Chobani Flips Review

I love greek yogurt. For the record, I loved it before it became such a fad on the internet. Fage is definitely my favorite brand…it’s got a great thick texture, and the Fage 2% with honey is something I crave regularly. We also eat Chobani because we can get a great assorted pack at Costco (we love Costco!). So, I was intrigued to read so many reviews of the new Chobani Flips, specifically the Almond Coco Loco, and I found them at the grocery store the other day. Yes, I realize I am talking about something with almonds in it, but they’re fine unless I eat a large portion of them.

What did I think? It was just eh…I was really expecting more! The yogurt was really runny for a Greek yogurt! I liked the coconut flavor, but it still tasted a little artificial to me. The yogurt comes with dark chocolate and slivered almonds for toppings. The toppings were fantastic, but I didn’t especially like the combination of the toppings with the slightly sour coconut yogurt. That’s my main complaint with Chobani, is that all of their yogurts taste sour to me, when Fage (even plain) does not.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. It was good, but not great. I felt like I should review it though, just because every other review I’ve read was raving about it. Maybe it’s because all of those bloggers got theirs for free…hmmm. In any case, I’ll stick with the regular Chobani flavors or Fage.

I’m excited for the holiday weekend! If we’re lucky, we’ll get to go to Blendon Woods again to see some birds. We’re hoping that the Summer Tanager will still be around so that my mom can see him…he was so brilliant! Wishing everyone a lovely weekend! 🙂

*I bought this product with my own money, don’t you worry! I’ve definitely never been offered free stuff to review.*

Les Misérables Columbus Review

My fiancé and I made a last-minute decision to go see the Les Misérables tour here in Columbus on Thursday. Huge thanks to the very nice woman at the CAPA box office who found us great tickets. Also, for anyone in the area, PLEASE do not use Ticketmaster to buy your tickets. We noticed that the seats we got for $60 each at the box office were going for over $100 on Ticketmaster. Totally ridiculous! Anyway, our seats were in the lower balcony, and they were quite good for the price.

For anyone not familiar with the musical, this revival has a redesigned set and has been compressed by about half an hour. I’ve seen Les Mis before, and really didn’t like the new design. Compressing the show made it much more confusing, even though I had seen the show before.

Another thing that really irked us was the balance between the orchestra and the singers. The orchestra was WAY too loud…we could barely hear the words most of the time! It was quite disappointing. We especially had a beef with the horn players, who blasted the whole time and were way out of balance with the rest of the orchestra. Fun fact of the day: I majored in music for my first year in college, and played French Horn. So I feel qualified to judge this, haha. The orchestrations were changed in this version as well, which was a disappointment. Gone are the powerful synthesizers from the original version, which I missed. To me, they were a hallmark of the original music.

Now on to the good parts. The entire cast was FANTASTIC! Jean Valjean was the best incarnation that I’ve seen, and the actress playing Madame Thenardier was fabulous. I felt that Javert’s voice was just slightly too high for the part, but he was still great. Fantine had an absolutely lovely voice as well. All of the ensemble numbers were outstanding, and I thought the cast had a nice synergy going. All of the kid singers were great, and so cute. There truly wasn’t a weak link to this cast.

It was definitely worth it to go. There is something about seeing live music that just cannot be beat!

Update

After my last wheat-free attempt, I completely fell off the wagon. It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I decided to try again, mainly because of all the BLOATING that I had been having! Many days, my stomach gets so distended that my pants get tight. It’s extremely uncomfortable, and very frustrating.

That being said, I’ve been on-and-off wheat-free for most of this year. At first, I felt FANTASTIC! I dropped just a few pounds, my stomach was flat, and my IBS seemed a lot better. Then, I changed not just jobs, but careers. I am an engineer by degree, but was extremely unhappy in my engineering job (hopefully more posts to come about that). I got a great opportunity to join a software testing team that recruits engineering graduates at a huge corporation, and I took it! It’s been great for my stress levels and my confidence, but just the stress of changing careers and getting used to my new daily routine wreaked havoc with my digestive system. Having a cafeteria (and a STARBUCKS!) in my building certainly didn’t help things, and I started eating a lot of wheat again.

All this backstory brings me to where I am now. I decided to start walking to lunch when I could, and even bringing my own some days. I’ve been very good about changing my diet to eating lots of rice, which is the only grain that doesn’t seem to upset me. (Fun fact: last time I got allergy tested, wheat, corn, and soy all showed up. Hooray! :|) And still, even with my much healthier and wheat-free diet, I’ve still been having IBS problems. It’s incredibly frustrating for me, and I’m toying with the idea of bringing some wheat back into my diet. I miss real pizza, I miss grilled cheese, and I even miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh, and subs. And cookies! Yes, I’ve tried tons of gluten free products, but they really just aren’t the same.

On that note, I actually did eat a ton of wheat one day this weekend. Pizza, pretzels, etc. It was wonderful! And honestly, it didn’t seem to upset my digestive system any more than rice and a salad. So, I may try to reintroduce these things.

Kind of a long update post, but I wanted to get my thoughts out there! I would like this blog to become a sort of personal journal of my symptoms, but that being said, I hope to also write more posts about what’s on my mind! I have tons of interests outside of helping my IBS, and I’d like to start writing about those more.

Almond Milk – Adverse Effects

I had a super-busy week at work last week, so I didn’t get to post as often as I wanted! Anyway, I made an effort last week to at least reduce the amount of gluten that I ate, which I hope is helping! I definitely have not felt as bloated in the past week as I usually do, other than on Sunday, but that was a special circumstance (more below).

We went shopping on Saturday night to get some ingredients to make Cheddar Bay Buscuits, like the ones from Red Lobster. I found gluten-free Bisquick which amazed me, but we went for the regular flour since it was our first time trying out this recipe. I was also sad to see that the gluten free mix was about double the price as normal Bisquick. I know it’s a “specialty” product, but still…

Anyway, we also picked up a small carton of Silk Pure Almond Vanilla almond milk to try. I have read raves of almond milk on one of my favorite blogs, Clean Eating Chelsey, so I decided to try it. After chilling the milk for a while, I took a sip. It was delicious! To me it tasted very similar consistency-wise to skim cow’s milk, but with an incredible almond flavor. My boyfriend liked it as well, and finished the little container.

The next morning, I woke up with fairly bad intestinal cramps. Since I have IBS, I’m sort of used to that and didn’t think anything of it. I took a Bentyl and laid back down, but was up a short while later having some of the most watery diarrhea I have ever had! I know that’s probably an overshare, but it was a little scary (and this is coming from someone who has had a lot of diarrhea, sadly). I had several bouts of diarrhea before it finally stopped.

While I was sitting in bed recovering, I decided to search for almond milk causing diarrhea. Immediately, several links popped up confirming that it can cause diarrhea. Some people speculate it’s the additives in the milk, while others say it’s just because the milk is pretty rich. Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’ll be trying almond milk again! Which is too bad, because I loved the taste!

Wheat Free Weekend

So my aim was to go gluten-free all weekend, but that derailed on Sunday when I decided I really wanted spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s…anyway…

I spent all of Saturday wheat-free (except an accidental bite of pie crust)! I woke up in the afternoon, so I started off with lunch at my boyfriend’s house. His mom is from Laos, so she cooks the most awesome food, and of course it usually has only rice! So, for lunch we had grilled steak, Asian cucumber salad (not like the American kind, it’s spicy!), and sticky rice.

Grilled steak, cucumber salad, and sticky rice!

We then napped for a couple of hours! So relaxing! For dinner, we went to a local restaurant called The Clarmont. I’m not sure how to describe the food…upscale traditional American steakhouse? In any case, I had one of the specials – the Mojito Trout! It was delicious! I also had a Baby Bibb Salad and a small slice of the best banana cream pie ever (that’s where I ate the accidental bite of pie crust, oops)! All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

Unfortunately, I still felt really bloated on Saturday night. This bummed me out since I had been really careful about what I ate all day. So, on Sunday I didn’t avoid wheat at all. And of course, today (Monday), I feel great! Much less bloated than normal. I’m guessing (?) that it’s probably from me avoiding wheat on Saturday, but I really don’t know.

I feel like I can go totally wheat-free if I can just find some good wheat-free bread. The only kind I tried recently was pretty terrible – hard and tasteless. Any recommendations?