Not Your Average Protein Bar

I’m always excited to receive mail, but last week a package arrived that I immediately busted open.

vega bars

The Vega Bar team was kind enough to send eight of their plant-based, gluten-free, non GMO protein bars. Sweet! Here’s the breakdown of my loot:

Vega One Meal Bars in Chocolate Cherry Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter

Vega Snack Bars in Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts & Sea Salt and Cranberry Almond

Vega Sport Protein Bars in Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Mint

Vega Sport Energy Bars in Cherry Almond and Chocolate Coconut Almond

Let’s start with the Sports bars. I tried the Cherry Almond flavor for some pre-run fuel and was initially surprised by the texture. It was chewy and moist, but not sticky like some bars. The non-artificial flavoring was good, but I preferred the Chocolate Coconut Almond. That one? So good. I ate a whole bar before my run yesterday and I definitely feel that it helped me get my running mojo back. I felt full but not stuffed, and knowing that I’m putting clean fuel in my body makes it easier to concentrate on my workout.

Vega Sport Energy Bar

Later in the week, I used a Meal bars as snacks. What can I say? I’m a hungry gal. I love the fact that the wrapper has all these cool stats in easy to digest form (Hahah, get it? So punny.) While it wouldn’t suffice for an actual meal replacement for me, both the Chocolate Cherry Almond and the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors were spot on. It was a bit weird seeing a chocolate pb bar without either discernible peanuts or that light brown coloring inside. I quickly got over it and scarfed the whole thing down 🙂

vega choc pb

As for the Snack bars? They’re delicious, too. I would have more in-depth notes on these flavors, but I tend to wait until the last minute when I’m snacking on the go or in the office. I can tell you that these bars are easily portable – I carried them around in multiple purses and are probably strong enough to sustain a tour or two in a stuffed gym bag.

Look at all those berries!

Look at all those berries!

I haven’t used the Vega Sport Energy Recovery bars yet, as I’m saving them for after my half marathon on Sunday. If they are anything like the other bars I’ve tried, I know that they’ll be tasty and effective. They’ll help my body recover in a natural way through the use of whole grain brown rice and pea protein. I can’t wait to try them out!

Vega Sport Bar

All in all, I’d highly recommend the Vega bar product line. The packaging is informative and interesting and you can’t complain about the flavoring and quality of the products!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary shipment of Vega bars as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own.

Badge_Vega200

 

This post is part of my Try It Tuesday series. I review a variety of products/services and use this series to recommend only the best to you. Enjoy 🙂

Easing In

Well, it’s the first official day back from Spring Break and, boy, is this week looking crazy! A deadline today, a photo shoot on campus tomorrow and Wednesday, an alumni event Wednesday and Thursday, and my half marathon on Sunday. Good thing I took next Monday off to relax!

As the JA and I eased our way back into ‘work mode’ we also enjoyed ourselves this weekend. Here’s what we accomplished:

– Spruce up the house. In light of our tree root incident from earlier this year, our landscaping left a lot to be desired. We took a trip to Lowe’s this weekend and attacked the front yard and flower boxes. We also planted herbs and veggies in the backyard. Now only if the grass patches would grow a bit faster, we’d be good to go!

 

– Hang out with friends and family. Nettifred came into town on Friday and that can’t happen without some bonding time – especially when she brings her new dog with her. I use the term dog loosely here, as Winnie weighs about 8 lbs. total and stands only a few inches tall, but she’s so cute. A trip home also means that we do things specific to MD, like grabbing frozen custard at our favorite local ice cream stand. Delicious!

gelati

– Let loose and have fun. Friday night we indulged a bit and made an old-school staple for dinner: pizza bagels. While I know these are not the healthiest options, I’m all about balance and these guys totally hit the spot. The JA commented that they were, “totally picture worthy,” and I happily snapped and posted the pic to Instagram. Additionally, we couldn’t ignore our own pup! Watson had plenty of time being pet and pampered, but we also got a bit goofy with him. I think he looks pretty distinguished, don’t you?

pizza bagels

W w glasses

How do you achieve balance in your life?
Favorite childhood meal that you still enjoy as an adult?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Resting Up But Feeling Down

So, Spring Break got the best of me. While I’ve been working shorter hours, we’ve also been completing some projects around the house, enjoying some extra time as a family, and allowing ourselves the opportunity to relax a little bit.

Additionally, I’ve got a little over a week left in my half marathon training (EEK!) and can feel the excitement of the challenge building in my mind as I continue my two-week taper. My 11-mile run last Sunday was less than ideal and my left hamstring felt uncomfortable on my 5-mile run yesterday, so depending on both my physical and mental state, I may need to adjust my goals for the race. It stinks because as recently as three weeks ago, I was confident I had my ‘A’ goal within reach (and it still very well may be). Yet, between my foot issue (which seems to have resolved itself), this tight/possibly torn hamstring, and a mind that’s a bit defeated thinking that I didn’t finish my 13.1 mile ‘test run’, I need to remind myself that a ‘C’ goal is still a goal and I shouldn’t be disappointed if that’s the one I attain. A lot of people have told me that if I can run 11, I can run 13.1 but I would feel more confident had I done it (and done it well) prior to race day. The JA keeps telling me that just finishing is an accomplishment and that should be my first goal, with time and performance as secondary goals. I am reminding myself that any time is a PR. A big confidence boost before next weekend would be great but even if it doesn’t happen, I know I’ve trained well and can (and WILL) cross that finish line.

But enough about that. It’s Friday, so let’s end the week with a photo recap of the past two days!

For our co-workers birthday, my ‘work husband’ and I made a trip to Fells Point to pick up some treats. We couldn’t resist getting a scoop full of gelato for ourselves to brighten up an otherwise dreary day.

pitango

These bad boys arrived at my doorstep this week. I’ve already tried two flavors and have a few more to go. A full review will be coming soon so stay tuned!

vega bars

Flavored sparkling water has been my jam recently. On days it’s difficult for me to chug my regular tap water, I mix things up with some flavor and sparkle. I mean, why not?

sparkling water

And we obviously couldn’t end this post without a picture of Watson. The other night, he entered our room and plopped himself down near the side of my bed and didn’t move until I was settled. Too cute.

guard dog

How do you relax before a big event? Ever adjust your goals and then completely surprise yourself in achieving them?

Wine Me Up

Did you know that tomorrow is National Picnic Day? (Don’t worry, neither did I.) But when Beso Del Sol Sangria wanted to send me a box of wine to help us celebrate the occasion, who was I to turn them down? I was a bit skeptical at first but don’t be fooled, this isn’t your stereotypical boxed wine.

Created from a combination of red wine with Mediterranean fruit extracts and sugar, Beso Del Sol Sangria is the first premium 100% natural sangria with a bag-in-a-box on the market. In addition to a great taste, Beso Del Sol is a fantastic value – each 3L box is the equivalent of four bottles of 750ml bottles! (That’s a lot of wine…even for me :P) The packaging is light and easily portable – easily fitting in a backpack or picnic basket. Additionally, the technology used ensures that each sip stays fresh for up to six weeks after opening…just in case you’re not ready to drink all 3L in one sitting. But the best part? Each box of Beso Del Sol retails for about $20! Where can you get 4 bottles of wine for $20? (Um, if you do know a place like this, send the info my way!)

beso-del-sol-sangria

We shared the box with our neighbors during a game night. We added in pear, orange, and green apple, but the taste still was a bit too tame for me. However, our neighbor had a differing opinion, saying it had an astringient aftertaste. Neither the JA nor I picked up on that, but it could also be that the wine wasn’t fully chilled or that the fruit was affecting her glass differently than ours. In the end, while the wine was great on it’s own, for me, it would also be good with a little added extra kick of brandy or other liquor.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend it as an on-the-go option this spring/summer. I see Beso Del Sol Sangria being a great option for outdoor concerts, tailgating, a barbecue, or for the beach! Connect with Beso Del Sol on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary box of Beso Del Sol Sangria for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Find this review helpful? Find others like it on my Reviews & Try It Tuesday page!

A Bad Blogger and Sisterly Love

I was a bad blogger this weekend and only took a few photos. Therefore, we’re going to do a quick recap and move on to more important things.

Easter Vigil: The JA had a former student enter the church on Saturday night at Easter Vigil. It was the first for both of us. While the lengthy service wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, it wasn’t as spectacular as we had hoped. But the smile on our young friend’s face and his excitement to be a part of the Church was enough to overshadow anything.

Will Run for Brunch: Yesterday morning, we ventured out to the BWI trail so I could complete my long run. I had originally planned to do a full 13.1, but paused my watch and think I only managed approx. 11 miles. I felt much better mentally and physically this time around (yay no foot pain!) but am certainly feeling the aftermath today. Time to foam roll!

While I was tending to my potential aches and pains, the JA made breakfast. French toast, bacon and orange slices? Yes, please!

Easter shenanigans. Since our families live so close together, we try to see both sides on holidays. We dropped Watson at my parent’s house, visited the JA’s side for a few snacks and hellos, then returned to my parent’s house for dinner. His parents joined us and we all shared a delicious meal together.

And now, to the important part: today is Nettifred’s birthday! A lady never reveals her age, so let’s just say she’s looking good for being so young 🙂 Happy birthday to the best sister around; I don’t even want to think of how different my life would be without you in it. xoxo

What was marvelous about your weekend? (Mine definitely was all the food!)

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Spring Breakin’

Wednesday afternoon began our school’s Spring Break. Since staff has to report next week, that left us with four days of true relaxation. However it’s also Easter weekend, meaning that we’re gathering with family this weekend.

Therefore, we decided yesterday and today would be the laziest days. We kicked off the faux weekend with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

Prosecco cocktail. Because bubbly drinks are apparently my signature thing now.

Prosecco cocktail. Because bubbly drinks are apparently my signature thing now.

Only to return home to find someone who wasn’t exactly in the holiday spirit.

Sign says: I hate Easter eggs. That wreath was hanging above our couch - the one that W's prohibited from touching.

Sign says: I hate Easter eggs. That wreath was hanging above our couch – the one that W’s prohibited from touching.

Yesterday, we stayed in bed late and indulged ourselves with some puppy cuddles. When we finally emerged, it was time for a quick run then a trip to see one of my best friends and my godson. He’s getting so big and it was such a treat to see both of them!

Be still my heart.

Be still my heart.

Aunt Jess? Pick up the phone!

Aunt Jess? Pick up the phone!

We had another lazy morning today and again have no set plans. This is exactly what we both needed to invigorate and energize us for the week ahead!

What’s your favorite way to relax?

Hold On Tight!

It snowed here in Baltimore last night. Yes, snow. In April. Girlfriend is not happy. Where is the weather from the weekend?! Bring back my spring temperatures!

snow 4-15

Even though it was cold and rainy last night and I would have much rather stayed inside, I offered to sub Barre Fusion class. I’ve been taking things really easy since my race on Saturday, and it felt good to get back to a booty-busting workout. Having a ballet barre installed at the gym has given me the change to experiment with different exercises. Yesterday we did an ab sequence using the barre and, let me tell you, it provided a whole different level of burn!

If you don’t have access to a ballet barre, this workout can be done by holding on to anything over your head – the edge of a bed, the back of a couch, a kitchen counter or dining room table are some ideas. Make sure that you have enough space that you’re leaning back enough to thoroughly engage those abs!

hold on tight

Notes:
Make sure to protect your back – lean back on to the bony part of your glute and feel the engagement in your abs before you start this routine.

The hover part of the last exercise is for your non-working leg. I like to alternate the lift between legs and keep the lower leg hovering above the ground. You can easily modify this by doing the move with only one leg and keeping the other leg on the ground.

As always, let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

Like this routine? Check out others on my Workouts page!

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional, just a gal who likes to create and vary her exercise routines. If any of these moves hurt (in a bad way), stop and consult a professional.