Tag Archives: chocolate

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!!

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Chocolate for Breakfast!

Hey everyone! I don’t have a particularly interesting topic today… Just a run down of the day’s eats and exercise.

So who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?! I started my day in a sweet way with this beautiful bowl:

plain Chobani mixed with stevia and cocoa powder, with banana and peanut butter

I promptly stirred this all together and it was AMAZING! Mmmmm! I need to have my greek yogurt at breakfast more often.

To make my breakfast even more protein packed, I also had a side of eggs – 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg to be exact.

Since I’m still fairly new at my job, I feel weird about taking pictures of my lunch and snacks during the day. So I photographed everything together this morning before I left the house.

Friday’s have become my almond butter and jelly day. I look forward to it all week! Today’s sandwich was almond butter with Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter on a whole wheat sandwich thin. Awww yeah! 😀

Dinner was pretty simple. Typical end of the week meal…not too many ingredients left in the kitchen.

grilled chicken and microwaved sweet potato

I got a little impatient, so the sweet potato was quite cooked enough. Oh well – still tasted good!

Tonight’s exercise was Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I have never loved and hated a workout so much in my life! 55 minutes of Jillian is tough. She gets results though!

Speaking of Jillian Michaels, have you heard of her new line of diet pills?? I must admit I have lost some respect for her as a health and fitness professional. How can you advocate a healthy lifestyle and hawk diet pills at the same time??

What are your thoughts on Jillian Michaels selling weight loss supplements??

Pounding the Virtual Pavement (and Product Review!)

Well, I got up at 2:30 am to feed the baby. Nothing out of the ordinary there. I crawled back into bed as usual…and could NOT fall asleep again! My mind was racing with thoughts of, “Oh my God – what are we going to do?!”

I laid in bed until 4, and finally just decided to get up. As soon as I came downstairs, I made a pot of decaf and got right on the computer to start pounding the virtual pavement, knocking on cyber doors.

I managed to hold off the rumbling in my tummy until about 5, when I decided to make breakfast. This meal hardly needs any explanation any more.

The usual: oat bran with cinnamon, vanilla, banana, flaxseed, raisins and walnuts, along with 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg, and a cup of cinnamon-infused decaf coffee.

The usual: oat bran with cinnamon, vanilla, banana, flaxseed, raisins and walnuts, along with 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg, and a cup of cinnamon-infused decaf coffee.

After sending my resume out like it’s my job (oh wait – that is my job now!), I was in need of a snack around 8. I had a golden delicious apple.

A couple hours later, I made one of my standby lunches: turkey wrap with mustard.

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Around noon, I had a glass of almond milk blended with unsweetened cocoa powder and ice along with a kiwi. Then I headed out to run an errand.

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I won’t go into details, but this afternoon I did come up with a good lead on a job. I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I got some exercise in this afternoon with Level 3 of the Shred and 15 minutes on my Spinning bike. I also took some time to throw dinner in the slow cooker. (More on that later.)

Around 3, the doorbell rang. Foodie package!! The wonderful folks at Amazing Grass sent me some samples, along with a super cool shaker!

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It was a hot day here today, so the SuperFood barswere pretty melty. I threw them in the fridge for a bit to harden them up.

Being the chocolate-lover that I am, I knew I had to try the Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar first.

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Holy chocolate!!! For taste, I give this bar two thumbs WAY up! I had planned to only eat half of it, but I just couldn’t stop eating it once I started. In addition to the chocolate, I could really taste the coconut – which I loved! It almost reminded me of a Mounds bar.

This bar has more sugar than I typically like in a bar (27g) but according to the label, only 2g actually come from the cane sugar. It packs 230 calories and 9g of healthy omega fats. This makes an excellent, filling snack. I highly recommend it!!

As I mentioned earlier, dinner was cooked in the slow cooker tonight – chicken with italian seasoning, summer squash, onion, and pasta sauce. I really liked the convenience of cooking this meal in the slow cooker, but taste-wise, I think I prefer the chicken baked and the veggies cooked on the stove. One thing I did like though was the way the chicken just fell apart. Mmmmm!

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An hour after dinner, I hopped back on my bike for 15 minutes before I put the baby to bed.

For “dessert,” I used the left over decaf coffee from this morning and had a yummy iced coffee. (No pic)

Tomorrow will be more of the same – tending to the baby, sending out resumes.

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Thank you all so much for the supportive messages! It’s a tough time, but I’m trying to stay positive about finding a new job! 🙂

That Salad Cost How Much?!

The baby was fussy for a good part of the afternoon, but I was able to squeeze in the Shred while she was napping. I’m on Day 13 and I have to say that I was about ready to reach into the TV and slap Jillian Michaels today! She is a crazy woman. But if she whips my butt into shape, I will be grateful! I can’t imagine how those people on the Biggest Loser survive their first week with Jillian. I’m not even overweight and I get out of breath and soaked with sweat working out with her for 20 minutes!

Later in the afternoon, I was able to grab some time on my bike while the baby was a little happier. I quickly realized that I was completely worn out and did not have the energy to Spin. I hopped off after 23 minutes – right at the time the baby started fussing again! I still did fairly well with the exercise today if I factor in my 20 minute roundtrip walk to Subway with the baby in the Baby Bjorn.

My only real snack this afternoon was another banana. I had a few carrots too, but once I started eating them I decided I didn’t really want them.

Bananas always hit the spot!

Bananas always hit the spot!

I did not feel like cooking tonight – which seems to be becoming a regular Friday night thing. Instead of ordering pizza like we originally planned, I decided to go to Whole Foodsto get dinner. I picked out a chicken chimichanga for my husband and for myself…well I went hogwild on the salad bar!! I loaded up my little brown box with spinach, carrots, red onions, chickpeas, cucumbers, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, grilled chicken and teriyaki tofu. I topped it all with balsamic vinaigrette. It did not end there however! After I built my monstrous salad, I walked passed some grilled veggies that I could not pass up – zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and red onion.

I was quite pleased with my food selections and looking forward to eating everything. And then I got to the register… The total came to just over $29!! My salad alone was over $14!! We could have gone out to dinner for that amount of money. Once I dug into my food, though, I quickly decided it was money well spent! 😀

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If it is possible to pig out on veggies, then that is exactly what I did tonight. I washed all of this deliciousness dow with 2 small glasses of Pinot Grigio.

My once-a-week wine splurge!

My once-a-week wine splurge!

For dessert, I had a square of my Boom Choco Boom dark chocolate bar I bought last weekend.

I’m looking forward to some more nice weather tomorrow. We decided the wine festival was going to be more trouble than it’s worth, so we’ll just be sticking close to home – perhaps drinking wine at home instead.

Goodnight!

Belly Achin’

My big, beautiful bowl of oats and side of eggs kept me full all morning – a rare feat! I’m usually hungry again within 2 hours no matter what I eat. Today I went 4 1/2 hours between meals. Wow!

After we got back from our usual Saturday grocery shopping extravaganza, I had a nice juicy kiwi (haven’t had one of these in so long) and a few turkey slices.

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I noticed that this turkey tasted a little off… I bought a pound and a half at the store today. I opened the bag and looked at the other turkey slices and they looked a little dried out and didn’t smell fabulous, so I ended up taking it back to the store. The second time around at the deli counter I made sure I got freshly sliced turkey instead of turkey that had been sitting in the case.

After lunch, we went for a 55 minute walk with the baby. We had planned to do more of a hike, but the sky was getting pretty dark and it looked like it was going to rain any minute. So we shortened our route.

When we got home, I refueled with a bowl of Fiber One mixed with a little Cascadian Farm cinnamon raisin granola and a bit of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze.

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I also had a macintosh apple. (They finally had them at the store this week. Woohoo!)

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I have really been craving dark chocolate lately, but since I can’t have dairy, I never buy any. Today though I picked up a Boom Choco Boom dark chocolate bar. This chocolate is completely dairy-, nut-, and soy-free. I wasn’t sure if it would be as good as regular dark chocolate. I had 1 out of the 4 squares of the bar. The verdict: DELICIOUS! Definitely satisfied my craving.

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After a little cat nap on the couch, I mustered the energy to do the Shred. Haven’t missed a day so far! I really didn’t feel like doing it today but I have committed myself to doing 30 days straight.

For dinner, we decided to go full-on Mexican – ground turkey taco salads with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, salsa, and avocado, washed down with Corona Light. Mmmm, mmmm good!

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I think I may have gotten a little over-excited inhaling my dinner because now I have a horrible stomach ache. 😦 I’ll probably turn in early. G’night!

Super Splurge Saturday!

Wow…what a day! I really went all out.

First, I had my hair cut for the first time in about 5 months! I felt so spoiled being able to leave the house by myself for an hour and get beautified! 😀

After, my trip to the salon (which is about a 60 second drive from my house…would’ve walked if it wasn’t raining), we did our usual Saturday thing: Target and then the supermarket.

When we got home, I fixed myself a nice La Tortilla Factory whole wheat wrap (my favorite!) filled with honey smoked turkey, light mayo, pickles, and loads of spinach!

Warning: Besides the fact that I am clearly not the world’s best photographer, my camera seemed to only want to take blurry pics today…

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I also had a sliced apple with a tablespoon of Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter. I love this stuff because it only has 2 ingredients: peanuts and salt. It does require a lot of stirring though because all the oil settles at the top. And it has to be kept in the fridge.

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After lunch, we loaded the baby in the car and went to the mall. I had a $50 gift card I got for Mother’s Day and I spent the whole thing at Borders. I bought 2 nutrition/diet books and 2 new workout DVDs: Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and Biggest Loser Boot Camp. I’ve enjoyed my Jackie Warner video, but I’ve been doing it for about 6 weeks so I think it’s time to switch things up to keep my muscles guessing.

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I’m going back and forth as to which one I’m going to start this week. I’m thinking 30 Day Shred…

While we were out, I stopped in at Natural Grocers. I pass this store all the time, but I had never been in. There’s a Whole Foods right near there, so usually I make a stop in there instead. Well let me tell you…I have found a new favorite store! It’s much smaller than Whole Foods, but they have a surprisingly great selection and very reasonable prices. I bought 2 lbs of almonds for under $8! Amazing. I also picked up a Whole Soy & Co. vanilla yogurt to try. I really enjoyed it! I would definitely buy more of these. They were only 89 cents, same price as a regular yogurt.

On to our big dinner out… For my husband’s birthday (which is actually tomorrow), we went to a Mexican place downtown. We started with (way too many) tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole. The guac was just ok; certainly not the best I’ve had…and definitely not as good as my guac!!  😉 I ordered a chicken and mango salad which had red onion, tomato, and toasted pumpkin seeds on it. I got the chipotle dressing on the side. It was excellent! So glad I got the dressing on the side though…they gave me about 1/4 cup of dressing and I didn’t even use half. I can’t imagine if they had poured all of it onto my salad. I had a nice Corona Light to go with it.

Unfortunately I left my camera in the car, so no pics of our fabulous dinner.

I did mention to the waitress though that it was my husband’s birthday, so we got to pick out a free dessert. We went with the Grande Chocolate Cake which, according to the menu, was “enough for at least 2.” When it arrived at the table it looked for like it was enough for 4! I totally splurged on this one though. It was too good to pass up. It was 4 layers – yes 4! – of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and mini chocolate chips. HOLY CHOCOLATE! Between the 2 of us, we at half of it. Here’s what it looked liked after we’d eaten some…

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*Note: Since we’ve been home, I’ve already indulged in a few more forkfulls… This is why I don’t usually keep sweets in the house! No restraint! Who knows when we’ll make it out to dinner again though…I had to go all out. Back on the wagon tomorrow…

Well, needless to say, I had a great Saturday! Hope you did too. Me and my belly full of chocolate are off to bed! 🙂