Tag Archives: healthy food

Grazing!

25 Feb

This review is a LONG time in coming!

graze

I’ve been dying to share the Graze box with you, but due to some technical difficulties,  I have been unable to do so. Luckily, it allowed for me to more thoroughly review the customer service of the company!

I ordered Graze back at the beginning of this month, by getting an invitation code from a friend. It seemed like a perfect match! Graze is a subscription style box, which charges you $5/week. You get one box shipped to you each week, which has 4 snacks inside. You can choose between the standard box or the light box, depending on your caloric needs, but even the standard snacks are healthy, albeit a bit more calorically dense.

I went with the light box, and I waited patiently for my first box….which never arrived. I did get a nice email from the company saying that the weather woes early in the month were causing some delays, so I held off on contacting them.

Once a couple weeks had gone by, and I still hadn’t received my box, I contacted Graze. They were very kind, and they said that my box definitely should have arrived, and they credited my account for a free box. They told me to keep my eyes peeled for my second box, which was due to arrive any day, and to contact them again if it didn’t come.

Well, to make a long story short, it didn’t come in the time period that they allotted. I waited until after President’s Day to contact them (because no mail), and they once again credited my account for a free box. They also asked if they could change my mailing address to my work address, which I did.

Then, to my surprise I got my box on Saturday! Woo hoo!

graze

I got 4 snacks in my box.

1) Korean chili rice crackers

2) Tropical Daiquiri dried fruit

3) Bounty Hunter (dried cranberries, chocolate drops and shredded coconut)

4) Toffee Apple (dried apples with toffee dipping sauce)

All of my snacks were really yummy! You can see much better photos of the snacks I got here. There are so many snacks on the site I’d love to try, so hopefully I’ll get a new selection next time.

By far my favorite snack was the Tropical Daiquiri dried fruit. It had pineapple, lime raisins and green mango. Typically, I’m not a huge raisin fan, but lime-infused raisins are a different story! They are amazing! The Korean chili rice crackers were also really delicious, and had a spicy kick that I really enjoyed.

So, here is my unbiased review of the Graze box:

The snacks were yummy, and it was really fun getting mail! I had a great experience with Customer Service when I had a problem, and the packaging is pretty. However, I’m not really sure the box is worth $5/week. They call it a “week’s worth of snacks”, but really it’s more like 2 days worth. I guess you could stretch it out to 4 days worth, if you supplement with fresh fruit, but it’s definitely not a week’s worth of snacks. I could spend $5 on a bag of trail mix that would last a month. However, I’m glad I signed up. I got a promotion that my first and 5th box were free, so it will be fun to try out a few boxes, but I’ll most likely cancel after my fifth week.

If you’d like to give Graze a try (it’s by invitation only at this point in time), here’s an invitation code for you: LK612JZ. (EDIT: Oops! Just realized that this invite code is one time use only, sorry! I’m working on getting you all a working invite code) Your first box is free, so it may be fun to at least try it!

Question of the Day:
Do you have any subscription services that you love? 

Mondays Get a Bad Rap

28 Jan

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always give Monday the benefit of the doubt.

Waking up to that alarm after two days of waking up naturally is a bummer. Getting out of my warm bed and into the shower, rushing around to get breakfast ready for everyone, pets included, and going out into the cold to head to work for 8 hours after 2 days of doing whatever I want — not fun.

And, also, Mondays are always especially hard at work. Work has built up over the weekend (my workplace is open 7 days a week, so even when I’m not here over the weekend, something ends up on my desk), and there is always a lot of stuff to catch up on.

Here are the 3 things that are making me ready to tackle this Monday, and subsequent week, with a smile:

1. A yummy breakfast: 

breakfast

This weekend wasn’t the best for healthy eating. I tried to stay on track, but I had a few extra beers and a few less-than-perfect meals. Oh well. Loading up on fruit and a bit of whole grains should make up for it. I packed a banana, some yogurt, the bagel and the apple, but I found some leftover fruit in the fridge at work from a program this weekend. Melon isn’t exactly in season, but it was still yummy.

2. A great weekend with friends! 

Zach and I had a great weekend. We got to hang out with friends a lot, and he and I had some great quality time together. It was fabulous 🙂

Zach enjoying a lazy double cat Saturday morning.

Zach enjoying a lazy double cat Saturday morning.

3. A good weekend of fitness! 

Although I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, I did manage to get some fitness in. I went to my very first Crossfit class ever! Here was the WOD:

8 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible):
15 Wall Balls
15 Kettlebell Swings
15 ring pull ups

…8 minutes? That’s it!? Uh, yeah, that was the most intense 8 minutes of my life. The class started out with some intense foam rolling and stretching that my legs definitely needed, then we moved on to learning form with deadlifts. Finally, it was time to do the WOD. My AMRAP? 2. Yep, only 2. But that’s 30 Wall Balls, 30 Kettlebell Swings, and 30 ring pull ups (modified) in 8 minutes. I’m pretty proud of myself, and boy was I sore the next day!

Yesterday, I spent most of the day helping Courtney set up for the Bridal Expo, and attending it myself (I’ll talk more about that in my Wedding Wednesday post this week). Since I didn’t want to spend 7 hours at the Expo, after I helped with set-up, paid my admission and scoped out the vendors, I went home for lunch. When it was about an hour before ending time, I put on my running clothes and went for a run around town, ending at the Civic Center. I helped Courtney and her partner Mark break down their table and then finished my run, ending up at a Yoga for Runner’s class at Studio 8 yoga. I’m not going to go much into that class, because while it was a great class, they were having their one year anniversary and the class was much too packed for my liking. I got there early so I ended up with my mat smack dab in the middle of the studio, packed with other yogis like sardines around me, with no escape route. That really got my anxiety level up, so I didn’t quite enjoy my practice like I usually do.

However, my run put at 14 miles for the week, and 49.62 for the month of January so far. That means I only have to run .4 miles before February 1st to reach my 50 mile goal for the month! Hooray!

This past week's mileage.

This past week’s mileage.

Also, I’m looking forward to my next Crossfit class, tomorrow at 6:15 AM!

There you go! The top 3 reasons I’m not going to let this Monday bring me down!

Question of the Day:
How are you going to avoid letting Monday bring you down? 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday!

12 Dec

As I type this, I’m on hold with Customer Service, because I ordered some Christmas gifts from a website and accidentally didn’t change the shipping address to my parent’s house (where I will be starting the 22nd!)

I try my hardest to avoid going to stores (other than local businesses) because I hate the crowds, but apparently calling Customer Service is just as bad! I’ve been sitting on the phone for close to 20 minutes now!

On to the post! I thought I’d do another WIAW, this time the right way (I documented yesterday’s eats)!

WIAWbutton

After the oatmeal debacle of last week, I’ve been back to eating eggs for breakfast:

IMAG0789

..plus a piece of sausage and half of a whole-wheat bagel with neufchatel. I really think that the Kroger brand 100% whole wheat bagels are the best. Have you had them?

Lunch yesterday was so so good. I had some manager’s special Brussels Sprouts in my fridge that needed to be cooked, so I sauteed them and half a sweet potato in some oil. I put it on top of some leftover rice from our taco night the other night, and squirted a ton of Sriracha all over it:

2012-12-11 12.20.33

It was a huge, delicious and healthy lunch! Win! I followed it up with a Kind of Healthy cookie! This lunch really powered  me through the afternoon. I usually get a huge case of the 3 pm munchies, but I was pretty satisfied all afternoon. I did munch on an apple around 4:30, because Zach had a haircut after work and I knew dinner would be a little later.

We had burger night for dinner! It’s one of my favorite nights (I think Zach agrees). We always have baked french fries, because we love them. I tried a new veggie burger recipe last night. I had some already cooked lentils in the fridge, so I just ground them up in the food processor, added egg, Parmesan cheese, spices and breadcrumbs. It made a very dense burger:

2012-12-11 18.35.48

…with roasted Brussels a beer on the side! We watched some Christmas movies last night — two of my favorites: Love Actually (soooo good!) and Bad Santa (hilarious!) Zach’s sister Courtney and her boyfriend Justin came over, and their brought their Doberman “puppy”, Margot!

2012-12-11 21.13.32

I wish this picture weren’t so dark, but we had the mood lighting going. Having Margot at our apartment is kind of like having a bull in a china shop. She’s still a puppy, but she’s as big as a full grown dog, so she just bounces around like crazy and it’s pretty funny. My cats aren’t very dog-friendly (I’m hoping this will change when we get a small puppy and it’s around all the time), so we put up a baby gate to restrict Margot to the living room. She brings a toy, and she wants you to chase her, so when we watch a movie, she spends most of her time bringing her toy to each individual person and setting it on them. As soon as you try to grab it, she takes it back and runs. If you really ignore her, she will place the toy in your hand to really try to get the game going. It’s adorable.

So, all in all it was a good night.

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite Christmas movie!? 

Kind of Healthy Cookies

10 Dec

Whew! Welcome to Monday!

After a great, relaxing and fun weekend, Monday is turning out to be a little less than great. After a fitful night of sleep, I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and runny nose — looks like I’m finally catching the bug Zach had last week. Work has been completely crazy this morning, but at least it’s going by quickly. Can’t wait to relax this evening!

Here’s what’s new this rainy, busy, sniffley Monday:

Last night was my Book Club meeting! I made a really yummy and not-the-healthiest Mac & Cheese casserole for the event, and it was a hit. No pictures of the casserole, but I used Alton Brown’s recipe, just added some frozen peas and carrots to up the veggie factor. It was quite yummy and I even packed a little for my lunch today.

I took a total of one picture:

2012-12-09 19.23.54

Which I’m sure our lovely host, Mandee will love as she is in mid-sentence, haha. I just loved how her adorable St. Bernard, Atticus, appears to be joining in on the discussion. He was more interested in the table full of food, I assure you.

The book we read this month is called Wool by Hugh Howey.

Wool-omnibus

It was great! If you like the sci-fi, dystopian future types of books that are popular now, you will love this book. It started as self-published series of  e-book novellas and it has grown to epic proportions. After he wrote the first short story, it became popular and he wrote more to the story. We read the Omnibus edition, which is all 5 books. It has been sold to 20th Century Fox and Ridley Scott has expressed interest in directing the film adaptation! How cool is that?

The food at Book Club was great, as usual. My girlfriends are very good cooks. We had a pot roast, veggies, a lovely spinach salad and a waldorf salad, my mac & cheese, cream puffs, cookies, a really yummy, lemony homemade hummus. So good! Plus, lots of wine.

Speaking of food, I had a serious oatmeal cookie craving this weekend, so on Saturday night I decided to whip up a batch. I wanted to make a recipe that was sort of healthy, but I still wanted it to be dessert, so I ended up googling “kind of healthy oatmeal cookies” — and I came up with this recipe:

IMAG0774

These cookies are great. I’ve been eating them for snacks, and I even had a couple for breakfast on Sunday. First, let me tell you what substitutions I made:

  • I soaked the Craisins in apple cider rather than orange juice, because that’s what I had.
  • I used slightly less white sugar, because I was low on white sugar, and slightly more brown sugar.
  • I used honey instead of corn syrup.
  • I left out the orange rind (didn’t have any) and walnuts (not much of a nut-in-cookies fan)

I don’t feel guilty eating these constantly, because as you can see they get most of their sweetness from healthy ingredients. I did use all-purpose flour, but you could substitute whole wheat and make these even healthier. Yum!

Question of the Day:
Do you ever make “kind of ” healthy recipes? 

Surprise!

4 Dec

Today was a surprise rest day! I woke up to my 5:25 alarm, got out of bed, put on my workout clothes and sat down with my glass of water, first breakfast…

First breakfast

….and Sportscenter, to jot down my LiveFit Trainer lifting plan for the day. Surprise! Rest Day! All of the days of this plan are starting to blend together, so I guess I didn’t have a firm grasp on when my next rest day would be.

I’ve got to be honest, one of my favorite things (next to more sleep) is being awake super early with nothing to do. I enjoyed my breakfast, which was a piece of whole-grain, flaxseed toast, a thin spread of Sunbutter, some apple slices and a few dollops of peach preserves. It really hit the spot! After I ate, I decided to roll out the old yoga mat and get in a good stretch:

yoga

I did a little 20 minute routine that I found on my Comcast OnDemand — Yoga for athletes. My legs feel great right now! I’m ready to run! Oh wait…

I’m still on the self-imposed running moratorium. I am really getting the itch to run, especially because I recently got some very good running related news. I hate to be that girl, but that announcement is going to have to wait until it’s more real. Luckily, I only have 9 more days of no running! I can’t wait!

Question of the Day:
Do you get up early on rest days anyway? Or do you sleep in? 

A Long Run and Sunday Eats

20 Aug

I slept so well last night.

Like, the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a very long time.

I did not wake up during the night one time. I did wake up at 5:45 AM long enough to decide that I’m going to be keeping Monday as a rest day, and then rolled right back over and went to sleep until Zach’s alarm went off at 7. Ahh, sweet relief!

I’m in a great mood today, because we have officially entered the period of time which it is appropriate to count down to vacation! Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve really been counting down since August began. I really can’t wait, and I have a few vacation related blog post ideas formulating in my mind.

Yesterday was long run day, and I had such a great run! I took a ton of pictures:

From left – right: Me taking a break near my favorite water fountain, my favorite view, and my nemesis/lucky charm, the Muscovy duck that lives in the park where I run. I would have gotten closer to him to take a photo, but I harbor a healthy fear of him, so that’s all you get.

Backtracking a bit, I thought I’d share my meals from yesterday with you. Prior to heading out for my run, I had some greek yogurt with granola and “fruit” (it was really just fruit syrup):

I also had some instant coffee (still no coffee pot), which is surprisingly not bad. I followed it all up with a glass of water and a probiotic (I’m going to do a probiotic post soon, because I’m loving them!) and caught up with some magazines while my food digested.

I had a great run, as I mentioned. My training plan called for 6 miles, but I had to pause my CardioTrainer app (which was tracking my miles) at one point because some guy and I were running a ridiculously similar pace. It was awkward, so I stopped and pulled over to let him go ahead a bit. Apparently I forgot to restart the app, because I didn’t notice it until much later. I estimated I had ran about a mile or so, so I just added an extra loop on at the end of my run just in case I was shorting myself. Well, when I got home, I logged on to Map My Run and I had done 6.81 miles! To be honest, I could have kept running too, so that felt great.

I had planned to make brunch for me and Zach when I got back, but he decided to go golfing with his dad, so I whipped up some lunch for myself. I was surprised that I wasn’t famished right after my run like I usually am, I guess the yogurt/granola combo is a winner for staying power. I’ll have to remember that come half-marathon race day.

I bought some local tofu at the Wild Ramp market which I really wanted to try. I’ll tell you this: I’m never buying any other tofu again. This tofu had the best consistency, I only had to press it for 5 minutes, and I was able to cook it without the tofu breaking up and turning into a scramble. Even when I buy extra-firm at the grocery store, it doesn’t have the firm texture I’d like. I made the Cast Iron Tofu  using Caitlin’s method (Healthy Tipping Point is hands down one of my favorite blogs!), added it to some sauteed Kale and served it over Ramen noodles. Yes, Ramen noodles! I’ll admit I love ’em.

I don’t know if I’ll ever cook tofu another way again. It was so crispy on the outside! I love the texture of tofu, so I left the cubes to be kind of on the large side, but if you made them smaller this would be even crispier. I had a few strawberries on the side also. All of the meals I had yesterday had amazing staying power, and this was no exception. I was full for a long time after I chowed this down.

I went to a 5:30 yoga for runner’s class (which was incredible!) Our instructor focused on the Piriformis, which is a muscle in your glute area. It’s a deep muscle that is hard to stretch, but we sure did stretch it. In fact, I didn’t even know that mine was tight until we started stretching it out. My legs feel  great today! I’m on a budget, so I don’t know if I can afford to shell out the $8 a week to go to this class, but I think I’ll try to make it at least a monthly thing.

After yoga, it was late and we had movie plans with friends, so I whipped together a quick dinner. Earlier in the day, I had made a batch of Indian Curry veggie burgers from the No-Meat Althlete veggie burger formula (found here.) So, burgers it was:

This was an amazing veggie burger! I basically just used the recipe at the end of that post for the Indian Patties, but I didn’t have chickpeas so I used Great Northern instead. Also, I subbed carrots and yellow squash as my veggies. Yum! I made it a double decker because I was quite hungry. Add some baked french fries (yay, health!) and some steamed broccoli w/ a bit of shredded cheddar and it was a yummy meal. I decided to put a dollop of plain yogurt on my burger, and it was a very good decision. After dinner, I was ready for some dessert, so I had a frozen greek yogurt bar (flavor: blueberry), and it was delicious.

It was a great day for food at my house, and I didn’t realize how much yogurt I ate yesterday until I typed it all up. I swear, that isn’t typical!

Question of the day:
What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?