Friday, October 30, 2009

Boston Vegetarian Food Fest

(This may or may not be the background on my crackberry :)
The weekend all vegans and vegetarians in Boston count down for is finally upon us: Boston Vegetarian Food Fest!

Now Expanded to Two Days!
Saturday, October 31, 2009, 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday, November 1, 2009, 10 AM - 4 PM

Reggie Lewis Athletic Center
1350 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Subway stop across the street

and its Free Free Free! Free admission, Free Parking, and Free Samples!
Look at the great Speaker Line-up! Bloggers, Doctors, Writers, all fellow veggie-lovers!
Samples galore, yummy eats and treats, and utter chaos. This and Halloween all in the same weekend?? its going to be Epic! Join Me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dont White Sugar-Coat it

I LOVE Sweet things! There is no such thing as too sweet. I'm not a chocoholic per se, but rather addicted to sugar. So, what sweetener to use is huge controversy I wrestle with. So today I thought I'd share my own personal sugar philosophy.

Note: Feel Free to disagree with me-I'd love to know how you get your sugar kick! And I am not a Sugar Nazi-occasionally white sugar gets in, but on a whole, this is what I try to do!

HFCS=BAD and here's why. EXTREMELY refined-watch the movie King Corn and take special note of the scene where they attempt to make their own, scary! actually any kind of corn syrup is highly refined and probably contains GMOs. Also, the obesity epidemic in America perfectly correlates with increased consumption of HFCS and its in EVERYTHING! Ketchup, Soda, Cereal, Peanut Butter-you name it! So that's a Huge NO
White Sugar-basically empty calories. No vitamins, no minerals, just calories. It is also Highly refined-did you know it takes 17 ft of sugar cane to make 1 cup of sugar??

Some sugars are bleached with bone as well, making them not vegan. And brown sugar is really no better. All brown sugar is white sugar with a bit of molasses for coloring.
Artificial Sugar- BAD. Fake. Splenda=made from sugar? Its basically a chlorinated sugar molecule-little side story: a group of Chemists were trying to find a substitute for DDT-a toxic pesticide- and due to a language barrier one of them tasted the sample rather than "testing" it. The overwhelming sweetness of the compound they had created gave them the notion to market it as low-calorie sweetener. SCARY! Aspartame is a no-no for people with PKU. "But what about people who are trying to control their calorie intake?" you might say. Well, maybe a diet coke is better than a coke sweetened with HFCS because at least you don't have the calories. But the bottom line is that Artificial Sweeteners are just that-ARTIFICIAL, highly processed and our bodies probably aren't used to them

Use Sparingly

Honey-does contain some vitamins and minerals, but really not a significant amount. It is less refined than white sugar, and I would consider it more "natural" since its made from bees. Yes I am a vegan who will have honey on occasion. Raw Honey is the best-from local organic beehives.
Agave Nectar-better than sugar in the sense that it has a lower glycemic index, meaning it won't raise your blood sugar levels as much. But it has the same amount of calories as white sugar and can still be highly refined.

So what's a girl to do??
Well, I eat fruit-quite a lot of fruit. Love me some raisins and dates! I also sweeten things with Fruit Juice or applesauce. Brown Rice Syrup is also a good unrefined sugar and great in baked goods.But when I want to make my oatmeal sweeter or do some baking I use:

It is my go-to sweetener. It is natural-its extracted from the leaves of a stevia plant. It has no glycemic index, no calories and is intensely sweet (the leaves are 40x sweeter than sucrose!). It has been used in Japan and South America as a sweetener for years, and recently got approved for use in the US by the FDA. While you used to be able to only find it in the Supplement section of Whole Foods, now companies like Coke are even incorporating it into their foods. Some people complain about a bitter aftertaste or anise taste with it, but new methods of extracting stevia from the plant have reduced this significantly.

So that's what I do instead of sugar-coating it! And I couldn't be happier!
For Further reading check out this article about The American Heart Association recommending that Americans reduce their intake of added sugar

I'd love to hear from you!! What's your sugar "philosophy"?

Check back Monday for a SWEET giveaway!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A new Monday Tradition

This semester I don't have class on Mondays-but I work from 2-9 and have team meetings/group study sessions from 10-2. Aka, not a free day. But my Monday mornings got even better today.
I woke up at 5, hopped on a bus and headed to Newton for a Hot Yoga session at Prana Power Yoga. It was an excellent class and afterward I went to Prana Cafe.
I got a "Dream Machine" coconut water+brazilian nut mylk + a little bit of date=deliciously light and airy beverage!!

And then I busted out some chapters of Biochem. Oh Carbohydrate Metabolism you are so fun!!
I had the cafe to myself all morning long and it was light and bright. I also had a kiddie "pasta"

(zucchini "noodles" with marinara sauce) before I left to shower at home. The waitress/counter-help was extremely nice and didn't seem to mind my sweaty appearance at all.
This is going to be my new Monday Tradition and I couldn't be happier!
Enjoy your Tuesday!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bare Fruit

Got some Bare Fruit at Expo East-Time for a Review!!
I love dried fruit of all kinds. The simple raisin tops my list-but i have a sincere adoration of all.
I tried Bare Fruit- Snack sized packages of bake-dried delights!

They have a huge selection of fruit-from pinapple to tart cherries-I tried these flavors:
Bananas and Cherries-my favorite-the bananas were still a bit moist/soft-not like they were freeze-dried!
Cinnamon Apple-also crunchy with a nice cinnamon dusting
Cherry-Quite tart, not my favorite
No additives or preservatives, 100% organic. Although the individual packaging isn't very "green" it is nice to have it portioned and ready to slip into a bag or backpack for snacks on the go! And No sugar added to any of their products!!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eat Drink and Be FAIR!

The lovely Jessica of Fete For Food invited me to an "Eat Drink and Be Fair" fair-trade reception/party this Wednesday,
Hosted by Green Mountain Coffee.

Fair Trade Boston is working to make Boston a fair trade city by 2010. I applaud their efforts and really hope we can do it!! How awesome would that be??

Chefs from Garden at the Cellar, Tastings, evoo, Bambara had a cook-off-Top Chef Style.

Fair Trade Top Chef
They came up with the most creative menus!! Very meat heavy and nothing for me to eat, but I admired their originality!
Jessica unknowingly sample the urchin bisque :)

the Sea Urchin Coffee Vanilla "cappuccino" was the most fascinating to me!

oh hello little urchin!
Mostly local with an emphasis on the flavors of fair trade cocoa and coffee. I had some Green Mtn Coffee but had this been a month later I could have sampled a local apple cider-tini or a variety of local brews.
Two co-op farmers were present and gave a speech about how fair trade was helping them and their communities.

The venue was superb-the Artists for Humanity building in South Boston its a LEED certified building and decorated with windshields and coffee filter lights-so cool!

Jessica and I ran into Sarah of SarahFit and spent the evening talking about all things food nutriton and exercise related-per usual!I was hoping for some fair trade dark chocolate to be passed around but no such luck
We did leave with some pretty sweet swag though-leftover organic veggies!! Love! And coupons for free yogurt which my roomies were very happy about
Thanks again Jessica for taking me as your plus one!
Stay posted for a pretty SWEET giveaway!! Hint-It'll be great in your Fair Trade Coffee!
have a great Friday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nike Womens Marathon 2009


We woke up at 5 am and I ate a cup of oatmeal with flax seeds and 3 dates. I lay out all my clothes the night before, so I jumped in them and did some stretching.

my gear.
Unfortunately my camera died after this picture:( so i'm still waiting for pictures-will add soon!

Around 6 am we left our hotel and went for a light run around 5 blocks to get the blood flowing. As we heading back to Union Square we were overwhelmed by the number of people! All the streets surrounding the square were PACKED with people.

I'm somewhere in there!!
With 20,000 racers and at least that many spectators I guess I should have expected that. Still. We found our pace group-I had to go to the bathroom last minute-so joined the port-a-potty line and checked a bag full of jackets. The weather was pleasant. We had been averaging about 10 minute miles during training-so we were at the front of the 10-12 minute gate. Priyanka's mom was there with us and then I spotted my family up above us in the square-totting signage! They had gotten up at the same time I did in order to drive across the bay to see us off J lots of love. The anthem played-we “ate” an espresso Clif Shot, and waited for the lines to start moving. Finally we started to walk around the sq-and at 15 minutes past the official start we were across the start line! It started off slow-a lot of weaving in the first 3 or 4 miles-trying to get around walkers and lollygaggers. I mean, I didn’t really care about my time-but I sure didn’t want to stop at mile 2 for a photo op!

The route went from Union Square, down by Fishermans Wharf, Across Chrissy Field, up to the Golden Gate Bridge, then back down to the Great Highway. There was a loop through the Golden Gate Park and around Had a quarter of an orange thanks to Yes to Carrots Started with a 20 oz bottle of water filled with Vega Sport-which I adore. Had a total of 9 luna moons throughout the course. They had stations with Gatorade and bananas-but I am not a fan of either while running. (I love bananas, I do! But not while running!) Around mile 11 I was done with my water, so I started grabbing cups at every race station. The famed “chocolate mile” was at mile 21-and even if it had been dairy-free there is NO way I would have wanted chocolate then.
At mile 18 my knees started hurting and I could start to feel myself getting tired. My knees have never hurt while running so this was a shocking and scary feeling. But I pushed that to the back of my mind and decided to have my second gel- a clif mocha shot. It helped my push through that and around the lakes-which was the worst part of the race. It seemed to go on forever-the scenery was awful and the crowd had really thinned out. Plus you were now right next to traffic *I think they should reverse the route so that you start with that awful loop and your home stretch through the city to union sq..*
I was trucking along, keeping at somewhere around a 10 minute mile but not really putting that much thought into it-I was just doing my best. Then at mile 25 we had our last water option. I grabbed a cup, took a sip and dumped the rest on my head. I felt such a surge and really picked up my pace. I basically "sprinted" the last mile. All that was going through my head was-“You’re almost done” Just Get Through This. The Faster you Go the sooner its over. Give it all You’ve got. Its now or never. All that corny stuff, but it really seemed to work! I’m not very competitive but it felt really good to still have a reserve of energy. I crossed the finish line and stumbled into the sexy firefighters who gave me a precious Tiffany blue box- haphazardly grabbed a banana and a luna bar and stumbled to the stretch station. My legs were BURNING. I can’t remember a time when my legs felt like this. Not even after doing Stadiums at Harvard do they burn like they did then and still now But it felt good and it made me believe I had actually DONE something. I finished in 4 hours and 18 minutes and averaged a 9'50"mile I was pretty happy with myself, considering I just wanted to finish the race. To qualify for Boston I’d have to cut a minute off my mile, but I think its totally feasible-if I didn’t stop once for the bathroom, ran a flat course, and trained harder I think I could do it. We’ll see how I feel next year! Oh and Janet from Pretty Green Girl also Rocked the Half Marathon!!

And how cool is this-Nike Maps out your individual run-see told you I hauled at the end!!

I am so happy to have checked this off my list of things to do-in someways it doesn’t seem real.It was easier than I thought it’d be. I didn’t hit a wall and even without music I was able to stay focused and keep my mind entertained for four hours.I loved all the uplifting “Run Like a Girl” Messages, Tiffany's Necklace at the End and the gorgeous scenery.

All in all a great experience and I’d run 26 miles every weekend if I got to relax like this! It was great being with family and finally getting sleep. Just lounging. It was even nice to get off my computer-3 days without touching a keyboard! Now I just have to decide what to do next! The day after I was definitely hobbling around-embarrassing, but today i feel find and am about to Start Operation Yoga!! Exhale Spa here I come!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nike Womens Marathon 2009-Pre Race

Race Weekend has come and gone. It still seems like a dream to me! It was wonderful to be back in California, escaping the snow, seeing my family, eating great food, and running the most gorgeous race ever! I'm slowly catching up on life, and posts will come soon.
We landed on Friday and after meeting my lil bro, dad and Priyanka's mom we went to the pre-race expo.

Nomnomed on some Luna moons after picking up our race packet and then checked out the Oxygen bar.

Some people pay several hundred dollars for a 5 minutes of oxygen! I didn’t notice any benefits-it was just like I was breathing in flavored air-interesting. Safeway also had a station where you could hop on a stationary bike and blend your own smoothie! Way to be energy efficient! (Seriously, when are gyms going to start tapping into all the energy that is produced from stationary equipment?? Get on it!)
Next I tried the Nike Lunar Glides and had them video me running to determine my “style” Like I already knew I have an neutral foot. I mentioned that I have never liked Nike shoes because they always feel tight around my heels. The salesrep mentioned I may want to try a mens shoe-since the womens are specifically designed with a narrower heel. Good to know! Kara Goucher and Joan Benoit were there and spoke which was great!

Kara and Joan

I'll post the total race recap tomorrow but all in all it was an amazing race! I'm so glad I went and I had a super relaxing weekend with my family and friends! I did not want to get back on that Virgin America plane and leave sunny cali for snowy Boston!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm Over the TOP

I love being over the top
I received the Over the Top! Award from Nicole and I feel so honored! Thank you!! In order to accept the award, I need to answer the following questions with just one word. So, here goes…
1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? up
3. Your mother? loving
4. Your father? wise
5. Your favorite food? raisins
6. Your dream last night? forgotten
7. Your favorite drink? tea
8. Your dream/goal? happiness
9. What room are you in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? blogging?
11. Your fear? disorder
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? traveling
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something you aren’t? lazy
15. Muffins? lemonpoppyseed
16. Wish list item? dehydrator
17. Where did you grow up? Wyoming
18. Last thing you did? homework
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? flat
21. Your pets? dogs
22. Your friends? inspiring
23. Your life? amazing
24. Your mood? joyful
25. Missing someone? friends/family at home
26. Vehicle? feet
27. Something you’re not wearing? jewelery
28. Your favorite store? Tie Between Whole Foods and Trader Joes
29. Your favorite color? PINK!
30. When was the last time you laughed? 5 minutes ago
31. Last time you cried? LONG time ago
32. Your best friend? several
33. One place that I go over and over? esplanade
34. One person who emails me regularly? listservs
35. Favorite place to eat? Grezzo
To conclude, I must now pass along this award to some of my favorite bloggers, who haven't done it yet! These are a handful of the blogs I adore and these girls ROCK!
Janel at Dine Dish Delish
Jessica at Fete For Food
Michelle and Lori at Pure2Raw
Annabelle at Wholesome Cusine and Kombucha Fuel
Nora at Pride & Vedujice
Gina at Vegan Strong
Janet at Pretty Green Girl

THANK YOU NICOLE! I feel so honored!

BTW, did you sign-up for Project Feed Me yet? If not, please check it out!!!
I bought my week 1 items, now i just need to take a picture that shows them with me, with something that represents Boston....

Ok I'm off to Celebrate my roommie's b-day with these precious little treats!!!

Kickass Cupcakes-I love you!

Have an Over the Top Fantastical Evening!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We Be Boggin'

How I do love Long weekends!!!
On Saturday, we got a crew gathered for Slow Food BU and zipped down to the Cape to go to a Cranberry festival and check out some bogs!

Did you know that the cranberry is one of three fruits that are native to North America?? Along with the blueberry and concord grape, Cranberries were first used Native Americans, as food, dye and for its healing properities. New England is a major site of cranberry production and some of the plants the grow today have been around for more that 150 years!
Our first stop was the Cranberry Harvest Festival Of course there were cranberries galore!

Lots and Lots of Vendors with assorted homecrafts

No Sugar Added Cranberry Jam!
There are some bogs that are organic but I couldn't find any unsweetened dried cranberries. I did buy 1 lb of berries for 1 dollar though!

scoopin out some preserves!

Look its us in an old Ocean Spray Truck!
At the festival I saw some things that blew my mind and were totally unrelated to cranberries.
Deep fried twinkies, oreos and candybars

A "Sexy" heavy-set pigs attempting to woo you with deepfried funnelcakes

A whoopie pie the size of my hand

and people actually eat these!! omg disgusting
We were on a bit of a schedule, so after gawking at all these foods, we drove down to the actual farm-Flax Pond Farm.

Jake and Dot have owned this farm since the 60s. It is not organic, but Jack says he limits the amounts of pesticide they spray because 1) its ridiculously expensive and 2) he has grandchildren running around the farm all the time.

Flax Pond is a dry bog-which means they never flood it to harvest. Berries from Dry bogs are what you'll find fresh or frozen, where the berries remain intact. Wet bogging can squash the little berries so they turn into processed sauces, juice or dried snacks.

Jack with the berry picker!
Ocean spray sells the berries for them-dividing up profits amoungst their co-op of growers

This Man was Like the Encyclopedia of Cranberries
It was fun to get to see how a New England staple was grown and get out into the country for the day! Now I just have to go apple picking!Oh fall, How I do love you!
What's your favorite part about the fall????
Hope you're getting back into the swing of things ok!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poor Feet

At T-6 days I'm just showin the toesies a little more love:
I found this in Fitness Magazine a while ago and felt like sharing!:
Feet Facts:
  • They contain a quarter of all the bones in your body.
  • They log, on average, 1,000 miles a year.
  • They absorb one-and-half times your body weight with each step.
  • And they get zero respect.

So what how can you help them out?? Well, besides my suggestions for HAPPY FEET, here's a fun little exercise Fitness Mag recommends:

2-Minute Foot Fix

These quick moves from Crunch Fitness's Stiletto Strength class will improve your balance, strengthen your arches, ankles, and calves, and make tromping around town infinitely more bearable.

Plie and Releve combo
  1. Stand facing the back of a chair, with your feet hip-width apart and your toes turned out; rest your hands on the top of the chair for balance. Slowly bend your knees and lower into a plie; pause, then return to the starting position. Do 10 times.
  2. With your feet still wide and toes turned out, lift up onto your toes, keeping your legs straight; pause; then lower. Do 10 times.
  3. Finally, combine the two exercises: From your starting position, lift onto your toes, then bend your knees and lower into a plie (keeping your heels lifted); pause; straighten your legs and stand up, then lower your heels back to the floor. Do 10 times. Do three sets of each of these exercises at least three days a week.

Now do the Happy Feet Dance!!

Enjoy your day off (hopefully!!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Project Feed Me

Feed Me Button nat's blog

Project Feed Me
October 12, 2009-December 12, 2009

Project Feed Me is a nine week program designed by NoNo2YoYo to help feed thousands of hungry Families. It starts on Monday and runs through Dec 12th. The goal is to feed as many families as possible for the holidays by buying 2 food items a week and then bringing them to your local Food Bank on Dec 12th.

I just signed up and you can too with these Four Easy Steps:

1. Register and become a member of Project Feed Me
Registering for the project is important and will help Project Feed Me keep track of how many people are participating.

2. Commit to buying two of the "recommended food items" per week for the entire nine week project
(These items will not be expensive! Some weeks the items will not even equal $1.00)

3. Commit to getting at least 3 other people to become members of Project Feed Me

4. At the end of nine weeks, look up your local food bank (US here) (Canada here)and donate your items

*The recommended food items are a list of items that have been predetermined by Food Banks across the country. The recommended food items will be posted at every Monday Starting Monday October 12. It will be your responsibility to check back each week to find out what the weekly item is and ensure you are buying the foods that are recommended and needed by the food banks.

Lets All Give A Little to those in Need!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Midterms Over-Let the Party Begin!

Drumroll Please.....

Congrats Mish at selected you as the winner of my giveaway! Send me your address and I'll ship you some goodies!!!

My three exams are over and I think they went ok... And to make me even happier-after I finished I went with friends to Peace O' Pie-the new vegan pizzeria in Allston-replacing TJs. We split a glutenfree pizza of the day and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and consistency! Kudos! They are currently only serving GF on thursday but they seem to already have a following! Impressive considering they've only been open 8 days. While TJs held a special chaotic anarchist place in Allston's heart-Peace o' Pie cleaned up good and I wish them the best of luck! Ill be back to check out the ww crust!

When I got home not only did I find these little postits on my door
-thanks dory-
but 3 boxes-shoes, care package from my parents, and stevia!!

love it!!!
Today I had a delicious lunch at Grezzo-Chocolate Chip Cookie and pumpkin gelato!
Justify Full
Tomorrow sfbu is going cranberry bogging which I can't wait for-even if it rains! Best long weekend ever!
Have a great Long Weekend!
Stay tuned for more giveaways and product reviews coming up! Plus its the final countdown til my marathon!