Bestowed Giveaway {CLOSED}

I hope everyone had an absolutely marvelous weekend!  I know I did; my brother-in-law and his girlfriend were in town, so we had lots of marvelous food and family time.

becca

Last week I was sent a marvelous box from BestowedWhat is Bestowed?  Itz a monthly membership for $19 per month that has 5+ products and include healthy food, amazing lifestyle, and nutrition items that are handpicked by celebrity nutritionist and author Heather Bauer.  In March’s box:

bestowed 1

The goods:

  • Oloves Hot Chili Mama Olives: I do like olives and I do like spicy, so I’m very interested to try these.  I’ve never seen olives in small snack packs; definitely a different idea, but great for any olive lover!  (Plus, 50 calories for the whole bag!)
  • Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars: These, too, will make a great snack that’s naturally sweet.  Heather suggests warming the bar and pairing with fresh fruit, or spreading nut butter on top instead of a fattening pastry – sounds mighty tasty!
  • Happy Family - Happy Squeeze:  I first learned of this brand during the Healthy Living Summit last summer, and fell in love!  I’m pretty sure these are intended for wee ones (I know my niece & nephew love them!), but I have no shame enjoying these.  I can’t wait to try this pomegranate blueberry pear flavor!
  • iTrain $25 Gift Card: I’ve never heard of iTrain, but itz a way to bring fitness and training expertise into your own home.  Workouts are downloaded right to you, so you can customize your workouts; includes music.  Sweet – must check this out!
  • Nature’s Earthly Choice – Easy Quinoa Lentil Soup Mix – This will be a great dinner when I’m in a pinch!  All you do is add water and boil and the best thing about it is that there’s not a lot of sodium (like most packaged foods), and itz loaded with protein and fiber.  Win win!
  • Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts – I am still yet to try hemp hearts, but now I have no excuse.  With 18 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in one serving, itz definitely a hearty addition to any salad, cereal, or yogurt.
  • Artisana Coconut Butter – You know I love anything Artisana and anything coconut butter.  I’m sad there’s just one little squeeze packet because it definitely won’t last long with me!

Itz definitely a good value and a fun package to receive in the mail.  It reminds me of Conscious Box, but with a greater emphasis on food, and I think this would make a really awesome gift to someone.  (I love gifting non-traditional items.)  Plus, this is like the gift that keeps on giving depending on if you buy a three or six month or one year subscription.  Totally rad!

With each box, Heather writes notes that include “two tips” for each of the products.  This is fun because many of her suggestions are ideas that I would not have thought of on my own.  And guess what?

bestowed

Itz YOUR turn to win a box courtesy of Bestowed!  There are three different ways to enter; enter one or enter all, but be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry!

Here’s how to enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment telling us which marvelous item you’d most like to try from the March Bestowed box.
  • Follow Itz Linz and Bestowed on Twitter and tweet the following, “I want to  #getbestowed with a @bstowed box from @ItzLinz! :) http://wp.me/p2WMfo-1tu″
  • Subscribe to Itz Linz by entering in your e-mail address and confirming your follow via e-mail.

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, April 4th at 8:00 pm CST.  One winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Friday, April 5th and will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be selected.  Good luck!

Congratulations to #53 Carly @ Snack Therapy!  Please e-mail me your shipping information.  For everyone else, you may use the code 5OFFBSTOWED01 to receive $5 off your first Bestowed box!

*Bestowed provided me with the box for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.

Healthy Choices

Happy Saturday, friends!  I want to chat with you about some healthy choices I made yesterday.  They are small decisions, but they add up to help me live my healthy lifestyle.  It all began with breakfast.  (It always does, doesn’t it?)  The school I work at breakfast is served in the teacher’s lounge every Friday morning.  Each staff member buddies up with a partner and is responsible for hosting one Friday during the school year.  I love this tradition as it promotes a sense of camaraderie while we eat together on the last day of the week.

The typical breakfast includes bagels, donuts, and juice.  However, sometimes people branch out and spice it up a little.  Today, my third grade team hosted a bridal shower for our lovely co-worker, Nichole.  I wanted to do something different for her shower, and I knew we would be having cake in addition to breakfast.  I decided to nix the donuts and make an oatmeal bar instead.   Nichole recently ran (and rocked!) her first half-marathon and has made great strides with healthy choices.  We often talk about fitness and nutrition, so I knew she would appreciate the healthy alternative of an oatmeal bar.

I put 2 cups of steel-cut oats and 10 cups of water in the crockpot the night before.  I had never made steel-cut oats in the crockpot before, so I wasn’t quite sure how big they would expand.  In the morning, I still had room in the crockpot.  I made an additional two cups of old-fashioned oats on the stovetop and combined it in the crockpot.  (We have a huge staff to feed!)  Toppings included shredded coconut, almond slivers, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some homemade peanut butter granola.  The bar went over extremely well and the crockpot was empty by the end!

After school, Jonny and I planned on going to watch my nephews in a little Mother’s Day performance that their preschool hosted.  We were both starving, so we decided to eat dinner before.  I needed to throw together a fast and tasty dinner.  I had a block of tofu in my press waiting to be used.  I cut the tofu into pieces and baked them in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Then, I steamed broccoli and topped it with nutritional yeast, and smeared some Artisana coconut butter on top of a sweet potato with a dash of cinnamon.

We dipped the baked tofu in a hot and spicy barbecue sauce.  Jonny commented on how full he was after dinner.  See, boys?  You can fill up on tofu!  :)  After dinner, we went to see my nephews and there were some snacks served at the end.  We did indulge in some snacks even though we had already eaten dinner.  Making healthy choices means listening to our bodies and not depriving them.  Did we fix an entire second plate of dinner and stuff our faces with cookies?  No.  Moderation.

Jonny and I had initially planned on getting some fro-yo after the show, but since we had snacked, we decided against it.  Plus, I had something waiting in the freezer that I could turn into a dessert.  When I made the granola for the shower, I made sure to make enough to keep some at home.  Then, Lindsay posted a super easy recipe involving only three ingredients all of which I had on hand: Chobani plain greek yogurt, granola, and chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Yogurt Bites

The sprinkles were my own touch.  :)  Also, I added one drop of NuNaturals vanilla extract to the original recipe.  They turned out awesome and Jonny, once again, was impressed.  I can’t wait to make these for more people because they’ll surely be a crowd pleaser.

So those were some of my healthy choices I made yesterday.  Healthy eating doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be boring.  Finding that balance and finding what works for you is key.  Now I’m off to my first ever Ruckus Run with my sister.  Assuming we make it through in one piece, there will be an update on the race tomorrow.

What healthy choices have you made today?

Coconut Banana Quinoa Bowl

Last night marked the second session of the Healthy Eating Challenge class.  While I had high hopes that the course would get increasingly more in depth, I am sadly mistaken.  Like I said before, the class is excellent for those just starting on their healthy eating journey with a small knowledge base in regards to what constitutes “healty eating.”  For me, I know the vast majority of what they are covering, but I do enjoy collecting the recipes and sampling the food they make!  Last night was a Kale, Carrot, and Avocado salad and Southwestern Veggie Burgers.  The burgers contained brown rice, so I couldn’t taste it due to Passover, but the salad was really good!  On the drive home, the sky looked pretty cool and I couldn’t help but take a picture from my car.

Something that has resonated with me from the class is the encouragement of eating a variety of whole foods.  I love kale and spinach and eat at least one or the other everyday.  However, the speaker did mention how all green leafy vegetables (and all veggies for that matter!) contain different nutrients, so it is important to vary them.  Last time I grocery shopped, I picked up a bunch of collard greens which will be featured in tomorrows WIAW breakfast.  :)

Also, I have been eating eggs for breakfast for the past few days (Hello, matzo ‘n eggs!), and while I’m not sick of them by any measure I wanted to switch it up.  My next go-to breakfast is oats, but being Passover, oats are out of the question.  Quinoa to the rescue!  Wait, isn’t quinoa a grain?  NO!  This is a misconception (by me, too, until recently) and quinoa is actually NOT a grain!  Crazy, right?  I know!  Quinoa is considered a relative of leafy green vegetables.  (source)  Here is a short blurb on just how awesome quinoa is:

Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. (source)

Now do you see why I like quinoa?  Last night I prepared the most amazing quinoa bowl that was eaten this morning for breakfast.  I would actually go out on a limb here and call the bowl “decadent.”  It was that rich, that creamy, and that good.

Coconut Banana Quinoa Bowl

          Makes two bowls.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine quinoa and water in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to low heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Uncover and stir in almond milk, banana, coconut butter, and flax seeds.
  3. Enjoy!

How easy is that?  Prepping it at night makes mornings much easier when breakfast is already prepared.  And you all know how much I like convenience in the kitchen.

What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?  Did you know quinoa is not a grain?