiments on myself.

Spaghetti Squash, Broccoli, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Seeded Spelt Crackers

I didn’t plan to have so much but when I read that spaghetti squash was at the cafeteria, well you know I had to make adjustments 😉 Overall, the whole meal was good, but not really “put together”. The crackers were nice, but they missed the crispness I was expecting; I really enjoyed the sunflower seeds with this sunny weather, though! The salmon in a can was–in a word–disgusting; I wasn’t expecting it to be not even deskinned or deboned. I only took 2 servings and threw the other 1.5 out. It tasted fine, but I think I would rather go without omega-3’s during my time at college than eat that more often. At least it was in the spirit of cheap fish during Lent? I’ll be happy when that’s over.

Annnd as much as I talked about the sun, it’s now dark out. Good thing because I should work work work on these midterms. I also want to keep up the “sundae on Fridays” tradition, but need to find some good ice cream to suit my palate. Enjoy the night!

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Chocolate Makes The Meal

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Believe it or not, I don’t actually ever realize how much chocolate I eat until someone points it out, or that it might not be normal for everyone to have chocolate at every point in there day. I can’t fathom how my 9 year old cousin doesn’t like chocolate(I think there’s genetic testing to done here). It goes without saying that I started last night off with–what else–chocolate.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I broke in to the Righteously Raw chocolate bar I splurged on over the weekend, taking half and save the rest for another time.

Righteously Raw Caramel Bar

I was intrigued to say the least to see how they would work lucuma and dates into a raw caramel. In short: they didn’t :-/ I guess caramel is just something too difficult to make with raw ingredients, because this really didn’t remind me of that. Oh well. Would I pay another 3.50 for the 1/2 a bar I ate? Probably not, but you gotta experience these things one and a while.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Cacao Coconut Butter

A little later and why not more chocolate? This time in the way of my homemade dormmade chocolate coconut butter(recipe to come) along side some butter toffee peanut butter from Naturally Nutty. The cacao coconut butter is the perfect consistency at room temp, but melts to water over oatmeal or hardens to chocolate in yogurt. What to do, oh, what to do? I suppose neither are really a “problem” when it tastes that good 😀

Endangered Species 70% Organic Dark Chocolate

This morning I actually felt energized when I woke up at 6:15; I was not expecting that. Because I dream of chocolate while others dream of Jeannie, I grabbed 5 squares of my favorite dark chocolate bar made by Endangered Species. There’s no harm in a little chocolate prerun for some quick carbs when it’s organic and saving the rain forest 😉

10 Miles In 89:56

For whatever reason, I have a lot easier time doing long runs if I extend the time from the start rather than at the end; it’s like all those minutes before 7am don’t even count! I totally could have gone longer to watch Kirstie Alley on the Today Show had I not had to get to class. I was just happy to squeeze 10 miles in under 90 minutes so that I could get back, make a breakfast, and get to class.

Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate

Really, chocolate should be at every breakfast table. At least this one from Alter Eco has a complete protein in it in the form of quinoa. Note: Do not leave squares of chocolate next to the heat vent of the computer unattended.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Raw Cashew Butter, Greek Yogurt With Superfruits And Quinoa Dark Chocolate

I love how fast oatmeal cooks! Is that a silly thing to love? Regardless, it’s this college boy’s dream food. I made pumpkin oatmeal and topped it with raw cashew butter from Love Raw Foods and butter toffee peanut butter fromNaturally Nutty. This combo was fantastic. Seriously, both of these nut butters are incredibly rich and the duo had such a Wow! factor to them. They’re also so different–one’s raw whereas the other is sugared and buttered up. You’ve just got to love each for their own right 🙂

Greek Yogurt With Superfruit Spread And Dark Quinoa Chocolate

The yogurt, likewise, was love. I mixed in Europe superfruits spread from Crofters Organic into a 2% plain yogurt and added on some shavings of Alter Eco‘s dark quinoa chocolate. I won’t go into too much detail now because I reposted my review in just a little bit but I loved the crunch of this, and I don’t even normally like “crispy” chocolate! Something about the quinoa, though, was perfectly cacao.

Now, will you get me to admit that I eat too much chocolate? On the contrary, I’d probably tear up the internet looking for all the articles on chocolate’s health benefits than admit to that. And if you asked me what kind of chocolate’s best, I’d point you to companies that hold organic and fair trade ingredients at a premium, like Alter Eco does. This company sent me a few bars to review, and now that I’ve nibbled on both I want to share my thoughts. Universal of all their products is their commitment to equality and the ingredients, which was a philosophy I could not help but admire. Beyond that, their products tasted good, too 😉

Dark Velvet Chocolate

8/10: First to get the elephant out of the room: this is in no way–in my opinion–a dark chocolate bar. Not only does it have dairy solids in it, the flavor of them shines through. That’s really not a bad thing though; on the contrary, I loved the rich, buttery tone to it. It just would have scored higher with me if it didn’t advertise itself as “dark” with a “touch” of milk. I also loved the simple, fair trade, origin ingredients, and that it had no soy or lecithin. This bar was as pure and ethical as they come, and if you want a “feel good” chocolate, it certainly shares that mission.

Dark Quinoa Chocolate

9.5/10: I’ve always thought chocolate with crispies in it to make it “interesting” always turned out bland and airy more than anything else. Alter Eco has made a truly interesting chocolate bar by inserting quinoa–not puffed rice–for a nice and satisfying crunch–not crisp. This seemed to me an ingenious move as a reminder of the Amazonian origins of cacao, as if the fact that they locate their cocoa and sugar to fairly traded farmers in Bolivia wasn’t enough. The company and thus the chocolate bar are entirely ethical and entirely tasty; even the chocolate, while “only” 61% cacao, had a much deeper, darker bitterness to it that I loved. While it may cost a little more because it’s so gourmet and might be hard to find, for a reasonable splurge or chocolate lover’s present this bar is perfect.

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Full Of Probiotics

Posted on March 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That pretty much describes me right now! These days, I don’t really keep track of any part of my diet. I don’t do calorie counting, I don’t keep track of my fruit and veggie intake, if I’m not down with a protein at a meal I let it slide, etc. The one thing I have sort of kept up with as of lately is getting 2 sources of probiotics a day. They’re a superfood of mine because I think they’re great for digestion, an upset stomach, and longevity. But even this isn’t much of a “goal” because 2 sources is quite average for me. You know what’s not average? 5. And that’s all before dessert.

Pineapple Chobani With Custom Goji Granola

Backing up, what are probiotics? They’re strands of bacterial culture added to foods, most recognizably yogurt. Since these bacteria already exist in our digestive tracks, eating more of them helps to bolster any that might have died out over time. Probiotics have been suggested to have a host of other benefits from weight management(unless you’re only getting them through gallons of frozen yogurt) to flu prevention. This morning, I got S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Casei from my pineapple Chobani.

Hemp Oil Dressing And Mulberries

For lunch, I had another superfood salad in mind! I had something like this Monday; I’m really not a big salad eater, but something about this particular combination of ingredients just “works” and made me crave it. In the mix was a good dose of Foods Alive‘s Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy dressing and Navitas Naturals mulberries.

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach, Gingerade Kombucha

Chickpea, Mulberry, And Garlic Cheddar Salad Over Dressed Spinach

I mixed the dressing with spinach, and made a composite of chickpeas, garlic, sea salt, diced Next Generation Dairy raw & probiotic garlic parsley cheddar, and the mulberries. I love the mulberries here, which are like golden raisins but less sweet and more fiberous. On the side, I had a gingerade kombucha. Overall, not only was this meal fantastic, but it was amazingly healthy. The dressing, spinach, mulberries, cheese, and drink were all raw. Only the chickpeas were cooked, but those are healthy anyway so who cares? And the cheese was fortified with Ganeden BC30 probiotics, while the kombucha has 1 billion Lactobacillus Bacterium and S. Boulardii. That’s a lot of cultures!

Mint Chip Sweet Scoops Frozen Yogurt

Let’s just say I was more than happy to get out of my class at 4pm–it was the weekend! And I needed it, too, seeing as how much I had juggling in my mind to handle “once the school work was done with”. Well, really the first thing I did was get to my dorm, turn on the computer, and scoop out some frozen yogurt. We picked up this mint chip frozen yogurt from Sweet Scoops on Sunday; I’ve had it before so I knew I’d like it. Plus I love anything mint. But I think Sweet Scoops is also good because they keep the milk kind of fatty so it has a thick texture.  And it had my good friends, L. Bulgaricus & S. Thermophilus–score.

If you’ve ever wondered about the cultures in frozen yogurt(because I know you have ;-)), they are live but–unlike in yogurt–are not active. The freezing process puts the bacteria into a dormant state. Once they get into your system, however, where the temperature is much higher, they become active again. That is what makes frozen yogurt what it is(it has nothing to do with fat content). Running around like the nut that I am pressing tofu and shoving vegetables in the oven, I needed more fuel before dinner. Enter into my life more probiotics:

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

How many times do I eat this? A lot. And yet I never thought to notice that each time I do I’m taking in L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Rhamnosus, L. Acidophilus, Bif. Bifidum, and Bif. Animalis. Good to know. It was also quite delicious, perfectly sweet and salty, and a little nutty. I’ve heard that Stop & Shop employees in R.I. are going on strike this weekend! I sure hope not; it’s $1 cheaper to get these So Delicious soy yogurts there than it is at Whole Foods. Now, if you can believe it, there weren’t any probiotics at dinner.

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato Chunks With Maple Baked Tofu

What it was was my ultimate comfort food dish; would it make sense to have anything else on a snowy night that’s kicking off the weekend? I think not. I was thinking about putting this on a plate, but a bowl seemed so much more comforting. Bowl? Plate? Doesn’t matter? This all tasted awesome with some sea salt to balance it out. I’m impressed the tofu pressed well in only 90 minutes.

Not only was that bowl incredibly comforting, it’s going to be very well digested. I think I got about 10 different strands of bacteria in me, if not more, and billions of cultures. Incredible, huh? Don’t get me wrong–today was a bit of an abnormality, and really getting any probiotics is a good start. If you aren’t a yogurt or frozen yogurt fan(although how could you not be?), they also make supplements that are concentrated forms of probiotics; Avery would be the one to see on those. Now, I’m freezing my butt off tonight; the bacteria strand S. Thermophilus would not be happy(this means heat lover in Greek). I think they lowered the heat in the whole building because my coconut oil used to even be liquid at room temp and now I’m cold 😦 PJ’s, a sweatshirt, and Survivor will cure the cold.

And because I’m tired of writing out scientific names for bacteria, I’ll talk about giveaways. Kate is giving away ch-ch-ch-chia seeds. Click here to win some Maranatha. There’s also a Tropical Tradition Coconut Oil giveaway. Here’s a chance to get some of my favorite protein bars. And, lastly, a [me] & goji custom cereal giveaway.

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Butterfingers

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can call me butterfingers today for so many reasons. Then again, I can’t refuse some good butter 😀 Right after breakfast(with butter toffee peanut butter, no less), I hopped out to walk to Supercuts. I’ve gotten my haircut by the same person for–God–7 years, maybe? Maybe more. It felt like I was cheating on that person by going to someone else, but hey! I’m in another state! If it’s any consolation, my Tina does a way better job than whoever I had today. After I got back to my dorm, it was practically lunch time.

Microwave Popcorn

Who’s up for working ridiculous things into meals because you’re craving them? I am! I am! For what it’s worth, I believe this was Newman’s Own Organics‘ light butter; it didn’t say on the packaging but I don’t think I’d have boughten any other kind.

Steamed Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu, Buttered Popcorn

For a protein, I “scrambled” some tofu with a fork and cooked in a pan with soy sauce until it firmed up and came to be almost like eggs–yum! You should definitely try this.

Broccoli, Scrambled Tofu

Part of the browning comes from soy sauce, but part of it comes from the pan; that’s how you know it’s done. And in defense of popcorn, it is a whole grain! With moderate amount of butter and salt, it’s near perfection, too. This afternoon I was the other kind of butterfinger–the kind who’s constantly dropping the ball.

Apple

I grabbed this apple while I was throwing stuff in the laundry machine in the basement. On the good side of things, it was fresh and not at all mealy! On the downside, when has a tiny apple ever been a sufficient snack? It needed almond butter or peanut butter.

Greek Yogurt With Raspberry Dark Chocolate Jam

Which is why I made up another snack not 20 minutes later once I sat down to do some work. I’ve really slipped up recently by neglecting the good ol’ yogurt and jam–a classic combination. I might have also slipped up by assuming the fire alarm this afternoon was a drill, because eventually firemen showed up and the building was practically in lock down–double oops. It was not my kind of afternoon.

Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon, Almond Milk Vanilla Frosty

Once things settled down, I made a repeat snack from yesterday but with some twists: I used almond milk, sea salt, and vanilla agave for the shake and had a coconut + vanilla macaroon emmy’s organic macaroon on the side. The shake was noticeably more bitter, probably because a) Xagave is sweeter than normal agave I find and b) almond milk is naturally bitter. Next time I should try it with Xagave and cow’s milk to see how it tastes. When I was cleaning my food processor–blech. I don’t even want to say it.

Plastic Pieces

Butterfingers! I dropped the top piece and some plastic came off 😦 It looks like the whole thing should still work, but man! If you remember, this happened when I first bought my food processor and was able to exchange it; I think it’s been a little too long now. All I can say is I would not recommend the Black & Decker brand as it is far too fragile; if anyone has a food processor they want me to demo, I’m all game 😀

Mushroom Omelet With Colby Cheese, Vegetable Melange With Hemp Oil Sweet & Sassy Dressing

Dinner was so unexciting; I’m ready for this Lent thing to be over already! I just want a juicy burger 😦 Instead, I ate eggs, with a little butter in the pan to make them not stick. Exciting, huh? Well, this new dressing was sort of exciting, and loaded with healthy fats, too. I’d love to try it on something green like spinach with some sweetness(tomato). It has a nice sweet tang almost like BBQ sauce.

Clean Comforter And Jacket

I could slip into my bed right now like butter if it weren’t not-made. On the bright side, I did slip into a fresh out of the drier sweatshirt, which is always like a warm hug. Now, what gets butter off the fingers? Coconut oil?

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