Tag Archives: whole foods

Wordless Wednesday: Baltimore

I never had time between all my weekends away to share my photos from one of those weekends, in Baltimore, MD. I really felt at home and can totally see myself living there one day, though I know most parts of Baltimore are not as “cute” as the parts I was hanging out in! Enjoy my photos ūüôā

Iced coffee, gross clothes, and #fitblognyc swag bag – travel standards.

Nomming on a packed salad while working on my paper during the car ride.

Right by our hotel!

Ridiculous amount of menus at Chazz.

Enjoying the Ginger Gin & Tonic made with ginger, cuke, and mint.

Better look at the drink. No it ain’t water.

We all shared a bunch of apps at Chazz’s happy hour – this was the Gorgonzola Beef Carpaccio.

Good old calamari with a fab aioli.

The super tentacley ones with less breading are my fave – more seafood!

Standard tomato bruschetta with goat cheese.

Veal meatball sliders with housemade chips.

My second drink, which my dad had to help me finish…the Pikesville Manhatta using a Maryland classic rye whiskey, with a brandied cherry. One of the best Manhattans I’ve ever tasted.

This Nutella jar on display was HUUUUGE!

Sis and I at da ba.

Sis, dad, and I outside of Chazz, ready to head to an Orioles game!

My most hated chain!

Buzzin’ in the Inner Harbor walking to the baseball game.

I love the Inner Harbor!

The coolest building I saw there.

We got these free bucket hats at the Orioles game!

Dad’s got his rally cap on.

BBQ at the ball game! Surprised by the options at the stadium for food. But that drink I’m holding was freaking gross.

Shared BBQ pulled pork sammie and sides for sis and I.

Way typical.

Next morning’s brunch bev of choice at Teavolve – Strawberry Basil Fizz.

But I had some of their coffee too!

Wheat toast, egg white omelette with CRAB and muchos veggies.

Purchased on SALE at South Moon Under ūüôā

Haul from a cute boutique! Because I definitely need designer highlighters.

Hannah and I stumbled upon this gorgeous bar with cocktails comparable to Drink’s, called Wit & Wisdom, in the Four Seasons.

Perfect afternoon to sit outside with my drink, which included walnut bitters.

Hiding behind some fake dunes?

Hello, you.

Snagged this for just $20 at Urban Outfitters – it’ll pop up in a Fashion Friday soon enough!

My go-to margarita – natural, on the rocks, with EXTRA salt at Roy’s happy hour.

Marvelous marg!

Edamame in the beginning of the meal?! My kind of place!

Dad’s face when I clued him into the fact that edamame is full of soy protein!

Skinny Cosmo ūüėÄ so pretty!

Mini smoked mahi tacos in a crunchy shell!

Mini shortrib tacos!

3 cheers for ICE CREAM from Haagen Dazs! Spiced caramel biscuit…AMAZING.

Pour-over coffee from Lamill for the ride home. So delicous (and it better be, it was like $4!)

And a Whole Foods salad BEAST for the ride home too. Can’t resist visiting other locations’ Whole Foods bars!

Have you ever been to Baltimore?

Do you usually pack food for road trips, or buy on the way?

Which nommm looks best to you?

Also, the winner of the Love with Food giveaway is my friend Alex of The Run Within. Congrats girl! I will be sending  you the code to get your FREE September Love with Food box. Remember, everyone else has until 8/31 to use the code CAITVIP for $2 off if you want to order your own box! Thanks to all who entered!

Healthy Living Summit 2012 – Part Two

A quick FYI for my CT readers – one of my favorite spots for unique cocktails and tasty small plates in the Hartford area, Cuvee, is holding a special third-anniversary party at 7PM on Thursday 8/30 at their location in West Hartford’s Blueback Square. But there is ALSO a special VIP event with complimentary drinks, champagne tastings, apps, and more from 5-7PM. If you want to win a chance to attend, text BUBBLY to 37798! Maybe I’ll see you there!

I’m so glad you guys have been enjoying my HLS ’12 stories so far!¬†When we last left off, I’d had a great Friday evening at the Cocktail Party, but was ready to hit the hay at my usual earlier hour.

Saturday:

I woke up after a bad night’s sleep (I never sleep well in hotels) and was STARVED! Heather and I headed down to breakfast and quickly encountered a problem…nothing vegan, except fruit. Fruit does not a fine breakfast make, so Heather had to spend money at the hotel’s overpriced little shop to buy a KIND bar to add some staying power to her fruit. I felt so badly that she wasn’t able to enjoy a yummy breakfast, and disappointed that HLS hadn’t considered that they may have some vegan attendees. In fact, I’d consider it to be MOST likely at this kind of conference! Heather did a good job of holding her head up high though and we made plans with a bunch of girls to go to Whole Foods for lunch later…something to most definitely look forward to.

Flash fruit photography.

I felt almost guilty that there were in turn so many options for an everythingarian like myself. Wild Harvest did indeed provide a delicious spread incorporating the five finalist recipes from their Breakfast Showdown. The winning recipe was announced as well, and I literally yelped in delight (and got some confused looks) when I saw that my roomie, blend, and fellow sometimes-CT resident Kelly had won!

I’m totally not surprised – after all, her recipe was Greek-inspired (she sends me Greek treats…love her), and Greek is always a WIN to me.

Umm, SOO freaking good, OMG! Definitely my favorite recipe too – Wild Harvest made a good choice!

I sampled all but one of the other recipes Рa yogurt parfait, a potato/veggie hash, and maple turkey sausage. Black coffee on the side, le duh. My hunger monster was raging this entire weekend. It was hard to honor it РI am used to a much smaller breakfast. However I ate slowly, tried to enjoy and tune into my body, and gobbled every last bite of my meal below.

And cheered for my friend’s win!

Giant plastic gift card WHAAAT!

In the morning I attended a session on Hosting a Virtual Challenge with Amanda. I didn’t intend on holding any challenges on my blog, but thought I would get good info about “spreading the word” about my blog, what I write about, and me in general. That was certainly true, but I also got inspiration to perhaps do a challenge someday – maybe a more official take on #AmazingMe! Is that something you guys would be interested in?

I also got to spend a lot of time hanging out with REEBOK! It was great to see Kathryn and Johnice again and show them that I was rocking the gear I’d received at the Reebok event I attended in May at their HQ!

Lisa, me, and Heather showing the world that the sport of fitness has arrived!

Kathryn was doing a great job manning the booth and as usual was a multiple-camera-using maestro. She’s clearly used to being around bloggers!

I received Reebok Crossfit socks and have been wearing them for my workouts the last couple of days (not the same pair – ew). They’re so soft and stretchy!

They pair perfectly with my RealFlex Transitions!

Of course socks are small potatoes compared to the other gift every HLS attendee received – a pair of Reebok RealFlex Fusions!

Me (left) and Heather (right) reppin’ the neutral shoe colors with the bright accents!

I can’t believe how generous Reebok has been to me since I received my first pair of sneakers from them (the black ones pictured above) in May. THANK YOU REEBOK!

My collection ūüėÄ

I can also thank them for another chance to try Crossfit! We received black Crossfit headbands, lined up, and listened to the Crossfit coaches explain to us what Crossfit is, why it works, and some of its basic moves.

Me with the lovely Katie – I’m rocking my headband!

We did a 5-minute WOD (Workout of the Day) complete with 7 air squats and 15 jumps AMRAP (as many reps as possible). I didn’t count my reps because it was interfering with counting each squat/jump, but during the WOD my row’s coach came around and showed me how I could get lower if I just pushed my knees out a bit more. REVELATION! I seriously am excited to do squats in my group fitness classes now (I know, did I just say that?).

Photo courtesy of Meg – look at me air squat!

After the WOD I couldn’t help myself – had to personally thank the coaches for their services ūüėČ and get a private air-squat lesson from AJ!

Prom pic?

AJ helping me learn how to do wall squats. Sneaky blend photography!

After Crossfit I hung out with its champion, Rich Froning. He was way shorter than I’d pictured.

The other morning session, Blogging with Brands, was especially fun because it was another chance for me to see Fitfluential CEO Kelly Olexa serve on a panel! And hang with her after ūüėÄ

Aunt Kelly, you rock!

Skipping out on conference lunch to visit Whole Foods was so worth it, especially to see how happy it made my love Meg, who doesn’t have Whole Foods back home in Canada.

As usual I filled a big container to the brim with millions of ingredients, including falafel, curry potatoes, sesame tofu, PICKLES, mounds of grilled veg, and way more than I could ever remember.

Good lunch, great friends. Photo from Heather.

After lunch we attended a couple of other sessions, including I Am the Blogger in Your Neighborhood¬†(with Meghann, Clare, and Holly), which reassured me that I am definitely on a good path with my local CT involvement and that it will continue to bring me many opportunities (in fact, I have a special announcement for you all tomorrow that falls along those very lines, dun dun dun…). We also caught the tail end of The Fuzzy Grey Areas of Blogging (which had a great hashtag, #HLS50Shades).

In between those two sessions, Heather and I hit the hotel gym for a 20-minute workout. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t experience anxiety at HLS from being away from my normal workout routine.¬†The Crossfit WOD was way less intense (due to the short length) than I’d pictured, and I just felt like I needed to sweat and get moving. Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between whether or not I get these feelings because I WANT to work out or because I feel like I HAVE to. I completed 20 minutes of varied inclined treadmill running (a little over 2 miles) while watching some kind of SportsCenter-style show (the machine had five channels…) and called it a day. I did feel quite amazing afterward and woke up with sore quads the next day!

Coupon Caitlin

After the Chobani dinner that night, I came back rocking a lovely wine buzz. The photo above is courtesy of wine and Coupon Cabin‘s BlogHer sponsor booth.

Sunday:

I woke up after a better night’s sleep feeling completely indecisive over whether or not I should go to the hotel gym for a workout before Heather and I hit the road. I felt as if I should work out and that if I didn’t do it RIGHT THEN, I wouldn’t later when I got home. I got up to get ready, and was dragging ass the whole time. Let’s pack this bag, let’s gather these toiletries. Finally I realized that I didn’t want to go to the hotel gym. I wanted to wait until I got to my home gym later that afternoon and do my beloved sweaty StepMill routine and have an arm day. So I listened to my wants, not my shoulds. And later that day when I had a kickass workout at my home gym, it felt great!

Lovies!!!

Heather and I had the unfortunate task ahead of us of saying goodbye to all of our friends ūüôĀ our time together was so short! Meg has promised to come visit CT. She has always wanted to come here apparently! And CT has always wanted to see her visit!

Lisa, Chelsea, Heather, Meg, me, Linz

Heather and I visited a Boston cafe, thinking cup, that had been recommended to me on Twitter. We took our heavenly pour-over coffees into a park to enjoy and spotted two bloggers we hadn’t said goodbye to (or really met well) yet – Teri and Holly!

Teri is sooo J. Crew.

Heather and Holly made connections over journalism, and Teri and I bonded over our love for the South (she lives in NC just 20 minutes away from my relatives!) I only wish the four of us could have spent more time together during HLS! After the¬†fortuitous¬†meeting, we departed for a heavenly vegan brunch (but that’s a story for another post) and bid goodbye to Boston…that is, until I go back this Sunday ūüėõ

Have you ever tried Crossfit and/or any Reebok products?

Have you ever been stuck in a situation in which your dietary restrictions were not accommodated?

Are you Whole Foods-deprived?

July Foodie Pen Pals, Flowers, and Vegan Cake

Huge thanks to Danielle of Clean Food, Creative Fitness for including me in her Marvelous in my Monday link roundup. I encourage every one of you to go to her list and check out the posts. They are awe-inspiring examples of strength from fellow bloggers!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of July, and time to reveal what I received from my foodie pen pal this month! Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean amazes me every single time she sends out her monthly spreadsheet of pen pal matches. I don’t know how the girl handles it all and keeps it so well-organized. Lindsay, you rock! Readers, if you want to participate make sure you click the image below for more details.

This month I sent a package to Mary of Healthy Lifestyle Ideas,¬†and received a package from Shaunna of Mama’s 13 Minute Mile, who I found out (from her blog) happens to also be an outdoor yoga fan!

One of my favorite parts of Foodie Pen Pals (but probably not the most favorite…that’s gonna be the food #sorrynotsorry) is the requirement to send a handwritten note in the package. Just doesn’t happen enough nowadays!

First up, the goodies from Shaunna’s¬†local farmers’ market!

I simply love getting local foodie treats in these packages. It makes it all the more special. I am a sucker for these¬†Brandywine House herb and dip mixes (I’ve purchased a few before at the Glastonbury Apple Festival, still need to finish them all off) and especially can’t wait to try the spicy bleu variety. Maybe my Indian food fan blends Heather and Jenny can point me to a recipe that I could use the tandoori mix in?!

I keep forgetting that I received the Mad Mango Jalapeno Jelly by Terri’s Homegrown Heaven¬†aka The Jelly Lady, and I kick myself each time I do. I have eaten so many good meats at home the last couple of weeks that would’ve paired great with it! MUST. REMEMBER. IT’S. IN. MY. PANTRY. I will be sure to Instagram whatever meal I use it on. The jelly seems ripe for a fish dish, yes?

I’m surprised my little brother hasn’t gobbled up all of the Planters Nut & Chocolate Trail Mix, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Unfortunately the Blue Diamond Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds were not my mom and I’s cup of tea, but I was super surprised that my mom was even willing to give them a shot! She’s a plain Jane almonds lover. Finally, I’m really excited to try the El Mexicano Pico de Gallo powder in one of my mom’s healthy Mexican dinner recipes. She does tacos…casseroles…quesadillas…I know it’ll be delish in any of those.

Thanks again to Shaunna for taking the time to put together  such a nice package for me!

I also want to send another thanks to the Marketing Team Leader from Whole Foods West Hartford in Blueback Square, Kristin. She was nice enough to take notice of the tweeting I like to do about their events (they even have a farmers’ market in their parking lot on Mondays) and left a gorgeous¬†bouquet¬†of fresh flowers from the Floral Department at the Customer Service desk for me to pick up last night before my event at Barcelona¬†(which I am excited to blog about, by the way, but probably won’t be able to til next week). They certainly put a smile on my face!

I asked a poor unsuspecting employee to take an iPhone pic for Instagram, obviously.

Aaaand I found something pretty cool in the cafeteria at work today – my coworker’s daughter made a vegan cake and was selling slices to raise money for a local cat shelter. Not only did the cake look beautiful and contain unique ingredients like coffee, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but I also felt that the type of cake was the perfect match for the type of charity she is looking to support. I’ve never thought of this before, but it makes perfect sense – selling a baked good or any food that contains no animal products is super appropriate when raising money to support an animal shelter. I know that the animals typically housed in animal shelters don’t often find their way into food Americans usually eat, but I just love the idea of raising money to help animals in a way that’s as kind as possible to them, whether those specific kinds of animals are going to be eaten/have their bi-products eaten or not.

Isn’t it beautiful? She’s a little foodie!

Not saying that eating animals and their bi-products isn’t kind per say. I am certainly a carnivore more days than not. But I also still think that being AWARE is key, and in my mind, raising money to support animals by selling or using products that could contain ingredients that may have been obtained in a way that harmed them just doesn’t make sense. That’s why this whole vegan cake struck me as a really great fundraising idea and a fine example of being aware of a time when going vegan is a more appropriate choice.

I feel like I have more to say but everything has kinda flown out of my head! And I also didn’t plan on making my post this long! It’s been a busy day and I need to get back to business. And write my last summer school paper. But that sentiment just flew out of my head too, and I don’t really feel like going to get it back ūüėõ

Don’t forget that the Mikarose $50 gift certificate giveaway ends at 11:59PM EST tonight!

Did you do Foodie Pen Pals this month? What was the best part of your package? Leave a link to your reveal post in the comments so I can check it out!

Have you ever gotten a pleasantly surprising gift from someone who was thanking you for something you did?¬†I didn’t even think that I was doing anything that deserved a “thank you” – just tweeting and spreading the word about local, good-for-you food!

What is your opinion on being aware of “matching” a method of fundraising to a charity of choice?

TGI-Fashion-Friday!

Happy Friday, guys! I’m trying to look at this weekend on an optimistic note, but it’s a bit hard since I have¬†summer class that owns my soul. It’s Conflict Management, so hopefully will be interesting. I’m also treating myself to a Whole Foods salad BEAST tonight…picking it up after work to bring with me to my 5-9PM Friday night learning fun session. “Fun” is sarcastic, in case you didn’t realize. I plan to treat myself to the same beast during my 8am-5pm class’s lunch break tomorrow. Because when you’re in a classroom on a summer day, you need yummy things to get you through it all.

I’m also going to see “Rock of Ages” tomorrow night with Jeff. We plan to go out in West Hartford center beforehand and get buzzed, simply because we think watching that movie buzzed/tipsy will be HILARIOUS. I’m pretty psyched and will be looking forward to it all day during class tomorrow, that’s for sure. Now, let’s get to it.

You guys seem to be enjoying the Fashion Fridays, even the boys. In fact, one of my guy friends told me after reading the last Fashion Friday that he was “obsessed” with my blog! I’m gonna take this as a good sign and roll with it…

I also try to link to the exact item whenever I can, or at least the section of the website you’d find it on! It’s usually hard to find the exact same thing since some of my clothes I’ve had as far back as high school (6 years ago).

Not sure what my cam was doing with the lighting here.

Top, Necklace: Forever 21

Cami: Hollister

Jeans, Belt: American Eagle

Old photo, before a wine tasting on my birthday!

Vest, Heels: Forever 21

Top:¬†Victoria’s Secret

Watch: Michael Kors

Jeans, Belt: American Eagle

Before my birthday dinner at J. Gilbert’s!

Dress: Urban Outfitters

Watch: Michael Kors

Coat: Forever 21

Shoes: Steve Madden

I rarely dare to tuck in my shirt!

Shirt: Polo Outlet

Watch: Fossil

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes: PacSun

Top: Forever 21

Necklace: Loft Outlet

Watch: Fossil

Jeans, Belt: American Eagle

Flats: Urban Outfitters

And there you have it! You probably noticed that I repeated a few pieces…I’m much more likely to be seen wearing the same jeans several times in one week than to be seen wearing the same of anything else. There’s usually a VERY long gap between each time I wear a shirt…because I have a shopping problem. I also wear the same belt every day. I just have one go-to belt, so if I ever get pants that need a belt and they don’t match my brown leather one from AE, I’ll be in the market for a new belt!

Do you recognize any pieces that I’ve repeated from other Fashion Friday posts?

Do you wear the same pair of jeans several times in one week? Or the same of anything else?

Which outfit is your favorite?

Have you ever taken a ridiculously scheduled summer class (as in ridiculous lengths/days)? Any tips for me to get through it?

Have you ever gotten buzzed on purpose before seeing a movie, just because you thought it’d be fun to watch that particular movie in that…”state”? ūüėČ

CT Veg Fest 2012!

Can you believe Connecticut didn’t have a vegetarian and healthy living festival of some kind in the Hartford area until this year? Me neither! Although if you’d asked me a few years ago, I probably would have scoffed at the idea of attending such an event.

Luckily my eyes have been opened to the wonderful world of my adventurarian lifestyle ūüėČ and even though I am not vegetarian or vegan, I still enjoy reading about other eating “lifestyles” and trying vegetarian and vegan foods. They are just as delicious as the rest! No bias here. After all, that’s what being adventurarian is all about. And that’s why I was beyond excited to attend the 1st Annual CT Vegetarian and Healthy Living Festival this past Sunday!

Registration and donation area.

Entry was free, but monetary or non-perishable food donations were encouraged, and it looked like a great turnout for both. I think that ideas for healthy living should be accessible for all, so Veg Fest organizers hit the nail on the head by making the donations optional. I donated money because I am able to do so, but those who cannot should still be able to attend something like this and learn about the options they have!

Erika, Bethany, and I.

I started out the event solo, but ended up meeting up with my blend Bethany and her sweet cousin Erica after they got out of the sessions they were attending when I arrived. Erica was awesome and even knows Jenn of She’s a Fit Chick, who was one of the first bloggers I ever discovered and is also an original founder of FitFluential! Small world.

I knew I was in the right place (the CT Convention Center in Hartford, to be precise) when I walked in, looked to my right, and saw this guy grinding out fresh wheatgrass shots!

I didn’t even know CT grew chickpeas!

I am not a huge beauty product hoarder (lucky for me, though I do hoard plenty of magazines about them) so I didn’t spend too many time at the all-natural beauty product booths, but there were plenty of them.

Soaps from CT Natural Soapworks.

Tower of yummy Fanciful Fox soap flavors.

The mother and daughter duo working this booth were handing out free soap “scraps”, so I got a piece of the green bar above, called Wise Guy.

Soap doubling as a centerpiece?! Gorgeous!

Loofahpalooza!

Just one variety of product offered by Hartford-based company Soul Purpose.

The small part of me that doesn’t have to be practical ALL the time paid $1 for one of the blue crystals below. The girl at the booth had so much faith in their ability to absorb only positive energy – I guess this specific kind is often used to clear negative energy from other crystals, that’s how many “good vibes” it carries. So I figured, why the heck not?! I tucked it into a pocket in my purse and have been carrying it with me since.

Erica, Bethany, and I also got to enjoy a free yoga class Рthey were running every hour on the hour! I had gone to Step that morning and my quads were sore from doing leg-heavy workouts the couple days before that, so the yoga felt good, and it was another great way to give free access to an activity that many may have been unfamiliar with, averse to trying, or doubtful of. Yay yoga!

Lots of speakers and cooking demos going on too, including a Smoothie Workshop for kiddos!

Whole Foods kids smoothie demo.

Now, let’s get to the products! I love that this event gave so many passionate vendors the chance to get the word out about the foods they have worked so hard to create. All that many of them want is shelf space at a grocery store – it seems like little to ask for, but shelf space is actually VERY scarce with all the big corporations out there (and their big wallets) – getting even a little bit of shelf space is a BIG deal. If you ever attend one of these kinds of events and try a product you love, suggest to your grocery store that they start carrying it – it often takes the voice of the people to convince a store that they should stock a product, because of course they exist to make money, and want to be positive it will sell.

I don’t use dressings on my salads at home (I find that I really don’t need it at all, since my beasts include about 10-15 ingredients on average, many liquid-based, and “marinate” in my fridge overnight) but if I did, I’d be all about purchasing one of the above bottles of Wholesome Creations salad dressings. The green tea and ginger dressing on a cup of greens blew me away.

Mama Micki’s was sold out of all three varieties of their vegan cookies¬†by noon – a good sign for this all-natural bakery that is trying to get into stores! I sampled all three varieties – molasses, chocolate orange walnut, and oatmeal raisin sunflower seed (pictured above). I’m a sucker for a good molasses cookie, but have to declare the chocolate orange walnut the winner for its unique, complex flavor.

Soya Foods of MA had a generous amount of flavors of their Creative Chef Tofettis for patrons to sample Рall of these are made with non-GMO soybeans!

I tried BBQ, Brazilian, Hot & Spicy, Lemon Garlic, Jamaican Jerk, Teriyaki, and a faux “chicken nugget” as well (not pictured).

Seitan is a meat substitute I’d never had and I loved how it perfectly mimicked the texture and taste of ground beef. Upton’s Naturals of Chicago offered traditional, chorizo, and Italian varieties. I tried all three and especially loved the chorizo – it would go great in tacos or atop a big pile of nachos.

Bethany and I totally adored these Kathy’s Kitchen SuperSeedz. Kathy and her partner had plenty of flavors of these pumpkin seeds on hand, as you can see from the sign above!

I sampled Original Curry, Coco Joe, and Cinnamon & Sugar. The Original Curry flavored seeds were awesome and the chocolate-y coffee flavor of the Coco Joe was perfectly balanced. The Cinnamon & Sugar were good (can’t go wrong with that combo) but not nearly as remarkable as the first two flavors.

Local chip-makers Pan de Oro of Hartford (I sent a bag to Diana for foodie pen pals this month) partnered up with Good Neighbors of NH (love that) and provided a carb-tastic vehicle for sampling of salsas, salads, and hummus.

I’ve bought Good Neighbors black bean spread before at Whole Foods and it was awesome. I didn’t know they sold falafel too – or as they call them, veggie burgers? Check out the cute snack pack offerings as well!

Love me some tabouli! I may be one of the few bloggers who can take or leave quinoa but it was still tasty. And LOTS of salsa choices, hand it over!

Oh geez, where do I begin?! I wish I hadn’t downed my hummus samples so quickly because I honestly didn’t taste a ¬†huge difference between the flavors I tried (cilantro jalapeno, spicy chipotle, a couple others I can’t recall). However, the flavor I tasted was certainly delightful.

CT Veg Fest = free lunch!

One of MANY courses.

Check out this nifty magnet Bethany snagged for me from a booth! I notice the Splenda I use at home isn’t on there, oops, haha…

One of my favorite products of the day came from The Olive Oil Factory of Waterbury. Gourmet olive oils and balsamic¬†vinegar¬†seem to be “all the rage” now, and I’m certainly glad because that means more and more unique varieties are coming out.

I opted to receive my samples on vegan brown rice bread in the spirit of Veg Fest, but a non-vegan bread was also available. I started with the below chocolate balsamic – it blew me away! Holy crap. I just wanted to drizzle it (or pour it…) over a mound of fresh strawberries.

I also tried blueberry, lime, and peach balsamic. All were so, so fantastic. The blueberry balsamic drizzled on a scone or muffin would seriously be the perfect weekend breakfast.

Another favorite of the day? Boston-based Biena Snacks Roasted Chickpeas! These have plain-Greek-yogurt-mix-in written ALL over them.

The Sea Salt flavor was good but compared to the other two, Lime & Chili and Cinnamon Maple, it was just blah. That’s because the other two flavors were so amazing! I’ve always wanted to try roasted chickpeas and am glad I finally was able to.

Pan de Oro had their own booth of course, but by the time I got there they had run out of all their new varieties of chips (I missed out on the GARLIC!!!). I still wasted no time in sampling the original flavor. Erica had stopped by earlier than me and purchased two bags of the garlic chips!

They were kind enough to sell their chips at a discounted price at the event (many vendors were doing this).

The Simply Bar is probably the most impressive bar I’ve ever seen, from a nutritional stats standpoint.¬†I tried the Cocoa Coffee, which contains real caffeine, and enjoyed its taste as well! These bars are VERY low in sugar and saturated fat, unlike most bars I’ve seen, which remind me of candy bars.

Being a long-time blog reader, I’ve seen Sun Warrior and Vega proteins all over the place. I’ve never been that interested in protein powder though, so have never bought any. Perfect opportunity to sample some – expertly prepared by VeganProteins.com!

I liked the vanilla Sun Warrior protein shake! The desire to drink any more than a few sips, though, was not there.

And I had no desire to drink another sip again of the chocolate Vega protein shake. Sorry – not for me! However, I know that protein powders are something that is enjoyed by many a blogger and blog reader, and it’s great that there are so many vegan options. My twin Heather is a huge Vega fan and uses their powder to make protein pudding oats almost every day!

The Taza chocolate above had an amazing flavor different from any chocolate I’ve ever tried, because it is made from stone-ground cacao nibs. Due to the manufacturing process, the cacao nibs are not completely ground up, which leaves a lot of the cacao flavor in the bars. It’s very complex and hearty.

And check out all the benefits of Chocholistic chocolate! Its creator is Kenzie Harrick, a Certified Health Counselor with a sweet tooth and a passion for healthy eats. Those two things drove her to create “the only chocolate that you can eat every day that will improve your health while you eat it”. Like the Taza, the complex, rich flavor left me feeling very satisfied. I’d take this stuff over a regular candy bar any day (even a Twix!)

Cedar’s is the hummus brand of choice in my house and they passed out a ton of these nifty snack packs! Can’t wait to munch on mine.

Coconut butter is another product that’s been very popular in the blog world, but I hadn’t been able to try it until now. Nature’s Approved had the great idea of serving it up with a dallop of chocolate atop a graham cracker – just as good as any s’more! Well OK, maybe not, because there’s nothing like a charred-to-a-crisp marshmallow. But this was darn close.

Of course Vitamix was there, because it’s not a food event without Vitamix!!

I sampled a handful of freeze-dried corn from Raw Foods Central. It was really good – nice and sweet. I wonder how the peas would taste!

Litchfield based Boxed Goodes Pantry served their herb dips with fresh-cut bread. Not only did they taste delicious, but the packaging was so gorgeous and colorful. A set of jars in a kitchen filled with these herbs would really brighten up the place.

What a FUN event! Bethany and I are heading to Wesleyan University this weekend to attend 2012 Foodstock next. Loving all these FOODIE conferences!

Clearly we were prepared to get our yoga on!

Have you ever been to a vegetarian and/or healthy living festival?

Have you ever tried any of the products I sampled?

Taste of the Nation New Haven: The Savory Food

Another event like the Mohegan Sun Wine Festival has come along that was so awesome, I cannot possibly recap it in one post. Well, I could, but you’d get sick of reading about it halfway through. That’s the beauty of this blog – I can do things my own way, so I will be dividing my recap into a couple of posts – savory food today, and sweets and drinks tomorrow.

Taste of the Nation is an event I have been wanting to attend ever since I started reading blogs. I have seen my favorite bloggers attend their local cities’ Share our Strength food and drink tastings and have been jealous of the eats each and every time! Taste of the Nation holds tastings throughout the country (Connecticut has one in New Haven and Hartford, at different times of the year) to raise money (through ticket sales and silent auctions) that goes toward¬†ending childhood hunger in America. Local food and drink vendors donate their time and resources, and each one sets up its own table and serves unlimited samples to hungry attendees. Event organizer Timothy Cipriano, who is in charge of the food at all New Haven Public Schools, was kind enough to give me the opportunity to go to Taste of the Nation: New Haven and cover the event for this blog! I was even joined by fellow CT blogger Marissa of Style Cusp. Don’t be fooled by her blog’s fashion-focus – she may be a Lucky Magazine blogger, but she’s also a true foodie!

The organizers did a great job creating a visually stunning display in Yale Commons, a Yale dining hall. After the decorators were done with it, it most certainly didn’t look like one.

I felt a little overwhelmed at first! But I’m an experienced tasting-goer, so I adopted my go-to strategy that aids me in trying as many different things as possible – only finish a FULL sample if the item is out-of-this-world. If I take a bite and dislike it, or like it and it’s just OK, ditch the rest to save room for more!

I picked up my press bracelet…

Grabbed a glass…

…and promptly headed into the tasting room. Today’s post is about the savory food though, so let’s save the drinks (and desserts) until tomorrow!

The above eggplant pancakes topped with cilantro yogurt from Barcelona Wine Bar were so good. I’d totally eat these for breakfast.

But Marissa and I both liked their other offering better these cauliflower “tarts” were topped with bacon and crispy onions. Now this tasted just like breakfast! It reminded us of bacon and eggs.

Marissa tried and liked the above scallops from Yale Dining Services. I wonder if students ever actually get these in the dining halls!

They were also serving the above stuffed chicken with risotto ¬†– how pretty is it?! – but I didn’t snag a sample of this for some reason that I do not understand.

Whole Foods Milford served chips and guac (I passed on that) and a spinach and mushroom quesadilla with jalapeno cream sauce. It was really good! We both enjoyed that one.

Ballin’ presentation right? Unfortunately the presentation was the better than the rum-topped carrot ginger soup in these shooters from La Cuisine Cafe. I liked the first sip, and the rum tasted really interesting with the ginger. But the following sips were a bit lackluster.

Their potatoes topped with short rib, though, were super good. I LOVE potatoes!!!

OMG. Caseus – I love them so much. I discovered them on a Taste of New Haven tour of Canal Quarter (seriously, hidden gems EVERYWHERE on those tours). And I had no idea that Marissa was as much of a cheese freak as I am (good thing she’s gluten-free and not dairy-free!) The above Brigid’s Abbey cheese is actually one of the two I’ve tried from Caseus before, but I was sure to grab another bite. Mmmm.

Those are bleu-cheese stuffed dates and I could have eaten them all night long.

This fabulous cheddar was Marissa’s favorite cheese.

I was partial to the Coupole goat cheese (obviously – and doesn’t it look like a brain?!) spread on a cracker with local preserves. Marissa and I agreed we could’ve just stayed at the Caseus table all night long. We even hit it for a second time later on.

We wanted to try the Oysters Rockefeller above, but this one was the only one left, so we decided to double back when there would be two available for us to try. Too bad that when we did, they had run out completely!

This shrimp cous cous was quite satisfying! The herbs used were so strong, maybe even a little too strong.

Certainly the most “exotic” thing I tried was this foie gras – AKA duck liver – from Bella Bella Gourmet. I did not like it, and not just because I knew it was duck liver. Couldn’t stand the texture!

This was one of my favorite things I tried the entire night Рtheir duck pastrami sandwich on buttery, crispy rye bread. Pure heaven.

No pork belly tacos from Oaxaca Kitchen were available when we passed by their table, but I liked the presentation of their guacamole on the above cucumber, with radish and shredded carrot. Guac is whatever to me so I passed on this.

How cool is this cantelope from Thali?!

Box 63 was serving up some amazing eats Рjust look at that menu!

I sampled bites from a couple different sliders – the Hawaiian and the Coney Island. Both were amazing. The Hawaiian had grilled pineapple and the Coney Island had chili!

These were called Greek salads with grilled chicken, but Melissa and I were just interested in the grilled chicken skewers. We split one of these plates and each had one. Loved the sauce on there!

Marissa was so pumped to try this lobster risotto. I’m not a big risotto person but had a couple bites, quite good!

The above table’s presentation was amazing. This meat was topped with an apple chutney-like sauce. The apple paired so well with the medium to medium-rare meat. I could eat a whole entree’s worth!

Mmmm – bread and olive oil! Nothing better, right? This crusty good stuff from Chabaso Bakery was garlic-flavored – perfect for me!

Oh Plan B. I continue to be not a big fan, but I did like this goat cheese steak crostini¬†(passed on a slider, already had one at the Mohegan Sun WineFest). Gotta love medium rare steak!!! And Plan B’s Glastonbury Twitter has been receptive to my issues with their lack of healthy sides – maybe some grilled veggies will make an appearance there someday!

I was starstruck by both this delicious veggie quinoa dish and its creator – Claire Criscuolo, RN and founder of Claire’s Corner Copia, an amazing healthy restaurant in New Haven that’s been a mainstay by the town green since its opening in 1975. I’ve eaten there before and adored it. It was so amazing to meet Claire and tell her how much I adore her restaurant. I had to “favorite” the below tweet from her a couple days later!

My favorite food is pizza, and I was wondering when I would get to sample some. After all, New Haven is a huge pizza town in America! I didn’t get to try any real New Haven pizza unfortunately (can’t believe there wasn’t any there!) but Skinny Pines Catering satisfied my pizza craving with some delicious brick oven, thin-crust slices. They don’t have an actual brick-and-mortar location, unless you count their truck that travels from event-to-event a brick-and-mortar location – that won’t stand still! I think it’s a really cool concept.

There weren’t a lot of slices available when I stopped by, but I had one that included caramelized onions and it was wonderful. Cater my wedding, please?!

Brownson Country Club of Shelton, CT has a pretty impressive culinary staff. Both of the dishes described above were amazing.

The monkfish with lobster essence mousse, frisse, sea beans, lobster, and truffle salt pictured above was one of the best dishes of the entire Taste of the Nation event – Marissa and I both agreed on that.

The steak¬†tartar¬†above was the last savory dish of the evening that we tried. Very good, but by then our tastebuds were getting worn out, so I don’t know if my review can do this justice!

And to think…I still have to tell you about dessert!

Which savory sensation would you have wanted to try the most?

Orlando – Day Six

Time to recap the last full day of last week’s Orlando vacation (last Friday).¬†I woke up and went to the hotel gym to do another treadmill 5K. This time I just kept the channel on Live with Kelly! the whole time. I love Kelly Ripa and have been a huge fan of Live since middle school. I remember the highlight of school breaks and summer morning was being able to watch! Of course, the version with Regis will always be my favorite.

I felt way more tired though and ran my 5K in a slower time than the day before. Still pretty good though – 29 minutes. I kept my 1% incline and Kelly and her guest host (I don’t even remember who it was) helped it go by at a pace that wasn’t too excruciatingly slow. Then I did about 30 minutes of upper body weights, one muscle group per song (chest, shoulders, bis, tris, and abs).

Took it easy by the pool the rest day of course, and wore one of my outlet purchases – a new bathing suit! I also brought a solo cup filled with cottage cheese and blueberries with me to the pool for a post-workout snack. I’m sure I got plenty of judgement because of my solo cup…little did people know I was NOT headed to the pool at 10AM with an alcoholic beverage in tow. Though I’m NOT opposed to that either.

After another fabulous poolside day, my parents and I got cleaned up and headed to happy hour! I love eating out on vacations but my parents wanted to stay in and grill since we had a kitchen in our room, so we made a deal Рhappy hour out, followed by seafood dinner in. Um, fine by me!

While waiting for my parents to get ready, I caught up on work and had a snack – two pieces of rye toast topped with turkey and salsa.

It wouldn’t be vacation without another¬†fam photoshoot.

Another my-mom-is-way-shorter-than-me pic.

I rocked another Black Friday purchase from Kohl’s (and with pleats just like the last one – told you I’m obsessed). The top is by Elle.

For our happy hour destination, I used Yelp to find Emeril’s Tchoup Chop¬†at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. I wanted a place with deals that didn’t end too early (these ended at 8PM), where we could enjoy our last warm night in Florida (outdoor tiki bar!), and with unique drink options. Done, done, and done!

The tiki bar was empty so we took three seats front and center. I love sitting at the bar and chatting it up with the bartender and other patrons.

We lucked out with a fantastic bartender named Deanna. She was so kind and made amazing drinks!

I inquired about the cucumber vodka I saw behind the bar, and Deanna whipped up a Cucumber Cooler for me of cucumber vodka, cucumber liquer, and ginger beer. I LOVE ginger beer in drinks Рanother favorite is the Dark n Stormy, which has popped up a couple times on the blog.

No, that’s not water. Nor is that a Starbucks straw.

I removed the straw (tip: this slows you down when you’re drinking so that you can savor the beverage and also accurately assess how it is affecting you) and “dug in”. Wow, this drink was perfection. So smooth and perfect for an outdoor happy hour.

My mom got a house margarita and I tried a sip. Yum! Nice and strong, not too sour or sweet. She loved it.

There was a bar bites menu too, but I was waiting til dinner.

I asked Deanna about this Soho Lychee Liquer РI had never seen that before! She let me sample a small pour of the Lychee Martini it goes into. Very yummy, but the sample was enough for me because it was a bit sweet.

And thank goodness for Foursquare – I checked in and got a¬†free Mai Tai – which I shared with my parents, because I was feeling a bit buzzed and was also getting pretty hungry! This beverage was delicious, one of the best Mai Tais I’ve ever had (the one at Drink wins because it was on FIRE).

Gorgeous, no?

Thanks Deanna for being so awesome and making our experience at Tchoup Chop so great!¬†By the way readers, it’s pronounced “chop chop”.

By the time we got home I was¬†hangry. My dad got the grill fired up pretty quickly and prepared the salmon and shrimp burgers I’d gotten the day before at Whole Foods.

Salmon/shrimp burgers with yellow mustard and Russian dressing for dipping. Baked potato skin and innards with salsa.

I was SO hungry, but got full SO fast! I couldn’t even finish any of the innards of my baked potato (on the right). Bummer.

What a great last full day in Orlando – and I still had one more pool day left before we had to hop on our plane in the evening, but with no restaurant and no new workout (just another 5K and abs), I don’t plan to write a full recap of that day.

Do you have a favorite spot to go to in the warm months to have a drink outside?

Have you ever tried a seafood burger?

Did you or do you watch Live with Regis and Kelly (or just Kelly)?

Wednesday’s Workout and Whole Foods Goodies

Yesterday my first guest blogger feature was published on LoziLu Mud Run’s website! Check it out for some easy, tasty ideas for a girl’s night in. You can also explore the rest of their site to find a Mud Run near you – I hope to attend the Boston run on 7/7/12 and would LOVE to make a blogger meet-up out of it!

Good morning friends, and happy Thursday. We are ALMOST to Friday which means I am ALMOST hopping on a plane to Orlando (Saturday afternoon is when we depart) with my mom to reunite with my wonderful grandparents, who I haven’t seen since December, and my dad, who has been on travel abroad for the last couple of weeks (and I miss him like crazy).

Yesterday became a very busy day at work and I got out late, so I was ten minutes late to¬†spin class, but it was all good because one of my favorite instructors was teaching. Not only did she step her game up with her music this week (the last few weeks on Wednesdays it’s been like spinning to the Guitar Hero soundtrack…this time there was some fun mixed in like Carrie’s “Cowboy Casanova”) but she also put us through a REALLY tough workout that involved a three-song hill – OUCH, my quads! The 50-minute cardio session left me feeling sweaty and awesome, so I decided to keep the vibe going and head to the weight room for a quick¬†upper body workout session.

I really like to make my upper-body weight lifting similar to a Group Power¬†(like Body Pump) class. I’m not a big fan of lifting heavy weights and then resting in between sets – though I know this is good for building strength! Usually when I do that, I try to do abs in between while my upper body is resting. My favorite way to lift upper body though, is to treat it like my own individual Group Power class and do varying moves back-to-back of one muscle group during an entire song. Then for the next song, I switch it up to another muscle group. By the end of the song, my muscles are always burning and shaking! Last night I rocked Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy“, one of my favorite albums of all time, for some shoulders, abs, and biceps. I did them in that order because my arms DEFINITELY needed a rest after doing shoulders before I could move on to biceps. I forgot how LONG those Kanye songs are!

Grilled chicken/turkey burger with spicy yellow mustard, black beans, baked potato with pico de gallo.

I came home and refueled with the amazing dinner¬†above. I also had the inside of the potato, but it’s in a bowl off to the side, and looks pretty bland in photos anyway! The black beans were from Moe’s and I could’ve eaten an entire pot of them – I just love black beans so much. I’m grateful to be living at home with a mother who is always up for making me healthy, delicious meals!

I’m going out to eat tonight to my favorite restaurant, J. Gilbert’s, to use a $20-off coupon I got back in December. It expires while we’re away next week so it must be used! Joe and my wonderful Nana Connie (she arrives today to take care of my brother while we are gone in FL – I’m so glad she is coming!) are going to join my mom, brother, and I for dinner. I also plan to order one of their wine flights – I have never tried theirs and will definitely be craving some vino with my meal!

Joe and I at dinner this past Saturday night at Grant's in West Hartford.

I’m going to end today’s post with some random photos that I took during my December Florida vacation at the Palm Beach Gardens Whole Foods salad/hot bars. I never got a chance to share them and I love seeing what Whole Foods locations across the country have at their food bars – ¬†does this make me a nerd? No, I think it just makes me a foodie ūüôā Enjoy!

LOVE the colors in this photo.

DOLMADES! Was so excited when I saw these.

FL Whole Foods locations always offer some kind of great seafood salad like the shrimp salad above!

The colorful lettuce-less Greek salad in the middle was so good, but the onions were STRONG!

Plantains make my heart happy!

Have you ever noticed differences in Whole Foods location offerings across the country? Any of the items above look familiar from your local Whole Foods – OR completely foreign?

What’s your favorite way to lift upper body weights?

Anyone else have exciting Thursday dinner plans?

 

Winter Storm Alfred

Hey guys! New responsibilities at work have me busy busy busy. Not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up this one-post-a-day thing but we’ll see!

Last night I was running super late after a doctor’s appointment, and so unfortunately missed a trip to Group Power. I was so bummed because I have a hard time motivating myself enough to get in a truly challenging weights workout solo, but spent some time on the elliptical, doing 3.5 miles, and finished two magazines that I’d previously started. I will be solo at the gym again tomorrow and I really want to just do a nice cardio/circuit weight workout that will get me nice and sweaty and sore. Any suggestions?

I have a lot of food photos to share from last week, when I was work-less and partially power-less, so let’s get to it!

For any New Englanders¬†out there, I’m sure you felt at least a little bit of an effect from good old Winter Storm Alfred. I was one of the lucky ones – we lost power for only a few days, and since we don’t use a well, we never were without hot, running water. My office was not as lucky, but I can’t lie, the week off of work and class was, well, nice.

After one heat-less night of shivering in a ball in front of the fireplace though, wide awake at 4am, I knew that I would not be able to handle another night without power. That’s why we spent our last night with no electricity in a cozy hotel by the Mohegan Sun Casino. It was fun to have our own little “winter storm party”. We even headed over to the casino to have dinner at the Summer Shack!

I’ve eaten here once before at another night out to the casino with my parents. I love how many options their menu has. The seafood is so fresh! Most is local!

I did not partake in the bread basket, because though the Summer Shack has great seafood, the bread is nothing to write home about. There were a couple of plain rolls (my mom devoured them before the camera came out) and the above soft, Northern, sweet corn bread. Boo – bring on the crispy, Southern style! What kind of corn bread do you prefer?

My dad started with a gumbo special. It came with the most adorable side that I can only call a mini English muffin. I think my dad wanted crackers, but I was entranced by the cuteness!

Action shot!

He selected the breaded baked cod special, paired with jasmine rice. The fish was very well cooked and the tomato sauce it was baked in was so flavorful!

My mom ordered the swordfish special with broccoli and roasted acorn squash¬†on the side. The tomato chutney¬†sitting on top of the fish was out of this world. It was basically like eating a pile of the juiciest, freshest tomato I’ve ever tasted. She and I shared the squash and could not get over how good it was. It fit the Snowtober vibe perfectly.

I selected the cider glazed scallops appetizer with mixed greens and broccoli. Holy yum, the scallops were AMAZING! The broccoli was your typical steamed broc, nothing special, but the scallops stole the show.

As I’ve mentioned, I spent my days off during the post-storm-week working on the blog and writing my paper at Whole Foods. This meant some delicious $12 salads.

Edamame, many bean salads, falafel, green beans, pineapple, roasted veggies, a million other things.

I also spent some time at the Starbucks on Uconn’s campus, studying with Joe. I helped myself to their spinach feta egg white wrap, which I hadn’t had in forever, and forgot how much I loved!

Our first night with power back, my family celebrated by…using the grill, something that requires no power, to make dinner. Ha, oh well.

Broc, baked potato with Mariah's relish, turkey burger, grilled chicken

The next night, we made use of the newly powered freezer and had another delicious Newman’s Own Thin n’ Crispy pizza! My mom added grilled chicken to the veggie pie, just like last time. SO crispy and satisfying.

Paired mine with some leftover broc and black beans from Moe’s. I LOVE their black beans.

Had another slice after – couldn’t resist!

Were you affected by Alfred, in any positive and/or negative ways? Have you ever tried Newman’s Own frozen pizza, or Starbucks breakfast sandwiches?

Product Review: Attune Foods and Uncle Sam

I HAVE POWER! LET THERE BE LIGHT!¬†My mom and I walked into my house this morning after spending the night in a nearby hotel, and were surprised to find that it was…warm?? I flicked on a switch, and lo and behold, our power was back! Take that, Alfred!

Going to the gym this morning for a group fitness class felt awesome. I fueled with banana/PB and set off to Step (not Group Step, just freestyle). We did about 45 minutes of non-stop Step (I did take a couple of my own water breaks) and then 15 minutes of upper body weights and abs. I kept it light on the upper body because my arms are still a bit sore from the last couple days of weights I did. I felt SO great after and very flashy in my new Pink yoga pants with sequins on the butt (yes, very necessary).

I’m back at Whole Foods¬†drinking coffee and working on the blog. I have a 10-page paper due in a month, but have been finding it hard to get past the intro paragraph when the blog world is offering me so much to do! I’ll go with it…for now. I thrive under pressure anyway!

Today I’m excited to share with you today a review of an Attune Foods product: Uncle Sam¬†cereals! You may have heard of Attune through the fabulous Meghann or Anne. When Annelies (awesome name, btw) contacted me via Twitter and asked me if I’d be interested in trying some products, I jumped at the chance to experience first-hand what I’d been hearing about for quite some time on the blogosphere!

I received three flavors of cereal: Original, Honey Almond, and Strawberry. I’m happy to report that for both my mom and I, these did NOT disappoint. And from my mom, that means a lot – cereal is her nightly snack!

I decided to try the Original flavor as soon as I opened the package. I wasn’t really in the mood for anything sweet, so that sounded perfect to me. I mixed it with local Greek yogurt¬†and it was an extremely satisfying snack, filled with TONS of fiber and protein! It’s hard to find a plain cereal that doesn’t taste like cardboard – for example, my mom loves FiberOne Shredded Wheat, but I can’t stand how bland it tastes. This wasn’t bland at all and would go great in a sweeter mix too, like flavored yogurt. I could even see myself adding it to ice cream…mmm…

Crazy night hair and PJ top, no big.

The next night I was already itching to try the Strawberry mixed with my Greek yogurt, so that’s what I did, and I couldn’t get over how amazing the real¬†dried strawberries were. The cereal wasn’t overly sweet at all and the huge strawberry slices were so satisfying. This was my favorite of the three!

My mom tried the Original that same night and gave it her seal of approval too!

When I returned to a heat and power-less house from Tennessee on Halloween night, I was not itching for candy. Well, I was, but a sugar high right before bed wasn’t what I needed. Something with staying power was what I needed to keep me satisfied through shivering all night.

Sorry for the flash – no power!

I mixed the Honey Almond cereal with cottage cheese and it was AWESOME. Again, not too sweet at all, with whole almond slices in there to add to the satisfying protein from the cottage cheese.

I am not¬†the¬†biggest cereal person in the world, but Uncle Sam definitely has two new fans in my mom and I, so that’s saying something. She even has been choosing it over her usual shredded wheat!

I received these products from Attune Foods, but all opinions are my own. Thank you, Attune!

Have you been affected by Winter Storm Alfred? Have you ever tried Uncle Sam cereal?