Spring is Springing + Reading Week Recap

It’s March 1st! Which means it’s automatically Spring in my mind. Now if only this snow would take a hike we’d be well on our way. It’s bright and sunny and not completely freezing today though so we’re off to a good start – end weather report.

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(weheartit)

End of February also = end of Reading Week. I just got back to the grind this week after a lovely but much too speedy week of rest last week. Or what should have been a week of rest but consisted of a week of mostly late nights and ridiculously early mornings. I’m glad to know my internal alarm clock is still unbelievably reliable even on my holidays…

Nothing too out of the ordinary went down during my time off:
Throughout the week: A little bit of studying
Tuesday: A break up consoling party – not mine! That of a poor confused friend. New relationship. Guy ends it. We have some gals together for ranting time, music, pizza and chocolate fondue. She wakes up the next morning to a text from him saying he made a mistake. Oh boys.
Wednesday: Girl movie night
Thursday: Get dressed up and go out dancing night
Friday: Day at work.
Saturday: Uh oh, Reading Week is already almost over?! Time to crack down on the studying all day day. Another friend movie night.
Sunday: Uh oh, Reading Week is REALLY already almost over?! Studying = ALL day.

It was no hot and sunny beach but it was a welcome break from classes and constant school work.

 

And as per always, there were plenty of “interesting” eats going down during Reading Week:

This jar of The Bee’s Knees saw it’s final end…

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…in THESE healthified “blondies”. I’m not even going to try telling you what I put into them because they were less than award winning. The carob chips were their only saving grace.

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Some of my salads got “popcorned

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I soggied up some wraps with egg whites, salsa, Laughing cow and Frank’s.

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Most of my sweet treats have been random stuff bowls – usually a yogurt base with fruit and whatever extra sweet thang I can find kicking around – like candy-coated almonds or hunks of dark chocolate.

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Or crumbled muffins/whatever baked good I pull out of the freezer.

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On another dessert note, after the great success of the peanut butter dessert hummus (which will now be made on the regular, guaranteed), I obviously had to try out Lauren’s black bean version too. Dessert is just sailing on whole new seas.

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Since Lauren is pretty much an expert in the kitchen, I had to try out her Zesty Kale Chips too. I may have burnt them just a tad…doh. But the flavour… BOMB. I ate at least 1/3 of them before even sticking them in the oven.

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Reading Week also called for a very special breakfast: My last Vitatop with the last bits of a plain Greek yogurt container with the last of my peanut butter dessert hummus + frozen raspberries (I have a TON of those left). Costco needs a visit from me.

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I still have a couple containers of fruity Greek yogurt left over from my Costco stash. Yogurt-topped bowl of pumpkin oats and wheat bran anyone?

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I’ve been a Multigrain Cheerio monster lately.

As a smoothie topper.

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Or topped with Chocolate Amazing Grass. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat this DRY. Choco almond milk added post-pic for reduced sog effect :)

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And a hummus monster as well. But that’s kind of an always thing. Hummus = BEST salad topper.

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Second best might just be…

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Ooey gooey runny eggs!

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So that was Reading Week: The Quick and Hungry Version.

And now that it’s over and I’m back to the grind… it’s also time to get back to the studying. One (tough and stressful) midterm Thursday, then three more next Monday->Wednesday. Woo.

Luckily it’s MARCH and I love new month beginnings. Especially new ones that basically mark the end of winter.

 

What are you most looking forward to this month?
Aside from the warming temperatures and later, sunnier days, I’m thinking my birthday! It’s not until the end but that means I get something to look forward to for the whole month :)

Happy March!

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All in the Genes

Reading Week gone, and the first three days back to the grind has been pretty much all study study studying (with a bit of mundanely exciting hoopla thrown into the mix, as you’ll see throughout this post). I plowed through an assignment and two midterms in the first three days back. Nice welcome back. But now the big guns are done and I’m free for the rest of the week! Phew.

Monday

Might as well start off the grind of the week with a breakfast staple: good old oatmeal. This bowl was sweetened up with some SF Jello rice pudding (I had one last container to get rid of. Too sweet on its own but worked out pretty well in the oats), plus a dollop of peanut butter mixed with yogurt and fresh strawberries.

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I spent the morning working on assignments. I could have been a diligent student and actually have done some work during my reading week instead of hiding all of my school books in the depths of my closet but… who does that?! I’d rather suffer by cramming it all into the beginning of the week instead I guess.

I eventually broke to make some Ginger Peanut Tofu Salad, which I discovered happens to be that of a one Miss Broccoli Hut. Thanks Caroline!

Ginger Peanut Tofu Salad
(Serves 1)
* 6 oz. firm tofu
* 1 T peanut butter
* 1 T soy sauce
* 1/2 t ground ginger
* 0.5 packet stevia
* 1 small garlic clove, minced
* dash of red pepper flakes
* green onions, diced

(I also added some rice wine vinegar and water to thin the sauce out a bit)

1. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, stevia, and garlic in a small bowl.
2. Place the tofu in a larger bowl and pour the dressing from step one over the tofu. Combine the dressing and tofu with your hands, squeezing the tofu into a crumble texture.

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Along with a few spoonfuls of this goodness, I munched on some veg, cottage cheese, and a bit of leftover pasta.

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After driving through a lake of slush to get to my afternoon class, after barely surviving the drive home I decided I was not going to venture out again in that mess for my three hour evening class. Turns out my decision was wise since my teacher’s bus ended up being 1.5 hours late and the whole class had peaced out by the time she got there. So I missed nothing. Phew.

Instead of going to class, I used my extra time to:

– Shovel mounds of slushy snow off of our driveway
– Eat a bean medley salad

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– Revel in the fact that I now had extra evening hours to cram for my (barely studied for) midterm the next day.
– Actually study for said midterm
– Eat an applesauce mixture HOT the way Jess likes it ;)
( unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, pb, carob chips + Coconut Chia Granola )

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– Study study sleep etc

Tuesday

I had a mini study sesh bright dark and early in the AM before heading to my early morning class (not the one with the midterm), accompanied by some overnight oats (oats, water, flax, banana, yogurt by night, cottage cheese and blueberries joined in by morning) and coffee black as the sky was that early in the morning.

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Came home, studied some more. Midterms in the aft are nice since it gives me lots of time to give the info a good thorough last few hours of memorizing. Then it’s all nice and fresh in my mind :)

Study Food – Red pepper tomato soup with a handful of mixed beans and Frank’s stirred in, plus a wee piece of rye bread taking a dip in there as well. Side plate of veggies dunked in some french onion dip.

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Study Break – Necessities. I can only stay sane through studying by taking one or two (or a million) breaks. Especially food breaks. Especially new food making breaks.

Hence the birth of this Raw Vegan Cheesecake. I’ve hardly ever experimented with raw-type dessert but they always look so good to me and I always save a million and a half raw food recipes with the hopes of trying them someday. I had all of the ingredients on hand for this one so I just couldn’t not make it.

My piddly weak Magic Bullet just couldn’t quite get a smooth consistency for the top, despite adding a good amount of water to smooth it out, but it still turned out pretty well. Next time I might have to whip out the food processor first. Oh how nice a VitaMix would be..

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I guess all of that food work did some good things to my brain, since despite not feeling so super after writing my midterm, I ended up getting 90%. Maybe all those raw food treats are the way to ultimate brain power!

Dinner clearly took the cake though since I finally scored a kabocha squash!!! It’s been SO long since I’ve had one. I could only ever find buttercup for the longest time. I can never really tell the difference when buying them and I rarely find any labelled as kabocha. I had no idea that this was a winner until I roasted it up and was greeted with its kabocha greatness.

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Too bad I charred it.

Luckily it was still pretty decent tasting, but I made half of it in fry form and they had a bit of extra burn flavour to them… not the ideal extra something something I would have requested.

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The rest of the evening contained some raw tasties…

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And some more studying for my NEXT midterm that took place today. Thrilling I know.

Wednesday

Here we are!

Today started out pretty darn swell.

I know. How great is this breakfast right? Looks darn good just like that right? Well wait until you see its buried treasure underneath…

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Now THAT’S what I call a decadent breakfast. Why oh why didn’t I start eating Vitatops for breakfast earlier? I was missing out!

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Chocolate Vitatop + plain yogurt + cold mushy banana + strawberries + blueberries + flax = beautiful breakfast bliss.

Then I spent the entire morning cramming for my 2:30pm Biopsych midterm. Yummy…

During the process I drank a giant mug of green tea… and felt sick? Has anyone else ever felt sick from drinking green tea before? I don’t know if it was actually due to the green tea but I felt queasy after the mug… maybe it was hunger instead since this was a couple hours after breakfast… who knows.

But anywho, the green tea queasies pushed me to prep a snack/lunch.

Peanut Ginger Tofu (5x that amount), leftover kabocha (2x that amount), cucs, carrots, red pepper, cottage cheese (3x that amount), tomato… I’m really bad at getting food to make it to the plate before it makes it to my mouth.

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Then I wrote my midterm (Just found out…90% on that one too! Wooo. Though that is with a “generous adjustment” to the grades of the entire class due to circumstances that aren’t really that important…but I’ll take it. Biopsych is not quite my forte) and headed to the mall for some brief clothes shopping before dinner. $110 later I scored myself 2 new pairs of sunglasses and 4 shirts, two of which are going back since I didn’t have time (or patience) to try them on at the store.
Do you always try stuff on before buying or just buy it if you like it?
95% of the time I won’t buy something without trying it on first. I’d much rather know that I like it on me before getting it home and being disappointed!

When I got home I was starved so I whipped up a quick ginger peanut tofu wrap dipped in some goddess dressing.

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Then I worked up more of an appetite by flexing my muscles in my new clothing items, half of which will now be going back.

Like this pink shirt thing. Loved the colour, liked the top part, couldn’t swing the bottom, it’s just strange. 219

Gun show…cough. Huge tool? Yes.

I blame my tool-itis on genetics.

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My bro is currently repainting our basement. Slob.

I guess I’m a slob/slop/even greater tool since I can’t even bake a loaf of Low Carb Sweet Bread without cutting up my hand on a pumpkin can.

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Or overcooking the loaf. Boooooo! I used half flax, half chocolate protein powder. Let the dinger continue to ring as I was busy cleaning my camera upstairs. Obviously let that happen too long as this was slightly dry. Clearly that didn’t phase me much since I ate about 1/5 of the loaf within a half hour of it coming out of the oven. Good thing it’s healthy… ehe.

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On a final note of farewell for the night, as if you don’t have enough to keep you distracted online already…

Go from Zero to Fabulous in mere minutes! (or much longer if you get as much of a kick out of this thing as I do). Seriously, don’t you all just want to be this Diva-ed up? Seriously.

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It’s nearly 1am and I have a class at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Shoot.
TGI…almost Friday? Sort of?
Nighty Night!

My Work There is Done

First off, today was my last official day of work! I was doing elementary school literacy kits inventory work for a month but we officially finished checking and getting all of the bins ready, so the job is complete. I will be doing another day or two of work next week to finish up some odds and ends but the main goal of the job has been reached and the last chillin month of summer is about to begin. I need to make it a good one!

So – The end of another week is here and I’ve got some eats to share.

Tuesday

Early mornings have been slightly rushed before work, so breakfast has been rushed as well. I cram a lot of fruit in (most of it while standing at the fridge), and have been really having a go at the Kashi Probiotic cereal while chugging down a very necessary cup of coffee every morning.

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Coming home from work an hour or two before dinner time messes a bit with my ability to make a half decent dinner. I’m often pretty hungry when I get home so I have a snack, but I’m usually still hungry and end up throwing together whatever leftovers etc I find in the fridge to call it a meal.

Exhibit A – My Tuesday night dinner:

Cabbage slaw/mushroom/baby carrot salad with hummus and tzatziki, rye with hummus and salsa, 1/2 leftover stuffed pepper (eaten cold – I eat most of my leftovers cold. I like them that way!)

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Wednesday

A repeat of the Canadian version of the Kashi Vive, complete with my favourite cold cereal toppingFrozen banana chunks.

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Lunch at work – blah blah. Sorry, they’re boring so you just don’t get to see them!

But dinner you do get to see because it was extra special since I somehow had the patience to wait for butternut squash fries and sweet potatoes to bake up in the oven. I think I had a pretty big post-work snack in order to be able to wait for this.

However, the squash was slightly disappointing as it tasted blah and unsweet. Sigh. It was still good dipped in barbecue sauce and PB2 though.

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Thursday

Kashi, Weetabix, strawberry yogurt, frozen banana, Almond Breeze. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit! I’ve finished off the Kashi cereal box though so my next cereal ventures will include something different.

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When I got home from work I actually managed to get a picture of one of my snack platters. Yeah, one of them. I think there were two or three different ones. I know the second involved cucumber and baby carrots, but it also involved me not wanting to get my camera again.

Leftover ground turkey, salsa, tzatziki, sweet potato, deli turkey…
There are a lot of random foods kicking around in my fridge right now. I’m slowly using them up. I take this task very seriously.

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Once dinner rolled around I wanted something with lots of chop and chew. What better fitting than a salad:
Spinach, baby carrots, steamed broccoli, sweet potato, plain extra firm tofu, brown rice crackers, roasted garlic hummus and sweet onion dressing. Oh so good.

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Friday

Since today was just finishing up some labelling at work, it took all of an hour. Quite the Friday treat, I was done work and back home by 9:30!

I finished off some cereal before work but was still hungry when I got home so I sliced and diced a giant ripe mango and ended up eating about half of it.

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I also had a very munchy morning and ended up eating a lot of cereal, yogurt and coffee but let’s not talk about it.

After munching away the morning, it was time for a serious sweat sesh. My headphones broke and I’ve been using a crappy old pair that do not like to stay in my ears while running, so I’ve been avoiding the running thing a bit lately. Shoving headphones back into your ears every few minutes is really distracting and a really big pain in the neck. Somehow I put up with it for an hour today anyway.

Then later on I checked the mail and saw that my new headphones had arrived in the mail! Skullcandy has sweet headphones and a great warranty policy. My old ones stopped working for no apparent reason so I submitted a warranty request, sent the old ones in and a got a new pair in the mail no charge. Perfect! Now if only I had checked the mail before going on the treadmill.

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I broke in the new headphones on a bike ride later this evening though. They were lovely, as was the bike ride. The weather has finally picked up here! We’ve had rain and very unsummery weather here all month so the sunshine and warm air was quite welcome today and required a bit of biking to take advantage of it.

Getting ahead of myself though, after the treadmill I threw together a quick and tasty veg bowl for lunch: spinach, steamed broccoli, dill pickles, honey mustard, roasted garlic hummus, deli turkey.

Then it was errand time.

Then it was dinner time! The highlight of the day, Couscous & Chickpea Salad courtesy of Janetha and Danica.

Oh my goodness. So easy, so GOOD.
I didn’t have everything on hand so I did a few things differently:

  • Tomato couscous cooked in boiling water and chicken broth
  • A can of Bean Medley (didn’t have just chickpeas)
  • Cooked up premarinated Mediterranean chicken breasts
  • Yellow summer squash instead of cucumber (didn’t have any)
  • Spinach (didn’t have basil)
  • Used pickled ginger and ginger powder in the dressing (no fresh ginger)

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This meal is chalk-full of flavour. My mom and I both loved it and there are plenty of leftovers. Make it!

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I’ve been in sweet mode this week so pretty much every meal has been followed by something in the field of sweet. Think cereal, yogurt, dates, fruit… or just all of the above after nearly every meal. Sorry I don’t manage to capture these on camera. They’re just gone too darn quickly!

I’m staying in tonight (I was out last night and I need to catch up from the four hour night of sleep. Plus I’m lame.) so I felt like baking. I’ve felt like baking for days. And I’ve felt like baking zucchini bread for days. So I just went with it, using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
The results are to come…

Have a great weekend, and great long weekend to all the Canadian Civic Holiday celebrators. :)

No More School Spazzing

Alright so I am FINALLY back. I finished 4/5 of my exams, but my last one isn’t until the 25th of April so I have time to relax and I’m so relieved. I’m sure it’s been fairly obvious by now that I’m a bit of a spaz when it comes to school work. I stress myself out a lot (probably a bit too much) about it. And I dumped that stress onto here much too much so for that I apologize! I was annoying myself with my school complaints so I can’t imagine how fun it must have been to read about… ehem. But thanks SO much for putting up with me and offering kind words and good luck! And NO MORE school complaints. Summer is (more or less except for the last exam which I’m not too worried about) here! And school work shall be out of the picture for a while. WOO.

One last school related note though before doing another giant backtrack on food over the last several days: I was freaking out about my stats mark because I left the exam (which was worth 50% of our overall mark) feeling terrible about it. I didn’t fully understand any of the questions, and it was substantially harder than anything we had ever done in class, including our practice exam. I found out this morning that our final marks were posted so I just went to check mine and … I got an A! Heck yeah! There was a lot of distress and complaint from many people in the class about how hard the exam was so I’m thinking he might have done some bell curving. I was shocked with my mark though. I’m so relieved!

Anywho… FOOD time! Another quick recap because yet again, I’m several days behind. Here’s what I’ve been eating:

Salads! Gotta keep on eating those veggies. And throwing dinner leftovers into them…

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Cereal/yogurt mixes

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Candy Baby Oranges

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Wraps stuffed with leftovers.

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Canned tomato sauce Amy’s Tomato Bisque Soup. Whoa rich and delicious.

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Fruits fruits fruit and not-so-green green smoothie
Smoothie = coconut water, frozen banana, frozen berries, flax, spinach, ice. Delicious.

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Raw veg (carrots, cucs + broccoli stems) drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette with black beans and vegetable hummus

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MUFFINS! Deceptively Delicious Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins (with cauliflower…shhhh.) I baked these yesterday. So easy and SO good! My mom usually spits out my “healthified” baked goods but these ones passed the ptooey test. She loves em! And so do I. Moist and delicious yet not a drop of oil or butter to be seen. Unless you want to be picky and count peanut butter as butter…

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Then I really went leftovers crazy and made some (very dry – blah) spaghetti squash topped with… black bean-tomato bisque soup-cauliflower puree-ragu-nooch sauce. Phew. That was a mouthful. I was using up the last bits of stuff in the fridge. I don’t like wasting food okay? Alongside it was a bit of rice casserole.

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And here’s an actual recap of today since I’m now caught up:

I did breakfast differently today and went with something I would typically have for lunch. A can of tuna mixed with sour cream and dijonnaise on a bed of spinach and cucumbers (with a bit of the tuna stuffed into a small piece of pita). Fruit bowl on the side. Coffee unpictured. Sometimes you just gotta switch it up I guess!

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Then I did a not-so-fun hour-long treadmill workout. I don’t know what’s with me lately but I’m zapped of energy. I think exams have just taken everything out of me. So I lagged through the entire thing, my butt a draggin the entire time. But I finished it. Trooper!

Post workout all I wanted was a bar. A Clif bar to be exact. A Carrot Cake Clif Bar to be completely exact.

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I had half the bar, 1/4 heated, 1/4 not. The not-heated 1/4 didn’t stay that way for long though. Clif bars are just way more rockin when they’re heated. Then I had an apple. Two times.

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Then my mom and I did food shopping. Excitement of my day.

First we stopped at a little healthy baking supply store and I bought these goodies. I also grabbed agar agar but somehow it didn’t end up back at my house. I wasn’t so impressed with this. I WAS so impressed with the carob chips. Omg. First time trying these. LOVE these. I totally understand the carob obsession now. Totally.

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Then we did actual groceries and they included spicy california grocery store sushi as part of the loot. I cracked it open asap, stuffed a few pieces full of wasabi and ginger and devoured them. I was hungry. These were good.

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I was tidying the pantry the other day and I found this pack of instant soba noodles that were… kind of sort of expired. Only by a couple months though and I highly doubt they would be inedible that soon. But just to be safe I decided not to wait any longer and to make them asap. So tonight was the night. I served them over spinach and had a sliver (x2) of homemade pizza alongside.

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Then I gorged on dried cantaloupe and carob chips.

Now I need to sleep. I think I need a good solid full 24 hour sleep. Too bad I always seem to wake up ridiculously early no matter what. As soon as the sun is up I’m up. Guaranteed. Sleeping in just doesn’t happen for me. I guess going to bed earlier is the ticket right?

And huge apologies for being the worst blog reader/commenter ever. My google reader is currently over 600… I will catch up soon enough I swear!