Back in August…

Back in August…

Man, I have a TON of posts to catch up on! But if I procrastinate any longer, I proably won’t even remember enough about the pictures I have to write about them…better late than ever.

Also goes to show that being busy enough not to blog means that life things are picking up, and have me occupied in a good way. I have some big travel plans coming up in a few weeks (work-related, but still exciting!), and I’m looking forward to what that experience will bring.

In the meantime, I’ll reflect back on what I was doing in early August, right after my b-day celebrations and my sister’s arrival back in Cali. It was my last weekend with the car in my possession, but I didn’t have the desire to drive out too far…

Actually, there was a lot going on locally. The USC Village was something that was under construction for a long time now, near the downtown area. Since it’s grand opening was scheduled for mid-August to coincide with move-in day, some of the stores and restaurants had soft openings a week prior. One of the restaurants was CAVA…funny how I visited the Santa Monica location only days before!

CAVA, USC Village
CAVA, USC Village

For their soft opening, the CAVA at USC Village was giving away free food from 12-2pm! I stood in line with some of my labmates for almost 1.5 hours, but since I knew the kind of food we would be getting wasn’t some cheap meal, I had to begrudgingly admit that it was worth it.

CAVA Menu
CAVA Menu

Although…by the time we got inside and were able to place our orders, they had run out of flatbread. We all opted for grain bowls, and I had mine based with lentils, the spicy veggies and all of the other crisp veggie toppings. I think I opted for some lemon dressing this time around instead of the apricot sriracha, but it fit well with what ended up being a warm salad bowl.

Grain Bowl!
Grain Bowl!

I ate my late lunch with E before we continued on with our work day.

When Saturday rolled around, I first drove to Sprouts after a morning run to pick up a snack. I’ve been on a GoMacro bar kick lately (my latest bar obsession), and Sprouts carries their Everlasting Joy flavor, the proceeds of which go to help the homeless.

GoMacro Everlasting Joy
GoMacro Everlasting Joy

I love their chocolate chip/nut butter flavors, so this was an instant favorite of mine. I mean, coconut flakes added to either of those types of flavors can only make it better.

I worked in lab for some of the morning, and since E was also finishing up some stuff, we finished around noon and walked over to where I parked the car to drive off to lunch.

She suggested earlier in the week that we both share a Turkish Breakfast at Mama’s Secret, a cozy, Turkish establishment very close to Beverly Connection.

Anyone got $1,000 for breakfast??
Anyone got $1,000 for breakfast??

Maybe if we combined a good chunk of our monthly income, we could have split the $1,000 pancakes…but we weren’t feeling too rich that day, haha!

What we could afford vs. what we couldn't
What we could afford vs. what we couldn’t

Nah, the Turkish Breakfast and cheese-stuffed flatbread not only sounded affordable, but well-rounded and filling for two people.

The Turkish breakfast was served with an assortment of cheeses, veggies, turkey slices (that we left alone), and flatbread. The sauces/dips were filled in cups and included hummus, tahini, honey, jam, nutella, and a ricotta-looking cheese curd.

TURKISH BREAKFAST
TURKISH BREAKFAST

And of course we had some warm tea…

The cheese-stuffed flatbread was my favorite, even though it wasn’t part of the breakfast platter. It came out already cut out in small portions so it was easy to split.

One of the cheese-stuffed flatbreads they offered. I believe ours was spiced with parsley and basil.
One of the cheese-stuffed flatbreads they offered. I believe ours was spiced with parsley and basil.

I had no idea that these cheese-filled flatbreads were a staple of Turkish cuisine, but my friend confirmed this foodie fact. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of my new favorite dishes now!

E was meeting some other friends for a movie-in-the-park event (one that I actually went to myself for a friend’s birthday last year…) so I dropped her off before heading home. I felt tired enough to go to sleep early, but I did have a night dessert before turning in.

That Snickerdoodle Dough
That Snickerdoodle Dough

Nada Moo’s Snickerdoodle is cream was soft and creamy, but the lack of dough pieces was a huge disappointment and sub-par in comparison to So Delicious’ offering. Ah well, they tried…

What your current food obsession?

Have you ever had a Turkish breakfast?

Mama's Secret Bakery & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

GoMacro!

GoMacro!

Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated to write this review. This review is based on the products and information I received from GoMacro. All opinions are my own.

After coming home from work one evening several days ago, I was excited to see this box from GoMacro waiting for me in the mail! Inside of the regular mailing brown box was a trapezoidal box made from what looked to be recycled cardboard (it had that rugged feel to it anyways).

gomacro box (1)

I also love the “earthy” art piece on the top. This box was worth saving as an office supply box for my desk, or something!

gomacro box (2)

GoMacro is all about creating products that promote not just a healthy lifestyle, but a sustainable one as well. The bars are USDA-certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, Kosher pareve, and contain non-GMO ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, these bars are made with unprocessed, organic ingredients and plant-based proteins such as brown rice protein and organic pea protein. This company takes things seriously when it comes to defending the “macro” in their name.

I was given three bars to try, but they have many more flavors in their collection. The variety is even organized by color, from warm to cool. For the spring/summer season, GoMacro wanted to highlight their Sunflower Butter + Chocolate, Granola + Coconut, and Banana + Almond Butter MacroBar flavors, so that was what I received. No complaints on my end!

gomacro bars

In addition the the bars, this “10 Macro Principles to Eat By” magnet was included…

gomacro magnet

…as well as these seed coasters. All I had to do was soak them in some water and place them in some soil. Provided that they are given sufficient water and time, they should sprout some wildflowers 🙂 . I’ve already planted all five in our backyard…

gomacro seed coasters (1)

I tried Protein Purity (Sunflower Butter + Chocolate) first.

protein purity (1)

This bar had to be my most favorite flavor. How can there be any mistakes when sunflower butter and chocolate are involved? The bar was moist and sticky (which can’t be helped in this case), and tasted like a stick of chocolate fudge mixed with sunbutter. Um, super yum!

It’s classified as a high protein bar, with 10g/bar coming from organic sprouted brown rice protein.

protein purity (5)

Prolonged Power (Banana + Almond Butter) was the second to be devoured. It had that moist, sticky feel to it (actually, all three bars were like that as I later found out), and had a strong banana smell (of course). The almond butter seemed to act more like a binding agent than anything else, since the banana flavor dominated this whole bar.  

prolonged power

I was also intrigued by how this bar was sweetened with coconut sugar. The ingredient goes along the sustainability goals of the company, since coconut sugar is derived from the coconut tree crop—which restores marred soils without requiring much water for its own growth. 

The final flavor to taste was Balanced Goodness (Granola + Coconut). While it was a bittersweet moment, the taste was far from it!

balanced goodness

On the website, they like to compare it to coconut/oatmeal raisin cookie dough, and I have to agree. Even though it’s branded as a coconut flavor, this bar was chock full of walnuts and dates, and the brown puffed rice gave it a subtle crispiness. It was low in protein compared to the other two bars, with a humble 4g per serving (1 bar).

I’m all about supporting companies that produce wholesome food that save animals, protect our planet, and nourishes our bodies. After trying these three Macrobars, I look forward to coming across the other eight bars in their collection, which include flavors like Sesame Butter + Dates, Almond Butter + Carob, and Cashew Caramel. I think that qualifies for #6 of the “10 Macro Principles to Eat By”, right 😉 ?

Have you heard about the macrobiotic diet? 

Are you a fan of Macrobars?

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