Archive for July, 2013
July 31, 2013
Happy Hump Day ya’ll! Today’s post is coming in a bit later than normal and that’s because the morning and afternoon has absolutely flown!
I woke up early in hopes of knocking out a few assignments for another website I blog for. For those of you who haven’t seen me mention it before, I blog for a wedding photographer in the Orlando area named Victoria Angela. Each day, I go through her weddings and engagement sessions and highlight a photo. Once a week, I spend a few hours highlighting a full wedding or engagement shoot for what I like to call Wedding Wednesdays.
Do you remember when I had Wedding Wednesdays here on the blog? Oh, the memories. Anyways, I mention this for two reasons:
1) To let you in on what I am doing when I say “work” on the computer.
2) To recommend her to anyone looking for a photographer for their upcoming nuptials. She’s wonderful, and yes she travels!
After spending the morning looking at wedding photos (it’s kind of fun to get back in that mode every once in a while!), I got out the door with just enough time to make it to my favorite group fitness class at the gym over lunch.
Except, it wasn’t my favorite. It was a new class called “Strictly Strength” and it was the second time I got surprised with it instead of my normal Fitness Pilates programming.
More of that story coming tomorrow!
Today marks my nineteenth What I Ate Wednesday. I wasn’t sure how the series was going to do here, but since you all seem to like it I am going to keep on rolling with it… as long as Jenn keeps hosting!
What I Ate
My morning started out with a few old faithfuls.
Breakfast obviously included a big ‘ol cup of coffee, but this time it was filled with freshly grounded Creme Brulee and Hazelnut beans from BIGGBY Coffee. Ummm… delicious.
Craving a breakfast sandwich, the one I used to make almost every single morning for a while made it’s return: 1 whole wheat English muffin topped with organic blackberry jelly, scrambled egg whites, and two slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon. It may sound weird, but the sweet jelly adds so much sweetness and flavor.
Considerably full, I spent the rest of my morning downstairs on the computer and only popped back upstairs for a snack around lunch time.
Fresh fruit has been calling to me lately! I really can’t seem to get enough of it. I was extra excited to see these chile kiwis on sale at 5 for $3 at the grocery store this week!
Lunch wasn’t made until almost dinner time, which has been turning into a habit lately. I swear, my stomach is starting to have a mind of it’s own. I went from clearing out snacks all together to gorging in them enough to not want to eat full meals.
Craving yet another monster salad, this one started with a mix of romaine and spring mix lettuce. I made enough to have a few extra platefuls left over and topped the lettuce with carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes (both red and yellow), red peppers, black olives, cracked pepper deli turkey, a little bit of shredded cheese, a little bit of grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing, and ground pepper.
Scott seems to think all of my salads have included the same vegetables lately, and I don’t disagree with him. For now, this is the salad that makes me happy so I will continue to make it!
Directly after I cleaned up my salad mess, I dove my spoon into Original NuttZo Nut & Seed Butter and enjoyed
one, two, three, four spoonfuls. Whoops!
In case you missed my review yesterday, this stuff is ridiculously good. And addicting. Clearly.
Another snack not pictured is a few handfuls (yes, handfuls) of Reduced-fat Triscuit crackers dipped into Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. I’m pretty sure I would marry that stuff if it was an option.
I wrapped up my day by trying out a new workout I put together made for traveling. I am going out of town this weekend and again next week, so I will be sure to share what it is and the video to go along with it very soon!
Right after the workout I sampled this PowerBar Performance Energy Gel I received as part of this month’s Bulu Box.
I wasn’t too sure about it, but the Apple Mango Strawberry combination was SO good. It wasn’t as “gel-y” as I was expecting, and actually had more of an applesauce consistency. I really liked it!
After a shower, I couldn’t get back in the kitchen fast enough to make a smoothie. Like I said, fruit has been calling to me this summer!
This one included: frozen strawberries, fresh blueberries, unsweetened almond milk, low-fat cottage cheese, and 1 scoop of White Chocolate Designer Whey Protein Powder.
The combination of the white chocolate, the cottage cheese and the berries made it taste like cheesecake. I can’t wait to recreate it and give you real measurements!
No dessert last night, either, considering I pretty much snacked my face off the entire day.
Well, friends… I guess that just about wraps it up. Hope you all have a great rest of your Wednesday. See you tomorrow!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
July 30, 2013
I have been going a bit nuts lately. Figuratively and “Really?” moments aside, today I am talking about the literal ones found in nut butter!
I love all forms of peanut butter. Lets just go ahead and throw that out there. I only buy organic butters, and love to spice my pantry up by switching out regular peanut for almond, hazelnut, and chocolate peanut butter every now and then.
I have seen a lot of nut, seed, and sun butters floating around lately, so when I got the opportunity to receive a jar of NuttZo nut & seed butter to review, I quickly raised my hand (high!) for the opportunity.
Behind the Brand
NuttZo is founded and run by philanthropist, mom, wife, foodie, and fitness enthusiast Danielle. After adopting two boys from the Ukraine who were vitamin deficient, she became focused on preparing creative, super-nutritious food, and NuttZo has been her favorite creation yet.
NuttZo comes in three different flavors, both in creamy and crunchy versions: Original, Chocolate, and Peanut Free. I was excited to receive the original flavor, but still have my eye out for the others!
I noticed the packaging right away. At first I thought, “uh oh, mine’s backwards!” No… they are all like that, Heather. (Nuttz, right?) They are packed this way to create a “no mess stir,” which makes complete sense.
NuttZo only uses organic ingredients including peanuts, almonds, hazelnut, cashews, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and Peruvian dark chocolate.
Although I am not one that needs convincing, here is why you should incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet:
• Peanuts provide over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients and are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus. They also are naturally free of trans-fats and sodium, and contain about 25% protein.
• Almonds are a boost of protein and a helpful dose of the antioxidant Vitamin E!
• Hazelnut, also known as Vitamin B9, has been studied for its positive effect on the cardiovascular system and it is especially important for pregnant women in helping to reduce the incidence of neural tube birth defects.
• Cashews are high in magnesium and manganese, and are a good source of selenium and zinc. The magnesium in cashews works to strengthen the digestion and improve flexibility, while manganese and selenium work together to rid the body of harmful oxidized cholesterol.
And that’s just four of them. Read more about the benefits of eating all of the nuts and seeds found in NuttZo!
Nuts and seeds. Who knew? I love ‘em, and appreciate products that combine the best of the best for optimal nutrition. “Each nut and seed ingredient carries a nutritional profile that when combined together creates a knock out punch of superfood of nutrition in every spoonful.”
The day I received my jar, I did what the majority of you would do and ate a big ‘ol spoonful. While stirring it (after), I noticed the consistency was thick enough to spread, but creamy enough to drizzle.
When breakfast came around the next morning, I smeared a serving of it on top of two Kashi waffles and sprinkled them with chia seeds… not like I needed any more of those, but hey, they looked pretty.
I made protein + oat pancakes the following morning and smeared the nut butter all over it.
It tasted good, but I went back and drizzled a little agave nectar on it for extra sweetness!
Over the past few weeks, I have completely replaced my need for peanut butter with nut butter. I couldn’t feel better about it, and finally believe I am eating a “healthy fat”.
In case the pictures didn’t do it for you, here are some good to know facts about NuttZo.
Nutritional Facts + Benefits
• 2 Tbsp. of NuttZo contains 50% or 75% of your daily value of ALA Omega-3s.
• All 3 SKUs are 100% organic certified.
• Featured on the Dr. Oz Show twice. “NuttZo Original is ‘the #1 thing he can’t live without.'”
• 1% of gross sales are donated to Project Left Behind, supporting orphans around the world.
• New glass jar design, which is better for you and the environment!
For being something I can replace peanut butter with, I am very happy with the taste and the nutrition on the label. Not only is every single ingredient organic, but there is only 1-2 grams of sugar and 6-7 grams of protein (depending on the flavor) in every serving.
NuttZo can be purchased online or at Whole Foods Markets across the US, as well as a few other gourmet food retailers. Prices range from $12.99 – $19.99 a jar, which seems expensive, but is actually comparable to all the other organic nut butters out there!
Although there are plenty of recipes to use NuttZo in, my favorite way to enjoy this butter has been straight out of the jar. Oops! Hey… with approval from Dr. Oz I’m sticking to it.
Have you ever tried a nut or seed butter before?
What is your favorite kind?
*Disclaimer: I was provided with this product by NuttZo, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!