New Blog

I’ve got a new & improved blog over at Monica vs. The World, all healthy, lots of fitness, some food, and entirely me 🙂  Come check it out!

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Homemade Granola & A Soy Debate

I haven’t posted in a couple days, I’ve been busy :/

Yesterday I had a chance to make some homemade granola due to an overripe banana that I felt I just COULDN’T waste:

I first combined:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 overripe mashed bananer

and then combined in a separate bowl:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup pecans

Then I combined both together until well mixed.

As usual, I forget to preheat the oven so I had to weight a few minutes while it got to 375 degrees.

Then I layed out the mixture on a foil covered pan and baked for 40 – 50 minutes, carefully mixing the mixture every 10 minutes so that it was evenly baked.

Yum, yum, yum!!

Breakfast this morning was overnight oats:

This concoction featured a new product, Vanilla Hemp Milk, that I was sent coupons for from Living Harvest

The hemp milk has a great flavor, much better than Almond Milk.  I used to be a complete soy girl– soy yogurt, soy milk, soy chai lattes, boca burgers, soy protein bars…. you name it, I ate it.  The low fat high protein soy sources were a great addition to my diet as a vegetarian/pseudo-vegan and until recently I ate no dairy.  Recent research on soy that I’ve read has caused to me eliminate processed soy from my diet and reintroduce dairy.  Although there are conflicting arguments on whether or not it is good or bad, I choose to eliminate processed soy from my diet and keep fermented soy in.  

Here’s an article on fermented vs unfermented soy.

Here’s an article titled “The Truth About Unfermented Soy & It’s Harmful Effects”

Do you eat soy?  What soy products do you eat?  What’s your position on this issue?

I think my wisdom teeth are infected :/  On the lower right molars in the back of my gums I’ve had pain for a few days and a nasty taste in my mouth from it, I think it’s an infection (pericoronitis?) but can’t get into the dentist until Tuesday.  Any thoughts on what I should do??

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Galaxy Granola, Green Monsters, and other-GOOD-eats, OH MY!

Have you heard of Galaxy Granola?  Their Fruit-Not-Fat product line seems to be sweeping the blogosphere lately and I was sent 3 generously large samples to review from Tristan.

The Fruit-Not-Fat concept is simple enough:  using whole fruit instead of oils in their granola to eliminate unnecessary fats.  

Their granola boasts:

  • NO artificial ingredients
  • NO oil (fruit instead!!)
  • No corn syrup (AMEN!)
  • No processed sugar

I was sent the Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Orange, and Not Sweet Vanilla.

All this granola is so overwhelming!!  Thus far, I’ve opened the Vanilla Almond to try first (I love GRANOLA and ALMONDS so this seems “parfait” for me =] )

The verdict?????  Well, plain by itself- this granola was AMAZING!  Great flavors, texture..etc  However, I really wasn’t a fan of it on top of my beloved greek yogurt.  It didn’t complement the yogurt as well as other granolas (Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax granola) and it just didn’t float my boat.

Alone, with banana slices or dried fruit, supurb great granola.  But on top of yogurt, not so much.  This granola would probably be a great topping for SIAB (smoothies in a bowl) or warm oats as well.

I love the concept, love the ingredients, love the flavor of the plain granola, but some old habits are just hard to break.

Stay tuned for when I try the other flavors, too!


You might have noticed that I’ve been missing these last few days.  Well, I’ve been a SICKO!

In order to blast this sickness away I’ve been making myself some mean green monsters.   

Check this one out that I made:

  • 1 packet Amazing Grass Berry superfood
  • 1 packet Amazing Grass Wheat Grass packet
  • 1 bananer
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • frozen strawberries & pineapple
  • 3/4 cup coconut water (mango flavor)

I also had a bit leftover that I stored in the fridge to share this morning with my Pumpkin Banana Overnight Oaters

  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water (sucks up all of the water)
  • 3/4 cup Fage (1/2 cup in mixture, 1/4 cup on top as whipped cream)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 bananer sliced thick
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

DELICIOUS!  I love everything pumpkin and these oats were thick and creamy– the lack of almond milk makes it SO thick, which I love.

I had a peanut butter larabar, 2 apples and banana as a small lunch/snack.

Whenever I’m sick I always want very very salty soup.  So, as an early dinner (because of my smaller lunch/snack)  I combined:

  • 1 cup of cabbage
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • lots of celery (i would guess 1 cup)
  • lots of zucchini (would also guess 1 cup)
  • 1 packet of miso soup mix
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a couple small spoonfuls of vegeta to add more flavor
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water

I boiled this for 20 – 25 minutes and it was very tasty and hit the spot.

When I’m sick, I also love drinking herbal teas because they make me feel better.  Whether they have any medicinal benefits or its just all in my head, I don’t know. But- I know that whatever makes me feel better is good & so I keep on drinking ’em 🙂

Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus & Throat Coat teas WORK WONDERS.

What is your routine when you’re sick/feeling under the weather??  I usually eat lots of soup, drink lots of teas, and overdose on vitamins & supplements..


This weekend was my Mom’s 50th Birthday Party.  We had great catering and a delicious cake from this amazing *Polish* Chicago bakery.  So here’s some “food porn”….

I had a plate consisting of: roasted zucchini & squash, spinach & cheese ravioli, monk fish medallion, a bit of salad.

& of course I had a large slice of cake that had a tiramisu filling.  YUM.  & several glasses of chardonnay, too.

Here’s a pic of my dad & his 4 daughters, from the left: my younger sister Melissa (19), Dad (63), ME (21), oldest Margaret( 39), second oldest Yvonne (37)

Do you freak out about party foods & drinks or let yourself indulge a little?  How do you cope with situations like these?  I let myself eat what I feel like eating and don’t deprive myself of treats like cake or fattening foods because special occasions call for exceptions, in my opinion.

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Gorgeous Day


Yesterday I received a package from Teri at Amazing Grass!  

Check out Amazing Grass’s mission statement from their About Us page:

To help people lead healthier more active lives by achieving their full potential through better nutrition. We strive to educate the world by spreading the word about the amazing benefits of cereal grasses. Amazing Grass will spare no resources or expense to produce nutritionally superior products with the highest quality organic cereal grasses available anywhere in the world.

They were generous enough to send me TWO samples of each superfood and one of each bar, you can just guess how excited I was to try all of these!

It’s definitely going to take me a while to get through them all but I had a chance to try TWO packets thus far.

As I was making my overnight oats last night I had a brilliant  ingenius idea to incorporate the CHOCOLATE SUPERFOOD into my oats!

I combined:

  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

and then added:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, 1/2 sliced thick and 1/2 pureed
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp agave

It was DELICIOUS!  The chocolate superfood make it taste like dessert for breakfast!  I’m definitely making this combo again, and might mix it with just yogurt for dessert.

I think I’m going to call ’em Chocolate Cream Pie Overnight Oats!

I also tried the KIDZ SUPERFOOD Wild Berry Flavor straight up with 4 – 6 ounces of water in a wine glass:

The flavor was good and I think it would have tasted better with juice or in a smoothie.  It wasn’t the tastiest thing I’ve ever dranken but for something so dang healthy it was GREAT!

Ingredient List:

Amazing Grass Kidz SuperFood phyto-nutritous fruit and vegetable blend: organic wheat grass, organic barley grass, organic alfalfa, asparagus, lima beans, green peas, kale, kiwi, organic spinach, organic broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, zuichini, apricots, organic carrots, mangos, pineapple, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yellow squash, organic yumberry, pomegranates, raspberries, guavas, cranberries, red cabbage, cherries, tomatoes, beets, plums, purple grapes, blueberries, organic evaporated cane juice, organic inulin, organic oat fiber, natural flavors, organic guar gum, stevia, probiotics (L. Acidophilus) and vegetable juice for coloring (from carrots and hibiscus).

I have yet to try the rest but will be posting reviews as I do!

Company values 10/10

Taste – Chocolate superfood 10/10

Taste- Kidz Wild Berry 6.5/10

Nutrition (both) 10/10

For lunch, in honor of St. Patty’s Day I took HEAB‘s idea of green eggs & blended 3 cups of spinach and 1/2 cup egg beaters in a blender and then cooked them in a pan:

(This almost looks like something that is also GREEN but illegal, no?  hehe.)

I’ve never made spinach & eggs like this but I’ve read that blending greens makes them easier to digest so I suppose this was much needed after my 5 mile run outside 🙂

It is so gorgeous outside today, I’m quickly posting this and then going to enjoy the day outside 🙂

By the way:

Here’s the answer to Yesterday’s post with the 7 things- one true:

1.  I’ve never had an unnatural color in my hair. Nope, I’ve had PURPLE in it when I was in high school!

2.  I like to drink coffee, but I’m in no way addicted to caffeine.  I am TOTALLY addicted to caffeine.  Talk about caffeine headaches..

3.  I love all sorts of melons. Melons are the only fruit that I don’t like.

4.  I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve been to Poland, Austria, Germany, & Italy

5.  I have 7 sisters and 2 brothers, all older than me! I have 1 younger sister and 2 older half sisters.

6.  I’m Irish, French, & 1/8 Native American. 100% Polish Princess right here

7.  Nothing scares me more than the LSAT, tornadoes, and spiders.  Yep I’m planning on going to law school and am terrified of the LSAT & have always been scared of tornadoes and spiders….yuck!

What are you scared of?  Something interesting and unique or a typical fear like mine?!

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Sunny Tuesday

This morning I woke up to my overnight oats sitting in the fridge, in a nearly empty (16 oz) Fage 0% container & a cup of joe.

I had a busy day at school and it was absolutely gorgeous outside today!  

After a lunch of copious amounts of almond butter and 3 apples (and more classes)  I finally came home some products in the mail for me to review!

I’m a busy bee today and don’t have time to review them today, but will be doing so the rest of the week.

I did have time to make some soup for dinner though!

I made TJ Split Pea Vegan soup and spiced it up with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and spinach.  DELISH!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post Kenzie from Healthy Purpose awarded me with this creative blogger award!

I’m flattered!  Thank you Kenzie 🙂

With this award, I have to list 7 things, one of which is true!  Remember when I did this a while back?

1.  I’ve never had an unnatural color in my hair.

2.  I like to drink coffee, but I’m in no way addicted to caffeine.

3.  I love all sorts of melons.

4.  I’ve never been to Europe.

5.  I have 7 sisters and 2 brothers, all older than me!

6.  I’m Irish, French, & 1/8 Native American.

7.  Nothing scares me more than the LSAT, tornadoes, and spiders.

I’ll post the answer in my next post!

But, I’d like to pass on this award to:

Catherine @ Stevia ‘n Spice


Stef @ More to Life than Lettuce

I got some lovely packages in the mail today-  looks like I’ll be doing some reviews tomorrow morning 🙂

Do you prefer email or snail mail?  I’m definitely more excited when I get snail mail

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Blue Mountain Organics: The Raw Bakery “Coco Joy” Product Review

Last week when I was on vacation, Serena from Blue Mountain Organics sent me a sample of Coco Joy, a product from The Raw Bakery, one of their product lines.

From their website:

Blue Mountain Organics is a mission-focused company, founded to demonstrate the holistic and symbiotic relationship between people, food, and environment and between worker and business. We accomplish these goals by bringing to the public the most deliciously raw and pure organic products sourced from the most fair and conscious providers. We commit to working towards a more harmonious and sustainable world. We exist to demonstrate that business is naturally moving beyond being destructive, and even beyond sustainability, to serving as a regenerative force on earth.

Blue Mountain Organics is a dynamic and innovative team that lives to promote the well-being of our bodies and our beautiful planet by offering healthy, organic and delicious food products at competitive prices.

We strongly believe in using and supporting organic agriculture as it is the only sustainable way to grow food for generations without depleting and toxifying the environment. Also, by being nutrient rich, organic foods foster healthy bodies. Sourcing and providing organic foods is fundamental to our mission as a company.

Blue Mountain Organics views eating raw foods, exposed only to heat below 118°F, as part of a healthy lifestyle. We have researched the foods we carry and the processes by which they are obtained and/or extracted. We believe that you can taste and feel the difference raw foods make.

& also:

The Raw Bakery™ produces a full line of organically delicious low-temperature dehydrated sweet and savory superfood treats. We use ingredients from our Better Than Roasted™ line, offering a raw, wholesome alternative to traditional bakery products.  

All of The Raw Bakery’s whole nuts, seeds, and grains have gone through the Better Than Roasted™ process, which means they have been soaked, sprouted, and dehydrated. Sprouted nuts and seeds are easier to digest because our process removes phytates, which have been found to inhibit digestion.

The Better Than Roasted sprouting process also increases the bioavailability of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in our nuts and seeds.

The Raw Bakery is excited to offer a purely satisfying alternative to baked goods. Try some of our delicious raw treats. We are confident that you will enjoy them as much as we do!

In addition, all of The Raw Bakery products are:

  1. • Raw & Vegan
  2. • Premium, Quality Ingredients
  3. • Sweetened with Agave Nectar
  4. • Dairy and Soy Free, Non-GMO
  5. • USDA Certified Organic
  6. • Certified Kosher
  7. • Sprouted Superfoods
  8. • Made to Order in Small Batches

How awesome is that?!

If you’re a coconut lover, as I tend to be, you’ll LOVE this item!  It had a great chewy filling texture that had a strong coconut/nutty taste and the chocolate outside complemented it well.

Although a bit calorie dense (if you can’t read that picture, it’s 240 calories, 15 g fat, 5 g protein), this was a very filling, tasty & sweet snack.

But- the only ingredients were: Cashews, Agave, Coconut, Cacao, Golden Flax, and Vanilla.  How simple and great! 

Taste:  8.5/10

Company & Values: 10/10

Ingredients/Nutrition: 9/10

Overall?  A great company that features tasty products with wholesome ingredients.  Steer clear of this particular one if you hate coconut but if you love coconut, this is the tasty treat for you!!

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Just Another Manic Monday

Last night I was lucky enough to go out to dinner to a Sushi All-You-Can-Eat and it was amaaaazing.

Still feeling the Japanese flavors afterward, I helped myself to a cup of Green Tea in a new teacup I got from Disney last week:

This along with an unpictured apple was the perfect dessert to tide me over until breakfast.

I missed the Desperate Housewives episode last night, did anyone catch it??
It hasn’t been put on demand yet either, hmmmm.

Last night I made myself a wonderful overnight oats concoction for this morning, into the bowl of yumminess went:
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 1/3 cup almond milk (vanilla)
– 1/2 cup Fage
– 1/3 cup rolled oats
– 1 tsp agave
– 1 pinch salt
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
– 1 whole large banana sliced thick

It twas delicious and enjoyed with a lovely cup of coffee, also in a *new* mug from Disney with a “M” for Monica!

After breakfast, I made my lunch to bring to class today. A new goal of mine is to try to eat 3 whole meals instead of resorting to a lot of snacking. I often don’t have time to make a full lunch in between classes and don’t want to spend money to go out to lunch, so I snack on bars throughout the day for lunch. I recently discovered that I actually LIKE salads, I’ve always thought they were a not-so-tasty, poor excuse for a meal, so I’m going to try to pack a salad or sandwich everyday for lunch.

This salad (along with a couple apples) included:
– spring greens
– 1 tomato diced
– 1/2 cucumber sliced
– 1/2 onion sliced
– 2 tbsp TJ fatfree Asian Sesame Ginger dressing

Lately, I’ve also fallen in love with almond butter, (thanks to HEAB recommending TJ Roasted Almond Butter!)

After running the Disney Princess Half Marathon last weekend, I’ve been itching to run some other races and here are some ones I’m thinking of:
– Rock n Roll San Diego half
– Rock n Roll Seattle half
– Rock n Roll Las Vegas full
– Rock n Roll San Jose half

I haven’t ran a Rock n Roll race & they look like great events! Have you ran one?
Any races you suggest I look into running?? I’m mainly interested in running halfs because I’m running the full Chicago Marathon in October.

Anyways, I also haven’t mentioned in this blog that I take vitamins. I take a multi-vitamin and a biotin supplement.

I used to not take a multi-vitamin because I believe you should get all your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, but a little while ago I decided that taking a multivitamin wouldn’t hurt me as long as I continued to eat foods rich in vitamins as well. I also take Biotin because it’s supposedly good for hair, skin, and nail health.

Do you take any vitamins or supplements? Which one’s do you take??

Also, Kenzie from Healthy Purpose was kind enough to award me with a Creative Blogger award!  I’m going to have to return the favor and award some bloggers later today in a post, so STAY TUNED!!

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Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Recap!

Last Sunday I ran the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. It was my second half marathon: I ran the 13th annual Chicago Half last September in 2:04 and ran the Disney Princess in 1:53!

It was SO cold, everyone was huddling in blankets and winter wear and I was in a T-shirt freeeeezing my butt off! Throughout the race my hands and forearms were numb which made concentrating on the race difficult. I ran the first 7 miles in 8 minute – 8 minute 30 second miles and the last 6 was a struggle but a couple of GU gels and my ipod pulled me through.

The expo was very big and I picked up an I-fitness belt. I was a little dissapointed by the marathon merchandise for-sale, I expected Disney to have a larger selection of shirts for sale. The post-race refreshments were soso, LUNA bar was the sponsor and they gave mini bars out, after 13.1 miles I’d prefer a regular sized bar!

The race, however, was spectacular and a lot of fun!! Characters and spectators cheered us runners on and it was an absolute blast! The organization was supurb and the course was relatively easy with a few mini hills. Running down main street and through the castle was the climax!

Check me out in action:

& here are the goods:

& I wore my medal around the parks all day after 🙂

& had a blast @ Disney World the rest of the week

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Out of Town

I apologize–  I’ve been out of town all week for a half marathon and also to visit some family. I will be back at the end of the week in town for a comprehensive post, so stay tuned for my half marathon race review, updates, and some new product reviews & recipes!  🙂

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Kopali Organics Product Review!

Yesterday I received a package from Norman from Kopali Organics!

Kopali Organics is a great company devoted to organic, wholesome foods and supporting sustainable farmers and fair trade.  Here is a snippet from their website:

We founded Kopali Organics while living and farming on our off-the-grid educational farm and sustainability center in the rainforest of Costa Rica. In the face of unrelenting pressure to farm cheaply, organic local farmers, our neighbors and friends, were being driven out of business and off of their lands, and being replaced by large-scale chemically-intensive industrial farms. Our goal was to support organic family farmers and their communities by connecting them with the growing market of people who care about the quality of the food they eat, as well as the environmental and social conditions under which it is grown, produced and traded. And today we directly supports hundreds of sustainable farmers and their communities in nearly a dozen countries around the world. We are also well on our way to delighting, nourishing and inspiring millions as they become part of a healthier, more sustainable and more compassionate world.

 Their products are dried fruits and chocolate covered treats and come in the following varieties:

Dried Mango, Dried Pineapple, Dried Mulberries, Dried Goldenberries, Superfood Mix (Goji Berries, Mulberries, Pistachios and Cacao Nibs), Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs, Chocolate Covered Goji Berries, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Chocolate Covered Banana, Chocolate Covered Mulberries

I was send the Dried Mango and Chocolate Covered Banana:

The verdict?!

  • Dried Mango– It was very good-  sweet but not too sweet and they had a very good flavor.  The texture was appealing and the portion size was adequate as well.  I ate it as an in between classes snack and it was a nice, portable, non-messy snack.  It would also taste great on top of greek yogurt or some oatmeal! 
  • Chocolate Covered Banana– whoa, definitely was surprised by this one!  I never was much of a fan of dried banana but this was divine.  It was a perfect dessert and would be a nice fro-yo topping or an oatmeal topping (the meltage in hot oatmeal would do wonders).  The banana chocolate combo was very tasty.  The portion size was listed as half a bag and I had a hard time believing anyone could eat just half of it.  Their other chocolate covered varieties some delicious, especially the goji berries and chocolate covered cacao bits!


I was up at the crack of dawn (5:30 am EEEEEK) writing a paper that I was too tired to write last night, here’s a glimpse of my breakfast:

Overnight oats with CHHHHHIA SEEDS (yes I finally got them and they’re amazingly delicious and very filling) in a large Fage container!

I was also accepted into my school’s Mortar Board Senior Honor Society today 🙂  They come in and announce it in one of your classes and I was really caught off guard because I thought I hadn’t been accepted.  (A student in one of my classes yesterday was recognized as an accepted member and so I assumed I wasn’t accepted)  Nope, I had to go up in the front of the class and my prof took a picture of me, workout sweats on and all!

Well, I’ve got lots of studying to do for midterms this week before I leave for vacation.  Here’s what I’ll be studying tonight:

  • North American Archaeology for an essay midterm tomorrow (eeeeeeeeek!  😦 )
  • & preparing to study for my Insular SEAsia Cultures essay midterm on Thursday, is it Friday yet??


Do you find yourself procrastinating often?  I am an avid procrastinator and wish I could kick the habit!

How do you cope with procastination? I try to get things done early but somehow often end up waiting until the last minute.  I try to limit myself from distracting things such as: the internet, tv, people….etc

How do you procrastinate? aka, what do you DO to avoid being productive?? 😉         Anything & everything.. facebook definitely is a part of it!


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