gluten-free

GoMacro: Fuel On-the-Go

DSC01973-1024x680.jpg

MACROBAR SAMPLER PACK

Need an on-the-go snack to fuel you on busy day?

Do you hit the ground running after an early morning workout or rush to return to work after a lunch run or WOD?

Working full-time with a young son, trying to blog and maintain consistent workouts, I've realized the value of a healthy, hearty snack I can grab and eat on the go -- especially one that doesn't leave me feeling guilty for eating something out of a wrapper!

I experimented a lot this past year with high protein, low-calorie bars and snacks trying to shortcut my way to weight loss, but found that ulimately, they didn't provide the substance or nutrition my body needed to also hit the gym hard.

Now, more than ever I'm realizing how important that pre-and-post workout meal is and the impact of the macros I choose, if I choose wisely! Thus the reason I was pumped to work with GoMacro and have the opportunity to try the MacroBar Sampler Pack, and share with you what I've come to love about this brand and its products.

First things first: They taste good! My favorite flavor is the peanut butter chocolate chip, but I also loved the banana + almond butter and the apple + walnut bar. They're chewy and sweet, but not too sweet and have just the right amount of nutty flavor.

These bars have been a life-saver, too on particularly busy days when we're rushing around town. We've had so many events this summer: birthday parties and cookouts, plus the usual doctor's appointments and therapies. I can eat one of these bars on our way out the door and then forget to eat until the evening (not good, I know, but they're pretty satisfying and it's great to not feel hungry and stranded, and tempted by fast food).

What others have said: My mom wasn't a fan of the cashew flavor she tried (even though she typically loves caramel and she had the Cashew Caramel) and Aaron commented that they were a bit "dense" and "chewy" but both agreed that the bar was satisfying and left them feeling full for a long time after eating it.

What does it mean? GoMacro? While there are still a lot of paleo goers out there, a lot of athletes are leaning toward IIFYM these days; IIFM stands for "if it fits your macros," a breakdown and healthy balance of the carbs, protein, and healthy fat for each meal with desired total of each for the day, depending on your workout routine. It sounds complex, but what's most important is that the approach evaluates every ingredient and doesn't discount something if it's a carb or fat, long as it's the healthy kind, which is what you'll find in these bars: made from wholesome nuts, berries, fruits, and nut butters!

What to watch out for: Well, the bars aren't cheap but most high quality foods aren't these days. You pay for what you get! They also have sugar in them, but it's not added sugar -- it's mostly from fruit! Also, be advised of the latest recall -- scary, I know! However, it appears it was a very limited quantity of GoMacro products involved; their recall stemmed from one issued by their almond supplier. With fresh, locally sourced products, this is always a concern and I was at least glad to see the company air on the side of caution.

Where can you find GoMacro bars? Here's what I love: they're in 7-11! They're also sold in most WholeFoods and at TraderJoes.

Not every flavor is going to be your favorite, so I suggest picking up the sampler pack give all the varieties a try: each tray contains one of the 10 flavors with an additional best-selling peanut butter chocolate chip bar (my personal fav), and sunflower butter + chocolate bar.

Other flavors include peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter + carob, banana + almond butter, granola + coconut, cherries + berries, cashew caramel, and apple + walnuts! If you're looking for high-protein, make sure to snag one with the "HIGH PROTEIN" marker on the top right of the package.

The bottom line --  if you're an athlete living a busy life, like so many of us, give GoMacro a try!

DSC01976-1024x680.jpg
GoMacroBar 1
GoMacroBar 1
GoMacro Bar
GoMacro Bar

Oh, an PS: you can't see the actual ingredients in the photo below but you can see the commitment to "feeling good about what we eat" -- something I'm certainly embracing on my journey to getting fit again! I also love that these bars are "vegan, wholesome, sourced sustainably" and "give back."

DSC02027-1024x680.jpg
DSC02024-680x1024.jpg
DSC02024-1-680x1024.jpg
GoMacro Healthy Snack
GoMacro Healthy Snack

What's your favorite healthy snack/bar for on-the-go?

What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

Recipe: Paleo Chocolate Banana Muffins

Paleo-Chocolate I was in a real baking mood last weekend. More than anything, I just wanted to get to the grocery store -- we were out of everything -- and get in my kitchen. I've discovered that's my happy place (either one really), and I love trying new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients.

2013-11-10_0005

SONY DSC

I debated sharing these with you because they weren't out-of-this world like some of our other recipes, but they weren't bad either. I wanted to bake -- it's that time of year -- but I didn't want to make something I'd regret later (like cookies or brownies), so that is why I choose these paleo chocolate banana muffins from Fit Foodie Finds (one of my favorite blogs for recipes)!

I followed the recipe exactly, but I think hers look a little different than mine! Mine didn't rise as much, and I may or may not have upped the number of chocolate chips in the recipe. ;)

Next time, I plan to make a few slight modifications. I'd use two smashed bananas instead of one - there wasn't enough banana flavor in my opinion. I also might try raisins instead of chocolate chips because I think the muffins needed to have a sweeter taste. They were a bit grainy, too but I think that's my fault because I didn't sift the almond meal - was I supposed to? Oops! Either way, they were still a nice addition to my breakfast rotation and I recommend trying them yourself!

SONY DSC SONY DSC

If you wanna give these a try, go here for the recipe!

Also in case you're wondering, I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips because they are dairy-free. They're great to work with and I later used them for these nutty energy balls (recipe for that coming soon)!

Also, I'm proud to report that these are my pictures! I took them! [Insert cheesy smile here!] I'm working on improving my food photography skills because Lauren (our resident food photographer) isn't always available.

What do you guys think? Did I do OK? I read a tip to use an old cookie sheet as a backdrop, and I think it turned out great! I'd love your feedback.

Are you a food photographer? 

Do you like experimenting with new foods or tweaking recipes? 

 

Gina Zeidler: Giving up Sugar

Good morning and happy Monday! I'm so excited about today's feature, I can't stand it! This is a continuation of the Industry Fit series I started with Meredith Perdue, highlighting the healthy habits of some of the wedding industry's leading ladies. It is with great honor and pleasure that I introduce you to Gina Zeidler, who shares below about her sugar-free lifestyle.  

AprilSelfPortrait4BW

Meet-Gina

Gina is a God-loving, gluten-free, sugar-free, runner, CrossFitter, wedding photographer, mentor, and Making Things Happen alum - she was a speaker at the Making Things Happen intensive I attended back in 2011. Gina's blog is one of my very favorite sources of inspiration online, and I'm not talking about scroll-through, not-read-anything inspiration -- I'm talking hit-you-in-the-gut with life's truths kind of inspiration! Gina's passion for God is truly contagious, as is her strive for a healthful, happy life. I'm honored to add Gina to our Industry Fit list! 

What made you decide to give up sugar?

For me it was eating Gluten and Dairy Free for 4 years and still feeling inflammation and bloating continuously in my body. Sugar was the last thing to take a peek at why I still wasn't feeling well. Or good for how hard I worked on eating clean. (HA! Little did I know)

What was the first step? 

This is the hard question. Because I had eaten so clean in the past it was hard to say an exact point. Purchasing one of Maria's books was probably my biggest eye opener. I bought this recipe book from Maria and it had so many good nuggets that started to open my eyes that sugar is everywhere!! Then the next big step was attending Maria's Webinar Class Videos (she is local so I went in person) so you watch one right now! Maria just does a great job of breaking all this sugar stuff down into lay peoples terms. I am definitely a bit more lienient now and don't follow all of her things, but she is just a good source of explaining when you feel lost.

How did you prepare?

After the webinar, I just came home and started to tackle a couple of recipes. It definitely wasn't an all or nothing thing for me. It took time!!! 

What were the first few days like?

Sugar and your blood sugar will take time to adjust. Fighting through those first weeks of sugar cravings are always interesting. Yet the BEST thing about the way I eat is that I STILL EAT COOKIES! I still have sweets. I just bake them differently. So really it's just PREPARING time and ordering the foods that you need (some are online and harder to get).

Are you surprised to find sugar in some foods?

I just had no idea that carbs added up to SUGAR in my blood stream. 4g effective carbs equals 1 tsp of sugar in the blood. Do you know what a normal blood sugar level is? 1 cup? 2 cups? NO, 1 TEASPOON of sugar is a normal blood sugar! For adults, children, teens and babies. Blood sugar increases insulin and insulin is TOXIC to our bodies and cells. I still eat carbs (sweet potato, veggies, etc. but just choose them on occasion and really note how my body reacts to them) Popcorn was the biggest SMACK in the face to me. Here is a great article on this :: http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/popcorn-and-weight-gain/.

Do you still foods with naturally occurring sugar, like fruit?

I have added back some fruit and starch vegetables and just really take it as it comes. You have to clear out your body first to see what it can handle, is my thought process.

How do you feel now that you've given up sugar?

Honestly giving up sugar has been the BIGGEST blessing in my life. MY ENTIRE LIFE I have been addicted to food, never able to walk past treats and sugary goodness. Taking sugar out of my diet has COMPLETELY freed me from this. I am so utterly grateful. Again, everyone's body make up is different but so often we get down on ourselves and fall into eating disorders because we aren't aware of what our BODIES REALLY NEED. We need to EAT FAT! And watch other things to balance out our diet. 

It's been such a blessing because I thought my eating was ALL my mental weakness, but I fully believe we are truly ADDICTED to certain chemicals in our food. Now I recognize them so simply if I have something accidentally. I feel that crazy I NEED FOOD NOW reactor going off that I haven't experienced in months. 

Do you still crave sweets?

Depends on the day. Closer to my "monthly friend" definitely still do, but definitely not as much AT all. Like I said, I am free!

Do friends and family know you've given up sugar? How do they react?

It definitely makes socializing hard at times. So many people think it's my next diet craze, since I have tried so many things. Yet, over time they have really seen the benefits in my appearance and stress level too. It's been so much easier to stick to my guns because I DON'T WANT TO feel icky. It's not a weight-based thing for me. I just don't want to feel bloated and yucky!!

Has your husband given up sugar, too?

Matt definitely has been on this journey with me, yet he still eats other stuff as well. It's just his personal prerogative and his body isn't as sensitive. 

How do you plan to survive the holidays? Do you make allowances?

Moderation with REAL food like fruit and starchy veggies, yet staying away from processed food! Yes, I want to live my life but being graceful with myself, which is a really hard line. Alot of my eating is connected to my spiritual walk also. SO I am continuing to follow the Lord and my faith. 

What are some of your favorite healthy food resources? Certain magazines or blogs?

Maria Emmerich's Blog, We Chose This, Paleo, no sugar recipes :)

What advice would you give others who want to give up sugar? 

It's a process. Yes, going cold turkey is effective, but sometimes not mentality the best for you. So don't get overwhelmed  SLOWLY try see what your body can tolerate. That does require bringing it to bare bones, but you can do it! Inform yourself. Watch Fat Head on Netflix. Totally explains sugar. Also, shop online for some products! I love Netrition, Nuts.com and Vitacost!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Gina and to help those of us in the sugar struggle!

Friends, do you have a sugar addiction?

Have you given up sugar, even for a short period of time? What was your experience?