Foodie Finds: Protein Version + A Giveaway

I love food!  And it’s no wonder coming from a huge Italian family :). I used to be incredibly picky, but over the years and a lot of time in the food & beverage industry have opened up my eyes to a lot of yummy foods that in the past I would have never tried.

That being said, as I’ve discussed before, I don’t really like to cook, which as a foodie is probably sacrilegious but it is what it is, right.

So when I have the opportunity to try new products that are tasty, easy and mostly healthy, I’m all for it.

In the past few weeks I’ve been sent some new (to me) products and I thought I’d share my thoughts.  Interestingly enough all 3 of these products are protein products that I could use either before or after a run.  I received free samples of each of these products, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

First up, Doughbar Doughnuts, a protein packed doughnut.  Who doesn’t love doughnuts?  These are so cute and come in a number of flavors.  The Northern California bakery sent me a few to try.  I picked Apple Pie with Streusel Crunch & Maple Bacon and then they sent me the Cookies & Cream.

Doughbar Doughnuts

Doughbar Doughnuts are baked not fried and packed with 11 grams of protein in each doughnut.  They have 3g sugar and 150 calories each.  Right now they aren’t gluten free but they have one in the works that will be coming soon.

Doughbar sends you instructions on how to make your doughnuts.  You heat them in the microwave for a few seconds and then you decorate them however you want with the frosting & crunch (also microwaved for a few seconds).

img_9212

So how do they taste?  Well they are a bit heavier than a traditional doughnut, I equate them to more bagel like than doughnut like, but they were tasty.  I was expecting to like the apple pie flavor the best, but the Cookies & Cream were my favorite!

They take orders at 8:00am on Thursdays and then ship as perishable goods on Mondays, the doughnuts range from $15 – $39 for 4 – 12 doughnut packs – there is a $9 flat rate shipping cost as well.

Next up, the folks at Mighty Organic Organic Beef Bars sent me an awesome gift pack (they were also giving away a 1000 bars via an email I received as well) with 2 of their new beef bar flavors and some other cool things.

img_9206

I was shocked at how many bars they sent and really impressed with the flavors.  I have to say in the past, I would have been a bit leary of the a beef bar, equating it to the jerky that you see in a convenience store.  I can honestly say I’ve never had one of those jerky sticks.

Mighty Organic’s beef bars are nothing like what I imagine those sticks to be like.  They have 3 flavors, Uncured Bacon & Apple, Cranberry & Sunflower Seed and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper.

From their website absolutely no antibiotics, GMOs, synthetic hormones or toxic pesticides are used in Mighty Snacks. They have 8 grams of protein, are gluten & nut free.  They use 100% grassfed, organic cattle raised in the Channel Country of the Australian Outback.

They sent me samples of the Uncured Bacon & Apple & the Cranberry & Sunflower Seed bars, although I have to say the sea salt & cracked pepper sounds amazing & I’m excited to try it next!

The beef bars are soft and chewy, they are super flavorful.  I really enjoyed them, especially the uncured bacon & apple.

img_9198

You can find Mighty Snacks at Whole Foods, Sprouts and even 7-11 or online.  They sell them individually or in packs of 12, 24 or 48.

Lastly, local San Diego based company, Arctic Zero sent me some of their new flavors of Fit Frozen Desserts to try.

img_9209

Arctic Zero is handcrafted from Premium ingredients, no artificial ingredients, sweeteners or colors.  They use the finest quality whey protein that is lactose free.

Arctic Zero ingredients are Fat Free, Certified Gluten-Free (with the exception of 3 flavors), Lactose Free, GMO Free, Low Glycemic & Kosher and Vegetarian.  They have 12 grams of Protein per pint.

They sent me the 5 newest flavors, 3 Chunky Flavors – Brownie Blast, Banana Pudding & Snickerdoodle Dandy, 2 Creamy flavors Cake Batter & Poppin’ Pomegranate.

Of these flavors, 3 of them have 75 calories per serving, 300 calories per pint and the other 2 have only 35 calories per serving 150 calories per pint.

They recommend allowing the pint to thaw for 10 – 15 minutes before digging in to enjoy it at its creamiest.

So, how does it taste?  Well, I’ll be honest, the only one of the 5 that I really liked was the Brownie Blast.  The other flavors were very mild in taste & I had to search for the flavor, especially the cake batter.  But the Brownie Blast, was super yummy.  It tasted chocolatey and had chunks of brownie inside.

The texture is nice once it’s thawed and if you are looking for a low calorie dessert, I would definitely recommend the Brownie Blast.  With 75 calories per serving & 300 calories per pint, it’s a nice low calorie treat.  The other flavors, I would probably add to maybe some fruit or in the case of the Snickerdoodle Dandy, maybe a fruit crumble to give it a bit more flavor.

Now for the good stuff!  Mighty Organic generously is giving a gift bag, like the one I received to one lucky reader!  Want to try them for yourself? Enter below.

img_9207
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs from 12/9 to 11:59p 12/15/16.  Void where prohibited. Open to US residents 18+. Must have a valid email address.  Winner will be contacted and will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.  

#TeamNakamura in Italy – Venice & Harry’s Bar

Since we are on our way to Venice today, I figured this was a fitting post.  I wrote this post months ago but never actually posted it.

After a fun filled week in the Dolomites, Sean & I headed south to Venice where we were going to run the Venice Marathon which I recapped here. Most of our visit was gear towards the race, but we spent the day after the race exploring the city.

This was Sean’s first time to Venice but he had heard all about it from his grandmother who visited often.  There was a place that she always talked about that he wanted to visit and that place is the famous Harry’s Bar.

7f0e7780-3a30-4e78-bc40-012f9a4756a0

So off we went, on a beautiful morning (unlike the cloudy day we had for the race) past Saint Mark’s Square where there was a bit of water in the piazza to the water front, past the gondolas (we would take our own ride later by the Rialto Bridge) and all the tourist kiosks.  Harry’s bar is an unassuming place, in fact if you didn’t know where it was you probably would miss it because the sign is very small.

4685ffe5-fb09-40f9-8e22-b65fe8251569

When we first got there we saw that it was still closed so we went off to take our gondola ride. The gondola ride cost us 80 Euro for a 1/2 hour or I believe it was 120 Euro for an hour.  They only take cash and the gondolier was very nice to walk us to an ATM so I could get some euros.  Our ride took us past the hotel where George Clooney was married, apparently it’s a 7 star hotel, I’ve never heard of 7 stars but ok.  For the most part we just enjoyed the ride, but occasionally our gondolier would tell us things about the area or the gondola itself.  Did you know that they are flat bottomed can’t really be used in deep water and that one side is longer than the other to help them steer it?  And they are only used for tourists these days. It was quite fascinating.

e7b5c1cf-a4cc-4b75-b78d-475adcd806b6

We finished up our ride heading back towards the Rialto, which unfortunately was under construction. And then it was time for lunch so we headed back to Harry’s Bar.

We walked in, the lower level is just a bar, and we said we were there to eat.  We were escorted upstairs to another area and since there was only one other person in the dining room, were were able to pick our table.  We picked a 2 seat table which ended up in our opinion being the best table there.  The view was spectacular!!

img_0725

And then we opened the menus and saw that this was in fact a very expensive restaurant.  I don’t know what we were thinking, except that it was important for Sean to be there to honor his grandmother.  So a quick story on why it was important to her.  On one of her visits, she was in the bar area and someone was talking about a high school in Marin County CA and she made a comment to them.  Well turns out that someone was Robin Williams!  They got to talking and the rest is history.

So back to the meal, we decided to suck it up and have a fabulous lunch, we were on our honeymoon after all!

d4c3fa94-272c-47b0-ae8a-4465dcf609bc

So we choose 2 pasta dishes, a baked pasta dish, I can’t remember the name of it now, but it had ham in it and a crunchy cheese topping and a super yummy risotto dish.  Each of these items was over 35 Euros, I don’t remember the exact price but everything there was over 30 Euros.

d19a7634-ab2f-49cf-af72-987e38bb275f 5b73d353-a314-4835-8084-b4849e4d266b

We enjoyed the view and the service was excellent.  I felt a little bad being up there in our Altras, jeans and t-shirts like we should have been a lot more dressed up 🙂 but I’m pretty sure others that we saw come in after us were in jeans too.  I read that there is a dress code where pants are required (no shorts).

2e4d8338-fe62-4236-b5e9-1b5a9b47e4e0

After enjoying the yummy pasta we decided to go for dessert and choose a chocolate cake and some homemade vanilla ice cream.  Both of which I believe were around 27 Euros plus 2 americano style coffees 9 Euros each.

70e07184-a837-45d3-83cf-ea289e6329d1 84d3ea04-99a7-46f6-9620-676c87747c76

I love food and one day I want to visit Per Se and/or French Laundry which are both crazy expensive so I understand expensive food, and the food here was excellent, but I wouldn’t put it at the same scale either of these restaurants.  If you go to Harry’s Bar, it’s not for the food, it’s for the experience, the history the Bellini was invented here and the great Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time there.

We had a fabulous time but would I go back?  Probably not for a meal, but maybe dessert or an appetizer :).

Review: Terra’s Kitchen

Disclosure: I received a $100 credit from Terra’s Kitchen to do this review.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you are probably aware that I love food, but I’m not really a big fan of cooking.  That’s not to say that I can’t, it’s just that I don’t enjoy it and with all the traveling that we do, even just going to the grocery store is not a common occurrence.

We don’t have air conditioning and turning on the oven is a no-no during the summer and I need easy recipes that are quick to make.  I’ve seen and tried a few other meal services and I have to say that Terra’s Kitchen fulfills those needs.

So how does it work?  You start by putting in your zip code and email address.  You can either pick the recipes you’d like to cook or their chefs can choose for you.  They prep and pre-portion, pre-chop the ingredients for you.  This is a huge plus, some of the other services give you all the ingredients but you still have to chop veggies, etc. which takes a lot of time.  They deliver everything weekly, I believe there were options for Thursday & Saturday in my zip code.  And then finally you cook the healthy meals in 30 minutes or less using the step by step recipe cards.

I had a hard time picking my meals there were so many to choose from, I finally settled on 4 meals and filled my vessel.  The meals come in this super cool climate controlled vessel that looks like a mini fridge.  You can see more in the video that I made below (sorry I’m still learning how to take the best videos and I didn’t realize that I needed to hold my phone the other way, oops).

The meals I chose were Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa, Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples, Bacon, Kale & Caramelized Onion Pasta Salad & TERRAchilada.  All the meals I received had organic grass-fed beef and sustainable fish in them.

So once you get the vessel which was sent via FedEx, you take out all the food, peel off the label and then leave it in the same place you found it for FedEx to pick it up the next business day.  You don’t have to do anything special, the pick-up has already been arranged for you.

Terra's Kitchen, Meal ServiceI got our first delivery on Thursday after we got home from Tahoe and made our first meal that night.  I picked to have meals for 2 people because it’s just Sean & I, but you can pick to have meals for up to 4 people.  All of the meals are pre-portioned & pre-chopped and labeled with a number that corresponds to the recipe card so you know exactly what you need.

Our first meal was the Crispy Salmon with Watermelon Salsa.

Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa Prep for Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa Crispy Salmon & Watermelon Salsa

 

I actually skipped the next 2 days because we went to Kodiak and needed to carb up and then spent the night out of town, fortunately all the meats had use by dates that went until the following Tuesday so we had some time to use them.

Next up was the Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples.  I did another video so here goes :).

This salad was so easy to make, the tilapia was so tender, it literally fell apart as I was cooking it.  The only caveat on this one is that I didn’t realize it at first but I received 2 containers of almonds and no honey for the dressing.  I didn’t have any in the house so I made the dressing without it.  It was still good but probably not as good as it would have been with the honey.

Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples Tilapia Salad with Arugula & Apples

Next up was the Bacon, Kale & Caramelized Onion Pasta.  Again super easy, I made a mistake on this one though, I don’t normally cook with sugar so I left the brown sugar out of the caramelized onions but then Sean was like you should use it so I threw it in after the fact and I felt like the sauce was a bit too sweet for me.  For some reason I didn’t take any prep photos so all we’ve got is my finished product :).

img_9703 img_9679

The last meal I made was the TERRAchildas which is Terra’s Kitchen’s version of the enchilada.  These don’t look the same as the photo and were very tasty but not easy to eat.  I think I didn’t make the tortilla’s exactly right, but it was super yummy.

img_9700 img_9701 img_9699

I have to say these meals were so easy, I would start them when Sean said he was on his way home and they were always done before he arrived.  I felt like they were done before you knew it.  I never once had to turn on the oven and the step by step directions were perfect.

We loved Terra’s Kitchen and I’ve already placed my order for this week, on my own dime.  Sean & I cleaned our plates every single time.  This is a big deal for me because I really don’t like to cook.

Want to try Terra’s Kitchen for yourself?  You can use code TOAST30 for $30 off your first-time order.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra’s Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s time to get our #sparklingdetox on!

**I am participating in the Gerolsteiner #sparklingdetox as part of a partnership with FitApproach, I was given a case of Gerolsteiner Natural Sparkling Mineral Water to participate in the detox. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.**

 It’s time!  Gerolsteiner’s #sparklingdetox began today! If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time. Head over to and join the Facebook Group and check out the store locator to find Gerolsteiner in your area.

All the racing, traveling, & French fry consumption (I swear every single meal in France included French fries lol) has taken its toll and it’s time for me to get back on track.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love doing little detoxes here and there and I’m so excited that this detox doesn’t restrict food, but I will be making a concentrated effort to find more healthy options and to limit my French fry intake significantly, which in itself will be a challenge, lol.

img_9117 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to be crewing for Sean at Tahoe 200 for the first few days of the detox so I’m interested to see how that goes with no coffee and little sleep, but I know after traveling so much in the last month I really need to make some changes with my diet. I’ve noticed that when I travel, I tend not to drink enough water so having to drink 2.5 liters per day is going to be interesting.

img_9116

Since I’ll be away from home and a kitchen, not that ours gets much use when we are home, I’ll be on the look-out for healthy options vs. the normal fast food fare. If you read my (very long) Tahoe 200 recap from last year, you’ll know that it’s a pretty easy race to crew and while there is a lot of driving & downtime, there are also quite a few spots around the lake where I can find decent food options. The detox doesn’t require any specific food choices, but since I’m using this as a way to kick-start a healthier diet, I’m going to look for better choices, even if it’s not super easy.

img_9021

Are you ready?  What’s your #sparklingdetox plan?

 

 

Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Taste Test

**This post is sponsored by Gerolsteiner through a partnership with Fitapproach, as always all thoughts and opinions are mine.**

Gerolsteiner’s #SparklingDetox is going to be starting in mid September and I’m so excited! I just spent a week in the Alps and boy are mineral waters popular in Europe.

Gerolsteiner and I want you to join us for the #SparklingDetox Challenge from Sept 12 – 15. Don’t forget to join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group so you can meet other detoxers. Fitness Expert & Nutritionist, Ariane Hundt (link to page about Ariane http://www.gerolsteiner-usa.com/enjoy-life.html) will be sharing tips and guidance during the detox.

IMG_8520

Also, check out this link to a cool Mineral Calculator, http://www.mineral-calculator.com/the-mineral-calculator.html, that is on Gerolsteiner’s website. Before I left, I checked out what sparkling natural mineral waters are in that area.

Gerolsteiner’s mineral calculator compares the amount of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, potassium, sodium, chloride & sulfate in the water and gives you a total mineral content for 1 liter of water.

Having lived in Italy in college, almost 20 years ago, yikes! I am familiar with some of the brands that I could compare in the calculator.  I picked 3 other brands that I felt like I could find in France, Italy & Switzerland and then set out to find them and do a taste test.

IMG_8521

 I decided to go global since we would be visiting 3 countries during our trip.  I tried Gerolsteiner Sparkling (German), San Pellegrino & Perrier.  I wanted to try a few other brands but they weren’t readily available in Chamonix – Mont Blanc.  There were however a lot of other brands of both sparkling & flat mineral waters that were sold in various restaurants.  Surprising to me, San Pellegrino was quite popular in this area of France.  We were served it at every dinner.  Perrier was also quite popular – I saw it in all the Casino’s (grocery store).

According to the Mineral Calculator here are the mineral contents of the different waters.
IMG_8535

Could I taste the difference? Oooh….interesting question.

I moved to Italy when I was 22 as part of a consortia program with Indiana University, 9 other US universities and the Universita di Bologna for a year of study abroad.  Do you believe I’m pretty sure when I moved to Italy I had never had sparkling mineral water?

I have cousins that live in Rome and showed me around the city and shared their favorite meals with me.  It was interesting that at restaurants, they don’t give out glasses of tap water like we do here, you would ask for either acqua naturale or acqua minerale or frizzante.  I quickly learned that naturale was flat mineral water and frizzante/minerale/gassata was sparkling and my family, at least at the time, drank a lot of acqua gassata.

I remember when I moved back to the States for my last semester at IU, I was craving acqua minerale, but mineral water here is way more expensive than it is in Europe & as a poor college student, I was buying 2 liters of sparkling water, which I later found out was nothing more than carbonated water. Insert sad face emoji here lol.

When was the first time you had Sparkling Mineral Water?  And did you notice a difference?

Gerolsteiner #SparklingDetox

I am super excited to be partnering with Gerolsteiner & FitApproach for the #SparklingDetox Challenge in mid September.  I received a free case of water for the challenge, however as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  All information on the actual water is from Gerolsteiner.

First let’s talk about who Gerolsteiner is.

Bottled in Gerolstein, Germany directly from the Volcanic Eifel since 1888, Gerolsteiner is know in international markets as the “World’s No. 1 Sparkling Natural Mineral Water”.  It is sold in 40 countries.

Beach

What makes Gerolsteiner mineral water so special?

From Gerolsteiner: With many waters there are two criteria that are mutually exclusive. Either the water tastes neutral but contains only a small amount of minerals, or the water is full of minerals but tastes salty or bitter due to the sodium chloride or sulfate content. Gerolsteiner mineral water combines the best of both. It has its origin in the Volcanic Eifel – an area that offers soil conditions unique throughout the world: Gerolsteiner’s well-balanced water is the result of the carbonic acid of volcanic origin and the region’s dolomite rock, which is exceptionally highly mineralized. Thus Gerolsteiner neither tastes bitter nor salty – but pleasantly neutral and refreshing naturally. Not many waters contain essential calcium and at the same time essential magnesium as well.

The unique source, the Volcanic Eifel, with its naturally high mineral content means Gerolsteiner has almost 2,500 mg of mineral content per liter which is quite a bit higher than other brands.

Interestingly, the mineral water is bottled with carbon dioxide from natural springs.  This means there is no need to artificially carbonate the water.

Now that we’ve introduced Gerolsteiner Sparking Natural Mineral Water, I know you are interested in what the #SparklingDetox is.

Yoga Picture

It’s super simple, which is great for someone like me.  I love pre-packaged juice cleanses & trying new things that are easy.  Between all the travel, work and running, I just don’t have time to do anything complicated.

So basically all you need to do is, commit to drinking Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from September 12 – 16.  You can eat your normal meals, exercise like normal, but you’ll give up soda, juice, alcohol and coffee (insert crying emoji here, lol) &/or tea.

When I first saw the info on what was required for the #SparklingDetox I almost started crying because I’ll be in Tahoe crewing Sean at Tahoe 200 and I was like oh, no! I’m not going to be able to eat for 3 days I’m there? But then I read a little further and found out I can eat whatever I want, I just can’t drink anything else, super easy :).

Why do I want to do the #SparklingDetox?  It’s so easy, just drink Gerolsteiner water then eat & exercise like normal? How can you go wrong?

As an added bonus, Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water not only tastes good, it also contains 33% of our daily requirement of Calcium and 25% of our daily requirement of Magnesium (per liter), which means for all of us that don’t really drink a lot of milk or don’t want to take a supplement, we can get a good amount of calcium just from drinking Gerolsteiner.

I have always been a fan of mineral water and have always known that not all waters are created equal.  It’s fascinating to me that depending on what region, what type of bedrock the spring comes from, can really have an effect on the taste.  And let me just say, I am super picky about my water and always have been.

Partnering with Gerolsteiner has really educated me on how different water can be.  There are 3 different types of water, mineral, sparkling & purified.   So what does that mean?

Want to join me in the #SparklingDetox?

A How To in 3 easy steps.

  • Check out the store locator to find a store near you that sells Gerolsteiner so you can make sure to have a minimum of 1 case to drink during the week or sign up get the chance to win a free supply of Gerolsteiner Water http://bit.ly/SparklingDetox.
  • Commit to drinking only Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from Sept. 12 – 16.
  • Join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group to meet others participating in the detox and hear their experiences.

How much easier can it get?  I’m so looking forward to how easy this detox will be and how good I will feel drinking a lot more water!

Doughnut or Donut: Portland Edition

I was super excited to go to Portland for the Vancouver USA Marathon and one of the reasons for that is that I’ve always heard about Portland’s foodie scene.  I love food and trying new things.

We didn’t have an opportunity to try as much as I would have liked because we had so much to fit into our 3 days, but we did have time to try both Voodoo Doughnuts & Blue Star Donuts.

A lot of people have heard of Voodoo Doughnuts.  With lines that can go down the block, they are known for their outrageous, crazy flavors & sizes.

We went to the Original, Voodoo Doughnut One on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Portland.  Sean had been there before and we made it our very first stop (after a stop at Barista, which is just down the street, for some coffee).  As we were walking down the street, he was like oh, good the line isn’t too bad.  There was a line, but we only waited maybe around 15-20 minutes.  Of course we realized as we were in line that it was cash only so once we got inside, Sean headed to the ATM while I waited in line.

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, OR

There are over 90 different doughnuts on the menu so it was a challenge to choose.  They all look so cool, but ultimately we decided on the following:  Maple Bacon, Memphis Mafia & the Old Dirty Bastard.

Voodoo Doughnut, Maple Bacon, doughnut, Portland, OR

Maple Bacon bar doughnut
Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top!

The Maple Bacon was my favorite of the 3.  Always a great combination, I was surprised at how crisp and crunchy the bacon was, just like we like our bacon, but it didn’t just fall apart.

Memphis Mafia doughnut
Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top!

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland, OR, Memphis Mafia

The Memphis Mafia is HUGE! Seriously, look at it, it’s almost as big as my head!! I was impressed with this fritter type doughnut.  The banana wasn’t overpowering, the dough was moist and not the toppings weren’t overly sweet.  I really thought I would be biting into a sugar bomb and that wasn’t the case at all.

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland, OR, doughnuts, maple bacon, memphis mafia, dirty old bastard

Old Dirty Bastard doughnut
Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s™ and peanut butter!

This was probably my least favorite of the 3.  I again was surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet, but I thought it was kind of blah, nothing to write home about.

After posting about our Voodoo visit, we were told that Blue Star was where all the locals go and since we saw it on our way to Vancouver on Saturday we knew exactly were it was so we could try them out too.

We made our way to Blue Star on Monday morning before heading over to Mt. Hood for the day.  Blue Star is different from Voodoo in a lot of ways.  First off, there wasn’t a line, second, their display is super clean and you are in the kitchen where you can watch them preparing the donuts.  I thought I had a photo I could share but I couldn’t find it in my photo album.  Lastly, they accept credit cards, while Voodoo is cash only.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR

From the Blue Star website: Our donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made from scratch every day; we start with a sustainable bread flour from Shepherds Grain, add cage free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter. Our donuts, glazes, and fillings are made fresh throughout the day, and we only cook our donuts in rice oil. Selections change daily and sell out quickly.

Because I lost my photo of the display case and they don’t keep their donut list on their website, I’m hoping I got the flavors correct. I scoured their Instagram for the flavors. First off, they are a much more modern, clean and artisan style of donut where as the Voodoo doughnut is a more in your face and crazy.  It was hard to choose, but ultimately we went with the following 4 different types and flavors.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Blueberry bourbon basil, donut

Blueberry, Bourbon, Basil – Sean asked about which donut was the best seller and we were told this one was.  I feel like this was more cake donut than brioche like the Raspberry Rosemary below but I might be wrong, since there was frosting on it, it was hard to tell.  But it was definitely tasty.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Peanut Butter & Jelly, donut

Peanut Butter & Jelly – I had to try this one because I love PB.  This was I believe a raspberry or maybe blackberry (I can’t remember) filled with peanut butter powder and I believe a little cayenne pepper.  There was definitely a little kick in the back of my throat with this one.  Super yummy, I enjoyed this one.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Hard Apple Cider Fritter

Hard Cider Apple Fritter – I like apple fritters so I picked this for our fourth choice.  Made with apples, cinnamon and raisins and a nice glaze it was good, but in comparison to the others, it was probably our least favorite.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Raspberry Rosemary, Donut

Raspberry & Rosemary – Sean also asked the guy helping us what his favorite was and he pointed to this one.  We were super lucky to get to try one that was still warm.  This was by far our favorite, warm and crunchy on outside while still remaining soft inside with a super yummy raspberry glaze.

After hearing about these amazing doughnuts and donuts which do you think was my favorite?

Drum roll please…

They were both good, but I have to say Blue Star was by far my favorite and the place I would recommend to anyone.  I think you have to try Voodoo because of what it is, a destination, the maple bacon was yummy, but for an amazing & unique artisan creation, I’d pick Blue Star every time.

Have you been to Portland and gone to Voodoo &/or Blue Star?  Which is your favorite?

Review: Bull & Cleaver Biltong & Chili Bites

The nice people at Bull & Cleaver gave me the opportunity to try out two of their products, Bitlong & Chili Bites in exchange for this review.

When I first heard them say Biltong I didn’t know what that was, I’ve heard of and eaten different types of jerky, but I haven’t heard of Biltong before. But being a foodie, I googled briefly, found something that looked tasty, read a little about it and then was like uh Yum!

Bull and Cleaver Biltong

So then what is Biltong?  From the Bull & Cleaver website:

Biltong is a form of seasoned dried meat similar to jerky made exclusively from fine cuts of all beef steak. Even though biltong and jerky are both dried meats, there are a few differences that give biltong a fuller and more flavorful taste preferred by carnivores and omnivores all over the world. It really all comes down to how these two dried meats are prepared.

Biltong originates in South Africa and involves a specific recipe and process, whereas jerky has its origins in North America and has had a mixed reputation over the last couple years. Jerky is a dehydrated meat usually cut into small pieces dried in a dehydrator or oven and flavoured with sugar based sauces and marinades. Biltong on the other hand is air dried for a minimum of 7 days and always starts with a full cut of steak which encourages an aging process that gives the meat its unique flavor. The process of making biltong also includes seasoning the meat in vinegar and rubbing it spices such as pepper and coriander to bring out all of the delectable flavors of the meat. 

One of the benefits of air drying and the simple use of spices is that biltong retains more protein, contains less salt and uses no preservatives.

The Biltong has a very meaty yet mild taste, it’s lightly seasoned with vinegar, salt, coriander & black pepper and is incredibly high in protein.  One 4 oz bag has only 320 calories, 60g protein, 10g fat & no carbohydrates.  It reminds me of a beef proscuitto.

Let me tell you, I’m a little sad I only have one bag, I seriously could have eaten it all in one sitting but I’ve been good & only eating a little bit here and there to save it.

I also got a bag of Chili Bites, which also taste amazing with a little spicy bite, but I did feel like they were a bit tougher to eat.

Bull and Cleaver Chili Bites

The Chili Bites are made from beef, salt, coriander, black pepper, red pepper, chili powder, garlic, paprika, onion, tumeric.

For a quick, tasty and protein filled snack, Biltong is definitely something that I’ll be reaching for.

Want to try Bull & Cleaver’s products for yourself?  Head over to their website and you can get 15% off using code RUNNER.  And let me know what you think.

Have you ever tried Biltong?

Review: Garden of Flavor Juices

I’m linking up with Running with SD Mom for Try Out Thursdays today.

As you’ve probably seen in some of my race reports lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of juice in the day or so before a long race to help hydrate better.  I believe that a lot of my stomach issues stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t hydrating well in the days before a race, which really doesn’t do me any favors on race day.

That being said, the nice folks at Garden of Flavor sent me an awesome package of juices to try out.  I received a package with 7 different juices, 1 bottle of Vegan nut mylk and then their 4 new Cold Pressed Energy drinks in exchange for this review.

Garden of Flavor, Cold Pressed Juice

They overnighted me a package and all the juices were still super cold when I opened the box.

Garden of Flavor, Cold Pressed Juice

I tried the following juices: (my thoughts are in italic)
Green Harmony: A mix of dark leafy greens & more active probiotics than yogurt.

Ingredients (all organic): Cucumber, Apples, Romaine Lettuce, Kale, Celery, Lemon, Spinach, Parsley & over 1 billion deliverable probiotic cultures.

Green Harmony had a strong celery flavor which overpowered most everything else for me.  I was excited about this one because I thought it would taste sweet because of the apple, but that was not the case.  Green Harmony is definitely a veggie juice.

Mean Greens: Alkalizing greens including lots of kale and chlorophyll

Ingredients (all organic): Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Spinach, Romaine & Lemon

This was one of my favorites, it was definitely a veggie drink with no fruit outside of the lemon, but it was super smooth with no aftertaste.  I didn’t get the strong celery taste I did with Green Harmony.

Appleade: A digestive supporting lemonade that fortifies the immune system

Ingredients (all organic): Apple, Lemon, Ginger Root & over 1 billion deliverable probiotic cultures

Appleade had a super smooth flavor and tasted a bit like cold apple cider with a kick of ginger.  I really liked this one too and would use this as a substitute for a spicy lemonade.

Twisted Roots: Ingredients (all organic): Carrot, Beet & Lemon

I really wasn’t expecting to like this one as I am not a fan of beets but I was pleasantly surprised.  Twisted Roots was really a lot sweeter than I was expecting.  I haven’t had a lot of luck with beet juices because they are too strong but this one I would definitely recommend.

Tumeric Tonic: A crisp lemonade infused with 3 ancient spices, cayenne, ginger & tumeric root.

Ingredients (all organic): Purified Water, Lemon, Blue Agave, Tumeric Root, Ginger Root, Mint, Cayenne Pepper & over 1 billion deliverable probiotic cultures

This was probably my least favorite of the juices, it had a strong ginger flavor, but I think it was the tumeric I don’t really like.

Garden of Flavor, Cold Pressed Juice

Goji Pineapple: Garden of Flavor’s “super drink” including the super food, Goji berry which is packed with protein, amino acids & 3x the antioxidants of blueberries.

Ingredients (all organic): Pineapple, Goji Berries, Apple, Ginger, Mint & Lemon

A lighter tasting, sweeter juice with a slight kick of ginger.  The first time I tried this one, I wasn’t sure about it, but the second time I tried it, I thought it was pretty good.

The Grasshopper: A mix of dark leafy greens, pineapple & mint with a shot of wheatgrass to provide 10 grams of plant-based protein.

Ingredients (all organic): Wheatgrass, Pineapple, Apple, Mint Tea, Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Parsley, Mint & Lemon

Another of my favorites, I was really skeptical of this one at first because of the tea & I’ve never really had Wheatgrass before.  Made of 12% tea, 88% juice, this is the only juice that is not 100% juice.  Super smooth, sweet and just overall yum!  This was definitely the sweetest of their juices.

White Knight: Garden of Flavor’s version of Cashew Milk.  This dessert in a bottle is a creamy semi-sweet milk with a touch of cinnamon.

Ingredients (all organic): Purified Water, Cashew Nuts, Agave Nectar, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon

Cashew milk has always one of my favorites, and the White Knight doesn’t disappoint.  It was different than the other cashew milks I’ve tried in that it was incredible smooth. Most cashew milks have a bit of substance to them and this one didn’t so I was waiting for the thickness and it never came.  The flavor was right on though and I enjoyed this one.

On the Cold Pressed Energy side they sent me a bottle of each of the four flavors: Guayusa & Aronia berries, Guayusa & Tumeric, Guayusa & Wheatgrass & Guayusa & Pear.

Garden of Flavor, Cold Pressed Energy

Guayasa delivers 100mg of natural plant based caffeine providing sustainable energy without the jitters or crashing.

Of the four drinks, I only tried the Guayusa & Pear, I’m not really an energy drink kind of person and outside of coffee & the occasional soda I don’t drink any drinks with added caffeine.  I liked the flavor of this one, it was kind of like a pear tea drink.

Sean tried the other 3 cold pressed energy drinks and liked the Wheatgrass & Aronia Berries.  He didn’t really like the flavor of the Tumeric & Ginger one.  I guess neither of us are fans of Tumeric lol.  Which is unfortunate because I’ve heard a lot about it being good for runners.

Based in Cleveland, Garden of Flavor juices aren’t available in California yet, but they are all over the Midwest, mid Atlantic and Northeast.  If you are in those areas of the country you can find Garden of Flavor here.

All in all I was impressed by the flavors and the variety of juice that Garden of Flavor offers and if it was available in San Diego, I would definitely be using some of these juices as part of my pre-race juicing routine.

Do you drink cold-pressed juice? And if so what is your favorite kind?

REVIEW: Amazing Grass Protein Superfood & Giveaway

I received a container of Amazing Grass Protein Superfood through my association with FitApproach.  All opinions are my own.

I’ve been talking about my search for a good and tasty protein powder for a while now.  I tried Vitamin Pit Stop’s USANA Nutrimeal earlier this year and it was ok, but left a thick aftertaste.

So when my friends at FitApproach gave me the chance to try Amazing Grass Protein Superfood, I was intrigued.  I’ve tried some other Amazing Grass products and enjoyed them so I thought this might be a great fit.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink

 

So what’s different about Amazing Grass Protein Superfood?  First off it’s called Super Food!

From the website: It is an all in one nutritional shake including:
20 grams of Complete Plant Protein from organic hemp, organic chia, organic quinoa & organic pea proteins.
7 alkalizing greens including organic grasses, organic acai, goji, organic pineapple, organic sweet potato & more.
2 servings of fruits & vegetables

That’s a lot of stuff in one scoop.  And to top it off Amazing Grass Protein Superfood is certified USDA Organic, Vegan, Kosher, GMO & Gluten Free with no added sugar.

Protein Superfood promotes lean muscle, satisfies hunger & aids digestion.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink, Pure Vanilla, The Original

Protein Superfood comes in 3 flavors, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Pure Vanilla & The Original.  I picked Chocolate Peanut Butter because I wanted to try something different.

I will say if I would like to try the Pure Vanilla & The Original because I think would be able to be used in a lot more flavor combinations.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink

As with the other protein powder I tried, the first thing I did was mix one scoop with 12 oz of water (as shown on the container) add a little ice in the blender and try it out.  I’ll admit it was a little light on flavor probably because I added in too much ice, but the flavor was yummy.  The kitties all wanted to try it too, but Protein Superfood is only for people, not little kitties ;).

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink

Next I tested it by mixing it with some steel cut oats and created a peanut butter apple oatmeal as part of my breakfast and it was super yum.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, FitApproach, SweatPink, Suja, Smarty Pants, Vitamins, Coffee

And then I made a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, which I really enjoyed.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink

1/2 c Silk chocolate soymilk
1/2 c Silk soymilk
1 scoop Protein Superfood
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Handful of ice cubes

You can find recipes for each type of Protein Superfood online including Maple Blueberry featuring Pure Vanilla, Green Island Groove with The Original and Chocolate PB&J.

I’ve been really picky with choosing a protein powder for my smoothies and I really like that Amazing Grass is all organic and plant based as I don’t drink cows milk any longer and try to stay away from dairy as much as I can.

Amazing Grass, Protein Superfood, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chia, FitApproach, SweatPink

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood retails for $34.99 online for a 10 serving container or $39.99 for 10 single serve packets.  You can save 30% one time by using code SWEATPINKJenNak16 if you aren’t lucky enough to win the below giveaway.

 

You can win one container of Amazing Grass Protein Superfood in your choice of flavor by entering the Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway ends May 4 at midnight.  US Residents only.  Product will be sent by Amazing Grass.

a Rafflecopter giveaway