Category Archives: Products

Review: Attune Probiotic Chocolate Bars

Well, it’s a rainy Monday here in New England – and I’m running on 4 hours of sleep. I was badly in need of chocolate! Lucky for me, Annelies at Attune Foods was nice enough to send me some of their chocolate probiotic bars last week. (Thanks again, Annelies!)

From the Attune site:

Attune is the powerhouse probiotic bar packed with 5 times the live active cultures of yogurt. It has all the digestive health and immune benefits of probiotics in one tasty little package you can take on the go. One Attune bar every day is the delicious way to feel amazing.

I was psyched to try these because I love chocolate (who doesn’t?!), but I always feel guilty for indulging. With these bars, there’s not guilt because their good for you, too!

I started with a nibble of the Raspberry Dark Chocolate:

A symphony of smooth dark chocolate jam-packed with sweet raspberries for a fresh, flavor combination that will make your tastebuds sing.

I looooove dark chocolate, and this bar did not disappoint! My tastebuds weren’t just singing, they were belting it out! 🙂 There was just the right amount of raspberry taste and it wasn’t too sweet. Delicious! Did I mention that it’s also good for you?! Perfect.

I then moved on to a taste of the Almond Milk Chocolate:

The classic duo of milk chocolate and diced almonds come together for a satisfying, crunchy chocolate bar.

This reminded me of a classic Hershey bar with almonds. What more can I say?! Sweet, satisfying, and healthy. A great dessert!

Finally, I had a bite of the Chocolate Crisp:

Real, rich chocolate with rice crisps for a familiar, tasty crunch that’s just right!

Hello, Nestle Crunch bar! If Nestle Crunch and live yogurt cultures got together and had a baby, it would be this little Attune Chocolate Crisp! 😀 Yes, it was that good!

Final thoughts: I will no longer deny myself chocolate when the craving strikes me. I will buy these Attune bars instead! They satisfy my sweet tooth for under 100 calories plus deliver 5 times the live active cultures of yogurt. I can’t wait to pick up some of the other flavors to try!!

Food Find: Olympus Greek Yogurt

Much as I’ve tried to avoid getting sucked back in, Whole Foods has become a regular stop once again on my weekly grocery shopping circuit. As I browsed around looking for items on sale and items for which I had coupons, I came across Olympus Greek Yogurt, on sale 10 for $10 (reg. $1.99 each).

Source: Olympus Dairy website

 After looking at some of the flavors, I ended up buying 8 of the nonfat plain cups. (I prefer to dress my yogurt up myself.) Not only was this a great deal (50% off the regular pirce!), but the nutritional stats are out of this world! Each 6 oz cup is just 88 calories, with only 7 g carbs and a whopping 15 g of protein! Score!

So the stats are great, but how did it taste??

I tasted a bit of the yogurt on it’s own and found it to be much less tangy than other plain Greek yogurts I’ve tried (and believe me, I’ve tried a lot of them!). Then I dressed it up in typical HFM fashion: chocolate-mousse style.

Mixed with 1 Tbs cocoa powder, 1 packet of stevia, and some sliced banana

This was sooo incredibly creamy! It reminded me a lot of Oikos in it’s texture, but Oikos is much more tangy. I can’t wait to use this in overnight oats! It’s taking a lot of willpower not to go grab another one out of the fridge right now! This was by far my best food find in a while. It’s a shame that it is regularly $1.99 per cup. Much like Oikos and Voskos, it just doesn’t fit into my budget. I’m still at the point in my life where I’m a slave to prices… Thus, I will have to stick with my Chobani, which is just $1.25 per cup. At least the Olympus yogurt is on sale until Oct. 5 at WF! 🙂

What’s your favorite unexpected recent food find?

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Stay tuned tomorrow as I review the Attune Probiotic Chocolate Bars I received in the mail. (Thanks Annelies!!)

Injury Update & Product Review

It’s Wednesday – half to the weekend! Woohoo! We are headed to DC on Saturday for the Virginia Wine Festival. Can’t wait! It’s going to be a whirlwind. We’re only going for one night. But it will be fun.

Have you entered my giveaway yet?! You have until Friday!

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I’ve been getting pretty much the same advice from everyone on my knee injury – rest is the best medicine. Now, if I could only follow that advice… I’ve been doing plenty of icing and I bought a compression sleeve, but I can’t say I’ve cut back on my running. I am shuffling things around a bit this week though, partly for time constraints, but mostly to avoid running 2 days in a row.

This morning I woke up VERY sleepy eyed at 4:30 am and contemplated skipping my run. For a brief second, I convinced myself that I should stay in bed “to rest my knee.” But then I popped out of bed, threw on my gear, and headed out the door – but not before grabbing a small scoop of PB and some raisins, my go-to pre-run snack.

Do you eat before running?

I ran 6.2 miles in 58:08, ~9:21/mile. I felt great for the first 4 miles – no knee pain. And then BAM. Just like that, the pain set in. At one point I was literally gritting my teeth. There’s no stopping and walking in the dark at 5:30 am when you’re 2 miles from home, though!

When I got home, I took a quick shower then simultaneously iced my knee, put on my makeup, and ate this glorious bowl of overnight oats.

This horrendous photo doesn't do this bowl justice!

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • ~3/4 cup of plain Chobani
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • raisins
  • walnuts

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Ok folks – time for a brief product review!

Back in early July, I received a sample of the new Clif Crunch bars in the mail. It was the Chocolate Chip flavor, and I split the 2-bar serving with my hubby during our 4th of July road trip to PA. Upon first bite, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh my God – I have to find these and buy some!” It was crunchy (hence the name), sweet without being too sweet, and very satisfying. The 2-bar serving makes you feel like you’re eating more than a typical bar. And a serving is just 180 calories – perfect snack amount.

I hadn’t been into Whole Foods in quite some time, but I had a bunch of coupons so I went in there a couple weeks ago. (Side note: since that trip, I have been into WF every week. It has sucked me back in! Damn you, Whole Paycheck, er, Whole Foods!) To my delight, I discovered that Clif Crunch bars were on sale for $3.00 a box, a special that was STILL going on even last weekend. So I stocked up.

I’ve tried 3 of the 4 flavors and I’ve enjoyed each one. I definitely favor the Chocolate Chip though! Have you tried these yet?!

The Breakfast Diaries…?

So I’m considering changing the name of my blog to The Breakfast Diaries because I seem to only manage to photograph breakfast each day! [Could it be the makings of a spin-off blog?!] Perhaps it’s because it’s my favorite meal of the day. Or maybe because 6 a.m. (just before hubby and baby get up) is the only time of the day that I’m not running around like a crazy woman. Hmmm…mixture of both I think!

Monday’s breakfast:

Poorly photographed French Toast!

French toast made with 2 slices of Martin’s whole wheat potato bread, topped with Smart Balance Light and ~1/2 a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s maple/agave syrup blend. (I also ate a banana with some almond butter while this was cooking….) This whole wheat potato bread is one of my new foodie favorites! It’s delicious and has phenomenal nutritional states: 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 14 carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein per slice. Low cal, low carb, high fiber, high protein. Does it get any better than that?!

Tuesday breakfast:

Oat bran with banana, raisins, flax, a little bit of yogurt, and some honey almond butter drizzled on top. The 2 tablespoons of yogurt I stirred in added just a touch of creaminess. To pump up the protein, I also had some scrambled egg whites on the side.

Monday Fitness:

I had planned to go for a run in the morning before work, but I screwed up my alarm clock and overslept a bit. So I headed out at 8 p.m for a 3.5-miler. Running in the dark at night is scary…and dangerous. But it kept me running quickly!

Side note: I registered for another half marathon on Monday! So I’ll be running my first on October 10 and my second 4 weeks later on November 7! So excited.

Tuesday Fitness:

Today was an off day from running, so I had strength training on my agenda. Unfortunately it is ungodly hot today. I still worked out in my living room, but not for very long. The heat is making me ill!

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So in all seriousness, now that I’m getting back to blogging, I feel like my blog may be taking a slightly different direction. When I first started it, I was a brand new mommy, working at home, and then later unemployed. [Read: I had a lot more time on my hands.] The goals behind my blog still hold true, but I feel that, given my new time constraints (exciting career with a long commute) and my new interests (running and fueling before and after my runs), my posts are going to be focused on other things…

Thoughts???

8-Mile

Hey there! Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend. I started my day bright and early. My half marathon training schedule called for 8 miles today, so I got up at 5 a.m. to head out for my run. Saturdays are always filled with grocery shopping and other errands, so it’s most time-efficient if I just get my run out of the way first thing in the morning.

Prior to today, the longest run I had ever done was 6.2 miles. Today, I ran 8.2. It was a perfect temperature for running – about 50 degrees. I started out a little bit slow so I didn’t wear myself out. I started to pick it up a bit more around the 2.5-mile mark.

When I reached about 5.5 miles, my right hip and knee started to bother me a bit. But I kept going. I completed my 8.2 miles in 1:17:40 – roughly a 9:30/mi pace. Not too shabby. It may not seem too impressive to all of the hardcore runners out there, but it is certainly an accomplishment for me – something I never thought I could do!

What’s one thing you have done that you didn’t think you could do?

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Have you entered my giveaway yet?? This is your last chance! I will be randomly picking a winner in the morning. Your chances of winning right now are pretty darn good.

I still ow you some product reviews – 3 to be exact. Unfortunately I only have 2 here! One more item to try, and I’ll review it when I post the winner.

Health Valley® Granola Bars:

No beating around the bush here. Sorry Health Valley – as soon as I saw the nutritionals on these, I knew they weren’t for me. The ingredient list is a mile long! I took one bite… WHOA! Holy sugar! These were soooo sweet. My daughter likes them, of course, but I won’t let her have more than 1/2 of one at a time. And I certainly wouldn’t buy them. Sorry to be harsh on a product that’s included in my giveaway! The rest of the products make up for it though. 😉

Garden of Eatin’® Multigrain Blues:

These are a new product for Garden of Eatin’. They actually weren’t even included in the initial giveaway picture and description I was sent.

I ripped open this bag tonight specifically so I could review these chips in my post!

I’m not really a big chip eater, but I was pleasantly surprised by these. They had a great taste to them (almost nutty) and just the right amount of salt. These would be great for dipping in salsa or guacamole. I bet they’d make some mean nachos, too! I would definitely buy these for a party.

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Well, off to veg for the rest of the night. I already feel the soreness setting in to my legs. No big plans tomorrow – just more errands. What about you?

My First Maranatha…and Time-Saving Tips

It’s Thursday! You know what that means? Tomorrow’s Friday! 😀

Today was not a good day for me at all, so I’m just going to focus on a product review and a time-saving tip or two.

Have you entered my giveaway yet???? You have until Saturday at 11:59 p.m. ET. And if you win, you’ll get (among other things) a jar of this:

I have read rave reviews on many a food blog about Maranatha No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter, so I was pretty pumped to try this.

I typically eat regular, all natural peanut butter made with nothing but peanuts and salt. This peanut butter has added palm oil and cane juice. After an intial stir and some time in the fridge, the consistency is much like that of shelf-stabel peanut butters, like Skippy and Jif.

Being the classy lady that I am, I taste-tested this with my right index finger. My reaction? Eh, it’s ok. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat it all, eventually. But after eating peanut butter with nothing added other than salt for so long, this didn’t even really taste like peanuts to me. If you grew up on Skippy and still miss the taste of it, then you will love this. I wouldn’t buy it for myself, personally, though.

I’ll review the final few products in the giveaway tomorrow and Saturday. Check back in!

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Now that I’m training for a half marathon, I have to save time however I can. Training takes up a lot of time! My training schedule called for 5 miles on Wednesday. I had been doing my runs in the evening after my baby girl went to bed, but it’s starting to get dark earlier and earlier. So I decided on Tuesday night that I would get up at 4:45 a.m. and run before work. I’d rather run when it’s dark, but getting lighter instead of when it’s light, but getting darker!

Getting up that early to run took some planning ahead. Here are a few things that helped me save time in the morning (and make sure I had no excuses NOT to run!):

  1. Packed my lunch the night before. I typically do this anyway, but I can’t stress enough how much time this saves me in the morning. I hem and haw sor far too long about what I want to pack for lunch. I would spend my whole morning trying to decide!
  2. Laid out my workout clothes. This eliminated any fumbling around in the dark. I laid out my gear, including shoes and iPod, right next to the bed. That way they were staring me in the face when my alarm went off at the ungodly time of 4:45! No excuses.

    Look what just came in the mail!!!

  3. Prepped my breakfast the night before. Until I discovered the world of food blogs, I never would have thought to do this. What a time-saver! I tend to eat a pretty extravagant breakfast, spending about 15-20 minutes making it in the morning. Tuesday night, I made Overnight Protein Oats.

This bowl contained:

  • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • 2 Tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder

In the morning, I popped it in the micro for 1 minute (I have eaten it cold before though). I topped it with a few raisins, some walnuts, and a drizzle of TJ’s maple/agave blend.

This bowl didn’t satisfy as much as a piping hot bowl of protein oats, but it did the trick – and saved me a ton of time in the morning.

What’s your best time-saving tip??

“Since you’ve been gone…”

Hey! So, it’s been about 4 months… This Kelly Clarkson song came to mind when I was trying to think about how to re-introduce myself into the blogosphere after such a long time!

Let me start with an apology. I truly had no intention of being away from my blog for months. Life got busy – days turned to weeks, weeks to months. And let me tell you, a lot has happened in those 4 months!

Here are some of the highlights that I negelected to blog about during the last 4 months:

  1. I went to 3 concerts. I saw Pearl Jam twice in May and Jack Johnson in July. All great shows!
  2. I fell in love with running! I have always wanted to be a runner, but I was never “good at it.” I thought it was boring; I thought of it as a chore. despite the fact that I could ride a Spin bike for hours on end, I just could never get my legs to run for more than 15-20 minutes. But one day in May, I decided I’d go out for a run, since I hadn’t attempted one in a long time. I’ve been running (and running and running) ever since.
  3. I signed up for my first half marathon!!! Time to stop talking about and just do it! I signed up for the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon in October. I’m in the midst of a 10-week training program now. I’m getting fast by the day. My most recent run was 6.3 miles at a 9:21 pace. Not too shabby considering I never thought I could be a runner! Not only am I training for the half, I’m raising money for cancer research in the process! I need to raise at least $500 and I’m almost half way there. See my progress here. 

    (Source: rundanafarber.org)

  4. I got a new job! The job that I was at when I last blogged was a big part of why I was away from my blog for so long. Work got busier and busier with fewer and fewer people… I was putting in 9+ hours in the office, then coming home and working some more. And it wasn’t even work that I really enjoyed. Now I have a job that I absolutely love! I won’t reveal exactly where I work, but I will tell you that it is a healthy food company with a national brand. Sure, I traded in a 12-mile round trip commute for a 100-mile roundtrip commute, but I am soooo much happier! And they were willing to work with me on my schedule so I’m able to leave when I need to so I can get all the way back to pick my daughter up at daycare on time.

Ok, so if you read all that, there should definitely be something in it for you right?! 🙂 Well there is! I present to you the Family Fitness Fun Challenge giveaway pack!

The giveaway pack contains the following:

I still have a few products to try, so I’ll be posting reviews all week long!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Visit TakeAHealthyBite.com and leave a comment here telling me which product you’re most interested in trying and what your favorite “outside the gym” fitness activity is. Don’t forget to to register for the Family Fitness Fun Challenge while you’re there! When you register, you’ll receive great coupons!
  2. For a second entry, tweet about my giveaway: @healthyfitmama.
  3. For a third entry, link back to this post in your blog and leave a comment telling me you did so!

The giveaway will end on Saturday, 8/27 at 11:59 p.m. So have at it!

Oh – and welcome back to my little blog. 😉