Monday, December 31, 2018

December Hike of the Month - Ledge Springs Trail, Pilot Mountain, NC

The final hike of the year!

December threw us for some loops and the weather has been rainy and unpredictable. Nevertheless, we managed to sneak in our final hike on December 29 - just in the nick of time!

We stayed pretty close to home, traveling to the nearby Pilot Mountain state park. We have done a shorter trail there before and have always talked about trying the longer trail. The longer trail is Ledge Springs trail which begins below the summit picnic area or off of the shorter trail - the Jomeokee trail.

We picked it up from the Jomeokee trail and it starts with a very brief uphill and then a lot of downhill down rock steps. There are cliffs, ledges and views. The trail is rated strenuous. We passed several groups of rock climbers which was really neat to watch!

Eventually, the uphill began. Up, up, up. There are a few nice overlooks and then we ended up near the picnic area which makes the trail almost a loop. One sign stated the trail was 2.2 miles but I’m not really certain. Also, note that the trail is wet! It’s not called Ledge Springs trail for nothing! There were several trickles and a few slippery spots.

It was not my favorite trail but I’m glad we finally tried it. Hiking a new trail each month has allowed us to challenge ourselves, explore new places and learn about our surroundings! It’s  been quite the year! We are still trying to decide what hiking goal to set for the upcoming year, mileage, States, so many possibilities!

Monday, December 24, 2018

2018 Product Discovery!

Can you believe another year has come and gone?

Time is such a weird thing. It's happening right now!

Anyway, here are some of the fun new products, foods, etc that I discovered in 2018! There's a lot of innovation happening and I love it!

  • Fre Skincare - Have I raved about this enough? This all natural, Argan oil based skincare has a great mission and great products from cleansers to detox masks!
  • Square Organics Crispy Peanut Butter Bars - Square Organics is a long time favorite of mine and this year they dropped the new peanut butter crispy bars! They taste so good and satisfy that sweet craving!
  • Enlightened Dairy Free - The people asked and Enlightened answered revealing a new line of dairy free ice creams. I still prefer the regular Enlightened but these make a delicious choice for those that need dairy free options! 
  • Air Fryer - This is one purchase I don't regret! I use it almost daily for sweet potatoes, vegetables, chicken wings and more! I love the versatility of this new-age convection oven appliance!
  • The Cereal School - this product is so innovative and the execution was flawless - a low carb, zero sugar cereal that will transport you back in time to grade school! It's crunchy and delicious. Color me impressed! 
  • Siren Snacks - These vegan protein bites are a new take on protein snacking. Instead of committing to a whole bar, you can have a bite or two or a whole bag of bites. It's up to you. Not only that but they taste delicious! 
  • Eat Smart Sweets Vegan Gummies - I guess companies are really trying to reach the vegan community as Eat Smart Sweets released two new gummy options - fish and sour blast buddies. I have tried the Sour Blast Buddies and they are fantastic! My new movie snack!
  • Misfit Ray - I love this fitness tracker because it's small, sleek and waterproof! I wear it in the shower - no problem! It tracks my steps, calories and sleep which I can view in an app on my phone! I think it's a great product and budget friendly too!

Honestly, I could probably go on and on but those are just a few of my favorite 2018 newbies. What was your favorite new product of 2018? What are you hoping for in 2019?

Other honorable mentions: Arctic Zero new light ice cream and reformulated dairy free blew it out of the water; Popped water lily seeds is a trendy, new snack that I love; Clio bars have changed the game with their greek yogurt bars coated in chocolate - mindful indulgence at it's best; Granola butter is an epic new spread made from oats!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sugar Free Snowball Cookies!

How many snowballs have you eaten this year?

No, not real snowballs (hello acid rain lol), snowball cookies! This iconic shortbread cookies looks like a snowball because it takes a nice bath in powdered sugar! Mmm. But what if you're trying to reduce your sugar consumption?

No worries! You can still have some tasty snowballs that will go perfectly with your steamy mug of hot chocolate. 


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Vitafiber powder*
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup powdered erythritol 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or nut of choice
  • additional powdered erythritol for rolling 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet/parchment paper/silicone baking mat. 
  2. Combine the flour and fiber powder in a medium bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sweetener. Add in the almond milk and vanilla. (I would start with 1/4 cup almond milk and add more if needed.)
  4. Pour in the flour mixture and mix until combined. 
  5. Stir in the chopped nuts. 
  6. Form small balls - about 1 tbsp of dough - and place on prepared baking sheet. 
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes, until golden on the edges. 
  8. Remove from oven and while the cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered erythritol, then allow to cool. 
  9. Enjoy by itself or dunked in a warm hot cocoa! 
Makes about 16 cookies. 
Macros per cookie: 70 calories 4.3f/7.5c/1p

Snowball cookies are a classic cookie that I love! The ingredients are so simple, I like to make sure I use high quality products so I recommend using a high quality real butter (not margarine) and real vanilla extract. What's your favorite cookie?

*If omitting the fiber powder, try adding 2 tbsp flour. 
Find vitafiber at and use discount code VGMEGANO20 to save!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Gingerbread Spice Cupcakes - Gluten Free

"What's with you and gingerbread lately?" - My Dad

Um, hello. 'Tis the season for all things gingerbread, eggnog and peppermint mocha  - am I right?

The sweet spices of gingerbread with the natural sweetness of molasses always makes me feel warm inside. So why not take those classic flavors and turn them into cupcakes! Not to mention cupcakes that are gluten free, low in sugar, and higher in fiber! 

Anytime is a good time for these guilt-free gingerbread cupcakes!


  • 1 and 1/3 cup cassava flour 
  • 1/4 cup Vitafiber IMO powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 5.3 oz vanilla yogurt/skyr (I used 0% Siggi's Vanilla Skyr)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or brown sugar substitute 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/2 tsp butter flavor (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Prepare a cupcake tin with liners. 
  3. Combine the flour, Vitafiber powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. 
  4. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients with a mixer. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until combined. 
  5. Spoon the batter into each well of the cupcake tin. Fill them about 3/4 of the way. They don't rise much.
  6. Bake for 19-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  7. Allow to cool and frost with desired frosting. Garnish with cinnamon and toasted pecans! 
Frosting recommendations: Cinnamon Vanilla, Cream cheese vanilla, maple cream cheese, caramel pecan. A powdered erythritol is a great option if you want to make a sugar free frosting! 

Makes about 15 cupcakes. 
Macros per cupcake: 103 calories <1f/26c/2p 5g fiber

What's your favorite wintertime dessert flavor? I also love snickerdoodle flavor! Anything cinnamon and I'm in!

Get your Vitafiber powder here: with code: VGMEGANO20 for a discount!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Product Review: Sheila G's Yummy Treats!

Have you heard of Brownie Brittle?

Brownie Brittle is a popular sweet snack that has been around for a while. I'll admit, it never had too much appeal to me because the word "brittle" made me think it would be really hard and crunchy. My parents love it though! 

Recently, I came across some new, fun snacks at my local Publix: Cookie Bites, Brownie Brittle Bites and Thindulgent Chocolate Bark. I had to try them! I then discovered that these products were part of Sheila G's line of snacks! 

I first tried the cookie bites which are essentially crisp cookie bites coated in chocolate and they are sensational! They taste like candy, clock in at only 150 calories per serving but be warned: they are addicting! Having tried these, it makes me want to try the Brownie Brittle bites which are similar - they are crisp brownie brittle pieces coated in chocolate. Coat most anything in chocolate and I'm game. 

Next up was the Thindulgent Chocolate bark. There's just something about chocolate bark that makes it more exciting than a chocolate bar, right? The bark is thinner than a typical chocolate bar and packed with yummy add-ins for a flavor and texture fiesta. The flavors available are Cashew Toffee, Smores, Caramel Pretzel and Dark Chocolate Almond. I tried the Caramel Pretzel and was not disappointed. They sweet and salty combo never fails me and the chocolate was sweet and smooth. It is also made with Fair Trade Certified Chocolate. 

I am excited to try more of the product offerings from Sheila G's because I was so impressed with these! If your local store doesn't carry these items, I would say: request it! You can get a product request form and find out more about Sheila G's treats here:

I was provided with free product coupons to sample these products but all opinions are my own.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Winter Bucket List!

If you're anything like me, you vastly prefer the summer.

Short hours of sunlight, frigid temperatures, and dry skin - yeah, winter is just not my thing.

However, since Winter is a thing and it happens every year, I figured I should try to find enjoyment in it. Attitude really does make a difference! Thus, I made a bucket list of fun activities I want to try to incorporate in this winter season!

What's your favorite season? Do you have a winter bucket list?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Feed Your Gut!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about PRObiotics. They're a very popular supplement to purchase lately and some even taste downright delicious (enter Smarty Pants Vitamins).

But what are you feeding those lovely little microorganisms in your gut? Isn't it weird to think about that? You're literally consuming living things whether through supplementation or through fermented foods, etc. So we can't starve our little friends! We have to feed them PREbiotics.

So what is a prebiotic and where can you get it? It's a special form of dietary fiber that is indigestible.  It can be found in certain foods and supplements such as:

  • chicory root
  • raw dandelion greens
  • raw garlic
  • raw leeks
  • onion
  • raw asparagus
  • raw wheat bran
  • baked wheat flour
  • raw banana/green banana flour
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • VitaFiber IMO syrup and powder
  • supplements (sometimes it is included in a probiotic supplement)

Now I don't know about you, but it's not every day I'm snacking on raw dandelion greens, ya know? So I love including foods like bananas, onion, garlic, and using VitaFiber in homemade snacks and treats like these muffins: Pumpkin Muffins - Low Sugar, High Fiber

Probiotics and prebiotics work together for optimal gut health. Gut health has such an impact on our overall health and well-being and we can optimize it simply by what we have in our diet! How awesome is that?!

Have you heard of prebiotics? What is your favorite way to get prebiotics in your diet?

If you want to try VitaFiber products to up your prebiotic game, you can check them out here: and use code MEGANO20 for 20% off your purchase!