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?

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. ūüôā

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!

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. ūüôā

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!

IMG_20150209_182151013

{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?

Wedding Series: 10 weeks to go!

Wedding Series 5

 

I have 10 weeks left to go until my wedding. I am back to the video blogging for all you visual lovers (like me!). I played around with a “makeshift studio” this time, trying to get a white backdrop. Hey, it ain’t perfect but it works. Appreciating the imperfect, that’s what life is about!

Cue the video…


For those that like words better, here is a summary of what I covered:

Wedding planning deets

  1. Decor: Purchased beautiful lanterns from Pier One. They are having a huge sale on lanterns and candles right now. Check this baby out!
  2. The dress is in! I got a call on Saturday that my dress is in and to schedule a fitting. I hope it fits!! I’ll find out on Friday. Wish I could show you the dress, but my fiance sometimes reads the blog so if you are interested in seeing it just shoot me a facebook message or email.

Health-related deets

  1. I am all about more mindful living… and if I have never mentioned it before, intuitive eating changed my life! I love following other professionals who believe in sharing a mindful lifestyle. They don’t prescribe diets because they know diets do not work. EVER. Period. I recently found a podcast that I am seriously digging on! Lauren Fowler recommended it on her blog (Mindful meals). The podcast is called Fearless Rebelle Radio by Summer Innanen. Greatness! And side note, I have REALLY been getting into podcasts lately so if you need any recommendations let me know.
  2. My fellow dietitian friend, Cindy, and I are kicking off the National Nutrition Month Challenge this week.¬†Did you see her guest post yesterday and are you joining in? If not, you SHOULD be! We are giving away a $25 gift card to Whole Foods this week. Plus, photo challenges on Instagram are so much fun. Our goal is to promote a healthy, positive lifestyle with no restriction necessary! No don’ts… just do’s. Just the way we like it. Use the #NNMChallenge on Instagram if you are participating. It’s all in good fun and you won’t want to miss. Holla!

That’s it for the wedding catch up. How was your week? Name one of your favorite things you did this past week?

Happy National Nutrition Month

Happy National Nutrition Month

Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle

Hello everyone! I’m excited to be coordinating National Nutrition Month blogging activities with Bri.¬†I have been blogging over at¬†Newlywed Nutrition¬†for about 5 years! Bri and I found each other somewhere in the sea of nutrition bloggers. When Bri reached out to me about coordinating I was thrilled and then our minds got to working! We are very excited to bring you a month filled of nutrition knowledge, tips, freebies, giveaways, and a Q&A series with me and Bri! As register dietitian nutritionists we are the food and nutrition experts who provide evidence-based information and recommendations. Don’t let that science talk throw you off…we promise to make it fun and more importantly informative so that you and your family can Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle!

 

What is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

Let’s Get Social!!

   

Recap of what to look forward to!!

1. Nutrition knowledge and tips, of course!

2. GIVEAWAYS!!!

3. 31 Day Monthly Challenge Calendar with tips on how to Bite Into A Healthier Lifestyle!

4. Did I mention GIVEAWAYS? That means free stuff! Like books, giftcards, nutrition swag, nutritional products, and more!! See this weeks giveaway at the bottom of this post: $25 Whole Foods Gift Card!

5. “Ask the RD” video series! That’s right, YOU ask the questions and we answer them with evidence-based information and recommendations.

6. And Freebies!!

Today’s Freebie: NNM Calendar by Bri!
 
We are also teaming up to bring you a Photo-A-Day Instagram Challenge!
#NNMChallenge and Tag @DietitianCindy and @SimpleDlights

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Wedding Series: 11 Weeks to Go!

Wedding Series 4

No video blog today, friends. Just words. I’m having an “insecure” moment and need a break from putting myself out there in the video world. No worries, “this too shall pass.” We all get there at times and it’s okay.

I have 11 weeks to go until I say I do! I had an absolute blast this past weekend with my soul sisters and best friends, the maid and matron of honor. They are blood sisters that I have known since the age of 2. It’s super cool to have two friends that I have been through every milestone with. I only have brothers so these girls hold a special sisterly bond in my heart! Okay, enough sap… ¬†how fun is this?! We had a slumber party Saturday night for old time’s sake. ¬†A girl is NEVER too old for a slumber party!

A few wedding details we decided on….

  1. Bridesmaids dresses! They fit and look beautiful so I have officially ordered them. I went with the convertible dresses from The Jersey Maid in purple.  They look good on all shapes and sizes! And the best part? Each bridesmaid gets to decide which style to go with (i.e. strapless, sleeves, halter, etc.).
  2. Couple’s shower! Matt and I were not sure if we wanted a shower or not. We are really set on having our registry be for charity. In fact, we had Dog and Kitty City (a no kill shelter in Dallas) register for items they need on Amazon. That will be our main registry/charity! I did, however, agree to have a “patio” shower on a patio. We will register for a few outdoor patio items AND still give the option to donate off our charity registry. The girls said I have to wear a yellow dress for this shower so I am a little giddy about shopping for a new yellow dress. I love having someone¬†tell me ideas on what¬†to wear.¬†Feels like I have a stylist!
  3. Bachelorette party! It’ll be at the end of April in Ft.Worth. I love Ft.Worth’s downtown so much more than Dallas’ downtown. I may even bust out my Cowboy boots! No penis straws or blow up dolls for this bride… we are keepin’ it classy because my mom and her two friends will be there too (at my request). They are SO fun!! And my two high school buddies are helping coordinate it with the sisters. They are going to be a part of the wedding party as well, greeting guests as they arrive at the wedding.

An update on my health goals… sugar is so stinkin’ hard to reduce! My mind is starting to think of the sugar reduction as a diet and when I diet, no good things happen. I rebel. You follow? So, I am not focusing on any health goals this week in terms of nutrition. I am still not having much caffeine and will continue this, as it is now officially a habit. I don’t miss it! My fitness goals… I went so hardcore with Insanity Max 30 that I got tired near the end of the week and was NOT UP FOR IT AT ALL. I went back to walking and yoga. This week I am looking into an Insanity Max 30 and PIYO hybrid to try out for a bit. Will also continue with yoga. ¬†You guys…. I am falling more and more in love with yoga!!! I want to find a local yoga studio to belong to. Luckily, I have a membership to Classpass so will try out a few studios before choosing one officially. Very excited about it!!

How was your week? And honestly, friends.. is the video blog from the past 3 weeks fun or boring?!? I can take it away, keep as is, or try to improve and make it better. I am thinking they need to be under 5 minutes IF I keep them. Any constructive feedback you have, I am all ears. Like I said, having an insecure moment with the video stuff. ūüôā

Wedding Series Vlog: 12 Weeks!

Wedding Series 3

 

I am very excited about this post. Lots to cover and I am still on cloud nine from this past weekend. I got to talk about the fun planning details with two of MK’s sisters. Decor is going to look AWESOME! We are going with a rustic type of theme. So, without further ado… here is the Wedding Series Vlog. Or you can skip on over it if you don’t want to watch the vid and just want to read the blog.

To summarize the vlog, I have a lot of the little things picked out for the wedding and have started a Pinterest board titled May 9, 2015. If that’s your thang (like me.. what did we ever do without Pinterest?!) you can click here to be taken straight to the board.

I also have the DJ picked out and MK is already working on his “must play” list. If I haven’t mentioned it before, MK is a musician so obviously there are songs he definitely wants to be played on the big day. My list would consist of Michael Jackson songs (Man in the Mirror, anyone?) and Motown hits. “Sugar pie honey bunch…. you know that I love you…. Can’t help myself…” Hell yeah!

In the vlog, I mentioned that I would show some pics of my favorite meals this past week. I am a simple eater so keep that in mind. Mainly because I am a simple cook. But, we all know I love simple things so it works!

Meals 2.16.14

For breakfast, I love a protein pancake with sunflower butter on top. I use Perfect Fit protein and they have a recipe for their protein pancake on the package. It’s delish and a breakfast that I look forward to over and over (especially when I work from home).

For lunch, I often have leftovers. My favorite leftover from this past week was Applewood smoked chicken. MK got a smoker less than a year ago so we are taking advantage of it when the weather is nice. The weather went back down to poo today, but it was beautiful last week.

For supper, I vary it up. I try to cook most nights and then leave weekend nights for eating out. I love Harvest Vegetable Chowder soup and never get sick of it. It’s a crockpot recipe that my mom gave me and has been my favorite soup since I was in high school. I like a good crunch so eat it with my current favorite crackers, Melba toast.

Most days I have at least one snack and this snack is usually a piece of fruit, nut mix, or yogurt. I am not a perfect eater by any means so please do not look at the above and think, “Holy cow, I need to eat less or eat more or eat better.” No judgment is allowed here! I always use the term “most days” because I have my days where I eat on a weird schedule, eat a little more or less, savor treats, etc. I show¬†some of my simple meals to hopefully give ideas for the typical busy person!

The number 4 above is my favorite meal… it was my Valentine’s lunch. If I don’t eat a protein pancake with sunflower butter for breakfast I may eat a sunflower toast with honey for lunch. And one thing you will know about me if you do not know already is that I FREAKIN LOVE SWEET POTATOES!!!!!!! So, yes, I do eat those regularly.

I said I would give a couple favorite moves for working the sides of the abs or muffin top area. You will LOVE pretzel! You’re welcome. Let’s all challenge ourselves to do pretzel at least 3 times this week? Sound good?

There are so many variations but the above video will help get you started if you have never been to a Pure Barre (or other barre) class. My other favorite?? Side planks. I know you know how to do these. Get into those side planks and dip the hips a few inches & then come back up. Agghhhh I love it.

We covered a lot in this post, but the most important thing I have to say is…. HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK dear friends!!!!

Something New: Kettlebell Training

TryingSomethingNew

Every once in awhile, you’ve got to try something new. Am I right?! It just keeps the motivational juices flowing whether it comes to nutrition, fitness, fun, rest, crafts, or anything else you can think of. So recently I have added in a new workout to my fitness mix… kettlebell training.

Have you tried doing a workout with kettlebells? I love it! I am instantly hooked. My first kettlebell workout was from Tone It Up and has moves that I continue adding in myself. The video is below for quick viewing if you need some fresh moves…. and if not, just skip on ova…

I am looking for other workouts with kettlebells too so if you know of any, shoot those ideas my way dear friend!

So what else is new? Well, with nutrition I am trying new ways to eat less sugar. I have a sweet tooth and am really trying to reduce my sugar intake. I have a feeling the sugar has been contributing to headaches and has intensified my stress lately so I’m going N’SYNC on those sweets… BYE BYE BYE! My dessert replacement is this sunball snack that I make at home. If you click on that, you will be taken to the delicious recipe from SimpleVeda.

With blogging, I am trying to video blog more in 2015. It’s not as easy at it looks! I did my first yesterday… and of course am now having all these doubts about video blogging, but I do think if done right they can be effective, fun, and simple! Just like I like it! We’ll get there at some point…

What is new with you? Have you tried anything new lately? Join the Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers.

Stay well, friends!