And the Winner Is….

Why Maximus, what are you so excited about?

And Gawain, what is it that you could care less about?

Wait a minute, I know! It’s time to announce the winner of the Buddy Fruits Giveaway!

Well, yesterday, I compiled all eleven entries. Then I headed over to and entered the number range.

And who might lucky number 2 be?

It’s our old friend Kaleb Rogers. Congratulations Kaleb! I have contacted the company and asked them to send the sample out to you. I will let you know when I hear from them so you can look out for it. Also, I will see if Kaleb can’t take some pictures of he and his family enjoying the Buddy Fruits and then I will share them with you!

That’s all for today folks, hope you are having a great week and I will be back with regular posts tomorrow!


Don Giovanni make you Jump!

Don’t forget friends, there is only one more day to enter the Buddy Fruits Giveaway. Go! Enter here! Now, before its too late!

I promise I am not a Buddy Fruits spokesperson,

but this is incredibly tasty. And handsome to boot. Look how the highlighter’s checking out his backside.

And it’s only 60 calories. It actually made me stop thinking about M & M’s. For about an hour.

It’s been a very happening weekend. I got up at 5:30 this morning, removed the crusties from my eyes, got dressed, realized I had my pants on backwards, realized the Kriss Kross re-enactment/dance party is on Tuesday, got redressed correctly, then headed up to the testing center. Occasionally I serve as a proctor for standardized testing for some extra money. You want to know a secret? Those tests really aren’t designed for the entertainment of the proctor. I was able to get my Sunday School lesson done, but that was in the first hour. I forgot to bring back up reading material and the test went on for another six hours. Imagine how awkward it is to try not to make eye contact with a room full of junior high/high school students. For six hours. Also, they are not allowed to have food in the testing room, so neither am I. I ate breakfast at 6 and didn’t eat again until two. I swear I heard my stomach bellow “Don Giooovaaaaannniiii!”

My mom made me some delicious oatmeal bakes to eat for breakfast this week.

This one was my favorite. I looked in the freezer and saw the label “Cookie Dough” and before I could stop myself I was halfway through! I don’t know what all was in it, but it kept me satisfied until lunch. I will ask Mom to post the link to the recipe in the comments (Mom, if you don’t mind?)

Nikki and I had a rough end of the week, so we thought a date was in order. A friend of ours gave us a Chili’s gift card for watching their cats, so we decided now was a good time to cash it in. I also had a coupon for free queso, so we had that as an appetizer and we both got burgers for our entree. I also drank a coke. No regrets and probably no weight loss this week. Eh, sometimes you just have to eat your feelings and jump back on the wagon the next day.

Which reminds me, in the excitement over getting the giveaway together I forgot to mention that the scale said that I had lost three pounds last week. I am almost out of the 290s, and I have not weighed that little in many years. This gives me the steam I need to press on, but I know if I want to meet my goal I will have to come up with an exercise plan. The main thing that is keeping me behind is that it is dark when I leave the house in the morning and dark when I get home! I think I am going to have to find some money in our budget to pay for a monthly gym fee. We have an Anytime Fitness in town and I would like to join there because you can go anytime you want. The only keeping me is the nagging feeling that I don’t want to be there alone at three in the morning with whoever else would come to a gym at three in the morning.

In case you didn’t get my jokes earlier in this post, here are some explanatory videos:

Enjoy your weekend!


If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my Buddy Fruits giveaway via this post. You have until Monday, January 30th, to enter. 

I am having trouble sleeping lately. I don’t know why, it might be because I am afraid that I will be visited by the whistling hell child again. I think it is mostly because I haven’t been consistent with my eating habits. I am going to have to sit down and come up with a strict pattern and then stick to it. I am seriously thinking about going to a registered dietician, but I really can’t afford it right now. Why doesn’t health insurance cover their customers trying to be healthier? You think it would be quite a boon to their business.

I am trying to have a healthy snack at night (around 8:30) that will sustain me throughout the night, but not do harm. I have been eating a spoonful of whatever nut butter I had on hand, but I tried a few different things this week. First up is the “necessity is the mother of invention” snack:

Banana smeared with Nutella.

While not a terrible idea, I did get too liberal with the Nutella. The stuff isn’t really all that healthy. Behind the scenes fun fact: seconds after this photo was taken my copy of the Help was covered in Nutella. For some strange reason I thought the book that I carry around all day was more sanitary than putting my peeled banana on the bare countertop.

The next night I tried this:

An apple & strawberry liquid fruit pouch by Buddy Fruits. While delicious, this is not a 8 hour sustaining snack. I think I shall revert to spoonfuls of natural peanut butter. Any other suggestions?

As you can probably tell from the photo above, I have been reading The Help. I was reading Working Out Sucks (and really enjoying it) when my wife and I decided to watch the movie version of The Help. It was a very good movie, and I would recommend it anyone. The main reason I agreed to watch the movie was that it stars Viola Davis and I would watch her make origami swans for two hours. Maybe three. In my humble opinion, she is the best working actress out there today. If you doubt my assertion, go rent Doubt and you will be convinced (see what I did there? Sneaky!) The good news is that she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Help. I went to all this effort to say: I am now reading the book at the urging of my wife.

To go out on a light note, I’ll tell you a secret about me. During the day I am mild mannered Heavy Evan. But, at night I turn into….



Buddy Fruits! (GIVEAWAY) – Updated 1/25/12

I used to love Gushers as a child.

Do you remember those? They were little fruit snacks that had juice in the middle.

I am sure there was zero nutritional value in Gushers, which is probably why my mom wouldn’t let us have them very often. That is why I was so excited the first time I bit into Buddy Fruits!

These nutritious snacks remind me of Gushers in the best way. In fact they’re better because each pouch contains a single serving of fruit.

That is why I was so excited when they agreed to send this display out to me for review.

Nikki is a huge fan.

The display had three types of Buddy Fruits. There were the fruit snacks:

The fruit pouches:

and their newest product – Fruit Smoothies.

Here is a shot of the nutrition facts for each one (in the same order) for those that are interested.

This is the Pomegranate and Acai fruit snacks pouch.

The Apple and Cinnamon fruit pouch.

And the peach smoothie.

These are really great snacks. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty here: these are marketed towards children. That being said, this grown, 29 year old bearded man loves them. The other day I was feeling the 10:00 hunger headache so I pulled out the peach smoothie pouch that I brought, downed it in five minutes, and it was smooth sailing to lunchtime.

I can imagine that these would also be really great for moms on the go. Each different type of snack is re-sealable. As for saving a little bit for later…

Very hard to do.

Like I said before, I have had the fruit snacks before and knew they were delicious so those were gone very fast.

But, I was a little apprehensive about the liquid fruit pouches.

I had seen them in the grocery store, but was wary about what was in them.

The best thing I can compare it to is Apple Sauce. Basically it’s go-gurt for Apple Sauce. Let’s call it Sprint Sauce. Nah…that doesn’t work. Fast Fruits, maybe? The texture is like apple sauce, but they come in many different flavors. For my review, I tried the apple cinnamon flavor.

Turns out my apprehension was ill founded because the pouches are very good. The Apple Cinnamon one tastes like a spiced Apple Sauce, maybe even a little like apple pie filling. Even though they don’t have to be refrigerated, they taste fresh. You are supposed to refrigerate them after you open them and Nikki and I both agreed that they taste better cold. The only complaint I have is that it is hard to get all of the fruit goodness out of the pouch. I used my squeeze-from-the-bottom toothpaste skills to try to get it all out and managed to fling it across the room. That might be a negative for mothers, if in fact they don’t already have worse things flung across their rooms.

The smoothies are also excellent. They are smooth and creamy. I tried the peach one for this review. When I took my initial slurp I was hit with an intense peach flavor that I didn’t expect. I didn’t feel good about one of the ingredients being “sweetened condensed skim milk”,but when put in perspective it is still a much better snack than ramen noodles or a can of ravioli. I am definitely guilty of snacking on both of those (when I was an adult, of course. My mom would never allow that). The grams of sugar in each may be shocking, but when they make this claim on the back of their pouch –

I worry about it less. If all of the sugars come from fruit then I consider it a good type of sugar. I am not suggesting that you feed it to your kids four times a day, but as a mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack you really can’t beat this all natural, healthy, gluten free Gushers alternative.

Now to the part you are all waiting for!


Since Buddy Fruits was kind enough to share their products with me I am going to pass the love on to you guys, my loyal readers.

The lucky winner will get everything in the above picture: one fruit snacks pouch (If I can keep Nikki’s grubby hands off of them), three (Sprint Sauce, Fast Fruits) liquid fruit pouches, and two smoothie pouches. Also, to sweeten the deal, I will send the winner the original Magnificat sketch from this post.

I will sign the sketch and include a personal note. Isn’t that swell?!

All you have to do to enter is fulfill these three requirements:

  1. Like Heavy Evan on Facebook
  2. Like Buddy Fruits on Facebook
  3. Leave a comment on this post telling me you have liked both pages and tell me your favorite childhood snack and a possible healthier option

*Bonus entry – share this giveaway on to your friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter and post a link in the comments showing me you’ve done so.

If you just “don’t do Facebook” then tell me that in your comment and I will give you credit. If I find out later that you do have a Facebook profile, I will publicly shun you. Also, if you have already liked Heavy Evan, just give Buddy Fruits a like and let me know that in your comment.

So, get to liking and commenting! You have until this Sunday, January 29th at midnight to enter. I will then tally up everything, assign it a number and try to find one of those random number choosing thingys on the interwebs.

(Full disclosure: I was sent the entire display for free from Buddy Fruits for review. I was not, however, required to give a positive review. Those are all my own feelings folks! When have I not been honest with you?)

Also, if anyone has any concerns about the healthy aspects of these snacks (after seeing the nutrition facts) please sound off in the comments! I am really not an expert on figuring out those things.

**UPDATE (01/25/12) Just heard from my friends at Buddy Fruits and they said that they would be happy to send a sample out to the winner of the giveaway. That means that the winner will receive all the great stuff that I received from them (you can see it in the above pictures). This is great news friends! I will also still send the winner the wonderful Magnificat sketch and personal note from me, whether they want it or not! Don’t forget that you can get a bonus entry by sharing this giveaway with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. 

Meetings And Partings

My mom is back in town!

Here she is patiently waiting for me to make a mess of the cornbread recipe we were going to try. She has been in Savannah with Dad over the holidays so we invited her over for lunch and fun now that she is back. Nikki made the vegetable soup I mentioned before, and since my wife has the memory of an elephant on a daily dose of ginkgo biloba, she added a lot of seasoning. She also added worcestershire sauce which makes it NON vegetarian (it is made from anchovies). Mom wanted to provide something for the meal as well and we decided on cornbread from a recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie. If you decide to make the recipe we chose to use almond milk, organic sugar and just one pack of Stevia. Here are some pictures!

Measuring the corn meal. I am a stickler for exact measurements.

This is a picture of the wet and the dry mixes coming together. In the back you can see me fretting over what “mix until just mixed” means. I hate this kind of recipe language. For the life of me I can’t understand it. Why can’t people just say “mix it exactly ten times”? My mother and wife assured me that it meant just stir until things come together and don’t over stir, but because I was being so anal and neurotic about it my mom finally took over.

A tutorial for the insane.

Once it was properly mixed I poured it into my favorite skillet. We inherited one from Nikki’s grandmother that has slots that separates whatever you are cooking into eight pieces. It also makes it “crusty all around” as mom would say, which is delectable. Here is a shot pre-oven:

And post-oven:

This cornbread is really excellent. It crumbles like cornbread should, and the little bit of sweet really meshed well with the spicy of the vegetable soup.

My sweet mother also brought me a bag of roasted peanuts so I used the old food processor and made my own peanut butter. Here are some shots.

It takes a good bit of time for peanuts to become peanut butter. Above is a picture halfway through the process.

I put in a little sea salt for flavor. Mom said “a pinch” which is another recipe word that I don’t understand, so I just poured it in and tasted it to see if it was too much. I would say that I wound up putting in about two teaspoons worth. Here is the finished product:

Not bad for a $1.99 bag of peanuts.

Mom also brought some Barbara’s Whole Wheat Fig Bars.

These were very good. They remind of the Little Debbie fig bars we used to eat all the time when we were kids. Except, these are much healthier.

I don’t mean to bring it down at the end here, but we have been dealing with a lot of death around here lately. A lot of our friends and friends of friends and friends of family have been dying. Sometimes it just piles up on you. To keep with the Muppet Christmas Carol theme I wanted to use a quote from that movie to help me deal with everything:

“It’s all right, children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I am sure that we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us.” Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit 

I love this quote because it says so much in so little. “That is the way of it” means everyone we love and know now will eventually be dead. There is nothing we can do to stop that. True immortality lies in the memories of your friends and family. Our friends will live forever in our memories, for they are the stars of that movie. There is not much comfort in that, but it is the truth. Really, there are no words to say. My brother and I had a good talk about how people react to death. You all know that you have been at a funeral and heard some of the stupidest stuff said to the grieving. Ryan and I tend to try to stay in the back and be silent. I like to think that I will be there for them when they need me, but I won’t be in their face about it. I don’t know what to say, so I don’t say anything.

I want to end by sharing this video with you that my brother posted on his blog. I think they handled this situation very well. Sorry for the poor quality and spammy ads, but it is the only place you can find this video.




More Of Gravy Than Of Grave?

I have always been a night eater.

That could even be my superhero name: “I am the Night Eater! I eat sugary sweets within cover of darkness!” (stolen from an old Paul Reiser SNL sketch, in which he was the Night Stalker)

So, it came as no surprise to me that last night at 9:00 I found myself awake, in the bed, watching Up All Night and secretly inhaling the rest of the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Thankfully, I thought back on something I had read in Working Out Sucks! earlier that day. On page 74 Rebecca DeRossett talks about how we can learn new behaviors like learning a new language or playing the piano. We can then use this same capacity to learn new eating habits. Now, back in the bed I was having a fierce inner dialogue: “Those semi-sweet chips are supra-delicious!” “But you aren’t even hungry.” “Oh, I am hungry. Hungry for some half bitter chocolate nibs!” “No, you don’t need them. Imagine the look your wife would give you, were she still awake.” “Yeah, good point. You win this round sensible Evan.” “Well, it was lovely to see you again obsessive Evan.” (You think I am making this up, but I actually talk to myself in this way) I won the fight against the chocolate chips, turned out the light and went to sleep. Then came the night terrors.

Nikki and I had a pound of meat in the freezer that has been there for quite a while so we decided to make tacos last night. Last time we went grocery shopping Nikki found these tortillas:

Look at those fonts! If they put that much time into their packaging, they surely have filled the tortillas with beautiful nutrition. The only problem was that I proceeded to fill the tortilla with sour cream, cheese, salsa and meat. Not the best dinner I could have had, but I didn’t eat near as much as I usually would so I am proud of that. Anyway, back to the night terror. For some reason me and my little brother were driving around in what appeared to be a 1984 Lincoln towncar when all of the sudden I heard whistling and a children’s giggle followed by “I see you!” I looked out the window as we passed by different homes and there in each window we passed was a little girl in a poofy dress staring straight ahead. I immediately woke up and felt like the little girl was still behind me staring and starting quoting Psalm 23 from memory. Except I think I got some of the words wrong. I got through the shadow of death, but I couldn’t remember if the next part had to do with still water or something else. I finally started muttering “there’s more than gravy than of grave about you” under my breath (in case you are wondering I got that from Muppet’s Christmas Carol and not from my Dickensian memory) and was able to fall back asleep. This whole episode really got me to thinking about how minute changes in your diet can really affect you! Eat your vegetables kids! Otherwise the whistling hell child will visit you in your dreams.

Have a good weekend friends! I have some very exciting news in store for fans of the blog and I hope you all are as excited as I am. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out!

Are There No Pantries? No Food Stamps?

In the random randomness of yesterday’s post I forgot to tell you guys that I lost 3.6 pounds last week! I was pretty amazed, since I didn’t think my food decisions were very good.

In all honesty, it has been hard for Nikki and I to eat well when we are so low on funds. We were just talking about this this morning when discussing our breakfast options. I have a big thing of plain oats and I was going to try some new oatmeal recipes that I have seen online. Most of these recipes require the liquid added to be almond milk or the like (I know I can cook them with just water and that is probably what I will end up doing). Nikki’s point was, why don’t we buy the box of 10 packets of instant oatmeal that is $1.89 rather than a carton of milk which is usually >$2? I agree that it is a very good point. How do you eat organic and natural things when you can’t afford the extra $3? Now, Nikki and I are very blessed. We are always able to pay our bills and we usually are able to stick to a tight budget that includes money for fresh fruits and vegetables. We are lagging behind because January is always a hard month in our respective professions. It is the accumulation of Christmas gifts and unexpected bills and a looooong stretch between pay periods.

This experience has allowed me to think about what other families, who aren’t as blessed with good jobs, do to eat healthy. Why is it such a burden? What message do we send our well meaning mothers and fathers when we price a “party pizza” at $1 and a bunch of kale at $4? The change in eating habits is feasible for my family because we don’t have any kids. How on earth will I make these decisions when we do? I better get to work on that garden I have been daydreaming about, I can tell you that.

I don’t mean to make excuses, or blame the food companies. There are better, more educated people out there to do that for me. I just wanted to share with you what was on my heart at the moment. I do honestly worry about families who truly want the best health for their kids but don’t think they can provide it.  How can we help them?

How would Mr. Scrooge react to that question? “Are there no pantries? No food stamps?” Do these organizations provide healthy food to their participants? In truth, they are usually under funded and take whatever donations they can get. Usually these are canned goods, which in actuality are not that bad. A can of green beans is definitely better than peaches in heavy syrup, but the pantry will take whatever they can get. I also found (from our local pantry’s website) that they can only aid a family with groceries two times a year. I tried my best to find out more about the food stamps program, but I could not tell from their website if there were guidelines pertaining to the food bought. My assumption is that there isn’t, but if anyone knows differently please let me know. The reason I worry about the families that are trying is that it is becoming very trendy right now to make parents feel guilty for what they feed their kids. Most of this is warranted as I know there are parents out there who would use a sugar cube as a pacifier, but it makes me hurt for the parents who are really trying and doing the best they can and still feel the humongous weight of guilt. I have felt just a pang of it in these last few weeks because I can’t take Nikki out to eat and provide her with a satisfying lunch every day. She told me the other day “You should be used to this because you used to let your account get down to $.50 when you were a bachelor.” I said, “I know, but I have a family now.”

I don’t really have answers to all of the questions I am posing, I just wanted to share with you what was on my mind at the moment. Also, I was hoping to open up some kind of discussion in the comments. I have a very small corner of the internet, but I really hope and pray that my little website can provide encouragement and help alongside entertainment. I wanted to end today by showing you a picture of my dear sweet nephew Ben.


I saw this picture the other day and was reminded about how small we all are amidst the giant, staggering beauty that is nature. It gives me hope that the sunshine touches us all, no matter how small. It reminded me that the small gesture of children’s raised in greeting can beat back the swell of adult problems. It reminded me that Ben isn’t even my own son, but I love him more than anything and want the best for him. I can use that feeling to assume the feelings I will have for my own children and hope that I can provide them life, and health and happiness. I think that is probably all that any parents want. How can we help them achieve that when they can’t afford organic and natural foods? How do we help when cake is cheaper than carrots?

How can we be their healthy eating sunshine?

Ye Be Warned!

Max is an interesting dog.

For instance, every day when I have finished showering I open the curtain to find this:

I really wonder what goes through his mind when he sees me enter and leave the shower. I don’t mean to insult his intelligence, but since he has no basis of knowledge concerning showers, I can only assume that he thinks I have vanished and will never return. Thus, the look of relief when I open the shower curtain and reemerge.

I was off work on Monday, so I woke up later than usual. I wanted to try something (since I had time) so I made some instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal and added a little Nutella and frozen strawberries.

It was good, but kind of a weird mix of flavors. I would definitely try the nutella and frozen strawberry concoction again, but probably with plain oatmeal.

Later our friends Zach Barrett and Tiffany Smith came over for lunch. We had deer hamburgers cooked on the Foreman grill preceded by many hours of fun and frivolity. Zach brought his croquet set which we set up in the backyard. Croquet is a lot of fun and for some reason makes you feel above your station. I couldn’t help imagining that my mallet was actually one of those long necked birds from Alice in Wonderland. I will end the comparison there lest I compare my wife to the Queen of Hearts. Which I would never!

We followed croquet with frisbee which (because it was windy) quickly became get the frisbee off the roof with that big blue ball we have in the storage room, which then dissolved into skeet shooting with a frisbee and a big blue ball. Here is a picture of me poised to strike:

This is incredibly difficult and a lot of fun. Don’t try to steal this idea enterprising readers! I poor man’s copyrighted it by writing it on a piece of paper and then mailing it to myself. I don’t know if that will stand up in a court of law, but ye be warned!

Since we get little mail beyond the daily specials of a grocery store I have never been to, I rarely enjoy checking the mail. That is why I was so excited when a package came for me the other day!


A little while back I won a giveaway over at Best Body Fitness and am now the proud owner of Working Out Sucks! 

I have just now starting reading this book and I am really enjoying it. I keep reading a chapter and thinking “Get out of my head Chuck Runyon!” because he points out all the excuses that I have made for years about not exercising. I will put a more detailed review of the book up once I am done reading, but I already recommend that you read it just based on the few pages I have already read.

P.S. Did you notice the banner that I have added to the top right of my blog? It is in protest of the Protect IP/SOPA legislation that is currently making its way through Congress. I am in support of this protest and would love for you to check it out (if interested) and write your congressperson. For more information, click the banner or watch this video

You Can Do Anything!

I have amazing parents.

They taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to, but that I had to work hard to do it.

This is hard to swallow for a lot of parents nowadays, and they kick their kids out of the nest with their wings clipped.

I don’t have kids, so I certainly don’t judge anyone’s parenting style. But, I have worked in a University setting and I have noticed that a lot of the kids I worked with had the “I don’t have to anything and everything will fall into my lap” mentality. This fire has been stoked by the Justin Bieber’s of the world who get noticed on YouTube and become hugely famous.

I do have to say that I had hoped people would read this blog and think it revelatory and clap their hands together and shout “this kid’s got something!” Then I would make oodles of money and move to Montana and live on a ranch with no animals and be left alone and live happily ever after. But, now, I really don’t care about that stuff. Sure I have the dreams, but the most I really hope for from this blog is that it will help people get in touch with their feelings about food and maybe encourage them. Consider me your digital pat on the back.

This extremely long set up was meant for this video clip which I thought was hilariously humbling:

You Can Do Anything!

Please click on the link. Sorry, but NBC doesn’t allow clips of their shows on YouTube, and I couldn’t figure out how to embed it in the post.

Bedroom Disco (not a euphemism)

This morning Nikki and I were half awake and talking in the bed when she said, “Alright, I’m getting up.” I looked at her and said, “Well then I’m getting down!” I then preceded to dance (still lying down, mind you) and hum “do do dum, dum de do do”.

She was not amused.

Possibly because it was 4 AM.

Last night Nikki and I felt like making brinner. I folded some organic chocolate chips in with my batter.Delicious.

Nikki had to go out of town today for a training exercise so my friend Kaleb came over for a Lord of the Rings-a-thon. We are attempting to watch all three extended edition films in one day. We are currently on The Return of the King and while it has been great fun, I am getting a little sleepy (4 AM, anybody?).

Also, since we are having a guys hang out day, we are enjoying typical guy hang out food. Chicken biscuits for breakfast and pizza rolls for lunch. I see more pizza rolls in my future as well. That is not to say that all of my choices today have been poor. Kaleb and I are both fond of hot tea and he graciously brought his big jar of tea.Wary readers will spy Aragorn on the tv in the background. Well, I guess you all will since I just told you.

I decided on a Lipton Green Tea bag with Raspberry and Red Goji. It was good, but a little bitter. I had to stir in a pack of stevia to make it to the bottom. I now have enough caffeine to make it through this last movie.

The Arwen love story scenes are now over so I am going to give my attention back to the television. Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!