Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘nutrition’

The #1 Reason Why I Love Health Warrior Bars!

**Disclaimer: I received two boxes of Health Warrior Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!!

Well it’s a brand new year guys!  Which means everyone is working on self-improvement, new goals, and lifestyle changes.  One of my 2018 goals is to improve my eating habits.  I love eating healthy foods, but I also probably indulge more than I should…and I’m definitely guilty of stealing french-fries from my kids.  So I was pretty stoked (yet a bit skeptical) when I had the opportunity to try out the Health Warrior Chia Bars.

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I was skeptical because usually healthy snack bars are either a) not really all that healthy (have too much sugar/carbs) or b) taste like an old shoe. The main ingredient in the Health Warrior Chia Bars is…well, you guessed it – Chia seeds!

They also contain:

  • 4-5 grams of unrefined sugar
  • 4g of fiber
  • 3g of protein
  • 100 calories (some 110)

AND they are:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free

Seems like these are leaning towards the “old shoe” taste, huh?  So I decided to start out with the Chocolate Peanut Butter bars first because I basically love PB/Choco flavored anything.

I was surprised to see that these little guys are actually smaller than many other typical health bars.  But I was even more surprised at how great they tasted!  They are pretty chewy, but not too hard and definitely had a great natural-tasting flavor.  I had them for a mid-morning snack a few times and then decided to take them out on a run!

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At first I was a little disappointed with the smallness, but realized that they are the perfect size for my purse and serve as a great pick-me-up during that late afternoon crash.

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Then I went on to try the Vanilla Almond bars.  I didn’t care for this flavor at first, mostly because I don’t really care for anything vanilla flavored in general.  But after the second or third bar, I developed a taste for this flavor and really began to enjoy it! My kids really liked this flavor, too!  No old shoe taste here!

Also, a little SWAG came with my shipment.  A pretty neat coloring book! Coloring is a great way to relax and relieve stress.  And this one is all about running so it’s extra special!  I’ve been thinking of running a marathon sometime in the next couple of years, so maybe this marathon coloring book is a sign that I should turn that dream into a goal. 😉  My kids were excited about the book too and even helped color the letter P. 😉

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He thinks that’s me. 🙂

Overall,  I really loved these bars!  They also come in some other great flavors like Coconut and Apple Cinnamon.   I definitely plan on ordering a few boxes!

Pricing: You can score a box of 15 for $15.99, but you can save some bucks if you subscribe.  And free shipping on orders overs $35!  Also, the marathon coloring book is on sale at the moment for $5.99!

They make great gifts, too! 😉

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So what’s the #1 reason WHY I love these little fellas????

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Answer:  They are super filling!!! I couldn’t believe the mighty punch these little bars packed.  Some days I just had one of these for breakfast and it kept me going through a 3 mile run and into lunch.  I think they are great to have for traveling, hiking, and running!  Not only did they fill me up, I didn’t get that heavy feeling or sugar crash feeling that some bars often give me.

And they go great with coffee. 😉

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What do you think?  Have you tried these?  What’s your fave flavor?!

Happy New Year!

~SM

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UCan Do It!!

Well it’s the holidays, y’all!  We are all running around fighting traffic and crowds, making ourselves exhausted, and probably eating quick meals.  So because of this busy season, I will make this review short and sweet!

This time I had the opportunity to review Generation Ucan protein powder in vanilla and chocolate.  It also came with some swag – a little recipe booklet! 🙂

Ucan also makes other products including snack bars and hydration supplements.  Ucan (see what I did there? 😉 explore their other products here.  Ucan is unique in that they include an all-natural SuperStarch that helps to stabilize blood sugar and energize your body.  Ucan also comes along with a heartwarming story about the founders’ son Jonah.  Because of Jonah’s hypoglycemia, his parents committed to fundraise and bring awareness to this life changing SuperStarch.

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So how does it taste?  Well I’ve tried many different protein powders in my day and I can say that Ucan has it’s own unique flavor.  Depending on what you mix it with, this can be good or bad…but more on that later.  First,  I flipped through the recipe book  and bookmarked a few recipes that looked appealing.

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I slightly modified my smoothies a bit, but they were pretty close!

I made both of these as breakfast smoothies and I felt fulfilled with sustained energy levels until around noon, so I can say that it did its job.  The flavor isn’t too sweet, but I couldn’t drink it with just water alone.  Although to be fair, I can’t really drink any protein powder with just water.  Mixing it into a smoothie helps to disguise the flavor a bit.  I think next time I would add in some veggies, like spinach and kale for some extra nutrition.

Then I mixed the Ucan with hot water to create a pudding.

The chocolate was pretty good with strawberries. I think it would be even better with a mixture of fruits and granola.  You could even make some pre-made parfaits by putting the pudding, fruit, and granola into some jars and storing them in the fridge for a couple of days.

The vanilla pudding with the bananas and cinnamon was a different story.  It was an odd combo of flavors.  I think this mixture would be best as a smoothie rather than a fruit dip.

Overall, I enjoyed the Ucan protein powder.  I probably wouldn’t use it as a meal replacement just because I have a hard time drinking my calories (I need to chew something up to feel full, I guess it’s a mental thing.)  But I would use it as a recovery smoothie after long runs or a hard training session.

What are your thoughts on protein powders?  Would you give Ucan a shot?  Ucan leave your thoughts below.  I would love to hear!

And right now you can save 15% on all Ucan products by using code “BIBRAVE”.

~SM

**Disclaimer: I received the Generation Ucan protein powder to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro and check out Bibrave.com to find and write race reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

2016 WOW Summit!

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Moms Meet WOW Summit here in San Diego.  The event was so much fun that I actually posted TWO blogs about it!  Here are the links so you can relive the fun: WOW Summit Review – Part 1  WOW Summit Review – Part 2

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Sadly, this year I am unable to attend since the event will be held in National Harbor, MD and my tiny humans denied my request to travel across the country.  But that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t go! So I’m here to give you the deets on the event and share some of the awesome reasons why you should attend this year!

So, what is the Moms Meet WOW Summit?  Well, it’s a two-day annual event that gives health-minded moms and bloggers the opportunity to network and learn from like-minded women and experts in the health and wellness fields.  The first day is all about the bloggers!  It’s a special opportunity for mom bloggers to learn from experienced writers as well as network with other bloggers and brands.  There is also a cocktail party and comedy hour following the event!  How rad is that?!

The second day is even more fun because you get to listen to awesome speakers, breakout into informative workshops and sample tons (seriously, tons) of awesome products.  Each attendee also receives a fully-packed SWAG BAG!!  So much swag!  Just to give you a better idea of how amazing this event is, checkout the video below with some sweet highlights!

WOW Summit 2015 Highlights

And there will be even more generous sponsors this year-

Solgar

National Geographic Kids

Tasty Bite

Mary’s Gone Crackers

And so many more!  Like, I’m seriously getting a major case of FOMO over here!

So since I can’t attend this year, I’m going to mentally bask in all of the swag that I scored last year.  And in case you forgot about the massive haul I scored, here is a little reminder:

Yep, that could be you…rolling in the swag dough.  So, if you or your friends will be in the D.C.area on October 7th and 8th, I highly recommend this fun conference.  It’s not only a great way to connect with other moms and bloggers, but an opportunity to learn about health, wellness and green living all from experts and great companies!  I recommend running, not walking, to register for this event because it will sell out!  Get your VIP tickets so you can score even MORE SWAG!  You seriously won’t want to miss out!

Register HERE!

And just for being one of my rad swag readers, you can use the code “SWAG15” to save 15% on your tickets!  So go register, have a blast and take pics for me!

See you at the next swag event!

~SM

 

 

 

50 Things I Learned From the Military Spouse Wellness Summit

Last week I attend a wellness summit for military spouses.  The best part about this summit?  It was completely online!  Score!  No need to worry about childcare arrangements, I could listen to each speaker right from the comfort of my couch…or bed.  Each day (for five days), the links to presentations of two different speakers were sent to my email.  It was that easy!  Just click and listen!  It was the right amount of time and they even extended the listening opportunity for an extra week to give everyone a chance to soak up all the info!  To keep things interesting, there was a Facebook group to keep the convo going with questions, comments, and awesome giveaways!

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So, what did I take away from each speaker? There were a total of 10 speakers and I highlighted the five most interesting points from each speaker…

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Scott Haliwell from USAA.  Topic: “Dealing with Money Stress in a Relationship”

  • Learn your money personality!
  • Finances can cause stress in marriages and is often the biggest cause of divorce.
  • There is a correlation between health and finances: if you don’t have a handle on your finances, your health will also most likely suffer.
  • Instead of judging your partner’s spending habits, work together to reach a financial compromise.
  • Bring the kids into money conversations to create good money habits early in life.

Adrianna Domingos-Lupher from MSB New Media.  Topic: “Learn to Bring Health, Wellness, and Balance to Your Finances”

  • The more you talk about money, the easier it will get.
  • Acknowledge that money is a useful tool.
  • Don’t just make a budget-actually analyze your spending habits.
  • Talk about money during family household meetings and prioritize financial goals.
  • Power Pay is a great tool for managing finances and spousal IRA’s are a great resource for stay-at-home parents.

Day 2:sum2

Ruvi Makuni, CPT from Fit Active Toned.  Topic: “How to Make Fitness Non-Negotiable”

  • Find what moves you and do what you love.
  • Kids love watching us being active!  Encourage them with positive thoughts and encouragement!
  • Make the most of your time.  Meal plan on Friday; Grocery shop on Saturday: Meal prep on Sunday.
  • Complete intermittent workouts throughout the day and combine exercises to incorporate more muscles in a short amount of time.
  • Designate a time each day to be active and make it non-negotiable.

Judy Davis from The Direction Diva.  Topic: “The Emotions of Military Life”

  • Milspouses are logistic and prefer control and order.  Emotions are harder to handle.
  • Learn how to identify emotions as they occur and allow yourself to experience those feelings.
  • Deal with what happens in that moment and be honest with your feelings.
  • Don’t compare your everyday life with someone else’s highlight reel. <— 100 times yes! 🙂
  • Know that you don’t have to be perfect in everything you do.

Day 3: sum3

Capt. Kimberly Elenberg from Operation Live Well.  Topic: “How to Make Healthy Eating Choices on Your Military Installation”

  • One goal of Operation Live Well is to put healthier choices in commissaries, including the addition of farmers markets and healthy cooking classes.
  • It is a community effort!  More experienced milspouses are needed to mentor the younger milspouses.
  • Be flexible with foods and grocery shopping – be open to what’s on sale and prepare meals based on coupons.
  • Patrons should contact DECA to let them know what items they want available in commissaries by using the ICE contact form.
  • Put out healthy snacks for kids and include them in the meal planning and cooking process.

Kiersten Peterson, NTP from Vibrant Life Army Wife.  Topic: “How to Clean up your Diet While Maintaining your Sanity”

  • Eat real foods – remove processed foods – eliminate refined sugars – prepare meals at home.
  • Drink more water – eat more veggies – don’t be afraid of fat.
  • Source local and organic meats and produce.
  • Keep recipes simple if you’re new to cooking and add lots of flavor!
  • Incorporate healthy fats into recipes – avoid processed and hydrogenated oils.

Day 4: sum6 sum7

Corie Weathers, LPC, the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year.  Topic: “Building a Strong Relationship with your Spouse”

  • Enliven your marriage by building foundations and stability based on values.
  • Figure out a way to express emotions without attacking each other.
  • Spouses need to be creative! Find support within your community and reach out to other spouses.
  • Set personal goals to make your marriage grow – make your marriage a priority!
  • Set time to communicate and spend time together.

Bhava Ram, the founder of Warriors for Healing.  Topic: “Yoga for You and your Spouse – How to Mitigate Anxiety and PTSD”

  • We can alter our bodies and minds to change our destinations.
  • We need self-discipline, organization, and daily commitment.
  • Yoga and meditation help with traumatic stress.
  • Stress breaks down our immune systems, but we have the power to change our inner chemistry.
  • Mindfulness and breathing help create new sets of chemicals in our bodies, which helps boost our immune systems and increase our metabolisms.  This ultimately improves the healing process.

Day 5: sum4

Tracey Pearcell from Metlife Tricare Dental Program.  Topic: “How Stress Affects your Dental Care”

  • Many people suffer from teeth grinding and don’t even know it.
  • Mouth guards are partially covered – They are not covered for wear and tear, but you are allotted one per year.
  • Gum disease can happen when you’re under stress and may also weaken the immune system and cause cold sores.
  • Beneficiaries are granted two cleanings and exams per year – pregnant women are granted three cleanings and exams.
  • You can enroll for benefits online, over the phone, through fax or email.

Lesle Brians from InDependent.  Topic: “How to Make Tricare Work for You”

  • Tricare Prime – You are assigned to a designated Military Treatment Facility. Standard – You are in control of your medical care, but may be responsible for certain fees or copays. Remote – Contracted with certain practitioners within a designated radius.
  • Tricare does not cover alternative practices because they are not FDA approved services.
  • Switch to Tracare Standard if you want to guarantee a relationship with your physician and desire consistency.
  • Speak with a BCAC (Beneficiary Care Assistant Coordinator) to get the most accurate information about Tricare questions.
  • Educate and empower yourself! Seek your own answers and be your own healthcare advocate!

So, was there SWAG?  Of course!

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  • A free membership to Thrive Market!
  • A one week personal training session with Ruvi Makuni at Fit. Active. Toned.  Ruvi was great and really tried to get to know me and my exercise habits prior to setting up a plan for me.  She set up a consultation over the phone and followed up with emails. The Trainerize app was super easy to use and the plan was easy to follow.

This was a great experience that fit easily into my schedule and I can’t wait for next year’s Summit! Thanks again to InDependent for hosting this awesome event!

Green Moms Meet – WOW Summit Part 2

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween and got lots of candy swag! 😉  Now for part 2 of the WOW Summit that I attended last weekend.  Once we returned from the break and visiting all of the wonderful vendors, we met back in the ballroom to listen to Drs. Greenspan and Deardorff speak about environmental issues regarding puberty.  They were very informative and gave out copies of their new book, “The New Puberty” to a few lucky attendees! Check out their new book here!

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Next, we split up into groups and attended various workshops.  The first one I attended was called, “Rid, Restock and Reorganize: Simple Ways to Detox Your Home” by Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD.  You may have seen her on various talk shows such as “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” and she also has a new book out called, “Eat Clean, Stay Lean’. She gave us a lot of great tips about how to replace junk in our fridges and pantries with healthier options!  Check her out!

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The next workshop I attended was basically a nutrition and fitness class presented by someone from Smart Flour Foods and personal trainer Jill Anenberg.  She had lots of energy and great information!  Follow her on YouTube and Instagram!

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After the workshops we went back to the ballroom to hear one last speaker and wait for the raffle giveaways!  Sadly, I did not win anything but that’s okay because I had so much fun and scored tons of swag!  So the last person to speak was Kimberly Blaine a.k.a. The Go To Mom and she discussed ways for moms to have more awareness in the moment.  She was super inspirational and she had a sense of calmness about her that was quite reassuring.  She reminded us that we need to give and take love in order to better ourselves. It was a perfect ending to the day! And check out The Go To Mom on Twitter and Instagram.

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Then we waited in this long line for our amazing swag bags….

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But that’s okay, it was totally worth it! 😉

Now, for what you all have been waiting for…the SWAG!

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Yes, it was that much!!  And all of the vendors were super friendly and generous.  I also got a lot of coupons for free items that I can’t wait to cash in on!  I’m not going to list everything out on this one because it would be overwhelming. But, you can check out my Instagram where I tagged most of the brands!  This was a fabulous experience and if you get the chance to attend one of these events, definitely jump all over it!  You will meet lots of great people and have the opportunity to try out different healthy brands!  Thanks again Green Moms Meet and Kiwi Magazine!

~SM

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