30 Simple Ways to Make Healthy Habits Stick

Hello!

Looking for creative ways to make healthy habits a part of your every day routine?  Tired of saying, “I just don’t have the time?”  Well, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time!  If you include small beneficial changes into your daily life now, living healthier will become more natural.

Want 30 healthy habits that can easily be squeezed into your busy schedules?

[Source]

Well, I’m making you go looking for them.  Yesterday I was featured again over at Around the Plate!  If you missed it, just click on this link and check out my post on 30 Simple Ways to Make Healthy Habits Stick.

What are some “everyday” healthy habits that you guys incorporate into your routines?

Product Review: Honey Ridge Farms Honey Cremes

Hey guys, remember when I got that fun goodie bag of stuff for being a member of the Around the Plate community?

Well, I finally got around to trying another treat from the goodie bag!  In case you missed my first post, you can click here to read about nimble™ by Balance Bar!

Honey Ridge Farms Honey Cremes

Honey Ridge Farms, located in Brush Prairie, WA, was founded in 2004.  The company provides high-quality, all natural specialty gourmet honeys and honey-based specialty foods.  The Honey Ridge Farm family believes that honey is nature’s best and most delicious sweetener and offers a variety of single-floral source artisan honeys from the western US as well as other all natural honey-based gourmet foods including fruit and spiced honey cremes, honey-based vinegars, grilling sauces, and honey glazes. 

Sounds pretty shweet!

Literally. 🙂

The two flavors that Around the Plate kindly sent to me to sample were blackberry honey crème and lemon honey crème.  Upon first opening the goodie box, I was more excited for blackberry (I looooove anything blackberry flavored!) than the lemon, but they both ended up being tasty.

At first I tried to use the blackberry spread in lieu of jam on a piece of whole wheat toast.

Meh.  I don’t recommend it.  The combination of the two didn’t really do anything for me?

Then I turned the little jar around and got some new ideas for how I could enjoy the crème:

CHEESE!  I was craving some cheese and crackers as a post-Target trip snack this weekend, so I decided to give that last bullet suggestion a whirl.

WAY better than the toast/jam combo.  I didn’t even need to spread as big of a glob on there either.  Just a dab will do to give the cheese and cracker combo the teeniest hint of sweetness.  I liked both flavors, but the lemon with the sharp cheddar cheese actually really surprised me.  Thanks for the cheese, Slesh!

I also tried them out in my tea this morning, another good use for them.

Sidenote on using these as a sugar substitute.  I’m not huge into the natural sweetener debate.  However, I did read an article on the biggest health food scams of 2011 and honey (along with other natural sweeteners) is on there.  A little snippet:

“It was sweet to be a “natural” sugar this year. Natural sweeteners now rank second on the list of most-looked-for items on the ingredient label, after the type of fat/oil. But “to the body, sugar is sugar, whether it’s in the form of honey, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, molasses, or whatever,” says Robert Davis, PhD, author of Coffee Is Good for You: From Vitamin C and Organic Foods to Low-Carb and Detox Diets, the Truth about Diet and Nutrition Claims. Though these alternatives may sound healthier than regular sugar, there’s scant evidence that our gut processes them any differently.”

My advice, as always, is to enjoy in moderation!

Anyways, so the question now is, would I buy these on my own?  I’m not sure yet.  I try to be frugal when it comes to my grocery shopping and I think these qualify more as a little “splurge” item than something I would keep in the house all the time.  But I might try one of the other ideas on the company’s recipe usage link.  Maybe that will change my mind.  So stay tuned!

Thank you to both Around the Plate and to Honey Ridge Farms for giving me the opportunity to try these products!

Disclaimer/Disclosure:  I did not receive any financial contributions for this review; however, I did receive free products from the company so that I could test them out and then tell you my thoughts. All thoughts presented in this blog post are my own. 

Do you guys use honey or any natural sweeteners?  Thoughts on the big sweetener debate?

Product Review: nimble™ by Balance Bar

Happy Friday!

Winner of the Mama Micki’s Cookie Giveaway!

Thanks to all who entered this fun giveaway.   The lucky winner is…

Commenter #3, Erica!

Erica said:  “Oh man…they all sound great!!  I think I’d like to try the Vegan Better than Butter and the Vegan coconut almond bliss cookies!! Pardon my drooling…”

Congratulations, Erica!  Please email me at akaralekas@gmail.com for how to claim your prize.  🙂

Morning Workout

Today I went to the gym to bust out a quick 30 minute sweaty workout before starting my day.  I saw a really cool workout on Peanut Butter Fingers the other day, so I adapted it today and here’s what I came out with!

The “Jump, Jack, N Crunch” Workout.  Get it?  Like “Jump, Jive, N Wail?”

….right.

Anyways, for this workout you should do each move for 60 seconds.  Take no more than 30 seconds of rest time between each move.  Make sure to also warm up properly and cool down – some cardio machine work (a bike, treadmill, or elliptical) makes a nice addition before and/or after!

Mission accomplished!  Sweaty in 30, abs on fire.  🙂

Product Review:  nimble™ by Balance Bar

Do any of you eat Balance Bar energy bars?

“Balance Bar was one of the originators of energy bars and the nutrition bar category.  Founded in 1992 by a group of sports enthusiasts, scientists and people with a passion for life in Santa Barbara, CA, Balance Bar continues to be run by people with the same passion and mission today that started it all. Rooted in a winning formula for balanced nutrition with the 40-30-30 nutrition principle to provide long-lasting energy, Balance Bar has since added several flavors, styles and formats of energy bars to make nutrition easy and delicious for everyone.”

Well, through my involvement with the Around the Plate community, I recently received a goodie box with lots of fun treats in them, and one of the things in there was a new product from Balance Bar.

Who doesn’t love a goodie box of treats?!

Balance Bar has recently introduced nimble™ and claims that it is “the first bar for women that conveniently combines beauty and nutrition in a delicious, indulgent bar.”  Here are some fun, healthy facts about nimble™:

– Only 120 calories each

– Fortified with rich antioxidants, beta-carotene and 10mg of FloraGLO Lutein

– First bar sweetened with Truvia rebiana (a natural, zero calorie sweetener made from the best tasting part of the stevia leaf)

– Helps maintain healthy skin from the vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants

– Provides seven critical ingredients for women’s bodies:

  • Protein:  Gives you lasting energy, without any harsh blood sugar spikes that cause overeating.
  • Fiber:  Provides digestion health and a satiated feeling to make it easier to keep healthy eating on track.
  • Calcium:  Important to lasting bone health, but it also aids muscle function and nerve function.
  • Vitamin D:  Aids the absorption of Calcium, so pairing the two together provides lasting benefits.
  • Vitamin B6:  Is a micronutrient that provides a stabilizing effect to your blood sugar and helps your immune system.
  • Iron:  Carries oxygen to your tissues, and is essential for resisting fatigue and poor concentration.
  • Folate:  Offers multiple benefits to women, for reproductive health and beyond.\

– Contains the 40-30-30 ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that can help stabilize blood sugar, reduce inflammation, steady your mood, and improve energy.

I was really excited to try both of the flavors that nimble™ by Balance Bar is available in:  Peanut Butter and Yogurt Orange Swirl.

The Peanut Butter flavor was definitely my favorite out of the two, but that doesn’t really come as much of a surprise because I love anything peanut butter!  Although I thought the Peanut Butter one was a decent combination of salty and sweet, I wouldn’t say I absolutely loved it.  It did suffice for my pre-early morning workout snack before teaching at 6am last Thursday though!

As for the Orange, although I drink orange juice religiously and love snacking on clementines with my CBC ladies, I am not a big fan of orange flavored things.  So I don’t think I can fairly judge the taste of this bar because of my negative predisposition toward the flavor in general!  I definitely would recommend the Yogurt Orange Swirl bar to anyone who loves creamsicles, as this would probably be right up your alley with its citrusy sweetness.

For both bars, my first impression that they were a little small and that is probably why they only have 120 calories.  If I were to get these bars again, I wouldn’t use the bars as a meal replacement, but more for an on-the-go snack during a busy day.  With the amount of time I spend in the gym, that’s not enough calories for me!

Thank you to both Around the Plate and to nimble™ by Balance Bar for giving me the opportunity to try these products!

Disclaimer/Disclosure:  I did not receive any financial contributions for this review; however, I did receive free products from the company so that I could test them out and then tell you my thoughts. All thoughts presented in this blog post are my own. 

Questions of the Day:  What’s your favorite 30 minute workout?  What’s your favorite nutritional bar?  Have you ever tried a Balance Bar or the new nimble™ by Balance Bar?  What’s up for the weekend?

Have a great Friday!