Hemp Hearts review

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. I’m OK myself, just chugging along and thrilled to be back in good health.

So, earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to review Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Hearts through their partnership with Sweat Pink. As promised, Manitoba Harvest sent me some sweet Hemp Hearts to sample all the way from Canada. When this arrived in the mail, I was super excited:

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There are TONS of ways that you can use these little guys. But first off, what are they? Well, hemp hearts are what remains after the seeds of the hemp plant have been shelled or de-hulled. They are a treasure trove of healthy fats, proteins, and omegas 3 and 6! A serving of hemp hearts boasts a whopping 10 grams of protein AND 10 grams of omegas 3 and 6 – comparable to the more well-known flax and chia seeds.

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Besides the fact that they are nutritionally dense, hemp hearts are also just plain yummy! They have a lovely, subtly nutty flavor that blends well with a wide variety of foods, both sweet and savory. These would definitely be amazing in salads, as well as stir frys. But I must admit that I am so devoted to my new favorite snack of yogurt sprinkled with hemp hearts, that I haven’t been getting as creative as I could! That said, I think they would be amazing with seafood stir fry, in salads, in veggie burgers, and in hot cereals.

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Study break! The protein and fat in these hemp hearts add a vital kick to plain old yogurt – which adds interest in terms of taste and texture, as well as a nutritional boost.

Curious? I sampled them, and I still am! There is definitely a lot of hemp heart potential that I haven’t been able to explore thus far.

Lucky for you (and me) Manitoba Harvest has provided Sweat Pink Ambassadors like myself a coupon code for readers. You can get 20% off at Manitoba Harvest’s site when you use the code “HHSweatPink14” – just in case you needed a little more of a nudge to try out this superfood for yourself 😉

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

Week recap… plus Vega protein powder and Blender Bottle review!

Hi friends!

I hope that you are all resting (or already in bed!) preparing for the start of another week. I know that even though I woke up quite late this morning (I think I slept 11 hours – I guess I needed that sleep!), I am going to be ready for bed soon. But before that, I think I owe my followers a review of this week and a look into the little things I’ve been up to in my spare time!

As you may recall, I have started another summer job at a local seafood restaurant in my attempt to save at least some money before the poverty of law school. Last week was crazy – I was mildly sleep deprived and exhausted after working 5 nights in a row during my training! Plus, I had the awesomely fun 5k foam fest last Saturday, which was amazing but unfortunately was stuck in the middle of a lot of work hours. Standing for 6 hours was not what I really wanted to do after that race, let me tell you!

So, looking at my Tough Mudder training schedule, I realized that I have wrapped up my fourth week and am now starting on my fifth week of training – exciting! Today I tried out a different local yoga studio. Very, very gentle class. Though I typically prefer something more athletic, I admit this was good for me to stretch everything out, especially as I like to do my long runs on Saturday.

Yesterday’s run had to be cut short – a little over 5 miles instead of 6 – but I felt really great and could have kept going if not for time constraints, so I suppose that’s what really matters! It’s best if I go out in the morning on my long run, but I slept in late Saturday too, so that didn’t happen (I worked until 11:00-11:30 Friday, so I wasn’t going to push myself to get up – that doesn’t make sense to me).

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I’m excited to note that after my run, my Nike+ home page looked like this:

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My average pace isn’t super fast, sure, but it’s way better than it was when I started running a year ago! That, and look at those miles add up! I feel pretty darn proud of that commitment, if I may say so myself. I’m no marathoner (yet?!) but I have consistently gone out there and run. when I hit 500 miles I should celebrate… and when I hit 1,000 I will definitely celebrate!

I also got in some hill workouts and interval workouts on the treadmill. Not as fun or refreshing as being outside, but I must admit I do prefer gym equipment for things like interval training. Hill workouts are easy on the treadmill, too. Recently I’ve been doing a hill workout I found in this article via Active.com. Definitely a killer, and definitely helped me during my the surprisingly hilly 5k Foam Fest!

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I took the time I could to nourish myself with delicious home-cooked meals. This particular concoction was one dinner I happily shared with my parents: organic non-GMO tofu fried with ginger and cayenne pepper, broccoli, zucchini, kale, and red pepper stir-fried in a wok with olive oil and organic peanut sauce served over whole-grain brown rice. Delicious! 😀

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Because I’ve been on-the-go so much, I’ve also invested in some portable nutrition options. I might not be right, but I think a lot of other health-conscious people and definitely athletes tend to eat quite frequently. At work I can’t eat until the end of my shift, which means an absolute minimum of 5 to 6 hours of not eating. This certainly isn’t the end of the world, but if you eat lunch around 1 or even 2 and can’t eat again until 10 or even 11… you get my point. So to stay full and energized longer, I’ve been drinking my trusty fiber-filled chia seeds, and have stocked up on both Luna and Odwalla bars (some of my stand-bys!).

I found a Blender Bottle on clearance at TJMaxx recently, so obviously being the bargain lover I am picked it up when I had the chance. I figured re-integrating shakes into my diet was a good and almost inevitable thing. Well, knowing this, I decided to put it to the test after finding individual Vega protein powder packets on sale at Whole Foods.

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The first one I tried was chocolate flavored. I just mixed it with 8 oz. of water this time around. I was pretty impressed with how well the Blender Bottle truly blended everything – I was skeptical! And after years of being unable to ever truly mix in powders without the use of a blender, I was pleasantly surprised at how effective this simply little invention was! The shake, on the other hand, was less impressive to me. The chocolate was not really my thing. It was ok, but I didn’t love it.

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I had bought two other flavors – French Vanilla and “Au Naturel”. This time around, I mixed the vanilla flavor with rice milk instead of just water. This made it better, but it was still, well, it still tasted like a protein powder, for lack of a better phrase. It blended well but still wasn’t terribly appealing.

With the only flavor left one I had intended on putting in a smoothie, I was certain that I would find myself simply disappointed with this particular Vega line. But, running late, I didn’t even have time to make a more elaborate smoothie. So I threw the unsweetened powder in the Blender Bottle with some rice milk and some honey. I didn’t expect it to be any good, but figured the honey and the rice milk would make it tolerable.

Whoah. I was very surprised to find that I loved the taste of this shake! Which makes sense – stevia and other such sweeteners don’t taste great to me, and those are in the flavored powder varieties. The natural powder had a nice taste that mixed beautifully with the honey and the rice milk – it was just good! The natural powder also made a slightly greenish shake, something which I actually kind of liked – not that it changes the taste.

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I’m hoping to try the Vega One and maybe Vega Sport powders now, too. Perhaps I will finally find a protein powder that I can get along with! I’m also definitely going to be branching out and looking for different energy gels/chews as I continue my training. 

Anyone have any races or other events coming up? Protein powder recommendations?

Remember, if you’re looking for a fun race, I highly recommend the 5k Foam Fest! Check out my pictures and earlier posts (including a recap!) for more info. If you do decide to sign up, remember to use my personal discount code “FF3316” to get $5 off the entry fee!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

 

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World? 

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World?

Though there is no one scientific conclusion, it seems that (unsurprisingly) the answer is: a diet based on moderation and inclusion rather than on exclusion

“Other evidence that there are many “healthiest” diets comes from the real world. In my work as a sports nutritionist, I have analyzed the diets of large numbers of world-class endurance athletes. This is an extremely healthy population. Without a doubt, most elite cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathletes would come out very near the top of general health rankings based on a battery of tests like the ones described above. Very few of these men and women are members of what I call “diet cults” (e.g. the Paleo Diet), which are based on the premise that there is only one correct way for all humans to eat.

Most world-class endurance athletes instead practice what I call agnostic healthy eating, a broad dietary approach where no food types are completely excluded but there is a heavy emphasis on high-quality foods such as fruit and fish.”

As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and who has failed to properly nourish her body at various points in her life (something that I think is, sadly, becoming the norm for many women regardless of whether they have ever had EDs), this is crucial to me. Recognizing that my diet could and should just be a balanced, happy and healthy relationship with food was groundbreaking. I am a total health nut, true, but I am never one to turn down a cupcake when I am offered. 

Paleo nuts can do whatever they want, but I am going to keep eating the way my Mediterranean ancestors have been for years. Plenty of fruit and veg, healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, lots of carbs for fuel, and lean proteins.

Hey, it works for me (and it’s delicious)!

Peace, sweat and love, 

G