WIAW – My Food Philosophy

I was torn between sharing my amazing collection of nut butters (truly, it’s amazing) or talking about my food philosophy (if you could call it that) this week. Since last week I talked about trying to eat more, I thought it would be timely to talk about my philosophy as it relates to food.

Over the weekend, Amanda posted this question to her Facebook Page:

Never

As you can see, I have somewhat strong feelings (okay, that might be an understatement) as it relates to labeling foods as “off limits”.

Last week my forehead broke out in what I believed to be pimples, and upon getting feedback from my friends, some people thought they might be more related to an allergy. I’m lucky in that I can only ever recall one allergic reaction in my life. I was 12 or 13 and I ate six or eight eggs in a short amount of time one Easter and ended up breaking out in hives. As I hadn’t changed my skin care route, or detergent recently, my next assumption is that the bumps were related to a food intolerance.

Ugh.

See, my philosophy of eat all the things means I’ve never dealt with having any food “off limits” in my life.

Once when I was in Grade 11 I decided to go vegetarian for a month with my best friend, as her boyfriend at the time was vegetarian. I think I lasted three or four days until we had salmon for dinner one night. I reasoned that some people who are vegetarians eat fish, so I could too.

I believe in eating healthy whole food

For a while when I was 20 or 21 I was working evenings and would regularly eat a protein bar for dinner. I reasoned that because it was a protein bar it was healthy; therefore it was an acceptable alternative.

I can’t tell you how much current me cringes at that.

The closest I’ve come to consuming a protein bar, is having a Vega Vibrancy bar as a snack last week.

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I’ve seen a ton of people raving about Quest bars lately, but I’d much rather eat real food instead of a bar designed to taste like cookies or a cinnamon bun.

This said, in my attempt to eat more, I did pick up a handful of bars for afternoon snacks on days that I run. They’re also easy to toss into my purse on weekends, as I find I’m having a harder time-consuming enough on weekends after my long runs, but that’s a story for another day.

Counting is for accountants

Okay, so I am an accountant, but I have no desire to count calories or macros.

While I do think it’s helpful to occasionally check in and see how I’m doing calorie and macro-wise, I’m certainly never going to live and die by those numbers.

I consciously work to consume sufficient quantities of carbs, protein and fat, but I’m really not going to get fussed if one day I eat more protein and another day I eat more carbs. I fully believe that being conscious to it (and I’m actively working to consume more protein) I’ll give my body what it needs.

If I want it, I eat it

I don’t believe in denying myself food

Yes, I have some weird and wacky food rules, but if I crave something, I’ll eat it. I may not always eat it right that second but I will eat it.

I’ve been craving red meat, specifically a good juicy burger, so that’s on my list to eat this week.

I also eat dessert nearly every night. At the bare minimum I’ll have two or three dates with peanut butter as my dessert. On Sunday I shared some of my gelato collection with a friend and had some dates. I didn’t feel one bit bad about it.

I don’t believe in guilt

When ever I make a choice as it relates to food, I do so consciously. Okay, most of the time I do so consciously.

Since I’m the one making the choices as it relates to my food, I see no reason to beat myself up for my choices. If I decide to get fries with my hamburger, I’m going to get fries with it and I’m going to enjoy every last one of them.

I believe in moderation

This week I may treat myself to a burger and fries – but I can tell you I’m not going to eat a burger and fries every day, or even every week. Heck, I probably won’t even do it every month.

I’ll have dessert every night, but it will be a few spoonfuls of gelato, or two or three dates, or one of Amy’s amazing cookies (although I really wanted to eat the whole batch!).

I’ll have a glass or two of wine on the weekends, but not a bottle. Most of the time. Sometimes a bottle is necessary 😉

Tell me: Do you have a food philosophy?

I Think I Need to Eat More

Warning: this is probably going to be very rambly and all over the place. I’m sure I could spend some time editing it and trying to make it more coherent, but I think I’d end up censoring myself or changing the message of my thoughts, so I’m just going to go with it. Messy and uncensored and all.

Last week I read a number of articles about food. Specifically, how the heck much food do we need to eat. (You probably saw them in my link love post).

The resounding message was that the majority of us are under eating.

I thought about it.

Then I thought about it some more.

I reasoned that I am likely under eating.

Because of that I need to eat more. (duh!)

Now, here’s where it gets tricky for me…..A year ago I weighed nearly 10 pounds less than I do now. I saw a number on the scale I hadn’t seen in years. To be completely, brutally honest, I liked it. I liked seeing that number. Heck, I probably even valued that number.

But – here’s the kicker I wasn’t healthy.

I did not lose the weight in a healthy way. I lost the weight through stress. And not eating. And drinking lots of wine. And not sleeping.

I may weigh 10 pounds more, but I’m also probably in the best shape I’ve even been in. I just finished a week where I ran nearly 86km. In ONE FREAKING WEEK. I remember getting into running and being amazed at running 100km in a MONTH, let alone a week.

The logical part of my brain knows I’m healthier now that I was a year ago. That part of my brain also knows I need to eat more. It even knows that if I were to eat more I’d probably lose weight because I’d be feeling my body properly.

The hard part is actually getting there.

See, back in the day of disordered eating I made up these food “rules” for myself and they’ve become so ingrained in my life that I still abide by them, mostly:

  • don’t drink juice, juice has calories and is therefore bad
  • don’t eat pasta
  • dinner should consist only of protein and veggies
  • don’t eat after 10pm
  • don’t drink your calories
  • always order the salad instead of the fries
  • don’t snack after lunch – hold out until dinner
  • 1200 is the magic number <– ugh. Barf.
  • treats should be “earned” through exercise
  • it’s okay to eat a lot after a long run, but only one meal

I’m sure there are more than just this, but these are the ones that come to mind, and I have a really hard time getting them out of my head.

Do I think I still suffer from disordered eating? No. I don’t. I can and have and will do things that are “against” my “rules” and I don’t feel guilty about it, I don’t feel like I have to exercise it off and I don’t beat myself up. But regardless, those feelings are still there.

Sometimes I think about going to get a body fat and metabolic analysis done. I think if science told me I need to eat 2400 calories a day to maintain my level of exercise, I’d have an easier time doing it. But when I go to a site (like this one) and enter in my height and weight to determine my RMR, I’m…..hesitant. I’m hesitant to believe that what it’s telling me is accurate.

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Yup. I put my weight on the blog. I figured I could dance around it, but I’ve decided to OWN IT! 😀

From reading Giselle’s post on RMR, there’s still some math to be done…See that 1513 number is only 70% of my metabolic function, I still need to add 30% to it to account for doing something other than just laying in bed (no matter how sloth-like I can be at times) plus what I burn when running. Let me tell you, what I burn when running can be a lot.

Pre-exercise I should be consuming ~1960 calories.

Umm, what?! That’s a heck of a lot of calories, yo. Definitely far more than I eat, even with the booze I sometimes consume.

So.

Yeah.

I think I need to eat more.

And…I’m working on it.

Tell me: Do you think you’re eating enough? How does your intake compare to the RMR calculator?

Thinking-Out-Loud

Since it’s Thursday and I’m rambling on and on, I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud. ❤

WIAW – Minus Dinner

Well hello and Happy Wednesday to you all!

While it may be mid-way through the week for most of you, I just have one more day of work until I get a long weekend. Let me tell you, I’m very much looking forward to having an extra day to rest and sleep in.

WIAW - Minus Dinner

Today’s post is an excellent example of why I’m not so great at WIAW posts.

I did awesome and taking pictures of my meals all the way until dinner. And then? Plain old forgot. Whoops. So today you can see everything minus my (super amazing) dinner 🙂

Breakfast

By now you probably know I’m a creature of habit. Same breakfast every week day.

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Boring 😛

I promise to remember to take pictures of my weekend food one day because it’s far more interesting 🙂

Snack

Oh. Hey. Trailmix.

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That’s new.

Heh.

Lunch

Since I ended up working all last weekend I had no time to grocery shop. Thankfully I had food in my fridge from my Costco run, so lunch was the most amazing soup…

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…baby carrots…

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…and a hot cross bun with coconut butter.

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I can’t believe it took me so long to make coconut butter. I used Ang’s recipe and it turned out so yummy!!

I also had some chocolate for lunch dessert, because lunch dessert is important.

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Snack

Refresh tea with vanilla syrup and some milk. Noms.

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Banana – note the lack of banana spots. This one was pretty much perfect! with strawberries.

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I know it’s not exactly strawberry season, but these were on sale and they looked good to me.

The dinner that wasn’t

After work I came home and had a slice of cheese…

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…and a small glass of wine to told me over until dinner time.

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I was cooking dinner for a friend and I had the most amazing dinner planned!

Hand-made perogies that were filled with potato and cheese AND another kind with sauerkraut. Seriously amazing.

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We paired the perogies with bratwurst, beans and beats. Seriously, so amaze.

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I’m kind of bummed I forgot to take pictures, but by the time it was 7:40 I was far too concerned with shoveling food into my face and didn’t remember about pictures until I’d cleaned my plate.

Guess that just goes to show how yummy my dinner was 🙂

Tell me: What was the favourite thing you ate yesterday?

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 I’m also going to link up for What I Ate Wednesday.

***

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A Day of Food: Sick Day

I have a confession to make……I really enjoyed talking about food with all y’all last week.

I’m glad I decided to do a WIAW post because it really showed that what I thought my feelings were about sharing my food, weren’t actually my feelings about sharing my food. Did that make sense? Maybe?

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Anyway before I even posted my food last week, I was already taking pictures of what I ate when I was home sick. See, I’m approaching this whole posting food on my blog thing as a way to show how I eat for different days: sick days, running days, lazy days, etc.

While I’m a super boring eater, I do eat differently depending on the day and my hunger levels (and sometimes I even remember to take pictures!) and while I would never claim to the healthiest person out there, I do think it’s important to show how I fit food into my day.

Typically, when I’m not feeling well, I revert back to being a six year old. White bread and easy carbs for me please 🙂

Breakfast

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You would need to pry coffee from my cold dead hand for me to give it up. Yes, even when I am sick. Sorry, not happening.

(Shout out to Ann for the kick ass mug for my collection!!)

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Instead of my usual green smoothie, oatmeal sounded pretty much perfect to my feverish and dizzy body.

These were amazing. Seriously amazing. I’m so glad I picked them up and I can’t wait to eat more of them! ❤

Snack

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Mmmmm. Nuts. <–TWSS

That is all.

Lunch

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I popped over to the store to buy….something? I think it was zucchini for dinner, anyway, I saw bagels and I just knew I was going to be shoving a bagel into my facehole for lunch.

I love bagels so much, but rarely eat them and I appreciated every bite of this one – topped with dill cream cheese. So yum!

Snack

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Cheese and crackers will always be the most perfect snack. Always.

Dinner

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This pan of amazingness is all thanks to Amy. When she posted about sweet potato, zucchini and runny eggs I knew I’d be making it sometime soon. It just sounded like healthy comfort food to my sick body. I even branched out and sprinkled nutritional yeast on it to give it a cheesey flavour. Who am I?!

Tell me: What do you crave when you’re feeling under the weather?

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 I’m also going to link up for What I Ate Wednesday for the second week in a row!

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What Tracking My Calories for One Day Taught Me

On Wednesday I posted what I would normally eat in a day where I had an evening run scheduled. Now, that evening run didn’t go quite as planned, but that’s really just part of life and sometimes that’s just how things work out. No biggie.

As a bit of an experiment, I decided to also track my calories, something I don’t regularly do, and something I probably haven’t done in a year or so.

Honestly? I was pretty surprised by the result. There is no way I would have guessed I was consuming roughly 2,000 calories a day. After the shock wore off, I decided to really sit down and evaluate what I was putting into my body. Was it helping me? Was it hurting me? Are there any tweaks I can make to serve my training and my body better?

After spending some time reflecting and looking at my macros from last week, I came up with a few (hopefully) simple and easy tweaks to make.

More Protein

Here’s the breakdown of my macros (carbs, protein, fat) from Thursday.

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For me I’d say my protein was low on Thursday. This is possibly because I had a sandwich for dinner instead of my normal protein + vegetables for dinner, but the protein in my lunch was also lower than I would have liked.

So, I want to make sure I’m consuming sufficient protein at lunch and dinner.

Limit Alcohol

I’ve gotten into the habit of having a beer or a glass of wine nearly every day and I’d like to reduce it. Am I going to completely give up booze? Oh heck no. Not a freaking chance. But I would like to limit it to the weekends and for special events only.

Reduce Sugar

On Thursday I gave the remaining bag of the Reese’s goodies to my friend when I met him for dinner on Thursday. I was eating far too much sugar just as random snacks (you know, just grabbing a handful as I walked by the bag) and while I would never completely give up dessert, I do think limiting the added sugar I’m eating would be helpful.

Fish & Red Meat

I’ve fallen into a bit of a dinner rut.

There’s nothing wrong with salads and chicken, but I think a bit more variety would be wise, so I’d like to eat fish twice a week and red meat once a week which the remaining four dinners being a good balance of protein and vegetables.

None of these changes a huge, but I do feel they’ll make a difference in the way I’ve been feeling and hopefully will have a positive impact on my training.

More Water

A food quirk I neglected to mention yesterday was that I don’t like cold water. I know. Weird. I prefer room temperature water, and since it’s been so cold lately, I’ve been avoiding water because I don’t want to be cold. That said, water is super important for running, healthy skin and keeping my metabolism at its best, so I’m going to try for more water as well.

Progress

I started eating by these guidelines at the beginning of the week, and I can say I feel so much better!

I also hate to say it, but I really do feel better after no drinking – even if it’s just a glass of wine. Major sad face, here 😉

I can’t decide if I felt sick on Monday (I went home with dizziness and a fever and still had a low-grade fever on Tuesday) because I consumed too much sugar or if I was really ill. Monday morning I had a (tall, non-fat, half-sweet) white chocolate mocha and a cookie the size of my face and felt awful after. I know that could explain Monday, but I’m not so sure about Tuesday…..

I ate well after that and noticed a huge improvement on Wednesday and Thursday. I did Monday’s run on Wednesday (easy 13k) and felt good and then I banged out a killer speed workout last night. I felt amazing. It was the longest interval workout I’ve done and I feel like I killed it.

Looks like low sugar and no booze is working for me 😉

Tell me: What tweaks have you made in your diet recently?

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Picky About Bananas

Last week I added Picky About Bananas to my Twitter profile and my blog header, and I thought it might be time to explain this.

This originally started out as a joke with a few friends. If you ask if there are any foods I dislike, I’d likely originally tell you, “Not really” and then as we discussed it more, you’d come to learn that I have a few qualifiers as they relate to food. Especially bananas.

See, I like bananas. I eat a banana nearly every day.

However (and this however is a big one) I will not eat a banana with spots. I prefer my bananas somewhat on the green side. As soon as I spot a spot, my bananas become baking or smoothie bananas and not snacking bananas.

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These bananas became smoothie bananas.

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These bananas are acceptable for eating.

On top of my issue with spots on bananas, I also don’t really like the smell of bananas. If I’m eating the banana it’s not a big deal, but if you are eating a banana and I am not, the smell is quite off-putting. I’ll probably email Ann and Heather and tell them I had to, ugh, smell a banana. Ew.

Of course bananas aren’t the only food I’m picky about…

  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melons. Just ick. I love fruit. I love fruit salad. If your fruit salad contains any of the two aforementioned melons I will avoid it at all costs. It’s gross, cheap, filler fruit. Pass.
  • Apples. I like apples, I really do, but the peel. Oh, the peel. The way is squeaks on my teeth just drives me absolutely insane and I cannot handle it. At all. It’s a weird sensory thing for sure. Sorry apples, I miss you.
  • Milk. I don’t dislike dairy products, I think cheese is amazing, but milk kind of grosses me out. However, I will drink milk in a latte without a second thought. But you won’t ever catch me drinking a glass of cold milk. Hork.
  • Red onions. These are probably the only food I’ll actually not eat. I love Greek salad, but will eat around the red onions, I just can’t do it. At all.

Tell me: What’s your weirdest food quirk?

Thinking-Out-Loud

I’m linking up with Amanada for Thinking Out Loud today.

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A Day of Food: Run Day

Since I posted a few weeks ago about not talking about food (much) on here, I decided I was going to do a sampling of what I eat throughout the week.

WIAW Run Day

However, instead of doing it every Tuesday (or similar) I’m going it based on training. So, today is a running day, I’m going to show you what I ate last Thursday. I had a 15km tempo run scheduled for after work, so here’s what I ate throughout the day.

Breakfast

I’m a creature of habit. I wake up and turn on the coffee machine, feed Merlin, wander aimlessly for a minute or two and then pour some coffee in my facehole.

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After a few sips of coffee I move on to my smoothie. I’ve been drinking a smoothie for breakfast for about a year. I’m still not tired of them, so I’m going to continue with my smoothie trend. My original smoothie recipe can be found here and another recipe can be found here.

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After I get to work I put more coffee in my facehole. On Thursday it was Starbucks Tribute blend VIA with a Splenda, because I’m healthy like that.

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Snack

Around 10am I start to get a bit hungry, so I pull out the trail mix and enjoy. I buy this at Costco and even measure out the 1/4 cup serving, mainly because I’d eat the whole bag if I could.

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Note: that’s probably about 1/3 of what I brought. Yes, I ate it all.

Lunch

My lunch varies from week to week. This week I made an enchilada casserole, inspired by the Oh She Glows cookbook. It’s mostly vegan, except that I did top it with cheese. Really, how could I not?

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Since the picture of it in my container for work doesn’t look all that appetizing, here’s what it looked like when I made it.

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Also, Reese’s mini eggs for lunch dessert.

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Snack

For my mid-afternoon snack I brought some Greek yogurt. I’d previously been having granola bars, but I found I was pretty hungry before I ran, so I experimented with something higher in protein. I think it worked.

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Just before 4pm I was a bit hungry, so I also ate an orange knowing it would be easy to digest in time for my run.

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Pre-Run

Once I get home from work I basically walk in the door, change and go straight for a run, be it outside or a treadmill (Thursday was a treadmill day). I mix up my Vega Pre Workout Energizer, slam it back and head to the gym.

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And here is where the rest of my day when completely off.the.rails. I noticed a niggle when I started running, but I know it takes my body a while to warm up, so I didn’t concern myself with it much at first. I stopped after 1 mile on the treadmill to do a quick stretch. Once I reached two miles and the niggle was a bit more than a niggle, I knew I wasn’t going to make the full 15km.

And….at that moment my phone rang (I use my phone for music when I run). It was my friend who had has a horrible day at work and was going to be stuck working ridiculously late. I decided to skip my plan of eating a healthy omelet and grab a beer and sandwich and meet my friend for dinner.

Dinner

T’was not quite what I had planned and I completely forgot to take pictures, so here are generic picture of a sandwich and a beer.

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Sometimes life just happens.

Snack

After chatting for a bit, I headed home (it’s about a 20 minute drive home) and snacked on a date stuffed with PB because they are oh, so good.

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I also made myself a pot of tea and watched Grey’s before crawling into bed.

Water

I started the day off by counting the water I drank, but forgot to mark it down every time I filled up my cup. I’m guessing I probably had 2 cups before leaving for work, about 70 oz at work, 2 cups while running and another litre (at least) after my run. I realize my measurements are all over the place, but guesstimate it to be about 3L. Or so.

Most evenings I also have tea and that’s another 750mL of liquid in my belly.

Since its Wednesday and I posted about my daily food, I’m also going to link up for What I Ate Wednesday, but I don’t expect this will be a totally regular thing 🙂

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I also decided to log my daily food into My Fitness Pal. I still don’t count calories, but I think it’s good to sometimes check in with what I’m eating. I’ve noticed some weight gain and I think tracking my food for a day or two (since I pretty much eat the same thing every day) can be helpful.

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Since MFP tells everyone to eat 1200 calories (and that’s a freaking joke) I calculated my BMR from the formula in this post and it tells me my BMR is between 1219 and 1287. That’s what I burn just laying in bed. Once I factor in sitting at my desk I burn 1585 to 1673, and that doesn’t even consider the calories burned from a run. Now, it was a bit of a crapshoot because I don’t exactly know my body fat, which is why I calculated it as a range. Also, since I pretty much just sit at my desk all freaking day I went with the mostly sedentary multiplier, even though I also run frequently.

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So, based upon this, I’d say I’m probably consuming enough calories. That said, if I’m hungrier one day, I’m going to eat more. It’s as simple as that.

Tell me: Do you eat differently on the days that you run?

My Costo Favourites

It seems that hitting Costco after payday has become a thing for me, this is the third time I’ve done this in 2014. I really do love me some Costco finds.

I’ve made a decision to make some changes in my diet (more on that later this week!) and I reasoned picking up some staples from Costco would be the most efficient way to bring about these changes.

I do go to Costco with a budget (odd, I know) and I even walk around with my phone in my hand adding up each item I put in my cart. The good thing is that after I pick up my monthly staples at Costco, I only spent about $100 the rest of the month on food. This is the third month I’ve done this and I’ve seen my grocery budget go way down. Yay!! 🙂

The weather this weekend was truly awful. Again. Still. Whatever.

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I know hitting up Costco on a weekend is always busy, but thankfully I was in and out in under and hour. I didn’t have much in the way of a list, but I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and I do tend to stick with buying many of the same items.

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Peppers for snacking, carrot juice for smoothies, beets for salads (and maybe smoothies), spinach and kale for smoothies and veggies for my lunches.

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Greek yogurt, crab ravioli (a yummy treat!), fish filets, the best soup ever and cheese. Because, cheese 🙂

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Oats for work snacks and morning fun fuel, unsweetened coconut milk, frozen cherries for smoothies, frozen berries for smoothies and dates for snacking.

Even Merlin helped out with the picture-taking.

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Last week I mentioned how my treats are going to focus on me and my well-being, and this is the first in that. I feel good about the food I purchased and spent time on Saturday and Sunday prepping food for the week and organizing. It really is true, it’s easy to eat healthy when you have it in your home.

Tell me: How have you treated yourself this week?

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I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday. Thanks for hosting, love ❤

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Healthy Oatmeal Cookies and Granola Bars

Disclaimer: I was provided with these products (mostly) free of charge through my involvement with Fit Approach. All opinions are my own. I did pay for shipping, which ended up being more expensive than the products themselves, so if you’re in Canada, be warned. I decided to bite the bullet and pay anyway because my Healthy Oatmeal and Lean PB looked so awesome!

MyOatmeal

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Fit Approach (aka – Sweat Pink) to see if I’d be interested in mixing up my own blend of Healthy Oatmeal and creating a few recipes with my blend.

Well of course I was interested! I also really wanted to try out some of the Lean PB since powdered PB is something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, but for whatever the reason, I hadn’t. (Probably because it isn’t all that easy to find in Canada!).

For the PB I picked from their popular list and went with the Chocolate Hazelnut flavour – basically a healthier version of Nutella – yes please! (total cost $13.99)

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I also added a bag of the mystery oatmeal for $5.99 instead of $9.99. I wanted to see what kind of creation would be sent to me.

Finally I created my own Morning Fuel using 5 grain rolled oat, dulce de leche flavouring, cranberries and almonds. (total cost $18.64).

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When browsing the site, I also noticed you can sign up for an Oatmeal of the Month membership. The prices are super reasonable (with shipping to Canada approximately $25, this may not be the best idea for us north of the border, but if you’re in the US and love oatmeal, it sounds like a great idea!!).

Now that you know what I ordered, on to the good stuff – recipes!

Since I’m pretty much obsessed with granola bars, I knew I’d be making my tried and true granola bar recipe, but I also wanted to mix it up a bit and make a batch (or two) of cookies using the blends.

Morning Fuel Granola Bars

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • vanilla extract (I never measure)
  • cinnamon (I never measure)
  • 2 cups Morning Fuel oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper (the bars will stick, so you’ll want to do this – plus it makes it way easier to lift out the bars once they’re done). Microwave the coconut oil (if solid) and honey to make them pourable and easier for measuring. Add the first three ingredients to the bowl followed by the dry ingredients. (Tip: I add the coconut oil first since some oil will remain in the measuring cup making it easier to pour out the honey and nut butters). Mix together, press into the pan. Cook for 20 minutes until edges start to brown. Enjoy!!

Mystery Blend Cookies

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups Mystery Blend oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mash bananas with peanut butter. Stir in cinnamon and oatmeal. (Tip: I add the coconut oil first since some oil will remain in the measuring cup making it easier to pour out the honey and nut butters). Drop onto cookie sheet in the size of delicious cookies you would like to eat. Bake for 20 minutes until browned.

Chocolate Hazelnut PB Waffles

Now that I have a waffle maker, I’m pretty much obsessed with making waffles on weekends. When I read the Lean PB could be substituted for flour in baking, I was all over it!

  • 1 1/2 cups waffle mix (I buy Coyote)
  • 1/2 cup Lean PB, Chocolate Hazelnut flavour
  • 2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 egg

Preheat waffle maker according to manufacturer instructions. Add try ingredients to a bowl, then add when ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add 1 cup batter to waffle iron and cook per manufacturer instructions.

I always have left overs, so I like to toast them up the follow day (or days) to keep the love alive!

Now, for the nitty gritty…..would I order Healthy Oatmeal again?

Well….this is tricky. I loved all of the products I picked, but with shipping being so expensive, it’s just not worth it for me. Sadly, shipping options to Canada aren’t always the greatest and I definitely feel like I miss out on some cool products because of it. So due to the high cost of shipping, I wouldn’t purchase again, but I really enjoyed the items I received.

Tell me: If you were going to create your own oatmeal mix, what would you include?

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North Coast Naturals {Giveaway} (Closed)

Congratulations to Crystal for winning the prize pack!!

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Whew.

It sure has taken me far too long to get this post all typed up and organized for you.

First things first – I’m so pumped to be working with North Coast Naturals! You may have seen a picture of an awesome shipment I received from them in early January. I was sent the following items free of charge to review for y’all: Brown Rice Protein, Hemp Protein, Fermented L-Glutamine and Daily Greens. But wait! That’s not even the best part! North Coast Naturals is also going to be giving away three of their awesome products to a Cowgirl Runs reader (you’ll receive  L-GlutamineDaily Greens, and Brown Rice Protein).

photo (19)

Before we get to the super fun giveaway, I have two more amazing recipes to share with you.

photo (62)

Almond Cashew Cherry Granola Bars

Whew! Even the name is a mouthful, but I assure you these taste better in your mouth than the name <– awkward. Moving on….

These are a twist on the Almond Butter Protein Berry Bars I made back in January.

photo (61)

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown rice protein*
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • vanilla extract (I never measure)
  • cinnamon (I never measure)
  • 2 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper (the bars will stick, so you’ll want to do this – plus it makes it way easier to lift out the bars once they’re done). Microwave the coconut oil (if solid) and honey to make them pourable and easier for measuring. Add the first three ingredients to the bowl followed by the dry ingredients. (Tip: I add the coconut oil first since some oil will remain in the measuring cup making it easier to pour out the honey and nut butters). Mix together, press into the pan. Cook for 20 minutes until edges start to brown. Enjoy!!

photo (64)

Chocolate Banana Cranberry “Muffins”

Again, I need to thank Becky for the inspiration for this recipe. I saw her recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Muffins and made a few tweaks to come up with these guys.

photo (60)

Makes 12 muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Dark Chocolate Cherry Monkey Butter)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein*
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place 12 muffin liners in muffin pan. In a large bowl, mash bananas with peanut butter. Stir in cinnamon and oatmeal and then gently mix in dried cranberries. (Tip: I add the coconut oil first since some oil will remain in the measuring cup making it easier to pour out the honey and nut butters). Bake for 20 minutes, until tops are slightly browned. I use silicon muffin liners, so I waited about 10 minutes before I removed the muffins from the liners.

photo (63)

Review Stuff

I was so, so pleased with the quality of the products sent to me by North Coast Naturals. I started using the L-Gluatmine right away after my workouts.

Many studies suggest it helps with recovery, alleviating physical/mental stress, joint pain, and mental fitness. It has also been found to have a significant effect on the body’s rate of tissue repair. Glutamine can help to reduce depression, anxiety, irritability, moodiness, insomnia, and distress due to short bowel syndrome.

(source)

The protein powders were amazing to work with. They didn’t impart any weird or chalky flavour into the granola bars of smoothies I tried with them and were so easy to mix and blend. As someone who can be wary of new protein powders, I was very impressed with the taste and quality.

As for the daily greens, I’ve been adding it to water (yup, just water) in the mornings to me going in the morning. I’ve tried other brands of “green” that suggest you mix with water and I’ve ended up mixing with juice and just barely been able to choke it down. Not so with these. I’m not exactly sure how it’s different, but I found it mixed really well with the water and the taste was awesome. Hooray!

Giveaway

Okey dokey friends, now it’s your turn! North Coast Naturals will provide one reader (Canada only – sorry International folks!) with the following products  L-GlutamineDaily Greens, and Brown Rice Protein.

Here’s how you enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
<– since I’m currently hosted with WP I can’t install the fancy widget but you can click this link, or go to the giveaway tab on my FB page to enter (you get an entry for liking the page, so you totally should!) (sorry to have to make it two steps! I’ll get a big girl blog soon!)

* the brown rice protein and hemp protein were provided to be free of charge by North Coast Naturals in exchange for my honest review and opinions of the products.

Go forth and enter! 🙂

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More ways to connect with Ange:
Facebook --> Cowgirl Runs
Twitter --> @cowgirlruns
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