Food Hog Backlog

Several weeks and several thousands of bites later, I have a photo or twenty that finally feel like making their way out into the open. I figured I’d help them along.

You know that whole Quest bar trend, and how everyone says they’re “omgbestbaryou’llevereatever!”?

Maybe not the best idea to buy an on sale, almost expired Quest bar online as your first attempt at jumping on that bandwagon. I nearly chipped two molars. These bars do not hold up well stale.

IMG_3725(For the record, I’ve tried a fresher variety with much better results, though not totally sold on their holy grail-ness just yet.)

This Perfect Fit Protein bar was also a new try, luckily with some easy on the teeth results. Tastes a lot like a chocolate chip Larabar.

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Visible chocolate chips right in there, I’m sold.

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I’ve had a few Greek salads this past month, a hardcore Kristie favourite, clearly. Minus the olives. ALWAYS minus the olives. Yet I still try to eat one every.single.time. Why? Apparently after a certain number of tries, you can learn to like a food. I’ve tried olives many many times. If it hasn’t happened by now, it ain’t gonna happen. 

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Salads (non-Greek) that include pictures before I demolished them:

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Sauteed kale, runny egg and squash with…. blackcurrant dijon mustard? What don’t they put in mustard these days?IMG_2295

Everything’s better with Greek yogurt.… except my skin. I’ve noticed a direct correlation between the state of my breakouts and the amount of yogurt I’m eating. That and throat clearing. Yep, I’m that annoying “ehem hem, HEM cough hem” person. Unfortunately this means I don’t buy it all that much anymore. Yet I still manage to crave it every day. EVERY day. Geez dairy, why you gotta be so mean?

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Whey protein in smoothies seems to be hit or miss. Sometimes it destroys my stomach, sometimes it’s just dandy. So I still frequently experiment with different kinds/brands etc.

I ordered a few tasty protein samples online to try from CanadianProtein.com (Still working through them).

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I also heard great things about this North Coast Naturals Whey Protein Isolate so I’ve been having that in my breakfast smoothies a lot lately. Big fan of this one and it seems to be just fine on my stomach so we’re looking at a repeat purchase from this brand.

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There was also a time, a couple weeks ago, when I ate only fruit for a few days (in this case, tomatoes + avocados = fruit).

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Felt nice and clean at that particular moment, but ultimately didn’t do much for me other than make me eat my weight in peanut butter and pumpkin-shaped cheeseballs mere days later.

Banana Granola Peanut Butter? Come on, Kraft, you’re killing me. No one person needs to consume this much peanut butter in two days (it almost happened). I’ve currently enabled a temporary peanut butter ban. It hurts, but so does sitting in can’tbreathtight jeans all day. And I apparently have no self-control.  Cold turkey it is!

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And yes I did make a cheeseball in the shape of a pumpkin on a spider webbed plate for Halloween. Oh you fancy huh.

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And now I’m working at home alongside the scents of Cider Lane while trying to stay warm in my freezing cold household and contemplating how realistic it would be to attempt a sugar cut down right before the holiday season. My sweet tooth is taking over my sanity. It’s getting bad. Like “I just ate stale marshmallows and don’t even like marshmallows” bad. Whomp whomp.

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At least it’s Friday!

What’s So Special About That?

Well well well. What do we have here?

IMG_3398“Alright, it’s a Clif bar. And?”

Just note the ‘NEW’. And the flavour name – Coconut Chocolate Chip. THAT…that is special.

IMG_3402THIS Vega Vanilla Almondilla protein powder? $10 bucks off at Rexall with an in-store coupon. Savvy shopping (or good in-store sign reading) ForTheWin.

IMG_3419THIS was my first roasted kabocha/buttercup (I’ll never truly figure out the difference between the two) of the Fall season. Massacred and thrown on top of a spinach bed. And boy, was it good.

IMG_3415THIS is just a plate of steamed broccoli and spinach, sweet potato and egg sautéed in coconut oil. However, it was my first time sautéing in coconut oil and that makes this an extra special dish.

IMG_3456THIS is a smoothie. But not just any smoothie, a smoothie made with… Frozen strawberries, red bell pepper, apple, lemon and a pinch of cayenne.

I get the green/vegetable juice thing, and the green juice with fruit added thing. That’s not new, and as much as the body might love it, it’s not really that special. But something about strawberries red pepper seemed extra strange. And in this glass, strange is special. We like strawberry and red pepper strange. Strawberry and red pepper is a refreshing, good strange.

IMG_3460THIS? This is a wrap. But not just any wrap. (Aside from the fact that it looks like a murder scene…) It’s a wrap that contains egg whites, salsa, sriracha and “cheese”. But not just any cheese (I feel like I’m getting repetitive…), nacho-flavoured fake cheese made from tofu! I’d never dabbled in the faux vegan cheese world before, but when it hits me in the face with a bright pink 50% sticker, I will take the plunge, expiry date looming or not.

IMG_3467And the taste? Quite like a firm, cheesy flavoured tofu? It’s interesting, but I’m kinda digging it.

IMG_3376It was also made on these new-to-me Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Tortillas. For a good-sized tortilla with only 70 calories a pop, I’d buy these on the regular if they were sold in grocery stores (But alas, they are not, and I ordered them online).

And that was the Monday edition of special eats, sure not to become a repeat Monday special, but special enough for this particular Monday.

What’s on the menu for tomorrow?
A big, heaping plate of fresh OCTOBER! #newmonthlove

Bring on the Fall

Fall is just around the corner. I can feel it! (As can the thermometer). And I’m into it. I’ve just never been much of a summer girl. Bring on the Fall!

My only quip so far… with Fall comes the back to school traffic. This city is so nice and peaceful in the summer. And that means my drive to work is speedy. I’m totally being a whiner because, let’s be honest, it’s not a far drive. But since I’m no longer a part of the Back to School Club and totally forgot about the fact that that would be a “thing” again in the 8:00 AM morning drive world, I got a nice surprise during my drive at the beginning of this week. #patienceisnotmyvirtue

Just because I’m not going back to school, though, doesn’t mean I’m not suckered in by the back to school supplies. Notebooks, pens, highlighters – so much good stuff!

I picked myself up some pens and things. I’m kinda into neon.

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And some….”textbooks”. These are the first trashy read magazines I’ve bought in ages. I had a craving!
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On the eating front, this seasonal transition period makes salads still a-okay, but the oh-so-warm roasted squash and mugs of tea are becoming more and more appealing. Obviously squash is never not appealing, but the cold weather just takes it to a whole new level, no?

[Mixed greens, steamed broccoli, blobs of hummus, drizzles of balsamic vinaigrette]

IMG_3238[Same deal, add goat cheese and chicken, voila!]

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[Butternut squash fries dipped in “ranch” (light sour cream mixed with a packet of ranch seasoning) and ketchup]

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[My cup’s a bluffer, that ain’t no cappuccino. Steeping the last bits of my Toasted Walnut Green Tea.]

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There also seems to be something about the beginning of fall that makes me want to shop. Maybe it’s the back to school frenzy in the air, maybe it’s the wardrobe transition that is soon to take place. But whatever it is, my wallet is quivering.

That being said, so far I’ve mainly stuck to food shopping.

Exhibit A? Pre-cut coconut chunks. What?!

Maybe this isn’t a new thing, but I’ve sure never seen ’em like this before. Yeah okay okay, I’ve seen whole coconuts. But I don’t own a machete and I prefer my fingers attached to my hands. So I’ve never bought one, nor ever tried fresh coconut meat. Until someone did the work for me and sold it to Walmart’s grocery department so that I could buy it!

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I’m so into this! Next step, buy machete to hack open fresh whole coconuts all by myself. Then maybe after that…a coconut tree.

I also indulged in a little bit of online food shopping. I don’t do this too often, preferring to torture myself with window (umm…browser window?) shopping and noncommittal virtual shopping carts filled with more goods than I could ever really need. But combine the fall shopping itch with online end of summer sales that include some of those elusive foodie products that the whole food blog world seems to be stuffing themselves with and all hell shopping heaven breaks loose.

Needless to say, a lovely brown box arrived in the mailbox yesterday and I have myself some sampling to do. That is to come…

And I’ll leave you with a final happy thought courtesy of my mother. I was having a few downer days recently and my mom brought home a little pop of cheer to brighten me up.

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Now every time I look at my keys, I’m reminded to “Think Happy. Be Happy.”
:)
Along a similar vein, who else carries around a 5 lb keychain? Anyone? So much Canada pride.
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Happy (almost) Fall Friday!

Clear the Fog. Raid the Kitchen.

Life works in funny ways sometimes. I went from zero job prospects to suddenly hearing from four different places in one week, all coincidentally right after convocation. Something about the occurrence of the official graduation must have kick-started the trend eh? Coincidence? Strange.

No solid news on anything yet but it feels good to at least be finally getting some feedback. I’ve been hardly employed since school ended and it sure is draining on the psyche –> The post-grad fog sounds about right.

 

The “fog” has been leaving me a little drained, a little down. Nothing too extreme, but that unfortunately leaves little excitement to yap about.

What does one (ME) tend to do when feeling drained?

 

Raid kitchen.

Eat cereal.

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Honey Nut Chex is addicting. And I thought I loved it…until I kept eating it. Today, as I was nearly finishing off the last bits of the bag I realized that, you know what, I don’t actually love it that much. It’s a tad too sweet. The crunch – bang on. But otherwise I was just eating it to eat. I like my cereals on the blander side. Unless of course they’re granola.

 

Sadly, my cupboard raiding also brought me to this:

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NO! My Chocolate Amazing Grass powder has officially come to its end. When I first tried this stuff I wasn’t exactly wowed but eventually I came to love it! (Best = mixed into overnight oats) But alas, it is no more. And likely won’t be for a while (This stuff is pricey!).

 

Kitchen raiding helped me rediscover these gems I bought a little while ago at an Asian market.

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Vegetarian curry chicken. I know it says it’s vegetarian…and I know the ingredients say they’re made from soy… but I swear these HAVE to be chicken. They’re even pinkish on the inside!

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Either way, they’re delicious. And I’m not a vegetarian so I wouldn’t be devastated if they secretly were chicken.

I’ve been eating them atop big bowls of kale… and just by the handful.

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And when you’re at work and don’t have a kitchen to raid – eat sweets.

[So I said I’ve been hardly employed. That’s because I still work at a motorcycle shop. For my dad – I’m the pro bookkeeper. But it’s only once, maybe twice a week because I’m just so pro that I get everything done way too fast ;)]

Two-day old Timbits are fair game. The blueberry ones stay surprisingly fresh! I still haven’t decided if this is a good thing…

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Clif bars are great in situations of desperate hunger. Luckily I keep one stashed in my car at all times. Or did. This was the emergency one. I guess I better restock or I’ll be plum of out of luck during my next gnaw arm off scenario.

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Myoplex Lite bars are…less great.

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Good in a pinch but let’s be honest, hardcore protein bars just aren’t that good in general. I have yet to try one that doesn’t taste at least somewhat fake and chalky. I’ll stick with Clif, Larabar or plain old granola bars for my emergency snacks.

 

But my ideal snacks come from the fridge rather than the depths of my purse or glove compartment. I’m not a huge bar eater if I’m at home.

But a smoothie in a cone?

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Yes please. I’ll take two. Or five. Or just keep refilling the cone until the last drop of smoothie has been drunk.

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(I saw this genius idea on some blog at some point during the past month or so. LOVE it.)

But if I’m not feeling the scoop and slurp, smoothie in a glass will always do.

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And if I’m not feeling bars OR liquids –

Fruits, veggies, cheese…

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…and mass handfuls of tortilla chips dunked into salsa and zucchini guacamole all make for excellent snacks as well.

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Do you find that the less you’re doing, the less you tend to want to do?
I sure do. When I don’t have enough to fill my time, I get more drained and have less energy and motivation than when I’m keeping busy. It’s a vicious cycle and it sure isn’t very rewarding. Coffee, sunshine, long walks, long bike rides and good workouts in general definitely help though.

If you could pick only ONE snack to eat for the rest of the month, what would it be?
I’m thinking smoothies since they’re filling and summer appropriate. But I’ll cheat a little and say smoothie in a cone or smoothie topped with cereal since I need a little crunch in there too for optimal snacking satisfaction.