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crazy day

Wow!  It has been a crazy day!

Breakfast was delicious.  I tried some new Food for Life bread toasted with 1/2 nut butter and 1/2 jam while I was running out of the house this morning to catch the T.

It was a Raisin Pecan bread.  Not my favorite, but definitely not bad.  It is gluten free, so is a bit denser and I could not taste raisins or pecans, but maybe it was due to my toppings?  I’ll give it another shot sometime. 🙂  I like their ezekiel and millet breads much better.

The toppings on my toast were the best part!  1/2 was my homemade Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Hazelnut Butter.

The other half was awesome!  I spread a thin layer of Artisana Coconut Butter and topped it with Raspberry Jam (Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread)!  A delicious combination!

How good does that look?!  It’s basically dessert, but next time I will try it on my favorite Millet toast!

I grabbed some tea while running out the door as well – Tea Gschwendner’s Oriental Moon.  It’s great.  I love the faint taste and smell of anise.

My T ride to work was pretty painless.  I loved being able to read my book and not worry about traffic.

It was such a crazy day, that I didn’t get to snap pictures of lunch.  I just scarfed it down!  That is one reason why I always bring lunch and snacks with me.  Sometimes when you get to busy, it is easy to skip a meal.  But, then you are starving by your next meal time and normally end up eating way to much!  I always have some type of snack with me, just in case!!  Plus, by bringing my own healthy snacks, it keeps me away from the vending machine during those 3pm snack cravings.

I went for a quick 45 minute / 5 mile run tonight while my hubby cooked us dinner!

After my run, I chugged some Emergen-C to keep that cold away!

Emergen-C is great, especially the Cranberry Pomegranate.  Lots of vitamin C and B vitamins to give your immune system a boost.  Perfect when you feel a cold coming on, or after a late night out. 🙂

Then it was dinner time!  The menu for the night was Double Broccoli Quinoa.  We just happened to have a huge bag of broccoli in our fridge to use up and we love this simple and delicious recipe.

Broccoli pesto.

With pasta tonight, since the grain supply is low…

With some wine.

I was still hungry after this pasta.  Me and pasta don’t always work because I rarely feel full!  So, I made dessert a little more nutritious – Chocolate Greek Yogurt topped with a Super Charge Me cookie.  YUM!

Love this yogurt!  I cannot wait to try the caramel flavor (Whole Foods has a $1 off coupon for Oikos in their Whole Deal Flyer until March 31st)!  I will be stocking up.  They are the perfect dessert size – 110 calories, 10 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar.  Not bad for dessert or a post workout snack!


crofter’s superfruit jam

A few weeks ago, Crofter’s Organics sent me some samples of their Superfruit Spreads to review on the blog.  I have seen their jams in the supermarket and have always been intrigued by them, so I was very excited to try them!

Crofter’s produces fruit spreads, conserves, jellies, and their newest addition superfruit spreads!  Crofter’s prides themselves on using organic whole berries and fruits, along with organic fair trade cane sugars in their products.  They do not use a lot of sugar, but just enough to give their products a hint of sweetness.

I was searching through their website to get some more information on their products, and I came across something really interesting to me – the difference between the types of jams, jellies, spreads, etc on the market today.

From the website:

Jams and jellies; preserves and conserves; fruit spreads and butters and marmalades, oh my! These are just some of the terms associated with preserved fruit products.

 According to convention and common knowledge…

 Jelly: Just the juice, nothing but the juice. And sugar. No seeds, whole berries or chunks of fruit. Clear and well-jelled.

Jam: Crushed, puréed or chopped fruit cooked down with sugar. A soft, chunk-free pulp.

Preserve: Chopped or whole fruit cooked with sugar until a syrupy base able to suspend the fruit chunks develops.

Conserve: A preserve made with more than one fruit, often including raisins and nuts. Sometimes a conserve refers to a more thickly-stewed preserve.

Fruit Spread
: A recent addition to the jam aisle, fruit spreads began as reduced-calorie products made with alternative sweeteners and fruit juice concentrates.

Fruit Butter: Fruit purées slowly cooked down with sugar, lemon juices and spices to a smooth, soft consistency.

Marmalade: A soft, typically citrus-based jelly. The sweet jelly balances the bitterness of the citrus peels, which are included along with the fruit pulp.

I was sent their 4 superfruit spreads to review:

  • Asia
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America

They each contain superfruits from the four corners of the earth!

Now, on to my review of their 4 superfruit spreads!

From the website:

Stuffed with 1 pound of premium organic fruit, our new line of Superfruit Spreads includes four unique fruit combinations, sourced from around the world. Each certified organic spread is sweetened with fair trade sugar and contains one-third less sugar than jam. Experience these different cultural tastes while getting your daily dose of antioxidants.

I spread each jam on some Millet toast to get an equal tasting of each!

North AmericaWild cranberries and blueberries blended with red grapes and morello cherries

Look at the whole blueberries in the spread!

This spread was delicious, and definitely my favorite out of all of them!  I love blueberries, so I knew that this would be a winner.  The blueberries give this spread extra antioxidents!  I love the whole berries and tart taste of the spread, which has just a hint of sweetness to balance it out.  Overall, excellent!

South AmericaMaqui berries and passionfruit blended with red grapes and morello cherries

I did not love this jam as much as the blueberry, and it was probably my least favorite out of all four spreads.  It must be the passionfruit that gives it a tangier taste than the rest of the spreads.  Definitely still yummy, but just not my favorite!

Europe Pomegranates and black currants blended with red grapes and morello cherries

YUM!  I loved the taste of pomegranates in this spread.  The currants definitely balanced out the sweetness of the pomegranates and gave it a nice overall flavor.  Their are chunks of currants in this one, which I love.  Lots of vitamin C in this jar!

Asia Raspberries and Yumberries blended with red grapes and morello cherries

Definitely a close runner up to the Blueberry spread!  This spread tastes a little sweeter to me because both yumberries and raspberries have a sweeter taste.  You can see the raspberry seeds in the jar, so you know that real fruit was used in the spread.

Overall, all 4 of these spreads were delicious.  I would definitely buy them all again, but I would purchase North America and Asia over the others.  I’m so happy that I was able to try all four of the superfruit spreads.  Thank you, Crofter’s!

a raw day

I cracked myself up with the title of my post today. 🙂  I woke up to pouring rain in Boston!  I am happy for rain, instead of snow here in the city, but it is not looking good for skiing since they are having lots of rain up north as well. 😦  The temperature, however was over 40°F so it was not raw outside, but lots of my eats today will be raw!

I took a rest day today.  My legs and body are tired and sore from my first full week of weight training, and from my fun winter activities over the weekend.

So, I started my day with toast and a smoothie!  My toast was Millet bread from Food for Life.  I love this bread.

It is perfect for anyone with a gluten allergy, and for folks in need of a change!  It is light and slighty sweet due to being sweetened by fruit.  The list of ingredients is very short, compared to other store-bought bread which has a list a mile long!

I normally eat Food for Life’s Ezekiel bread, which is sprouted whole grain bread.  The Millet bread definitely feels lighter, and more delicious!

On top of my millet toast, I spread some Crofter’s Superfruit jam that the company sent me to try.  Each jar of their organic superfruit jams are apparently stuffed with 1 pound of premium organic fruit, sweetened with fair trade sugar and contain one-third less sugar than normal jams.  I tried out the North America jam today which is wild cranberries and blueberries blended with red grapes and morello cherries.

This jam was definitely delicious!  I really like blueberry jam, so this was perfect.  It was packed with real chunks of fruit, which I also loved.  My one concern is the sugar.  Even though the jam is made from fair trade sugar, it is still sugar!  I prefer my jam without any added sugar, because I like the natural tartness of the berries.  But, I do think that with all of the tart superfruits added, the jam would be too tart for most without the added sugar.  Luckily, it does contain much less sugar than the normal jam on the store shelves today, so it is definitely an upgrade!  Plus, it tastes a heck of a lot better!

It was perfect spread on my millet bread!

Now, my toast was not raw, but the second part of my breakfast was!  I have to say, 2 days of eating mainly raw foods has already helped me to feel better!  I do not expect to always be able to eat completely raw because I love some foods, like toast and oatmeal and yams and stuffed peppers, and when going out to dinner it may be harder to do so, but I am experimenting with the way my body feels.  This is important to me, just as it is important for others to eat the foods that make them feel best!  I find that when I eat certain foods, my body feels better than when I eat others due to the way it processes and digests the types of foods.  Other people might not suffer from the same problems, which is great!  You should eat what is best for you, and not be persuaded to eat as someone else does.  So, for the next few weeks I plan to experiment with raw foods, with removing cow’s milk dairy from my diet and with combining different types of foods, which I’ll explain in more detail in later posts.

Part two of breakfast was a (raw) Chocolate Strawberry-Banana power smoothie!

To the mix, I added the following:

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (for the texture)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • squirt of agave (to add sweetness to the raw cacao powder)

I also added some ice and blended all the above ingredients together!

Yum!  This smoothie was just right, not to chocolaty at all.  I love using the raw cacao powder with just a squirt of agave because it gives it the perfect amount of sweetness.

I also like to use a protein powder in my smoothies to give me some extra protein in the mornings, especially after a hard workout to fuel my muscles.  There are a lot of protein powders on the market today with many fillers in them.  I prefer a more natural plant-based form of protein, such as hemp protein powder.  Others prefer brown rice protein powder instead.

Hemp protein powder is literally hemp seeds ground into a powder, nothing else is added to it.  The two turnoffs to some people are that both the seeds and powder have a nutty taste to them and the powder is green, but when added to smoothies like mine this morning you can hardly even tell!  Hemp is packed with protein, along with all the 20 essential amino acids that are used in the human body.  It also has the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 in a healthy 3:1 ratio, and a lot fiber.  Two tablespoons provides 8 grams of fiber!  It’s a perfect, and healthy way to add more protein to your diet.

As I was making my lettuce wraps for dinner last night, I made sure to pack up lunch for today!  This way, I can make my morning as stress free as possible.  So, lunch was lettuce wraps with guacamole and a small side of sweet potatoes.

I was much better at wrapping them up for lunch, than I was for dinner last night!  Delicious meal that left me feeling more energized, instead of exhausted after eating a heavy lunch!

My sweet treat after lunch was a mug of Cacao Berry tea and a chocolate macaroon.  Normally I do not eat anything sweet after lunch, but with the rain today I was really craving some tea and chocolate! 🙂

The Cacao Berry tea is a superberry tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea to support breast cancer research.  It is top-tier Sencha green tea with rooibos, cacao, raspberries and dark chocolate.  It is definitely delicious.  You can taste the chocolate and the berries – yum!

Each tea bag is a pyramid to allow the leaves to expand more for a better steep, and they are 100% biodegradable!!

Back to work to enjoy my tea!