Saturday, January 30, 2010

Krema and Crazy Richard's Peanut Butter Review

First off, I'm fairly limited in my peanut butter experiences. As a kid I'd have regular Jif, Skippy, store brands, you name it. For the past year or so, I've been a big fan of Skippy Natural. But now I am proud to say I've actually tried REAL peanut butter with ONLY peanuts thanks to the Krema Peanut Butter Company that sent me their creamy and crunchy varieties. So far I've tried the creamy ones, and here's my review:

I give a 9 out of 10 to Krema Smooth and Creamy peanut butter (which is actually exactly the same peanut butter as Crazy Richard's). It is super peanuty! This isn't too surprising since that's the only ingredient :-). I was a bit hesitant to try a peanut butter with oil separation, but it was very easy to stir in the oil that had settled on top. I've been keeping the jar in my refrigerator and have not had any oil settle to the top after stirring it (vigorously!) just that once. This peanut butter is super creamy, just like it says on the jar :-). My only complaint is that it is a bit too sticky for my liking. The taste is wonderful, but the texture is just a bit too much for me. I'm guessing I could get used to it though and even come to prefer it to the Skippy Natural. So far I've tried it on pita bread (see below) as well as on apples and bananas. I'm looking forward to trying it with oatmeal soon too (I think it will work well because it's so creamy!). Anyway, I would recommed trying it or at least another all natural peanut butter if you haven't since it is definitely a different experience than something such as Skippy Natural for instance. And here's a link to the Krema Peanut Butter Company website: They have lots of great products with something for everyone. And here are my pics:

And on another note, ever since the beginning of this year, I've been trying to practice yoga at least a few times a week. My favorite time of day to do it is right before bed since I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, and flow yoga calms and relaxes me. I also love the fact that I have access to lots of free yoga videos online, such as on youtube! It's so easy - I have few excuses not to take the time for some yoga. It's also hard to get bored with so many different routines to try! -
Do any of you practice yoga? If so, what time of day do you prefer? Do you workout at home or at a gym/studio?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Head on over to Prevention RD

Prevention RD is hosting a Larabar giveaway! How sweet is that (literally) ?! Check it out at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oats in a Jar

Hello! I have finally tried Oats in a Jar... and the verdict is.... good. Sorry, not great, not stupendous, just good. Let me explain. I used about 1/2c. oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp. ground flax, and the remains of a Skippy Natural PB jar. Really, not too different than oats in a bowl. The thing is, it was a lot more messy than I thought it would be. Instead of having to simply scrape PB out of a jar as I normally would, I had to scrape PB AND sticky oats out of a jar - it was quite the task! I think it'd be easier to scrape the PB out and then add it to my bowl of oats :-). I guess this is just one of those crazes I'm not that into, but hey, I'm definitely not bashing those of you who love this concoction! It's just not for me. Anyway, here are the pics:

And, just for kicks, here's a clipping from my university's student-run newspaper. Three Thursdays in a row! Let's just say I'd much rather have three Fridays or Saturdays in a row ;-).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Iowa Winter Pics

Hello everyone! My classes are off to a good start, but I've been pretty busy in all of them already. Not to mention that I'm also trying to line up a job/internship for the summer - that takes a lot of time and research! Food wise, our cafeteria's been having some decent bananas lately - FINALLY! I can't stand ones that are totally yellow and fully ripened. I like them to be tinged with green on the ends. Since they finally have bananas of this nature, I've been going through my peanut butter jar quite rapidly. I think Oats in a Jar may be coming up soon in my future (I've actually never tried this!). I'll definitely let you all know how it goes :-).

Here are the pictures:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Larabar review on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

First, as you all know it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For me this means no classes! In the grander scheme of things though, this day provides a time for our nation to look back on how far we've come in addressing prejudice and discrimination. We should also evaluate how much farther we still need to go. Here is a short article with more information on MLK Jr. -

And now for some great Larabar reviews! First is the Cashew Cookie flavor which I give an 8.5 out of 10. It has a strong cashew flavor for all of you cashew lovers and is very nutty (well, what else would you expect?!). It is also chewy and soft with little pieces of cashews. It was less sweet than other flavors which I found to be refreshing. I also think it's cool that there were only two ingredients: dates and cashews.

Next is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Flavor that soooo many people rave about. Personally I just give it an 8 out of 10. Good, but not my favorite. This is basically because they chose to have cherry be the 'jelly' flavor, and I really don't like a strong cherry flavor such as this had, especially when it was concentrated in small chunks of dried cheeries. I think it would have been better had they pureed the cheeries, and I think it would be BEST if they used a flavor like strawberry - that would be epic! The peanut butter flavor complemented the cherry quite well though, and I enjoyed the little peanut chunks. Overall I still enjoyed it, and if you like cherries and peanut butter, you will LOVE this bar.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First week of Spring Semester and Last Heart Thrive review

Last week was the first week of spring semester at ISU AND also the first week of my last semester in undergrad! I have a great line up of practical courses and am excited for the next step in my life... graduate school!!

And now for my last two Heart Thrive reviews:

First is the Date Heart Thrive. I give it an 8 out of 10. It was quite datey and sweet with the usual oaty texture. I heated it up 10 sec to enhance the flavor. Even though it was a tad bit dry, I liked how soft and chewy it was. Substantial too! Also very versatile! Check out their website for more information: Also, here are some different ways to eat Heart Thrives: And here are my pics:

I finally tried the Apricot Heart Thrive for breakfast this morning with an orange. I give it a 7.5 out of 10. I really liked the apricot flavor but do wish that it was even stronger. The apricot chunks were delicious, but perhaps putting in a few more would help. On my second one I added some peanut butter for some healthy fats. Speaking of fat, these Heart Thrives have very, very little, which some people may like, but I think they could make some that had more since unsaturated fats are quite healthy. I'm thinking that a peaunut butter and jelly flavor would be delish!! Anyway, here are the pics:

And now for some giveaways!!

First, there is a Vitamix 5200 giveaway at Chocolate-Covered Katie at

Second, there is a lisa leonard giveaway at Meals and Moves at


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amy's Giveaway @ Iowa Girl Eats!

Head over to Iowa Girl Eats and enter to win an Amy's Kitchen grand prize package containing:

2 VIP coupons, good for any Amy’s product
1 adorable Amy’s tote bag
1 cute and practical Amy’s lunch bag

Check it out here:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blogroll gone?!

I think I lost my blog roll!! What should I do :-( ?!

Edited to add:

Well, I'm sucking it up since I don't think I'll be able to get my blogroll back :-(. I've just been searching my browser history and following all the blogs that used to be on my blogroll.. tedious, but it gets the job done for the most part. Hopefully I'll eventually find all the blogs I used to have, and then I'll add them all to the blogroll again. AND NOW I'm going to save a list of all the blogs I follow as a word document... then I won't have this problem again!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Larabar review

Another review! This is the wonderful collection of 4 larabars I received to review:

Such variety! The first I tried was the Tropical Fruit Tart. I give it 9 out of 10!! It was literally a burst of tropical flavor in my mouth. I was so impressed by the flavor combo - quite sweet, but I actually liked it even though I'm not a huge fan of super sweet things. I especially loved the coconut - it added a nice little crunch to the chewiness. Anyway, if you are looking for a mini tropical vacation, this is the treat for you ;-).

The second bar I recently tried was the Lemon Bar. I give this a 7 out of 10. It was both sweet and sour, tart and tangy. If you love lemon flavor, then you will LOVE this bar! Personally, I don't favor a strong lemon flavor, which is why I gave this bar a lower score. I did enjoy the chunks of almonds though :-). It also had fewer ingredients than the Tropical Fruit Tart flavor, including Dates, Cashews, Almonds, Lemon Juice Concentrate, and Natural Lemon Flavor (my pic of the ingredient list didn't turn out). Really, all of the ingredients in larabars are good! I am impressed by their great flavor with such small lists - other companies should use them as an example ;-).

Yep, the bars are kind of small, but they pack big flavor!

In other news, my mouth is recovering nicely from the wisdom teeth extraction. I'm slowly incorporating more solid foods. I tried lettuce tonight, but that didn't work yet... eventually :-). If I make it through this weekend without any complications, then I'm thinking I'll be home-free and past the point where dry socket could occur. Spring semester classes also begin for me at ISU on Monday - I can't believe winter break is over already! I hope warmer weather follows soon too. Speaking of which, here are a couple snow pictures I took over break:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chocolate Heart Thrives review

Yum! I give the Chocolate Heart Thrives an 8.5 out of 10! I was a bit leary of something this healthy AND chocolate, but it turned out great :-). I took one bite and when I saw there were whole chocolate chips inside, I decided to microwave it for 10 sec. to halfway melt the chips - it worked! While the outside of the Heart Thrive was a little dry, the inside was heavenly. It had a nice chocolate flavor, not too strong, yet not too weak since there was basically a chocolate chip or more in every bite (and good sized chocolate chips too!). It basically tasted like a chocolate chip cookie that wasn't too sweet, and that's a positive as far as I'm concerned.

I'm just happy I could eat this even though I'm still recovering from my wisdom teeth extraction. After microwaving it, I was able to chew it ever so slightly, taste, and then swallow - no heavy labor or crunching required :-). And so far all is well with my mouth - not a lot of pain and just minimal swelling. Still no exercise though! I'm awaiting it eagerly, as well as being able to fully open my mouth and smile! It's the simple things you miss the most, isn't it?!


Monday, January 4, 2010

My first green smoothie!

Yep, I've finally had my first green smoothie, and I made it in my new Cooks 17-piece power blender. It worked like a charm, and I'm hoping it stays that way! Anyway, I used it to make 3 smoothies today since I had my wisdom teeth removed this morning. Two were green smoothies and one entailed an ensure, pudding, and a cup of frozen fruit thawed. The green smoothie pictured below was made with:

1.5 cups fresh spinach leaves
.5 cup skim milk
.25 cup canned pumpkin
1 banana
.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
.25 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tbsp oil (for some healthy fats!)

It ended up tasting mostly like banana with a hint of pumkin and the spices. The other one subbed out the banana for .5 cup applesauce and whole milk instead of skim. It tasted mostly like applesauce... I'm noticing a trend :-). And here's the picture that turned out so, so:

I'm hoping my recovery goes smoothly. The soft food diet isn't too bad. I've also been able to enjoy pudding and cream of wheat cereal with milk, flax seed, and peanut butter. Yet I wish I could do yoga or walk a little - I'm so sore and tight from sitting around all day. Alas, I need to take about a week off :-(. I'm sure I'll survive though.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

On the Road Heart Thrives Review

I traveled with my family to visit my grandparents this past weekend and used the opportunity to try two flavors of Heart Thrives on the go. First I tried the Apple flavor as a light lunch with carrots and hummus.

I give it an 8.5 out of 10! It has a nice, strong green apple flavor and my first thought was that it was like a portable apple crisp. It was chewy with apple chunks and a nice sweetness, though perhaps just a bit too sweet for my liking - more of a dessert flavor with the nutrients of a meal (that's good though, right?!). Of course, I'm not a big fan of sweet things. I did let my brother and father try little bites of this flavor too. Both are pretty anti-health food, and my brother said it tasted dry and powdery with a hint of sugar. My father had a similar reaction and said it should be called Apple sawdust and should be dipped in sugar. Well, I guess this just shows you how different taste preferences can be! Later this weekend I tried the Cranberry Heart Thrives.

I give this flavor 7.5 out of 10. It was oaty and semi-sweet with a tinge of sour. It was chewy like the others with a texture that reminded me of coconut. For some reason it just didn't impress me as much as the apple, which is definitely my favorite so far! I think that perhaps the cranberry flavor wasn't quite strong enough. I think I'll try to experiment more with the remaining flavors if I don't eat them on the go. I think they could be quite tasty with warm peanut butter or even some nuts to add some crunch... we'll see! Happy New Year everyone!

And tomorrow I have my impacted wisdom teeth removed. Keep me in your prayers if you so choose - maybe I'll be able to post a picture of some smoothies if I'm feeling up to it since that's all I'll be able to consume for the first day or two.