When You are Feeling Sweet and Sassy!

Recently the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program sent me two new flavors of almonds to try. Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle.
Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds

I had some grand plans of what I was going to do with these almonds. I wanted to crush up the Honey Chipotle almonds and use them as a coating for some chicken breasts, using a tiny amount of bbq sauce as a coating to adhere the crushed nuts to the chicken…
I wanted to incorporate the Honey Roasted Vanilla Almonds into my morning yogurt with fruit… and well… as you have seen on the blog… I had lost my job recently… and well… The almonds were consumed… as snacks not made into the fun ideas that swirled around in my mind.
Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds in portion controlled package with coffee to go as a snack
The day I went out on my bike ride, subsequently the day I got the “Can you come in tomorrow?” call, I was fueling my day with these Blue Diamond Almonds. Maybe these are good luck?

I enjoyed both flavors, but the chipotle was more to my liking, they vanilla was almost cloyingly sweet to me, but mixed well with the chipotle when I bagged them together. One of the things that I want to point out about these almonds though, that was actually the first thing I noticed when I received them was that Blue Diamond Almonds is supporting Honeybee Research! While I have a mega-fear of bees, wasps, hornets and all stinging insects due to my anaphylaxis, I do know how important bees are to our future. I love my produce, and flowers, and planet. I am SO THANKFUL when a company is taking steps to help causes that are important to me. So THANK YOU Blue Diamond for helping save he bees, BeeCause you care!

Disclaimer: Blue Diamond has provided me with this product, any thoughts and feeling on it are my own. They have not provided a monetary compensation for this.

Summer Salad Doldrums Solved, Out of the Blue!

Blue Diamond that is! One of the cues that summer is here for me is the wealth of fresh produce finally available. Most people that know me know my weekend routine used to be to hit the Farmers Market on Saturday and load up my car with all kinds of fresh goodies to last all week. Now I am out and about most of Saturday so it makes less sense to load up on a ton of things to get sad and soggy in my car all day.
There are some things that are just fine in my cooler bag all day long, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, heartier veggies, but now I am a twice a week farmers market girl, and I supplement that with lots of salad fixins from a variety of places. I am not a slave to any one market. I shop everywhere from Whole Foods, to Trader Joes, Costco to Target, I even pick things up at the local gas station (Kwik Trip) where I can score bananas for $.38/Pound!

One of the things that happens to be during the summer though is that I fall into a salad rut. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, or maybe it’s just me. I can only stomach the same food for so long and then I don’t want to even think about it again. The problem is, I live in Minnesota… and if the winter that we just escaped is any indication of what we are in for in the future… I need to take full advantage of every morsel of fresh, beautiful flavorful produce while it is here. The seasons are never long enough, and I always no matter how sick I was of eating something find myself longing for just one more good *whatever* come winter. It’s usually a good summer tomato, with just a pinch of salt and pepper on it.

So I have taken to trying to keep my salads as interesting as possible… Impossible right? Sure it’s super easy to make a salad taste good if you add a a few ounces of of cheese, and maybe some croutons, or wonton strips those are popular now. How about meat… if some is good lets put more on! So instead of 4 oz of chicken let’s do 3oz of chicken, 3 of ham, and we need bacon right, and while we’re at it an egg. You might as well deep fry chicken fingers and go ahead and pour on some full fat salad dressing because you aren’t actually doing yourself any favors.

To make salads that I find interesting I usually play my own version of kitchen roulette.  I start with a bed of some kind of green.  Generally this is NOT iceberg, I personally feel if you are going to eat a salad iceberg is a waste of time.  If it’s what you like FINE eat it… you’re getting water, and that’s great, but try branching out to a romaine if you like a crisper lettuce, or a butter lettuce if you like something softer.  Spinach also makes a great salad base.  I also have been known to use Kale, Mixed greens, micro greens, it all depends on what looks good and what I have. I eat a lot of salads… Sometimes they have fruit… sometimes they have bacon… and sometimes they are NUTS! (Here are a few examples)

UpTown Cafeteria My Salad with Bacon

Sometimes I Custom Order Salads when I am Out to Brunch

 

Salad wiht Blueberries and Strawberries in need of Almonds

And sometimes we put fruit in our salads (this had cheese and Blue Diamond Almonds on the side!)

 

Once the greens are in play I have to decide what mouth feel I want for the salad. Blue Diamond’s Tastemakers program sent me a package with their Whole Natural and their Rosemary & Black Pepper to experiment with.  I knew I needed to choose ingredients that could stand up to a bolder flavor.  Rosemary is an intense flavor, I rarely cook with it because if you aren’t careful it is super easy to overseason with it.  Then you end up with Christmas Tree Chicken instead of Rosemary Chicken.

Salad with Blue Diamond  Rosemary & Black Pepper AlmondsFor this salad I chose to use a butter lettuce, which is a more tender lettuce,  but would balance well with the crunch of the almonds.  I added some avocado, turkey, olives, red peppers, onions, snow peas, banana peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers to this monster sized salad! The items I chose to add provided a good balance of textures as well as colors to the salad. I topped it off with a sprinkling of the Blue Diamond Black Pepper Rosemary Almonds, as well as a few of the Whole Naturals instead of using croutons.

The salad filled my stomach up so well.  I stayed satisfied for hours thanks to the healthy balance of fat and protein, not to mention the carbohydrate that mixed together by pairing these almonds with my salad.

I posted about this salad on my Instagram account, and posed the question to my friends, and now I want to hear from you as well… what do you put on your salad?  The one I mentioned above required no salad dressing.  The density of flavors from the avocado and the tenderness of the lettuce, and juices from the ripe summer veggies meant I did not need to add anything more.  Have you ever added Blue Diamond almonds to your salad?  I had previously added the Salt and Vinegar variety to salads, instead of adding my usual oil and vinegar dressing but I really enjoyed the change that the Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds brought to the dish.

handfull of blue diamond whole natural almonds

And remember… generally about 23 almonds is a serving… you don’t need to have a whole serving to top your salad… you can put a small handful on a cutting board and sliver or chop them down to feel that same satisfying crunch for far fewer calories or points.

 

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds They sent me a 6oz can of Whole Natural almonds and a 6oz can of Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds and I ate them! THEY aren’t paying for my opinions, these are my thoughts. 🙂

Red White and Blue Diamonds!

So summer is finally upon us! And I do say Finally! Family vacations, road trips, camp-outs, summer is one of my four favorite seasons! It is also the time of year when I start craving frozen treats the most! However I find that I don’t usually want the dairy based sweets when it is so hot out. I tend to go more towards frozen popsicles, or sorbet.

BDAlmondsLogoWhen Blue Diamond TasteMakers offered the chance to try the Coconut and Blueberry flavors of their almonds I knew there had to be a way to make them into something more than just a trail mix. Trail mix is my go to with almonds. I mix and match all their flavors into some fun flavorful mixes.

I sat for a while thinking of all the wonderful flavor combinations that I enjoy with coconut, and blueberry. Lemon came to mind, as did strawberry. I went to work in the kitchen testing out different ways I could combine things to be a refreshing treat and my favorite way to keep cool is actually a pretty fun take on the classic chocolate covered strawberry.

Yogurt Blue Diamond Almond Strawberries So To make these fun little treats is super easy! You want to start with some washed, then dried strawberries, a container of your favorite complementary flavor of yogurt (the photo is of strawberry yogurt, but the lemon was by far better!), and a few tablespoons of coconut and blueberry almonds chopped.

Take the dried clean strawberries and dip them into the yogurt one at a time. After you have dunked the berry into the yogurt, roll it into the crushed almonds and place on a platter or dish which is freezer safe. Repeat until you have the desired number of strawberries. You will want to freeze the berries for a few hours to set the yogurt and almonds onto the berry (or you can enjoy them just as they are, but I preferred them slightly frozen)

DSC_0002 I am hopeful to get an invite to a fourth of July party this weekend so I can bring these along and wow everyone with them. This is a dish that looks more difficult to make than it truly is but tastes amazing!

Although I received this product from Blue Diamond to enjoy I created my own recipes with it, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post.

It’s All About the Numbers

So this week I got my BodyMedia Fit monitor in the mail.  A birthday present to help me along the way with my healthy lifestyle. This is a whole new step of trying to break through my plateau, and perhaps find progress like I once had.  I hope this works.

First Impressions of BodyMedia Fit

I am currently struggling to figure out how I want to log my calories consumed.  With their system the data resets at midnight.  Midnight isn’t exactly my bedtime, its more like evening for me. So I think I will be working to log my calories consumed on the day they were consumed rather than within what I considered my day.  For example, when I wake up at 2pm, what I eat for breakfast I will log as lunch of afternoon snack in the system instead of what I would have previously called breakfast.

The logging software would greatly benefit from a bit more customization options.  As someone who work the hours that I do, the “sleep efficiency” portion of the data is messy.  It logs from noon to noon as 24 hours… which leaves my sleep split between the days.  I am not super concerned about this feature, as long as the calories aren’t reported on the wrong day.

I have the digital clip display, I find myself checking it a lot right now, mostly to see how many steps I have taken, and to see how many calories I am burning.  I set my goal low for the first full day of wearing it.  (I wore it for a partial day on Wednesday, when I went to the gym and such to see how it worked out).  With a short walk around the local Highlandfest looking at artwork, a little bit of Wii Just Dance I easily hit my 5000 step target and my 30 minutes of moderate activity.  I changed the targets at the end of the day to try to challenge myself to move more!

Most of the time I don’t notice that the strap is on my arm.  I usually only notice it when my flabby loose skin decides to start folding over the band.  It isn’t so bad, I just adjusted where the strap was and went on with the day.  Sleeping with it was fine, no weird lumpyness or anything like that.

I took a screenshot of today to show you what the interface on their website looks like.  Each of the arrows on the left side of the page opens up the section and allows you to look at data or enter information.

Day1

BodyMedia Fit dashboard

I am looking forward to seeing exactly what happens with the use of this.  At the very least it is a great experiment and I am hoping to have great success.  So there you have my first impressions of my new gadget.  I will be posting about how things are going on a fairly regular basis, along with any obstacles that occur with the unit and any positive things I find as well!

 

Note: I was not compensated by BodyMedia Fit for this, I purchased the product on my own and pay for the subscription to their website myself.  The opinions presented above are mine alone.  Please consult a doctor before trying any fitness program or diet..

So Totally 80’s!

Girl I want to make you sweat! Sweat till you can’t sweat no more!

Okay, now that I got the UB-Cheesezy factor out-of-the-way! Can I just say thank to the #PriorFatPack and my own desire to get down to 250 by my birthday I have really been breaking a sweat lately!  Typically when I head out the YWCA and hop onto the treadmill for my C25k training I grab a few paper towels before I start.  Why not use a reuseable towel, because I also swim every time (or almost every time I am at the gym) and there is only so much room in my locker and gym bag.

So I did what any girl would do, I reached out on Twitter! Help me!!!! Can anyone tell me where I can find a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor? I need to go back to 1985 and get a few sweat bands! Sadly the local dealerships were all closed.  The Ford Plant in Saint Paul isn’t making a Flux Capacitor anytime soon and I doubt it would be compatible with my car, but it might work in Robb’s!

Sabrina suggested the far more fashionable BondiBand! Now, I have a very odd-shaped head.  I am the first to admit that! When I had long hair I could never wear those little rubber band type headbands that go around and hold your hair back.  So I was a little apprehensive about the BondiBand headbands. 

So I spent some time looking though the website and being TOTALLY Jealous of the fact that there are hats with places for pigtails!!!! NO FAIR!!! It is times like this that I miss my long hair. Anyway as I surfed through the pages of designs thinking about what would look good for a #PriorFatPack BondiBand I looked to see what I would like to order incase we didn’t actually go through with the bands.  Then I found one that spoke to me. 

 

See when I started my journey I had this little saying… as the little no-nonsense person I was/am I would tell myself and others to Suck it Up! (or Suck it Up Princess!!) So as I got a few pages in I found…

BondiBand

Suck it Up Cupcake Bondiband

So since http://www.KrisGetsHealthy.com has been around a while and I have not had any giveaways yet I approached Bondiband and asked them if there was anychance they would be willing to sponsor my very first giveaway. 

They said… YES!  I was offered the chance to review a BondiBand of my choice (guess which one I picked out!) and the winner gets one of their choice as well!

So that being said… I present ….

BondiBand Recap!

It arrived Monday night, I took it out of the package, and went… huh, it didn’t look all that special to be honest.  It is thin, but stretchy, and WIDE (the back is not as wide as the front is).  I was a bit concerned that it was going to be too big on my forehead.  There I go borrowing trouble from the start.  I tucked it into my gymbag along with my HRM for Tuesday’s run. 

Tuesday would prove to be a Big day for me.  I got to the gym, strapped on my HRM, put on the bondi band, and waited a moment, … I was waiting for the inevitable rolling feeling that happens with most headbands on my head.  I went to the sinks, and washed my hands and filled my water bottle at the fountain, and still no movement. 

Color me impressed! I headed out of the locker room and up the steps to the cardio equipment.  I signed up for my treadmill, grabbed some papertowels still doubting that this little piece of fabric would really be enough and away we went. 

*tick tick tick tick tick* One Hour Later  

The Bondiband was STILL IN PLACE!!!! Not only that it was soaked with sweat! Good Golly Miss Molly we have a WINNER!!!!  I was absolutly shocked!  I headed back down to the locker room and changed into my swimwear as it was time for the next part of my workout.  I was so impressed with the way it stayed put, I didn’t need paper towels to wipe the sweat off my face, it was such a nice change!

The only negative thing I have to say isn’t so much a negative as just a warning about it as the color on it, I dye my hair… I am getting older, the grey hair has been popping up since I was 12… My white band now has red splotches on it from my hair dye.  I dyed my hair more than a month ago, this is VERY unusual, it never shows on white towels or pillowcases so I was kind of shocked to see it on the band.  So if you dye your hair be wary of the lighter colored bands! 🙂

Enough Talking, How do we Enter?

So here is the deal, I don’t want to make this difficult on you, or really on me, so here is the deal. 

  • Head over to Http://www.BondiBand.com and pick out a design you like.  Come back here and tell me what it is. 
  • ONE ENTRY PER PERSON
  • I will accept entries until 23:59 Central Time on 4-29-2011
  • US Residents Only
  • Winner will be chosen by http://www.random.org
  • Winner will be notified by email (so be sure to include it) and Must respond to me with their mailing address within 36 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

 

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! CONGRATS LIZ!

 

From the Front

BondiBand LOVE

BondiBand from the back

Bondiband from the back

Disclosure Statement: Thank you to BondiBand for providing me with this AWESOME product to review the opinions presented in this review are 100% mine.