Enjoying nature with my favorite snack

Thanks to LÄRABAR for sponsoring today’s discussion

The first time I ever tried a LÄRABAR was at a marathon expo in 2008. I was amazed at how much wonderful flavor was packed into a bar with so few ingredients and I was immediately sold. I have been eating them ever since and I pretty much always have a LÄRABAR or two in my bag at all times. My 2-year-old has loved them since before she was one! Due to my introduction to LÄRABAR, I will forever associate them a little bit with physical activity, but I will still eat them at my desk!

So it’s no surprise that LÄRABAR has its roots in physical fitness. In 2000, founder Lara Merriken was on a hike and inspired to create a product that combined wholesome ingredients, but was also fun, enjoyable and good for you. LÄRABAR offers a variety of products to fit your needs and now offers 19 flavors in its Original Fruit and Nut Bar™. The brand has expanded to include eight flavors of LÄRABAR® über®, six flavors of LÄRABAR® ALT®, four flavors of LÄRABAR® Jŏcalat® and a new grain free granola called LÄRABAR® RENOLA™. Everything LÄRABAR offers is gluten-free, non-GMO and Kosher, with the majority of the products being soy-free, dairy-free and vegan.

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This weekend I hit the trails, not for a hike, but to run. They were groomed trails in a state park not hardcore single track, but it was still running on dirt nonetheless. I love running out in the dirt, there’s something about that experience that feels so free and relaxing. I just don’t get to do it much and I definitely don’t get to drive to far off trails now, life is too time-crunched. But it’s nice to have some trails in the city limits!

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I was sent a LÄRAbag full of bars and RENOLA as part of this campaign. It was nice to be re-introduced to some flavors I haven’t had in a long time like Key Lime.

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Let’s talk RENOLA for a minute… I knew I wanted to try it because I have enjoyed everything LÄRABAR makes so far. But when I read it was a grain-free granola and seemed to be a mix of seeds/nuts/fruit… I admit, I was a little concerned. I mean, that mix of ingredients is great, but it just doesn’t speak to me as a “granola”. I was wrong… somehow they’ve made something retains the texture of granola but doesn’t have the grains. It is amazing. Try it!

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If you haven’t tried the products before or you already love them, snag this coupon to get $0.50 off purchase of any LÄRABAR. Locate a retailer near you!

LÄRABAR is encouraging everyone to get outdoors in celebration of National Take a Hike Day on 11/17/14 and share their experiences using the dedicated hashtags (#eatclean and #getoutside) on various social media. I think I’ll try to get out with the dog and the toddler (the hubby can come along too!) the day before to celebrate.

Want to Win Some LÄRABAR?

Win your own LÄRABAR assortment of 16 LÄRABARs and RENOLA to try. Just leave a comment:
tell me what flavor of each you would like to try and why you’re interested in that
OR
you can tell me your own favorite #getoutside story and how a healthy snack like LÄRABAR would play a role in that.

I’ll draw a winner on November 3. Winner must be a US resident and at least 18 years of age.

WINNER: Susan – comment #6

This post was sponsored by LÄRABAR by my love of the outdoors and their bars is completely true.

Hüma Gels: Blueberries and Mangoes

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I was sent two packets of Hüma Gel for review, one in each new flavor. Thoughts are always my own.

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I reviewed Hüma Gel on my site a year ago, their original two flavors. They recently launched two new flavors: Blueberries and Mangoes. (Yes… there is only one pictured up there. I consumed it before taking a picture. Just picture that one with a yellow package and it says “Mangoes” instead, aiiiight?)

Since I already reviewed Hüma Gel once before, I just want to say the new flavors are tasty. I think I’m going to give Blueberries the edge in these two… but the original Apple Cinnamon is still my favorite in their lineup. Their gels are all natural ingredients; you can actually read the list and understand it, so I feel good about recommending these.

A while ago I started to do some research on “premium gels” and why they cost so much. And well… life got in the way of actually getting it posted. But one of the gels in my premium list was Hüma Gel, and I had reached out to them to get some details about why it costs so much (about $2.25 per packet). Here’s what they had to say:

  1. Ingredients. How concerned is the person about the ingredients they consume? I know many athletes aren’t concerned at all (men in particular); they just want something cheap that works. However, for the athlete whose primary concern is health and fitness, ingredients are important. These people are spending hours upon hours of sweat and pain to be healthy, so they want to make sure the ingredients they’re ingesting support that goal rather than detract from it. Huma could save a lot of money by using ingredients like maltodextrin, potassium sorbate, or sodium benzoate…but that’s not what our customers want, so we only use 100% all-natural, real food ingredients whose names you can pronounce. Of course, there are side benefits to only using 100% all-natural, real food ingredients: smooth, easy to swallow consistency, no weird aftertaste, and zero stomach problems!
  2. Cutting Edge Performance Research. Some of the energy gel companies have been using basically the same formula for 20+ years. Obviously, the human body doesn’t evolve very quickly, but our understanding of it has grown tremendously. Huma Gel takes the best of past research and combines it with the latest studies to bring you the best performance gel on the market. To top it off, all our citations are publicly available on PubMed for consumers to verify on their own!
  3. Great Taste. Seriously. One of our top priorities was great taste, and we cut no corners in making that happen. Having a legitimately great taste is probably the biggest reason we’ve expanded so quickly.

Read their Energy Gel 101 for the science on gels and how to best use them.

A couple other factoids:

Q: Where did the name “Hüma ” come from?
A: Hüma is based on the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. Unfortunately, using “Tarahumara” as a name would have been far too long for our gel package, so we chopped it down to “Hüma ”.

Q: How is Hüma pronounced?
A: Hüma is pronounced “Hoo-mah” (not “Hew-mah”, though German speakers will fight on this one). The umlauts mean absolutely nothing except to make a smiley face. Hüma is happy gel!

Q: Will the fiber content in Hüma gels cause me to do a porta-potty dash?
A: No. Chia constitutes only about 1/8 of the ingredients, which is little enough to not cause GI distress. In fact, Hüma gels have a fantastic history of being stomach-problem free.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

The Athlete’s Cookbook

The Athlete's Cookbook

I was sent The Athlete’s Cookbook free for review, thoughts are my own.

The Athlete's Cookbook

If you’ve ever spent time on any message board with athletes, food is always a hot topic. Hell… food is a hot topic in this country all around. There are different opinions on which food groups to include/exclude, which diet is good/bad/best/worst and conflicting advice flying at us from every avenue. It’s enough to make you go crazy. So for the most part, I’ve learned to avoid it… but it wasn’t easy to retrain my brain in that regard. So I’m always a little leery about reviewing books that have to do with food/diet.

The Athlete’s Cookbook one is overall very good, there are a couple of things that are maybe a little questionable, but nothing too dire. (Only if the reader takes everything too literally.)

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The bulk of the book is actually recipes, which I found nice. And the recipes are all normal food. There’s no instructions about the strange special ingredients you have to order from an unknown website or branded food-products. The meal plans/protocols included are pretty straight-forward goals as well; weight management, strength training, endurance. No unrealistic promises like: drop your pace by 2 min/mile or shed 4 dress sizes in a week or get ripped glutes in a day.

And while I skimmed the plans and the advice they gave on how/when to eat certain recipes, I’m never going to refer back to those. They do offer some meal plans that recommend recipes from the book and when to eat those during the day in relationship to workouts. As long as the reader takes that as a general rule of thumb and applies it to their own life (for example, you don’t HAVE to eat the exact recipe at 5 AM on Wednesdays if that doesn’t work for you!) then they are good guidelines.

With a toddler at home and a husband who’s never at home, I find it hard to fit in recipe testing. But I did find time to make a few things from this book and my favorite so far has to be the Hot Quinoa Cereal.

Hot Quinoa Cereal

The great thing about this recipe is that it can serve as the foundation for several variations. So instead of the chopped nuts and mango, I’ve adapted it to put whatever fruit/nuts I feel like. Just the approach of cooking the quinoa with cinnamon and vanilla makes for a great base that can be enjoyed hot or cold. To make it super easy, throw the quinoa, water, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a rice cooker. Keep the leftovers in the fridge for a few days to pull out for easy breakfast.

Hot Quinoa Cereal

The book is great in that it has recipes from several different regions, it doesn’t just try to recreate “American classics” in a healthier way. None of it feels like it’s trying to adapt to being healthier, they’re just practically healthy! And I like that they don’t feature calorie counts on the recipes, it helps with following intuitive eating cues, at least for me.

And if you’re wondering about the cute little text/icons on the pics… I got a new app: MocaDeco. I had to play with it!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Kiss Me Organics Matcha

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Kiss Me Organics provided me with a bag of matcha for this review.

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The past several weeks have started with a green tea latte… made with organic matcha from Kiss Me Organics and almond milk. I used to get a green tea latte on occasion from Starbucks, but I haven’t done that in a long time. This is nice to be able to do something similar at home, but I can use almond milk instead of soy like I would get at SBUX.

Most green tea baked goods are made using matcha, which is different from loose-leaf green tea. Matcha is a green tea that is grown in the shade; then it’s picked, deveined and pulverized into a powder. So it’s a different color, flavor, texture from what you’d get from a loose-leaf or bagged tea.

I shared this picture of it on instagram/facebook/twitter a few weeks ago:

A gal I used to coach asked about it and said she had a recipe that she had wanted to make using matcha – Green Tea Fudge Protein Bars. Those bars intrigue me, and other than the chocolate… I have all the ingredients. But the cool thing about the Kiss Me Organics brand is when you buy it you get a whole recipe e-book full of cool recipes, so I now own a whole cookbook that I could use with it.

The 4 oz. bag retails on Amazon (PRIME!) for $25, which is a really good price for a nice culinary-grade matcha. I have seen some that are just 1 oz. for more than that price. Using just 1/2 tsp. per cup, you’ll get about 48 servings from the bag. (About 52 cents per cup, even factoring the cost of buying your own milk, that’s way cheaper than the chain place!)

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Green tea has a whole array of supposed benefits: brain function, oral health, energy, bone health, performance boost, etc. A simple Google search will bring up all of these things, so pick and choose the benefits that strike close to your heart. Or just drink it because it’s kind of a nice calming ritual to start the day (which is what I’ve found!)

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Year of No Sugar [Book Review]

Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub

Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub I was asked if I wanted to be part of the virtual book tour for the new book “Year of No Sugar” by Eve Schaub. The book is about the author and her family’s quest to remove all added sugar from their diets for an entire year. This means sugar in all forms: brown sugar, powdered sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, agave, molasses, fruit juice, or artificial sweeteners… and they learned that this stuff lurks nearly EVERYWHERE!

I think it’s highly commendable that the author did a project of this magnitude with not only the support of her husband and children, but with their participation as well. She has two daughters (11 and 6 at the time) and they played the game too… even if it was hard for them!

The older daughter kept a journal throughout the year and some of the snippets included in the book from that journal made it clear it wasn’t all fun and games and was a rather difficult undertaking. It also seemed a little sad that it was almost like missing out on some aspects of childhood because sugar is so ingrained in everything.

Eve Schaub photo credit Stephen Schaub

Eve Schaub photo credit Stephen Schaub

They did find that they got sick far less when their consumption of added sugars was reduced. The children’s absences from school during that year was dramatically lowered. Their palates changed as they became more sensitive to the levels of sugar in foods.

But it didn’t sound like any fun. It seemed kind of sad at times! And I felt bad for the kids, especially since the entries from the daughter’s journal that were sprinkled throughout the book made it clear she was not enjoying it! But the fact that the kids stuck to it out of their own volition is admirable.

They made a family dessert each month, coming to a consensus about how they would “splurge” and savored that treat. They ate a lot of “banana ice cream” (frozen bananas in the food processor) in their early days and treasured family recipes were adapted as the author started to use dextrose in place of traditional sugars. There are several recipes in the book that use those. However, since I don’t have dextrose and I didn’t feel the need to order some just for the purpose of testing, I didn’t make any of those! They learned they had to make their own breads for the most part, since purchased breads didn’t meet the standards of their project, and store-bought tomato sauce nearly always contains sugar so they made that themselves.

Eve Schaub's Favorite Tomato Sauce

I admit, the whole time I was waiting for the moment where they proclaimed how it was an amazing/awesome/worthwhile/recommended experience. But it seemed like the conclusion was that it was something they did, it changed some aspects of their life forever, but overall… they succeeded and then the challenge ended. They do carry on with things they learned, some of their staples are now always homemade instead of purchased.

And I’m scared to look up the YouTube video that triggered her whole journey because I like sweets and I don’t want to eliminate them completely! It’s just too extreme for me. (My eating disorder flew into full gear when I started eliminating entire groups of food… this seems disordered to me.)

HoneyMaxx: Honey-based sports drink

HoneyMaxx packets

HoneyMaxx is the world’s first honey-based sports drink. The developers created it out of a need for healthy hydration that avoids the highly refined sugars found in all other sports drinks… and they let me try it!

HoneyMaxx packets

Most sports drinks are very engineered drinks, so processed and very unnatural. HoneyMaxx is based out of dried honey powder sourced from North American bees. Honey is more easily digestible than other sugars and it’s a very effective carbohydrate source for athletes.

HoneyMaxx packets backs

Other ingredients in HoneyMaxx are interesting too. The ingredients are outlined on their website and they’re all explained. Some that caught my eye:

  • Ginger: A natural anti-inflammatory, this helps enhance the digestive process and soothe the GI tract. They have reports of athletes with extremely distressed digestive systems (Crohn’s patients) who used it with no trouble.
  • Magnesium: I haven’t seen this electrolyte in sports drinks, but have often heard about its importance for muscle function. But it’s included in HoneyMaxx!
  • Stevia & Xylitol: Why would these sweeteners be needed in a honey-based product? Well, they’re used to help smooth out the salty flavors brought on by the electrolytes.

Mixing directions are specific, more so than other drinks:

HoneyMaxx mixing directions

They say that it takes a little more time because real food takes more time! It’s worth the wait. My first time I dumped it in, I dumped it too fast. Due to this it took a little longer to get it mixed in well, but it still worked out.

HoneyMaxx powder in a CleanBottle Runner

Clumpy stuff after it’s sat in the bottle for 5 minutes.

I liked the taste, it’s not super sweet and there’s definitely a slight honey flavor to it. (DUH!) I didn’t experience any stomach discomfort with this stuff, which I frequently do with sports drinks.

I also like the idea that you can use this as a sports drink for kids. Alex is obviously too small to be on a sports team or anything like that, but why pump little kids full of chemicals? Their site recommends half-strength as a serving size for kids.

You can buy HoneyMaxx in a box of 10 single-serve packets for $21.95 or a bag of 20 servings for $21.95. Obviously the bag is the better deal!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

PepPod – Fizzy Energy Drink Tablets

PepPod hot in a mug

After getting home from my mom’s wedding I came down with a cold within a couple of days. Alex came down with the cold too. And then we passed it off to Kevin. We’ve been a fun household lately, a whole choir of hacking coughs. My voice is wrecked from all the coughing (sound like I have a 3-pack-a-day habit or I’m Tara Reid) and I’m pretty sure I’ve fractured a rib from all the coughing. (Okay, I don’t KNOW that I’m fractured. I do know that I am physically injured and am debating if I need an MD or a chiropractor or somebody to help re-set my rib cage into proper position! Honestly, I am injured from coughing!)

Anyway, all that is to say that I had tried one PepPod that was sent to me for review before the wedding and had been planning on writing about them, but the sickness held me up but it also allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation for these little gems.

PepPod drink in the promotional envelope

Truthfully I thought, “I’m being sent some little tablet that dissolves in water and provides vitamins/caffeine… alright, I’ll try it. But I’ve tried those things before. They’re available at the drugstore.” Right?

So the first time I tried it, I dropped it into a cup of cold water and thought it was fairly tasty but not really memorable. But then I got sick and decided to try it in hot water. YES!

PepPod hot in a mug

The flavor is a citrus with a hint of vanilla, but when it’s hot that little hit of vanilla really comes through in a nice way… it is delicious.  And my toddler thinks watching the fizzing action is awesome and deserves applause.

PepPod fizzing

The tablet effervesces in liquid to dissolve into a drink that contains vitamins, plant-sourced/bioavailable minerals, electrolytes, herbs and 80mg of caffeine.

The packaging said “Morning Noon Night” on it, about which my first thought was that they are crazy. I want to go to sleep at night, not drink caffeine! But then I remembered that I’m a 35-year-old senior citizen who would probably go to bed at 8:00pm each night if I was left on my own! For others who like to party hard this can be mixed into adult beverages… and it can be used as a hangover remedy for partying too hard.

For a more athletic set (not to say the two have to be mutually exclusive)… this could be used as an early morning wake-up to get out for a long run, it could be used as a energizer during a long run, or to replenish some sodium and potassium from exercise without a lot of calories. It’s not a sugar-laden product, so it wouldn’t be used as a carbohydrate-replacement during exercise.

The downside?

It costs $45 for a box of 30 tablets, which seems steep to me. I guess if you compare it to the cost of standard energy drinks it’s comparable, but that initial price is a bit of sticker shock. You can order it on their website: www.PepPod.com.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

EnduroPacks

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I was given a one-month supply from EnduroPacks for free for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

EnduroPack complete

EnduroPacks are a monthly box of nutrition for endurance athletes and I was fortunate enough to receive a box (for free, full disclosure!) to test and review. The basic premise is that the experts behind EnduroPacks have done the research on what supplementation is needed and what is the most effective way to get these essentials into the human body.

1. Multivitamin

A liquid multivitamin (keep in the fridge on opening) that is easier for the body to absorb than a pill. I admit, when I first poured some out to take the first dose… it looked scary! I really thought it was going to taste gross, but it doesn’t! The berry flavor is actually quite pleasant. Surprise!

How to use: Take a tablespoon each morning with food.

Enduropacks multivitamin

2. Concentrated Electrolyte Spray

My favorite part of the whole pack! Just 5 squirts into your water and it becomes an electrolyte drink without all the sugars that can cause intestinal distress and without much flavor. I say “much” because there is a very faint taste to the water after using this, but it’s not really a “flavor”… if that makes sense. It’s not offensive or harsh, just a subtle change in the flavor.

How to use: 5 squirts into your water bottle for during/post exercise

Enduropacks electrolyte spray

3. Essential Amino Recovery Patch

Easy recovery, just peel off a patch and stick it to your skin. Okay, admittedly that isn’t the only thing you need to do for recovery. You should still eat, stretch, foam roll, shower, whatever…. What? Showering isn’t part of “recovery”? Are you sure? But this transdermal method of getting essential amino acids is a super effective way of getting these into your system and being able to use them quickly/efficiently.

How to use: Post workout, peel it off and stick it to your inner arm, back or stomach. Leave on for 4-8 hours.

Enduropacks amino patch

4. Glutamine Recovery Complex

Endurance training reduces the amount of glutamine in our system. By replenishing the supplies we are able to reduce post-workout soreness and keep training.

How to use: Pop 2 tablets at night.

Glutamine

Practical Use

I tried this protocol in the weeks leading up to Ragnar. I picked up the training and was running a couple of two-a-days to practice running fatigued. So I used the EnduroPack I received to help my training. I ramped up my mileage by quite a bit during those weeks, more than the typical 10% rule would call for. But I found that my energy levels were high and I didn’t feel any soreness or fatigue from the additional training. I can’t help but think it was due to the supplementation I was getting from the EnduroPack.

You can’t purchase the elements separately, it comes as the entire pack… all or nothing. Which I can understand, they have a whole team of experts who have helped develop these to work in perfect harmony. But if I could purchase the electrolyte spray on its own… I would. I like the idea of being able to replenish electrolytes without having a sweet flavor to my drink, I like the idea that you can customize it to your sweat-rate (if you’re a salty sweater, add another pump!) and I like that you wouldn’t have to use salt pills to get those traits (I’ve never carried an electrolyte pill while running successfully… they break, I drop them, can’t find them in my waistpack, etc.)

You can buy a one-month supply of EnduroPacks for $75. But if you sign up for extended month deals, that’s when the price starts to drop. Signing up for 6 months makes the price $63 each month and 12 months drops to $59 a month. There is no auto-renewal, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting and getting charged unexpectedly.

The products are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegetarian, organic and made in the US. In addition to all of the aforementioned, they are also publishing a blog where they share all kinds of information from their experts.

For me, I don’t see adding this expense to my daily life year round… but if I was getting serious about training for an event, I would strongly consider signing up. If I ever get to do a marathon again (sigh… working mother life, that’s a post for another time), I would definitely sign up for EnduroPacks and I may sign up if I decide I’m really training hard for a half sometime soon. I think it’s a really interesting concept and if I did train that way, I would definitely report back on the process!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Nuttzo is Nuts-Yo!

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Okay, lamest title ever! But I love nut butters and will try them all; peanut, cashew, almond, etc. And let’s not stop at nut butters… seed butters are great too; sesame seed, tahini… It’s a great food group! But one butter I hadn’t tried, despite hearing about it for a while, was Nuttzo. It’s the ultimate nut/seed butter! It’s a mix of seven nuts and seeds: Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, Brazilian Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hazelnuts, Sea Salt.

If you’re peanut-free… they have a blend for you: Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia seeds,  Flax Seeds, Hazelnuts, Sea Salt

If you’re into chocolate… there is a blend for you: Peanuts, chocolate chips (organic cocoa liquor, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder), Cashews, Almonds, Brazilian Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hazelnuts, Sea Salt.

If you’re nut free… I’m so sorry.

Each flavor (original, peanut-free and chocolate) comes in creamy or chunky varieties.

Nuttzo Original

You might note, the jar is upside down when the lid is on the top. It can be stored on shelves so the label is readable but the jar is upside down. Once you flip it over and open it, this upside-down storage makes it so much easier to stir in the natural oils that have separated because the oils are at the bottom.

Original Nuttzo in spoon

Pure deliciousness in a spoon or spread on sandwiches/pancakes/toast/etc.

Nuttzo chocolate

And the chocolate is amazing too… it’s kind of like a tasty peanut butter cup in a spoon.

Nuttzo chocolate in spoon

The blend is chosen to be a blend of optimal nutrition (read the benefits of each nut/seed it contains) and came to be after the founder adopted her boys from the Ukraine and they were vitamin-deficient. I love stories like that. But I also love this line in the company’s about page:

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received from a mentor is to work smart. If you work and get burnt out, you lose. I set aside one hour a day for working out. I know my body and I need that time to re-energize; I call it my boardroom meeting with me, myself, and I. You’d be surprised by what great ideas come out of it.

So true… I need to put that up on my wall. And I think that should be the foundation of every company’s wellness plan. It’s clear that the company supports athletes, they have a whole page devoted to their “Nuttzo Athletes” – runners, triathletes, bodybuilders, etc. who all incorporate Nuttzo as part of their healthy eating routine.

One of the questions they ask of the Nuttzo Athletes is for a recipe of how they incorporate it. I’d be scared to play around with this stuff in recipes! It’s so good on its own, but it’s also expensive. I’d be scared I ruined a quarter of the jar by trying to invent something that used it! It retails for $12.99 a bottle… a price I’m willing to pay to eat by the spoonful. But not necessarily to scoop out a whole big blob of it and attempt to bake into a cookie that could potentially not turn out or end up with the flavor hidden.

You can order online or use their store locator to find a retailer near you.

*Side note that’s kind of related but kind of not… I noticed the other day that several jars in the peanut butter row say “peanut butter spread” instead of peanut butter. Apparently, a product must contain 90% peanuts to be called “peanut butter” and most of those brand name kinds you don’t have to stir contain about 60% peanuts. Just interesting tidbit of knowledge there! [Source]

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

October Bestowed Box

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I reviewed a Bestowed box a while back. I’m excited to get the chance to review another box, especially given that the October one is all non-GMO! The Bestowed boxes are cool because all of the contents are curated by registered dietitian Heather Bauer.

Bestowed Box

It’s always fun getting a box full of goodies in the mail! Let’s break into it!

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Way Better Snacks contain sprouted grains and seeds to increase the nutrients and allow for better absorption of those by the body. Oh… and they’re yummy.

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I’ve bought bars from The Good Bean on several occasions. I like the idea of using garbanzo beans/chickpeas in different yummy snacks. This ones are good, and the heat keeps you from consuming the whole bag at once. At least, it keeps me from doing so.

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The dark chocolate macaroon granola from Nature’s Path is part of their premium granola line… full of super tasty sounding flavors (like carrot cake!) Dump it on greek yogurt, it’s dessert!

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My daughter’s school is nut-free… This trail mix from Enjoy Life is a no nuts seed and fruit mix that I could send with her, if she ate trail mix. The Beach Bash flavor contains pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pineapple, apricot and cranberries.

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Hemp Pro 70 from Manitoba Harvest is a hemp protein powder. It doesn’t have much flavor, so it blends in with anything well. I had it in a smoothie with banana, pumpkin, spinach and almond milk, Tasty!

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If I were to pick a flavor from all of the options of Fiber Love, Cinnamon Raisin would have been my absolute last choice. And it’s got 12g of fiber in a 130 calorie bar… I sometimes get scared of things with that high of fiber count due to the addition of psyllium and suck. I know a lot of people don’t get enough fiber, but I have to watch to make sure I don’t get too much! (At one point in my life, I was eating around 60g a day, that’s too much.)

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Um…. it’s peanut butter cups. And that’s always awesome! You can read my whole post on UNREAL, they make great stuff!

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I tried Ultima Replenisher about 3 or 4 years back and liked it. I bought every flavor I found at my local Whole Foods, but then it kind of fell off my radar. Kind of nice to be reintroduced. It’s a zero-calorie drink, with electrolytes, but no artificial sweeteners (it uses stevia and lo han guo.)

It also included a card for a one-year subscription to Women’s Health magazine, which I am debating if I will send in or not. I feel like women’s magazines are terrible in the way they perpetuate unrealistic ideals for women in terms of body image and appearance.

But the boxes are just $19 a month and I feel like there was definitely enough variety packed inside to justify that cost. If you’d like to save 50% on your first box, simply use the coupon code HELLOTEN103 before November 20!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.