There are some products I review that I think fall into the “good” category. I genuinely think they will be a healthy and tasty option for a lot of people. However, every now and then I review a product that I think is awesome. These G2G bars definitely fall into that category. There are a lot of reasons why I feel this way, and I’ll tell you why. Most importantly, they are delicious. I refuse to eat anything protein bar-esque that is gross. It just isn’t worth it. I like my food to be enjoyable! These G2G bars are SO GOOD. The almond chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip flavors taste like a no-bake cookie to me, which happens to be one of my favorite treats. On top of tasting delightful, these bars are completely natural. This is HUGE to me as well. I hate looking at nutrition facts, only to find that I have no idea what I’m actually eating. These bars are made up of whole ingredients like nuts, whole oats, fruit, flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut oil. They contained no refined sugar, and are sweetened with honey, brown rice syrup, and coconut crystals. The protein in these bars is whey protein, which is a high quality, quick-digesting protein that is very beneficial to protein synthesis in muscle repair. The nutrition facts are fantastic. Because of the calorie count, I think these bars make the PERFECT on-the-go breakfast. I think it is so important to start your day with a high-protien breakfast that will get your metabolism going. The flavors of these G2G bars are:
- Almond Chocolate Chip
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Almond Fruit Nut
- Peanut Fruit Nut.
I had some friends and coworkers try them out with me, and I think they agreed with me on the Almond Chocolate Chip being the favorite BUT they are ALL tasty. These bars have no preservatives in them, which indicates how fresh and natural they are. Oh and a couple more awesome things…they are gluten free…AND they are manufactured in my home town. Yay for supporting local small businesses! If you want to get your hands on some of these delicious bars (and I promise you do) visit their website HERE. I have already recommended these to clients, friends, and family, and I will surely continue to do so!
I have this app called “Timehop” on my phone which I find extremely entertaining. It tells me what has happened in my social media life on this exact day in the past year that have been recorded. Today this post came up from two years ago. I can’t believe it has been two years since I started my journey down the Paleo road. It made me really reflect on what I have learned in the process. I decided in honor of this two year mark I would do a post on what I’ve learned, where I am currently at, and what I foresee in the future as far as my eating is concerned.
What have I learned from eating Paleo?
- I have learned that eating cleaner is better. I was meticulously counting calories, eating foods that had more words in them that i could’t pronounce in them than ones that I could, and feeling hungry all the time. I was all about the non-fat, sugar-free way of life, and it wasn’t doing me any good. I have since changed my philosophy to a much “cleaner” way of life. I eat whole foods, healthy fats, and I focus on what I should be eating rather that what I shouldn’t.
- I have learned to eat more intuitively. I pay more attention to my hunger cues. I eat foods that keep me full which helps me to do this.
- I learned that I have more self-control that I knew was in me. It takes discipline to change eating patterns, and I was able to do so. In cutting out grains, I found that I cut out a lot of the “extras” that allow for excess caloric intake for a lot of people.
- I have learned that this way of life may not work for everyone, but it has worked for me. Because I have been able to find foods that are satisfying to me, I have been able to adapt my way of eating in such a way that I hardly even have to think about it. It is just the norm for me.
- I have also learned that I don’t have to do hours and hours of cardio to see results. I decreased my cardio a great deal, focusing more on interval training, circuits, and resistance training. I have decreased body fat, lost weight, and achieved some goals I’ve been working toward for quite some time.
- I have also learned that I feel better when I am not eating grains. I feel more condensed, less bloated.
- I have learned that marathon training and paleo aren’t exactly a match. I added in carbohydrates when necessary for my long runs, so I was able to have the energy I needed to run.
- Oh, and I still miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on fresh Grandma Sycamore wheat bread and cereal. Both favorites. I’m normal after all.
Where am I now?
- I really have stayed very close to the paleo lifestyle for the most part these past two years. However, I would say that I am probably about 90/10, and I’m happy there.
- I am not one who likes a ton of meat, so I have to do my own version of Paleo. I’m still grain free with the exception of popcorn. It is my absolute favorite snack, and so I have kept that one.
- My other exceptions are an occasional Diet Dr. Pepper and frozen yogurt. These are the two things that keep me sane. I don’t eat much sugar, and a Diet Dr. Pepper every now and then helps me to kick the sweets habit. I still drink about 100 oz of water per day. You don’t have to agree with me on that one, but I’m just being honest.
- I think I will continue to eat the way that I have been eating. Like I mentioned before, it works for me. Not everyone will feel the same way. I always tell my clients the best eating plan for them is the one that they will stick to, AND still see results. I know my limits. I know my triggers. This helps me to keep myself in check. I enjoy fruits and vegetables a LOT, and so this is possible for me. I know it may not be the answer for everyone.
Where do I foresee myself in the future?
- From today looking forward, i will continue on the way that I have been eating. It makes me feel good. I’m sure that things may change when I am married and have a family. However, there are things that I know will stay the same. I will still be eating really healthy because it is just who I am. That won’t change. I have managed to be with friends, visit relatives, eat at others houses, and enjoy life eating the way that I am. I think that I will be able to continue to do so!
I have had a bunch of people ask me for some new music suggestions to amp up their workouts! Here are a few of my favorites for the month…
- Glory and Gore – Lorde
- Wings – Birdy
- Need Your Love feat. Ray Dalton – Sol
- Story of My Life – One Direction
- Of the Night – Bastille
- Towers – Little Mix
- Drunk in Love feat. Jay-Z – Beyonce
- Show Me feat Chris Brown – Kid Ink
- Turn Down for What – T-Wayne
- The Man – Alec Blacc
- Team – Lorde
- Valentine – Kina Grannis
- I Lived – OneRepublic
- Pompeii – Bastille
- This is Gospel – Panic at the Disco
- Can’t Remember to Forget You feat. Rihanna – Shakira
- XO – Beyonce
- All of Me – John Legend (cool down)
Now get moving! xoxoxo
Oh Monday. Sometimes you can be rough. However, I always love a fresh start to the workout week. Sunday is always my rest day, so it feels good to get moving again. For those of you who are looking for a way to mix up the workout routine, this max out workout will do just that! With this workout, you want to perform each exercise to failure. Remember that failure doesn’t just mean until it’s hard, it means until you can’t do another rep. By alternating plyometric exercises with some isometric and strengthening exercises you will be getting your heart rate up, and burning a ton of calories. Time yourself and keep track of how many reps you can do of each, and then come back to it in the future to test yourself again!
- Jump Squats: Squat down in place spring up in the air, and land down in a squat again. Repeat.
- Pushups: These are just regular pushups. Start on your toes, drop down to your knees when you need to.
- Plyometric lunges: These are jumping lunges, switching leg positioning in the air and landing back in a lunge.
- Plank: This is a regular plank, holding for as long as possible.
- Burpees: Hands on the ground, feet jump back, chest touches the ground, feet jump back in, jump up. Repeat.
- Wall Sit: These are just like the ones you did in Jr. High. Find a wall. Flatten your back against it and slide down into a squat, so that your legs are at a ninety degree angle (or a little bit lower.) Hold that position for as long as you can.
- Triceps Pushups: These are done in the same way as a regular pushup, but your hands and elbows are directly at your sides, making for a more narrow pushup. Start on the toes, drop to the knees.
- Full Situps: Start lying down, hands above your head and go shoulders to shoelaces. Sit all the way up and touch your feet.
I am always on the lookout for healthier snack options for my clients. I have a few clients who have to follow a gluten free diet, and finding healthier snacks that fit within their dietary needs can be even more difficult. While I am not usually one that seeks after processed foods, I think there are some healthy options out there that are made from highly nutritional sources. The people from Riceworks sent me these delicious brown rice crisps to try, and they definitely won me over! These tasty crisps are made from all natural ingredients, contain no preservatives or artificial flavors, are low in saturated fat, and are certified gluten free.The two flavors that were sent to me were the Sweet Chili and Sea Salt flavors. Both kinds were delicious on their own, but I also think the Sea Salt flavor is perfect to serve with my homemade hummus, fresh homemade salsa, or guacamole. I would definitely recommend these brown rice crisps to anyone! They are the perfect healthy option to add to any get together family dinner, backyard BBQ, or pool party! Thanks to the people at Riceworks for letting me snack on this deliciousness! For those of you who have more in-depth questions about this product, click HERE to visit the Riceworks website.
I have this weird love/hate relationship with leg workouts. I really like them, but for the most part they are HARD. Today’s definitely fit that description. I always know I’ve done some good lunges when my knees are black from touching the ground. I don’t think this pic even does the black knees justice. Anyways…the workout went a lil’ something like this.
- Revolving stair circuit: 5 min warm up on level 10, 20 minutes of intervals 2 minutes on level 17, 1 minute recovery on level 12. 5-10 minute cool down.
- Leg Press (250 lbs) 3 sets of 12 – alternating with – 12 front raises with 25 lb plate
- Squat to shoulder press w/40 lb bar 3 sets of 12 – alternating with 40 lb DB squats
- 24 walking lunges with 20 lb DB’s -alternating with – dead lift upright row w/45 lb bar
My legs were feeling it at the end of this!! Hopefully yours will be too! xoxoxo
People are always asking me for workouts that they can do at home. Well, here is a fantastic way to get a killer full body workout without any weights at all. You can do this absolutely anywhere! Repeat the following sequence of exercise four times through, with twenty reps of each exercise. Good luck!
Let me just start by saying you HAVE to try these. You just have to. My guess is that you have seen these around. They are starting to POP up everywhere…no pun intended…kind of. Next time you see them, you should absolutely grab a bag. Let me start by saying that I have never been a potato chips girl. Don’t get me wrong…I know there are plenty of tasty options of chips that are out there. However, for whatever reason, I’ve just never been one to buy a bag of chips to snack on. It isn’t because I don’t like them. It is because I know myself far too well. an open, portionless bag of chips is a bottomless pit of scary in my eyes. I am not good at determining how many chips I’ve had…or when enough is enough. SO, I just stay away. It’s better that way. However, the fabulous people over at popchips have changed my mind. What is a popchip you may ask? I certainly did. It is just that. A chip that is popped instead of fried. This is a quote straight from their site that helps give a bit more info, “popping is a way of making our naturally delicious chips. we start with the finest ingredients, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! it’s a chip. all that’s added is a flavorful blend of seasonings to create taste-bud popping flavors.”The nutrition stats on these tasty lil’ snacks are awesome. For 1 oz (about 23 chips) you are looking at about 120 calories, 4g of fat, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, and 2g of protein. These chips are not greasy. They are light, crispy, and full of flavor! I tried a variety of flavors from Thai Sweet Chili to Barbecue to Cheddar…just to name a few, and they were all SO good! I think the winner in my book is the Thai Sweet Chili. It is absolutely bursting with a unique flavor that I LOVE. These are a great health snack option for everyone! Kids and adults alike will be in love with them. I even tried them out on my dad, who is a LOVER of chips. They passed with flying colors. In fact, I think he was surprised at how much he loved them.
I had some awesome spaghetti squash at a restaurant called Le Grande Orange when I was in Arizona over Christmas break, and ever since then I’ve been wanting to cook some. I looked all over for a good recipe this week, and settled on my own adaptation of a recipe I found on Skinnytaste I think they turned out pretty dang awesome. Chicken Marinara Spaghetti Squash Boats: Serves 2
Ingredients: 1 medium spaghetti squash, 6 oz of grilled chicken, 1 cup marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Directions: You can cook your spaghetti squash in the oven if you’d like, but I cooked mine in the microwave. To cook it in the microwave, stab it with a fork 8-10 times. Place it in a microwave safe dish for 10-12 minutes. Let it sit for 5-7 more minutes before you touch it, so it can continue steaming and cool down a bit. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, cut your chicken into bite size pieces and grill it or cook it up in a skillet with oregano and garlic powder. (I would say about 1/4-1/2 tsp of each) When your squash is down, cut it in half length-wise. Use a fork to remove seeds, and to fluff the squash into spaghetti strands. Season the squash with salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 400. Put 1/4 cup of marinara over each half the squash. Put 3 oz of the cooked chicken on each squash half. Cover with 1/4 cup of marinara on each half. Cover each squash with 1/4 cup of cheese. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is brown, bubbly, and melted.
This meal was so easy, and so delicious. It is also very easy to portion, just consider 1/2 a squash for each person you are cooking for. This is a great substitution for noodles if you are trying to eat a lower amount of carbohydrates, or if you are in need of gluten-free meals! I paired it with some oven roasted broccoli, and it hit the spot!
I like to review products that I am really interested in using, and that I would encourage others to use as well. As you very well know, turkey jerky has become a staple in my pantry. I am constantly running all over the place, and protein can be difficult when you are on the go. Grilling up a piece of chicken is not always in the cards as far as time is concerned. Discovering turkey jerky helped me to find something that I could eat on the go that already prepared, and is packed with protein. Because I am so picky about meat, I have tried MANY different kinds of jerky. There are quite a few that have ingredients that I’m not a fan of or that just plain do not taste good…and then there is KRAVE Jerky. The people over at KRAVE were kind enough to send me a variety of their jerky products to review, and I’ll be honest. I’m in love.The variety of all natural flavors that this company offers is just plain awesome. They offer Basil Citrus and lemon Garlic turkey jerky, Black Cherry Barbecue and Grilled Sweet Teriyaki pork jerky, and Chili Lime, Garlic Chili Pepper, Sweet Chipotle, and Pineapple Orange beef jerky. Tell me those flavor combos don’t catch your attention?
The different flavors are as awesome as they sound. I even tried the beef and pork jerky, which I usually don’t eat, and I liked it! The Sweet Chipotle beef jerky has an awesome flavor with a bit of a kick to it. My favorite pork jerky was definitely the Teriyaki. On top of having awesome flavor, all of the jerky is REALLY tender. The best part? All of these different jerky’s are made with ingredients that I recognize. They are super healthy, super delicious, and make for an awesome snack. There is even a flavor indicator on the back of the package that lets you know if the flavor you are considering is more sweet or more spicy, to allow you to choose a flavor that will suit your taste buds. So, of all of these awesome flavors, which was my favorite? Hands down, the Basil Citrus turkey jerky. It is mind blowing. I really couldn’t believe how much I loved it. It isn’t tough. It hardly tastes like a jerky at all. It is sweet and spicy all at the same time. Try it. I promise you will love it. Another awesome bonus? It is all gluten free. Most jerky’s aren’t. Check out their website to find their products near you. They also have some fun and delicious recipes that incorporate their tasty jerky into some awesome meals. As cheesy as it sounds, I get the name of the product. I’m going to be KRAVING this stuff for SURE.