Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Finds!

Hey, Friday, nice to see you again! 

You know what that means - time for a Friday Finds roundup! 

Paleo Puffs
  • Paleo Puffs - These puffed snacks are a new product from the Lesser Evil brand. I was so intrigued by these snacks that I splurged and bought a bag of the No Cheese Cheesiness flavor. The texture was slightly different than an ordinary cheese puff but I really liked them! They are made from Cassava, Coconut, and Sweet Potato so they are allergy friendly! 


  • Misfit Ray - I actually won a giveaway for a Misfit Ray fitness tracker! I was so excited! The setup was super easy and I love that it tracks my sleep. It has options to remind you to move, to alert you to phone calls, and it's waterproof! The only downside I've seen is that the batteries are not recharging so they will need to be replaced. I love the sleek design! I've tried other fitness trackers but this is my favorite so far!

  • Clio Snacks - These bars are described as greek yogurt enrobed in dark chocolate but I describe them as cheesecake goodness! The flavor is reminiscent of cheesecake - I love it! Not to mention they have beneficial probiotics, protein, and are gluten free. Find out where to buy these tasty treats here: https://cliosnacks.com/pages/store-locator

  • The Program by Suzanne Young - This book is about a world where depression and suicide has become an epidemic among teens. The Program is supposed to be the solution! I found this book to be a quick, easy read but kept me hooked! I recommend! I was searching for the sequel as soon as I finished it! 


Did you have any fun finds this week? Let me know!



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Product Review: Whole30 Approved, DNX bars!

I think it's safe to say most everyone reaches for a quick, convenient snack from time to time.

It's almost unavoidable in many people's busy lives. But what if we could have a convenient snack bar that is made with real foods?

DNX (Daily Nutrition) bars were created by CEO, John Rooney, after embarking on a health and fitness journey. He soon realized that bars and convenient snack options often had a long list of unidentifiable ingredients. He sought to make a nutritious, satisfying, and delicious bar.

DNX bars are made with grass fed beef, bison, and free range chicken along with organic fruits and veggies for a wholesome, protein packed, and nutritious bar. They come in a wide variety of flavors: Peri Peri Style Chicken, Mexican Style Beef, Grass Fed Beef Sweet Potato Pecan, Grass Fed Beef Dark Cacao Cherry Coconut, Grass Fed Beef Fennel Sweet Potato, and Grass Fed Bison Jamaican Style.

Peri Peri Chicken
I first tried the Peri Peri Style Chicken bar. I thought the flavor was quite nice because it was subtle, but present. The texture was interesting - almost bread-like. It was very satiating!

Next, I tried the Sweet Potato Pecan Beef bar, This bar had a smooth, oily exterior with a moist, chewy interior. The texture of these bars is truly unique and takes some getting used to. I liked the balance of sweet and savory in this bar. It is sweet from the fruits and veggies and savory from the beef and spices. It's like a home cooked meal all wrapped in one bar.

The next flavor I tried was the Jamaican Style Bison bar. This bar had a similar texture to the beef bar. It was chewy and mildly spicy. I personally could've used a bit more flavor, but I like spicy things!

The Dark Cacao Cherry Coconut seemed a little bit drier (not a bad thing). It was mildly spicy and mildly sweet. It was chewy and you can feel the coconut in the texture of this bar. This bar has a lot going on!

The Mexican Style Beef bar was also oily on the outside and chewy on the inside. It had a strong, spicy flavor!

Overall, I think these bars are a great on-the-go snack or a pre/post-workout snack since they contain a good balance of carbs, fats, and protein. They are made from real food and very satiating! I could see some people not being crazy about the texture, but after I got used to it, it didn't bother me, although I think some of them would be better off if they were less oily/moist.

Another plus is that these bars are Whole30 Approved and paleo so they make a great snack choice if you're following either of those diets. Find out more about these bars here: DNXbar.com.





These are not your typical protein bar, they are Daily Nutrition! Which flavor would you try first? What do you think of sweet and savory combos? Let me know!

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to: Conquer the Fitting Room

It's small.

It's dark. 

It shows you the worst reflection of yourself. 

The dreaded, the feared, the fitting room. 

Okay, I may have been a bit dramatic but it's true the fitting room can be almost nightmarish at times. Who chooses their lighting? Seriously, I can see every mustache hair in there lol!

So how can you enjoy the fun of shopping without dreading the fitting room?

  • Don't shop while bloated. Now I'm not saying you have to be your leanest ever but if you're facing temporary gastrointestinal distress, now is probably not the best time to shop. 
  • Remember numbers mean nothing! If you normally wear a 6, but this 6 is too tight, don't get upset! Brands have even admitted that they having clothing produced by different manufacturer's within the same brand, therefore resulting in inconsistent sizing. Numbers. mean. nothing. 
  • Change your language. Don't allow yourself to use words like "fat", "ugly", or "horrible". You can think instead: "This dress does not flatter me. I'd prefer something else" etc. 
  • Have a good friend for moral support and to add to the fun! A good friend will be honest, yet tactful! Let's be honest, not every dress is the dress for you! 
  • If you don't like something, move on. We all have different bodies and if you don't like the way something looks or feels on your body, ditch it! Find something that makes you feel good! 
I love to shop and I love to find clothes I feel confident in! Not every shopping trip is successful but every shopping trip can still be fun!



Do you like to shop? What's your favorite feel-good outfit?


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hello Summer! Happy Fre Day!

June 21 marks the first official day of summer!

It's finally here! Summer 2k18 is going to be the best yet, right?

Right.

  • Set your intentions
  • Be grateful 
  • Be kind
  • Live in the moment! (aka put down the phone!)
  • Soak up the sun
  • Love your sweat!
I will definitely be breaking a sweat, but that's okay! I have learned to love my sweat. I work hard and play hard - no shame in that. However, the sun and sweat can be hard on your skin (breakouts, eek). I have been loving Fre Skincare's 123 Skincare set for skin that sweats. My skin feels awesome and I've been getting minimal breakouts despite sweating basically every day. 

In honor of Fre day, I'll tell you a little more about their skincare line.

1. Protect Me is an ultralight moisturizer with SPF 30. It shields your skin from the damaging effects of sweat and environmental conditions. It is hypoallergenic and non-comodogenic so it won't clog your pores!

2. Purify Me is a hydrating facial cleanser. Utilizing just the right amount of jojoba beads, it gives a deep gentle exfoliation. The jojoba beads provide hydration and pH restoration. It is the perfect, nourishing cleanser for after a sweaty workout!

3. Revive Me is a deep replenishing serum. It keeps the skin hydrated and nourished with minerals and vitamins. It combats the short and long term damage caused by exercise and harmful environmental conditions.

The whole set is a great line for active people. It was formulated for skin that sweats! I feel good knowing that I am taking care of my skin. The set will last for over three months! They have SO much more science and information on their website!

Check it out here: freskincare.com and use code: HHF for 15%!

How are you getting sweaty this summer? Running in the summer heat makes me sweat just thinking about it!


Monday, June 18, 2018

Say (Vegan) Cheese!

The idea of vegan cheese kinda weirds me out.

#sorrynotsorry

However, I love to experiment and try new things. I saw a product online that was a vegan nacho cheese style dip and it intrigued me! After looking at the ingredients, I took to the interwebs. I found a recipe that I slightly adapted and I was blown away!

I used it to top some homemade Air Fryer french fries and added some Buy Ranch Direct bacon on top! To. Die. For.

Is there a punishment for putting bacon on vegan cheese? Oops lol!



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled and cubed white potato 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp green chiles 
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut avocado oil blend 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil. Add in potato and carrot and reduce heat. Cook until tender. 
  2. Drain and cool slightly. 
  3. Puree the potato and carrot in a high powered blender. 
  4. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. 
Voila! Taste and be amazed and then drizzle your magic potato cheese onto potatoes. Potatoes = life. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Product Review: Go Raw!

Raw raw raw aw aw. Go raw ooh la la.

(Anyone get the Lady Gaga reference? Oops, couldn't help myself!)

What does Go Raw mean? Why should I "go raw"?


Go Raw is a company that makes nutritious snacks from "real food", "junk free food"! This means their products are:
  • organic
  • plant based
  • superfoods
  • non-GMO
  • gluten free
  • dairy free
  • vegan
  • soy free
  • nut free
So this extensive list of accolades means that most anyone can enjoy them despite dietary preference, illness or allergy. Another bonus is that sprouted nuts can be more easily digested and the nutrients are more easily absorbed. Winning!

But how do these junk free snacks measure in a taste test?

I first tried the Go Raw! Chocolate. Obviously I reached for the chocolate first. The chocolate squares are individually wrapped and made with only two ingredients: organic cacao and agave nectar! They're only 32 calories per square. The texture was super soft and melt-in-your mouth with a strong rich cacao presence, yet I'm not sure I loved the choice of agave as a sweetener. I felt the flavor didn't complement the cacao that well but I have never actually used agave before. I think I would prefer an alternative sweetener. They also have an orange and mint flavor.

Sprouted Bars - These bars are so unique! Fruity, yet crunchy and seedy - they are a texture fiesta and each flavor is different! They taste like the ingredients so choose what sounds good to you! I loved the banana bread flavor! The pumpkin flavor uses agave as a sweetener, though it's not overly sweet.  The other flavors are naturally sweet from the fruit. The seeds add a satiating, nutrient boost. I think these would be a perfect snack to take hiking!


On to the protein bars! Can you believe the protein comes from sprouted watermelon seeds??? Yup, that's right!

Sprouted Cookies - say what?! Yes, these cookies are made from coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, dates and cacao! (I tried Choco Crunch) They were crunchy, sweet little bites. I really enjoyed munching on them! However, if you don't like coconut, it does have a perceptible coconut flavor. Actually, they taste like their ingredients. It's a perfect blend of flavors that shows how simple, whole foods can be combined into  "cookie". So, no, this is not like an Oreo or other "normal cookie" but it does make for a nice, sweet snack that anyone can enjoy.

Have you tried any Go Raw products? If so, which is your favorite?

Check out their full line of snack and treats here: https://www.goraw.com/

Monday, June 11, 2018

How To: Get in Probiotics

If the gut is the second brain, it's about time we take care of our gut health! 

No wonder, then, "probiotic" continues to be a buzz term in the health and wellness community!

Here's my favorite way to get probiotics in - in fact I look forward to them!
Blueberry Lifeway Kefir on a Bagel
  • Lifeway - This a brand with a mission; a mission to make probiotic, nutricious foods, improve the health of their customers and have fun along the way! I'm on board with that! They make kefir, skyr, and now a probiotic elixir! How fun! My favorite is the blueberry kefir cup! They blueberries are so fresh and delicious tasting - they perfectly balance the tartness of the kefir. Lifeway products contain 15-20 billion CFU of live and active kefir cultures per cup! How's that for a probiotic punch? They are sold at my local grocery store - find out where they are sold near you: http://lifewaykefir.com/where-to-buy/ 
  • Farm and Oven Bakery Bites - Yes, these guys again! I've mentioned them several times now but they so good, packed with veggies and probiotics. Try them for yourself: Farm and Oven
  • Clio Snacks Dark Chocolate En-robed Greek Yogurt Bars - I saw these at the store and hesitated. Is it worth it? Several weeks went by. I finally tried them and I have been missing out! They are SO deliciuos. They taste like bites of cheesecake covered in dark chocolate, not to mention they have 8+g protein and billions of probiotic CFUs. Find them now! https://cliosnacks.com/pages/store-locator 
  • Truth Bars - I've previously reviewed these bars (Truth about Truth Bars) and *spoiler alert* I love them! They have 1 billion probiotic CFUs paired with prebiotic fiber! They also have come out with a new flavor since my review - Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch - so good! Find out where you can buy them here: https://truthbar.com/pages/store-locator
  • Smarty Pants Vitamins - If you need/want to supplement - try these! These gummies taste like candy and I'm not mad about it! Not only do I literally desire to eat these, but they have 7 billion probiotic CFU per serving, 99% survivability and prebiotic fiber. My favorite probiotic supplement. I'm a kid at heart!
What's your favorite way to incorporate probiotics?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How To: Getting in 6 Servings of Veggies

Did you know June is National Fruit and Vegetable month?

It seems like there is a national food day, week, or month every day, week and month but that doesn't mean I'm not celebrating! Any day is a good day to celebrate. So, I'm fully on board with trying to increase my fresh fruit and vegetable intake and I think many people would agree.

I think it's a lot easier to get in fresh fruit. It's grab and go, sweet and refreshing - perfect for the summer heat that's finally here.

Vegetables on the other hand...

Some people turn up their nose at the thought of eating vegetables. Six servings in one day? Why, that's just unfathomable. Right?

Wrong!

1. Vegetables can be delicious - it sometimes takes a little more elbow grease in the way of preparation compared to fruit, but they really can be tasty!
2. Sneak the things in! When you're lacking, sneak them in!
3. Make veggies fun!


  • Cece's Veggie Noodle Company makes fun, prepped veggie noodles, perfect for the lazy chef (AKA me). Did you check out these recipes I made with their Zoodles? Mushroom Zoodle Dinner for OneAsian Inspired Zucchini Noodle SaladTeriyaki Zoodle Bowl I've also made chicken zoodle soup (with a soda on the side lol). These pre-noodled/riced veggies are so convenient, fresh and fun. I recommend them! Check out where to find them here: https://www.cecesveggieco.com/where-to-buy/
  • Farm and Oven Bakery Bites are delicious little snacks that will help you sneak in a few extra veggies. Seriously, you cannot detect the veggies. They taste like little bites of sweet bread. The beet dark chocolate is reminiscent of a dense brownie! They pack a whopping 40% of your daily vegetable needs in three bites (1 package). I've reviewed them before here: Farm and Oven Bakery Bites Review so check that out to read more about them. Then after you read about them, go here: https://www.farmandoven.com?rfsn=1221218.97e80 to snag some for yourself!
  • Oh Snap! Pickles are my jam. I don't know why they're so good but they're fun and simple - no brine added. They make pickled pickles (duh), beans, carrots, and peas! I find them at my local grocery store and Target!
  • Slap Nutrition Fudge Pop Greens is the best tasting greens powder I've ever tried. It is so good! I love to use it in my oatmeal, protein fluff, and Superfood Black Bean Brownies - you NEED to try these! Find the Super Slap powder here: weslap.com and use code: HAPPY for 10% off. 
  • Grow 'em yourself! You'll feel so proud you just have to eat them! Plus, when you have fresh veggies readily available, it will be more convenient and easy to eat them. I'm currently growing cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, mushrooms, and basil! I'm growing the mushrooms and basil with the help of Back to the Roots and I really recommend them! I sent an email with some questions about my "Mushroom Farm" and they replied very quickly with the answers I needed! 
That's a wrap on my veggie hacks for this month! What's your favorite veggie? Do you prefer fruits or vegetables? 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Main Street Challenge 5k 2018 - China Grove, NC

Where does the time go?

Seriously? It's June already?! That means a few things: it's hot, the daylight lasts longer, and the China Grove Main Street Challenge 5k! 

This is a 5k, flat, there and back course that is conveniently in my town! My mom and I love to do this race because the entry fee is very reasonable, the post-run food is amazing (pizza, doughnuts, watermelon, and more!), and the prizes are great too! 
Photo by Aaron Cress from facebook.com/chinagrove5k

I was dealing with stress fracture earlier in the year, then I went to Europe for a month while still rehabbing and I was back two weeks before the race. I was a little nervous! I don't know why my mom and I always get pre-race jitters even for these little 5K races. Anyone else?

I also started a personal challenge to cut out energy drinks so I brought a caffeinated water (???) and it had a really weird aftertaste so I didn't drink it. Note to self: stick to coffee. 

It started raining before the race but let up and by the time the race rolled around, which is 9 p.m. on a Friday night, it was clear and cool(er). 

They shot the gun and we were off. I felt a little lacking in umph and I attributed it to my lack of caffeine but I ended up with the best pace I've had since before my injury. I placed first in my age group so I won a Dick's Sporting Goods gift certificate. 

Post-Run Sweaty and Silly!

I love the small town camaraderie at this race and look forward to next year! It's my dream to place overall!