Nature’s Bakery Giveaway

What You Need to Know About (1)

Did you grow up eating Fig Newtons? I did. I had a weird fascination with them. I would eat them when I needed a break from the Oreos, Chips Ahoy, E.L.Fudge, or Animal Crackers we always had around the house. They seemed somewhat healthy to me as a kid, before I liked being healthy or knew what health even was. That was also the time I loved Cherry Coke or Cherry 7 Up! Well, I probably still would like those two choices, but I can’t even tell ya if Cherry 7 Up is still being made. Remember the days of Crystal Pepsi? Yeah, that lasted 10 minutes. But I LOVED it. Anyway, how did I get here? I thought I was talking about Fig Newtons….

So back to it… I like fig. And as an adult, I have found a healthier fig bar with Nature’s Bakery. I am picky with flavors so actually prefer the plain, but MK seems to like all the fun flavors like blueberry, strawberry, etc.

With it being National Nutrition Month and all, Dietitian Cindy and I are doing one last giveaway to round out the month. We are giving away 4 boxes of Nature’s Bakery fig bars. Just enter the giveaway below and good luck! We will pick a winner on the last day of the month.

I am all about being open and honest with nutrition and ingredients so you can view the ingredients list of the plain fig bar below.

all-natural-fig-bar-nutrition

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My Favorite Crockpot Recipe

I have been asked twice now for a favorite crockpot recipe so I feel like I should blog about it too. I love the crockpot. Is it not the best?!? So easy to put stuff in there, forget about it, take in the pleasant smells (if it isn’t pleasant, you are cooking the WRONG thing), and wham! it’s done by dinner time.

Today is the Fit Dish link up with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. Perfect timing for a recipe share. This is my all-time favorite recipe and really, it is not just a Fall/Winter one. I have it all year round!

So, enjoy my Harvest Vegetable Chowder. And gotta give credit where credit is due… my mom has been making this for years and years. It was my favorite dish when away at college. She would have it ready for me when I drove on in and it was the perfect post-travel dish. Yum times three!

Harvest Vegetable Chowder

 

The recipe above is the way to make it without a crockpot, but trust me… you can do this in the crockpot too! If making this in the crockpot, the only change is to heat on low for 8 hours. The last hour is when you put in the frozen veggies, milk, and dill.

Enjoy! What is your FAVORITE crockpot recipe?

Wedding Series Vlog: 8 Weeks!

Wedding Series 6

Less than 8 weeks to go. Hollaaaaa!!!! I am so thrilled… we are having a blast with the planning process and this day is going to be one big PARTAY. Heck yeah!

So, check it… I got a video blog ready for this week’s wedding series recap. No written summary this time because I am too exhausted to type. Haha! How about that?! After this, I am off to sit my booty down and watch a couple hours of TV. 🙂 Bates Motel anyone?!?

Let’s have a question of the day, wedding-style. If you already got married, what was your absolute favorite thing about your wedding? If you are not already married, what are you most looking forward to about your big day?

Happy day, happy week dear friends! Smooches.

No Greater Time Than The Present

present moment

How many times have you heard this line, “There is no greater time than the present?” I’ve heard it a ton over the years and I like it. I can finally click with it… or jive with it. When I am consciously aware of the space I am in at an exact moment, I feel alive.

Did you hear me?! I feel ALIVVEEEEEE!!!!!!! I don’t know why, but I kinda had a picture of Jack Black in my head when I said that. Something he would say fo sho.

I have not always been one to check in or even know how to stop thinking about the past or worry about the future. But once I got interested, it became life changing. And it’s a journey like everything else. There are times where I am in the moment more than others. There are times when I let life rail me like a train going 100 mph. But there are also times where I can tell I need more space to relax and unwind. It’s allowing these times to unfold and savoring the experience that keeps me on my feet. I won’t have all the answers and I won’t feel my jolly ‘ol self 100% of the time, but I am human. And I am movin’. And hell, I am even groovin’. And I am definitely rhyming… did you catch that?

I think life is about the ride and enjoying every minute of it. Do you feel that way? Do you do things on a regular basis that bring you kick ass joy? Because you should. You definitely should.

Here’s to letting go of the past, forgetting about the future for a bit, and living in the moment!! Can I get an Amen?!? What will you do today that gets you savoring the moment you are in? Simple question. I think I will turn on “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson and dance my bootay off in the living room. Cause that’s the room for livin’… how ’bout them apples? 😉

Today’s post is a part of the Fit Dish link up with Jill Conyers and The Fit Switch. Join in on the fun and let us know how you live in the present!

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Excellent food-related book

Excellent Food-Related Book

I don’t always post on Sundays, but when I do… it’s because I really have something to share. 🙂

I checked out an excellent food-related book from my library a week or so agao after hearing about this author, Geneen Roth, from a fellow dietitian AND again on the Fearless Rebelle radio podcast. I like to read wellness-related books in between my fiction reads. This one did not disappoint. In fact, I highly recommend it if you have EVER felt weird around food, been overly obsessing about eating healthy lately, or are simply just interested in this line of thinking.

The book is Women Food and God. The first few sentences of the front flap of the book sum it up…

“If you suffer about your relationship with food- you eat too much or  too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all- you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don’t run. Look. Because when you welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly want and evoke divinity itself.”

So many women tie self worth to the way their body looks, how “good” they can be on a diet, or the number on the scale. Those things do not define us. It is my hope that more and more women value themselves highly and end the body-hate war. Dieting is not the answer.. it is NEVER the answer. Tuning into oneself is. Mindful living is. Showing up is. Listening is. Oh how I could go on and on.

Before I go, I have to share two other parts of this book that resonated with me. The first is this…

“When I told myself that this time I could eat what I wanted with no strings attached- no threat of a diet on any Monday morning the rest of my life- I headed straight for the foods of my childhood I was never allowed to eat… And as I’ve written before, I was so elated with my resolve to never diet again that I didn’t notice I was bumping around in a sugar haze from eating only raw and cooked chocolate-chip cookies. I needed to prove to myself that what I wanted most was not forbidden, but what I didn’t understand was that I didn’t want the cookies; I wanted the way being allowed to have them made me feel: welcomed, deserving, adored.”

Many of us have been there in some form or fashion. Eating habits can often be a symptom. If we can look inward, we can find out what it is we really need. She figured out that she needed to feel welcomed, deserving, and adored. Once she realized that, she didn’t need the cookies to make her feel this way. Another great point on the same page she says.. “We don’t want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sundaes.” SO stinkin’ true!!!!!!

The second part was close to the end. It goes a little something like this…

“The more you pay attention, the more you fall in love with that which is not obsessed: that which is blazing itself through you. The life force that animates your body. Food becomes a way to sustain that blaze, and any way of eating that keeps you depressed or spaced out or uncomfortable loses its appeal.”

Just so good, right? Geneen Roth knows what she is talking about. I love finding other like-minded professionals in the wellness world. The world is full of strict do’s and don’ts but life is not about that and we don’t have to follow. Light your own spark.. carve your own path. Even in regards to health and wellness.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Giving Back

giving back

I am up to no good… started making trouble in the neighborhood. Not really, but you do get brownie points for knowing where I got that line. 🙂 And triple brownie points if you are still going with it in your head.

In all seriousness, I still have not posted about the wedding stuff this week so am taking this week off from the video series but still do want to mention something VERY important to Matt and me. The art of giving back. Weddings are so dang expensive. In fact, I often can’t believe how expensive they are and from what I have heard my budget is near the small end of the spectrum. Some women go ALL OUT for weddings, with the average cost being $25,200 from a quick google search. YIKES!

I am my parents only daughter so an actual wedding was important to them. And I have to admit, the tradition and symbolism of a wedding are important to me. I considered eloping (and I am sure MK would have LOVED it if we did), but the truth is I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I want my family there with me. And I want Matt’s family there with us. I love his family and feel honored that I get to officially be a part of the Kennedy family soon.

Matt and I are very fond of animals so we have created a gift registry to help out our local animal shelter. If you feel called to help out at all we would be ever so grateful! Pet stuff is fun to buy for, is not that expensive, and these animals need it. You can view our registry by clicking right here.

We also created a water registry. Matt researched the heck out of charities and this one donates 100% of funds raised to water projects. It breaks my heart that so many people die of water-related illnesses each day. Don’t we all deserve clean water?!? I think so. You can view this charity by clicking here.

I am not begging for you to donate.. that is not why I am posting about this. I just think that so many people often want to donate to a greater cause so thought I would share. After we created the water registry, the site mentions something like, “offer to set up a donation link on your birthday instead of receiving birthday gifts.” How cool would it be if every single person did this just one time even?! Kids could see how their lives can impact others by doing this too. Just a thought!

The art of giving back is a part of health and wellness too, my friends. It pulls at your own heart strings AND benefits others. Here’s to giving back when we can!

What is your favorite charity to donate time or money to?

5 Peeps I Want to Workout With

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Is it really Tuesday?!?! I mean, I am thankful it is Tuesday but I got hit with a surprise day of meetings yesterday and today. That meant my Wedding series post for Monday and today’s Fit dish link up got pushed to the back burner. But, I look forward to both so am still going to post (even if late).

Oh and it is week 2 of the National Nutrition Month challenge and we have a new giveaway for it this week. I have the giveaway info at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check it out! And join in on Instagram… it’s fun. Who doesn’t like having ideas of pictures to post?!?! Or maybe it’s just me.. I love doing instagram challenges.

Anyway, back to the Fit dish link up with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers. Today’s topic is a good one… Picking 5 peeps I would LOVE to workout with. Well, besides you of course. 🙂 Am I making you blush?!? You are on top of the list so this is just 5 other peeps.

  1. Shaun T. Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I would be able to contain my excitement. And I would probably be watching him the WHOLE time. Even though he is taken (and not into women), he is still easy on the eyes. And kick butt!
  2. Chalene Johnson. Her workouts are so inviting and invigorating at the same time. I want to be friends with Chalene and her team. Seriously. We could do Turbofire, PIYO, or any other workout she would want to do.
  3. Anna Kaiser. Did you know she is in the original Insanity video? And now she is on her own creating AKT in motion. I REALLY want to try this workout and hope to one day. It’s only available in NYC I think, but praying it comes to Dallas OR I take a trip to NYC.
  4. Tara Stiles. I am reading her book right now and would LOVE to meet this girl. She is so real and authentic. And a yoga queen! I hope to create a strong yoga practice and I have her and Yoga with Adriene to thank for that!
  5. Karena & Katrina. Yes, the Tone It Up girls. A duo I would love to meet someday! I seriously want to be their friends and often wonder what it would have been like if I had met a friend and created Tone It Up with said friend. Too bad I missed that boat. But, still very thankful these ladies are motivating peeps in such a positive way.

Who would make your list?!?

And don’t forget about our National Nutrition Month giveaway for this week. Enter below:

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MealEnders Review & Giveaway

MealEnders

Disclosure: I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided MealEnders for review through Fit Approach. All opinions are my own.

I have to admit, I was a bit hestitant to try the MealEnders at first. I kept thinking that I do not NEED a product to help me stop eating when I am full or to replace dessert. However, when I read more about the product, I realized that it could be a useful tool to help individuals SAVOR food.  For the peeps that scarf down food so fast the body cannot even recognize when full, MealEnders could be a ticket to slow down.

How MealEnders Work: 

  1. Identify when you want to take a MealEnders. For example, instead of a second helping, in place of dessert, or when a craving strikes.
  2. Savor the MealEnder and allow it to completely dissolve. You don’t want to bite into it. The beauty of this product is that it has a sweet coating around the hard candy piece. The hard candy piece provides a tingling sensation. It will take awhile to finish- up to 20 minutes- which teaches you the art of savoring.
  3. According to the brochure, MealEnders work with the body’s natural hunger and fullness signaling process to clear the desire to overeat from your mind and mouth.

I tried them right after a meal. Every once in awhile I like a little something sweet after my meal so I decided to try a MealEnder this past week to give them an honest go. MealEnders come in four flavors currently: Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon, Mocha, and Citrus. I have to say, my favorite is the Citrus and I LOVE the tingling sensation. It really was satisfying for my taste buds!

MealEnders are food-based so are regulated by the FDA as a food product. This is not a stimulant or supplement by any means. Each lozenge is 15 calories, contains 2 grams of sugar, and is low-fat, stimulant-free, gluten-free, kosher, and contains no high fructose corn syrup or MSG.

I know many peeps that like to know ingredients too. The citrus product contains: Key Lime Confectionary coating {sugar, palm kernal oil, nonfat dry milok solids, natural flavor, whole milk solids, soy lecithin, artificial color and salt}, Corn syrup, Sugar, Citric acid, and Natural & Artificial flavors.

Could MealEnders replace the office candy bowl? I love the message on the wrapper!

SavorDontChew

And now time for a giveaway! One of you will receive all 4 flavors to try. Comment below to enter the giveaway. I will pick a random winner by next Friday the 13th. Bonus entry for each day you tweet the giveaway!

Move, Nourish, Believe

I am IN LOVE with the Lorna Jane philosophy of “Move, Nourish, Believe.” I was VERY excited when the hosts of The Fit Dish link up felt compelled to have us share how we will move, nourish, believe through photo’s. They dig the philosophy too. And how can they not?! It is so inspiring and I think you will love it too, if you don’t already. So thank you to Jill Conyers and Jessica Joy for kicking the link up off this week.

Before I get to my photo’s of how I will Move, Nourish, and Believe this week I have to share some NEWS….. I got to meet Lorna Jane!!!!!!!!!!!! I was like a kid in a candy store, so stinkin’ excited. She came to Dallas for an event so I took my bootay to NorthPark mall to meet her, do yoga with her, and have her sign my cookbook. Aghhhh!!!!!! Fitness role model alert times ten. 🙂

excited

 

So now back to the meat of the post. How will I Move, Nourish, and Believe this week?! Let’s do this…

{MOVE}

I am inspired to move through yoga almost daily. It sets the tone for a happy, healthy, and well-balanced day. In addition to yoga, I try to get in my 10,000 daily steps either through jogging, walking outdoors, or Insanity Max 30 when I feel the need for an intense burn! I have been adding in a bit of PIYO this past week as well so will continue that. I love how my muscles FEEL after it.

yoga

{NOURISH}

I believe in intuitive eating. I believe in nourishing my body with fuel that is mostly healthy, but also tasty. I do not believe in restriction. I do not believe in dieting. I believe in finding out what works best for MY body. I check in before meals to see what it is that I REALLY want. I know my likes and dislikes. I TRUST myself! One of my all-time favorite meals whenever it is cold (and yes, it is even cold here in Dallas, TX) is Harvest Vegetable Chowder. So many yummy delicious vegetables in this dish! And I always eat soup with crackers or toasted bread FO SHO!

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{BELIEVE}

I used the word believe a lot in my “Nourish” post, but believing is a GOOD thing in so many different areas. I will believe in myself and in my goals. I will fall, but when I fall I will get back up again. Too keep this attitude up, I want to spend a few minutes daily in some form of meditation, whether journaling, moving meditation, prayer, or stillness. I believe in loving yourself, imperfections and all. Here is a picture I took from last week’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week.

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How will you move, nourish, believe this week?