Little Lab Outing

Little Lab Outing

We recently has a post-doc leave our lab to pursue a new job, and as a result, we’ve been shifting the seating arrangements of our lab personnel…in other words, my lab bestie (E) moved into the office I am in, as well as another person I like talking to in lab! From the two offices our lab occupies, my office became the “loud and fun one” pretty much overnight πŸ˜›

To celebrate the new arrangements, me, E, and our other colleague went out for lunch Tuesday afternoon. Azla Vegan Ethiopian was a food court-style restaurant in a mini shopping complex called Mercado de Paloma, but this specific food spot was a place I had on my foodie radar for a while now (like so many places I am realizing, haha)!

Azla Ethiopian Vegan

E and I ended up eating here while our colleague got a quesadilla lunch from one of the other food court stalls. We picked 3-4 side items, and got two rolls of injera with our plates.

Small, but one of the cuter storefronts in the shopping complex.

We were able to pick from dressed lentil salads, curried lentils, greens, cooked vegetables, and spicy tofu to pair up with our injera.


There was also a small assortment of vegan baked goods, but we (well at least I did!) knew our plates would be filling enough.

Savory, and a bunch of sweets.

E’s plate was full, packed and looked delicious! I didn’t get the lentil salad, but looking at E’s plate made me second-guess that decision.

E’s plate

My plate had the curried lentils, boiled potatoes/cabbage/carrot, gomen (cooked spinach), and two rolls of injera. The three of us walked over with our plates of food and found a table to sit at, amongst racks of clothes and in front of other food stalls.

My plate πŸ™‚

We spent the next hour enjoying our lunch and each other’s company. I made this comment on Instagram, but being able to go out for lunch on a Tuesday with lab mates, and not having food be the focus felt so refreshing. It was just another reminder that I am progressing through recovery, and that I’m also improving when it comes to taking advantage of social opportunities. I’m forming relationships, and allowing those to grow while, gradually with each day, I am squashing that eating disorder voice. This is recovery in action, and I’m loving that days like these are starting to occur more in frequency.

We went back to work after lunch, but I felt much more energized from both the food and endorphin burst from all the laughing we did. I’m sure these lunches will become a regular occurrence, and seeing that it took me two years to feel “at home” at work, I couldn’t be happier about this prospect.

Do you hang out with work colleagues outside of work?

Azla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Week of Eats / B’ Jammin Bars Review

Week of Eats / B’ Jammin Bars Review

What a busy and productive week last week was! I was also in a picture-taking mood, and managed to capture some (more like four…) pics of my eats as a result (which I also happened to post on Instagram πŸ˜‰

It was mainly a week of proyo and cookie butter (and I expect it to be similar this week as well, looking at my groceries! πŸ˜› )—nothing significantly different from my usual eats, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with sticking with what’s tried & true, especially if you can still mix up the “same ol’, same ol’ “ with some different add-ins!

Like Monday’s morning proyo—a mix that included pineapple Chobani, vanilla protein powder, an airline pretzel pack, an airline peanuts pack, and a Biscoff dollop.

Vanilla Pineapple Proyo with Biscoff, Pretzels, & Peanuts
Vanilla Pineapple Proyo with Biscoff, Pretzels, & Peanuts

Tuesday’s proyo mix was eaten a few hours before bedtime. Key lime chobani + soy vanilla protein powder + pistachios + Biscoff spread put me to sleep right away πŸ™‚

Vanilla Key Lime Proyo with Biscoff & Pistachios
Vanilla Key Lime Proyo with Biscoff & Pistachios

My final proyo mix for the week was mixed into an almost-empty Biscoff cookie butter jar (yes, I annihilated this jar within a week!!), and made for the perfect dessert following a simple crockpot meal.


Wednesday morning was a rushed one. Since it’s one of my busier days of the week due to classes, I try to get my workouts done in the morning. This Wednesday was a success in that sense, and I was able to snack on these Quest bars lathered with Biscoff spread on the shuttle to class.

S'mores Bars with Biscoff
Quest S’mores Bars with Biscoff

On Saturday morning, I did a repeat of Wednesday but because I ran out of Biscoff spread, I had no choice but to lather on some chocolate hazelnut spread. But that sounds like I’m complaining…and that would be completely false πŸ˜‰ !

 Quest Bars (S'mores and Cookies & Cream) lathered with chocolate hazelnut spread!
Quest Bars (S’mores and Cookies & Cream) lathered with chocolate hazelnut spread!

Speaking of bars, I’ve been meaning to write up a review of B-UP‘s latest product—B-Jammin’ bars—since I ordered the three featured flavors a while back. I just couldn’t find an appropriate time to finish writing up the post and publish the post, until I figured a conglomerate post would just have to do πŸ˜‰

Anyways, my order came with six total bars, two of each B-Jammin’ flavor available. I also received a few freebies (a wristband like before, a sticker/decal, and a bonus B-UP Peanut Butter bar original). 

Two of each flavor for 6 total B-Jammin bars, plus a decal, bracelet/band, and a bonus B-UP bar πŸ™‚

These bars still have quite a bit of protein (~12 grams), and range from 150-180 calories. They also deliver a good source of carbs via the fruit fillings. And with fruit comes fiber, of which each bar has 11-13 grams of! 

I first tried Apple Pie Ala Mode, and found the wrapper hard to peel off because the outer layer of the bar was incredibly sticky. The apple filling wasn’t just apple, but included other “P” fruits like pineapples, peaches, and pears (<– alliteration galore πŸ˜‰ ). The filling also had a hint of spiciness due to the addition of cinnamon. 

Apple Pie Ala Mode

PB&J was the second flavor I tried, and while I was a fan of the filling, I found the peanut flavor of the outer layer to be slightly  overwhelming. I will say that this bar did taste like a PB&J sandwich though—one that is chewier and less breaded of course πŸ˜‰ 


My absolute favorite was Vanilla Cherry Pie. The wrapper was easier to peel off with this one as well, and I was able to enjoy the bar in its entirety without having to scrape any ‘bar residue‘ from the wrapper. 

Vanilla Cherry Pie

 I think this bar turned out to be my favorite due to the addition of actual cherries (along with all of the fruits used in the Apple Pie Ala Mode flavor). I also appreciate how the enhanced red color for the filling was brought out more through red cabbage extract and red beet juice concentrate, both being natural food coloring sources when compared to some artificial (and most likely cheaper) sources out there…

What has been you go-to meal/snack lately?

Have you tried B-Jammin’ bars yet?

Natural G Foods Wave Bar Review

Natural G Foods Wave Bar Review

When I came back from Chicago, I was literally shivering until I took some Tylenol and went to bed. I didn’t even notice that a package had arrived for me while I was gone. I had forgotten that Rick and Monica of Natural G Foods were kind enough to send me their Wave Bars to review.

Even though I was suffering from a bacterial sinus infection—fever, coughing, and fatigue—I fortunately still had my appetite, and was able to sample both bars the next morning.

Wave Bar

They sent me their baked apple and mixed berry soft-baked granola bars to try, and even though the fruit ingredients were obvious, the fact that veggies like carrots, pumpkin, beets, broccoli, and kale were mixed in with the apples, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries was a well-kept secret since I couldn’t taste them at all!

In addition to the half daily serving of fruits and veggies, these bars contain anywhere from 430-440mg of omega-3’s. As a vegetarian who doesn’t consume fish, I appreciate it when snack products go out of their way to include such ingredients for the benefit of the consumer.

Baked Apple Bar

Both bars have a soft texture that reminded me of a soft oatmeal-based cookie. Vegetable glycerin works as the binding agent, and the sweetness that hits your tastebuds is derived from ingredients like monk fruit extract and agave.

Mixed Berry

These bars are intentionally targeted towards kids as a mid-meal snack at 170 calories per bar, and whileΒ a singular barΒ may not sate an adult’s appetite , who says you can’t eat more than one at one time? Just keep an eye on your budget ;)!

Do you eat foods meant for kids? Sometimes I wish I could still order off the Kid’s Menus at restaurants because they oftentimes have a better selection than what’s offered for adults!!

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