Sensory Sensation

by Jenn (eating bender) on August 18, 2010

Today was a sensory sensation. One of those rare occasions where I noticed the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touches (read: textures) in everything I experienced, rather than simply going through the motions and letting life pass me by, as I am so often guilty of doing.

It all started with a taste of smooth, rich chocolate. I woke up to my alarm promptly at 7:30 am and turned on the coffee maker to brew my usual mug of Coffee Cocoa.

But this time, there was another velvety treat accompanying the layers of whipped cream and cocoa dust. I absolutely adore the taste of these dark chocolate Adora discs that I picked up at the Healthy Living Summit over the weekend. Calcium supplements are nice. Calcium chocolates are nicer — no, nicest.

You know what the proverbial “they” say about the taste of chocolate. Once you POP, you can’t stop. What? You mean that was Pringles? Well, the same marketing wisdom can apply here.

Enter Justin’s Nut Butta.

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, to be exact. I picked up a packet over the weekend in preparation for an upcoming sale on jars at Whole Foods. I want to make sure I like it before I spend the money.

Of course, the only way to taste test in a case like this is to slather it all over your breakfast. Obviously.

There’s Greek yogurt under all of that Kix, blueberries and nut butter, I promise

I was a very big fan. The chocolate was not overwhelming – I actually still felt as though I was eating hazelnut butter, with just a hint of cocoa for good measure. Full jar, here I come.

Lunch time brought with it smells of roasted red peppers and chicken sausage from my Original Brat Hans, which I received coupons for recently (thanks Shaina!).

Nothing smells better than a kitchen full of hot food. Combined with scrambled eggs, spinach and Mexican blend cheese, my belly and nose were very happy.

As the afternoon wore on, I took my “power hour” – the time where I step away from the computer and gain clarity and a renewed sense of focus – into my room and decided to take a nap. When I woke up, I could hear the sounds of the city outside my window clearer than I have in a long time. Did that Metra train always sound this loud? Since when did our neighbors start chatting on their balcony at 4:30 in the afternoon? It was all music to my ears – although the silence of sleep is always beautiful, too.

With my energy restored, I settled back in on my work projects and enjoyed the crisp sound of a can opening, with its bubbles sighing in relief as they squirm their way out the top and into the open air.

I love you, Dr. Zevia. Truly, I do.

I also love your can-free red companion – fresh strawberries.

When the work day finally ended and Bobby came home, we set off on a complete mind-body fun run. While I’ve been traveling, Bobby found a secluded area in our big city that I’ve decided must be a well kept secret by its residents. The sight of real neighborhoods, with cozy homes, occupied garages and grass-filled parks was one I rarely have the pleasure of experiencing here. The trees! The swing sets! The little kids playing! I ooh-ed and ahh-ed as we ran by families young and old.


When we got back from our joy run, I felt more refreshed than I have in weeks. Perhaps it was my lack of sleep or travel schedule, but I have been a bit of a grouch lately. I am so grateful for all that August has brought me, but I think my body was ready for a sensory relaxation day.

Now I must bid you adieu for the evening. But before you go back and count to five – there is one sensory sensation that I saved for last.

Nothing quite like the touch and texture of a new book to end a phenomenal day. I asked everyone on Twitter what they thought of The Time Traveler’s Wife and received such an overwhelmingly positive response that I decided to dive right in. It is also what inspired me to send out a message to the Food Blogger Book Club members earlier today. If you saw a note from me in your inbox, I hope you will respond! I would love to know what you have been reading. Thanks to everyone who did so far. :)

As for that chocolate Coffee Bean Attune Bar? You may recall what the proverbial “they” say…

What has been YOUR favorite sensory sensation this week?


1 spabettie August 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm

speaking of sensory… I love the way books SMELL… it’s weird, and I’m happy to say that Jason is the same way!! so quirky that we found each other… :) I have not read that yet – you’ll review? :)

I LOVE KIX !! I have not had those forever… I may need to search – are they gluten free I wonder?

loved reading this post probably as much as you liked writing it… :)

2 Jenn (eating bender) August 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Your comments never fail to make me smile! I absolutely love the way books smell, too! Bobby thinks I am nuts (he is clearly not as awesome as Jason – hehe) but I always flip through them and inhale, especially when I first buy them! I will definitely review this one when I’m finished. :)

I love Kix, too! Not sure if they are completely gluten-free but the ingredients list is corn based so I think there might be a chance. You’ll have to let me know! I found this article but it may have changed since then:

Thanks, as always, for your sweet words!

3 Monique@She's Going The Distance August 19, 2010 at 12:37 am

Coffee coco!?!?! Sounds good!

Also, be sure to let me know how the Time Traveler’s Wife goes… the movie was different. I still don’t think I get it. I might have to read it for maybe more of an explanation?

4 adventuresofpretendcook August 19, 2010 at 3:56 am

Your breakfast looked so good! Chocolate and peanut butter is an awesome combination!

5 Jessica @ How Sweet August 19, 2010 at 4:36 am

I’m right there with you on Justin’s. You need to try the chocolate almond butter too – and I hate almond butter!

6 Lauren August 19, 2010 at 4:43 am

The chocolate hazelnut sounds great. I don’t know if I can have another nut butter in my life because my obsession is growing and growing by the minute! 😉

7 Erica August 19, 2010 at 5:24 am

Sounds like a pretty nice day to me! I love Justin’s – his maple almond butter is my favorite- sweet but not too too sweet. And I love the eggs- I think its going to be a brinner night for me. Sensory moment of the week- coffee on Monday and Tuesday- I was finishing up a major project and it pushed me through!

8 Gena August 19, 2010 at 5:30 am

I love this, Jenn! I often get busy enough to miss out on experiencing the sensory joys of my life. Thanks for such a stirring reminder to wake up and smell the coffee Attune bar (really smell it).

9 Christie August 19, 2010 at 5:34 am

@ spabettie: I told my dad I liked the way the library smelled because of the books when I was about 5 and he said, “Don’t tell anyone that. They’ll think you’re perverted.” Isn’t that funny? I know sooooo many people who love the smell of books.

That hazelnut butter looks so delish! I want some for my oats this morning!
And The Time Traveler’s Wife was incredible. I really enjoyed her new book too.

10 Megan August 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

Good day in the city! How was the coffee Attune bar? I only picked up a raspberry one at HLS and it was really good…should’ve grabbed a coffee one, too!

11 Molly August 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

I keep seeing this chocolate Justins on blogs and I NEED to get me some! I have a recipe for cheesecake brownies that this would be marvelous in :)


12 Alisa August 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

I have a little packet of that nut butter and still haven’t tried it. Must dive in.

That is so cool. I admit I can’t even think of my favorite sensory experience, time to slow down!

13 dianacheung August 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

sensory overload? My sunflower seed butter…half the jar is gone after a week…I’ve got problems. btw great idea with buying the justin’s packet…I bought the whole darn thing w/out trying it first…it’s ghetto to do a giveaway of half a jar of a nut butter if I don’t like it right?

14 Freckled Foodie August 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

gasp! i’ve been dying to try some justin’s, but cannot find it anywhere!!! jealous of your breakfast, for sure!

15 Brooke Schantz, MS, RD, LDN August 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

Cute post Jenn! Eventhough, I am a dietitian my favorite smells are grass and books…haha! Justin’s peanut butter really is a great way to pack a healthy snack on the go.

16 LiveForTheRun August 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Gorgeous pictures. I use the Gorilla PB Puffs instead of Kix, but Kix aren’t just for kids!

I too have been a total Oscar the Grouch. I think I’m pooped.

Hope you found some zen time!

17 BroccoliHut August 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I tried that Justin’s flavor just a few weeks ago, simply smeared on a banana. ‘Twas heavenly!

18 Karla August 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Can someone please tell me how you accomplish all you do (you’re knocking out these posts like a master!) and do it all so well? Jeepers, girl! You never cease to amaze.

My favorite sensory sensation is always a hot shower after a long day. Whether I was all sweaty or all grimy feeling from walking around the city, it always feels awesome.

By the way, I bet your “grouch” is still a big sweetheart :) Can’t wait to see you again soon Jenn!

19 Pearl Lee August 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm

i want to read that book now!

20 Lee August 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I got that email, but I couldn’t remember my password. I read a really good book on my honeymoon – The Art of Racing in the Rain. I’d highly recommend it.

I have that same sample pack of Justin’s chocolate almond butter at my office. I haven’t tried it yet. I think I’ll remedy that tomorrow.

21 Leng August 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

that choc. haz nut butter sounds good! I wish I had samples too!

22 Tina August 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I REALLY liked that book. I hope you do too.

And I’m so jealous of all the swag. I want some Adora discs. And an Attune bar.

23 Erika August 21, 2010 at 7:27 am

OMG! I love Justin’s Hazelnut Butter – you should try it on a toasted english muffin with banana slices – tastes like dessert! :-)

24 CaSaundra August 21, 2010 at 7:55 am

So often we do just go through the motions of everyday’s a shame, but I am working on enjoying every little thing I can!!
It was SO good being able to meet you at HLS–you’re great!

25 Mimi August 21, 2010 at 11:51 am

I just got a jar of chunky peanut butter. It’s not the best PB in the world, but I love the crunch.

Also, I got back into LA, where there is WIND. So strange to my skin that is used to Houston summer.

Take care! Thanks for the heads-up on the new Attune!

26 Jen August 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I have seen that nut butter all over the blogiverse, I think I’m almost convinced enough to try it!!


27 Kailey (SnackFace) August 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Oh my goodness, Time Traveler’s Wife is a treasure! I cried for, like, the last 90 pages. But I fully throw myself into the characters’ shoes, so I can’t say everyone has that experience!

My mom always jokes about how much I love paper. It’s why I’m addicted to magazines and books and notebooks: I love the way they feel and smell. The contents are the best part, though!

28 Christine August 23, 2010 at 8:18 am

I LOVE days like this. I definitely think that breakfast and the rest of the morning set the tone for the whole day, but for me, it’s afternoon time that is really key. Often, I feel a lull around 3 or 4, and if I can get through that while staying upbeat, it is sure to be a great evening.

29 tastyandtrim August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I’ve been wanting to try those adora disks! What better way to get your daily dose of calcium than in a piece of chocolate-yum!

30 tweal August 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Oh (wo)man, fresh strawberries and chocolate and chocolate hazelnut butter all in the same post?!? That should be blogging-illegal, I need all of those things RIGHT NOW!

31 Marianne August 25, 2010 at 1:03 am

I so wish we had that Justin’s Hazelnut Chocolate Butter here…I would definitely scoop up a jar. Or 5. I did just grab a jar of good ol’ Dark Chocolate Dreams from Whole Foods today though, since it has been far too long since it’s been in my life. Mmm, dark chocolate crack…

32 VeggieGirl January 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

I feel stupid… what does the proverbial “they” say?

33 Jenn (eating bender) January 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

Haha, it’s my little way of joking about the marketing industry. It often makes claims that aren’t really backed up by a credible source, like saying, “they say drinking milk will help build strong bones.” Well, who the heck is “they” and why should we believe them? :) It was mostly a bad joke on my part, haha! Here’s an article I found that may explain it a bit: .

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