Prenatal Multi

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I’m very open in admitting that my first two pregnancies were not at all healthy. With Arianna, I was stressed out and lost weight, living on crackers and tacos between [nine-month] morning sickness. With Evan, I was in a happy place and ate and ate and ate my way to my heaviest weight through [nine-month] morning sickness. Taking a Prenatal Multi Vitamin just did not happen. I could not swallow or handle the taste of “horse pills”.

When Garden of Life offered to send me their Kind Organics Prenatal Multi (a whole food multivitamin that is naturally gluten free and has no GMOs), I decided to give them a try for this round of babymaking. I was surprised that I needed to take three vitamins to get my “fill” of daily needed vitamins (like A, B6, Iron, and more), but after reading all the organic foods (like carrot, parsley, lemon, beet, broccoli…over 30 fruits, veggies, and herbs) that go into it, it made sense to me. Yeah, the pills are big, but they look like chocolate and smell like berries. They aren’t that bad to swallow and do include a “Certified Organic Stomach Soothing Blend” that includes ginger and peppermint (both organic). And, the vitamins don’t have to be taken with food, so if mama isn’t feeling her best, she still can give them a try.

prenatal multi

Did you know some prenatals (this one!) can be used for pre-conception, pregnancy, and lactation? Yup. This multivitamin will help me keep up energy, develop the babies, and comfortably digest what I am eating (and I am eating this time around, healthy!).

If you’re expecting and are interested in giving the Kind Organics Prenatal Multi, or would like to see what other vitamins Garden of Life has to offer, check out the product list at organicmulti.com!

Healthy Fried Green Tomatoes

Remember the other night when I really wanted to share with you the post about our dinner? Thanks for holding out on me, because I think you will find it worth it. I present…

Healthy Fried Green Tomatoes

These were a hit in my family, and hopefully you’ll take a half an hour out of your summer and give them a try, too. For the record, I stress again that they were a hit because Greg did not like tomatoes at all when I met him. So much so, I couldn’t hold them down when I was pregnant with Evan. And I love tomatoes, y’all. (Have you met my other kid who plants cherry tomatoes just so she can eat them all summer long?) So trust me on the tomatoes. Here’s what I need you to do.

1. Take the family shopping. Truth be told, I much prefer the selection at our local Farmer’s Market to anything I’ve seen when it comes to green tomatoes. The harder, the better. Kudos to you if you are a gardener and have some handy. This mama just doesn’t have time for that! 

2. Slice the tomatoes sort of thick – about 3/8″ thick. We sliced up 2 to make plenty for our family of four.

3. Dip the slices in egg whites.

4. Dip the slices in a mixture of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, onion seasoning, and garlic seasoning with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.

5. Place the slices on a cookie sheet that you’ve sprayed with EVOO spray.

6. Pop them in a 425 degree oven for about 16 minutes, flipping them over at the half way point.

While you are waiting, you might as well prep some bacon and turn them into BLT’s. They are just fine to eat by themselves or with a little bit of tomato sauce on top, but there’s something magical about adding them to bacon, lettuce, and some cheese (bonus points if you can find “Thunderjack” at your local grocery store). Put them on wheat bread, and enjoy as we did.

You’re welcome.

And yes, Greg and I head upstairs to watch Fried Green Tomatoes when we were done. After he shared this photo to Facebook, of course. 🙂

Fried_Green_Tomatoes

A Newer Me

If you follow me on Facebook, I know some of you are probably like “oh, no. Not another Becky post”…

BUT I have to share the fillings my cup got last week, and that means more and more sharing from this shareaholic. More about my daily life (which isn’t always gravy, and you need to see that side of me). More about the kids (have you liked my blog Facebook page?). More about the bags and accessories I am obsessed with. More about the God who made me, molded me, and saved me (and proved to Greg Willis and I TWO TIMES yesterday that He has our back). And more about my fit life and, yup, weight loss and motivation for YOU to be the healthy you that’s right for you.

Anyways, I stopped posting my weight loss for a few reasons. People did get tired of it. Some may have been struggling themselves and couldn’t stand seeing my successes. And it humbled me, but made me lose something 99% of you have been…my AMAZING SUPPORT SYSTEM. So it is starting again.

I survived the holidays at my lowest. Got inspired again by my friend and Resting Place pal, Pam, and dropped a few pounds in January. Then, in February,  my work world changed. I sat in a war room every day until this week. It meant little steps.  Cafe. Pizza. Skipping meals. Getting home very late. Going in very early. Forgetting about ME. I luckily survived with a plateau at 174.

Recently, however, I became a Beachbody Coach for two reasons. One, I need my own accountability. If I tell someone how to be healthier, I need to be healthier. Two, I have inspired a lot of you and I HEAR YOU. LOSING WEIGHT AND FEELING GREAT IS NOT EASY. I want us all to be Thrivers (more on that soon!). I want all my loved ones around, and I know you all may not have the support and accountability my dietitian gave me. So, here I am. A coach.

A coach who lost 2.5 pounds almost immediately doing Piyo. A coach who skipped Piyo two days last week and still ran at Marathon Relay pace with no running in 4 weeks. TWICE. A coach that ate pizza, kicked back, had ice cream and cocktails then gained 4 pounds back last week. A coach who came home to a husband (who is also a coach if you are a guy and like nope…not going to a girl for advice) with a ton of energy and ab definition just from drinking Shakeology three days while I was gone…paired with pizza and chef boyardee. A coach who has lost 5 pounds since Monday and is SUPER proud to tell you she is 0.2 pounds from her low that hit before Aruba. A coach who used to teeter toward the 300 pound mark and is VERY close to hitting 50% weight loss.

Most importantly, tho, I am a Coach who wants to help and support you like you’ve done for me. So even if it is not jumping on my new venture, know I am here for you. That’s why you will see a newer me out there, at least on Facebook and Instagram.  And Twiiter? I’m coming back for you. Trust me. Loves yinz’all.

Need some inspiration or information?  Let’s talk. Comments, email, or any of the links above get you straight to my phone and into my heart.

image
Mama and the 'lil Burghers are part of a #FitFamily

Wheat Germ Recipes

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Remember the other day when I shared the benefits of wheat germ with you? Well, Kretschmer Wheat Germ was kind enough to share some recipes with me (to give you yinz). While we’re all on the “whoa, pigged out at 4th of July, time to get back in my summer shape” train (no? just me?), why not offer up some healthy options.

Black Bean, Wheat Germ and Mango Salsa

Source: Kretschmer.com

(full recipe is available here)

Ok, your mouth is watering, right? This recipe is a delicious addition to your taco nights. You take some mango, black beans, corn, and avocado…mix in the “secret ingredient” of wheat germ, and have yourself a yummy treat with a healthy boost. The recipe (above) makes 14 servings at 70 calories each…so while it’s healthy, don’t go eating the whole thing alone. Share. With me?

 

Summer Quinoa and Wheat Germ Salad

wheat germ salad
Source: Kretschmer.com

(full recipe is available here)

Whoa. Two superfoods together? Arugula? This is one of my personal heavens and would be the perfect dish for those hot summer nights when you just don’t feel like cooking anything. Have your quinoa prepped ahead of time and pop this in the fridge before work. I promise you that you’ll feel refreshed and happy with this salad.

 

Key Lime Tarts with Graham Cracker Crust

Key Lime Tarts
Source: Kretschmer.com

(full recipe is available here)

Shh. These treats may be delicious and healthy, but don’t get too addicted. They are 270 calories per saving (12 per recipe), but who doesn’t deserve some key lime goodness in their summer menu? I’ll just be indulging vicariously as you make these.

 

Thanks to Kretschmer for sending me great ideas for my summer cooking!

The Awesome Wheat Germ

*articles may contain affiliate links*

I know you’re all about to get your 4th of July on, so please don’t be all “you’ve jumped the Shark, Becky” on me. Ever since I started to eat healthier, my eyes have been opened to some really interesting and delicious foods that have either supplemented my meals or replaced the old addictions. Recently, I was able to add wheat germ to this list of yummy foods.

Wheat Germ
Source: Kretschmer.com

Before I was contacted to check out Kretschmer Wheat Germ, I had no idea what it was. This superfood (like flax and chia) can be used as a substitute in your favorite recipes to have various impacts on your nutrition. For instance, you can use it to lower your sodium and boost your protein (two of the biggest wins for me in my journey). There’s a really handy guide here that will help you discover the choices that are best for you and your family.

Studies show that wheat germ is great for athletes, expecting moms, kids, seniors, and healthy eaters. Below are five tips that were shared with me on the overall benefits of wheat germ. Happy, healthy eating!

Top 5 Overall Tips

  1. Energy: On the go? You need to keep your body fueled, and not with empty calories. Wheat germ is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to get the nutrients you need to fuel up or recharge.  It contains B vitamins, protein, carbs and healthy fats. Spike your smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal before running out the door.
  2. Bones, teeth, and tissues: Working with calcium to build strong bones and teeth, phosphorous is necessary for the growth, maintenance and repair of all tissues. Women can especially use a boost of phosphorus to assist calcium in keeping bones strong.
  3. Immunity: Wheat germ is a good source of zinc, a mineral your body uses for hundreds of functions, such as helping wounds heal and fighting off viruses – helping you avoid that nasty cold! Each serving of Kretschmer Wheat Germ contains 10% of your recommended daily value of zinc to keep you healthy.
  4. Slimming Down: When you’re cutting calories, wheat germ helps ensure you’re not also skimping on nutrients by delivering the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and fuller, longer. Sprinkle it on everything from cereals to soups to boost the vitamins and minerals, or use it to replace less nutrient-dense foods in cooking, like breadcrumbs.
  5. Antioxidants: Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps to protect cells and tissues from damage and may ward off certain diseases.

 

When you are looking for this product, it may be in your grocer’s cereal or baking aisle. If you are interested in this specific brand, head over to their store locator for a grocer near you.

Watch this page for great summer recipes using wheat germ! 

Experience Columbus: The Thriver’s Viewpoint

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

 

You guys. To tell you that this weekend was good would be a huge understatement. Unfortunately, it’s been what I’ve been telling people as they’ve asked me about it…because I am super tired and not really ready to be back into the real world (you know, the one where I work 8-12 hours a day, am training for who knows what run, and have a kindergartener). This post will be the first of several on how awesome our weekend was, and telling as to why it needs to happen with my ‘lil family more often.

First of all, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been on a three-year wellness journey. I want to be a thriver so I don’t have to say I am a survivor. During this journey, I’ve become focused on raising a happy and healthy family and building a better me. Secondly, you probably get the idea that I love food, and have to work hard to make a balance. So when I travel, I have to find ways to make these worlds work together. That’s why I do like to give a healthy spin on our trips (because otherwise, I’ll spend my time sick and have to work for weeks afterwards to reel it back in).

Here are the things that I did on this getaway to ensure this balance, my Thriver’s Viewpoint if you will:

 

1.    Pre-pack Snacks. I will be telling you about the snacks and meals consumed in another post, but I knew to stay on my schedule, I’d need to be prepared. That’s why I grabbed up healthy snacks for me (granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and bananas) and quick snacks for the kids while we were on the go and in the car. This made getting ready to head out for the days spent exploring the city.

2.    Keep on my exercise schedule. This meant getting up about an hour before my family did (they were so cute snoozing, it was tough!) and lacing up my shoes for a run both days. I wasn’t hard on myself, though. My pace slowed to over 12-minute miles because I was exploring things, taking pictures, and dealing with traffic lights. During these runs, I got to see minor details of the city that I would not have seen while juggling the kids. When I returned to breakfast, it made the amount of sausage consumed feel a bit better. I highly recommend runners check out the Scioto Mile while visiting Columbus and run along the river to see the sights I did along the way (see my photos below).

Running the Scioto Mile

3.    Wearing my FitBit. Between my running schedule and our walking around, it was easy to meet my step goal. At the same time, it was really nice to see how far we walked. The Zoo actually has a “HOOFit” Program that helps visitors meet their 10,000 step goal. If my steps around the zoo put me at over 8 miles walked, imagine how that felt on the ‘lil Burghers’ legs! Seeing the steps go up helped Greg and I adjust what we were putting the kids through and let us monitor break times. (More on why our steps were way over what the program shows will be in my post about the zoo!)

This fire station might be worth some extra steps...
This fire station might be worth some extra steps…

4.    Sleep. It’s easy on vacation to not rest, but this Mama needed it. Were we on our normal schedule? No. Did naps happen? No. But did I sleep when I needed it? Yes. Sometimes you just have to give in to the opportunities around you and rest.

Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.
Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.

5.    Hydrate. Our hotel had a fridge, but we didn’t realize that before our trip (lack of my research!). I wish we had brought a case of water, because we ended up spending the same amount on one bottled water out on our adventures as we would have if we’d bought a case. Lesson learned. But, hydration was necessary. I almost passed out at the zoo, thanks to the LOVELY heat wave we had, but it was too late to hydrate with water and I had to find some lemonade stat. (You might know that heavy feeling you can get with water when you’re dehydrated.) And keep the ‘lil ones hydrated, even if it means more trips to the bathroom. Just hope they don’t pull an Evan and have to go after you’ve been standing in line for an attraction for 40 minutes. *wink*

You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!
You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!

 

6.    Have Fun. This trip, I let go of the stress and really let myself shine. This just might have included a 10-minute session of jumping on the bed and giggling with the kids. It was proof that I need more time to be me and have fun!

More to come on what we loved about our trip, but hopefully these tidbits will give you thoughts about how to stick with a Thirver’s lifestyle while vacationing. Thank you, Experience Columbus, for giving us this opportunity.

Garden of Flavor: One Day Juice Cleanse

Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for this review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

I am sure some of you are here looking for my Pittsburgh Marathon weekend recap. Patience, my pretties. I owe this post big time…and had it written in my email weeks ago. Time to share it! Forgive the past tense references. 

Y’all. It’s been way too long since I have felt 100% myself. The birds are chirping, the temperature is closer to 100 than it is to -100 and relay training is tapering off. There’s a lot of joy and good in my life, but my body just doesn’t feel all caught up.

When I was asked to give Garden of Flavor  (a certified organic cold press juice company in Cleveland) a try, I was skeptical. “My nutritionist would never agree. I’ll just try the Mean Green”, I told the rep. By the time the gift card to buy the freshest juices possible came, my head and heart were in a different place.

Enter my one day juice cleanse with Garden of Flavor. It’s about to get mildly crunchy and personal here, so if you want to drop out now, do so after checking out www.GardenOfFlavor.com.

I’ve warned ya.

Let me start by saying I do not believe in quick fixes. Losing weight has been a lifelong struggle for me. My recent (is three years ago really that recent anymore?) journey to living well was in no way a quick fix (and I still have some pounds to go). That’s why I shied away from this in the first place. I would just get some greens to keep my antibodies up and healthy before a break from the office (well deserved, might I say). Reading a little bit on the 6 – pack, however, I changed my mind:

“The overall goal of cleansing is to help you feel better and more energized in part by ridding your body of impurities that many of us encounter on a daily basis.”

I may eat about 90% clean, but there are still impurities. And the fact that I cannot break a 5 month weight plateau tells me my body needed a sign. Hopefully this is it.

So, I went to the local store that carried the juices and found the six pack. I took some extra Mean Green Home and decided to try that first…to be sure my body wasn’t going to hate the juice. I set the day of my cleanse and anxiously waited, staring at the gorgeous juices in the days leading up to cleanse day.

Finally, the day arrived. I started my morning with some water with lemon essential oil (to help with the passing through the day). Breakfast without my normal coffee, protein, and whole grain was going to be tough. Once I cracked open the Goji Pineapple, everything was immediately better. I had some pineapple on the side in case I needed a munch. After two bites (and finishing all 16 ounces of my juice), I was way too full.

It didn’t take long for things to start flowing. Within 30 minutes, I needed the restroom, but not “oh, I should not have done this at work” needed. I made it In plenty of time and then sipped on more water (which resulted in another quick bathroom stop about 30 minutes later).

My normal morning snack is around 10, but I wasn’t hungry until 10:30. That’s when I gave the Cucumber Fresh juice a try. It was very fresh (the description of feeling like walking through a garden after rain is pretty much spot on). It just wasn’t enough for my body at that point. You see, I only had about half of my normal breakfasts worth of calories in me. Off to grab a banana I went (with another restroom stop).

Things were feeling good, but I was definitely hungry for lunch. Since I normally consume 1200 calories by the time I’ve had my last lunch bite, I was ready for some substance. In addition to my Mean Green (which I described to Greg as pretty much a bloody Mary without the vodka and lots of green) I enjoyed half an avocado and four watermelon cubes.

I went to get family haircuts, then came back home. Looking at Juice 4, I nodded YES, residing the description that began “Feeling beat?”. It really felt like naptime, but I got an energy boost from the mix of carrots, beets, and lemon in Twisted Roots. I’ve always been the kid who loves Easter for pickled beets and totally would have married Dwight to live on a beet farm, so this is not really a surprise that it was my favorite this far into the day.

At this point, it was 3:00. To recap, I didn’t spend the day on the toilet, but visited twice for the “real deal” and 4 others for basic pee stops. Things felt normal, and although I had cold hands, circulation felt improved.

The “bulkier” of the juices was next. White Knight was packed with protein and served me well for a 5:30 dinner. It was a bit chunky at the end, so I recommend doing some serious shaking of it before consuming. It might look chalky, but it’s not. It’s similar to a vanilla milkshake, and dare I say as good as if not better than some of the protein shakes I drink.

I needed to spread these calories out for my body’s sake, but I was starving again by 7:00. The Tumeric Tonic brought a nice kick to the end of my day. The Lemonade + Cayenne Pepper was a sweet and spicy kick. It had to be what really got things moving in me, because I was quickly in the restroom then ready for bed by 9:00.

And by ready for bed, I mean GET AWAY FROM ME AND LET ME BE ready for bed. I was grumpy mc grumperson. Greg agreed that I should go to bed, and I did.

When I woke up on Saturday, I felt refreshed and clean. The scale showed I was down exactly three pounds (and no inches). While I’d love to say “and it stayed off”, I can’t. The next day was Easter on which we traveled, so I didn’t weigh myself until this past Friday (in the midst of carb loading for the marathon relay and was right back up the 3 pounds).

Would I do it again? Maybe. I’m not sold that juicing is for me. But integrating juices and using them to get in my daily fruits and veggies? Uh, YES YES YES. Garden of Flavor has my heart.

One Day Juice Cleanse

Blogger Swap: Pulled Pork Fajita Burritos

Today’s post comes from Jennifer of Firecracker, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Firecracker, where I am sharing my “Top 5 Places Along the Pittsburgh Marathon Course”.

Hey everyone! My name’s Jennifer and I write over at my own blog, Firecracker. I’m so glad to be here posting for Becky today as part of the Pittsburgh Blogger Swap!

Today I’m going to be sharing a versatile, simple pulled pork recipe that makes my life a heck of a lot easier on a million different levels. First, it’s a time-saver, and with how busy everyone is these days, who can’t appreciate that?  You can easily make it ahead and stash it away for later, or you can prep parts of it and throw it together whenever you get a chance. Second, it’s a chameleon: you can make a bunch of different dishes with it–it’s only limited by your imagination. Quesadillas? Check. Sandwiches? Check. Salad? You bet. (Today I’m making a burrito, but really, your options are limitless.) Third, you can eat it and feel good about it: it’s a healthy, well-rounded meal with tons of protein and as many veggies as you want.

The star of the show is the barbecue sauce. I’m not ashamed to say that my husband and I were about ready to drink this stuff right out of the mixing bowl (and maybe we kind of did…ahem). It’s tangy and vinegary with a touch of sweetness, but you could always adjust levels of brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar to suit your tastes. Don’t omit the tomato paste, though: that’s where it gets its thicker texture.

Go for a leaner cut of pork, like pork loin—not tenderloin; that tends to be a little more expensive and not as large. You could always use beef or chicken if you prefer. Heck, I bet this would even be great with tofu if that’s more your style—skip the slow cooker, though; just marinate and sear. The brown sugar will make the sauce caramelize beautifully.

 

One thing I suggest, though, is adding additional seasonings after the slow cooker’s worked its magic. In my experience, even though it’s a super convenient way to feed your family, the slow cooker has a way of making things bland.

Another thing that’s great about this: the quantities can be adjusted up or down to serve however many people you’re feeding. You’re really just limited to the side of your slow cooker. When I made this, I cut my pork loin in half and stuck just a little over a pound of it into my tiny slow cooker, producing enough for five super-stuffed burritos.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite South Hills restaurants, Mexi-Casa. Ever been there? All I have to say is…GO. Now. Get queso. Personally, I have dreams about their pulled pork fajita burrito. However…inhaling that entire one-pound monster—not to mention the obligatory margaritas—isn’t the most health-conscious of moves, so at least I can make this at home and feel good about it!

Oh, and just a note: the ingredient list looks intimidating, but there’s a lot of spices/simple stuff in there.  Also, I’m the kind of cook who tends to throw things together haphazardly.  Some measurements are approximate, so just taste as you go!

Pulled Pork Fajita Burritos

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  •  About 1lb. pork loin
  • 1 large onion, split
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2T apple cider vinegar
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 2T tomato paste
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • 1T dijon or brown mustard
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • squirt or sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)
  • optional: cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • healthy dash of garlic powder
  • healthy dash of onion powder
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • a few handfuls romaine lettuce, spinach, or any green you have on hand
  • 5 sliced havarti cheese (sharp cheddar works well, too)
  • 5 large whole wheat tortillas (I love the 100 calorie whole wheat ones from La Tortilla Factory)
  • a few handfuls of chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
  • optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or queso

Directions:

  1. Make your barbeque sauce: combine the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, salt, paprika, sriracha, and cayenne (if using). Whisk together until smooth.
  2. Roughly slice half of the onion and lay it in the bottom of your slow cooker. Put the pork on top, then cover in barbeque sauce. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.
  3. When the meat is finished, shred it using two forks, then add cumin, coriander, garlic and onion powders and toss well to combine. Remove meat from cooker and set aside.
  4. Slice your bell peppers and onions into thin strips. Heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat; add the vegetables and begin to saute until softened. Take your time: if things start to burn, turn the heat down. Halfway through the cooking process, add some salt and pepper.
  5. Build your burritos: layer the cheese and lettuce on your tortilla. At this point, the pork should have cooked off enough that it won’t rip right through the tortilla. Top with pork, pepper and onion mixture, sliced tomato, and a good bit of cilantro. Roll everything up and serve with a side of sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or queso. Enjoy!

 

 

Pure Protein

Disclaimer: I received product(s) in exchange for a blog review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Did you know I’m back to training for (almost) a half marathon? Yup, this spring, I’m going to be running home in Pittsburgh in the last two legs of the Marathon Relay. What’s protein have to do with it? A whole lot.

Following a workout, the body needs some help repairing muscles and cells. This is normal and natural, but protein helps make that easier on the body. Additionally, it helps keep your metabolism going long after the workout.

After a run, the first thing I grab is something with protein. Lots and lots of grams of it. But when I get to add sweet to it? HUGE bonus. That’s where Pure Protein comes into my plan.

According to their website,

Pure Protein® is the nutritious protein solution for those living an active lifestyle.

You can read up more (as well as find where to buy their products) on their website: http://www.pureprotein.net/. Or, you can stick around and read about the three products I got to taste test!

Pure Protein

 

First up, you know I had to try the Double Chocolate Vanilla Crunch protein bars. These were like eating a candy bar, only much better for you. They are soft, yet have a crunch. And the chocolate tastes real, no faking around here.

The Pure Protein High Protein Bar with Greek Yogurt Style Coating (Strawberry) were a flavorful addition to my day. There are strawberry bits inside (super tasty) and were so smooth going down (thank you to the green yogurt “glaze” on top).

And the shake in Cookies and Creme was, to me, better than sucking down a milkshake and much more flavorful than chocolate milk (a runner’s favorite). In fact, I’m drinking one now as I write this (post run).

What I love about these three Pure Protein offerings is that all three filled me up and fit into my lifestyle. When I had to take runs at the gym, I could just toss them in my bag and go. They’re great for throwing in my lunch bag as a snack, too.

So, you don’t work out and are like, “who cares!”??? Well, we all can benefit from protein, young or old, active or not. Seriously. If you add a little bit of protein to every meal, you’ll not only see results, but be less hungry and have more energy to handle your day. (These aren’t medical facts that I read somewhere, they are my real life experience talking). Both my kids and husband like the benefits of protein, too. Greg was elated when I offered to share a bar with him, and Evan LOVES the smell of the Cookies and Cream shake (but sorry honey, Mama’s not sharing this one!).

Have questions about the three products I tried? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back at ya (or find someone who can help out with other questions).

Pure Protein
Source: Pure Protein

5 Ways to Have a Heart

I am not going to lie. Greg scared me a bit last night. He indulged in a dinner meant to be shared among three friends. Coming from a family with a history of heart disease, I wasn’t thrilled and let him know he is gross. Between that and it being American Heart Month, I thought blogging about heart was a great idea tonight. 

Did you know? February is American Heart Month. I don’t want to be a statistic – and I want the people around me to be here, too. Because of that, I wanted to share five ways you can have a heart during the month of February – and it’s not just about raising money. Awareness is a big way you can support this cause.

1. Recommit to Better Health. President Obama asked Americans to do this when he proclaimed February 2014 as not only Heart Month, but the 50th anniversary of this month-long awareness. The President (and I) encourage you to “take ownership of our heart health and commit to positive lifestyles, this month and throughout the year”. Okay – I know. It’s not easy. But the first step, getting out of your seat and taking a quick walk from room to room is a start. If you think the last two years of my journey have been easy, you’re wrong. But I put my mind to it, and decided to be here for my kids.

2. Save a Life. Do you know how to do CPR? Personally, I think every adult should know how to do it. While I may freeze up under pressure of seeing someone sick, I do know CPR (am CPR/AED Certified) and would use it. You never know when you might need to save someone’s life, so being trained is a great first step.

Bonus points – know the warning signs of a Heart Attack or Stroke. I hate to admit, but I had to look these up for myself on Christmas Day. That’s scary stuff, people. 

Double bonus points – be sure your kids know how to call 911 for help. Practice it with a play phone!

3. AdvocateOr at least keep informed. Maybe writing to politicians is not your thing,  but being educated about the decisions being made for our hearts is kinda a big deal. “Like” the “You’re the Cure” Facebook page today.

4. Wear Red on Friday, February 7. It’s National Wear Red Day. You don’t need any special merchandise, just something red. I just learned from the Go Red for Women site that Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined – that’s a tough statistic to hear. Get the conversation going about why you chose to wear red.

Bonus points – Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram a #RedSelfie or #GoRedChallenge on Friday!

5. Share the cause. Maybe you’ll ask a friend to work out with you or you’ll send someone to check out the Heart website. Maybe you’ll share this site, or perhaps you’ll talk to your dad about how you don’t want him to pass away while your kids are still young. Maybe you’ll put up a status or tweet honoring or remembering someone in your life who fought heart disease. Awareness is crucial, and even the smallest tidbits have a big impact. Anything helps!

Information in this post was found just by checking out the American Heart Association’s webpage. You can do the same and learn more tips by visiting http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/. This post is out of my own HEART to help spread awareness. <3

Source: American Heart Association Facebook