Category Archives: Snacks & Treats

Energy Bites

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Every afternoon I find myself looking for something…

A cup of coffee? A cookie? A nap?

I don’t know what it is but 2:30-3:00 pm is a tough time of day for me. I try my hardest to avoid that cup of coffee, because as good as it will taste, I will kick myself come 9:00 pm when I’m trying to relax for bed and my brain is going a million miles a minute thanks to the caffeine that seems to linger in my body. As for the cookie… well… most days I do have my Banana Oatmeal Cookies on hand, but they don’t always satisfy my craving.

Thank goodness Pinterest was invented. A while back I found a recipe for Energy Bites and they became a staple in my fridge. Then I got lazy and stopped making them.

Last week I was heading to over my friends house to help her take some photos and she told me to bring something to photograph for my blog as well. (As you can tell from most of my photos, I use my phone to take them. While I’m getting better at it, it’s not the same as using a DSLR.) As my brain started scrambling for something I could quickly “make & take” I remembered these little life savers.

Much to my dismay, the link I had on the old post no longer worked and while Pinterest has tons of these gems, I couldn’t find one that looked right. Thankfully I rarely clean out my junk drawer, so I dug through it, hoping to find the piece of paper I had scribbled the recipe on…and I did, but it was ripped, so I tried to fill in the gaps and came up with these, which were perfect to me.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 balls.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with these. Swap out the chocolate chips for some dried cranberries or raisins. Toast the coconut or add some chia seeds to the mix. Changing the type of nut-butter you use will change the flavor profile too!

*If you are doing the 21 Day Fix, you can use these as a yellow container treat. I would count 2 of them as a serving.*

Have you ever tried making Energy Bites? There are sooooooo many different versions of these out there, I would love to hear of variations you’ve tried and liked.

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The Big Game Workout Challenge

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Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?

While my favorite team is not in it to win this year, I will be watching the game along with millions of other people.

Big Game parties are known for chips, dips, wings, pizza and other fried finger foods. Let’s not forget the beer and the fact that we are all just sitting around while enjoying all of these high calorie goodies.

Today I thought I would share some healthier food options that you could serve or bring for the party, as well as some tips and “The Big Game Workout Challenge” which could be a fun way to burn off some of the treats and get you off the couch!

Game Plan:
1. Don’t arrive for kick-off with an empty stomach. Make sure you eat a light meal with lean protein before game time. This would actually be a good time to drink your Shakeology, specially since you could take it on the go with you. Doing his will help curb junk food cravings because you won’t be starving.

2. Don’t sit within arms reach of the snack table or the buffet set up. When you arrive you’ll want to take a look at what your choices are so you can form a mental plan, but you don’t want to sit where it can tempt you. Doing that could end with you mindlessly reaching out and stuffing chip after chip into your face.  No good!

3. Be involved in the game! Make sure you actually watch the game and the commercials! (we all know they tend to the best part when your team isn’t in it). Talk to your friends, cheer, talk smack about the other team…whatever it’ll take in order to move your focus away from the food.

4. As I stated in number 1, there will be beer as well as other drinks. You’ll need to have a plan for how many you’re going to drink before you start. (21 Day Fix people, you can swap a yellow here but it’s not for a 6 pack!) If you plan on having multiple drinks, make sure you drink a bottle of water between each one. It will help to keep you hydrated, reduce your risk of a hangover and it can help to keep you from going over the predetermined number of drinks you’ve set.

5. Participate in “The Big Game Workout Challenge” that I have below! It’ll get people up and moving, which means less time for snacking. It can also be a good way to get people laughing and joking. Parties are about having fun right?!

The Big Game Workout Challenge

*This is not meant to be a full workout. It’s just designed to get you moving and burn a few calories while enjoying the game.

 

Healthy Snack Options:

1. Buffalo Wings: They are a staple item when it come to football. We all love them but they aren’t exactly the healthiest things around. Check out these healthier versions:

2. Dips: This best friend to the chip is typically filled with sour cream, mayo or both mixed together. Not exactly friendly to your waist but oh so easy to go overboard with. Here are some healthier recipes that use greek yogurt as a healthy swap:

Don’t forget homemade salsa, guacamole and hummus are quick and easy to make and allow you to flavor things to your liking. Be sure to offer fresh veggies as a dipping option in addition to chips.

3. Food: Pizza, sandwiches and chili all tend to be popular at Big Game parties. The first two are easy to hold and eat and chili is just warm, comforting and allows the guys to show just much hot sauce they put in their food without crying, right?! I’m a huge fan of chili and if you need a recipe, I highly recommend this one which I posted a few weeks ago – Turkey Chili.

Here are some ideas for making these items a little bit healthier:

  • Opt for whole-wheat or whole-grain crust pizza. (Many pizzerias offer these now, so if you’re ordering be sure to ask.)
  • Have some veggie topped pizza options for your guests or a Margherita style pizza, which is usually topped with fresh mozzarella (less greasy) and basil. Not everyone wants greasy pepperoni, sausage or supreme!
  • Opt for whole-wheat or whole-grain for your hero or hoagies (depending on where you are from) too! Many people think wraps are healthier but that isn’t always the case. Some wraps pack a bigger calorie punch than bread and can have less nutrients. If preparing them yourself, check your labels!
  • Consider a vegetarian option. Roasted veggie wraps are really delicious. (Just be sure to ask wherever you order from to go easy on the oil.)
  • When ordering wraps or sandwiches, make sure the condiments are on the side. This will reduce calories and leave things up to your guests.

4. Think outside of the box: Many of you eat healthy on a daily basis. There is no reason why that needs to be tossed out of the window because of a game. Think of the foods you typically opt for and use them:

  • Instead of potato skins loaded with cheese, use sweet potato and top them with nitrate-free turkey bacon and a dollop of greek yogurt.
  • Make your own baked tortillas to go with your dips.
  • Serve fresh fruit with a simple fruit dip: Mix together 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt, 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter and 1 Tbsp honey. Store in the fridge in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Do you have any healthy swaps or recipes that you plan on serving this weekend? I’d love to hear about them!

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Quick & Easy Lettuce Roll-Ups

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Looking for a low-carb snack or light lunch/snack? Try these Quick & Easy Lettuce Roll-Ups.

I don’t know about you, but time seems to get away from me during the day. I thought working from home would make staying on track with my nutrition easier, but it really doesn’t. I find that I have a harder time focusing on the task at hand and wherever I look, there is something to be done. From answering e-mails to doing laundry, every moment of my day is filled with something that needs my attention. As a result, time tends to slip away from me and I end up looking for lunch at an odd time, so what I planned on having for lunch doesn’t always work.

As a result of this time management issue, I had to get become proactive. I remembered these lettuce roll-ups that I made a few times over the summer to take to the pool with me. They are light, refreshing and low-carb, which is perfect for those late afternoon lunches. They are also super quick & easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients, which is always a plus!

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If you are having these as your lunch, I would include a fruit with it to round things out. You could also change these up by using nitrate-free ham instead of turkey, roasted red pepper hummus in place of the avocado and/or add some sliced yellow or red bell pepper for some added crunch! Play with this…it’s just a simple foundation recipe and the possibilities are endless.

For those of you doing 21 Day Fix, this is a very “fix-friendly” recipe. It’s perfect for when you have lots of errands to run during the day or if you’re a busy mom who spends a lot of time at the ball field, for your kids practices. Just roll them up, put them in an insulated cooler bag with your water (we never forget our water when we’re out and about, right?!) and some fruit, for an easy & balance meal on the go.

Lunch and snack don’t have to be complicated! Keep these quick, clean and simple foods in the house, and you’ll always have a healthy meal on hand…even when you need to run out last minute!

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Gluten-Free Peanut-Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

There are some days you just crave a muffin, and that’s okay! Just make sure that muffin isn’t the size of your head and loaded with sugar and empty carbs. You know exactly which muffins I’m talking about. They are the ones that look amazing when you walk past the bakery section in the grocery store. The ones that I’m pretty sure have eyes, because I can feel them staring at me, trying to make eye contact and whispering “buy me”, as I walk past as fast as possible, trying to ignore them.

Let’s not even discuss the variety packs of 24 that warehouse stores like Sam’s & Costco sell…. sigh.

Just because we are eating cleaner, avoiding extra sugar and processed flour doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a muffin with our coffee from time to time. In my most recent 7-Day Clean Eating Jump Start group, one of the members shared a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana muffins so I gave them a shot with a few changes.

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These muffins really hit the spot and you could have fun with them by changing the flavor profile with different nut-butters, using different egg substitutes (I’m not a pumpkin fan, but using the pumpkin puree with some cinnamon would probably make some you very happy) as noted or by adding some mini chocolate chips to them (if you have nut or dairy allergies, I highly recommend the ones by Enjoy Life).

Remember, clean eating doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the things you love. It just means you enjoy them in a smarter way!

If you’re doing 21 Day Fix, you could enjoy these as one of your yellow container swaps!

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Simple Morning Smoothie for Back to School

Today my kids officially started school again. It seems like just yesterday they were excitedly waiting for the bus to half day Kindergarten, yet this morning they were off to 8th and 5th grades. Time sure does fly! Mornings around here can be pretty crazy. There is the battle to wake up the kids, the arguing over who gets the bathroom next (we have two bathrooms mind you, but NO ONE wants to go downstairs….sigh), lunches, clothes, homework, snacks, clock watching for the bus and of course, breakfast! Thankfully both of my kids like smoothies and what they like is easy enough for me to make while waiting for my morning dose of life….caffeine….coffee to brew. The “Simple Morning Smoothie” for them is one of three things, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter or Strawberry Banana, which is featured below. I also typically add a half a scoop of protein or Shakeology to their smoothie, depending on how they’ve been eating. (Shakeology is always included in the chocolate peanut butter one).

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In all honesty I used to hate dragging out the blender to make these up, especially because they NEVER agree on which flavor they want, however since Mike got me the Ninja with the single serve blender cups, I don’t mind at all. It’s actually nice to hear them ask for a smoothie for breakfast or an after school snack, instead of a Pop-Tart, some sugary cereal, chips or cookies. PLUS I get to hide things inside of these that are good for them, like protein and ground flax seed …which they would never agree to purposely ingesting.

As parents we need to get creative to ensure our children are getting enough vitamins and minerals. I know I slack in this area from time to time because I get tired of battling every little thing. I end up feeling like a shitty parent because of it, so it’s nice to have some simple & nutritious tricks up my sleeve that leave everyone happy and smiling.

Do your kids like smoothies? I would love to know what flavors they enjoy so I could try them with mine!

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{Recipe} Banana Oatmeal Cookies

One of the things I like about the 21-Day Fix plan, is that you can trade out one of your yellow contains for a “treat”. I mean, who doesn’t deserve a treat from time to time, right?!

In the nutrition guide, there is a recipe for some yummy looking Banana Oatmeal Cookies. The recipe called for golden raisins and walnuts (which I’m not a fan of) so I swapped out some mini Enjoy Life chips and unsweetened shredded coconut instead!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Banana Oatmeal Cookies(Makes 8. Serving size is 2 and replaces 1 Yellow container on the 21-Day Fix)

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
2 medium ripe Bananas, mashed
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life since I have dairy issues)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine oats, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl, making sure to mix well.
4. Add mashed bananas, chips and coconut, mix well.
5. Drop by heaping Tbsp onto your baking tray. (I used the large Pampered Chef Scoop)
6. Flatten the cookies with wet fingers (so they don’t stick) or a silicon spatula.
7. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until they are firm.
8. Cool and Enjoy!

The results were some seriously yummy cookies that I can eat for breakfast with my coffee, or have as a dessert on days when my sweet tooth kicks in.

What’s your favorite 21-Day Fix treat?

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The Clean in 14 Detox

Clean in 14 Detox

Recently I was given the opportunity to preview Melissa Costello’s new book, “The Clean in 14 Detox“, which was just released yesterday!

I was first introduced to Melissa Costello of Karma Chow, and her recipes in Tony Horton’s book, Bring It, back in 2011, when I followed the cleanse for that program. I was intrigued by the approach and the benefits to following a vegan diet. I managed to stay vegan for 40 days before switching over to vegetarian for 8 months. I learned a lot about nutrition during that time period and it changed the way I looked at food. Meat was eventually added back into my diet, because….well….BACON! (nitrate-free of course)

When I heard about Melissa’s new book, “Clean in 14 Detox” I knew I had to check it out! Cleansing is a good thing, when it’s done correctly. It rids the body of accumulated slow poisons, which can make your metabolism sluggish, lead to stomach inflammation and digestive issues, as well as many other chronic issues and of course…unwanted weight gain. The approach taken in Melissa’s book will  not only flush your body of toxins, but it will free your mind of negative patterns and allow you to find balance in your life.

While there are many detox programs available, “Clean in 14 Detox is the only simple, 2-week plan that’s not about deprivation, frustration or living on shakes or pills. This cleanse is about enjoying delicious plant-based, whole foods that not only taste amazing, but will melt fat, curb cravings and provide your body with the natural energy it needs!

Sounds to good to be true right? Well, if you follow the plan, it’s not. We live in a society hooked on convenient, over-processed food, that is full of chemicals and sugars that we don’t need. The key to eating healthier is changing your relationship with food and Melissa has included everything you need.

  • Detailed shopping lists and mouthwatering mix and match meal plans for 14 days.
  • How to completely eliminate CRAP (Coffee, refined sugar, alcohol, Processed Foods) out of your life
  • How to banish you SAP (Sabotaging Addictive Patterns) that keep you on the diet rollercoaster
  • How to follow through on healthy eating as a lifestyle, not just another fad diet
  • Daily Action Steps to help you stay focused and motivated

This cleanse isn’t just about food, it’s about your mind too. I love that there are daily actions which include journal writing, reflection and even meditation. This book is truly the total package needed to deal with food cravings and sugar addiction, without wanting to kill everyone you comes into contact with, during the 14 day process.

The best part of this cleanse is that it offers a wide variety of delicious, unprocessed foods, like Baja-fajitas, chopped salad with creamy pepita dressing, coconut yam soup, oven-baked sweet potatoes and this yummy protein shake, which is from the Breakfast and Shakes section of the book:

Photo from KarmaChow.com

Photo from KarmaChow.com

Ruby’s Raspberry Dazzle Protein Shake
1 serving

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon raw almond butter

Directions
1. Blend the ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

 

If you are looking to kick your sugar addiction, increase your immunity, have better digestion, a more efficient metabolism and glowing skin, I highly recommend that you pick up this book, cut the CRAP and truly take a look at your relationship with food. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Have you ever completed a cleanse? What kind of cleanse was it and how did you feel during and after?

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(I received one copy of Clean in 14 Detox from Dunn Pellier Media to review. All opinions in the post are my own, honest feeling on the item.)

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Sugar. Sugar! SUGAAAAR!

After being a slacker for a few weeks, I’m happy to report that I spent New Year’s Day scouring the web for new recipes to try so I get my ass back on track. I spent most of the holiday season studying, chasing my goal of 500 miles for the year (which I fell short of but that’s okay) and holiday shopping/prepping. I had very little time or desire to grocery shop and meal prep. I barely wanted to do my workouts but thankfully I stuck with those.

Sugar and I have been BFF’s for a very long time and our relationship is very toxic. I have no control when it comes to sugar. It’s my crutch when I’m feeling stressed and anxious and I was feeling both during the holidays. I also love baking and it doesn’t feel like the holidays to me without it, so I created the perfect storm for myself over the past few weeks.

Thankfully I didn’t gain any weight during this downward slide, but I did become highly dependent on sugar again and that’s no good.

I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of the 21 Day Sugar Detox book but I haven’t ordered it yet (don’t ask why because I don’t have a good answer to that) but I started searching for recipes that are compatible with it and that’s a start.

With my list of ingredients in hand, I braved the grocery store right before a snow storm was arriving. I had to get what I needed to begin the process of meal planning, prepping and detoxing myself of sugar! I figured if I steered clear of the milk, bread and egg aisles, I would okay. What is it about snow storms that make people want to make French toast, anyway?!

The first recipe I decided to try was for Paleo Banana French Toast muffins that I found on What I Gather. Now I know there are different stances when it comes to paleo on the topic of muffins, cookies, cakes and pancakes. Many die-hard fans of this lifestyle feel that our ancestors did not eat these items so we shouldn’t create paleo forms of them, while others feel that it is okay to do so using paleo approved items. Since I don’t follow a paleo lifestyle (I just like some of the principles of it) I didn’t think twice about making these.

Paleo Banana French Toast Muffins
Recipe from whatigather.com
Makes 12 muffins

Paleo Banana French Toast MuffinsIngredients
2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
 2 ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp ghee, softened (I used coconut oil which the original recipe said was okay in a pinch)
3 eggs (For an egg-free version add an extra banana and 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
For the drizzle topping
1 tbsp ghee, melted (I used coconut oil again)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, add almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Add vanilla, softened ghee and eggs into bowl with bananas. Whisk until large clumps disappear and mixture is mostly smooth. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well. Line a muffin tin with liners. I also spray the liners just for a little extra insurance that the muffins won’t stick. (You can also use a silicone baking pan and then you can skip the liners and spray). Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each tin until they are all evenly filled. Each tin should be about 3/4 full.
For the topping, mix melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle about a teaspoon of the topping onto each muffin.
Pop the muffins into the oven for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick entered into center of the muffin comes out clean).

These muffins are not sweet, but they satisfied my craving for something “naughty”. They were really yummy with a little pure maple syrup drizzled over them and I’m sure they would be amazing with some almond butter on top too.

They are not something that I would eat on a daily basis because I view these as a “treat” and they are a less evil option for me while I retrain my brain and break the sugar addiction that I relapsed into these past few weeks.

Do you follow a paleo lifestyle? If so, what is your view on “paleo approved” muffins, cakes and pancakes?

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A Day In NYC for #FitBlogNYC (Part Two)

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Welcome to Part Two of my #FitBlogNYC recap! I hope you found some helpful info from my first post about the amazing speakers who FITNESS lined up for us! If you somehow missed it, please take a moment to check it out here: A Day In NYC for #FitBlogNYC (Part One)

After our information packed morning of seminars, FITNESS provided lunch for all of the bloggers in attendance and an opportunity to visit all of the sponsor tables that were set up inside of the Mercedes Club. When we arrived at the event, we were given a program and on the back of it was a list of all of the sponsors. We had to use this as a sort of passport and collect stickers from each vendor in order to earn an amazing swag bag!

First up was Saucony, since we encountered their table immediately upon going inside. They had a table set up with amazing running shoes, in bright, fun colors. Looking at the array of colors just made you instantly happy, so you could image how I was about to burst with joy when I found out that we were all receiving a pair of them!! The shoe being featured were the Kinvara 4’s and they are simply #Kickassimus and will help me #FindYourStrong!

#Kickassimus #FindYourStrong

For specs on the Kinvara 4 running shoes click here.

Next up was the Athleta table. They had a table full of swimwear on display for us to check out and two racks full of different athletic wear. While taking everything in, we were told about an Instagram contest they were running. We were to pick out an outfit we liked from the rack and Instagram a photo of it with the hashtag #PowerToTheShe. A winner was selected at midnight based on who had the most likes. Obviously, I did not win, but it was fun anyway!

Athleta #FitBlogNYC 2013

From there we moved over to the Marmot table where we met Paige Claassen who is a Professional Climber. She will be taking part in the Lead Now Tour, which is a global tour to inspire people through rock climbing. While speaking with her, I learned that she will be traveling the world for year during this tour and that she is most excited to visit South Africa, which is where the tour kicks off.

Marmot #FitBlogNYC 2013

For more information on Paige and Lead Now, click here.

The next table I visited was sponsored by Tonalin. I had never heard of them before, but learned that their products are used for reducing body fat and are sourced from natural safflower oil. Tonalin CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is natural and environmentally sustainable. I don’t know how much I buy into supplements like these, but if you have ever used them and have seen good results, I’d love to hear about your experience.

The items shown here where offered as a giveway during the event.

From here I moved on to the Reebok table and it was fabulous! They had a great display of their CrossFit sneakers set-up for us to check out, along with some of their new #LiveWithFire apparel! There was also a photo-op set up here. We got to write a catchy phrase on a white board, along with our blog/twitter information and have our photo taken. Later, we found out that Reebok had also given us all a pair of their SubLite Train 1.0 sneakers (not featured in this photo) to try out! Score!

#LiveWithFire

For more information on the SubLite Train 1.0 sneakers, click here.

Vichy Laboratoires was the next table I visited. Upon arriving there, we were presented with an iPad and earbuds so we could watch this funny video, which is part of their #celluliteconfessions campaign:

After laughing for a while and joking with Violet Zaki (Fitness Expert, Owner of ZakiFitness and Equinox Instructor), we were introduced to CelluDeStock and their new Capital Soleil Lightweight Foaming Lotion SPF 50, which smells amazing and doesn’t leave that gross sunscreen feeling on your skin. Vichy was kind enough to offer us a full size bottle of each in our swag bags, so I’m sure I’ll have more to offer on these products soon!

#celluliteconfessions

Our next sponsor was Smart Balance and they had a very fun set-up for us. First, we were offered a little snack made with Smart Balance peanut butter, of course! They were No Bake Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies and they were yummy! They were also kind enough to have the recipe printed out for us to take home, so I figured I’d share with you, too!

Smart Balance No Bake Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance Fat Free Milk and Omega 3s
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup Smart Balance Rich Roast Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Boil the Smart Balance Fat Free Milk and Omega 3s, cocoa, Smart Balance Blended Butter Stick and sugar in a small pot for two minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add oatmeal, Smart Balance Rich Roast Chunky Peanut Butter and vanilla.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper or way paper. Let cool for at least 1 hour before eating.

Nutrition Fact: Serves 40. Nutrition per serving: Calories 72, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Poly Fat 0, Mono Fat 2g, Trans Fatty Acids 0g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 29mg, Carbohydrates 9g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 2g.

They also had a fun aspect to their table. There were headbands for us to wear with the hashtag #BalancedBlogger on it and we had to attempt to do a fun pose on a Bosu Ball while wearing it. It was an interesting couple of minutes as I tried to balance on one leg for a photo. Luckily the representative taking the photo caught it right before I fell off. Good times! For our efforts we earned a jar of their peanut butter in our choice of chunky or creamy. If you Instagramed and tweeted the photo, you also earned the chance to win free Smart Balance peanut butter for a year.

I'm a #BalancedBlogger

The final sponsor we visited before giving into our hunger and breaking for lunch was Crystal Light. They had a table set-up with cups of water and a few sample flavors of their new #CrystalLightLiquid flavoring. We had a choice of trying Blueberry Raspberry, Pomtini or Strawberry Lemonade, which is what I opted for. I liked that you could control how much flavor was added to your water and that it wasn’t overly sweet because of that.

#CrystalLightLiquid

From here we took a break to grab some food and head back outside to socialize and enjoy the gorgeous weather NYC was having that day.

CamelBak #FitBlogNYC 2013

#FitBlogNYC 2013 Menu

#FitBlogNYC 2013 Reunion

I wish I had taken more photos of the bloggers I met during the event, but it complete mental overload and I was honestly more into socializing than documenting by this point. It was nice to meet up with Jen (@MomsGottaRun) since we went to High School together and it had been years since I’d seen her.

After lunch we headed inside to visit the final sponsor table, which was brought to us by Ford Fiesta and their #FiestaMovement. They had a fun photo booth set up so myself, Sylvia (@Frolic_Life_Syl) and Susan (@SusanFishback) participated together.

To view our video as well as others from this event  click here.

Our final event of the day was the group workout. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know we had a choice of three workouts. A Cardio Dance Party, Yoga or a Group Run. I chose the run so I quickly changed into a tank top and met my group. The run was being sponsored by Saucony and was being lead by Dorothy Beal (@MilePosts) who is a marathoner, mom of 3, cover model and running coach. Our group wasn’t very big, but it was full of some runners who know their stuff and could easily do the 3 miles we set out to do. I felt great at first and was keeping pace with some of the newer runners, like myself, but as we continued our run along the Hudson River, I suddenly felt the familiar tightening of my chest… the one that has driven me crazy since I was Derailed By The Plague back in March.

I was starting to have an asthma attack and I didn’t have my inhaler with me. Awesome! I slowed down and walked, tried to run again to catch up and then realized I had to walk if I wanted to make it back to the venue. I instantly felt like I failed and tears began to stream down my face. I called my husband to vent once my breath returned and he tried to reassure me that it was okay and I didn’t fail, but it’s hard to accept in the moment. I felt embarrassed and I felt like my body let me down. I eventually came to terms with what happened but it still sucks.

Upon returning back to the Mercedes Club, many of the bloggers had already grabbed their swag bags and were leaving. I quickly changed my shirt and headed over to claim my bag awesomesauce before meeting a few of my new blogger friends for a drink and some snacks.

Photo Credit: Susan Fishback

Photo Credit: Susan Fishback

My bag full of Awesomesauce! (Ignore the mess behind it)

My bag full of Awesomesauce! (Ignore the mess behind it)

This was hands down and amazing event and I hope I am lucky enough to be invited to attend next year. I promise to share more information about what was in this amazing bag as I use the items, but the brands include Saucony, Reebok, CamelBak, Vichy, KIND, SparklySoul Headbands, Smart Balance, Marmot, Goody, Pure Barre, Three Jane, Athleta, Julep, Bliss Labs and many, many more!

Sugarfina #FitBlogNYC 2013One quick one I’d like to feature is Sugarfina.

They gave use a beautifully packaged, delicious box of dark chocolate covered goji berries that even my kid liked!

They are offering our readers 20% off their antioxidant collection until May 31, 2013. Just visit Sugarfina.com/antioxidant and enter the code FITNESS at checkout!

 

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My Name is Nikki and I’m a Green Monster Addict

It’s true. I’m hooked!

For a while I was nervous to try smoothies that incorporate spinach in them, but I was foolish and didn’t know what I missing out on!

Thankfully my friend Jac did a Guest Post here about them and then pinned a recipe over on Pinterest that finally made me try them.

The recipe she pinned was for a Blueberry Pie Green Monster and when I followed the link, I found even more of these Green Monster recipes. Then, one caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. Which one, you ask? Well, the Cookie Dough Green Monster, of course!

I actually had all of the ingredients on hand and just needed to pick up some baby spinach, so that’s exactly what I did and then tossed everything in the blender as per the directions on the recipe and enjoyed!

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I always have a bunch of bananas, frozen in a gallon size Ziplock, They’re a staple item for me.

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Is this cup fitting for the color of this smoothie, or what?! I also had a fear of it tasting Wicked, but thankfully it was not.

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I think it’s safe to say I’ve been enjoying the addition of Green Monsters to my day. If I could lick the side of the cup, I absolutely would!

I have also tried the Peanut Butter Green Monster, but I tweaked that one a bit and LOVED it! I used coconut water and a chocolate coconut peanut butter in it. Yum!

Today I made the Banana Bread Green Monster and tweaked this one as well. I didn’t have walnuts on hand, but I did have Banana Bread flavored Quaker Oats (Weight Control variety) so I used that in place of regular oats and walnuts. OMG….this may be my new favorite!

I tend to use Almond Milk or Coconut Almond milk in my Green Monsters and I like to add ground flax seeds to them as well. You’ll need to take any changes as well as brands you into consideration when figuring out the calories for these. Each of mine were around 400 calories.

Let me know if you try any of the other flavor recipes from the blog where I found these or if you know of another blog that features these cups of green goodness!

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