Archive | August, 2010

Eating Well at School

24 Aug

It’s back-to-school season, so some of you (me included) are going back to the wonderful, enchanted, dreary place called school.  My least favorite part of school is, strangely enough, having to sit in a desk for 6-7 hours a day.  I wish we could take classes while standing up or lying down… I hate sitting in those uncomfortable desks!  Anyway, if you want to stay alert for the entire day (yeah you do!), you need to eat foods that give you long-lasting energy.  Here are some of my favorites, and they all can work as part of a breakfast, lunch, or snacks.  When school starts I stock up on these items!

Almonds:

Almonds are the most vitamin-rich nut, containing plenty of protein, vitamin E, minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, and healthy fats.  The combination of proteins and fats gives them staying power.  I usually buy a big carton of salted, roasted almonds from the bulk bin at my grocery store, but if you aren’t a fan of almond flavor (yet), try these flavored oven-roasted ones.  They come in chocolate, cinnamon sugar, butter toffee, and honey, just to name a few.  Keep the container in your locker and grab some whenever you’re hungry.

 

Energy Bars I Love:

 NuGo Dark: Chocolate Chocolate Chip

This one’s vegan and dairy-free.

 

Dark Chocolate Cookies & Creme Bar

High protein, plenty of vitamins.

Sweet n’ salty… a better granola bar!

Hard to find, but awesome for breakfast.

 

Drinks:

Refreshing and full of vitamins.

Fizzy (I don’t know why, but fizzy drinks make me more alert) and zero calories, sugar, or artificial stuff.  Just water and natural flavor!

I like these because they’re portable and turn ordinary water into a fizzy, tasty, vitamin-rich drink.  Orange is my favorite, but there are tons of flavors.

 

Of course, no matter how many good things you eat and drink, school still means homework.  Which I need to do now.  More stuff coming soon! 🙂

Heart Thrives!

23 Aug

A few months ago, Heart Thrive sent me some samples to review.  Today, they finally arrived.  Who knows where they were all this time, but it doesn’t matter because they’re here now and so tasty!

What’s a Heart Thrive?

A Heart Thrive is a vegan energy bar.  Each package comes with 2 heart-shaped bars, and there are a variety of flavors [ chocolate chip, apricot, raisin, poppyseed, apple, cranberry, and date ]. They all have similar nutrition facts, so here is the label for Chocolate Chip as an example.

So if you eat the entire package, you’ll get 30% DV of protein calcium, and 40% DV of fiber.  Not bad for a vegan energy bar, or any bar for that matter!

 

Yeah, whatever.  They’re good for you, but do they taste good?

If you think a dense, chewy cookie tastes good, then YES!  These don’t taste like regular energy bars at all- they taste like someone actually took the time to bake them for you.  I bet they would taste heavenly warmed up in the microwave.

These would make a great on-the-go meal or snack.  The fiber gives them great staying power and the all-natural ingredients don’t hurt. 🙂

Thank you, Heart Thrive!

Lovely Picnik

21 Aug

I think I’ve mentioned how much I love Picnik.  And I’m going to mention it again right now.

I love Picnik.

 

It takes my decently bad drawings, and makes them look artsy and unique.

Before:

After:

 

 

It also takes my decently bad photos, and makes them look decent.

The best part?  It’s free.  My sister and I share a Premium account, which is around $3 per month, but you can edit your photos just as well using a regular account.  My favorite effects are Duo-tone, Gritty, Cross-process, and increasing the contrast.

Try it out for yourself! 🙂

Nutty’s Peanut Butter

20 Aug

If you’ve been reading this blog (or at least the recipes), you know I love peanut butter.  So when Nutty’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter sent me a sample, I practically tore open the package.

Here’s a bit of info on the company- such a cute story!

Nutty’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter started years ago in the mind of a little girl who always wanted to open her own peanut butter and jelly shop. As an adult, Carrie’s kitchen became her lab, where crazy concoctions emerged.  In 2002 with the help of her husband Keith they opened The Original Peanut Butter Emporium in Overton, Texas. Carrie and Keith have combined their love of history and nostalgia with their love of peanut butter to create a unique peanut butter experience.

There are 12 varieties of Nutty’s Peanut Butter, and they’re all-natural.  They all sound scrumptious!  I received Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup… how could it be bad?

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Please ignore the unattractiveness of this computer picture.

It’s not a Nikon or a Canon.

That would be so cool if it was, though!

 

Anyway, this peanut butter is sooo yummy!  It reminds me of PB&Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams, though I like Nutty’s better.  It has a gritty texture (that’s a good thing) and the perfect amount of chocolate- it doesn’t overpower the peanut butter.  It really tastes like a PB cup!! 🙂

 

Nutty’s has shops in Texas, but you can buy it from me through OpenSky!  This 3-pack (believe me, you’ll want 3 jars!) includes PB Cup, Chocolate Marble, and White Chocolate Chip.  For only $24, you get them all! 🙂

 

Thank you for reading!  Enjoy your weekend 😀

Productive

19 Aug

It’s been a very productive few days.  I’ve…

 

Dyed my hair.  My family really didn’t want me to, but I did it anyway and it looks better than ever.  I’ve never liked the boring, brassy brown color of my hair, but now that it’s rich, reddish-brown, I love it!  I don’t have any pictures of the new color yet, but thanks to Picnik I was able to change the hair color of an existing picture.  Yay!

Co1

Ran a race.  The first race since my diagnosis, might I add.  It was only 2 miles and I ran horribly slow, but I’m just happy to have finished without fainting or ending up in an ambulance.

 

Bought books for school.  Why must they be so expensive??  Thankfully I got great deals from my friends whom already had the books I need.  I still had to pay $122 for a calculus textbook, though.  Uff.  I don’t even like math!

 

Got stuff ready for freshman orientation.  I’m a freshman mentor this year (fancy!), so I have to call my group, make name tags, etc.  My group’s theme is Under The Sea, so I made fish-shaped tags and spelled the names in glitter glue.  Which took a long time.  Some of the kids’ names are really long, but at least I get volunteer hours!

1st Day of XC!

16 Aug

The camp-out last night was a lot of fun, but I didn’t get to sleep until way too late and then was awoken by the sounds of quacking geese way too early. I only got about 5 hours of sleep before waking up for practice the next morning. I ate a peanut butter granola bar for some fast energy.

[ source ]

 

At practice we ran 4 miles + did core work.  It was really humid and I hadn’t had enough to drink (which is still a lot for most people, haha) so the run was tough.  One thing I love about my cross-country team is that as people finish the run, we cheer them on.  Some people walk to the finish, but it’s incredible how a little motivation can make someone keep running.  The same goes for during the run.  If someone is walking, you’re expected to give them encouragement, and if they’re hurt or sick, relay that information to the coaches.  The team is great 🙂

 

This picture was taken at the Hershey Store in Chicago, which I bet none of you Healthy Living bloggers went to!

 

When I got home, I had a Laughing Cow cheese and some Oatmeal Squares, then made a batch of banana tea bread. 

I call it tea bread because it’s made in a small loaf pan.

Plus it sounds fancier. 😀

It’s vegan but it is sooooo moist and delicious.  I wasn’t in a photographing mood, sorry. 😦

Vegan Banana Tea Bread

1. Soften 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter in the microwave (we keep ours in the fridge), then mix in 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup and 2 rounded tablespoons light brown sugar.

2. Add a medium ripe banana, and squish it together with the rest of the batter.  Then stir in 2 tablespoons soy yogurt.

3. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup almond meal, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  I also added 1/4 cup chocolate chips 🙂

4. Foil-line and grease a small loaf pan, then pour in the batter.  It should be a bit thick, but don’t worry- that’s okay!

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the middle is no longer jiggly.  Cool it, then slice and enjoy!

Happy

14 Aug

Yes it does.

You know what else makes me happy?  The fact that cross-country starts tomorrow!  Our team starts the season with a camp out on the course, then go running at midnight.  It’s so much fun!

You know what doesn’t make me happy?  Defensive comments.  I received a comment on my About POTS post arguing that POTS is a mental disorder.

Heh, I get that a lot.  Just to make things clear:  It isn’t a mental disorder.  It’s an autonomic nervous system disorder.  There is overlap between the brain and the autonomic nervous system, yes, but mental disorders involve neurotransmitters in the brain, while ANS disorders involve neurotransmitters throughout the body.  Am I getting too confusing?  Maybe if you’d researched POTS a little bit before making your remark, you would understand what I’m saying.  I’m not angry.  I’m just making announcing to the world the value of knowledge.  Get some before you comment on peoples’ sicknesses.  Maybe I am slightly perturbed…

Obviously I did not approve that comment.

 

Tonight I’m going out for stir fry with friends then going to see Step Up 3D.  It should be lots of fun!  Veggie stir fry + brown rice + sweet n’ sour mixed with teriyaki sauce = happy Courtney. 🙂