Mamma Chia Giveaway

You know when you love something you just have to take a duck-faced selfie with it?  No?  Just me?

mamma chia drink

Oh c’mon, you know you do it, too!

Mamma Chia, the leader of the chia revolution, has created a delicious new beverage that combines the powerhouse of chia with healthy, vibrant greens.

Chia & Greens is a delicious, fun on-the-go beverage with one of the lowest amounts of sugar and the highest amount of nutrients in the green drinks universe. In fact, each bottle delivers 2500mg of Omega-3s, seven grams of fiber, four grams of complete protein, 25% RDA of Vitamin A, and 95mg of calcium. Enjoy it as a kick-start to your day, as a revitalizing mid-afternoon pick-me-up or anytime you want that feeling of rejuvenation!  It comes in four tasty flavors:

  • Soulful Greens (Cayenne and Lemon)
  • Love Greens (Beet and Ginger)
  • Grateful Greens (Kale and Mint)
  • Joyful Greens (Ginger and Lemongrass)

People always ask me if chia drinks are good.  YES!  The texture is different since obviously they are filled with chia seeds which forms a gel-like consistency, but if that doesn’t bother you, then the taste is amazing.  Not to mention the awesome nutritional benefits that, Mamma Chia especially, chia drinks deliver!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mamma Chia.  They recently sent me a huge package which William and I both have been enjoying.

mamma chia bar

The chia vitality bars are great to throw in your purse.  I took this one out when I was getting my hair done at Preston Salon (the best in St. Louis!).  These chia vitality bars are extra amazing since there are only four grams of sugar in them.  This is VERY low compared to other snack bars and the flavors are awesome!

I also received some chia vitality granola clusters which is the crunchiest granola I’ve ever had.  The flavors are: Wild Blueberry Clusters (my favorite!), Vanilla Almond Clusters, Cinnamon Pecan Clusters, and Honey & Oats Clusters.  I’ve been topping my smoothies with them, adding granola to yogurt, and eating it straight out of the bag.  The wild blueberry flavor tastes like a blueberry muffin!

~ linking up with healthy diva ~

William has been demolishing the chia squeezes.

mamma chia squeeze

William is a picky eater (aren’t all toddlers?!), but always loves pouches.  I try to reserve them just as treats, and the chia squeezes are definitely treats with their fun flavors.  William gets an extra punch of nutrition when he eats one of these squeezes.  Audrey approves of them, as well, and now always asks for one when she comes to my house.  Check out these fun flavors: Cherry BeetBlackberry BlissGreen MagicMango CoconutStrawberry BananaWild Raspberry.

Now for the best part: Mamma Chia is graciously giveaway away one gigantic package of Mamma Chia goodness to one of YOU lucky readers!  You’ll receive the same package that I did (plus a couple extra chia squeezes that aren’t pictured since William got to them before I snapped the photo!):

mamma chia

To enter this giveaway, comment on this blog post and tell us which Mamma Chia  product you’re most excited to try (mandatory!).  For additional optional entries:

  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Twitter and tweet the following, “AMAZING @MammaChia giveaway on @ItzLinz’s blog! Check it out –  http://wp.me/p2WMfo-3E2 #SeedYourSoul #FitFluential”
  • Follow Itz Linz and Mamma Chia on Instagram and like my Mamma Chia Instagram post.  Tag up to three friends for additional entries!

Be sure to comment on this post to have your additional entries counted!  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm CST.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, June 10, 2016.  CLOSED

Congratulations #18,  Gia E. Please email me with your shipping information, so we can get your package of Mamma Chia goodness to you ASAP! 🙂

~Disclaimer: Through my partnership with FitFluential, I received these products at no cost in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins Recipe

I’ve been so much better at food / meal prepping and cooking lately.  Even if I make just one thing over the weekend, it makes the busy work week a little bit easier.  Last weekend I made apple cinnamon oat bread, and then it went so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to properly photograph it.  So I made it again, took pictures, and decided I must share the recipe with you.  I actually like it a lot better as muffins rather than bread.  Muffins are easier to grab and go and help with portion control.  With loaves of bread (or brownies or cakes), I’m one of those people who always has to “even it out.”  You know what I’m talking about.  Slicing a small sliver here and there to make a straight line across, and then before you know it, half the pan is gone.  Sorry not sorry.

apple cinnamon oat bread

Anyway, even if I (with William’s help) did eat the whole loaf way too quickly, it’s fine because they are very healthy with no refined sugar.  There’s just a small amount of honey in it, but besides that, everything is good for you.

The first time I made it, I wasn’t sure how much it would rise, so I poured a small amount in a small loaf tin, as well.  The second time I made it, I tweaked a couple things, and it made a dozen muffins – the perfect amount.  I tried to photograph it almost straight from the oven, but some sticky fingers, impatient hands, and rumbling bellies got a hold of the tray before me.

apple cinnamon oat muffin

There are many add-in options for these apple cinnamon muffins.  I kept half plain and added raisins to six of them.  I think I like it better with raisins, but William doesn’t eat raisins yet.  Other fun options include nuts, chocolate chips, or even peanut butter.  These muffins are flavorful and super moist.

William is a big fan of apple cinnamon muffins.  They’re so convenient to take out and add to his lunch box for school. So these are baby (toddler) approved, kid (Audrey) approved, and momma approved.  Make them for a healthy snack or enjoy as a sweet treat.  Oatmeal is a healthy food for a variety of reasons.  It was William’s first food, but he doesn’t eat it on a regular basis anymore.  Now that he eats breakfast at school, it needs to be foods that he can feed himself.  He can feed himself liquids (like yogurt), but he makes a big mess, so we stick to more solids if he’s on his own.

apple cinnamon oat muffins recipe

I use Coach’s Oats which are perfect for these muffins.  Coach’s Oats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces.  Some oat muffin recipes require you to grind the oats to a flour.  No, no.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  Coach’s Oats are perfect since they are already in small pieces.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins Recipe

~makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Coach’s Oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, diced
  • optional: 1/2 cup raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix egg, banana, milk, honey, and vanilla.
  2. Stir in Coach’s Oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple.
  3. Pour batter into greased muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (or until done) at 375 degrees.

apple cinnamon oat muffins

Not only are these muffins delicious, healthy, easy to make, and perfect to grab and go for anyone who is busy, but they also make your house smell amazing when they’re baking.  Most likely, you already have the ingredients on hand, so go ahead and try out this recipe over the weekend.  Let me know how much you love them! 🙂

What’s your favorite flavor of muffins to bake?

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.

Chocolate Chip Banana Peanut Butter Protein Wrap

We all know I’m a fan of the chocolate banana peanut butter combo.  (Really, who isn’t?)  Well, I’ve found yet another way to enjoy it.  Not only is it healthy (ok, the chocolate chips being healthy is debatable…), but more importantly it’s loaded with protein.  And when I mean loaded, I mean loaded.  Look at this beauty:

chocolate chip banana peanut butter protein wrap

You can’t really see the ooey gooey goodness inside the wrap, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  And it’s crazy simple to make, too.  All you need is: a Flatout ProteinUP Core 12 wrap, a banana, coconut oil, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. (Powdered sugar for a light dusting at the end if you want to get all fancy.)  First, slightly warm up the wrap by toasting or microwaving it for a short time.  Then, slather a layer of peanut butter over the whole thing (don’t skimp!).  Next, cook your bananas in coconut oil.  This is a very important step; do not substitute coconut oil for anything else!  Once your banana slices have cooked long enough, scatter them on the wrap, followed by chocolate chips.  Eat up!

Now let me tell you how these wraps are so protein-packed.  Flatout Flatbread just launched a line of high protein, low carb flatbread wraps to help people access the power of protein without excess carbs. Each flatbread has 12g to 15g of protein (from beans not protein isolates so they taste great!) and only 8g to 10g net carbs (more than two eggs!). That’s three flavors that you’ll #FlatoutLove:

  • Core 12: Flatout’s original wrap recipe, made with chickpeas
  • Red Pepper Hummus: powered by chickpeas
  • Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper: brought to you by navy beans

proteinup

HERE is a buy-one-get-one free coupon on any Flatout.

Many of my friends and other people I know are not that into using protein powder as a way to increase their protein intake.  I totally get it (though I don’t mind protein powder).  These ProteinUP wraps are the answer.  There are so many different ways you can eat them, and twelve grams of protein in the wrap alone is huge! Not to mention the additional protein you get from whatever you put inside!

Walmart just began carrying Flatout’s new ProteinUP wraps.  Since this is a new product roll-out they might not be available at every Walmart, but they are at Publix, too.  Check around.  These are seriously perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, pre/post workout, dessert, you name it!

I have three packages of these flatouts, and they are awesome for any meal.  Stuff them with eggs for breakfast.  Tuna or chicken salad or turkey for lunch.  Buffalo chicken for dinner.  Veggies and cheese for snack.  Chocolate chip banana peanut butter for a sweet treat.  I could go on and on.

Article of interest: Do The Math For A Healthy Lunch via FitFluential

I’m still stickin’ to my story that chocolate chips can be healthy… Everything in moderation, right?  RIGHT!

What would YOU stuff your Flatout ProteinUP with?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Flatout.