Sweet treats from breakfast to dessert, with a healthy twist.

Fabulously Fit Friday 11/30/12 AND Foodie Penpal Nov. Reveal

The Sweaty Breakdown:

Friday: 30 minutes of elliptical plus planks and plank-to-downward-dog switches – then…Thanksgiving Dinner Part 2! Eek!

Saturday: 10 min bike, 10 min treadmill, 10 min bike – all in succession, keeping my heart rate varied and my muscles guessing! Which was really nice since it was a road trip day…again

Sunday: used the treatdmill for my 5 min warm up and cool down and today’s strength training was ARMS!!

Monday: rest day

This is the book I’ve been reading this week! I love reading other people’s reasons on why they eat the way they do! Diet books are fascinating.

Tuesday: strength training- legs! I set a personal best today and leg pressed the highest weight so far! And I definitely felt it in my glutes for days afterwards! I finished my workout with 20 min on the elliptical.

Wednesday: today I did an abs workout (an online video plus a few of my own moves when the video got too out of hand for me!). I finished with 30 min on the elliptical!

Thursday: this was an ultimate cardio night for me! Fueled by Energy Bits, I knocked out a 30 min elliptical dash (resistance) then a 30 min fun “walking” routine on the treadmill! It felt great to get in a long and sweaty workout! I think I’ve finally worked off the guilt from indulging at Thanksgiving (yes, I tend to let things torture my brain a little too long). Here was the 30 Min Treadmill Routine (from Self.com):

Fabulous Fitness Finds: Energy Bits

Energy Bits are little tablets of food that are 100% from algae. They are a pure plant-based source of energy and protein (nothing else is added)! At just 1 calorie per tablet, you’re supposed to swallow (don’t chew them…I did…and it wasn’t pretty…green teeth…earthy taste…just don’t) 12-30 tablets whenever you need more energy or if you’re between meals and need something to curb your hunger (they have more bio-available protein than a steak in every serving!).

They’re great for workouts needing more energy! I found myself able to power through longer workouts with a smile still on my face! You can read more about them through their website: http://www.energybits.com/

*I was sent this sample free of charge to review however I saw fit. The opinions are 100% my own. 

My November Foodie Penpal:

First, let me give you a little backdrop on how things usually go with this program. You get your matches and you’re supposed to send an email to your assigned peep and receive one from the person that was assigned to you.

I usually send one that’s way too long! I send an email telling this mystery person that I am going to buy them treats and I can’t wait to hear about the things they love and hate. I tell them all about myself, where I live, the kind of foods I enjoy, the lifestyle I live…just to see if we can be friends. I usually receive a similar email from the person assigned to me. It’s usually a general air of excitement. I usually keep in touch through several emails with my pals. We make sure each other got their packages, that they like everything, and that life is treating them well.

For November, I sent my package to Kate. She lives in the Northeast (Jersey, to be specific) and I was really worried about her through all of the hurricane tragedy. She assured me that after loosing power, she regained it within days and was a-okay. I sent her some fun treats! She told me that she loves salty and spicy snacks and isn’t a big fan of chocolate. Thus, I sent her a box of spicy salty snacks, like wasabi pea mix! For a sweet treat, I tucked in some blueberry yogurt covered pretzels. I even made her a jar of my homemade Pumpkin Pie Spiced Nutty Spread (ummm…it’s amazing).

The pal who was assigned to me was Mellissa. She sent me an email asking which foods I do and do not like and where she should send them. I gave her a description of my loves (nuts, coffee, chocolate, healthy foods, coconut…) and loathes (nothing there…just steering clear of gluten*) and told her to take a peek at my blog to really see the workings of my culinary soul. I received my package after I got back from my Thanksgiving extravaganza.

She sent (all from Marshall’s):

A slow cooker cookbook: this is one of those generic compilation cookbooks. It has recipes that span the globe with their flavors. I can see how it would be useful to the family dinner maker, but I try to cook very healthy meals and only use my slow cooker (which is party dip sized, so not suited for stews or meals) for chicken breasts that I’ll turn into shredded chicken tacos. I don’t know if I’ll ever use this cookbook, but it was fun to flip through.

A cupcake corer: this is a nifty little tool. When I get back into baking cupcakes, it’ll be fun to try out. A bag of flavored, ground coffee: this coffee smells amazing! I tend to only buy coffee beans and grind them myself since I have a French Press. But these coffee grounds smelled great! They tasted ok once brewed, but the taste wasn’t the same bold flavor that the smell is.

Paper plates: this is kind of an odd ball gift. I ate my breakfast eggs off of them (which was nice because I didn’t have to do the dishes afterwards).

A candy bar with pretzels and graham crackers in it: This candy bar looks great. I’ll probably nibble on it a bit. But it’s full of gluten*, which bothers me because I asked her to steer clear of it. But I’m sure Steve will want to try it too so it won’t go to waste.

Coconut flavored Jordan Almonds: these are pretty interesting! I’ve never seen flavored Jordan Almonds before. They taste like sunscreen so just one was enough for me. Kinda weird, though, because I LOVE coconut, but these just didn’t taste like real coconut. They are very sweet and I probably won’t eat the whole bag, but I think Steve liked them because I saw him munching on a few just last night.

So, overall, this month was…weird to me (I’m fixated on receiving paper plates as a gift). But that’s ok, I’ve been in a weird mood lately so that just fits I guess.

*I have been SLOWLY easing back into eating products with gluten in them. The slow transition is merely to not make myself sick (you know when you give up candy and sugar for Lent because you think it’s a brilliant idea, then at the end of the 40 days you eat a giant piece of cake and immediately double-over? Yeah…I’m trying to avoid that) because I haven’t eaten gluten except for a few nibbles here and there in over 8 months. I am going back to being able to eat gluten (not that I’ll start having sandwiches for every meal) because the symptoms that I thought were caused by gluten have crept back in and are actually being caused by something else entirely. Thus, gluten isn’t the culprit. Getting off gluten helped me feel better simply because I made better choices and wasn’t filling up on bread (I wasn’t filling up on g-free alternative cookies and crackers either so I wasn’t just substituting the calories), but after that subsided, things went practically back to how they were, and I’ve been feeling just kinda crappy all the time. Not to worry! I have another doctors appointment soon and all will be well.

My point, in all that ramble, is that I wasn’t super mad about the candy bar because 1. It was a gift and 2. I’m slowly eating gluten again. BUT if I had had a dire allergy to gluten, it would have been a different story.

If you want to be a part of the Foodie Penpals program, I highly recommend it! If you love shopping for little food finds and love introducing people to new products, you’ll love this! You’ll meet new people (online), be introduced to new treats, and be able to buy little gourmet gifts for people! The budget is only $15 so it’s really affordable!

If you want to get started this month, Lindsay (who organizes it) is actually doing something a little different! The pairings won’t be happening this month, but you’ll be donating the $15 you would have spent on your Pal to charity for those affected by Hurricane Sandy! It’s a great cause! AND then, next month, sign up to get a match and enjoy the program!

8 Responses to Fabulously Fit Friday 11/30/12 AND Foodie Penpal Nov. Reveal

  1. Mellissa says:

    I tend to send random a lot! And the plates were a last minute add just because they were so cute :) Sorry about the bar, the box they were in said gluten free on the outside :(

  2. whoa I have never seen those coconut almonds but boy do they look good!

  3. Candice says:

    hi! I’m new to your blog! LOVE it! Great workout week! and I live and love that book!

  4. Renee says:

    Ewww to coconut…paper plates could be cool I love eating food off pretty plates! I got Trader Joe’s this month I was happy because we don’t have a TJ’s! Good luck with the gluten take it slow. I hope you feel better soon! :)

    • Melissa says:

      haha! I LOVE coconut but these tasted all wrong. They were a GREAT concept though…
      I don’t have a TJ’s either!! I drove to St. Louis (4.5hrs) to visit my parents and go shopping there!!

  5. [...] when I told you about EnergyBits? They have only 1 calorie a piece and the highest amount of bio-available protein compared to any [...]

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