This past week has been an absolute whirlwind – between running 17+ miles for my half marathon training, I picked up another yoga class to teach on Sunday, booked my flights for March (Florida & NYC!!!), had a long-overdue christmas party at my apt with my family, tried flotation therapy, and became a wine & cheese expert. Don’t worry, I got some sleep in there!
First off – Family came over to celebrate a late Christmas since my Sister and her husband were in town. Insert: pizza, lots of wine, more wine, presents, drunk baking and opening presents! It’s always fun when my mom and all of my siblings get together – we are all goofballs.
Saturday I ran 5 miles with my MIT group – and met a few new friends in the 9:15 pace group. I am seriously loving training so far! Slowing down my pace while training has made running so.much.more.enjoyable. I don’t mind running the miles, and the speedwork on Wednesday’s is so much fun! Big shout out to Nikki for inspiring me to join 🙂
Early Afternoon run in the rain!
(Side note – if you would like to support my run by donating to St Jude, you can find my fund page here. Every cent helps, and your support is so much appreciated!!)
After my run, I went home and showered before heading to Whole Foods with my cousin. She had some amazing blueberry wine, and we decided to build a cheese board and make an afternoon out of it!
After chatting with the Whole Foods cheese dept, we bought a bunch of different cheeses and curated an amazing cheese board to go with the wine – I was in a food coma for basically the rest of the night!
Yes, that is all amazing cheese-that slice in the middle that looks like cake? Yep -baked lemon ricotta cheese that is literally life changing.
After going to bed at 9:30 Saturday (I am such a grandma on the weekends these days!), I taught my first back-to-back yoga class Sunday morning – and can you believe it, my 8 am class was still BOOKED (over 40 people!), while the added 9:30 class only had about 20 people. (Personally, I would have slept in for an extra 1.5 hours ;))
I loved teaching both classes – the energy is so different based on the size – bigger is more fun, more laughs, and much, much less space. A smaller class is a little less loud, but I can give more one-on-one attention, which I love! Teaching yoga has been such a (wonderful) surprise for me – I never in a million years thought I would teach again (I taught gymnastics in college, but that’s very, very different!). It’s taught me to face a lot of fears, and while I still get nervous teaching my classes, it has helped me grow, be more creative, and get out of my comfort zone 🙂
After my second class, I rushed over to try Flotation Therapy – which is basically floating in a salt-water filled tank in complete darkness & silence for an hour. I know what you are thinking… WHY?! For a few reasons – It’s a form of meditation, for one. It’s great for relaxation & reducing stress, and increases healing time for any type of injury (seriously wish I knew about this post-ACL surgery!)… I also bought a groupon, which means it was half the cost of a normal session. You can read more about the benefits here.
Hallway to the Float rooms
Post-Float area with hair dryers, lotion, etc.
You need to arrive 30 minutes before the appointment to sign a waiver, watch a short video, then are given a tour of the treatment area.
After showering, you put in ear plugs and enter the tank. It’s a really weird feeling, because you are literally floating on water without being held up by anything (in 10 inches of water). BTW – that pod is actually HUGE in person – There was room for 2-3 of me!
After my 1-hour session, I felt a little off-kilter once I stepped out of the pod to shower – kind of like stepping off of an elevator, but it lasted for 5-10 minutes. After that, I felt fine and relaxed. Followed up with 15 minutes of oxygen therapy & tea, I felt like I could nap for hours!
It’s actually pretty pricey – $80/session – or $300 for 3-6 months, or something like that. I kind of wish groupon offered a package deal of 3-6 sessions, as you are supposed to notice the difference after 3+ floats. I am going to see how I feel in the next few days, and MAYBE go again (If I win the lottery and have a ton of extra money to spend on floating in salt water ;)).
So that’s been my past week – this week, I need to begin packing for my weekend in San Francisco! Packing for 2 days of nothing but yoga workshops at the Yoga Journal Event, plus 3+ days to explore the city.
So what’s everyone else been up to? What’s your favorite cheese/wine pairing? And have you ever tried flotation therapy?
To prep for my upcoming trip to Europe, I’ve been stashing up on snacks and protein bars to bring with me. For the days that I will be walking around a lot, working out, unable to find food right away, I need snacks on hand to tide me over. Insert: Exo Protein Bars! For those of you who are a little more adventurous, these bars are made out of cricket protein powder. Yep, you read that right. Crickets.
Now before you stop reading and swear on your dead body that you would NEVER eat a bug, let me drop a little knowledge on you about the greatness of these bars:
- the percentage of protein used in these bars is almost 2-6 times more than any other protein source
- crickets are a complete protein source
- crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases than cows
- raising crickets is dramatically less harmful than raising traditional livestock – see the info chart below!
So are you sold on trying them yet? If not, below is my own personal review – and let me tell you, I was a bit freaked out at first to eat bugs 😉
Exo sent me 4 bars to try:
Peanut Butter & Jelly
I originally thought blueberry would be my favorite – however, the Peanut Butter & Jelly and the Cocoa nut ended up being my favorite! The blueberry & Apple cinnamon bars tasted a little earthy – I liked that the other 2 bars had a more prominent flavor. When I first tried these bars, I was definitely thinking a few things: OMG. I am eating crickets. Are these going to be crunchy? OMG this is gross.
After taking a few bites, I realized that it wasn’t so bad. The crickets are washed, dried to remove the moisture, then milled into fine flour. The result is slightly nutty-tasting flour that is high in protein and micronutrients (source). I think the only issue with these bars is the mental hurdle – the fact that you are eating bugs. If someone handed me this bar without telling me it was made with crickets, I would have thought it was just a tasty protein bar. And – if you need any more convincing – a few of my girlfriends tried these bars with me, and they gave a thumbs up!
So – after reading my reviews, I know you all are just itching to try these bars… especially you adventurous, paleo, backpacking, planet-saving people of the earth! Exo has 1 box of PB&J bars to give away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is 1) 1) Follow my blog and 2) tell me why you want to try these bars! Enter at the link below, and leave your response in the comments below. Rafflecop will randomly choose a winner by the end of Monday, 9/7 @ 11:59 pm ET. I can’t wait to read everyone’s response!
**This contest is now closed… The winner is Linda R! Congrats!
Click here to be entered into the EXO Protein Bar Giveaway!
**The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
More experimenting in the kitchen! I ordered banana flour on amazon, but unfortunately, I couldn’t wait to make this bread before it came in. So stay tuned for some fun recipes in the near future!
One of my favorite things to eat is banana bread. Normally topped with peanut butter, with a side of chocolate milk, but that’s only when I get a little too crazy on the weekends 😉 This is moist, delicious, and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Just take a look at the close up of this deliciousness!
Paleo Banana Coffee Bread
Banana Bread Ingredients:
- 3-4 brown bananas, mashed
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup + 2 TBSP coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup nut butter (i used almond – I bet peanut butter would be amazing!)
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4-1/3 cup honey (or any other type of sugar)
- mini chocolate chips (optional – i used enjoy life)
- 3 tbsp almond flour
- 1/3 cup ghee (or butter) (put in fridge so its cold!
- 1/4 cup of honey (or any other type of sweetener)
- 1/4 cup coffee
- 1/3 cup crushed walnuts
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together (spices, flour) for the banana bread & set aside. Mix wet ingredients for banana bread together, then add in the dry ingredients. Pour into a greased bread pan (or line with parchment paper). Mix the topping ingredients together (cut the dry ingredients in with the butter/ghee), then sprinkle on top of bread. [Also optional – sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of bread before placing in oven] Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Serve warm, topped with nut butter & chocolate chips with a side of chocolate milk. Enjoy!
I apologize for the delay… Catching up from being out of the country last week!
The winner of the RX Bar giveaway is… Jordan D! You are the winner of an RX bar sample 10 pack of all 5 flavors! Congrats! RX bar will be contacting you via email to gather your information. Enjoy your bars!
To everyone else who entered the giveaway – THANK YOU!! I love hearing from my readers and connecting with others who share a love of eating yummy food! Also – its pretty cool that it’s not just my mom that reads my blog 😉 (love you mom!)
Thanks again for participating in my first every giveaway… more to come in the next few months!
Hi Loves! A few weeks ago, RX Bar sent me a box of their protein bars to try – and they did not disappoint! For those of you who follow a Paleo lifestyle or have completed a whole30 before – these are apparently lifesavers. Since they only contain a minimal amount of ingredients (nuts, egg white protein, figs, dates), they are great for those with a food allergy or a limited diet. With my upcoming trip, I was looking for a good protein bar to take with me, and I think I have found The One. I have been eating these pre & post-workout, and they give me a ton of energy… with NO stomach issues! It’s incredibly hard to find a good quality protein bar that doesn’t upset my stomach, and RX Bar has nailed it.
I was able to try all of their flavors – I tried them all out in the order that I thought I would like the best. Surprisingly, blueberry was my favorite! It wasn’t too sweet, and the texture wasn’t as sticky as the other flavors. Peanut butter was my next favorite flavor – the texture was a little sticky, but the little bits of peanuts & flavor were spot-on. Apple Cinnamon – it wasn’t bad by any means, I am just not really a fan of apples. However, if you are into the apple-cinnamon taste with a little bit of cider flavoring, you would love this! Coffee Cacao – I actually ate this first, thinking it would be the best tasting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a flavor to it at all, and it got stuck to my teeth a lot. It had a sticky/gummy-like consistency to it, and it got a little messy when eating it (think sticky fingers & nothing nearby to wash my hands). It wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t my favorite. Last but not least: Coconut Cacao. I don’t really eat anything coconut, so this really surprised me. There was only a hint of coconut, and there was a nice crunch from the almond pieces. Also – there are chocolate chips in this bar, so it’s kind of hard not to like 😉 Sooooo after trying all of these DELICIOUS bars, I contacted RX Bar to see if they would like to share some of their amazing goodness with a giveaway… and they have a sample 10 pack of all 5 flavors for one lucky winner! All YOU need to do is 1) Follow my blog and 2) Comment on this post telling me what you think your favorite flavor might be and why you want these protein bars in your belly! A winner will be randomly chosen 1 week from today… so enter at the link below and comment away! 🙂 Click here to be entered into the RX Bar giveaway! **The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
If you are looking for a more “healthy” rice crispy treat, look no more. These treats have dried fruit in them… which, by my definition, makes them healthy 🙂 You can add any type of fruit – I made 1 batch and split into 2 – with dried strawberries & blueberries. These are perfect for spring… or just to make for a special treat!
Rice Crispy Treats with Dried Fruit Dipped in White Chocolate
6-8 Cups Rice Crispy Cereal
1/3 cup of chopped up dried strawberries (I used steves paleogoods & chopped up into tiny pieces)
1/3 cup of dried blueberries (i used steves paleogoods)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 TBSP butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows (or tall jar of marshmallow fluff)
1/2 tsp salt
white chocolate chips
Melt butter in a large pot on low heat – about 3-4. When the butter is melted down into liquid, add in the marshmallows/marshmallow flluff. Stir until all marshmallows are melted down and add in vanilla & salt. Once all is mixed together, add in the cereal, about 2 cups at a time. Keep adding the cereal until you have a nice consistency – if it’s too runny, add a little extra cereal until the marshmallows have covered the rice crispies evenly.
Remove the mixture from the pot & split into 2 bowls. Add in the dried strawberries in one bowl and mix well. Add in the dried blueberries in the second bowl and mix well. Press each mixture into a separate 8×8 greased (i used butter to grease) glass pan. I wet my hands with water so that the mixture didn’t stick to my hands when molding the treats into the pan. Place in fridge for 30-60 minutes, or until the rice crispy treats have hardened up. Once ready, take out of fridge and cut into desired pieces – I cut into rectangles. Place on parchment paper.
For the white chocolate: put white chocolate chips in a double broiler until melted down. Dip rice crispy treats and cover with desired amount of chocolate. Place on parchment paper – top with sprinkles, if you are feeling adventurous ;).Let set until chocolate has hardened (or put in fridge to harden faster). Enjoy!
Check out my other rice crispy recipes below:
Peanut-Butter & Banana Rice Crispy Treats Dipped in Chocolate
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Rice Crispy Treats