Cristy from Red Gold Tomatoes contacted me recently and asked if I'd be interested in trying some of their products. I had never heard of the company before, but after perusing the website I was game. I'm always a little weary of canned goods, but who doesn't love a canned tomato sauce for chili, sloppy joes, etc? And since we're being honest here, even though I logically know "100% natural" can mean just about anything legally, it does still kinda get my interested piqued every time.
I was sent a can of: diced tomatoes; petite diced tomatoes; diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano; diced tomatoes with green chilis (queso ready); diced tomatoes with onions (chili ready); and tomato sauce
They also make tomato juice, salsa, ketchup, pasta sauces, and even beans.
Thus far, I have sampled two of the products: the queso ready diced variety & the chili ready.
The queso ready tomatoes reminded me, of course, of their competitor rotel. I didn't notice a distinct difference in taste between queso made with red gold tomatoes and queso made with rotel, but they're definitely comparable. The whole bowl of queso was devoured and loved, including by a very picky three year old tester (who asked for seconds, I do believe).
The chili ready was awesome in theory and pretty good in execution. I loved the chili spices already being in the can of tomatoes--way less sodium and funky ingredients that way! Plus, I only had to use one mini jar of tomato sauce instead of 2 like usual. However, personally I wasn't a fan of the chunky tomatoes. I'm a big texture person when it comes to food and this was a little different in a chili for me, but the flavor was still there. I did have to add a *bit* more chili seasoning to kick it up a notch, but barely. A HUGE positive was that I didn't get a stomachache! 99% of the time when I eat chili I feel sickly acidic afterwards, so this was a major plus. I'd like to buy another can, put it in the vitamix or food processor, and try it out that way.
I don't mind chunky when it comes to pasta and italian dishes. I'm most looking forward to trying the basil, garlic, and oregano tomatoes on top of brown rice pasta. YUM.
Aside from what I've had access to, I'm especially curious about the ketchup! I'm a heinz girl allll the way (organic, please!), but who knows, maybe this would be almost as good ;). They've been around since 1942, so they must be doing something right.
Cristy has generously offered a reader a sample pack of their very own. I'm gonna keep this one simple: just leave a comment and I'll pick one of ya in the near future. I've briefly neglected the blog, yet again, I know (mostly due to family reasons, all is good now--no worries), but I still love it and hope there are still people reading! I'm going to say it should probably be limited to U.S. only since I didn't clear it otherwise, but get your comments in! FREE FOOD, people.Who doesn't love that?
Blah Blah Blah all opinions are my own, I was not compensated for this post--
in fact, I was never asked to even make a post, just to try the products.
More birthday coupon using! This time we went to Mimi's Cafe. We used to go there all the time, but I don't think we've been in probably 4-5 months!
I had the turkey sausage with 2 eggs over medium, fruit instead of potatoes, and half a honey bran muffin. Plus black coffee and water. It was pretty standard breakfast fare. Their fruit always sucks though. They charge you a buck for 3 measly pieces of the worst choice fruit. Oh well. At least it tasted good this time, most of the time it tastes like nothing. I had 2 cups of coffee and stopped. No stomachache. Yeah!
It was one of those meals though where you're comfortably full, but only have a few bites left on the plate. Not enough to take home, but enough where you don't want to leave it. Annoying. I went ahead and finished it off this time, but I did take my muffin half home, so I probably should have at least taken some sausage too. Next time.
Me taking a picture from the side while my dad took their picture from the front. I'm weird. But they sure are cuuuute.
We ate a little after noon, so I didn't need another midday meal, but I was hungry before dinner. I had a few lentil chips dipped in greek yogurt-based spinach dip. It was tasty, but all I could taste was oniony spinach all night after that, even when I brushed my teeth. Hate that!
My mom finally convinced me to see Amour with her after begging ever since it came out. But first, we went to Taco Diner. We usually love that restaurant, but it has gone downhill and gotten awful. I hoped the Yelp reviews weren't true, but alas...
I got pork tacos pastor and they were dry and salty. My Mom said her chicken was dry too and her beans tasted a week old. They also used to have CRAZY strong drinks. My my mom is a huge lightweight, but she said her margarita tasted more like lemonade and she could easily down 3 or 4 and still be fine (she had 1 for the record lol). I tasted it and agreed. Lemonade all the way.
I'm not a margarita girl (not a fan of sweet & sour or overly sugary margarita mix), but decided to make my own "skinny girl" and order a tequila on the rocks with extra lime. I went for Patron this time, my tequila-o-choice. It was $12. That's usually what I pay for a (pretty big sized) patron margarita, but for just what looked like a shot of patron seemed rather pricey to me. *shrug* & they only gave me 2 lime slivers that had almost no juice. I also added 2 or so drops of liquid stevia, but essentially I drank a shot on ice. At least I don't mind straight up tequila like most people do and enjoyed it. No salt and lime chasers for me.
Come to think of it, whenever I order a vodka soda and ask for extra lime, I always get 2 puny slivers that way too. What's a girl got to do to get a decent amount of green citrus around these parts?
Annnnyway, the movie was ok. I didn't not enjoy it, but it was pretty slow and lacked character development (like I hear all of the director's movies do). The acting was superb. Additionally, the idea of the story was wonderful, but I believe the execution could have been better had the story been more in-depth in certain ways (including more background information instead of vaugely alluding to the past only to create more unanswered questions, learning more about the characters as people, not skipping large gaps of time between scenes with little information filling the audience in between, and so on). Maybe I'm just a dumb movie go-er who likes the story handed to her. I don't mind artsy or having to think about the movie to "get it" later on, but I like more concrete information to be able to piece everything together and not have to imagine what went on myself--never to really know the creator's intent. It's one thing to wonder how things might change in the future. That I can understand leaving open-ended, but to purposefully leave out information throughout the entire film that remains unanswered for eternity is peevy!
Before the gym I picked at some of my muffin leftovers from yesterday
35 min elliptical, a few min treadmill cool down (3?), stretching
For breakfast I had 1 brown rice tortilla, 2 slices of turkey bacon, maybe 1/5 of an avocado, organic greens, and dijon. It was ok, but got cold fast and the tortilla crumbled.
Too bad that was my main sustenance for the day and was barely over 200 calories.
I got stood up for lunch last minute, so I hadn't brought anything to eat. I didn't want fast food and was really lacking options otherwise. I KNEW I should have brought food with me just in case. UGH. I got a near-migraine level headache, brain fog, I could barely formulate sentences, etc. I know people who called the office thought I was an idiot who couldn't speak clearly/correctly by their tone of voice. I don't know what my problem was. It's not like I was starving for days.
I finally was able to scrounge up an organic apple, some peanut butter I hid during the JJ Virgin days, and a few squares of dark chocolate. It helped the comatose-like state (hyperbole?), but it was still not the most nourishing way to enhance my brain's productivity. I wanted veggies and protein so badly.
By the end of the day I was less hunger-ragey, but could not WAIT to eat some curry chicken and salad and crawl into bed with my pup to watch ABC Family shows. Heaven.
The curry chicken was a little different than I expected. I thought it was more of a tenderloin, but really they were just tenders. A little dry too. On the plus side, they cooked in MINUTES. I thought it would take 30-40 min before I could eat, so that was a relief. Of course, I ate them right up along with a side of 90210, Bunheads, and Switched at Birth.
I was desperately craving protein chocolate almond bark, but I kept convincing myself I'd get up and make it "after this show," "at the next commercial!" and so on. Instead, I reached into my night stand (damn Christmas stash!!!) and ate the other half of last night's kit kat and 1/2 of a reeses pb cup before I had a lil panic mode re: how much sugar I probably ate and put a stop to that. I did a few jumping jacks (haha-I'm soo sure that helped *eye roll*), I watched an episode or two of Vanderpump Rules (horrible show, but I'm kinda hooked), and called it a night.
I somehow slept in through all of my workout alarms. RUDE! I haven't done that since I first moved into my house! (P.S. Can you believe that was almost 6 months ago????) But I woke up for my "get up extra early-or-workout at home-or-you can hit snooze a few times--your choice" alarm. I got up and attempted to do a Julianne Hough dance DVD, but then I remembered how uncoordinated I am and just did a few kettle bell swings, ran in circles around my house (not lying, I do that), and jumped on my mini trampoline. Yep. After those shenanigans, I took my dog on a 10-ish/15-ish min walk. Usually I just let her roam around the backyard, so she was extra grateful. A little in disbelief when I said "walk, Bella?" She kinda looked at me with a cocked head, like "huh? Mom? really?!" I think I'll give myself half a workout sticker today, not sure I deserve the full one lol, but at least I got up and moving!
For breakyfast obvi everything sounded terrible. I am not digging this phase. I kind of wanted cold oats with greek yogurt again, but that sounded too carby. I knew I needed something protein-based that wouldn't weigh me down. I made 1 egg + split a banana in half and stuffed it with almond butter & raisins. Tasty. Washed down with black coffee (ugh "washed down with" sounds so gross, sorry!) Still carbs, but fruit carbs? :-P
When I was finishing up my breakfast I noticed it was 48 after and I was still gross and unshowered. I was supposed to leave for work 12 minutes later. Uh, oops. I must be the fastest getter-ready-er in the world, because I was ready to walk out the door by 2 after. CRAY. I forwent washing my hair though. It's pretty gross. Oh well. OF COURSE, my ride (aka Dad aka boss--we carpool every morning and he's late EVERY morning) was over wayyy over half an hour late. I could have washed my hair and probably dried and straightened it too AND finished the Rachael Ray show. Come on! Or I could have done a better workout. Whatevs. At least I packed lunch for today. :-P
While waiting around, I finished my coffee and ate a small pear. Fruit power!
I felt like the biggest idiot when I got to the office this morning and remembered I had a couple packets of protein powder and some almond milk in the storage room. Not to mention that Smoothie King is (more or less) across the street. It wouldn't have been the protein and veggie combo my body was screaming for, and the smoothie would have been high in sugar from the fruit, but both options would have been better than being zoned out all day! Ay ay ay.
For lunch I LOADED up a tupperware with salad and curry chicken. I couldn't eat all the veg.
I also had sweet chili flavored pistachios for a snack. LOVE. Even though they give me coughing fits.
I was going to make stuffed peppers for dinner, but sloppy joes (made with lean ground turkey) sounded easier and equally delicious. They were. (Open faced on brown rice toast with salad and red vino).
For dessert I had protein almond bark, but I added a little berry action and granola. Didn't taste as good, imo. Shouldn't mess with perfection!
Workout: I don't really remember! Mostly elliptical maybe a little treadmill and a little stretching.
At the gym I got something in the eye. First it just irritated me, but then I couldn't see any longer out of my left eye! Scary. But it seemed more like something was stuck on my contact. Glasses to the rescue.
Do I look smarter? I felt sooo ugly all day.
For breakfast I had a chai tea latte, egg white omelet with apple chicken sausage/mushroom/kale topped with goat milk cream cheese & mashed avo + banana half stuffed with almond butter & raisins (new food phase).
For lunch I had a chicken wrap with organic mixed greens and dijon
Snacked on a pear. I heart pears!
It was a late night. Also snacked on trail mix. And regreted it. Felt a little sickly after, but not sure why? I couldn't pin point it.
I wasn't terribly starving for dinner, but my mom made it! (Well I threw together the salad). I tried to keep my portion small-ish
Workout: 26 min elliptical, 14 min treadmill, quick stretch
Breakfast was a "coconut pancake" (egg whites, coconut flour, lemon stevia topped with berries), but it basically tasted like a super thin, sweet omelet. + the new banana favesie.
My dad brought me the new "25 cent" (they charged him 87 cents for 2? I don't get it?) coffee, 1 hot (black) and 1 caramel iced. Yuck. Seattles Best coffee distributors are the worst. First Subway and now the King. They COAT the bottom in coffee grounds. Not cool! My taste buds are still off.
Your eyes do not lie. That is not liquid left in the cup, only solid coffee grounds. Not okay, BK. Even the iced version had grounds! Come on.
I was already super hungry by 11. Story of my life, even though I ate breakfast around 9/9:30. I abstained from eating though and then didn't have time (or the desire really) to eat again until 4 pm! Weird how I was DYING on Monday with no food to be found, but okay waiting today.
I brought a few options for lunch, but ended up going with a small salad topped with the last of the lemon-garlic chicken
I had an unpictured pear for a snack
For dinner I had Mi Cocina. I started with my first Mambo Limousine. Aka a frozen margarita topped with both sangria and chambord.
To eat, I went with "Gina's" special of 3 chalupas: one with queso, one with guac (plus I had extra guac on the side--oh yeah), and bean
Mostly I ordered it just to be cheap, but it was actually pretty good!
That's about it, friends. It's been a sensitive few days around these parts, so hoping for good vibes and better days ahead!
I still need to control my snacking, but things are going better. Phew.
I didn't have time to go to the gym AGAIN *cringe*, buuuut I did do about 20 minutes of a Sweatin' to the Oldies DVD. Yeah, you read that right. Richard Simmons FTW. Haha. I'll have to scour my parents house for my workout dvds. I have at least a dozen cardio and/or strength based dvds, but I only have yoga ones at my house for whatever reason.
Nothing ever sounds good for breakfast anymore, so I went for the new standby: turkey bacon/avocado/lettuce on brown rice toast & coffee.
For lunch we used up a b-day coupon of my dad's at Sonny Bryan's, a local bbq restaurant. I don't think it was really 1/2 a lb of meat, but I ordered the smallest platter they offered, which they called the 1/2 lb. You can pick 1-3 meats, I picked turkey and pulled pork. For my 2 sides I went with double green beans. You do see a roll, your eyes do not deceive, but I didn't eat it. Ok, I had like less than a bite to see if it was good, but it was just so-so at best. For the most part, the only restaurant bread worth breaking into is cheesecake factory brown bread & texas roadhouse rolls slathered in cinnamon butter. Ohh yeah. Otherwise? Meh.
When I went to pick up Bella at my parents house I ate a few (and then a few more) handfuls of mom's dill & sour cream lentil chips. Healthy as far as chips go, but still chips.
For dinner I made some baked chicken with a TJ's veggie mix of eggplant/zucchini.
I made our social skills group some cookies for their pizza party tomorrow. I made half regular and half gluten free. I sampled both. I may have had the equivalent of 1 cookie total?
Gym!! 33 min elliptical, quick stretch.
Again, nothing sounded good to eat, but I was STARVING. I was super hungry even before I left for the gym--shoulda had a snack. I quickly made the standby, but open faced. It wasn't as tasty as usual. I also shared an apple on the side with my pup.
For lunch I had leftover meatloaf with some green beans. I felt sickish after. I don't get my body!
For dinner I made a gluten free pizza. One of the guys in the group requested gf (the rest of the group just got pizza hut lol), so I told him I'd make him one & went ahead and made myself one too. Mine had spinach, artichoke, and chicken plus a little herby goat cheese (along with fresh mozza). I think I tore up 1 or 2 slices of pepperoni on the bottom too just to help get rid of it. No one in my fam eats pepperoni and I still have an almost full pack. Ugh, nitrites. To drink I had iced tea with stevia.
I also ate more gluten free cookies that were leftover. I kept picking and picking at them. Gahh!
20 min elliptical, 15 min treadmill, 5 min "killer machine" (I don't know the real name, it's basically a cross between a stairmill and a stair stepper that's on an incline and it is the devil! I was huffing and puffing and couldn't feel my legs. I was proud though, my previous record on it I believe was 3 min lol)
I'm sure you'll be surprised to hear I was really hungry, but nothing sounded good. This time, however, that included the "BLT." Instead, I had buckwheat/hemp supergrain cereal with berries & vanilla (unsweetened) almond milk + a small piece of leftover chicken from the other night.
I promise there is more cereal in there somewhere
For lunch I brought the Trader "Jose's" frozen chicken mole meal I've had in my freezer for awhile. I usually love mole, and at first bite of this I was sold, but I quickly changed my mind. Once again, the serving size was smoking crack. This meal claimed to be 3 servings. More like 1.5, 2 maybe. I decided I really didn't like it (too spicy in a weird way) and noticed it was LOADED with sugar, so I went ahead and picked out ALL of the chicken pieces and left all of the rice and a good majority of the sauce behind.
Straight(er) Hair! A rarity these days. Laaazy.
Work bathroom lights are ever so flattering, don't you agree?!
For dinner, I met up with my mom, cousin, and Kendyll at Chili's. I had the new chili-lime tilapia with mango salsa. I asked for double broccoli instead of broccoli and rice. It was really good, but I ate it all was still pretty hungry after (very rare for me--usually I box up at least half of a restaurant meal and still leave stuffed).
balloon animal Hello Kitty!
I told her to pose & got this. Work it, model girl!
Because of still being hungry, I ended up eating A WHOLE BAG of the new Katy's Kettle Korn Pop Chips on the way home. Why I didn't stop at even half the bag I don't know. Ridiculous!!! They're not even that good, btw, and a shitload of corn. MY BAD.
I also stopped off for an almond milk cafe au lait at Coffee N Cream. I need to keep reminding myself I hate this place too. I get sucked in EVERY TIME I'm in the area because 1.) they have almond milk (!!!!!!!) and 2.) they're not Starbucks. But guess what? They're MORE $$$ than Starbucks for SEVERELY smaller portions and they don't taste good! I need to quit convincing myself otherwise.
This was considered a large! $3.25 (I think? At least that) for coffee and a little steamed milk that's barely the size of my hand! And bland to boot. I was worried I forgot to say decaf and it was already late, but it didn't really matter with this peon size :-P.
Made pumpkin protein waffles with apple protein sauce for breakfast (with a vanilla chai almond milk latte)
I got hungry a couple hours later, so went ahead and cooked up the garlic-lemon chicken I had been marinading. I kept going back for bites, until I ate almost a whole piece. That turned out to be my whole lunch, because...
Tasted much better than it looks LOL
I also took Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements (I took 2--what you should take in a day, but you're only supposed to take 1/time) + I took an Omega gel supplement I was given from Klutch Klub (one of the reviews I owe you). One (or both?) of the supplements made me soooo nauseated! I felt horrible all afternoon. Blahh.
The taste was okay. I was a little worried! I could handle it, but the aftertaste was a little oily?
For dinner my dad, brother, and I went to Grimaldi's to use up my dad's free pizza b-day coupon. Luckily, the nausea was passing as we were on the way, and I started feeling hungry just in time. The wait was 50 minutes and they wouldn't take reservations. Ryan and I decided to just walk around (it's located in an outdoor mall). It was really cold out, but the waiting area is TINY, so we figured walking would be more comfortable. Despite the weather, my brother found it a good idea to stop for gelato (well, he ordered sorbet). I had a sample of the lychee sorbet, which was AWESOME (I love all things lychee), but begrudgingly convinced myself it was too high in sugar to partake in any more. I wouldn't have turned down a few more samples though ;).
I agreed to take 2 slices of pizza and give them each 3 if we could also order a salad. I knew that's how it would likely work out anyway, but I wanted to make sure it was agreed upon beforehand! While I prefer a more veggie based pizza, I agreed to eat anything my Dad would order (except pepperoni, but he wouldn't have picked that regardless). We all agreed on meatball and it was excellent as always. LOVE that place. We went with the small house salad. I was disappointed they only gave us TWO green olives in a rather large portion of salad, but what can ya do? It was also a bit too oniony for me, but I still ate my half and maybe then some.
I came home and ate a few bites of dark chocolate and called it a day.
I woke up early to hit the gym. For some fuel, I dipped into the granola bags & probably ate about 1/4 a cup worth. I thought we were only going for 30-40 min, but it turned out to be closer to an hour. I would have pushed a bit harder, but woulda coulda shoulda. I did 33 min elliptical and 17 min treadmill, but I just walked on the treadmill (didn't bring my iPod and hate running with bulky iPhone!). I also stretched.
My house was soooooooooooooooooo cold, yet silly me was craving cold oats. Not my smartest of cravings, but I still went for it. I made plain, old-fashioned oats (1/3 cup) in water. When they were ready I mixed them up with a couple drops of lemon stevia and put them in the fridge for a bit. Once cold, I then topped the oats with half a serving of lemon Liberte Greek yogurt. It was even better than I expected. I was shivering, but smiling!
To combat the chill, I loaded up my mug with foamy coffee.
I was still ice-cold, so while my dogs huddled up under blankets, I took an hour, maybe 2 hour hot bath. When I got out I was hungrrrry again. I thought about a chicken salad, but spied some brown rice tortillas in the fridge and turned it into a wrap of leftover garlic-lemon chicken, romaine leaves, herby goat cheese, and dijon mustard. It was fantastic!! I had iced tea (green/oolong blend with lemon stevia) on the side. De-lish!
After about half an hour of watching tv post-lunch, I looked down and realized I was wearing 2 different shoes! Both uggs, yes, but different colors and lengths! Good thing I didn't leave the house haha. Altho I prob wouldn't have left the house in pj pants either, but y'know. DOY!
My dad stopped by to check my filter to see if that would help lower my heating costs (we couldn't find the location of the upstairs one before, oops longgg overdue--or so we thought), but we quickly realized the filter was fine--immaculate, in fact. I hope my furnace isn't in bad shape-yikes. I finally said screw it and turned on the heat. I had family coming over for dinner + felt like an asshole letting my dogs shiver in their freshly shaved coats. Let's be honest, I did it for the dogs. They're my kids! The house did get more comfortable, but it was still registering closer to 60 degrees when I had it turned to 70. Ugh. Good thing it's almost Spring!
We were supposed to have my Dad's big birthday celebration out, but my mom wasn't feeling well, so we just did Chinese takeout and watched Big Bang re-runs instead. Nice quiet night in. I went for the moo goo gai pan with brown rice (my standard) and doused it in sriracha!
I ate most of the meal, but threw away 1 scoop of rice.
For dessert I had a couple squares of dark chocolates and half a kit kat.
I also had trail mix over the course of the day and some chipotle bbq black bean chips.