Detour Bar: Healthy, Tasty, Easy to Pack, and Toddler Approved!

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The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Detour Bar.

Several times this summer, my gym and online personal training clients have asked me for granola or protein bar recommendations. Unfortunately, there are not many options that I can give them for an easy, and healthy summer snack bar!

Granola bars are often extremely high in sugar and processed items that we simply do not need in our bodies. In fact, granola bars packed with insoluble fiber and other ingredients often cause me major bloating and discomfort.

I was thrilled when I was presented with the opportunity to review the Detour Bar — a healthy, tasty, easy to transport, and toddler approved option.

The Detour Bar is gluten-free, high in protein, and only has 135 calories! It’s all natural and sweetened with stevia. I often need quick energy before a boot camp or client workout — this bar was perfect for a fast snack that gave me a boost of energy.

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Oh, and did I mention it tastes amazing? I received the bars in the mail last week and they were gone within a couple of days thanks to two little kiddies that couldn’t seem to keep their paws out of the pantry. And don’t you just love a healthy snack that is easy to grab and go for your toddlers?

Be sure to check my IG page tonight (@fitparnering) because I may just be doing a giveaway for these bars!

Visit the Detour Bar site  for more information about their products, a resourceful blog, and to stay in-the-loop on promotions. Also be sure to like the Detour Bar Facebook page and follow them on IG and Twitter (@detourbar).

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Vega Sport Energy Bars Review

Pic on the left is 6 years ago, and photos on the right are this past weekend.

Pic on the left is 6 years ago, and photos on the right are this past weekend.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend with your families and are enjoying a fabulous start to the week. We were in the pool for most of the weekend, and it was wonderful!

This past week, I started an in-person boot camp in town. I led one last summer starting two weeks after Baby Cole was born, and it was a TON of fun. I have already really enjoyed getting to know the ladies in the boot camp, and I can’t wait to see their results. Like my online boot camp program, we are combining effective HIIT workouts with some running, and proper nutrition. I am following the eat clean challenge that I created with my online and in-person boot campers, and I feel SO good. Honestly, even after delivering two babies, I believe that I am the healthiest I have ever been.  Here is a photo (left) from 6 years ago before I had any babies or the stresses of my own company and a house to manage, and two photos (right) from this past weekend. It IS possible to be fitter and more healthy AFTER having babies.

A huge part of my personal wellness plan includes a clean, whole foods, balanced approach to my food intake. 6 years ago, I was careful to “count calories,” but not necessarily eat the nutrient dense foods that my body needed to fuel my workouts. Now, I don’t count calories at all or measure portion sizes, macros, etc. I eat clean, whole foods to satisfaction.

The chocolate coconut almond bars were SO delish.

The chocolate coconut almond bars were SO delish.

My current food intake is a high veggies, high protein, high [good] fats plan. Recently, I had the opportunity to taste-test the Vega Sport Energy Bars as part of a SweatPink and Vega Sport Fuel Your Better campaign. The box I received was chocolate coconut almond. Oh my goodness … SOOOOO delish. I am a sucker for anything chocolate and almond, and adding in the coconut gave the bars a perfect taste.

The Vega Sport website says the following about these amazing bars:

“Moist and delicious, plant-based Vega Sport Energy Bar is easy to eat mid-workout to help you go the distance. Each function-focused bar features:

  • 27 g carbs from whole food ingredients
  • High and low glycemic carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy
  • 1 g Omega-3

Formulated by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on performance nutrition, Vega Sport Energy Bar is part of the three-stage Vega Sport Nutrition System.

Non-GMO, gluten-free, and made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, enjoy Vega Sport Energy Bars in Chocolate Coconut Almond and Apple Cherry flavors.”

Visit the Vega Sport Fuel Your Better to learn more about how to properly fuel your body for workouts. The site is fabulous and very informative. It covers the topics of motivation, overtraining, stamina, muscle burn, and the importance of proper fueling.

I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to taste-test the Vega Sport Energy Bars, and I definitely recommend that you try them as well! Enjoy.

Eat Clean Challenge Update

Week 1 (left) versus Week 3 (right). Can you see some progress?

Week 1 (left) versus Week 3 (right). Can you see some progress?

It’s been nearly four weeks since the hubs and I started our eat clean challenge. If you remember, I created an “approved” and “unapproved” foods list for us to follow. The intention was to do a “sugar detox” of sorts to get sugary treats and junk food cravings out of our system, and focus on a high protein, high fat, low carb meal plan. The approved list was very close to Paleo, but had a few “extra” items.

So, here’s a little update for you. Days 1-3 were hard … but doable. When I set my mind to something, it’s fairly easy to stick with it the first few days. In fact, I was barely even craving sugary treats since I had made up my mind not to eat them.

Then day 4-6 happened.

Wow — super rough.

On day 4 I started craving carbs like crazy. I also hit a low-carb wall and began feeling a lot of muscle fatigue while I worked out. Carbs turn into glucose and are stored as glycogen in the muscles. And the worst part was — my mood turned sour. See — carbs increase happy hormone levels in the brain.

When I hit the low-carb wall, I started to think that maybe the eat clean challenge was a stupid idea. And then I did an ab check on Thursday evening. WOW — I was already starting to see some definition. In fact, my progress after just four days was pretty significant. Also, because I cut the processed junk food out of my food intake, I wasn’t feeling gassy or bloated in the least. Seeing and feeling some good progress on day 4 got me through day 5 and 6.

We built in a cheat day on vacation!

We built-in a cheat day on vacation!

On days 5 and 6, man I was feeling the need for some treats. We made a sugar-free peanut butter cookie on Saturday evening — not very tasty. Then we made some sugar-free peanut butter cookie dough no-bake bites on Sunday with ingredients from my “approved foods” list. Holy goodness — super delish!

Since the first week, it has been far easier to eat clean! I haven’t really been craving sweets or whole grains much at all. Prior to our challenge, we had been eating pop corn and ice cream every single night. Now, I barely even think about it — success! I think my body is getting more used to my new eating routine, and I find that I’m not hungry in between meals either. I’m only drinking one cup of coffee per day, and making it a point to drink lots more water. I am finding that I am craving water versus coffee even in the morning.

One of the most significant improvements that I’ve seen is a little more subtle. Baby Cole caught a cold at church the weekend we started the challenge. He’s been dealing with a nasty cold ever since (poor guy). This entire winter, I was getting sick immediately after the kiddos got sick — there was literally no hope for me and it seemed like my immune system was totally shot. Now that I’ve completely taken out sugar and processed foods in my diet, I’ve been able to avoid catching Cole’s sickness. Coincidence? Not a chance. It’s because I’m not in taking immune-killing sugary treats on a regular basis.

The hubs and I are both feeling GREAT!

The hubs and I are both feeling GREAT!

I truly believe that the hubs and I are already looking and feeling better as a result of our eat-clean challenge.

Also, this Saturday I plan to build in a cheat-day, and we’ve built-in a few throughout the challenge (especially on vacation).  I am a huge proponent of balance and moderation, so now that we’ve re-set our systems a bit and gotten rid of select cravings, we will add some items back into the “approved foods” list. Here’s the list for the next couple weeks with new items bolded:

Approved foods:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Oats
  • Sweet potato
  • Almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sugar free hard candy and popsicles
  • All-natural peanut butter
  • Fruit (one serving per day)
  • Dessert item (one serving per week)

Unapproved foods:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Sugar and treats
  • Carbs (except complex carbs from approved foods list)
  • And anything NOT on the approved foods list

I have not lost any weight on the challenge. My goal was to redistribute weight a bit, and get some definition in my midsection. I don’t own a scale, but happened to weigh myself on vacation last week, and I am exactly the same weight as before I had Cole (5 or 6 healthy lbs heavier than before I got pregnant with Emma).

Overall, I feel GREAT, and plan to continue this lifestyle long after the challenge is over!

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Emma's going to be a big sister to a baby BROTHER!

Emma’s going to be a big sister to a baby BROTHER!

First, an important announcement! I had my 20 week ultrasound last week and found out that Baby Tress is a BOY! I could not be more excited! I can’t wait to give birth to my little athlete.

Ah … weight gain during pregnancy. A very hot topic, but one that is hard to discuss. Today I hit the 21 week mark, and I have gained nearly 11 pounds of baby weight! With my first pregnancy, I was obsessed with the numbers on the scale. I actually purchased a scale in the first trimester, just so I could track my weight gain during pregnancy and be sure that I was gaining enough, but not too much.

I wrote about weight gain during my first pregnancy in the following posts. Read them for more information on weight gain during pregnancy and to hear what other women experienced as well.

21 weeks pregnant and past the 10 lb weight gain mark. Really poking out now!

21 weeks pregnant and past the 10 lb weight gain mark. Really poking out now!

This pregnancy I have been much more laid back about my weight gain. I started off at a healthier BMI pre-pregnancy (about 5 lbs heavier that with my first pregnancy). As a result, my weight gain was slower in the first trimester this time around. In fact, I likely only gained about 1 or 2 lbs versus the 3-5 lbs that I gained in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Emma, I was famished in my second trimester. This time, I am staying fairly faithful to the Paleo lifestyle. I am still a lot more hungry than usual, but not famished! With Emma, I gained about 10 pounds between weeks 15-20. This time, I just passed the 10 pound mark, and I am 21 weeks pregnant. So. I like only gained about 8 lbs in weeks 15-20. It appears that I am still on track for the healthy 25-28 lb weight gain during this pregnancy. Only time will tell!

One fear of mine is that I will get the “pregnant lady nose” that is often the trademark of women pregnant with boys. I plan to try to prevent my nose from swelling by continuing to exercise (thus increasing my circulation) and drinking TONS of water. Still — being pregnant in the middle of the summer again will not help. We’ll see how the nose does. HA!

How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy? Was it more or less the second time around?

LÄRABAR Review and Give-Away

larabarsI am always on the hunt for healthy snacks that I can easily grab on the way to work or the gym. Since starting the Paleo lifestyle, it has been harder to find quick and easy snacks. About three weeks ago, I tried LÄRABARs for the first time. To my surprise and excitement, a marketing rep from LÄRABAR contacted me later that week to offer a give-away for my readers. Awesome! I was sent several LÄRABARs to taste test, and I am thrilled to offer you the opportunity to win a caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors!

My favorite flavor!

Apple Pie: My favorite flavor!

In the past three weeks, I have tried a TON of LÄRABARs. I am a huge fan of the Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, and Banana Bread flavors. One of my favorite aspects about LÄRABARs is that they are 100% clean. The ingredient list on the wrapper is usually two or three ingredients. For instance, I ate the Cashew Cookie yesterday, and it had the following ingredients: Cashews, Dates.

LÄRABARs have proven to be the perfect healthy snack for me between clients at the gym, mid-morning at work, or simply when I want something healthy to satisfy my sweet tooth. With the exception of cappuccino (my least favorite by far), all of the LÄRABARs I tried were the perfect amount of sweet and tided me over until my next meal.

My least favorite flavor, but I know some girls who love it -- so try it!

Cappuccino: My least favorite flavor, but I know some girls who love it — so try it!

So, how can you win the caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors? Please do one or more of the following to enter the give-away. Leave a comment on this blog post for each action item that you complete. I will pick a winner on Friday, Feb 8, 2013.

1. (Required) Leave a comment telling me why you would benefit from winning a caddy of 16 mixed LÄRABAR flavors.
2. Pin a photo from the blog post with link back to this post to share the give-away.
4. Share the giveaway on Facebook
5. Share the giveaway on Twitter
7. Follow Fit Pregnancy and Parenting on Twitter
8. Like Fit Pregnancy and Parenting on Facebook

Pregnancy Update Week 16: Paleo and TMI Alert

Baby bump at nearly 17 weeks!

Baby bump at nearly 17 weeks!

It’s been a while since I did a pregnancy update! I just entered my 17th week of pregnancy, and I feel GREAT! The second trimester has proven to be far less dramatic and uncomfortable as the first trimester of this pregnancy. In fact, I hardly feel pregnant at all. TMI alert (wow, that was early in the post). I LOVE the 13-17th weeks of pregnancy because I don’t really look pregnant to most outsiders, but I have all of the good benefits that come from being pregnant. Ie: my girls are about 2 sizes bigger than normal and look great, my hair is extra shiny and full, and I have a great excuse to shop for some new fun leggings and shirts for the winter.

I started the Paleo diet/lifestyle a few weeks ago. I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE it! Read more about Paleo here. I have a wheat sensitivity that started soon after I had Emma, and I have also been feeling like I might have some lactose intolerance. The Paleo diet is exactly what I needed to tighten up my eating and feel great for workouts and daily living. It is a high protein, high fat, low carb lifestyle. One of the best parts about trying this diet is that I have been cooking for the first time in my life. It’s fun to experiment with new foods and recipes. The best part is — I don’t feel guilty about eating the baked goods because I know all of the ingredients are clean. Check out some of the recipes I tried this past week:

Dark chocolate walnut Paleo cookies.

Dark chocolate walnut Paleo cookies.

Another TMI alert! One of the worst parts of my first trimester (besides the nausea and exhaustion) was that I was extremely constipated. I mean like awful. And you can imagine all of the *other* fun things that come as a result of being severely constipated. But here’s the deal — ever since I started Paleo, I have been very regular again. It was like a switch turned on and my body started working properly again. Praise the Lord! That was not a fun couple months.

I mentioned the Paleo breakfast casserole above. I have made this twice so far, and my second attempt tasted a lot better. Here’s what I did:

Paleo breakfast casserole

Paleo breakfast casserole

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato
  • 9 eggs
  • Turkey sausage
  • Bacon

Directions:

  • Soften the sweet potato in the microwave. I usually put a wet paper towel around it and spear it.
  • Peel and shred the sweet potato
  • Cook and chop the turkey sausage
  • Cook (almost all the way) and piece apart the bacon
  • Whisk the eggs together
  • Combine everything
  • Place in a 9×9 greased pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

I have really enjoyed my breakfast casserole. It’s a great way for me to start the morning!

So, what have my workouts been looking like for the past few weeks? Here is my normal weekly routine:

  • Day 1: 3 mile run outside
  • Day 2: 2 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and strength training with clients
  • Day 3: 3 mile run outside
  • Day 4: 3 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and strength training with clients
  • Day 5: 3 mile run outside and ab workout
  • Day 6: 2 hours of cardio machines, plyos, and running with clients
  • Day 7: 1 hour of cardio machines with a client, and 3 mile run outside

So far, I haven’t had to scale back my workouts or modify anything. This week, I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout at home, and strained my back a bit. I think that was due to lack of warming up versus being pregnant though. I’m feeling good and really taking advantage of it now in the gym! I hope this intensity level lasts for a while!

Give-Aways and Paleo Pancakes

"Sweating for Two" shirt for our give-away next week!

“Sweating for Two” shirt for our give-away next week!

Did you enjoy the “Healthy Christmas Gifts” give-away partnership I ran shortly before Christmas (including those cute Under Armour running shoes)? Well, I have great news for you! I have partnered with several FitFluential ambassadors again, and we are brining you a series of give-aways next week to get you excited about working out in 2013!

Most of the gifts will be for fit pregnancies, but stay tuned, because we will likely have a few gifts that you can use if you aren’t pregnant. Of course, you could also enter and give the fit pregnancy gifts to your friend who is pregnant. After all, us pregnant ladies like gifts too, and sometimes feel slighted when the only thing we receive for birthdays is baby clothes.

The photo to the right is a little sneak peek of one of the shirts we will be giving away from For Two Fitness. So cute, right?

I am currently sitting in the guest room with Emma early on a Sunday morning, and I can smell the Paleo pancakes my hubby is making for us downstairs. That’s right — Paleo pancakes! I have been hearing a ton from my FitFluential friends about the Paleo diet this year, and I decided to give it a try while Brandon is out-of-town for the next two weeks.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see the three ingredient recipe and a photo of the Paleo pancakes.

Small filet, brocoli, and sweet potato for dinner on Friday night.

Small filet, brocoli, and sweet potato for dinner on Friday night.

I started researching Paleo on Friday, and ate a small filet, sweat potato, and brocoli for dinner. Yum! Yesterday, we had a LOT of eggs,  bacon, veggies, fruits, and water. I felt really good all day — versus Friday where I felt bloated even though I was “trying” to stick to a wheat free diet. I think my body will respond well to removing dairy, and I’m very excited to see how I feel after two full weeks of Paleo.

So, what is Paleo? Here is an ultimate guide that sums it up nicely.

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Eating-Paleo

Three ingredient Paleo pancakes. Delicious!

Three ingredient Paleo pancakes. Delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of nut butter (almond butter is preferred)
  • Optional (a touch of cinnamon)

Directions:

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the egg and almond butter. Mix until combined. I also opted to add a tough of cinnamon. Heat the frying pan on medium heat and use 1/4 cup measuring cup to pur each pancake. Once you start seeing bubbles on the pancakes, flip them.

I topped them with a tiny bit of local honey, but they are great plain too. Delish!