Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Finding a tasty gluten free - and delicious - energy bar just got easier.
TahiniBar, which is also dairy free and Kosher, is a 'super seed energy bar.' the sesame seed bars come in vanilla, coca nibs and pistachio flavors, though the dominant flavor in all is tahini. Or, if you grew going to Jewish delis, halvah.
But a TahiniBar is not dessert [actually, when I was a kid, I said that halvah wasn't a dessert. I've since reassessed]. The 100 calorie bars are high in vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc.
Although they taste sweet, the bars are low in sugar. I tried them before a long distance run and found they gave me energy. They can also satisfy if you are feeling peckish during the day, or while traveling. Note, though, that the cars are rather soft and may crumble if you squish them in a bag.
TahiniBar is made by Absolutely Gluten Free.
Note: I received a sample of TahiniBars. Opinions expressed are my own.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
|The 'cheese' burger at J. Selby's|
Selby is a name you see throughout Saint Paul. MN. Selby Avenue is a main street, and the Cathedral of Saint Paul was once a farm owned by a man named Selby.
|The packed J. Selby's|
We went on a Sunday night, when we thought we could just waltz in, but it was completely packed. J. Selby's is the kind of place where you order at a counter, and take your number to a table. Except there were no tables. A server came over and pointed out a group that was finishing, and we ordered and sat.
The food was incredible. And filling. We saw the portions and realized there was no need for appetizers. though I have to go back for the cauliflower 'wings.' And the chili. And the brunch.
Brunch, served on weekends only, has a vegan take on biscuits and gravy. Sounds fabulous. There is also a children's menu.
It came on a whole wheat bun, with pickles, onions, lettuce and tomato. There was homemade ketchup, of course, and sriracha if that's how you roll. The burger comes with fries, a salad, chips and salsa or spicy slaw.
I had that spicy slaw on my BBQ 'beaf.' The sandwich was like pulled pork, on a hoagie bun.
My husband got the burrito bowl, with soy chorizo, brown rice, guacamole and a cheesy, creamy sauce that was, of course, vegan.
Or plant based. Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious.
|Appetizers at the executive lounge at the Intercontinental SF|
|The relaxing executive lounge|
|The large indoor pool|
|Yogurt parfait at breakfast|
[Note: the guy checking in next to us started yelling when told his room wasn't ready. Had he tried smiling or being somewhat nice, he might have been offered lounge access. it does work]
And since me daughter had just played six game of Ultimate Frisbee at a tournament, she was happy to just chill in the hot tub for a bit. But first we had espressos in the lounge, and some fruit and cheese.
|The bathroom at the Intercontinental|
We left our bags in the lounge, and when we returned to get them, a full bar was set out, along with appetizers from the Michelin-starred on site restaurant, Luce. We had dinner plants, but this is a fantastic amenity. When our kids were little, we made sure to always upgrade our room to club level so they could have a quick snack before dinner and not complain if our food took awhile.
|Our king sized bed|
The lounge had copies of the New York Times, and the expansive place meant we could eat and read in relative privacy. A waiter came around offering smoothies and refilling coffee cups and water glasses.
Note: I was offered a media rate at the Intercontinental. Opinions expressed are my own.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
When I first got a package of Zits to review, I showed them to some adults who cold not comprehend this toy. "Who would WANT zits?" they asked?
Well, almost no one. But that's not the point of Zits. The peel and stick pimples are for the gross out factor - think, fake puke, rubber poop. And you are supposed to pop them, and watch the goo (mostly water and glycerin) ooze out.
But I can see value in these ersatz zits. First, if you have a kid who can't stop squeezing his pimples, he can safely pop these and leave the real pimples alone. My mother always warned me not to touch pimples. On the other hand, my husband's mother squeezed his.
Guess what? I almost never had pimples and he has craters from picking his zits. So Zits could save your skin in the long run.
|Obviously fake Zits|
Fake zits, real feelingBut where I think Zits could actually help is in sensitivity. Let's say one of your kids has troubled skin, but the other doesn't. Being kids, the one with the 'good' skin will likely mock the one with the 'bad.'
To make the one with the pimples feel better, you could apply these fake pimples and join your child in solidarity. I remember how traumatized I was by a single pimple - and really, I had almost my pimples. My daughters, too, would feel that they couldn't leave the house with the tiniest pimple.
Having these around could normalize the experience. And if not -well, just pop them and gross someone out!
Get your zits
Zits come in assorted sizes; a package of at Walmart is $4.99 or buy at IGotZits.com.
Note: I received a sample of Zits for the purpose of this review. Opinions expressed are my own.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
|All in red for Philly Love Run|
Before and after a long run, carbs are your friend. For the first time, I traveled for a race, the Philadelphia Love Run. This half marathon starts near the iconic "Rocky' steps. But unlike Rocky, I don't drink raw eggs as part of my training.
|Vegan cheesesteak from Wiz Kid|
I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar, which just so happened to be within blocks of 5 places where we were planning to eat.
Kimpton stays the same
|Kimpton welcomes runers|
In the morning, there was coffee in the lobby, and wine in the evening. [Sadly, no wine when you are running a race]. Best of all, the morning of the half marathon, there was a bowl of fruit, plus Gatorade and water bottles. I always drink a water on the way to a run, so this was perfect.
And everyone running - there were at least 30 of us in the hotel the morning of the race - got a late checkout.
|Triple threat (for your waistline): triple chocolate donut|
Federal DonutsOne of those places was Federal Donuts. The carbs in a donut are negated by a 13.1 mile run. And even if you aren't planning a long run, the donuts are worth the splurge. The mini chain is owned by the same geniuses being Zahav, a fantastic Mediterranean restaurant. [We tried to get a reservation a month earlier but were shut out].
|After the Love run, Philly bling|
Lose a toe nail? Check the MütterThe Mütter Museum specializes in the human body, with actual skeletons and specimens. You can see what gangrene does to a foot, or tumors preserved in liquid. Since runners have grotesque food oddities - we share tales of toe nails that fall off and strange foot lumps. X-rays of runners' bodies would fit right in at the Mütter.
|The Impossible Burger at Wiz Kid|
Sense of the city
|The walkable city map at the History Museum|
That vegan cheesesteak
|"Cheesy" sweet potato fries|
We had the gooey, messy and utterly delicious Wiz Kid Philly, made with seitan, mushrooms, onions and 'wiz' sauce made from rutabagas. Believe me, it worked.
|The back up camera on the Toyota C-HR, incorporated into the rear view mirror|
We drove this sharp looking Toyota C-HR. It has an aerodynamic design, but a pretty large blind spot Luckily, it also has a blind spot monitor. You have to train yourself to rely on the tech.
The wheels - a Toyota C-HR
The car has Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes pre collision alert, pedestrian detection and lane departure alert.
|The swooping roof looks great but reduces sight lines|
My favorite feature is automatic high beams; you can see clearly at night, but when another car approaches, the lights dim.
Most important, the Toyota C-HR was quite comfortable. After all the walking and running - and eating - I needed to relax.
Note: Toyota loaned me the C-HR and Kimpton provided a complimentary room. Opinions expressed are my own.
Monday, April 2, 2018
|Hyundai Hope on Wheels ambassador Elizabeth Blair|
Hyundai is well known in the car industry for its unprecedented warranty: 10 year / 100,000 mile powertrain, 5 year / 60,000 mile new car warranty, lifetime hybrid battery.
What may not be as well known is it caring prowess. For 20 years, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has donated millions of dollars to fight pediatric cancer.
|Youth Ambassador Carter Gates. Credit: Q Barefield for Hyundai Hope On Wheels|
Time to toot its own hornAt a preview night before the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai celebrated its 20th anniversary of Hyundai Hope on Wheels and announced grants of $15 million.
|Hyundai Hope on Wheels car. Credit: Q Barefield for Hyundai Hope On Wheels|
Over the years, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has donated over $145 million to the program, in conjunction with local Hyundai dealers. Grants help fund cancer research and help families with children fighting cancer.
While Elizabeth and Carter were the real stars of the evening, Soledad O'Brien was the emcee and Broadway performers Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King) entertained. And the Broadway Youth Ensemble sang as well.
Grants spread aroundColumbia University Medical Center received the largest grant, for $2.5 million, while Intermountain Healthcare Foundation in Salt Lake City, UT, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and St. Louis Children's Hospital Washington University in St. Louis, MO each received $1 million.
31 other hospitals also received grants. In New York, Montefiore Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York University School of Medicine each got awards.
|Broadway Youth Chorus. Credit: Q Barefield for Hyundai Hope On Wheels|
Grant tourFrom April to October, a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, customized with children's handprints, travels the country presenting checks.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
|The vegetarian cheese 'steak' at Rooster Soup Co.|
If walking past homeless people when you go into a restaurant bothers you, you can feel good when you eat at Rooster Soup Company. All the profits go to the Broad Street Ministry, which provides meals to the homeless.
Not only that, the restaurant, owned by the same team behind Zahav and Federal Donuts, uses the chicken bones left over from Federal Donuts (donuts and chicken) to make the stock for the smoked matzo ball soup.
|Gooey vegetarian cheesesteak|
Rooster has a beet salad, which sounded good. But I wanted the carbs in the farrow, quinoa and hazelnut salad. I was carbo loading for the Love Run, a half marathon the next day. Watermelon radishes gave the salad a pop of color and pleasing bitterness.
|Farro and quinoa salad|
For extra protein, I had coffee milk, a somewhat bitter (in a good way) adult version of chocolate milk.
|The high rear door handles of the Toyota C-HR|
Thanks to Toyota, I drove a gorgeous red CH-R to Philly for the weekend. The crossover was comfortable to drive and had cool rear doors, with handles high on the side.