Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
1. The Review
Quest Bar has 14 unique flavors, and I kid you not, ALL of them are good. In fact, I struggled the past month trying to decide which one I liked the best. It's like trying to decide between ice cream or pie. Both are amazing.
It gets better.
You can bake with them.
We're serious. In fact, there’s a growing trend of people creating different recipes with the bars. Most of them are pretty simple and take just a few minutes to make! For example, you can make poptarts (we’ll give you an example of this recipe at the end of the post), brownies, cinnamon rolls, and many more!
2. The Recipe
Quest Peanut Butter & Jelly Poptarts
For the top and bottom of the pop-tarts: 2 Quest Bars
For the topping: 2 tablespoons protein of your choice 1 tablespoon nut butter of your choice
For the filling: 2 tablespoons of your favorite jelly or jam
3. Quest Pastabilities & Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
4. Giveaway Info
Sunday, September 1, 2013
AUGUST RECAP: The August Health and Fitness Challenge was a success, so we decided to keep the challenges coming. Before I get into the September challenge, I'm going to do a short recap of what went down for August.
The challenge was: 1) Protein --assess your current intake and then your daily requirements, adjust as necessary 2) Push-ups & Pull-ups --see how much of each you can do at the beginning of the month and see how you improve by the end of the month. This is a good resource for learning how to do push-ups.
This was a good challenge for me because I struggle in all of those areas. I knew I almost never ate enough protein, and my arm strength was laughable. I kid you not, at the beginning of this challenge I couldn't do a single push-up or pull-up.
I took this as an opportunity to educate myself on macronutrients and what my body requires for not only muscle growth but also for toning/ staying in shape. This is a good website for calculating how much protein you should eat on a daily basis. And apps like MyFitnessPal are good for tracking your daily food intake.
At the gym, I focused a lot on upper-body strength conditioning so I could improve my push ups and pull-ups.
If you haven't already joined the Make It Ultra: Health & Fitness Challenges Facebook group already, do it now. Most of the posting happens on the group wall.
So, onto this month's health & fitness challenge!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
August is almost half-way done and it's been a whirlwind of a month! My partner-in-crime, and co-blogger at PlantMeetsPaleo.com, Alexis, will be joining me on this review.
We originally found Paleonola at Erewhon Natural Foods in Hollywood, CA (if you live anywhere near there, we HIGHLY recommend visiting!) After searching for different paleo-friendly foods, Alexis's dad (head honcho at the store) recommended we try Paleonola. Considering our justifiable fear of a gluten-free granola, we were a little hesitant at first. And boy, were we SHOCKED by how good it was!
Paleonola is not only delicious and healthy, but it fits within BOTH a Paleo and plant-based diet.
Paleonola's statement on their website explains it best: "At Paleonola, we understand that things in life are not always perfect. Things change, meals get skipped or maybe sometimes you just need something to hold you over and give you that extra bit of energy to make it to the next meal. That’s why we worked with nature to create a delicious, flavor-packed, Grain-Free snack. Loaded with nutrient-dense nuts and topped with unsweetened, shredded coconut, our products not only taste delicious, but give you the energy you need to stay healthy and active. No grains, no junk. Just uber-goodness!"
Paleonola Granola is: ALL NATURAL! Meaning: NO wheat, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, soy OR dairy. It's gluten-free & vegan friendly.
The flavors come in: The Original, Chocolate Fix, Maple Pancake. Apple Pie & Pumpkin Pie.
So, how did we like Paleonola?
....LOVED IT. As in, all our sample packs were GONE within a week. We ate it right out of the bag on the go, threw it into our salads, and mixed it into our yogurt! We even did some drool-worthy things like mix it with peanut better and spread it on top of a sweet potato.
Crista's Favorite: Even though I legitimately loved them all, the Maple Pancake flavor won my heart. I ate it most often on top of a sweet potato and mixed with a little bit of almond butter. Absolutely delicious. The Apple Pie flavor was really good on top of a sweet potato, too. The Chocolate Fix was DELICIOUS mixed in with strawberry yogurt.
Ingredients of "Maple Pancake": Almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, honey, maple syrup, raisins, almond meal, coconut oil, walnuts, flax meal, sunflower seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, pure vanilla extract & cinnamon.
Alexis's Favorite: While all the flavors were absolutely fantabulous and amazing, I have to say the flavor I liked the best was The Original. It was simple, yet out of this world delicious. Normal granola is full of artificial sweeteners, sugar, and TONS of calories. Paleonola is natural, naturally sweetened, and doesn't give you a case of the 'what did I just eats?' I found myself eating Paleonola after workouts, for dessert, and just as a quick pick-me-up when I needed a little boost. I honestly don't think I could've been more satisfied with a guilt-free snack, let alone granola that's actually good for you!
Ingredients of "The Original": Almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, honey, dried cranberries, almond meal, coconut oil, walnuts, flax meal, sunflower seeds, unsweeted shredded coconut, pure vanilla extract & cinnamon.
Just so you all understand how HEALTHY Paleonola is compared to other granola, here are the ingredients for other brands of granola. And remember, ingredients are listed in the order in which they are most used. Meaning, in the ingredients below, the majority is made up of whole grain rolled oats, sugar, and canola oil.
Nature Valley's Honey N' Oats Granola: Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Canola Oil, Crisp Rice With Soy Protein (Rice Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate, Sugar, Malt, Salt), Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Peanut Flour, Almond Flour, Hazelnut Flour, Walnut Flour, Pecan Flour.
....Yikes. Nature Valley markets itself as being a "healthy" granola, but after taking one glance at the ingredients, it's clear that it is anything but!
We decided to do something fun with Paleonola, so we created...drum roll please...Paleo-nola Bites! This recipe will also be our first on our sister site, PlantMeetsPaleo.com (hence the photo tag). Please check it out for more paleo and plant-friendly recipes/ reviews!
Paleonola (obviously) - we mixed Chocolate Fix and Apple Pie - what a surprisingly good combo
We'd give you an exact recipe, but we kind of just threw things in a bowl, mixed it up and rolled the ingredients into golf ball sized bits. They were to DIE for. We'll recreate the recipe and keep note of how much of everything we used and share in the future for your enjoyment :) Until then, try experimenting in your own until you get the desired consistency!
Info About The Giveaway:
Alexis and I also are heading a Facebook group called Ultra Health & Wellness: Fitness Challenges. We decided that this month, it would be really fun to have the pull-up challenge with a prize at the end for the winner.
Here are the rules:
You must do as many pull-ups, in a row, as possible. They key part is that you have to have it on VIDEO (the only way to prove people are being truthful). So either set up a camera somewhere or have a friend record it for you. Winners for each gender will be selected.
We also request that the winners of each gender "like" Paleonola on Facebook! Simple and easy!
The final pull-up contest videos should be posted to the Facebook group wall by the 31st.
Good luck and enjoy!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
This past month I have been eating a Paleo-based diet, which basically means I stick to meat, veggies, fruits and nuts/seeds. Because a lot of protein bars contain gluten & milk-based protein, ect, I decided to investigate Paleo-friendly options. I've always thought that a meat protein bar would be really cool, so after searching through google a little bit I discovered a company called EPICbar.
I e-mailed them immediately, asking if I could do a review of their products. When I got back an e-mail from them agreeing to send me some samples, I was ECSTATIC.
Before I get into the actual review, let me give you a run-down of the company background and standpoint. They are MUCH more than just a protein-bar company.
EPICbars is an Austin, Texas based company which aims at providing the highest quality grass-fed meat-based protein bars. They are gluten free, have a low glycemic count, are soy-free, dairy-free and nitrate free. They have a one-year shelf life and are loaded with omega-3's.
As stated on their website at EPICbars.com, "We believe that EPIC animals should always live pasture-centered lives where turkeys forage, pigs wallow, and buffalo roam. This is the way nature intended animals to be and we see ourselves as leaders in recognizing the value of sustainable and responsible animal welfare practices."
EPICbars is essentially a "green" company, their approach is beneficial towards the animal, the land, your health, and the taste of the product. They add that "Pasture grazing requires significantly less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet consisting of corn, soy, antibiotics, and hormones. Pastured animals fertilize the land they graze on, which eliminates the fossil fuels required by conventional fertilizing practices."
Lastly, the health benefits of the product are immense: "Grass-fed animals are loaded with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for both cardiovascular health and contain anti-inflammatory properties. They also have significantly higher values of vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants. For athletes, grass-fed meat is particularly favorable in that it contains up to twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which promotes the development of lean muscle tissue and lowers the risk for a myriad of other health problems."
I personally feel like the hysteria around eating animal meat stems largely from the heavily-dosed antibiotics and hormones that the animals are being fed, in addition to the unsanitary and inhumaine methods of containment. This company provides individuals with a safe and healthy way to get their protein intake, without compromising the taste.
Last week was like Christmas...I got a small package from EPICbars in the mail. They provided me with two of each flavor-- Bison (with Bacon & Cranberry), Turkey (Almond & Cranberry), & Beef (Habanero & Cherry). I also got some cool stickers, some pens and a pin! Thanks guys!!
So here is my review for EPICbars:
I decided to get a little creative with the bars. Considering they are meat, I treated them much like I would a type of sausage, and sliced it up to throw into a breakfast scramble.
Here is the nutritional content info. I apologize about the bad quality, I couldn't find an image online with the info.
But that is not all, folks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway