Tag Archives: NutriBiotic

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!


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??


Rainy Days and Mondays

Anyone up on their ’70s music? Did you catch the Carpenters reference in my title?? [I actually despise ’70s music, but I have a soft spot for the Carpenters…] 

Moving on. 

Today was both a rainy day and a Monday. Blah. It definitely called for a pancake! Perfect comfort food. I have finally perfected my protein pancake recipe. These are the 2 stars of the show: 


Here’s my recipe: 

  • 2 heaping Tbs of Instabake
  • 2 heaping Tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites
  • 1 Tbs of wheat germ
  • 2 Tbs of nonfat plain yogurt
  • splash of almond milk (or soy milk)

Here’s the end result, topped with some Smart Balance Light and 1/2 Tbs of Trader Joe’s maple syrup/agave blend: 


Deeeeeelish! I like to pour all my batter into one pan, but this makes enough that you could make 2-3 smaller pancakes. I do one pan because I’m too impatient and too busy to wait for several pancakes to cook! No griddle here; just a skillet. 

I forgot to snap a pic of my lunch before I headed out to work today. I brought a La Tortilla Factory whole wheat wrap with Trader Joe’s raw almond butter, sliced banana, and raisins, along with a plain Chobani. Mmmmmm. 

Time-saving tip: I always pack my lunch the night before. Saves me time in the morning and keeps me from buying something instead of packing something! 

Dinner was unspectacular and definitely not photogenic, so I will skip ahead! 

It was hubby’s turn to put baby to bed tonight. (By the way, my little girl is now 17 months. Growing up so fast!) We still alternate putting her to bed, which works out great with my half marathon training plan. I headed out at 7:40 p.m. for a dark and rainy 3.4 mile run. I killed it! I ran a 9:08 min. mile pace. My fastest yet! 😀 

And now, a couple product reviews: 

Earth’s Best Sesame Street® Organic Snackin’ Fruit Hearts 

There they are - front and center.


I’m a huge fan of Earth’s Best Organic snacks. I buy them for my daughter all the time and she loves them. So I knew these wouldn’t last long! I was right, too! She gobbled these up in no time flat. She did share a few with me though. They were really yummy – great blueberry flavor. And what I love most is that they are made with whole grains and don’t have much sugar – just 5g in one serving. I would definitely buy these! 

Garden of Eatin’® Popped Tortillas 

Clearly I opened these long before taking a picture!

I’m not a big chip eater, but I love to try new things. These chips were very light and airy. I immediately loved that you can see the whole flaxseeds in the chips. 


These were a bit salty for me when I ate them by themselves. But when dipped in hummus – heaven! Not sure I would buy these,  but they are a nice treat. I especially love that there are 20 chips to a serving, for only 110 calories. And one serving delivers 3g of fiber. 


Stay tuned… I will review the rest of the products as the week goes on. 

Want to try these products for yourself? Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! You have until Saturday night! Be sure to visit www.TakeAHealthyBite.com too and register for the Family Fitness Fun Challenge!

A Few of My Favorite Things (and OpenSky Promo!)

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens… Oh wait – this is a food and fitness blog! 😉

Here’s a look at a few of my current favorite food and fitness items:

  • Trader Joe’s Almond Butter – I could eat this straight out of the jar…and I often do!! It’s soooo yummy, and it’s loaded with healthy, monounsaturated fat. My favorite way to eat it is smeared on a super-ripe banana.

Did I mention this is just $4.99 a jar?!

  • Trader Joe’s Toasted Oat Bran – What could be better than 2 lbs of oat bran for less than $3?! Not only is this a bargain, but it tastes great, has 6 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein.

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder – This is one of the better tasting protein powders I’ve tried. I use it in shakes, pancakes, yogurt, and more.

  • Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout – Looking for an incredible workout you can do at home? Look no further! This is an awesome HIIT (high instensity interval training) workout that really gets results. The video suggests doing the 55 minute workout 6 days a week. I do it every other day alternating with Spinning and I have seen a real improvement in my muscle tone.

  • Polar Heart Rate Monitor – I use my HRM every time I Spin. It’s a great tool to gauge how hard I’m working. It helps me know when I’m not working hard enough, and makes me realize when I’m pushing myself a little too hard.

Before I had my Polar, I used to go all out every time I got on my Spinning bike. When I started using my HRM, I realized that my heart rate was consistently WAY too high! Now, I can keep an eye on my heart rate and make sure I don’t over do it.

***Want to get your very own heart rate monitor? OpenSky is hosting a Train Like an Olympian promo! From now through next Tuesday, receive a 15% discount on the Polar FS2 Heart Rate Monitor.

Click here to take advantage of this great deal!

In honor of this great promotion and the winter Olympics…

What’s your favorite sport in the winter Olympics?

I’ve always loved watching the figure skating! 🙂

Protein Pancakes!

I’ve seen numerous recipes for protein pancakes in the blog world, and I’ve been wanting to try them. I love pancakes, but rarely ever eat them. I don’t like the idea of eating pure carbs for breakfast. But throw some protein powder in there and I’m all for them!

I decided to make my first-ever batch of protein pancakes a couple days ago before work. Into a mixing bowl went the following:

  • 1/3 cup of Hodgson Mills Instabake Mix
  • 1/3 cup of soymilk
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites
  • 1 tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder
  • cinnamon

This resulted in some super thin batter. To thicken it up a bit, I added another tbs of protein powder and a couple tbs of oats. The result: a perfect pile of protein pancakes!

drizzled with sugar-free syrup

These were dense and chewy, with a very nice vanilla and cinnamon flavor. My batter yielded about 5 pancakes, all for about 300 calories. Sweet! You better believe I ate all 5 too! 🙂 I will definitely be making these again.

Have you ever experimented with adding protein powder to recipes?

PB is Key!

Hey everyone! Sorry to have been MIA for a whole week. Totally unintentional. I wish I could say that I’ve been up to something exciting…

It’s been no secret on this blog that Mama has a BIG appetite! Especially when it comes to breakfast. I’m notorious for slamming 500+ calories in the morning and still being hungry a couple hours later. I think I have finally found the key to staying full through the morning – PB!! Adding peanut butter to my oats in the morning keeps me full for hours – which is great for extremely busy workdays when there isn’t much time to eat.

This morning, I had the most amazing bowl of oat bran:

  • 1/3 cup of oat bran
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 mashed banana
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1 tbs of PB

Check out that amazing PB drizzle!!

Trader Joe’s PB is the best for drizzling!

Per usual, this ginormous bowl of oats was eaten along side a plate of eggs (1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg). Holy full tummy!!

I didn’t dig into my lunch bag until about noon time today. That’s 6 hours of fullness. Incredible!

I neglected to photograph my packed work lunch… Throughout the afternoon, I had the following:

  • protein shake (1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk + 2 tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder)
  • deli chicken wrap with light mayo
  • teeny, tiny apple
  • a few almonds
  • plain Chobani mixed with stevia and cocoa powder

I also packed some Trader Joe’s low sodium minestrone, but I never got around to eating it.

When I got home from work, though, the hunger started to set in. I munched on some mushrooms and roasted garlic hummus while I prepped dinner.

baked tofu, peppers, onions, and mushrooms all coated with Trader Joe's sesame soy ginger vinaigrette

Tonight’s exercise was Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. Have you bought this video yet??? You should! It’s the most kick-butt at-home workout I’ve ever done. You definitely get some bang for your buck!

I wish I had taken a picture of my evening, post-exercise snack. It was delish!! 1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and stevia (I’m hooked on chocolatey yogurt!!), and about 1/2 cup of frozen cherries. I will definitely be having this again in the near future!


Have you checked out my Opensky Store yet?? I recently added apple pie Larabars! YUMMY! 😉

POM Review and Sunday Yummies

Happy Sunday! (Or perhaps Not-So-Happy Sunday if you have to go back to work tomorrow…like me!)

As promised, here’s my long overdue POM review:

A few weeks ago (well I guess at this point it was actually a couple months ago!), Kristen from POM Wonderful sent me a box of these little beauties:

100% pure pomegranate juice

Now, I don’t typically like to drink my calories, unless it’s in the form of a protein shake. But after reading so much about POM on other blogs, I was eager to give this a try.

So I cracked one open and took a sip. It was slightly tart and slightly sweet, and reminded me a lot of cranberry juice. Very tasty! And I have to admit, one of my first thoughts was, “I could make a great cocktail with this!” Haha! 😀

I gave it to the hubby to try and he really enjoyed it. For about a week straight, POM replaced his morning OJ with his breakfast.

In addition to its great taste, POM Wonderful pomegranate juice also has some amazing health benefits. It’s extremely high in antioxidants! Read more about the health benefits here.


Onto the Sunday Yummies…

Just because I took a break from the blog due to my busy schedule, doesn’t mean I took a break from my healthy habits! Today’s eats are pretty typical of what I’ve been eating on a regular basis:

Breakfast – 1/3 cup of oat bran, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, 1 tbs of ground flaxseed, raisins, and walnuts, alongside 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg scrambled

Lunch – Protein shake made with 1 cup of unsweetened soymilk, 2 tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder, 1 medium banana, and ice; and a chocolate brownie Z bar

Snacks – plain Chobani (mixed with cocoa powder and stevia, of course!) and some mushrooms and roasted garlic hummus that went undocumented

(Greek yogurt and I are currently “on” again, mostly because I have a TON of $1.00 off coupons! It’s inevitable that my tummy will end up hating me though, and then I’ll be completely dairy free again. :-()

Dinner – ground turkey fajita salads

I used frozen bell peppers for my fajita veggies tonight. Super convenient (no chopping necessary!) and super cheap! I’m on a tight budget these days so I’m buying more frozen veggies than ever. I spiced up my peppers and onions and my ground turkey meat with a combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a dash of garlic salt. I topped the whole she-bang with some Pace Picante Sauce that I received in the mail a couple weeks ago, courtesy of Foodbuzz. Spicy stuff! Runny nose kind of spicy! 😉 And that was the Medium variety. I can only imagine what Hot is like!!


After baby was all snuggled in her crib, it was time for mama to exercise! Tonight was my circuit training night. I alternate every other day with circuit training and Spinning (on my bike at home). I did 2 20-minute videos from Exercise TV. This is a new find for me! I love the variety. I can mix and match, and keep myself from getting bored.


Just for fun, here’s a recent picture of me and my baby girl!

Well, it’s 9:19…time for a shower and then it’s off to bed! I’ll be back soon with my baby food making how-to post!

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010 everyone! I’ve been away from my blog for far too long!

I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, but I did make a few this year:

1) Take my vitamins. This sounds like a small thing, but it’s really important. I haven’t been very good about taking my vitamins ever since I ran out of my prescription prenatal vitamins several months ago. I’m vowing to make vitamins a part of my daily routine, even if it means I have to put a Post-It note on the bathroom mirror!

2) Stop counting calories. This is something I’ve been doing for a few years now. I feel like I have a good handle on nutrition now. The closest thing to junk food I eat is Kashi Go Lean Crunch and Clif Z Bars. I’m not going to lie though – I’m already failing at this resolution. Perhaps by the end of 2010 I’ll finally let go of this…

Cheers to New Years! 1 cup of unsweetened soymilk, 2 tbs of Nutribiotic rice protein powder, 1 packet of Truvia, 1 tbs cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of nonfat yogurt, ice

3) Get back to blogging! Even though life is busy with work, mommyhood, household chores, and more, it’s really important for me to take time to do some things I enjoy – like blogging! I think this past 6 weeks or so have been a great “time out” for me to figure out how to juggle all my priorities. I found that I really miss blogging regularly. Although I most likely still won’t be able to blog daily, I’m going to try to blog at least 2-3 times per week. Having a creative outlet like this allows me to de-stress and handle my daily priorities better.


All that being said, here are some things to look for from me in the next few days and weeks:

  • A long overdue POM Wonderful review – The nice folks at POM Wonderful sent me a package of 100% pure pomegranate juice about 6 weeks ago! (Thanks!!) I’ll share my thoughts soon.
  • Homemade baby food how-to – I’ll walk you through making baby food that’s both nutritious and cost-effective!
  • More tips for getting fit and staying fit at home – The end of January will mark 1 year since I last went to the gym! I used to be a gym rat, so it’s been quite the adjustment. Over the past year though, I’ve discovered that working out at home can be just as intense (if not more so) than going to the gym. Stay tuned…

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays! Fellow bloggers – expect more comments from me soon! 🙂