Tag Archives: product review

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!!

Advertisements

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!

*******************************************************************

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

*******************************************************************

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?!

3 Weeks and Counting…

Well, it’s official – we are moving back to New England in 3 weeks!! There’s so much to be done… Thinking about all the little things I have to do kept me from sleeping soundly last night.

I was up around 6:15 this morning. I knew it was going to be a scorcher, but it was only in the mid-50s when I got up so I had my usual hot breakfast.

Oat bran with cinnamon, vanilla, banana, raisins, flaxseed, and walnuts with 1/2 cup of egg white + 1 whole egg

Oat bran with cinnamon, vanilla, banana, raisins, flaxseed, and walnuts with 1/2 cup of egg white + 1 whole egg

After I ate my breakfast, I checked my e-mail and was pleasantly surprised to find I had received an e-mail from a company regarding a job I applied to online over the weekend. I have a a phone interview tomorrow morning. Woohoo! 😀

Mid-morning, my stomach felt a little off, so I tried to calm it with a small piece of sprouted grain toast with a little Earth Balance spread.

A tiny end piece!

A tiny end piece!

Lunch was simple: turkey, mustard, and lettuce on a chewy Flat Out wrap.

blog 028

I took the baby up to see my hubby at work around noon. We went on a nice hour-long walk while we were there. It was hot, but I had a home-brewed iced coffee on my way.

blog 029

I stopped at the supermarket on my home to get a couple things. While I was there, I grabbed a packet of Jay Robb vanilla egg white protein powder. (They’ve been on sale for a while now.) When I got home, I made one of these:

Vanilla-Banana Protein Shake

Vanilla-Banana Protein Shake made with almond milk

I also grabbed a Cashew Cookie Larabar at the store. (These have also been on sale for quite a long time.) I’ve read so many rave reviews on other blogs about this flavor, but they’re always sold out at the supermarket. But today, it was there – one lone Cashew Cookie. It was meant to be!

blog 031

I’ve got to say…this was kind of a let down. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t live up to the hype for me. I didn’t have nearly as much flavor as the Apple Pie or Banana Bread or the Chocolate Coconut Chew (I can’t decide which of these is my favorite!).

Somewhere in between chugging my protein shake and devouring my Larabar, I hopped on my Spinning bike for a 30 minute ride.

Before I get to my dinner description, I must confess that I also consumed a few handfuls of Fiber One cereal and some more raisins during various trips into the kitchen this afternoon! I’m looking forward to actually leaving the house for work sometime soon so I won’t do the all day snacking anymore!

I kept it simple for dinner – grilled chicken (on the Foreman) with green beans. I wanted to bake the chicken, but it was too hot. I didn’t want to turn the oven on!

blog 032

I decided I needed a little more flavor, so I ended up pouring a little low-sodium soy sauce over my veggies and chicken.

Dessert was light and summery – kiwi and strawberries.

blog 033

My interview is at 9 am tomorrow. Wish me luck! 🙂

**Check out the Amazing Grass giveaway over at Missy Maintains!

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.

blog 034

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.

blog 035

blog 036

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!

blog 037

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.

blog 038

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!

blog 039

blog 040

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.

******************************************************

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! 🙂

Review: Sonny and Joe’s Hummus

Yesterday I received a wonderful package from the nice folks at Sonny and Joe’s – 5 varieties of hummus and 1 container of babaganoush to sample. Thank you Sonny and Joe’s!

Tower of Hummus!

Tower of Hummus!

When the FedEx man dropped off the package, I promptly ripped it open, took out some Mary’s Gone Crackers and some baby carrots and happily started sampling. Here’s what I thought:

  • Hot Enough Hummus – Hummus with Hot Peppers: One word – SPICY! And I love me some spicy food! It wasn’t “Oh my God, my face is on fire” hot; it was just hot enough – just like it says! I really started off with a bang. This was the first one I tried and it ended up being my favorite. I had it on a cracker, but I think it would be great on bread. The bread would counteract a little of the spiciness.
  • Garlic Addiction – Hummus with Garlic: As soon as I took the lid off this one, I knew I was going to like it. It had loads of minced garlic on top and a drizzle of olive oil. It was a garlic lover’s dream! I’m always one to double up on the garlic in my recipes, so it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
  • Jalapeno Hummus – Hummus with Jalapeno Peppers: I was expecting this one to be super hot, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it and found it to be more sweet than anything else. Don’t get me wrong – it still has some bite to it. This is a great dip for crackers, or even tortilla chips.
  • Hummus Galilee – Hummus with Galilee Olives: This hummus is so rich! It has green and black olives gathered in the center, and mixed throughout. I loved the taste, but I think I could only eat a small amount in one sitting.
  • Just Hummus – Chickpea Spread: You can’t go wrong with classic hummus! This one certainly did not disappoint. It has a flavorful mixture of spices sprinkled on top. You could spread this on anything – wraps, sandwiches, crackers, you name it! Mmm, mmm, good!
  • Babaganoush – Eggplant Spread: In all honesty, this one was definitely my least favorite. The second ingredient on the list is mayonnaise, and I could definitely taste it. I do think I would use this on a sandwich though, but I probably won’t be dipping any more crackers or carrots in it.

Overall impression: Definitely the most gourmet and most flavorful hummus I have ever had! They are all so smooth and creamy, which I loved. (I have food texture issues which actually used to keep me from eating hummus at all. Crazy, I know!)

I encourage you to visit Sonny and Joe’s blog to find out where you can buy their hummus! I guarantee you’ll love it!