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Gevalia Kaffe & Giveaway!

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Courtesy of MyBlogSpark & Kraft Foods, the makers of Gevalia Kaffe, I had the opportunity to try a new-to-me coffee brand that I’m head over heels for.  I can be somewhat of a coffee snob sometimes *cough, Starbies*, but I realized after trying this stuff out, those Swedish folks know good java.  With a promise of “rich, never bitter”, Gevalia offers a ton of different options to suit any palate.  From intense dark roasts to exotic varietals, Gevalia offers over 40 premium coffees. Carrying on the legacy of Gevalia founder Victor Theodor Engwall, our coffee buyers travel the globe in search of the best beans available. When they journey to the slopes of Mount Hualalai, Hawaii, you can be certain our buyers won’t settle for anything less than the perfect velvety-smooth, mildly acidic Kona bean. And when our buyers visit the Malabar Coast of India, we guarantee they won’t be coming home until they’ve purchased the finest crop of full-bodied Indian Malabar tempered with slight accents of honey and clove flavoring.

All that effort comes together with every cup of Gevalia that you brew. From the alluring aroma that greets your nose as you open the package to each cup’s full-bodied flavor, we’re confident you’ll agree that Gevalia is a genuine premium coffee lover’s delight.

  • Gevalia Traditional Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia Traditional Roast provides a perfectly balanced taste every time. Our most beloved blend – made of choice, mountain-grown Arabica beans – this coffee has a distinctive body and flavor with a lighter intensity. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia House Blend:
    A Gevalia favorite, House Blend is a robust yet never bitter coffee. This roast has a captivating aroma that is only matched by its exceptional flavor. (Medium/Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia House Blend Decaf :
    Delivering the same rich, never bitter flavor, House Blend Decaf has the same robust taste without all the caffeine. (Medium/Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia French Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia French Roast is a coffee of impressive richness and dimension, expertly crafted from prized Arabica beans grown in Colombia and Brazil. Hints of aromatic smoke give this dark-roasted French Roast blend an intense, yet uniquely satisfying flavor. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Colombia:
    Grown high in the Colombian Andes, these beans produce a rich, bright and well-bodied Colombian coffee. This single origin classic is world-renowned, which is why we have sourced these beans for decades. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia Espresso Roast:
    Gevalia Espresso Roast is made of premium, mountain-grown Arabica beans from East Africa and Central and South America. This roast is bold and full-bodied with a hint of caramel undertones. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Vanilla:
    This rich blend with vanilla flavor notes is crafted from choice mountain-grown Arabica beans, then roasted for exceptional body and flavor. Gevalia Vanilla is a flavorful and balanced experience with a heavenly aroma.
  • Gevalia Chocolate Mocha:
    Gevalia Chocolate Mocha allows you to indulge your passion for decadent flavor. Rich, velvety chocolate flavor is blended with mountain-grown Arabica beans for a sweetly satisfying experience.

This coffee is delicious, and I cannot wait for warmer weather, so I can keep a pitcher of it iced and in the fridge! YUM. 

MyBlogspark & Kraft Foods have also generously provided a giveaway for a lucky reader to win the same package that they sent me for the review!
You can win yourself a jumbo coffee mug, complete with Gevalia logo, and two bags of their rich, smooth coffee (one house blend & one french roast).

To enter:

1- Visit Gevalia’s Facebook page & “like” it.  Leave a comment letting me know you have.

2- Visit the Gevalia homepage and leave a comment letting me know which variety is most appealing to you.

3-Leave a comment telling me where your favorite coffee spot is!

 

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ItWorks! + A Giveaway!

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If you read my last post, you know that this past weekend, you may remember me mentioning an unebelivable experience with It Works! thanks to my wonderful friend, blogging buddy, and Zumba queen, Toni.   

You can read here about how a passion for healthy living has helped her transform her life.  Recently, she became an independant distributor for It Works

I’ve been hearing tons about the company over the internet and among friends, but wasn’t fully convinced of its “miracle working abilities”.  I HAD to try it for myself.  It isn’t that I didn’t believe Toni, I just like to experience something first hand before I endorse it.  It’s one of those see for yourself kind of things.  When Toni asked me about reviewing some of the supplements, I inquired about a wrapping! 

As I mentioned, rather than a water weight loss, this wrap is a detox from the outside in.  The ingredients in the wrap (all-natural and organic, in fact) are designed to target your adipose tissue, aka fat cells, which typically hold onto fatty tissue and toxins.  The process takes a total of 72 hours, even though you’ll see a difference in just 1 hour after you’ve had the wrap on your skin and results last 3-5 months!

Ingredients:

Horse chestnut – According to the National Institutes for Health, horse chestnut seed extract is good for treating varicose veins

Green tea – Known to protect the skin from sun damage, caffeine also is showing much promise in fighting wrinkles and sun damage

Bladderwrack – This is a type of seaweed and helps aging skin

Ivy leaf extract – Reports in from Europe say this is good for reducing stretch marks

Horsetail leaf/stem extract – Known to help encourage weight loss

Butcher’s Broom root extract – Combats varicose veins

Guarana seed extract – A shrub rich in caffeine, known as a stimulant, and expected to increase fat burning

Jojoba seed oil – Similar in structure to human skin oils, jojoba is good for unclogging pores

Menthol – Comes from mint, used to treat sun burns and as a topical analgesic

Rosemary leaf oil –Chock full of antioxidants

Eucalyptus leaf oil – Smells amazing & is totally relaxing 

The cool thing is, you don’t even need a consultant to do your own wrapping.  You can totally do it yourself.  I wanted to find out more about the product and sit down with Toni, so we got together and she helped me while explaining all the facts.

Wrapping is easy!  Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • A tape measure
  • A sharpie marker
  • An ace bandage or spandex clothing or saran wrap to hold the wrap in place

Pre-wrapping: To achieve the best results and absorption, take a warm shower using an exfoliating bath sponge but do not use soap-you want to avoid putting on lotions or oils.  The purpose of the shower is to open your pores.  Dry your body really well after your shower!

Stand up straight and record your measurements in 3 different places where you will use the wrap (use the tracker below to mark your inches).  High, medium, and low, as indicated by “H”, “M”, and “L”. 

Using the sharpie marker, draw a line where you took the measurements on your skin (for example, waist, belly button, and hips if using the wrap on the stomach).

Here are my pre wrap measurements:

H: 32”
M: 35”
L: 36 1/4”

 Completely unfold applicator and place the wrap lotion side toward body. (Both sides will feel saturated with the ingredients.  The side that you open should be placed against your body.  Remember, it needs to be unwrapped to it’s full length.  When opened completey, it will resemble a large maxipad (it’s the best way to describe it-sorry fellas!). 

Smooth out the wrap to ensure good contact and secure application. 

Wear the wrap for a minimum of 45 minutes to 8 hours for maximum results and secure wrap with spandex clothing, ace bandage, or saran wrap.  

If this is your first time using the Ultimate Body Wrap, do not use longer than 45 minutes to ensure there is no skin irritation or allergic reaction from the natural ingredients in the wrap. 

When removing the applicator, rub in the remaining gel for maximum results.  You can place the remaining gel anywhere…rub it on your sides, your arms, your legs…just use as much as the product from the wrap as possible!  Get your money’s worth!

In just under an hour, here were the changes in my measurements… I can assure you, these measurements were double-checked several times, as we were dumbfounded at the results! 

Toni and I both expected results, but this was the most extreme!!  I know I eat a lot of sodium and artificial sweeteners, which potentially caused it, but still…7 1/2 inches total?!  INSANITY!  We were literally jumping up and down in the middle of her kitchen.

 It is very important to drink extra water to flush the fat & toxins quickly from the body! How much water should you drink?  At least half of your body weight in ounces daily! (If you weigh 150lbs, drink at least 75oz of water daily for the next 3 days).  And treat yourself to 1-2 large glasses of water DURING the wrap.  You want to flush out those toxins

It is also very important not to exercise or sweat during the wrap or immediately after. Sweating will block the absorption and penetration of gel. This means no physical activity immediately following the wrapYes, this does include sex. 

When the applicator has been removed measure at the same locations initially measured. Compare those measurements to your pre-wrap measurements.  Don’t forget to measure again at 24, 48, and 72 hours!  You may have to reapply the marks on your skin using a sharpie if you are interested in seeing the most accurate results. 

You can safely wrap only one part of your body every 72 hours.  The wrap may be cut in half to fit arms and legs. Arms and legs are considered one body part so they can be wrapped at the same time.

Stay tuned for a review on some of the awesome supplements that are part of the It Works!  line!!

If you’d like to try a wrap, just email Toni at wrapmetoni@gmail.com.  Currently, the Ultimate Body Applicator which comes with 4 wraps is being sold for $99, but if you become a loyal customer, which you can read about here, you can get them for just $59!

Toni has generously offered to giveaway 1 free wrap to a lucky winner!  Here’s how to enter: 

  1. Check out her blog and leave a comment letting me know what product you think you’d most want to try.
  2. “Like” her Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you’ve done so.
  3. Subscribe to Toni’s personal & business blogs and leave another comment letting me know you’ve done so.

Each thing you do will get you one entry!  Be sure to comment for each thing you’ve done.  We will be choosing a random winner in about a week!  I’m still trying to figure out a way to be the winner of my own giveaway 😉 Haha.  This one is stellar!!! Good luck! 🙂

**** In addition, to help spread the word, the first health and wellness blogger to e-mail Toni at wrapmetoni@gmail.com will be sent a wrap to review and one to giveaway to their readers****

Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothies & A Giveaway!

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One of my favorite flavor combinations, chocolate & banana, have come together in the newest edition to the family of Yoplait Smoothie mixes (found in the freezer aisle!)  Its cousins, Strawberry Banana & Triple Berry are probably a little jealous of this decadent rival!

These yummy, guilt-free smoothies have just 130 calories per serving and are a perfect supplement to your breakfast or even would qualify as a dessert, in my opinion.  I blended mine up with some almond milk and it was SUPER creamy!  My new favorite way to get 50% of my DV CALCIUM.

Remember when I showed you my package by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark ?

Complete with a neck pillow, a free coupon for the product, a sweet dome lidded reusable tumbler, and an eye mask, I really got the hook up!  You can win the SAME package courtesy of MyBlogSpark, just by entering on this post in a bunch of different ways.

  1. Like the Yoplait facebook page and leave a comment letting me know.
  2. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link.
  3. Follow Yoplait on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know.

Incase you don’t win this fabulous giveaway, here’s a consolation prize of a $1.00 off coupon!  Thanks so much, Betty Crocker & My BlogSpark!

HAPPY WEEKENDING!

There’s A Dr. In The Kitchen

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Brought to you from Alison Levitt, the Dr. In The Kitchen, who originally created these crunchy snacks for herself, I bring you Flackers!

Flackers are a product unlike any I’ve seen before.  Rather than your typical, hydrogenated, preservative-laden crackers found in the snack aisle at the grocery store, Flackers can be a HUGE attribute to your healthy diet.

There is absolutely no flour of any kind, no leavening, and no chemical preservatives.  The ingredients are simple (see below) and pack a huge nutritional punch – EFAs, fiber, and protein.

Here’s a better breakdown of what makes flax seeds so incredibly wonderful for our bodies:

“Flax seeds are naturally high in alpha linolenic acid, a heart healthy omega-3 fatty acid. They are packed with fiber, which helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels and promote optimal digestion. They are a rich source of plant lignans – a type of naturally occurring phytonutrient. Also, these powerhouse seeds are gluten free, so they are great for people with gluten sensitivities and/or celiac’s disease. In addition, they are filled with antioxidants, protein and many vitamins and minerals. These delicious flax seed crackers are gluten free, they do not contain any yeast, or rice and they are also sugar-free!”

Flackers come in three different varieties


DillOrganic Dill + Red Chili Peppers

SavoryOrganic Garlic, Onion, Chili Pepper + Basil

Rosemary – Organic Rosemary + Sage

My favorite way to eat these babies is with either a wedge of light cheese (Babybel, Laughing Cow, or Sonoma Jacks) or slathered in hummus!   They also make a great addition to salads if you crumble them up, in place of croutons.  I’ve even tried them smashed overtop of savory oats with an egg and some Light Ragu sauce!

Thanks so much to Donn for sending some my way for this review!  The company has also offered up a giveaway for you all!

For your chance to win three boxes (one of each flavor):

  1.  Visit the Dr’s blog, and leave a comment there letting her know you’re from the Freckled Foodie and you saw this review.  For another entry
  2. Leave a comment on this post telling me which variety sounds most appealing to you, and finally, for a third entry,
  3. “Like” the Flackers facebook page!

Girard’s Epicurean Expert

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Some people [I won’t mention any names] in my family are veggie haters (GASP).  Roasted, raw, salads, or otherwise, it takes a special kind of flavoring or cooking method to convince them that vegetables are edible.  Usually, this means when we have salad at our house, a delicious dressing is mandatory.

Being the “Epicurean Expert” of the family, I suggested they try out these gorgeously bottled, golden-rimmed, gourmet dressings by Girard’s, which I received to try out on the blog.  It was a great reminder to them, that although my tons of foodie products take up some room in the kitchen and the fridge, and we’re pretty much bff’s with the Fed Ex guy, blogging does have its perks.

Girard’s was even more generous with this package, sending along a recipe holder, some salad utensils, and a cute little apron to keep the dressings company.  Thank you, so much!

This time, I tried out White Balsamic, Light Champagne, Old Venice Italian, and Greek Feta.  All of which were fabulous.  My favorite, the Light Champagne was pretty much chugged straight from the bottle poured on salads like it was going out of style.  Each variety has less sodium than before, and the White Balsamic Vinaigrette and Greek Feta Vinaigrette varieties contain no high fructose corn syrup.

You want more deets?

Greek Feta (100 calories/2 tbsp.) – This one was probably my favorite substitute as a marinade.  If you’ve ever had Gazebo Room dressing, it is similar to that!  I loved it on grilled chicken!

White Balsamic Vinaigrette (110 calories/2 tbsp.) – YOU MUST make this recipe. 

It screams FALL.  My vote is actually to replace the apples with pears.  This is a total crowd pleaser.

 Olde Venice Italian –  Another GREAT marinade…infact, the website agreed.  They’ve got a wonderful recipe for Brick Chicken out there, which makes sense.  This dressing also makes a fantastic pasta salad!

Light Champagne (60 calories/2 tbsp.)- With 65% less fat than regular Girard’s Champagne dressing, you won’t miss out on ANY flavor choosing this instead.  I really loved it on a bed of romaine with blueberries, mandarin oranges, almonds, and sprouts!

Want to try them for yourself?  As I mentioned, Girard’s is a very generous brand, and offered to give away the same set that I received to one of you guys!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me which dressing you’d most like to try and what you’d make with it.
  2. Check out the Girard’s website and tell me about another dressing that sparked your interest, not mentioned in this post.
  3. Blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and leave an additional comment for each.

Contest will close Wednesday next week and a random winner will be selected!

Stonehouse 27 & Lundberg Rice Killer Combo

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While packing lunches and eating on the run most days, nutritious meals can become monotonous.  You know, the same old chopped salad only looks appealing for so many days in a row before I get bored and unappetized. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to get creative for new and delicious meals that are also nutritious and made with wholesome ingredients, which is why I was thrilled at the chance to create my own “killer combo” courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms & Stonehouse 27 companies. 

Here’s a little background info on each:

Lundberg Family Farms® is a family-owned and operated rice company that is committed to producing the finest quality rice and rice products for your family. The Heat & Eat Brown Rice Bowls are quick, convenient, healthy brown rice that cooks perfect every time. Just Heat & Eat! It’s ready in seconds making it easy to get your daily servings of whole grains. It can be served as a side dish or used as a base in your favorite rice recipes. Lundberg’s Heat & Eat Bowls are available in 3 popular rice varieties: Short Grain Brown, Long Grain Brown and Countrywild®.

 

Stonehouse 27 was born in 2008 from Sharon Fernandez’s desire to bring delicious, all-natural sauces from her homeland to kitchens around the world. Stonehouse 27 sauces are rich with exotic spices, delicious aromas and magical flavors. They’re always made with fresh herbs and produce and do not contain anything artificial. These all natural sauces bring authentic flavors to the table, have many diverse uses, and are vegan, gluten free and contain less than 25mg of sodium per serving. They feature healthful, flavorful, premium ingredients such as pure agave nectar, expeller pressed canola oil and California dates. Stonehouse 27 has six delicious sauces: Tamarind & Garlic, Tomato & Chilies, Cilantro & Coconut, Dates & Tamarind, Cashews & Cream, and Spicy Cashews & Cream

For the challenge, we had to come up with a combo of our choice of one of the heat & eat rice bowls, along with one of Stonehouse 27’s delicious looking sauces.  I had a hard time choosing between several of them but ended up with:

Tomato & Chilies 

sautéed onions, garlic, spices and agave nectar

+

Organic Short Grain Brown Rice

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that you couldn’t add to this dish and it would be outstanding…I mean, the sauce in itself is enough to flavor anything wonderfully.  Here’s my recipe:

  1. Organic Short Grain Brown Rice
  2. Tomato & Chilies Stonehouse 27 Sauce
  3. 1 Eggland’s Best Egg
  4. 1 Bag of steamable broccoli slaw

I just tossed all the ingredients together (after microwaving the egg, of course), and devoured.  AMAZING how just four ingredients can come together for an awesome recipe.  You can find these sauces & ricebowls at local retailers almost anywhere!  Check out their websites to find the closest to you!

So, here’s the fun part.  I get to choose 5 winners to receive their choice of 1 sauce + 1 rice bowl so they can create their very own killer combo! 

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me which sauce + rice bowl you would choose and what 5 or less ingredient killer combo you would make with them.
  2. Like Stonehouse 27 & Lundberg Farms on Facebook & leave a comment here telling me you have.

The Protein Bakery Review & Giveaway!

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Being a healthy living blogger, it’s a rare occasion that you find brownies, blondies, and cookies that you can incorporate into a  “clean” eating plan and feel good about.  You all know what I mean…somehow, those “fat-free” versions that we try to replace the REAL thing with never really satisfy us…that, or they taste like the cardboard box that they come in. 

When I heard about all the hype about The Protein Bakery, I had to see for myself.  I’m a bit of a pessimist, sometimes 😉 

I mean, how can a DELICIOUS brownie, blondie or cookie have enumeration like this?

I’ll tell you how…

  • They’re wheat free, because they grind up rolled oats to bake the treats, which in turn adds dietary fiber!
  • They use HIGHEST QUALITY (the purest whey protein isolate), all-natural ingredients without preservatives or additives.
  •  They produce all of their products in SMALL batches, so they’re always sent to the customers FRESH.

The best part is, these are pretty much the ONLY baked goods that would totally fit into my THRIVE IN 30 plan

The creator himself is pretty impressive, too! 

Like he says in his intro, the Protein Bakery makes 6 different brownie flavors, 3 blondie flavors, and 12 cookie flavors! Here is where I rant and rave about my favorites 🙂

#1 on my list was the Coconut Walnut Blondie.

 

First and foremost, I know some of you HATE the word “moist“, but there is just no other way to describe the dense, fudgy texture of these phenomonal baked goodies.  I’m not a fan of more “cakey” and light , so these fit the bill quite well….ALMOST gooey ❤ 

 

Granted, there are 300 calories in each brownie, but let me tell you, if you can eat the whole thing at once, I’ll be impressed.  They are MASSIVE in size.  When sitting in my palm, the corners were OFF of my hand.  Not to mention, they’re each about an inch thick, no lie. 

#2 favorite, WICKED Mint Brownie.

Yep, I went there.  Anyone who has ever had mint chocolate chip ice cream knows what I’m talking about when I say, chocolate & mint are an exceptional combo.  This brownie takes them to a whole new level of decadence.

ALL recognizeable ingredients.  11g of protein?  In a gourmet brownie?  Believe it.

 Coming in at #3: The Colossal Trail Mix Cookie

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that anyone who claims NOT to love cookies, is a liar 🙂  If they’re serious, they haven’t tried The Protein Bakery’s Colossal Chocolate Cherry or Trail Mix versions.  13g of protein, to boot!

This hearty blend of whey protein, rolled oats, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and fresh cinnamon will win your heart…if it doesn’t, these bad boys will:

Yes, you could basically classify these as a cordial cherry…only better.  Top quality chocolate chips with dried cherries in a blanket of cocoa-y cookie dough<3

9g of protein?  5g of fiber?  Mmmhmm. Forget the protein shake, and hand me a cookie.

 Now that I’ve got your drooling at your keyboard, I’ll do you a favor and fill you in on where you can pick up some Protein Bakery goods for yourself, cause you better believe I’m not sharing 😉 They are primarily an online bakery, so you can have the treats shipped to you from ANYWHERE.  Just shop online, fill up your basket, and checkout.  They’ll be delivered right to your doorstep.  Orrrr they’ve got a workshop/corporate office at 20 West 20th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues), Suite #309 NY, New York 10011. You can always swing by to pick some up there, but they recommend you call first to make sure they aren’t out on delivery.

NOW, for the FUN part.

Stephen is SO generous, and decided that he’d like to share his creations with you guys, too!  ***Here’s how to enter:

1. Comment on this post telling me which one of the Protein Bakery goods you’d like to try.

2. Become a FAN of the Protein Bakery on Facebook & leave a comment letting me know you have.

3.  Follow the Protein Bakery on Twitter and leave and comment letting me know.

4. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.

You’ll win an assortment of 2 brownies/blondies, 2 colossal cookies and 4 cookie 2-packs!  With shipping, the package is worth more than $45.00!

Thanks so much, Stephen for sending some of the products for me to try!  I’m a HUGE fan (: