Real Talk: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars

Helloooo! Happy Tuesday y’all!

Can we talk about snacks today?! I am stopping in today with a quick review for Manitoba Harvest. They recently came out with a new product, their hemp heart bars, and I was lucky enough to get to sample two of the flavors!

*Full Disclosure-Manitoba Harvest provided me with product for review purposes through my relationship with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Per usual, all opinions are my own.*

I was excited to test these out as I am a big fan of hemp seeds as a plant-based protein and am always game for trying new snacks.

There are many days when I get caught up at work and do not have time to sit down and eat a real lunch, so I try to keep relatively healthy and filling snacks around. These definitely fit the bill!

I was sent the apple cinnamon and the chocolate to try. While both were good, the chocolate was definitely the winner in my book. I will be on the lookout for the vanilla so I can try all three!

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Side note: I know this probably doesn’t matter to most people, but I really like the packaging for these… it’s nice and simple, just like the ingredients.  

Speaking of the ingredients, I can pronounce all of them, which if you know me, is very important! You can also see pretty much everything listed!

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A quick run down of the bars from the Manitoba Harvest Website:

“Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart bars are crafted with the goodness of hemp and other tasty ingredients too. We’ve whipped up three different delicious flavours to choose from: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, so whether you grab one for a pre-workout snack or nutrition on the go, these convenient bars are sure to get you through even your busiest day!”

10 grams of protein! I was super thankful to have one of these in my purse the other day… Once again, I hadn’t had time for a real lunch and I needed a quick snack before heading out to meet a friend for a run! It didn’t bother my stomach and kept me satiated through my workout and up until dinner! Winning!

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Overall, I would absolutely buy these again. However, I would definitely recommend the chocolate over the apple cinnamon. It’s just…I personally would rather eat an actual apple…but that’s just me…don’t let that rain on your apple cinnamon loving parade!

In other exciting news, Manitoba Harvest is running a wicked cool photo contest! You can find the full details here.

Here are some quick details if you’d like to play along: 

  • Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
  • A winner will be chosen each month!
  • Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents.

AND if you’d like to order your own hemp heart bars, Manitoba Harvest is generously offering 15% off your purchase. You can buy them here.

  • The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off! Expires 3/31/2016 

A big thank you to Manitoba Harvest and Fit Approach for allowing me to sample out another awesome product!

Lets’ chat: Hemp Hearts-yes or no? Favorite pre-run (or other workout) snack? Chocolate or Apple Cinnamon? 

 

 

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Stuff on My Phone

Hi Friends!

Happy Friday!  Not gonna lie, it’s been a while! Let’s catch up!

I finally crossed over to the dark side and got an iPhone a couple of weeks ago. In all honesty, I had been thinking about it for a while (since August/September) but my poor old phone was finally on its last legs, so I gave in and made the switch.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures I’ve taken in the 2 weeks since switching phones. I have to say, the camera on this phone is WAY better than my old one and I LOVE that. I also love that I can take screen shots(as you’ll notice!)…I know… I’m like 2341343 years late to the screenshot party. It’s fine.

What you’ll find: 

  • My friends’ excitement over my finally switching to the iPhone.
  • Final grade in the last class I took (So pumped about getting that A!)
  • Screenshot of some books I recently added to my Kindle library
  • Food (Lots of food)
  • Chocolate (the BEST chocolate for baking)
  • Farmer Ben (my favorite person) and I freezing our butts off at a youth retreat
  • The not-too-shabby view at said youth retreat. Still freezing.
  • Screenshot of my workout summary on Map My Run
  • Some books I ordered and am excited to dig into (both for class and for pleasure)
  • A page I really liked in my reading for the class I just finished.

(Click on the collage to see individual photos)

Enjoy! 

 

That’s all I have for today! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What are you taking pictures of lately? Screenshots? Let me know! (I’m really nosey like that and am dying to know!) 

 


2015 In Review

Hey Y’all! Happy New Year! I totally started writing this post last week last year but I put it aside for a few days….

Last year In December 2014, I wrote a post outlining my goals for 2015. There were three (marathon number 2, coaching certification and cleaning up my diet).

Not gonna lie, reading this post now makes me laugh!  I have only partly accomplished one thing on the list. Just ONE (half)!

While a normal person would look at this as a major failure, I am giving myself a bit of grace this year. Am I letting myself off the hook too easily? Probably… but I am okay with that.

I was dissatisfied with myself last year in 2014.  I was stressed to the max, ready to snap at any moment!

This year… I don’t really feel that way…at least not as much. Am I perfect? Heavens NO! Of course not! But I have made some progress. While I am still striving to make improvements and I still have stress, I’m not obsessing over it and I am enjoying this chapter and what God has planned.

One of the major changes of 2015 was on the work front. I am in a job that I love. Is it easy? No. Absolutely not. But I know this is where I need to be. This is where God wants me, a place where I have to fully rely on Him.

A hard part of my work is that it requires me to work on Sundays. Unfortunately, this means no racing on Sundays….and all of the local(ish) half marathons and marathons take place on Sundays (except one…which I was and will indefinitely be unable to attend due to another work conflict).

As a result, not only did I NOT accomplish marathon number 2, but I also did not do ANY races this year. Not a single one! I realized this the other day… am I little bummed out about this? Yes, but it’s not the end of the world.

Another change that 2015 brought was going back to school. I started taking classes for my minister’s license in August. This means that a typical day (while classes are in session) starts around 7 am and goes until 2 am, when I finally finish my homework. I’m still working on my schedule and how to fit in regular life activities (including exercise and dinner!

While finding my footing with a new job, classes and the many changes that occurred (and are still)  with our head pastor’s death, I had many days where I was just trying to hang on… But even in that, I am amazed at the work that God accomplished. I haven’t written about this (on the blog) very much, and I am not entirely certain that I will, but it’s been a very good year. Tough… but good.

Will I ever get that run coaching certification? I think so. I get updates about upcoming courses and I would still like to take the certification course, but my reason for wanting it is a bit different than it was last year. I guess I will let that one roll over to 2016.

2015 was also a year of friendship.

This afternoon, I sat around my kitchen table with five other women for our monthly book club. As we laughed together, I realized how lucky I am to call them friends. When I started the book club, I never knew how much of an impact it would have on me. When I was first approached about working at my church back in February, I sent an email and with the click of the send button, I knew that I had (at least) 12 people praying for me, asking God to give me direction, even though they didn’t know the details.

When our pastor was sick, and eventually passed away, Ben and I knew that we had friends we could grieve with and walk through this chapter with.  We’ve been blessed to have support in many areas of our life and are glad to offer our support to the people in our life.

Ben and I have an ongoing group text with our friend’s Ben and Ashley. There are many times throughout the week when these texts will absolutely crack me up… but we can also send out a group “Hey, can we pray about XYZ together in the next few minutes?” It’s comforting, knowing that we have friendships where this is a normal occurrence. God is so good!

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image via She Reads Truth.

To be honest, 2015 was a huge blur! There are a few moments that stand out, but honestly, I have no idea how it is already January 2016!

I had no idea what was in store when I wrote this post last January….but I hope that I don’t lose that boldness and that desire to speak life!

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I’m looking forward expectantly, wondering what God has planned for us.

 

Cheers to 2016!

Let’s chat! Favorite moment in 2015? Did you accomplish all of your goals? 

 

 

 

 

 


Life Update: What Day Is It?

Hi Friends! It’s been a hot second since my last post. Life has been…. kind of a beautiful mess!

The truth is that I am exhausted. The last month has been a total whirlwind and most days I am not entirely sure which way is up. If I don’t write something down, I don’t remember it.

As an example, about two weeks ago (Maybe?) I had a meeting on a Monday and didn’t realize that I had completely forgotten about it and not shown up until Thursday. Oops. Luckily, I was able to reschedule.

I’ve been so busy that I didn’t post anything on Instagram for 3 WEEKS! If you know me, you know that I typically post about once a day!

Also, the blog turned 4 years old a couple of weeks ago! I had been thinking of doing a sappy throwback post with a lot of fanfare…and then I completely missed it… so thank you to everyone who keeps reading! Moving on…

In other news, Ben and I are adjusting to a new schedule as he started a new job a few weeks ago and I am still trying to figure out balancing schoolwork and adulting. Most days, I am usually up until about 2 am doing homework. Needless to say, this month has required a lot of prayer, patience and coffee (mostly on Farmer Ben’s part-#besthubsever).

 

But even with all of the hustle and bustle and adulting failure, life is good and Ben and I have so much to be thankful for.

Life is SO good!

Ben and I took a quick trip down to see the family for Thanksgiving. (We drove down Wednesday after work and drove back on Thursday night). Yes, it was a lot of driving but Farmer Ben is probably the best car dancer road trip partner on the planet so we had a blast.

I spent a large portion of the trip scanning radio stations (I know, I’m incredibly behind the times) so I could belt out Adele’s “Hello” while speeding down the highway, eating Trader Joe’s chocolate almonds and drinking coffee like a champ!

The highlight of our trip was going to Wegmans on Thanksgiving day and completely blowing our grocery budget on beer and cheese buying some awesome foodie things that we may not be able to get at home.

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Just kidding! While this beer and Wegmans brie are both wonderful treats, it was even better to spend time with the family….especially because I finally got to meet my beautiful niece! Her name is Olivia and she is perfect!

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She already looks so much like my sister! (Side note: Can we talk about how good my sister looks after delivering a human baby three weeks ago?!) It’s crazy….strong genes! It was awesome to see the rest of the family as well… I always hate to leave!

Since being home, I’ve been going pretty much nonstop but I am thankful that I am able to do what I do.

Phew… this was an incredibly random post! I had something much deeper planned when I first started typing and…well, clearly that didn’t happen. Next time friends!

Let’s catch up! How was Thanksgiving? Favorite road trip snack? What’s your favorite foodie item/beer? 

 

Also, linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons for today’s Thinking Out Loud Post….check out some of the other posts! Thanks for hosting the link-up!

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What Am I Snacking On?

Hi Friends!

Today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite things…Food! Specifically, what food I’m snacking on after a workout! If you’re anything like me, you may be kind of nosey… and you may be really curious about what other people are eating….If you were to peruse my Instagram feed, you’d probably find a lot of foodie accounts and food photos. It’s something I get excited about, what can I say?!

I was recently asked what I’m eating after all of my GBN workouts. This changes often because I go through food phases, but there are a few staples that stay in the rotation. I typically like to eat snacks with lots of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Just a note, this is what works for me. I’ve discovered this mostly through trial and error, and what I do may or may not work for someone else. So, do you, Friend! 

I was recently introduced to a great site for all of my snacking needs! Nuts.com has a great variety of healthy snacks for every type of person–whether you’re a parent, career person, or a crazy runner, vegan or paleo, Nuts.com has something for you. And, if you’re not sure about something, you can buy a sample size!

They have everything from nuts, spices, gluten free and regular flours to chocolate, coffee and other cooking/baking ingredients. One stop shopping for dry goods, friends! I personally love that you can buy tons of ingredients in bulk…because, let’s be real, that saves money! And saving money=extra cash to buy more snacks! #winning

Anyway, let’s get started…here is what I’m snacking on lately! 

Nut Butters. I really love peanut butter. And cashew butter. And almond butter. But, they can get pricey… Luckily, my family got us a Ninja for Christmas last year, so I’ve been able to whip up all sorts of nutty creations.

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It’s stupidly easy…just dump whatever nuts and flavors you want in the food processor and you’re on your way to delicious nut butters! I love that I can control the ingredients and am able to make small batches. Don’t want salt? Done! Don’t want sugar? That’s okay too! Pro-Tip: Buy your nuts in bulk. This saves money! 

My favorite varieties are chocolate peanut butter (peanuts and chocolate chips OR cocoa powder and some maple syrup)  and maple cashew butter (cashews and maple syrup with a pinch of smoked salt).

Just a note, for harder nuts like cashews and almonds, I’d recommend roasting first. If you’re into raw nut butters, soak nuts for a few hours to soften so you don’t break the food processor. 

I typically eat nut butter with a banana or apple, or throw it in a smoothie, slather on crackers or make a sandwich. But sometimes, I just eat it by the spoonful! Easy to grab and go!

Smoothies. If you’ve been following along, you know that I struggle with waking up and getting out the door in the morning. As of late, I’ve also been trying to run in the morning, which means I don’t have any a ton of time for breakfast. The easiest thing for me to suck down after my morning run and shower is a smoothie.

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My favorite concoction is usually protein powder, nut butter (duh), banana, any other fruit we have in the freezer/on the counter, coconut milk, cold coffee and some cacao and maca powders. If I’m looking for an extra protein boost, I throw in some siggi’s yogurt (coconut).

So to review, we have some protein, healthy fats, carbs and caffeine. This will usually satisfy me until lunch time. *coconut milk, coffee, nut butters or dry nuts and cacao and maca powders available on nuts.com*

Yogurt with seeds and/or fruit. This is another super easy to make snack, packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats so it keeps me full.

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I’m not a big fan of flavored yogurt because of the added sugar, but I have a soft spot for siggi’s coconut (simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar). If I don’t have that on hand, I use a full fat, plain yogurt. I top with berries if I have them, then I add chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seed meal. *seeds available on nuts.com 

Random Snack Plates. Confession time; Farmer Ben and I are eating a lot of plates that look like this for lunch and dinner. If I run after work, a lot of times I am too hot and sweaty tired to cook. Farmer Ben is often so busy at work, that he doesn’t have time to eat meals that require a fork… can you relate?

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We are super lucky to have an amazing landlord and mom who frequently give us veggies from the garden. We typically just chop up a cucumber, tomato, radishes, peppers and add a piece of chicken sausage or lunch meat and some hummus (another thing we make at home to save some dinero and control the ingredients) and nuts/a few crackers and call it dinner/snack/lunch. Plates like this are easy to make, fill us up without being too heavy and make us feel good because we are eating so many colors!

So there you have it, this is what Farmer Ben and I are snacking on lately…again, this is what works for us! Do you!

*All nuts, seeds and powders are available on nuts.com…along with many other products! 

What are you snacking on lately? 

Thanks to Nuts.com for starting this conversation! I was not compensated for my time and all opinions are my own.


4 Years Ago….

Farmer Ben and I were married. It was a disgustingly hot, but absolutely beautiful day. It wasn’t ridiculously over the top, but it was exactly what we wanted in a wedding–good food, the people we loved and wine in a beautiful place.

Our life has changed so much since that day….especially this year!

We’ve been through a lot over the last 365 days. There was a new business, followed by the decision to leave that business. There was a move, job hunting and job finding. There was a major career change, followed by a major loss of a friend and mentor. There were family milestones and weddings and runs and new friendships! We’ve been tried, tested and pushed to the limit, but we’ve been through it together.

I’m grateful for all of the laughter and the tears and I am blessed that you were by my side through it all.

Thanks for being the best hubs, Farmer Ben. I love you. Each and every day.

The first of many "happiest days of my life."  (photo courtesy of Jona Favreau).

                                                             (photo courtesy of Jona Favreau).


Gross But Necessary; Making Progress…slowly

Hi Friends!

Not gonna lie… It took a whole lot of swallowing my pride to get through some of my runs this week….It probably doesn’t help that it’s “that time of the month”, so I’ve been a hot mess most of the week (sorry for the overshare! Ha!). No big deal, right?

I was texting one of my girl friends on Tuesday and we were talking about what to do for a run planned later in the week. I definitely said the following:

“Right now, a lot of my runs are finished by sheer stubbornness alone.” 

Her reply was “Those are the best kind!”

This week, I didn’t feel that way. Running 4 miles was a breeze a few months ago and now I struggle through that last mile (or more), even with a drastically slower pace. But I’m stubborn and refuse to stop…even if it means slowing down to a crawl in order to keep from quitting.

Anyway, end my pity party…let’s get started! The beginning of this week was a bust… but I finished strong. Always a process!

Gross But Necessary-August 9-15. 

Sunday: No workout. I had work from 8 am to about 6:30 and then Ben and I had a friend’s family party to attend, followed by dog duty at my mom’s house. Whomp whomp.

Monday: Unless you count a marathon house-cleaning session, more dog duty, work and belly laughs at small group as a workout, I’ve got nothing.

Tuesday: Rest Day? Farmer Ben and I both worked (we normally have Tuesday off together) since we are going out of town this weekend, and my mom came over to do laundry and have dinner… so we spent the evening in.

Wednesday: 4 miles. In the morning(!). I rode into work with Ben this morning, wearing running clothes and lugging a bag with shower stuff and a change of clothes. This forced me to go out and run as I had about 2 hours before I needed to be at work. First steps to making time to work out.

To be honest, I was very unenthusiastic about this run. I stopped and walked twice and it just was NOT fun. I don’t know if I was dehydrated, tired or what… but this wasn’t pretty. And then, I took a freezing cold shower (full disclosure: I didn’t bother washing my hair–too cold!).

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Thursday-A: 2 mile walk. My friend Tina and I went for a walk at lunch to catch up. We kept a brisk pace and it wasn’t disgustingly hot out. We spent most of the time looking at some beautiful houses on the quiet streets behind my workplace. No photo.

Thursday-B: 3 mile trail run. My friend Ashley, Farmer Ben and I hit up the trails at SUNY Plattsburgh. We were only mildly successful at actually staying on the trails but it was good to change things up. I was really pooped after this run (Ashley and Ben are a wee bit faster than me!)

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Friday: 3.11 miles. I did an old favorite for my route and listened to obnoxious girly pop this morning. It was awesome! My legs were tired but I was happy to be running. I’m still not a morning person.

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Saturday: 2-4 Mile Walk/Run? Farmer Ben and I are taking a mini-road trip this weekend so I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we have our running clothes/sneakers with us!

Bonus photo: Look at my sweet ‘do. Gotta love the awkward growing out phase!

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How was your week? Any big plans this weekend?