Peanut Butter – My Greatest Weakness

5545cb4c2c677485f8b00fc169ae8b12I am not really sure when I became obsessed with peanut butter. It is fairly recent. I think I just stayed away from it because people always said it was fatty. But then….once I started running everyone said you should eat peanut butter. Suddenly all inhibitions went out the window. I try to limit it to 2 tablespoons a day, but that just doesn’t always happen. It just makes everything better. I look forward to my long run breakfast of peanut butter on toast with a banana all week. Then, I buy peanut butter gels and look forward to my long run. Peanut butter is basically responsible for my marathon.

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Well, the kind folks over at My Protein were nice enough to send me some peanut butter and instant oats protein powder to test out. Any excuse to experiment with new peanut butter recipes is fine by me!

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The first thing I made was peanut butter granola. The recipe was from The Racing Weight Cookbook. If you have not read this cookbook, it is brilliant. Matt Fitzgerald comes up with a variety of balanced meals made just for endurance athletes. The recipes range from simple to advanced.

IMG_20150702_121557_161The granola went perfect with berries and plain Greek yogurt. Now, while the peanut butter made an excellent granola, I also tasted it straight out of the jar. I like that it is natural peanut butter. There is no added sugar like many brands. The only ingredient is peanuts. The peanut butter was creamy. (You can also buy crunchy.) It is natural peanut butter, though, so expect to have to stir it up. It is also best kept in the fridge.

IMG_20150702_150526_266As for the instant oat protein powder, I made a smoothie for after my speed workout last week. (8 x 400s at a 6:50 pace) This was a great recovery drink. I felt ready to go the next day. The shake had the instant oat protein powder (chocolate flavor), banana, blueberries, spinach, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. The protein powder tasted pretty standard to me. I am really no expert on protein powder, but it was not overly sweet like some protein powder can be. The price is reasonable as well. One main reason I don’t buy protein powder is the price!

I would recommend these products to anyone looking to boost their protein intake. I am really working on getting my nutrition levels just right for upcoming marathon training. I think I need to add more protein and healthy fats. I am working on it.

Are you obsessed with peanut butter?

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My Protein provided the products for review, but all opinions are my own.

Trying New Things!

1007141616This week I tried hemp hearts for the first time ever! I am all about chia and flax, so I figured these would be right up my alley. The kind folks over at Manitoba Harvest hooked me up.

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First, I tried the hemp hearts with strawberries in plain Greek yogurt. They added a nice crunchy texture. They taste similar to both a nut and a seed. I was surprised at how much flavor they packed. While they have a similar crunchy texture to adding granola,they definitely do not taste anything like granola. This would be an acquired taste for me, but worth it because of all the protein and Omega 3’s in these little guys.

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Next, I made hemp butter, which was AWESOME. I used this recipe that I found online. I spread the butter on my toast in the morning for a protein packed breakfast that kept me full through most of the morning. I definitely preferred the hemp hearts in this form. If you would like to try some hemp, use the code HHSweatPink at Manitoba Harvest’s site.

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If that wasn’t exciting enough…I am also trying out the Handana! It is a sweat band that you wear around your hand. It can be used to wipe sweat, or according to the company…snot. I took the handana for it’s first spin today. I barely noticed it was there. It was too cool outside to really be sweating, but I think it would be perfect for on the treadmill. I will gave that a try soon. It is something I probably wouldn’t purchase on my own, but if you have a real sweating problem and hate carrying a towel, this would be perfect for you!

Have you ever eaten hemp? Any recipe ideas?

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Manitoba Harvest and Handana provided these products to me, but all opinions are my own.

Vega Sport Review

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I know I have mentioned a million times that I love experimenting with new things in my training. I am also a huge sucker for free samples and giveaways. It actually makes up the majority of my mail these days. It is important to try things out before you make a big purchase!

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I was fortunate enough to be selected to review Vega Sport’s endurance gel. I even scored a nice raspberry flavor. Since I have been doing a lot of races lately, it is time for me to take a much needed rest. As a result, I do not have many long runs scheduled in the near future. The package said that the gels can be consumed every hour of activity or fifteen minutes prior to activity. Due to my current lack of long runs, I chose to take the gel 15 minutes before my five mile run.

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The flavor tasted decent. These gels are not loaded with sugar, so you can’t expect them to taste the same as say a mocha or salted caramel flavored gel.  I would rather take a healthier option that doesn’t taste as delicious as candy to one loaded with sugar. And, yes…you might say, why don’t you just eat whole foods? I definitely love a good raisin as fuel, but no one is sending me free raisins now are they?

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The great thing about Vega Sport’s products are that they are plant based, unlike many gels out there. The product was easy to digest and did not cause any stomach issues. Overall, if you are used to the taste of plant based, healthier products, you will not have any problem with the taste of these. If you aren’t, you should still give them a try anyways. Variety is the spice of life!

What do you look for in an endurance gel…or what do you fuel with instead?

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Vega provided me with the samples for this review, but all reviews are my honest opinion.

 

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies!

I am still experimenting with a gluten free diet to see what effect it has on my Crohn’s Disease. I am a work  in progress. It is hard to give up wheat completely! I’m getting there slowly. Rice seems to be taking over my diet and filling the void of wheat. Luckily, I found a recipe for quinoa cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie. If you have never been to her blog, you need to…NOW.

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The recipe calls for quinoa flour, which I just made my putting quinoa in a blender – very simple. I also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk for the milk.

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The first time, I just followed the recipe and added chocolate chips. The next time I added powdered peanut butter. The peanut butter really took it to the next level. These cookies were delicious. I can’t believe they only clock in at about 60-70 calories. I am officially hooked.

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Adding sea salt on top really takes it to the next level. You can taste the quinoa slightly in the original version. With the peanut butter, you can barely taste it, if at all. I plan on making these many times in the future. Yum! For the recipe, click here.

What are your thoughts on quinoa?

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First Time Trying Protein Powder

I’ve been curious for a very long time about protein powder. As my miles increase, I become more and more concerned about nutrition. I’ve done a little research on protein powder, and I wanted to make sure I was getting as natural as I possibly could. For my first ever venture into protein powder, I chose Vegan Smart Plant Based Protein.

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I had a very nice combination of flavors to try – vanilla, chocolate, and chai. I was instantly drawn to the chai flavor. I am obsessed with chai tea. It is delicious. I knew I had to try this flavor first. After much thought, I decided I wanted to go with the classic protein shake.

Chai Protein Shake

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I combined half a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk with one packet of chai protein powder and ten ice cubes. I must admit, it was delicious. The shake definitely has the taste that many artificial sweeteners have. This does not bother me at all. If you are sensitive to this taste, I would recommend adding a banana to your shake. The next day, I made a shake using one banana, half a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ten ice cubes, and one packet of vanilla protein powder. That was perfect. It was spot on. I really liked what the banana added to the mix – just the right amount of sweetness.

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal

Protein Oatmeal - Miss Adventures in Running

For my next creation,  I made chocolate protein oatmeal. I am obsessed with oatmeal. This one really hit the spot.  I made one cup of oatmeal using water and stirred in half a packet of chocolate protein powder. Again, I noticed the sweetness was just not right for me. I drizzled some honey on top. That fixed this completely. I gobbled that breakfast up like it was nobody’s business.

Vanilla Protein Latte

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For an extra little kick one morning, I made a vanilla latte to start the day. I combined half a packet of the vanilla protein powder with 8 oz of coffee and a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I really enjoyed the combination of the vanilla with the coffee. I usually prefer my coffee black, but a latte hits the spot every once in awhile, especially one with extra vitamins and minerals!

Chocolate Protein “Ice-Cream”

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream - Miss Adventures in Running

For my final treat, I made a healthier version of ice cream. I cut one large banana into bite sized pieces and froze them overnight. The next day, I combined the banana, half a packet of chocolate protein powder, and a fourth a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk in a food processor. Blend until smooth like ice cream. Enjoy!

Here is the breakdown of my opinion of the product:

Pros:

  • More natural than many protein powders
  • Delicious flavors
  • Gave me lasting energy and fullness throughout day
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • The sweetness factor was a little off for me – can be fixed by adding ingredients

Overall, I enjoyed the fullness and energy the protein powder gave me. Like all things though, moderation is key. Still make sure to get plenty of whole foods, too!

What are your thoughts on protein powder? How do you like to enjoy your protein powder? 

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from 4sponsor.com with my unbised thoughts. Naturade provided me with the free samples, but did not pay for my review. These opinions are my own and unbiased.

Let’s Get Healthy!

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I feel like I am a pretty healthy person, but I do think that there is room for improvement. I am working on eating healthier. It’s not that I eat badly, but I would like to eat more whole foods and have less sugar. Some things that I am trying….

Ezekial Bread – I love how natural this bread is. It is not processed heavily like so many other breads. I also really like the nutty flavor it has. I freeze it so it lasts longer.

Green Smoothies – I have stocked up on spinach for plenty of smoothies. I have tried some recipes that I like, and some that I hate. Carrots and beets…not one I would recommend. Spinach, banana, blackberries? definitely. My problem with green smoothies is that I want to put lots of fruit in so it tastes good, but what I really need is to add vegetables. I am slowly adding more vegetables. I just have to find the right combo.

Grapeseed Oil – I am trying to use this healthier oil in my cooking. You really cannot tell the difference.

Carrots and Hummus – When I get home from school, I need a snack. I am trying to turn to these two instead of less healthy, processed snacks.

Almond Milk – I do not really like milk, but I am trying to get some more calcium. I really like unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I try to drink a glass at least a couple times a week.

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I am also trying lots of new recipes from my Runner’s World Cookbook. It is an awesome cookbook that I would highly recommend. The picture above is of turkey sausage with lots of herbs, feta cheese, and rigatoni. Next time, I plan on using whole wheat pasta, but I didn’t want to waste the pasta I already had. I want to be healthy, but I still have to live on a budget! (Also, don’t freak out. That is grapeseed oil, not sausage grease! The turkey sausage is quite lean!)

How do you make sure you eat healthy?

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