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Power nutritious breakfast

How to Eat a Super Nutritious Breakfast & What to Buy

Over the years, I’ve experimented with various types of breakfasts, hoping to find the sweet spot between something that tastes good, is easy to make, and gives me the nutrients and energy to start my day off right. In this post, I’ll be sharing my “go-to” breakfast that I eat at least 4-5 times a week.

The Ultimate English Muffin

The centerpiece of my breakfast is the English muffin. My preferred brand of choice is Vermont Bread Company’s Organic & Natural English Muffins. I’ve tried all the different varieties (Whole Wheat, Golden White, Honey Wheat, Multigrain, etc.) and my hands-down favorite is Spelt. Spelt is species of wheat that’s been around for a long time and known for being an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Its taste is not as distinctive as whole wheat, so it becomes a nice canvas for whatever I put on top.

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Rishi Turmeric Ginger Tea

Tea Season is Here

One of my favorite parts of autumn and winter is that it’s tea-drinking season. During the warmer months of summer, I rarely crave any warm drinks (except coffee), but the moment it dips below 50 degrees, I’m all about the tea.

One of my favorite teas is Rishi Turmeric Ginger. It’s got a yellowish tint with an herbal, spicy flavor and makes for a great nighttime drink since it’s caffeine-free.

These are the ingredients:

  • organic ginger root
  • organic turmeric root
  • organic licorice root
  • organic lemongrass
  • organic orange peel
  • organic lemon peel
  • essential orange and lemon oils

I typically get about 2-3 steeps out of a bag before the flavor runs out, and since it’s caffeine-free, I don’t mind refilling my mug with hot water over and over again.

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Grove Ave Starter: Jumpstarting Your Day

Getting Started With Starter

About a year ago, my friends and I began working on a new company called Grove Ave (fair warning, this is a bit of a cross-promotional post). The other two guys who regularly write for BuysWithFriends, Andy and Pete, are also working on Grove Ave. We put out a free e-book that helps people become more productive and we have a second e-book on the way. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we really value our time and our freedom, both of which greatly inform whatever purchases we make. So, we began to think about the following question: what kind of product could we come up with that would help people save time every day? It took close to a year to formulate but we finally did it: we created Grove Ave Starter, a combination energy and immunity booster. I took it for a month and now I’m ready to talk about it. How did it go?

Picking up Starter after a year's worth of research and development efforts
Picking up Starter after a year’s worth of research and development efforts

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Childhood Cereals

Top 5 Childhood Cereals

Once a year I get an intense craving for cereal and we’re not talking about the healthy kind. When I crave cereal it’s for the really brightly colored, artificially flavored, super sweet kind. Well the craving came around again this year and instead of getting one box, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and buy 5 of my favorite childhood cereals. Let’s see if they’re still as good as I remember.

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I tried a Soylent only diet. Here’s how it went.

Last year, one of our good friends, Saad, visited us in Philadelphia. Saad is an engineer at Palantir and told me about Soylent. I had seen ads for it Soylent on the Internet but hadn’t gotten up the courage to try. After all, I’m a huge fan of food, a la my affinity for Blue Apron. He said I had to try it as it would save me time. He further emphasized that if I was throwing away calories in the afternoon I might as well save some time and get a “balanced” meal while I was at it. This last point rang true, I’ll sometimes eat just a Probar or perhaps a sandwich from a local food cart. I was skeptical at first. But I decided to take the plunge. I asked Saad to order me a box and a mixing pitcher (at that time, Soylent was 5-6 weeks backordered for new customers and it was easier to get it through someone who is already a subscriber). So how did it go?

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The Three Best Gifts for Students: Fisher Space Pen, Stanley Vacuum Bottle, and BlenderBottle GoStak Storage Jars

Working hard or hardly working?
Working hard or hardly working?

Back to school after the holidays? Gifts for the student in your life this holiday season

Last year I decided to quit my tenured federal job and become a full-time student again. The challenges of being a student are very different from the challenges of working full-time. Student life is very much on-the-go and most days I lived out of my backpack or messenger bag. Anything that got thrown into the bag had to be reliable and tough. Below I discuss three things that helped me overcome some of those challenges. I think any of these, a Fisher Space Pen, a Stanley vacuum bottle, and a BlenderBottle GoStaks, would make an excellent gift for the student in your life. They are all under $25 too! Read on to find out why I think these items make awesome gifts for students.

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EXO Bars: And now we got bad bugs (crickets)

Cricket for your thoughts? I jump on the sustainable food train… and fall off.

A few weeks ago, Peter clued me into a protein bar company called Exo which sells variously flavored supplement bars made from– cricket flour. I’ll eat anything, at least once, including Exo bars. When I was stationed in Korea, Peter actually visited me while on business and we had some bundegi (alt spelling beondegi), or silkworm larva, while on a hike.

Acheta domesticus or the house cricket, the fifth ingredient in Exo bars
Acheta domesticus or the house cricket, the fifth ingredient in Exo bars
Bundegi, smells faintly like popcorn, but buggier
Bundegi, smells faintly like popcorn, but buggier
Peter eating bundegi in 2006
Peter eating bundegi (or beondegi) in 2006

So how did I like the cricket bars? Read on!

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NatureBox: reviewing the monthly snack service

Two years with NatureBox: lots of snacks delivered to the front door

In keeping with my philosophy of valuing time over money, in July 2013, I decided to give NatureBox a try. Why shop for snacks when someone will do that for you, find the tastiest ones, and ensure you get them on a regular basis?  NatureBox is a subscription service that delivers snacks to your front door on a regular basis. In a weird coincidence, I attended high school with one of the company’s founders, Ken Chen (considering all of the entrepreneurs that have come out of our mid-sized public school, I think it must’ve been something in the water).

Sample selection of snacks that come in a single box
Sample selection of snacks that come in a single box

So how did my experience with NatureBox go? Read on to find out!

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Blue Apron (part II): How much can eating in save for you?


Thinking about how much BA can save for you

Saving money early on in your life is really important because of compounding. However, many of us early in our careers find it hard to save because of a variety of reasons: social pressure (doing what all your friends are doing, trying to keep up with the people next door, etc), relatively low compensation rates, desire to live in areas with a high cost of living (e.g. DC, NYC, SF).

But one way of easily saving money is to find solutions that meet your needs but are much cheaper than the alternative. I previously wrote about the dinner kit service Blue Apron and in that post I said that the service saved me a lot of money. To back up that statement, here’re some number for you.

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I Got 12 Buncha Crunch Boxes for Under $12

Sometime last year, they stopped selling Buncha Crunch at BAM Rose Cinemas, where I usually go to watch movies. Instead, they sell Ritter Sport Chocolate bars. I’ve been super bummed, and the last time I went, I settled for popcorn with Pepsi.

Buncha Crunch is my go-to candy whenever I go to the movies. There’s something very comforting about the waxy, 540-calorie treat. It’s got a nice crunchy texture that I prefer over the softer Goobers. I also find that it’s not as sweet as M&Ms, which I find to be too sweet when consumed by the boxful. Coupled with a Diet Coke, it is a delightful combo to partake while at the movies. Most of the time, I’ll finish the entire box by the time trailers are finished.

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