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.

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Review: Vitamin Pit Stop USANA Nutrimeal & Giveaway

My friends over at Fitapproach are giving me the opportunity to find a protein powder that I enjoy.  In this edition, I’m reviewing Vitamin Pit Stop‘s USANA Nutrimeal.  I received a bag to test out.

Now a little disclaimer of my own.  I have tried a number of protein powders throughout the years and I have yet to find one that I really enjoy in smoothie form so I will be trying out a few options this year to see if I can find something I like.

So what is USANA Nutrimeal Free?

From their website: Nutrimeal Free is a plant-based, nutritious source of protein that is pleasantly delicious and far from overbearing. If you’re in the mood to blend it with a handful of your favorite fruits or vegetables, go right ahead! Mix it your way. The mild, agreeable flavor complements just about anything you can think up.

Vitamin Pit Stop, USANA Nutrimeal

It is free of Fructose, Soy, Dairy & Gluten and is Vegetarian Friendly.  Each serving includes 15g of protein & 8g of fiber and is made with all natural ingredients.

On the bag they recommend using 3 scoops with water or mixed in a smoothie as a meal replacement.  The first thing I did was try it out and it was somewhat filling, but I didn’t like the taste in smoothie form.  Although I did give some to Sean and he thought it was great so it’s probably just me :).

Vitamin Pit Stop, USANA Nutrimeal

After that, I decided to use the Nutrimeal for baking.  I made the most amazing peanut butter cookies and super yummy biscuits both of which tasted great.  I also made a peanut butter protein mug cake.

Vitamin Pit Stop, USANA Nutrimeal
I’m going to continue to use my Nutrimeal for more baking and Sean is enjoying Nutrimeal smoothies.

Vitamin Pit Stop, USANA Nutrimeal

I want you too to get to try out some new options for protein this year so I am giving away a bag of Vitamin Pit Stop’s USANA Nutrimeal Free to a lucky follower.
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Review: Smarty Pants Vitamins #TheGoodGummy & GIVEAWAY

The awesome peeps at Fitapproach gave me the opportunity to try & review SmartyPants Vitamins #TheGoodGummy the last few weeks.  I received a monthly supply of the Women’s Complete Multi-Vitamin for this review.

It was actually quite fortuitous that this review came up because I’ve been working on my running goals & nutrition in particular, which also means working on my overall nutrition.  I’ve never really taken vitamins because they always make me feel weird, like I’ve had way too much caffeine and who wants to swallow a pill the size of a quarter, lol.

Smartypants, #TheGoodGummy, vitamins, all natural

Smarty Pants has found a way to make taking your vitamins fun.  They come in some super yummy flavors including orange, lemon creme and blueberry.  They are an all-in-one multivitamin with Omega 3s, Vitamin K2 and CoQ10, which makes SmartyPants the first gummy vitamin to include all 4 vitamins in one.

Most importantly they don’t have any synthetic colors, artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, gluten, tree nuts, peanuts or dairy.  I think all of these things in combination with the fact that they are a super flavorful gummy has made it so I feel good taking a daily vitamin.

As a runner and a frequent traveler, it’s really important to me to get the appropriate nutrients on a daily basis and I know don’t always eat perfectly.  French fries are a vegetable, right?

I’ve only been taking #TheGoodGummy for the last week since we got back from Florida and I am already noticing a difference.  I feel like I have more energy and am recovering well from my long & hard runs.  And most importantly I haven’t gotten sick even after the #TeamNakamura Coast to Coast (LA Marathon & Gasparilla 1/2) & 2 weeks of travel last month.

Coronado Running
With 7 races & a few flights coming up in the next 2 months including two 50ks (What was I thinking lol) I can use all the help I can get.  In addition to eating more vegetables and drinking a lot more water, I’m going to be incorporating #TheGoodGummy into my daily routine.

Want to try SmartyPants for yourself?  They come in women’s, men’s, kids, adult and prenatal versions. I’m giving away 1 bottle (30 day supply) of SmartyPants #TheGoodGummy vitamins to a lucky winner.

Smartypants, #TheGoodGummy, vitamins, all natural

Good Luck & Don’t forget to take your Vitamins ;)!

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Review: Luvo Frozen Entrees

Disclaimer: I received 5 Luvo Frozen Entrees to review  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love to eat, but I’m not a very consistent cook.  I will on occasion cook breakfast or dinner but it’s so much easier to just go out.  Although not great for the bank account ;).  So when I had the opportunity to try Luvo’s healthy frozen entrees I jumped on it.

The Luvo philosophy is simple (from their website): We want to make it easy to make good choices by creating wholesome, nutritious meals that taste amazing. And we’re doing it by sticking with a few guiding principles:
Food should be delicious
Food should be nutritious
The Smart Choice should be the Easy Choice
Food should come from a good place

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I received my entrees from Luvo on Wednesday in a Styrofoam container with dry ice inside.  All of my entrees were completely frozen when I took them out of the box.  I didn’t leave them on the porch for long after the UPS driver delivered them so I don’t know how long the dry ice would have lasted, but it was still a pretty big piece when I opened the container.

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In the box were 5 entrees, 2 breakfast and the other 3 lunch/dinner options.  The breakfast choices are Farmers Market Frittata & Steel Cut Oatmeal.  For Lunch/Dinner they have a lot of different options but I received Chicken Chili Verde, Orange Mango Chicken & Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta.  I have to say that their vegetarian & pasta options looked amazing and I definitely want to try those as well.

The Luvo entrees have a very unique green package that allows the food to be steamed and it comes out fully cooked every time (no frozen centers or cold spots).  They recommend microwaving the entrees but do have conventional oven instructions as well.

I have an old 600 watt microwave, the same one I’ve had since college lol, and it cooked all my entrees perfectly in the recommended time recommendation.

Once you take them out of the microwave and let them sit for 60 seconds to lock in the flavors, you cut one side of the bag and then gently shake the entree onto your plate.  This allows the entree to come out exactly like on the box and separates the flavors.  It is a truly unique method and super cool.

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I started off trying the Chicken Chili Verde with Polenta & Black Beans for an afternoon snack.  With only 300 calories, it’s not quite enough for me as a meal, but it was a super tasty snack :).  There are 6g of Fiber, 25g of Protein and only 490mg of Sodium which is a big deal because most processed food has so much sodium it’s ridiculous.

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I enjoyed this entree and thought that the salsa had nice flavor, I should have mixed it a bit more with the chicken because it was a little bland on it’s own, the polenta was a nice choice just a tiny bit grainy and the beans were delicious.

Next up, I tried the Steel Cut Oatmeal, which is Vegetarian & Vegan, comes with a side of peaches, apples & pineapple and a coconut almond topping on the cinnamon spiced steel cut oatmeal & quinoa.

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This was very good, the fruit was amazing and super flavorful.  I loved the taste of the oatmeal although it was a little dry for my taste.  With only 260 calories, 6g each of Fiber & Protein & only 120mg Sodium this is a great option for a tasty & healthy breakfast.

The next day I tried the Farmers Market Frittata with Sweet Potato Mango Hash & Spicy Garden Salsa.  I loved the frittata, I thought it has great flavor and was just a little cheesy as well at the sweet potatoes.  For me personally, there was too much salsa and it was a bit overpowering.

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Another great option for breakfast, this vegetarian entree has 4g Fiber, 12g Protein, only 250 calories and 350mg Sodium.

And to finish up the remaining entrees, Sean & I shared them yesterday.  We split the Orange Mango Chicken with whole grains, kale & broccoli & the Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta with Roasted Brussel Spouts, Butternut Squash & Cranberries.

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Orange/Mango chicken. This was probably my favorite of all the entrees (outside of the oatmeal). The chicken was so good and super moist. The rice quinoa blend had a Green Tea infusion that wasn’t quite my fav, but Sean loved it. The veggie on this one was Kale & Broccoli and really cooked well mostly because there wasn’t any sauce on it.

Another low calorie option, this entree only has 280 calories, 3g Fiber, 17g Protein and 450mg Sodium.

Braised beef – the beef was amazing super flavorful, not at all something you’d expect from a frozen entree. The veggies were so so but that’s mostly because I don’t like Brussels sprouts. The cranberries were yummy & whole & the polenta while a little bland was more enjoyable than on the Chicken Chili Verde.

With 4g fiber, 17g Protein, 300mg Sodium & 250 calories the Braised beef again would be good afternoon snack for me, with all the running, exercise, I need more calories but I definitely enjoyed the beef for a nice protein option.

All in all, while these entrees are not high enough in calories for my personal needs, I definitely think I would use these as a healthy snack alternative or in addition to a hearty salad for lunch &/or dinner.

Have you ever tried Luvo entrees?

Mighty Nut Peanut Butter Recipe & Giveaway

Have you ever seen those memes that say something to the effect of if you don’t like peanut butter then we can’t be friends? Well I love peanut butter and I kinda feel that way.  Which is why Fitapproach and Mighty Nut gave me the opportunity to test out the new powdered peanut butter, come up with a recipe and then give away a jar, I was the one jumping up and down in my living room.

I did receive 2 containers of powdered peanut butter and a cool scoop in exchange for my review, recipe and giveaway – as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 
So what is powdered peanut butter and how is it different from the regular stuff?

At Mighty Nut (from the bottle) they’ve taken quality USA grown peanuts, roasted them and pressed them to remove most of the fat.  What remains is protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste.

There are 4 flavors of Mighty Nut, Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Flax & Chia.  None of them have more than 1.5g of fat, which is 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter.  The original and vanilla both have 6g of Protein while the chocolate and flax & chia both have 5g of Protein.  The powder can be rehydrated by adding water and can be used for shakes, as spreads or for baking.

I’m pretty picky about my peanut butter, and I’ve tried powdered peanut butter before and wasn’t super impressed.  I have to say though, that Mighty Nut is really tasty.  I’m not sure what they’ve done to make it different but it’s really good.

If you know me IRL, you would know that I know how to cook, but I don’t do it very often. I do however love to bake.  I used to make cookie cakes for holidays and for my high school graduation I made them for my own party and for a bunch of my friends as well.  But here’s the caveat or the burnt toast moment, I am not very good at baking without a recipe, I’ve made my share mistakes, like the 2 tier cake that never rose, not sure what happened there so I like to have a recipe and more specifically a photo so I know if what I’ve made is right lol.

In honor of our honeymoon in Italy and my love of sweets, I decided to make a Peanut Butter & Nutella muffin.  I found a peanut butter muffin recipe on the Real Simple website which was by Richard B. Stolley, adapted from Stella Stolley’s Recipe Box and then adapted to become my own.

 
Unfortunately, the muffins were a bit dry and I didn’t put enough peanut butter powder so they weren’t perfect.  So I went back to the drawing board and decided to just make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I got a bag of Nestle chocolate chips and added about 3/4 cup of the Mighty Night Peanut Butter powder.  The batter tasted soooo peanut buttery and yummy.  But when I baked the cookies, you couldn’t taste the peanut butter.

So third times the charm right?  I decided to keep it super simple and just made Peanut Butter & Apple Overnight Oats.  Which was awesome and super peanut buttery.

 
Here is my recipe.

1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c milk (normally I would use Silk soymilk but I was out and didn’t want to buy a big container since I was leaving in 2 days :))
1/2 small Honeycrisp apple chopped
2 scoops Mighty Nut Peanut Butter Powder

I layered everything in a mason jar and then mixed it up and put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I had a super yummy and super peanut buttery treat.  

Now, for the fun part…Time for a giveaway!  One winner (if you have already won another sweatpink ambassador’s giveaway, you aren’t eligible unfortunately) will win 1 container of Mighty Nut Peanut Butter powder in your choice of flavor and a logoed scoop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Food Dare Book Review

The Food Dare. One thing you can do everyday to eat healthier.

The Food Dare. One thing you can do everyday to eat healthier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the opportunity to get an advance copy of The Food Dare by Lindsey Banks http://fitlifepursuits.com/thefooddare/ through my association with Fitfluential to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are alike me, you want to eat healthy all the time but with all the travel and being so busy, it’s a lot easier to eat out or just grab something fast.  And when you are like me and love french fries and sweets, that’s not quite as healthy as it should be.

The Food Dare is written on the basis that if we we can make one small change a day it will help us be healthier. It is not a diet, but a way to slowly make lifestyle changes. Lindsey tells us that this is not a dare that is to be taken lightly, you have to be ready to commit and be determined to finish.  With all my travel in the last month and this coming month, I’m not ready to commit yet (I’m going to Italy and I’m going to eat what I want on my honeymoon :)), but I plan to when we get back.

The Food Dare is a 30 day program is broken down into 3 phases, Water, Color & Clean.

Phase 1 (Days 1 – 10) is Water.  As water takes up over 60% of our bodies, this phases teaches us to increase our consumption, through drinking more water and getting it from whole foods, specifically fruits and veggies.

Phase 2 (Days 11 – 20) is Color.  Color stands for fruit & vegetables and this phase teaches us ways to eat more of them.  By incorporating them into every meal and substituting fruits & veggies for unhealthier options.

Phase 3 (Days 21 – 30) is Clean.  Clean means eating more whole unprocessed foods.   This sections is devoted to teaching us about what types of grains, proteins & fats that are the best choices.

The Food Dare is meant to teach us healthy habits that we will incorporate into our daily lives.   I am really looking committing to the Dare when I get back from Italy.

As we enter into the Holiday Season and have so many temptations around us, this is a great way to get a head start on making healthy choices.  If you would like to try The Food Dare for yourself Lindsey is offering a 20% off coupon to  The Food Dare Essential and Premium Teams. Coupon code is “idareyou” and will expire on Nov. 30th. You can find more information about the teams here: http://fitlifepursuits.com/thefooddare/