Flavored, Fresh, Free.

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 13, 2008

I was amazed when I heard about Michael Phelps (Ha – have I mentioned him in every post since the Olympics started? Hmm…almost!) having water in his goggles and the fact that he was STILL able to win the gold and beat the world record! I can understand his frustration (or, as a couple of you pointed out in the comments, his perfectionist mindset that told him “good enough is not enough”) over not getting the time he wanted. But he still did a great job and, as I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, is now considered the best.Olympian.ever. Wow!

On another, slightly less cheery note, I was very saddened when I saw the story about the little girl who was forced to lip-synch during the opening ceremony. Leslie from The Weighting Game talks about it in her post today – check it out.

Not really sure how to transition to food…

So let’s just not πŸ˜‰ How about this: I’ll start from the beginning.


I tried out a new Chobani Greek yogurt this morning – the vanilla flavor. I know some other food bloggers have commented that they thought this particular flavor tasted either too sweet or too disgusting. I’m here to tell you that they are all crazy entitled to their opinions, but I personally thought it was excellente!

By the way, totally kidding about the crazy joke πŸ˜‰ I think the reason I like it is because I have such a sweet tooth, so adding a little bit of sugar to the plain yogurt did wonders for me. Now I really want to try the fruit flavored Chobani yogurts – I’m thinking a big Chobani buy at the grocery store this weekend!

Anywho, I added some goodies to the yogurt: 1/8 cup old fashioned oats, 1/4 cup TJ’s High Fiber stix, and 1 tbsp. ground flax. Here it is all nice and neat:

And now here it is all mixed up and creamy:

Yum. I got the idea to add oats to the yogurt from Heather over at Hangry Pants. I love the way uncooked oats taste when mixed with something creamy – it brings on an entirely different flavor!

I finished off breakfast with the usual.

Can’t. Get. Enough.


I tried something a little different today. Even though my breakfast was pretty filling, it was slightly smaller than usual in terms of its caloric fuel. The reason for this was because I was toying around with the idea of splitting breakfast into two parts – one at home and one right when I get to work. My thinking went something like this: I usually arrive to work hungry (after walking several blocks), but I tell myself to wait it out until a certain time for my official “morning snack,” simply because it was ingrained in me that meals should be split a certain number of hours apart. But that completely defeats the idea of intuitive eating, right? So I decided that instead of waiting for the morning snack, I should just split up breakfast into two parts and have the second half of my breakfast immediately after I get to work, thereby diminishing the real need for a morning snack and listening to my body more intuitively.

So what did I choose for my second breakfast? Why, a new Larabar, of course!

I’ve been hearing rave reviews about the banana cookie flavor. Since I pretty much love banana-flavored anything, I decided to give it a go :) I’m so glad I did!

This bar definitely smelled like a banana cookie, with a hint of dates (obviously, since that’s one of the other ingredients)! It’s a soft and chewy bar in that it’s easy to bite into, yet there was a lot of crunch throughout from the nuts, which made eating it much more fun from a textural standpoint. In fact, it tasted more nutty than anything else. There was definitely a hint of banana, but the nuts overpowered it. I didn’t mind that though, and was actually even a little glad because otherwise I think it could have been too sweet. But overall, it’s another winner from Larabar – I’m glad I gave these another chance!


Since I didn’t make a big trip to the regular grocery store over the weekend, I’ve been buying my lunch this week (overall it adds up to roughly the same as my grocery bill). Today I got a HUGE Mediterranean salad from an Italian cafΓ© near my office called Soprafina.

This salad boasted some very impressive ingredients: cucumbers, green and yellow peppers, kalamata olives, feta, red onions and sliced tomatoes with a Lemon-Athenian dressing.

I just love packing all the veggies into one fresh, crisp and satisfying meal.


I tried a new flavor of Honest Tea today – Peach Oo-La-Long. It was definitely not as sweet as the berry flavor, but still good. I wonder if they sell these in bulk somewhere…anybody know?

The guy at Hannah’s Bretzel knows me by now from the various trips to get skim mochas, Honest Tea and bretzels. I asked for a whole grain bretzel because I was feeling in need of a carb energy boost. He gave it to me with the tea but when he told me the total, I looked at him kind of funny but didn’t say anything. Turns out, he gave me the bretzel for free! I guess it’s because they were already done making them for the day and would have just thrown the leftovers out, so he felt bad charging me for it? Either way, I was pleasantly surprised, though I didn’t realize it until afterward so I couldn’t thank him! But it definitely put a smile on my face for the rest of the day!


And now for some actual cooking on my part – hurray!! I’m pretty proud of what I came up with tonight, featuring these:

There are two servings per bag, but I used both servings because there really is nothing to these noodles! I combined the bag with 1/2 cup low sodium tomato soup and a Quorn chik’n cutlet in the microwave to create this delectable outcome:

It was SO.GOOD. The tofu noodles are definitely a little slimier than regular pasta and they don’t have a very distinct taste, but combined with the tomato soup and chik’n cutlet, they were outstanding. Plus I crumbled a little goat cheese over the top – can’t go wrong there, right?

After that delicious bowl, I treated myself to a rice pudding cup with some Bear Naked blueberry granola on top. I ate it with a mini spoon to get the most enjoyment out of it :) I love them!

I went to the gym and did 40 minutes on the elliptical and a bicep/tricep/shoulder workout. Then I came back and had a square of dark chocolatedouble dessert!

I also snacked on some frozen grapes while I was writing this post, but that’s becoming as much of a given as my Coffee Cocoa!

Another great night of Olympics watching. Hope everyone has been enjoying it :mrgreen:

1 Caroline August 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Hmm seems like you’re as obsessed with Olympics as I am. I saw that story about lip syncing this morning, and it made me so mad! I think the little girl who was actually singing should get her own performance now.
Anyway, I like the flavored Chobani yogurts a lot, which reminds me that I have a strawberry one waiting for me in the fridge:)

2 Melissa August 13, 2008 at 11:20 pm

hehehe…i know why you got that pretzel for free…that boy LIKES you…hehehehehe….

and i agree, the tofu noodle are def slimmier…did you think they were more chewy too? i like them alot as a sub for regular pasta, esp the way you make it! i’m gonna have to go out and get some! you’ve got me craving your dinner!


3 Erin August 14, 2008 at 12:56 am

I love that pretzel! It looks so doughy and healthy! Do you dip it in mustard or anything or just eat it plain?

4 mi August 14, 2008 at 1:53 am

oh my god…. i had no idea about the lip-synch. reading about it made me tearful. it is so tragic…. but i am glad that it’s out there for the public to know, at least. wow.

um.. onto better things! like your tofu noodles!! i wish i could get them here, but no…. your creation looks great though!

5 Clairedille August 14, 2008 at 2:05 am

I am a big fan of the double bfast (or mid morning snack). I also tried the banana larabar for mine today and it was sooo good!

6 Megan August 14, 2008 at 5:20 am

I am so gald you loved the banana cookie lara bar. That pretzel looks delicious. Free food rocks!!! I tried the Shiritkaki when they first came out and was bothered by how slimey they were. I need to try again! Any hints on how to prepare them to taste as close to pasta as possible?

7 glidingcalm August 14, 2008 at 5:57 am

Awesome eats Bender!! And yay for the Banana Cookie Larabar!!

The Shirataki noodles can sometimes be fussy…but it seems like you were able to make them to turn out quite well! Looks delicious! I haven’t had them in ages…but maybe I should pick some up!?

Have I mentioned that I also love what you are able to do with a microwave?! Cooking can really intimidate me…but microwave pasta and eggwhites are such a welcoming idea… keep those recipes coming, Jenn!

Happy Thursday Bender!

8 Erica August 14, 2008 at 6:11 am

I need a breztel place near my house…..I <3 soft pretzels!

9 Nicole August 14, 2008 at 7:10 am

What a huge salad! I love digging into a massive salad. Mmmm.

I’ve been wanting to try the banana cookie Lara bar!

10 VeggieGirl August 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

You can never blog too much about Michael Phelps – he’s worth it!! πŸ˜€

Banana Cookie Larabar = among my top favorite flavors :-)

Free bretzel?? Score!!

11 WeightingGame August 14, 2008 at 7:29 am

ok, it’s official, I need to stop being afraid of the slime factor and try these tofu noodles. It’s like a cult! I want in!

12 fitnessista August 14, 2008 at 8:36 am

a new larabar, free bretzel and delicious noodle dinner?!? sounds like a great day to me :)
i am wondering if a bretzel is a good enough reason to beg the hubby to take me to chicago (on top of the glorious shopping and the fact that OPRAH is there!)… maybe i’ll take him to a baseball game or something..
i saw that on the news about the lip-synching.. so sad. i hope that little girl’s self esteem doesn’t suffer for life… poor thing :(
hope you have a great day!

13 Fit Bottomed Girls August 14, 2008 at 9:14 am

I love those tofu noodles! I posted on them about a month ago and they have since made it into my regular food rotation. :)

14 Mark Salinas August 14, 2008 at 9:19 am

Great! Ok..I am not hungry now. I am STARVING! That is some awesome looking food! The pretzel, salad etc. Thanks! :)

15 eatingbender August 14, 2008 at 9:43 am

Caroline ~ That girl definitely needs to be given something because not being able to sing at the OLYMPICS would have a lasting effect on my self-esteem, for sure – even at that young age.

Melissa ~ Haha, you’re too funny :) And yes, slimier AND chewier is definitely a good way to describe those noodles. But I’ll definitely have ’em again!

Erin ~ I just eat it plain. I’m weird about my specialty breads – I don’t like to put anything on them! But of course, PB&J are good on regular bread :)

mi ~ Aw, sorry you can’t get the noodles over there :(

Clairedille ~ I really think having two breakfasts early is better than one big breakfast and a morning snack!

Megan ~ Hmm…haha, I just literally microwaved them for about a minute, then took a paper towel and squeezed out as much excess water as possible. Then I combined them in a separate bowl with the soup and cutlet and microwaved everything together for another minute and a half. Perhaps me transferring the noodles to another bowl and then cooking them in soup helped take away some of the water? I’m no expert, though πŸ˜‰

glidingcalm ~ Yes’m, you should definitely go pick some up! They are soo easy! And I’m glad you’re liking the microwaveable recipes. Perhaps I should make a book πŸ˜‰

Erica ~ Me too!

Nicole ~ Massive salads are great. And definitely try that Larabar – it’s a keeper!

VeggieGirl ~ Haha, glad to know that my talking about Michael Phelps is acceptable in this blogging community πŸ˜‰

WeightingGame ~ Haha, you’re definitely invited into the cult!

fitnessista ~ I’m pretty sure bretzels are definitely a key factor in convincing him to take a trip to Chicago! Although Oprah isn’t bad either πŸ˜‰ And yes, a game at Wrigley could be his part of the trip!

Fit Bottomed Girls ~ I think they’ll be in my regular food rotation soon, too!

Mark ~ Haha, you’re too funny. Thank you!

16 Fitzalan August 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

I am so happy to see someone with shiritaki noodles. I used to live off them. Right now I have 2 packages in the fridge that need to be eaten by the end of the month. You can get rid of the slimy flavor. Rinse them REALLY well under warm water and then put them in a non-stick pan on medium heat for a few minutes (they will start to sort of pop) and then they aren’t slimy at all. I haven’t thought about your combination but that sounds really good!! Anything that uses goat cheese sounds really good!

So how did splitting the breakfast up treat you? Maybe I should try that. Also, another question. Do you usually try to keep your breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks in certain calorie ranges? Like 400 for breakfast, 400 lunch, etc (or whatever)?


17 eatingbirdfood August 14, 2008 at 9:51 am

The news about the little chinese girl lip synching because the other wasn’t “cute” enough is so sad… what has the world come to?

I really want to try those shiritaki noodles now. Your dish looked really good, it reminded me of Thai drunken noodles.

18 Christie August 14, 2008 at 9:59 am

I have had those noodles they are a great swap but def do not compare to regular WW pasta!

19 addicted2pb August 14, 2008 at 10:11 am

Oh man I just realized I’m going to be in Chicago soon (for a Cubs game!) and that I can try a bretzel!!!!! This just made my day, hehe.

Also, that tofu shirataki noodle dish looks delicioso!

20 linds August 14, 2008 at 11:00 am

Good idea to divide brekkie into two- I mean who doesn’t love breakfast and having two of them is twice the fun!!! haha. Mmm I didn’t get to try Chobani in Boston but I bet it is amazing!

21 caitlinbo (see bride run) August 14, 2008 at 11:36 am

michael is amazing! and those tofu noodles look great.

22 suzanne August 14, 2008 at 11:56 am

Wish i could get those tofu noodles but i haven’t seen them in cananda yet ;(

23 HangryPants August 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Glad you liked the vanilla chobani with the oats. Second breakfast just like a hobbit! I am a giant nerd!

Those noodles, I cannot stomach the smell. I bought them once and was completed grossed out. I washed them and cooked them with a cheesy sauce, but I still couldn’t eat them. Mark, of course, ate the whole thing.

Happy Thursday!

24 Runeatrepeat August 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Your salads look so good! I totally have a sweet tooth too, so the sweetened chobanis are great to me!

25 eatingbender August 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Fitzalan ~ Thanks for the tip! I posted an answer to your questions on your blog :)

eatingbirdfood ~ I know :( It’s definitely a reflection on society as a whole.

Christie ~
You are definitely right – pasta is way better. But it is a good substitute.

addicted2pb ~ Ah that’s soo exciting! Send me a pic of your bretzel – ha!

linds ~ Haha, thanks! And yes – you must try Chobani next time you’re in the states!

caitlinbo ~
He is definitely amazing :)

suzanne ~
Darn. I hope they find their way there soon!

HangryPants ~
Haha, well I guess I must not have smelled them because I didn’t notice anything! Now I’m scared to stick my nose in there next time!

Runeatrepeat ~ Having a sweet tooth is both good and bad at times, but I wouldn’t trade it :)

26 ChocolateCoveredVegan August 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Two breakfasts are better than one! I always have second breakfast; my sister calls me “hobbit” because apparently the hobbits in Lord of the Rings eat two breakfasts (I am ashamed to say I haven’t seen the movies).

27 lindzakins921 August 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm

i agree – michael phelps is purely awesome, isn’t he? it’s like he’s bringing hope to america! truly a hero & idol of mine :)

Ahhhh that salad looks simply fabulous with all of those veggies… yummo!

Have a great night :)

28 eatingbender August 14, 2008 at 10:00 pm

CCV ~ Haha, that’s the second time I heard that hobbit comment! I have to say, I haven’t seen those movies either. I really need to!

Lindz ~ He IS pure awesomeness – he just won AGAIN!!

29 FitMom August 15, 2008 at 7:57 am

Hi, just found your fascinating day of food from Mark Salinas. Wow. Learned so much in one post. I have never heard of the yogurt or the Tofu noodles but I will def. check it out.

30 eatingbender August 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm

FitMom ~ Thanks so much for your sweet comment. Let me know what you think of the yogurt and tofu noodles if you decide to try ’em!

31 Metroknow - AlmostFit.com August 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

Hi Anna, I too came over from Mark’s blog. Who knew Mark was so influential? :)

I really enjoyed your photos and descriptions in this post – I am anxious to give the yogurt a try.


32 eatingbender August 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Metroknow ~ Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think of the yogurt :)

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