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prana & boomi bars

I am headed up to Maine this morning for a fun girls weekend on the lake!  While I am away, I wanted to leave you with a product review.  Enjoy!

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I received a very generous sampling from Divine Foods a few months ago and have been working my way through their line of Prana and Boomi bars.

I was sent their line of Prana Bars, Super Charger Prana Bars and Boomi Bars to try out.

[Disclaimer: I did receive these products for free, however, the review is my honest opinion.  If I did not like the products, I would tell you!  I only accept samples of items that I know I will like and that fit into my eating plan.]

All of their bars are made with organic, simple, easy to pronounce ingredients, which excites me right away.  For example, the Pear Ginseng Prana Bar contains the following ingredients: Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Date Paste, Organic Almond Butter, Organic Almonds, Organic Pears, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Puffed Amaranth, Organic Ginseng, Sea Salt.

Not too shabby!

Prana Bars have a very smooth texture.  Like Larabars, they are made from a base of dates, but they also contain puffed amaranth, which gives it a different (and great!) texture from a Larabar.

My favorites are below.  I really enjoyed these bars.  The flavors are so interesting and they all really worked together!  I was very impressed.

Super Charger Prana Bars have the same texture as the Prana bars (above), but contain some ‘superfoods’, such as goji berries and maca, which make them super!  I loved all 4 of these flavors and really cannot decide which I liked best, although the Blueberry Coconut was awesome!

Boomi Bars were my favorite of all of the bars due to the texture.  They were chunkier than the Prana bars which I enjoyed.  I like chunks of nuts and fruit throughout, which these definitely had.  In addition to the amaranth, these bars also contain crisp rice which definitely makes the texture.  Normally, I try to stay away from white rice, but in a product like this that I am not going to eat every single day, it is okay with me.  Plus, it makes the bar!

I had a really hard time deciding on favorites because tha majority of flavors were great!

Overall, I really liked all of the Prana and Boomi Bars that I tried.  I would definitely buy these products when I was in need of a snack and would use them as just that – a snack.  Their website says that they can be used as meal replacements, but I don’t agree.  They don’t have nearly enough fat, calories or protein for a meal.

Enjoy!

ch-ch-ch-chia!

I know that I have talked about Chia Seeds in the past, but they came up in a book that I was reading, so I decided that I wanted to mention them again!

I started reading Born To Run by Christopher MacDougall last week and when I hit page 44, I was psyched!  [If you are a runner and haven’t read the book, you should definitely do so.  I haven’t finished yet, but I love it already!]

The author had met up with the Tarahumaras and they had given him something to drink, iskiate.  Check out what he says below:

“Months later, I’d learn that iskiate is otherwise known as chia fresca – “chilly chia.”  It’s brewed up by dissolving chia seeds in water with a little sugar and a squirt of lime.  In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone.  As tiny as those seeds are, they’re super packed with omega-3s, omega-6s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants. If you had to pick just one desert-island food, you couldn’t do much better than chia, at least if you were interested in building muscle, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your risk of heart disease; after a few months on the chia diet, you could probably swim home.  Chia was once so treasured, the Aztecs used to deliver it to their king in homage.  Aztec runners used to chomp chia seeds as they went into battle, and the Hopis fueled themselves on chia during their epic runs from Arizona to the Pacific Ocean.  The Mexican state of Chiapas is actually names after the seed; it used to rank right up there with corn and beans as cash crop.  Despite its liquid-gold status, chia is ridiculously easy to grow; if you own a Chia Pet, in fact, you’re only a few stepped away from your own batch of the devil drink.” From Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.

Now do you believe how great chia seeds are for you?!

Yes, by chia seeds, I mean the same ones that come from our favorite pets…

(Source)

…the chia pet is sprouts grown from the seeds.  Obviously, if kept dry, yours will not sprout.

Initially, some may not like the texture of the seeds, but it does grow on you!  They take in a lot of water and have a sort of slimy texture.  If you mix it them into smoothies or oatmeal, or sprinkle them on your foods, you can barely tell they are there. 🙂

Chia seeds have amazing health benefits:

  • you do not need to grind the seed to make it digestible
  • helps stabilize your blood sugar
  • has nutrients like Omega-3’s, calcium, proteins, antioxidants, fiber and complex carbohydrates
  • maintains hydration
  • help to fill you up – chia seeds expand to more than 30 times their size
  • and much more…

Chia seeds can basically be added to anything.  In the past, I have added them to many things:

Smoothies

Overnight oats – before & after

Granola Bars

They are also great as salad toppers, oatmeal toppers and cereal toppers.  And, I have heard that they can replace flaxseeds in some recipes.  I hope to try that out soon!

Chia seeds have become very widely available over the past few years.  I have always seen them at Whole Foods and my local health food store.  Give them a try!

allandale farm csa, week 7

We received some great veggie this week, including as corn, a funky eggplant and a huge zucchini!

We were also psyched about the heirloom cherry tomatoes that we have been waiting for since the start of the CSA!  They were super sweet and juicy.  Perfect eaten on their own or in a chopped salad.

Cherry Tomatoes

Corn

Green Pepper

Beets

Carrots

Watercress

Eggplant

Celery

Onions

Cucumber/ Pickling Cucumbers

Zucchini

A week full of fresh veggies!

grilled zucchini and quinoa

I made a tasty dinner tonight for Kate and I!

I cannot believe that I haven’t had quinoa in over a month.  We used to have quinoa once or twice a week, but I haven’t been craving it lately.  Well, it tasted delicious tonight!

We all know that I love 101cookbooks.com and this recipe was another one that did not disappoint.  I followed the recipe, but subbed almonds for pinenuts and omitted the cheese.  While the quinoa was cooking, I sauteed an onion over medium heat with a little salt and olive oil until tender.  I mixed the onion with the quinoa before mixing in the sauce.

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini (see recipe here)

My favorite part of the dish was the sauce!  It is so good, I would make this as a salad dressing or as a sauce for rice or just grilled veggies.  It seems very versatile and is so yummy!  Great for the summer.

The sauce is made up of avocado, plain yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and salt.

Trust me, it is so good!

I started out my day with a 4.5 mile run in the heat and humidity.  I swear, this heat makes me much slower and I get tired so much more easily…I hope it is the heat!

After my run, I drank some juice.

And, had some toast – Fig Fennel & Flax Manna Bread.

Spread with Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter and enjoyed with a banana and my juice, which was a delicious blend of pineapple, pear and ginger.  Very yummy.

I was starving for lunch, so I dug right into my leftover chopped salad from last night.  The salad was even better today after marinating overnight!

Along with a yogurt and 2 sweet and juicy apricots!

I tried the new Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar for an afternoon snack and it was amazing.  Very peanut buttery with chocolate chips throughout.

Try these new Larabar’s!  You won’t be disappointed…and if you are, send them to me! 🙂

chopped veggie salad

It was so hard to wake up this morning!!  My eyes felt like they were glued shut!

Luckily, I had another juice to enjoy from Organic Avenue.

Veggie Vibe!

The cucumber, lemon and parsley flavors really stood out.  It definitely was not my favorite juice, but it was good.  And, made me feel energized!

Along with my juice, I snacked on 2 slices of Carrot Raisin Manna Bread.

Look at those raisins!!

With a think spread of peanut butter and Crofter’s cherry jam.

I loved this breakfast!

Lunch was interesting because we were down to minimal fresh food in the fridge!  We pick up our CSA tonight, so we were completely out of fruits and vegetables except for 2 small pickling cucumbers.

I sliced them up and ate them with lemon hummus and a mix of raw flax and rice crackers.

I also had a honey greek yogurt with raw granola and freeze dried strawberries and blueberries.

How’s that for getting fruit into my lunch?! 🙂

On the way to pick up our CSA, I found something I had been searching for – the new Larabar flavors!!!

I dug right into the Chocolate Chip Brownie.

YUMMMMMMMMMMY!!!!!!!!!

It definitely tastes like a brownie and has chunks of chocolate in every bite.  It was so good!

Dinner was thrown together pretty quickly, but at least we had fresh veggies!

While Brant was getting my veggie burger and his eggs together, I made up a chopped salad similar to the one we had at Emily’s last night.

Green pepper, cucumber, spring onion, heirloom cherry tomatoes and carrots chopped up and mixed with honey balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme.  It came out great.

And, a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with ketchup and a pickle.

I really like making salad’s out of fresh chopped veggies.  You don’t need any lettuce because everything is so fresh.  This would be great to bring to a BBQ or the beach because you don’t have to worry about lettuce wilting.  Make it the night before to let the flavors marinate throughout.

manic monday

Just another Manic Monday!

I wanted to start Monday off on the right foot today, so I opened up my Blueberry Spirulina Smoothie that I picked up at Organic Avenue in the city.

The smoothie contained some delicious and healthy ingredients.

The smoothie was really good and I just love the fun glass bottles they come in.

Along with my smoothie, I toasted up 2 slices of Cinnamon Date Manna Bread that the company sent me to review (full post at a later date).

Spread thinly with Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter, this breakfast was awesome!

Manna Bread is so doughy and cake-like, I personally love it!  I could really taste the cinnamon in this flavor.

For lunch, I feasted on a salad that I brought home from NYC.  I stopped at Bonobos, a Vegetarian restaurant, before leaving yesterday to pick something up.

I picked up the Nori Rolls which are a mix of nuts and veggies rolled in Nori and a side salad with agave mustard viniagrette.

They were pretty good, but not awesome!  I also had a chocolate yogurt, which was awesome!

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on a Maple Pecan Boomi Bar.

This was by far my favorite flavor and I think it was because of the maple.  I love maple syrup! 🙂

Dinner was made for us by the wonderful Emily & Shawn!

Pappardelle with Spiced Butter from 101cookbooks

The pasta was delicious!  The spices, herbs and pinenuts were awesome.

Chopped Veggie Salad

A super delicious salad with tomato, cucumber, pepper, red onion, avocado and more!

Thanks for a delicous dinner, guys!

chocopologie & chipotle

It was gorgeous out in NYC yesterday morning when I headed out for my walk.  I walked along the river for a few miles, then headed over to pick up a juice at One Lucky Duck!

I ordered the Bunny Brew, which is a mix of carrots, apples and ginger.  I love the kick of ginger and the apples add a bit of sweetness to the drink.  It is delicious!

At this point, I was happy to have the juice because it go HOT out on my walk back home.

All in all, I covered a little over 3 miles in 45 minutes.  It felt great to stretch my legs after walking around and standing all day and night on Saturday!

Back at my brother’s apartment, we had bagels for breakfast before heading out.  I toasted up 1/2 of a cinnamon raisin bagel and spread it with peanut butter with a yogurt.  I love carbs. 🙂

On our drive home, we made a pit stop in South Norwalk (SoNo) for lunch.  It is a really small town right off of the highway, but the downtown is so cute!  It is a small strip of restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.

We decided on Chocopologie for lunch.  Why?  Because of the name!!

It was so cute inside and everything on the menu sounded amazing from sandwiches to salads to buckwheat crepes to french toast and a lot more.

I started with a Raspberry Smoothie while we waited for our meals.  It was so good, it tasted like a milkshake.  Although, it could have been colder and thicker…

For my lunch, I ordered the Meditteranean Salad.  It was hands down, the best salad I have ever had!  I can’t wait to re-create it at home.

The salad contained arugula, green beans, kidney beans, roasted beets, goat cheese, croutons and a lemon viniagrette.

The salad was served warm!  I loved it.

We made a few more stops on our ride home, so I snacked on an Endure GloBar a few hours later.  This flavor was awesome!  There is something about cranberries that I just love in granola bars.

And, we picked up dinner at Chipotle because the last thing you want to do after a weekend away is cook on a Sunday night!!

A vegetarian burrito bowl with rice, black beans, peppers, onions, corn salsa, hot salsa, lettuce and guacamole.

Delicious!