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somersaults

It was cold and rainy when I woke up this morning.  What happened to our 75 degree weather?!  I miss it!

Due to the weather, I felt like some oats for breakfast.  I wanted something a little different from my normal banana oats with peanut butter, but of course I didn’t think of it until after my banana oats (1/4 cup rolled oats + 1/4 cup oat bran, 1 banana, 1 tbsp ground flax) were cooking, so I just switched up the toppings!

I decided to chop up an apple and throw it in a bowl with a squirt of agave nectar and a few shakes of cinnamon.  I popped it in the microwave for a minute and 30 seconds and it came out smelling and tasting just liked a baked apple – yum!  This would be perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon snack!

Once my banana oats were cooked, I topped it with my apple topping and some toasted pecans to get Baked Apple Oatmeal!

It was so delicious and perfect for a snowy/rainy morning!  I might have to replicate tomorrow. 🙂

I met my Mom for some shopping at the new Nordstroms at South Shore Plaza at lunch time today, so I ate lunch on the later side.  Nordstroms was packed, but it is such a great store!

Lunch included a salad for which I literally tossed random items into my lunch bag this morning!

Lots of good random stuff though!  Who knows how long that can of tuna has been in my cabinet – but, the expiration date was still good. 🙂

My salad contained red leaf lettuce, 1 can of tuna, raisins, salty pepper somersaults and spinach & artichoke hummus.

It was surprisingly delicious!  The Salty Pepper Somersaults were a great addition.

The Somersault Snack Company aims to bring you unexpected pleasure and a moment of mindful munching combined with a delectable blend of spice and absolutely nothing artificial.  Their snacks are made with toasted grains, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and a sprinkle of spices which are then baked into nuggets for snacking.  They have 4 different flavors for which they flavor using wholesome ingredients, which you can read about here.

A few weeks ago, they sent me 3 of their flavors to sample for a review.  I had never tried Somersaults before, but was intrigued by the concept of these little nuggets.  I am happy to say that they are cruncy and delicious!  I was able to try the Sea Salt, Salty Pepper and Chez Cocoa.  I tried them plain, mixed in with yogurt and as salad toppers.  They were perfect each way.

The Sea Salt was my favorite flavor.  It had just a hint of sea salt and were best eaten on their own as a snack.

The Salty Pepper was next on my list.  I loved the hint of spice from the pepper, but these contain a little garlic, which kind of lingered.  Still super crunchy and delicous, though!

My least favorite was the Chez Cocoa.  When I received my package of samples, I immediately tore into these ones because they are chocolate!  They were good and flavorful and crunchy, but I was expecting and wanting more chocolate flavor.  I did still like them and loved them mixed into my chocolate yogurt, but the flavor was just a little off.  I’d stick with the Sea Salt anyday!

Overall, these were great healthy snacks.  They come in smaller pouches as well, which would be perfect to through in your purse, car or gym back when you need a quick snack.  Each serving contains about 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber and wholesome ingredients, so it would be a good pre-workout snack!  You can purchase them from their website, or from Amazon.  I have also seen them at Peet’s Coffee & Tea!  Next time I am there, I will definitely be trying the new Santa Fe Salsa flavor.  Thanks for letting me try these out, Somersaults!!

I feel a mid-afternoon snack time coming on – maybe some tea and a big juicy grapefruit I brought with me.  Have a great Friday!

running in the rain

I was starving when I woke up this morning, so I snacked on a Heart Thrive energy bar before my workout.  I ate half before my workout and half after.

Aren’t they cute?!  I love that they are shaped like hearts – makes me more excited to eat an energy bar.  Oh, the things that excite you at 5am. 🙂

Heart Thrive’s are a vegan energy bar made with oats, soy and dried fruit.  The main ingredients in the bars are the following: Oats, dried fruit, brown rice syrup, natural fruit juice, brown rice flour, soy protein concentrate, soy flour, Inulin(chicory root extract), rice bran, dried plums, dried apples, dried pears,  calcium citrate.

 

I tried the Lemon Poppyseed flavor this morning and was surprised how much I liked it!  The ingredient list is not so bad, although I do try to stay away from soy products because they are normally genetically modified.  It smelled like a lemon poppyseed muffin right out of the package, but the texture was different and it was much heavier and denser.  I was afraid that it was going to sit in my stomach like a rock, but it didn’t.  Each package contains 2 hearts (bars), but only 1 heart is a serving size.  One heart has about 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein (I saved the 2nd heart for another day).  I will definitely eat these again when I’m in a pinch or before or after a workout if needed.  It filled me up just enough for weights and an easy 5 mile run.

After my snack I did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred!  I like weight videos on days that I run outside.  I don’t have many weights at home since I like to lift at the gym, so a quick video is perfect on days I want to stay away from the gym (like a rainy day like today)!

I recently found out by some friends that if you have Comcast Cable (and maybe other cable providers too, but I’m not sure), many of Jillian’s video’s are On Demand for FREE!!!  I was psyched when they told me this because I had been debating if I should buy another video since I was getting sick of No More Trouble Zones.  I had never used the Exercise and Fitness part of On Demand before and I cannot believe that I just discovered it!  There are a lot of options on there, including weight, cardio and yoga videos!  I’m psyched.

If you like workout and weight videos definitely check out Jillian Michaels.  She does mostly circuit training, which means you are lifting weights with your arms while also working your legs.  I prefer this way of weight lifting because you burn more calories and fat while you are lifting.  Plus, it is a good way to get in a total body workout in less time.  It doesn’t get any better than that!  In her 30 Day Shred video, you do 3 circuits of 6 minutes each (plus warmup and cooldown).  Each circuit is split up into 3 minutes of weights, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs and repeat.  It was a great quick workout – I felt the burn!

Then I ran.  In the pouring rain and wind.  It was fun!  I was soaked when I got home.  I made Brant snap a photo, but it doesn’t do it justice.  I was dripping!  (yes, my husband thinks I am crazy, but you’d be surprised how many people were out there with me!  ok, I only saw 2 other runners in the rain at 5am…)

Breakfast was oatmeal.  I have missed my morning oats!

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup wheatberries (left over from last week)
  • 1 tbsp of maple almond butter on top

This was too filling, so I didn’t finish it all!  But, by 11am, I was ready for some fruit.

I couldn’t decide what I wanted, but I was craving fruit so I ate both!

 

After ample digestion time for my fruit, it was time for lunch!  Leftover Wild Rice Salad (the last of it) and a Strawberry Banana Chobani that i loved.  When are these new flavors coming to my grocery store, Chobani??

(that’s my lunch bag in the back – I use the small Lululemon bags!)

Not surprisingly, the Pineapple and Strawberry Banana chobani’s are my favorite.  I honestly think that it is because the are 2% instead of 0% – most of their yogurt is 0%.  I like the creamier texture, better flavor and the fact that it fills me up for longer.  Thanks again, Chobani!

And, some Peppermint Dark Chocolate for a sweet treat. 🙂  (sorry, Jaimee, but I just love chocolate and mint!)

This company makes the best chocolate!

sahale snacks

Sahale Snacks sent me some samples of their Nut Blends to try out.  When they arrived in the mail, I was psyched!  So many different things to try.

The idea behind the company is great!  The founder was hiking and wanted a more delicious snack that was still packed with the nutrition he needed for the climb.

From the website:

It all started with a climb up Mount Rainier in Washington State in August 2003. We had some beautiful views but nothing delicious to eat. The trail mix and stale nuts we brought on our trip helped to replenish lost energy, but did nothing to satisfy our desire for something great tasting, nutritious and as adventurous as our travels. That experience inspired us to create Sahale Snacks.

Our first line of snacks, the nut blends, are unique combinations of premium nuts, dried fruits, and exotic spices, each reflecting a beautiful location, culture and/or culinary tradition somewhere in the world. They are all natural, delicious, conveniently packaged, and full of nutrition. Recently we added a line of lightly glazed nuts with great fruits like raspberry, strawberry, and pomegranate.

We use whole ingredients in their natural form — such as cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and peanuts — and combine them with naturally dried and preservative-free (unsulphured) fruits, then add fabulous ingredients like organic orange blossom honey, lemongrass, balsamic vinegar, Moroccan harissa, or pure ground Madagascar vanilla beans.

Take us on your next adventure.

For now, you can purchase the nuts online, or at Starbucks.  They are part of Starbucks new snack line!  I saw them the last time I was there.  You can also search here for other locations.

I have been trying these nut blends on salads, on stirfries and just as plain snacks.  They are delicious anyway you eat them.  I found that all of the blends are sweet, but not too sweet.  Just the perfect amount.

Almond PB & JAlmond PB&J with Peanuts + Berries

Review: A great snack that really tastes like jelly covered almonds!  The addition of peanuts to the mix was the PB, so when I got a bite with an almond and a peanut, it was like a PB&J sandwich. 🙂

Nutrition Facts: My small bag of almonds was only 1 ounce, so therefore contained 1 serving.  A great snack to throw in your bag when you are on-the-go!

 

Honey Almond Almonds with Cranberries, Honey + Sea Salt

Review: Ok, these are my favorite!  They were just a simple, glazed almond with a touch of salt flavor.  The cranberries floated separately in the bag, but made a great mix when eaten together.  The glaze was not overpowering.  It just provided a touch of sweetness. I ate these right out of the bag as well!

Nutrition Facts: The bag I received was one serving.

 

Pomegranate Cashews – Cashews with Pomegranate + Vanilla

Review:  To me, these had a similar flavor to the Honey Almonds, but with a slight hint of vanilla (and obviously the fact that they are Cashews and not Almonds!:)).  I normally prefer almonds to cashews, but these were great!  They were sprinkled with lots of pomegrante that gave the nuts a bit more flavor and deliciousness.  I would absolutely buy these again!  Once again, they had the perfect about of sweetness and none of the flavors in the blend were overpowering, which is true in so many flavored nuts out there.

Nutrition Facts: I received a larger bag of these, so I am looking forward to enjoying them on salads and as snacks.

 

Ksar Nut Blend – Pistachios with Sesame Seeds, Pepitas, Fig + Moroccan Harissa

Review: Loved these!  Pistachios are paired perfectly with sesame seeds and a peppery spice.  I loved that these had just a hint of sweetness, but also had a kick at the end.  So far I have enjoyed these on salads, but haven’t eaten them alone – I think they would be a little too spicy for me.  I enjoy sweeter nuts as a snack.  They would be great on top of a spicy stirfry.  A great blend and a must try because it is so different!

Nutrition Facts:

 

 

Valdosta Nut Blend – Pecans with Sweet Cranberries, Black Pepper + Orange Zest

Review:  These are some delicious pecans!  And, are a great addition to a sweeter salad, which is just how I used them.  Once again, they just have a hint of sweetness.  I didn’t really taste the pepper at all, which was probably because I ate them in a salad.  The cranberries were a nice addition as well.

Nutrition Facts:

Each and everyone of these glazed nuts and nut blends were delicious!  I would happliy purchase any of them, and can’t wait to find their other nut blends that are out there.  I definitely recommend giving them a try for snacks and on salads!

Sahale Snacks uses healthier and natural ingredients in their blends, which makes me feel better about eating these nuts over other blends out there that use oils and artificial sweeteners.  I loved that you could see the whole cranberries and chunks of pomegranates and figs in the blends.  You know that you are getting the real fruit, and not just a concentrate!

Thank you Sahale Snacks!!

attune bars

I was graciously sent a few samples of the Attune Chocolate Bars to review a few weeks ago.  As we all know, I love chocolate, so I jumped on the chance to try these chocolates!

I was sent 3 to review: Dark Chocolate, Mint Chocolate and Chocolate Crisp!

 

Attune chocolate bars are not just any normal chocolate bar, but instead they are a Chocolate Probiotic Wellness Bar (which you can find in the yogurt/dairy section of your local grocery store!).

Probiotics are the bacterias, like you find in yogurt, which help to aid in digestion and immune system health.  We all have bacteria living in our stomachs, both good and bad, so by eating probiotics on a daily basis, that bacteria in our system gets some much needed help in digesting.  Americans sometimes eat meals that don’t sit so well in your stomach due to their size, ingredients, etc, so probiotics will aid in helping that food to digest.  You can eat a yogurt, take a supplement, or now you could even eat a chocolate bar to help out! 🙂

Here is the information from the Attune website on the Chocolate Bars:

“a better way to get your daily probiotics

Mmmm…imagine the moment that you bite into the blissfully rich taste of chocolate. Now add the perfect amount of rice crisps for a satisfying crunch. Then imagine that delicious treat helps promote healthy digestive and immune systems. Sounds dreamy. But it’s not a dream. It’s an Attune® wellness bar. Everything that helps you feel your best should taste this good.”

All of the chocolate bars are gluten free and they do contain soy.  They are fairly low in calories, have about 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein and around 8 grams of sugar.  Not so bad for chocolate!

They are a little on the pricey side at about $1.50 per bar, but good chocolate and yogurt are kind of pricey too…

It sounded good to me!  I was definitely intrigued by these bars, so I was excited to try them.

First up was the Chocolate Crisp!

I’m not going to lie, it was good!!  With the milk chocolate and crisps in the bar, it tasted just like one of those Nestle Crunch bars.  I used to love those bars, you know, before I started eating healthy! 🙂

You could see the crisps from the back, but I guess I didn’t snap that photo!

Each bar contains 2 squares of chocolate.  This chocolate crisp bar has the following ingredients and nutrition facts:

Ingredients: Milk Chocolate Coating (evaporated cane juice, chocolate, cocoa butter, inulin, non fat milk, calcium carbonate, anhydrous milk fat, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla), Organic Brown Rice Crisps (organic brown rice flour, organic molasses, calcium carbonate), *6.1B Probiotic Cultures (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM™, Lactobacillus casei LC-11).

(Source)

Pretty good for a chocolate bar!

Next up, Mint Chocolate!

To my surprise, this guy had crisps as well!

I loved this bar!  The combination of mint and chocolate is a favorite of mine (i love mint chocolate chip ice cream!!!), so I knew that this would be a winner.  Yum yum yum!

Ingredients: Milk Chocolate Coating (evaporated cane juice, chocolate, cocoa butter, inulin, non fat milk, calcium carbonate, anhydrous milk fat, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla), dark chocolate coating (chocolate, evaporated cane juice, natural cocoa, inulin, cocoa butter, calcium carbonate, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla), Organic Brown Rice Crisps (organic brown rice flour, organic molasses, calcium carbonate), *6.1B Probiotic Cultures: (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM™, Lactobacillus casei LC-11), Natural Flavor.

(Source)

And, finally, the Dark Chocolate!

This one tasted like dark chocolate!  Not the best dark chocolate I have had, but it was definitely good.  Something I would have again.

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate Coating (chocolate, evaporated cane juice, cocoa powder, inulin, calcium carbonate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla), *6.1B Probiotic Cultures: (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM™, Lactobacillus casei LC-11).

(Source)

Overall, these bars were amazing.  And, it is so great to eat a chocolate bar and know that it is doing something good for you!  I will definitely pick some of the other flavors up next time I see them.  I saw some at my local Whole Foods a few weeks ago!  Chocolate is a great end to any meal. 🙂

Attune also has granola bars, in case you are curious!