Tag Archives: muffins

Muffin Lovin’

About a month ago, the lovely folks over at Vitalicious were kind enough to send me a VERY generous sampler pack of their VitaMuffin VitaTops and VitaBrownies.

Vitalicious Sampler Pack

Vitalicious supplements their baked goods with tons of vitamins and minerals to help busy consumers get the nutrients they need. They worked hard to create rich and wholesome muffins, brownies and cakes that can satisfy the sweetest tooth without giving you, well, a muffin top!  Did they succeed? Read on!

VitaBrownie w/ PB

VitaBrownie w/ AB

VitaBrownie: The look of it reminded me of the packaged brownies that one can find in the checkout aisle of grocery stores.  While the nutrition facts are better than those packaged brownies or even a homemade version, I’d prefer to eat the richer dessert.  However, for someone looking for a quick chocolate fix, this is a good and healthy option.

Banana Nut

Banana Nut

Banana Nut: This tastes just like banana bread! There are big nutty chunks, and it smells like it came right out of the oven. Perfect!

CranBran

CranBran

CranBran: Very moist. The dried cranberries add just the right amount of tartness to the sweet muffin. It was perfect on its own and didn’t need any kind of spread.

AppleBerry

AppleBerry

AppleBerry: This is one of my favorites.  It smells heavenly, just like the apple cake my dad makes.  The berries are plump and juicy, and the muffin is light, fluffy and satisfying.

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip: This was good, but a little dry.  I had high hopes because chocolate + peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combos; it wasn’t bad, but I would have been happier with more peanut butter flavor.

Chocolate Fig

Chocolate Fig

Chocolate Fig: This was good, but again it was a little dry and being the fig lover that I am, I wanted more dried fruit!

BlueBran VitaTop

Blue Bran

BlueBran: As soon as I opened the microwave, it smelled like homemade muffins. I loved this flavor! It tasted just like something I would have baked for myself.

Golden Corn

Golden Corn

Golden Corn: I love corn bread.  I never think to make it myself or even buy it in stores, but when I do have it I’m a very happy girl.  This muffin doesn’t taste exactly like a traditional corn muffin, but the taste is still there.  It’s a little sweet, but that gave me more options to play around with it.  Would you make a Greek yogurt/plum parfait with your Thanksgiving corn bread? I don’t think so! But maybe you should.

Double Chocolate Dream

Double Chocolate Dream

Double Chocolate Dream: The white and dark chocolate chips get deliciously melty, and it really does feel like eating birthday cake for breakfast.

Deep Chocolate VitaTop

Deep Chocolate VitaTop

Deep Chocolate: There were so many warm chocolate chips in here… I loved it!  It was the perfect dessert, and definitely soothed my chocolate craving.

Bottom lines: I’m usually a chocolate fiend, but I surprised myself by enjoying the fruit and bran more… I found them to be more flavorful and “real” tasting.  These muffins are fabulous for what they are: rich, low in calories, and full of wholesome ingredients.

Would I buy these? I don’t usually order muffins at bakeries because they’re usually pretty large and full of not-so-good things and a pretty big undertaking.  With Vitamuffins, however, I can supplement my regular meal with a healthy treat without feeling like I can’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.  I would definitely order this sampler pack again. Click here to purchase… it seems they have already come up with new flavors like Banana Fudge and Chocolate Mint, and have even added a low-acid coffee to their list of products!

Thanks again, Vitalicious!


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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

This morning I woke up with the line “Couscous is a traditional North African dish…” running through my head.  I guess I’ll be making some of that soon!  I don’t always remember my dreams, but when I do, they’re usually pretty vivid.  What dreams have you had recently?

Yesterday I dug into my stash of Vitamuffins and pulled out a new flavor: Double Chocolate Dream.

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious Package

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious Nutrition

Look at those bubbling chocolate chips!

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious

I crumbled the muffin and topped it with Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, and a fresh batch of almond milk.  It hit the spot.

Vitamuffin, Banana, Yogurt, Almond Milk

A little later, I snacked on an apple:

Morning Apple

Yesterday was one of those days when I really needed that extra push to get me moving. I had some reading to do but was starting to get a little stir-crazy and needed to get out of the house.  There was a 1:30 yoga class I was thinking of going to, but I made every excuse not to go:  I’d have to take a 30-minute subway ride each way, which takes away from my reading time.  I’d have to pack my lunch, but would it be too cold to eat it outside? And once I was in the city, I might as well stay there for a little and get some work done, but where would I go? Every excuse in the book.  Lucky for me, Sarah and Will were on gChat, and kicked my booty into shape.

yoga motivation

Sometimes a little nudge is all it takes.  I loaded up on 1/2 banana with almond butter before I left:

Banana w/ Almond Butter

The Vinyasa was good; I’m glad I went, but there was a moment when I looked around and all of the other students were getting into a certain pose, and I had no idea how to do it.  I could have just asked the instructor for some help, but I was too frustrated with myself and just sat on my mat instead.  I’ll work on getting my pride in check for next week’s class.

After class, I brought my lunch and ate it in the park (it was not too cold).  My dad had found this amazing sprout salad (which I snatched up as soon as he showed me):

Sprout Salad

This whole box- almost 1 lb of pure sprout- was less than $3!

Crunchy Sprout Salad

I piled sprouts, carrots, corn, beets, tomatoes, dulse and nooch into one side of my container; 3-layer hummus went into the other.

Health Salad

It was a salad of girth!

Salad of Girth!

I also brought a package of Kay’s Naturals Golden Butter Twists Gluten-free/High Protein Pretzels.

Kay's Naturals Protein Pretzels

Kay's Naturals Golden Butter Pretzels

I loved these pretzels! They’re crunchy, perfectly salted, and were perfect dipped in hummus.

Protein Pretzels

After finishing up, I headed over to Everyman Espressso, ordered a skim cappuccino, and worked diligently for three hours.

Everyman Cappuccino

After I read 100 pages, I enjoyed a Godiva Pumpkin Truffle that my mom got me.  These seasonal truffles hold a special place in our family tradition; we get them every year, and after the first bite, you know Fall really has begun.  How do you reward yourself to stay motivated and power through work?

Godiva Pumpkin Truffle

When I got home, I wanted something quick and easy for dinner.  I toasted up an Ezekiel English muffin with asiago cheese, and had a bowl of lentil soup.  (I’m not going to lie, I am so tired of this soup! I’m sure you are, too. Only one serving left, I promise!)

Toasted Cheese & Lentil Soup

Dessert was mighty fine, and complemented Gossip Girl quite nicely: Vanilla Coconut ice cream with frozen berries, cherries and almond milk.

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream with Frozen Fruit & Almond Milk

Around the blogs: Remember this beautiful little princess? Well, she started her very own blog! Check it OUT.

Katie & Lyle in Giverny!

This photo was taken in Giverny, France in Spring 2008.

Enter Erin‘s puffy necklace giveaway!

I’m off to read.  Bonne journée!

Transportable Salads and Build-Me-Up Blondies

Good morning and happy almost-weekend! I’ve already had a completely satisfying day thus far, and it’s only 11:45! But, alas, that is a story for another day.  That day would be tomorrow. Hehe 🙂

To be perfectly honest, I can barely remember yesterday! Thank heavens for food photography.  I started the morning with a nutritious breakfast, brought to you by Mr. Golden Corn VitaTop.

Golden Corn VitaTop Package

Golden Corn Vitatop Nutrition

Golden Corn VitaTop

I crumbled him up and sprinkled him between layers of Fage 0% (finally caved and splurged) and a red plum.  I have a feeling the last weeks of summer fruit are upon us!

Vita/Plum/Fage parfait

The rest of the morning was spent folding laundry and cleaning.  Although it was fun while it lasted, it was time for my surrogate Laundry Boyfriend to go.

Mid-clean, I stopped for an Amazing Grass-1/2 banana-PB shake:

Amazing Grass shake

Then I packed up my lunch and scooted into the city, just in time for my Vinyasa class.  I was in the right class this time, and my muscles were very happy about it.  The class kicked my butt… for some reason, no matter how much strength training I do, my arms never seem strong enough! I fell over in Crow again, but I laughed it off and promised myself that one day, however far away that day may be, I will be able to do it.

After yoga, I was more than ready for lunch.  It was cold and windy outside, so in the spirit of all things “Vigilante“, I unpacked the items I’d brought…

Black-eyed peas, tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, and hummus:

Hummus, black-eyed peas, sprouts & carrots

1 heart of romaine:

bagged romaine

Strawberry Oikos:

strawberry oikos

I assembled my salad:

Vigilante Salad

I only looked a little bit guilty while I ate 😉

Vigilante Lunch

Edible magazines are promoting Terry Walters’ Clean Food book (which I really need to check out) in such an innovative way… with basil seeds! What a great idea.  I just have to find a place to plant them that gets enough sunlight!

Edible/ Clean Food basil seeds

After lunch, I wandered aimlessly for a bit to kill some time before work.  Things have gotten a little crazy for me recently, and I’ve found myself to be… more emotional than I usually am.  It’s a difficult time for all post-grads (and everyone else!); I’m just trying to find ways to tackle and take charge of it.  This blondie (from the Union Square Farmer’s Market) helped.

Farmer's Market Blondie

It was very heavy, but the sugar and butter made me feel better.  There’s a lot to be said for comfort food!

Blondie Insides

I sat on a stoop (one of my favorite things to do in the city) and traveled back to 1960s Paris

Amazing Grass & Julia

I drank the wheat grass at work, mixed with water and a squirt of fresh- squeezed OJ.

The restaurant was pretty dead last night, and since I was closing, the clock seemed to move unbearably slowly.   I was anticipating my 6 mile run in the morning, and all I wanted to do was get in bed and go to sleep.

Dinner was a lovely salad: mixed greens with tomatoes, red pepper, celery, walnuts, and… grilled shrimp. Muy bien!

Dinner Salad

I ate an apple on the way out the door…

Post-work apple

… and decided to splurge on a cab.  I’ve finally figured out the fastest and cheapest route home, and in terms of time and safety, is really worth spending the money on when it’s late.  I was in bed at 12:45, and although my mind raced just thinking about my long run, I fell right to sleep.

I’m on a strict time budget today, so please forgive my good-blog-friend tardiness.  Have a great day!

(2) Dinner(s) for 1

Good morning and happy Friday!  The weather is pretty shoddy over here, and going outside is not sounding so appealing right now! I don’t have work today so I slept in, but honestly a few more hours under the covers sounds heavenly.

Yesterday breakfast was based around a BlueBran VitaTop.

BlueBran Vitatop Package

BlueBran Vitatop Nutritionals

BlueBran VitaTop

I crumbled it up and topped it with one banana, one apple, and almond walnut milk.

BlueBran Vita, Banana, Apple, Walnut/Almond Milk

After catching up on some reading and letting breakfast digest, I head out on a 4.5 mile run.   The first 20 minutes or so were really slow… I was still very sore from Buff Yoga and didn’t want to convince myself that turning around and going home was a better idea. I also had to stop for more traffic than usual, so the run itself wasn’t so fluid. Still, I powered through, and got my mileage in.

Total distance: 4.5 miles

Total time: 45:40 minutes

Maximum heart rate: 187 (94%)

Average heart rate: 174 (87%)

Calories burned: 520

Since my race is on Sunday, I’m not going to run today or tomorrow.  I’m hoping to do some light yoga at home, but I really don’t put any strain on my legs that would hurt my performance at the race.  The September issue of Runner’s World has an article specifically catered to 5K races, whatever your level, and Caitlin wrote a really useful post about pre-race tapering.

I came back and had a bowl of TJ’s low sodium minestrone soup (with added Bragg’s and Sriracha) and a big salad with hummus, spinach, mashed curried tofu & Annie’s Light Gingerly Vinaigrette.

Soup and Salad

I went to the guitar store with Ari in Brooklyn, then went into the city to get a snack before work.   I popped into Bonobo’s and got a Coco Maltfresh young coconut water and meat blended with raw organic mesquite fruit.

Bonobo's Coco Malt

Uh-MA-zing!  I also spied these Coco Chews on the counter and somehow they ended up coming home with me, too.  I can’t help it… I’ve recently become addicted to coconut! I didn’t used to like it AT ALL.

Bonobo's Coco Chews

I went to work, but it was so slow that after three hours I packed up my $6 and went home.  Although I took my salad to go, I picked up a brown rice rainbow roll on the way to the subway just in case the salad was a little flimsy.

Brown Rice Rainbow Roll

I really should have peeked in the container first, because Gregoria made my favorite salad: mixed greens with apples, carrots, red peppers, goat cheese, and GRILLED SHRIMP!

Dinner Salad w/ Apples, Goat Cheese & Shrimp

So I ate both.  Yes, two full dinners… left me feeling a little too full, but with enough room to chow down on this organic “nutella” bar that I brought back from Germany. Yum!

German Nutella Nougat Bar

Well, off to shower and meet up with my lovely for lunch.  Have a great weekend!

Wake Me Up Before September Ends

Good morning, lovepies.  I had a reeeeeeally difficult time waking up this morning, so I’m going to forgo my my morning run and hope that I can squeeze in a little treadmill action during my lunch hour.

Thanks for all of your enthusiastic responses to my grandmother’s post about her time in culinary France… I’m sure it will make her very happy.

Yesterday I rolled out of bed, two hours later than planned, and laced up for a run.  Before I left, I had coffee and 1/2 banana with almond butter.

Pre-Workout Snack

Towards the end of my run, I started getting really painful stitches in my side.  I remember reading an article in Runner’s World that said that when this happens, you should push on the spot and bend in its direction. I ended up running with my fingers pressed into my side, and it helped, but there has to be a better way! How do you run through stitches?

Total time: 44:52 minutes

Total distance: 4.5 miles

When I came back, I had an awesome breakfast, centered around two key ingredients:

Homemade raw almond walnut milk:

Homemade raw almond walnut milk

Apple Berry Vitatop:

Apple Berry Vita Top

Apple Berry Vita Nutritionals

Apple Berry Vita

Nutmilk/ apple/vitamuffin

I spent the rest of the morning working at home, then scrambled together a quick lunch.

Curried Tofu Salad

The night before, I decided to continue my adventures in mashed tofu and made a curried tofu salad.  Using a fork, I mashed 1/2 block of pressed firm tofu.  I added chopped onion, curry powder, freshly ground ginger, cumin, and rice wine vinegar. For my lunch, I plopped a big glob of the curry onto a bed of arugula with sprouts, an apple, and a slice of Ezekiel bread, and drizzled it all with Annie’s Light Gingerly Vinaigrette.

Tofu Curry

Although I’d packed snacks for work, I was still feeling noshy from the run so I popped into a deli and picked up a cup of Stonyfield Organic Nonfat Chocolate Underground yogurt.

Stonyfield Chocolate Underground Yogurt

At work, I drank a glass of Wild Berry Greens Plus and snacked on an Apricot Clif bar.

Work Snacks

I’ve decided that using the entire packet in one serving is entirely too much. It’s very sweet, so I’d recommend reducing the serving size to about 1/4 of the packet.

After my shift at the restaurant, I had a mixed green salad with apples, tomatoes, oranges, and walnuts.

Dinner Salad

Work itself was a little unpleasant, but hopefully I’ll be able to figure something else out soon.

On my walk to the subway, I picked up a blurry fruit cup.

Fruit Cup

Well, I’ve actually just come home early from work… I think I’ve caught some kind of bug.  Hopefully it’s something that’ll be cured by sleep, which is what I plan to do for the rest of the day.  Hope your Tuesday is going well!

Look, Ma, I Can RUN!

Good morning and happy humpday! I’m so sorry: I forgot to wish you a HAPPY SEPTEMBER! It’s really starting to feel like Fall around here… a couple days ago I had to wear two sweaters to yoga! Luckily it’s not quite as brisk as it is in Michigan… lady, you keep that weather to yourself!

Yesterday, in honor of said Midwesterner, I had a PB2/VitaTop parfait, using a Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip VitaMuffin.

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I made chocolate honey peanut butter mousse with TJ’s Organic Nonfat Honey Greek yogurt,  then fancied it up with layers of peach and crumbled muffin.

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By the time I’d finished catching up on my morning things- what is your routine like in the morning between when you wake up, breakfast and lunch? –  I didn’t have enough time to go to the gym as originally planned.  I’d wanted to run on the treadmill so I could build some mileage, but decided to try it outside instead.  You may recall a certain killer run I went on with Ari’s brother (a four-time marathoner) a couple weeks ago… well, that was the run I set out on.  I laced up my shoes, bought some new headphones at the dollar store (my Clean & Clear ones were long dead), pressed play, and took off.

Since I was planning on a longer run than I’ve been doing,  I kept my pace slow, concentrating on breathing easily, listening to the music, and watching the scenery.  I made the trip to the park- which, in itself, is almost the 2-mile distance I’m used to running in our neighborhood- ran the length of the park, and ran home.  I didn’t rush, but I got a rush (hehe 🙂 ) because of how pleasant the run was.  Before I knew it, I was back home.  The funny thing is that for this distance- about 4 miles– the length of Ari’s CD is perfect! I started running during “American Girls”, and stretched during “New Streets”.  I have to remember to keep my playlists fresh; having music really makes such a difference to me in terms of the length and quality of my workout.  Luckily, I have these ladies to keep me on my toes!  I really want to start running longer distances.  The 5K is on September 13, and we’ll see where it goes from there.  It’s really important for me not to get too cocky about training, however, because I don’t want to end up with another injury. I’m going to try to keep going to yoga in between long runs, and make sure to cross-train and strength train throughout the week.  But, I have to say, I’m excited! I never thought I really had it in me to be a runner.

Total distance: 4(ish) miles

Total time: 44:40 minutes

Maximum heart rate: 192 (96%)

Average heart rate: 178 (89%)

Calories burned: 540

The distance is only an approximation… I really need a Garmin.

After a quick shower, I downed some carrot juice, my new recovery drink of choice.  For those of you who asked: I do not make this myself.  I wish I had a juicer, but I do not wish I was cleaning it every day!  I got a 32-oz jug of Organic Carrot Juice at Trader Joe’s for $3.99 (non-Organic is $2.99).

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Then I hustled into the city to meet my long-lost love and blogger, Miss Sarah, at the Candle Cafe.

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There were so many things that I wanted to try, so I gently forced the waitress to choose for me.  At restaurants, I usually try to stray from having things I can (and would) make at home, but going against my rule, I ended up ordering one of the daily specials, soba salad.

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It was very good! The dressing reminded me a lot of Woodstock Dressing, which I haven’t had in a while.

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Sarah ordered the Aztec salad: bi-colored quinoa, black beans, red onion and corn topped with spicy pumpkin seeds and barbeque grilled tempeh. Served over mixed field greens with a toasted cumin vinaigrette.

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I think she won that round… but it’s okay! I’ll just have to go back 😀  I will also have to go finish this girl in Russia… she’s leaving for Moscow in five days! What a life.

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We needed to end things on a sweet note, so we split the chocolate mousse pie.  Pure, chocolatey heaven at 2 PM.  Again, what a life 😀

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After Sarah and I figured out how to get her to the airport, we parted ways and I went home to run some errands (stencil-shopping at Home Depot!) with Ari.  On the way back, we stopped at Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spiced LatteJenna really talked this up this year!

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The last time I remembered ordering one was when I was college visiting, at Wellesley. I’d been out late at a Beastie Boys concert the night before, and thought the caffeine/pumpkin mix was just so very collegiate.  Yeah, big dork, I know.

I spent part of the evening doing work, then broke to make dinner.

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I used the George Foreman (which I should really be utilizing more, it’s fabulous) to grill us up two swordfish steaks.  I tossed each steak in a quick salmoriglio sauce that I whipped up; there are many variations of this, but the basic mixture is equal parts lemon juice (I used lime) and olive oil.  Then add herbs of your choosing (oregano), salt and pepper. It goes on just about anything, and can help quell that strong “fishy” flavor that’s prevalent in a lot of seafood.

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On the side, I braised some spinach and dried mushrooms (Ari’s choice) in vegetable stock, reduced the broth down, and drizzled the mixture with a little sesame oil.

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We also split a sweet potato with butter and agave.

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I got the swordfish steaks in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s; they were perfectly portioned out! One baby steak and one man steak 🙂 I added more salmoriglio sauce to the fish once it was plated, and drizzled a little on the spinach and mushrooms as well.  I wish I’d made more, because it’s such a versatile sauce.  Thanks for teaching me, Mom and Dad!

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I had some vino and a nectarine for dessert, and we settled back for a mini staycation with For Your Consideration (genius!) and In Treatment.  It was a lovely night.

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Well, off to pack my lunch, get my yoga on and go to work.

Before I go: if you’d like to sponsor me in the race 5K Race For the Cure, you can do so here. I appreciate the support!

Also, the lovely Lauryn, formerly of Making Moves, has started a new blog, Mastering Manhattan, about her tradition to NYC living. Woohoo! That’s right, she’ll now be a New Yorker, so expect some awesome collaborations 🙂

Have a great day!

7.5

Good evening, friends! I don’t know about you, but this has been a very long day! Tuesdays seem harder to get through than Mondays. I did manage to get 7.5 hours of sleep, which set a nice tone for the day.  I’ve decided to start logging my sleep to make sure I get enough…

I decided on a hot breakfast this morning, and oats were just the thing. I incorporated some of my nut meat into the bowl, and it was terrific! It’s a little sweet, and went perfectly with the salty peanut butter.

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  • 1/2 cup oats (made w/ water)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 nectarine
  • cinnamon
  • 1 scoop almond nut meat
  • 1 scoop chunky peanut butter

I ran a lot of errands for my internship today, and on one of the four trips to the post office I picked up an iced coffee to keep me going through the humidity.

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My boss let me leave at lunchtime, so I took my food to the park and enjoyed a leisurely meal.  I’d made Heidi Swanson‘s Giant Black Bean Salad:

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Really delicious! I didn’t have time to blend the jalepeño dressing this morning, but it tasted just fine.

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I also had a Musselman’s Key Lime Cupaçao applesauce and a Banana Nut Vitatop:

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Deliciously filling lunch! I’m glad I brought it to work instead of spending money to eat out.

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I was right by the gym, but my tum wasn’t quite ready to work out.  I sat in the locker room and read my magazine for a while… probably looked a little odd, but that’s okay 🙂  I was pretty zonked and only did 20 minutes on the stairs and a few weight machines. Better than nothing!

I took advantage of my time in the locker room to do some Operation Beautiful work…

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… then rehydrated with some coconut water.

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Since I was in the neighborhood, I went straight to my mom’s office with good intentions of getting work done, but… she found me 45 minutes later, napping on the couch. Whoops.  When I woke up, I snacked on some Oh Nuts sunflower seeds:

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I never was a huge seed-girl, but these were pretty good.  I’ve noticed my taste buds changing recently… for example, I’ve been craving a lot of coconut, salty and fruity things. Normally, I’d have just gone straight for the chocolate.  Strange.

My mom and I met my dad for dinner at one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants, Nam.  We split everything:

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Shrimp dumplings wrapped in banana leaves

Unwrapped, they look like this…

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Grilled prawns wrapped in rice paper with cucumber, basil & peanut sauce

Grilled prawns wrapped in rice paper with cucumber, basil & peanut sauce

Steamed mushroom ravioli

Steamed mushroom ravioli

Crispy red snapper in chili lime sauce

Crispy red snapper in chili lime sauce

Grilled shrimp and scallops with vegetables in a lime basil sauce

Grilled shrimp and scallops with vegetables in a lime basil sauce

Warm banana bread with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and taosted coconut

Warm banana bread with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and taosted coconut

We get that dessert every time… it’s amazing, like a mix between banana bread pudding and rum raisin ice cream. Mmm!  It was a lot of food, but it was so, so good.

When I got home, I was still feeling munchy, so I had one of the apples my dad brought me from the Farmer’s Market.

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*Upwelling update: Thanks to each and every lovely fan out there, the boys have sold out Amazon, Barnes & Noble and J&R in New York, and I still have not been able to pick up a copy! You can still order it on iTunes, reserve a copy on Amazon, or you can order the album directly from their label, which I just did to ensure the giveaway winners get their copies!  I’ll announce the winners of the contest tomorrow morning.