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Posts Tagged ‘Luna Bar’

One more day until I have my Internet installed! I have felt so lost without it. Today has been one of those “on-the-go” days so my blog is being brought to you by iPhone.

I had an intern event from 8am-12:30pm and breakfast and lunch were provided. For breakfast I had a whole wheat blueberry muffin, a banana and coffee.

After a few speakers I was extremely excited for lunch. I had half of a whole wheat wrap with turkey, lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese and mayonnaise; a side salad with plump cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and red peppers dressed in balsamic; and fresh fruit.

I was ravenous later in the afternoon (I’m thinking because I had such a small breakfast) and snacked on a Chocolate Cherry Luna Protein Bar and an apple before leaving work.

I was so happy that I packed snacks because I planned on going to the gym again after work and I hate working out when my energy levels are low. I did a medium level on the precor machine for about 40 minutes. It wasn’t a very intense workout but it felt good to unwind from the day.

Dinner is going to be a throw together because I didn’t plan anything last night . I think canned tuna might be involved.

Busy Bee,

Nora

What easy meals do you turn to when you are low on time?

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Despite the fact that I have had such crazy sleep this week, I still managed to wake up this morning at 7am! I went to bed around 11:30pm last night, so I got my required hours worth, but you can imagine my shock when my body naturally woke up at such an early hour. I have never been the typical college student who sleeps until noon anyways and find that no matter what time I go to bed I am always up before 9am. I’m such a morning person though, so no complaints! I love the peace and quiet before a crazy day.

Going back to sleep was not an option at this point so I decided to get a jump on my day. It STILL hasn’t hit me, am I really done? My laundry basket has clothes beyond the brim and I have piles of papers and books to sort through, so I immediately made a to-do list for my day. The weather was going to be in the 50’s and raining so I figured that it was a perfect day to attempt my cleaning/reading lists.

Before yet another home-bound day I went to a Vinyasa Yoga Class. I haven’t been to a class in weeks, and my body felt so sore when I woke up from sitting hunched over my computer multiple days in a row. The class started at 10, so I decided to have a refreshing Lemon Zest Luna Bar and Jonagold Apple while catching up on emails.

This bar had me feeling rejuvenated. I love the fresh lemon flavor in the morning because I can’t always stomach chocolate first thing.
The class was amazing but made me realize how stiff I have become. Hopefully I can get back into yoga this summer. On the topic of summer…. I HAVE A JOB! The HR representative called me when I was on my way to yoga, and I sat down to fill out paperwork after class. Don’t worry I thoroughly apologized being a com for being a complete sweaty mess. I applied for this position in late December and have had two interviews, so the anticipation was killing me. I shed a few tears when I found out I finally was granted the position. I don’t want to go into details quite yet, but essentially it is a paid summer marketing position in the food industry!

When I got back from yoga/paper signing I made exactly what I was craving: A Green Monster with Granola Bowl.


Into my blender went: 5 ice cubes, 1 large frozen banana, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon and spinach.

I topped it with a bit of Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond and Flax Granola. Adding the extra ice cubes today made it more like an ice cream, it was so thick! I forgot to add peanut butter to the mix today, and found that I really prefer the flavor and feel more full when I add it.

Shortly after I made myself a snack plate of strawberries, MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and 2 carrots while browsing for apartments! I’M LOOKING FOR APARTMENTS!?! I never thought the day would come when I would be searching for a place of my own. The only difficult part is that I’m not sure how long I will be here for, and I have to move in one week. YIKES!

I had another Jonagold later on…I have a thing for apples :).

I’m off to finish up some laundry and then dinner with my roommate who I haven’t seen for an entire week! I can not believe this fact, but we have had such crazy and opposite schedules. It will be good to finally catch up and relax.

Really,

Nora

What are your plans for the Summer?

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Did I really just complete my undergraduate college education? Ladies and gentleman, at 4pm this afternoon I emerged from the confines of my minuscule apartment looking half-human and walked to campus to hand in my last college paper ever. It still hasn’t hit me yet. Do I really not have any readings to do? Tests to study for? Papers to write? As I sit in my room and type this I am in disbelief  that the past four years have finally come to an end.  It has been an interesting ride to say the least. The knowledge I have gained at this institution expands far beyond the classroom. I have learned a lot about myself and have grown tremendously. I have to take a moment here to pause and thank my parents.

Mom and Dad- Thank you so much for every opportunity you have provided me with. I am so grateful to have your love and support in my life. The road hasn’t always been easy, but you never stopped having faith in me and I appreciate that more than you will ever know. Thank you for never doubting me and encouraging me to pursue my interests. You are my best friends and every day I truly feel lucky to have you in my life. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

On to my day:

Today was such a scramble. I’m always such a mess during finals week between little sleep, weird eating and stressful studying. I’m glad that this marks the end of it! I started today around 7am and was under lock and key paper writing in my apartment until 3:30pm. I literally moved from my floor (everything was spread out on my floor…I couldn’t sit at my desk anymore!) to the kitchen all day long and finally sat in bed for some final editing and to provide relief to my numb “bottom” that suffered from my harsh floor all day. Yeah, it wasn’t a fun time.

Breakfast was exactly what I was craving: Berry Oats. Last night for dessert I had some luscious local strawberries with MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread.

I knew that I needed to have these again for breakfast, so I made a big bowl of oats for breakfast with strawberries and blackberries.Into my bowl:

Base: 1/4 cup oat bran, 1/8 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, 2 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla extract.

Toppings: ~1/4 cup Chobani Greek yogurt (last of it!), 3 strawberries, handful of blackberries and almond butter.

This was SO delicious. I really liked the melted Greek yogurt on top. It made my bowl so creamy and I loved the sour contrast with the berries. When I get more yogurt, I’m going to incorporate it into my warm oats more often!

This is the only meal that I was 100% certain of all day. As I got into paper writing the rest of my food was completely random and consisted of “I can’t focus, go make food” dishes. They were all consumed sporadically between the hours of 10am and 3pm. I really hate mindlessly eating, I never feel wonderful when I do and today was no exception. My stomach was…let’s just say a bit bubbly, but it got me through the day. I’ll try to categorize as best I can the randomness of food:

Morning Snack: Jonagold Apple with Almond Butter.

“Lunch”:

Lunch was a compilation of everything in my room/fridge/freezer that I could think to put together. I’m not sure what time this all actually took place, but I think it was a few hours after breakfast when I was getting into the really tedious part of my paper. I spotted a Luna Cookie Dough Protein Bar and decided I needed a little cookie dough to chug through more work. I ate half of it before lunch and the other half later in the day. Shortly after I decided that I needed to refocus and make myself a snack. I went back into my kitchen and prepared a plate of watermelon and pineapple. I wasn’t full and it was almost lunch time so after maybe 30 minutes I went back into the kitchen to make some real food. Remember that Multigrain bread I picked up at the bakery a while ago? Well it also comes in a Multigrain Currant variety(be still my heart, I’m in love with this bread), and I happened to have a few pieces in my freezer from a long, long time ago 🙂 . The pictures above are a before and after shot. I topped my toast with some natural crunchy peanut butter. After I made my toast, I thought to myself, “Nora, you can not live on nut butters, fruit and carbs alone.” And decided to make a plate of sautéed spinach topped with a runny fried egg, extra sharp cheddar cheese and hot sauce. Maybe I should just call this breakfast number two! It was so delicious, and held me nicely through the majority of my paper writing! I really love the combination of egg yolk and extra sharp cheddar cheese, it is so creamy and flavorful!

I finally completed the bulk of my writing around 2pm and determined I needed some editing food.I needed some greens so I made a mini “sludge” monster with 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 5 ice cubes, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass GREEN Superfood, 1 heaping TBS Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa, and a big bunch of spinach. It looks like sludge, and wasn’t as good as my protein packed monsters, but it was still refreshing. After this freezing beverage I needed something warm so I microwaved a Medjool date with almond butter and cinnamon. I microwaved another unpictured date with just cinnamon after this. Still not satisfied, and now wanting chocolate, I used a random (embarrassing purchase… my campus store sells them so I picked up a bag a while ago.) rice cake as a vessel for MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and Raspberry Jam.

Today was a whirlwind, and I had a bunch more “finger swipes” of almond butter, some raw almonds, another apple and a big carrot somewhere in between. I think it’s safe to say: my paper was a nut butter fueled production.

It was a bit cool out when I finally left my apartment, but the walk was welcome. I was in need of a good leg stretch, and it settled the random bites of my day. I was fortunate to get to the Political Science Department mere MOMENTS before they locked the doors. My professor told us that the paper was due at 5pm, and the department locks  down at 4:30pm! I don’t know what I would have done if I left my apartment 5 minutes later.

I haven’t had time this week to exercise so I did a light 50 minutes on the Pre-core machine before heading home. I was planning to run but was felling a little “blah” when I finally got to the gym. I’ll tell you, paper writing + sitting + eating = exhaustion.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood for anything fancy for dinner, and wanted to continue my fridge cleaning so I used the remainder of my Bush’s Baked Beans for another Baked Beans and Sweet Potato dish. I served it with a fresh green salad and the last of my watermelon. I decided to cook my sweet potato in the microwave for the sake of time, and it wasn’t very photogenic. I ended up mashing it and topping it with cinnamon and Crofter’s North American Superfruit Spread (cranberry/blueberry mix) before adding my baked beans, which was delicious :).

For dessert I had a few squares of Green and Black’s Mint Dark Chocolate and a cup of Decaf Constant Comment Bigelow Tea. I needed something a little cozy to curl up in bed with because The Notebook was on and I had some blogging to catch up on :).

Hopefully, normalcy will resume tomorrow. I still think it is SO strange that I do not have anymore school work to accomplish. I have some personal projects and fun books to read, so I’m sure I’ll find a way to stay occupied. I think the most exciting part about finishing is that I now have time to do the things that I really like. I’m all for academics, but when it is a struggle to love and appreciate the material you are learning the work is tedious and stressful. I’m really looking forward to reading for fun and continuing my food/wine aspirations.

I have MANY more thoughts, but until I gather them I’m going to leave this rather long post be. I have one more week on campus for  “Senior Week”, which is filled with senior class functions (Finger Lakes Wine tour Monday…stay tuned!). I’m officially out of here after our graduation ceremony next Sunday. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Surreal Life,

Nora

Have you ever had a moment or experienced an event that seemed unbelievable?

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WHOA, busy day. It is 6pm, and this is the first time today that I have been able to sit and relax! I had a day full of appointments, errands and, the most significant happening, MY LAST COLLEGE CLASS EVER!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHH! Now all I have to do is pass 2 finals, finish 1 paper and get through Senior Week.

Today started at 7:45 am when I woke up to head to the gym. I typically don’t go to the gym in the morning, but since today was rather busy I wanted to wake up early to energize myself. Before going to the gym I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna Protein Bar. Hello lover 🙂 (okay…I’m obsessed with Sex in the City, and my “hello lover” phrase is stolen from the one and only Carrie Bradshaw.). This was my favorite of the three flavors by far! It isn’t overly sweet and has an awesome peanut butter and chocolate flavor. It has 12g of protein and 190 calories, which was perfect pre-gym fuel.

On Wednesdays I have been trying to incorporate some upper body weight training, so I usually start with a light cardio and then lift moderate weights. Since I was crunching time I cut my work out a bit short, but here it is:

20 minute run–2.2 miles

4 minute walk @ 4.0

3 x 10 bicep curls with a bar @ 40 lbs

3x 10 lateral raises @ 7.5 lbs

3×10 hammer curls @  20 lbs

3 x 10 side crunches @ 22.5 lbs
Consuming whey protein within an hour post work out is supposed to be great for rebuilding muscle so I decided to have breakfast number two: Green Monster, Granola and Raw Almonds. This contained: 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Green Amazing Grass Superfood, a generous amount of cinnamon, 1 large frozen banana, 2/3 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/3 cup water, 2 handfuls of spinach and 2 ice cubes. I topped it off with 1/4 cup Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond Flax Granola and raw blanched almonds. When I was consuming this lovely bowl I had two revelations:

1) CINNAMON IS THE BEST SPICE EVER! I would and do put it on everything. It is so key for flavor the warm flavor of this bowl, I love it!

2) Raw blanched almonds really add a lot flavor/texture wise. They are buttery, smooth, and full of flavor. Roasted almonds have a bit more crunch but these little gems are phenomenal!

Workin’ it Out,

Nora

What is your ideal exercise/food to fuel it?

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That’s right, Luna Protein and Cottage Cheese again!

On Tuesday’s I have class from 9:45am-12:20am, and usually do a light 45 minutes on the Precore machine at the gym right after. I had an apple running out the door to class, but since I had breakfast around 8:30am I needed some fuel for the gym, and something to hold me over until lunch. I decided to pack a Cookie Dough Luna Protein Bar. Cookie dough tends to be my favorite protein bar flavor among several brands that I have tried, so I was excited to see how Luna would compare. It did not disappoint! It still had a “protein bar consistency” but I really liked the flavor and the crispy bits in the filling. With 12g of protein and 180 calories, this was the perfect mid-day snack.

I am usually on campus until a little after 6pm, and I am trying to empty my refrigerator before graduation (2.5 weeks!!!!!! WOOH!) so I packed some additional snacks. I have been thinking about savory cottage cheese since my post yesterday, and it is one of my favorite no-fuss snacks. I threw some together for my lunch box with a serving of Dr. Crackers, Fresh Pineapple and Strawberries. I can’t have something savory without something sweet and have half of a pineapple sitting in my fridge that I  refuse to waste, so fruit salad was the perfect sweet treat!

In the mix: ~3/4 cup cottage cheese, hot sauce, cracked black pepper, julienned spinach, red pepper, carrots and cucumber.

Before I finish this post I have to leave you with a confession. I love Tootsie Pops. I have gone through phases where I would have these at least once a day. They never last for long– I always bite through to get to the center. I randomly started to crave a Raspberry Tootsie Pop while I was doing work on a school computer. Thankfully we have a bulk food market at our school with many candy and snack options, so when the craving called I answered. They are simple yet delicious, one of my life’s little pleasures.

I am a very happy snacker today :).

Keeping It Real,

Nora

**Finals week is approaching, which means I need many quick and easy meals and snacks on hand. Any suggestions?**

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Before leaving for work I snacked on a Lemon Zest Luna Bar. I wanted something refreshing (actually I really wanted some fresh JUICE! Obsessed? I think I’m going to need a juicer very soon.) yet more substantial than fruit so I picked this Luna Bar out of my enormous bar supply. I really ought to document the number of bars I have on hand…it’s getting to be out of control. I like Luna Bars but don’t have them that often because I went through a period when I ate them every morning on my way to class/sports and “burned out” from them. I also discovered a bunch of other snack bars that I liked better, and the importance of eating a REAL breakfast.

After my snack I whipped together a Spicy Peanut Tempeh “Wrap”. I’m not really sure what to call this because I used a whole wheat and flax tortilla but I can never close my wraps, so I pressed it in the panini maker instead. In this bad boy is: shredded carrots, clover sprouts snap peas, tempeh, spicy peanut sauce (1 TBS peanut butter mixed with 1tsp reduced sodium soy sauce, lime juice and a pinch of red chili flakes), 1/4 an avocado, 1/8 sliced red pepper, and 1/8 sliced mango. I had this with a side of roasted Kabocha squash. See I can make simple dinners!! I should have doubled the sauce, it was SO good. Afer dinner I had a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, because I just needed more of a peanut butter fix. I think tomorrow’s breakfast will be staring some nut butter :).

On another note, I thanked the customer service contact at Breville about the juicer and he wrote a small essay for me to add to my blog about juicing. I love the taste of fresh juice, but other than that, I am not educated on the health benefits and proper juicing technique to obtain the optimum nutrition.  I found this information very interesting and helpful. When I had juice after yoga class, I felt a sense of “rejuvenation”; a much better feeling than just rehydrating with water. He Wrote:

Why Juice?

● Most of us lead fast-paced lives, but juicing can pack in the recommended five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Once you start experiencing the benefits of fresh juice, juicing will become a habit.

● freshly made juice is a potent source of nutrients and certain combinations have specific health benefits. If you drink juices on a regular basis, you’ll enjoy clearer skin, better energy levels and balanced overall health

● Juices are a great alternative to dairy, either due to allergies or to intolerance. And can be a great way to supplement your breakfast of curb an afternoon sweet tooth craving, because it’s quick to make and consume.

● Juice provides your body with an abundance of water, along with easily absorbed (and that’s the key) protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients.

● Fresh juice is much healthier than canned, bottled, frozen or packaged juice as it contains far more nutrients and other ‘living foods’.

● drinking at least one glass of fresh, organic juice each day, you can reverse whatever toxic burden your body is struggling with.

Quick absorption = Instant Energy

● Juicing makes it easier to obtain far greater concentrations of nutrients than fruits and vegetables than if they were in their solid state. No other health product or even healthy foods, can match how quickly and easily fresh fruit and vegetable juices are digested and absorbed by the body. Fresh-squeezed juices are absorbed almost immediately once they are consumed, whereas solid foods take much longer to digested

● During the juicing process, the cell wall of fruits and vegetables is cut open, releasing an abundance of nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll, all of which are quickly absorbed by the body once consumed. Its is precisely because fresh juices contain such an abundance of nutrients that juicing can create such an energizing effect in the body.

Go for organic

● By using organic produce, you will spare yourself from the many harmful chemicals that non-organic food crops typically contain, due to commercial farming methods that rely on the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and other man-made chemical products.

● Peel all produce that is not organic, even though the largest concentration of nutrients is in and next to the skin. The peels and skins of sprayed fruits and vegetables contain the largest concentration of pesticides.

Tips in preparation

● Cut away all moldy, bruised or damaged areas as they are lacking in any nutritional benefit. Avoid using overripe produce as it can result in too much pulp, and they contain less nutrient content than properly ripened produce

● Use leaves and stems, as they are packed with rich nutrients, but remove pits from stone fruits as they will damage the juicer.

● Always peel oranges tangerines and grapefruits before juicing because the skins of these items contain bitter-tasting oils that can cause digestive problems. Lemons and limes can be juiced, if organic and will get an extra kick. However, when you are preparing citrus fruit for juicing, leave as much of the white pithy part on the citrus fruit as possible, since it contains the most vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

How long does fresh juice last?

The sooner you drink your juice after you make it, the more nutrients you will get.

● It is best to consume the drink within 20 minutes after they are prepared and only make as much as you intend to drink at one time. The maximum shelf life in the refrigerator for fresh-squeezed juice is 48 hours. Beyond that time, virtually none of the nutritional benefits of juice remain, beyond calories and some mineral content.

● Light heat, and air will destroy nutrients quickly. The longer it sits out, the more nutrients that are lost. If juice browns, it has oxidized and has lost a nutritional value. Lemon juice will help slow the oxidation process.

Since I’ve been juicing I have done some research and read several informative books to have some knowledge of facts regarding juicing. Hopefully this information will help your blog site. Last I just want to mention that with you will find a lot of recipes in the instruction book for the juicer and may suggest to you that it is best to go slow and to experiment with various juice combinations in order to note how you feel after drinking them. As you discover the juice combinations that work best for you, you can then start to make them a part of your daily health regime.

To a Juicy Summer,

Nora

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

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