Nibbles and Bits

I made the shift towards veganism for my health. And 9 times out of 10 that means eating fresh, whole foods that come from the ground, not a wrapper. That’s not always an option, though. Like most people, I don’t really have the time or resources to blend my own snack bars or bake my own cookies.

So packaged goodies are a must. Here are some of the bites I’ve taken in my pursuit of tasty, affordable vegan snacks:

The No Cookie Cookie- Oatmeal Raisin

I’m all about some oatmeal raisin cookies. And when judging an oatmeal cookie there are 3 things I look for—1) a satisfying crunch to contrast the soft raisins, 2) plenty of oats, 3) no bland oat-y flavor.

This is a softer cookie, so no crunch. It was nicely crumbly, though, so that made up for it a bit. But for an oatmeal cookie, it was surprisingly lacking in the oat department. Sure, there were some oats in it, just not enough for my liking. The flavor, though, was out of this world. It was like a non-stop maple/brown sugar flood in my mouth.

This cookie didn’t make the oatmeal raisin cookie hall of fame. But if I don’t think of it as oatmeal raisin and just think of it as a cookie, it’s pretty darn good.

Alternative Baking Company- Colossal Chocolate Chip

If you have any qualms about eating cookies without butter or eggs, thinking they’ll be gross or dry, you should eat one of these cookies. This cookie has almost the exact same taste and mouth feel as a Mrs. Fields Soft Baked cookie. I would say they taste homemade, but frankly they’re better than anything my mother ever made (sorry, Mom and your classic Toll House recipe).

Alternative Baking Company- Explosive Espresso Chip

This cookie was almost exactly like the Colossal Chocolate Chip, except it had a subtle coffee flavor added in. For an “Explosive Espresso” cookie I was expecting more of a coffee flavor, but it still wasn’t a bad cookie in any way. Hell, it was still a great cookie.

Luna Bar- Chocolate Peppermint Stick

When I began my Veek I had ½ a box of Thin Mints in my freezer. Not surprisingly, they’re not vegan. So it goes without saying that it hurt a little as I watched my friends devour my Girl Scout stash.

I guess giving away my beloved cookies earned me some food-karma, though, because not long after I found this Luna Bar. Correction, I “found” this particular flavor in my Christmas stocking, but for whatever reason, I hadn’t tried it yet. I’m kind of glad I waited, because if given the choice between Luna Bar and Thin Mints I probably would have chosen Thin Mints. But with them out of the picture I can fully appreciate this delicious vegan alternative. Seriously, if you close your eyes I doubt you could tell the difference.

Now I just have to see how they are frozen.

Luna Bar- Toasted Nutz and Cranberry

When I decided to eat this bar I was looking for something a little less sweet than my other Luna Bars. Nutz. Cranberries. Sure, there’s probably a bit of sweetener, but how sweet can it be.

Answer: very. It was almost too sweet, and coming from me that means a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, the flavor and texture were all there. It was just really sweet. Next time I think I’ll eat half.

Larabar- Lemon Bar

After months of reading about the awesomeness that are Larabars I decided I had to taste what all the buzz was about. One bite in and I was hooked. This bar, which boasts one of the most perfectly balanced lemon pie tart-sweet mixes I’ve ever gotten from a non-pie, blew my socks off. It was chewy, had a bit of a bite, and melted in my mouth. I wanted to squirt some whipped cream on top and eat it with a fork. It was that good.

Larabar- Cherry Pie

I’ve eaten a few slices of cherry pie in my day. It’s bright red, gooey and pretty sweet. Sure, there’s some subtle tartness, but this bar went a bit overboard on the tart. I can easily see some people loving this bar in all its tart glory, I’m just not one of them.

Chocolove- Raspberries in Dark Chocolate

I lovelovelove raspberries. And dark chocolate. Put the two together and I’m in heaven. This chocolate is packed with tiny morsels of tangy dried raspberries, which balance perfectly with the dark chocolate. My only qualm is that the chocolate melts quickly so I usually end up licking a little off my fingers. I’m not complaining, though.

Gary Null Chocolate Bar

This is one goodie that Jim (my Vegan Godfather) has been treating me to for years. And every time I treat someone else to a much-coveted square they’re shocked by the ingredients—fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Be warned, though, this is no Hershey’s bar. The chocolate doesn’t taste quite like what you’d think. But have no fear, it is a very quickly acquired taste. And a taste you should definitely acquire if you can acquire these chocolate bars (they’re a bit tricky to find) because anything by Gary Null is guaranteed good and good for you.

(If you don’t know who Gary Null is, I suggest you educate yourself.)

Gnu Foods- Orange Cranberry bar

When I first ran across this bar at Fresh Market I got really excited. Orange cranberry? 12g of fiber? Only 130 calories? Sign me up.

And while I’m not completely removing my name from the fan list after eating it, I’m certainly running for president. The orange cranberry flavor was good, but it was overshadowed by the flavor of the other things in it. I really had to concentrate on the flavor to find it, and that’s too much to ask from me in the morning.

The texture was also a bit off. I can’t quite but my finger on it. It was chewy, but not in the right way. And the whole raisins really threw me off.

I would eat it again, but it definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.


*I’ll be updating this as I eat more.*

Halfsies

I feel like I was eating half things all day, but I was wholey okay with it.

I woke up planning to hit the gym before breakfast, but my stomach didn’t like that plan. I was surprisingly hungry, when normally I can’t eat for a while after waking. So I had ½ pita with peanut butter, cinnamon and banana. I warmed this in the microwave for a minute. Oh my fucking goodness! So delicious. I need to stop forgetting about peanut butter and cinnamon. It’s awesome.

I also had ½ an apple and a cup of Get Clean.

Then I finally hit the gym. I did a cardio sandwich (10 minutes of treadmill intervals, 15 minutes on the elliptical) with a hearty filling of abs. While I’m normally an abs-addict, I felt like I had been neglecting them lately (probably because they’re at the end of most workouts and by then I’m dead and willing to end early). So I good brick of them was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Later, I had a pretty damn good lunch: the other ½ of my salad from yesterday and the other ½ of my pita with Texas Pete and hummus.

I heated it up in the microwave just like the pita this morning (with the condiments already on it), but it didn’t react the same as the peanut butter (or any other time I’ve microwaved hummus and Texas Pete).

It got strangely solid and dry. It still tasted great, though.

I finished off lunch with another piece (or two) of my Chocolove bar.

Later in the day a friend and I decided to do some off-campus studying and check out a new coffee shop at the same time. The coffee shop—The Coffee Break—was adorable. Everyone there was wonderfully nice and the atmosphere was pretty great for studying. The coffee wasn’t too good, but whatever. I’ll try tea next time. Because they had vegan goodies (pre-packaged, but freshly baked, but I’ll take what I can get) so of course I have to support them. I wasn’t feeling any desserts at the time (sadly), but once I am I’ll hit up the Coffee Break and give you a bite-by-bite playback.

I got back just in time to “enjoy” some more halfsies in the dining hall. I made what I expected to be a great salad—greens, braised cabbage, corn, mung sprouts, and a “farmers salad” (marinated steamed cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, tomatoes).

But, sadly, it wasn’t that good (it had an unidentifiable heavy vinegar taste) so I only ate half. Then I had some sweet potato, apple, roasted red pepper, raisin salad that I’d had (and thoroughly enjoyed) before. But it, too, was a miss too. So I finally threw up my hands, ate ½ a piece of matzo with peanut butter, and left.

It wasn’t a big deal, though. I ate enough (somehow) and had to get to a presentation on war tax resisting. It had some pretty radical stuff, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And now that my academic pursuits are done for the evening, it is time to do something I rarely do on a Tuesday—go to a party. A friend is turning 21 so, of course, I can’t miss it.

Needless to say, my wake-up call might be a bit later tomorrow.

Bran is Boring, But My Future is Not

Kellogg’s recently sent me two All Bran samples to try—Bran Buds and Complete Wheat Flakes.

I decided to try some of the Buds on my oatmeal this morning because, before opening the package, I assumed they were sort of like little granola clusters.

Not so much. They actually looked like hamster food.

Oh, well. I was willing to give it a try so I adventurously dumped about ¼ of the package on my oatmeal (which already contained bananas, cinnamon and a little bit of Fresh Market peanut butter).

Upon taking the first bran-filled bite I was pleasantly surprised. They didn’t have much taste, but did lend my creamy oats a bit of bite. That bite faded, though, as the Buds got soft. Soon they were only a brief blimp on the radar of my spoon.

Again I say, oh well. At least they didn’t have much of a taste in my oatmeal.

When I tried them by themselves, though, taste was a different story. These little Buds taste just like…the cardboard-y bran your grandparents eat. As much as I would like to say that Kellogg’s All Bran has revolutionized the world of bran cereals, I cannot tell a lie. Honestly, I doubt anyone can. Bran is bran. But at 60 calories and 10 grams of fiber for the entire pouch they may start popping up as a painlessly healthy addition to my oatmeal.

(I’ll let you know when I try the Complete Wheat Flakes.)

I had stolen a lovely salad from the dining hall for my lunch today, but with the weather outside offering rain and a bit of a chill, I wanted something that would warm me. But I needed veggies. So I compromised with a bowl of Trader Joe’s Organic Spicy Black Bean Soup (which wasn’t that spicy until I added Texas Pete), ½ slice of Ezekiel bread and some of the salad.

Half way through eating lunch I realized I was wrong—the salad was exactly what I wanted. The interesting mix of goodstuffs (different lettuces, chickpeas, pineapple, cucumbers, red onion, carrots, other things I’ve forgotten) was so yummy. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my soup, especially since it contained a variety of vegetables (though it could have used a few more black beans). Especially dipping the bread in the last of the broth…delish! I just think I’m craving salads lately.

Not a bad craving, right?

After lunch I helped myself to a square of a Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate bar.

Incase you’re unaware; Chocolove is a delicious, pretty easy to find, and thoroughly sinful tasting vegan dark chocolate bar. They’ve got a handful of amazing flavors (one involves crystallized ginger, though I don’t remember what else) and they’re really not terribly sinful (only 27 calories per square for the raspberry bar).

A few hours of reading my latest assignment—John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which is awesome—and I had just enough time for a rushed dinner before my first editorial board meeting. So I ran to the dining hall and devoured asalad of mixed greens, broccoli, roasted butternut and acorn squash and toasted almonds. On the side I enjoyed a big piece of matzo, in honor of the Seder tonight.

I was really hoping they’d have matzo ball soup, but no luck.

I really wish I had more time to eat dinner, because it was delicious I would have loved to be able to enjoy it without constantly checking the clock. But I now have editorial board meetings every Monday at 6:30 and the idea of eating dinner before 6 offends my sensibilities (mostly because I’m not hungry before then, but also because my family rarely ate before 7 the whole time I was growing up). So I might just be doomed to rush.

It’ll be worth it, though, because editorial board was great tonight. I expected to be nervous and feel out of place, but that wasn’t the case in the least. I loved it! You know when something just feels right? Well, this feels right. Super right. Unbelievably right. The rightest right.

Aaah, I’m so excited.

And now I’m off to buy a notebook for said journalistic future. Then I’ll probably watch another episode of Jamie Oliver on Hulu.

Question: What is quinoa? I’ve seen it classified as a grain, a nut, and an herb. Can anyone clear up this discrepancy?

Snacking Discovery

I have found my newest snacking obsession. I’ve mentioned it before, but only in passing. So now I’m making sure you stand up and take notice. I’m shouting it from the rooftops:

Mr. Krispers sea salt and pepper Baked Rice Krisps are the greatest chip in the world!

I realize that is a weighty claim, but I’m not backing down. They really are that awesome.

I’m a chip connoisseur from way back. As a kid whenever my mother would take my brother and I to a convenience store to get an afterschool snack, it was my brother who would spend 10 minutes scouring the aisles for his treat. Not me. I always got the same thing—Sour Cream and Onion Pringles.

I loved these chips like no other; despite the weird powder residue they left on my fingers. In middle school I discovered the joys of Barbecue Lays and Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles.

For most of 8th grade I ate a PB&J; and a bag of one of those chips everyday for lunch. As I grew older and my tastes developed I found my long-time chip-love: Kettle Brand Chips sea salt and cracked black pepper.

When I first bit into these chips it was like a culinary mouth sex explosion revelation. Not only are these chips the perfect example of kettle-cooked goodness—thicker than your average chips with a thoroughly satisfying crunch—but the seasoning truly rocked my world.

How in all my years as a skilled masticator had I not thought to pair salt and pepper? It just made no sense. They appeared next to each other on my table. I put them both on my scrambled eggs. But that seemed to be where my thought process stopped. Like I said: revelation.

I loved these chips wholeheartedly (as did the rest of my family). Buying a bag meant we would be finishing a bag that day. They didn’t stand a chance in our house.

And unfortunately, at 210 calories and 12 grams of fat for less than 1 ½ ounces, neither did my waistline whenever they were around. So for a long time I stifled my love. I put as much distance between us as I could. It hurt, but not as much as trying to run off all that extra fat.

And then on one fateful trip to Fresh Market the heavens opened up and gave me a gift; a gift far greater than any gold, frankincense or myrrh. I was shown the light of Mr. Krispers.

There I was, standing in the chip aisle trying to find the least of the evils when I saw this bag of baked rice krisps boasting my favorite of all chip flavors. At first, I was wary to say the least.

How could any chip ever live up to my Kettle Brand love, I wondered? I was sure I was going to be disappointed, but I bought the bag anyway. And praise deities I did!

While these Krisps are clearly not kettle-cooked chips—they don’t have the satisfying crunch that can only come from a thick-cut potato—they still give me everything I could want. They certainly boast perfect seasoning—both a good ratio of salt to pepper and enough so that it covers my fingers ever so slightly. Everything about them (including their crunch) is lighter, but that just makes it easier to eat them en masse. And believe you me, just like Kettle Brand, these little babies don’t stand a chance.

Proof: I would have taken a picture of the chips themselves from the bag I bought yesterday, but alas, it is empty.

And just as the bag says, “Baked Rice Krisps are perfect for dipping, topping, or snacking right from the bag.” While I normally pick the last of those three options for enjoying my Krisps, they stand up nicely to dipping (especially in roasted baba ghannouj hummus).

And another oh-so-fucking-wonderful thing about these heavenly Krisps—the nutrition label.

Serving: 37 chips

Calories: 120 (30 from fat)

Fat: 3 g

Sodium: 230 mg

And the ingredient list—the first thing on it is brown rice flour, and I can easily identify every single thing on the not too terribly long list (11 items, most of them different flours or seasonings).

Still think my claim is too weighty? I didn’t think so.

Friday Lunch: Jack’s Corner Deli

Friday lunch has returned. After a far too long hiatus caused by busy schedules and my trepidation about eating out as a vegan (I don’t want to be the annoying girl who asks a million questions or simply settles for a safe salad and fries) we packed up the car and made our way over to a hidden gem restaurant:

Jack’s Corner Deli

It is right across the street from another college in town (much like Jam’s) and appeared to serve big, hearty sandwiches and fries (much like Jam’s), so I had never expected too terribly much from it. Then the other day I was looking for good Mediterranean restaurants in town (I needed my falafel fix) and I found this website. I was intrigued so I checked out the menu…

Holy shit, Batman! It was chock-full-o-falaf and hummus and pitas, oh my! How had I not known this?

Not only did it offer all the Mediterranean goodies I love (and some I was yet to try) the prices were ah-maze-ing!

It doesn’t get much better than a gyro combo for $6!

And…the Duncan Hines icing on my vegan cupcake…they indicated which items were vegetarian and vegan!

Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

And if you’re not a lover of this most delightful fare (but really, who isn’t?), their menu also offers a nice selection of classic deli sandwiched (steak and cheese, burger, turkey club, etc).

This place sounded perfect in all kinds of ways.

The only problem was, I didn’t know what to get. At first I was leaning towards the Mediterranean Platter (falafel, hummus, tabouleh, pita, tahini, and baba ghanouj all for $7). I had never had tabouleh or baba ghanouj so it sounded like the perfect way to sample. But once I got there, something about a big, overstuffed, dripping falafel wrap (falafel, lettuce, tomato, tahini, jalapeños in a grilled pita with fries and a drink) sounded so unbelievably appetizing. I couldn’t pass it up.

It was definitely a good choice. The falafel was crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. There was just enough sauce to provide the drip I craved and make the fresh pita just a bit gooey on the inside. The jalapenos added a good amount of heat (though I probably could have gone for a bit more). And the fries were crispy and wonderfully seasoned.

^Doesn’t that just look like sex in your mouth?^

I was in heaven.

There was even enough left to be wrapped up for lunch/late-night drunk snack.

My two companions, though, didn’t seem too terribly into the Mediterranean cuisine. They ordered boring deli sandwiches: grilled chicken and a chicken melt. The only exciting thing was a slice of spanakopita. Oh well, they enjoyed their choices (though I bet I enjoyed mine more).

I can’t wait to go back. Next time I definitely think I’ll be getting the sampling platter.

My Lover

I lovelovelove, madly, truly, deeply love Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.

That’s pretty obvious in my eating for the day.

My alarm was set for 6:50am so that I could get up and out early enough to go to a function. Once I turned it off I, somehow, immediately fell back asleep. Then I woke up just long enough to set the alarm for 8:15. I got out of bed not long after that. I guess I needed quite a bit more sleep that just couldn’t wait until Saturday.

When I was finally vertical I made myself a cup of Get Clean and an apple with almond butter.

^Another “K” mug from my collection.^

For the past few days that has been the perfect breakfast. Today, though, I was craving something else…something carby. And nutty. And hearty. Something with a bite. So of course, I turned to my trusty Ezekiel bread that’s never further than my little fridge.

I grabbed ½ a slice and thoroughly enjoyed every grain it had to offer me.

As I was finishing my completely sinless indulgence I looked out my window and saw a beautiful clear sky beconing me outside. So I quickly slipped on some comfortable shoes, grabbed my iPod (which contained my latest download—She & Him, Volume Two—perfect music for a sunny day) and hit the trail. 2.5 miles later the weather wasn’t quite as pretty so I answered the siren call of my room (and my homework).

For lunch I tried to eat some more of yesterday’s quinoa creation, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I tried it cold. I tried it warm. I tried it with sriracha. I tried it on Ezekiel bread (and when that failed I just ate the bread). Nothing was helping. So I went to the dining hall and made myself a salad with spinach, chickpeas, black beans, zucchini, roasted red pepper, carrots and orzo.

It was delicious.

My class after lunch was far more memorable than the ones yesterday. We had our last discussion for Walker Percy’s Moviegoer and I must say, an intense, semi-depressing, must read if, and only if, you’re willing to put in the thought. If not, don’t bother. To illustrate this point, a woman in my class said that one night, around 1 or 2am, she found herself drinking gin in the bath while crying and reading the book. Intrigued? You should be.

The next book for that class is John Kennedy Tool’s A Confederacy of Dunces, for which I am unbelievably excited to read. It’s going to be quite a hoot.

Upon returning from class and errands I wanted nothing more than a cup of Celestial Seasonings and another piece of Ezekiel bread. So I had one. Or two. Both pieces were every bit as wonderful as I hoped they would be. Ezekiel bread never disappoints. After my snack and some homework I wanted nothing more than a nap.

So I took one. It wasn’t terribly long, just half an hour, but it was exactly what I needed to finish a paper (that isn’t due until Monday—go me for working ahead). Then all my friends wanted dinner. I could have done without food (Ezekiel bread is filling!) but I went anyway. Probably a bad idea because I ended up eating more than I intended—

spinach salad with carrots, cauliflower, roasted veggies and tempeh. It was delicious, but I didn’t need it.

Oh well, live and learn.

And now, I think I’m going to head to Barnes and Noble. I haven’t been there in far too long and 1) I have some reading that won’t get done in my room, 2) I would love a cup of coffee, and 3) I need a new pleasure read because if I don’t find a book to read purely for myself soon I may lose my ability to read without bleeding all over the margins (and that’s a terrible thing to lose).

I may even hit the gym later for some “fun” cardio.

Oh the possibilities!

SunBaby

It’s been such a long day I’m having a little trouble remembering the beginning of it.

According to my alarm, I woke at 8:20 (the latest I have slept on a weekday in months). I took a shower and enjoyed another apple with almond butter.

I didn’t even bother getting out the peanut butter this time. It’s no contest.

Since it’s Wednesday I’m assuming I went to class, though they obviously weren’t very memorable. Oh yeah, I failed a reading quiz because I did the wrong reading. I sort of remember now.

I do remember cooking myself some quinoa and veggies for lunch. I was really looking forward to this because I only really get to cook about once (maybe maybe maybe twice) a week and I count on that to be my lunch for a few days. Today, though, was not my day.

I cooked up some quinoa in my rice cooker with a few squirts of lemon added to the water. That part was perfect. Then I half-steamed some broccoli and cauliflower in the handy steaming basket of my rice cooker. So far so good. I added the veggies to a pan of other veggies (red onions, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, celery, pepperoncinis) and very briefly sautéed everything. I mixed the veggies and quinoa together with some raisins and a slight splash of balsamic vinegar. To me, all those things don’t sound half-bad.

^If you don’t have a rice cooker please do yourself a favor and buy one. It’s the best $20 you’ll ever spend.^

Well, it wasn’t half-bad, but it wasn’t half-good, either.

For some reason, it just tasted off. I mean, I still ate it (and I’ll probably still eat the leftovers), but it certainly wasn’t great. It was so not great I’m not even going to bother writing up the recipe. Any ideas what I should/shouldn’t have put in the mix?

Oh well, nothing a wonderful walk through the woods on a wonderful day couldn’t fix. Last night my friend looked at a map of the woods and realized there was an old dairy mill dam somewhere. Since I had found it a while back I offered to escort her. We went. We saw. We decided it wasn’t that terribly exciting so we finished the 2-mile woods loop.

That didn’t quite take care of my jonsing for sun, so I grabbed some homework and worked on the patio for a little, before running off to CVS for a quick errand. Even all that time didn’t do it, so it was off to the lawn with more homework until dinner. (Frankly, though, I could have forgone food for more time in the sun. I’m a sun worshipper [when properly SPF-ed] so I go crazy in the spring.)

While I’m sure the vegan station had something good (I know they had more of that yummy tomato soup), the idea of anything hot (or even warm) didn’t appeal to me. A result of so much time in the sun, I guess. So instead I had one of the greenest, and most cucumber-filled dinners ever.

I had tofu, tomatoes and artichokes in pesto sauce (gross), cucumber slices, baby sweet pickles, bread and butter pickle chips, and a dill pickle spear. I also had a balsamic Dijon potato salad (with green onions).

All of that (with the exception of the tofu) was delicious. I still wanted something with some bite to it, though, so I grabbed a red apple. The perfect endnote, if you ask me.

I hit up the gym later for some good circuit work. By good, I mean sweaty. I didn’t actually feel too terribly spent after. Go figure.

And now I’m enjoying no more homework and a cup of Get Some Zzzs because I need to start getting some zzzs soon. Karma is paying me back for the extra sleep today with an extra early wake-up call tomorrow. G’night, eaters.

PS-If you’re looking for some good bedtime reading, check out this article about calorie postings. This was implemented in NY a while back and I thoroughly enjoyed it while I was there (I’m the type of person who will research nutrition facts before I go to a restaurant so this saves me time). What do you think? Will it affect your choices? Will it help the obesity issue?

Freebies

Today was free pastry day at Starbucks and while I didn’t plan on getting one (or ordering the “handcrafted drink” required to get a free pastry) I accompanied some friends bright and early this morning. I hadn’t been there that early for so long. I forgot how dark it was at 7am.

I ordered my usual tall ½ caff coffee and chatted while my friends enjoyed their Classic Glazed Donuts.

The caffeine gave me all the energy I needed to hit the gym for a while so that’s where I headed once my cup was empty. 25 minutes on the elliptical later I was feeling great. And hungry.

So I went back to my room to enjoy a lovely little stolen gem—an apple. Last night while eating dinner I saw a girl eating an apple with peanut butter and it reminded me how much I love that (is it strange that I have to be reminded of what I like to eat?). So I nabbed an apple and chowed down on it this morning, alternating between Fresh Market peanut butter and Fresh Market almond butter.

After the taste test I can officially say that apples (and apple sauce) and almond butter were made for each other. So damn yummy.

And after a not-quite-quick enough shower I was teetering on being so damn late for my class so I took my Get Clean tea to go and ran quick like a bunny to class. And quick like a bunny to a meeting with the current editor-in-chief after class.

At said meeting I found out that I’m going to be shadowing the current forum editor for a cycle then…producing an issue. Oh shit. But that also means I get a key to the publication suite. Sweet!

By the time the meeting was over I was getting hungry so I finished off the last of batch 2 of balsamic red cabbage, to which I added a few pickles, mushrooms and spinach (because the purple was getting a bit boring).

It was delicious and wonderfully filling.

^And looked even better eaten out of one of my “K” mugs, don’t you think?^

You know what else was delicious, but not so filling?

The FREE cone of Berry Berry Extraordinary Sorbet I got from Ben and Jerry’s today (raspberry and blackberry sorbet swirled).

It was free cone day there today and I had to volunteer at a fundraising booth during the event so, of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some free frozen goodness. Especially since the changing weather has had me thinking about frozen treats for days now.

And believe you me, it was extraordinary. I would definitely suggest trying some. Next time I think I’ll try Jamaican Me Crazy (pineapple and passion fruit).

By the time my volunteer duties were done it was time for dinner. Not that I was terribly hungry, but the dining hall was closing and I needed some veggies fast, before my blood sugar crashed DUI-style. So I munched on some steamed broccoli, roasted vegetables (I think onions, bell peppers and eggplant, though I’m guessing) and a black bean cake. I was expecting more black beans in the cake, but it was still good (especially once I added Texas Pete). I extended my black bean kick by sampling some of their black bean soup. Not bad, but again, not what I was expecting.

Overall, not a bad day. I’ll see you tomorrow, eaters.

180 Day

At first, today was just not my day.

I wasn’t hungry for breakfast so I had a few bites of my cereal (Cheerios with sunflower seeds and soy milk) and some fruit (pineapple, grapes, and apple slices with peanut butter), but nothing thrilled me.

The printer wasn’t working this morning before class so I had to run around to 2 other printers before I finally found one that worked. And while my classes went by pretty quickly, I can’t say they were terribly good or exciting.

I wasn’t even hungry for lunch, but I knew I had to eat something so I had a little bit of a (much) smaller batch of balsamic red cabbage I recently made with a tad bit of sriracha, ½ slice of Ezekiel bread with Texas Pete and hummus.

I wanted something sweet after so I grabbed a Cherry Pie Larabar. I had never had this flavor, but I love cherry pie and the lemon Larabar was great so I had high expectations. Those expectations were not met.

I realize cherries can be tart, but this was the wrong kind of tart. Especially for a “pie.”

Then I tried to go to the gym to try out a new treadmill workout I found, but it was packed so after 10 minutes of waiting for a treadmill I gave up and headed to dinner.

The posted menu lead me to believe they were serving black bean soup, a favorite of mine. So when I got up to the vegan station and asked for a bowl of soup, imagine my surprise when I got handed a bowl of tomato soup, which is not usually a favorite of mine. I was apprehensive, but preceded with adding carrots, red pepper flakes and black beans. I also grabbed some cucumbers, baby pickles and a questionable bulgur salad.

The bulgur was not bulgur, I’m pretty sure. Nor was it good. Pass. The soup tasted like Spaghetti O’s, which is actually how I like my tomato soup to taste so I was happy.

Things continued to improve once I made it to the gym again. I got a free treadmill, completed my treadmill workout and even added a little extra (though the prescribed workout didn’t do exactly what it promised) and finished up with a good dose of yoga.

A warm shower and then things got really good. Great. Amazing. Fucking fabulously splendid.

Ready for the good news?

You’re looking at next year’s forum section editor! HA!

I’m going to be an editor on my school’s paper. Little me. Next year I’ll be a sophomore. I’m replacing a senior. I have responsibilities. I’m so unbelievably jazzed!

So much so that not even 20 more pages of reading, laundry waiting to be folded and dirty dishes can bring me down.

Date Night and Feeling Right

Despite inhaling a little too much Jello last night I woke up feeling fine today. Hooray for that because I don’t think I could have handled another hangover like Thursday.

Brunch consisted of stir-fried veggies with vegan crumbles (aka-bits of black bean burger) and a few cucumber slices. After a night of drinking, regardless of how good I may feel, I always crave spicy food so, of course, I added quite a bit of Texas Pete to my meal. It really hit the spot. And gave me all the fuel I needed to brave the crowd at the mall.

Victoria’s Secret was having a 7 for $25 sale on undies (normally 5 for $25). I didn’t really need any more underwear, but when they’re that cheap it’s hard to pass up. And they were giving out secret rewards cards that are worth $10, $50, $100 or $500. While looking through the drawers I realized two things: 1) I own almost no plain, basic underwear. I don’t think I own a single pair of white nor do I have a plain, no frills thong. They’re just not fun to buy or wear so I usually avoid them. 2) I’m really picky about my undies. I don’t like jewels, neon colors or words. To me, those things just don’t belong down there.

A saying like that in a place like that just screams STD to me. So watch out, Emma, someone might get the wrong idea.

I wasn’t feeling an actual lunch today so instead I snacked on a Pita with hummus and Texas Pete. Yes, I realize that doesn’t sound like an appetizing combination to anyone else, but trust me, it is. The cool, creamy hummus and the heat from the Texas Pete all schmeared on a nice Pita. Delish!

After my lovely little snack I headed out to the gym. I think I’ve been losing muscle mass lately, so I’m really trying to up my strength training. It’s not exactly my favorite thing, but flabby arms and abs are even less my favorite thing so I sucked it up.

You know what was bad?

The laundry room! Normally, I don’t have much trouble when it comes time to wash clothes. Not today! There is one washer that doesn’t drain properly, so I avoid it like the plague (I had to dry my clothes three times when I discovered this little problem). I loaded my clothes into one washer only to notice that there were two quarters stuffed into the change slot. So I moved all my clothes (and it was quite a few of them) into another washer, only to find that something was blocking this coin slot as well. The only washers left was the broken one and one that had clothes in it. While the idea of touching a random person’s skivvies grosses me out (especially when they’re wet) I was desperate. So I did the unfortunately (and probably slightly bitchy) thing and moved their wet clothes to the folding table. Then I was finally able to wash my clothes.

My laundry was finished just in time, too. After quickly lugging my massive hamper up 3 flights of stairs I ran out the door to go on a double date. My man friend’s best friend was in town so we went out with him and the girl he’s been dating. Originally we were going to the Melting Pot, but that apparently closed. So after driving around for half an hour looking for the place, we were able to find US Sushi.

We didn’t get there until 9 and I’m pretty sure it closed not too long after so I can understand the waitstaff wanting us to hurry along, but this was hilariously ridiculous. I had no idea a little Asian woman could intimidate people that much. She warmed up by the end, though, and even gave the table a free sushi roll. I ordered the spicy tuna roll (blast from the past). I realize it’s not vegan, but I said there would be exceptions and this was exceptionally delicious. I also slurped some miso soup and nibbled on some steamed veggies. A wonderful date, if you ask me.

Once returning to campus I enjoyed a nice after dinner drink—whiskey on the rocks—and went to sleep a happy girl.