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heart thrives

A few months ago, the very generous folks at The Healthy Baking Company offerred to send me some of their Heart Thrive energy bars to sample.

Heart Thrive Bars are vegan energy bars made with wholesome ingredients.  Each package contains 2 bars (1 bar being a serving) which pack about 160 calories each, 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.

From the website: Heart Thrives are delicious, VEGAN and NON-GMO energy bars.  Made with oats, soy and dried fruits, each Heart Thrive supplies 30% daily protein, fiber and calcium.  Heart Thrives are made from imgredients with a low glycemin index that metabolize slowly providing sustained energy for hours.

I ate the majority of these bars as pre and post workout snacks.  They sat well in my stomach during the workouts, and gave me the energy and protein that I needed immediately after the workouts.

They offer 7 different flavors of the bars, and all of them were delicious.  But, below are my favorites!

Chocolate

Come on?!  Did you think that I would have a favorite other than chocolate?!  I think not. 🙂  This was by far my favorite – next to Apple.  It was moist, and had the perfect amount of chocolate chips baked in.  It tasted more like a chocolate chip cookie than an energy bar.

Apple

Definitely my second favorite.  This was extremely moist and had big chunks of apple in it.  I ate the second of the 2 hearts heated up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…oh yes, I did. 🙂

Lemon Poppyseed

This was great too.  It reminded me of a Lemon Poppyseed muffin, and made my house smell like they were baking in the oven when I heated this up.

The other flavors were great too, however, I felt like the Apricot, Date, Raisin and Cranberry all tasted very similar.  None of them jumped out at me, even though I enjoyed each and every little heart.

I would absolutely buy these again in my 3 favorite flavors.  I am always looking for healthy alternatives to protein bars for my long run days.  Check here to find out where you can purchase these Heart Thrives.  I have seen them at my local health food store!

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lots of weights

I made it to the gym!!  It was just what I needed.

On my way to the gym, I snacked on a Chocolate Heart Thrive.

YUM!  I really love these little hearts.  They taste pretty good, and have a decent ingredient list, which makes everything better.  The chocolate bits are like little bits of heaven in my granola bar! 🙂

I ran 4.6 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill, then did some upper body weights.  My legs felt pretty tight today, maybe from my faster run yesterday.  They were tired after the run, so I decided against my circuit weight session, which would have included lots of lunges and squats.  I save those for another day, and focused on my Shoulders, Chest & Triceps.

Upper Body Weights

  • Overhead press (12.5 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Triceps Dips (3 sets of 12)
  • Frontal Raise (7.5 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Crunches (3 sets of 15)
  • Chest press on a stability ball (12.5 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Triceps Kickback (12.5 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Lateral raise (7.5 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Bicycle crunches (3 sets of 15)
  • Upright row (10 lb weights, 3 sets of 12)
  • Overhead triceps (12.5 lb weight, 2 sets of 12)
  • Chest flys (7.5 lb weights, 2 sets of 12)
  • V-ups ( 2 sets of 15)

This was a great upper body workout!  My arms were shaking and burning at the end.  The last 3 exercises, I could only get myself to do 2 sets.  It feels great to have a workout like that.  I increased some of my weight today, so I felt proud. 🙂

After my workout, I sipped on a new Coconut Water on my way home – with a splash of Guava!

O.N.E. coconut water came out with a few new flavors of their coconut water, with just a splash of the juice.  I also bought the mango and pineapple, so I can’t wait to try them!  I loved the guava!!  It was the perfect amount of ‘splash’.  Not too sweet, but just enough to make it a treat.  And, coconut water is a natural electrolyte, so drink up!  Their other flavored coconut waters are a little too sweet for my taste, but I liked this, even though I’d prefer the original anyday.

This one 8.5 fl oz serving has 78 calories, 16 grams of sugar and 18 grams of carbs.  Not so bad, considering that regular coconut water has 14 grams of sugar.

Once home, I made and scarfed down dinner in a matter of minutes – literally.  I was starving!

This was the worst wrap I have ever made!  It tasted awesome, but the pictures are awful!  This guy fell apart from the start.

Anyways, I filled a Joseph’s flax pita pocket with spinach, a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger, 1/2 an avocado and salsa.  Delicious combo – with a side of multigrain tortilla chips & salsa.

This has been a crazy week with what feels like every second filled – yay for Friday tomorrow!

Sleep tight!

trident cafe

After work, I met Emily downtown at Trident Bookstore & Cafe on Newbury Street.  This place is adorable!  In all the years I have been in Boston, I can’t believe I have not been here.

We sat in the cafe and ordered some drinks.  They had a huge selection of coffee, tea, fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies, as well as a big menu.  I opted for a tea tonight, since I had a fruit filled snack before getting there, but I will be back for juice and smoothies!

(Fruit filled snack of an Apple Heart Thrive and an Orange.)

I chose the Seven Herb Tea, which was a blend of hibiscus, cloves, lavender, orange, licorice & lemon. It was delicious!  The cloves made it just a tad spicy.

This place is so cute!

After we chatted away for hours, we parted ways for dinner.  By the time I got home, I was famished!  I quickly popped a Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger onto the grill for dinner, and a can of Amy’s Alphabet Soup in a pot on the stove.

Soup & Salad Combo : Veggie burger on a whole wheat pita with lettuce, ketchup and a laughing cow wedge & Amy’s alphabet soup with kale chips (need some green!).

I do love these veggie burgers, and the soup was delicious.  Not too salty, as many canned soups are.  All in all, a perfectly nutritious, delicious and quick meal.

Tips for healthy & quick dinners

I find that it is really important to keep a stock of some healthy lunch and dinner options in your fridge and pantry when you are trying to eat healthy.  On days like today, when I get home late and am famished, I could easily reach for something unhealthy if I had it.  But, for this reason, I don’t keep unhealthy options in the house.  Instead of the daunting task of making a full meal, I grabbed a frozen veggie burger from the freezer, and a can of soup from the pantry.  Within 5 minutes, they were both heated up and ready to eat.  My lettuce was washed and ready to go, stored in a bag in the fridge (I try to prepare this every Sunday night), so it was easy to get some greens into my dinner.  And, I had kale chips left over from the batch I made last week.  If you take time to prepare some things over the weekend, it makes weekday dinners that much easier.

What types of things do you do to make weeknight dinners quick and easy?

i love juice!

Happy Humpday!  So glad that we are halfway to the weekend again. 🙂  Sorry, long post alert!

I made a HUGE glass of fresh squeezed juice this morning with breakfast.  I have been craving it ever since my One Lucky Duck stop over the weekend in NYC.  I tried to re-create the juice that I got there (carrot, apple, ginger), and added a few other simple ingredients as well.

In the mix:

  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • ginger

I love the addition on ginger to my juice.  It gives it just the right amount of spice and kick – I just need to make sure I don’t add to much!  This mix made a huge glass of juice plus more.  I loved it.  Paired with slice of When Pig’s Fly Toast with almond butter, it was a wonderful breakfast.

Since I got in so much fruit for breakfast, I made sure to make my lunch veggie packedWhole wheat mini pita with hummus, cucumber and lettuce with a side of kale chips.  I’m loving these kale chips.

Along with yogurt, flax seed and Mainly Maine Maple Granola.

My stomach has been giving me issues with yogurt lately, so I put this down after eating about half.  I need to go back to making my own yogurt – maybe this weekend!

Before hitting up the gym this afternoon, I snacked on a Banana with PB for protein, carbs and fat to power me through the workout – delicious combo.

At the gym, I ran for a bit on the treadmill.  I felt awesome for just having run my best half marathon yet!  I completed 4 miles in 38 minutes – not bad for a recovery day.  I made sure to spend a good 10 minutes of stretching afterward so that my hips don’t tighten up again.  Doing some yoga moves the past few days made me feel awesome – I need to get yoga back into my life again.  I love to run, but maybe I need to change things up a bit for at least the next few weeks.  I think that it is important to change up your workouts to keep yourself fresh, and to trick your body into burning more calories and getting stronger.  Here I come swimming, and yoga, and spinning! 🙂

Speaking of swimming, after my run tonight, my husband met me at the gym to swim!  It was awesome.  I haven’t been in the pool for at least 3-4 months.  I took is easy today and just swam laps for 30 minutes.  No sprinting, no nothing.

I was desperate for dinner while swimming, so I snacked on an Apple Heart Thrive in the locker room.  I loved this flavor!  I have only tried the Lemon Poppyseed and Apple so far.  The apple was moist with big chunks of apple in there.  Yummy.

We kept dinner simple.  Pasta with peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and sauteed rainbow chard.  I have never used chard before, but I loved the colors!  I cut off the stems and used it just like I would have used spinach.  It was delicious.

I made a sauce out of 1 small can tomato paste, 4 garlic & herb laughing cow wedges, salt, pepper and basil.  It surprisingly came out great – almost like a vodka pasta sauce, but much healthier.

Then, I just mixed everything together in a pot while heating up a bit.

Served with some Kaia Foods Garlic & Herb sprouted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top.

Simple, yet delicious.