believe in yourself

Believe in yourself… because if you don’t, how will you ever accomplish anything great?  It doesn’t matter how many people you have supporting you and cheering you on.  You have to believe in yourself first.  That can be challenging to do, especially during a tough time, which is exactly why a little reminder can be particularly helpful…

believe in yourself

I know all too well.

Through my partnership with FitFluential, I was able to choose four bracelets from Momentum Jewelry.  I chose specific motivational quotes and colors for three of my dear friends to gift the bracelets to as a surprise, and I kept one for myself.  I needed this constant reminder to be able to push on.  Change is hard, especially when you’ve been through a lot of change already, but sometimes change is for the best.  Change doesn’t have to be forever, necessarily.  Change can be for just right now.  It can be hard to trust yourself to make the right decision.  But if you believe in yourself, well, that’s half the battle.  Easier said than done, like most challenging situations in life…

Anyway, if you need a little push, a little motivation, or maybe a unique gift for someone special, I’d urge you to check out Momentum Jewelry.  Use the code FFspark15 to receive 15% off Momentum Jewelry (expires 5/31/16).  They have so many awesome quotes to choose from, or you can create your own.

Do you know who believes in himself?  Yep, you guessed it. You knew I’d weave my little William in this post somehow.  We took my niece Audrey to her tee ball practice last week.  William quickly found a ball and bat to clutch on to so tightly until just the right moment.  After the kids practiced hitting off the tee, they went into the field.  William ran up to the tee, set up his ball, and hit (even better than some of the four year olds!).  He retrieved his ball and did the whole thing over again.  Time after time after time.

tee ball mar16

I’m not just saying this because he’s my kid, but it was impressive!  Don’t mind the fact that he’s not standing on the correct side of the plate; the contact with the ball he was making was spectacular!

What motivational mantra do you believe in?

fresh cranberry bread recipe

Wow! I am blown away by all the heartfelt comments from yesterday’s post on being a single mom.  Thank you for your constant support, your understanding, and for the kindest words I’ve read in quite some time.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Switching to a much lighter, and a much more delicious subject, let’s talk about a super easy recipe that’s perfect for fall / winter / Thanksgiving / the holidays / you name it.  Perfect for entertaining, let’s just say that.  You can make it ahead of time or have it in the oven cooking to give your house a wonderful aroma when guests are arriving.  But I will say, if you make it ahead of time, make sure you keep any grubby fingers (your own or others!) out of it, so it doesn’t look like this just thirty minutes after removing it from the oven…

cran bread loaf

Yeah, that loaf didn’t stand a chance.  I made a second one the day after and that, too, was demolished very quickly.  Cranberries are a funny thing for being such a seasonal food.  I feel like people either love them or hate them; there’s no in between.  Of course many people are fond of dried cranberries.  I mean, they’re loaded with sugar, what’s not to love?  But fresh cranberries?  I’ve got to admit I had never bought fresh cranberries before last season.  I wanted to try out a cranberry sauce recipe and I became obsessed!  I think I made a batch almost every week and put it on everything from sandwiches to oatmeal.

cranberries

This year, I’ve been branching out a bit, and when someone suggested baking cranberry bread, I knew that’s what I had to do!  After the first couple loaves with some minor tweaks, I think I’ve nailed it.  It’s soft and moist and sweet and tart and most delicious when warm, though I don’t discriminate.  It’s loaded with cranberries in every single bite.  And did I mention it’s perfect for this time of year?

cranberrybread

Whether I’m making eggs for breakfast or baking a sweet treat, like this fresh cranberry bread, I always, always, always use Eggland’s Best.  William and I eat eggs daily; they’re such a food powerhouse, just packed with nutrition.  And did you know that compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have ten times more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have four times more Vitamin D, three times more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein?  Why would you ever buy any other eggs?!  It’s a no brainer! [source]

Check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

fresh cranberry bread recipe

Fresh Cranberry Bread Recipe

~makes one loaf, or double the recipe, so you don’t run out as quickly!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Eggland’s Best egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed

Directions:

  1. Mix wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Gently stir in cranberries.
  2. Pour mixture in greased bread pan.  Bake at 350 for 65 minutes.
  3. Let cool (at least slightly) before enjoying!

cranberry bread

Are you a cranberry fan?  What’s your favorite way to eat them?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Staying Accountable Using A Fitness Tracker

The hot new thing right now is wearing a fitness tracker.  I bet you have one.  And your mom.   There are so many benefits to wearing them; most importantly, keeping you active and moving throughout the day.  A fitness tracker is like your best friend who is there to motivate you and remind you about your goals.  A fitness tracker keeps you accountable for your actions.  Like many of you, I’m a busy gal.  I work full-time and am a mom to the cutest little baby William (fine, he’s a toddler!).  I don’t have the freedom to go to the gym on a daily basis or when I want to.  I have to get creative with staying active.  As I wrote before, my goal is to hit 10,000 steps each day.  Here’s how I do it.

I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life type of post and focus on my Polar Loop 2 with various accountability check ins.  My coworkers have fitness trackers, as well, so we’re constantly asking each other how many steps we’re at (and then maybe taking the longer route out to recess… or maybe that’s just me and my competitive self).  This day in the life will be from Monday of this week which also happened to be picture day at school for William.  Before we begin, you must check out the cuteness:

picture day oct15

Be still my heart.  Jeans, button down, and sweater vest.  Hopefully his shirt was more tucked in and his hair was more combed and he had shoes on his feet for actual pictures, but he’s cute no matter what!  That smile!

So this little stinker was up bright and early at 5:30 in the morning, as usual.  He sure keeps me active just like my Polar Loop 2 keeps me accountable!  We played hard in between getting ready and eating breakfast.  Since William is always so busy, cooking breakfast can be challenging some mornings while keeping him occupied.  Meal prepping has saved me a lot.  I make something in a larger amount that will last for at least a couple of meals.  Lately, it’s been my caprese egg bake.  It’s so easy to make with just a few ingredients before throwing it in the oven.

caprese egg bake recipe

Mmm!  Eggs always keep me full by providing a lot of protein.  The cheese, tomato, and spinach are the perfect pair, too, and so savory on these chilly mornings.

Once we’re finally out the door, it’s just about a five minute drive to William’s school.  But since we play so hard in the mornings…

sleep polar

William often falls asleep in that short time!  Accountability check in: 1,482 steps and a sleeping baby – all before 8:00 a.m.

I get to school, do my teacher thing, take lots of brain breaks with my students, impart my knowledge on those young minds, eat snacks and lunch prepared on Sunday for the week (makes life so much easier!), and soon enough it’s time for recess.  My coworkers and I each announce our numbers as we begin to walk, gaining more steps, while patrolling the playground.

polar recess

Accountability check in: 4,776 steps at 1:45 pm.

I finish teaching, make sure the kiddos go where they’re supposed to, and head to William’s school to pick him up.  He comes running toward me, I nurse him in the car (he literally cannot wait five minutes until we get home!), and we’re on our way.  Once home, we unpack our bags, let Zoey out, check the mail, and then it’s time to play again!  Since the weather has been nice, I’ve really been trying to be outside a lot and take many walks.  I’m not a huge fan of how early it’s getting dark and I know it’s just going to get worse once daylight savings time happens.  I’ll enjoy the warm(ish) temperatures and light(ish) walks while I have them!

polar walk

Accountability check in: 7,832 steps at 6:15 pm.  When we got back home, I was around 9,500 so I knew I’d hit my goal for the day.  We played some more, I even did a few sets of lunges, I fed William dinner, and gave him a bath.  Soon enough, he was asleep and it was time for me to throw together a simple yet healthy dinner.

salmon dinner

Salmon on the grill, sweet potatoes baked in the oven, and Copycat PF Chang’s Spicy Green Beans.  The green beans were SO spicy!  I didn’t have any sesame oil, so I used olive oil and sprinkled sesame seeds on top.  Super easy to make (I used Trader Joe’s frozen green beans) and it tasted great!

After doing some school work and completing other tasks around my house, I hopped in to bed and checked my Polar Loop 2 for the last time before closing my eyes.

polar bed

Accountability check in: 11,205 steps at 10:30 pm.  GOAL REACHED!

I seriously love how my fitness tracker holds me accountable.  I’ve had two other fitness trackers, but the Polar Loop 2 is my favorite.  It fits me the best, it’s the easiest to use, it looks the coolest, and I love the information the app provides.  Some key features include activity tracking (steps, calories, activity, sleep, heart rate), mobile connectivity, vibration alert, and smart notifications.

And guess what?  You can get 20% off your Polar Loop 2 (or any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker) using the discount code POLARFITBLOG.  The code is case-sensitive. There is no quantity limit. The code is good online at Polar.com. The code is only good in the US. It expires on 12/31/15.

Who (or what) holds you accountable?  Do you wear a fitness tracker?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Polar.

how to get 10,000 steps as a full-time working mom

I’m going to be real with y’all today, friends.  I always try to be real, but today especially.  There are a million different kinds of fitness trackers these days, and it seems like everyone has one.  Everyone is competing against each other, against themselves to achieve that magic number – 10,000 – steps each day.  As a full-time working mom and as a fourth grade teacher, I always thought OF COURSE I reach that number.  Without a doubt, no questions asked, I’m sure I get 10,000 steps each day.

And then I got my first activity tracker.  Boy, was I wrong.  By like several thousand!  I could not believe it!  How was that possible? I feel like I’m on my feet all day long!  Well, it turns out, 10,000 steps is a lot, a whole heck of a lot of steps.

If you workout everyday, the 10,000 steps per day goal is a lot more achievable, in my opinion.  I do think you should be doing more than just cardio (lift those weights, ladies!), but if you have time to workout everyday, then you have time to get to steppin’!  When I was home for the summer, I always reached my step goal because I took so many walks, sometimes multiple times a day!  I loved it!  But now I’m back to work…

how to get 10,000 steps as a busy full time working mom

That photo is the picture of REAL LIFE.  It was after a busy (always!) day of work.  My makeup is mostly worn off.  My roots are in dire need of a touch up.  My dirty hair is sloppily thrown up.  I look tired.  But I’ve got my baby boy in my arms, we’re happy and healthy, so what more can I ask for?

Wearing my new Polar Loop 2 activity tracker has really opened my eyes to how easy it can be to be more sedentary than active, but it has also rejuvenated me in setting a fitness goal.  Being a mom is HARD for a variety of reasons.  Being a full-time working mom is another huge challenge (that’s a whole other post for another time!).  One major obstacle is time.  The mere fact that I work nine hours each day greatly limits my ability to freely go to the gym, head out on a run, or workout how or when I please.  Before and after work I have William.  I’m not complaining by any measure, simply stating facts.  So this has forced me to get creative with how I get my 10,000 steps each day.  And I’ll be honest: it doesn’t happen every day, but since I’ve set it as my goal, it’s happening more often than not.

How to Get 10,000 Steps as a Full-Time Working Mom

Take advantage of what your work offers.

teampolar

I’d be willing to bet that most work places talk about fitness or healthy living in some capacity.  Whether it’s having a gym on site, setting up challenges between staff members, or having various incentives for different programs, more and more work places want their employees to be healthy.  Healthy people lead to increased productivity.  That’s a fact.  For me, it’s a quick 15-minute workout twice a week.  My principal is awesome in that she allows the staff members to workout on Monday and Wednesday mornings before the students come.  One teacher leads these workouts.  A major bonus for us is that we get to wear workout clothes all day if we participate in the workout!  It’s a great way to get moving early, build muscle, stretch your body, and foster camaraderie among the staff.

Get up every 15 minutes.

Set your fitness tracker to alert you during periods of inactivity.  Even if you walk across the room or go get a drink of water, those are that many more steps you are adding to your day.  And if you do that several times a day or even an hour?  Way more steps!  It doesn’t take that much longer either!  Build these routines into your day until they become habitual.

Move with your kids!

team polar

At school, my students create “WODs,” workout of the day.  Most days (when I’m not in a skirt or dress), I participate in it with them.  It’s just three or four exercises that we use as a brain break during transition times.  Just like kids, we adults need to move, too!  Another fabulous brain break that we love is GoNoodle.com.  If you’re a teacher or a mom, check it out.  There are tons of short clips that lead students in different dances, songs, moves, and exercises.  It’s a blast, and you better believe I do it right along with my students!

At home, I move with William all the time!  He sees his momma moving, so he wants to be active!  I love it!  I’m so not a mom to plop my kiddo in front of the tv.  He’s 18-months and has so much to learn and explore.  Sometimes he plays on the foam roller while I might be doing lunges or some other exercise.  A couple of nights ago we were playing with the ping pong paddles and balls.  He would throw a ball to me and I would hit it as far as I could in the basement.  While he was retrieving the ball, I would literally sprint around the ping pong table as many times as I could before he was ready for another round.  I was breathing hard, William was cracking up, and we played this for a really long time!  Eventually, it turned into us chasing each other around the ping pong table.  It was a lot of fun and my steps were adding up!

Be conscientious of how you get places.

Park your car farther away.  Take the longer walking route.  Use the stairs.  You’ve heard those ideas before.  Now do it!  Small changes yield big results.

Get outside!

stroller polar

I’ve already mentioned how much I love taking walks.  After work can be tricky these days because William is so exhausted from school.  If I walk too long, he will fall asleep in the stroller which will mess up bedtime that we worked so hard on.  Many days, we can squeeze in a quick walk though!

FINISH YOUR STEPS!

polar 10k

Ok, I’ll be honest.  If I’m really close to hitting that 10,000 mark after William goes to sleep, I will literally walk around my house, robe, slippers, and all until I reach that goal.  Achieving a goal feels SO good.

Now let me tell you about my most favorite fitness tracker – the Polar Loop 2.  Most importantly, it comes in three colors: white, black, and pink.  I like the way it looks; it’s a sleek design and not bulky at all.  Also, it comes in one size and you cut it to make it fit perfectly.  It’s easy to take on and off, and it stays on without a problem.  The features:

  • Activity Tracking: steps, calories, activity, sleep, heart rate (with hr sensor)
  • Waterproof: use it while swimming
  • Mobile Connectivity: seamless communication via Bluetooth smart sensors to Polar Flow App on mobile devices
  • Vibration Alert: be alerted for periods of inactivity and smart notifications
  • Smart Notifications: get notifications of incoming calls, messages, and calendar reminders

Even better, you can get your Polar Loop 2 now using the discount code POLARFITBLOG.  The code is case-sensitive.  This code provides 20% off of any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker. There is no quantity limit. The code is good online at Polar.com. The code is only good in the US. It expires on 12/31/15.

What are you waiting for?! Order your activity tracker and GET MOVING!

every little bit counts

Do you use an activity tracker? How do you reach 10,000 steps a day?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Polar.

Jack Link’s Jerky {giveaway}

As a busy mom, I’m always on the lookout for new, easy, healthy snacks.  Shoot, I feel like everyone is always looking for new, easy, healthy snacks!  Men, women, mommas, college kids, everyone!  Let’s be real – EVERYONE needs to eat – it’s all the better if a snack is easy and healthy!  Being home with my William this summer has been amazing.  We’ve had so much fun and have stayed very busy.  He is an incredibly active little guy, barely ever sitting still which means my food choices – meals and snacks – have got to be fast!  And of course, I do want them to be healthy.

I was recently introduced to Jack Link’s jerky.  The best part?  William is too young to eat it, so I don’t have to share!  Ok, I’m just kidding, but not really.  William was all like #SayYestoJerky!

sayyestojerky

He really was trying to get in there!

Chicken is a staple in this house.  And it’s one of the few foods that William will eat, so I definitely always have chicken around here!  Chicken is so versatile, packed with protein, and healthy.  Taking chicken on the go?  Not so much.  I’m totally not going to be the girl that hauls around a chicken to eat.  Wouldn’t fit in my diaper bag anyway.  But now there is a solution!  Chicken JERKY!

jack links chicken

Jack Link’s chicken jerky is BRAND NEW!  It’s portable chicken for on-the-go, uses white-meat chicken breast, has 11 grams of protein and 80 calories per serving, 98% fat free, lean, and tastes good.  It’s seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper along with sweet and savory spices.  Never did I think that I would be carrying chicken around as a snack.

The other two varieties, Jack Link’s turkey original and sweet teriyaki, are both winners, too.  The sweet teriyaki is my favorite – such good flavor!

jack links turkey

  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky: Solid strips of lean, white meat turkey breast seasoned and smoked over mesquite.
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky: Soy, ginger, a little onion and a whole lot of perfectly smoked turkey. The very best of East meets West.

On the back of every package, there are different sayings that have been cracking me up.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Eat like nobody is watching.
  • No more cheesy fingers.
  • A balanced diet means having Jack Link’s in both hands.

Haha. There were other funny ones, but I’m pretty sure I finished the packages before I typed this post.  They gave me a good chuckle.

Now… for the best part of this post: Jack Link’s Jerky GIVEAWAY!!!!  One lucky winner will receive a gift pack that contains:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky
  • Water bottle (it’s glass and I’m obsessed!)
  • Headband
  • Sweat towel
  • EOS lip balm

(as pictured below)

jack links giveaway

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you want to #SayYestoJerky. Additional optional entries include:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Jack Link’s on Twitter, and tweet the following, “I want to #SayYestoJerky with @JackLinks NEW chicken jerky! Giveaway at @ItzLinz — http://wp.me/p2WMfo-3i4 #FitFluential”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Jack Link’s on Instagram.
  • Tag two friends on my #SayYestoJerky Instagram post.

Be sure to leave a separate comment on this blog post for each entry. This giveaway will be open until Thursday, August 6th, 2015 at 8:00 pm CST. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, August 7th, 2015.  Closed!

Congratulations to #43 Rae! Please email me your shipping information so we can get your prize pack sent! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Be sure to check out Jack Link’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.

Why Are Eggs Healthy + 30 Egg Recipes

I. LOVE. EGGS.  Simply put.  For good reason, too.  Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, can be eaten at any time of day as a meal, snack, pre/post workout, are incredibly versatile, and are delicious!  When my refrigerator is bare, you can bet I at least have eggs in there.  Not only that, William, my dear fifteen month old super picky eater, LOVES eggs (cooked in coconut oil!), so I feel good that, even though he doesn’t eat a ton of different foods, he’s getting the protein, nutrition, and benefits from eggs.

But guess what?  Unfortunately, all eggs are not created equal.  I’ve been learning how and why Eggland’s Best eggs are better than other eggs.  For a food that I (and William) eat on an almost-daily basis, you better believe I want the best.  That’s Eggland’s Best.

Not only do Eggland’s Best eggs have more vitamins in them, but they stay fresher than ordinary eggs, as well.  The secret behind creating the Eggland’s Best egg is their special, wholesome, all-vegetarian hen feed consisting of healthy grains, canola oil, and a supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp, and Vitamin E.  The Eggland’s Best hen feed contains no animal by-products and no recycled or processed foods. Eggland’s Best never uses hormones, steroids, or antibiotics of any kind.

So why are Eggland’s Best eggs the BEST eggs?why are eggland's best eggs the best eggs

Here are the stats and why they’re important:

  • Stays fresher longer: Based on an independent study, Eggland’s Best eggs were shown to maintain freshness longer than ordinary eggs. To ensure they remain the leader in nutrition and freshness, Eggland’s Best conducts more than 30,000 tests a year & created a 27 points of quality and freshness program.
  • 10X more Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect body cells and tissues in the heart, skin, lungs, joints, or elsewhere in the body.
  • 25% less Saturated Fat: Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet is recommended for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular functions.
  • More than DOUBLE the Omega-3s: Omega-3s are believed to be beneficial for heart health, brain and eye function, infant development, and alleviating hypertension.
  • 4X more Vitamin D: Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential in helping to form and maintain strong bones and muscle strength.
  • 3X more Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for healthy protein metabolism, energy production, and cognitive, cardiovascular, and nervous system health.
  • 38% more Lutein: Lutein is an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy vision, overall eye health, and may slow the effects of age-related macular degeneration.
  • A GOOD source of Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, plays an important role in the production of energy by helping convert carbohydrates into sugar.
  • A GOOD source of Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin essential for our bodies to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Information from Eggland’s Best superior nutrition page.

Do you ever get bored from eating eggs? (WHAT?! How could you?! There are a million different ways to cook ’em!)  Here are 30 delicious egg recipes from my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors that are sure to mix up your usual routine:

30 egg recipes nutritional benefits

For even MORE recipes, check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

Whew!  The list could have gone on forever, but I thought 30 was a good number to stop at.  I was going to organize the recipes by meal, but really, you can eat eggs any time of the day!  Eggs are my go-to for every meal: breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.  And like I said before, William loves his eggs, too!  They make him a happy, healthy baby (fine, toddler!).

eating eggs

What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Best Recipes Using Vanilla Protein Powder

Protein powders…. Thoughts?  I think they’re great to add protein (duh), but I don’t think they should replace real food.  Particularly when working out, it’s extremely important to nourish your body with protein rich foods, and using protein powder is one way to do that.  The suggested use for most protein powders are to mix with water or milk.  I need a little something more than that.  I like to make protein shakes with many fun mix-ins depending on the flavor of protein powder.  Vanilla is my absolute favorite since it’s so versatile!  A good vanilla protein powder can easily be blended with your choice of milk and a banana for a delicious, protein packed smoothie.  Or, you can get creative and add it to oatmeal, breads, or even cookies!

I asked my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors (the experts!) for their favorite recipes using vanilla protein powder, and they came up with a very unique list!

best recipes using vanilla protein powder

Best Recipes Using Vanilla Protein Powder

So now the question is… what protein powder will you use?  I recently had the opportunity to try a new-to-me vanilla protein powder, and it quickly became one of my favorites for its great taste, stellar nutrition facts, protein sources, and versatility.  It’s the DailyBurn Fuel-6 vanilla protein powder.  It’s six sources of raw plant protein including pea protein isolate, rice protein, quinoa protein, artichoke protein, hemp protein, and sacha inchi protein.  It’s natural and cholesterol free; there are no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.  It’s vegan, gluten-free soy free, and contains 24 grams of protein, 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of fiber per serving (two scoops).

fuel today protein powder

Some information I found interesting about the six sources of raw plant protein as listed on the container:

  • Pea Protein Isolate: Pea Protein Isolate is a natural vegetable-based protein which is derived from yellow peas.  It is considered one of the best plant protein source. Pea protein isolate has a balanced amino acid profile and favorable protein concentration. It has good biological value and is easily digested.
  • Rice Protein: Sprouted whole grain brown rice protein has an extensive blend of naturally occurring amino acids and minerals. This easily digestible protein is often used by individuals who suffer from certain types of food allergies and digestive difficulties.
  • Quinoa Protein: Quinoa’s nutritional profile has made it a popular food worldwide. A unique source of plant-based nutrition, quinoa is one of only a few plant foods that has all nine essential amino acids making it a complete source of protein.
  • Hemp Protein: Hemp protein powder is considered one of the plant kingdom’s most complete sources of digestible protein. It has all nine essential amino acids (EAAs) also. EAAs are important building blocks of protein and muscle.
  • Sacha Inchi Protein: Sacha inchi protein powder, which originanted in the Amazon, has often been thought of a high-quality “superfood” protein. Sacha inchi has a unique profile of essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.
  • Artichoke Protein: Artichoke protein is made of essential amino acids. Arginine is the amino acid in highest abundance, which is an amino acid that has been shown in studies to play a unique role in nitric oxide production in the body and maintaining blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range.

The DailyBurn has a great pre workout amplifier and post workout recovery drink, too.

prepost dailyburn

The pre workout amplifier helps you energize your workouts by providing support to build muscle, hydrate, and delay fatigue. The post workout recovery helps you replenish your nutrients most effectively.

The best part about DailyBurn? They have a FREE 30-day workout program!  There is a huge variety to choose from that you can stream quality workout videos to your favorite device.  Boom!  Now go get your workout on.  Then fuel with DailyBurn’s vanilla protein powder in one of the delicious recipes of your choice!

Follow DailyBurn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What’s your favorite way to consume vanilla protein powder?

DailyBurn.com is a leading online health and fitness brand, delivering first-class video workout programs and personalized nutrition plans to ensure that members reach their fitness goals. DailyBurn brings fitness and nutrition to members, anytime, anywhere, by streaming HD-quality workouts in a variety of disciplines from dance and high-intensity cardio to yoga, kettlebells and strength training. Unlimited access to DailyBurn’s plans is only $12.95 a month. For more information, visit http://www.dailyburn.com.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of DailyBurn.

Zero Carb Protein Powder

I love motivational messages.  I love thinking about how they apply to my own life.

we're all more than muscle

We’re all more than muscle.

Well, that’s true.  But what does it mean to you?  To me, it makes me think about everything that I’m made of.  Strength.  Passion.  Honesty.  Courage.

That’s the top of a new-to-me protein drink: Isopure.  There’s literally ZERO CARBS in it and 40 grams of 100% whey protein isolate. Yes, FORTY.  Crazy, I know.

isopure

Isopure protein drinks come in glass bottles which I love (I hate plastic).  They have nine flavors: Apple Melon, Blue Raspberry, Grape Frost, Icy Orange, Passion Fruit, Pineapple Orange Banana, Alpine Punch, Coconut, and Mango Peach.

How are the drinks clear? The microfiltration process used to create Isopure is so complete that it is the only completely clear milk protein when it is dissolved in water.

isopure drink

The Isopure website has a fun recipe tip: Fill a popsicle tray with your favorite Isopure Zero Carb RTD and chill it out – a few hours later, you’ll have delicious, icy-good, protein-packed popsicles, that will cool you down after the toughest of workouts.  Protein popsicle?  Amazing!  And perfect for summer!

Isopure also has zero carb whey protein isolate powder.

isopure zero

(Please note that since the powders have a vitamin/mineral premix, the powder will be cloudy when dissolved as not all the vitamins/minerals are soluble).

Lean mean carb free machines.

  • The Isopure Zero Carb powder packs 50 grams (per 2-scoop serving) of 100% pure whey protein isolate, without a carb in sight.
  • It still comes with glutamine, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep your muscles tough, lean and ready to rock it.
  • Isopure Zero Carb has 10,900 mg of BCAA’s and 4.6 grams of L-Glutamine.
  • Lactose and Gluten Free
  • The powerful protein powder is available in 1lb, 3lb, and 7.5lb size tubs
  • Comes in a variety of seriously delicious flavors: Creamy Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate (Low Carb), Strawberries & Cream, Cookies & Cream, Banana Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip, Toasted Coconut (Low Carb), Mango Peach, Alpine Punch, Apple Melon, and Pineapple Orange Banana

Here’s the thing, so I can keep it real with y’all: I obviously don’t eat carb-free.  However, I do enjoy learning about and testing various products.  I had never heard of Isopure before, and am amazed at how much whey protein isolate it includes (40 grams in their drinks and 50 grams in their powder!), and the fact that it has NO carbs baffles me.  The few flavors that I tried, did taste good.  Just because it doesn’t contain carbs, doesn’t mean you have to eat it carb-free. You could easily stir the protein powder into a bowl of oatmeal for a healthy dose of complex carbs.  Just my two scents.

Moral of the story?  Isopure is LOADED with protein.

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Have you ever heard of or tried Isopure?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Isopure.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

I have some good meals to share with you all today.  You know the ones; it’s where you look back at your pictures that you obviously took because, hello, it’s 2015, and that’s what we do, and think, “Wow, I’ve got to have that again!”  That’s how I feel about the food I’m showcasing in today’s post.

If you’re here for the Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich, then scroll to the bottom of this post.  It’s made with Special K’s new brownies that are perfectly-portioned 80-calorie indulgences that satisfy chocolate cravings!

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Zoey is like, “Where’s my treat? No brownie for me? No fair!”

Linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday. For my new readers (hi!), WIAW is a big blog party where people post drool-worthy photos of their latest meals.  It’s a great place to collect recipes and get meal inspiration!  Enjoy!

Breakfast: Homemade Cereal with Strawberries and Milk

homemade cereal

I made this yesterday morning, and I was surprised at how good it was.  You literally just combine all the ingredients in a bowl, bake, crumble, and add milk.  I used dairy milk to increase the protein.  I also substituted half of the flaxseed for coconut flour and left out the shredded coconut since I didn’t have any.  I added milk before baking, and it turned out awesome! It’s packed with protein and fiber.  It would also be good topped with syrup and eaten more like a pancake instead of cereal.

Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Bowl 

chipotle

On Monday, I went to Chipotle as they were running a promotion. If you bought something from the Sofritas menu, you could bring back your receipt to get a free meal.  Well, my Chipotle ran out of Sofritas, so I had to order something else. No big deal, my chicken bowl definitely didn’t disappoint!  I ordered it with black and pinto beans, brown rice, lettuce, cheese, and corn salsa.

Dinner: Brie Plate (shared appetizer) and Bill’s “Meister Burger” from Cardwell’s

cardwells stlbloggers

St. Louis bloggers from left to right: Jessica from Wanting Adventure, Sara from Running From the Law, me, Liz from Ellie and Addie, Dacy from Mindful Closet, and Grace from Camp Patton.

I was STARVING when I arrived. We ordered the brie for an appetizers, and I’m pretty sure I had eight loaves of bread. I wanted a very substantial meal and one that I knew would satiate my raging appetite, so I ordered the burger and fries.  Since I had so much bread pre-dinner, I ate my burger sans buns… and all the fries.  I was happily stuffed by the time I left.  The bleu cheese on the burger was incredible! It was fun, as always, to get together with these ladies. We could have chatted for hours on end, about our babies, work, trips, blogging, you name it!  Great group of women!

Dessert: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

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While I’m still loving the new Special K Snack Bars, the new Special K brownies are equally awesome for a sweet treat!  They come in two flavors, Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel, and are made with real cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips, and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge.

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These Special K brownies not only taste great, but make for a healthy snack to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard as they’re just 80 calories per bar.  Thanks to breastfeeding, my meals, snacks, and desserts are larger than life normal, as I require extra calories these days (no complaints there!).  So one night I had the genius idea to open not one, but two Special K brownies, slather peanut butter on one, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the other, and drizzle more peanut butter on top.

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Fantastic.  Absolutely fantastic. Go get yourself a box and make it. Now.

Thank me later.

What would you put on your ice cream sandwich? Chocolate and peanut butter just go so perfectly together!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Do you know what one of the all time best flavor combinations is?  Chocolate banana peanut butter.  All three flavors compliment each other perfectly and go so well together in any type of food.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, pre or post workout meal.  You name it.  Chocolate banana peanut butter.  Mark my words.  And make this protein shake.

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Through my partnership with FitFluenetial, I was sent a tub of Adaptogen’s Rich Chocolate Tasty Whey protein powder.  Immediately, I knew what kind of shake I was making.  It’s a no brainer.  First, I did mix it solely with milk because I wanted to check out the taste.  Two thumbs up!  It blended easily and tasted great.  It was like chocolate milk, which I love.  This would make for a fabulous post workout recovery shake!  (If only I had time for daily workouts!)  Adaptogen also has other ridiculously good sounding flavors including: Vanilla Creme, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Creme.

I have a raging sweet tooth, so I love when my meals taste like dessert, but pack tons of nutritional benefits.  My chocolate banana peanut butter protein shake had tons of protein (20 grams of protein!) and loads of flavor.  Plus, it kept me full all morning (major perk!).

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Adaptogen Science’s TastyWHEY:

The World’s first high performance whey protein that tastes so amazing that you won’t believe you are drinking a protein drink. Everyone will love this – it is a drink that will please the whole family! Real milkshake taste, incredibly mouth watering and smooth, with no protein or sweetener aftertaste. After years of research and development, Adaptogen Science® has finally developed what we consider the most complete, and best tasting protein on the market…appropriately named TastyWHEY™.

Keeping a Super-Protein ‘Super’

TastyWHEY™ is a high protein supplement mix that provides exceptional nutrition. It promotes peak wellness by use of a proprietary combination of exceptionally high quality whey protein, along with MCT’s, low glycemic index carbohydrates, and micronutrients AND with an AWESOME taste, too!

Check out Adaptogen on Amazon and Instagram!

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And now since it’s Wednesday, let’s take a look into some other delicious meals for WIAW with Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Just like last week, I made a huge pot of pasta for my lunches and dinners.  It’s just such an easy way to make multiple meals at once.  Again, I used whole wheat pasta which contains far more protein and fiber than white pasta.

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For my “sauce,” I used a combination of what my grandma does.  I sauteed cherry tomatoes, onion, and garlic.  Then, I added a couple packets of NuNaturals. (My grandma explained adding a little sweeteness takes out the bitterness of the tomatoes.)  I threw in some fresh spinach and Parmesan cheese.  That’s it.  So simple, and so tasty.  So good, in fact, that it’s been serving as my lunches and dinners.  I have no problem eating the same thing over and over again when it’s delicious!

Dessert lately has been Arman’s Greek Yogurt Chocolate Brownies.  They’re ridiculous and so fudgy and HEALTHY!  Yes, you read that right.  Ok, so there’s some sugar in them, but they’re mostly healthy (and moderation, people!).  This is actually the second batch I made.  I did make some substitutions based on the ingredients I had on hand, but it’s close enough.  And it’s amazing.

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What’s one of your top flavor combinations?  Chocolate banana peanut butter?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Adaptogen Science.