Snacktime: Broth Concentrate

This may seem like a strange snacktime post but I have to say that sometimes a warm cup of broth can be the best thing. A lot of my meal prep and planning go into making certain that I have healthy meals in a certain calorie level. I watch my proteins and my carbs as well when I am planning. This way I get the nutrients that i need and generally my food tastes pretty good.

However because the work week is so hectic and lunchtime so short, there is often a craving for something deeper. Here is where the concentrates really help out. A broth concentrate is basically a flavorful broth that has been boiled down to a gel like consistency.

You can buy them in boxes like this one pictured in a variety of flavors, including vegetarian ones). My personal favorite is the pho Chicken Broth Concentrate. There are not only a variety of flavors but a variety of brands. To be honest i really haven’t found that much difference in taste between the less and more expensive ones. This one happened to be on sale at the grocery store around the corner so I stocked up. I think typically the box sells for around $1.50 and contains four packets.

While I will for a dinner, dilute this into a stock pot and add all the delicious veg and noodles making it a full meal, I often find this is good as either a snack or a lunch time on the go. I take an insulated thermos and pour boiling water over the concentrate, stir and pop on the lid. I find my Teami mug perfect for this actually. It is made for tea but it works really well for broth.

Sipped slowly this broth feels far more filling than it actually is. One packet has only 25 calories. It feels like it should have at least a hundred more. It does have a high salt content so I do then to limit consumption to once a week at most and on the days when I drink it i tend to add several extra cups of water to my personal daily intake level.

For me soup has always had a comforting element to it. I think because the best soups seem to take all day to simmer. For me this is a way to get that comfort with out a lot of extra calories added to the day’s diet. It is also a good way to liven up a dinner that requires broth. While I always watch the salt content, for the occasional comforting snack or lunch break, this is a very good option to have on hand.



Snacktime: No Cow Protein Bar Lemon Meringue Pie

As I am sure i have mentioned before, snacktime is for me, one of the best ways to keep on track with my diet. A small snack around two in the afternoon really helps. I can convince myself to have a lighter lunch because I know I’m getting a little treat later in the afternoon and it keeps me from being too hungry at dinner time. My biggest dietary problem is portion control. I generally eat good foods and cook most of my meals at the house, I just some times eat bigger portions than I should. Snacks help me control my portions.

Part is because of the calories they impart, but part is psychological. I make sure that while the snack i choose has limited calories (I try not to go too far over a hundred) it is also something that is a tasty treat so that I feel like I’ve been bad, even when I haven’t.

With protein bars, you really have to watch the calories, for example this No Cow Lemon Meringue Pie Protein bar that I am trying today has 190 calories in it so I knew going in that I would only be eating half today and half tomorrow. In general I like to slice the bar in half and only talk half with me while the other half ends up in a zip top bag for the next day.

Now I am not a vegan and I am not a vegetarian. I do limit my meat intake to at most once a week (technically red meat we only eat maybe once a month at this point, but we eat fish once a week). My lunches are almost always vegetarian and at least three dinners a week are vegetarian. I love both cheese and charcuterie but i do limit them and make sure when i do indulge I go for higher quality.

The best way to get me to try anything is to make it lemon meringue pie flavored. To be honest I saw the bar in the rack at the grocery and thought “I’m low on snacks, oh Lemon Meringue Pie flavor, you shall be mine.” And then it ended up in the cart. When I put the groceries away i noticed the No Cow part and realized there was no dairy in them. Then I tried to recall if dairy was normal. Then I realized that in bar format I tend to go for the Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bar which is of course not vegan because of the honey but has no dairy in it, but isn’t a protein bar either. Then I spiraled down a protein bar/dairy internet rabbit hole that I suggest you avoid.

The end result is that I love lemon meringue pie. It is my favorite desert and if you can give me something sweet and tart and reminiscent of that decadent dessert then I don’t care if it is vegan or not. So let’s take a look at the No Cow Protein Bar shall we?

According to the website it is…

Dairy Free, 22g Plant Protein, 1g Sugar, 18g Fiber, 190 Calories, Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, Soy Free, Vegan, Made with pea and rice protein, stevia, and monk fruit, A perfect balance between tangy lemon and a slice of meringue pie. WE threw in some pea protein crisps for added texture too. Try not to salivate., Sweet as pie … high protein, low sugar pie. No Cow. No Bull. No Whey!™

No Cow

Taking the bar from the pack, it looks and feels like it is made with playdoh. It has the exact same texture as if I rolled a piece of playdoh in my hands to make a snake. it does have a pleasing lightly lemon/graham cracker scent to it which I thought was a good start. Biting into it is a bit like biting into a Fig Newton.

Does it taste of tangy lemon? Is it sweet as pie? No.

Chewing it it remains a fig newton like consistency but it tastes like sand. You know how when you go to the beach occasionally you get sand in your mouth? Delete the grittiness, but keep the taste. Add a slight hint of lemon, as though while you had a mouth full of sand a lemon went rolling by on the beach in front of you and you have the flavor of this bar.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Now I knew it wasn’t going to taste exactly like pie. I understand the low sugar aspect. But I figured the worst that would happen would be that it would taste just of lemons. I like lemon, so that wouldn’t be bad.

This was like a cruel joke.

Again, I may not be vegan but I have had plenty of yummy tasting vegan snacks. this simply wasn’t one of them. They should have at least been able to make it taste like lemon. Normally I like to look for the redeeming qualities in something, because most things do have them. I honestly can’t find the plus. It wasn’t good on any level.

Packing something with good for you things only works if you can make it taste good enough to eat. I couldn’t even get through the half that I earmarked for today’s snack. No Cow was a major disappointment.

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Weekly Weight: April No Scale Continues

Today I was actually relieved not to have to get on the scale. We had company last weekend and to be good hosts we brought in things we normally wouldn’t have in the house. Much of the week we have been dealing with left overs just to clear them out of the pantry. One of the things I have noticed though is the sugar intake.

I long ago cut out sodas from my normal day. We will keep a six pack of mini ginger ales in the cabinet, but to be honest, a six pack will last several months and then more than likely one can will be incorporated into a Friday night cocktail (Sometimes even a mocktail I really like taking one of those cans pouring it into a glass and adding a drop of sour cherry syrup to it and calling that my Friday Cocktail.)

We had three 12 can (regular sized) boxes on hand for company. My baby took one box to work just for meetings. I had a couple earlier in the week because they were there but after I realized the sugar was affecting me and my sleep patterns, i stopped drinking it. It is one of those things I simply don’t think about any more. People talk about how sugary drinks are bad for diets, but since I rarely indulge I focus more on salt and fat when I think about diets. Also my big weakness is cheese rather than chocolate so I know I can walk away from the sweets more easily than the savory.

It also helps that we don’t bring it into the house. But this week it was there. and because it was just there I indulged. I had one of those moments where I realized how much grocery shopping affects my diet. Simply put, you can’t eat what isn’t in the house. I know that sounds like a foolish statement to make but it was really brought home to me this week. This week I ate things simply because they were there. Why bother to add a little flavoring to water if the soda is right there taking up space? Why cut up celery sticks if there is a bag of chips right there? Do I know the other stuff is better for me? Of course, but the other stuff can be consumed with no effort or thought. And since we prepared things for company instead of preparing snacks and other things for the week, I hadn’t helped myself out by doing the prep work early like i usually do.

It was a bad week for food, but an eye opening one. even when you realize that what you by matters, sometimes you just need a hard reminder that you are the gatekeeper. You are the one who decides what to bring into the house and you are the one who ultimately decides what you will eat based on what you bring into the house. I knew that. Of course I knew that. But sometimes, it is really good to have that hard reminder. This week more than anything else, that was what I got. Sometimes, I just need things spelled out for me.

Hopefully it helps you too if you are on a similar get healthy journey with weight loss.

Kitchen Kit: Size Matters

Bigger is not always better. Sometimes it helps to go small, especially when you are trying to do portion control. Recently I picked up a set of bowls from Target’s Threshold collection that have proven to be absolutely fantastic additions to my kitchen and helpful in maintaining my portion control.

I do like the design (and they do come in several colors), however it’s main benefit is it’s size. This bowl holds eight ounces of liquid perfectly. It isn’t filled to the very brim, there is a space left at the top so you don’t slosh over the sides, but it is designed to hold eight ounces of liquid comfortably.

This makes it perfect for a cup of soup at lunch time. It keeps bowls of cereal and even pasta in check. It’s eight ounce size makes it easy to figure out exactly how much I am portioning out, even if i don’t feel like weighing out food on the scale or measuring it with a measuring cup.

It’s shape is also a benefit as well. Because it is round, it feels like it is deeper than it is and that it is holding more than it is. One of my favorite afternoon snacks is about four ounces of yogurt measured out of one of those large containers. Sometimes finding the measuring cup takes a bit more time then I am willing to give my afternoon snack. Because I know how full the half a cup of yogurt makes the bowl it is easy to figure out without hunting down a measuring cup.

And some days easy is better.

The shape of the bowl always makes me feel as though I am getting more though. In a bigger bowl, four ounces feels like a small amount. In this bowl four ounces feels like quite a lot. It makes my brain think that i am giving myself an extra large treat instead of skimping myself on a snack. And to be honest, sometimes tricking yourself helps.

I also like the way the shape of the bowl fits into my hands. These were relatively inexpensive bowls to pick up, $5 for a set of two, and they have more than proven their value and earned a spot in my kitchen. These stoneware bowls are dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Although if you do use them in the microwave they can get really hot so get a pot holder or towel handy to take them out.

In my kitchen I tend to keep what works and what I use, while letting go of the rest. There simply isn’t storage space to keep every kitchen Item I want to try out. There have been quite a few things that seemed like a good idea at the time, were used for a little while and then ended up donated to my local charity shop. These bowls however, will be staying with me for quite some time. Their size makes them useful in the kitchen and amazing at helping me stay on track with my portion control. Way to go Threshold and Target.

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Unboxing the Smoothie Box

Smoothie Box sent over one of their monthly Boxes for me to review. It arrived and I can not wait to get started trying them out. This review is for the box itself, but as I try the smoothies out i will review them separately. The box they sent to me is the Variety Box which contains four boxes of Smoothies. Each Box inside the Smoothie Box contains five individual packets of smoothies. So it is a total of 20 individual smoothies in the monthly Smoothie Box. The cost is $129 for the box which breaks down to $6.45 per smoothie.

I love smoothies. For me they are my essential summer time lunch. I like them year round actually, but in the summer when the heat and humidity are both in tripple digits, they are life savers.

the box is insulated with recyclable material

But they can get expensive and time consuming to make. You have to peel chop and dice. You have to measure and add up calories. And I’ll be honest, when I make smoothies at home, I will end up just putting fruit in them because I get irritated trying to figure out if my orange counts as a medium orange or if it is large. So they end up overly sweet and don’t actually feel like a meal. So then I’ll think ‘that wasn’t really a meal’ that was just a milk shake, and then go back to the kitchen to get something else to eat and totally blow my calorie count.

what I like about the Smoothie Box smoothies is that they are a blend of fruits and vegetables. The orange smoothie for example has not only mandarin segments but sweet potatoes, ginger, carrots and pumpkin seeds. The chocolate one also has bananas, kale and zucchini. Which honestly i wouldn’t have thought to put in, but works really well. It’s also the only way I’ve ever seen my babydoll enjoy zucchini.

dry ice, fun to create an atmosphere, just don’t touch with bare hands.

They are honestly a mix of ingredients I like having, but don’t often make the time to put together myself. Each packet contains two portions that are 120-130 calories each. I’ll be honest, If I am having the smoothie for a snack and not a full meal, I will cut them in half. If it is for a meal, like lunch, then I will make the whole bag. You have to add your own liquid. They recommend 8-12 ounces and I find they mix better with 12 ounces of liquid so I use eight ounces of milk and then four ounces of water. They do come with several recommendations of liquid that will work well with the ingredients they put into the bag so if you want to shake it up a bit you can.

Having the smoothies pre portioned makes them quick and easy to blend up. I also like that they are in small sized bags. We do not have the world’s largest freezer. The individual bags are small enough and once taken out of the boxes, flexible enough to fit into the freezer with little trouble. The box, when it arrives, looks enormous, so I was worried. The size is mostly due to the packing. The cardboard box is insulated and there is a bag of dry ice inside to keep everything frozen.

The individual boxes inside the bog box

When it arrived on my doorstep the smoothies were completely frozen and no melting had occurred. And then I got to have my own rock concert moment as I emptied the dry ice into the sink and then filled the sink with water. And the smoke began to rise. I might have gotten a few of the toy dinosaurs we have lying around and spent a few minutes pretending that my basil plant was a paleolithic fern as the dinos tromped through the smoke, but that is all part of disposing of dry ice properly. I’m sure it is in some sort of rule book.

Just remember not to touch the dry ice with your hands.

For me it was a fun little moment. As well as a way to stock my freezer.

There are various smoothies you can choose from or you can order one of their curated boxes. They have two the Variety pack which consists of on box of the Cacao, one of orange, one of Berry and one of Green. Their other curated box contains two boxes of berry and two of chocolate.

the single bag

If you are looking at timing, their shipping depends on your ordering. If you order by Tuesday then the order will ship out that week. If you order after Tuesday then the order will ship out the following week. My order arrived seven days after the order was placed. Shipping is a very variable thing right now but they do try for a really quick turn around.

I love that everything in there is real food and organic. I can pronounce everything in the ingredients list and with the pre measured potion sizes and the nutritional information on each bag I know exactly what I am consuming. They are not only less expansive than I would spend if i corralled all of the separate ingredients myself, but there is no waste, of wither food or time. I am not trying to figure out if this orange counts as medium or large so I can estimate my calories. I am not weighing out fruit and only putting part of the the orange in the blended while the rest goes to the fridge to be saved for later (and possibly get forgotten).

all the good stuff, calorie count, recommended add ins and ingredients

And the smoothie can be consumed at my desk. I know I should take time for a proper lunch away from the desk, but lately things have been kind of crazy so a lunch that is easy to eat while i work on days when i can’t actually take the time off for a proper lunch is really a benefit. Especially when it doesn’t get crumbs in the keyboard. As Spring promises to be a little bonkers schedule wise, it is nice to have quick meals that are also good for me that I can eat for lunch.

Now all I need to do is think about getting a new blended. Mine is due for a replacement. Once the garden really starts producing it gets pressed into heavy service and I suspect it may have seen one season of pesto making too many. But that is a tale for another day. For now it is smoothie time. As I work my way through the flavors I’ll let you know my thoughts and opinions on each. For now, I am simply reveling in a well stocked freezer and the fact that I will not have to peel, chop, measure or add up individual calories for a little while.

If you are interested in trying out the Smoothie Box, now is actually a good time you can get $22 off of your first order (no code needed the info on the site will direct you to the discount) and as always Shipping is free.

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Snack Time: Larabar Lemon Bar

As most of you know, a good mid-afternoon snack is a key part of my diet plan. While I generally try to avoid snacking, mostly because I find when I do my calories quickly escalate without me noticing, the afternoon snack is different.

Most meals, I cook at home. I like cooking. I did even before I started my diet plan. I really enjoy the process. Plus I found out very quickly that I really liked playing around with different spices and flavors. I found this out mostly because my babydoll was diagnosed with high blood pressure and we had to cut out a lot of salt laden products on his doctor’s orders. This knocked out a lot of processed food from out eating habits as well as a lot of restaurant meals.

We still go out to eat, but it is a once in a while treat rather than something we do routinely. Our local grocery store can sometimes be limiting, so we do drive out of town to a larger city for some things. We also use the internet a lot, especially for hard to find spices. In addition places like Vital Source has been a huge help in securing quality product as well (we like to eat fish about once a week).

However life gets busy. Sometimes I will make extra portions of a meal that I know freezes well so that on a day when my schedule is swamped, we can have a great meal in a very short period of time. I know, some of you are thinking it is a good idea and you don’t see the problem (or what this has to do with snacking).

The problem is portion control. It is one of my biggest weaknesses. “This turned out really well. I like this recipie. Oh there is still a lot left, maybe I’ll have just a little more.”

If you are going to make multiple portions for saving then you can’t nibble around the edges of the other portions. Not only will it make your planned meal too large but it will short you on a meal at later times. For me the mid-afternoon snack is a very important tool in making sure I stick to my portion. The snack needs to feel substantial without adding a lot of calories. On days when I know I am making extra portions of a meal I really enjoy and know I will want to take extra, it needs to feel like an extra treat. If it does then i feel like I already indulged for the day and am less like to indulge a second time.

This is also why sometimes my snacks aren’t the healthiest of items. Sometimes a guilty indulgence is what I really need. It is also why I generally pay close attention to the calorie count when I have those indulgences. If I am having cinnamon bears then I am counting each one of those little guys to get the portion correct. And then I am lining them up like soldier and destroying them like a rampaging giant. But that is another story.

Often time my afternoon snack is fruit.

Today we are going to talk about the Lara bar. I picked this up because I know a lot of people who swear by it. I also picked it up because it was not cookie dough flavor. While I generally like the flavor of cookie dough, in a snack bar I often find it too sweet and to cloying in the mouth. Occasionally it is very good, but it isn’t my go to. The lemon bar looked like much better bet.

I do have a confession though. You know how I mentioned calorie count earlier? Well I generally try to keep my afternoon snack around the 100 calorie range. Sometimes it will go up, sometimes down, but that is generally the target that keeps me satisfied and makes me feel like I had a bit of a treat.

My confession: I didn’t read the calorie count on the label.

I picked it up, thinking, Its a three inch long power bar, how caloric could it be? It turns out that little bar is 200 calories. I know, packed with nutty fruity goodness. But still it is 100 calories more than I planned to consume. It wasn’t particular problem as I just extended my walk a bit, but it is something to be aware of. Those proteins bars can be packed with calories, as well as good things.

This one does have good things in it. And the taste was very nice. It is a fresh lemon that is tart enough to make you pucker pared with the nutty almonds. I really enjoyed the flavor. It was very fresh tasting. My problem is actually that some of the lemon peels included in the mix were overly large and rock hard. I couldn’t chew them and had to take them out of my mouth as though they were orange seeds when i was eating an orange. The lemony burst was delicious, but the removal was not that pleasant.

And while I could, in theory break the bar into two pieces and use half of it on one day and half of it the next, there is no natural break. It is a bar that is meant to be eaten in one sitting. It is not like the E3 Bars that are deliberately broken into three pieces so you can decide how much you want to consume. This is one whole thing.

I will say though that the calories mean I will treat the Larabar Lemon bar sparingly and go in with the full knowledge of how many calories the product holds. The taste means that I want to eat it again because it was just plain yummy. The overly large and really hard lemon pieces mean if I do pick up another one of these it will be with caution. I’m just not sure the taste is enough to move me past the lemon peel bits. They are tasty, but at one point, I thought I chipped a tooth. I might go for something tasty, but less hazardous in the future.


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Weekly Weight: 213.0 lbs

Good morning my darlings. I know some of you are looking at the scale at the top of this post and are thinking, That seems to be the same number as last week, I wonder if Mimsy is disappointed? Actually I’m not.

First of all I am sort of reevaluating things. I am using a step tracker to count steps at the moment and instead of estimating my calories, I am keeping a detailed log and even scanning bar codes where available. I’m finding a lot of my estimations were a bit off. So I’m correcting that. I still want my weight to go down, but at the moment I am pleased that it hasn’t gone up during the adjustment.

The second reason I am not worried about my weight staying the same this week is that I am at my heaviest time of month. I always gain a bit of water weight around my period so this leads me to believe that I might be temporarily heavy. It is consistently a one to two pound gain at this time of month and has been since my teens.

And yet today my weight didn’t go up.

So there may not be a happy dance, but there is cautious optimism.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 213.0 lbs

This week’s weight: 213.0 lbs

Lost this week: 0.0 lbs

Total loss thus far: 33 lbs

I know it isn’t the most exciting weight loss records. There are no dramatic numbers and weight drops, but quite honestly I don’t like the thought of rapid weight loss. First of all rapid weight loss makes me think deadly illness not fitness regime. And second I think if I lost all of the weight quickly and easily I wouldn’t value the loss as much and I would let it creep back up again thinking I could easily lose it again if I wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could wave a magic wand, I would. I would love to have this excess weight off of my bones, if only to spare my knees the effort of carrying it around. But chipping away at it like I am means I value every single little chip of weight that leaves me. It is sweat and effort in every decimal point of weight. In addition, it takes time, which is kind of what I need. As I am progressing on this journey, I am working to build healthier habits.

There are no foods that are completely banned and demonized. I have not shunned bread or sugar or fat. I have very much lowered the amounts I consume, but not completely banned them. Partially because banning them would make me crave them more and partially because I think it is of more value for me to learn to balance things without banning them.

Should I gorge on cookies and cake? Of course not. But a cookie every now and then won’t kill me and having a slice of cake at a birthday party isn’t the end of the world. I want to be able to enjoy treats that might come my way without feeling guilty for enjoying them or without losing all self-control and emptying the cookie jar into my belly in one sitting.

In essence, I am learning moderation.

Overall it is working well. And I think in the end it will be better for me than any crash diet ever could be. Does it mean I won’t be tempted by food fads? Of course not, but at least I am building sensible eating habits to fall back on.

I know that was a long way to go to say I am okay with my weight staying the same this week. But there we go. Welcome to Friday, my darlings. I hope yours is fantastic.

Snacktime: Candy Club Grapefruit Slices

That’s right my darlings, you read that right, I said candy. I know what you are thinking, ‘Mimsy, weren’t you working on losing some weight? How exactly does the candy play a roll here?’

So glad you asked.

Here is the thing, yes I am trying to lose weight and yes, Candy isn’t something I indulge in often. In fact even though I am slowly eating most of the crunchy and savory items from my Tokyo Treats Box, most of the candy in it was passed on to someone else. Mostly because I am more of a savory sort of person.

See here is the deal. Yes I try to limit things like sugar and I tend to avoid empty calories, part of my “dieting” is building a healthy and sustainable life. For me that means that I do not really demonize anything. I try for moderation instead. There are a few candy’s that I like to eat, but I only have them once in a while and I portion them out.

Snacks for me are a little varied. while I do prefer something that feels substantial like a Chomps Stick (the Cranberry habanero is my favorite) or even an energy bar (kind of groovin’ on the Orange Cranberry Energy Cubes from E 3 Foods at the moment – I love that you can easily break one bar into three squares and control how much you eat.) I do occasionally have a treat.

I still stick to the basic guidelines though. A snack is no less than 50 calories and no more than 120. Generally if it is less than 50 calories then I don’t feel like it is enough and either tend to eat more than I should for a snack or go looking for something else. the something else usually ends up blowing my calorie count.

I know not all calories are the same. A snack like a Chomps stick will leave me feeling full and satisfied while candy is a momentary pleasure that doesn’t really stick with me. So when I substitute something like candy for my afternoon snack I make certain that dinner is a simple well contained unit that I can’t over eat. Sometimes I make meals designed to have left overs so that they can be frozen and on nights where things get busy we can have an easy meal relatively quickly.

if I make candy a snack, then I don’t do that. Tonight is actually a salad night. Everything is measured and counted and once assembled, I will have one salad, no leftovers. So there will be no over eating on seconds. Mostly because there are no seconds. Its a simple system.

This week I have been using green grapes as my afternoon snack. One cup is about 105 calories if you were curious. And yes, I do measure them into a measuring cup. Today I decided it was time to break out the Candy Club. You can order the individual containers or you can subscribe to their subscription service. It is a really great subscription and it lets you choose sweet or sour as your main focus for your box. I chose sour, and most of it was, but there were also some sweet in there as well. You can also order the individual treats you like, I just like trying new things that I might not have picked out for myself. Which is why I like most subscription boxes and variety packs when it comes down to it. I like a little surprise in my treats. Candy Club always surprises me.

I love the subscription, but it is one I dip into and then back out of a lot, which is why I don’t review it on a consistent basis (although there are a few subscription posts for it). The box is good and I like the variety. The Grapefruit slices were in my last box. Each of the candies are contained in screw top containers which keep the candy fresh until you open them and If my baby doll doesn’t find my secret stash and eat the candy collection then they last a while without going stale.

The best part (besides eating the candy) is that the jars have clearly labeled calorie counters and it tells you how many pieces are in a serving. Since five pieces is 100 calories, five pieces is my treat. The grapefruit slices are great. they are fruit, a little sour and a little sweet. It isn’t mout puckeringly sour, but it is a tang. I think they are moving up the ranks to be one of my favorite candies. But only one day a week for candy and today was that day. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grapes.

But the treat was a nice break.

Candy Club - Hello Fall

The Daily: October 5th, 2021

Have you ever had a day where you just sort of fell into your work and time just slipped past without you noticing? That has sort of been today. This morning I nipped out on a walk before the rains came. The park had only small sections where there were deep puddles but otherwise it was clear. I’m pretty sure that is no longer the case.

As I was heading back the skies opened up and I squelched the last half mile. The last low spot I went through soaked my sneakers through and I’m pretty sure is now deep enough to not be passable. So I did get a walk in. I just got soaked in the process.

Then I dried off, changed clothes and jumped into what i was writing. And that has been my day. There was no makeup, no real e-mail and I kind of forgot lunch as well. But the story I’m working on, is fantastic.

The problem is now that I’ve taken a moment to step back and think, I am feeling the missing lunch. I can actually see the box from Tokyo Treat and all of the goodies it contains. I was planning on snacking on one of the items in it today, but I know that there will be no minor snacking. If i open one thing I will just plow through several items. So I am putting it away and going for a bunch of grapes. I figure the act of pulling them off the stem and eating them one by one will make me feel like I am eating many items (hence the reason I didn’t go for the satsuma). Its like the fruit equivalent of potato chips.

I know that sounds a little strange but that is one of the best dieting tips I know. It is definitely better not to skip meals but sometimes life gets away from you. Then it is better to stop and have a snack that feels like much more than what it is and that you can control. A box of tasty treats will just tempt me into trying multiple items. A bunch of grapes feels like a lot of items but doesn’t promote a massive caloric intake. Sometimes management is your best option.

So I am not going to be upset about missing lunch and instead celebrate what I did get done today. I am however going to manage my calories so that I don’t react to dinner like a plague of locusts. Luckily tonight we are doing our own baked potato bar so it is much easier to control. It isn’t a meal where I planned for left over portions to be used later, so that kind of saves me a well.

So no makeup today, just a bit of dieting advice for when you find your day sliding a little off of your planned path. And with that I will leave you with a list of several Elemis sales that you might want to take advantage of. Personally I love Elemis products. I really love Elemis products when I can get them at a discounted price.

And with that I leave you in the hopes that I can fall back into my story and get a few thousand more words down before the day is done.

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Snacktime: Verb Energy – Double Chocolate

Hello my darlings and welcome to another edition of snack time.  I know, for many of you it makes you think you need to pull up your blankets and juice and get ready for story time. 

Well, here is your story my darlings.  Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to find and maintain a healthy weight.  She wasn’t looking to win a beauty contest or strut around in a bikini.  She just wanted to lose enough weight that she fell into a healthy range and didn’t put too much stress on her knees and ankles so that when she was older she could still walk normally instead of hobbling everywhere because her weight crushed her joints.

Even if the thought of whacking people in the shins with an elaborate cane for minor sins like bad grammar or the misuse of the term ironic did hold some appeal. she wanted that to be an affectation and one that resembled that of an evil villain rather than one necessary for support. Especially if she had gone all out for the long black cape and scull topped bobby pins in her blue rinsed curls.

But I digress.

Cane as affectation rather than support.

The bar just out of the package

And as she worked towards her healthy weight she found it was easier to keep within her calorie goal by having an afternoon snack. It kept her from overeating at dinner time and often the snack made her feel as though she had some sort of special treat.

Isn’t that a wonderful story? Anyone still awake?

Anyone?

Excellent, now I can make off with the juice boxes and begin my life of crime! Does anyone know what the resale value of juice boxes happens to be?  No?  Well maybe I’ll just skip the life of crime then and just work towards being the marcelled grammar bandit instead.

Do elderly ladies still get their hair marcelled? I think it is just a perm now which doesn’t have really the same ring to it does it? Never mind, on to the snacks.

As some of you may remember I ordered a trial pack of the Verb Energy bars.  Each bar has only 90 calories and the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso.  On paper it sounds like something I would be all over.  A 90 calorie snack? That sounds about right for my caloric budget.  The Caffeine hit of espresso?  Perfect for the midafternoon slump. How could I not approve?

There were four bars in the pack.  The first two didn’t go over so well.  The first one (salted Peanut Butter) tasted like a no bake peanut butter cookie.  Which wasn’t bad, but it was very salty and I found myself pounding back water like a dehydrated camel.  The second one, the Blueberry crisp tasted – to me – like a stale fig newton center rolled in stale oatmeal dust.  It was not something I ever want to put into my mouth again.  The bonus was that I only consumed about 45 calories of it as I simply couldn’t eat the whole thing. 

This leaves two flavors.  Peppermint Mocha and Double Chocolate.  I actually have high hopes for both as I think the flavors might be strong enough to carry this bar.  I couldn’t decide which one to try next so I actually put them in the empty Look Fantastic box, shook them around and then reached in without looking.  I grabbed the double chocolate so that is the one that I will be trying today.

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almonds, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Cocao Nibs, Vanilla Extract, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Pink Himalayan Salt

Verb Energy

Right off the bat I was pleased that it came out of the wrapper intact.  The other two were so dry that they came out in two pieces.  This one cracked along the top, but it came out whole.  And in fact it had enough moisture to it to hold together.  The others were very dry mixes.  I think the innate richness of cocoa butter might be doing it a bit of favors. 

When broken apart it looks a lot like the others, but slightly moister inside.  It has the same layering of almonds throughout. So it came out of the package well and it looks pretty good.  But the proof is in the taste. 

the interior

You know what?  The taste isn’t bad.  In fact, it is pretty good.  Do you know what it tastes like?  A vegan brownie.  Not a regular brownie.  You can tell that no eggs and milk went into this.  It says fudgy brownie on the description, but I think whoever wrote that hasn’t had an actual fudgy brownie in a long time, if ever. I make excellent fudgy brownies. This isn’t that. But it does taste like a vegan brownie, and that is not a bad thing.

In fact, it is a very good thing. 

I’ll admit, after the first two bars I was braced for the worst.  But quite honestly I would have no problem ordering a bag of these to rotate into my snack time line up.  There are 12 bars to a bag and a bag costs $19.95 on the Verb Energy Website.  Personally I am more of a savory snack type person.  If given the option I would go for the Chomps Cranberry Habanero Beef stick before something chocolaty, but every now and again I need a little bit of sweet in the afternoon.  If that sweet comes with a little extra zing of caffeine to boost me up a bit in the afternoon, I am perfectly fine with that.

And to be honest, I am now actually really looking forward to the last Verb Energy bar.  The Peppermint Mocha was the one I was most excited to try in the first place.  Now that I have tried the Double Chocolate, I have high hopes that it will be just as good.  I think the flavors should be strong enough, and I think that really that is what this energy bar mix needs, strong flavors to almost overpower the energy bar mix.  The Blueberry crisp couldn’t do it but the double chocolate could.  Fingers crossed that the peppermint mocha will triumph.

Hint