April 3rd, 2017

storyteller doll

Graze Box #22

I have a lot of stuff to write about, but first, some catching up on routine things. Like snack reviews.

Booster Seeds: This is a mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and golden flaxseeds. It has 220 calories and 9 grams of protein. I wish the flaxseeds were easier to eat. They’re about the size of sesame seeds, so they are hard to pick up. Overall, I don’t find this particularly exciting, but it is tasty enough and useful for times when I feel like I really need something high in protein.

Sesame Garlic Crunch: This consists of garlic sesame sticks, oat bran sesame sticks, and multigrain soy rice crackers. It has 140 calories. Overall, I like the combination of flavors and the crunchiness, making this a satisfying savory snack. It’s also a good argument for portion control.

Snickerdoodle Dip: This is a tasty dip, made from snickerdoodle cookies, with cinnamon pretzel sticks to dip into it. It has 150 calories. Unlike most Graze snacks, it has pretty much no nutritional merits. But it is particularly delicious, which is sometimes reason enough to eat something.

Kettlecorn Kern Pops: These are half-popped corn kernels, with a sweet and salty kernels. They have 130 calories. Overall, I’d say they’re not bad, but I generally prefer more savory crunchy snacks.

Malaysian Laksa: This consists of a slightly spicy coconut broth with a mix of chili and lime cashews and dried coconut to eat on the side. It has 130 calories. Because the broth is made just from a paste and hot water, it is faster to reconstitute than the other Graze soups. I find it quite tasty and having the cashew mix to munch on makes this more filling than most of them. It’s a good light lunch or a nice mid-afternoon break on a long day.

Carrot Crunch (new): This consists of carrot chips, wild rice sticks, and hickory-smoked almonds. It has 140 calories. This is a bit weird and I am on the fence about it. The carrot chips were somewhat on the sweet side. I didn’t think they blended as well as they might with the almonds, though the latter were not as smoky as I’d have preferred. Normally, I think Graze snacks work best if you eat all the components together, but this may be an exception. I’m willing to give it another chance and see how I feel about it then.

Original Protein Flapjack: This is a rolled oat flapjack (i.e. soft granola bar) with flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and soy protein. It has 260 calories and 8 grams of protein, so is more of a light meal than a snack. Golden syrup gives it a nice flavor - on the sweet side, but not cloying.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Granola Topper: This consists of oat and barley granola, yogurt-coated strawberry pieces, soy protein crispies, and freeze-dried strawberry pieces. It has 130 calories. As much as I love strawberries, this still seems to me like it is mostly crunch, more than berry. It’s good enough to mix with yogurt for that purpose, but it just can’t compare to fresh strawberries.
storyteller doll

Movies - First Quarter 2017

Just a few:

  1. Hidden Figures: This was a must-see, given its subject (technical women, related to space), so I got myself to a an actual movie theatre. It was excellent and well worth that effort. Yes, not every single moment in it was absolute fact, e.g. it was only Mary Jackson who had to seek out a "colored" bathroom to use, while Katherine Johnson just ignored the signs all along. And, while John Glenn did insist on Johnson's calculations, that was actually quite a bit before the launch, not at the last minute. But those are nits. The movie rang true, with plenty of inspiring moments. Highly recommended.

  2. Hunt for the Wilderpeople: This was a rather odd movie from New Zealand, involving a child running from child protective services, who are trying to take him from his foster father after the death of his foster mother. It won me over from the beginning with an interesting soundtrack and quirky characters. I thought this was genuinely funny and was mildly embarrassed to laugh out loud on an airplane. It probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you like character-based humor, give it a look-see.

  3. The Maltese Falcon: I'm sure I must have seen this before, but it had been a while and it was about the right length for the plane trip I watched it on. It's a classic of the noir genre and justly famous. But a lot of that has to do with the performances (especially Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade), since a fair amount of the plot is unconvincing.