Still smiling.

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 12, 2008

I’m definitely still smiling as I continue to read the feedback from my last post :mrgreen: So I’ll say it one more time: THANK YOU!

My, we’ve got some catching up to do, don’t we? Oh wait, hang on, I have to watch Michael Phelps kick Olympic ass swim the 200m butterfly…

GOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!! World Record!!!!

But wait, why does he look so unhappy? Did anyone else notice that? Maybe he’s just exhausted from all that swimming. I’d completely understand that.

Sorry for the digression. Let’s get to the food!


For breakfast, I tried a new combination that was inspired by Sarah from Our Kitchen Adventures, who has been enjoying it for quite a while now: Greek yogurt + wheatberries!

Ahhhh, pure heaven. The creaminess of the yogurt combined with the chewiness of the wheatberries kept my mouth happy for a long time. This particular combination was made with a serving of Chobani yogurt, 1/8 cup wheatberries (soaked in water overnight) and about 2 tsp. maple syrup.

And of course, there was some Coffee Cocoa involved – in a mug that was perfect for a that Monday morning why-do-I-have-to-work feeling.

For my morning snack, I tried out a new Clif bar that I picked out with my cousin on our adventure to Whole Foods last weekend.

Clif Nectar Cacao. The dark chocolate walnut flavor. The label boasts 100% organic ingredients: Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Cocoa, Organic Coffee Concentrate, Organic Coffee. Nice, right? And here’s the nutrition information, courtesy of the Clif site:

Calories: 160 – Fat: 6g – Sat. Fat: 1.5g – Carbohydrates: 27g – Fiber: 5g – Sugars: 20g – Protein: 3g

Looking at the nutrition facts, the amount of sugar stands out to me. I mean, the only “sweet” ingredients are organic dates and organic cocoa, right? It was kind of confusing. Here’s what the bar looks like:

Well, the sugar was worth it to me, because this bar was delicious! You definitely have to be a chocolate lover to enjoy it, but immediately upon biting into it, the rich taste of dark chocolate fills your mouth. I can still sense it in my mouth as I write about it! And there were little pieces of walnut throughout the bar to give it a slight crunch, but overall, it was very chewy and smooth. If I was an Olympic judge, and Clif Nectar Cacao was the athlete, it would earn a perfect 10. I’m serious! But only if you love your chocolate.

I went out to lunch with my mentor at Hannah’s Bretzel. Oh how I love being treated to lunch at organic restaurants! And the best part was, I saved part of my sandwich and drink for later and in doing so, realized I would be able to take a picture of it after all – hurray! I had an Honest Tea to drink. I know my cousin recommended these to me on our grocery trip, so I was excited to see what it was like. I really enjoyed this black forest berry flavor – I would definitely buy it again.

As for my sandwich, I had the Italian Parma Ham on a whole grain bretzel baguette. Here’s the 1/2 sandwich that I saved to finish later.

Gosh, I can’t even explain how good this sandwich is. First of all, I have yet to find a better tasting bread recipe. The baguette itself is spread with a sun dried tomato paste, then topped with parma ham, mozzarella and arugula.

The restaurant also gives you a choice of side: chips, raw veggies or nuts. I chose the soy nuts because I don’t have them very often. They were perfectly salted.

Toward the end of the work day, I started getting a little hungry, so I had a packet of David pumpkin seeds. It was nut and seed overload!

Dinner was a random assortment of goodies. I started with 1/2 cup whipped cottage cheese topped with some cinnamon raisin peanut butter.

Then I moved on to the carbohydrates with a big slice of Vegan Choconana Pudding Bread topped with some raspberry jam.

And then I headed back for some more protein, finishing my dinner with two liquid egg whites microwaved poached with some goat cheese.

After dinner, I went to the gym for an evening cardio session on the elliptical. It was a good chance to work my legs, which were feeling stiff and sore from their hard workout on Sunday! When I came home, I had my usual bedtime treat while watching the Olympicsfrozen grapes!


And now for today’s eats! Breakfast this morning was a nice ‘n easy bowl of stovetop oats, complete with a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 sliced banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter.

My craving for oatmeal has returned with a vengeance. I think it has to do with the cooler weather (well, relatively cooler) that we’ve been having for the past few days. I was actually cold in my room this morning!

But after the oatmeal and usual mug of Coffee Cocoa, I was feeling much warmer.

For a morning snack, I tried out another new bar today that I received as a free sample at some point.

I’ve tried the Kashi version of this bar and loved it, so I was expecting the same out of this one.

And it definitely tasted good. But then I took a closer inspection of the label and realized that there was both HFCS and partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat) in the ingredient list. I really need to take a closer look at free samples before I eat them :( But Quaker, I still love you (and, if you’re reading, would be overwhelmingly happy to work for you someday). I just won’t be trying your granola bars again until you get that stuff out of there. I have to be an unbiased blogger! Please and thank you.

Lunch today was so crisp and fresh. I got a salad from Ponte Fresco and ate it outside in the cooler air, listening to music on the Chicago street. Lovely!

My salad boasted a plethora of great ingredients: spinach, artichokes, black beans, chickpeas, black olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, water chestnuts and diced chicken. It was tossed with an Oriental Toasted Sesame dressing that is just yum!

For an afternoon snack, I had a skim mocha from Hannah’s Bretzel because I started to get a little too cold in that office building!

Whew! There sure are a lot of pictures in this post, aren’t there?! Think you can handle just a few more? Here’s dinner. I started out with a bowl of low sodium tomato soup and a side of Kashi crackers that I’ve had in my pantry for ages.

Then I made a second platter that included a carrot with PB (still lovin’ it!), sliced deli turkey and AmyLu andouille chicken sausage, both topped with honey dijon mustard.

And what better way to cap off an already scrumptious dinner than with a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate? One thing I’ve noticed about myself lately is that I used to consider chocolate “off limits” because of its fat content 👿 Instead, I’d load up on candy and sugar, thinking it was the “better of two evils.” But now, knowing that 1) chocolate (especially dark) is good for you in small amounts and 2) you can enjoy anything in moderation, I can’t get enough of the stuff!!

After dinner, I headed to the gym for another cardio night + ab workout. It feels good to be back on track with exercise – I missed the adrenaline rush when I had to stay late at work every night last week. Exercise really just makes me feel good now – I truly believe what they say about it being an antidepressant, although apparently that notion is now being questioned (click the link for more).

And of course, it should go without saying that I had these while I was writing this monster of a post.

Just saw Michael Phelps & Co. (I’m sure his teammates would just love to know I’m calling them “& Co.”) win another gold and break another world record by 5 SECONDS!

Sweet dreams :)

1 Danielle August 12, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Yay, I absolutely love marathon posts like this! So many delectable food pictures, it’s heavenly! You are too cute, by the way. Of course readers responded to your first piece. I’m really glad you decided to share it with us, not only does it display what talent you have but also how similar we all are. I think that striving for perfection is a common thread among us foodie bloggers and to know that we’re not alone and that sometimes being “good enough” really is good enough is such a refreshing perspective reminder. Have a wonderful night my dear!

P.S. Michael Phelps blows my mind.

2 blueberryhil August 12, 2008 at 11:35 pm

I love Honest Tea and I love the chocolate walnut cliff nectar bars…they’re like brownies. I think the dates must be the source of the sugar…dates are very sweet, as fruit goes.

I’m late to the party here, but I also really enjoyed your post on being good enough. I think it’s an important message, esp. in the health/food blogosphere. It makes me sad to see some of our blogger compatriots being so perfectionistic and hard on themselves. You’re always a positive read, and I appreciate that very much. Thanks so much for sharing!

3 Nicole August 12, 2008 at 11:50 pm

I’ve been wanting to try that Clif bar! I can’t wait to pick it up!

Michael Phelps amazes me! I was in awe at how far he was in front of everyone, and the world record bar!

4 Caroline August 12, 2008 at 11:58 pm

OK, so I noticed that my Mikey didn’t look too happy after his race too, and since I watch Olympic swimming obsessively, I learned that he was NOT upset–his goggles had filled up with water. He practically swam the entire race with his eyes closed!
Anyway, I love those Nectar bars, even though my whole family thinks they taste and look like dog turds. (Sorry that was gross, wasn’t it?)
That is so cool that Hannah’s offers soynuts as a side…so jealous!!

5 annaalstondonnelly August 13, 2008 at 12:00 am

Your food over the last 2 days looks amazing- so healthy, balanced and delicious!

Glad you are feeling energized and healthy!

6 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) August 13, 2008 at 1:06 am

Thanks for the review of the Clif bar. Anything combining dark chocolate and nuts just has to be good 😉 It sounds like something I would really like! And Ghirardelli chocolate is just the best!

7 mi August 13, 2008 at 1:41 am

i literally JUST watched the replay of phelps in the butterfly, and you’re right he doesn’t look remotely happy afterwards…. he looks exhausted, i hope he is ok. still incredible though, of course!

i LOVE soy nuts :) i wish they were cheaper though. and i’m really hoping to find wheatberries in whole foods today…

8 glidingcalm August 13, 2008 at 6:25 am

Did you hear that it was because his goggles filled up with water? Oh… Caroline just commented that! But wow, that must have been painful. I have definitely never been one to be able to swim with my eyes open underwater!!

And yay for carrots and PB and lunchmeat! I still need to try those chicken sausages, they always look so yummy. And look at your pretty crackers all lined up!

Have an AWESOME Wednesday Jenn!

9 Erica August 13, 2008 at 6:53 am

Nice, I wish I could totally set world records with my goggles full of water….he is incredible!

That whole grain bretzel baguette looks just perfect! Where is the all carb diet? I’d totally jump on board hahaha.

10 Sarah August 13, 2008 at 7:57 am

wow, MONSTER post filled with all amazing stuff. Looks like an incredible couple days of eating!

I’m so glad you liked the wheatberries with yogurt– had that for breakfast this morning too!

I JUST tried soy nuts for the first time the other day (they were randomly at my salad bar…!) and LOVED them. I definitely need to get more soon, I’m just afraid that I’ll finish them all in one day!

I agree with you on chocolate in moderation. I used to avoid eating it too but recently have been allowing myself some in small portions and it’s great. With dark chocolate a little bit goes a long way, especially when you eat it really slowly and savor every bite. I think it really helps me curb my cravings and not totally overdo it when I allow myself some sweets. I really like those little squares because of the instant portion control.

11 fitnessista August 13, 2008 at 8:10 am

i totally wasn’t hungry until i read this post… it’s FILLED with amazing food! that sandwich looks amazing and i am on a mission to find those clif bars. what a delicious-looking salad, too!!!

very true about the chocolate- it’s full of ontioxidants 😀

have a great day!!

12 VeggieGirl August 13, 2008 at 8:10 am

Keep smiling, girl!! :-)

I’m sure that Michael Phelps WAS tired – he’s a fighter in these games!! And he’s hot, but that’s beside the point… 😉

Glad you liked the Nectar bar!! I like the cherry-pomegranate flavor.

Frozen grapes + oatmeal + biiiig salad + slice of choconana pudding bread (saved the best for last here! haha) = ALL AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS-LOOKING!!

I STILL believe that exercise is a natural mood-booster, so I’m not down with the whole “questioning” thing, in that article. Boo!

13 Rose August 13, 2008 at 8:38 am

I ate the same Clif bar a few weeks ago after a hike. It was a little too much for right after working out, but because I LOVE chocolate anything, I could handle it :)

I, too, love marathon posts like these, and you jam pack yours with a lot of great photos throughout.

PS: You just reminded me that I need to freeze some grapes!

14 Quinn August 13, 2008 at 8:41 am

That Bretzel baguette looks ah-may-zing!!!!! The seeds and everything??? I definitely don’t want my lunch that I packed now.

I love Honest Tea. They’re actually based outside of DC. When my friend first moved to DC she interviewed with them as they were just launching. She now kicks herself that she didn’t take the job!

15 Fit Bottomed Girl August 13, 2008 at 8:49 am

That final relay last night was insane. FIVE seconds? That’s like forever! It seriously must be the suits….

I must try that Clif bar. I love me some chocolate!

16 All Vegged Out August 13, 2008 at 10:27 am

Boo, Quaker needs to work on those ingredient issues especially since those bars are marketed to kids andddddd as one of the leaders in affordable “bar products” they really could make a huge impact by doing so!

Seriously, tonight I’m going produce shopping and there will be a huge bag of grapes in there just for freezing purposes!

17 caitlin (see bride run) August 13, 2008 at 10:32 am

thanks for adding me to your blogroll! you rock!

frozen grapes rock!

18 Melissa August 13, 2008 at 10:48 am

I LOVE your Michael Phelps & Co. comment!!! SO TRUE! :) hehe

19 jenngirl August 13, 2008 at 10:52 am

good to know about the new clif bars, i’ll be trying them soon! love me some stove-top oats, EVEN during hot weather :)

20 Natalie August 13, 2008 at 11:17 am

The Clif Bar looks yummy! I’m gonna have to try it then. The reason of the sugar is the dates. They cram alot of dates in those bars, and dates have a decent amount of sugar (even though its natural).

Michael Phelps had water in his goggles and couldn’t see anything…that’s why he looked upset.

21 Heather August 13, 2008 at 11:18 am

a) yum t dark chocolate and the new clif bars
b) I think I’m going to try Hannah’s Bretzel today since you talk about it all the time and it sounds yummy and it’s right by my work!

22 Lizzy August 13, 2008 at 11:29 am

yummm that cliff nectar looks so good!! its the only flavor i haven’t tried and im going to search for it!! i love this post because every single thing you posted about i am not craving!!
michael phelps has been AMAZING all week, but it was kinda of lame for him to be pouty after his race!! goggles filling up with water isnt such a big deal, he swims between 4-5 hours each day and i guarantee 1-2hours of that he has a ton of water in the goggs..i always do. i think he was just a little tired and bummed that he was ahead the entire race…more olympics tonight! and after the relay last night he seemed to have a better attitude.
hope your having a great week!!

23 Lizzy August 13, 2008 at 11:30 am

sorry to post again…i meant to say NOW* CRAVING!! haha oooops on putting not

24 addicted2pb August 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

From what I read, Phelps was more annoyed because he would have swam the first race in a much faster time had he been able to see — perfectionist mind-set, anyone? Not that I could relate… 😉

Yay Dark Chocolate Walnut Cliff Nectar Bar!!! I LOVE those… the Cherry Pomegranate and Lemon Vanilla Cashew are also good if you’re in more of a fruit/nut mood. :)

25 Megan August 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I love the chocolate walnut nectar bar and also the lemon vanilla cashew, but I was surprised by the sugar content…so I don’t eat them too often.

26 eatingbirdfood August 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm

I have a question about your wheatberries, you said you soaked them in water overnight. Did you just soak them or did you cook them as well. I soak mine overnight and then boil them in water for 50 minutes the next morning. Is it possible to just soak and eat?

27 eatingbender August 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Danielle ~ Thanks for your comment :) I wrote a reply on your blog!

blueberryhil ~ Gotta be those dates. And thanks so much for your feedback!

Nicole ~ I am always in awe of Michael Phelps. Always :)

Caroline ~ I saw that this morning. I can’t believe he still did so amazing. Actually, I can believe it, but WOW! And I laughed out loud at your Clif Nectar comment!!

Anna ~ Thank you!

Foodie ~ Ghirardelli rocks my socks 😉

mi ~ Water in his goggles, poor guy :(

glidingcalm ~
I can’t IMAGINE swimming an Olympic race with water in my goggles! He just moved up even more in my book! Sheesh! And yes, you need to try those chicken sausages pronto!

Erica ~ Wish I could too, haha. And I would totally jump on an all-carb diet if it meant eating Hannah’s Bretzel at every meal!

Sarah ~
I’d be afraid of eating all the soy nuts in one sitting too, yum! And you’re so right about the chocolate!

fitnessista ~ Thanks so much!! :)

VeggieGirl ~ Oooh, I’m going to have to find that cherry-pomegranate flavor!

Rose ~ Glad you could handle it :) And yes, freeze those grapes!!

Quinn ~ Aahh I totally would take a job with any health food company nowadays! Too bad I still have a year of school..darn!

Fit Bottomed Girl ~
It’s gotta be the suits + pure talent 😉

All Vegged Out ~
I’m with you on Quaker. And have fun freezing those grapes!!

caitlin (see bride run) ~ Absolutely!

Melissa ~ Haha thanks! :)

jenngirl ~ Whether the weather is hot or cold, stove-top oats = amazing!

Natalie ~
Thanks for the heads up on both the dates and Michael Phelps!

Heather ~ Ooooh let me know if you do and if you like it! Although I don’t see how it’s possible not to!

Lizzy ~ Haha, thanks! And interesting insight on Michael Phelps – it’s nice to hear a swimmer’s point of view!

addicted2pb ~ He’s definitely not satisfied with being “good enough” – hahaha 😉

Megan ~ Ooh lemon vanilla cashew sounds yummy, but yes, the sugar is definitely something to consider!

eatingbirdfood ~ Good call – well, I soaked mine overnight and then stuck them in the microwave for 30 seconds. But that’s it! And they tasted good to me! But maybe I’m not cooking them enough? I’ll have to look that up now that you mention it!

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